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PREFACE

Any traveller in Transylvania will discover the difficulty of obtaining correct information on particular questions, owing to the influence of nationality and of political feeling. I have endeavoured to correct my statements by weighing the evidence obtained from a variety persons of the most opposite ways of thinking ; and no conclusion has been formed without being carefully sifted and compared. For political views I am, of course, alone responsible. Errors have, no doubt, crept into the book, in spite of all my care to avoid them. I shall be grateful to any one, competent to point them out, who will call my attention to them, and shall gladly rectify the mistakes, if an opportunity be afforded me.

While in Transylvania I found every one willing to aid and give me information ; and the assistance thus rendered was of the greatest service. To Professor Henry Finály, of Klausenburg, I am indebted for copies of the Roman tablets, and an acquaintance with their mode of use and their inscriptions, and for elucidation of many a subject which was not quite clear to me. To several of the Hungarian noblemen whose acquaintance I had the good fortune to make, I owe a better knowledge of the statistics and the revenues of the country, and the deficiencies in many of the existing laws, as well as in their method of working.

My honoured friend John Charles Schuller has ended an active, bright career while this work was going through the press. Both from his works and his conversation I derived much instruction, and as long as I was in the land, he was unremitting in his endeavours to introduce me to those who, in literature and science, had made for themselves a name. I am under great obligations to Baron Blasius 0rban, for most kindly allowing me to make use of a number of photographs which he had himself taken, while travelling through Transylvania, for a 1arge work illustrating the country.

Rector Frederic Müller, also, most kindly gave me, clichés from the woodcuts in his treatise on the fortified churches of the Saxons, which are excellent aids in my description of them.

It is from Dr. Teutsch's History of the Transylvania Saxons, and Sievert's Monograph on Hermannstadt, that I have taken the facts given in Chapters V., VIII., IX.

It may perhaps be found that in the following pages, the same subject is alluded to more than once. However, this repetition only shows how general the practice or the feeling spoken of, is throughout the province, and may tend, therefore, to produce on the reader the same impression which the anther received by hearing and seeing things constantly repeated.

The present work was to have appeared some months earlier, but for certain reasons its publications has been deferred. This statement is necessary, as the changes which since then have occurred in the Austrian Cabinet have given the long-pending Hungarian question an entirely new phase. But for this explanation, many a remark here made on political views and character might seem to the reader uncalled-for and even contradictory.

It is ardently to be desired that the proposed changes may, by mutual concession and mutual confidence, be brought to a happy termination. No one wishes this more sincerely than myself ; and heartily glad should I be, if, by their moderation and avoidance of ill-placed mistrust, the Hungarians were to prove the opinions here expressed to be ill-founded. I shall joyfully and as readily proclaim my mistake.

Every one who knows the Hungarians, must fervently hope for a change that will put an end to their present unnatural isolation ; and all who wish well to Austria must anxiously look forward to a better understanding between herself and the most powerful portion of her Empire.

CHARLES BONER.

London, October, 1865.




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