Title


[229]

PEST
PEST

CHAPTER IX.

BUDA-PEST.

Drive round the Town. — Fiacres. — New Bridge. — Casino. — Redout. — Quays and Streets. — Sand-storms. — Increase of Pest. — Museum. — Learned Society. — Meyer Höfe. — Neugebaude.—Plain of Rákos.—Ancient Diets.—Modern Reviews. —Races.—Shop Signs.—Bridge of Boats.—Tolls.--Rowing.— Elizabeth Island.—Buda.— Public Buildings.—Royal Statthalterei.—Austrian Policy.—Fortress.—Turks in Hungary.— Turkish Remains.—Environs of Buda.—Love for the Picturesque.—Godiolo.—Bureaucracy.—Blocksberg.

I HAVE not the least inclination to play the part of a cicerone in Pest, by giving a very particular account of all its churches and public buildings; and still less that of an ill-natured spy, by retailing all the stories, true or false, I may have heard of the owners of the splendid mansions now looking so [230] THE FIACRES. empty and desolate : still I believe I must say something as to the whereabouts of the place, more especially as it was only this spring that a learned countryman of ours, whom spleen or the fidgets had driven so far from his usual haunts about Westminster Hall, declared with open eyes and gaping mouth that he had discovered Pest ! Here was a city, Buda-Pest, of more than one hundred thousand inhabitants, of which this learned gentleman was, up to the time of his visit, entirely ignorant. To guard you, reader, from a similar error, I invite you to take a scat beside me in the fiacre, accompany me in my first drive round the town, and listen to the information I can pick up of it.

Of course we start from the Palatine Hotel in the Waitzner Gasse, because it is one of the best of its kind in the whole Austrian dominions ; and therefore the one at which you and I shall remain during our stay in Pest, reader. And, first of all, please to notice the fiacre : none of the dirty, heavy, shabby, slow coaches, found on the stands of London ; but a very clean, smart, open caléche, with two high-bred little horses which whisk along at a famous rate ; and the driver as far superior in sharpness and wit to his wooden-shod confrére of Paris as the equipage is to that of London. In winter, instead of the open caléche, a neat close chariot takes its place, for he is a very poor fiacre in Pest who has not a winter and a summer carriage.

Let us drive to the Quay. Observe those three [231] QUAY.—CASINO. or four first houses, and tell me if you know any private buildings on a more splendid scale, or built in a better style ; some of them cost not less than 40,0001. They are inhabited by many families, living, as is common everywhere on the Continent, under the same roof. It is opposite these buildings that it is intended to erect the new bridge across the Danube.

Next we come to the Casino, a handsome building with an exceedingly elegant portico,—a little spoiled, perhaps, by being glazed,—and, as a kind friend has placed our names on the books, we will even introduce you there too. The rooms of the Casino occupy the whole first floor. As you enter a number of well-dressed footmen are standing about; one takes your hat, and another ushers you into the billiard-room, round the sides of which are rows of pigeon-holes, each bearing the name of a member arranged in alphabetical order, where letters, cards, or parcels are placed to attract his eye on entering. Beyond this, on one side, are two reading-rooms and a library ; and, on the other, two or three drawing-rooms. On the reading-room table we were delighted to find that vagabond Englishman's consolation, Calignani ; besides the Athena;um, Edinburgh, Quarterly, and Foreign Quarterly Reviews. In the centré is a very fine ball-room, where the Casino gives three or four balls every winter; and beyond this, again, is a long suite of supper-rooms. A dining-room, and a pretty good [232] HUNGARIAN CASINO cool:, complete the arrangements of one of the best-managed clubs in Europe.

The stranger, however, is rather astonished at the smell of tobacco, which pervades the whole establishment; and still more by the array of pipes presented in each room, all ready filled, with lights constantly burning beside them. Whether reading, talking, or playing, scarcely a man is to be seen without a pipe in his mouth. It must be recollected, however, that Hungary is not far from Turkey, that the tobacco is excellent, and that smoking is deprived of more than half its disgusting character when unaccompanied by drinking and spitting, neither of which have more to do with it in this part of the world, than a demure face with a clear conscience in some others.

The liberality with which the Casino is opened to strangers, contrasts strongly with the narrow principles on which most of our clubs are conducted in England. Nothing can be more mortifying to an Englishman than to receive favours which he knows he cannot repay in his own country ; and nothing can astonish, not to say disgust, a foreigner more than to find he is not adutitted into a society, of which his friend is a member, without a previous ballot,—nay, that if he calls on him at his club, he may have to stand in the hall among the servants till his friend is summoned out to see him. It has surprised me that none of our clubs have opened a correspondence with some of [233] AND ENGLISH CLUBS. the best Continental Casinos, and agreed to receive their members during their residence in London, on condition of their own being admitted on the same terms abroad. How far English stiffness might unbend in favour of the foreigner iu London, and tend to make the club a pleasant resort, I know not; but it would certainly give the English traveller abroad the means of forming a more general acquaintance with men of his own age and class than any letters of introduction could possibly secure for him ; and the foreigner, if he derived from it no other advantage, would at least be able to get his dinner without being subjected to the exorbitant charges of an hotel-keeper, or running the danger of misjudging English habits from the scenes of a common chop-house.

As we drove along the Quay, which is here paved and walled in, we arrived at the Redouten Saal, a ball-room of very large dimensions and elegant proportions, gay in winter with happy crowds of nobles and citizens mingled together in the levelling waltz and gallopade.

The whole extent of the Quay is about an English mile, from which the city extends in a semicircle ; most of the streets are wide, all of them paved, and some of them furnished with footpaths. The houses are of white stone, and, generally speaking, much handsomer than those we are accustomed to see at home. Most of the squares are very well built, but, from want of some object in the centre, [234] SAND-STORM. look bare and deserted, besides giving ample room for the accumulation of those heaps of sand with which Pest is infested. This sand is one of the miseries of Pest ; it is so fine that it enters into everything, destroys furniture, and blinds and chokes the inhabitants worse than a London fog. A sandstorm is something dreadful here. The country round Pest is a sandy plain,—there are few trees or gardens in the outskirts of the place, nothing to break the force of the wind ; so that, when it once gathers into a storm, it marches forward, drawn on by the current of the Danube, and traverses the wide streets of Pest almost without opposition. One sultry day, as I was writing at the hotel, I found the sky suddenly clouded ; and, on looking out to see the cause, I felt the air hot and dry; and observed at the end of the long street, which runs parallel with the Danube, a vast cloud of sand advancing slowly forward, attended with a hissing noise as it passed on. A slamming of windows on every side announced that all my neighbours were providing against the enemy; and I had just time to shut mine before it swept by. For five minutes a dense mass of moving sand filled the whole street. In spite of all precautions, however, I found my books and papers covered with a very fine dust, which had entered by the crevices of the window-frames. It has been suggested that this might probably be prevented by plantations of trees round the outskirts of the town.

[235] NATIONAL MUSEUM.

The growth of Pest within the few last years has been so enormous, that more than half the present town looks as if built but yesterday; at the present time there are ninety houses building, in many of which several families will reside. One of the large squares now in the middle of Pest was, only a few years ago, so far out of the town, that the first occupants could not sleep for the croaking of frogs in the neighbouring marshes. The then neighbouring marshes are now handsome streets.

On turning towards the centre of the town, the Museum was pointed out to us, which was founded in 1 802 by Count Francis Széchenyi, with a magnificent donation of books and coins. It contains a fine library, rich in Hungarian MSS.; a complete collection of coins of the Hungarian Kings, from St. Stephen to the present day; a collection of minerals which is particularly remarkable for fine specimens of the ores found in Hungary ; a few fossils, ill arranged ; and a variety of antiquities, specimens of manufactures, &c. &c. Many of these collections deserve better treatment than they at present receive. It is, however, intended to erect a new building, where it is to be hoped the imperfections of the present arrangement will be remedied.

From the Museum we passed to the Hall of the Tudomúnyos Társaság, the Academy of Sciences of Hungary. The first ohject of this society was the developement of the Magyar language, and its first [236] LEARNED SOCIETY. name implied simply that meaning ; but it seems to be intended at present to give it the place of directress of science in general, and I think wisely. The funded income amounts to about 2,000l. sterling. The society has already published, besides its annual volume of transactions, which is got up in very good style, a dictionary of Hungarian and German; and one of German and Hungarian is also in progress. Prizes for the best works published in the course of the year in the Magyar language are distributed at the annual meetings. It is just that the language and literature of the country should occupy the first place in the attention of the members ; but it is to be hoped they will soon be able to dedicate some of their time to matters which may unite them to the learned of the rest of Europe, as much as their present studies tend to separate them. In natural history, Hungary possesses vast unexplored treasures, of which Hungarians are bound to give some account ; at present, this subject is sadly neglected from want of union, though a great many naturalists are scattered in different parts of the country. In history and antiquities, too, a fine field is open before them ; I do not mean, in absurd antiquarian discussions as to whether Adam spoke Magyar, or Homer was a Sclavack,-both matters, however, which have undergone profound discussion here,— but in the collection of materials for Dacian, Pannonian, and Magyar history, and in the preservation [237] NEUGEBAUDE. of the innumerable family records with which the private archives abound ; among many of which are journals and letters which might one day throw light on obscure parts of the history of Hungary.

As we directed our fiacre to drive to the outside of the town, he took us through some wide streets with houses of only one story, many of which have large courts, with stables, cow-houses, and other farm buildings attached : these are the Meyer Hofe, or farm-yards of the nobles, who pass the winter in Pest, and keep here their cows and horses, as well as provender for them, which they send up in considerable quantities from their estates for winter consumption in town. The absence of trade, or, what the Hungarians call " the want of money," makes it more profitable to bring their own productions, even from very great distances, than to purchase on the spot.

As we came to the outskirts of Pest, we perceived a huge stone building of many parts, which we were told was the Neugebaude, or, Josephinisches Institut. This building was begun under Joseph the Second, for what purpose is said to be a mystery, and has been only lately completed. It is now destined, or at least the Hungarians hope so, to contain a national military academy for the training of the Hungarian nobility to do good service in the field.

We had no sooner passed the gate than we were fairly launched on the great plain which surrounds Pest, and which bears the name of Racos Mezö, or [238] THE RÁKOS MEZO Field of Ríikos. It is celebrated in the annals of Hungarian history as the scene of many of those wild Diets, where all the nobility used to assemble in council, armed and mounted as for war, and where, to say the truth, war—and among themselves too - was not unfrequently the termination of their discussions. The first of these Diets,40 which took place on the 5th of August 1298, ought to be dear to the recollection of the Hungarians; for it was the first in which the lower nobles—the gentry of Hungary —took a part ; the era, in fact, from which the present political constitution may be said to date. It had its origin in a cunning trick of an ambitious but patriotic churchman, the Archbishop of Kalocsa; who, discontented with the influence exercised by the great barons of the kingdom, persuaded the King to call together the whole body of the nobles, whose numbers were sufficient to overawe the powerful oligarchy which opposed him. Many important resolutions, in which the interests of the King, the lesser nobles, and more especially the clergy, were well cared for, and by which the barons were restricted in the exercise of their almost regal power, were passed at the

40 Engel claims an earlier origin for the Diet, on the strength of a meeting summoned by the King in 1061 ; but it was never regarded as a precedent, nor do I think the greatest stickler for antiquity would desire that it should, for it ended in the King's hanging and flogging all those whom he could not bring over to his own way of thinking.
[239] AND ITS ANCIENT DIETS. suggestion of the Archbishop; and the council of barons, by whom the kingdom seems to have been governed up to that time, was fain to sign them. We still, however, find no recognition of the right of the lesser nobles to a share in the legislation ; though, from this time forward, they seem to have been frequently consulted. But it was especially in times of civil disturbances that the political rights of this class assumed a distinct character ; and no mm seems to have done so nmch towards it as John Z polya, Woiwode of Transylvania, whose constant policy it was to ally himself with this party, and by their means to weaken the King and higher nobles, and so obtain the crown of Hungary for himself. Not unfrequently it happened that these stormy assemblies secured the person of the King or his counsellors, and obliged them to yield to their commands. Sometimes their dissolution was the signal for civil war ; sometimes they threatened to surround Pest and Buda, and force the consent of the Crown to their wishes by starvation ; sometimes with boisterous loyalty they declared themselves ready to die for their King and country, and with freshened zeal rushed from the council to the battle-field.

It must have been a spirit-stirring sight, those vast hordes of armed men encamped on this plain to discuss the laws and interests of the nation, and armed to defend, in case of need, what they believed to be their right. Like most eastern [240] THE RÁKOS MEZO nations, the Magyars have much calmness in council; and like them, too, that strange susceptibility to excitement which changes in a moment from the tranquillity of deliberation to the wildest outbreaks of feeling and passion. It is not wonderful that history has given to these assemblies a character of more importance than they really deserve ; for here, as everywhere else in a purely popular assembly, a designing chief generally ruled the mass: but the romance attached to antiquity has twined itself round these ancient monuments of liberty, and concealed from those who now look upon them, everything but a faint outline of past freedom and glory ! Even yet, some of the old Magyars sigh as they think of the time when their ancestors assembled on the Rákos Mezo, and set both their King and his foreign counsellers at defiance. Prince Metternicli would have but a rude reception from such a meeting : the old Hungarian cry of " Away with the Germans, they corrupt our King !" would burst from many a tongue, when loosened by the enthusiasm such a meeting would excite.

As we drove on to this vast plain, we might almost have fancied the scenes of former centuries were revived before us. In the distance we perceived a host of white tents stretching along the horizon, as far as the eye could follow them, the glance of bright arms were flashing in the sun, and ever and anon the sounds of martial music were caught up by the ear : but, as we drew nigh, [241] AND MODERN REVIEWS. the fancy was dispelled ; the ugly white jacket and black gaiter, and the very unpoetical bayonet, following the links and rechts of modern drill, but ill supplied the place of Hungary's best chivalry, its sabre, lance, and gallant steed, its loud shout of war, its wild impetuous onset, and its rich and varied costume glittering in the sun and fluttering on the breeze. An Austrian regiment of infantry may be among the best drilled, best dressed, best behaved troops in the world —I know nothing about the matter; but a more ill-fashioned set of fellows, in the eye of the civilian, it is hardly possible to conceive.

Another part of this plain now forms a racecourse ; and report says, a pretty good one. We were too late for the races, and I can therefore speak of them only from hearsay. The races, which take place in May or June, last for fourteen days ; during which time there are public dinners, balls, and every other approved mode of passing idle hours. Much opposition, much jealousy, much ridicule, have been employed to put down these races ; but their continued and increasing success testifies how innoxious it has proved.

The most amusing scene to an Englishman must be the races between the Csikósék (horse keepers), who ride their own long-tailed steeds, without saddles, and in their own strange costumes—as wild a looking troop as that which first followed Attila over the plains of Europe. It was at first impossible [242] PEST RACES.

PEST RACES
PEST RACES

to make these men understand the disadvantage of heavy weights for jockeys ; nor was it till after they had been repeatedly beaten, that they would confess that little boys could ride a race, and win it from full-grown men. The excellent riding of the Hungarians, for which their hussars have long been celebrated, is more particularly to be found among the Csikúsák. The nobles, even the lower grades, so commonly make use of carriages rather than horses, that I scarcely think they can be good horsemen : but the Csikós is on horseback almost from his birth : indeed, I suspect he sometimes learns to ride before he can walk. I have seen the merest children without bridle or saddle — a string round the horse's nose supplied the place of the first, a bunda thrown across his back, the second,— galloping at full speed after a herd of unbroken colts, overtake and turn them, dash into the middle of [243] THE CSIKOS. them, and select those they required, apparently without the slightest fear.

Although it is impossible to conceive anything more perfect than their seat on horseback, their general management of horses is sadly defective. [ have heard it frequently said, that, if an Hunganan groom is once allowed to mount a horse, his mouth is spoiled for ever ; and I can easily believe it, for the treatment they receive from them is excessively rough and cruel. In travelling through Hungary, the stranger can hardly fail to notice the number of horses which have lost an eye; and he will easily account for it if he watches a Csikós, when enraged, beat his horse. The drivers have an equally bad character ; and it is a common complaint that good horses cannot be employed for the purposes of agriculture, from the carelessness with which they are treated.

But the horses have fairly run away with me It is time 1 pulled up, and bethought myself of the fiacre and Pest ! With your permission then, gentle reader, we will return to the river, cross the bridge of boats, and visit the wonders of Buda. On the way let me point out, as we pass through the best streets of Pest, the gay pictures exhibited by almost all the shops of respectable pretensions. After a fashion once common with us, and of which one or two specimens still exist in London, every shop has a name and sign : so that you may buy your cigars at the Young Prince ; your [244] SHOP SIGNS.—BRIDGE OF BOATS. cravats, at the Three Graces ; and bonbons, at the English Lord; and for the instruction of those who do not read, or to attract the attention of those who do, these subjects are all illustrated by large paintings in a style by no means contemptible. For my part, I like these signs ; they give an air of life and gaiety to the streets, which is sadly wanting in the rich but affectedly simple arrangements of our shops. A West-end hotel-keeper, or fashionable tailor, would be horrified at the idea of a large painted sign on either side his door-way; because with us every one apes his betters, and plain John Smith's shop is converted into Mr. Smith's museum, or office, or nobody knows what.

The Bridge of boats, of one thousand four hundred and forty Vienna feet long, which unites Pest with Buda, is guarded at either end by a toll-house. However, the fiacre drove on, and no one seemed to think of stopping us ; a good coat frees its wearer from toll in every part of Hungary. By law every noble and citizen is toll-free; and as these are the only coated classes, or nearly so, the coat is a tolerable guarantee of indemnity ; but as the reverse of the proposition is not equally determinate, it would require nothing less than a Falstaff's instinct for the true blood to find out the nobility under the strange guises in which it sometimes conceals itself here. I had begun to think there must be some secret impress which the nobles bore—for it was quite beyond my powers of discrimination to [245] TOLLS.—ROWING. tell which was gentle, and which simple, of the passers—till one of the toll-keepers explained the matter much more plainly: " To confess the truth," he said, " we stop all we think likely to pay ; from those who are willing, we take it ; and as for those who are not, why we let them pass without." Yet the revenues of the bridge amount to sixteen thousand florins per annum—a pretty good proof of the intercourse kept up between the two cities.

As we jolted over the uneven planks, a light four-oared wherry, which the first glance told us was London-built, came swiftly down the stream, and shot the bridge cleverly enough. It belonged to Count Széchenyi ; and was well pulled by himself and some friends, with feathered oars and everything in proper order. The Danube is a glorious river for boating; for although the stream is strong, the reflux in-shore is sufficiently powerful to aid considerably in pulling against it, and the beautiful islands in the neighbourhood of Pest, give to rowing here an additional charm. The Elizabeth island, which lies about a mile above the bridge is one of the most beautiful spots imaginable, and will some day be the favourite park of the gay world of Pest. Some cunning monks once petitioned the King to give it them for a kitchen-garden ; and a very nice one it would have made, as it is not less than two miles in circumference.

The principal part of Buda stands on an isolated rock, which is still walled in; while the suburbs [246] BUDA. cluster round its base, and extend more than a mile along the banks of the river. Behind the town range a long line of hills famous for their red wines. The Buda wines, of which perhaps the Adelsberger is the best, are very full-bodied, and require to be kept several years before they are drunk; they resemble the Burgundy wines both in quality and flavour more than any other I know. These would probably be the best wines for the English market of any of those grown in Hungary.

The Fortress, besides the palace, commonly inhabited by the Palatine, and some very handsome private houses, contains a number of large buildings occupied by the offices of the Künigliche Statthalterei (the vice-regal council), and the Ungarische Hofkammer (Hungarian court-chamber), besides the directory of customs, of posts, of education, agriculture, &c. &c.

We have already, in speaking of the Diet, attempted to give some account of the legislative power of Hungary ; a few words on the Köinigliche Statthalterei may suffice to give an idea of the higher executive department. The Vice-regal Council (Consilium regium locumtenentiale), consisting of the Palatine as president, with twenty-five intimates chosen by the King from among the prelates, magnates, and gentry of Hungary, is nominally the efficient privy council of the Crown in all affairs regarding Hungary. The King receives their advice, and proposes questions for their consideration. Be- [247] KONIGLICHE STATTHALTEREI. sides this, they receive the decrees of the King and the acts of the Diet, both of which they are bound to see duly executed. They correspond with the counties, regulate the accounts of taxes, superintend the distribution of the military, enjoy the supreme direction of the police, &c. &c.

This council is said to depend immediately on the King ; which, if it means anything, should signify that its members are virtually ministers. But though they correspond immediately with the King, and receive decrees only when stamped with the sign manual, yet a little clause is added which gives the whole affair a very different colour : that is, that all these communications shall pass through the Hungarian State Chancery in Vienna—in other words, that the members of the Statthalterei shall be very like puppets to be played upon by an Austrian minister.

This, however great an evil it is, can scarcely be avoided in a union like that of Austria and 'Hungary ; at least, without granting to Hungary a responsible ministry with seats in the Diet—a measure which Austria will never concede while she can avoid it. It would be unjust to throw all the blame of this upon the ministers of Austria ; for the extreme difficulties under which they labour, with an empire so divided by race, language, and national antipathies, requires a very firm and consolidated centre to keep it together : unfortunately, however, they have not, taken the best means within their power to obviate these difficulties. It has [248] AUSTRIAN POLICY. been the policy of Austria to increase these hatreds and these differences by continually making each feel the injury it receives from its union with the others, where each ought to have felt only the benefits. Hungary produced good tobacco, and at one time supplied all Italy ; but its export to Italy was rendered too costly for the Italians to profit by it, while at the same time foreign tobacco was excluded from Lombardy under the plea of protecting Hungary. English and French manufactures were excluded from Hungary, to aid those of Austria and Bohemia ; yet the Hungarians could not exchange their beef, corn, and wine, even for these products, without paying the same frontier duties as if sent to a foreign country. They had all the disadvantages both of union and separation.

National antipathy, too, has been fostered by mutual though involuntary injuries. The insolence of the Italian and Austrian troops quartered in Hungary has embittered the I-Iungarian peasantry to the highest degree against the Schwab and 7 of dnj, as they call them ; while the roughness of the Hungarians at Milan have made the Italians hate those whom they believe to be the willing instruments of Italy's oppression : and—would the reader believe it ? —this has been considered a masterpiece of policy! There are those who see signs of better things in the future,—God grant they may see clearly !

We must quit the fiacre, reader, for a while; and stroll gently round those ramparts, now converted [249] TURKISH REMAINS. into pleasant walks, but formerly so often stained with Christian and Moslem blood. Though I trust we are both stout haters of Russia, and quite willing to pray for the regeneration of Turkey ; yet it is impossible to compare the state of Hungary with that of the countries on the other side the Danube, and not rejoice that Lorraine and Eugene drove the turbaned tyrant from this, his strongest hold in Europe.

For one hundred and forty-five years did the Turks remain masters of Buda: yet almost the only evidences of their former dominion are some baths near the Danube, and the tomb of a saint ; the former of which are still used by the Christians, and the latter is sometimes visited by a pious Moslem pilgrim. The Turkish baths, which are supplied by natural sulphur-springs, are small vaulted rooms, with steps leading down to the bottom, along which the bathers lie at different depths. If I might judge from my feelings merely, I should say that the steam which arises from these springs is much hotter than the water itself; for, though it was quite painful to support the beat of the steam, the water appeared only moderately warm.

It is not easy to imagine a more perfect contrast than is presented by the environs of Pest and Buda: the one a bare sandy plain ; the other hill and valley, beautifully varied with rock and wood. Hitherto this romantic neighbourhood has been sadly neglected ; but as the taste for the picturesque is extended, and the wealthy citizens of [250] GODOLO. Pest begin to desire the imaginary importance conferred by landed possessions, and the real luxury of country-houses, the hills of Buda will be as well covered with suburban villas and mimic castles as Richmond or Hampstead. At present, the taste for the picturesque is, perhaps, as little felt in Hungary as in almost any country in Europe. The negligence with which the position of a house is commonly chosen, the absence of gardens and parks, or, if present, the bad taste with which they are laid out, and the carelessness with which they are kept, are strong evidence of this deficiency.

There are, however, some very striking exceptions ; among which, Gödölö, in the neighbourhood of Pest, stands pre-eminent. In spite of the disadvantages of a sandy soil, and rather a fiat situation, it would be difficult in any part of England to find a flower-garden either more tastefully disposed, or more perfectly kept, than that of the Princess Grassalkovich. All the varieties of lawn, boscage, and bower—all the lesser elegancies of trellis, basket, and bouquet, have been taken advantage of in the best manner. Another beauty of Gödülö is the Dairy. It is situated in what was formerly a forest; and which, by judicious cutting out, now forms a very beautiful natural park. In appearance it is a pretty little villa, and we entered by an elegantly furnished parlour which leads into a circular saloon. On each side of this saloon open two folding-doors, which disclosed—what shall I say?—two vaccine [251] THE DAIRY. drawing-rooms ! for cow-houses I cannot call them. A wide walk runs through the centre of the rooms in the form of a cross, towards which looked about one hundred cows ; and, at the angles of the cross, four magnificent bulls. Nothing could be better behaved than this society ; the very bulls had a sotto-voce bellow, quite different from that of vulgar bulls, by which they expressed their sovereign wishes to their matron dames. The cows are of Swiss breed ; on one side of the dairy they are all red, on the other all spotted. Behind each cow was a diary of her age, food, milk, &e. &c. The Swiss cows are preferred, I believe, rather for their beauty and rarity, than for ally superiority in milking or feeding, to the native white or dun breed of Hungary ; which, by a little care and attention, might probably be much improved. It is doubtful whether the introduction of new breeds, or the cultivation of those natural to the country, is the more advantageous.

But it is not, certes, at Güdölö, amid the beauties which art and nature have alike thrown around the place, that such speculations intrude themselves ; we were too much dazzled and delighted to be critical. It is impossible that any of our party should forget the delightful evening which we spent in that pretty park, with its noble trees, and wild deer, as they every now and then crossed our path,—the drive through the woods, and, least of all, the society of its amiable and accomplished mistress, which throws [252] BUREAUCRACY. a charm over everything within its sphere. But such matters tend little to your instruction, reader, however much they may have done to our pleasure; and, besides, they trench on that strict line of non-allusion to any but public characters which I have drawn for myself. " Rerenons d nos moutons."

The stillness of Buda contrasts very strongly with the active bustle of Pest. Buda is the residence of the Bureaucracy of Hungary, and there is always about these gentry a certain sedateness of air, and not unfrequently a pompous vacancy of expression, which has nothing analogous to the haughty look of the rich noble, or the quick glance of the enterprising merchant of Pest ; and Buda seems to have caught the complexion of its inhabitants. The royal palace, occupied by the Palatine, the residence of the commander of the garrison, and the houses of two or three great families, give an air of dignity, but not of life, to the town ; and as we walked round the ramparts, and admired its beautiful position, it was quite a relief that the establishment of a permanent bridge would soon restore to Buda41 its share of life and prosperity, of

41The railroad from Vienna through Raab to Buda, not dream- ed of at the time of our visit, though now in active preparation, will do much to raise the importance of Buda still higher. Since 1836 no less than four or five lines of railroad traversing Hungary in every direction have been proposed, and some of them actually undertaken. The success of steam navigation has given a stimulus to enterprise and speculation in Hungary, from which the country will eventually reap a golden harvest.
[253] VIEW FROM THE BLOCKSBERG. which its young and lusty rival seemed in danger of robbing it entirely.

We now left the fortress ; and, passing some rows of ill-built houses, ascended the Blocksberg, the pride and ornament of the landscape. The small building on the top is an observatory, where there is a good set of instruments, but we did not stop to see them. The view from the Blocksberg is magnificent. Buda with its blue chain of mountains vanishing in the distance, Pest with its yellow plain of sand, and the glorious Danube with its green islands, were all at our feet, forming a picture so beautifully mixed up with buildings, boats, and moving figures, that we sat long to watch it ere we felt inclined to move. There was matter for much thought too in that view. One hundred and fifty years ago, Pest, now so beautiful and flourishing, was a mere heap of ruins ; its mud walls broken down, its houses destroyed, and its few inhabitants flying from the desolation around them. At that time, too, a Turkish Pasha sat in the fortress of Buda, and nearly half of Hungary was subject to his sway. In one hundred and fifty years, then, has this place grown to its present size ; from a miserable ruin, it has become one of the capitals of Europe ! Nor does Pest owe its rise to the fiat of a monarch, who could raise a Potsdam or a Carlsruhe from the desert ; but to the energy of the people and its own natural advantages. Situated nearly in the centre of one of the richest countries [254] VIEW FROM THE BLOCKSBERG. in the world, on the banks of a river which traverses more than half of Europe, surrounded by a population requiring a supply of almost every article of luxury from abroad, chosen by fashion as the metropolis, with a good climate, and capable of unlimited extent on every side, it requires but little sagacity to foresee a brilliant future for Buda-Pest. No one can wish its prosperity more sincerely than the author of these pages; for he believes that with it is closely associated the prosperity of all Hungary, and perhaps too the independence of the cast of Europe.

BUDA, FROM THE BLOCKSBERG
BUDA, FROM THE BLOCKSBERG

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