Imágenes de páginas


What though Cimmerian Anarchs dare blaspheme

Freedom and thee? thy shield is as a mirror
To make their blind slaves see, and with fierce gleam
To turn his hungry sword upon

the wearer.
Be thou the imperial basilisk,
Killing thy foes with unapparent wounds!

Gaze on Oppression, till, at that dead risk,

Aghast she pass from the earth's disk:
Fear not, but gaze; for freemen mightier grow,
And slaves more feeble, gazing on their foe.

If Hope and Truth and Justice may avail,
Thou shalt be great. All hail -SHELLEY.

There is scarcely a doubt that Lajos efforts of eloquence were produced upon the Kossuth is the most remarkable man of the susceptible feelings of Magyars, by means of age, the man apparently destined to leave their figurative language, it were a thing to the most enduring mark upon it. The North- wonder at and applaud. But our admiration ern Hercules beat him down ; but he is up of him must be increased when we find him again, like Antaus, and seemingly with re- overcoming the discouragements of our difnewed strength from the fall. He shows ficult parts of speech, before strange auhimself to be a greater man than we thought diences, and welding at will the amiable dehim, even when animating and directing mocracy of England. It is curious to conthe war of Hungary against two emperors. sider the causes which chiefly have led to He also shows that this war is not over. It the influence and renown which Kossuth is at is waged, in fact, on the part of Kossuth, as this moment gathering in two hemispheres. vigorously as before; and what it may want When he was thrown into prison at Pesth, in in intensity, it possesses in universality. He 1837, and kept there for nearly three years, is making the cause of Hungary the cause he was not permitted to have any

books of the free nations of Europe, with better of national interest, nor to hold any comsuccess than before; and, with the loud and munication by means of pen, ink, and paper. commanding tone of a prophet, announces He therefore resolved to study English, and the approaching struggle between the peo- begged for a grammar, a dictionary, and ple and their tyrants--the Armageddon of Shakspeare. The Austrians, not thinking he the two principles, Liberty and Despotism. could concoct a conspiracy from such mate

He has opened the campaign in England rials, and very unprophetic of the Englishwith a splendid success--a series of wonder- speaking Nemesis of to-day, brought him ful conquests. Where the moderate middle these innocent-looking volumes ; and Kosclasses of the land expected a red republic- suth was soon making vigorous way through an, they found, to their great reassurance the Tempest. When three years had gone and comfort, that it was only, after all, a by, he must have been pretty proficient in man fashioned after the dearly remembered English; but the business of war and polimodels of Sydney and Hampden, and went tics very probably drove a good deal of it into ecstacies accordingly. Kossuth made it out of his head; and his future career might appear to them that Hungary and England have been prevented or greatly limited, but have a mutual resemblance in their muni- for his other imprisonment at Kutayah, cipal institutions ; that he only desires to do which enabled him to become what he is, a what England did before. His mission powerful English orator. His schoolmastherefore prospered greatly in that “invio- ters were hard and cruel, but the result relate island of the sage and free,” as the pays him for all. So strangely, as the poets call it. If all he has done in England Clown in Twelfth-Night says, “ does the were done in Hungary; if all his successful whirligig of time bring in his revenges!”

[ocr errors]

Kossuth's study of the English language, less as sensible and as much to the point, which, of course, is still progressing, shows are forgotten. Pericles would speak of great youth and flexibility of mind, proving, the lowering storm of war from the Peloas the chorus in Agamemnon declares, that ponnesus,” (a figure imitated by Burke, with nobody is too old to learn new things. No magnificent effect, in his Impeachment of thing, certainly, in modern eloquence, goes Hastings, where he speaks of Hyder Ally's beyond the oratory of Kossuth. The man armament, hanging like a black cloud above seems to be as full of fervor and elasticity, the Carnatic.) The loss of the flower of at the ripe age of forty-six, as the generality the Athenian youth, we believe, in the disof men are at twenty-five. The secret of his astrous war against the Persians in Egypt, moving others appears to be, that he is he termed “the spring taken out of the moved himself; moved to glowing enthu- year ;" Greece was “a chariot drawn by two siasm or to tears; justifying the precept of horses," Athens and Sparta ; Egina, "the Horace:

eye-sore of the Piræus ;" Athens, “the eye

of Greece.” Lord Chatham, too, it will be Si vis me flere dolendum est Primum ipsi tibi ; tunc tua me infortunia lædent remembered, made his grandest points by Telephe vel Peleu.

the help of similes and metaphors, calling

Magna Charta “ the Bible of the ConstituHis reported speeches would do honor to tion,” &c. Kossuth has lately made use of the best speakers in the language, while, in a great many fine and memorable figures in the peculiar essor and spirit of them, he his English speeches. He compared the transcends all the modern orators, who patriotic minority of the Hungarian Komishow tamely in comparison with this im- tats or County Committees, resisting the passioned Magyar. Daniel Webster seems administratorship and intrigues of Austria, the only man who can compete with him to the Spanish cities of Saragozza and in the power of convincing or carrying away Gerona, still holding out against desperate an audience. Kossuth belongs to a lofty odds. Again, lifting his hands above his order of men, beyond those who are merely head, in a manner that greatly astonished great politicians or orators. He seem to the reporters, he took the Almighty to witrank with the grand old Greek strategoi ; ness, that he, an humble son of modest those mighty spirits, who could lead or Hungary, had held the existence of the direct the armaments of a nation, as well as House of Hapsburg“ in these hands." To govern the policy of it:

express his meaning, that the governments Men who, the state's whole thunder born to wield, of England and America were respectively Could shake alike the senate and the field; very good, and that the best would be

proved such by its actions, he told an Eastern such as Alcibiades, Themistocles, Pericles, apologue of the man who had a ring which Cimon, and, in modern times, Chatham and made the possessor acceptable to God and Napoleon; all high-toned characters, with a man, but who, at his death, not knowing to certain originality and enthusiasm of nature. which of his three sons to leave it, got two Kossuth, to be sure, never set a squadron in others made so exactly like it, that the true the field; but he has the brain to organize one could not be distinguished; and so bearmies, and to regulate their movements in queathed to the children one apiece, bid

We cannot help perceiving that ding each believe himself the possessor of Kossuth's oratory bears a strong resemblance the genuine ring, and telling them that he to that of Pericles, in one feature of it, and who should conduct himself best should, by also to that of Chatham in the same re- that token, know that his ring was the right spect. In ancient times, when the classic one. This was a pat illustration, and a very diction was extremely simple in its struc- astute way of bidding for the good offices ture, somewhat resembling the Doric order of both nations in the noble business of of architecture, the condensed style and European liberty. Again, he exclaimed : vivid imagery of Pericles made such a lively “Oh, it is my hope, that the manly sense and impression on the Greeks, that it has been manly energy of the people of England will especially recorded and quoted; while the prove the trumpet-call for the regeneration speeches of Themistocles, Aristides, Ephi- of the world.” At Guildhall, speaking of the altes, Cimon, and so forth, though doubt-importance of the British capital, he said :


"London, then, is the heart of the world, ster speeches of Daniel O'Connell. And which, like the metropolis of the human con- equal to this power of arousing the mind is stitution, cannot fail to feel the least impedi- the large understanding grasp and keen ment to the circulation in the remotest glance of statesmanship with which he lays corner of the globe. It is the place to open, as a bock, the condition and tendenwhich the most distant limb must send cies of the nations, and the consummate back the tide of life.” Again : “ The Orient, judgment with which he applies his concluwhich, in so many respects, enters into the sions to the interests and even prejudices of dearest interests of England, that it may be the powerful people he addresses, whether almost called its Achilles' heel.” Speaking immediately or at a distance. He told a of the danger of delaying to conciliate the great variety of noble truths in England; peoples, he says : “ In the revolutionary but took care to choose those which would movements of discontented nations, arising sink deepest into the minds of Englishmen; from disappointment of their just hopes, no- winning them not less by his great intelbody can answer what fluctuations public lectual powers, than by the prudent and cauexcitement may take. It may be illustrated tious dignity with which he controlled his by the ancient Sybilline Books. Three warmest enthusiasm. He spoke no word years ago, Hungary would have been con- which the Times and the other conservative tented with laws made by her own parlia- | papers of England could, in any way, torment under the house of Hapsburg, in ture to the prejudice of his cause or him1848. But Austria marched armies against self. Hungary, and called in the aid of Russia. We shall give a few short extracts from One book was now remaining. The Magyars his speeches, showing the manner in which were not yet averse from monarchy, but he put forth his powers of persuasion. At sent to announce they would accept any the public banquet given him, on 30th Ocdynasty recommended by England. They tober, at Guildhall, by the Corporation of were not listened to; then came the horrors London, he formally enumerated the arguof Arad, and the last of the three books was ments by which he hoped to make an imgone." And how forcible and picturesque pression in England. After stating that is the following, placing instantly before the London was the world's centre, he went on: mind's eye the true relations of Austria with Lombardy and Hungary. “Hungary

“I believe that London is, more strongly than

any other place in the world, interested in the and Italy are the two wings of one army, emancipation of nations from the power of desdrawn up against a common enemy; they pots. And I would remind the citizens of Lonmust be vanquished or victorious together.” don that, so as in one family, so as in one comThe Press is the mother and guardian of munity, so as in one country, things and affairs the world's progress.”.

cannot be ruled on two different systems. It is the History is “ the can

same with the destinies of mankind; liberty and Book of Human Life.” At the Hanover absolutism cannot subsist much longer together in Square rooms, in accounting for being able, the present development of the human mind and with his imperfect English, to awaken such beart. Free institutions may be established in a generous enthusiasm, he said, in what different manners, in different countries ; but the will be considered a very daring figure of terial welfare and contentment of the whole world

only principle which can be the basis of the maspeech, that “ the Holy Spirit of freedom and is

, under every different form of government, Li. liberty had descended on him.” He termed berty. Now permit me to apply my argument, commerce, very philosophically and happily, and put the question to the metropolis of the

world—which will you side with, absolutism or "the locomotive of principle.” Along withi

freedom ?" these, a multitude of slighter similitudes will be found plentifully scattered through As regards what the despots are so fond his harangues, showing the vivid and forci- of terming social order, he says: ble manner in which his ideas marshal

“The next principle I see exemplified in this themselves to his utterance.

place is the principle of social order, a word in Taken altogether, Kossuth's speeches are using which I get most nervous and excited when more splendid and comprehensive than any

I think how blasphemously it has been abused. pronounced in the British islands for the They call it social order when humanity is thrown

into prison; they call it social order when they last fifty years; and exceed, in the power of make it the silence of the grave! But this day, exciting the public mind, the famous mon- 1 30th October, has presented to me the thing in á

different aspect, which, once seen, I proudly say | sentiments, all the blood of my heart and the that no more shall the Russian Czar and Austrian energy of my mind to raise these words, high and Kaisar proclaim their social order. This day in loud, and solemn, until the almighty echo of pubLondon I saw hundreds of thousands of people lic opinion, in repeating it, shall become like a rushing forward in warm enthusiasm : what pre- thunder-trumpet, before the sound of which the served social order among these mighty masses ? ramparts of human oppression must fall! And Let us see how many policemen were present? should this feeble form succumb to the longings I saw four! Now, on such an occasion, the des- of my heart to see my fatherland—that heart, pots--a Czar, a Kaisar, or a President--it is all which beats like a chained lion against his cagethe same—would have had the streets bristling even the grass that grows upon my grave will with bayonets; they would have had the foot cry out to England and America, Do not forget, in ways crowded with soldiers, and called that social your own proud security, the fate of those who order! Against whom would they have made are oppressed! Do not grant a charter to the this array? Against the enemy? No, their own Czar to trample on humanity, or to drown the people! Now, what, in the opinion of this mighty liberties of Europe in blood !"" corporation, is the best safeguard of social order? I believe the answer will be that which they them- The reader will detect the two figurative selves have found the best security of this illus- / allusions of the foregoing—one from the trious city-Liberty.”

biblical siege of Jericho, and the other from After showing that despotism is the foe the classical story of Midas. of free trade, and that Austria and Russia,

The following forcible passages, so full of by destroying the nationality of Hungary, generous fraternity and the spirit of indighad destroyed one of England's best mar nant prophecy, occur in his speech made at kets, and would destroy them all, and oblige Manchester : her to go to war to recover them, should “Shall Freedom die away for centuries, and their evil rule preponderate on the continent, mankind become nothing more than the blind inKossuth went on to argue on great govern- struments of the ambition of some few! or shall ment loans. He said:

the print of servitude be wiped out of the brow

of humanity, and mankind become noble in itself “ London is the regulator of the money and cre

and a noble instrument in its own forward prodit of the world, and these two words show the im. gress? Wo! a hundred-fold wo, to every nation portance of the principle to you. Well, if London which, confident of its proud position of today, be the regulator of the public credit of the world, of these great principles! It is the mythical

would carelessly regard the all-embracing struggle a very considerable quantity of the loan shares of every government must be concentrated in Lon- struggle between Heaven and Hell

. To be blest don. Let me ask, where is your security for these or to be damned is the fate of all—there is no in

termedium between Heaven and Hell. Wo! a loans ? May I not say without enthusiasm that

thousand-fold there is a very early prospect that the restored

nation which would


not embrace within its sorrows and its cares the nations of Europe will not recognize these loans ? When the nations of Europe see the tendencies of future, but confine itself to the passing moment of absolutism, I do not think they will be inclined the future becomes present, and the objects of our

the present time. In the flashing of a moment to give their money. I am no capitalist; but were I one, I would very much consider these circum- present labors have all passed away. As the sun

throws stances—consider whether there is a possibility of

his heliacal light before he rises, so the absolutism being able to pay.”

spirit of the future is seen in the events of the

present. Some would fain make believe there is At the conclusion of the great London ter of fashion. But I say, may no nation on earth

nothing more in these demonstrations than a matspeech, he wound up with an earnest adju- have reason to repent of having contemptuously ration of the people of London:

disregarded these my words, because it was I

who uttered them! I say, the source of these “All we wish is, that the public opinion of Eng- demonstrations is the instinctive feeling of the peoland may establish it as a ruling principle to ac- ple; the destiny of mankind has come to the turnknowledge the right of every pation to dispose ing-point of centuries; it is the cry of alarm on of its own affairs, and not to leave them to the the ostensible approach of universal danger. ... I tender mercies of the Czar. This is a principle am but the spark which kindles a feeling which which, I hope, will prevail in England, and also has long existed, from the people of the metropolis in the United States. From a most honored na- down to those of the solitary hamlets hidden by tive of that country: (Mr. Walker,] I have had the neighboring mountains from the business of public honor to hear principles announced, which, if once life. What have I iu my person, in my carried into effect, would give liberty to the world. present, in my future, not to justify, but even I have heard it proclaimed by an honored citizen to explain this universality of demoustration ? of the United States, that the younger brother of Nothing ! entirely nothing-only the knowledge the English race would join to protect oppressed that I am a friend of freedom. "How can I state nations from the oppression of absolutism. I will that the great struggle is so near! Ladies and repeat it again: I will concentrate all my free gentlemen, I state it because it is! Every man

wo, to

[ocr errors]

. The

knows it feels it, sees it. A philosopher was once | deeply sympathized. Then, resumingasked how he could prove the existence of God.

“Pardon my emotions,” said be, with a Why,' said he, by opening my eyes. God is

the shadows of our seen every where: in the growth of the grass; the

sublime solemnity; movements of the stars; in the warbling of the martyrs passed before my eyes ; I heard lark, and the thunder of heaven. Even so, I the millions of my native land once more prove that the decisive struggle of mankind's des- shouting, Liberty or Death !” The autiny is drawing nigh! How blind are dience rang with applause in acknowledg; certain men, who have the affectation to assert that it is only certain men who push to revolution ment of a passion of oratory so affecting and the continent of Europe, which, but for their revo- so sublime. The speaker felt all the glowlutionary arts, would be quiet and contented! Con- ing emotion he communicated. tented! with what! Oppression and servitude: tongue of man," he said, “is powerful France contented, with her constitution subverted ! Germany contented with being but a fold of sheep, enough to render the ideas which the hupent up to be shorn by some thirty petty tyrants? man intellect conceives, but in the realm of Switzerland contented with the thircatening ambi- true and deep sentiments it is but a weak tion of eneroaching despots! Italy contented with interpreter.” the King of Naples, or the priestly government of

Thus he speaks of his beloved Hungary : Rome-one of the worst of human invention! Austria, Rome, Prussia, Russia, Dalmatia, contented with having been driven to butchery, and it. No; it was not he who inspired the Hunga

But it was said it was he [Kossuth] who inspired having been deceived, plundered, oppressed, and rian people; it was they who inspired bim! laughed at as fools! Poland contented with being Whatever he thought and felt was but a feeble murdered! Hungary, my poor Hungary, contented with being more than murdered--buried alive! pulsation of what beat in the breast of his people. For it is alive! What I feel is but a weak pulsa: in history, and theirs were the laurels of immor

The glory of battles was ascribed to the leaders tion of that which fills the breasts of the people tality; they knew they would live for ever on the of my country. Russia contented with slavery! lips of their people. Very different the light fallVienna, Pesth, Lombardy, Milan, Venice, Prague, ing on the picture of those thousands of the people's contented! contented with having been ignominjously branded, burned, plundered, sacked, and sons, who knew that where they fell, there they

would lie, their names unhonored and unsung; butchered! That is the condition of the atinent

and who still, animated by the love of freedom of Europe !"

and fatherland, went on calmly against the bat

teries, whose cross-fire vomited death and destrucThe opening of his speech at Birmingham, tion on them. Oh, they who fell, falling with the on the 12th of November, is described by shout, “ Hurrah for llungary! And so they died the London Sun as almost unparalleled for by thousands—the unnamed demi-gods ! grandeur of expression, irresistible pathos, The man of the coldest blood and faintest and oratorical beauty. Kossuth described heart must, nevertheless, feel that this is the impulsive movement of the Diet, when thrilling eloquence, unsurpassed by any thing they rose as one man and granted a levy of Demosthenes ever uttered ! 200,000 men for the defense of Hungary, IIe thus forcibly states the relations of swearing, at the same time, with uplifted Austria and Hungary: hands, to defend her to the last. “ Thus," said the orator, with the most impressive

Had Austria, in 1848, been just towards the

great German nations, she would have had a future. solemnity of look and manner, “ thus they | But she deceived every state and every nation, spoke, and there they swore, in a calm and and rendered herself entirely odious to all. The silent majesty, awaiting what further word house of Hapsburg had lost all--history, affection, might fall from my lips. And for myself, empire. There was one thing still left to it-the it was my duty to speak, but the grandeur balance of power against Russian preponderance

. of the moment and the rushing waves of The idea was a false one ; for Europe could never sentiment benumbed my tongue. A burn- be safe in a family, but only in a nation. It now, ing tear fell from my eyes; a sigh of adora- however, had become but the vanguard of Russian tion to the Almighty Lord Auttered on my preponderance; and its existence was not only

but dangerous, because it had delips; and, bowing low before the majesty of stroyed the system of equilibrium. What was my people, as I now bow before you, gen- Austria ? Loans, bayonets

, the Czar—that was tlemen, I left the tribune, silently, speechless, all! The short moral of my long story is mute." Again the short-hand writer inter- this. The Russian intervention in Hungary has rupts his record to remark that the orator put the foot of the Czar on Europe's neck. So

long as Italy, so long as Hungary remain unliberhere paused for a few moments, overpowered | ated, that foot will rest on Europe's neck. Yea, by his emotion, with which the company l it will step from the neck upon the head! So

« AnteriorContinuar »