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Father Andrew Hlixka. 






r pseud J^^^^ VIATOR 

' Author of " The Future of J us tri a- Hungary " 


On peut subir le droit du plus 
fort; on ne le reconnait pas. 



All Rights of, Translation into foreign languages 
are reserved by the Author. 

Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Woiks, Frome, and London. 





THREE years ago I set myself the task of writing a history 
of Austria-Hungary from the Congress of Vienna till 
the present day, and was encouraged in the attempt by the 
complete absence of literature on the subject in the English 
language. I soon found that my work involved close acquaint- 
ance with present-day politics in the Dual Monarchy ; for 
paradoxical as it may seem, the twentieth century supplies 
one of the best clues for an understanding of the nineteenth, 
so far at least as those countries are concerned. My prelimin- 
ary studies bore fruit in a little book on The Future of Austria- 
Hungary, in which I attempted to summarize briefly the his- 
toric problems which determine Austro-Hungarian policy 
to-day. But here I was only at the beginning of my difficulties. 
The vital question of Nationality met me at every turn and 
clamoured for a solution. Unlike most foreign students of 
the Dual Monarchy, I was gradually forced to the conclusion 
that the racial question in Austria is far less difficult and less 
important than the racial question in Hungary, just as a blazing 
fire upon the hearth is less dangerous than subterranean flames. 
Before I could write a history of the Dual Monarchy, I there- 
fore had to prepare the ground by a historical survey of the 
racial question. I approached the subject with the conventional 
views of a British admirer of Louis Kossuth, and have gradually 
and reluctantly revised my opinion on almost every problem 
of Austrian or Hungarian politics. A writer who challenges 
the long-established belief in Hungarian liberty and tolerance, 
must be prepared to meet a charge of prejudice and bias. To 
my mind true impartiality does not consist in a bare catalogue 
of facts and a resolve to avoid all expression of opinion ; it 
lies rather in approaching the subject with an open mind or 
with a readiness to correct existing bias, in resolving never to 
suppress essential facts which conflict with the writer's own 
views and sympathies, and in humbly acknowledging the fact 
that historic truth is relative, not absolute. On these lines I 
have honestly tried to act, and I must leave the reader to judge 



as to the success of my experiment. In its course many an 
idol has been broken, many a cherished behef discarded. 

The present volume does not pretend to treat of all the races 
of Hungary in detail. To give a really adequate account of 
the Roumanians, Croats and Serbs of Hungary and Croatia, 
would have involved 'a. further delay of eighteen months ; and 
the present time seems to me already more than ripe for 
drawing the attention of our public to the wrongs of the non- 
Magyar races in Hungary and to the sad plight to which Magyar 
Chauvinism has reduced the Hungarian state. I have therefore 
concentrated my attention upon the Slovaks, whose situation 
may be regarded as typifying that of all the non-Magyar races 
'in Hungary, and who stand most in need of help and sympathy. 

In Austria and among the Nationalities, it is usual to challenge 
the accuracy of the official Hungarian statistics, of which I 
have made full use in the present volume. Even if it were 
possible, it would be superfluous to prove their falsity ; for 
these official publications, if only studied with sufficient care, 
supply by far the most damning evidence against their authors, 
and it was their perusal that completed my conversion to the 
cause of the Nationalities. Indeed the reader will find that the 
official statistics, the official text of the laws, the files of the 
official Magyar Press, and the public utterances of Magyar 
statesmen will provide him with an overwhelming case against 
the present racial policy of the Magyars. On these four pillars 
rests that portion of my book which deals with modern times ; 
and any information drawn from non-Magyar sources is for the 
most part supplementary and non-essential. Needless to say, 
I have only accepted material from persons whom I can trust, 
and have done my best to check its accuracy by reference 
to the words or writings of their bitterest opponents. 

The key to more than one Balkan problem lies within the 
Habsburg dominions — a fact which seems to have escaped 
the notice of the British Press during the present crisis. I 
have therefore endeavoured in my concluding chapter to 
show the bearings of the racial question in Hungary upon 
certain neglected problems of the Near East. 

I am fortunate enough to be able to include three short 
chapters on Slovak Popular Art, by Mr. Dusan Jurkovic, the 
talented Slovak architect who is doing so much to revive the 
old artistic traditions of his race, and from whose portfolio 
of photographs a number of my illustrations are selected ; 
on Slovak Popular Poetry, by Mr. Svetozar Hurban Vajansky, 




the distinguished Slovak poet and noveUst ; and on Slovak 
Popular Melodies, by Mr. Milan Lichard, a pupil of Dvorak, 
and a promising Slovak composer, and by Father Alois Kolisek, 
who has made a special study of Slovak musical history. It can- 
not be too clearly understood that I alone am responsible for 
the opinions expressed in the rest of this book, and that these 
gentlemen do not in any way commit themselves to agreement 
with my political views. 

I am indebted to quite a number of persons for advice and 
information, and even in some cases for documents and books 
to which I could not otherwise have gained access. But 
for reasons which will become obvious to every reader of my 
book, I am unable to refer _to them by name, and must content 
myself with a general acknowledgment. 

Ayton, Abernethy, 
October 26, 1908. 

In Self- Defence 

SEVERAL reasons compel me to resort to that somewhat 
questionable form of introduction, a personal explana- 
tion. Foremost among these are the attacks which have 
been made upon me in the foreign press and elsewhere, and 
the ludicrous guesses as to my identity. So far as the latter 
are concerned, I may as well state at once that I am neither 
"an emissary of British Finance,"^ nor "an agent of the 
press bureau of the Ballplatz in Vienna," ^ nor "to be 
found in the neighbourhood of the Roumanian Court." ^ I 
am simply what my name denotes — a travelling Scotsman, 
bent on the study of history and politics. When I first 
devoted myself to the Austro-Hungarian question, I was 
imbued with the conventional admiration felt by most people 
in this country for Louis Kossuth and the ideals which he 
represented. A stay of seven months in Vienna served to 
increase my Kossuthist leanings, since I had ample oppor- 
tunity of observing the prejudices with which so many Austrians 
regard Hungary, and their absolute disinclination even to try 
to appreciate the Hungarian standpoint. The crisis grew 
more and more acute, and my desire to see Hungary for my- 
self at last became irresistible. My first visit was during the 
elections of 1906, when the Coalition had at length attained 
to power and the tulip* was in every buttonhole. My 
experiences in Budapest and elsewhere soon convinced me 
that the prejudices of the Magyars against Austria far ex- 

^ See Gross-Oesterreich, November 11, 1907, and Neue Zuricher 
Zeitung, November 29, 1907. 

" See Deutsches Volkshlatt (in Komotau), October 23, 1907, (article 
entitled " Ein interessantes Buch," by Rudolf Zeigler), copied verbatim 
by several other Austrian papers. The Pan-German Reichenberger 
Volkszeitung (March 12, 1908) described my pamphlet on " The Future 
of Austria-Hungary " as "a composition ordered in Austria " — " denn 
ein Englander auf Reisen erwirbt sich ein solches Wissen fiber die 
osterreichischen Verbal tnisse nicht" — the best compliment which has 
ever been paid me. 

' See Berliner Tagehlatt, May 25, 1907 (Beilage). 

* The emblem of a boycott of Austrian goods. 



ceeded those of the Viennese against Hungary — a fact which 
I could hardly have credited before. Many weeks' subsequent 
travel in Hungary, during which I conversed with men of all 
shades of opinion, revealed to me the depths of Chauvinism 
^into which Hungary had fallen, and incidentally undermined 
my enthusiasm for the Independent cause. I returned home 
disillusioned and less certain than before of the political talent 
and foresight of the Magyars. If, as Walter Pater held, " the 
way to perfection is through a series of disgusts," I had — 
reluctantly, it must be owned — at length ceased to wander 
on false paths. For ten months I studied the question at 
home, equally removed from Austrian and Hungarian influ- 
ences, and thus by the time I next visited Hungary the romance 
had worn off and I was no longer incUned to believe all the 
political fairy tales with which that country is so liberally 
endowed. The result was doubtless reflected in occasional 
contributions to the press, and these earned for me the attacks 
against which I take this opportunity of defending myself. 

(i) Last October there appeared a penny pamphlet entitled 
" The Constitutional Struggle of the Magyars," by Dr. A. B. 
YoUand. This pamphlet bears the subtitle " an Answer to Scotus 
Viator & Co." ; and yet from cover to cover its author does not 
again refer to me or any of my views, still less attempt to 
refute them. Indeed he wastes several pages in refuting views 
of which I entirely disapprove and of which I defy him to find 
a trace in anything that I have ever written. His reference 
to me seems to have had a double object : — first, to discredit 
me by saddling me with opinions which I do not hold ; second, 
to insult two distinguished Austrian professors by dragging 
them as " & Co." in the train of an anonymous foreign writer. 
He actually has the bad taste to talk of " Tezner & Co.," just 
as if an Austrian or a Magyar were to come to London and 
write slighting pamphlets about " Dicey & Co. ! " He speaks 
of Professor Tezner's writings as " effusions of the Yellow 
Press," and alludes to his " intentional misinterpretations." 
I neither know nor agree with Professor Tezner, but I feel 
bound to protest against Dr. Yolland's insolent treatment of 
that distinguished Austrian publicist. For a lecturer on 
English, Dr. Yolland writes his mother tongue surprisingly 
badly, and what he is pleased to describe as his " authenticity " 
on constitutional questions is even more doubtful. But for 
his gratuitous attack on me, I should never have alluded 
to him ; and further comments are, I hope, unnecessary. 



(2) Early this year a pamphlet appeared in the Hammer- 
Verlag at Leipzig, entitled " Die oesterreichische Frage : eine 
Antwort auf die Scotus-Viator- Broschiire. Von einem Deutsch- 
ester reicher. The writer's arguments are based on the sus- 
picion that Scotus Viator is in reality not a Scotsman but a 
Viennese official, or at least that " The Future of Austria- 
Hungary " was " ordered " by the Austrian Government. 
Scotus Viator, he argues, with charming courtesy, might equally 
well be "an Austrian press-reptile " or "an English states- 
man ! " When he charges me with hostility towards Ger- 
many, I fear that he has fallen into the error of confusing 
the German Empire with the Pan-German League. For 
Germany, the Germans, and most things German, I have 
the very strongest sympathy and admiration, and have 
more than once tried to prove this in a practical way. 
And in spite of the " German- Austrian's " arguments, I 
still maintain that the annexation of Austria by the 
German Empire would be disastrous to the latter ; and if 
I were really her enemy, I should preach, in season and 
out of season, the dismemberment of the Habsburg domin- 

(3) A brief article of mine on the situation in Hungary 
which appeared in the " Correspondence " columns of the 
Spectator last June, involved me in a controversy with Count 
M. J. Eszterhazy, a member of the Hungarian Parliament ; 
and when the massacre of Csernova (see page 339) on October 
27, led me to contribute a further appeal on behalf of the 
Slovaks, he returned to the charge and repeated the stale old 
accusation made against every foreign critic of Hungary — 
namely that of using a Viennese make of spectacles. That Count 
Eszterhazy should have lost his temper during the controversy 
which he himself evoked, is regrettable, but not unnatural 
under the circumstances ; for he belongs to a class and party 
whose future is threatened by the democratic and non-Magyar 
movements in Hungary, with which I had expressed sympathy. 
But his last letter was so entirely misleading and inaccurate, 
that my astonishment knew no bounds, when I learnt that 
the ex-Premier, Mr. Coloman Szell, at a political dinner of 
the Constitutional Party, had publicly thanked Count Eszter- 
hazy for his answer in the Spectator, which he described as " a 
calm, courageous, enlightening and instructive article." My 
letter, on the other hand, was " untrue, tendancieux, utterly 
blind, and saturated with fanatical rage " (az elleniink koholt ten- 

xiii b 


dencziosus, egeszen vak, fanatikus diihvel szaturalt tamadas).'' 
Now, a perusal of Count Eszterhazy's letter sug.^ests that its 
comparative " calmness " is due to an extensive application 
of the pruning knife : that its author is " courageous," I 
should never dream of denying ; but that his writings are 
" enlightening and instructive " is more than I can admit. 
In fact, his last letter is full of evasions and misstatements, 
supported by the use of old statistics to prove what new statistics 
disprove ; so that the Temesvdrer Zeitung unintentionally hit 
the nail on the head when it printed a translation of his letter 
under the heading " Falsche Informationen." The lamentable 
feature of the incident is that few persons in Hungary are so 
conversant with the real facts as Mr. Szell, who must therefore 
have known the extreme weakness of the arguments upon 
which he lavished his praise. I am thus forced to conclude 
that that distinguished statesman — the only Hungarian Premier 
of recent times who tried to apply tact and humanity to the 
question of the nationalities — has abandoned his former mod- 
erate attitude and surrendered to the crude reaction now 
rampant among his colleagues of the Coalition. 

(4) The storm in a teacup raised by this incident forces me 
to draw attention to the unfair controversial methods of the 
Magyar Press. While whole columns of their space have 
sometimes been devoted to reproducing and commenting upon 
Count Eszterhazy's letters to the Spectator, my replies were 
invariably passed over in silence, and their readers must have 
supposed that on each occasion I was reduced to silence. The 
instances which I am about to quote, throw a very curious 
light upon the methods of Hungarian journalism ; and lest 
I should seem unduly prejudiced, I have limited myself to a 
single illustration from the Coalition Press and have drawTi 
the other from one of their bitterest opponents, which has 
at the same time expressed general approval of my opinions. 

{A) On December 21, 1907, Magyarorszdg (the organ 

• The Pester Lloyd, usually so moderate in tone, refers in a leading 
article of August 30, 1908, to the French translation of my pamphlet 
on Political Persecution in Hungary, as "overflowing with poison 
and lies" (sein gift und liigenstrotzendes Pamphlet). Such violent lan- 
guage supplies a good example of that " lack of restraint in praise and 
blame, which destroys all sense of proportion or aim, confuses men's 
ideas, depraves their morals and clouds their judgment " — faults of 
which tYvQ Pester Lloyd itseli complains in another leading article (Febru- 
ary 15, 1907), as characteristic of Hungary. 



of Mr, Hollo, one of the most influential members of 
the Indepenxi^nt Party) published an article entitled : — 

. The Abuser of Magyardom Humiliated. 

In it the writer describes an English conversation overheard 
in the Cafe New York on the previous Monday, between Peter 
Barre {sic), 2l colporteur of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, and a certain Joseph Szebenyey, the Budapest corre- 
spondent of the Daily Express and the first translator of Kipling 
into Magyar. After many protests and talk of the dangers 
of instant dismissal if his action became known, " Barre " 
was persuaded to accept two articles from Szebenyey's hand, 
and undertook to deliver them to the Editor of the Spectator. 
After all, " harm could scarcely come of it, since not even the 
Devil would think that Scotus Viator was a Magyar." " To 
this step," cortinues the gifted writer in Magyarorszdg, " only 
desperation and the hungry desire for a few florins, drives the 
author of such articles, whom foreign papers always gladly 
pay for articles tending to destroy the prestige of Hungary.'* 
Four days later, Magyarorszdg, not satisfied with its righteous 
triumph, published the further details that my real name was 
not Szebenyey, but Szekulecz ; that my father held some post 
in the Jewish congregation of Kecz, but coming into conflict 
with the law, absconded to America : that I there learnt 
Enghsh and returned to fetch and carry for the Fejervary 
Government (which is, of course, merely another way of charg- 
ing me with venality and espionage). The publication of such 
an article in a leading Budapest journal affords startling proof 
of the low standards which now prevail in Hungarian journa- 
lism. It is really superfluous to comment on the incident, 
but there are certain special points to which I should 
like to call the attention of my readers, {a) The idea that a 
journal like the Spectator would accept articles on Hungary 
from an unknown person, through the medium of a Bible 
colporteur, would seem to be based on a comparison with 
Hungarian practice. (6) The idea that such action on the 
part of a colporteur might involve dismissal, could only 
have arisen in a country where boys are expelled from 
school for speaking their mother tongue on the streets, where 
railway servants are deprived of the vote, and where clergy 
who agitate in favour of their own language are suspended, 



transferred, fined, imprisoned, (c) Szebenyey's motive for 
handing the articles to " Barre " instead of posting them 
direct to London, can only be explained by the notorious 
fact that Hungarian Postal secrecy is violated for political 

{B) On the other hand, the friendly-disposed Social Democrat 
organ Ne-pszava, seems to imagine that Count Eszterhazy paid 
the Editor of the Spectator for the insertion of his letters ! ! ! 
This comic accusation reminds me of the view expressed to 
me by a member of the Nepszava staff last summer. We were 
talking of the letters and articles published in the British Press 
by Mr. Kossuth and Count Apponyi during the crisis of 1905-6. 
" Yes," said my companion calmly, " the Daily News must 
have been bribed by Kossuth." " Bribed ! " I exclaimed, 
" what on earth makes you think that ? " It duly transpired 
that when Mr. Kossuth wrote his appeal to the Daily News, 
my informant sent a rejoinder to the Editor, on a postcard, 
dated in Berlin, and signed with a German name. The 
rejoinder was not unnaturally never printed, and its author 
drew the conclusion so often drawn in Hungary. Argument 
was useless ; for him, as for his opponents, the words " Audi 
alteram partem " did not exist. Such instances unhappily tend 
to show that the Magyar Press with a few rare exceptions has 
not the faintest inkling of what is meant by fair play. The 
Magyars are fond of British sports ; it is a pity that they can- 
not learn to " play the game." 

If I were a philosopher instead of a mere student of history, 
the Magyar psychology would supply me with an unique and 
fascinating theme. As it is, I must be content with recounting 
to my readers a few personal anecdotes which illustrate the 
'extent to which the Magyars are dominated by racial prejudices, 
and also their extreme disinclination to introduce a foreigner 
to the real facts. During my first tour in Hungary I was 
predisposed to accept every word that fell from the lips of a 

' Cp. the declarations of Mr. Kristoflfy, the late Minister of the In- 
terior, to a press representative. "The Coalition," he said, "declares 
daily that I am a completely broken man, and yet some of its organs 
have instituted a regular service of espionage against me. My letters 
are opened by a Cabinet noir, my every step is watched by detectives, 
my conversations on the telephone are tapped." As former Chief of 
Police, Mr. Kris toffy recognized two detectives who were examining 
his luggage at the station in Vienna. See Neue Freie Presse of August 
I, 1907. The Polony i scandals supply many far more startling instances 
of similar practices — practices with which I prefer not to soil the 
pages of this book. 



Kossuthist as gospel, and it was only very slowly that the truth 
began to penetrate through the armour of suspicion which I 
donned whenever I met a non-Magyar. Indeed I look back 
now with amusement at the feelings of intense dislike and 
incredulity with which I first listened to a Slovak nationalist. 
I only mention this to show that I first visited Hungary as a 
strong partisan of the Magyars, and that it was only their 
repeated recourse to evasion and sophistry that shook my faith 
in the justice of their cause. 

The first case to which I would refer is that of a mayor of a 
large town in the south, to whom I mentioned somewhat 
apologetically the assertion of these rascally non-Magyars, that 
the Law of Nationalities was not always put into execution. 
"Nof carried out ! That is a lie/' cried the mayor in sten- 
torian tones that warned me not to pursue the conversation. 
Subsequent inquiries have shown me that I had touched a 
tender spot in the municipal armour, since his o\vn city and 
the surrounding county supply many examples of the infringe-_ 
ment of that very law. ^ 

My second instance is that of a prominent ex-deputy and 
priest, who spent the best part of a day in trying to disprove to 
me the very existence of a racial question in Hungary. The 
fact that it was as acute in his own county as anywhere in the 
country suggests that his powers of casuistry were greatly 
superior to his belief in his visitor's sanity. Clearly he, like 
most other Magyars, had never heard the brilliant phrase 
of Blowitz, " La moitie de I'intelligence est de se rendre compte 
de I'intelligence des autres." Indeed, they are far too fond 
of assuming their critics to be bom fools. 

The third case is that of an able Public Prosecutor, who 
acted for the Crown in one of the most notorious pohtical 
trials of recent years, and who was good enough to discuss 
with me the policy pursued by the Magyar authorities since 
1867 towards the nationalities. " You must not imagine," 
he said, " that we are all so severe towards the non-Magyars as 
the statistics of pohtical trials would lead you to suppose. For 
instance, a very distinguished politician and true-blood Magyar, 
Mr. Mocsary, of whose writings you may perhaps have heard, 
has for years advocated the cause of the nationalities." " Yes," 
I could not help retorting, " and for doing so he was ejected 
from his party and has for the past twenty years been ostra- 
cized from pohtical Hfe." " Na ja, das ist eine ganz andere 
Sache " (" that is quite another matter"), replied the lawyer, 



and conversation drifted into other channels. But so 
flagrant an attempt to befool the foreign inquirer is apt to 
leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 

Yet another instance. On one occasion'some Magyar acquaint- 
ances, realizing that I was not convinced by their arguments, 
arranged for me a meeting with a professor, who, they assured 
me, had made a special study of the questions in which I was 
interested, and who above all could say the last word on the 
important Law of the Nationalities. I called next day full of 
expectation, and was received with habitual Magyar courtesy. 
Unfortunately the professor restricted himself to generalities 
on the well-worn subjects of Liberty and Nationality, and 
it was only possible to bring the conversation gradually round 
to the real question at issue. He expressed great astonish- 
ment at the very idea that the Law of Nationalities had re- 
mained a dead letter, admitted the possibility of occasional 
abuses such as were bound to occur even in the most civilized 
state, but assured me that with these trifling exceptions the 
law was loyally respected. (Unfortunately our mutual ac- 
quaintance had taken the line of admitting its non-execution 
and arguing the incompatibility of such a law with the Magyar 
hegemony.) " But," I suggested, " the Law of Nationalities 
pledges the state to provide instruction in the mother-tongue, 
and yet, to take only one instance, there is not a single Slovak 
or Ruthene gymnasium in Hungary." " Oh, my dear sir," 
he protested, " I assure you you are mistaken ; there is no 
such provision as that in the law of 1868." Then I saw that 
it was useless to beat about the bush any longer, and boldly 
producing a pocket edition of the law in question I turned to 
paragraph 17,' which contains the provision to which I had 
referred. The professor took the book and read the paragraph 
carefully through : he adjusted his glasses and skimmed it 
through again ; then he turned to me and said, " Yes, I beg 
your pardon. Yes, you are perfectly right. I had forgotten." 

Finally I may instance a still more distinguished Magyar, 
who has filled more than one position of great importance in 
Hungary and has always been conspicuous for his moderation 
and integrity. After expatiating at some length on the 
extreme and impossible demands of the non- Magyar leaders 
and emphasizing with great ability the importance of the 
Magyar hegemony to the balance of power in Europe, he 
closed by sketching the remarkable achievements of Magyar 

' See page 156. 


culture during the past forty years, its conquest of the towns 
and the irresistible attraction which it is bound to exercise 
on a race so lacking in culture and historic tradition as the 
Slovaks. Impressed by his persuasive eloquence, I could only 
meet him for the moment with the somewhat fatuous question, 
" And what will all this movement end in ? " " Oh," he 
said, " we shall just go on till there are no Slovaks left." 

This was perhaps the most instructive of the many unwary 
utterances to which I was treated ; but it was by no means 
the most startling, though for various reasons it is the last 
which I intend to quote. The indiscretions of the non-Magyars 
were of quite another type. They sometimes betrayed hatred 
or extravagant claims, though quite as often singular modera- 
tion and statesmanship ; but they always displayed a perfect 
passion for facts, sometimes even talking with the laws and 
the official statistics in their hands. Nothing struck me more 
than the eagerness with which a leading non-Magyar deputy 
urged me to make the acquaintance of his most Chauvinistic 
opponents — so convinced was he that this would be the most 
effective way of bringing me to his side. I am not blind to 
the exaggerations of which the non-Magyars, like every one 
else, are guilty. But they are still weak and on the defensive, 
and under present circumstances it is as much to their interest 
to tell the truth as it is to the Magyar interest to conceal it. 

Of course no Magyar Chauvinist will believe so " calumnious 
and fanatical " a writer as myself, when I say that this book 
has been written entirely without any feeling of hatred towards 
Hungary. Perhaps in ten years' time, when universal suffrage 
has let in a healthy stream of democracy and the present orgy 
of racial intolerance and class legislation has spent itself, it 
will be possible for a Magyar to make such an admission. 
That is however a matter of comparative indifference to me, 
since I wxite for the British, not the Hungarian public, whose 
tendency to ascribe all unfavourable comments on Hungary 
by foreign writers either to bribery or to " Viennese spectacles," 
tempts me to ignore their criticism altogether. My object 
has been, not so much to expose the present regime in Hungary 
(whose reactionary and oligarchic nature is now well known 
abroad) as to convince those of my countrymen who 
seem disposed to commit Britain to sympathy with 
the Magyar clique and thereby to promote the ruin of the 
Habsburg Monarchy and an European conflagration — to 
prove to them that Hungarian freedom is a myth for all save 



the Magyars, and even for the Magyars if they espouse the 
cause of Sociahsm or Labour, and that her ruhng classes stand 
for everything that is anathema to all enlightened politicians 
in this country, whether they call themselves Conservative, 
Liberal, Labour or Nationalist. The Magyars may deny all 
attempt at Magyarization : that is only an argument (if 
argument it can be called) with which to fool ignorant foreigners. 
For a year it took me in completely ; now it has lost its effect, 
and I wish to make it impossible to repeat the process with 
any of my countrymen who do me the honour of reading this 

R. W. Seton-Watson. 




Preface .......... vii 

In Self-Defence : an Answer to Critics . . . . xi 

Geographical and Statistical Note ..... 3 

From the Earliest Times till the Reformation . . 15 

Reformation and Counter-Reformation .... 27 

The Rise of Magyar Nationality . . . . . 38 *<:r 


The Beginnings of Slovak Literature : Panslavism, Liter- 
ary AND Political . . . . . . .44 


Magyarization . . . . . . • . ■ 59 ly 


^ The Revolution of 1848 . . . . . . . &o 


Reaction {1849-1860) ........ 108.' 


Transition (1860-1867) 117 i<7 


The Ausgleich and the Nationalities 

The New Era — Passivity and Persecution (1867-1908) 

The Education Laws of Hungary and the Nationalities 





Administrative Evils 

Electoral Corruption and Electoral Reform 

Association and Assembly in Hungary 

The Persecution of the Non-Magyar Press 






Judicial Injustice 

A Political Trial i>f Hungary and its Sequel . 

Slovak Popular Art, by Dusan Jurkovi6 . 

Slovak Popular Poetry, by SvetozAr Hurban Vajansky 






Slovak Popular Melodies, by Milan Lichard and Rev. 

Alois KolIsek "•...... ^'^^ - 



The Racial Question in Hungary — a Summary . . . 392 

Appendices — 

(i) Report of the Parliamentary Committee on the Question 
of the Nationalities (1861) . 

(2) Petition of Bishop Moyses to His Majesty (186 1 ) . 

(3) The Law of Nationahties (1868) 

(4) Polyglot Hungary — Population according to Race 

(5) Knowledge of the Magyar Language . 

(6) Educational Statistics, showing Difference between 

Theory and Practice ..... 

(a) Non-attendance at School 
(6) Imperfect Attendance and its Causes 
(c) Number of Illiterates .... 

'7) Magyarization in the Schools .... 

{a) Language of Instruction in Primary Schools 

(b) ,, ,, in Slovak Primary Schools 

(c) Magyarization of Slovak Primary Schools 

(d) Slovak Children in Primary Schools 

(e) General Table, showing Magyarization in Schools 

and Violation of the Law of Nationalities 
(/) Summary ...... 

(8) State Aid and Patriotism .... 

(9) Magyarization through the Church . 
>(io) Political Persecution of the Non-Magyars . 

(a) Roumanian Political Trials ( 1 886-1 896) . 

(b) ,. „ „ (1897-1908) . 

(c) Slovak Political Trials (1898-1908) 
{d) ,, ,, ,, (Summary) . 
{e) Press Actions against the Narodnie Noviny 

(1892-1906) ..... 

(/) Slovak Press Actions (1905- 1908) . 

7 (g) Summary of Political Trials 




Appendices {continued) 

(ii) Electoral Statistics ....... 467 

(12) Slovak Banks ....... 469 

(13) Emigration Statistics ...... 470 

(14) The Roumanian Programme of Hermannstadt (1881) 470 

(15) The Declaration of the Roumanian Committee at the 

Memorandum Trial (1894) . . , . . 47^ 

(16) The Dissolution of the Roumanian National Party 
(1894) 475 

(17) TheProgrammeof the NationaUties (1895) . . .476 

(18) The Protest of the Non-Magyars against Baron Banflfy's 

Placenames Bill (1898) ...... 478 

(19) The Roumanian Programme of 1905 .... 482 

(20) The Slovak Programme of 1905 . . . .483 
21) Defence of Father Hlinka before the Court of Pressburg 

(1908) 484 

(22) The Szenicz Election (1906) ..... 494 

(23) Bloodshed at Elections ...... 498 

(24) The Pollakovic Case (1908) ..... 

(25) Parliamentary Tolerance (the Vaida Case) . 

(26) The Magyarization of Surnames, and Ofi&cial Pressure 

(27) How Wills are respected in Hungary .... 

(28) The Croatian Crisis ....... 

(29) The Latkoczy Incident ...... 

Bibliography ......... 


List of Illustrations 


Father Andrew Hlinka . , . . . Frontispiece 

Hill Pastures ........ 

(From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

Csorba : in the Tatra Mountains ..... 

(From a photograph by the Author.) 

Trencsen and Leutschau (Loose) ..... 

The Castle of Arva ....... 

{From photographs by the Author.) 

Slovak Peasants, from the county of Turocz 

John KoUar . ." . . . . ... 

Daughters of Slava ....... 

{From the painting by Joza Uprka.) 

Slovak Peasant Types ....... 

Slovak Peasant Costumes, from the counties of Trencsen and 
Pressburg ........ 

Ludevit Stur ........ 

A Slovak Cottage Interior ...... 

{From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

Preparing the Flax ....... 

Slovak Peasant Types, from the county of Arva . 

Slovak Peasant Girls, from Detva, county of Zolyom 
{From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

A Slovak Idyll 

{From the painting by Joza Uprka.) 










Slovak Pottery i66 

Dr. Milan Hodza, M.P 196 

A Slovak Village Church (the Lutheran Church of Velka Paludza) 204 
{Reproduced from " Les Ouvrages Populaires des Slovaques.") 

A Slovak Festival ....... 

{From the painting of Joza Uprka.) 

A Slovak Churchyard ...... 

{Reproduced from " Les Ouvrages Populaires des Slovaques.") 

The Arrest of Father Hlinka ..... 

{From an amateur photograph confiscated in Hungary.) 

Slovak Tombstones, carved and painted 

Mr. Sveto^ar Hurban Vajansky ..... 

A Slovak Church Interior — Velka Paludza 

{Reproduced from " Les Ouvrages Populaires des Slovaques.") 

Father Ferdinand Juriga, M.P. ..... 

R62Jsahegy ......... 

{From a photograph by the Author.) 

A Slovak Peasant Group ...... 

A Slovak Peasant Home : northern district 

{From a photograph by E. Mdlek .) 

A Slovak Peasant Home : southern district . 

{From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

A Slovak Cottage Interior ...... 

{From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

Ingleneuk in a Slovak Cottage ..... 

Portion of an embroidered Slovak Shroud 

Wall Decoration in a Slovak Cottage .... 

Slovak Peasant Embroidery ..... 

A Slovak Peasant's Waistcoat ..... 

Slovak Peasant Art — drinking cup, in brass . 

{Reproduced from " Les Ouvrages Populaires des Slovaques.") 

Slovak Peasant Art — stick, bracelet and brooch 



Slovak Peasant Art — linen beetler and candlestick . , 376 

{Reproduced from " Les Ouvrages Populaires des Slovaques."} 
A Slovak Patriarch . . . . . . . .382 

(From a photograph by E. Malek.) 

A Village Worthy 

[From a photograph by E. Mdlek.) 

Day Dreams ...... 

{From the painting by Joza Uprka.) 

. 384 

. 388 

Racial Map of Hungary ..... 

at end of volume 





RECENT events are gradually dispelling the widespread fallacy 
that Hungary is a national state in the sense in which France 
and Italy are national states. Nothing could really be farther from 
the facts, for Hungary is the most polyglot state in all Europe. Its 
racial divisions may be best shown by the following table, compiled 
at the census of 1900 ^ : — 


(exclusive of Croatia- 



(the whole of 




Roumanian .... 




Minor Races .... 
^ Non-Magyar .... 






1 1-8 























Total .... 1 16,721.574 



Thus a total population of slightly over nineteen millions is composed t4[ 
of seven important nationalities — the Magyars, Germans, Slovaks, ' - 
Roumanians, Ruthenes, Croats and Serbs — each possessing its own iV^ 
distinct culture and historic traditions, and with the exception of the 
Croats and Serbs,* each speaking a different language. In addition 
to these, there are 851,378 Jews,^ and a number of minor races, whose 
numbers amount to 394,000, or only 2 per cent, of the population. 
The latter include 82,000 gipsies : * the 20,000 Italians of Fiume, who. 



* Ungarisches Statistisches Jahrbuch, Bd. ix. 

* Who speak the same language, merely writing it in the Roman and Cyrilline 
alphabets respectively. 

3 These are Jews by religion : the number of converted Jews cannot be ascer- 
tained from the official statistics, which classify them as Magyars. 

* At the special Gipsy Census of 1893, there were 274,940 gipsies in Hungary : 
but of these, only 82,000 professed Romany as their language, 104,000 gave them- 
selves out as Magyars, and 67,000 as Roumanians. Only about 9,000 are still nomads, 
30,000 more are semi-nomads. See Auerbach, Les Nationalites en Autriche-Hongrie, 
pp. 326-9, and for further but less recent details, Schwicker, Die Zigeuner in Ungarn 
undSi0bmbUrgen. Vienna, 1883. 

3 ^.--^ 


despite their privileged position, are steadily losing ground to the 
Croats and even to the Magyars : a few Poles near the Galician frontier, 
who are being assimilated by the surrounding Slovak and Ruthene 
population : a small colony of semi-Magyarized Armenians in Szamos- 
Ujvdr in Transylvania ; a few Bulgarian colonies in the Banat, 
amounting to 15,000 souls in all ; and about 70,000 Wends or Slovenes 
on the Western frontier, who are yielding to Croatian influences. 
These ethnical fragments need not detain the reader, for they have 
little or no influence upon the Racial Question as a whole. 

The kingdom of Hungary owes its independence above all else to 
its geographical situation, and geography explains the present grouping 
of the Hungarian races. Unlike its mediaeval rival, the kingdom of 
Bohemia — which even with Moravia only embraces 28,643 square 
miles " — Hungary is equal in area to several of the more important 
European states ; and this circumstance has, at more than one critical 
moment in her history, saved her from partition or annexation. The 
territory of the Crown of St. Stephen, as Hungary with Croatia-Slavonia 
is sometimes officially called, covers an area of 125,430 square miles, 
and is thus slightly larger than the United Kingdom (121,391), Austria 
(115,903), Italy (110,550), almost as large as Prussia (134,463) and 
more than twice the size of her southern neighbours, Roumania (50,720), 
Servia (18,630), and Bulgaria (38,080). 

The centre of the country is a vast plain, intersected by the Danube 
and its great tributaries the Theiss (Tisza) and the Maros. The Mag- 
yars, when they first entered the country under Arpad at the close of 
the ninth century, occupied this territory, so ideally suited to a race 
of nomadic horsemen. At first they contented themselves with exact- 
ing tribute from the scanty population of the mountainous districts 
which, indeed, they never attempted to colonize themselves. It was 
only by slow degrees that Magyar influence extended into the peri- 
phery of Hungary ; and even to-day the Magyars occupy very much 
the same tract of country as that of which their ancestors originally 
took possession. 

The northern, eastern, and even part of the southern frontier are 
formed by the gigantic rampart of the Carpatliians, which fall naturally 
into three divisions : — 

(i) To the west the Little Carpathians, an outlying spur of this 
great range, extend as far south as Pressburg on the Danube ; and 
the precipitous heights of the Tatra mountains decline gradually south- 
wards and die away near Eger and Miskolcz into the great central 
plain. From the mouth of the March at Dev6ny (Theben) as far as 
Lubl6 (Lublau) on the river Poprad, no real break occurs in the moun- 
tain chain ; and thus the Slovaks, whom the inroad of the Magyars 
restricted to this territory, and whose racial boundaries are virtually 
the same to-day, were during the Middle Ages effectually shut off fromj 
intercourse with their neighbours in the Galician plains, and even witl 
the Czechs of nearer Moravia." The break in the mountains causec 

fi I.e., 1,100 square miles less than Scotland. 

* The J ablunka Pass alone gave access to Moravia ; the rivers all flow from north 
or north-east to south (March, Vag, etc.), and thus the absence of water communica- 
tions (the mediaeval trade routes) [prevented intercourse between Hungary and 
Moravia 'until the epoch of the Hussite Wars. 



by the river Poprad was a vulnerable point in the armour of Hungary ; 
and it was to check the Polish influences which entered through this 
break that kings of the House of Arpad settled German colonists in 
what became known as the Zips free towns. Thirteen of these towns 
were pawned by Sigismund to Poland in the year 1414 — an unscrupu- 
lous act to which reasons of geography prompted him. 

(2) From Poprad to Maramaros Sziget the Carpathians are narrower 
and less impenetrable ; and it is this district — comprising the counties 
of Zemplen, Ung, Bereg, and parts of Maramaros, Ugocsa and Saros — 
which is inhabited by the 427,000 Ruthenes of Hungary. This race 
is probably descended from refugees who left Lithuania under their 
prince Theodore Koriatowicz, and accepted the invitation of Louis 
the Great to act as guardians of the eastern frontier {circa 1340). 

(3) To the south of Maramaros Sziget the Carpathians again expand, 
and form a compact mountainous district covering an area of well- 
nigh 70,000 square kilometers. This district, famous in history as 
the principality of Transylvania, is a distinct geographical unit. Its 
mountainous formation prevented the Magyars from ever colonizing it, 
while the numerous valleys debouching on the Hungarian plain (formed 
by the river Szanios, Maros and the three branches of the Koros) ex- 
posed it to their marauding incursions and enabled them to reduce the 
country to submission and to join hands with the Szekels. These 
latter were a kindred Mongol tribe, which had migrated westwards 
some centuries earlier,^ and had occupied the district watered by the 
Alt and the upper reaches of the Maros, and bordering upon modern 
Moldavia. In the course of time the Magyars found themselves in 
their turn exposed to inroads from the mountain fastnesses of Transyl- 
vania, and being averse to abandon the plains for the mountains, 
invited German settlers as guardians of the frontier. From the 
twelfth to the fourteenth centuries there was a continuous stream of 
Saxon and Flemish immigrants into Transylvania — especially under 
Andrew II, who granted to them the famous " Free Charter " (Goldene 
Freibrief) of 1224, and under Bela IV, whose task it was to repair the 
ravages wrought by the terrible Mongol invasion of 1241. The nine 
sees (Stiihle) * and two districts * which made up the Saxon territory 
— the Fundus Regius, or Konigsboden, as it was called — remained 
intact until the law of 1876 abolished Saxon autonomy, in direct defi- 
ance of the terms of the act of union between Hungary and Transyl- 
vania.'" Strategic reasons had dictated their original choice of terri- 
tory ; and their three chief historic centres, Hermannstadt, Kronstadt 
and Bistritz, command the three most accessible passes across the 
Carpathians towards the south and east — those, namely, of Rothen- 
turm, Predeal and Borgo. 

When after the battle of Mohacs (1526) Central Hungary fell into 
the power of the Turks, Transylvania was saved from a like fate by 
its mountainous formation. After a precarious existence of 165 years 

^ They themselves claim descent from the Huns of Attila, but modern criticism 
has thrown grave doubts upon this view. 

8 Of Hermannstadt, Leschkirch, Gross Schenk, Reps, Schassburg, Mediasch, 
Reussmarkt, Miihlbach and Broos. 

^ Kronstadt (the Burzenland) and Bistritz (the Nosenerland). 

10 See p. 145. 


under native Magyar princes, who recognized the suzerainty of the 
Sultan, and on more than one occasion fought for the Crescent against 
the Cross, Transylvania fell once more under the sceptre of the House 
of Habsburg (1691) ; and it was not till 1867 that the principality 
closed its separate existence. 

The numbers of the Saxons have long remained stationary — a fact 
which is due to the spread of the " two-children system " amongst 
them, and in recent years to the emigration of their young men to 
Germany. At the census of 1890 they amounted to 223,678, and even 
these small figures include several thousand Germans from other parts 
of the monarchy who have settled in the Saxon counties. 

The Szekels form a compact mass of 458,307, stretching from near 
Kronstadt on the south as far as Maros-Vasarhely and Gyergo St. 
Miklos on the north. There are also several Magyar colonies in the 
counties of Kolozs, Szolnok-Doboka, and Torda, amounting in all to 

The remainder of the Transylvanian population is Roumanian. 
Their origin has formed the subject of an acrid controversy, which 
has passed from the academic sphere to the realm of politics, and 
which racial prejudices will prevent from ever reaching a satisfactory 
conclusion. The Roumanians themselves claim descent from the 
; Roman colonists of Dacia, and consequently regard themselves as the 
/ original owners of the soil. The Magyars, on the other hand, argue 
that the barbarian invasions annihilated the Roman element in Tran- 
sylvania, and treat the present Roumanian population of the country 
as descendants of Wallach immigrants in the thirteenth century. 
It is true that no historical evidence of their presence before that date 
can be adduced ; but in all probability the truth lies half-way between 
the rival theories. A remnant of the old Daco-Roman population 
may have escaped to the mountains, and thus would form a nucleus 
for the nomadic herdsmen and shepherds who immigrated from Wal- 
lachia during the later Middle Ages. It is hardly credible that the 
Roumanian language should have preserved so many Latin influences, 
if its area during the Dark Ages had been confined to the great plain 
of Wallachia ; and the contrast between the Roumanians and the 
Bulgarians, who renounced their Tartar origin and adopted a Slav 
idiom, would suggest that the former had enjoyed the comparative 
safety and seclusion of a mountain home. This, however, is mere 
conjecture, whose value is academic rather than political. The essen- 
tial fact to remember is that with the exception of the Saxon and Mag- 
yar enclaves to which we have already alluded, the entire south- 
eastern portion of Hungary is inhabited by Roumanians, who in igoo 
amounted to 2,784,726, and who are at present increasing more rapidly 
and emigrating in proportionately smaller numbers than any other 
Hungarian race. 

The rich plain of the Bacska, lying between the Danube and the 
Theiss (Tisza), and the Banat of Temesvar, lying between the Theiss, 
the Maros, the western hills of Transylvania and the Servian reaches 
of the Danube, form a racial mosaic of the most complicated pattern. 
The ejection of the Turks from Hungary at the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century, and the creation by Prince Eugene of a special territory 
known as the " Military Frontiers " found the southern plains well' 



nigh depopulated, and once more colonists had to be introduced. In 
i6go the Serb Patriarch of Ipek with 2-300,000 Serb refugees settled 
upon Hungarian soil, and received from Leopold I a diploma assuring 
them special privileges. Under his successors Charles III (VI as Em- 
peror) and Maria Theresa, German settlers from Alsace and Swabia 
were also introduced ; and to-day their descendants are in many re- 
spects the most prosperous portion of the Hungarian rural population, 
offering a striking contrast to the surrounding Magyar and Roumanian 
peasantry. The Serbs, who amount to 434,641, are almost entirely 
confined to the counties of Bacs, Torontal and Temes. The Swabians, 
to the number of 541,112, inhabit the same three counties and that 
of Krasso-Szoreny. 

Finally there remains the kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, which owes 
its autonomous situation within the territory of St, Stephen in large 
measure to geographical reasons. Croatia ^^ falls naturally into two 
portions : first, the triangular territory between the Drave and the 
Save, extending from Friedau in Styria and Rann in Carniola as far 
as the frontier town of Semlin (Zimony) which looks across the water 
to Belgrad ; and second, the high limestone walls which connect the 
mountain system of the Balkans with the Karst above Trieste (and 
so with the Styrian Alps) , and which sink abruptly down to the Adriatic 
at Fiume. The Magyar's sole access to the sea lies through Croatia, 
and the difficulties of the railway line connecting Zagreb (Agram) 
with Fiume increase the strategic importance of the Croatian position. 

In Croatia the racial question is far less complicated than in Hungary 
proper. Out of a population of 2,400,766, the Croats amount to 
1,482,353 (or 6i-6 per cent.), and the Serbs to 607,381 (or 25-4 per 
cent.). Their language is identical, the sole difference being that 
the Croats employ the Roman,' the Serbs the Cyrilline alphabet. Thus 
the distinction between Croat and Serb is not one of language, and 
only partially one of race. Religion plays the foremost part in their 
rivalry, for while the Croats are Roman Catholic and draw their in- 
spiration from Rome and the west, the Serbs are Orthodox and are 
still under the influence of Byzantine culture. For the forty years 
which followed the Ausgleich, the Magyars were able to hold Croatia 
under control, by playing off the rival races against each other. But 
Croats and Serbs have at length learnt the lesson of bitter experience ; 
and the Serbo-Croat Coalition, which commands a strong majority in 
the Diet of Zagreb, has for over eighteen months resisted every effort 
of the Magyars to sow fresh discord between the reconciled kinsmen. 

The Serbo-Croat race makes up 87 per cent, of the population of 
Croatia ; 5-6 per cent, are Germans (including Jews), and only 3-8 
per cent., or 90,180 are Magyars — a large proportion of these belonging 
to the official classes. Obviously, then, the Magyarization of Croatia 
is out of the question ; and the only hope for the Magyars is to arrive 
at a durable understanding with a race whose command of the Hun- 
garian seaboard makes their friendship of paramount importance to 
the government of Budapest. 

The following statistical survey of racial distribution in Hungary 
may be of assistance to the reader, 

11 For convenience' sake, Croatia-Slavonia is usually referred to as " Croatia." 



{a) The Magyars 
The Magyars are in an overwhelming majority in 22 counties (19 
in Hungary proper, and the 3 Sz6kel counties of Transylvania) : — 

Magyar Percentage of 

County Population, total Population. 

Hajdu 148, oi 

J3 . . 99-7 

Jasz-N. Kun-Szolnok 


)9 • • 99*4 


131. 1] 

[9 . . 99-4 


251,078 .. 99-1 


283,777 • • 98-9 



51 . . 98-4 


241,578 .. 94-7 



)5 . . 89-8 


138,049 . . 86-8 


171,999 . . 84-4 



B5 .. 84-2 


5 Kuu 

680,273 . . 82-5 



>7 . . 79-6 

Zala . 


13 • • 74-2 


102,745 • • 73-8 


200,880 . . 73-3 



io . . 73'0 



io . . 70*5 



?5 . • 68-4 

Udvarhely . 


58 . . 95-3 

Csik . 

110,643 .. 86-5 


116,354 .. 85-1 

14 other counties on the linguistic frontier, the Magyars form 

jrities varying from 18 to 54 per cent, of the population : — 

Sopron ..... 122,912 

. 500 p.c. 


. 25,618 

. 287 „ 

Pozsony (Pressburg) 

. 119,056 

• 39-7 „ 



. i8-8 „ 

Bars . 


• 31-7 ,. 

Hont . 


• 54-4 ,, 


. 103,413 

• 56-3 -. 


• 173.796 

• 53-1 .. 

Ung . 


• 30-0 „ 

Bereg , 

. 92,586 

• 44-5 ,- 


. 209,475 

. 6i-6 „ 

Bihar . 

• 279,949 

. 53-2 „ 

Arad . 


. 21-8 „ 


. 111,229 

• i8-9 „ 


. 244,883 

• 40-5 .. 



• 51-3 „ 

Vas . 


. 22 


• 53-0 „ 

We thus find that — with the exception of the Sz6kel districts — 
the vast majority of the Magyar population inhabits the central Danub- 
ian plain, and in that area forms a compact mass, broken only by 
small German and Slovak racial islets in the counties of Veszpr6m, 



Komarom and Pest, and in the town of Bekescsaba. In the seven 
northernmost Slovak counties ^' (with a total population of 972,146) 
there are 44,383 Magyars (4-5 per cent.) ; in the thirteen counties 
where the Roumanian element is strongest " (with a total population 
of 2,943,914), there are 422,286 Magyars (14-3 p.c). In many cases 
the Magyar minorities are contiguous to the main Magyar popula- 
tion, so that it would be easy to base any scheme of county redis- 
tribution upon ethnical boundaries without sacrificing these minorities . 
But in the case of at least a dozen counties it would be necessary to 
invent special guarantees for their separate racial existence. 

(&) The Germans 

The Germans, unlike the other Hungarian 

races, are 

scattered in 

racial islets throughout the country. Their 


may be di- 

vided into four groups : — 

(i) The Western frontier : — 

Pressburg ...... 

22,846 . 

. 7-6 

Moson ...... 

54,406 . 

61 -o 

Sopron ...... 

91.330 • 

. 37-1 


125,032 . 

. 30-0 

(2) Central and Northern Hungary : — 

Bars ....... 

17.305 . 

. IO-5 

Turocz ...... 

11,038 . 

. 21-3 

Szepes ...... 

42,653 • 




. II-7 

Veszprem ...... 

32.440 . 

. 14-7 

Fej6r ...... 


. 12-3 

Komarom ..... 


. 7-0 

(3) The Swabians of South Hungary : — 


77,222 . 

. 30-6 

Baranya ...... 

103,277 . 

. 35-5 

Bacs-Bodrog ..... 

179.731 • 

. 29-7 

Torontal ...... 

T76.255 • 

• 29-9 

Temes ...... 

130,293 • 

. 32-9 

Krasso-Szoreny ..... 

54.833 . 

. 12-4 

Arad ....... 

34.477 . 

. IO-5 

(4) The Saxons of Transylvania : — 


46,615 . 

. 28-8 

Nagy Kiikiillo ..... 

61,679 . 

• 42-7 

Kis Kiikiillo 


. 17-6 

Brasso ...... 

28,992 . 

• 31-4 

B. Naszod ..... 

Ti-_:_ _i,:_x _j J.1- 1; i_ j.1. - 2. _ _i J 

25,825 . 


j._ _j J. 

Their chief strength lies in the towns, where the temptation to adopt 
the Magyar language and customs was strongest ; their scattered 
condition made organized resistance difficult, if not impossible, and 

12 Trencs6n, Arva, Tur6cz, Lipt6, Z61yom, Szepes, S^os. 

13 Fogaras, Szeben, N. Kiikiillo, Als6 Feher, T.-Axanyos, Kolozs, S.Doboka, 
B. Nas26d, M^ramaros, Szil^gy, Hunyad, K.-Szor6ny, Temes. 


they have in point of fact contributed more than any other race to 
swell the ranks of the Magyars. It is a remarkable fact that their 
superior culture rendered them an easier prey to Magyarization. Only 
the Saxons, fortified by their national Church autonomy and an ad- 
mirable system of education, have gallantly resisted all onslaughts 
upon their nationality. 

In addition to the above, there are a number of small German minori- 
ties in other counties — minorities so small and so scattered as to defy 
every system of county distribution on a racial basis. Only a system 
of national " catasters " such as that adopted in Moravia could create 
an effective guarantee for their nationality. 

(c) The Roumanians 
The Roumanians form a crushing majority of the population 
ten counties : — 
"^ Fogaras ...... 83,103 



Szolnok-Doboka . 

Krasso-Szoreny . 

Torda-Aranyos . 








In eight other counties they form from 30 to 60 per cent, of the 

population, and in two more, substantial minorities. 
SzUagy 125.345 

















There are also small Roumanian minorities in the three Szekel 
counties, Csik (15,878), Haromszek (19,396), and Udvarhely (2,882). 

It will thus be seen that the Roumanians, though they form a ma- 
jority of the population in a tract of country measuring over 75,000 
square kilometers, live in less compact masses than the Slovaks of 
the seven northern counties. The eighteen counties inhabited by the 
Roumanians contain 1,259,342 Magyars ; but if we deduct those coun- 
ties through which the Magyar-Roumanian ethnical frontier passes 
(namely, the counties of Maramaros, Szatmar, SzUagy, Bihar, Arad, 
Temes ; and Kis-Kukiillo and Maros-Torda in Transylvania), the 
numbers of the Magyar minority on Roumanian territory fall to 297,015 
(or a minority of i to 9). This minority is strongest in the counties 
of Kolozs (268 per cent.), Szolnok-Doboka (19*9 per cent.) and Torda- 




Aranyos (25-4 per cent.). In six counties the Magyar element sinks 
to trifling proportions — in Szeben to 4-2 per cent., in Krasso-Szoreny 
to 4-8 per cent., in Fogaras to 5-3 per cent., in Besztercze-Naszod to 
7 per cent., in Hunyad to io-6 per cent., in Nagy-Kiikiillo to ii-6 
per cent. Here, as indeed throughout the Roumanian counties, the 
scanty numbers of the Magyars make Magyarization a hopeless task, 
and only their control of the administration and the franchise enables 
them to persevere in their futile policy of aggression. 

{d) The Slovaks 
The Slovaks form an overwhelming majority of the population in 
seven counties : — 



Lipto . 





In this territory, which covers an area of 22,380 square kilometers 
there are thus 997,183 Slovaks, side by side with 114,310 Magyars 
and 71,497 Germans. Of these latter races, however, the majority 
live upon the racial frontier, and thus the redistribution of the coun- 
ties on a racial basis would leave a million Slovaks faced by a minority 
of 72,993 Magyars and Germans (7 per cent.). 

In five other counties the Slovaks form over one-third of the popu- 
lation : — 

Percentage of 


80,456 . 

• 94-7 • 

• 1-7 

. 265,838 . 

. 92-8 . 

. 2-8 

• 75.739 • 

• 92-5 . 

■ 3-3 

. 110,633 . 

. 89-4 . 

. 7-2 

. 38,218 . 

• 73-6 . 

. 4-2 

. 312,167 . 

• 73-1 . 

. i8-8 

. II4.I32 . 

. 66-1 . 



99,240 . 

. 58-2 

Bars .... 

• 94.777 • 

• 57-5 

Pressburg . 

. 153,466 . 

• 5I-I 


. 74.417 . 

. 40-6 


• 45.173 • 

• 39-5 

In these counties there are no fewer than 347,421 Magyars and 
60,932 Germans ; but as all these counties are situated upon the lin- 
guistic frontier, redistribution would in their case also bring about a 
separation of the two races, and merely leave small German minorities 
in the counties of Szepes and Bars. 

There are also substantial Slovak minorities in the counties of Zem- 
plen (106,064, or 32-4 per cent.), Ung (42,582, or 28-1 per cent.), Nograd 
(64,083, or 26-9 per cent.), and Abauj-Torna (35,809, or 22-9 per cent.). 
On the west, the Slovaks extend into Moravia, from the neighbourhood 
of Hodonin (Goding) almost as far as Kremsier, and in recent years 
this tiny territory has become a focus of Slovak national life, where 
the forces repressed in Hungary by the reactionary policy of the Mag- 
yars are able to expand freely. On the east the Slovaks are bounded 
by the Ruthenes ; but the racial frontier has during the past genera- 
tion moved slowly but steadily eastwards, at the expense of the latter 
race, which allows itself to be assimilated more easily than either the 
Slovaks or the Roumanians. 



In addition to the main Slovak districts there are various racial 
islets in the neighbourhood of Budapest, Komarom (Komorn) and 
GodoUo, and in the rich plains of the Banat and the Bacska, near 
Nagy Becskerek and Neusatz (Ujvidek). The county of Pest contains 
33,299 Slovaks, in addition to 24,726 in the capital itself : the county 
of Bekes, 64,343 (or 23-2 per cent.) ; Bacs, 28,317 ; Csanad, 17,239 ; 
and Torontal, 14,761. Despite their isolation, these little colonies 
are strongly Slovak in feeling, and being more prosperous and inde- 
pendent than their northern kinsmen, have succeeded in returning a 
Slovak member of Parliament (in K61p6ny, county of Bacs-Bodrog) . 

(e) The Ruthenes 
The counties inhabited by the Ruthenes are long and narrow strips 
of territory, stretching from the frontier into the great plain. The 
county boundaries thus run more or less at right angles to the racial 
boundaries ; and as a result the Ruthenes do not form a majority in 
any county. In four they form from 36 to 46 per cent, of the popu- 
lation, and in three others there are considerable Ruthene minorities — 


• 143.379 ■ 

• 46-4 


. 95.084 . 

• 45-8 


• 32,707 • 

• 39-3 

Ung . 

55.556 . 

. 36-6 


33,937 • 

• 19-7 


• 34.816 . 



13.913 • 

. 8-2 




There is also a small Ruthene colony of 9,759 souls in the county of 
Bacs ; but this is likely in the course of time to be absorbed by its 
Slav or Magyar neighbours. Despite the heavy drain of emigration 
to America, the Ruthenes have continued to increase slightly during 
the past thirty years ; their numbers in 1880 were 353,229 ; in 1890, 
379,786 ; in 1900. 423,159. 

(/) The Serbs 
The Serbs form a strong minority in three counties : — 
Torontal . . . , . "" . 183,771 

Bacs-Bodrog ..... 114,685 

Temes ...... 85,000 

They possess a larger middle class than either the Slovaks or the Rou- 
manians, yet they appear to be more susceptible to Magj'-arizing in- 
fluences. They are physically inferior to all the other races of Hun- 
gary, and are not to be compared with their kinsmen in Slavonia. 
Between the years 1890 and 1900 their numbers have decreased from 
495.133 to 434.641- 

{g) The Croats 
The Croats in Hungary proper amount to 188,552, or only i-i per 
cent, of the total population — a decrease of 5,860 since the census of 
1890. Their settlements lie for the most part along the frontier of 
Styria and Croatia, in the counties of Zala (84,356), Vas (17,847) and 
Sopron (30,342). These include the so-called " Shokazen," who formed 
a separate rubric in F6nyes' Statistics in 1846. They were simply 



Catholic Serbs, with whom religion was stronger than nationality, and 
who therefore now allow themselves to be classed as Croats. 

If we turn from the rural to the town population, we find that the 
latter forms the real strength of the Magyar nationality. In 1880 
63-82 per cent, of the inhabitants of the towns acknowledged Magyar 
as their mother tongue : in 1890, bj-'jg per cent. ; in 1900, 74-8 per 
cent. ; while a considerably higher proportion was able to speak that 
language. A good idea of racial distribution in the towns may be 
obtained from the following table, compiled for the twenty-five towns 
which possess municipal self-government : — 


Magyar Population. 


Other Elements. 








Kecskemet . 




Debreczen . 




Sz6kesfeherv4r (Stuhl- 

weissenburg) . . 

. 30.451 



Szeged .... 




Komarom (Komom) 

. 16,816 



Gyor (Raab) . . 

• 27,758 



Szatmar-Nemeti , 

. 26,178 



Nagyvarad (Gross- 

wardein) . 





• 17.71S 



Kolozsvar (Klausen- 

burg) .... 




4,809 Roum. 






Budapest . . . 




101,682 Ger., 24,726 

P6cs (Funfkirchen) . 




7,223 Ger. 





5,151 Ger., 8,8i6Roum. 

Kassa (Kaschau) 




2,877 Ger., 8.162 Slov. 

Szabadka (Maria- 





33,896 Serb and others. 

Oedenburg (Sopron) 




17,279 Ger, 





25,673 Ger. 

Ujvid6k (Neusatz, 

♦ Novi Sad). . . 




6,267 Ger., 9.747 Serb. 

Zombor .... 




17,598 Serb and others. 

Pressburg (Pozsony) 




32,104 Ger., 9,004 Slov 

Selmecz and B61a- 

banya, (Schemnitz 

and Dilln) . . . 




12,113 Slov. 





7,363 Ger., 7,770 Serb, 

Werschetz (Versecz) 




13,242 Ger. 




It will thus be seen that in these twenty-five municipalities 74-8 per 
cent, of the population is Magyar (this of course includes a large pro- 
portion of the Jewish population of Hungary), i2'7 per cent. German, 
4'0 per cent. Serb, 3-1 per cent. Slovak, and only o-g per cent. Rou- 
manian. Budapest itself still contains 14 per cent, of Germans, but 



they have yielded to the intimidation of the Chauvinist majority, and 
though the stranger hears German spoken on all sides in the Hungarian 
capital, all signs and notices are in Magyar only ; and the 100,000 
Germans of the city have meekly submitted to the disappearance of 
the German theatre in Buda. Pressburg has insisted upon retaining 
its German character, and has been punished by the refusal of Parlia- 
ment to sanction an electric railway connecting it with Vienna. But 
the last few years have been marked by a gradual reawakening of 
national feeling among the Germans of Hungary, as is shown by the 
action of the Oedenburg Town Council in the spring of 1908, and by 
recent movements in Temesvar and the Bacska. The other non- 
Magyar races are still absolutely powerless in the municipalities, and 
even in the boroughs the existing local government franchise makes 
it difficult for the majority of the inhabitants to enforce their wishes. 
But the economic progress made by the Roumanians and Slovaks in 
the last decade is steadily creating a non-Magyar middle class in the 
smaller towns ; and before many years have passed a number of 
the latter are bound to fall into their hands. 

A brief note regarding the spread of the Magyar language may form 
a fitting conclusion. Of the 8,132,740 non-Magyars of Hungary proper, 
1,365,764, or i6-8 per cent., and of the 2,310,586 non-Magyars of 
Croatia 47,421 or 2'i per cent., are credited with a knowledge of the 
Magyar language. Thus in Hungary proper 6,766,976, or 31 '8 per 
cent., and in the country as a whole (including Croatia) 9,030,141 or 
4i'i per cent, are still ignorant of the Magyar language. The difficulties 
of extending its knowledge will be realized from the following table, 
which gives the number of persons wholly unable to speak it in the 
nineteen chief non-Magyar counties and their percentage to the total 
population of those counties. 



Arva . 


• 94*4 


329.531 • 

. 83-1 

Lipt6 . . 



Torontal . 

417,580 . 

• 70-9 

Trencsen . 


• 93-2 

B. Naszod 

101,965 . 

. 867 



. 877 

Fogaras . 

84,295 . 

• 90-5 

Z61yom . 


. 82-6 


145,489 . 

. 89-7 

Saros . 


. 88-2 

S. Doboka 

176,478 . 

• 74-7 

Szepes . 


• 84-9 

Als6 Feher 

162,833 . 

• 77-6 



. 80.5 

K. Kiikiillo 

65,199 . 

. 76-6 


N. Kukiillo 


. 76-6 


400,517 . 

. 90-8 


• 253,940 . 

• 83-9 



From the Earliest Times till the Reformation 

THE northern Carpathians, now the home of the Slovaks, 
were once claimed as the cradle of the entire Slav 
race ; to-day this claim has been abandoned, and it is gener- 
ally agreed that the seat of the aboriginal Slavs must be looked 
for in the region bounded by the Vistula and the Dnieper. 
Where all scientific proof is definitely impossible, the most 
probable theory' is that the Slavs first entered Hungary from 
the North some time before the fourth or fifth centuries, and 
seized the land once held by the Gepidae and Heruli. It 
would be unprofitable, even were it practicable, to follow the 
fortunes of the Slavs in those obscure centuries of nomad 
and internecine warfare ; nor need we waste time over the 
derivations of their name from " slovo " (word) and " slava " 
(glory). Suffice it to say, that the Slavs have throughout 
history shown a fissile and centrifugal tendency ; and thus 
the mysterious figures of Samo and Svatopluk are the only 
Slav empire-builders until we reach the days of Peter the 
Great.i* During the later period of the barbarian invasions, 
the wide plains between the Danube and the Styrian Alps 
formed a cockpit for the Avars and other wild hordes whose 
names were destined to vanish from history. The Avars 
met with a crushing defeat at the hands of Charles the Great 
during his invasion of Pannonia (796), and were finally annihi- 
lated by the Bulgars (807), whose sway at that date extended 
far westward from the Iron Gates. The gaps in the depopu- 
lated land were filled by the Slavs, who moved southwards 
from the Carpathians and Moravia, The Bulgars reached 
almost as far as the future city of Pest, while the west bank 
of the lake of Balaton formed the linguistic watershed between 
the Northern Slavs and the Chorvats, from whom the modem 
Croats descend.^ 

" Ottocarof Bohemia and Ivan the Terrible are possible exceptions. 
" Safafik, Slavische AUerthumer, II. 454. 



The chief Slavonic event of the ninth century was the 
rise of what is somewhat pompously known as the Great 
Moravian Empire. Its boundaries and extent have been, 
and are likely to remain, a matter of lively dispute, the more 
so as they were probably subject to frequent alterations. 
Some would limit it to the districts peopled to-day by 
the Slovaks, others would extend it as far as Lusatia on 
the north and Dalmatia on the south ; but for our present 
purpose it is sufficient to note that it included the present 
Moravia, part of the Duchy of Austria, and the Slovak dis- 
tricts of Hungary from the March to the Theiss, and as far 
as the M^tra Hills and the neighbourhood of Vdcz on the 
Danube. Moimir I, who is referred to in a Papal Bull of the 
year 826 as " Prince of Moravia," acknowledged the over- 
lordship of the Franks, and became the founder of the two 
Bishoprics of Olmiitz and Nitrava, the modem Nyitra. The 
latter see apparently corresponded with a more or less auto- 
nomous principality, the ruler of which when banished by 
Moimir, fled to the court of the Emperor Louis, adopted Chris- 
tianity, and was invested with territory between the Eastern 
Mark and the Lake of Balaton. Not long after Moimir became 
involved in war with Louis, who deposed him in favour of 
the former's nephew Rastislav (846).^^ The greater part of 
this prince's reign was passed in war with the Germans ; but 
even the scanty record of these events cannot conceal the 
greatness of Rastislav, who definitely annexed Nyitra to his 
crown, set King Louis at defiance, and successfully resisted 
the joint attack of three powerful German armies. What 
foreign invasion had failed to effect was wrought by the 
treachery of his own nephew ; and Svatopluk, the greatest 
of early Slav monarchs and the hero of modem epic and 
romance, opened his career in intrigue, dishonour and defeat. 
Moravia was occupied by the Germans, who sent Svatopluk 
in chains to the court of Regensburg. Released by Carlo- 
man, and burning with resentment at such ignoble treatment, 
Svatopluk returned to place himself at the head of the revolted 
Moravians. Not merely were his arms crowned with com- 
plete success, but in 873 he even invaded Germany, and in 
the following year wrested terms of peace from the Emperor 
Louis II, then full of schemes for the pacification of Italy. 
The reign of Svatopluk received an added splendour from 
the presence of the great Apostle of the Slavs, St. Methodius, 
*• Palacky, Geschichte Bohmens, I. p. iii. 


who in 868 was created by the Pope Archbishop of Moravia 
and Pannonia. Cyril and Methodius first appeared among the 
Slavs in response to an appeal of Rastislav to the Byzantine 
Emperor ; and to their labours is due the spread of the Slav 
liturgy, whose language may be said to form the basis of all the 
Slav dialects of the modern world. Some writers, more 
patriotic than critical, have endeavoured to prove that Slovak 
is the original dialect of the Slav apostles ; but Safafik, the 
author of an epochmaking book on Slav Antiquities and one 
of the many distinguished Slovaks whom Magyar rule has 
driven to Prague, was constrained to admit that it originated in 
Bulgaria and was only brought to Moravia by the apostolic 
brothers." Many were the attacks directed against this liturgy 
by the German prelates of Salzburg and Passau, and Methodius 
was twice summoned to Rome (867 and 880) to defend it 
against the calumnies of his opponents ; but on each occasion 
he emerged triumphant, and before his death in 885 the entire 
clergy of Svatopluk's dominions had acknowledged his juris- 
diction. Political misfortunes checked the spread of the 
Slav liturgy, but the national traditions lived on, and the 
writings of Hus formed a new link in the chain which connects 
modern Czech and Slovak nationalism with the great apostle 
of the Western Slavonic Church. 

In a reign of twenty-three years (871-894) the redoubtable 
Svatopluk held his own against all comers ; but even during 
his lifetime signs of impending peril might have been observed, 
when Amulf, the German King, invited the support of the 
Magyars, at that time fighting in Dacia for the cause of the 
Eastern Empire. The death of Svatopluk plunged his 
country into civil discord, which was fanned by Arnulf's 
emissaries. When, however, in the closing years of the century 
the Magyars resumed their wanderings and advanced across 
the Carpathian passes, Amulf, who in the words of Gibbon 
" has been justly reproached as a traitor to the civil and 
ecclesiastical society of the Christians," had akeady passed 
from the scene; and the defence of Moravia and of Germany 
rested in the feeble hands of Moimir II and Louis the Child. 
In August, 907, a great battle on the March, near Pressburg, 
ended in the rout of the combined Slav and German armies. 
King Louis escaped with difficulty from the stricken field, 

"Safafik, op. cit. pp. 477-91- Palacky, op. cit. I. 1 18-40. Early writers 
always refer to the Cyrilline alphabet as " the Bulgarian writing." 
R.P.H. 17 C 


and the short-lived Moravian Empire fell an easy prey to the 
Magyar hordes. 

The Magyar conquest has been described ^^ as " the greatest 
misfortune which the Slav world has suffered throughout the 
centuries." The kingdom of Rastislav and Svatopluk, which 
I had so valiantly repelled the continuous onslaughts of the 
, Germans, formed virtually the centre of gravity for all the Slav 
peoples which in the ninth century stretched from the frontier 
of Holstein to the coasts of the Peloponnese. The force of 
circumstances would have gradually driven " all Slav people to 
range themselves round this centre ; from it they would have 
received, if not political institutions, at any rate Christianity, 
and with it an European and national culture, art and industry, 
unity in language and writing. As in the West under Roman 
influences the Frankish Monarchy grew great, so a similar Slav 
Empire would have developed in the East, under the dominant 
influence of Constantinople ; and Eastern Europe would have 
won a thousand years ago an importance wholly different 
from that which it actually acquired . ' ' Other writers, however, 
have argued that the Magyar conquest, so far from being a 
misfortune to the Slavs, was really a blessing in disguise, and 
that the Czechs in particular owe their survival as a nation to 
the appearance on their Southern frontier of a race capable 
of resisting the mediaeval Drang nach Osten of the Germans.^^ 
Each view is coloured by the national pride of its supporters, 
and foreign students will be disposed to steer a middle course 
between the Bohemian Scylla and the Magyar Charybdis. 
Whether Moravia could ever have formed the nucleus of an 
enduring Slav Empire, is at least open to doubt ; yet it is diffi- 
cult to resist the conclusion that the presence of the Magyars 
arrested during many centuries the development of the Slavs, 
just as it still supplies to-day the chief obstacle of the realiza- 
tion of the Panslav ideal. 

During the first half of the ninth century the Magyars re- 
tained their old nomadic instincts, and were the terror of 
Europe from the gates of Pavia on the south as far as the 
frontier of Champagne and the mouth of the Elbe. Nor 
was it until their crushing defeat at the hands of Otto the 
Great (955) that they definitely settled in the great Danubian 
plain, which was destined to remain the limit of their racial 

" Palacky, op. cit. I. 195. 

'• Hunfalvy, Ethnographie von Ungarn, p. 299. 


though not of their political expansion. Such born horsemen 
were naturally more at home in the limitless pusztas of Central 
Hungary than in the mountainous and woodland country 
through which they passed on their first entry ; and hence the 
latter became a kind of " debatable country " between the 
still elastic territories of the Magyars, the Czechs and the 
Poles. What is now known as Moravia undoubtedly fell 
under the sway of the Princes of Bohemia ; how much of 
the present Slovak districts of Hungary remained with Moravia 
in these centuries, it is quite impossible to say with certainty. 
The modern historian, even though he may not affect the 
truly regal contempt displayed by Gibbon for the details of so 
barbaric an age, can hardly be expected to devote much 
research to so essentially academic a question. When called 
upon to weigh the evidence, he can at best supply its absence by 
vague generalities ; and any rash pronouncement on his part 
might seem to implicate him as upholding the absurd theories of 
modem politicians. The present-day claims which centre round 
the names of Zvonomir, Dushan and Svatopluk, are as ridiculous 
as if the present writer, inspired by Celtic traditions, were 
to urge the revival of the kingdoms of Kenneth Macalpine 
and Brian Boroimhe. Few things are more sacred than historic 
tradition ; but to select the ninth or the twelth century as 
an ideal for the twentieth, suggests a striking contempt for 
historic evolution, coupled with an even bolder neglect of the 
laws of common sense. 

Without venturing to define the western frontier of Hungary 
as early as the reign of St. Stephen, we may safely assert that 
the valleys of the Vag, Gran and Nyitra were better peopled 
than the districts farther east, where according to such evidence 
as has survived, there were only a few royal hunting-lodges, 
surrounded by extensive forests. It is probable that the 
northern borders remained in a condition of neglect and 
anarchy until St. Stephen, in his wars with Mieceslav of Poland, 
reduced them at least to nominal vassalage. The Magyars, 
unlike the Germans, never made any attempt to colonize. 
They settled in a more or less compact mass in the wide 
alluvial territories of the Danube and the Theiss, preferring 
the boundless plains which reminded them of their Asiatic 
home to the impenetrable forests and beetling crags of the 
northern Carpathians ; and therefore the Slavs, when once 
they had survived the dangers of pillage and invasion, and 



had done homage to the conqueror, were long left practically 
undisturbed in their ancestral homes. 

St. Stephen, under the influence of his Bavarian wife, was 
the first Magyar to throw Hungary open to Western influences, 
and under him many important offices at court were assigned 
to German strangers. Above all, the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, which had been commenced by Prince Geza, but 
was definitely completed under his son King Stephen I., 
flooded the country with German monks and clergy ; and 
there can be little doubt that it was their nationality quite 
as much as their religion, which induced the remnants of 
the old pagan party to make their last despairing efforts at 
upheaval. While everything around the person of the mon- 
arch betrayed the paramount influence of the Germans, while 
Stephen was knighted, anointed, crowned wholly after German 
fashion, while more than one of the great offices of state be- 
trays its German origin, and even the far-famed Hungarian 
Constitution is deeply tinged with German colours ; there 
are on the other hand not a few traces of Slav influence upon 
the early development of Hungarian institutions. Indeed 
the system of county government introduced by King Stephen 
was to a large extent based upon existing Slav institutions ^ ; 
and it is possible to argue from the number of counties bear- 
ing names of Slav origin, that the old pre-Magyar local boun- 
daries have in many cases been preserved. Certain it is that the 
chief county official, the Ispan, or High Sheriff, is the successor 
of the ancient Slav 2;upan ; while the highest dignitary of 
the land, the Palatine or King's vicegerent, derived his Mag- 
yar title of Nadorispan from the Slav Nadvorni ^^upan, and 
even Kiraly, the Magyar word for king, betrays its derivation 
from the Slavonic " Krai." As Safafik once wrote to Palacky, 

*° Certain writers assert that the northern districts of Hungary were 
held as a special appanage by princes of the royal house, as for instance 
by Prince Geza II, who in 1072 asserted his right to the throne. The 
attempt to claim, him as the ruler of an autonomous " Slovakland " 
is, however, a mere vagary of modern racial sentiment, without any 
solid foundation of fact. Even were the existence of this " tertiapars 
regni " clearly established, it would no more prove the autonomy of 
the Slovaks than Edward I's famous action at Carnarvon proves the 
subsequent autonomy of the Welsh. SaSinek {Die Slovaken, p. 16) 
contends that the three hills in the arms of Hungary stand for the 
Slovak mountains, the cross for the Slovak Eastern Church, and the 
crown resting on the mountains for the Slovak princely crown. All this 
is frankly ridiculous, and no proof is adduced. 


I ■ ■ 


" the most ancient repository of Old Slav is to found in Mag- 
yar." " In this connection it is at least highly interesting 
to note that the Magyar word for " free " (szabad), is also 
derived from the Slav " svoboda " or " slobod."^^ 

One fact at any rate is beyond all dispute. St. Stephen 
was firmly convinced of the necessity for inoculating his 
subjects with Western ideas ; and that he wished his own 
efforts in this direction to become the fixed poHcy of his 
dynasty, is apparent from the famous passage in his letter 
of advice to his son Emmerich. " Treat the newcomers 
(hospites) well," writes the great king, " and hold them in 
honour, for they bring fresh knowledge and arms into the 
country ; they are an ornament and support of the throne, 
for a country where only one language and one custom pre- 
vails, is weak and fragile." Regnum unius linguae uniusque 
moris imbecille et fragile est. The consistency with which 
his successors acted upon his advice, has led more than one 
modern writer to reproach St. Stephen as the cause of Hun- 
gary's racial divisions and of the ahen colours which time has 
imparted to many of her institutions. But this argument is 
surely out of place in the mouths of men who are never 
tired of holding up Hungary as an example of a wild Eastern 
race worthily assimilating the highest culture of the West. 
Either this culture must be regarded as detrimental to the 
true Magyar character, and the merits of modern Hungary 
must be based on other grounds, or else full justice must 
be done to the great services of the West. 

•* The Magyar equivalents of such essential words as window, cup, 
butcher, smith, horseshoe, straw, hay, furrow, harrow, Thursday, 
Friday, are all of Slav origin. 

** The Slav and German influences upon Hungarian institutions are 
grudgingly admitted by Prof. Timon, at present the leading authority 
on Hungarian Constitutional law ( Ungartsche Verfassungs- und Rechts- 
geschichte, p. 142). This admission, however, directly contradicts his 
former statement (p. 57), that " in the new home of the Magyar nation 
there were no such elements of the population as could have laid claim 
to any special legal position, in their capacity as former ruling nation." 
Svatopluk's Empire is barely mentioned, and the adoption of Slav 
elements in the nobility of Hungary is also slurred over. Indeed 
throughout the book every reference to the very existence of Slavs 
in Hungary is so far as possible omitted. That this should be possible 
in the work of a ^\Titer of such undoubted eminence, speaks volumes 
for the conspiracy of silence of which even the most serious historical 
students have been guilty, in all that concerns the non-Magyar races 
of Hungary. 



f The virile and fiery character of the Magyars has enabled 
them to survive the hostile movements of a thousand years ; 
but they still retain too many qualities betraying their Asi- 
atic origin, to justify us in regretting the Germanic and Slavonic 
influences upon their race and country. 

The two centuries preceding the Mongol invasion (1241) 
are really a complete blank, so far as the Slovaks are con- 
cerned. But the fearful ravages wrought by the hordes of 
Zenghis Khan form a turning-point in the history of Northern 
Hungary. To fill the depopulated territory, B61a IV and 
his successors invited fresh German settlers into the country. 
Extensive grants of land and the most ample privileges of 
local government were not without their effect, and within 
little more than a century the northern counties, where 
hitherto the royal hunting-lodges had been almost the only 
signs of civilization, were studded with prosperous German 
townships. That the Slovak population must have been 
not only backward but scanty, is shown by the rapid progress 
made by the German element in the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries. As early as 1244 Karpfen, in 1254 Altsohl, 
and in 1255 Neusohl obtained the concession of German 
municipal law (Deutsches Stadtrecht) ; and in the fourteenth 
century, if not earlier, this was also enjoyed by Schemnitz, 
while the country round the latter town was almost entirely 
German.^' This was the golden age of the twenty-four Zips 
towns (notably Leutschau, Kasmarck, Kirchdorf, Iglau^*). 
Holding direct from the King, they formed a vanguard of 
German culture and commerce, a little world of their own 
amid the Magyar and Slav nobility and peasantry. The 
first inroad upon their power was dealt by the spendthrift 
Sigismund, who pawned thirteen of the Zips towns to Poland ; 
and their decay was consummated under the sad influence 
of religious dissensions. 

Nothing illustrates more strikingly the polyglot character 
of Hungary's population, than a study of the fortunes of 
these German towns and their surrounding districts. More 
than one place which enjoyed German Stadtrecht in the 

*' Gerod, now Kopanicza ; Syglesperch, now Hegybanya : Sekken, 
now Sekely : Diln, now Belabanya. These changes, it should be 
remarked, have been produced more or less automatically, long before 
Baron Banffy's scandalous law for the Magyarization of placenames 
(Kaindl, Geschichte dev Deutschen in den Karpathenldndern, II. pp. 1 50-3). 

** Now Locse, Kesmark, Szepesvaralja, Iglo. 



tM'&t'''' ~ 


-• ...V--^;. ■■■■» "."^^1^'^ 

- ■ ^ ' i-m-i™. 

J-„_... - ^J 



Leutschau (Locse). 


thirteenth or fourteenth centuries is to-day purely Slovak 
or Magyar ; there are quite as many instances of Magyar 
villages which are now Slovak, and vice versa ; while others 
have changed their language more than once in the course 
of the centuries. 

When early in the fourteenth century the male line of the 
House of Arpad became extinct, Hungary was for some years 
threatened with anarchy. Three rival claimants aspired to 
the vacant throne ; and the Angevin, Charles Robert, had 
to defend his rights against Wenceslas of Bohemia. Amid 
the ensuing disorders a mysterious figure arose in North 
Hungary, who has in recent times been unwisely claimed as 
a Slovak national hero.^ Matthew Csak of Trencsen, some- 
times described as " dominus Vagi et Tatrae," set the An- 
gevin king at defiance, used his geographical position to 
intrigue with Bohemia, and himself assumed a semi-regal 
magnificence. At the height of his power, he owned some 
thirty fortified castles, among them the mighty fortress of 
Trencsen, which occupies a superb and almost impregnable 
position on a steep spur above the river Vag. Csak held out 
longer than any of the other oligarchs who resisted the author- 
ity of Charles Robert ; but in 1321 the royal cause had suffi- 
ciently recovered to make a campaign against the great rebel 
possible. On the field of Rozgony, near the river Hemad, 
the power of Csak was utterly broken, and all hope of an 
autonomous principality in the north vanished for ever. But 
it would be entirely mistaken to imagine that Matthew Csak 
had any aspirations beyond those of tyrannous self-interest. 
He was merely one of those turbulent and powerful robber- 
barons in whom mediaeval chronicles are so rich ; and it is 
Gotz or Franz von Sickingen, not Robert Bruce or George 
Podiebrad, with whom he must be compared. The mists 
of racial prejudice cUng around his figure, and blind his ad- 
mirers to the probability that he was as self-seeking and 
ruthless as any other feudal lord. 

The foolish Slovak myth which makes of Matthew Csil4 t 
a national hero, has been met by the Magyar coimtercharge' / 
that the modem Slovaks are immigrants of the fifteenth 
century — a charge which can be traced to a similar racial 
bias and is equally incapable of proof. 

The fall of Matthew Csak placed Northern Hungary at the 
mercy of the King, who rewarded his loyal followers with 
'* Vlcek cit. Capek, The Slovaks, p. 103. 


grants of the rebel's lands. Under Charles Robert the first 
Hungarian mint was erected in Kremnitz (Korm6czbinya),and 
the mineral wealth of the Slovak districts was utilized for the 
first time. The reign of his son and successor, Louis the 
Great (1340-82), raised Hungary to a leading position 
among the Great Powers of Europe. His victorious cam- 
paigns against Naples and Venice, Ms conquests in Dalmatia, 
the recognition of his suzerainty over Bosnia and Wallachia, 
his union of the Crowns of Hungary and Poland, are events 
which belong to general European history and do not concern 
us here. Suffice it to say that Louis the Great's lack of a 
male heir is one of those personal factors which have influenced 
the whole course of history ; for the union of Hungary and 
Poland under a strong ruler at the close of the fourteenth 
century might have arrested the Turkish advance and even 
saved the decrepit Eastern Empire from its fate. 

While the Saxons of the Zips and of the Konigsboden re- 
tained their self-government, and Transylvania was adminis- 
tered by a royal Voivode, the Slav population of Northern 
Hungary relapsed once more into the obscurity of feudal rule. 
For feudalism, while it never acquired in Hungary the same 
disintegrating strength as in France or Germany, vented upon 
its dependents the lawlessness which it could not safely direct 
against the person of the monarch, and lingered later than 
in western countries. The anarchy which prevailed in Hun- 
gary during the opening years of the reign of Sigismund, the 
young husband of Louis' daughter Mary, strengthened the 
hold of the feudal lords upon the land, and not even the Hussite 
wars and the new influences which they introduced were able 
to destroy the taint. 

The Hussite wars were quite as much national as religious 
in character, and there can be little doubt that the sympathy 
of the Slovaks was on the side of their Czech kinsmen, though 
no record has survived of their share in the campaigns of 2i^ka 
and Procopius. The Emperor Sigismund, who was King of 
both Bohemia and Hungary, had come to terms with the 
rebellious Czechs the year before his death : but the premature 
death of his son-in-law and successor, the able Albert of Habs- 
burg, kindled fresh trouble in the sister kingdoms. The 
Slovak and German districts of North Hungary sided with the 
widowed queen Elizabeth and her posthumous infant Ladislas ; 
the Magyars, who felt the need of a strong ruler capable of 
leading them against the Turks, elected Vladislav of Poland. 



Civil war was the result. The party of Elizabeth crowned 
the baby king, and carried off the regalia of St. Stephen beyond 
the frontier. While Vladislav and the heroic Huny4dy were 
preparing for their great Balkan campaign, the Hussite leaders, 
Giskra of Brandys and Pongracz, occupied the whole north of 
Hungary from Pressburg to Eperjes, in the name of Elizabeth. 
Never had the dream of a middle Danubian Kingdom been nearer 
fulfilment than under Vladislav the Pole ; but the fatal field of 
Varna (1444) made its realization finally impossible and at the 
same time sealed the fate of the Eastern Empire. King and 
Legate paid with their lives for perfidy towards the infidel : 
Poland and Hungary again fell apart ; and nine years later the 
Crescent gained an entrance into Constantinople . The Hungarian 
Diet recognized Ladislas as Vladislav's successor, but, justly 
suspicious of Elizabeth and her evil counsellor the Count of Cilli, 
proclaimed John Hunyady as Regent. This decision Giskra 
and Pongracz lefused to acknowledge, and for almost twenty 
years the northern districts remained in Hussite occupation, 
especially the counties of Gomor, Hont, Zolyom, Zips, Trencsen 
and Nyitra. The number of immigrants from Bohemia must 
have been considerable, and traces of their influence still sur- 
vive in the architecture of North Hungary. Above all, they 
brought with them Hussite doctrines and the Hussite Bible ; 
and their success was so marked that Cardinal Julian won a 
promise from King Vladislav to extirpate the Hussites from 
Hungary. Fortunately his death at Varna prevented the 
fulfilment of the threat, and the alliance which the two parvenu 
kings, Matthias Corvinus and George Podiebrad, concluded 
between Hungary and Bohemia, secured for the Slovak heretics 
a further respite. It is true that Matthias at a later date (1468) 
posed as the champion of orthodoxy and waged war upon the 
power which he should have enlisted as his chief ally against 
the Turk ; but the great king was too convinced a supporter 
of civil authority to permit any wholesale onslaught upon those 
whose heresy did not rob them of the title of subjects. His 
campaigns against Bohemia were crowned with temporary 
success ; and the treaty of 1475 recognized Moravia and part of 
Silesia as belonging to the Crown of St. Stephen. Ten years 
later Matthias overran the Austrian Duchies and during the 
closing years of his reign Vienna became the capital of the King 
of Hungary. But the greatness of Matthias died with him, 
and the hatred or distrust of Hungary's chief neighbours — 
Bohemia, Poland and the Empire — was the chief legacy which he 



left to indolent and worthless successors. His own fair fame 
has lingered on in the significant proverb, " King Matthias is 
dead, and with him justice," while his Roumanian origin and 
Slav sympathies have not deterred modern writers from 
claiming him as a Magyar of the Magyars. 

Under Vladislav II (1490-1516) of the Polish House of Jagel- 
lon, Slav influences grew stronger, and the King, himself of 
course a Slav, employed the Czech language in opening more 
than one Hungarian Diet. Racial sympathies did not, how- 
ever, prevent him from introducing repressive measures 
against the Slovak heretics. In 1501 they were disqualified 
from holding any public office, and became liable to imprison- 
ment, or death in the event of refusing to recant. In 1508 
the persecution was renewed ; but Vladislav is said to have been 
so impressed by reading the Hussite confession of faith, that 
he ordered them to be left in peace. The Reformation, when it 
came, found a fertile soil in Hungary, and Lutheran doctrines 
spread rapidly throughout the Slovak districts. 



Reformation and Counter- Reformation 

THE reign of Matthias Corvinus was the golden era of 
Hungary's history. But the strength which his father 
had concentrated upon a defence of Europe against the Ottoman 
hordes was squandered by Matthias in reckless expansion 
to the north and west ; and after thus overtaxing instead of 
husbanding her strength, Hungary sank through the stages of 
exhaustion and lethargy to defeat and utter ruin. The same 
country whose repeated triumphs under Hunyady had won 
her the title of bulwark of the Christian West, was under 
the feeble Louis II almost wiped out of existence by the issue 
of a single battle. The defeat of Mohacs (1526) is the most 
decisive event in Hungarian history. A triple partition was 
the result, lasting for 160 years. The central Danubian 
plains, forming the real Magyar kern of the country, were 
as much a province of the Sultan as Servia or Bosnia, and 
Buda became the capital of a Turkish pasha. Transylvania, 
where native princes ruled over the three equal " nations " 
of Magyars, Saxons, and Szekels, and where an example of 
religious tolerance was set to the rest of Europe, secured its 
independence by owning the suzerainty of the Sultan. North 
Hungary, coinciding almost exactly with the Slovak districts 
of to-day, was at first contested by John Zapolya, a Slovak 
magnate whom the Diet and most of the Hungarian nobility 
recognized as their King, and after his death was held against 
all rivals by successive Habsburg rulers. The native Magyar 
princes who ruled Transylvania from 1540 onwards, were led 
into dependence upon the Sultan by the same train of cir- 
cumstances which induced Francis I to welcome the pirate 
Admiral Khaireddin as an ally of " the most Christian King " ; 
the Balance of Power, so clearly foreseen by Wolsey, was 
beginning to be recognized as an European necessity. But 
the constant relations with the Turks maintained by every 
Transylvanian prince and by every leader of a revolt in Hun- 



gary, rob the Magyars of the right to pose as the deliverers 
of Europe from the menace of the Crescent. That is an 
honour which must be shared by Magyar, German and Slav 
alike. Hunyddy, Sobieski, and Prince Eugene are equally 
noble representatives of the three races ; but the chief glory 

• is due to the House of Habsburg, which, despite its narrow 
bigotry and despotic sympathies, remained for centuries 
true to its mission as outpost of Western civilization. 

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Hungarian 
history is narrowed down to two issues — the struggle against 
the Turks, and religious persecution. In the case of the 
Slovaks, who have no history in the stricter sense of the term, 
their very existence was bound up with their religious fortunes, 
and this must be my excuse for devoting more space to ecclesias- 
tical than to civil affairs during the period in question. 

The sentiment of nationahty in its modern sense is a product of 
the French Revolution ; but it would be absurd to deny its 
decisive influence upon many of the greatest struggles of the 
Middle Ages. Above aU, it was one of the determining factors 

' ' in the Reformation, alike in the England of Wycliffe, the 
Bohemia of Hus and the Germany of Luther. Just as the 
chief strength of Hussitism lay in the national resistance to the ■ 
Germans, just as dislike of Italian methods and ideas lay at 
the root of much of the German opposition to Rome, so too 
racial sympathies contributed to the ease with which the 
Slovaks and Germans of North Hungary fell under the spell of 
Hussite and afterwards of Lutheran doctrine ; while the 
Magyars, perhaps partly for that very reason, eventually 
declared almost to a man for Calvinism. In North Hungary the 
Reformation found a specially fertile soil. Between the years 
1522 and 1564 something like 200 Slovaks are said to have studied 
at Wittenberg University, and among the leading Lutheran 
divines of that period in North Hungary occur fully more 
Slovak than German names. Luther's frank admission of 
the extent to which the writings of Hus had influenced his 
spiritual development, was doubtless not without its effect 
upon the Czechs and Slovaks, and the close commercial rela- 
tions which existed between the German colonists of Hungary 
and the great markets of Silesia and Saxony (especially Breslau 
and Leipzig) aided the dissemination of Lutheran doctrines. 
The Diets of 1523 and 1525 passed stringent laws against the 
new heresy, but though two Lutherans were burnt for their 
faith at Neusohl (1527), the movement spread far too rapidly 



to be suppressed in a time of such political weakness as that 
immediately following Mohacs. The comparative liberalism 
which has so frequently characterized the Hungarian episcopate, 
led some of the Bishops at this period to sympathize with the 
Augsburg Confession, and to concentrate their efforts against the 
more radical followers of Zwingli. This circumstance doubtless 
prompted the Lutherans of Hungary to define their religious 
position, and towards the middle of the century they drew 
up two distinct confessions of faith, which, based upon that 
of Augsburg, still form the foundations of their belief.^* 
Many of the great nobles adopted the new faith, notably the 
families of Thurzo, Illeshazy, Revay and Nadasdy, and their 
support was naturally a source of great strength to the Protes- 
tant cause in Hungary, until a century later the famous Primate, 
Cardinal Pizmany, succeeded in inducing most of the magnates 
to revert to the ancient faith. 

With the accession of the Emperor Rudolf (1576) the counter- 
Reformation made its entry into the Habsburg dominions, 
and ere long Jesuit influences were supreme at court, and the 
first mutterings of the storm of persecution were to be heard. 
The unconstitutional acts of Rudolf against the Hungarian 
Protestants was one of the prime causes of the revolt of Stephen 
Bocskay (1604). Rudolf was driven to make concessions, 
and foremost in the ensuing treaty of Vienna (1606) was a 
clause guaranteeing liberty of conscience. Two years later 
the incapable monarch surrendered the crowns of the Empire 
and of Hungary to his brother Matthias, reserving only his 
favourite Bohemia to himself. Matthias was received in 
Hungary with enthusiasm, and his first Diet conceded to 
every town and village the right to choose its own confession. 
Though later in the seventeenth century this provision gave 
the Jesuits an opening for applying the principle " cuius regio 
eius religio " to the reconverted magnates as owners of the 
soil, for the time being it seemed to promise a new lease of life 
to Protestantism, under the tolerant rule of Matthias H. The 
Lutheran Church was not slow to take advantage of the 
improved situation ; and in 1610 the Synod of Sillein, under 

** The Confessio PentapoUtana (i.e., of the five free towns of North 
Hungary — Leutschau, Eperjes, Bartfeld, Zeben, Kaschau) dates from 
1 549 ; that of the seven mountain towns (Kremnitz, Schemnitz, Neusohl, 
Libethen, Pukanz, Diln, Konigsberg), known as the Confessio Montana, 
was drawn up in 1558. The Calvinist Confessio Csengerina was pub- 
lished at Debreczen in 1570. 



Count George Thurzo, undertook the task of reorganization, 
reducing the districts (or synods) from seven to three and sub- 
dividing each into three seniorates (or presbyteries). ^^ 

But the tide was already turning in favour of CathoHcism, 
and Cardinal Pazmany was winning back to the ancient 
faith many of the leading families of Hungary, For the 
present the Emperor and his Jesuit advisers concentrated 
their efforts upon Bohemia ; and the prowess and diplomacy 
of Gabriel Bethlen, the celebrated Prince of Transylvania, 
stood the Protestants in good stead. But the Treaty of Linz 
(1645) which his successor George Rakoczy concluded with 
the House of Habsburg, and which assured not merely Tran- 
sylvanian autonomy, but also the absolute equality of the 
Catholic and Protestant religions throughout Hungary, con- 
cludes the series of concessions to the Protestants. Before 
many years had elapsed, it had become a worthless parch- 
ment, which merely served to prove the perfidy of the monarch, 
and so identified the cause of national freedom and the Pro- 
testant faith, as to inspire the proverb, " the Calvinist faith , 
is the Magyar faith." ^s « 

At the very moment when the Protestants were first threat- 
ened with persecution, a decisive breach was made in the 
old exclusive privileges of the German free towns of North 
Hungary. Holding direct from the King, they had hitherto 
restricted citizenship to men of German birth, and often 
went the length of insisting that no one could become judge 
or councillor unless he could prove all four grandparents 
to have been German ^^ ; nor would they tolerate that a noble 
should so much as own property within their walls. The 
extreme jealousy with which the nobles had always regarded 
these special privileges of the German burghers, prompted 
the Diet in 1542 to forbid the acquisition of noble land by 
the towns ; and in 1553 the towns were compelled to admit 
the fugitive nobles from the south, and to allow them to buy 
town houses, though without thereby acquiring the rights 
of citizenship. At length in 1608 and 1609 ^ further laws 

^'' A. Lipto, Arva, Trencsen, B. Tur6cz, N6grad, Hont. C. Bars, 
Nyitra, Pressburg. 

*' A calvinista hit, a magyar hit. 

^* Cp. Article xxxii. of Law of Buda : " Der (i.e., the judge) soil 
seinn ein deutscher man von alien seinen annen " (cit. Timon, op. cit. 
p. 722). 

'" Laws xiii. 1608 and xliv. 1609. 



were enacted, which gave the nobles the right to acquire 
property or build houses in the towns, and admitted them 
to all the privileges and liberties which such possession con- 
ferred. Most momentous of all, the Germans were obliged 
to admit the Magyars and Slovaks to municipal offices, which 
in many cases came to be held alternately by each of the 
three races. These innovations proved fatal to the German 
character of the towns, and the good burghers followed a 
true instinct when they stubbornly refused to comply. But 
resistance was hopeless, and merely brought upon them the 
infliction of heavy fines. Neusohl, one of the refractory 
towns, was in 1613 fined 2,000 florins and compelled to admit 
the Slovaks to its council ; by the eighteenth century the 
Slovaks formed a majority in the town, and the only privileges 
still retained by the Germans were the right of selling wine 
and of owning a house on the Ring, or central square. ^^ In 
Karpfen, which admitted the first Magyar in 161 1 and the 
first Slovak a year later, the German language had almost \ 
disappeared in the eighteenth century; and Deutsch-Lipcse,j y 
which had received German Stadtrecht in 1260, had by 1750 1 '"^ 
become entirely Slovak. In Csetnek from 1328 to 1623 , 
proceedings were conducted in German, but since then in 
Slav, and even a century ago Csetnek was regarded as the 
best place for acquiring a proper knowledge of Slovak. To-day 
there are many Slovak villages and families, which have re- 
tained their original German names.^^ 

The nobles, though pledged by the law of 1608 to share 
in the burdens of the other citizens, soon endeavoured to 
assert within the walls the same exemption from taxation 
which they enjoyed outside ; and they successively vindi- 
cated the free right of entry of wine, and then of com, for 
their own use, and finally refused to pay the town tolls. More- 
over, confusion arose regarding the rival jurisdictions of 
townsmen and nobles. In 1635 the latter were made answer- 
able to the town courts so far as their town property was 
concerned ; but in 1647 they succeeded in enforcing their 
claim that all their legal disputes should henceforth be decided 
not by town law, but by the general laws of the country. 
Thus the county judge, or Vice Sheriff (Alispdn) effected an 
entrance into the free towns, some of them became the seats 

2* See Kaindl, op. cit. II. 43, sqq. 

** e.g. Modem, Karpfen (Korpona), Bries, Donnersmarkt. See 
Schwartner, Statisiik des Konigreichs Ungarn, II. p. 121, sqq. 



of the county courts of justice, and the county officials began 
to play a part in town affairs. The onslaught of the nobles 
upon the towns corresponded with the revival of religious 
persecution, and was used by the central authorities as a means 
towards the extirpation of heresy. It is necessary that 
emphasis should be laid upon this struggle in a book which 
attempts to trace the history of the Slovaks ; for although 
the inroads thus made upon German monopoly seemed at 
first to bring advantages to the Slovaks, their ultimate effect 
was to pave the way for the Magyar hegemony in its modern 
sense, by paralysing the only non-Magyar race which might 
have been capable of effective resistance. If the northern 
towns instead of a mere vague consciousness of their German 
origin, had preserved into the nineteenth century the strong 
national sentiment of the Transylvanian Saxons, and the 
organization which made it possible, then the events of 
1848 might have taken a very different course. 

The reign of Leopold I (1657-1703), at once the least 
able and most bigoted of Habsburg rulers, is disfigured by 
more than one ferocious persecution of the Protestants. In 
1673 the orders of a clerical dictator were enforced by a brutal 
soldiery, special tribunals were erected in the north and east 
of Hungary for the trial of heretics, and sixty Protestant 
pastors and teachers were sold as galley-slaves to the Viceroy 
of Naples. 33 These atrocities goaded Hungary into revolt, 
and the national leader, Emerich Tokoli, did not hesitate 
to form an alliance with the Turks on the occasion of their 
final siege of Vienna (1683). Even the cruel provocation 
which drove Tokoli to such a step, cannot wipe out the stain 
which attaches to an otherwise honourable name ; the most 
that can be said is that his opponents in their turn disgraced 
a splendid cause by their cruelty and intolerance. For while 
the Imperialist armies in a series of brilliant campaigns were 
driving the Turks from Hungary, the Blood- Tribunal of 
Eperjes — an institution worthy of the Killing Time in con- 
temporary Scotland — was spreading fresh terror among the 
Lutherans of the north. When the Hungarian Diet met 
in 1687, not even the news of the recovery of Buda could 
induce the delegates to discuss the royal proposals until 

*3 A monument to Admiral Van Ruyter, outside the great Calvinist 
college of Debreczen, commemorates the deliverance of these victims 
of the faith by the gallant Dutchman, after his naval victory off Syracuse. 




orders had been issued putting a stop to these barbarous 
executions. The worst of the persecution was now over, 
but although the Magyar Calvinists held their own inDebreczen 
and the great plain of the Theiss (Tisza), the Lutheran Church 
in North Hungary never recovered its former position. It 
had been deprived of many hundred churches and almost 
all its schools : large numbers of its adherents had been for- 
cibly driven to mass, and the Jesuits skilfully used the ancient 
trade guilds as an instrument of proselytism. The fatal 
Slav trait of submissive surrender to authority asserted itself 
once more ; and persecutions such as fired the Celtic blood 
of Scotland and Ireland to undying resistance, drove the 
majority of the Slovaks to forget the glorious traditions of 
their Hussite ancestors, and to submit meekly to the commands 
of Rome. 

The Diet of 1687 opens a new epoch in Hungarian history. 
The monarchy is no longer elective but hereditary ; and the 
celebrated clause of the Golden Bull, which by legalizing 
insurrection under certain conditions gave a singular bias 
to Hungary's constitutional development, is now solemnly 
abrogated. Strangely enough, the most brilliant and 
determined of all Hungarian risings was reserved for the 
period immediately following this renunciation. For eight 
years, from 1703 to 171 1, Francis Rakoczy held his own 
against the Austrian arms, conducted elaborate intrigues 
with the courts of St. Petersburg and Paris, and even went the 
length of proclaiming the deposition of the Habsburg 
dynasty.^* But independence lay beyond the powers of 
Rakoczy, and the Treaty of Szatmar (171 1) drove him into 
exile and left the Habsburgs free to pursue their triumphant 
mission against the Turks. 

To us Prince Eugene is best known as the comrade of Marl- ^ 
borough in the great French wars ; but his noblest victories 
were won upon the Middle Danube as the champion of Western 
Christendom. The recovery of Temesvar (1716) and the 
conquest of Belgrad (1717) removed the last traces of the 
Turkish occupation : the conquering generals organized the 

3* This last action of Rak6czy's explains his canonization by the pres- 
ent Kossuthist party, who see in him a prototype of Louis Kossuth at 
Debreczen. They conveniently ignore the fact that it was Rakoczy 
who first taught the Slavs of Hungary to look to Russia and encouraged 
the Czar to interfere in Hungarian affairs. Instead of idolizing Rakoczy's 
memory, the Pan-Magyars ought to decry him as the first Pan-Slav. 

R.P.H. 33 D 


" Military Confines " as a permanent bulwark against fresh 
invasion, and took up the task of reclaiming the ricli alluvial 
soil which the ravages of war had converted into a malarious 
desert. I^opold I had already repeopled part of the south with 
Serb reiugees under their Patriarch Arsenius and had guaran- 
teed -co them a special privileged position ; now Charles III 
•and Maria Theresa introduced many thousands of German 
settlers from Swabia and Alsace into the plains on either 
side of the Danube. Even the Slovaks were represented 
in this racial mosaic which was forming in the south, and 
to-day their descendants number 15,000 in the county of 
Torontal and 28,000 in the county of Bacs. 

For the Habsburg dominions as a whole, the eighteenth 
century was a period of consolidation and increased prestige, 
since the geographical laws which prescribe the existence 
of a powerful Danubian state asserted themselves with signal 
effect. For Hungary, however, it was a period of stagnation, 
of slow recovery from the wounds inflicted by the Turkish 
conquest. The failure of Rikoczy marked the close of a 
long era of discord, perfidy and foreign rule, and led by mutual 
consent to a constitutional settlement. Easily roused to 
passionate resistance, the true Magyar is generous to a degree 
in consignng past injuries to oblivion : the countless infringe- 
ments of the constitution were forgotten, and the dynasty's 
great services in the deliverance of Hungary from the infidel 
were frankly recognized as a title to lasting gratitude. The 
Pragmatic Sanction, confirmed in 1723 by the Hungarian 
Diet, forms the real basis of the Dual System as elaborated 
under Deak in 1867. Hungary emerges once more from 
the ex-lex condition to which the battle of Mohacs had reduced 
her ; but while restored to a footing of full legal equality 
with her Cisleithan sister, she deliberately restricts her free- 
dom of action in certain directions, and in doing so imposes 
similar restrictions upon her neighbour. The Crow^n of 
St. Stephen remains a hereditary possession of the House 
of Habsburg so long as male descendants of Maria Theresa 
survive ; and the significance of this fact is in no way affected, 
when we admit that the Hungarian Pragmatic Sanction is a 
compact between crown and nation, and that the sovereign 
undertakes on his part corresponding obligations. So long 
as two states have one and the same sovereign, neither can 
claim for itself that absolute freedom of action and that mutual 
irresponsibility which the two jointly exercise against a third 



state. A state has been created on the Middlc=^ Danube which 
forms a distinct category of its own ; for though neither of 
its two component parts is subject to the other, yet they 
are interdependent rather than independent, sinco they form 
a single unit in the European commonwealth and sirice the 
dynastic link is indissoluble and rests upon unity in defence 
in representation and in credit.^ 

The Pragmatic Sanction bore practical fruit when Maria 
Theresa, threatened on all sides by a hostile European coali- 
tion, won the hearts of the Hungarian Diet by her beauty 
and her tears. History has reduced to its just proportions 
the famous scene when the assembled nobles greeted their 
young Queen with the impassioned cry, " Vitam et sanguinem 
pro rege nostro Maria Theresa." That this display of loyalty 
was preceded by a rigorous bargain and in particular by the 
remission of taxes to the noble classes of Hungary, throws 
an interesting light upon the strange blend of chivalry and 
legalism in the Magyar character, but cannot obscure the 
sterling services rendered by Hungary in the wars against 
Frederick the Great. Maria Theresa preserved throughout 
life a warm sympathy for the Hungarian nation, and suc- 
cessfully employed all the wiles of a great ruler and a fascinating 
woman to preserve her popularity. None the less the Prag- 
matic Sanction was violated in more than one respect during 
her reign, and the way was prepared for that assimilating 
process, which her successor sought to carry out. 

Joseph II combined the temperament of the French Revo- 
lution 36 and the enHghtened austerity of the ancient Greeks 
with those prosaic and pedantic qualities which are unjustly 
regarded as typical of the average German. Born out of 
due time, he imagined that the traditions of the Middle Ages 
Ctratd be banished by a stroke of the pen ; and in his eager 
desire to reorganize his dominions as a modern state and to 
weld its polyglot races into a single people, he set law and 
custom alike at defiance. Too conscientious to take an oath 
which ran counter to his convictions, he refused to be crowned 
King of Hungary. Determined not to be hampered by 
refractory nobles, he ceased to convoke the Diets of the various 

** An accurate German translation of the Hungarian Pragmatic 
Sanction (Article II of 1722-3) is contained in Die ungarischen Ver- 
fassungsgesetze, ed. by Dr. Gustav Steinbach. (Manz'sche 'Ausgabe) 
1900, pp. 4-6. 

'* See Sayous, Histoire generale des Hongrois, 



kingdoms and provinces. Not content with dispensing with 
the constitution, he introduced German as the official lan- 
ryf guage of his ervtire dominions, abohshed the ancient county 
^''^- autonomy of Hungary, and divided the country into ten 
circles or provinces, each under a German official. Universal 
opposition was the result of these proceedings, and almost 
oil nis deathbed he was compelled to revoke the reforms to 
which he had devoted his life. His failure was due not merely 
to the illegality of his methods but to the fact that his self- 
imposed task far exceeded the powers of a single man. Joseph 
II is one of the most tragic figures in the history of his cen- 
tury. If integrity and lofty idealism were the sole qualities 
requisite in a monarch, none would dare to challenge his 
pre-eminence : but nature had cruelly denied to him the 
essential gift of tact without which in the modern world even 
the most gifted ruler is foredoomed to failure. None the 
less, the impartial historian cannot fail to recognize the bene- 
ficial results of Joseph's reforms, even while he condemns 
the methods adopted to enforce them. Over sixty years 
were to elapse before the emancipation of the peasants, which 
he sought to achieve by arbitrary decree, was adopted by i 
the Hungarian Diet. The barbaric administration which ' 
is still the curse of the country, would long have been a thing 
of the past, had his reforming measures survived in legal 
form ; while all subsequent judicial reforms in Hungary have 
been based upon the Josephan system. His firm policy 
towards the Papal Curia has left its mark upon the relations 
of Vienna and the Vatican, and even in the most reactionary 
moments his successors have never abandoned the claim 
which Joseph II first enforced, that all new Bishops should 
swear allegiance to their temporal rather than to their spiritual 

t master. 
The immediate result of the Josephan era was a great 
revival of national feeling among the Magyars. The spirit 
/ , of nationality was in the air, and was encouraged by the 
appearance of more than one poet of ability, and of philologists 
who did much to adapt the Magyar language to modem 
requirements. But the movement could never have assumed 
such serious dimensions unless Joseph had alienated the 
great nobles of Hungary and driven them into the arms of 
; the opposition. What the imposition of the German language 
merely began, was completed by the abohtion of the coimty 
assemblies (then even more than now the preserve of a few 



powerful families) j^iid still more by the emancipation of 
t he peasa nt s. Pride and pocket were equally affected, and 
tfiepnrewEich Joseph's brother and successor Leopold n 
had to pay far recondhation with the outraged nation, was 
th« TP¥iiw»l of feudal dues and bondage. Despite this unhappy 
blemish on its character, the great Diet of 1790-1 deserves 
a pbrft ^f h^ giirintlw annals of HuUgiuy: — JB»e-4 lic c on- 
stitutional rights ^ the nation are f:r '^^ f:r5t time restated 
in^mCSlE fe phraseolo gy, ine gm^ :...:_: :. crowned within 
six months ot his accession, and until the ceremony has taken 
place, he cannot exerdse his full sovereign rights. The Diet 
is to be summoned every three years, and without its con- 
sent no tax or loan may be raised and no soldiers may be 
le\ied. The legislative power rests jointiy in the hands of 
the lawfully crowned king and of the Estates assembled in 
a lawful Diet, and cannot be exercised save through the 
latter. Above all, the famous Article X reasserts Hungary's 
free and independent position, and expressly declares that 
it is to be governed " according to its own laws and cnstoms 
and not after the manner of the other provinces." *' As 
the latest historian of the Ausgleich has aptly remarked, this 
formula is a resume of historic Dualism.* All the essentia l 
pnjnt^ whirh fh«» r/>fnprf)ini<«» "f DmIc c ontains, are alread y 
to be fou nd in the laws of i7QCb rT Hmy ^as in all Hungaria n 

affairs, the diffpnpnr/^ Tip«t nf>t in thf^ thpnry hnf in th«^ prartirp. 

In 1867 the pohtical constellation of Europe was favourable 
to the Mag3rars, and they were left free to translate the words 
of the Compromise into action ; in 1791 Europe was on the 
brink of a catastrophe, and the desperate struggle of the Habs- 
burgs against Napoleon absorbed all those energies which 
might have been devoted to constitutional development. 
Once mgre^ H nngary c ontented herself with the l^al asser- 
tionl>f heTrigbtl. andldlowed th^itimUUiUli H (ItSSTIetter 
for the next generation. When forty jTcais ago she became 
in fact as well as in theory ho" own mistress, the evil practice 
had become ingrained in her constitution, and to-day a whole 
series of vitally important laws adorn the statute book without 
any serious attempt being made to enforce ax.number of their 
chief provisions. 

" Propriis legiboset cansaetadmibas, non vero ad normam aliamm 
» Fiswimann. Le Com p romis Austro-Homgrois de 1867. p. 29. 



The Rise of Magyar Nationality 

" Wer mir meine Sprache verdrangt, will mir auch meine Vernunft 
und LebensweJse, die Ehre und die Rechte meines Volkes rauben." 

— Herder. 

BY the middle of the eighteenth century the Magyar language 
was in very real danger of dying out. Latin was the 
language of the government, the administration, the law 
courts, of common intercourse between educated people ; 
and the astute policy of Maria Theresa had won over the great 
nobles of Hungary to German customs and ways of thinking. 
Contact with the Court and intermarriage with the Austrian 
aristocracy rapidly turned" them into little better than Germans, 
and their demoralizing example had begun to spread among 
the gentry and educated classes, while the towns were mainly 
German already. It was Joseph II's mistaken attempt to 
establish German as the universal language of his dominions, 
that roused Hungary from her lethargy. An able linguistic 
reformer arose in Francis Kazinczy, and simultaneously the 
ideas of the French Revolution led to a great revival of 
national feeling among the Magyars, whose virtual monopoly 
of political power survived every infringement of the con- 
stitution and secured to them the control of the nation's 
destiny. The magnates ceased to be ashamed of their native 
tongue, and in many instances placed themselves at the head 
of the new movement. At the Diet of 1790-1, which cele- 
brated the restoration of the Hungarian constitution, the 
first linguistic laws made their appearance. Professors of 
Magyar language and literature were appointed in all g3^mna- 
siums, and Magyar became a regular subject of instruction. 
Henceforth the success of the movement was assured, and 
the enthusiasm evoked in Hungary during the Napoleonic 
Wars, though silenced later by the ingratitude of Francis I, 
certainly contributed towards the Magyar renaissance. Dur- 



ing the universal reaction which followed the Congress of 
Vienna, the Hungarian Diet was not summoned, and for 
ten years the County Assemblies resumed their traditional 
function of bulwarks of the constitution. They have been 
accused, not without justice, of pettifogging and rabulistic 
methods, of corruption and laissez faire ; but even the most 
hostile critic must admit that their sturdy resistance saved 
Hungary from the police system of Metternich and Sedlnitzky, 
and at length in 1825 compelled the Government to summon 
parliament once more. The trend of opinion w^as clearly 
shown by the prominence given in the Address to a demand 
for the erection of Magyar (" the national language " — a 
nemzeti nyelv — as it was now called) into the official language .f, 
of state. The devotion inspired by the narrow cause of Magyar - \ 
nationality revealed itself with growing frequency in the ^' 
course of the debates. More than one deputy had lamented 
the lack of funds which prevented the formation of a national 
learned society, when Count Stephen Szechenyi rose from - 
his seat and offered to this cause his entire income for the year. 
A scene of indescribable enthusiasm ensued, and his example 
was followed by a number of the other magnates present. 
Such was the dramatic debut of the man whom the next 
generation acclaimed as " the greatest Hungarian," such 
was the birthday festival of the Hungarian Academy of 

The year which saw the definite establishment of the Academy ■" 
(1830) marks a fresh stage in the progress of the Magyar 
language. By Article VHI of that year the Diet made a 
knowledge of Magyar obligatory for all persons holding any 
public office or an advocate's diploma : enjoined the Palatine's 
Council (perhaps best known by its German title of Statthalt- 
ereirath) to answer in Magyar all communications which it 
might receive in that language, and bound over the Curia 
to conduct in Magyar all cases where a Magyar application , ^ 
was made. With every year the tide of national feeling ran \ ^ 
more strongly, and the efforts of politicians were ably seconded 
by a brilliant band of poets, dramatists and novelists. This 
was the golden age of Magyar literature : the names of Voros- 
marty, Arany and Kisfaludy would add lustre to the records 
of any Western literature, while the political and economic 
writings of Szechenyi produced an effect upon his own nation, 
for which there are few parallels in history. Amid the general 
decay which has characterized Himgarian public life in the twen- 


The rise of magyar nationality 

tieth century, the Magyar patriot must often look back regret- 
fully upon the giants that inhabited the earth in those days. 
In the Diet of 1835-6 the " national language " made a further 
k/ step in advance. The use of Magyar was extended to courts 
\/\ of second instance, though still as an alternative to Latin, 
^ and Magyar verdicts were made compulsory. Laws were to 
be published no longer in Latin only, but in Latin and Magyar. 
All official documents might henceforth be drawn up in Magyar, 
though this still remained optional. In aU parishes where 
Magyar services were held, the registers must in future be 
drawn up in Magyar. This last provision which at first sight , 
would seem of less practical importance, is really in many 
ways the most significant of all, when we realize what bitter 
struggles were already being waged in more than one Slovak 
community against the forcible introduction of Magyar priests 
and Magyar sermons.^^ These innovations, to which the 
government yielded with considerable reluctance, only served 
to rouse the national apostles to redoubled efforts. Certainly, 
no one contributed so much to their success as Louis Kossuth, 
who had already won a name by editing lithographed reports 
of the parliamentary debates, in defiance of the Government's 
disapproval. So enormous was the effect produced by these 
reports, that after the close of the Diet he continued to 
publish a similar manuscript journal under the title of O^cial 
News {Tdrvenyhatosdgi Tudositdsok), which contained admir- 
able reports of political life and progress in every county and 
Royal town in Hungary. His persistence in this publication 
brought upon him a sentence of four years' imprisonment ^ 
and thus earned for him his truest title to fame, as champion 
and vindicator of Liberty of the Press. 

After a short breathing-space the national struggle was 
resumed at the Diet of 1839, during which the great name of 
Dedk first comes into real prominence as a leader of the more 
moderate Opposition. For the first time the Addresses to 
the Sovereign were drawn up in the Magyar language only 
— an innovation which kindled immense enthusiasm.'*^ En- 

" See pp. 61, 64. 

*o It was during his time in prison that Kossuth acquired that know- 
ledge of the EngHsh language, which was to prove so invaluable to him 
in his early years of exile. 

*^ In the words of Horvath, 25 Jahre aus der Geschichte Ungarns (I. 
p. 551), " after centuries the Hungarian now once more greeted his king 
in his national language." 

Article vi., 1840. See also Horvath, I. pp. 552-3. 



couraged by this success, the Estates proceeded to formulate \ 
far-reaching linguistic demands ; Magyar, they claimed, must , \( 
become the exclusive language of the Government (adminis- / 
tration and executive alike), of all schools and places of educa- 
tion, and of all Hungarian regiments. Without committing 
himself to so comprehensive a programme, the King extended 
his sanction to a new law ^^ which has influenced the whole 
subsequent course of Hungarian history. By it, (i) Magyar 
became the official language of the government ; (2) after a 
lapse of three years all registers throughout the country must 
be kept in Magyar only ; ^^ and (3) a knowledge of Magyar is 
enjoined upon the clergy of all denominations. But the appetite 
of the Magyars was insatiable, and every fresh concession 
led to more extravagant demands. That lack of perspective 
which has always been the bane of Hungarian politics, 
blinded the ruling classes of the day to the inevitable reaction 
which further legislation of this kind must produce among 
the other races of the country, who despite their political 
impotence were strong in numbers and came of a virile 
stock. In the early forties a wave of Chauvinism engulfec^ 
the Magyars and assumed with every year more alarming 
dimensions, until in 1848 a dreadful Nemesis plunged friend 
and foe alike into the gulf of revolution and internecine [ 
war. At the same time the principles of press freedom for I 
which Kossuth had suffered rapidly asserted themselves. A 
number of ably conducted journals sprang into existence—^ 
all with one exception on the narrowest racial lines. Above 
all the Pesti Hirlap, Kossuth's own brilliant paper, marked a 
new departure and almost immediately acquired immense 
influence ; while its only serious rival, the Vildg, was all too 
soon placed hors de combat by the death of its editor. Count 
Aurel Desewffy, who, had he lived, might have altered the 

** As in so many similar movements, enthusiasm outran knowledge, 
and in the reports of parliamentary proceedings published in Jelenkor 
/ in 1840, it is striking to notice how continually a Latin or German 
term is inserted within brackets for the guidance of readers still un- 
familiar with the technical phrases which were being coined in Magyar : — 
e.g., jegyzo (actuarius), beiktato (protocollista). 

*' The second of these provisions involved the third, since registra- 
tion remained in the hands of the clergy till the year 1895. Henszl- 
man, a leading Magyar apologist of the forties, unenviably distinguished 
by his dishonest casuistry, calmly justifies this clause on the ground 
that even a Chinaman could learn in a few hours how to keep registers 
in Magyar ! {Vierteljahrsschrift aus 6* fiir.Ungarn. Bd. II. p. 203). 




course of Hungarian history. Unhappily the racial intolerance 
of which we shall have to speak later, spread through the 
entire Press, and the few journals which took up a moderate 
attitude in the racial question, were just those which carried 
least weight with the Magyar reading public. The very genuine 
ardour which inspired all educated Magyars, infected the 
somewhat backward Slav nobility of the North, who, like most 
renegates, soon outbid the true-blood Magyars in racial Chau- 
vinism. The Slav " common nobles," *^ being ignorant and 
without leaders, were unable to make an effectual stand for 
linguistic rights, and too often allowed themselves to be swept 
away by the current. MagjT'ar influences became supreme 
in the County Assemblies, and none but their nominees could 
be appointed as delegates to the central Diet ; while the Royal 
towns, whose representatives alone could have redressed the 
balance, were restricted to two collective votes (or no more 
together than the smallest county singly) and thus exercised 
no real control upon the Diet's action. The new linguistic 
law which was passed by the diet of 1843-4,*^ was by far the 
most stringent of any that had yet appeared, and bore within 
itself the seeds of future trouble, (i) Magyar became the 
exclusive language of- i:he legislatur£^ the Government and 
official business. (2) Magyar was further declared to be the 
exclusive language of public instruction, but this monstrous 
innovation was left to be dealt with by a special law. (3) 
National arms and colours were to be placed on all public 
buildings — a happy change which meant a great deal in the 
evil days when absolutism still ruled in Cisleithania. (4) 
The three Slavonian counties ^^ and the Hungarian Littoral 

** A Koznemesseg (der gemeine Adel). The word " noble " had a 
significance of its own in Hungary previous to 1848. " Nobility " and 
political rights coincided, and hence the invariable reward of services 
to the state was admission to the ranks of the nobles, through which 
alone such rights could be enjoyed (and with them after 1740 the equally 
coveted exemption from taxation). In this way whole villages were some- 
times ennobled, especially during the Turkish wars, and as the privilege 
was hereditary, there arose a class of "common nobles " who possessed the 
same rights as the gentry, yet could make no pretence to gentility. 
Their votes turned the scale at the sexennial elections to the county 
assemblies, and there thus was developed the " Cortesch " system, under 
which the rival candidates feasted and boarded impecunious " noble " 
voters for days before the election and marshalled them in battle 
array when the polling day arrived. 

** Article II, 1844. See also Horvath, op. cit. II. 192-3. 

*' Pozega, Verocze, and Szerem, now part of Croatia-Slavonia. 



were exempted for six years, in order that the officials if not 
the population might during that period acquire a knowledge 
of Magyar ; but after that date they were to be subject to the 
same regulations as the rest of the country. (5) In Croatia, 
though Latin was to remain the language of the lawcourts 
and of internal administration, Magyar was to be the sole 
language of intercourse under all circumstances with all Hun- 
garian authorities. As a solitary concession to the Croats, 
it was laid down that Magyar was not to be made their language 
of instruction, but only a compulsory subject in all their schools. 
This intolerant law gave a great incentive to the Illyrian 
cause in Croatia, and led to the most violent recriminations 
between the Croats and the Magyars. While Kossuth declared 
himself unable to find Croatia on the map, and with incredible 
folly brought forward a motion in the Pest county assembly 
for Croatia's exclusion from Hungary, Louis Gaj , the champion 
of Illyrism, consoled himself with prophetic confidence for 
the temporary check administered to his cause.*' Not merely 
the whole spirit of the debates, but more than one passage in 
the law itself, revealed Magyarization as the leading motive 
of the Diet and of the dominant classes of Hungary ; while 
the clause referring to education made it abundantly clear to 
all the non-Magyar races that the near future threatened 
them with fresh onslaughts on their language and nationality. 
Voices were to be heard on all sides arguing that the " national 
language " must be imposed upon the so-called " foreign inhabi- 
tants " of the country, and a dozen fantastic schemes were 
aired for their speedy absorption into what is now known as 
the one and indivisible Magyar nation. A minority of the 
population, conscious of its strength and full of an enthusiasm 
which would have carried many a better cause to victory, 
offered a direct challenge to the majority, which was weak 
in all save numbers and obstinacy. The challenge was taken 
up, and the world can still read the passionate answer in the 
racial war of 1848. 

*' " To-day," he had cried in 1840 to his opponents, " you are in the 
majority, few^ the child as it is born is mine " ; and the failure of the 
Magyarophil party at the elections of 1908 to secure a single seat in 
the Croatian Diet, has supplied a late fulfilment of this prophecy. 



The Beginnings of Slovak Literature 

Za tu na§u slovencinu (For our Slovak language) — the motto of the- 
Slovaks in their present struggle for liberty. 

THE language of the Slovaks, called by themselves " slo- 
vensky gazyk," or " slovencina," forms the transition 
from Czech to Wendo-Croat, and is not far removed from the 
liturgical dialect known as Old Slavonic. Its resemblance to 
Czech, and the fact that most Slovak writers previous to the 
nineteenth century employed the latter language, made the 
well-known philologist Dobrowsky put forward the theory 
that Slovak was identical with Czech in its early stages.*^ At a 
later date he withdrew this theory and admitted Slovak to be a 
distinct Slav dialect *^ : and this has been placed beyond dispute 
by the development of the last half century. Dobrowsky's 
original belief admits of a very simple explanation. Till the 
most recent times the Slovaks were without any literature of 
their own, and as they never attaiied to a distinct political 
existence, the Slovak language was deprived of all centripetal 
influences, and was hence affected by all the neighbouring 
languages and dialects. Apart, however, from various unim- 
portant nuances, three well-defined dialects of Slovak can be 
distinguished : — (i) Moravian-Slovak, in the counties of Press- 
burg, Nyitra and Trencsen and in some of the racial islets in 
South Hungary ; (2) Polish-Slovak, in the counties of Saros, 
Zips, Abauj, Zemplen and part of Arva.^" (3) Slovak proper, 
in the counties of Turocz, Arva, Lipto, Zolyom, Bars, Nograd, 
Pest and Gomor, which, forming the centre of the Slovak dis- 
tricts are naturally the best protected from alien influences. 

** Palacky takes the same view (see Gedenkbldtter , p. 41), where he 
says that Slovak cannot be described as an inferior or corrupted Czech, 
but that it is more historically correct to describe Czech as a develop- 
ment from Slovak. 

*• Geschichte der hohmischen Spy ache (1818), p. 32. 

**• The Sotak dialect is a Magyarized form of this. 



Of all the surrounding languages, Ruthene, doubtless because 
the most backward, seems to have left least trace upon Slovak ; 
and according to reliable information, the linguistic frontier 
between the Ruthenes and the Slovaks has moved no less than 
30 kilometers in as many years at the expense of the former. 
Up to the fifteenth century all inscriptions in " Slovensko," 
are in Latin ; but from that time onwards Czech influence 
predominates. The Czech language effected an entrance to- i 
gether with Hussite tenets, and became the language in which 
the scriptures were read and the church services conducted. 
The materials for a national literature were entirely lacking, 
and the Reformation, which had so strangely depressing an 
effect upon literature throughout Europe, strengthened the 
sway of the Czech language among the Slovaks by limiting 
literary effort to devotional subjects. Meanwhile the schools 
which were founded in Slovensko during the sixteenth cen- 
tury ^^ naturally concentrated their attention on Latin, in which 
all public business was conducted, administration and judica- 
ture alike. Printing presses were erected in the towns of North 
Hungary during the last quarter of the sixteenth century ,'^2 
but as the German element was paramount in some, and grow- 
ing stronger in others, what was printed was almost entirely 
in German or in Latin. Pruno, who was pastor of Freistadl 
(Galgocz) till 1586, published a Latin-Slovak Catechism, and 
another pastor translated the Confession of the Five Towns 
into Slovak. But the neglect of the Slav language had become 
general, and Benedicti, in the preface to his Bohemian Gram- 
mar (1603), makes this fact the subject of a plaintive and some- 
what hopeless lecture to his countrymen. ^^ It is doubtful 
whether his words produced much effect, for religious dissensions 
and the desolations of war proved fatal to all literary pursuits or 
interests for many decades to come. Just as the triumph of the 
Hussites had reacted upon " Slovensko," so the fall of Bohemia 

'^ Between 1525 and 1597 seventeen schools were founded in differ- 
ent towns of " Slovensko " (Safarik, Gesch. der slavischen Sprache 
und Liieratur, p. 381). 

»* The earliest at Schintau in 1574 (Safarik, op. cit. p. 384). 

*' Cit. Safarik, op. cit. p. 382. He exhorts " mei gentiles Slavi " . . . 
" apud quos excolendae eorum linguae maxima est negligentia, adeo 
ut nonnulli, si non tantum non legar t bohemicos libros, sed ne in suis 
bibliothecis uUum habeant, gloriosum id sibi ducant. Hinc fit, ut, 
quum de rebus illis domestica lingua est disserendum, semilatine eos 
loqui oporteat. Cetera inconunoda neglecti eius studii non perse- 



\ in 1619 had a depressing effect upon Slovak development. The 
' troubles of the seventeenth century made all literature impos- 
* sible, and among all the races of Hungary Zrinyi — now a bone 
of contention between Magyars and Croats — is the solitary 
literary figure. Such books as were published were more than 
ever of a rehgious or devotional character — a very natural 
revulsion of feeling from the horrors of the Thirty Years' War, 
While Paul Gerhart was composing the hymns which are still 
the glory of the Lutheran Church in Germany, George 
Tranowsky, pastor of Lipto St. Miklos, published in 1635 at 
Leutschau the first Czecho-Slovak hymn-book Cithara Sanct- 
orum, which has ever since been the favourite book of de- 
votion of the Lutheran Slovaks.^ 

" It was the impulse of religion which laid the foundation of 
> native literature among the Slovaks."^ Strangely enough, the 
V__Catholic Church and the Jesuits, who had been the foremost 
enemies of nationalism in Bohemia, were the first to encourage 
the Slovak vernacular, their chief object being doubtless the 
erection of a barrier against the heretical influences of the lan- 
guage of Hus. While the Protestants clung closely to the 
Czech language, the Catholic clergy began to write and preach 
in the dialect of the common people. In the year 1718 Alex- 
ander Macsay, a zealous Paulinian monk, published a collec- 
tion of his sermons delivered in the Western Slovak dialect as 
spoken in the neighbourhood of Tyrnau.^® The Jesuit fathers of 
Tyrnau — then the chief stronghold of Catholicism in Hungary 
and from 1636 till 1777 the seat of her only University — fol- 
followed this up by publishing several religious books in a mix- 
ture of Czech and Slovak. Their common object was to win 
the sympathy and affections of the peasantry for the Catholic 
Church, and it is probable that their wise policy completed in 
many districts of the West the process which the more brutal 
methods of Leopold I and his advisers had begun. The re- 
vived interest in the vernacular is reflected in the preface writ- 
ten by Matthew Bel or BeUus, the greatest scholar produced by 
Hungary in the eighteenth century, and himself a Slovak, to 

5* The first edition contained 400 hymns, of which 1 50 were composed 
or translated by Tranowsky himself ; the edition of 1873 contained as 
many as 1,148. In all, close upon 70 editions have been published, 
see Safaf ik, op. cit. p. 386 ; Czambel's essay in Die oesterveichisch-un- 
garische Monarchie in Wort und Bild ; (Ungarn, vol. IV. p. 438.) 

6« Vlcek, cit. Capek, op. cit. p. 105. 

B» " W slovenskem gazyhu poneyprw na swetlo wydani." 



Dole^al's Slavo-Bohemian Grammar (1746). Here we read; 
that not only scholars but even the magnates and lesser nobility 
of the northern counties prided themselves upon cultivating 
the Slav language.^' 

The movement once more languished, but bore fruit towards 
the close of the eighteenth century. A little group of Slovak 
patriots in the Tymau and Nyitra districts devoted itself to the 
task of linguistic revival. Its leader, Anton Bemolak, the 
Catholic priest of Ersek-Ujvar (1762-1813), published the first 
Slovak Grammar, and an elaborate Slovak Dictionary.^^ The 
Primate, Cardinal Rudnay, who deserves to be remembered 
for the defiant phrase, " Slavus sum : et si in cathedra Petri 
forem, Slavus ero," ^^ became a generous patron of the move- 
ment ; but progress was none the less slow, for Bemolak 
adopted a defective and illogical orthography, and made the 
still more serious blunder of selecting the western or Moravian 
dialect for his literary language. Still the Slovak literary 
society (Literata Slavica societas) founded by him in Tyrnau, 
was flourishing enough to establish branches in five other towns 
of North Hungary, with book stores in each ; and the berno- 
lacina, as it came to be called, produced a poet of some merit in 
John Holly^ who sang the departed glories of the Slav race and 
chose Svatoplukand Methodius as the heroes of his verse. To 
him too the Slovaks owe translations of Virgil, Horace, Ovid, 
Homer and Theocritus. Useful work was also done by Stephen 
Leschka (1757-1818), who translated Robinson Crusoe, brought 
out a dictionary of Magyar words derived from foreign, es- 
pecially Slav sources,^ and was the editor of the earliest Slovak 
newspaper, the Prespurske Nowiny, which appeared at Press- 
burg in 1783, but unfortunately only lasted for three years.®^ 

Meanwhile the movement inaugurated by Bernolak had 

"*' Preface § 12. " Quibus rebus evenit, ut non modo eruditi in 
Hungaria viri, sed Magnates etiam, et ex nobilitate eorum comitatuum, 
in quibus lingua slavica vernacula est, curam linguae slavo-bohemicae 
cultumque ad se pertinere existimaverint." (cit. Safaf ik, op. cit. p. 384 
note.) The present generation of Magyars will read with astonish- 
ment the names of Illeshazy, Zay (see p. 65), Revay, Justh (p. 343), 
Beniczky (Appendix xxvii.) among these loyal sons of Slava. 

** 1787 Dissertatio philologico-critica de litteris Slavorum ; 1790, 
Grammatica Slavica (both at Pressburg). 

*• Cit. Capek. op. cit. 117. 

"0 Elenchus Vocabulorum Europaeorum cum primis Slavicorum Ma- 
gyarici usus (1825 Buda). 

•" Safafik, op. cit. 325. Versuch iiber die slawischen Bewohner der 
osterreichischen Monarchie (Vienna, 1804), II., p. 39. 



caused considerable alarm among the Lutheran Slovaks, who 
still wrote in Czech and strongly deprecated anything that 
might tend to weaken the intimate ties which bound the Slo- 
vaks to Prag. Religious jealousies, therefore, were probably 
' partly responsible for the foundation of a literary society in 
Pressburg by Tablic and Palkovi6. This society soon lan- 
guished, but its place was taken by the " Institute of Slav lan- 
guage and literature " which was established in 1803 in con- 
nexion with the Lutheran Lycee at Pressburg. George 
Palkovic was the first (and as events proved, the last '2) to 
^,^ I occupy the chair of Slav in Pressburg and to preside over the 
^\ budding literary society. He and his assistant, Louis Stur, the 
future leader of 1848 and the regenerator of the Slovak language, 
exercised a decisive influence upon the younger generation of 
patriotic Slovaks. But while Magyar societies, clubs and 
associations were founded in every direction during the thirties, 
and above all in the gymnasiums and university, Slovak so- 
cieties were discouraged and frowned upon. Permission for 
, . their formation was frequently refused, and between 1840 and 
^' 1843 Slav languages and literature were brutally ejected by the 
Magyar fanatics from the two chief centres of Slovak intelli- 
gence, the gymnasiums of Leutschau and Pressburg. Public 
opinion clamoured for the Magyarization of education through- 
out the country, and the Revolution when it came found the 
Slovak language expelled from all the seminaries and most of 
the gymnasiums of North Hungary, and in danger of being 
ejected even from the elementary schools, in favour of a lan- 
guage of which the masses of the people were entirely ignorant 
and which they had no opportunity of hearing in their ordinary 
"daily intercourse. The Slovak language, which sixty years 
before had shown as much promise of development as the 
Magyar, was now utterly outdistanced ; for the Magyar literary 
renaissance of the first half of the nineteenth century produced 
a number of poets of the first order, who would have won a 
European reputation if they had written in any Western 
tongue. Slovak on the other hand was paralysed by the un- 
favourable political situation, by the assimilation of the Slovak 
cultured classes, by the adoption of rival dialects by some of its 
foremost writers, and by the preference displayed by others for 
..Czech literary forms. 

A cruel irony of fate has ordained that the Slovaks should 
strengthen the cause of their opponents by supplying it with 
" See page tj, 


its most redoubtable champions. Louis Kossuth, who pushed j 
Magyar pretensions to their furthest Hmit, was of pure Slovak ] 
• parentage. His father, who came from the village of Kosuty 
the county of Turocz, settled in the eastern county of Zemplen ; 
but the young Louis sometimes spent his holidays at the house 
of his uncle, George Kossuth, who was a patriotic Slovak author 
of some ability.^3 Louis attended the Slovak village school in 
Zdturcs, and in the seventies his kinsman Alexander Liebhardt, 
the notary of Ruttka, used to show the Slovak primer from 
which the ex-Dictator of Hungary first learnt to read and write. 
It was only after his childish days were over, that Kossuth 
learnt the Magyar language, and in his position of advocate in « 
the county of Zemplen, first entered the whirlpool of local poli- 
tics, from which he emerged as a striking combination of dema- 
gogue and Magyar Chauvinist. 

Alexander Petofi — the famous poet of the Revolution, who 
has sometimes been called the Magyar Bums, but who added 
to his great lyrical gifts the martial temperament of 
Theodor von Komer — was likewise of Slovak origin. His 
father, Stephen Petrovic came from the partly Slovak 
county of Nograd, and his mother Maria Hruz, from Liesno 
in Turocz ; the young Alexander was bom in 1823 in Kis 
Koros, where his father had acquired a butcher's business, 
and was sent to a Slovak school in Asod. It was only in his 
twentieth year that the son Magyarized his name ; but the 
rapid march of events and the sudden success of his early poems, 
soon converted him into one of the fieriest champions of the 
Magyar cause. Those who bear in mind the origin of Kossuth 
and Petofi, will certainly be tempted to dissent from the Magyar 
custom of referring to the " stupid Slovaks " (a buta totok) and 
still more from the notorious Magyar proverb, " The Slovak is 
not a man " (tot nem ember). 

While the Slovaks thus presented the Magyars with two of 
their traditional heroes, they, at the same time, produced two 
men of the highest literary eminence, who were destined to in- 

•' On one of these occasions, the little Louis, while playing, fell into 
a deep and muddy ditch, where he would have been drowned, if his 
aunt had not passed by and extricated him. Long afterwards, she 
used to exclaim, " If only I had left him where he fell ! " This little 
anecdote, whose sentiments I do not share, was told to me by a son of 
J. M. Hurban, the Slovak leader, to whom she expressed her regret in 
considerably more forcible language. J. M. Hurban had'dedicated his 
Slovak Almanach, entitled Nitra, to George Kossuth. 

R.P.H. 49 E 



fluence the entire Slav world and to contribute towards the 
great Slav revival of last century. These two men — Paul 
Joseph Safafik and John Kollar — of whom the Slovak race has 
every reason to be proud, owed, not their reputation, but the 
rapidity with which it spread, to the fact that they wrote in 
Czech, not in Slovak. 

Safafik was bom in 1795 at Feh6rpatak (Kobeljarovo) in North 
Hungary, as the son of a Slovak Lutheran pastor. Even during 
his school days at K^smark, he developed a passion for Slav 
linguistic studies, and at the age of nineteen he published a small 
volume of poetry at Leutschau. After a couple of years spent at 
Jena University, he filled the post of tutor in a noble family, and 
as early as 1819 was appointed Rector of the new Greek Ori- 
ental Gymnasium at Uj videk (Neusatz), one of the strongholds of 
the Hungarian Serbs. After six years, his Protestantism, which 
had at first been ignored in consideration of his merits as a Slav 
scholar, induced the governing body of the school to remove 
him from the rectorate ; and in 1832 he resigned his chair in 
order to accept a professorate in Prague. Here he gradually 
won for himself a reputation and a respect which the cruel 
situation of his Slovak compatriots could never have secured to 
him in the country of his birth, and which culminated in 1848, 
when he acted as President of the famous Slav congress at 
Prague. Of his many literary productions, it will suffice for our 
present purpose to mention three. In 1823 he published the 
earliest collection of Slovak popular songs,^ a praiseworthy ex- 
ample in which he was followed by the poet Kollar and the short- 
lived Slovenskd Matica. Thus, though he turned his back upon 
his native Hungary, he did the Slovaks a real service in first 
■ bringing to light the inexhaustible treasures of popular poetry 
and folklore possessed by this interesting but all too neglected 
race.^ In 1826 he published in Buda a History of the Slav 
Language and Literature, which was the first concrete at- 
tempt to treat all Slav dialects as mere members of a single 
organism, and which contains the germ of that " unio in littera- 
tura inter omnes slavos " which was afterwards preached with 

** Pisnie swietske lidu slowenskego w Uhrich. Celakovsky, the 
Czech poet, also published a collection of Slovak folksongs. 

•* Any one who, in this age of searchers after traditional song and 
legend, would devote himself or herself to editing and making known 
to the British public the exquisite folksongs and melodies of the Slovaks, 
would earn the gratitude of all lovers of Nature's poetry and music. 
If the present volume should arouse interest in this subject, it will not 
have been written in vain. 


John Kollar. 


such fiery and persuasive eloquence by the poet Kollar. Third- 
ly, in 1836 he gave to the world the first part of his Slav Anti- 
quities, which revolutionized the prevailing conception of 
early Slav history, filled Bohemia and Russia with enthusiasm, 
and still forms the groundwork for all students of Slavonic . 
origins. In the linguistic disputes between the adherents of j- 
Bemolak, Stur and Kollar, he endeavoured to st<)6r a middle ] 
course. While admitting the great difficulty of maintaining 
unity of language, owing to the changes introduced by the , 
Czechs into their written language, owing to natural evolution 
and to the lack of good school-books among the Slovaks, he 
strongly deprecated anything in the nature of a break with the 
past. His position in Prague naturally led him to 14dik with 
anxiety upon any movement which threatened to impair the y 
spiritual unity of Czechs and Slovaks. But he failed to reckon 
with the genius loci, and with the influence of geographical 
and poHtical factors upon the Slovak standpoint. The adop\ 
tion by Stur of the Central Slovak dialect as the hterary lan-j 
guage, corresponded to an inward need, and was really the sole/ 
alternative to racial extinction ; while the fear that this would 
undermine the mutual sympathies of the two sister races has 
proved to be entirely groundless. 

John Kollar was born on July 29, 1793, at Mosotz, as the 
son of the local notary. He studied theology for five years at 
Pressburg and then spent eighteen months at the University of 
Jena, the alma, mater of so many young Slovak Protestants. In 
1819 he became assistant to Molnir, the pastor of the Slav con- 
gregation in Pest, and eventually succeeded him in that post, 
which he held until the year of revolution. Even as a boy he 
began to collect Slovak folksongs from the peasants as they 
worked in the fields ; and his ardent and poetic temperament 
evoked in him a sensitive pride in all the traditions of the Slav 
race and a corresponding suspicion towards those races which 
had thwarted its unity in past ages. The energy with which he 
/'resisted aU attempts to Germanize or Magyarize his congrega- 
tion in Pest, made him the object of frequent attacks, which he 
was only too ready to repay with interest. There w^as none of 
the typical Slovak submissiveness about Kollar, and indeed if 
his resolute and virile qualities had been commoner among his 
compatriots, the position of the Slovaks in Hungary would be 
very different at the present day. 

As early as 1824 Kollar electrified the whole Slav world 
by his publication of the first three cantos of " The Daughter 



of Slava " (Slavy Dcera), to which two further cantos were 
added in 1832. Though epical in conception, this poem is 
none the less lyrical in form, being composed of a succession 
of 622 sonnets grouped in five distinct cantos. Alike in form 
and in substance, it is possible to trace more than one re- 
semblance between Kollar and Petrarch, though, we need 
hardly add, the Lutheran pastor breathes a rarefied air very 
different from the sultry atmosphere of the southern lover's 
passion. The daughter of Slava is a maiden whom the poet 
meets on the banks of the Thuringian Saale, and to whom, 
as the ideal of womanly perfection, he dedicates his heart. 
Severed from her by a cruel stroke of fate, he wanders dis- 
consolate through the regions of the Elbe, the Rhine and the 
Moldau, and at length beside the Danube he learns of her 
,death. This slender erotic thread is skilfully used by Kollar 
to connect the great memories of the Slav race and its de- 
parted glories. A rich and daring imagination is combined 
with purity of thought and classic accuracy of expression ; 
and the poem is equally fertile in passages of lyrical beauty 
and of patriotic fervour. Its genuine poetic value will secure 
■v^ Kollir a permanent place among Slav poets ; but its immedi- 
'ate effect was not so much literary as political. Its glorifi- 
cation of the Slav name strikes the same lofty note in which 
Arndt not very long before had exalted the German Father- 
land. So long as the slave does not feel his fetters, Kolldr 
cries, " so long he may find his position comfortable : and 
the despot is endured until the feeling for freedom becomes 
general. But then the slave breaks his chains, and the despot 
must fall. So it was with us (Slavs) in the matter of language." 
" Ye tell me, the law ordains that in Hungary the Slav should 
bury his language. But who forged this law ? Men ; and 
shall they weigh more than God ? , . . and what is one to 
love most deeply, a puny dead and soulless country, or a 
mighty people full of life and reason ? " ^^ " Grant not the 
soil on which we dwell the sacred name of fatherland. The 
true fatherland, which none can misuse, of which none can 
rob us . . . we carry in our hearts. . . . Dear are the woods, 
the streams, the home inherited from our sires. But the sole 
fatherland which endures, and defies all shame and insult, is 
that unity of custom and language and mood which blends 
soul with soul." ^^ " Believe me, comrades and friends of 
the fatherland, to us has been given all that places us by the 
*' Sonnet 287. " Sonnet 242. 



side of the great races of mankind. Behold land and sea 
spreading far at our feet : silver and gold are ours in abun- 
dance, and busy hands skilled in art are ours. Concord alone, 
concord and culture are lacking to the Slavs. O that concord 
would spread her blessings amongst us, and we should excel 
all the peoples of the past. 'Twixt Greek and Briton our name 
too would shine, and lighten aU the firmament." ^ 

" Scattered Slavs," he cries, " let us be a united whole, 
and no longer mere fragments ! Let us be all or nought ! " *^ 
For this ideal fatherland of which KoUar sings, is Panslavia f 
(Wseslawia). Were the disunited Slavs but precious metals, 
he would mould them all into a mighty statue ; Russia 
would form the head, the Lechs should be the body, the 
Czechs the arms and hands, the Serbs the feet, and of the 
smaller races he would forge armour and weapons: "All 
Europe would kneel before this idol, whose head would tower 
above the clouds and whose feet would shake the earth." ™ 
For a hundred years hence, what will be the fate of the Slavs, 
and what the fate of Europe ? " Everywhere Slavdom like 
a flood extends its boundaries : and the language which the 
false ideas of the Germans held for a mere speech of slaves, 
shall resound in palaces and even in the mouths of its rivals. 
In Slav channels the sciences shall flow, our people's dress, 
their manners and their song shall be in vogue on the Seine 
and on the Elbe. Oh, that I was not born in that great age 
of Slav dominion, or that I may not arise from the grave to 
witness it." 

Naturally enough, the enthusiasm with which Kollar in- 
dulged in these dreams of a great Slav future, was highly 
distasteful to the Magyars ; and they revenged themselves 
by branding him as a political agitator. I should be the 
last to deny to Kollar this epithet. In the sense in which 
his enemies apply it, it is merely a slander launched by the 
strong against the weak. It is a reproach which has attached 
to every national poet of a downtrodden race, and in reaUty 
constitutes their greatest glory. For every true poet is an 
agitator, and Kollar in kindling the national spirit of his com- 
patriots and in bidding them base their national existence 
upon virtue, was only proving his title to the poet's laurel. 
Unhappily he was only too truly a member of the genus 
irritabile vatum, and he merely injured his own cause and 
played into the hands of his political opponents, when he 
•» Sonnet 258. •» Sonnet 326. " Sonnet 271. 



indulged in violent diatribes against the Germans and above 
all against the Magyars. 

The fourth and fifth cantos of the " Daughter of Slava " 
are devoted to the description of a half mythical Slav Olympus 
and Hades. In the former the Goddess Slava is seated 
on a golden throne, and round her are grouped the heroes 
and heroines of the Slav world, while a few distinguished 
guests who had interested themselves in the Slavs, are also 
granted admission.'^ A singular incident betrays the con- 
trast in KoUar's sentiments towards the Russians and the 
Poles. The Grand Duke Constantine, the former Governor 
of Warsaw, receives a golden crown from the hands of the 
goddess, while Countess Plater, who had roused the Poles 
to resistance, is turned away from the gate. The final canto 
is full of undignified and even childish scenes ; for the ideas 
which speak to us so eloquently from the golden verse of 
Dante or the austere frescoes of Orcagna, become a mere 
crude anachronism when clothed in the language of the nine- 
teenth century. All the ancient persecutors of the Slavs, 
from Arpdd to Charles the Great, languish in a sea of burning 
pitch, and Beelzebub from the bank beats down each head 
as it appears above the surface. The Bohemian Jesuit who 
burnt 60,000 Czech books, is roasted on a pile of books and 
papers. Archbishop Patacsics scourges himself to atone for 
his treatment of the Serbs of his diocese. '^^ A number of 
German savants have their tongues torn out, because of the 
hostile verdicts which they had passed upon the Slavs. The 
tailors of Schemnitz are punished for refusing to admit a 
Slav into their guild, and a native of Arva is slit into meat 
for gulyds, because he educated his children in the Magyar 
language. A prominent member of the Lutheran Church 
who had written a pamphlet against the Slavs, appears with 
a huge nose, from which slices are carved by grinning devils. 
Dugonics, the Piarist monk, whose Magyar writings con- 
tain so much abuse of his Slav countrymen, stands as Cerberus 
at the portal, and barks incessantly at the swarms of flies 
and lice which molest him ; while the author of the proverb, 
" The Slovak is no man," is impaled. Kollar, it is true, begs 
for his release, thus saving his character as a Lutheran clergy- 
man ; but the poet's good taste should have saved him from 

" Grimm, Herder, Goethe, Bowring. 
^* See page 62. 


kollAr and panslavism 

the necessity. In short, the final canto is a lamentable pro- 
duction, and most readers who are not blinded by racial 
prejudices, probably read with a sigh of relief the final cry, 
" From the Tatra to the Black Mountain, from the Giant 
Alps to the Urals, resounds the word : Hell for the traitors, 
Heaven for the true Slavs ! " '^ 

Only five years after the appearance of the final cantos, 
Kolldr created a new and even more lasting sensation in the 
Slav world by his book Concerning Literary Reciprocity 
between the various races and dialects of the Slav nation 
(1837). The fierce controversy which has raged round this 
famous tract, is mainly due to the persistence with which 
friend and foe alike read into its arguments their own political 
dogmas and prejudices. Written with all KoUar's wonted 
fire and eloquence, it may aptly be described as a sermon 
on the text, " unio in literatura inter omnes slaves." " For 
the first time after many centuries, the scattered Slavs re- 
gard themselves once more as one great people, and their 
various dialects as one language, awake to national feeling 
and yearn for a closer union. "^ . . . The Slav nation strives 
to return to its original unity." But the common bond which 
is necessary for the attainment of this ideal, must be con- 
sidered more carefully, " for though innocent in itself, it 
might lead to many misunderstandings and errors." '^ This 
common bond is to be the interest taken by all the different 
Slav races in the intellectual products of their nation. " It 
does not consist in a political union of all Slavs, nor in dema- 
gogic agitation against the various governments and rulers, 
since this could only produce confusion and misfortune. 

^' Lest I should be accused of treating KoUar with excessive leniency, 
I may mention that the above summary and extracts are mainly based 
upon an elaborate review by Francis Pulszky in Henszlmann's Viertel- 
jahrsschrift aus und fur Ungarn, vol. ii. pp. 55-87, an odious review 
which was founded in 1843 ^Y ^ Magyarized German, with the sole 
object of throwing dust in the eyes of German public opinion. An 
elaborate analysis of the whole poem is to be found in Jordan's Jahr- 
bucher fiir slawische Litevatur, 1846 (8 articles). A very charming 
German translation of selected passages from " Slavy Dcera " is that 
by Josef Wenzig — Krdme aus dem bohmischen Dichtergarien, Leipzig 
(no date : probably the fifties). For criticisms of KoUar, see Goethe's 
Kunst und AUevtum, and in English, Sir John Bowring's writings, and 
Count Liitzow's Bohemian Literature. 

'* KoUar, Ueber die literarische Wechselseitigkeit, 2nd ed. (1844), 

P- 3- 
.« Ibid. p. 4. 



Literary reciprocity can also subsist in the case of a nation 
which is under more than one sceptre and is divided into 
several states. Reciprocity is also possible in the case of a 
nation which has several religions and confessions, and where 

' differences of writing, of climate and territory, of manners 
and customs prevail. It is not dangerous to the temporal 
authorities and rulers, since it leaves frontiers and territories 
undisturbed, is content with the existing order of things, 
and adapts itself to all forms of government and to all grades 
of civil life." '^ " Panslavistic," he defines as " that which 
concerns and embraces all Siavs." " 

KoUar does not regard it as sufficient that an educated 
Slav should only speak his own dialect ; he ought to know 
other Slav languages and act on the principle, Slavus sum, 
nihil Slavici a me alienum puto. Many hindrances, it is true, 
have to be overcome before this ideal can be realized. The 
prejudices of other nations JCgainst the Slavs, and still more 
the mutual contempt with which the various sections of the 
race regard each other, and the ariarchical state of Slav gram- 
mar and orthography — these and other causes at present 
hinder Slav unity. " None the less," cries the enthusiastic poet, 
" all Slavs have but one fatherland," and just as the many differ- 
ent states in America together form a single unit, so the many 
Slav races and dialects ought to form " a single literary free- 
state, in which differences are ignored, and no tyrant is 
tolerated." Here the opponents of KoUar seem to find con- 
firmation of their worst suspicions ; and yet the absurdity 
of describing his aims as political, is abundantly proved by 
the means which he recommends for their attainment. Book 
depots in the various capitals, free public libraries, chairs of 
Slav language and literature, a general Slav literary review, 
the reform of Slav orthography, comparative grammars 
and dictionaries, collections of songs, proverbs and folklore — 
this is a programme which no possible stretch of the imagination 

I can regard as a menace to the peace of Europe. Indeed the 
political advantages which KoUdr prophesies as likely to re- 

'• Ibid. p. 6. It is diflScult to see how, in the face of so explicit a statement, 
KoUar's opponents can persist in accusing him of political Panslavism. 
Bishop Horvath, the historian, however, escapes from the dilemma 
by quoting the first passage which I have given in the text, and omitting 
the second ! I leave the reader to judge of the fairness of this proceeding. 
See Horvath, op. cit. I. p. 455-9. 
" Kollir. ibid. p. 11. 



suit from the movement are the very reverse of those at which 
genuine Panslavs, like Pogodin, Fadejev and Katkoff aimed. 
" Slav risings against monarchs who belong to a different race and 
under whose sceptre they live, will come to an end ; for when ^ 
reciprocity prevails, the longing for union with other Slavs 
will cease, or will at least be very much weakened. Theyj 
will have no motive for breaking away, and each will remain! 
at home, since he will possess at home the same which he 
would receive at his neighbour's. Indeed, under alien non-i 
Slav rulers, so long as they are tolerant, the weaker Slav races ^ 
find better guarantees and security for the independence andj 
survival of their language, which under the ruler of some other \ 
more powerful Slav race would, according to the laws of ' 
attraction, be entirely absorbed, or would at least commingle ■ 
and finally vanish away. Those governments which care 
for the culture of their peoples, will not only not check and re- 
press this innocent and beneficial reciprocity, but will far 
rather foster and encourage it with fatherly concern." '^ This, 
then, is the much-abused Panslavism of KoUar, which aims 
at the Russification of Hungary and the world-dominion of 
the great White Czar ! If any further proof were needed of 
the groundlessness of the charges against the poet, it is 
supplied by his action in 1848. When the Chauvinism of 
Magyar public opinion made it dangerous for him to remain 
in Pest, he withdrew not to Moscow or St. Petersburg, 
but to Vienna, and died three years later as Professor of 
Slav language and literature in the Austrian capital.'^ , ^ 

The plain truth is that the Magyars imputed to their Slav ^ 
neighbours motives similar to their own. Themselves bent 
upon the complete Magyarization of Hungary, they assumed 
that the Slavs must be equally intolerant and equally deter- 
mined to secure a linguistic monopoly.^ The rise of Slav 

" Kollar, ibid. p. 75 sqq. 

'• Magyar apologists (e.g., Bishop Horvath and M. de Gerando) have 
laid great stress on the fact that Kollar was allowed to pubUsh his works 
in Hungary, as if this afforded proof of Magyar generosity. These 
writers, however, fail to mention that on the occasion of each fresh 
publication he was subjected to personal insults and hostile demonstra- 
tions on the part of the Chauvinists (see KoUar's Reminiscences, Pameti 
zMladSichlet iv., Prag, 1863, p. 269 f., cit. Helfert, Geschichte Oesterreichs , 
ii. 398). It has even been asserted tRat the authorities endeavoured 
to buy up some of the earlier editions, *but I know of no proof of this 

•" See next chapter. 



nationality, due mainly to the influence of the French Revo- 
lution, was undoubtedly aided by Russian propaganda ; 
but no external influences are needed to explain the appear- 
ance of the two chief apostles of Slavdom among the despised 
and unknown Slovaks. In accordance with a natural 
law, the modern flame of resistance was kindled in the darkest 
corner of the Slav world ; and the sense of kinship triumphed 
even over differences of religion. The great idea of Slav 
solidarity, which Kollar did so much to awaken, has much 
in common with other Imperialist and national movements 
of the last century. The Magyars, in denying the right of 
the Hungarian Slavs to entertain such feelings, not merely 
shut their eyes to hard facts, but at the same time emphasize 
the contrast between the solidarity of the Slavs and their 
own isolation. A close affinity does exist among all Slav 
races and languages, and no amount of nicknames, still less 
of persecution, can ever destroy it. Of course their own 
lack of kinsmen makes it more difficult for the Magyars to 
comprehend the meaning of the saying, " Blood is thicker 
than water," and it is easy to sympathize with them in a 
deficiency which seriously weakens their political position. 
But as has been well said, the Pan-Magyar party only needs 
to regard its own flushed ^ and angry countenance in the 
mirror of Panslavism, to be reminded that the phrase 
tu quoque is no argument. The Magyars outdistance most 
other races in the ardour, but also unhappily in the narrowness 
of their patriotism. Pride of race can go no farther, and 
argument is wasted upon those who regard as proofs of 
Panslavism the fact that a Slav professor corresponds with 
literary societies in Russia or Bohemia,^^ that a Slovak student 
attends the university of Prague rather than that of Budapest,^^ 
or even that some overgrown schoolboys burned Szechenyi 
in effigy in the course of a rowdy picnic party ! In short, 
loyalty to tradition, race and language is in the Magyar the 
most pure and exalted patriotism ; in the Slav it is treason 
and infamy. Spuming all considerations of logic and pre- 
cedent, the Magyars plunged headlong into a policy of 
Magyarization, which was destined to bear bitter fruit in 
the near future. 

®^ See Tdrsalkodo, 1841. Nos. 6, 16, 34. 

" See account of the Markovic trial on page 325. 




Tot nem ember (The Slovak is not a man). 

Magyar Proverb. 
(Magyar ember hat Courage 
Nemet ember, Hundsfott, Bagage. 

Magyar doggerel. 
Adjon Isten a mint volt 
Hogy szolgaljon a Magyarnak mint a nemet mint a tot 
(God grant, that, as it ever has been, both 
German and Slovak may serve the Magyar). 

Magyar doggerel. 
Talia requirit linguae nationalis dignitas. 

MAGYAR apologists invariably assert that the linguistic, 
laws which we have briefly summarized in a previous! 
chapter were not the cause but merely the pretext of a long- ■ 
prepared Slav opposition. 8^ Some excuse must be made for writers . 
whose whole horizon is darkened by the fearsome bogey of Pan- 
slavism ; but their arguments savour unduly of the public school 
bully who pleads the wellworn excuse " please, sir, the other boy 
began." In reality it is quite immaterial whether Magyarism 
or Slavism first took the offensive ; the point to be ascertained 
is how far their respective growth was natural or retarded by 
deliberate means. There can be no question that even before 
the year 1825 large sections of the community were committed 
to a policy of Magyarization — " an adventurous policy," as 
a contemporary has well said, " unique in the history of man- 
kind,"— and that but for the resistance of the government 

*' See e.g. Gerando, Ueber den offenilichen Geist in Ungarn, p. 371. 
A clear proof, however, that Magyarization was already being actively 
pursued in the thirties, is afforded by a statistical table published by 
Tdrsalkodo (No. 27, 1840), dealing with the ecclesiastical conditions in 
the church districts of Esztergom and Nagy Szombat, (Tyrnau) com- 
prising nine counties. Between 1830 and 1840 the number of 
parishes whose language was Magyar, had increased from 223 to 
234, while the Slovak parishes had decreased from 317 to 311. 
Statistics for other districts would doubtless reveal the same process. 



to all parliamentary action, the extremist party would have 
forced on a crisis in the racial question long before 1848. 
Even the Tudomdnyos Gyiijtemeny, the first review of any 
importance in Hungary and a pioneer of literary effort,^ took 
up a very hostile attitude towards the Slavs, and setting 
history at defiance, argued that the non- Magyars were only 
allowed into the country on condition that they adopted the 
Magyar language and customs.^ As early as 1817 one of its 
writers describes the Magyars as " the ruling nation," (az 
uralkodo nemzet,) and says, " If we take an inferior drink 
to add to a noble wine, we do not destroy the qualities of the 
latter, but it mixes with the other. In the realm of the Magyars 
the Magyars are a nation, but not the Slovaks. And hence 
the Slovak nation in Hungary is nothing but a revolting dream 
or a despicable invention.^^ The title of nation belongs only 
I to the ruling Magyars : the fatherland is the Magyars' pro- 
^-^l^ty."^'' He actually takes the Slovaks most severely to task 
for venturing to publish a newspaper with the " dishonour- 
able " {sic) title of National Gazette. Indeed the whole tone 
of the article is one of intense resentment at the Slovaks' 
having dared to produce a newspaper of their own ; its title 
is merely a convenient peg on which to hang all kinds of sus- 
picions and innuendos of disloyalty, in the approved manner 
of the wolf and the lamb, " The Slovaks," says another 
writer,^ are mere hawkers (zsellerek), their language is onlyj| 
that of haymakers and workmen, while Magyar is ' the ruling 
language.' " Yet another writer, in 1826, is full of hope for the 
Magyarization of the Slovaks, who, he considers, yield to 
patriotic blandishments far more readily than the Germans. 
Speaking of the efforts of one Hrabowszky (presumably a 
renegate Slovak) at Palota near Lajos Komarom, he tells us 
that " since the people of the latter place are Magyar, German 
and Slovak mixed, there is hope that through his (Hrabow- 
szky's) loyal activity all of them may be converted into Mag- 
yars, and indeed no slight progress has been made in this." ^' 

** Edited for some years by Vorosmarty the poet. 

*5 Tudomdnyos Gyujtemeny, fourteenth year, vol. i., cit. Sollen wir 
Magyaren ivsrden? p. 46.^ 

*' Es igy botrankoztato alom, vagy gunyolo koltemeny a magyarorsz- 
zdgi Tot Nemzet. 

*' Tudomdnyos Gyujtemeny, 1817, xii. p. 118. 

" Tudomdnyos Gyujtemeny, 1824, xii. 58, cit. Slawismus and Pseudo 
magyartsmus, p. 53. ** Tudomdnyos Gviljieminy, 1826, vii., 55. 



This extiact is of special interest, owing to its bearing on one 
of the classic instances of Magyarizing t5n-anny, which is 
quoted by every pamphleteer on the Slav side and denied or 
treated as entirely exceptional by Magyar writers. 

In this trilingual commune, which had only been colonized 
late in the eighteenth century, the original Lutheran pastor had 
used all three languages. His successor appealed to the 
Superintendent for permission to limit himself to a single 
language, and though failing to carry his point owing to the 
opposition of the congregation, he none the less conducted 
the catechizing in Magyar only. Continual friction was 
the result, and the discontent culminated at the election 
of a new pastor. Disputes arose regarding the can- 
didates proposed by the Superintendent, and finally one was 
elected who was ignorant of Slovak. The Superintendent 
then ordered that since the Slav members were too poor to 
pay for an assistant, the schoolmaster should give religious 
instruction in Slovak, and that a Slovak-speaking clergyman 
should officiate and dispense the sacraments four times a year. 
Some of the foremost Slovaks of the congregation appealed 
against this decision to the Palatine's Council, which upheld 
the Superintendent and instructed the county authorities 
of Veszprem to enforce the obedience of the parishioners to 
their new pastor. The County appointed a deputation to 
conduct an inquiry on the spot, and as four of the appellants 
still refused to comply, they were publicly flogged before the 
County buildings, one receiving as many as sixty-four strokes, 
the others fifty, forty and twenty-four. When the Pala- 
tinal Council threatened to take proceedings, the county 
authorities defended themselves by the memorable phrase, 
" Talia requirit linguae nationalis dignitas." ^ The whole 
incident — which has its comic side, especially as revealing 
the Magyar conception of Church freedom — remind us of the 

'" Count John Mailath in his Gesch. der Magyaren, vol. iv., p. 256 note, 
states that he had the documents proving this, in his hands for verification. 
The incident is, I beUeve, first mentioned in Sollen wir Magyaren war- 
den ? — a pamphlet which differs by its moderation from most literature of 
this kind — and is repeated by Beschwerden undKlagen, Hodza's Slovak, 
etc. The Magyar version appeared in the Pesti Hirlap of August 27, 
1843, and in the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung (Beilagen, No. 31) 1844. 
According to the latter the floggings were inflicted for repeated "in- 
subordination (Widersetzlichkeiten) , which would certainly not have 
remained unpunished in any country." I recommend this astounding 
incident to those interested in the church squabbles of the Scottish 



Magyarizing methods of an Archbishop of Kolocsa in the first 
half of the eighteenth century, who, resenting the fact that almost 
the entire population of the town spoke Serb, introduced the 
novel alternative of twelve florins or twelve strokes, for every 
person heard conversing in his native tongue.^^ Aut disceaut 
discede : manet sors tertia — caedi ; but the unlucky Serb serfs 
of that age were not free to choose the middle course. 

The Magyars are quite right in asserting that such a case 
as that of Lajos Komarom was exceptional ; and the feudal 
relations between lord and peasant made flogging a commoner 
and also a less degrading punishment in those days than it has 
become since. But the spirit which underlay the incident was 
well-nigh universal. The county of Bekes, where large Slovak 
colonies existed, decided to accept only Magyar documents 
at a " seignorial court." The county of Ungvar passed a 
resolution urging that the Royal towns should only be ad- 
mitted to parliamentary votes, if they agreed to adopt Magyar 
as the exclusive language of their administration .^^ The 
county of Somogy would only approve of the abolition of 
aviticity, on condition that the power to acquire seignorial 
land were limited to those who knew Magyar.^^ In 1829 the 
1" county of Oedenburg ordered that in every parish where some ^ 
j Magyar was understood, sermons were to be preached in 
I Magyar. Pest county had medals struck as a decoration for 
(the schoolmasters in non- Magyar districts who distinguished 
* themselves in spreading the Magyar language. In 1832 the 
.county of Arad (where even to-day 947 per cent, of the popula- 
tion is non-Magyar) introduced Magyar as the sole language of 

•^ Quoted from Katona, Hist. Metrop. Coloc. Eccles. pars i, p. 72. 
See also Versuch iiber die slawischen Bewohner der osierreichischen 
Monarchie (Vienna, 1804), i, p. 15. 

•* See ]oTda.n'sJahrbilcherftirslawische Literatur, 1843, pp. 162-168. 

»* A similar argument was put forward by Stephen Pelathy in 
Jelenkor, No. 55 (1840). For those who wish to acquire political rights 
as well as property, a knowledge of " the national language " must be 
made a condition sine qua non, and not merely superficial knowledge, 
but fluency in speaking, writing and reading. " And here whatever 
the races which are foreign but belong to our nation (az idegen de 
nemzetunkoz tartozo nepfajok) may say, the nation already has not 
only the right but also the duty to bind constitutional rights to the 
acceptance of nationality." This was a two-edged weapon, aimed 
quite as much at Austrian nobles owning property in Hungary as at 
any non-Magyar proprietors who should dare to resist assimilation ; 
but affords striking proof of the way in which the Magyar race was 
identified, or deliberately confused, with the nation as a whole. 

62 :\ 


county administration and justice. Only those who could' 
speak Magyar might be elected as judges, notaries and jury-i 
men in the towns and villages, even if not a soul in them knewj 
a word of anything save Serb or Roumanian. Only Mag- / 
yars were to be appointed as clergy and teachers. None' 
could be apprenticed, and no prentice could rise to be a master i 
unless he knew Magyar, while the accounts of tradesmen were ( 
declared only to be valid if kept in Magyar.^* The county of 
Temes passed similar, though less stringent, provisions. Like 
many laws, both central and local, in Hungary, these doubtless 
remained merely on paper : for it is obvious that even the 
most efficient administration in the world would have fcfund 
their execution a physical impossibility, and efficient is hardly 
the word to apply to the administration of Hungary. But 
we are justified in taking the will for the deed, and it is not 
difficult to imagine the racial antipathies which such action 

The results of this extreme attitude on the part of most , 
of the county authorities (which, it must be remembered, 
controlled the central Diet in those days), were in the highest| 
degree deplorable. Slovaks and Roumanians were forced to 
take the oath in a language of which they knew not a syllable ;1 
non-Magyar communes were obliged to submit to Magyar ' 
circulars and orders ; petty justices had to sign important 
documents without understanding their contents. ^^ Attempts 
were made to compel the German peasants of certain districts, 
to adopt Magyar costume.^® More than one Magyar county j 
returned, unopened, correspondence addressed to them by a| 
Croatian county, simply because it was written in Latin.,' 
Several counties prohibited all legal decisions in their courts 
unless the original documents submitted were drawn up 
Magyar ; and thus even the signing of contracts soon cam^ 
to involve the knowledge of a language which was still spoke 
by a bare third of the population.^'' 

By the year 1840 Chauvinism was rampant throughout the 
country, and the Magyar Press, which at length began to shake 
of^ the throttling grasp of the censor, was full of violent racial 
outbursts. The substitution of Latin as the language of public 
business had of course become inevitable ; for Latin had 
degenerated into an odious jargon worthy of the dark ages. 

•* See So lien wir Magyar en werden ? pp. 6-12. 

»* Helfert, op. cit. ii. 164. 

** Mailath, op. cit. iv. 253. »^ Mailath, op. cit. iv, 254. 



A typical instance of the barbarisms then in vogue, is the case j 
of the travelling magnate who calls anxiously to his postillion, ; 
" Quomodo via ? " and receives the Latin answer, " via est 
passabilis." Latin, then, had to go : and failing German, j 
which the sentiment of the country would not tolerate, Magyar | 
was the natural language to take its place. But the ardent ] 
spirits who led the national opposition, were far from being ; 
satisfied even by so decisive a law as that of 1840. Instead \ 
y 'of leaving it to produce its inevitable effect and meanwhile ' 
concentrating their efforts on raising the standard of culture | 
and education among their own race, they were bent upon i 
effecting in a decade the complete Magyarization of the other j 
races. " German pens," wrote one of the champions of the j 
movement, ^^ " have claimed Belgium and Alsace. We want \ 
to Magyarize a few German colonies and the less important | 
Slav population." The fact that the entire history of the ; 
world could not supply a single precedent for the success of | 
such a scheme weighed but little with its promoters, for ■ 
indeed racial passions had rendered them impervious to all ] 
argument or reason. 

The law of 1840 placed administration and justice completely \ 

• under Magyar control ; the main attack was now directed | 

j against the Church and the School, those two last outposts of i 

j downtrodden nationalities. At first isolated attempts were ■, 

■made to impose Magyar clergy on Slovak-speaking congrega- : 

jtions, whether Catholic or Lutheran. In Kerepes, a village i 

of Catholic Slovaks in Pest county, a Magyar service was 

substituted for the Slav,^^ while the Lutheran Seniorate ; 

of Pest ordered Magyar sermons to be introduced on every ] 

third or fourth Sunday in a number of Slovak communes. ] 

Needless to say these measures led to unseemly disturbances ; t 

in Csema (Veszprem Co.), for instance, when the clergyman \ 

began to preach in Magyar his congregation tried to drive him I 

out of the church. In Szarvas, a large Slovak colony in the i 

coimtyof Bekes, thenotaryordered a monthly Magyar sermon. ^°° I 

fWhen the people declined to attend on these occasions, it was J 

i no longer given out previously, but immediately after the I 


•* Ungarns Wiinsche, p. 58. 1 

'* The same thing happened in the pure Slovak communes of Csetnek ^ 

and Ochtina, and the German communes of Komlos and Dobschau. }: 

(See Ungarische Wirren und Zerwiirfnisse.) | 

^***' Borbis, Die evangelisch-hitherische Kirche Ungarns (NordUngen, 
1861), p. 108. 


Slovak Peasant Types. 


Slav sermon the pastor began without an interval to preach 
in Magyar. Here, too, the congregation left the church, and 
disagreeable scenes ensued. In Jasda (Veszprem Co.) another 
Lutheran pastor introduced Magyar hymns, and in his anger 
at the people continuing to sing in their native tongue, specially 
limited the Benediction to those who had used Magyar. ^"^ It 
was quite frequent for candidates to be ordained in purely Slav 
parishes, who knew no Slovak save Luther's catechism, and a few 
extracts from the Bible. ^"^ 

Such scandals, however, were regarded as mere inter- 
ludes in the great struggle of Magyar nationality, and in 
1840 an event occurred which gave a fresh impetus to 
the Magyarizing movement within the Lutheran Church. A 
vacancy arose in the office of General Inspecto r, and resulted 
in the election of C i)unt Charles Zay. the leading noble of that 
church, a man of Slovak origin, whose father had known the 
Slovak hymn-book almost by heart and had distributed Bibles 
at his own expense among the peasantry of the western coun- 
ties. ^^ The new Inspector, who had espoused the cause of his 
adopted nationality with all the zeal of a recent convert, caused 
an immense sensation by the Inaugural Address which he 
delivered before the General Assembly on September 10, 1840. 
In this speech he did not hesitate to proclaim to a mainly Slav 
audience the doctrine that racial apostasy was a duty which 
they owed alike to patriotism and to religion. " Our common 
cause," he asserted, " is the development of our nationality : 
and as national life is impossible without a national language 
— the Magyarization of our country ! I know the momentous 
force of these words, their kindling effect on the hearts of our 
fellow-citizens : I can guess the flaring excitement of hostile 
elements. But I feel also that it is my sacred duty, by right 
of my religion and my office, to proclaim fearlessly in this 
place my views upon this matter. Every sensible Magyar 
frankly admits the Slav nation's antiquity, historic great- 

*°i I bless all those who have sung in Magyar ; but those who have 
sung in Slovak can go to the devil." These two incidents are quoted 
from Borbis (ibid. pp. 204-34). It is not improbable that they have been 
exaggerated, but the fact that they are vouched for by a clergyman in a 
scholarly book based mainly upon original documents, seems to justify me 
in reproducing them. That he regarded them as even credible is signifi- 
cant enough : that they are mild and trifling compared with what is 
happening almost every day in the Hungary of the twentieth century 
I hope to prove conclusively in a later chapter of this book. 

i<*2 Beschwerden und Klagen, p. 70. ^"^ Ibid, p 85. 

R.P.H, 65 F 


• ness and degree of culture, nay more, that the Slavs are 
^"^ the firstborn of our country and that the occupation of the 
Magyars was only the fruit of conquest. But in this place the 
claims of vanity, the haughtiness bred of power, are alike Silent ; 
the idea of Magyarization is to be regarded from a loftier stand- 
point, as though its victory were the acquisition of the eternal 
rights of intelligence and constitutional freedom, as though 
its repression were the condemnation of European culture to 
mediaeval stagnation." While admitting the efforts of the 
' Slavs for the development of their language and the preserva- 
tion of their nationaUty to be inspired by honourable motives, 
he assured his audience that their only result would be " the 
, ineffectual squandering of their spiritual strength or else the 
I establishment of other foreign elements in our country." 
To appeal to extraneous aid " never has been and never will 
be the intention of our loyal and unprejudiced Slav brethren ; 
for they would never extend a helping hand to the repression 
of culture, liberty and intelligence, to the sapping of the life- 
blood of religion, to the strengthening of despotism and the 
ruin of another nation and nationality. Consequently it is 
the firm and sacred duty of every enthusiastic citizen of our 
country, of every eager champion of freedom and intelligence, 
of every loyal subject of the House of Austria — if he wishes 
to avert the charge of prejudice and dangerous aims — to further 
manfully the Magyarization of our country." In such a situa- 
tion, he adds, the Slavs will surely not be tempted by a narrow 
devotion to their mother tongue, to sacrifice to a mere whim their 
liberty and their religion. Such stubbornness could win them 
neither the assertion of civil and religious liberty, nor legal au- 
tonomy ; and they would scarcely console themselves with " the 
gloomy consciousness that they are serving as the instruments of 
trinmphant despotism and of the suppression of advancing intel- 
ligence. No one honours more profoundly than I the common 
and individual rights conveyed by the idea of nationality, as 
also the rights of every fellow-citizen with regard to language : 
but above all I honour the material and spiritual freedom of 
the nations, of the citizens as a whole, to which it is the sacred 
duty of every rational and immortal being to sacrifice even his 
native language." We are reluctant to offer any comment 
upon language so repugnant to every true conception of 
liberty, the more so as the lamentable confusion of ideas which 
it betrays must be apparent to every reader. We can only 
marvel at the speaker's effrontery, when after appealing "not 



to the force of the victors but to reason and the heart," he 
almost in the same breath urges the Slavs to remember " that 
to impede the Magyarization of our country even indirectly, 
and to strive for the development of any other language than 
the Magyar, is equivalent to sapping the vital forces of con- 
stitutionalism and even of Protestantism itself, and hence 
that the Magyar language is the truest guardian and pro- 
tector of the liberty of our country, of Europe and of the Pro- 
testant cause. Let them therefore convince themselves that the 
triumph of Magyarization is the victory of reason, liberty and 
intelligence." ^°^ 

Such ravings, even when dignified by their author with the 
name of a confession of faith, could hardly impose upon any 
audience which was not the helpless slave of racial passion 
and prejudice. Coming from a man of such prominence as 
Count Zay, its numerous fallacies, instead of meeting with 
the contempt which they deserved, were greeted by a chorus 
of approval. More than one county assembly expressed its 
thanks to Zay " for his great services against Panslavism," 
and the leading advocates of the Magyar cause were loud in 
his praise. ^°5 How " appeals to reason and the heart ! " were 
interpreted in Magyarizing circles, may be gathered from a 
leading article in Jelenkor}^^ " Every compulsion which seeks 
to influence by law the condition of our country, is without 
point ; but one must rather prescribe by law that within a 
certain period all parents shall send their children to schools 
in which the Magyar language is the chief subject of instruction; 
while by means of institutions for tending small children, which 
should be erected at the cost of each village but should be non- 
sectarian, it should be possible to effect a radical remedy of 
the evil." In other words, the non- Magyars must be left 
entirely free to cultivate their own language, but — they may 
only be educated at schools where this is impossible. 

A month after the publication of Count Zay's speech, the 
same journal printed an article entitled " Bohemian-Slav 
Heroes of Panslavism in Leutschau," signed by a certain 

"* This speech is reproduced in full in Tdrsalkod6, No. 75 (1840), 
from which I have made the above translation. 

*"•* E.g., Allgemeine Zeitung, 1841, Beilagen No. 70-1, " Ungarische 
Zustande," according to which his energy " erweckt die allgemeine 

108 August 13, 1842. 

67 ' 


Szatocs, a Slovak renegade whose real name was Kramarcsek.^' 
The object of its attack was a S lav society founded eight years 
previously by Michael Hlavacek, a professor of the Lutheran 
gymnasium of Leutschau (Locse). Under the fostering care 
of this " preacher of Panslavism," the numbers of the society 
rose from a dozen to close on seventy, mainly Slovak pupils at the 
gymnasium ; a small Slav library was formed, and in 1840 
a small book was published under the name of Gitrenka, 
containing what were regarded as the most promising literary 
efforts of its members. More than one youth had yet to learn 
to ride, when he mounted the fiery Slav Pegasus. The trample d 
righfc; nf the Sl?^v nation must be defende d ; a loathsome raven 
— doubtless the swarthy Magyar of the Asian Steppes — tries 
to force the golden nightingale to crow. And probably many 
pages more of schoolboy ecstasy and passion. The zealous 
Szatocs, who would have covered himself with ridicule in any 
other country in Europe, had not reckoned in vain upon the 
prevailing racial fanaticism. But even the prominence given 
to his accusations by the Tdrsalkodo might soon have been 
forgotten, had not Count Zay read the article, and without 
making any inquiry into the facts, sent a circular to the direc- 
tors of the school of Leutschau, accusing the Slovaks of 
'' besmirching the fatherland with curses, and of seeking to 
stifle our mother-tongue, the cause of liberty and even of 
Protestantism itself." In the circular Zay pleads once more for 
Magyarization, in the interests of the Protestant faith. " What , 
after all," he asks, " is the Slav language and nationality, 
what for that matter is any language or nationality, compared 
with the state ? Mere empty forms, like time and space com- 
pared with eternity." By thus affecting to despise linguistic 
differences, Zay would seem to be undermining his own case 
for the enforcement of Magyar ; but he cleverly escapes from 
this dilemma by identifying the Magyar language with the 
state. B ut in disclaiming all idea of forc e, he merely introduces 
a distinrtinn withm it a differ ence , since c .omplete^assimilation 
of the non-Magyars is his openly avnwpd nbjertj_anffhe rinses 
with thp asc;prtion that Hnngarj/ " ran ar\\y bp grpat and happy 

"' Tdrsalkodo, 1840, No. 92, Szat6cs' letter ; No. 102, A hazankbani 
tdtosodas iigyeben (in the matter of the Slovakization of our country), 
by Count Zay; 1841, No. 7, Hlava^ek's answer; Nos. 24, 25, 26, 
replies of Szat6cs. See also answer of Csaplovics to Zay in Appendix I 
of Slavismus und Pseudomagyarismus (Leipzig, 1842), translated from 
Szazadunk No. 3, and Count Zay's reply in No. 4. 



if i^" benomes Magyar." Every line of the circular reveals the 
fallacious and insulting theories that national life is impossible 
without a national language, and that patriotism can only 
be expected from those who know the language of state. ^•'^ 

As a result of Zay's action and the press campaign which it 
evoked, the unlucky Hlavacek lost his position, and the Slav 
society in Leutschau came to an end. The best proof of his 
innocence of treasonable practices lies in the fact that he was 
never taken to court ; indeed when the Synod of Rosenau 
proposed an inquiry into the case, so that his guilt or innocence 
might be publicly established, the church authorities declined 
to proceed. Slander had done its work, and the gymnasium 
of Leutschau lost every year more and more of its Slovak 

A brochure inspired by Zay was published in Leipzig under 
the title of Protestantism, Magyarism and Slavism, severely 
attacking the Slavs ; and its date gives the lie to the common 
insinuation that the Slavs by the constant publication of 
anonymous pamphlets goaded the long-suffering Magyars 
into counteraction. In dealing with literary feuds between 
rival races and nations, it is of trifling importance to learn on 
which side they commenced. In this j;ase thp earli est offender 
w?^'^ probR^^ly ^hp Pjqpf^^ Father, An^^^-pw Pngonir^, who^p 

vo luminous writings are fu ll o f abuse of the Slavs. In one 
of his novels he writes of the " miserable clumsy strawfooted 
Slovaks," derives Moravia from the Magyar word for " cattle,"^"' 
reviles Svatopluk and the Czechs and describes the Russians 

^"^ See pp. 56-66 of Beschwerden und Klagcn der Slaven in Ungarn, 
and the pamphlet Schreiben des Grafen Carl Zay . . . an die Profes- 
soren zu Leutschau (Leipzig, Otto Wigand, 1841). "It never occurred 
to the legislators and champions of the Magyar nationality to force the 
Slavs of our country to a renunciation of their mother tongue or to 
deprive them of instruction in religion and morals in that language, 
they only demand that every one shall know Magyar, and that with 
the Magyar language a truer attachment to constitution and king, 
a zealous desire for the development of our nationality, shall take root 
in their hearts, so that the descendants of the present Slavs may become 
from their own conviction and interests genuine Magyars, for only by 
assimilation with them (the Magyars) can they ensure their religion, 
their freedom and culture, since in consequence of this assimilation 
they would become an independent people, strong both materially 
and intellectually, and also in the matter of language connected with 
no other nation." 

"• Mar ha is used in very much the same insulting sense as its German 
equivalent " Rindvieh." 



as no better than gipsies.^" Kollar's Literary Reciprocity 
was the first book for many years which exercised or deserved 
to exercise any influence upon the racial question, and it, as we 
have seen, does not contain a single phrase which the Magyars 
can regard as offensive. Count Zay's pronouncement was a 
trumpet call which ushered in a whole crowd of anonymous 
combatants who pled the rival Slav and Magyar causes in 
rhetorical and acrid pamphlets."^ 
j At the same time a determined attemp t wa s made to Mag- 

N/y ^rize the Slav firhnnk of North Hungary TThe gymnasium of 
/ Rimaszomb at being the first to fall a. victim to th*? Mrig^^pr 
/ onslaught-. -IiljlS^S. In this respect Count Zay specially dis- 
/ tinguished himself by holding a conference of schoolmasters 
' at Zay-Ugrocz, to devise a plan of campaign against the Slav 
language. So successful were his efforts, that Gustav Szon- 
tagh, a prominent Chauvinist writer and renegade, gave Zay 
the chief credit for naturalizing the Magyar language in the 
schools of the Lutheran church. ^^^ 

^hilp fhp Ma gyarization of education was being seriousl y 
attempt ed. Magyarizing societies were iounded m various 
part'^ f^^ ^'^p rnnnfry For instance, the Nemzeti Intezet of 
Nograd held a county ball in aid of its funds, and the Jelenkor 
regarded its success as assured, " since the aim of the society 
— the Magyarization and education of Slovak children — is well 
known to the public ! " "^ More than one fantastic scheme was 
propounded by which the country might be rapidly Magyarized. 
Books and pamphlets were to be printed at the expense of 
county assemblies and scattered broadcast among the non- 
Magyar population."* A law was to be passed by which after 
a definite number of years none who could not speak Magyar 

110 " Most is nalunk annyit teszen oroszkodni, mint cziganykodni " 
(pp. 18-9, Etelka). See also pp. 9, 13-5, 92, 460 of same book — cit. 
by Safafik, Geschichte der slawischen Sprache (Ofen, 1826), p. 45 sqq. 
It was in revenge for this abuse that Kollar placed Dugonics as Cerberus 
in the Slav Hades (see canto IV. of Slavy Dcera). 

"1 See Bibliography (section 4, a). 

"* Jelenkor, No. 27. See also Tdrsalkodo, 1841 Nos. 5 and 6 : Gustav 
Szontagh — Nemzetisegunk iigye s a panszlavismus jelensegei agost. 
hitv. felsobb iskolainkban (the question of our nationality and the 
appearance of Panslavism in our upper schools of Augsburg confession) 
and Tdrsalkodo, 1841, No. 29. Nehany sz6 iskolaink magyarodasa 
koriil (a few words on the Magyarization of our schools). 

113 Jelenkor, 1842, No. 4. 

^** Tudomdnyos GyiijtemSny, 1821, ix. 41. 



should be capable of owning a house or movable property, 
unless he paid a florin on every lOO florins of income, for the 
spread of the language ! ^^ The county of Gomor decided 
to grant no passport to any student wishing to visit a foreign 
university, till he had proved that he had taken no part in 
Panslav intrigues — thus no doubt hoping to shut off Bohemian 
and German influences from the Slavs and Germans of North 
Hungary. Most ingenious of all was the suggestion of Hirnok,^^^ 
that 60,000 Magyar soldiers should be quartered on the non- 
Magyar population, and moved triennially to a new district, 
until all had been Magyarized. Every soldier who Magyarized 
a household would earn a reward of 15 florins, and after three 
years the state would remit the house-tax of all those house- 
holders whose family could speak Magyar. Finally the writer 
indulged in a bad joke regarding the cost of this policy, which 
he estimated at 3,600,000 florins (£300,000) spread over a period 
of twelve years, and which he proposed to raise by holding no 
Diet for sixteen years and appropriating the salaries of its 
members. That a journal of the standing of Hirnok (till 
the appearance of the Pesti Hirlap almost the leading Magyar 
newspaper) could open its columns to such a nonsensical pro- 
posal, goes far to prove that the Magyars were suffering from an 
attack of political monomania. ^^' 

Tlir.„r'^^in^ ^'^HintH h}^ fnunt Z ny m^x with th e unquali - 
fi£d. appr oval of the Magyar p arty in fhp Tnthpran Church. 
and as they forme d the most ^rtiv^ ^^id influential section, 
their views were embodied in the resolutions of more than 
one synod and presbytery, containing severe strictures on 
the Slavs. ^^^ In the General Assembly of the Church, held 
in the summer of 1841, a debate arose on Panslavism and 
Russian propaganda. One speaker actually talked of the 
extermination (kurtas) of the Slavs in Hungary,"^ while Kossuth 

^" Szdzadunk, 1840, No. 28 (described in No. 51 as "' igen velos " — 
highly ingenious). 

^'^'^ Hirnok, 1841, No. 80: " Idegen ajku heiysegeink megmagyar- 
osodasahoz lehet e remenyiink (Is there hope of Magyarizing the 
districts peopled by foreigners ? sic). 

1" With this may be compared the ridiculous suggestion of the well- 
known journal Magyarorszdg (May 26, 1904) that all non-Magyar 
schools should be Magyarized, and that " at play those children who 
do not talk Magyar should be prohibited from playing, for only in this 
way can we prevent our children from being Roumanized." Cit. 
Popovici, Die Vereinigten Staaten von Gross-Oesterreich, p. in. 

"* Mailath, op. cit. iv. 255. 

^" Apologie, p. 120. / 



himself moved that all the existing Slav societies in Lutheran 
\» secondary schools should be forthwith abohshed, and that 
'^ only " homiletical exercises " should be permitted in the 
Slovak language. The motion was carried, not as the result 
of inquiries into the state of these societies, but on the simple 
ground that they might in the future become dangerous ! ^^ 
This was not confirmed by the district s5mods, so that the 
life of the societies was spared for the moment ; but the 
Slovak pastors who attended the Church assemblies, over- 
timid at the best of times, were browbeaten into silence and 
often weakly allowed their adversaries a clear field. A typical 
case of this is afforded by a meeting of the Cisdanubian Synod 
in Pressburg in June, 1841. Several Slovaks requested that 
the proceedings should be in Latin, since they knew no Magyar ; 
but the president. Baron Jeszenak, refused to allow this. 
A knowledge of Latin, he said, was useful, nay, perhaps even 
necessary (this was said within a year of its having been the 
official language of Hungary !) but a knowledge of Magyar 
was an indispensable duty ; and he would have liked to hear 
a declaration to that effect in the assembly, " because it 
was not permissible to subordinate the national cause to 
one's own private conveniences." The Slovak language 
was of course a private convenience, the Magyar language 
was the national cause. Argument was indeed useless with 
men in such a frame of mind as this, just as it was useless 
against a prominent Magyar apologist, who could in one 
and the same article deny aU compulsion in the matter of 
language, and yet refer with obvious triumph to the dissolution 
of all Slav societies in the schools.^^^ 

Tniimirlaf-inn j )roduced Jts e ffect , and the It^f idinp^ Slav 
clergy, doubtless persuaded that their plig h t was desp erate, 
cam e to the mistaken resolve to lay their grievances atJJie 
JQQL joi the thron e. That they were fully entitled' to take 
this step, is of course beyond all question, though it brought 
upon them from all sides the charge of treason and disloyalty 
to their fatherland. But it must be admitted that the sovereign 
was not at that period regarded (and did not deserve to be 
regarded) as a defender of Protestantism, even though the law 
recognized him as the supreme overseer of the Lutheran 
Church; and thus the indignation of the Magyars is less 
inexcusable when one remembers the past relations of the 

^*° Beschtverden und Klagen, p. 18. 

"^ Allgemeine Zeitung (Beilagen), No. 287, " Ungarische Zustande." 



dynasty and the Protestant cause, than when one considers 
the particular case in point. 

The petition was signed by Superintendent Jozefi and 
about 200 other Slovak Protestant clergy. LLjmt^f orward ; 
a^iJ:s.Ieading-niQtiy.e the ..circumstance that the Slovaks " forrn 
a^ pecuhar nationality, which is only capable QLiiirtb£r._43rD- 
gress. through the cultivation of its^own language,^ and, which 
has fof cenlurieaJ2ffered.itsJjfe,aii.d, property to the _corrmiQD 
fatherland,__er4ayiiig__iii. ifiliirn, equal rights with.. ,the_,ather 
races.of Hungary." None the less the Slovaks, and above 
all their clergy, " are basely insulted and put to contempt 
before the other inhabitants of the land, the teaching of the 
Slovak language is penahzedand abused as something illegal, 
Slovak teachers and students are accused of traitorous in- 
trigues." The petitioners then recount their various griev^ 
ances — the attack on the Slavs through their Church organiza- j 
tion, the forcible introduction of Magyar into their services,] 
the closing of Slav societies, the abusive violence of the Magyarf 
press and its refusal to grant the right of reply, the lack ofi- 
all provision for the teaching of Slav languages and literature,! 
the exclusion of the Slovak language from aU courts of justice j^ 
and conclude with an appeal to the monarch to extend his 
august protection, to save the threatened Slav Chairs at 
Pressburg and elsewhere, to establish a Slav chair at Pest 
and a separate censor for Slav books, to allow Latin to con- 
tinue as the language of the registers, to protect the schools 
from the attacks of the ultra-patriots and to prevent the 
expulsion of the Slovak language from them. The deputation 
was graciously received by Ferdinand, as well as by the Arch- 
duke Charles Louis and Metternich; but little hope of any 
practical result was held out to its members.^^^ 

To judge by the violence with which their action was greeted 
by the Magyar Press and by Magyar public opinion, the 
worthy superintendents might have propounded some far- 
reaching scheme of Slovak autonomy ; whereas in reality 
the moderation of their demands is without a parallel in the 
history of modern Hungary. 

There were stormy scenes at the Synod of the Mountain 

"* Pesti Hirlap (No. 149, June 5, 1842) commenting on a rumour that 
the deputation was going to Vienna, said that it could only be " the 
result of a secret conventicle, because in Hungary a body which could 
be described as ' the Slovaks of the northern counties,' and which 
could as such send deputations, cannot exist on a legal basis." 



District, which met at Pest in the middle of June ; the Slovak 
clergy were loaded with abuse, and Superintendent Szeberinyi, 
who upheld the right of appeal to the sovereign, was con- 
tinually interrupted in his speech. ^^^ But the climax was 
reached when the General Assembly opened on June 15. 
Kossuth commenced the attack with extreme vehemence, 
described the deputation as a betrayal of the Protestant 
religion and of the Magyar cause, clamoured for inquiry 
and condign punishment, and advised Jozefi to resign his 
superintendency. The proceedings of the assembly being 
public, a mass of young Magyar lawyers, many of them being 
Calvinists or even Catholics, attended and greeted every 
Slovak speaker with loud and abusive shouts. When men 
like Jozefi and Hod^a were positively howled down, it is 
hardly to be wondered at that the rank and file of the Slovak 
clergy were silent or absented themselves altogether. The 
poet KoUar, it is true, bravely faced the hostile assembly 
and made no attempt to conceal the reason why the Slovaks 
had not submitted their petition. Confidence and love, 
he said, cannot be compelled. After denying the assembly's 
competence to deal with the matter, since according to law 
the king is the supreme superintendent of their Church, he 
proceeded to say : " If there is lo be talk of inquiries, fiscal 
actions and so on, or if our superintendents and leaders are 
to be further abused and insulted, we declare openly that 
we prefer not to share in this General Assembly and will 
not recognize its decrees." Next day, a moderate version 
of the minutes was laid before the assembly, but Kossuth 
rose in anger and declared that he had never in all his life 
heard worse minutes ; whereupon his audience commissioned 
him to draw up himself a revised version, thus making him 
both accuser and judge in one and the same cause. As thus 
altered, the minutes protested against the petition as a vio- 
lation of church autonomy, appointed a committee to inves- 
tigate complaints and significantly declared the Assembly 
"to be still actuated by those feelings which led it last year 
to formulate provisions regarding the Magyar language, 
in accordance with the sense and spirit of the laws of the 
country." ^24 No wonder that the moderate Baron Pronay 


^^3 This same man had been attacked in Jelenkor (1840, No. 88) 
because he addressed the Slovak commune of Gyon (where only two 
or three persons understood Magyar) in their mother tongue ! 

"* Beschwerden und Klagen, p. 34. 



exclaimed, " The spirit of this assembly is the best justification 
of the Slavs and their journey to Vienna. For myself, I 
prefer to belong to the insulted rather than to the insulters." ^^ 

A remarkable sequel was presented by the action of the 
Gomor county assembly, which in September instituted 
legal proceedings against Jozefi and deposed him from the 
post of county assessor, on the ground that the deputation 
was a crime against Church, country, law, and the Magyar 

Amid thp gpnpral or gy of r.hanvinism^ tw o voices wer e 
raisf^d_JIL_ d6fence of the unfortunate Sla vs, r.nnnt John 
Mailath . the well-known historian of Hungary, was a poli- 
tician of pronounced Old Conservative views, and the fore- 
most champion of the Catholic view on the vexed question 
of mixed marriages ; and the fact that it was left to a man 
of these opinions to espouse the cause of the Slav Protestants, 
speaks volumes for the latter 's desperate plight. In a leading 
article in the Nemzeti Ujsdg, of which he had recently become 
the editor. C ount Mailath protested against the Magyarizi ng 
mania ar\(] invjtpd thp Slave; fp alr fhpir g rievances in h is 
jxmmal. His appeal produced two results. On the one 
hand he was attacked with great violence by the Magyarizing 
party with Kossuth at its head ; on the other hand he received 
a large number of letters and addresses from Slovak Protestant 
clergymen, thanking him for his courage and impartiality, 
and some even begging him to defend their cause in the Diet.^" 
But Mailath's influence was restricted to a small section 
of the population, and indeed to one which was steadily 
losing its hold upon public opinion, and although he did 
actually defend the Slavs in parliament, his appeals met 
with little or no response. But about the same time a greater 
than Maildth entered the lists against the overzealous cham-/ 

pions ofMagyarism. This vyRS no nthfr than r.mmt Stpphpn 


Szprhpnyi^ who had alrpar|y rpndprpd inralmlahip ^prv\re'S,yir^ 'I 
fo the prnnnmic qnd ^n^T-fil rp-in^^-al nf Hnngar^r and whose 
glowing patriotism was therefore far above all tinge of sus- 
picion. Without in any way espousing the Slav cause, or 

^2* See Vierteljahrsschrift aus und fiir Ungarn, i. 206 ; and PesH 
Hirlap reports. 

129 See Helfert, op. cit ii, 168. The reader maybe shocked that the 
right of petition was not respected in Hungary even so late as the 
forties. But this right is still less respected at the present day, as may 
be seen from the account of the " Memorandum Trial " on page 301. 

"^ Mailath, op. cit. iv. 256. 



indeed uttering one word which was inconsistent with the 
strongest opposition to Panslavism, Szechenyi, in a famous 
address to the Hungarian Academy which he himself had 
brought into being, warned his countrymen against letting 
their patriotic ardour tempt them to overstep the law, de- 
l scribed the Slav movement in Hungary as a reaction against 
I Magyar vehemence, and argued that the only hope of victory 
for the Magyar element lay in moral superiority, in the deve- 
lopment of a vigorous national culture and literature. " I 
hardly know," he said, " of a single Magyar who, however 
silvered his hair, however furrowed his brow by experience 
and knowledge of Ufe, is not transformed into a madman 
and even more or less deaf to the laws of fairness and justice, 
whenever the question of our language and nationality is 
raised. At such a moment even the calmest is carried away, 
the most clear-sighted is stricken with blindness, and the 
most reasonable is ready to forget the eternal truth of the 
phrase, ' do to others as you would be done by.' " J ji shor t, 
■STi^phpnyi TT|fTf]y made what we should-JiaH an . appeal_Jpr 

fair play^ tn ar) andipnrp whn<;p. rank and learning suggested 

impartiality and immunity from racial passio n. Yet his 
words were received even at the moment with open disfavour, 
and were subjected to the severest criticism throughout 
the Magyar Press. Indeed, it is not too much to assert that 
the decline noticeable in Szechenyi's influence dates from 
this speech. The strict moderation of Szechenyi's view 
is clearly shown by the annoyance which he showed at re- 
ceiving addresses of thanks from the Slav clergy and at being 
lauded by the Saxon and Illyrian Press. Indeed no one 
beli£yed-mefe--a xdently than he in the possibility of assini i- 
lating the„jimi_Ma gyar races ; he merely sought to attain 
this.. ^eat end by fair means, not by foul, to kill all opposition 

by kindnpst;, j]qi in rni sh i fT^lhlpg^Tly nnrjpr foot None 

the less, his speech earned him a violent attack from Kossuth's 
organ, which accused him of allying himself with the enemies 
of his fatherland, of intruding politics into the calm academic 
atmosphere, of asserting a haughty infallibility, and of brand- 
ing the whole nation with the mark of an unmerited shame. ^^^ 
One further consequence of Szechenyi's speech was the 
publication of a pamphlet on Magyar and Slav nationality 

"8 Pesti Hirlap, 1843, Nos. 209, 210 (articles by Francis Pulszky, 
and No. 212 (leading article on "The Speech of 27th November"). 



by the veteran Baron Nicholas Wesselenvi. Kossuth's rival 
in governmental disfavour. His main object was to point 
out the dangers of the Slav movement from an European 
point of view. With him Russia had become a permanent 
obsession ; in his own expressive phrase, the Turks have 
moved from Constantinople to St. Petersburg, and the days 
of the great wars will come again. The growth of the prin- 
ciple of nationality seemed to him to involve a reorganized 
federal Austria. But while he saw clearly the beam in his 
neighbour's eye, the mote which was in his own eye remained 
unsuspected ; and though in fancy he split up " Austria felix " 
into racial units, he refused to treat Hungary in the same 
way. Just as the predominance of a single race in one half 
of the Dual Monarchy involves a similar predominance in 
the other, so racial equality in the one leads either to racial 
equality in the other or to a complete severance of partnership 
between the two states. Wesselenyi's failure to realize this 
fact reveals the limitations of a truly noble and far-sighted 
statesman ; but it is a lesson to which Magyar statesmen 
still deliberately shut their eyes, and the neglect of which has 
at length brought them to the brink of the precipice. 

The Luthera n Ivcee in Pressburg, as the chief centre o f 
budd ing Slovq l Tr nlfnrp^ Tiatnra1l37 formpd t he main p oint 
of attack for the Magyar Chauvinists . In this institution 
a chair of Slav language and literature had been founded 
in the year 1803, and was held by Professor George Palkovic . 
distinguished for his Czech Dictionary and for his revised 
translation of the Czech Bible for the use of his Slovak com- 
patriots. In 1837, he adopted as his assistant teacher one 
of his own students, Ljudevi t Stur, a remarkable man 
who was destined to exercise a decisive influence on the future 
of his nationality. A year later Stiir went to Halle University 
and spent a couple of years there in the study of the classics 
and of Slav literature, receiving a double bursary as a recog- 
nition from the Lutheran presbytery of Pressburg. In 1841 
he once more began to lecture as Palkovic's assistant, and 
rapidly acquired great influence over his Slovak pupils, of 
whom he already had seventy. The enthusiasm which his 
personality and learning inspired, had, even before his depar- 
ture for Germany, induced a party in Pressburg to intrigue 
for the prohibition of his lectures, and on his return the Magyar 
attack was more and more concentrated upon Stur's own 



person, as being indispensable alike to the Slav society and 
professorship. The attempt of the General Assembly in 
1 841 to abolish all Slav societies at Lutheran schools and 
colleges was thwarted for the time by the resistance of the 
district synods ; but the incident of the deputation decided 
the Magyar party in favour of fresh aggression, and in June, 
1843, the commission appointed by the General Assembly 
met to inquire into the state of the Slav societies. Though 
Palkovifc, Stur and others were examined, nothing objec- 
tionable could be found in their conduct, and the inquiry 
ended in their acquittal. None the less, the District Inspector 
insisted upon the Rector of the lycee withdrawing his sanc- 
tion from Sttir's lectures. Protests flowed in from the Slovak 
clergy and laity throughout " Slovensko," and a memorandum 
was signed by sixty-eight students, pointing out that Sttir's 
removal would inevitably cause the collapse of the Slav society 
in Pressburg. This was of course the whole object of the 
Inspector's action, and when the Presbytery met on December 
31, two of its German members bravely exposed these hidden 
motives. Palkovic, who, after close upon forty years of 
office, was now too old and feeble for his work, was skilfully 
offered the alternative of lecturing himself, in which case 
Sttir was not needed, or of resigning, in which case the Pres- 
bytery would appoint his successor. The superintendents 
Szeberinyi and Jozefi claimed that nothing should be done 
till the next district synod met, and as Palkovi£ had originally 
been appointed by Synod and superintendents, this claim 
seemed unanswerable. None the less, when the presbytery 
met in January, the appointment of Palkovifi's assistant 
was definitely assigned to the Inspector and professorate, ' 
and on February 25 Stiir was finally deprived of his post. 
^ The result of this unjust decision was that the great bulk 
of Slovak students left Pressburg, and that as Palkovi6 was 
unable to lecture, the chair of Slav died an unnatural and 
unmerited death. ^^ To commemorate this exodus from Press- 
burg, John Matuska, one of the voluntary exiles, composed 
the famous song " O'er Tdtra's crags the lightnings gleam," 
which, like the national hymn, " Hej Slovici," is now treated 
as a proof of Panslavism and disloyalty. 

^^* I have dwelt in detail upon this incident (in the initial stages of 
which Kossuth and Pulszky played an important part), because it 
seems to me to show to what depths of petty tyranny and meanness 
racial fanaticism can reduce even the loud-tongued apostles of liberty 
and democracy. 



Stnr was far too energet ic a nature to be discouraged e ven 

liy-S.l]r,h . imjusLirfiatment. He devoted himself to pleading 

the Slovak cause abroad, especially in Germany, and pub - 
l ished not only a number of articles in the Ang<;hurg All- 
gemeine Zeitung, at that time the most widely circulated 
paper of Central Europe, but also wrote two able pamphlets 
entitled " Complaints and Grievances of the Slavs in Hun- 
gary " (1844), and " The Nineteenth Century and Magyarism " 
(1845). In 1845 he obtained the long-delayed permission 
to publish a Slovak newspaper, the first of any importance 
in that language. While Palkovic was prosecuted by the 
county authorities for presuming to call his journal the Slav 
National Gazette {Slowenske Ndrodne Nowiny), and was 
forced to omit the word " Slav " from the title, Sttir would 
probably never have been permitted to publish his Ndrodnu 
Noviny, but for the personal intervention of Baron Kulmer, 
In this journal, for the first time, the Slovaks possessed a real 
exponent of their national feeling ; while its literary sup- 
plement, the Tdtra Eagle {Tatransky Orol), edited by 
Miloslav Hurban, devoted itself to their songs, folklore, and 
traditions. Through the medium of his paper Stur advocated 
the formation of societies and unions, for the abolition of 
the feudal Robot — a cause which he always had specially 
at heart — for the redemption of waste land, and for the spread 
of temperance. But Stur and Hurban had to fight against 
overwhelming odds. The entire machine of county govern- 
ment was in the hands of their opponents, and previous to v 
1848, when the Diet was still composed of county delegates, ; 
and when the judicature still rested on an elective basis, 
control of county government meant control of Hungary 
in a sense far more complete even than in the present year 
of grace. Nobility and Press were alike hostile : the Magyar 
educated classes were at least as chauvinistic as they are 
to-day ; and the Slovaks, indeed all the Slav and Latin races i 
of Hungary, owing to their less favoured geographical and] 
\ economic position, had an extremely small middle class, 
I and hence only very limited powers of resistance to the clan 
of the extremists. 

Stur's Hterary activity forms a turning point in the history 
of his race. Realizing the imperfections of the Bernoldk 
dialect, and convinced of the impossibility of maintaining 
Czech as the language of Slovak culture, Stur with his two 
friends Hurban and Hodza, both of them Lutheran pastors, 



definitely adopted as the language of all their writings the 
central Slovak dialect, as spoken in the counties of Lipto 
and Turocz. In 1846 Stur published in Pressburg a new 
Slovak grammar, and followed this up in the same year by a 
treatise on " Slovak Orthography and the need of writing 
in it." ^^ The new school met with the strongest disapproval 
from the Czechs, who published in Prague a reply in defence 
of linguistic^unity between the two sister races. While Safafik 
regarded Stur's action as unnatural, because too sudden and only 
based on theoretical and speculative principles, Kollar with 
his usual vehemence not only denounced the absurdity of 
the movement, but strove to depreciate the central and un- 
doubtedly purest Slovak dialect at the expense of the Eastern 
dialects which contain a large admixture of Polish and Ruthene. 
I Thus for a short period no less than three linguistic schools 
prevailed among the Slovaks — the Bemolacina, used by 
most of the Catholic clergy ; the Czech, used by Kollar and 
his adherents ; the middle Slovak, used by Stur, Hodza and 
Hurban. In 1847 the rival schools met at the assembly of 
the literary society " Tatrin," recently founded by the three 
friends for the support of Slovak writers and for the pub- 
lication of literature for the people ; and it was agreed to 
submit their conflicting views to the arbitration of Martin 
Hattala, a professor in Prague. The troubles of the Revolution 
postponed the decision, but in 1850 Hattala published his 
results in his Grammatica linguae slovenicae, which was 
accepted by both sides a year later at a linguistic conference 
at Pressburg. Henceforth the Slovak language has developed 
steadily, despite its extremely unfavourable political situa- 
tion, and has produced more than one poet of no mean order. 
Its literature cannot of course compare with that of the Magyars, 
who have during the past century produced at least three 
poets of the very first rank, besides numerous other writers 
of great charm and merit. But there is no language in Europe 
of which its sons have so genuine a right to be proud ; for 
■^ it is the product of a struggle against the most desperate 
odds, and its survival proves its virility and innate merits. 
It proves also that it supplied a natural want, by providing 
I the soul of the people with a means of literary expression ; 

"" Nauka reoi slovenskej and Ndrecja slovenskuo alebo potreba 
pisanja v tomto ndreci vistavend. The latter was really an answer 
to a book published in Prague, entitled Views as to the Necessity of unity 
of the written language of Czechs Moravians and Slovaks, 




for otherwise it must inevitably have perished. At first 
sight it seems the greatest pity that a new history language 
should have thus been somewhat artificially created. But 
Stur's action was based on a true instinct. In the case of 
the Slovaks a distinctive language of their own was wellnigh 
their sole weapon of defence against national extinction ; and 
if racial passions had not blinded the Magyars to all reason, 
they would have realized that Stur, by his deliberate erection 
of a new linguistic barrier, was supplying a most striking 
and convincing disproof of his alleged " Panslav " leanings. 
It is a peculiar irony of fate that a countryman of Kollar 
should have been the first to turn his back upon the ideals of 
that apostle of literary Panslavism. " A poor thing, but 
mine own," is after all the one unanswerable reply of weak 
and insignificant nationalities to the would-be assimilator. 

The ruthless manner in which the Magyars, so to speak, 
passed to the order of the day over the helpless bodies of 
their Slovak fellow-countrymen, is nowhere more apparent 
than in the utterances of the Magyar Press of the forties. At 
a time when Press freedom in Hungary had hardly thrown off 
its swaddling clothes, itachampions were eager to refus e 
its benefit.s ._t o _ their weaker bf^th i^en? A most startling 
proof of this is afforded by the report of the Committee ap- 
pointed by the Diet to inquire into the matter of liberty of 
the Press. " Lastly," it remarks, " the Committee has not 
neglected the matter of nationality, and has regarded as its 
chief point of departure the interests of the Magyar language, 
to work for the spread of which is the most sacred duty of 
every citizen. Convinced that with the extension of Press 
freedom interest in the study of, and desire for the knowledge 
of, the Magyar language will be greatly increased, and bearing 
in mind the relations between our country and the hereditary 
lands (i.e. Cisleithania), the Committee wishes to see the 
aforementioned favours vindicated only for Magyar writings." "^ 
Comment upon such language is surely superfluous, and 
that it is no mere isolated example can be abundantly proved 
by extracts from the leading newspapers of the period, especially 
from Kossuth's own organ, the Pesti Hirlap. 

After a few preliminary assurances of racial tolerance, 
this journal devoted all its brilliant talents and rapidly in- 
creasing prestige to the cause of Magyarization, and contri- 

^'^ Jordan's JahrbUcher fiiv slawische Literatur, 1843, p. 168. 
R.P.H. 81 G 


buted very materially to the growth of ill-feeling between 
Magyars and Croats. Even within the first year of issue, 
an article appeared under the heading " The Serbs, our ene- 
mies," ^32 2iYid soon afterwards the Serbs were described as 
mere retainers dependent upon the Magyar alms.^^ In No. 91. 
of the Pesti Hirlap a Slovak professor in Schemnitz is re- 
proached for holding Slav classes twice a week for forty of 
his pupils, and in No. 41 the introduction of Magyar sermons 
in the pure German community of Dobschau is held up to 
the reader's admiration. Special prominence is given to 
instances of Magyarization in church or school, and the assump- 
tion of Magyar surnames by Slav, German, or Jewish renegades 
is a permanent rubric on the front page. 

In a famous article entitled " A Retrospect on the Slav 
Movement," ^^ the Pesti Hirlap indulges in vague allusions 
to Russia, civilization, and a duty to posterity, and after 
declaring that the future of the country belongs to the Magyar 
nationality, declares the Slav movement to be " an unnatural 
attempt," and rings the death-knell of the Hungarian Slavs. 
" Nationality is the holiest gift of Heaven, for which one 
cannot struggle enough, for which we gladly sacrifice the 
greatest gifts on earth. . . . Nationality is a historic fact, 
of which language is only one factor, for that a people may 
possess nationality it must also possess a common constitu- 
tion, common sentiments, interests and needs of progress, 
common memories of a great past lived together. In a word : 
nationality presupposes a certain amount of culture, a certain 
degree of self-consciousness rousing it into action, and 
at the same time ability to acquire under given circumstances 
an independent position towards every other nation." It 
was a cunning trick on the part of the author to make inde- 
pendence a test of nationality, for it gave him an excuse for 
denying the very existence of a Slav nationality in Hungary. 
" All those qualities which rank as the attributes of nationality, 
are possessed in our fatherland by the Magyar race alone, 
as combining property, intellect, and power — yes, and power, 
for whatever fine phrases we may use, power is in the last 
resort the most important historic factor of nationality." ^^ 

"« Pesti Hirlap, No. 50. "' Pesti Hirlap, No. 54. 

"* No. 155 (1842), signed A. B. 

"* The modem Magyar is of the same opinion, and to any foreigner 
who shows some knowledge of the question, will admit that it is above all 
a " Machtfrage" (see p. 395). 



Some weeks later ^^ the same writer spoke still more openly, 
" Who can doubt," he said, " that the Magyar is within 
his rights if he extends the blessings of the national constitu- 
tion to the inhabitants of non-Magyar tongue, solely on the 
condition that . . . they become Magyars in language, feeling, 
and political aims?" "If," exclaims another writer, "we 
pursue the Magyarization of the Slavs of Hungary, we merely 
fulfil the duty which is proclaimed by every son of the father- 
land, by the fatherland itself, by the nation, by constitutional 
freedom and civilization."^^' A writer in Tdrsalkodo'^^ goes 
even further, and declares that "those deserve the name of 
scoundrel, who write in the German or Slav languages against 

An article 01 Louis Kossuth in the autumn of 1843,^^^ which 
attracted much attention in its day, claims as a minimum, 
" that aU branches of the public administration without 
exception be conducted in the Magyar language, as also that 
the language of official intercourse with the Government 
be . . . Magyar." The new law should declare that " the Hun- 
garian legislature not only does not intend to rob the other 
races of the country of their language, but rather recognizes 
how unjust it would be to meddle with private matters of 
language by means of legal compulsion." Kossuth then 
proceeds to interpret this pretty phrase, as follows : " It 
seems to us that the language of public instruction cannot be 
different from the diplomatic language. . . . With regard to the 
village schools, we hold that, since it is the duty of the State 
to take care that every one has the opportunity of learning 
the language of public administration, it is necessary that 
in every village school the Magyar language should be care- 
fully taught." ^*" In the same way the Jelenkor, in a leading 
article of August 13, 1842, while disclaiming all idea of legal 
compulsion, argues in the very same sentence in favour of a 
law by which parents must " send their children to schools 
where the Magyar language is the chief subject of instruc- 

"• Pesti Hirlap, No. 162, cp. page 81. 

^*' Pesti Hirlap, No. 164, cit. Apologia des Ung. SI., p. 41. 

"* 1841, No. 30. 

"• Pesii Hirlap, No. 183. See German translation in Henszlmann's 
Vierteljahrsschrift. Bd. i, p. 172. 

^" Here we see in embryo the words of Law XVIII of 1879, which, on 
the ground that it is desirable that all should have the opportunity of 
learning Magyar, makes its instruction compulsory. 



tion." ^*^ By such means and by the erection of infant homes 
at the expense of each community, " it should be possible to 
help radically this evil." ^^^ 

A renegade Slav whom Kossuth's organ puts forward as a 
spokesman in favour of " unity of nationality," writes as 
ioUows ^" : " What then, ask the opponents of the Magyar 
-^language and nationality, does -Magyai lsni aim at, with its 
restless struggles and energetic expansion ? The answer 
^very simple: ft seeks guarantees forltS" future existence. 
Magva risijL, as an independe nt national elementTls not some^ , 
thing whic h is still in the^irth thro w s, like Illyrism ^t already 
exists, "and t u e lirst natu ral-ia:HLjQLJ:hat which _e jdsts is to_ 
_g^f^ tft pr^JTifain ifc; pvkfpnrp " What is meant by " main- 
taining its existence " may best be gathered from a highly 
characteristic article of the same period.^** " While every, 
student of history is forced to admit that Hungary can only 
be strong and secure and develop all her material and spiritual 
strength when all the dividing elements in the people's life 
are linked together by the mutual bond of language, and that 
this language can only be the Magyar as the real language 
of the nation, on the other hand it is only possible to regret 
the embittered feelings into which the nation has been plunged 
by a few ultras. The law, and with it every moderate and sober 
Magyar, wishes nothing else than that every one who if asked 
after his fatherland can only call himself a Magyar, should 
understand the Magyar language ^^ but it is impossible to 
interpret the law to mean that the Slav or German should 
therefore forget his mother-tongue. The aim of every Magyar, 
and his warmest wish is that in his country only a single language, 
namely the Magyar, should he usual ; but this can only be 
the work of time. But that this wish is no mere castle in 
the air, is taught us not only by history, but by many examples 
in our country. In the counties of Bdcs and Somogy there 
exist many villages which were originally inhabited by Slavs 
and Germans, but which have been completely Magyarized, 
so that only foreign accents betray their origin." Language^ 
is here treated- as the sola basis of nationality. The many 

^*^ A fo tanulmdny. 

^** Lehetne e' bajon gyokeresen seglteni. 
^" Pesti Hirlap, No. 177. 

^" Szdzadunk, 1841, No. 84, article entitled " T6t nam ember." 
***... hogy mindeki ki ha hazija utdn kerdezik csak magyarnak 
nevezheti magdt, a magyar nyelvet ertse. 



other factors which contribute to the life and durability of a 
state 'are wilfully ignored, the experience of many other 
countries is rejected, and the illogical view is upheld that every 
inhabitant of " Magyarorszag " must speak Magyar, just as 
every inhabitant of England or Italy speaks English or Italian. 
Here then we have the goal towards which every " patriotic " 
Magyar must strive — Hungary as a national state fromjwhi^h 
all racial_distinctions~liave been caiefiiitjT'eTiminated. It 
is quite possible tD~~aTgTi:5""that the attainmehr'of this end 
would be in the higher interests of the country ; but it is 
obvious that no self-respecting non-Magyar could ever admit 
this view of the case, and to brand him as a traitor for his op- 
position, is repugnant to all ideas of fair play or common 
sense, ^*^ 

We cannot better conclude this chapter than by referring to 
a famous controversy of the yeari842,^*' between two prominent 
champions of the Magyar and the Slav cause — Francis Pulszky, 
the able lieutenant of Louis Kossuth, and Count Leo Thun, a 
Czech nobleman who was destined to play a conspicuous 
part in Austria during the years that followed the suppression 
of the Revolution. The correspondence was opened by Thun, 
who sent to Pulszky a recent essay upon the Czech literary 
revival, and invited his criticism upon it. Pulszky in his 
reply institutes a comparison between the political and literary 
situation in Bohemia and in Hungary, and then proceeds to 
discuss the condition of the North Hungarian Slavs, who 

"• Lest any critic should attempt to argue that the extracts given in 
this chapter ar* not typical of Magyar public opinion, I have quoted 
from virtually all the Magyar pohtical newspapers which existed in 
the "forties." In 1847 there were 184 newspapers in the Habsburg 
dominions (including Lombardy-Venetia), of which 45 were 
pohtical. Of these latter, only 6 were Magyar, as compared to 9 
German, 14 Italian, i Polish, i Czech, i Slovak, i Serb, i Croat, 
I Roumanian. The Pesti Hirlap of November 6, 1842 (No. 193), quotes 
statistics of the Magyar Press in Budapest : Nemzeti Ufsdg (Count 
Mailath) 450 copies ; Vildg (DesewfiEy, Old Conservative), 1,244 ; Jelen- 
kor, 894 ; Athencsum, 438 ; Pesti Hirlap, 3,670 ; the Protestant educa- 
tional paper, 505 ; Religion and Education, 758 ; Magyar Gazda (The 
Magyar Farmer), 749 ; Regelo (Story teller), 647 ; Orvosi Tar (a doctor's 
paper), 196: total, 9,551. The Allgemeine Zeitung of Augsburg was 
at that time one of the most widely read newspapers in Hungary, and 
indeed throughout all Central Europe. 

1*7 Die Stellung der Slovaken in Ungarn, beleuchtet von Leo Graf en von 
Thun, Prag, 1 843 ; and Henszlmann's Vierteljahrsschrift aus und fiir 
Ungarn. Both contain the whole correspondence. 



were welcomed as refugees from religious tyranny, and should 
not now turn ungratefully against the Magyars. That the 
linguistic struggles of the Slovaks, he said, can lead to 
nothing, is proved by the fact that in the county of Saros 
Slovak resembles Polish far more closely than Czech, that the 
peasants are utterly backward, the nobles Magyar, and the 
bourgeoisie, even when Slav by birth, eager to be regarded 
as German, while the Catholic clergy are devoting themselves 
to the spread of the Magyar language. " The Czech language," 
adds Pulszky, " has no future in Hungary, and much as I 
value the talent of a Kollar, I still think that if in a Hungarian 
Slav the feeling of his Czech origin awakes and develops into 
hostility towards the Magyar language, then there is nothing 
left for him but to emigrate with Palacky and Safarik to a 
place where his aspirations are recognized and his intellectual 
activity finds a wider and more fruitful field than in Hungary." 
Here we have once more the old refrain, " aut disce aut discede," 
though in a more polished and seductive form. To these 
remarks Thun replies by pointing out the inconsistency with 
which Pulszky seems to recognize in the case of the Czechs and 
of the Southern Slavs those rights of nationality and language 
which he denies to the Slovaks. As he justly observes, the 
question whether the Slovaks are descended from Hussite 
immigrants instead of being the original possessors of the soil, 
is quite immaterial. The real issue is whether the Magyars 
" will allow the Slavs of Hungary to feel as Slavs in their 
moral and cultural development," just in the same way as the 
Magyars themselves. That the Slovaks are in a backward 
condition, is no argument, for so too were, till recently, the 
Czechs, (and, he might have added, the Magyars.) The only 
plausible argument against the Hungarian Slavs is that they 
play into the hands of the Russian Government, and so 
endanger the State ; but this is an entirely false view, Hungary's 
need of a common language cannot be contested by any sensible 
man, and this language should certainly be the Magyar, But 
it does not by any means follow from this that Magyar is to 
stand alone and to be the exclusive language of local and 
county affairs. If only the Magyars would concede to the 
Slavs the control of their own schools, and the right to conduct 
the affairs of Slav communes and corporations in their own 
tongue, the whole quarrel would soon be at an end. 

When Pulszky next enters the lists, he has already donned the 
full armour of the Pan-Magyar, and speaks with no uncertain 



tone. He is proud to be a patriot, not a cosmopolitan, and 
will never subordinate the good of his country to vague con- 
siderations of philanthropy. The bond which has hitherto 
held Hungary together is the dominant Magyar race, and it is 
hardly likely that its enemies will be admitted to the enjoyment 
of political rights, since mere humanitarian phrases can hardly 
blind the Magyars to their isolated position in Europe. " We 
ask of the Slavs," he continues, " no more than the English 
ask of the Celts of Wales or the Scottish Highlands {sic),^^ 
nor than the French ask of Brittany or Alsace. We wish that 
all public documents in Hungary should be in Magyar, that 
the language of instruction should be Magyar — in a word, that 
the Magyar language should in every respect supersede the 
Latin, while the Slav language may content itself with those 
rights which it formerly possessed ; but into the household circle 
the Magyar language will never forcibly intrude. But th at this 
too will gradually be Magyarized as gen eral culture _sprfiads, 
is natural eno'ugh ; for sinCepii blicTife, whose organjthe Magyar 
language is, ex feTids"~its influence in_eyery direction, Tt~will 
without any- rnmpnkinn intrndnre th?^ 1anp;na^e int o every 
family whirh dnp-:; nnf movp. enti rely outsjd ejts sphere. The 
most zealous Slav turns Magyar when he becomes advocate 
[Louis Kossuth the advocate and Francis Pulszky were both 
Slovaks by birth] ; if he is noble, he could not in any case 
remain Slav, and this explains the strange state of affairs under 
which the Protestant clergy and professors are the only persons 
to defend the Slovakl anguage in North Hungary,"^ since they 

^** This shows how grossly ignorant Pulszky was of Great Britain, and 
of the English in particular. In the same way the Magyars of to-day 
are apt to confuse " England " with the United Kingdom, and to 
imagine the Scottish, Welsh and Irish peoples to be "subject races " 
like the non-Magyar races of Hungary. 

A very sUght study of British history might, however, supply the 
Magyars with a very salutary lesson ; for the dire results of a poHcy 
such as they have so long pursued are written large upon almost every 
page — in the tyranny of Edward I, which made of Scotsmen and 
Englishmen hereditary foes, and in the gloomy annals of Ireland, where 
the reconciled enemies conspired to treat a subject nation as the " mere 
Irish." Such a study would also teach them to avoid the odious ex- 
pression " idegen ajkuak " (foreign inhabitants) as apphed to the non- 
Magyar races. Imagine any native of these islands calling Welsh or 
Gaelic a foreign tongue ! 

*** Pulszky, as a Protestant, had a natural prejudice against the 
Catholic clergy. Nothing else can explain his manifest injustice to the 
sterling services rendered by them to the Slovak cause. 



have hitherto been excluded in most countries from the right 
to vote which the Cathohc clergy possess." Pulszky adds that 
he has tried to discover any specific fact which substantiates 
the Slovak grievances ; he is calmly oblivious of the over- 
whelming proof of the cruel situation of the Slovaks, which is 
supplied by his whole letter, and especially by the passage which 
we have just quoted. Indeed the very fact that he regarded 
exclusion from political rights as the true motive of their leaders, 
helps to demolish his own assertion that they had no cause for 

There is no need to recount the various arguments of Count 
Thun's final reply, though it is interesting to note that he 
disposes of the ridiculous analogy with Wales and Scotland, 
by holding up as an example to the Magyars the attitude of 
English bishops and schoolmasters towards the Welsh language. 
Very crushing is his rejoinder to the Magyar journalists, who 
reproach the Slovaks because they have no newspapers in 
their own language ; the simple reason was that at that period 
permission had been persistently refused for the foundation 
of a Slovak journal. But his plaidoyer reaches its highest 
level when he comes to deal with Pulszky's kindly assurance 
that no force will ever be used to introduce the Magyar language 
into the family circle. " Does that mean," he exclaims, " that 
you actually do not forbid the Slovaks to use their language in 
the interior of their houses, where no one can overhear them ? 
Or do you wish to take credit for the fact that no Slovak is 
flogged or stoned for speaking Slovak on the open street ? 
Neither the one nor the other is within your power. But if you 
appoint teachers in the schools who cannot or will not speak 
the language of the children, and thus for the sake of your 
language transform the schools into places where the soul is 
crippled instead of being awakened into life ; if you order 
sermons to be preached in the churches in a language which 
the congregation does not understand, and thus disturb the 
service of God instead of protecting it ; if instead of furthering 
all higher culture in the Slav mother tongue, you do all in 
your power to hinder it — then you are guilty of a more cruel 
compulsion towards your Slav fellow-countrymen than can 
be inflicted even with the knout." Here we have an allusion 
to a phrase of Count Zay, who told the Slovaks that they had 
to choose between Magyarism and the Russian knout. As 
a contemporary sarcastically remarked, it is highly suggestive 
that despite the dreadful knout to which Magyar publicists 


so often refer, the Magyars themselves seem to believe that a 
Russian regime might be found preferable to their own mild 
and benevolent rule.^ " Rather the Russian knout, "^^^ was 
the fiery answer to Count Zay's alternative, " rather the 
Russian knout than Magyar domination, for the one could 
only enslave our bodies, while the other threatens us with 
moral ruin and death." 

"0 Allgemeine Zeitung, Beilagen, No. 256 (1841). Meanwhile 
Miloslav Hurban was writing in an extreme Croatian national- 
ist journal, and arguing that "the Slovaks are the greatest support 
of the Hungarian kingdom." (See Das nationale und liter arische 
Lehen der Slowaken in Ungarn, an article translated from the Illyrian 
Kolo, in Jordan's Jahrbiicher fiir slawische Literatur, 1844, pp. 15-19). 
This may be highly exaggerated, but at any rate it is scarcely suggestive 
of " Panslavism " ! 

"^ Hodza, Der Slovak. 



The Revolution of 1848 

Extra Hungarian! non est vita ; 
Aut si vita, non est ita. 

Old Proverb. 

THE revolution of 1848 is one of the great landmarks not 
merely of the nineteenth century, but of all history ; 
for never before had the solidarity of the European common- 
wealth revealed itself so clearly. The true import of modem 
industrial and scientific discoveries first became apparent, 
when with lightning rapidity a spark struck in Paris burst into 
flame in half a dozen foreign capitals. The world awoke once 
more, this time to the noblest of all struggles, and claimed 
that equality of race without which equality of the individual 
is a mere idle dream. 

The long period of exhaustion and reaction which followed 
the Napoleonic Wars, was the inevitable precursor of a fresh 
upheaval ; and had events delayed the fall of Louis Philippe, 
Paris might have been robbed of her revolutionary pre- 
eminence, but the storm would not have been averted. In 
Hungary the movement in favour of constitutional reform 
was specially strong, and was fanned by the influence of a 
man who, whatever may have been his shortcomings, possessed 
in a signal degree the qualities of a successful demagogue 
and agitator. To great eloquence and readiness of phrase 
Louis Kossuth added a perfervid patriotism, a reckless impetu- 
osity and a talent for journalistic exaggeration, such as fired 
the impressionable Magj^ars into a perfect frenzy of enthu- 
siasm. Though, as we have already seen, his conception of 
liberty was by no means so ideal as is generally supposed, 
he undoubtedly represented democracy and reform in the 
Hungary of his day, and to him are mainly due the two great 
reforms of parliamentary government and the abolition of 
Serfdom. The national concessions won at the Diets of 
1840 and 1844, while alarming the central government, had 
merely served to whet the Magyar appetite ; and the re- 
actionary and barely constitutional system estabhshed by 



the Hungarian Chancellor, Count George Apponyi, so far 
from checking the movement, only made its leaders more 
clamorous. The immense influence of Kossuth's brilliant 
journal, the Pesti Hirlaj), was consistently employed to push 
extreme national claims ; while the more sober and states- 
manlike De4k supplied the reformers with a programme, whose 
liberal tone assured its popularity from the outset and whose 
insistence upon legal and constitutional tradition made it 
impossible for the government to treat it as revolutionary. 

By the autumn of 1847 the position of Apponyi and his 
old Conservative followers had become well-nigh untenable, 
and the summons of Parliament could no longer be post- 
poned. From the moment when the new Diet met (November 
10, 1847), Kossuth dominated the assembly, and the waning 
influence of Szechenyi grew daily more apparent. The 
royal proposals, which contained many concessions of genuine 
importance, and which three years before would have been 
received with acclamation, were now regarded as wholly 
inadequate ; and the rival parties, closely matched in numbers, 
plunged from the very first into a heated contest. Long 
before the news from Paris reached Hungary, the excitement 
had reached fever pitch, and more than one measure of primary 
importance had been passed. The fall of the July Monarchy, 
and still more the consternation which that event produced 
in Vienna, encouraged the Magyars to hasten their pace. 
The great speech of Kossuth, in which he proposed the Address 
to the Monarch, demanded a responsible ministry for Hungary 
and a constitution for Austria, and declared that the future 
of the dynasty depended upon the cordial imion of the various 
races of the Monarchy, marks an important stage in the 
evolution of the Dual State. In the words of a recent his- 
torian, ^^2 it expresses under legal forms ideas which are essenti- 
ally revolutionary ; and nothing so well illustrates the peculiar 
genius of the Magyars for imparting a legal aspect to an entirely 
new situation or for claiming a new departure as an ancient 
tradition. The effect of the speech was tremendous, and 
henceforth Kossuth was irresistible in ParUament. The 
events of March, 1848, in Hungary are unique in modern 
history ; for never surely were so many radical refoims adopted 
in such feverish haste and almost without discussion. In 
one short month Hungary was transformed in theory from 

«« Eisenmann, op. cit., p. 81. 


a mediaeval to a modem state, from a land of aristocratic 
privilege and semi-feudal traditions, to a parliamentary 
monarchy which recognized the equality of all citizens before 
the law. The Hungarian Chancellory and the Palatinal 
Council were abolished and replaced by an independent and 
responsible Hungarian Cabinet, with exclusive control of 
the executive. Parliament was to hold annual sessions, and 
to be renewed every three years ; while a new electoral law 
swept away the old system of delegates from county and 
town, and substituted the direct election of deputies. The 
old exclusive noble franchise was annulled, and the nobles 
were deprived of their exemption from taxation. Serfdom 
and feudal dues were abolished, with compensation to the 
landlords out of State funds ; and with these privileges fell 
the primitive institution of seignorial courts, and the first 
breach was made in the law of entail. The franchise of the 
town and county assemblies was extended, a law regulating 
freedom of the Press was passed, religious equality was 
solemnly proclaimed, a national University and Credit Bank 
were founded, and a national guard was organized. Finally 
a law was carried, proclaiming the union of Transylvania 
with Hungary. 

The laws of 1848 form the foundation of modern Hungary, 
and in the main they are inspired by a truly liberal spirit. 
But though legally sanctioned by the Monarch, they contained 
the seeds of future evil. The ambiguity with which the vital 
question of Common Affairs is treated, left free play for the 
most dangerous interpretations, and thoroughly alarmed 
the advisers of Ferdinand, the shadow-Emperor. Unhappily 
this ambiguity was destined to find its way from the laws 
of 1848 into the Ausgleich of 1867, and to provoke in the 
early years of the twentieth century a grave constitutional 
crisis, of which none can as yet foresee the end. The first 
outbreak of revolution in Vienna had placed the control of 
affairs in the hands of men friendly to the movement in Hun- 
gary. But the dynasty soon fell once more a prey to reac- 
tionary influences, and there is little doubt that even if Kossuth 
and his party had shared the mihtary views of Radetzky 
himself in questions affecting the army, the Camarilla would 
still have vowed vengeance to the new regime in Hungary. 
Meanwhile another fatal omission in the laws of 1848 secured 
to the Absolutist party a most welcome ally. This was no 
other than the Croats, who, already seriously alarmed and 



offended by the linguistic provisions of 1844, saw in more 
than one of the newly-voted laws a confirmation of their 
worst fears. Throughout the winter strained relations had 
existed between the party of reform and the Croatian delegates 
to the Diet, who had at a critical moment turned the scale 
in favour of the unpopular government of Apponyi. The 
whole trend of the new legislation was towards centralism, 
unification, even assimilation, and this fact could not be 
concealed even by the genuinely humanitarian nature of many 
of its provisions. Croatia and her special interests were 
pressed into the background, and the attitude of the majority 
seemed to threaten her with a fate similar to that of Tran- 
sylvania. The Croats were from the first alive to their danger, 
and favoured by their geographical position and by the rise 
of an able national leader in Baron Jellacic, they soon proved 
as impatient of half measures as the Magyars themselves. 
Jellacii set Budapest at open defiance, negotiated behind 
the back of the Batthyany Cabinet with the fugitive court 
at Innsbruck, and in his double capacity as Ban of Croatia 
and commander of the military frontiers organized the resist- 
ance of the southern Slavs to Hungary. The Court was 
not slow to use its opportunity, and in many cases Austrian 
officers were sent out with the object of imparting discipline 
to the insurgent peasantry. By the late summer of 1848 
the Magyars were virtually ringed round by hostile nation- 
alities in arms, and their only willing support came from a 
handful of Polish emigres and from the Germans of Temesvar 
and its immediate neighbourhood. Such was the result of 
limiting themselves to a strictly national programme, instead 
of rallying the whole nation round them by the grant of racial 

The desperate and prolonged struggle of the Magyar against 
overwhelming odds contains elements of heroism which 
readily appeal to the casual observer. Closer inspection 
shows us that the reverse of this brightly polished medal is 
dull and tarnished. The Hungarian Revolution was a contest 
on two fronts — against Vienna on the one side, against the 
non-Magyar races on the other. To the former Kossuth 
offered armed resistance, in the hope of asserting the 
very claims which he denied to the latter on the ground of 
historic rights. It was no idle phrase of Szechenyi when 
he accused Kossuth of " goading into madness against the 
Magyar nation " all other races of the Crown of St. Stephen. 



The Croats, as we have seen, were ready and eager, months 
before the Court at Innsbruck gave its sanction, for the signal 
to march against Budapest. The Serbs of the Banat^^a ^.^q 
still looked back regretfully on their autonomous position, 
were specially susceptible to ideas of nationality, and the 
marked hostility displayed towards them by Kossuth and 
his organ, the Pesii Hirlaj), certainly did not allay the feeling. 
In May, 1848, the Serb National Congress met at Karlowitz, 
and placed itself in such direct opposition to Batthyany's 
government that an open rupture became inevitable. Early 
in June the first blows were struck between the Serbs and 
Magyars, and the contest was conducted with ever-growing 
bitterness and cruelty. Meanwhile the union of Transylvania 
with Hungary, hurried through a packed Diet under illegal 
forms and under the terrorism of a howling mob, goaded 
the Roumanians into open revolt. Though forming two- 
thirds of the population of Transylvania, they lacked every 
vestige of political rights, aU power being concentrated in 
the hands of the three privileged nations, the Magyars, Saxons 
and Szekels ; and the petition drawn up at the national 
assembly of Roumanians in Blaj (Balazsfalva) in May, 1848, had 
been entirely ignored by the Diet. No longer content to be 
regarded as mere beasts of burden,^^* they boldly claimed 
recognition as the fourth nation of the country, and when 

"3 The rich Hungarian plain situated between the Danube and the 
Theiss (Tisza), from Temesvar to Belgrad. 

"* Such was Hterally the attitude of most Magyars towards the 
Roumanians. In a leader of the Kossuth Hirlapja of October 22, 1848, 
there occurs the following sentence, " Outside the pariahs there is 
hardly a more wretched people on earth than the Transylvanian Wal- 
lachs. You can yoke them Uke oxen, from whom they only differ in 
that they can speak." A highly characteristic incident is quoted by 
Dr. Friedjung {Oesterreich von 1848 bis i860, i. p. 231) from Count 
Kolowrat's Memoirs. The latter met Beothy, the Commissioner 
of the Magyar Government, in charge of twenty carts filled with 
Serb prisoners. " ' What have these people done ? ' I asked him. 
' They are ' Racz ' [the Magyar nickname for Serbs], he replied. 
' But what is their offence ? ' I went on. ' Isn't it enough that 
they are Racz ? ' he said. ' But what are you going to do with 
them then?' Tasked. 'I'll have them all hanged,' he answered. 
' But think what you are doing ; the poor devils have committed no 
crime ! ' I retorted. ' No crime ? They are Racz, and that is enough 
to be ripe for the gallows. We must wipe out the whole race ! ' " 
But for Kolowrat's personal intervention with the general in command, 
the bloodthirsty braggart might have carried out his threat. 



the union showed them that they had nothing to expect 
through legal means, they resorted to violence and flung 
themselves into the arms of the Imperialists, whose com- 
manders were more than once seriously compromised by 
the terrible cruelties of these free-lance adherents. The 
excesses perpetrated by the Serbs and Roumanians against 
the Magyar nobles and bourgeoisie, though doubtless the 
result of centuries of repression, destroy our sympathy for a 
cause whose innate justice is beyond dispute ; and the equally 
violent reprisals of the incensed Magyars complete the sombre 
colouring of the picture. Even the Saxons joined in the 
general resistance to the Pan-Magyar claims. To this course 
they were driven not merely by their proverbial loyalty to 
the dynasty, but by the natural aversion with which they 
regarded the union with Hungary, where their scanty numbers 
were in danger of being swamped in the rising flood of Magyar 
Chauvinism. Two heroic Lutheran pastors, Stephan Ludwig 
Roth and Karl Obert, sealed with their blood their fidelity 
to the House of Habsburg and the ancient privileges of the 
Saxon nation. 

/During this national awakening, the Slovaks also began 
toYaise their heads. The three leaders of their literary revival, 
Stur, Hurban and Hodza, now appear as the champions of 
a political cause. Stiir, who as representative of the town 
of Neusohl had distinguished himself at the Diet, had found 
his position untenable, owing to the increasing fanaticism^ 
In the early days of the Viennese revolution, he and Hurban 
conferred with the numerous Slavs gathered in the Austrian 
capital ; and when Jellacic was illegally acclaimed Ban of 
Croatia by popular vote and then confirmed in office by the 
Emperor, the latter attended his installation at Agram, in 
company with representatives of the Czechs, Serbs and 
Slovenes. As spokesman of the Slovaks, he even went so 
far as to declare in a firebrand oration, that the lot of the 
Christians of Turkey was far more bearable than the condition 
of the Slovaks in Hungary .^^ Meanwhile open meetings were 
held during the early spring in more than one place in Northern 
Hungary. \When the March laws were published in Lipto 
St. Miklos, a petition was read before the County Assembly 
(March 28), in which the rights of the Slovak language were 
vindicated not only for elementary schools and courts of 
first instance, but also for all petitions and official proclama- 
"* Capek, The Slovaks, p. 78. 



tions, and also for the county assemblies."^ After a somewhat 
stormy scene, the assembly very naturally declared that it 
was not competent to introduce such radical changes, and 
that the matter must be referred to Parliament. Six weeks 
later, however, a much more significant event took place. 
On May 10 a national Slovak meeting was held at Lipto St. 
Miklos, under the leadership of Miloslav Hurban, the fiery 
Lutheran pastor, who favoured instant action, and, like 
Montrose, was ready to " put it to the touch, to gain or lose 
it all." This assembly drew up a highly characteristic petition 
to " the King, Parliament, the Palatine, the Hungarian 
Ministry and all friends of humanity and nationality."^' 
After laying special stress upon the claims of the Slovak 
nation to be the original occupant of the soil, and upon " the 
chains of abuse and shame " in which the fatherland had 
hitherto held their language and nationality, the petition 
proceeds to summon all the nations of Hungary to equahty 
and fraternity, under the banner of the new age, and protests 
that no one deserves the glorious name of a Hungarian patriot, 
who does not honour the national rights of every race which 
owns allegiance to the Crown of St. Stephen. The chief 
demands formulated in this remarkable petition were as 
follows : — 

1. The summons of " a general parliament for the brother 

nations of Hungary," in which every deputy has the 
right to use his mother tongue. 

2. Special provincial assemblies on a racial basis. 

3. The right to use the mother tongue in all public delibera- 

tions, and in courts of law. 

4. The introduction of the Slovak language into elementary 

and secondary schools, and into seminaries for clergy and 
teachers ; and the foundation of a Slovak University. 

5. The formation of a Slovak national guard, with Slovak 

language of command. 

6. Universal Suffrage. 

7. Press freedom, without a Press law. s 

8. Complete freedom of assembly and association> 

The programme is curiously mixed. Side by side with 
demands like the last three — without which full liberty is 
impossible in a country of mixed races, but which have hitherto 

"• M. M. Hodza, Der Slovak, p. 61. 
"' Ibid. p. yz sqq. 



been withheld in Hungary — there are others which can only 
be described as visionary and extravagant, and which prove 
the framers of the petition to have acted under the hysteria 
of the moment, in clear defiance of practical considerations. 
•The demand for a University, for instance, was manifestly 
absurd, since even if a sufficient number of students had been 
forthcoming, it would have been impossible, out of the very 
limited Slovak educated classes, to provide an adequate 
professorial staff. The demand for a Slovak national guard 
was bound to alienate not only the Magyars, but Vienna 
and the dynasty also. The right of every race in Hungary 
to use its mother tongue in th^ central parliament, would, 
if combined with universal suffrage, have created a Babel 
of voices from which no solid work could be expected. Above 
all, the formation of provincial assemblies on a racial basis 
was open to the gravest objections. It would have involved 
the partition of Hungary into at least six, and possibly nine, 
federal units, and would have destroyed not only the unjust 
political monopoly of the Magyars, but also that pre-eminence 
which their great political talents and superior culture could 
not fail to preserve to them even after they had surrendered 
their oligarchic privileges. Magyar opposition was therefore 
a foregone conclusion, and the action of the Slovak leaders 
proved once more the political truth of the French proverb : 
qui trop embrasse, mal etreint. But with all its folly their 
programme affords overwhelming disproof of their alleged 
" Panslav " leanings ; for its every phrase betrays an intense 
particularist feeling which is the direct antithesis of Panslavism. 
Pan-Austrian the Slovaks may have been ; Pan-Slav they 
certainly were not in any political sense. The Magyars, 
on the other hand, were fully entitled to protest against 
their .extravagant claims, and even to take such steps as 
might prevent their realization. Unhappily they plunged 
headlong into a policy of repression which robs them of much 
of^,-tJie sympathy which must otherwise have been their due. 
(The petition was to have been submitted to a popular 
assembly on the following day ; but permission to hold it 
was withheld, and the petition itself was promptly confiscated. 
None the less, the example of Lipto was followed in several 
of the North Hungarian towns, and Slovak patriotism seemed 
to be at last awakening from its long slumbers. At first 
the Government was inclined to treat the movement with 
contempt, since it obviously could not compare in volume and 

R.P.H. 97 H 


importance with that which was stirring the southern Slavs. 
But the Lipto assembly thoroughly alarmed the new Cabinet, 
and Batthyany ^^ instructed the county authorities of the 
north, at the slightest renewal of these " Panslav movements 
or other disturbances," to set all the rigours of the law in 
motion ; while Kossuth thundered in Parliament against the 
Slovak petition, and swore to throw into prison all who ven- 
tured to make further demands of this kind.^^^ Nor was this 
a mere idle threatv Even before the Lipto meeting, Jan 
Krai the poet, a brother of Hod^a, and several other Slovak 
patriots had been arrested, and Hurban himself found it 
necessary to fly across the Moravian frontier. Hardly had 
he left his parish Hluboka on his way to Lipto, when Magyar 
troops appeared in the village, hoisted the Hungarian tricolor 
and issued an order for Hurban 's arrest. His wife was roughly 
treated, and gallows were erected before the parsonage, on 
which, it was boasted, the Slovak clergy were to be hanged.^*' 
Henceforth the Slovaks were prevented from holding meetings, 
though this was allowed everywhere else in Hungary. ^^^ When 
the mobilization of the National Guards was commenced by 
the Diet, its execution was entrusted to county committees 
specially formed for the purpose ; and as these levies were 
to be sent to cope with the Serb and Croatian rising in the 
south, there was considerable resistance on the part of the 
Slovaks, who were unwilling to fight against their brother 
Slavs, all the more so since the Royal sanction required by 
law had not been obtained. The town of Tiszolcz in Gomor 
county, actually had the courage to refuse levies ; but there 
is little doubt that large numbers of able-bodied youths were 
pressed into the revolutionary service. ^^^ 

The prompt and uncompromising methods of the Hun- 
garian Government paralysed the movement among the 
Slovaks, and the north remained quiet, or perhaps apathetic, 

"' Batthyany once said, " Our national greatness does not depend 
on unity of language, but on the common enjoyment of liberty " 
(Iranyi and Chassin, 1. p. 228 ). It is regrettable that he and his followers 
did not act on this principle until it was too late. 

^** Hodza, op. cit. pp. 64-72. Helfert, op. cit. ii. pp. 193 and 406. 

160 Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon Oesierreichs, vol. ix. pp. 437-9 
(article on Hurban). 

"^ Helfert, op. cit. ii. p. 193. 

"* This fact is passed over by Bela Griinwald. A Felvidek, (p. 31 ), who 
admits that the Slovaks formed a strong element in the Honveds, 



during the summer. Meanwhile Stur was attending the 
Slav Congress in Prague, which followed upon the famous refusal 
of Palacky, in name of the Czechs, to appear at the Federal 
Diet of Frankfurt. To Palacky 's initiative was doubtless 
due the dignified proclamation issued by the Congress : — 
" The enemies of our nationality have succeeded in alarming 
Europe with the phantom of political Panslavism, which, 
they maintain, threatens to destroy all that freedom, culture 
and humanity have won. We know the magic formula 
which alone can dispel this apparition ... its name is jus- 
tice." Stur is reported to have expressed himself in bitter 
terms regarding Austria's claims of assistance, and to have 
urged the primary duty of self-preservation. " Austria," 
he said, "has managed to survive hitherto, and we have 
rotted." However that may be, the Slovak National Council 
(Slovenska Narodna Rada), which was now organized under 
the auspices of Stur, Hurban, Hodza, Daxner and Francisci, 
placed itself at the disposal of the Austrian Government 
— surely one more disproof, if any were needed, of their 
alleged Panslavism. On September 17, the first Slovak 
expedition entered " Slovensko " from Moravia ; but led 
as it was by inexperienced men, and badly disciplined, it 
never obtained support among the cowed peasantry of Trencsen 
and Nyitra, and was soon forced to disband. Severe measures 
of repression were at once adopted throughout " Slovensko " ; 
and on October 17, Stur, Hurban and Hodza were outlawed 
by the Pest Government, and a price was set upon their heads. 
In October the Magyars, under the incapable Moga, assumed 
the offensive and at the invitation of the revolutionary 
Government in Vienna, crossed the Austrian frontier. On 
the 30th, however, they were routed by Jellacic at the battle 
of Schwechat, and on the following day Windischgratz reduced 
Vienna to submission. Moga was superseded by Gorgei, 
who from his headquarters at Pressburg watched the move- 
ments of Windischgratz 's army. On November i, encour- 
aged by their success at Schwechat, the first Imperialists 
entered Hungary, and their leader Simunic occupied Tyrna 
without much difficulty. But the peasants had been so 
cowed by Magyar severity, that he could not obtain the 
slightest information, and the superior numbers of Gorgei 
and Perczel forced him to abandon so exposed a position 
and to withdraw into Moravia. A week later he again advanced 
from Goding, but was still too weak to block Gorgei's line 



of retreat up the valley of the Vdg. Towards the end of 
November a second Slovak inroad was planned by Bloudek, 
with the sanction of the Minister of War. Joined by four 
companies of Imperialist troops under Colonel Frischeisen, 
the expedition entered Hungary on December 4 by the Jablun- 
ovsky Pass, and on the nth defeated a body of Magyar troops 
near Budatin. But Hurban's expectations of a general 
rising were disappointed. Eight thousand volunteers are 
said to have joined his standard, but it is probable that 
even this figure has been exaggerated. Their discipline 
was bad, and they were outnumbered by the National Guards 
of Nyitra county, and compelled to disband. Thus till 
the close of 1848, the greater part of Hungary north of the 
Danube remained in the hands of the Magyars. On December 
15, Prince Windischgratz crossed the frontier with 52,000 
men ; but as he naturally made the Hungarian capital his 
objective, Gorgei's army was for the moment left unassailed 
in the middle valley of the Vag. On January 5, 1849, the 
Austrians entered Budapest unopposed, while Kossuth, 
with his Rump Parliament, withdrew to Debreczen. For 
the insurgents, all now depended upon a reunion of their 
scattered armies, between which the advance of Windischgratz 
had skilfully driven a wedge. The Austrian commander 
failed to take advantage of the situation, and the manner 
in which Gorgei executed his retreat from the V4g east- 
wards, and especially his march from Neusohl (Beszter- 
czebanya) over the mountains to Rozsahegy, forms one of 
the most brilliant episodes of the war. Count Schlick, who 
had advanced southwards from Galicia, escaped with diffi- 
culty to Windischgratz, and the united Magyar forces, 46,000 
strong, concentrated at Miskolcz, under the command of 
the Polish emigre Dembinski. 

While the main contest was being waged on either side 
of the Theiss on the plains between Budapest and Debreczen, 
the Magyar flood rolled slowly back from " Slovensko," 
and traces of the reign of terror instituted by the revolutionary 
officials became apparent to the outside world. ^^ Not content 

"^ So far as I am aware, however, no account of these events has 
hitherto appeared in England. The War in Hungary, 1848-9, by Max 
Schlesinger (Preface by Pulszky), London, 1851, contains references to 
Serb atrocities, but all it says of the Slovaks is that they " form but a 
small, harmless, unpretending race, which was first kneaded into shape 
by head cooks from Vienna and by the lowest scullions from Prague " 


"Kossuth gallows" 

with pressing young peasants into the miUtary service, they 
filled the jails with those suspected of Slovak leanings, and 
gibbets were erected in almost every village along the river 
Vdg, to strike terror into the peasantry. While the one 
party mockingly described these landmarks of Magyar culture 
as " Slovak trees of liberty," the other more justly gave 
them the name of " Kossuth gallows," in memory of the 
man of Slovak origin, who only two years later was electrifying 
Europe and America with a passionate account of the wrongs 
which his adopted race had suffered at the hands of the hated 
Austrians. Nor did these ghastly trees remain barren of fruit; 
according to the official statistics compiled after Vilagos, 
there were i68 such victims of the rebels' martial law.^^ Baron 
Jeszenak, afterwards the least regretted of Haynau's victims, 
was especially active in the counties of Nyitra and Trencsen, 
giving out his decisions from the chateau of Countess Erdody 
at Galgocz (Freistadtl) on the Vag. Two young Slovak 
students, Holuby and Sulek, were offered the choice between 
death upon the gallows or freedom and the abjuration of 
their Slav sentiments. ^^ They resolutely chose the first alter- 
native, and died as truly martyrs to the cause of nationality 
as Count Louis Batthyany and " the martyrs of Arad." In 
other counties the courts martial were equally active, and 
in Gomor, Szentivanyi, the commissioner of the Debreczen 
Government, only saved Daxner and two other young Slovaks 
from impending execution by referring their case to the ordi- 
nary court. In Rozsahegy, a young Moravian named Hro- 
bafik, cried from the foot of the gallows, " Just wait, hang- 
man ; I am the last from Moravia whom you will hang guilt- 
lessly. Then it will be your turn." ^^* When Simunic entered 
the little town of Szenicz on the Moravian border, he found 
that the Slovak clergy, the village mayor, and numerous 
peasants had been pent up in jail for weeks past. Their 
chains were removed in the presence of the general, and 
some of the prisoners were so stiff and exhausted that they 
had to be carried by the soldiers. Then " the robber captain 

(p. 89). C. E. Maurice's excellent book on the revolutionary move- 
ments of 1 848-9, describes the racial war in Transylvania, but hardly 
refers to the Slovaks. 

"* The list appears in the Wiener Zeitung of 28 August 1850. But 
for the references in Dr. Friedjung's recently published Geschichte 
Oesterreichs, i. p. 231 note, I should not have been able to consult 

!•» Helfert, ii. 89-90. "• Helfert. iii. p 7^. 



of Galicia," as the colleagues of Damjanich ventured to call 
him, walked to the place of execution and stood with bared 
head before the graves of the victims, whom he then ordered 
to be reburied in consecrated earth. ^^' Where life was held 
so cheaply, property was naturally treated with scant respect. 
Charles Kuzmany, the distinguished Lutheran Superintendent 
of Neusohl, who formed one of the subsequent deputation 
to Francis Joseph, had his property confiscated during his 
absence, and his wife was ejected from the parsonage. So 
widespread was the terror inspired by the summary justice 
of Kossuth's Government, that many peasants had abandoned 
thejx homes and taken to the woods and mountains.^®^ 

Hjf^e brutal treatment of the Slovaks in 1848 has been passed 
over in silence by most historians, with the notable exception 
of Baron Helfert. That it was by no means an isolated 
incident, but entirely in keeping with the general policy of 
the Magyars towards all the other races of the country, is 
proved beyond all question by the events in the Banat of 
Temesvar and in Transylvania. It is by no means easy to 
determine whether the Serbs or the Magyars are first respon- 
sible for the series of outrages which stain the annals of the 
war in Southern Hungary. Certain it is that as early as 
July, 1848, Vukovics, a commissioner of the Magyar Govern- 
ment, sentenced Uwo Serb officers to death at Temesvar, 
and that some Serbs on the other hand cut off the head of 
a village notary and carried it on a pike. Other still worse 
atrocities followed, and ere long no quarter was given on 
either side!> Serious Magyar historians accuse the Serbs of 
burning ahve, and even impaling some of their victims.^^ 
On the other hand, on a single day in March, 1849, the Magyar 

"^ Helfert, iii. p. 91. 

168 Rogge, Oesterveich von Vildgos his zur Gegenwavt, i. pp. iio-ii. 

"* Iranyi and Chassin, ii. p. 45. The Magyar accounts of Serb horrors 
must be accepted with the very greatest caution, as also the Serb coun- 
ter-charges. For instance. Max Schlesinger, an enthusiast for the Mag- 
yar cause, writes as follows : " The Serb murders from an eager lust of 
revenge, a genuine thirst for blood " (p. 48). The Seressans are " car- 
rion-kites," who " cut off their prostrate enemy's head, simply because 
(they) can the more easily get at his gorget " (p. 48). " The common 
Croat is not cruel by nature : his ruling passion is theft, and if he cannot 
indulge this in a smoother way, he pursues his object over dead bodies 
and burning houses " (p. 54). " The Croat," he adds, " does not rank 
very high as a soldier " {sic). These infamous libels were published 
in English under the imprimatur of no other than Francis Pulszky, 
Kossuth's companion in exile. 



general Perczel ordered the execution of forty-five Serb 
prisoners, including several women."' As many as 299 Serbs 
were thus put to death without trial, and Kossuth seems at 
one time during the war to have seriously entertained the 
idea of exterminating the Serbs of the Banat and the Bacska, 
and colonizing the vacant territory with stalwarts of the 
national militia. In the same way Kossuth wished to hold 
the Saxons responsible for the ejection of the Russians, on 
the occasion of their first invasion of Transylvania ; " other- 
wise," he writes to Bem (March 18, 1849), " they will either 
be themselves ejected from the country, or deprived of all 
their liberties, and their national property confiscated as an 
indemnity." "^ The behaviour of Kossuth's commissioners 
in Transylvania baffles description. The Roumanians had 
been guilty of terrible excesses, especially at Nagy Enyed, 
where the Protestant college was burnt to the groimd, and 
at Alvincz, where the little town was almost wiped out of 
existence. But this forms no excuse for the reign of terror 
inaugurated by the Magyar officials. On June 6, 1849, the 
chivalrous Bem wrote to Kossuth, that the arbitrary and 
ferocious behaviour of the courts martial reminded him of 
the tribunals of the French Re volution. "^ The tribunals of 
Public Danger (Vesztorvenyszek), which were created by the 
Diet of Debreczen (February 13, 1849), were empowered 
to try aU persons who bear arms against the country, consti- 
tution, independence and territorial unity of Hungary ; all 
who supply food, arms or information to the enemy ; all who 
mislead the Magyar troops or hinder transport or forage ; 
all who spread false news, urge disobedience to the Diet, or 
rouse the population in favour of the enemy. The proceed- 
ings were to be public, and death was the sole sentence. ■^'^^ 
That courts endowed with such plenary powers should have 
been guilty of excesses, is hardly to be wondered at ; yet 
we would fain believe that the official list of their victims 
drawn up after the war, errs on the side of over-statement. 
For it contains the names of 4,425 men, 340 women, and 69 
children who were put to death without trial by the Magyar 
troops in Transylvania, exclusive of those who fell in open 

"•* Friedjung, op. cit. i. p. 231. 

"1 Szemere, Batthyany, Gorgei, Kossuth ; cit. Friedjung, i. p. 232 note. 
"* This letter was printed in the Viennese Reichszeilung, June 14, 
1850, cit. Friedjung, i. p. 233. 

"' Iranyi and Chassin, ii. p. 245 sqq. 



fight. As Austria's latest and most brilliant historian, Dr. 
Fried jung, justly observes, if 500 or even 1,000 names could 
be proved to be unauthentic, the truth would still remain 
sufficiently horrible."* Gorgei, by his unwise execution of 
Count Zichy at an early stage of the war, had given the signal 
for reprisals ; and though Gorgei himself is entirely free 
from the stain of ferocity, the same cannot be said of Dam- 
janich, another revolutionary general. This notorious Serb 
renegate was filled with such remorseless hatred for his own 
kith and kin, that, as he assured Count Kolowrat, he would 
have cursed his own mother in her grave, had he not been 
certain that he was the offspring of an intrigue with a Magyar 
officer and thus had inherited nothing save the name from 
his Serb father."^ These revolting sentiments find their 
parallel in the words with which Damjanich concluded one 
of his proclamations to the Serbs of the Banat : "I come to 
exterminate you root and branch, and then I will send a 
ball through my own head, that the last Serb may vanish 
from the earth." "* Fortunately for the honour of the Magyar 
race, the renegate Serb found no imitators among his brother 
generals, most of whom were conspicuous for their gallant 
and honourable bearing. 

On April 14, 1849, Kossuth committed the crowning error 
of his career, by solemnly deposing the Habsburg dynasty 
and proclaiming Hungarian independence. The way was 
thus opened for Russian intervention (the Czar Nicholas 
being a fanatical adherent of the principle of Legitimacy) ; 
and the last opportunity of the Magyars vanished when 
Gorgei wasted three precious weeks of May in reducing the 
citadel of Buda, instead of staking all upon a bold march 
against Vienna. When once the Russian armies had entered 
Hungary, the cause of Magyar independence was doomed, 
and the dissensions which now broke out between Kossuth 
and Gorgei only served to hasten the inevitable end. In 
July the revolutionary Diet was transferred from Debreczen 
to Szeged, and devoted its expiring moments to the discus- 
sion of a law guaranteeing the free development of all nation- 
alities upon Hungarian soil. Under its provisions, while 
Magyar was to remain the official language in all adminis- 

"* Friedjung, i. p. 233. 

"* Kolowrat's Memoirs, p. 69 ; cit. Friedjung, i. 226. 
"• Schlesinger War in Hungary (ii. p. 1 10), finds " a terrific grandeur in 
these words ! " 



trative, legal and military affairs, the right of every citizen 
to use his own language in the communal and county assem- 
blies was distinctly recognized : the language of instruction 
in the schools was to be that of the locality, and in it also 
the parish registers were to be drawn up : petitions might 
be presented in any language : and appointments to all 
offices were to be made without distinction of language and 
religion. Special concessions were included for the benefit 
of the Greek Oriental Church, with a view to conciliating 
the Serbs and Roimianians. But of course the time for 
such action was long since past. A law which if voted in 
March, 1848, might perhaps have rallied the whole of Hungary 
in support of Magyar pretensions, was worse than useless 
in July, 1849, ^hen the country was bleeding from the wounds 
inflicted by a furious racial war, and when overwhelming 
masses of Russian troops were closing in upon every side. 
On August II Kossuth issued a proclamation renouncing 
his office of Governor, and transferring all civil and military 
powers to Gorgei ; while he himself, with the gallant Bern 
and several thousand refugees, fled across the Turkish fron- 
tier. Two days later Gorgei with 23,000 men and 130 cannon 
capitulated at Vilagos, and save for the isolated fortress of 
Komirom, the Hungarian Revolution was at an end. 

The Austrian Government, as if determined to alienate 
all sympathies and to place itself utterly in the wrong, adopted 
the most brutal methods of repression. Thirteen of the 
revolutionary generals were executed at Arad by Haynau's 
orders — among them more than one officer who had originally 
taken the oath to the Hungarian constitution with the greatest 
reluctance and under express orders from Vienna, and who 
now suffered for faithfully observing his plighted word. In 
defiance of all political decency, Count Batthyany, the late 
Premier, was put to death at Pest, and a number of high 
officials of the revolutionary Government shared the same 
fate. Over 800 individuals were sentenced to considerable 
terms of imprisonment ; and after two whole years had 
elapsed, the Government had the bad taste to nail upon the 
gallows the names of thirty-six prominent exiles, among 
them Kossuth the ex-Dictator, and Andrassy the future 
/None of the races of Hungary gamed by this unhappy ' 
civil waf A The Magyars were reduced to a state of political 
bondage, of which even their chequered history affords no 



l;previous example. The Croats, after leading the van of 
||the Imperial cause, were deprived of the liberties for which 
jL'they had fought. The erection of the Banat into a separate 
?] province brought the Serbs no satisfaction, for its boundaries 
were so drawn as to include an equal number of Magyars 
and Roumanians, and the authorities consistently played 
off one race against the other."' The Roumanians were still 
excluded from all political privileges, and even the loyal 
./i Saxons saw their autonomy and ancient rights invaded. 
^Cln the same way the Slovaks gained little or nothing under 
Hhe new regime, save that the local administration was con- 
ducted on less arbitrary and brutal lines ; and ere long the 
sole difference consisted in the imposition of one of the four 
world-languages instead of an Asiatic dialect. At the open- 
ing of his career, Alexander Bach was undoubtedly friendly 
disposed towards the Slavs, and he it was who took up Sta- 
dion's idea of a Slav newspaper in Vienna. In a memo- 
randum found by Dr. Fried] ung among Bach's papers, and 
apparently dating from before the Revolution, we find that 
he was at that time in favour of recognizing the nationality 
of " the North Hungarian Slavs by introducing their lan- 
guage into the churches, schools, law courts, administration 
and representative assemblies." "^ Either the rapid march 
of events led Bach to modify his views, or else his influence 
was discounted in this direction by other members of the 
Cabinet. In March, 1849, Stur, Hurban and Kuzmany 
were received in audience by the young monarch Francis 
Joseph at Olmiitz ; but Hurban 's memorandum, recounting 
the various arbitrary acts of Magyar officialdom and point- 
ing to autonomy as the sole remedy, remained without effect. 
In the course of the summer a further memorandum in favour 
of an autonomous " Slovensko " was presented to Bach, 
and a request was added for the publication of the March 
constitution in Slovak as well as in German. On September 
16 and 18 Francis Joseph received two large Slovak deputa- 
tions which put forward the same demands, but contented 
himself with a gracious yet evasive answer. The political 

^" It included the purely Roumanian county of Krasso (194,000 
Roumanians, 11,600 Germans, 2,500 Magyars, and no Serbs), and all 
Bacs-Bodrog (which contained not only Serbs, but 1 86,000 Magyars, and 
98,000 Germans as well). 

"' Friedjung, i. p. 489 (Appendix iii). 



movement among the Slovaks gradually simmered out, for 
as yet it failed to awaken any real response among the back- 
ward and docile peasantry. For the Slovaks the next ten 
years, though barren in incident, were a period of calm, 
without which the tender plant of the Slovak language could 
hardly have taken root, and without which the nucleus of 
a middle class true to Slovak h-aditions and national feeling 
could never have been formedX 



Reaction 1849—1860 

THE system inaugurated by Prince Felix Schwarzenberg 
was centralist in theory, but before all else it was 
absolutist in practice. For ten years the reaction held Francis 
Joseph in its power ; the evil triumvirate of church, aris- 
tocracy and army hurried the state on to bankruptcy, and 
would have plunged it into utter ruin, but for the pliant and 
not incapable bureaucracy, with whose services the Govern- 
ment had been unable to dispense. Throughout this period, 
however, a corrosive force had been secretly at work ; and 
strangely enough this was no other than Alexander Bach, with 
whose name this decade of Austrian history has come to be 
identified. This remarkable man, to whose great talents 
history has done scant justice, was a bureaucrat par excellence ; 
and the distrust felt towards him by the higher aristocracy 
was based upon even truer instincts than the indignation of 
the democrats whom he had deserted. His opportunism 
may have been tainted by ambition, but at any rate he realized 
clearly that the time was not yet ripe in Austria for parlia- 
mentary government ; and his failure to maintain a lost and 
impossible cause does not detract from his services in repair- 
ing and renewing the administrative machine, without which 
the constitutional reforms of the sixties could not have been 
peacefully executed. Moreover, to his influence is due the 
failure, on the part of the reactionaries, to modify or repeal the 
abolition of feudal rights ; while the judicial reforms which 
he initiated, were adopted almost in their entirety by sub- 
sequent governments. ^'^ 

On October 17, 1849, ^^e central Government of Vienna' 
issued a proclamation which reduced Hungary to the con-i 

^'^ To these remarks we may add the phrase in which Eisenmann sums 
up Bach's ideal on an unified Austria : "La conception de Bach, si 
antipathique qu'elle soit dans sa pensee fondamentale, avait quelque 
chose d'imposant et mdme de grandiose " (p. 191). 



dition of a mere province of the Austrian Empire, like Tirol 
or Styria. In this document occur the ominous words : 
" the former constitution (Landesverfassung) of Hungary is 
annulled by the Revolution." ^^ At first the country remained 
under military occupation, Haynau virtually filling the post 
of dictator, subject to certain instructions from Vienna. 
Transylvania and Croatia became Austrian provinces (Kron- 
lander) ; the Serb Voivody was revived, with the prospect 
of subsequent union with Croatia ; the ancient county govern- 
ment was suppressed, and what remained of Hungary was 
divided for administrative purposes into five districts, each 
under an Imperial commissioner. Of these districts two were 
Slav (Kaschau and Pressburg),two mixed (Oedenburg and Pest), 
and only one pure Magyar, — the obvious aim of Schwarzen- 
berg's Government being to reduce Magyar influence to the 
territory between the Theiss and the Danube."^ The chief\ 
merit in the new system — the introduction of competition \ 
for official vacancies — was precisely the most objectionable 
feature in the eyes of the Magyars, who were accustomed to 
the corrupt and tumultuous proceedings of sexennial elections 
(the so-called restauratio) , to all administrative and judicial 
posts. The deadly mistake of the Government lay in throw-j 
ing these offices open to natives of the whole Monarchy ,\ 
instead of confining them to the lands of the Hungarian Crown ; i 
in effect most Magyars held sullenly aloof, and the vacant \ 
posts were mainly filled with officials from Bohemia and J 
Galicia, who earned the contemptuous nickname of " Bach 
hussars." ^^ Svieceny, a high Galician official, who assumed 
control of the Kassa district, openly favoured the idea of 
Slovak autonomy, and filled more than one post with Slavs 
who were known to entertain anti-Magyar sentiments. Not 
merely was an order issued threatening all officials of the 
northern counties with dismissal, unless they learnt Slovak 
within a certain period ; but copies of the Slovansky Noviny 
were actually distributed gratis among the peasantry. ^^ When, 
however, encouraged by the attitude of the authorities, the 

180 Rogge, Oesteneich seit Vildgos, i. p. 158. 

"^ The new organization was definitely proclaimed on September 13, 
1850. Instead of the old central Palatinal Council [Statthaltereirath) 
in Pest, eaeh Verwaltungsgebiet contained a separate Statihaltereiab- 
teilung. I give the German names only, as it was an essentially Ger- 
man scheme. 

1" See Acht Jahve Amtsleben in Ungarn, referred to on page 238. 
1" Rogge, i. p. 221. 



little Slovak town of Rocze (Revuca) decided to erect a Slovak 
secondary school, permission was only granted on condition 
that German should be made the language of instruction. 
Henceforth with every year Germanizing influences grew 
stronger, and though an Imperial Rescript of September, 1857, 
prescribed due regard for the cultivation of the mother tongue, 
practically no steps had been taken to enforce this provision 
before the Bach system collapsed two years later. Vienna 
had no real sympathy with the nationalities, but merely used 
them as a pawn in the game against Budapest ; incapacity 
or lack of interest and knowledge blinded Austrian states- 
men to the real value which the pawn possessed, and led them 
at the critical moment to yield it up without an equivalent. 

While the military occupation was still at its height, Haynau 
issued by arbitrary decree a new constitution for the Lutheran 
Church (Feb. 10, 1850). New superintendents were ap- 
pointed, and these were to share the direction of the Church 
with administrators nominated by the Government : the lay 
element in the various church assemblies was curtailed ; and 
their meetings were only to be permitted in the presence of a 
royal commissioner. Strangely enough, Haynau had succeeded 
in a remarkably brief space of time in living down his butcher's 
reputation, and while he was soon on friendly terms with 
the aristocracy in Pest, he himself fell under the thrall of Magyar 
customs and traditions. ^^ This, and the provisional nature 
of military rule, account for the contrast between the recep- 
tion of his Protestant Rescript and of the subsequent govern- 
mental policy towards the Hungarian Protestants. Count 
Leo Thun, the Minister of Education in Schwarzenberg's 
cabinet, was undoubtedly inspired by the most honourable 
and conscientious motives, and sought above all to advance 
what he regarded as the true interests of religion. But unfor- 
tunately he was a mere tool in the hands of Father Beckx, 
the all-powerful general of the Jesuit Order in Rome, and 
he had no conception of the meaning of constitutional guar- 
antees. Conscious of his own goodwill, he seemed to imagine 
that the suppression of the Hungarian constitution left him 
free to violate the liberties of the Protestant Churches in Hun- 
gary. The sturdy resistance offered to Thun by Calvinists 

"* J6kai has used this fact as the motif of one of his most brilliant 
novels, Az uj Fdldesur {The New Landlord). See also Rogge, i. p. 211, 
who cites the words of an old Conservative respecting the general 
attitude towards Haynau. 



and Lutherans alike, forms the first act in the new drama 
v^^hich culminated in Deak's constitutional triumph in 1867. 
Thun's antecedents naturally roused high hopes among 
t*he Slovaks, but his action in imposing the German language 
upon the Lycee in Pressburg was quite as alarming to the 
Slav as to the Magyar element in the Church. He then pro- 
ceeded to depose all the superintendents — including even 
Szeberenyi, a Slovak of pronounced Austrophil sentiments — 
and tainted the appointment of their successors by the well- 
meant but tactless grant of salaries from the state. Worst 
of all, he entrusted the supervision of Protestant schools to 
the Catholic inspectors, ^^^ thus reverting to one of the most 
keenly felt abuses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 
The weapon of passive resistance was called into play, and 
the condition of the Protestant Churches ^^ grew every year 
more chaotic. In 1855 representatives of both Churches were 
summoned to Vienna to discuss matters of church and school 
organization, and were dismissed with the assurance that the 
final decision would be in accordance with the law of 1791.^^' 
None the less, in the spring of 1856 strict measures were taken 
to reduce the Protestant gymnasiums to submission ; and 
as they still proved refractory, all but four ^ were deprived 
of the necessary recognition and threatened with immediate 
dissolution. Such was the moment which Thun regarded as 
favourable for launching his new church constitution for the 

185 Rogge, i. p. 213. 

"* It may not be amiss to mention here that there are three entirely 
distinct Protestant Churches in Hungary : (i) The Lutheran Church 
in the north, which was composed at the last census of 359,475 Magyars, 
462,381 Slovaks, and probably about 190,000 Germans. (2) The Saxon 
Lutheran Church in Transylvania, which has an autonomous constitu- 
tion — a presbyterial system with a single bishop at its head — and 
which coincides almost exactly with the Saxon nationality, which 
formed in 1900 a total of 229,889. (3) The Reformed or Calvinist 
Church, which is almost entirely Magyar, and whose centre is Debreczen, 
sometimes called "the Calvinist Rome." This Church forms the real 
backbone of the nation, so much so that there exists a proverb, Calvin- 
ista hit, Magyar hit (the Calvinist faith is the Magyar faith). Its 
numbers in 1900 amounted to 2,427,232. There is also a Unitarian 
community in Hungary, which only numbers 68,551 in all, and is 
almost exclusively Magyar. Its head quarters are at Kolozsvar in 

^*' Article xxvi., which may be described as the Protestant charter of 

'"* Oberschiitzen, Debreczen, Nagy-Koros, H6dmez6-Vasarhely. 


Hungarian Protestants (Sept. 8, 1856), By it, it is true, the 
old presbyterial system was to a large extent restored ; but 
a supreme Church Council (Oberkirchenrat) nominated by 
the Emperor, was created as a supervisory and judicial body. 
Even more objectionable than the substance of the constitu- 
tion was the manner in which it was imposed, which constituted 
a clear violation of the Act of 179 1, and of the Treaties of Vienna 
and Linz upon which that Act was based. As the synod of 
Pressburg justly observed in its address to the Sovereign, 
" only the Church itself can help here, for it knows best its 
own needs and shortcomings. Every foreign remedy, especially 
when it infringes that autonomy which is essential to a free 
and healthy life, is bound sooner or later to prove worse than 
the evil itself." "^ In short, the constitution was received with 
almost universal disapproval, and the discontent was only 
increased by such slighting accompaniments as the prohibition 
issued to the Protestants to receive Jewish children into their 
schools, and by the brusque replies of Thun to the synodal 

At length on September i, 1859, Thun set a crown upon his 
ten years' administration of Hungarian education by his 
famous " Protestant Patent." This decree restored the 
presbyterial system in its entirety, placed the schools once 
more under church control, created a special Protestant depart- 
ment in the Ministry of Education and Religion, ap- 
pointed regular Protestant army chaplains, and assigned a 
special annual grant from the Budget to the Protestant 
Churches, besides estabHshing a series of bursaries at the Ger- 
man universities for the benefit of Hungarian Protestant stud- 
ents. Far more questionable in the eyes of the Magyars was the 
increase in the number of superintendents from eight to twelve, 
and the redistribution of the Church synods in such a manner 
as to strengthen the position of the Slovaks and the Germans, 
who if united would have formed a majority in the Church. 
The real objection to the Patent, however, lies in the alto- 
gether unwarrantable interference on the part of the State: 
with the dearly bought autonomy of the Protestant Churches. 
It contained many provisions which in themselves might 
fairly be regarded as an improvement upon the constitution 
of 1791, which was admitted on all sides to be out of date. 
But the arbitrary imposition of even the most ideal ecclesi- 

i" Rogge. i. p. 453. 


astical system is a step which cannot be too severely condemned, 
ami would justify the most determined resistance. 
/ While, however, the Magyars were resolved to resist the 
Fatent to the utmost, a very different feeling revealed itself 
among the Slovaks. The presbytery of Nyitra (which con- 
tained 21 parishes and 53,000 souls) led the way on December 
8, by accepting the Patent and moving an address of thanks 
to the Emperor ; and its example was shortly followed by the 
presbyteries of Szemered, Schemnitz, and Neusohl, while 
others merely contented themselves with requesting its sus- 
pension until the meeting of a General Assembly. ^^ Slovak 
support only accentuated the opposition of the Magyars, 
who were more than ever convinced that the religious pretext 
was merely a cunning contrivance to hide the " Panslav " 
aims of Thun and his advisers ! Thun, on the other hand, 
was indignant at the hostility to his scheme, and a fresh re- 
script which he published early in October proves how com- 
pletely he failed to realize the illegality of his action/N Through- 
out the winter a long array of legal proceedings was instituted 
against the recalcitrant clergy and laity. In more than one 
instance the minutes of presbytery were confiscated, and 
prominent members of the Church, like Zsedenyi, were thrown 
into prison. Thun's well-meaning idealism degenerated into 
open persecution, and it is hardly too much to say that the on- 
slaught on Protestant autonomy sealed the fate of Absolutism 
in Hungary. ^^^ vThe fact that the majority of the Slovaks 
accepted his scheme, does not in any way prove its excellence ; 
it merely shows that they preferred an imperfect church 
organization to the far greater evil of Magyarization and 
national extinction^ 

Meanwhile the desperate state of Austrian finances and the 
disastrous issue of the war against France and Sardinia 
evoked a highly critical situation. The exiled Kossuth, who 
had already fixed his head quarters at Turin, pursued more 
actively than ever his intrigues with Napoleon IH, Palmer- 
ston, and the Italian leaders. Not content with this, he con- 
ceived a plan of taking Austria in the rear, by organizing a 
rebellion on the Transylvanian frontier. To this end he sent 
emissaries to Belgrad and Bucarest ; and in his name General 

"" Early in December the patent had been rejected by 2,684,000, 
and only 40,000 had submitted ; but by the end of the month those in 
its favour had risen to 163,000. 

"1 Rogge, i. p. 357. 

R.P.H. 113 % 


Klapka concluded a convention with Alexander Couza, who 
was elected in 1859 Prince of Moldavia and Wallachia.^^^ 
The main terms of this agreement were as follows : Couza 
agreed to permit the Hungarian patriots to organize their 
forces upon his territory, to supply them, on the outbreak 
of war in Italy, with 20,000 rifles procured from Napoleon III, 
and to place all possible means at the disposal of the Hungarian 
military commander. In return for this, Hungary was to 
support Couza in his design for the conquest of Bukowina. 
Kossuth, however, had learnt in exile the lesson of the racial 
war of 1848, and therefore laid great stress upon the reconcilia- 
tion of the non-Magyar races, without which he saw that a 
fresh insurrection was impossible. The convention therefore 
expressly declares the readiness of the Hungarian patriots 
to adopt the following principles into their constitution : 

1. Complete reconciliation between Serbs, Roumanians and 


2. Equal rights and liberties for all citizens without distinc- 

tion of race or creed. 

3. Communal and county autonomy, with local right to 

determine the language of administration. 

4. In matters of religion and education, full independence 

for the various churches and nationalities. 

5. Special organization of the Serb and Roumanian troops, 

with their own language of command. 

6. The summons, at the close of the war, of a Transylvanian 

Assembly, upon w^hose vote shall depend the question 
of union with Hungary. 

7. " The principle of fraternity must guide us all. This 

alone can bring us to the aim which we have all set 
before us. And this aim is the confederation of the 
three Danubian States — Hungary, Servia and Mol- 
davia- Wallachia," ^^^ 
In the course of similar intrigues with Prince Michael 
Obrenovitch of Servia, Kossuth repeated these views, and 
expressed the hope that the Hungarian Serbs would this time 
be on his side,^^* since " we are ready in the question of the 
nationalities to go to the farthest limits which the integrity 
of the fatherland and its political unity permit." It is signi- 

"2 The two principalities were not united under the name of Rou- 
mania until the year 1861. 

^** Kossuth, Schriften aus der Emigration, i. p. 420. 
*** Cp. p. 82 for his views in 1848-9. 



ficant that in all these plots Kossuth ignores his own kinsmen, 
the Slovaks. The omission, which is doubtless to be explained 
by the fact that " Slovensko " offered no strategic advantages 
during Austria's war with Napoleon, revenged itself in 1866, 
when the war was on another front and when Klapka's 
Hungarian Legion in the service of Prussia utterly failed 
to gain support from the Slovak peasantry, /it is possible 
that Kossuth in his ill-considered efforts tokcreate a new 
Danubian state, may have regarded the Slovak districts 
as a needless encumbrance, whose cession to Bohemia would 
be more than compensated by access to the Black Sea. But 
it is far more probable that he restricted his concessions to the 
only two races whom he regarded as dangerous, and still 
dreamt of the Magyarization of all the rest. While it is improb- 
able that a man with the past history of Louis Kossuth could 
ever become a genuine supporter of racial equality and of the 
principle of nationality, it is certain that his offer of concessions 
to the nationalities alienated the sympathies of many of his 
Magyar adherents/) Meanwhile the Peace of Villafranca, which 
appears to have come upon Kossuth like a bolt from the blue, 
naturally shattered all these fantastic plans ; while the project 
of a Danubian Confederation alarmed public opinion in 
Hungary, and further strengthened Deak's influence at 
the expense of Kossuth. ^^^ 

We have already indicated the only lines upon which it is 
possible to base a defence, or even a palliation of the Bach 
System in Austria : — namely that it formed the inevitable 
period of transition between the ancient feudal and the modern 
constitutional state. In Hungary no such justification existed, 
and the Bach system, instead of bridging over an abyss of 
revolution, must be regarded as an arbitrary break in 
the constitutional evolution of the country. The best that 
can be said for it, is that it introduced for the first time 
western ideas into the barbarous system of justice and ad- 
ministration which had hitherto prevailed in Hungary. 

(To the Slovaks also the centralist regime of the fifties brought 
nothing but disappointments. No doubt the brutal Szolga- 
biro of former days and the horde of corrupt and lazy county 

>«^ On August 25, 1868, Kossuth addressed a letter to the journals 
of the Extreme Left — protesting against anti- Russian feeling and 
virtually treating the Czar Alexander II as the possible saviour of 
Hungary. See Rogge, op. cit., iii. p. 71. This action did much to 
alienate Magyar public opinion from the ex-dictator. 



officials were superseded by humane and educated men, who 
showed sympathy instead of hatred towards the language of 
the people. But the Slovaks, like their former oppressors, 
were under the thrall of Absolutism, which applied to the 
nationalities the motto Divide et impera, and which naturally 
turned a deaf ear to aspirations whose fulfilment involved the 
grant of some measure of constitutional life^ One of the many 
foreign brochures published under the aegis oi Kossuth, remarks 
of the Slovaks : " In 1848 they were Pan-Slav, to-day (i860) 
they are Pan- Austrian." ^^^ The first half of this phrase is 
effectively disproved by the action of the Slovak leaders during 
the Revolution ; the second half is understated. In reality, 
the Slovaks have always been Pan-Austrian, and Pan- Austrian 
they will doubtless remain so long as the Magyars not merely 
refuse them their place in the sun, but impose upon them the 
straight] acket of Magyarization. / Their consistent loyalty 
to a Pan-Austrian ideal, despite tn^r cynical and thankless 
treatment by Vienna, gives the lie to those fanatics who 
seek to discredit them by the nickname of Pan-Slavs/) 

1^* La Hongrie Politique et Religieuse, p. 29 (Bruxelles, i860). 



Transition (i 860-1 867) 

"Das also was die Magyaren bei sich selbst fur diegrosste Tugend i 
halten, namlich die Liebe zu ihrero Volke, wird bei uns verdammt 
und als eine grosse Siinde betrachtet." — Sollen wir Magyaren warden ? ^»' 

THE disastrous issue of the Italian campaign of 1859 \ 
brought Austria to the verge of financial ruin, and - 
made a continuance of the Bach system impossible. The 
army stores scandals brought the crisis to a head, and the 
grant of a constitution could no longer be averted. The -* 
lairot irSach was followed bya'sudden reversal of policy towards 
Hungary. An Imperial Patent of April 19, i860, nominated"^ 1 
Benedek as Governor-general, dissolved the five adminis- \ 
trative districts, and restored the Palatinal Council in Pest, 
and more important stiU, the old system of county govern- 
ment ; while a month later " la papaute thunienne " was 
wiped away, and the Protestant Patent withdrawn. The 
absolutist interregnum was at an end, though seven years 
of tentative and provisional government were to elapse before 
Francis Joseph and his advisers could be induced to conclude 
a compromise with the ideas of 1848. The long nightmare 
of an alien centralism was removed, and all Hungary breathed 
more freely. But the admirable intentions of the Government 
earned it no gratitude ; as ever, half-measures proved fatal 
to their promoters, and while great expectations were roused | 
on all sides, their non-fulfilment threatened to plunge the ' 
country into anarchy. The so-called " October Diplonia*V 
(October 20, i860) which was intended to provide the whole \ 
monarchy with a constitution, proved from the first unwork- j 
able. It represented the passing triumph of the old con- V 
servative elements in Hungary and in Austria ; and its only ] 
real significance consists in the pledge which it afforded, i 
that Francis Joseph had crossed the Rubicon and would \ 
never again depart from constitutional ground. The Diploma j 

"' P. 10. 

117 i 


marks the first departure from a centralist policy on the part 
of the Government, but to describe it as favouring centrifugal 
. tendencies would be to create a wholly wrong impression. 
[ It attempted to reconcile the principles of Federalism and 
\ historic tradition, and has therefore been justly described 
\ as the sole alternative to Dualism or Absolutism. The presence 
of an energetic and broad-minded statesman at the head of 
affairs might have assured its success. As matters stood, 
it fell a victim to the skilful tactics of the Magyars, who acted 
on the assumption that its articles revived and sanctioned 
the laws of 1848. Baron Vay, the new Aulic Chancellor, 
in his enthusiastic desire to rally the nation, nominated High 
Sheriffs in the various counties quite regardless of their political 
past, with the result that the opposition gained the control 
of many of the local assemblies and exposed Vay to repeated 
humiliations and rebuffs. The Government, while issuing 
orders for the election of county officials, had expressly with- 
held the permission to appoint fresh notaries, intending to 
centralize the financial system of the country. But the 
assemblies calmly ignored these limitations, and proceeded 
to revive not merely the whole county system as it had existed 
before 1848, but even the National Guard. The growing 
chaos is clearly shown by the fact that Vay's angry rescripts 
remained entirely without effect. And here it was a born 
Slovak, the Cardinal Primate Scitovsky, who led the resistance. 
One day he submitted Vay's rescript to the county assembly 
of Esztergom, and exhorted obedience to its orders ; the 
next, he was the first to sign the protest which the same 
assembly issued against the rescript ! "^ One county after 
another followed suit, and the opposition to Vay soon became 
^ An impossible situation had thus been created, and the 
Viennese Government sought to escape from it by issuing 
V the Patent of February 26, 1861. A passion for half -measures 
brought its nemesis, and the Habsburg Monarchy is still 
suffering to-day from the refusal of Schmerling and his German 
Liberal colleagues to look hard facts in the face. Dreams 

"* In this connexion I cannot refrain from citing one of the many 
gems with which M. Eisenmann's somewhat lengthy study on the 
Ausgleich is sprinkled. " Cette adresse," he remarks (p. 273), " est 
un document typique par ce melange de finasserie juridique et 
d'enthousiasme, de chicane et de poesie, qui est si frequent dans 
les combats seculaires que la Hongrie a soutenus pour son droit." 



of expansion in Italy and Germany blinded the statesmen of 
Vienna to the march of events nearer home. Two alternatives 
lay before them. On the one hand, they might boldly espouse 
the principles laid down at Kremsier in 1849, and reorganize 
the Monarchy on a basis of complete racial equality, thus 
swamping the discontent of two races in the enthusiasm of 
ten ; on the other hand, they might prefer might to right, 
and by creating an unholy alliance between the two strongest 
races of the Monarchy, might crush out mercilessly the resis- 
tance of their weaker brethren. Instead of adopting one 
of these courses, they made a fruitless attempt to breathe a 
constitutional spirit into the worn-out centralism of Bach, 
and thus merely outraged the legal traditions of centuries, 
without satisfying the yearnings of the " unhistoric nations." 
The triumph of Schmerling and his centralist system was-> 
welcomed as the surest guarantee of German hegemony 
throughout the Empire ; in reality, by accentuating the 
struggle of German and Slav, it made the fall of that hegemony 
inevitable even in Austria, caused the two rivals to abdicate 
in favour of the Magyars, and left the real power in the hands 
of the latter for forty years. The February Patent led directly 
to Koniggratz and the Ausgleich : the October Diploma 
might have saved Austria from both events. 

In the words of M. Eisenmann, " the Diploma still treated 
Hungary as a state, the Patent degraded her to the rank 
of a province." ^^^ The Patent was a direct challenge to the 
Hungarian nation, and the opening of Parliament in Pest 
(April 6, 1 861) naturally aroused great expectations throughout 
the country. The Government was without supporters in 
Parliament, which presented an united front against Vienna. 
Constitutional problems naturally claimed precedence over 
all others ; and the sole difference of opinion concerned the 
manner of approaching the sovereign — whether by an Address 
or by a Resolution. The session of 1861 will always remain 
one of the glories of Hungarian parliamentary history ; the 
dignity and firmness with which the rights and traditions 
of the nation were defended, breathe the spirit of Francis 
Deak, whose noble figure dominates the debates. Deak 
realized from the first that the time was not yet ripe for the 
fulfilment of his ideas ; and his main concern was to confine 
the action of Parliament within strictly legal channels. Hence 
the Address which was moved by Dedk, and on June 5 carried 
^*' Eisenmann, p. 306. 


by a small majority, was resolute in its refusal to recognize 
the February Patent or the Reichsrath's jurisdiction, in 
its insistence upon the laws of 1848 as the sole basis of accord, 
and in its reminder that an uncrowned king was no true 
sovereign in Hungary. The attitude of the Diet only served 
to exasperate Schmerling and Rechberg, for whom legal 
continuity was a mere idle phrase ; and the situation abroad, 
which was now more favourable for Austria, encouraged them 
in their centralist policy. It has long been the misfortune 
of Austria that her rulers, when prompt and decisive action 
is required, prefer to choose the path of compromise and 
half measures. The via media of Schmerling in Hungary 
was fraught with peculiarly fatal consequences, and from 
the first was foredoomed to failure. The Diet of 1861 afforded 
a glimpse into the political paradise of the future, and no 
true Magyar cared to draw the distinction between Bach 
and Schmerling. For him both alike were Germans, and 
stood for a policy of Germanization, and every fresh action 
of the Government strengthened this conviction and fanned 
the flames of Chauvinism. National feeling glowed with 
the same intensity as in the forties, and the discontent grew 
from day to day. 

The general ferment extended also to the non-Magyar races, 
and the foUy of the policy pursued towards them by the 
Viennese Government now became apparent. The Serb 
National Council, which met in April, instead of addressing 
itself to Vienna, made every effort to come to terms with 
the Magyars, pronounced itself openly in favour of union, 
and only qualified this step by claiming the appointment 
of a special Serb governor or voivode. In the same way 
the Slovaks, well-nigh cured of their Pan-Austrian leanings 
by the events of the past ten years, made their new appeal, 
ndi to Vienna, but to Budapest. ^^ 

[On June 6, i86i,a large number of prominent Slovaks met 
ar^Turocz St. Marton, and drew up and adopted an address 
to the Hungarian Parliament. This Memorandum, as it 
was called, opens in the name of the legal equality of all races, 
and conjures up an ideal picture of the brotherly concord 
which had prevailed for centuries in Hungary. The common 
task of all her races had been the defence of Western culture 
against the barbarians of the East, and " it never occurred 
to any one of them to despise or hate the language of another, 
200 Eisenmann, op, cit. p. 355. 


o: to aggrandize itself by exterminating the other." But 
the document soon passes from mediaeval to modem senti- 
ment and goes on, " Our conscience tells us that we Slovaks 
are as much a nation as the Magyars or any other nation in 
the country, and if national equality of rights and civil liberty 
are not to be a mere chimaera, it follows inevitably that we 
must have the same rights as any other nation in our fatherland 
actually possesses." And yet the laws passed by the Diets 
of the last seventy years recognize the Magyar nation alone, 
and ignore all other races. 

The chief remedies upon which the Memorandum relies 
for the improvement of this intolerable situation, may be 
briefly summarized as follows : — 

1. The definite recognition, by law, of the national indivi- 

duality of the Slovaks. 

2. The formation of a North Hungarian Slovak territory 

(Hornouhorske Slovenske Okolie) rounded off accord- 
ing to nationality. 

3. The introduction of Slovak throughout this Okolie as the 

sole medium of public and civil intercourse, and as 
the language of church, school and lawcourt. 

4. The repeal of all recent laws (especially those of 1840-8) 

which infringe the equal rights and liberties of the 
" nations." 

5. The foundation of a Slovak Academy of law, and of a 

Chair for Slav literature at Pest. 

6. In return for these concessions, Magyar would be recog- 

nized as the diplomatic and official language of the 
central authorities. 
The Memorandum reveals a certain dignity and self-confi- 
dence which were lacking in the petition of 1848, and it omits 
the most extravagant demands contained in the latter. But 
it is none the less diffuse in form, and doctrinaire and provoca- 
tive in spirit. Its very tactlessness goes far towards proving 
its honesty, but it also shows its framers to have been wholly 
lacking in practical statesmanship. The most effective passage 
is that which repudiates aU idea of designs " against the 
unity and integrity of Hungary," and argues that if the 
Cumanian and Jazygian districts, the Hajduk and Zips towns, 
or for that matter, the forty-four counties, could exist as auto- 
nomous municipal corporations within the bounds of Hungary, 
the same experiment might legally be made with the Slovak 
districts. Certainly the admission of Magyar as the language 



of state, and the clear recognition of a central parliament 
for Hungary, definitely absolve the supporters of the Memor- 
andum from the charges of treason and violation ol the con- 
stitution which were so freely brought against them ^ though 
indeed the very fact that it was submitted to the Parliament 
in Pest, and not to the Schmerling Government in Vienna, 
ought to have been sufficient disproof of such tendencies. ^^ 
But its most vulnerable point is its attitude towards the 
Magyar minority in North Hungary. These, it argues, are 
all renegates of Slav origin, and /their wishes cannot therefore 
be taken into consideration. (The Germans moreover are 
passed over in silence, no indication being given as to what 
their position would be in the new " Slovensko " ; and we 
are left with the uneasy feeling that the reign of liberty which 
these Slovak apostles sought to inaugurate, might have been 
stained by reprisals against the " Ascendancy " minority, 
when once the latter's privileges had fallen^ 

The Memorandum was signed by John Francisci (the only 
Slovak of national sentiments who has ever been made High 
Sheriff of a county), Wilham Pauliny-Tot, a poet and journa- 
list of some ability : Abbot John Gocar, Dr. Miloslav Hurban, 
Rev. Andrew Hodza, Dean Pongricz and Dean Zavodnik, 
and several other clergy, advocates and journalists. ^"^ The 
High Sheriffs of Lipto and Turocz, Szentivanyi and Baron 
Revay, and the Vice Sheriff of Turocz, Justh — all three of 
pure Slovak origin — attended the meeting and promised to 
submit the Memorandum to Deak and to support all its clauses 
in Parliament save that which claimed a separate Slovensko. 

2"! The document closes with the somewhat pompous words : " Our 
motto is, an united free constitutional country, and liberty, equality, 
fraternity for all the nations that dwell therein." 

^"^ Bela Griinwald {A Felvidek, p. 41) does not hesitate to describe this 
assembly as " scum " (csocselek). Griinwald's writings have earned 
him in Hungary the name of a serious historian, and he is generally 
regarded as the originator of the " idea of the Magyar state " (a magyar 
allam eszme) . A Felvidek is still cited by Magyar public opinion as the 
most reliable book on the Slovak question, and when in Hungary I was 
continually advised to consult it, even by the most moderate and 
honourable men. My astonishment and disgust knew no bounds when 
I discovered that this much-cited book is one of the most scurrilous 
tracts which it has ever been my misfortune to read ; and it required 
no little self-restraint on my part to read it to the end. The sophistry, 
the innuendo, the glaring misstatements with which it is crowded, 
form the best apology for the Slovak attitude ; and the Magyars ought 
to be thankful that its infamies have never been translated into any 
Western language. 



All three, however, backed out, when they learned from 
headquarters that the Diet was unfavourably disposed to 
Slovak claims ; and some of the peasants returning home 
from the meeting at Turocz, are said to have been arrested 
and flogged by order of the local officials, without any steps 
being taken against the culprits by the three trimmers. 

The Memorandum was not allowed to pass unchallenged. 
The town councils of Tyrnau, Trencsen and Altsohl (Zolyom) 
sent addresses to Parliament, protesting against the claim of 
the Memorandists to speak in the name of the Slovaks. Further 
protests were handed in by the county assemblies of Nyitra 
and Arva, denying that the Memorandists represented " the 
Slovak-speaking Magyars " of North Hungary and describing 
their action as a mere intrigue of the Austrian Government, 
directed against the national freedom and existence of the 
fatherland. Unfortunately the stones thus hurled at the 
" Pan-Slavs " of Turocz, bring down the glass-house about the 
protesters' own ears ; for of course neither town councils nor 
county assemblies in any way represented the feelings of the 
Slovak population. The former were close corporations, whose 
members were as a rule Magyar, German or Jewish, but hardly 
ever Slovak ; the latter were dominated by the great land- 
owners and the " elected " officials who were really their 
nominees, and by this date even the Slav " lower nobles " 
were to a great extent Magyarized. In the case of Nyitra, 
it was not even the assembly (see p. 237), but a committee 
of the assembly, attended only by four or five members, which 
solemnly drew up the protest in the name of " the 300,000 
Slovaks of the county " ; while the Arva protest frankly 
confesses that it is acting on hearsay, without having seen 
the Memorandum. One further protest was handed in from 
" the Slav inhabitants of Nyitra ; " 203 but the naive admission 
of the petitioners themselves, that they were only " for the 
most part " Slav-speaking, tends to confirm the suspicion 
that the necessary signatures were secured according to the 
most approved principles of Hungarian electoral canvassing. 
None the less, the Nyitra address was probably right in assert- 
ing that the " free use and development of their mother 
tongue " was the sole desire of the Slovak masses. North 
Hungary was poor and backward, cut off to a great extent 
from the outside world : the national leaders of the Slovaks, 

*"' All these protests are reproduced in the Appendicesto vol. iii. of 
Der ungarische Reichstag 1861 (Pest, 1861), pp. 324-33. 




the nobles, had gone over to the enemy ; a Slovak middle 
class could hardly be said to exist ; and the clergy were left 
as almost the sole guardians of the national tradition. J Thus 
many years were required before the whole lump could be 
leavened, and even to-day the process is by no means complete. 

While Parliament declined to receive the Memorandum, 
the counter-protests of the close local assemblies were accepted 
and greeted with applause. But the incident had roused 
Parliament from its absorption in questions of constitutional 
law, and directed its attention to the question of the nationali- 
ties ; and on June 25 Baron Eotvos moved the appointment 
of a committee for its discussion. When, however, on August 
I the committee handed in their report, the second Address 
and the impending crisis filled all minds, and it is not surprising 
that no further steps had been taken in the matter, when the 
dissolution of Parliament was annoimced. None the less 
this report is a highly remarkable document, and has not 
merited the oblivion to which it has been consigned. ^°* Its 
peaceful adoption by the committee, under no great pressure 
from without, proves that a strong element in the Hungarian 
Parliament was still free from those Chauvinist influences 
to which it was afterwards to fall a prey ; and the hostile 
demonstration against Dobriansky, the distinguished Ruthene 
deputy, was probably the work of Coloman Tisza and his band 
of Radicals.206 

The Report of the Committee ^^ seeks to lay down the broad 
principles upon which the racial question can be solved. 
Instead of adopting as a basis for deliberation the non-Magyar 
memorials of grievances, it prefers to define the limits within 
which it is possible to allow free play to the individual nation- 
alities. It lays great stress on the fact that the races of 
Hungary do not as a rule form compact masses, but are inex- 
tricably intermingled, with the result that to divide the country 
into racial units would not merely endanger Hungary's political 
unity, but would also lead to the oppression of the lesser 
racial fragments living in the territory of the larger nationalities, 

'" Rogge (ii. pp. 144 sqq.) describes the proposed law as very meagre, 
and asserts that it only contains a single concession — the admission 
of other languages besides Magyar in the communal and county assem- 
blies. This shows that Rogge had not read the Report with sufficient 

*"^ He found it impossible to deliver the speech which he had prepared, 
and was reduced to publishing it later in pamphlet form. 

*"" See Der ungarische Reichstag j86i, vol. iii. pp. 334-8 (Appendix xiil.) 



and would give racial rivalry precedence over all other healthy 
forms of competition. By reason, however, of its peculiar 
geographical conditions, Hungary is faced by the necessity 
for a final solution of the racial question, in such a way as 
shall guarantee the free " development of the individual 
nationalities as corporations " ; and indeed the instruments 
for such a solution lie ready to hand in the ancient communal, 
municipal and religious autonomy which have so long proved 
the bulwarks of individual freedom. After this introduction, 
the report lays down two principles : 

(a) " That the citizens of Hungary of every tongue form 
politically only one nation, the unitary and indivisible Hun- 
garian nation, corresponding to the historic conceptions of 
the Hungarian State. ^"' 

(b) That all peoples dwelling in this country, Magyars, 
Slovaks, Roumanians, Germans, Serbs, Ruthenes, etc., are 
to be regarded as nationalities possessing equal rights, who are 
free to promote their special national claims within the limits 
of the political unity of the country, on a basis of freedom 
of the person and of association, without any further restric- 

Bearing in mind these two vital principles, the Committee 
submits a rough draft of the provisions, which it regards as 
calculated to solve the question. These may be summarized 
under the following heads : — 

(i) The official language of State is to be Magyar, but all 
posts are to be filled without distinction of nationality, 
and officials with a knowledge of the various Hun- 
garian languages are to be appointed in each govern- 
ment department (§§ 18-20). 

(2) The language of Parliament is to be Magyar, but official 

translations of the laws are to be published in all 
Hungarian languages (§§ 21-22). 

(3) The county assemblies and municipal councils are free 

to choose their own language : every member may 
use his own mother tongue, and each nationality 
has the right to demand a copy of the minutes in 
its own language (§§ 11-12). The language of inter- 
course between the assemblies and the Government 
is exclusively Magyar (§ 17), but any two assembhes 
who employ one and the same official language, 

**' Cf. Preamble to Law xliv., 1868. See p. 148 and Appendix iii. 



may communicate with each other in that language 
(§ 15). The county officials are bound in all com- 
munications with the communes under them, to use 
the language of the latter (§ 14). 

(4) The communal assemblies are free to determine their 

own official language, and every member of them 
has the right to use his mother tongue in their debates 

(§§ 3, 4). 

(5) Every citizen is free to communicate with his own 

communal and municipal or county authorities, and 
also with the central authorities, in his own language 

(§ I). 

(6) The Churches are free to select their own language for 

church and school (§ 6). 

(7) Every Church and nationality is free to erect secondary 

and higher schools, and to prescribe their language 
of instruction (§ 8). 

This report, though ill digested and somewhat clumsily 
expressed, is evidently inspired by the writings and ideas 
of Baron Eotvos, the intimate friend of Deak, and one of the 
mosT attractive figures in the politics of the nineteenth century. 
FuU of sympathy for western culture, Eotvos had devoted 
himself, after the failure of the Revolution, to literary and 
publicist studies, and in 1850 he published a small book on 
The Equal Rights of the Nationalities in Austria, ^^ which was 
not without its influence on the progress of ideas in Hungary. 
He justly regards the absolute equality of all languages in a 
state like Austria-Hungary as incompatible with constitutional 
life, and as leading inevitably to Absolutism. ^"^ But he realized 
equally clearly that the principle of the majority cannot justly 
be enforced in racial questions, ^^^ and that the worst evils of 
the French Revolution were due not to democracy, but to 
the despotic power of a numerical majority. (^But these 
admissions do not lead him to support a system of federalism, 
since a division of the various provinces on a racial basis 
seems to him impracticable ; and therefore he adheres 
resolutely to the via media, which accords to every race or 
nationality the same rights as the individual to develop so 
far as it can without injuring its neighbour. 2^^ This readiness 

2"* Here he uses the word " Austria " to describe the entire Habsburg 
dominions, since Hungary formed part of Austria {de facto, though not 
de jure) during the absohitist regime from 1848 to 1867. 

^"* Ueber die Gleichberechtigung der N ationalitaten in Oesterreich, 3rd 
ed. (1871), p. 56. 210 Ibid. pp. 86 and 141. "i Ibid. p. 34. 


eOtvOs and nationality 

to reckon with the nationalities as legal entities — which is 
reflected in the report of the Committee of 1861, when it 
speaks of " the individual nationahties as corporations " — 
is the determining factor in Eotvos' policy towards the non- 
Magyar races, and contrasts sharply with the theory upheld 
by Coloman Tisza and now championed by Count Albert 
Apponyi, that as individual every citizen has equal rights 
before the law, but that the nationalities as such can have 
no legal status within " the one and indivisible political 
Hungarian nation. 'J Neither standpoint satisfied the Rou- 
manian and Slovak leaders of that day, who still looked to 
Vienna for their political salvation, and whose lack of perspec- 
tive led them to entertain extravagant hopes for the future. 
But the next generation has learnt from bitter experience, 
that with the standpoint of Deak and Eotvos an honourable 
compromise is possible, while the standpoint of Tisza and 
Apponyi reduces the non-Magyars to the position of helots 
and threatens them with political extinction. 

(JThe Report never attracted wide attention, and among 
the non-Magyar nationalities it was quite eclipsed by Par- 
liament's harsh and tactless attitude towards the Slovak 
Memorandum and the Serb petition. Hence while the Magyars 
reverted to a policy of sullen and obstinate passivity, the Slovaks 
were driven once more into the arms of Vienn^ /The Palatinal 
Council, even under the " Provisorium " of Schmerling, was 
sufficiently Magyar in sentiment to threaten them with a 
further curtailment of the few rights which they still possessed. 
In direct defiance of two decrees of October 5, 1861, issued 
by the Hungarian Chancellory in Vienna, requiring the Palatinal 
Council to respect the wishes of the non-Magyars at the re- 
organization of Catholic gymnasiums, the latter body published 
only a fortnight later an order which threatened all German 
and Slovak schools with the introduction of the Magyar lan- 
guage, and which placed Magyar on an equal footing with 
Slovak in the Catholic gymnasium at Neusohl. This innova- 
tion caused great alarm and indignation, and could not be 
justified even on the ground of providing for a Magyar popula- 
tion, since the entire diocese of Neusohl did not contain a 
single Magyar parish. Roused by such unwarrantable action, 
Dr. Stephen Moyses, the Bishop of Neusohl, one of the truest 
of Slovak patriots, decided to appeal to the monarch direct 
on behalf of his unfortunate countrymen ; and on December 
12, 1861, a Slovak deputation headed by the Bishop was 



actually received by Francis Joseph in the Hofburg at Vienna, 
and presented an address of grievances and requests. This 
address, and the memorial submitted by Bishop Moyses himself 
at the same time, mark a decided advance upon the manifestos 
of May, 1848, and! June, 1861.^^^ They are at once more lucid 
and dignified, they avoid the verbosity and provocative tone 
of the Memorandum, show far more respect for existing institu- 
tions, and base their case upon law and fact. They lay stress 
upon the racial equality and concord which had prevailed' 
in Hungary during former centuries, and contrast this with 
the Magyar hegemony which the legislation of the past seventy 
years has estabUshed. The non-Magyars, they assert, are 
quite content to recognize the Magyar language in the higher 
administration, but they demand free play for their own tongues 
in church, school and local affairs, and in their direct contact 
with the authorities. The Magyars wiU not allow this, and 
try to " cut off from the Slovaks every road to culture, and 
thus to let them languish in a condition of moral and. social 
atrophy, as the prey of a future Magyarizing policy.'^ [In 
effect, they put forward the same claims as the Memorandists 
— the formation of a Slovak Okolie, with a Slovak local assem- 
bly : the introduction of Slovak within this district as the 
official language of administration, justice and education : 
free control of the schools by " the Slovak nation " — but at 
the same time they are careful to define the new territory 
of their dreams as " an integral part of Hungary," which 
would be subject to the central Parliament and to the supreme 
authorities. Moreover, they repair the most regrettable 
omission of the Memorandum : for while claiming Slovak 
as the official language of the Okolie, they specially exclude 
aU places of other nationality, and express the wish that 
their communal affairs should be conducted without hindrance 
in the language of the majority. 

Bishop Moyses was inundated with addresses of thanks 
from the Slovak villages and corporations of North Hungary 
for his courageous advocacy of the Slovak cause ^^^ ; but the 

*^* I have treated the two documents together. They are to be 
found in Petitionen der Serben und Slovaken vom Jahre 1861. (Vienna, 
1862). A translation of the latter will be found in Appendix ii. 

*!' The Pestbudinske Vedomosti published no fewer than sixty -five 
of these addresses in the early months of 1862. And yet Bela Griin- 
wald calmly asserts (Felvidek, p. 41) that " the majority of the Slovak 
population showed the greatest antipathy and indignation " towards 
the Slovak national programme. 



aspirations which he had voiced so eloquently still remained 
unrealized. None the less, during the Schmerling era the 
Slovaks were allowed to breathe more freely. Not merely 
Moyses, but Zabojsky, Bishop of Zips, sympathized with the 
movement, and permitted the appointment of Slovak professors 
in the clerical seminaries, a fact which filled Bela Griinwald 
and his votaries with rage.^^* 

Almost all the existing gymnasia of North Hungary 
were, it is true, Magyarized ; but at the same time the Slovaks 
were allowed for the first time to erect secondary schools 
of their own/) In 1862 the Lutherans, led by Stephen Daxner, 
the author m the Memorandum, and Charles Kuzmdny, the 
superintendent, founded two Protestant gymnasiums at Nagy- 
Rocze and at Turocz St. Mdrton ; and five years later, when 
the Compromise had already been concluded, the Catholics 
followed their exaraple by founding a third Slovak gymnasium 
at Znio-Varalja. (The action of the Slovaks met with the 
greatest hostility from the Magyars and the renegates of 
the north ; but under Schmerling, and during the first years 
of the new era, when Deak's influence was still supreme, 
they were allowed to subsist. Griinwald, in his slanderous 
and vituperative pamphlet, actually argued that a Slovak 
gymnasium was a contradiction in terms and could not be 
a gymnasium in the real sense of the word.^^ A further assertion 
of Griinwald — that the chief aim of the Slovak nationalists 
was that their pupils should learn neither Magyar nor German 
— can only be described as a deliberate lie.^^' Not merely 

"* Griinwald {Felvidik, p. 43) actually goes the length of reproaching 
Bishop Roskovanyi of Nyitra for merely following " theological and 
devotional aims," and neglecting " the political interests of the coun- 
try " ! The present Episcopal Bench in Hungary would be after Griin- 
wald's own heart. 

*!' Ibid. p. 142. 

*^* Ibid. p. 143. Thisisby no means the only statement in Griinwald's 
book which deserves to be called by its right name. Prejudice and 
fanaticism master him so completely, that on p. 81 he actually accuses his 
adopted race, the Magyars, of " trembling before the fight and surrender- 
ing to every little foe." The Magyars will surely not leave it to a foreigner 
like myself to describe this as an infamous libel on their race. Csak 
az igazsag lelkeslti es nemesiti meg az embert igazan — " only the truth 
really inspires and ennobles man " (p. 58) — is a phrase which its author 
would have done well to remember. He might then have realized the 
enormity of his assumption (p. 55), that lying is habitual among all 
Slavs ! On p. 49 he goes so far [as to say, "That anyone could seri- 
ously wish to be a Slovak, would involve incredible narrow-minded- 
ness " ! 

R.P.H. 129 K 


did the statutes of all three schools expressly prescribe such 
teaching ; but no one knew better than Griinwald himself 
that the " Panslav " gymnasiums in the brief period of their 
existence had provided their pupils with a thorough grounding 
in both these languages, and especially in the " language of 

r But by far the most important concession to the Slovaks 
was the legal sanction of a national literary society, the 
Slovenskd Matica, at Tur6cz St. Mdrton, This permission, 
which according to western ideas of freedom should have 
been granted as a matter of course, had been withheld since 
1 85 1, when the poet Kollir and Kuzminy first brought forward 
the project); and it aroused the very greatest indignation 
among the Magyars} by whom the distinction between meum 
and tuum is applied with special rigour to matters of political 
liberty. The statutes of the new society laid down as its 
foremost aims the furtherance of the moral and intellectual 
culture of the Slovaks, the encouragement of Slovak hterature 
and art, and the advancement of material wellbeing among the 
peasantry. A generous response was made to the appeal for 
funds, and considering the extreme poverty of the Slovaks, 
and their lack of a leisured class, it is little short of marvellous 
that 94,000 florins (£7,800) should have been collected before 
the day of the first meeting. The Emperor-King himself 
sent 1,000 florins, and over 5,000 persons ai;e said to have 
contributed their mite to the Matica funds.X 441 original 
members were enrolled, and almost as many ordinary members, 
^'he first general meeting was opened by John Francisci at 
Turocz St. Mdrton on August 4, 186^ and was attended by many 
hundred educated Slovaks and 4,000 or 5,000 of the peasantry. 
Bishop Moyses, who appeared in person, had a triumphal 
procession most of the way from Neusohl : crowds gathered 
in every village to welcome him as " the father of the people," 
and according to Slovak custom mounted bands of Slovak 
youths escorted him on his way. When he entered the little 
town of Mdrton, under a triumphal arch erected for the occasion, 
an address of welcome was presented to him by the Lutheran 
superintendent Kuzmdny, and cries of " Slava " resounded 
on every side. The assembly itself was opened by the singing 
of " Hej Slovdci," the national hymn,[wliich is now virtually 
proscribed in Hungary ; 2" and in the evening a comedy was 
performed, and the poet Chalupka recited some of his own 

•" See p. 390. 


compositions.^ (^No one can doubt that the enthusiasm was 
genuine and lasting, and during the eleven years of its existence 
the Matica displayed great activity, considering the unfavour- 
able political milieu in which it had to work.j Among its 
publications were eleven volumes under the tide of Letopis 
(containing historical essays and collections of Czech and 
Slovak documents), a biography of the poet Zrinyi, and a 
number of schoolbooks and primers of agriculture, book- 
keeping, and various peasant industries. A committee was 
appointed to collect material for a new Slovak dictionary, 
to edit the rich store of folksongs, proverbs and legends, and 
to prepare a suitable anthology of Slovak poetry. Prizes 
were offered for works on Slovak history and art, popular 
lectures were organized for the instruction of the people, 
and over a hundred reading clubs and tiny libraries in different 
parts of " Slovensko " received encouragement from the 
headquarters of the Matica. Finally it supported poor Slovak 
students at the Catholic and Protestant gymnasiums of 
Neusohl and Rocze and at the University, and advanced small 
loans to distressed Slovak communes.^ 

The dissolution of the Diet of 1861 ushered in the so-called 
" Provisorium." This centralist scheme of Schmerling was 
doomed from the first to failure, for while in Austria it favoured 
the Germans at the expense of all the other races, in Hungary 
it sought to reduce the Magyars to the status of a subject race, 
without at the same time making the necessary concessions 
to the nationalities. Schmerling's failure was due to a crass 
miscalculation, which can only be ascribed to ignorance. 
He had expected that the Magyars would attend the Reichs- 
rath, in which 120 seats had been reserved for Hungary (exclu- 
sive of Transylvania and Croatia) ; whereas their unanimous 
abstention reduced the new Parliament to a Rump, and 
incidentally created a precedent which proved fatal to the 
Germans of Austria. In Transylvania alone did he achieve 
even a partial success ; but the presence of twenty-six Saxon 
deputies in Vienna was discounted by the abstention of the 
Magyars and even of the Roumanians. Transylvanian 
autonomy was actively encouraged by Schmerling ; the 
petitions of the Saxons, the deputations of the Roumanians, 
were alike received by the Emperor ; the Magyar population 
was made to realize for the first time its numerical minority. 

''^ Slavische' Blatter (ed. Abel LukSiti), Vienna, 1865 (pp. 451-3). 


A rescript of June 15, 1863, revised the franchise in a sense 
highly favourable to the Roumanians, and limited to forty the 
number of Regahsts, or deputies nominated by the monarch. "^ 
Hence the Diet which emerged from the new elections 
reflected fairly accurately the true racial divisions of the 
population ; but for this very reason the fifty-one Magyar 
deputies refused to attend, and pubhshed a protest against 
the infringement of the constitution. The two other nations 
of Transylvania were thus left in possession of the field, and 
after declaring the Act of Union illegal and invalid, proceeded 
to proclaim the national and religious equality of the Rou- 
manians with the Magyars, Szekels and Saxons (August 31), 
and on September 24 recognized the equality of the Magyar, 
German and Roumanian languages for all official purposes 
of the principality. Just and enlightened as this law was, 
the fact that it was passed by two races in the absence of 
the third impaired its value and proved fatal to its authority. 
The situation in Transylvania remained unsettled, and the 
three rival races were at one in admitting that their fate 
depended not so much upon their own efforts as upon the 
result of negotiations between Vienna and Budapest. ^20 

Schmerling's policy, despite his lofty ideals and single- 
ness of purpose, was from the very first condemned to 
sterility, and its abandonment was only a question of 
time. The growing sympathy which Francis Joseph dis- 
played for Hungary unconsciously kept pace with the diffi- 
culties which he encountered from Prussian rivalry ; but 
even had the sympathy been absent, policy and dynastic 
feeling would have impelled him to make terms with that 
portion of his dominions which seemed on the one hand most 
capable of united action and on the other strikingly immune 
from the brawls and rivalries of Cisleithania. In the summer 
of 1865, Schmerling was dismissed with almost brutal sudden- 
ness, and the way lay open to the conclusion of an understand- 

21* In the Diet of 1848, which had voted union with Hungary, over 300 
members had sat, but of these only ninety were elected (twenty-two 
Saxons, and only three Roumanians) ; all the rest sat by right of their 
offices or of a royal summons, and were Magyars almost to a man. 
In 1863 the monarch's Magyar counsellors wished him to nominate 
as Regalists 134 Magyars, 29 Roumanians, and 19 Saxons, in which 
event the majority of the population would again have been at the 
mercy of the minority. 

^^o Cp. Patterson {The Magyars, vol. ii. p. 201), who found this view 
widespread in Transylvania. 


deAk and the government 

ing with Hungary. The appointment of the Belcredi Ministry 
deluded the Czechs with false dreams of a dawning Slavophil 
era in Austria, and a cruel fate had stricken their leaders 
with blindness, while dowering the politicians of Budapest 
with more than their share of statecraft and judgment. While 
Palacky and Rieger, in their enthusiasm for a Federal pro- 
gramme, lost sight for the moment of the claims of the Bohe- 
mian Crown, Deak only claimed from his sovereign a return 
within those legal limits to which the earlier Habsburgs had 
voluntarily submitted, but which they had so often and so 
cynically transgressed. In the latter case, concession might 
be distasteful, but at least it was not fraught with such adven- 
turous issues. The royal prerogative might be curtailed, 
but the survival of the Monarchy was not set in jeopardy ; 
and a sovereign whose conscience had always been stronger 
than his imagination and whose whole nature was still summed 
up in the dramatic phrase " Sire, I am a German prince," ^^^ 
was bound to regard the Magyars as a more conservatory 
element in the state ^^^ than the Czechs. 

In November, 1863, the Transylvanian Diet was convoked at 
Kolo^svar under the old franchise, and a House of 225 members, 
of whom only sixty were non-Magyars, gave its sanction to the 
union of 1848. A rrionth later, Francis Joseph opened the 
Hungarian Diet in person, and negotiations were resumed with 
Deak, now more than ever the central figure of his country. 
In the critical months which preceded the war with Prussia, 
Deak's calm and noble character showed to signal advantage. 
The monarch was disposed to withhold his sanction of the 
laws of 1848 until some of the features which he regarded 
as objectionable had been revised, and to make his oath 
and coronation dependent upon the Diet's compliance with 
his wishes. A statesman less imbued with constitutional 
ideas and usages, might have been tempted to concede this 
as a mere point of honour ; Deak, who saw clearly the vital 
issues involved, would not hear of any settlement on lines of 
opportunism, which he regarded as at variance with law 
and constitution alike. To concede the legality of the existing 
situation would be, as he rightly argued in his famous speech 
of February 22, 1866, not opportunism, but absolutism pure 
and simple. The two Addresses of ParUament to the sovereign 

**i His answer to Napoleon Ill's suggestion of an anti-Prussian 

*** Staatserhaltend, in the admirable German phrase. 


were closely modelled on these views, and laid special stress 
on the legal continuity of the Hungarian constitution. The 
idea that the laws of 1848 were merely concessions due to 
the dangers of Ferdinand's position — an argument put forward 
during the subsequent negotiations between Deik and Beust 
— struck at the root of all constitutional government, and 
would have invalidated the compromise of 1867 in its turn. 
It is perfectly true that every exponent of absolute govern- 
ment, from Charles I to Nicholas II, has yielded to the exi- 
gencies of the moment rather than to his personal convictions : 
but this cannot form an excuse for the violation of laws duly 
voted by the legislature and sanctioned by the monarch. 
Deak braved the displeasure of the Court and resisted the 
advice of the more diplomatic Andrassy ; but at the same 
time he carefully refrained from any step which might offend 
the sovereign's pride or prove a hindrance to subsequent 

The war with Prussia necessarily postponed the settle- 
ment, and the prorogation of the Hungarian Parliament 
was regarded on both sides as a mere truce. Hungary's 
attitude during the war was one of extreme reserve ; yet 
the fiasco which attended the inroad of Klapka's Prusso- 
Magyar Legion was not solely due to the hostility of the 
Slovak peasantry, and it is probable that the publication of 
an appeal to the Hungarian nation, which Bismarck urged 
upon King William, would have met with little response. 
But on the other hand, the transference of military operations 
to Hungary, which must have followed the rupture of negotia- 
tions at Nikolsburg, might have led to a recrudescence of 
Kossuthist sentiments and the creation of a very serious 
situation ; for even the Himgarian origin of Benedek ^^ was 
insufficient to rouse the enthusiasm of the Magyars for the 
cause of Austria. One more Austrian reverse, said Somssich 
after Koniggratz, and a rising is certain. ^^4 

*2' Benedek was the son of a German Protestant doctor in Oedenburg 
(Sopron), and owed his entry into the army to the personal influence 
of Radetzky. His brilHant exploits at Cracow in 1846 and Mortara 
in 1849 were eclipsed by his leadership at Solferino in 1859, where his 
victory on the right wing saved the Austrian army from complete 

"* Cit. Eisenmann, op. cit. p. 429. 


The Ausgleich and the Nationalities 

"Every national movement is nothing else but a struggle for or against J 
historic right." — Eotvos. 

THE defeat of Koniggratz transformed the whole poHtical 
situation in Central Europe. The dream of Austrian 
hegemony in German^ was rudely dispelled, and with it the 
unnatural occupation of Northern Italy came also to an end. 
The energies which had hitherto found their vent on the nor- 
thern and southern frontiers were thus of necessity directed 
towards the East, and Bismarck was merely voicing a very 
widespread idea when he recommended the transference of 
the seat of government from Vienna to Budapest. Sentiment 
and geography prevailed over diplomatic considerations ; 
but while Vienna remained the residence of the court, Buda- 
pest acquired from the first a dominant influence in foreign 
politics which it was to retain for well-nigh forty years. 

On July 19, 1866, Francis Deak was summoned to an audi- 
ence with his sovereign, and made his memorable reply, 
" Hungary asks no more after Koniggratz than she asked 
before it." The Magyar statesman acted with a generosity 
which was not the less real because it revealed a clear grasp 
of the situation, and his answer completed the personal con- 
quest of the monarch. But of course, though Hungary's 
demands were not raised, they had been converted by force 
of circumstances from a maximum to a minimum programme, ^^ 
since the prospect of their attainment was now so immeasurably 

The appointment of Baron Beust, the former Premier of 
Saxony, to the Austrian Foreign Office marked a fresh stage 
in the negotiations. Enmity to Prussia had long been the 
ruling motive in Beust's career, and in accepting office in 
Austria he was to a great extent prompted by sentiments of 
revenge, in which the affronts offered by Bismarck to his per- 

^2" Eisenmann, op. cit- p. 430. 


soiial vanity played no small part. While encouraging Austria 
not to recognize her defeat in Germany as final, he regarded 
the Magyars as the most valuable asset in the coming struggle, 
and was ready to purchase thejr aid by the most far-reaching 
and even reckless concessions.^Theoretically, Deak's position 
was already impregnable ; but until the advent of Beust 
there was still grave doubt as to whether it would ever 
be converted from theory into practice. The Saxon's vanity 
completed what the lack of political talents among the 
Slavs had begun ; Deak the lawyer and Andrassy the 
diplomat combined between them all those qualities 
which were needed for so delicate a task, and owed to 
superior political talents their triumph over the statesmen ; 
of Austria. The winter was spent in further deliberations, 
but the game was already won ; and on February i8, 1867, 
the restoration of the constitution was publicly announced 
in Parliament, and a responsible Ministry formed under the ! 
premiership of Andrassy. The former lieutenant of Louis , V 
Kossuth thus became the instrument of Francis Deak's triumph.\/ 

A detailed discussion of the Ausgleich lies whoUy beyond 
the scope of the present volume, but a few general observations 
may not be out of place. The settlement of 1867 is in theory 
no new departure, but merely a reaffirmation of ancient rights 
and privileges — a fresh stage in the historic evolution of the 
Hungarian constitution, ^^n practice, however, it proved to 
be the opening of a new era for Hungary. Similar rights had 
repeatedly been vindicated by earlier Diets, but never before 
had the House of Habsburg produced a ruler who observed 
with the same scrupulous loyalty as 'Francis Joseph the obliga- 
tions of his coronation oath. s^The Ausgleich reasserts the 
ancient independence of Hungary, in accordance with the Prag- 
matic Sanction and the laws of Leopold II ; but it is careful 
not to interpret this independence in ' the sense of a mere 
dynastic link, as desired by Louis Kossuth. While securing 
to Hungary absolute control^ her internal affairs such as she ,| 
j had not enjoyed since the fatal defeat of Mohacs, it at the ¥ 
same time assured to the Habsburgs their most vital need — | 
: unity in foreign policy — and left undivided the army in whose | 
1^ hands the defence of that policy rested. Dualism did not | 
conquer solely by reason of its intrinsic merits as a political ■ 
organism, nor even of its historic claims and traditions, but | 
also in virtue of the favourable constellation in Europe. | 
Though a genuine historic evolution, it owed much to the 




political talent of individual Hungarian statesmen, and to the \ 
sheer incapacity by which the Slavs of Austria wasted a unique ^ ' 
opportunity. Deak, who had never lived outside Hungary, i 
and showed little grasp of the foreign situation, was unsur- j 
passed as an exponent of constitutional practice ; but Andrassy, i 
who in his years of exile had become conversant with the 
problems of European diplomacy, supplied the very qualities ; 
wHch were lacking to the elder statesman. ; 

V But while it is true to describe the Ausgleich as the logical I 
outcome of the Pragmatic Sanction, subsequent events have 
none the less shown it to rest upojj a far more cynical basis ■ 
than that of historic evolution, ^he real motive force whicl 
underlies the Dual System is a league between the two strongest' 
races, the Germans and the Magyars, who divided the Monarchy 
between them, and by the grant of autonomy to the two next 
strongest races, the Poles and the Croats, made them their 
accomplices in holding down the remaining eight. This statj 
of affairs could only last so long as the position of these four 
races remained unassailed ; and the fall of the German hege- 
mony in Austria, now an accomplished fact since the collapse 
of German Liberalism and the introduction of Universal 
Suffrage must sooner or later prove fatal to the Magyar 
hegemony in Hungary. To-day the Magyars are ringed round 
by hostile races, whom they have done everything in their 
power to incense and instigate against them. 

The conclusion of the - Ausgleich was followed by a great 
outburst of legislative activity, rendered necessary by the 
stagnation of the past nineteen years. The whole system 
of taxation was re-organized (Laws i6, 19-26, 34, 35). An 
attempt was made to cope with the evils of usury (31). The 
chambers of commerce were organized under the control of 
the Minister of Agriculture (6). The compensation due for the 
abolition of feudal rights was subjected to definite regula- 
tions (33). Considerable sums were voted for the erection of 
railways in various parts of the country, notably to connect 
Hungary with the Balkans (12, 13, 37, 45, 51). The law 
regarding expropriation was defined more closely (55). A 
Civil Code of procedure was promulgated (54). The national 
defence, militia and reserve were brought into touch with 
modern requirements (40-42). The various recognized 
Churches were placed on a footing of complete equality : 
the separation of the Greek Oriental Church into two auto- 
nomous Serb and Roumanian Churches, and the creation of 



a Greek Catholic Archbishopric, received the formal sanction 
of Parliament (9 and 39) ; liberty was assured to the 
individual to change his faith (53) and questions of divorce were 
relegated to the Church courts (48). The State assumed for 
the first time the task of providing elementary education for 
its citizens, and laid down compulsory school attendance, with 
the mother tongue as the basis of primary instruction (38).^* 

In addition to all these measures, three laws were passed, 
whose paramount importance for the racial future of the coun- 
try justify us in treating them in greater detail. These were 
the Croatian Ausgleich, the Transylvanian Union and the 
Law of Nationalities. 

(i) The compromise of 1868 with Croatia is not a mere 
law of Hungary, but a treaty between two states, repre- 
sented by the Parliaments of Budapest and Agram ^2' ; and this 
treaty asserts in the most explicit terms that no agreement 
between the two countries can be legally valid unless it obtains 
the sanction of the Croatian" Diet. Even in 1868 a favour- 
able majority could not have been secured in Agram, but 
for the highly questionable methods adopted by the Ban, Baron 
Levin Ranch ; rightly or wrongly, the feeling of the country 
was strongly opposed to the Ausgleich and inclined to hold 
out for a more complete form of self-government. The finan- 
cial conditions of the country, which had been regulated in 
a manner equally distasteful to Hungary and to Croatia, made 
resistance difficult, if not impossible, for many years ; and the 
crisis of 1883 was followed by a long period of stagnation, 
thanks to the skill and tact with which the new Ban, Count 
Khuen-Hedervary, concealed other less amiable though 
equally effective qualities. But electoral corruption and 
an absurdly narrow franchise ^^^ never could obscure the fact 
that an overwhelming majority of the Croatian population 
resented their country's dependence upon Budapest, and 
applied to their relations with Hungary the very doctrines 
['Which the Kossuthists of Hungary employed in their struggle 
against Austria. 

'^' See chapter xi. for the non-execution of these principles. 

**' In the original Magyar text of the Ausgleich of 1868 (Preamble 
and Sections 34, 36, 38-42, 54) the same word — orszaggyiiles — is used 
to describe both assemblies ; and this would seem to demolish effectu- 
ally the modern Magyar argument that the Diet of Agram is no Par- 
liament in the true sense of the word. 

**«At the present day there are only 49,000 electors in the whole of 
Croatia-Slavonia, out of a population of 2,400,766. 



The Diet of Agram nominally represents the triune kingdom 
of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, but the latter, though 
in theory subject to the crown of St. Stephen, still forms an 
integral part of Austria. Croatia enjoys complete autonomy 
in all matters of administration, justice, religion and education 
(§ 48), and Croatian is ever5rwhere the language of the legis- 
lature and executive (§ 56). The head of the local government 
is the Ban or Governor, who is appointed by the King on the 
proposal of the Hungarian Premier (§ 51) and sits by reason 
of his office in the Hungarian Chamber of Magnates. But 
while the Ban is responsible to the Diet of Agram (§50), the 
Croatian Minister in the Hungarian Cabinet, who acts as the 
channel of communication between the Ban and his sovereign, 
is responsible not to Agram, but to the joint parliament in 

Agram sends forty delegates to the central Parliament, 
which thus becomes a joint Hungaro-Croatian legislative body, 
whenever questions affecting the whole country are under dis- 
cussion ; on these occasions the Croatian national flag is flown 
side by side with the flag of Hungary upon the Parliament 
buildings, and the Croatians enjoy the right to use their own 
language in the debates, instead of Magyar. 

In section 59 of the Act, Croatia is recognized as " a political 
nation possessing a special territory of its own," and again in 
section 29 of the Law of Nationalities as " a separate nation 
from a political point of view." Thus Croatia is to be regarded 
as a sovereign state,^^^ which has freely made over one of 
its departments, namely foreign affairs, to the central authority 
in Budapest ; with the result that only the central parlia- 
ment can legally restore this sphere of influence to those who 
renounced it. 

The weakest points of the Croatian Ausgleich are the finan- 
cial relations of the two countries, which have often been the 
subject of mutual recriminations, and the position of the Ban, 
who is regarded by the Magyars as subordinate to the Hungar- 
ian Premier, while the Croats virtually claim for him the status 
of an autonomous Premier of Croatia. The action of Coloman 
Tisza in despatching a Royal Commissioner to Agram in 1883 
raised this question in its acutest form, and the folly of the 

S2» Whether it was really a sovereign state before 1868 is a debatable 
point, but no one who studies the phraseology of the Ausgleich of that 
year can escape from the admission that it has been so, at least in 
theory, since that date. 



Coalition Government in- enforcing an illegal linguistic pro- 
vision upon Croatia in the summer of 1907, has reopened the 
jjold wound and led to the introduction of an absolutist regime 
Un Croatia. ^^° 
,.JS (2) The geographical position of Croatia and the homogeneity 
K: of her population had stood her in good stead at the critical 
period of the Ausgleich. Magyar statesmen saw clearly the 
impossibility of Magyarizing the country, and anxiety regarding 
Hungary's access to the sea would have prompted them to come 
to terms, even if Deak had not been genuinely desirous of an 
honourable settlement. The situation in Transylvania was 
quite different. Here the task of assimilation, though diffi- 
cult, was not wholly impossible ; for when the union with 
Hungary was once accomplished, the 600,000 Magyars and 
Szekels, instead of being a weak minority in the face of 1,200,000 
Roumanians and 200,000 Saxons, combined with their six 
million kinsmen of the central plains, and thus formed part 
of a strong and compact Magyar majority. The great change 
wrought in the position of the Transylvanian Magyars not 
unnaturally betrayed them into over-confidence and arrogance, 
and for the next generation a policy of aggressive Magyari- 
zation w as a opted towards the other races. 

The union of Transylvania with Hungary was hurriedly 
voted on May 29, 1848, under the influence of mob-terrorism. 
In contrast to all previous occasions on which the question of 
union had been brought forward,^^^ the proposals were not 
submitted to the local jurisdictions, but were discussed and 
adopted in a single sitting. Indeed so precipitate had been 
the action of the Magyars that the Governor, Count Teleki, had 
summoned the Diet on his own responsibility, without awaiting 
the sanction of the sovereign ; and the Act of Union was after-^ 
wards submitted to Ferdinand at Innsbruck by the new Hun- 
garian Premier, not by the proper Transylvanian authorities. 
The constitution of Transylvania rested on the solemnly 
guaranteed equality of "the three Nations " — the Magyar county 
assemblies, the Szekel and Saxon Sees (Stiihle) and Districts 
each sending delegates to the Diet in Klausenburg (Kolozsvar) 
with definite instructions which they might not legally exceed. 
The Saxon members on this occasion, intimidated by the 

"° See Appendix xxviii., which contains a very brief summary of the 
Croatian crisis and the historic claims from which it arose. 

*^^ March 7, 1791 ; March 30, 1838 ; March 22, 1842, and November 3, 



cries of " Union or Death \ which resounded beneath their 
windows, infringed their clear instructions in voting the 
union ; and this circumstance would of itself throw doubt 
upon the legality of the Act. But even the most serious 
technical or legal objections are far outweighed by the moral 
objection supplied by the glaring anachronisms and inequalities 
of the Transylvanian franchise. The Roumanians, though 
they formed the great majority of the population, had been 
from time immemorial on an inferior footing to the three 
" privileged nations," and indeed only three Roumanians 
sat in the Diet of 184S. As the Saxons were only represented 
by twenty-two members, the Magyars commanded a clear 
majority among the ninety elected delegates, and this majority 
became overwhelming when reinforced by the votes of the 
regalist members, the great mass of whom were Magyar nobles 
and officials. Hence the passage of the Act of Union through 
such a House was a foregone conclusion. 

The outbreaks of the Revolution prevented the Act of Union 
from being carried into effect, and the loyal support given to 
the Imperial cause by>^axons and Roumanians alike, served 
to emphasize the intense unpopularity of the union with all 
save the Magyar minority. Dae of the most fatal blunders] 
of Alexander Bach was hia ingratitude towards the non-/ 
Magyars of Transylvania, who, according to a happy Magyar 
phrase, received as a reward the same treatment which had 
been meted out to Hungary as punishment. Schmerling 
adopted a more tactful policy towards the principality ; but 
he too infringed the constitution by holding the elections to 
the new Diet of 1863 under a franchise which had never re- 
ceived constitutional sanction. The various races of Tran- 
sylvania were for the first time equitably represented in the 
Diet ; but the Magyar element refused to admit the justice 
of this change, and their abstention deprived subsequent 
legislation of its value. The law of August, 1863, recognizing 
the equality of the Magyar, German and Roumanian lan- 
guages, was worthy of the best traditions of Transylvania, 
which had earned a deservedly high reputation for its tolerance 
at a period when most other nations were striving to enforce 
their opinions by the sword. But tolerance and logic were of 
no avail against the Magyars, whose dreams of racial hege- 
mony the enforcement of such a law would have effectually 
destroyed. After the fall of Schmerling in 1865, the elections 
to the new Diet were entrusted to the Magyar or Unionist 



party, and the legislation of 1863 soon became a mere historic 
memory. The population of Transylvania amounted in 1865 
/to close upon two millions,^^^ of whom the Magyars formed 
/ only 29 per cent., the Germans 12 per cent., and the Roumanians 
I 59 per cent. Yet out of the 106 elected delegates in the new 
I Diet, 61 (that is, 57 per cent., or almost double the proper 
\allowance) were Magyars ; while out of the 190 " regalists " 
132 were Magyars. Thus the Magyars, despite their crushing 
numerical minority, commanded a majority of 90 votes over the 
united forces of the Saxons and Roumanians. The old elec- 
toral law of 17 91 had been rendered /Obsolete and even un- 
workable by the abolition of noble privileges in 1848, and 
therefore the Government, in order to admit non-nobles to the 
poll, was obliged to modify the franchise by arbitrary decree, 
thus adopting the same illegal attitude as Schmerling in 1863. 
The sole difference was that while Schmerling tried to make 
the franchise correspond -.fairly accurately with the racial 
divisions of the country, his successors readjusted it in such 
a way as to favour the Magyar element. Thus every noble 
voted as such, but only those non-nobles enjoyed the franchise 
who paid at least eight florins in direct taxes — a qualification 
which was aimed at the poverty of the Roumanians. The dis- 
sentient Roumanian members were amply justified in assert- 
ing that " a Diet composed upon such a basis lacks the neces- 
sary moral force to ensure permanent validity to its decisions. "^^s 
The attitude of the assembly was a foregone conclusion ; the 
validity of the Act of Union was reaffirmed, and the royal 
rescript ^^* urging a revision of that law, was completely 

On December 25, 1865, the sovereign, in summoning Parlia- 
ment at Budapest and sanctioning the attendance of the 
Transylvanian deputies at it, expressly declared the union 
of the two countries to be " dependent upon due consideration 
being paid to the special interests of the principality upon 
the observance of the legally recognized claims of the various 
nationalities and confessions, and upon the proper regulation 
of the administrative questions of the country." ^ 

*^* The census of 1870 returned 2,102,000 (611,581 Magyars, 211,490 
Germans, 1,249,447 Roumanians). 

233 Protest of tile Roumanian members. See Appendix xxv. of 
Brote, Die rumdnische Frage in Siehenhiirgen und Ungarn. 

*3* Of October 6, 1865. 

*" Cit. Preussische Jahrbiicher, xlviil., p. 157. 



The first sign of the coming storm was the decision of Parlia- 
ment in March, 1867, that until the Transylvanian situation 
had been regulated in accordance with the law of 1848,^^ " the 
Ministry is empowered to carry out the necessary measures 
with regard to the government, administration and justice 
in Transylvania, on its own responsibility and according to 
its own views." On the strength of this, Conrad Schmidt, the 
Saxon Count, was promptly forbidden to summon the Saxon 
University ,2" and on February 3, 1868, was relieved of office, 
though he had been appointed for life, and appointed not by the 
Government but by the University. The petitions of the 
University and of the councils of Hermannstadt and Schiiss- 
burg were rejected on the ground that " the Ministry had been 
empowered " to act. A subsequent law deprived the Saxons 
of the historic right of electing their Count, and vested the 
appointment in the Crown, under the advice of the Hungarian 
Ministry (XLIII. §9). 

In December, 1868, the Hungarian Parliament passed a law 
professing to regulate the details of the Union (XLIII. 1868). 
By it the special privileges of the various nationalities were 
abolished, and the equality of all citizens was proclaimed, 
irrespective of race or religion (§ i). This clause, at first sight 
so liberal, contains the gerpis of racial tyranny. The ancient 
constitution of the principality was based on the equality of 
the three " historic nations " (the Magyars, Saxons and Szekels) 
and of the four recognized creeds (Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran 
and Unitarian) ; the significant omission of the Roumanians 
had at length been remedied by the law of 1863, which corrected 
historic tradition in the light of modern facts, and placed the 
three nationalities of Transylvania on an equal legal footing. 
The new law undermined the privileged position of the Saxons, 
which alone had saved their scanty numbers from extinction, 
and relegated the Roumanian majority to a kind of legal limbo, 
since it neither reduced them to their former status as serfs nor 
acknowledged their newly acquired rights. The Magyars were 
the only race to profit by the change, for they were now able 
to combine with their kinsmen of Hungary proper, and acquired 

*** 1848, VII. 5. " Hungary is ready to accept and maintain all 
those special laws and liberties of Transylvania, which, while not hinder- 
ing complete union, are favourable to national liberty and legal unity." 

**' The "University" was th^ autonomous representative body of the 
nine Sees {Stuhle) and two Districts of which the Saxon " King's Land " 
{fundus regius, Konigshoden) was composed. The word is thus used 
in the medieval sense of " universitas." 



a steadily increasing influence upon local administration, 
and before many years had elapsed, an exclusive control of 
the judicature. 

The office of Governor, with all those dependent on it, was 
abolished (§ 7) ; the administrative powers of the Hungarian 
Cabinet were extended to Transylvania (§ 6), and the legislature 
was merged in the central Parliament of Budapest. Tran- 
sylvania was henceforth to be represented by seventy-five 
deputies in Parliament (§4), and the foremost officials of its 
counties and districts, including the Saxon Count, were assigned 
seats in the Chamber of Magnates (§5). 

Perhaps the most remarkable provisions of this law, in view 
of subsequent events, are those referring to Saxon autonomy. 
The rights and privileges of the Saxon University, as enjoyed 
in previous centuries, were (with the single exception of its 
judicial functions^^) solemnly guaranteed (§11). The Ministry 
was instructed to introduce a further law guaranteeing the 
rights of self-government enjoyed by the various Sees (sedes) 
and Districts of " the King's Land " (Konigsboden : fundus 
regius) having previously consulted them regarding the details. ^^ 
Till the introduction of this law, the Government was em- 
powered to take provisional action in matters concerning the 
Saxon territory. 

When county government was reorganized in 1870 (Act 
XLIL), reference was again made (§ 88) to the special law which 
was to be devoted to the regulation of Saxon affairs, yet year , 
after year was allowed to pass, and no such law was ever 
brought before Parliament. Meanwhile the Minister of the 
Interior, exercising his provisional powers, aimed repeated 
blows at the autonomy which he was solemnly pledged to ■; 
respect. As early as January 24, 1869, he issued a decree 
annexing sixteen Roumanian communes to the See of Her- 
mannstadt, and ten Magyar and Roumanian communes to 
the See of Kronstadt. A serious inroad was thus made upon 
the German character of the two most important Saxon 
districts, and aliens acquired an influence over the adminis- 
tration and disposition of Saxon national property. In March 
of the same year a further decree imposed fresh regulations 
for the election of the representative bodies and of the local 
officials ; the selection of candidates for these posts was placed 

"8 Law LIV. of 1868 annulled the High Court of eHrraannstadt. 
23» " Nach geschehener Einvernehmung der betreffenden," runs the 
German text. 



in the hands of the Saxon Count (just as the candidature of 
county officials in the hands of the High Sheriffs) and proofs 
of legal training were dispensed with ! 

In 1871 the new law regulating the communes was applied 
to the Saxons also, though the Act of Union had expressly 
left in force the Transylvanian law of 1791 (XIII.) which 
secured the Saxon University in its control of communal 
affairs. The Magyar language was introduced into the Saxon 
administration (in virtue of XLIV., 1868), which had hitherto 
been conducted in German only, and became the official 
language in courts of first instance (in defiance of the same 
law, XLIV., 7, 8, 9; and 1869 iV., 6). At length in April, 
1876, a law was introduced by Tisza's Ministry, not carrying 
out the pledge of the Act of Union, but directly violating 
it (XII., 1876) ! All existing distinctions in the matter of 
administration were abolished (§ i) . The ancient office of 
Saxon Count was annulled, and the honorary title was assigned 
to the High Sheriff of the county of Hermannstadt (§ 2) . 
The sphere of influence of the Saxon University is henceforth 
restricted to control over its property and the application 
of its income (§ 3) ; but even then, its expenditure is strictly 
limited to educational objects (§4) — surely a clear infringe- 
ment of the rights of property. The general assembly 2*° of 
the University becomes the executive authority for these 
purposes, subject to the Government's right of inspection 
(§7). Yet the validity of its decisions is made dependent 
upon Ministerial sanction, and this sanction has actually 
been given to resolutions which were passed by a minority 
of two members ! 2*^ Moreover the president of the assembly, 
who as High Sheriff is a nominee of the Government, has the 
right to terminate the sitting of the assembly, if " in his 
opinion " it has exceeded its sphere of action (§ 14), and if 
the meeting prove refractory, to prorogue the debate for a 

This iniquitous law was followed by a redistribution of 
the counties, especially in Transylvania (1876, XXXIII.). 
The natural course to pursue would have been to make the 
county boundaries so far as possible coincide with ethno- 
graphical divisions ; but instead of this, an attempt was made 

**° The electors to this assembly are divided into eleven constituencies, 
but their distribution rested originally with the Minister of the In- 
a^ior (§9) ! 
f **^ See page 244. 

R.P.H. 145 L 


to play off Saxon and Roumanian against each other, and 
to place them at a strategical disadvantage, in the hope of 
securing for the Magyar minority the control of most of the 
county assemblies. On December 19, 1873, the Saxon Univer- 
sity had sent a memorial to the Premier, voicing its objections 
to the proposed redistribution. On January 27, 1874, a 
reply was received from the Minister of the Interior, severely 
reprimanding the University for the contents of this memorial, 
and on the ground of a rescript from the unconstitutional 
period, denying its right to discuss pubhc affairs and making 
its president responsible for the cessation of such complaints. 
Thus arbitrarily did a constitutional Government withhold 
the right of petition and of free speech from the Saxons in a 
matter which concerned their most vital interests.^*^ By a 
refinement of cruelty, the new law was treated in Parliament, 
as a completion of the Act of Union, which had solemnly 
guaranteed the rights of the Saxon territory. Fine phrases 
about mediaeval anachronisms were employed to conceal the 
outrage thus offered to law and morality ; but occasionally 
the veil was drawn aside. Baron Gabriel Kemeny declared 
that the Saxons had forfeited their rights by sending deputies to 
the Reichsrath in the Schmerling era, while Coloman Tisza argued 
that parliamentary power stands higher than any rights.^*^ 

Saxon autonomy was now at an end, and the Hungarian 
Parliament had perjured itself in the eyes of the world. The 
small numbers of the Saxons made them an easy prey, and 
although their wealth, culture and sturdy independence 
have delayed the process of decay, they have been fighting 
a losing battle for the past generation, and there is little or 
no prospect of their ever recovering the rights of which they 
were so perfidiously robbed.^** It has been reserved for the 
despised Roumanians to check the victorious advance of 
the Magyars and to reassert the claims of racial equality in 
a country where their ancestors so long occupied the position 
of serfs. The great mass of the Roumanian population has 
never become reconciled to the absorption of Transylvania 
in Hungary, and even those who are least disposed to look 
to Bucarest would welcome a revision of some of the more 
objectionable features of the Act of Union. 

*** Loher, Das Erwiirgen der deutschen Nationalitdt in Ungarn. 
2" Preussische Jahrbucher, xlviii. p. 168. 

*** Germany's attitude to this spoliation is briefly referred to on pagcne 
171. _ ' . " 



(3) The Magyars had adopted a graduated scale in their treat- I 
ment of the other races. Croatia, as the most formidable and 
the most favourably situated, received a measure of autonomy \ 
which, if considered from the standpoint of the Magyar national i 
state, can only be regarded as generous to the point of rashness. I 
Skilfully timed concessions to Croatia left them a free hand i 
in Transylvania, whose autonomy was sacrificed to the phan- ; 
tom of racial unity. There still remained the vital question ^ 
of the nationalities in Hungary proper, whose existence it ' 
has long been the fashion to deny, but which is to-day acuter 
than ever. ; 

In 1867, all political power in Hungary had been delivered j 
into the hands of a single race. Many circumstances favoured \ 
the Magyar hegemony — a long political training, the existence \ 
, of a strong national nobihty, superior numbers and education, 
a strong geographical and economic position. But even with J i 
all these advantages, this hegemony could only be permanently/ , 
assured by the assimilation of the non-Magyar races. The i 
Slavs and Roumanians must either be so weakened as to j 
/ lose their nationality altogether, or a day would inevitably I 
I come when they would not merely claim but vindicate their 
I share of political rights. Deak and Eotvos were entirely at\ ^j 
one with Tisza in regarding assimilation as the ideal solution A 1 
of the racial problem : but they differed from him radically \ j 
in their choice of methods. They held that a policy of mild- j I 
ness and concession would prove more efficacious than restric- / ■ 
tive measures, and that Magyar culture, if it was to prove / ' 
equal to the task of assimilation, could only conquer in virtue/ i 
of its innate superiority and moral force. On these grounds 1 
they refused to recognize the nationalities as separate entities^ ; 
within the state, but designed a law which should make it\ \ 
possible for every race to develop its own language and ' j 
culture without [let or hindrance. Though it was strongly ^* \ 
opposed by the non-Magyar leaders of 1868 as unjust and I 
inadequate, there is little doubt that the vast mass of their i 
followers would have been satisfied by the very genuine i 
national guarantees which the law contained. But unhappily 
the intolerance of Deak's successors prevented its execution,\ i 
and party ^exigencies have rendered the Government every A ! 
year less inclined to make concessions to the nationalities. ! 

The Law of Equal Rights of the Nationahties (XLIV., 1868), 
as definitely adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on De- i 
cember i, 1868, may be divided for purposes of criticism j 

147 i 


into two unequal and somewhat contradictory parts. The 
preamble and the first paragraph emphasize the political 
unity of the state, while the remaining paragraphs define the 
concessions which may be made to the individual nationalities 
without endangering that unity. " Since all citizens of 
Hungary, according to the principles of the constitution, 
form from a political point of view one nation — the indivisible 
unitary Hungarian nation — ^of which every citizen of the 
fatherland is a member, no matter to what nationality he 
belongs ; since, moreover, this equality of right can only 
exist with reference to the official use of the various languages 
of the country . . . only in so far as is rendered necessary 
by the unity of the country and the practical possibility of 
Government and administration ; the following rules will 
serve as standard regarding the official use of the various 
languages, while in all other matters the complete equality 
of the citizens remains untouched." ^*^ It becomes clear, 
then, at the very outset, that from a strictly legal standpoint 
the title of this law is a misnomer ; the equality of the Hun- 
garian races is not absolute, but is made conditional upon 
reasons of state. Of course, this does not necessarily detract 
from the liberal nature of the law, for a state composed of 
mixed races is bound to have greater regard for the well- 
being of the whole than for that of any of the parts ; but on 
the other hand, where rights are made conditional, more 
depends upon the manner in which the law is executed, and 
more loopholes are supplied for its evasion. And so it has 
proved in Hungary. The Law of Nationalities has remained 
almost from the very first a dead letter, its various provisions 
being treated in Government circles as whoUy irreconcilable 
with the principles laid down in the preamble. 

Like so many other laws on the statutebook of Hungary, 
the Law of Nationalities is vitiated by employing in the 
original text only a single word (magyar) for two essen- 
tially different conceptions — Hungarian, the wide geographical 
term embracing the whole territory of St. Stephen — and 
Magyar, the narrow racial term, applicable only to one out 
of the many nationalities of the country. The ambiguity^, 

*" Croatia-Slavonia is of course expressly excluded from all pro- 
visions of the Act (§ 29), on the ground that these kingdoms " possess 
a special territory and form politically a special nation." For the 
complete text of the Law of Nationalities, which has, I believe, never 
appeared in English before, see Appendix iii. 



of the phrase becomes apparent when " the poUtical unity 
of a magyar nemzet (the Hungarian nation) " is under discus- 
sion ; for the attempt has often been made to define " a 
magyar nemzet " as " az uralkodo nemzet," in other words 
as " the ruling race," not as " the Hungarian nation," 246 and 
there is no doubt that Coloman Tisza himself favoured this 
view. The preamble, then, was undoubtedly intended by 
Deak as a concession to the extremer elements in Parliament, 
led by the future Premier Coloman Tisza, whose early reputa- 
tion as a Radical did not prevent him from developing into 
a typical bourgeois reactionary ; and it is probable that 
without this preamble the bill would never have passed at 
all. Just as its omission might in later years have supplied 
the advocates of federalism with dangerous arguments, so 
its inclusion made it possible for the Chauvinists whose star 
was now in the ascendant, to lay stress upon its paramount 
importance, to dilate upon its incompatibility with the rest 
of the law, to argue that all subsequent paragraphs must be 
strictly interpreted in the light of the opening phrases, and 
finally to declare their execution to be inconsistent with the 
Magyar hegemony and the very existence of the race. This 
gradation of argument, which seems to its adherents as con- 
vincing as a proposition of Euclid, savours in reality only 
too strongly of the schoolmaster's famous sequence from 
white through whitish-grey to greyish-black and black. 

I now propose to analyse as briefly as possible the main 
provisions of this all-important law, grouping them under six 
principal heads, and showing the alarming differences between 
theory and practice. In most cases references will be given 
to other chapters of the book, where the reader wiU find closer 
details of the non-execution of the law. 

I. Magyar is proclaimed as the official language of the 
state, the language of Parliament, government and administra- 
tion (§i), of the county assembhes and their officials (§§2-5), 
of the law courts (§13), and of the University (§19). All 
these sections, we need hardly point out, have been observed 
with a strictness which serves to throw into greater relief the 

**• Cp. Helfy's speech during the Education debates of 1879 (referred 
to on p. 217). The Roumanian Memorandum of 1892 declares with 
some exaggeration : " Through this intentional confusion of the po- 
litical conception of the nation with the ethnical, the law denies from 
its very first sentence onwards our existence as a political factor." 
Brote, op. cit., p. 334. 



non-execution of the remainder. The need of a common 
language was obvious to all save the most frenzied apostles 
of separatism ; and the historic traditions, numerical import- 
ance and geographical position of the Magyars gave to their 
language far the strongest claims, since German, its only 
possible rival, was associated with foreign aggression and 
an absolutist regime. The refusal to recognize the nation- 
alities as distinct bodies in the state was due to the rooted 
dislike which the genuine Magyar has always displayed for 
federalist schemes ; but he can hardly be blamed for declining 
Vito make so far-Teaching a concession to his opponents of 
''1848, until a more moderate experiment had been tried. 
The avowed aim of the law was not the Magyarization of the 
nationalities, but merely their conversion into loyal subjects 
of the Hungarian state — a consummation which could only be 
reached if Hungary were made attractive to them, and if free 
play were given to the development of their own national 
languages and customs. This view, so eloquently expounded 
by Baron Eotvos,^' found expression in the Law of Nationah- 
""Tiesl but the new generation, to whom Tisza was more akin 
than Deak, held the very different view that the nationahties 
were not fulfilling their patriotic duty if they merely became 
bilingual, and that they must show a greater preference for 
1 1 " the national language '"' than for their native tongue.^ 
2. Administration. — {a) While no other language save 
Magyar is admissible in Parliament ,2*^ in the county assemblies, 
on the other hand, the minutes may be drawn up in a second 
language as well as Magyar, if one-fifth of the members of 
the assembly desire it (§2) ; and in any case every member 
has the right to speak in his mother tongue (§3). The county 
assemblies in their intercourse with the Government must 
employ the Magyar language, but may, in addition to this, 
employ any other language which is officially used for their 

*" Eotvos, Die Nationalitdtenfrage, pp. 63-8, 165-6. 
*" According to § i, the laws are to be published "in authentic trans- 
lations " in all the Hungarian languages. But, as a matter of fact, it is 
impossible to obtain a Roumanian Slovak or Ruthene translation of 
the laws, and even some volumes of the German translation have been 
allowed to get out of print. 

^ 2«» This really applies only to Hungary proper. In debates which 
concern the joint territory of Hungary and Croatia, the forty Croatian 
deputies, as " deputies of a political nation possessing a special terri- 
tory of its own," have the right to use their own language (see 1868, 
XXX., §59; and 1868, XLIV., §-9). 



tninutes (§4) ; in their intercourse with other asserrlblies, 
they may choose between Magyar and one of the official 
languages of their correspondent (§4), while in their inter- 
course with their own communes, or with individuals or insti- 
tutions in the county, the language of these latter is "so far 
as possible" to be employed (§6).^^" The language of state 
is to be employed by the county officials in their official busi- 
ness, but should this lead to difficulties, another language of 
the minutes is to be used (§5). 

Opinions may differ as to the extent to which the above 
provisions were intended to serve a merely decorative purpose ; 
certain it is that their seemingly liberal nature was counter- 
acted by the peculiar franchise — half virilist and only half 
elective — which was adopted for the county assemblies, and 
which tended to place the nationalities in a permanent 
<■. minority too weak to enforce observance of the law. It has 
not been found possible to deprive non-Magyar members of 
the right to speak in their mother tongue ; but the minutes 
are invariably drawn up in the Magyar language only, except 
in the few Saxon assemblies, where German is used as a 
supplementary language.^^ 

How effectually all other languages save Magyar have been 
excluded from the local assemblies is shown by an incident 
which occurred as recently as the spring of igo8. A majority 
of the Town Council of Oedenburg (Sopron) insisted upon the 
minutes being drawn up in German as well as Magyar, in ac- 
cordance with section 2 of the Law of Nationahties ; and the 
Minister of the Interior, when the case was referred to him, 
upheld the decision. So unheard-of a concession roused the 
Press of Budapest to great indignation, and their comments 
upon the incident made it very evident that Chauvinist public 
opinion would not tolerate the extension of this right to any 
other nationaUty save the German, whom even the extremists 
are still disposed to propitiate. 

*5o Of course the words " so far as possible " were really intended 
to guard against the possibility of a foreigner, say a Turk or an Abyssin- 
ian, insisting on the letter of the law being appUed to suit his con- 
venience. In this connection see p. 159, 

"1 Even the fair-minded " Mercator " argues {Die N ationalitdtenf rage 
und die ungarische Reichsidee, p. 69) that the keeping of the minutes 
of county assemblies in a non-Magyar language is unnecessary, because 
their members almost without exception understand the Magyar 
language. But even if this be true, it will cease to be so after the 
reform of the local government franchise — a much-needed reform 
which cannot be delayed much longer. 



(b) The Act does not expressly enjoin upon the county 
officials a knowledge of the languages spoken in their district ; 
it merely imposes on the Government the vague pledge " that 
in judicial and administrative offices persons belonging to 
the various nationalities shall so far as 'possible be employed, 
who possess the necessary linguistic knowledge and also other 
qualifications" (§27). Now it is obvious that unless this 
clause is very closely observed, all the other provisions which 
we have cited must of necessity remain a dead letter. And 
this is what has actually occurred. The extent to which 
linguistic attainments — so essential in a polyglot country 
like Hungar}' — have been neglected, may be realized from 
the Circular sent in December, 1907, by Count Andrassy, 
the Minister of the Interior, to aU the county authorities of 
Hungary. In it he insists that " those county officials who 
in virtue of their position have continual intercourse with 
the people — above all the szolgabiros ^^ — shall posess a know- 
ledge of the language of the inhabitants of their district, at 
least sufficiently to converse without hindrance with the 
people, to understand them and to make their own orders 
comprehensible to them." As Count Andrissy justly remarks, 
" without a knowledge of the language of the population 
the official is like a foreigner to the people . . . cannot know 
their grievances and aims, cannot win their confidence " ; 
but the necessity for such language and the late hour at which 
it is employed (on the eve of universal suffrage) throws an 
unpleasant light upon Hungarian administration. 

{c\ In the communal assemblies a wider latitude is allowed 
to the non-Magyar languages. Each assembly prescribes 
its own official language, and is bound to adopt a second 
language also at the wish of one-fifth of its members, each 
of whom enjoys the right to speak in his own language (§§ 
20, 24), while in its intercourse with the county assembly 
and its officials, and with the central Government, it is free 
to employ either the language of state or its own official lan- 
guage, in its correspondence with other county assembhes, 
either the language of state or one of the official languages 
of that assembly. The communal officials are bound to 
employ the language of the district in their intercourse with 
its inhabitants (§21). 

««* Local executive officials, for whom there is no exact equivalent in 




These provisions have rarely been enforced. The members 
of communal assemblies are, of course, allowed to speak in 
their mother tongue, for the excellent reason that business 
would otherwise be impossible. But the minutes are drawn 
up in Magyar only, and any attempt to insist upon the use 
of another language is treated by the authorities as savouring 
of Panslavism. Two startling instances of this are given 
on page 248. Meanwhile, many of the local officials are entirely 
ignorant of the language spoken by the majority of the inhab- 
itants ; and this leads to frequent embezzlement and other 
corrupt dealing. The schedules of taxation are especially 
liable to be falsified, owing to the absence of proper control 
upon many of the village notaries. 

{d) Every citizen has the right to present petitions or appli- 
cations in his mother tongue alike to his own communal or 
county assembly, to his ecclesiastical authorities and to the 
central Government : and to other communal or county 
assemblies either in the language of state or in one of their 
official languages (§23). 

Perhaps the most effective commentary upon this clause is 
a reference to the speech delivered by the present Premier 
Dr. Alexander Wekerle, in Parliament, on June 2, 1906. After 
declaring that it was impossible to fulfil the linguistic desires 
of the non- Magyars in the Law of Nationalities, and adding 
that "properly trained individuals must be entrusted with 
administrative duties" (a highly suggestive phrase), he 
went on to say, " I am not in a position to fulfil that provision 
of the Law of Nationalities, by which the decision is to be 
given in the same language in which the petition is handed in." 
For once the mask is lifted, and no attempt is made to conceal 
the violation of the law. 

{e) Nationality is not to be an obstacle to the holding of 
any office or dignity, and the Government is bound to fill 
judicial and administrative posts — above all the position of 
High Sheriff of the county — with members of the various 
nationalities, so long as they possess the necessary linguistic 
qualifications (§27). 

In eleven counties the Roumanians, in seven counties the 
Slovaks, forma majority of from 66 to 96 percent, of the popu- 
lation, and yet not a single Roumanian or Slovak has been 
appointed High Sheriff for the past generation. Before the 
union with Hungary, there were over a dozen Roumanian 
High Sheriffs in Transylvania, and almost one-third of the 



administrative officials were Roumanian, ^^^ but in 1891 there 
were only 183 Roumanians among the 3,105 officiaJs of Tran- 
sylvania, or 5 '8 per cent., whereas on a strict basis of popula- 
tion there would have been at least 60 per cent.) and in the ten 
counties of Hungary proper which contain a Roumanian 
population, there were 226 among 3,649, or only 6 percent.^ 

3. Justice. — Every individual has the right to employ 
his mother tongue before his own communal or district court 
(jdrasbirosag : Bezirksgericht) (§7). In such cases the 
judge is bound to accept and deal with petitions and com- 
plaints, and to issue summonses, in the language of the parties 
concerned. The reports of the trial are to be drawn up in 
whichever of the official languages of the county may be 
agreed upon between the parties at law. If they cannot 
agree, the judge decides which language is to be used ; but 
in this case the contents of the reports must be interpreted 
to the parties. The verdict is to be pronounced in the language 
in which the trial has been conducted, but the judge is bound 
to supply the parties with an authentic translation of the 
verdict in their own language, provided this be in use in the 
county assembly (§8). In cases of appeal, which have been 
conducted in a non-Magyar language, the higher court is to 
translate the necessary documents by means of a properly 
qualified person, at the public expense (§12). 

All these provisions remain a dead letter. Indeed, the 
re-organization of the judicial system of Hungary in 1870 
involved the abolition of the old county courts, and as the 
rights assured to the nationalities in them were not extended 
to the newly created courts, the most essential judicial con- : 
cessions thus tacitly fell into abeyance within a couple of . 
years of the original grant, and have never been renewed 
since. And yet Magyar writers continue to quote the judicial ' 
\ sections of the Law of Nationalities as though they were still i 
;in force to-day. 

At present the proceedings of aU the Hungarian courts, i 
whether of first, second or third instance, are conducted in ] 
the Magyar language. Many of the judges and public prose- ; 
cutors — though not all — understand the languages of the ; 
districts in which their courts are situated ; but the reports 

2S3 D{g rumdnische Frage im JaJtre i8y2 (transcribed as Appendix ) 
xxxi. of Brote, op. cit., pp. 251-275). 

"* Rumdnische Revue, 1891, " Zur rumanisch-magyarischen Streit- 
frage." ! 



of all trials are none the less drawn up in Magyar only, all 
summonses are issued in Magyar only, even when the party 
concerned is ignorant of that language, and the verdict is 
announced in Magyar only. Petitions or documents are not 
accepted by the courts if they are written in a non-Magyar 
language, and although official interpreters are attached to 
most of the district courts, they are not provided gratis, but 
are entitled to demand a daily fee from the parties at law, 
if their services are employed. All notices and proclamations 
are drawn up exclusively in the Magyar language, even in 
districts where over 90 per cent, of the population does not 
understand the language. Thus it is no exaggeration to say 
that the non-Magyar peasant stands like an ox before the 
courts of his native land, though this phrase has on a notorious 
occasion been treated as " incitement against the Magyar 
nationality." ^^ 

4. Church autonomy receives various effective guarantees. 
The church courts are free to fix their own language (§10). 
The higher church authorities prescribe their own language 
of deliberation and of intercourse with subordinates, and 
are merely bound to provide Magyar translations of their 
minutes, if required (§15). Their correspondence with the 
Government must be conducted in Magyar as well as in their 
own language ; but the lower church authorities are free 
to correspond either in Magyar or in their own language, 
according to their convenience (§16). Finally, each parish 
or congregation (egyhdzkozseg : Kirchengemeinde) has the 
absolute right to prescribe the language in which its affairs 
are to be conducted, and the language of instruction in its 
schools, within the limits imposed by the Education Act of 
1868 (§I4).25« 

The Magyar, despite his perfervid national feeling, has 
always been noted for his religious tolerance, and it is thus 
a rehef to find that while all other portions of the Law of 
Nationalities have been ruthlessly violated, those dealing 
with church autonomy have on the whole been loyally re- 
spected. The Congress of the Roumanian Orthodox Church 
/ has, it is true, been prevented from meeting on no fewer than 
/six occasions,^" though the law of 1863 recognizes its right of 

^^'^ The attitude of Hungarian justice towards the nationalities is con- 
sidered in greater detail in Chapter xvi. 

266 Pqj. ^YiQ manner in which this right is violated by the higher church 
authorities, see p. 321 (the Antalfalva incident). 

"' In 1875, 1877, 1880, twice in 1884, and in 1885. . 



triennial assembly ; the election of one Roumanian Metro- 
politan and of three Serb Patriarchs, though carried out 
under strictly legal forms, has been annulled by the Hungarian 
Government.^ But it would be unjust to characterize these as 
mere violations of Church autonomy. Indeed such action is 
in full accord with the settled policy of the House of Habsburg, 
which has for generations claimed a veto upon all episcopal 
appointments within its dominions, and has even enforced 
this claim at the Papal Conclave itself. 

5. Education. — In all state schools the language of instruc- 
tion is to be prescribed by the Minister of Education. " But 
since," in the words of the law, " the success of pubUc instruc- 
tion, from the standpoint of general culture and well-being, 
is one of the highest aims of the state, the latter is bound to 
ensure that all citizens of whatever nationaUty Jiving together 
in considerable numbers, shall be able in the neighbourhood 
of their homes, to obtain instruction in their mother tongues, 
up to the point where the higher academic culture begins " 
(§17). In other words, the state pledges itself to provide 
primary and secondary instruction for aU its citizens in the 
mother tongue — either directly in its own schools, or indirectly, 
by supporting the denominational schools. -> 

Let us turn from theory to practice. In the year 1904-5 
there were 1,822 state elementary schools ; but in 1,651 (or 
90 "6 per cent.) of these the language of instruction was exclu- 
sively Magyar, in 170 a supplementary language was used, 
and in only one was the language of instruction other than 
Magyar.259 In all the 138 state grammar schools, in all the 
26 state industrial schools and in the only state commercial 
school, Magyar is the exclusive language of instruction. 
In secondary education the conditions are even worse. Of 
the 38 state gymnasiums ^^ the language of instruction is 
exclusively Magyar in all save one, and this solitary 
exception is in Fiume, where both Magyar and Italian 

^'^ See Silbernagl, Verfassung und gegenwdrtiger Bestand sdmmtlicher 
Kitchen des Orients, for an account of Roumanian Church organiza- 

25 » Ung. Stat. Jahrb. xiii. p. 351. This work carefully distinguishes 
between (i) Magyar schools, (2) Magyar schools where another language 
is used as an auxiliary (Kisegito nyelv: Aushilfssprache), (3) mixed 
schools, and {4) non-Magyar schools. These 170 schools belong not to 
the third, but to the second category. 

«6o Twenty-eight complete, ten incomplete. 



are used. Neither German, Slovak, Serb nor Roumanian 
are used in any of the state gymnasiums, although these 
are attended by a large number of non-Magyar pupils. 
Nor is it possible to argue that the nationalities are 
already adequately provided with schools, and that the 
erection of non-Magyar schools by the state would therefore 
be superfluous. On the contrary, the nationalities are lament- 
ably in need of fresh schools, and all the resources of the non- 
Magyar churches are strained to the uttermost to support 
the few schools which they already possess. While on a basis 
of population 48 per cent, of the schools should be non-Magyar, 
in actual fact only igp.c. of the elementary schools, 7-1 p.c. of 
the gymnasia and 7 '8 per cent, of the Realschulen are non- 
Magyar, and there is not a single Slovak or Ruthene secondary 
school in existence ! ^^^ There is thus no escape from the conclu- 
sion that the Hungarian Government is pursuing the deliberate 
policy of stifling culture and education among the non-Magyars 
and concentrating its efforts upon Magyarization. 

Paragraphs 18 and ig enjoin the erection at the National 
University ,2^2 of chairs for all the native languages of Hungary, 
and of similar chairs at the various high schools situated in 
mixed districts. These provisions have been only partially 
enforced. Chairs of German, Slav and Roumanian have 
really been erected at both Budapest and Kolozsvlr, but 
while German is, of course, indispensable throughout Hungary, 
none of the other non-Magyar languages of the country are 
taught at any of the Academies of Law. 

6. Association. — Intimately connected with these educa- 
tional provisions of the Act are the rights of association which 
it assures to the various nationalities. Individuals, communes 
and denominations are at liberty to found schools and colleges 
for the furtherance of language, art, science, industry or 
agriculture ; and individuals are secured the right to form 
societies and associations such as correspond to " their lawful 
aspirations " (§26). 

An admirable illustration of the manner in which this 
clause has been observed is supplied by the treatment of 
the Slovaks in their efforts to found secondary schools. The 
three Slovak gymnasia which had been founded by private 
effort between 1862 and 1868, were arbitrarily dissolved in 
1874 by ministerial order (see p. 165), and their entire funds 

*'^ See Appendix vii. F. 

*'* Kolozsvar University was not founded till 1872. 


were confiscated by the authorities. In September, 1875, 
the Cisdanubian Synod ^®' of the Lutheran Church resolved 
to found a new Slovak gymnasium in Turocz St. Marton, 
and appointed a committee to draw up statutes and to take 
the necessary steps for collecting funds. By the year 1894 
over 80,000 florins had been collected, the syllabus of the 
school drawn up and a suitable building acquired ; but the 
General Assembly rejected the scheme,^** on the ground that 
" there was no need for the foundation of a Slovak gymnasium, 
since the district schools were only attended by a small per- 
centage of Slovak-speaking pupils." The erection of a deno- 
{ minational gymnasium being thus finally thwarted, a number 
of Slovak patriots broached the idea of founding an inter- 
! denominational Slovak school. On November 16, 1895, a 
petition was submitted to the Minister of the Interior for leave 
to found a society to collect funds for such a school. After 
• a delay of eighteen months this petition was rejected on the 
j following grounds : "2. 18830. I return herewith the draft 
I of statutes of the society for the foundation of an interdeno- 
I minational gymnasium with Slovak language of instruction, 
(with the remark that I cannot sanction this, since in our 
/ country the studies and culture of our young men are already 
sufficiently cared for in the existing secondary schools, and 
because there exist no school-books in the Slovak language 
written in a patriotic spirit, and it would therefore be necessary 
Vto use Czech school-books. Budapest, April 9, 1897. Perczel, 
Minister." A fresh petition, emphasizing the crying needs 
of a Slovak gymnasium and the fact that suitable school- 
books can only be forthcoming when there are schools where 
they can be used, was left unanswered for close upon two 
years, and then summarily dismissed in the following terms : 
" 2. 122212. Owing to the reasons adduced in the circular 
of my predecessor in office (April 9, 1897; 2. 18830), I cannot 
sanction the statutes of the society for the erection of an 
interdenominational gymnasium with Slovak language of 
instruction. Budapest, December 5, 1899. Szell, Minister. 

Thus in direct defiance of sections 17 and 26 of the Law 

of Nationalities, over two million Slovaks have been deprived 

\\ioT a whole generation of the most essential means of culture 

\|and progress, while aU the time their backward intellectual 

»•» Composed of the presbyteries of Lipt6, Arva, Tur6cz, Trencsen, 
Nyitra and Pressburg, and thus overwhelmingly Slovak. 
*** November 9, 1894. 



condition has been cited by plausible controversialists as a 
reason for denying them the advantages enjoyed by their 
Magyar neighbours. 

Meanwhile the Ruthenes of Hungary are also without a 
gymnasium of any kind, and the Roumanians of Arad and 
Karansebes have repeatedly applied to the Government for 
permission to found gymnasia out of their own funds, but 
always without success.^^ 

No law of association exists in Hungary, and the Government 

uses its arbitrary powers to prohibit or suppress even such harm- 

V less organizations as temperance societies, choral unions or 

women's leagues. The details of ihis policy will be found in 

chapter xiv., on association and assembly in Hungary. 

Under such circumstances, it is difficult to understand how 
any one conversant with the facts can venture to speak of 
the execution of the Law of [Nationalities. None the less it 
has become the universal practice of modem Chauvinist 
writers to cite this law as a signal proof of Magyar generosity ; 
nor is it easy to ascribe to mere ignorance or confused reason- 
ing a practice in which many politicians of real eminence have 
indulged. A striking example is supplied by a leading article 
which appeared in the Budapesti Hirlap^^ of 3' April, 1908. Its 
author devotes the front page of the journal to denying the 
non-execution of the Law of Nationalities, and after emphasiz- 
ing the extreme importance of the qualifying words "so far 
as possible " (lehetosegig) contained in some of its provisions, 
calmly points out that the all-important paragraph 17 " can- 
/ not he enforced, because the necessary teaching staff who could 
) teach in a foreign tongue (by this he means the five non-Magyar 
t languages of Hungary !) and also the necessary customers (by 
this he presumably means the eight million non-Magyars of 
Hungary !) are wanting." In short, the writer attempts to 
prove the execution of the law by demonstrating the impossi- 
bility of its execution ! The honest course for the Magyars 
to pursue would have been to revoke the Law of Nationalities 
altogether, and to admit frankly that it was inconsistent with 
the Magyar hegemony. But this would have robbed them 
of a convenient device for deluding uninformed foreign public 

*" The petition submitted in 1882 by a committee under General 
Trajan Doda, on behalf of eighty-four communes, remained still un- 
answered ten years later. (See The Roumanian Question, p. 59.) 

"' The chief Coalition organ and the best-edited paper in Hungary. 


opinion. Count Andrassy, it is true, hinted in an unguarded 
moment,^" that it would be necessary to abrogate the entire 
Law ; but it is more probable that Hungarian statesmen will 
continue to pass new laws which tacitly annul isolated provi- 
sions of the Law of Nationalities, while cunningly leaving the 
latter upon the statute book for purposes of decoration. 

"•' See his speech on the racial question, November 27, 1906, fully 
reported in Pestet Lloyd. 


A Slovak Idyll. 

(From the painting by Yoza Uprka. 



The New Era : Passivity and Persecution 

THE Law of Nationalities met with vigorous opposition 
on the part of the handful of non-Magyar deputies ; 
but it is not easy to decide whether this attitude was due 
to their undoubted lack of self-restraint and political judg- 
ment, or to a keen presentiment of coming events. Certainly, 
when all due praise has been bestowed upon the Act, it stiU 
seems meagre and inadequate compared with the Transylvanian 
Act of 1863, by which the three languages of the principality 
were placed on a footing of absolute equality. The Rouma- 
nians especially could not forget the golden era of Schmerling, 
and doubtless cherished the vain illusion that the Ausgleich 
settlement would be no more permanent than the Bach system 
or the Provisorium.^®® 

There can be no doubt that De4k and Eotvos were genuinely , 

desirous of conciliating the nationalities and of assuring 

to their languages and customs as large a measure of liberty 

as seemed consistent with the political unity of the State. 

The broad and tolerant views of Eotvos may be clearly traced 

in most of his political writings. The existence of a large 

:' state in this part of Europe was, in his opinion, essential 

,' to the safety of all the various races concerned ; while, on 

I the other hand, ethnographic conditions made the rise of a 

large national state impossible. A strict adherence to " his-j 

*** The Minority Draft of the Bill, as proposed by the sixteen non- 
Magyar deputies, proclaimed complete equality of language on the 
following lines : (i) Every citizen can freely use his mother-tongue in 
intercourse with the central government, with his own church, school, 
municipality and commune. (2) Communes, societies, private insti- 
tutions and churches may freely choose their own language of debate 
and minutes. (3) In the courts, the reports may be drawn in other 
languages besides the language of state. (4) Every one may speak 
in his own mother- tongue in the communal, county and ecclesiastical 
assemblies. (5) Absolute equality is guaranteed in the matter of 
association, public instruction and church administration. See Dedk 
Ferencz Beszedei. vi. pp. 96-100. 

R.P.H. 161 M 


toric right " could only produce discontent, while it would 
be madness, in attempting a solution of the racial question, 
to consult only the interests of the State as a whole, without 
also considering those of the individual nationalities which 
compose it.^^^ " The supremacy of our nation,^' he added, " would 
he the greatest calamity which could happen to it." 2™ " We have 
to deal with one of those questions which, like religion, rest 
not so much upon logic as upon feeling, and which cannot 
be solved by the imperative decision of majorities, but only 
by mutual understanding." ^"^ The just claims of the nationah- 
-ties must be satisfied, since by a policy of Magyarization 
" we should no more succeed in robbing them of the con- 
sciousness of their individuality or of enthusiasm for their 
race, than others succeeded against the Magyar nationality 

with the same means The sole result would be to divert 

the antagonism which the Magyar language at present en- 
counters, against the Hungarian state and the unity of the 
country." ^'2 in building a wall, it is mere waste of time to 
attempt to melt the different stones into a single whole : 
they must be fitted together with good lime. 

That Deak held very similar views upon the racial question, 
may be gathered from his speech in ParHament on January 
23, 1872, on the subject of a newly opened Serb gymnasium 
at Ujvidek (Neusatz)."^ " Let us remember," he said, "what 
difficulties we had to contend with in our youth, when we 
had to study in a dead and alien language, and how greatly 
the studies of the younger generation have been simplified 
by the use of their mother tongue as language of instruction. 
The same is true of the nationalities. If we sought to compel 
their children, who know httle or no Magyar, to pursue their 
studies in Magyar, then we should make their progress in 
the gymnasia impossible ; the parents would spend their 
money to no purpose, the children would simply waste their 

*»' Eotvos, Die Nationalitdtenfrage, pp. 41-46. 

2"» Ibid., p. 50. 

"1 Ibid., p. 63. 

"" Ibid., pp. 165-6. On p. 91 he expresses the belief that "the 
supremacy of a single race at the expense of the others is simply 
impossible under the laws of 1848 and the municipal constitution 
of the country." This phrase, which strikingly illustrates the idealism 
and optimism of its author, was based on a lamentable miscalcula- 

"^ Dedk Ferencz BeszSdei (F. Deak's Speeches), ed. Konyi, vi. pp. 


deAk and EOTVOS 

time. Indeed, if we ^^ish to win over the nationalities, we 
must not seek at all costs to Magyarize them ; this can only 
happen if we create in them love and attachment for Hmi- 
garian conditions. For two things are clear to me ; to exter- 
minate them would be a godless act of barbarism, even if 
they were not in any case too numerous for this to be possible. 
And to make them our enemies is not to our interest." 

Unhappily Eotvos was removed by death in 1871, and 
Deak, who regarded the Ausgleich as the completion of his 
life-work, steadily resisted all pressure to enter the political 
arena and only exercised a general influence upon Govern- 
mental policy. Thus each change of Ministry since 1869 
marked a fresh step towards the accession of the Radicals to 
power. The short term of office of Joseph Szlavy (December, 
1872, to March, 1874) was overshadowed by the financial crisis, 
and saddened by the virtual withdrawal of Deak from public 
life. Szlavy's successor, Bitto, was little more than a shadow, 
destined to accustom the eyes to the full glare of the sun of 
Tisza ; and the approaching fusion of the Deakists with 
the Radical Opposition involved among other things the 
adoption of a more Chauvinistic attitude towards the nation- 
alities. The first blows were struck against the Slovaks — 
their academy (Matica Slovenska) and secondary schools, 
upon which all hope of progress in national culture depended, 
being especially signalled out for attack. As the onslaughts 
of the Magyar Press upon the former grew every year more 
frequent and violent, the vice-president, Pauliny-Toth, and 
the secretary, Sasinek, in January, 1872, sent a memorandum 
to the Premier, protesting against the charges of disloyalty 
and Panslavism levelled against them. Szlavy, in his reply, 
(November i, 1872) thanked them for this guarantee of their 
patriotic intentions, expressly approved the aims of the 
society, and promised to protect it in the exercise of its legal 
rights.^* This answer, however, afforded the Slovaks but a 
brief respite, and a foretaste was given them in the following 
year (February, 1873), when Francisci applied to the Minister 
of the Interior for permission to found a " Slovak Union." 
The proposed rules of the society were closely modelled on 
those of the Magyar Szovetseg, a Magyarizing agency which 
has now for many years past led the campaign against the 
nationaHties. The second paragraph laid down as the chief 
objects of the society " the protection of Slovak national 

"* Rescript No. 492 (March i, 1.S72), Ambro Pietor, NdporOdpor, p. 57. 


^s >^^ THE NEW ERA 

^^ interests, the furtherance of national culture and the foun- 
dation of societies for this purpose in the Slovak districts, 
and their direction from headquarters." No difficulties 
were, of course, placed in the way of the Magyar League, and , 
indeed it had more than once received substantial support 
from the Hungarian Government ; but the Slovak League 
was prohibited altogether."^ 

The first steps were taken against the Slovak gymnasia. 
Even as early as August, 1867, the seven Slovak professors 
at the gymnasium of Neusohl (which had flourished under 
the fostering care of Bishop Moyses) were dispersed to different 
schools, Slovak was declared a non-obligatory subject, and 
the equality of the three languages — Slovak, Magyar and 
German — was abolished ; and thus within a few years the 
institution had been completely Magyarized.^'^ It was such 
incidents as this which made the Slovak and Roumanian 
leaders of that day so sceptical about the advantages of the 
much vaunted Law of Nationalities ; for it was scarcely a 
goed omen for its execution. 

/in April, 1874, at the instance of Bela Griinwald, Vice- 
Sheriff of Zolyom county, Trefort, the Minister of Education, 
ordered a strict inquiry into the management of the three 
remaining Slovak gymnasia."' The Lutheran superintendents 
Czekus and Geduly were instructed to inspect the two 
Protestant gymnasia of Nagy Rocze (Revuca) and Turocz 
St. Marton. The latter referred the Minister to his formal 
reports of inspection ; the former, who favoured a Mag- 
yarizing policy, made a fresh visit to Rocze, and though 
he had already visited it several times in his official capacity 
and reported favourably upon its activity, on this occasion 
he informed the synod that he had discovered symptoms 
of " Panslavism " in the school. The meeting of synod, 
^ which contained a Magyar majority, hereupon withdrew 
its recognition from the school, and on August 20, 1874, a 
ministerial order was issued for its abolition. In September 
the General Assembly of the CEurch, which was once more 
predominantly Magyar in sentiment, appointed a commis- 

*" Min. Rescript, No. 8,930 (August 8, 1873). 

*" Aeltere und neuere Magyarisivungsversuche, p. 62. ■ 

'" Griinwald had summoned a meeting of the committee of the county * 
assembly, and induced it to present a memorial for the dissolution of 
the schools. The committee, which by reason of the narrow franchise 
was almost exclusively composed of Magyars, did not, of course, scruple 
to speak in the name of the Slovak population, 



sion to inspect the gymnasium at Turocz St. Marton, and 
as its report was also unfavourable, it too was dissolved by 
a ministerial order of December 30. Meanwhile Trefort 
had instructed Bdrton, the school inspector of Pressburg, 
to inquire into ^he state of the Catholic Slovak gymnasium 
at Znio Varalja^ Bdrton's inspection lasted four days and a 
half, and Justh, the Vice-Sheriff of Turocz, and other promi- 
nent Magyars, were present during part of the proceedings. 
Not merely the professors, but the boys in all the different 
classes, were cross-examined without result ; and finally 
Bdrton submitted a highly favourable report, praising the 
conduct of the school and its success in teaching the Magyar 
language ! A second inspection by Ipolyi-Stummer, the new 
Bishop of Neusohl, and one of the secretaries of state, pro- 
duced the same result. Not merely could no traces of Pan- 
slavism be found, but special emphasis was laid on the fact 
that from the fifth class onwards everything could be success- 
fully taught to the Slovak pupils in Magyar. ! The Minister 
of Education then offered to take over the gymnasium on 
behalf of the State, and when the governing body declined 
to comply with this suggestion, a ministerial order was issued 
to the county authorities (September 21, 1874), enjoining 
the provisional closing of the gymnasium on the ground that 
the old building was inadequate and the new building not 
yet sufficiently dry. Before this decision became known, 
some of the pupils had begun to arrive with their parents ; 
close upon 200 pupils had been enrolled for the coming term. 
Under the stress of this situation, the governing body formu- 
lated, on October 14, the conditions for handing over the 
school to the State, while safeguarding the Slovak language. 
These conditions did not meet with Trefort's approval ; for 
on December 30, 1874, the gymnasium of Znio Varalja shared 
the fate of its Protestant neighbour in Turocz. Since that 
4ate the Slovaks have made more than one effort to found 
a Slovak gymnasium, but the Government has consistently 
II withheld its permission, in direct violation of the law (§26, 
"XLIV., 1868). For thirty-four years the progress and culture 
of two million Hungarian citizens have been deliberately stifled 
by those whose duty it is to mete out equal justice to all the 
various races of the country ; and the few advocates of Slovak 
liberty and equality have been branded as traitors to their 
sovereign and native land, and supporters of Russian des- 
potism, and have either been driven by persecution to quit 




the country or subjected to repeated trials and imprisonment. 
The very people which has for centuries past displayed the 
most heroic qualities in defence of its own liberties, shows 
itself wholly incapable of understanding similar aspirations 
on the part of neighbouring racesy 

Not long after the dissolution, Bela Griinwald met the 

Minister of Education, who greeted him with the query, 

" Well, are you satisfied with me ? " The zealous Magyarone 

naturally gave a highly flattering answer. " It was impossible 

to tolerate the Panslav gymnasiums," the Minister went on 

to say, " they simply had to be closed. His Majesty, too, 

was much interested in the matter. If you know of any 

other bad gymnasium, teU me, and I will close it at once. 

ft will dissolve all schools of that kind." ^^^ When a Cabinet 

.Minister could talk in such a strain, there was obviously little 

I j hope of justice for the Slovaks^N 

Not content with thus depriving the rising generation of 
Slovaks of the most necessary means of education, the Govern- 
ment determined if possible to nip in the bud the tender 
flower of Slovak literature. iOn April 6, 1875, the Matica 
Slovenska was provisionally suspended, and on November 12, 
Coloman Tisza, who had just entered on his triumphal career 
as leader of the united Liberal Party, proclaimed its final 
dissolution. The entire funds of the society, amounting to 
£8,000 and including the Emperor-King's own subscription, 
were arbitrarily confiscated ; its buildings — to this day the 
second largest in the little town of Marton — were converted 
into Government] offices."^ The unique Slovak museum and 
library was also seized, and after lying for many years in a 
caretaker's attics, at length found their way to a Magyar 
gymnasium in a distant town.'^^ 

On December 15, 1875, Dr. Polit, (the Serb deputy, inter- 

"^ Griinwald, A Felvidek,p. 147. Griinwald, of course, regards these 
shameful measures as " the crowning glory " of the Government's 
activity in North Hungary (a magyar kormany actiojanak fenypontjat). 

*'» Part of the ground floor is now occupied by the Post Office, where 
of course the Slovak language is scrupulously excluded. 

**° After a quarter of a century had elapsed the Slovaks were once 
more allowed to found a national museum in Turocz St. Marton, 
through the influence of Mr. Zsilinszky, Secretary of State under Mr. 
Szell. Permission was granted by decree of July 19, 1900 ; and the 
new Museum, with its fine collection of peasant costumes, embroideries 
and potteries, is well worthy of a visit. The former collections have 
not, however, been restored. 



pellated the Premier regarding the confiscation, and argued 
that the funds should at least be restored, in accordance 
with the statutes of the society, to the original donors, in 
other words to the Slovak nation. It was on this occasion 
that Coloman Tisza made his famous retort : " There is no 
Slovak nation " — an answer which rendered all further dis- 
cussion of the incident impossible. 

The action of the Government in dissolving the Matica and 
the three Slovak gymnasiums is absolutely indefensible, and 
will always remain one of the darkest stains upon Coloman 
Tisza's reputation. The decrees which dissolved them were 
arbitrary bureaucratic acts, intolerable in a free parliamentary 
country ; no public inquiry was ever held : no incriminating 
proofs were ever published, and when the incident was dis- 
cussed in Parliament, its critics were dismissed with contempt i 
and abuse\ Moreover, even if Panslavism in the full sense / 
of the word had been proved ten times over, this still would 
afford no excuse for the confiscation of the funds, but merely 
for purging the Matica and the schools of bad practices and 
for insisting that they should henceforth hold strictly aloof " 
from politics. 

(^The dissolution came as a thunderbolt upon the Slovaks : 
indeed, it is not too much to say that it reduced them to politi- 
cal impotence for a whole generation. The golden era of 
the Liberal Party in Hungary had begun : the fusion of the 
Deakists and the Left Centre was an accomplished fact ; \ 
and for fifteen years Coloman Tisza was far more truly die- ^ 
tator of Hungary than Kossuth or Deak had ever been. The 
stubborn and artful Calvinist accomplished what neither 
Lutheran nor CathoUc could achieve ; he reconciled the rival- 
ries of Protestant and Catholic and united them in the common 
cause of racial unity"* This achievement, without which, 
many of the successes of Andrassy and Kalnoky in the field 
of diplomacy would have been impossible, constitutes Tisza's 
truest claim to greatness. But his grasp of politics was 
surer than his hold upon ethics ; and most of the evils from 
which Hungary is suffering to-day are to be traced directly 
to the intolerant racial and class policy which he pursued. 
To Deak and Eotvos Liberalism in the true philosophical 
sense had been the very breath of their nostrils. To Tisza 
it was merely the means to an end — a signboard designed 
to attract customers rather than to describe the goods of the 
firm ; the great ideas of the modern world were as nothing 



to him compared with the narrow interests of his own race 
and class. When still in Opposition, he had declared that 
the Magyar State was strong enough to stamp out those who 
withheld their obedience, and he now proceeded to carry 
the threat into practice. Acting on the principle that in 
politics the end justifies the means, he secured the predomi- 
nance of the Liberal Party by a far-reaching system of electoral 
corruption and administrative trickery. The Magyar popula- 
tion of the central plains remained consistently loyal to the 
ideals of Louis Kossuth ; the Government had therefore 
to find a working majority in the non-Magyar districts, and 
as this could not be attained by natural means, it was neces- 
^ sary to resort to gerrymandering, unequal distribution, a 
highly complicated franchise, and voting by public declaration 
(see chapter xiii.). These were the chief features of the revised 
Electoral Law of 1874, which, in the words of the official Gov- 
ernment organ of Hungary, is so involved that " the confusion 
of Babel has really been erected into law. The legislation 
regarding the exercise of this most important of all civil rights is 
the delight of aU pettifoggers, and the way in which the provi- 
sions of the law are drawn up enables even a moderately gifted 
lawyer's clerk to dispute any man's right to vote or to adduce 
good reasons for his admission to the franchise." ^^ In addition 
to the practical difficulties created by the letter of the law, 
every imaginable violence and trickery was employed to 
secure the return of Government candidates, the whole admin- 
istrative machine was placed at their service, and money 
was poured out like water. The nationaUties were " voted " 
as effectually as the negroes in the Southern States, and 
this process was rendered more easy by the limited number 
of educated men whom they could bring into the field. These 
injustices, and the memory of past hopes under Bach and 
Schmerling, seem to have destroyed the political balance 
of the Slovak and Roumanian leaders, and the impossible 
demands which they put forward show that their courage 
was greatly superior to their political judgment. Their 
utter incapacity to lead became apparent when they adopted 
the fatal policy of passivity. By acting thus they created 
a false impression of their own impotence, they greatly 
increased the over-confidence of the Magyars, and they encour- 
aged the demorahzation of their own electors, by leaving 
them to the mercy of the Magyar candidates. The peasant 
**^ Pester Lloyd, July 24, 1894, cit. Brote, p. 72. 


voters lost all incentive to remain true to their own national 
cause, and naturally succumbed to the temptation to sell 
their votes to the highest bidder ; to-day the younger genera- 
tion, in its endeavour to cure these evil propensities, is still 
suffering from the sins of omission of its fathers. 

As a result of this passivity, Coloman Tisza acquired an 
almost despotic control of 250 constituencies, and commanded 
a safe majority in Parliament, even without the assistance 
of the forty Croatian delegates. These seats he bestowed 
upon his followers as largesse for their loyal support ; and 
in this way many a decayed aristocrat repaired the broken 
fortunes of his family, many a pliant official rose to riches 
and honour. 1 Thus the solid array of Tisza's so-called " Mame- 
lukes " erected a veiled parliamentary absolutism which 
shrouded itself in the garb of Liberalism, but which did not 
scruple to plant its foot firmly upon the neck of the non- 
Magyar races. 

A section of the new Liberal Party was still disposed to 
assure the loyalty of the nationalities by moderate concessions ; 
but the ferment among the neighbouring races of Austria and 
of the Balkans provided Tisza with an excuse for severity, 
and nipped in the bud all counsels of tolerance. The acute 
crisis which arose in the Near East, in consequence of the 
Bulgarian massacres and the Bosnian rising, exercised an 
unfavourable influence upon the situation of the non-Magyar 
races of Hungary. The attitude of Russia filled the Magyars 
with alarm, and led to a recrudescence of ultra-Chauvinist 
feeling, which vented itself upon their defenceless Slav fellow- 
citizens. The very natural sympathy which the Slavs of 
Hungary displayed for their kinsmen in Bosnia and Servia 
was treated as a proof of disloyalty and sedition. When 
Prince Milan declared war upon the Turks, Russian volunteers 
flocked in thousands to Belgrade, to draw swords in the cause 
of Christian Slavdom ; and Svetozar Miletic, inspired by 
their example, offered to raise a corps of Serb volunteers in 
the Banat, and to lead them in this new crusade against 
the infidel. In August, 1876, Miletic and Cazapinovic, another 
prominent Serb, were summarily arrested by orders of the 
Hungarian Government ; though Miletic was a member 
of Parliament, his immunity was violated without scruple, 
and when the House met again after its summer vacation, 
this illegal proceeding was endorsed by an overwhelming 
majority. The result of his trial was a foregone conclusion, 




and after the usual intolerable delays of Hungarian justice, 
Miletic was on January i8, 1878, sentenced for separatist 
tendencies to five years' imprisonment. The long confinement 
proved too much for the unhappy man ; his reason left him, 
and he did not long survive his consequent release. The 
parting words of Miletic as he bade farewell to the political 
world — " hodie tibi, eras mihi " — were spoken to the distant 
future, and a whole generation was to pass before his disciple 
and advocate Dr. Polit brought them to the memory of a 
still more Chauvinistic Parliament in the summer of 1906. 

While all open expressions of sympathy with Servia were 
sternly repressed by Tisza's Government, the Magyar enthu- 
siasm for the Turkish cause reached fever pitch. Abdul 
Kerim, the Turkish general who defeated the Servian army 
at Alexinatz, was presented with a sword of honour by public 
subscription. Turkophil demonstrations were held in Buda- 
pest at the grave of Gul Baba, by crowds which seemed forget- 
ful of the memories of shame and conquest with which the 
name was associated. A torchlight procession in honour 
of the Turkish consul-general was only abandoned at the 
request of Coloman Tisza, whose dissuasive methods on this 
occasion contrasted harshly with the treatment meted out 
to Miletic. Meanwhile a deputation of Budapest students 
was sent to Constantinople to assure the Turks of Magyar 
solidarity.2^2 The occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 
was regarded with strong disfavour by the great body of 
Magyar public opinion, and nothing shows more clearly the 
statesmanship and enormous influence of Count Julius 
Andrassy than the manner in which the parliamentary majori- 
ties of Hungary and Austria were cajoled and manoeuvred 
into a forward policy in the northern Balkans. For the 
moment the Tisza Government suffered in popularity, and 
at the general elections the Premier was himself defeated at 
Debreczen. This untoward event had not, however, de- 
stroyed the general effect of the Tisza electoral system ; the 
Government still controlled a majority of ']j, and the 

*** The German students of Vienna, when invited to join them in 
similar Turkophil demonstrations, returned a most dignified answer. 
" We notice with satisfaction," they wrote, " that now that you con- 
sider your nation in danger, you suddenly recognize the cultural im- 
portance of the German people. But your treatment of our kinsmen 
in Transylvania, and the consistent persecution of the German language 
in your country, prevent us from forgetting how sharply your words 
contrast with your deeds." 



masterful Tisza set himself to soothe the ruffled tempers of 
his countrymen by adopting a policy of active Magyarization. 
The conciliatory principles of Dedk and Eotvos, which had 
already been abandoned in practice, were now set at almost 
open defiance. The Education Act of 1879, making the Magyar 
language an obligatory subject in all Hungarian primary 
schools, and imposing quite a number of fresh qualifications 
on the teachers in non-Magyar schools, conflicts openly with 
the more liberal Act of 1868, and still more with the Law of 
Nationalities of the same year (see p. 216, chapter xi.). But 
the complaints of the nationalities fell upon deaf ears ; the 
appeals of Mr. Mocsary for their fair treatment were like a 
voice in the wilderness, and the inclusion of a large section of 
the foreign press within the sphere of Tisza's action prevented 
the outside world from learning the truth about the non- 
Magyar races. The only real protests came from Germany, 
where the Transylvanian Saxons possessed many loyal friends 
and advocates ; but the Triple Alliance, whose conclusion 
was so essential to the interests of the young Empire, lay in 
the gift of the Magyar statesmen, and Bismarck, who had 
already advised the transference of the Habsburg court from 
Vienna to Budapest, ^^^ felt that the two million Germans 
of Hungary must be sacrificed to the exigencies of foreign 
policy. These farthest outposts of Germanism, he doubtless 
argued, were as nothing compared to the lasting friendship 
of the predominant partner in the Dual Monarchy ; and their 
protection was left to the " German School Union " and the 
" Gustavus Adolphus Society." 

In 1883 a Secondary Education Act was passed by the 
Hungarian Parliament, whose object and result was the final 
Magyarization of all state gymnasiums and " Realschulen," ^* 
in direct violation of the Law of Nationalities of 1868 (§§ 
17, 18). Even the few surviving non-Magyar secondary schools 
were placed under the strictest governmental control ; the 
Magyar language and literature were made compulsory for 
all their pupils, who had to pass their final examinations in 
these subjects in the language itself. Elaborate clauses 
were included for the control of school-books, especially those 

2*3 Not, it must be admitted, without strong suspicion of arriire 

*** I use the German word, firstly, because we have no exact equivalent; 
and secondly, because these schools in Hungary were modelled by Tre- 
fort, the Minister of Education, on the lines of the German Realschulen. 



on historical subjects, for the prevention of " unpatriotic " 
teaching, for the removal of " dangerous individuals," and, 

, 1 if necessary, for the dissolution of non-Magyar secondary 
~^ '; schools and the erection of state schools in their place.^^^ Under 
»^ Tisza's rule the language of instruction in all state gymnasiums 
became exclusively Magyar, and not content with this, the 
Government in July, 1889, ordered its introduction into the 
Roumanian gymnasium at Belenyes, which had been founded 
in 1826 by private effort for the benefit of Roumanian Catholics. 
This action was all the more galling to the Roumanians, 
owing to the Government's refusal to permit the Roumanian 
Bishop of Arad to erect gymnasiums in Arad and Karansebes. 
In 1885 Tisza dealt a fresh blow at the nationalities by the 
dissolution of the Jury Court of Hermannstadt. A ministerial 
order of July 10, 1871, had established three jury courts in 
Transylvania for the trial of press offences ; and by this new 
action of the Government the non-Magyar press was placed 
entirely at the mercy of courts which sat in the Chauvinist 
Magyar towns of Kolozsvar and Maros-Vasarhely and were 
composed exclusively of Magyars. Since that date acquittals 
of non-Magyar journalists have been almost unknown ; they 
are tried by their bitterest pohtical and social enemies, and 
in Transylvania suffer from the further disadvantage of 
being tried under an obsolete law dating from 1852, when 
absolutist reaction was at its height, and setting the principles 
of press freedom at open defiance. ^^^ 

Tisza had now ruled supreme for ten years^ securing a 
working majority and the means of patronage by the methods 
X^lready indicated, and skilfully using the Kossuthist Opposition 
-. as a bogey to frighten the sovereign. Whenever difficulties 
were encountered in Vienna, administrative pressure was 
removed, and the Independent Party was allowed to raise 
its head, while the group of so-called " National " deputies 

'^/ under Count Albert Apponyi reasserted more loudly its de- 
mands for a national Magyar army. Tisza's ingenious device 
of using insubordination below to secure compliance above 

8«» Though according to § 54 XXX., 1883, the Minister of Education 
"can only forbid the erection or opening of such institutions (i.e., 
denominational secondary schools which have submitted their statutes 
and syllabus to the Minister) if they do not conform tothe demands of 
the law." 

*** The dire results of this treatment of the non-Magyar press are 
recounted in chapter xv. 



was at first completely successful, but in the course of time 
it became difficult to dispel the spirits which his own arts 
had conjured up. The Extreme Left showed signs of increasing ^ 
strength, and the manner in which they were treated by the ^ 
Govemmen': and its creatures provoked them to unmeasured 
personal attacks.^^' For while used at one time as a lever to 
reduce Austria to reason, at another they were subjected 
to the treatment meted out to the nationalities. ^^^ As the 
Opposition grew more and more embittered, Tisza showed an 
increasing disposition to rest on his laurels, to rely upon the 
executive and to occupy Parliament's attention with measures 
of secondary importance. The one really outstanding measure 
of the last seven years of Tisza's Government — the reform 
of the House of Magnates in 1885 — was the one least likely 
to encounter the resistance of an Opposition which was in 
those days of its adversity still genuinely Radical. The 
readjustment of the Local Government laws in 1886 was a 
fresh blow dealt by Tisza at his opponents, in the true spirit 
of his Calvinist ancestors ; but its true significance lay in its 
unnamed but none the less real concessions to the growing 
Jewish bourgeoisie, who cunningly assumed a mask of Magyar 
Chauvinism, in order to gain control of the finance, the trade 
and the municipal government of the country. For the 
moment the magnates and the gentry, blinded by racial 
ardour, welcomed this new class as valuable allies in the 
national struggle ; too late they have awakened to a perception 
of the fact that not only the towns, to which they were indif- 

*" On December 9, 1881 (after the assassination of Alexander II), 
the Left virtually condoned regicide. So far from being reduced to 
silence by Tisza's severe reply, one of its members, Nemet, retorted 
that Tisza's statement suited the mouth of one who for seven years 
lied on the Opposition benches in order to swindle for six years in 
the ministerial fauteuil ! As a result of this incident, a conference of 
the Liberal party was held to discuss the limitation of freedom of 
speech in the House ; but Tisza, with a dignity which was in every 
way worthy of the occasion, refused to listen to such a proposal. Nine 
years later (March 13, 1890) Daniel Iranyi, the trustiest lieutenant of 
Louis Kossuth, and President of the Party of Independence, declared 
that during Tisza's fifteen years not only the administration, but also 
public morals and the niveau of Parliament, had sunk deeply. 

2** A careful perusal of the Budapesti Hirlap (founded in 1881) would 
amply repay the student of Liberal methods in Hungary. In 1891 
it published the following phrase : " It is to the interest of the State 
that Magyarism should extend at the expense of the nationalities, 
and should conquer and assimilate them." Cit. Loiseau, "La Hongrie 
et rOpposition Create " {Revue des deux Mondes,v6\. cx^x-sd, 1895, p. iii). 



ferent, but even the counties are falling more and more into 
Jewish hands. While it would be unjust to ascribe the decay 
of the Magyar gentry to Coloman Tisza, their truest repre- 
sentative, it is none the less true that the methods which he 
employed to encourage assimilation supplied the Jews with 
their opportunity and eventually placed his own class at 
their mercy. 

Meanwhile, whatever animus Government and Opposition 
might display towards each other, they invariably presented 
\J a united front wherever racial questions were concerned, and 
outvied each other in their professions of intolerance and 
Chauvinism. A startling instance of this was suppUed by 
the debates on the proposed Education Bill of 1887. Alone 
of all the Magyar deputies, Mr. Louis Mocsdry, then President 
of the Party of Independence, protested against the prevailing 
Chauvinism, complained of the Magyarization of ancient 
placenames and the expulsion of Slovak pupils from Magyar 
gymnasiums, and recounted to an impatient audience, how 
the courts refused aU petitions drawn up in any non-Magyar 
tongue, and how certain counties had imposed a special rate 
in favour of a Magy arizing League in Transylvania. After 
describing the Magyarization of Hungary as "a Utopian 
idea," Mr. Mocsary went on to say : " The Government 
must never forget that it is governing a polyglot country, 
that it is equally a Government for Magyars, Slovaks and 
Serbs, that . . . there are citizens of various races among 
whom not only the burdens but also the rights must be divided 
equally. . . . But the Government sees a strong power in 
the Chauvinist movement, and therefore dares not oppose 
it. . . . No wonder, then, that in this country every man 
takes upon himself to infringe and exploit the law, and 
that we in this house can say in the very face of Government 
and Parliament, that the laws are not observed, that the 
Act of 1868 exists solely on paper and is not executed in any 
single point." Tisza, in his answer, remarked : " I cannot 
be angry with the honourable member for his speech, I can 
only commiserate him, because he has, doubtless involuntarily, 
succeeded in making himself the prophet of all those who 
here and outside the fatherland are filled with hatred against 
the Magyar race and the Magyar state." The pupils of the 
Leutschau gymnasium, he added, had been guilty of reading 
a Slovak newspaper which, under cover of Press freedom, 
agitated against the State, and of singing a song which fostered 



hatred of the Magyars ; and such a spirit could not be tolerated 
in Hungarian institutions ! Thus on the one hand the Slovaks 
may not possess schools of their own, and if, on the other 
hand, they attend Magyar schools, they must carefully suppress 
their natural sentiments or they will find every door of educa- 
tion in their native country rudely shut in their faces. 

As a result of this incident, the Party of Independence, on 
the motion of Geza Polonyi, unanimously expressed its dis- 
approval of Mocsary's speech, and asked him to draw the 
consequences ; Mocsary at once resigned, and from that day 
to this he has been ostracized from Hungarian politics. His 
writings in favour of a just treatment of the nationalities 
have from time to time been cited in order to delude foreign 
opinion, but have been consistently ignored and depreciated 
by his own countrymen. ^^^ 

Enough has been said to show that the leading motive of =, 
Tisza's administration was the Magyarization of the nationali- J 
ties and the formation of a national Magyar State. Tisza 
himself publicly proclaimed the necessity of granting full 
powers to the Government to deal with nationalist agitation, 
and declared himself ready to concede similar powers to any 
Government which might take his place, so long as he were 
convinced that these would be exercised in the interests of 
the Magyar State. 2^° In case this should not be explicit enough 
for the reader, I cannot do better than quote the words of 
Gustav Beksics, one of the ablest journalists and historians 
of modern Hungary, and a trusted follower and adviser of 
Tisza. On January lo, 1890, he defended his leader as follows, 
on the f^oor of the Hungarian Parliament : " The endeavour 
to convert the historical State into a national State has long 
been a feature of Magyar policy. Now this endeavour has 
attained to fresh prominence under Tisza'S Government,^ 
owing not merely to its activity but also to its brilliant successes. 
Those who now dispute this are answered by the statistical 
data of the census of 1880, which prove the great progress 
of Magyarization, and the new census will show this even 
more clearly. If, in spite of all, some one should stiU deny 
this great achievement of Tisza's Government, I need merely 
point to the following facts. Above all I ask, was it not 

''*» An honourable exception is supplied by the newspaper EgyeterUs, 
which has from time to time printed articles from Mocsary's pen, 
though without, of course, endorsing his views. 

^'^ 10 Sept., 1S84, at Nagyvarad. 

175 * 


under this Government that the language of justice has every- 
where become the Magyar ? Has not this Government 
dehvered the courts from the confusion of Babel ? . . . Was 
it not this Government that closed the secondary schools of 
the nationalities, where their youth was being educated in 
anti-Magyar national spirit ? Have not the secondary schools 
of the nationalities sunk under this Government to a small 
and dwindhng number, compared to the well-developed 
middle schools of the Magyar State ? ..." 291 jj^ another 
place Beksics has tersely described the " aim " of Hungarian 
policy as follows : " Either Hungary will become a great 
national State, or it will cease to be a State at all." ^^ 

In one respect Tisza's position was stronger during the 
closing years of his long term of office ; thanks to the brilliant 
finance of Szell and Wekerle, the deficit at last disappeared 
in 1889 from the Hungarian Budget, while Gabriel Baross 
earned a deservedly high reputation by his introduction of 
the railway " zone system " and his reorganization of the 
Ministry of Commerce. But the intentional obscurity of the 
Ausgleich on the military question now began to bear its 
inevitable fruit ; the Extreme Left, under the able leadership 
of Iranyi, Charles Eotvos and Ugron emphasized with grow- 
ing violence the need of an independent Hungarian army 
with Magyar language of command. The unfortunate Jansky 
incident in May, 1886 — when an Austrian general laid a wreath 
on the tomb of Hentzi, who had fallen in 1848 in defending 
the citadel of Buda against Gorgei's assault — had seriously 
impaired the Cabinet's reputation, and accentuated still fur- 
ther the personal ill-feeling between Tisza and the two Oppo- 
sition parties — the Kossuthists of the Left and the so-called 
" National Party " of Count Apponyi. The latter especially be- 
came the mouthpiece of extremist agitation for an independent 
army, and placed all his brilliant oratorical gifts at the service 
of this cause. The new Law of National Defence brought 
forward by Tisza in January, 1889, roused intense feeling 
among large sections of the Magyar population, and it was 
only by means of his " Mameluke " majority that the measure 
could be passed ; indeed, even as it was, the obstacles to its 
passage might have proved insuperable, had not the tragic 

"1 Cited Brote, p. 51. 

"*- ' ' Magyarorszag nagy nemzeti allamma lesz, vagy nem lesz soka 
dllam." A Ditalismus, p. 290. 



death of the Crown Prince silenced and distracted the hostile 
demonstrations. By the new law Hungary engaged herself 
for the next ten years to furnish the same contingent to the 
joint army as Austria, the numerical strength being deter- 
mined by the Crown and any alteration being submitted to 
Parliament. The most unpopular provision of the new 
scheme was that by which all officers must pass a German 
examination, failure in which involves a year's delay. Tisza, 
of course, defended the absolute necessity of a single language 
of command m a joint army ; while his opponents took up 
the highly plausible position that the armies of Prince Eugene 
and Napoleon were commanded in more than one language, 
without thereby suffering in discipline or efficiency. 

The army debates had completed the estrangement between 
Government and Opposition, and had roused personal jealousies 
and hatreds to such a pitch that a victim was necessary if 
Parliamentary government was not to come to a standstill. 
The personal factor has always predominated in Hungarian 
politics ; men signify more than parties, and the withdrawal! 
or removal of a leader is a more decisive event than a similar[ 
charge in most Western countries. Early in March, 1890, 
Coloman Tisza resigned, after holding office for fifteen years ; 
but his successor, Count Julius Szapdry, remained little more 
than a dignified figurehead, while the so-called " Tisza clique " 
preserved its old influence upon affairs, and perpetuated 
what the exiled Kossuth has bitterly described as a state of 
" codified illegality." 

The withdrawal of Tisza from an active share in politics 
coincided with a revival of Clericalism, which brought Count 
Apponyi into renewed prominence. His opponents are in 
the habit of taunting this statesman with his repeated volte- 
faces and apparent inconsistencies : closer examination shows 
that he has always been consistently loyal to two ideas — 
clericalism and nationalism, in the narrow sense of the words. 
The wide European culture which he acquired as a young 
man was grafted upon the tenets of his Jesuit teachers at 
Kalksburg, and has produced a strange amalgam of genuine 
religious tolerance and zeal for the advancement of the 
Catholic faith. But even stronger was his devotion to the 
cause of Magyar ascendancy and his belief in " the idea of 
the Magyar state " ("a magyar allam eszme ") ; and thus he 
was gradually led to outbid the Calvinists of Tisza in his 
patriotic programme. Hence the disciple and successor of 

R.p.H, 177 N 


the ultra-Conservative Baron Sennyey re-christened his party 
the " Moderate Opposition," and some years later proclaimed 
himself the leader of a " National Party." The Magyar 
Catholics of the northern plains, the pious Germans of the 
Banat, the Magyarized gentry of southern Slovensko, formed 
Count Apponyi's chief recruiting ground : but his own versa- 
tile genius has always offered a striking contrast to the medio- 
crity of his followers. The anti-Clerical campaign organized 
by the fallen Tisza seemed to supply Count Apponyi with 
his great opportunity ; but an irony of fate had ordained 
that the born leader of a clerical movement in Hungary should 
fall into deep disfavour with his sovereign and thus destroy 
the very possibility of alliance with the court Clericals. 

The Hungarian Kulturkampf opened under Count Szapdry 
with a skirmish for the possession of the registers ; but it 
was under his successor. Dr. Alexander Wekerle, the brilliant 
financier (November, 1892), that the struggle became acute. 
The law introducing obligatory [civil marriage was hotly 
debated in Parliament, and roused a storm of feeling throughout 
the length and breadth of the country ; even two such impor- 
tant reforms as state registration and the recognition of the 
Jewish religion were wholly overshadowed by this contro- 
versial measure, against which the Catholic Church brought 
all its powers of agitation into play. In April, 1894, the 
Civil Marriage Bill was passed by a majority of 175, and on 
its rejection by the Upper House, was again returned unaltered 
by a majority of 166. As the monarch withheld his consent 
to the nomination of new peers, Dr. Wekerle resigned office ; 
but no one could be found to replace him, and ten days later 
he returned to power with a reconstructed Cabinet. On 
June 21, 1894, the Magnates carried the bill by 128 to 124 
votes. The institution of civil marriage was supplemented 
:by elaborate rules prescribing the religion of the children of 
imixed marriages ; this is made dependent upon a formal 
declaration of the parents before the civil authorities. ^^^ 

The so-called Church Laws of the Wekerle Ministry have 
often been loosely described as anti-clerical ; but the worst 
which can accurately be said of them is that they are secularist 
in aim. A generation will elapse before we learn the true 
inner history of the movement ; but it has already become 
abundantly clear that this legislation was not merely an 
answer to the proselytizing zeal of the Catholic Church 
»" 1894, Law XXXII. 


in Hungary. It must also be ascribed in part to the resent- 
ment felt by the Chauvinists at the international leanings of 
Catholicism, and its refusal to surrender to a policy of unre- 
stricted Magyarization. It was, above aU, the outward and 
visible sign of the steady process of Judaization of the middle 
classes, which had marked the period following upon the 
Ausgleich. TheWekerle Ministry, despite the violence of the 
religious struggle, found time for an active policy of aggression 
against the nationalities ; indeed, it may have hoped by taking 
up an ultra-national standpoint to disarm the criticism of its 
opponents. In March, 1892, the committee of the Roumanian 
National Party had petitioned the monarch in a Memorandum 
recounting the many grievances of their race in Hungary, 
and when the Hungarian Cabinet barred the deputation's 
access to the throne, had published the Memorandum in 
pamphlet form. This masterly document — which challenged 
the legality of the Transylvanian Act of Union, reasserted 
that province's claims to autonomy, and recounted the many 
I injustices and illegalities on which the Magyar hegemony 
^ was based — brought down upon its authors the vengeance 
of the Government. In July, 1892, Desiderius Szilagyi, in 
answering an interpellation on the subject of the Memorandum, 
admitted the clear constitutional right of all citizens to petition^ 
even for illegal things. ^^ But by the spring of 1894 the Govern-^|^ij^ 
ment had changed its mind, and on May 7 of that year the '^^ 
entire committee of the Roumanian party was brought to 
trial for " incitement against the Magyar nationality," in- 
curred in this very petition. ^^^ Elaborate precautions were 
taken to supply the foreign press with a garbled version of 
the trial and to prevent the true facts from crossing the 
frontier.29^ On the second day of the proceedings, the Minister 
of the Interior, Mr. Hieronymi, sent pressing instructions to 
all the county authorities of Transylvania to hand over to 
the courts all persons agitating among the people, and to 
make inquiries as to the source of the money used in such 
intrigues. ^^' The jury before whom the prisoners were tried, 
was exclusively composed of Magyar Chauvinists, and counsel 

"* July 14, 1892, 88th Sitting. 

^•^ See pp. 301-2 of chapter xv. 

^'* According to the Pester Lloyd of May 27, 1894, an Arad advocate 
named Stephen Pap was arrested when leaving Kolozsvar and searched 
by the police. Papers were discovered upon him, containing " false 
information intended for abroad," and confiscated without more ado. 

*" See his speech in Parliament, May ^2, 1894. 



for the defence were fined and intimidated by the judge until 
they laid down their office in a body. Dr. John Ratziu, the 
party president, read aloud in the name of the accused, a 
fiery declaration in which they declined to recognize the juris- 
diction of the court, and appealed to the public opinion of 
the civilized world.^^^ Under such circumstances their con- 
demnation caused no surprise ; but the imposition of a total 
of twenty-nine years' imprisonment on persons who had 
merely exercised one of the natural rights of all citizens, 
branded the Hungarian Government as Asiatic rather than 
West European in sentiment. The arbitrary dissolution of 
the Roumanian party by ministerial order ^^ only served to 
confirm this verdict ; for a limit was thus placed upon consti- 
tutional agitation, and one-half of the population was directly 
challenged either to renounce its most cherished aspirations 
or to resort to anarchical methods to secure them. 

Needless to say, the Memorandum trial and the plentiful 
crop of press prosecutions which preceded and followed it 
only served to embitter the Roumanians still further, and 
roused them to a fuller sense of solidarity with their kinsmen 
across the southern frontier. Indeed, the rapid increase of 
Magy arizing societies in Hungary ^°® and the active support 

"98 See Appendix XV. 

»9 See Appendix XVI. 

3"® The " Cultural Leagues " have spread a network over the whole 
country'. In 1892 that of North Hungary had 4,906 members, funds 
of 182,000 crowns, and an income .of 110,000 crowns; with this it 
founded Magyar infant homes in the Slovak and German districts, 
sought to induce the clergy to Magyarize their services, and trans- 
ferred Slovak children to the Alfold to be brought up as Magyars. 
In the same year the Transylvanian Cultural League had 20,000 mem- 
bers, an income of 140,000 crowns, and a capital amounting to 1,000,000 
crowns, and maintained no fewer than 100 Magyar schools and infant 
homes. According to Wastian (p. 128) it maintained an agricultural 
school and 8 other technical schools, 62 elementary schools, 22 infant 
homes, 3 charitable institutes, 49 popular book stores, and 26 singing 
societies. On the proposal of Count Stephen Karolyi, the county of 
Bihar levied a i per cent, rate in favour of this league, thus forcing 
the Roumanians to contribute towards the rope for their own gallows ; 
and several other counties followed this example. In 1894 a North- 
East Hungarian Cultural League was founded for the benefit of the 
Ruthene districts, and a " Magyar National League," with all Hungary 
for its field. See Schultheiss, " Das Deutschtum in Ungarn " {Allgem. 
Zeitung, No. 115 of 1894). Cit. Brote, p. 86. The aims of these so- 
cieties may be gathered from the newspaper reports of their annual 
proceedings. See especially the speech of Mr. Coloman Szell(2i June, 



given to them by the Government, had caused great alarm ')lnj/^ 
in the Kingdom of Roumania ; for, according to the unanswer- -"^ 
able argument of Mr. Demeter Sturdza,^"^ " if it were possible 
to extinguish three million Roumanians, then the danger of 
denationalization would have already assumed tangible form 
for us of the kingdom also." In 1891 a lively agitation arose 
among the University students of Bucarest in favour of their 
kinsmen across the frontier, and this bore fruit in the pubHca- 
tion of a students' manifesto which aimed at enlisting foreign 
public opinion on the side of the non-Magyars. A " Reply" 
issued by the Magyar University students led the younger 
generation of Roumanians in Hungary to abandon their 
fathers' mistaken passivity and to publish in their turn a 
pamphlet narrating in impressive if tactless language the 
many wrongs and grievances of their race. But the only 
result was to draw down upon their heads a peculiarly savage 
sentence from the Jury Court of Kolozsvar ^°^ — Aurel Popovici, 
one of the committee of students responsible for its publica- 
tion, being condemned to four years', and Roman, the director 
of the printing press, to one year's imprisonment, for incite- 
ment against the Magyar nationality. The Roumanian 
press now took up the cause more hotly than ever, and in 
the winter of 189 1-2 a " League for the Cultural Unity of 
all Roumanians " ^"^ was founded in Bucarest as an answer 
to the Magyar cultural leagues. The monetary support 
sent from Bucarest to Roumanian schools and other institu- 
tions in Transylvania aroused great indignation among the 
Magyars, though a little reflection might have convinced 
them that such action lay in the nature of things. Their 
fevered imagination credited the Roumanian Government 
with designs for the formation of a Daco-Romanist Empire, 
by the annexation of all territory inhabited by the Roumanian 
race. That political dreamers do exist in Roumania, who 
favour such designs, it would be superfluous to deny. That 
these fallacies were first suggested by Louis Kossuth and his 
reckless intrigues with Alexander Couza and Michael Obreno- 
vitch, is equally undoubted, though few Magyars are willing 
to make the admission. As the Magyars adopted a more 

'"i Now Premier of Roumania. See his speech on October 7, 1894, 
cit. Brote, op. cit., p. 119. 

*"*' Appendix x., a and chapter xv. 

303 '. Liga pentru unitatea culturala atutoror Romanilor " ; not, as it 
is so often erroneously called, League for ^e Union of all Roumanians. 



and more aggressive policy towards the other races of Hun- 
gary, the instinct of self-preservation asserted itself among the 
"' latter, and prompted them to look for allies across the frontier. 
The fate of the Roumanians in Transylvania is a question of 
vital interest to their kinsmen in Roumania, and is indeed the 
cardinal feature in the foreign policy of the young kingdom. 
To deny her claim to oppose the policy of Magyarization is 
in reality to deny her right to an independent national exist- 
ence. But not even the most active resistance to Magyariza- 
tion can be construed into " Daco-Romanism " ; and no 
serious statesman in Bucarest has ever dreamt of espousing 

J so adventurous a cause. An independent Hungary might, 
it is true, be at the mercy of " Rumania Irredenta " ; but 
so long as the Magyars form part of the Dual Monarchy, Daco- 
Romanism must of necessity remain a mere idle dream. 

The passage of the Church Laws through Parliament was 
a Pyrrhic victory for Dr. Wekerle, against whose person 
the Clericals had vowed vengeance ; yet curiously enough it 
was a Calvinist who succeeded, in the person of Baron Desi- 
derius Banff y (January, 1895). The new Premier, however, 
soon showed that he regarded national as far more important 
than religious questions. The policy of Tisza and Wekerle 
towards the nationahties was carried to its logical issue, and 
Magyarization was openly avowed as the great aim which 
all true patriots must set before them. In Baron Banffy's 
own words, " without Chauvinism it is impossible to found 
the unitary Magyar national State," and assimilation of the 
non-Magyars is essential to the future of Hungary. " Not 
to regard what stands in the way, only to regard the aim, to 
push blindly forward " — such was the policy advocated by 
this wildest of " patriots " towards the non-Magyar races.^°* 
.: A special department, known as the " nationalities section/' 
was erected in the Premier's Office in Budapest, for the sole 
purpose of watching the slightest movements of the non- 
Magyars, controlling their press, their banking institutions, 
and above all their relations with foreign countries. The 
Roumanian and Serb newspapers were still subjected to every 
kind of political vexation, and the whole administrative 
machine was employed in the cause of Magyarization. 

One solitary concession was made to the nationalities — 

^°* Banliy Magyar Nemzetisegi Politika, pp. 211-216. 


the permission to hold a political congress in Budapest — • 
and even this was only granted because the havoc and dis- 
organization caused by recent persecution among their leaders 
made it not improbable that the meeting might end in a 
fiasco. On August lo, 1895, the Congress was opened by 
Dr. Michael Polit, the Serb ex-deputy ; Dr. Paul Mudron, an 
influential Slovak in Turocz St. Marton ; and George Pap, a 
Roumanian advocate. After a telegram of homage had been 
despatched to the King, a new political programme was drawn 
up and unanimously adopted.^^ While the political integrity 
of the Crown of St. Stephen was frankly recognized, the idea 
of a Magyar national State is here described as alien to the 
ethnical and historical conditions of Hungary, threatening 
as it does the very existence of the other races. A league is 
therefore formed between the Roumanians, Slovaks and 
Serbs, and the hope is expressed that the Germans and 
Ruthenes will join them. The Law of Nationalities, which 
merely remains a dead letter, must be properly carried out 
and must be supplemented by a redistribution of the counties 
on a linguistic basis ; while in the non-Magyar districts the 
language of the courts and of the administration must be 
that of the population. The unjust franchise and electoral 
abuses can only be remedied by the introduction of universal, 
direct, equal and secret suffrage, by redistribution and by 
the removal of official pressure during elections. Church 
and school autonomy must no longer be infringed, and abso- 
lute freedom of religion must be introduced. Proper guar- 
antees for press freedom must be given, and free right of 
assembly and association must be secured by law. The 
interests of the various nationalities should be represented 
by Ministers without portfolios, just as in the case of Croatia^' 
Finally, the congress appointed a committee to promote 
harmony between the nationalities, to protest against the 
prevailing policy of denationalization, and to plead the non- 
Magyar cause in the foreign press. There never was any 
prospect of even the more moderate of these wishes being 
granted, and the meeting can only have been intended by its 
leaders to serve as a reminder of the existence of the non- 
Magyar races. The permission granted for their meeting, 
instead of being regarded as a concession due to political 
decency, has been cited as an extraordinary act of magnanimity 
on the part of the Magyars — a point of view which illustrates 

"* See Appendix*xvii. 


the prevailing Chauvinism, The congress was merely a brief 
lull in the storm of repression which reached its height in the 
well-known " Banffy system." 

The year i8g6 was celebrated by the Magyar race as the 
millenary of its occupation of Hungary, and the national 
exhibition at Budapest was made the occasion of renewed 
attempts to wean European opinion from sympathy with 
the nationalities. Both the Government and its opponents 
published a crop of controversial pamphlets on the racial 
question, designed not so much to inform as to persuade the 
foreign public ; and the Pan-German League displayed special 
activity in its attacks upon the Magyars. The millenary 
celebrations evoked numerous counter-demonstrations. The 
Chauvinists of Belgrade, enraged at the inclusion of the Serb 
arms among the symbols of the Partes subjectae of the 
Crown of St. Stephen, burned the Hungarian flag in the streets 
of the capital ; and their foolish example was followed by 
the students of Bucarest, before the statue of Michael the 
jt; Brave.^ In Ujvidek (Neusatz) the Serbs refused to illumi- 
^^rynaie, and in Essek the Hungarian arms were besmirched 
with mud and paint. In the Austrian Reichsrath (May 29), 
Dr. Lueger, the militant Anti-Semite leader, branded as a 
traitor every German who made common cause with Hungary. 
Needless to say. Baron Banffy was not deterred by such inci- 
dents from pursuing his policy of Magyarization. To take 
but a single instance, Parliament in May, 1896, voted a sum 
I of £28,000 for the erection of 400 new elementary schools ; 
I but in every one of them Magyar was introduced as the exclu- 
' sive language of instruction.^' These and similar incidents 
justified the nationalities in treating the millenary as a strictly 
Magyar anniversary in which they could have no share. 

In the autumn of 1896 Baron Banffy held new Parlia- 
mentary elections, which eclipsed all previous records, and 
resulted in a net gain of sixty-nine seats by the Government. 
Money was poured out like water, bribery was resorted to 
with an openness hitherto unknown even in Hungary. Arbi- 
trary limits were set upon the right of speech and of assembly, 
and indeed many of the Opposition candidates and their 

3"* The idea was borrowed from the Croats, who on October 16, 1895, 
had burned the flag of Hungary before the statue of Jellacid in the 
chief square of Zagreb (Agram). 

3'" Cp. p. 156, on the State's pledge to supply teaching in the mother- 



supporters were arrested by the authorities in the middle of 
their campaign. Gahcia, Styria and Moravia were partially 
denuded of their garrisons, and the regiments of the Joint 
Army were entrusted with the task of " preventing excesses " 
on the part of the Opposition. " Undesirable " voters were 
in many cases refused access to the polls, and any attempt at 
resistance was quelled by a liberal use of bayonets and ball 
cartridge. ^°^ A specially violent character had been imparted 
to the electoral struggle by the appearance of a new Clerical 
or People's party, which contested no fewer than ninety- 
eight seats. The fiercest contests took place in the German 
constituencies of West Hungary, where Mr. Stephen Rakovszky 
secured election. But the Clerical appeal was not lost upon 
the Catholic Slovaks of the North, who had been encouraged 
by their clergy to regard the Church Laws as a fresh stage in 
the advance of the Jews and the freemasons. Indeed, the 
fanatical misrepresentations in which the Clerical leaders 
indulged, rivalled the unscrupulous devices employed against 
them by the Government and its agents. ^^ 

Thus it was the Clericals who first effected a breach in the 
traditional " safe seats " of the Liberal Party, and who were 
indirectly responsible for the Slovak revival of the past decade. ^ 
The programme of the People's Party claimed the enforcement 
of the Law of Nationalities, and its leader. Count Zichy, after 
declaring that it is neither Liberal nor national nor Christian 
to oppress the nationalities, insisted that the Government's 
present attitude towards them must be abandoned. ^^" The 
Slovaks were encouraged to renounce the senseless policy of 
passivity adopted by their leaders, and to launch their little) 
boat once more upon the sea of politics. Henceforth the 
younger generation poured contempt upon the Russophil 
dreams of Turocz St. Mart on, and bravely proclaimed the 

'"* The comment of the Neue Freie Presse on these elections is too 
deUcious not to be quoted. In a leading article of November 3, i8g6, 
we read : "In view of the successes of the Liberals, the complaints 
of the Opposition regarding corruption and violence appear merely 
childish ! " The author of this unique phrase must surely have 
underestimated the naivete of his readers. 

3"' According to the Neue Freie Presse (October 28, 1896) the Clerical 
candidate in Csorna informed the people that if the Liberals should 
win, all crosses would be banished from the streets, and the churches 
would be turned into Jewish storeshops. Liberal voters were threat- 
ened with the withdrawal of the sacraments, and the peasants were 
made to swear on the crucifix to vote for the People's Party. 

310 Programme speech on January i, 1^97. 



doctrine of self-help. Autocratic Russia was regarded with 
•positive aversion : a far more natural rapprochement was 
sought with the young Czech democracy of Bohemia,^^^ and 
their hands were strengthened by the moral and financial 
assistance of the Slovak emigrants in America. Popular 
savings banks and co-operative societies were started by some 
of the Slovak leaders — especially in the counties of Trencsen 
and Lipto — in the hope of stemming the excessive usury 
which gnawed at the very vitals of the Slovak peasantry 
and kept them in the thraJl of the Jews and the magnates. 
Self-help .was indeed the only possible cure for the terrible 
economic condition of the country. While the Government 
pursued its ethnophagic policy towards the nationalities, 
land hunger and the rise of prices had led to an Agrarian 
Socialist movement of considerable dimensions. In the spring 
and summer of 1897 frequent collisions took place between 
the peasants and the troops, and in 1898 the attempt to organize 
a harvest strike, as a means of reducing the landlords to reason, 
was ruthlessly suppressed by the authorities. The Govern- 
ment hired labourers in the northern counties to supply the 
gaps, and kept a large reserve of foreign labourers at Mezo- 
hegyes, ready to be despatched at a moment's notice to the 
aid of the landlords. Liberty of association and assembly 
was greatly restricted, scores of public meetings were prohibited, 
postal secrecy was violated, funds were confiscated, the ring- 
leaders of the movement were arrested or subjected to domici- 
liary visits and compulsory photography by the police. The 
brutal energy of the Government was successful in suppressing 
the movement ; but no remedy has been found for the economic 
evils of the country, and the peasantry, despairing of a remedy 
at home, turned to emigration as a last resort. While the 
Magyar politicians wrangled over the words of command in the 
army, the life blood of the country has been steadily drained 
by emigration. Since 1896 Hungary has lost close upon a 
million of her population in this way, and latterly the move- 
ment has reached its height amongst the purest Magyar 
peasantry of the Alfold. 

Among the many shameful actions of the Banffy Govem- 

311 Professor Masaryk, to-day the chief intellectual force among the 
Czechs, and the leader of the little Czech Realist party (with its able 
organ the <5as in Prague) is by birth a Hungarian Slovak. Prof. Jaroslav 
VlCek, of Prague, the author of the best sketch of Slovak literature, is 
also a Slovak. 



ment, special stress deserves to be laid upon the campaign 
for the Magyarization of family names and placenames. Early 
in 1898 the Minister of the Interior issued a circular to all 
county and municipal authorities, instructing them to invite 
the officials under them to adopt Magyar names, and sending 
copies of a pamphlet on this subject for distribution. ^^^ In 
the same way, pressure was put upon the state schoolmasters,^^' 
and upon subordinate post office and railway officials, in 
order to compel them to Magyarize their names ; and it became 
evident that those who refused to comply had little prospect 
of promotion. When Oscar von Meltzl, the Saxon deputy, 
brought forward an interpellation on the subject, so far from 
obtaining any satisfaction, he was taunted with his lack of 
patriotism and subjected to insult and abuse from a majority 
of the House. ^^* Governmental pressure and social induce- 
ments, and indeed the reduction from five florins to fifty 
kreuzer (io<^.) of the registration fee for a change of name, 
had long since (1881) deprived the poor man of an excuse 
for preserving his identity. 

That a forger or a convict should seek to conceal his identity 
under a false name is natural enough ; but it is difficult to 
understand how any man who has inherited an honourable 
name from his father should be willing to renounce it except 
for the most cogent reasons. Yet this demoralizing custom 
has played havoc with the family history of the Hungarian 
middle classes ; and few countries will supply such a puzzle 
to the genealogist of the twenty-second] century. Indeed, 
the annals of modern Hungary are crowded with men who 
have adopted " shilling-names." Toldy, the author of a 
standard work on Magyar literature, was born as Franz Sche- 
del ; Hunfalvy, the ethnologist, as Hundsdorfer : Munkacsy, 
the famous painter, as Lieb : Professor Vambery, the dis- 
tinguished Orientalist, as Bamberger : even the poet Petofi 
as Petrovic. Among politicians Zsedenyi, Iranyi, Helfy, 
Komlossy, Polonyi, entered life with the less euphonious 
names of Pfannschmied, Halbschuh, Heller, Kleinkind, Polla- 
tschek. The well-known historical writer, Fraknoi, had dis- 
carded his paternal name of Frankl at the request of members 
of the Hungarian Academy, and was not ashamed to give 
as his reason their desire that a Magyar name should figure 

912 See Appendix xxvi. 
313 See ibid. 

31* January, 1898. See also Hungariciis, op. cit., pp.. 22-25. 



on the title-page " of one of his principal works." ^^ A change 

of name naturally found special favour among the Jews, and 

enabled them to pose as missionaries of patriotism and Magyar 

culture.^" Just as moneylenders in London have been known 

to borrow the name of a famous Scottish clan, so the Eier- 

. stocks and Lowenmuths of Hungary have assumed the aristo- 

icratic names of Tokolyi and Bathori. Weiss, Kohn, Lowy, 

(Weinberger, Klein, Rosenfeld, Ehrenfeld, Gansl, Griinfeld, 

conceal their identity under the pseudonyms of Veszi, Kardos. 

Lukacs, Biro, Kis, Rado, Erdelyi, Gonda, Mezei.^" 

Not content with exercising pressure upon its subordinates 
to assume Magyar names, Banffy's Government in December, 
1897, passed through Parliament a law for the compulsory 
Magyarization of all the placenames of Hungary. The pro- 
tests of savants against this act of vandalism were disregarded, 

315 See Wastian, p. 128. 

3i» On March 29, 1895, Visontai (formerly Weinberger) said in Par- 
liament : " Statistics prove that the Jews of the districts inhabited 
by the nationalities carry on a regular mission work ; statistics prove 
that where for miles round not a Magyar word is to be heard — in Rou- 
manian, Slovak or German districts — it is a Jewish family, living in 
modest circumstances, which not only cultivates the Magyar language 
in its own circle, but also does its best to inoculate its children with 
the Magyar language and culture. We see that he who in the non- 
Magyar districts wishes his children to learn the Magj^ar language 
sends them to the Jewish school." 

*!' Those who are disposed to believe the common Magyar assertion 
that Magyarization is a myth have only to study the roll of the present 
Hungarian Parliament ('Terkep az 1906-evi Orszaggyiilesi kepvise- 
lovalasztasok eredmenyerol " ; i.e. Map of results of Parliamentary 
elections, prepared by Count Bela Kreith, Budapest, 1906). The 
following twenty -six members are in reality no more Magyar than 
the present writer : Secretary of State Szterenyi (formerly Stern) ; 
ex-Minister of Justice Polonyi (Pollatschek) ; Farkashazy (Fischer) ; 
Fenyvesi (Veigelsberg) ; Foldes (Weiss) ; Hoitsy (Hojca) ; Joseph 
Horvath (Horowitz) ; Kalosi (Grunfeld) ; Samuel Kelemen (Klein) ; 
Maurice Lanyi (Lihenfeld) ; Paul Lazar (Weiss) ; Mezofi (Morgenstern) ; 
Molnar (Berger) ; Peto (Pollacek) ; Pilissy (Perger) ; (Sandor Schles- 
inger) ; Aladar Somogyi (Krausz) ; Szatmari (Sau) ; Vazsonyi (Weiss- 
feld) ; Soma Visontai (Veilsberg) . Six gentlemen of the well-known 
name of Kohn have discarded it in favour of Lehel Hedervari, Hody, 
Kardos, Nagy, Sag and Szunyog. In addition to these (and the list is 
far from complete) there are 88 Magyarized renegades whose names 
still betray their origin. As there are also 38 non-Magyars (includ- 
ing the 12 Saxons) and 40 Croats, only 261 out of a total number 
of 453 members can be claimed as genuine Magyars, and even of 
these many more could be challenged, but 375 are Magyars in senti- 



and a deputation of Saxon women to Vienna was refused 
access to the Emperor-King and curtly dismissed by Baron 
Bdnffy. Henceforth the old historic names are banished 
from the map, and replaced by unknown and in many cases 
specially fabricated names. Many a link with the past is 
rudely severed, and the traveller who visits the famous mediae- 
val towns of Pressburg, Hermannstadt and Kirchdrauf, will 
search in vain at the railway station or post ofhce for any sign 
save those of Pozsony, Nagy-Szeben, and Szepes-Varalja. 
Indeed, to sach lengths has Magyaromania reached, that 
all post-ofhce and railway notices throughout the kingdom 
are drawn up exclusively in Magyar, a language of which 40 
per cent, of the population are unable to understand a syllable. 
But such external changes, however deeply they might offend 
the feelings of large sections of the population, were of little 
real assistance to the cause of Magyarization ; and their 
sole value lay in the false impression of Magyar power which 
they created in the minds of foreign inquirers. 

Meanwhile Banffy's electoral triumphs had not brought 
him peace. The spirits of discord whom he had invoked 
could no longer be dispelled, and the obstruction which caused 
his final ruin was conjured up by his own reckless misuse of 
the principles of majority. To him the end always hallowed 
the means ; and having secured an unrivalled majority by 
systematic violence and corruption, he resorted to the still 
more doubtful tactics of winning the Opposition's support 
for a particular law in return for some concession, and after- 
wards using his big parliamentary battahons to evade his 
pledges. In the words of Count Apponyi, " this Parliament 
was bred in sin and born in sin," and hence it must, according 
to every moral law, suffer like a fever patient from continual 
crises. ^^^ Every year the Opposition grew more unmanage- 
able, and the number of Dissidents from the Liberal Party 
increased, including such able men as Szilagyi and Andrassy 
the younger. The thorny question of the new commercial 
Ausgleich with Austria supplied the Independent Party 
with a convenient pretext for obstruction, and just as in the 
days of Tisza the personal element had dominated Hungarian 
politics, so the Opposition parties now clamoured for the 
head of Banffy, and forced the Cabinet to negotiate with 
them regarding the conditions of its own resignation. At 
length, after a crisis of several months, Banffy withdrew in 

318 See Neue Frete Presse, January i, 1899. 


favour of Mr, Coloman Sz^ll, the foster son of Deik and one 
of Hungary's most brilliant financiers (February 17, 1899). 
The Dissidents returned to the party fold, and on March 3, 
1899, Count Apponyi, who only a few months before had 
electrified Parliament by a memorable indictment of Liberal 
policy,^^^ dissolved the National Party, and himself joined the 
I Liberals with his thirty-two followers. A kind of armistice 
with the Kossuthists made it possible for Szell to conclude 
the much overdue commercial Ausgleich, and thus to secure 
Hungary's economic peace for the next eight years. 

The new Premier assumed as his watchword the phrase 
" Law, Right and Justice " (" torveny jog es igazsag "), and pro- 
ceeded to illustrate it by the adoption of a milder policy 
towards the nationalities. The prosecutions of the non- 
Magyar press were discontinued, the notorious " Nationalities 
Section " was dissolved, and rather fewer restrictions were 
placed upon association and assembly. In April, 1899, an 
elaborate law was introduced dealing with corrupt practices 
and electoral disputes, and much was heard of Szell's zeal 
for " pure elections." The general elections of 1901 did not, 
however, show much improvement in this respect ; and if 
they did not attain the same scandalous pre-eminence as those 
of 1896, governmental pressure, bribery and even bloodshed 
were none the less deplorably frequent. Perhaps the most 
piquant incident was the treatment meted out to Count 
Apponyi in Jaszbereny, where he had sat since 1881. The 
voting roll had been carefully doctored under Banffy, with a 
view to securing his defeat ; the poll was prolonged for thirty 
hours for 2,000 electors (at Budapest only ten hours were 

^" In November, 1898. In the course of his speech, Count Apponyi 
complained that the Government " made of the rule of the majority a 
kind of Divine Right to which we must imquestioningly bow without 
regard to the means by which they secured this delegation of the national 
will." The presence of the Opposition in the House, he said, merely 
served to perpetuate the constitutional farce. As one who entered 
Parliament twenty-five years ago full of enthusiasm and ambition, he 
wished his conscience would allow him to retire altogether ; to such a 
degree had the course of public life in Hungary embittered his soul. 
The business of Parliament, he added, would be reduced to a sham con- 
test between a majority which went through the formality of election 
but was really nominated by the Government, and a minority which 
was also " ordered " by the Government and merely assumed the part 
of an Opposition. Indeed, the Russian Nihilists might well be summoned 
to Hungary, for in it they woiild find their ideal. 



allowed for 10,000), and after every possible trick had failed, 
the returning officer refused to declare Count Apponyi elected.^-" 
Such action would have been remarkable even in the case of 
a non-Magyar candidate : in the case of a new and powerful 
adherent of the Government, it becomes almost incredible. 
Szell's personal relations to Apponyi had become really cordial, 
and the incident can only be ascribed to the Tisza clique, 
who doubtless acted on the motto, "timeo Danaos et dona 
ferentes." In this attitude they were justified by subsequent 
events ; for Count Apponyi's adhesion to the Liberal Party 
introduced a fatal element of discord, which bore fruit in 
1903, when the military question once more became acute. 
Apponyi made common cause with the Party of Independence 
in pushing the claims of a national Hungarian army, with 
Magyar language of command, and thus on June 16, 1903, 
Mr. SzeU feU a victim to the same violent obstructive tactics 
which had originally raised him to power. The famous Army 
Order of Chlopy, issued during the brief regime of his suc- 
cessor Count Khuen-Hedervary, was merely a crude and 
tactless retort to what the military chiefs regarded as Apponyi's 
unwarrantable attempt to dismember the joint army. It 
rendered Hedervary's position untenable, and paved the way 
for Count Stephen Tisza's accession to power ^^^ (3 Nov. 1903). 
Once more the personal factor predominated. The duel 
between Tisza and Apponyi seriously weakened the discipline 
of the Liberal Party, and in November, 1903, the latter left 
the sinking ship and resumed his Opposition tactics. 

The true history of the great crisis of 1904-6 cannot be 
written for many years to come. The wild obstruction which 
paralyzed Count Tisza's movements ; his rash attempt to 
restore order by means of the closure, and the disgraceful 
scenes to which this attempt gave rise (November 18 and 
December 13, 1904) ^^^ j the welding of the Opposition parties 

3*** Eisenmann, op. cit., p. 571, note. 

^21 This brilliant but not too tactful statesman is the eldest son of 
the Premier Coloman Tisza, and succeeded to the title of his uncle 
Louis, to whom the city of Szeged owes its resurrection after the great 
floods of 1878. 

322 What may quite fairly be described as physical patriotism had 
become more and more common in the Hungarian Parliament, and 
on this notorious occasion Baron Banffy — who in 1898 had endeavoured 
to force the closure upon an indignant House, eclipsed all previous 
records of obstruction by wrecking the seats and benches with the 
broken lid of his desk ! 

191 ' 


into an anti-Liberal Coalition (November) ^^ ; the crushing 
defeat of Tisza at the general elections of January, 1905, 
and his consequent resignation ; the appointment of Baron 
Fejervary as Premier, with a number of little known per- 
manent officials as his Ministers (June 19, 1905), and the 
repeated prorogations of Parliament — these are events which 
have but little direct bearing upon the racial question, except 
in so far as the demand for the Magyar language of command 
may be regarded as a last despairing effort of Magyarization. 
Under the Fejervary regime, the Magyars were vividly 
reminded of the power and influence still enjoyed by the 
Crown. For forty years Hungarian Cabinets had enjoyed the 
whole-hearted support of their sovereign, and Hungary had 
been able to dictate the foreign policy of the Dual Monarchy. 
The aggressive action of the Coalition revealed the inherent 
defect of Dualism, which makes of the sovereign the mere 
pendulum between two scales ; in self-defence Francis Joseph 
was driven, for the first time in a generation, to espouse the 
Austrian side and to turn a deaf ear to Maygar claims. In 
the course of the struggle. Crown and Coalition were almost 
equally in error ; for a constitutional sovereign is not free 
to curtail the programme of his future Ministers, while parUa- 
mentary leaders have no right to dictate to him the terms on 
which they are ready to accept office. But the error of judg- 
ment lay on the side of the Coalition, who fatally over-esti- 
mated their own powers of resistance. Their eloquence and 
their abuse alike were met by the sullen indifference of the 
masses, who thus took vengeance for the long-neglected evils 
of the franchise. In their blind pursuit of " national " and 
party advantages, the Coalition leaders failed to reckon with 
the social and economic needs of the classes and races hitherto 
shut out from political power ; and by their refusal of the 
royal terms, they drove the sovereign into alliance with these 
democratic elements in the State. An opportunity was thus 
presented to Mr. Kristoffy — minister of the Interior and by 
far the ablest member of the Fejervary cabinet — for putting 
forward his famous scheme of Universal Suffrage.^^ 

3" The Party of Independence under Mr. Francis Kossuth and Count 
Albert Apponyi (who had joined the Kossuthists), the Constitutional 
Party under Count Julius Andrassy ; the People's Party under 
Count Zichy, and the short-lived New Party under Baron Banff y. 

32* On July 27, 1905, Mr. Kristoffy received in audience the Social 
Democratic League of Hungary, and addressed them as follows : 



Mr. Kristoffy's proposal, and still more its inclusion by the 
Premier in his autumn programme, acted like a bombshell 
among the Opposition parties, whose official organs discharged 
the vials of their wrath upon the " unconstitutional " Govern- 
ment. But the reception of the new programme in the country 
showed the danger of their situation ; and henceforth the 
CoaHtion leaders, while proclaiming their patriotic mission 
more loudly than ever, and filling the foreign press with appeals 
against perfidious Austria, ^^ secretly strained every nerve to 
make their peace with the King, and thus if possible to render 
Kristoffy's designs innocuous. On February 19, 1906, Parlia- 
ment was dissolved, without writs being issued for new elec- 
tions ; and the country watched with surprising equanimity 
the approach of Absolutism. The secret of the negotiations 
was jealously kept, and the formation of the Coalition Cabinet 
on April 9, 1906, took the world at large completely by surprise. 
This Ministry of all the talents was composed of Dr. Wekerle 
(Premier and Finance) ; Mr. Francis Kossuth (Commerce); 
Count JuHus Andrassy (Interior) ; Count Albert Apponyi 

" After long thought the conviction has ripened in me that the present 
terrible condition of the country can only be remedied by an intensive 
social and economic policy ; for only such a policy can still the deeply- 
rooted social discontent, and on the other hand eliminate the disastrous 
constitutional struggle which continues to hinder the normal functions 
of the organism of the State. This regenerating social and economic 
policy cannot in my opinion be enforced by half measures, but only 
by parliamentary reform on the basis of universal and secret suffrage ; 
for only by such a far-reaching reform can the gates of Parliament 
be thrown open to those who will develop their legislative activity, 
not in constitutional contests, but in the organization of the nation's 
work." See Pester Lloyd, July 28 and 30, 1905. 

^^^ Count Apponyi had already published a long letter on the Hun- 
garian crisis in the Times of July i, 1905 (see also leading article of 
July 8). He now contributed to the Outlook a series of brilliant articles 
on the same subject (March, 1906). Mr. Kossuth pleaded the Magyar 
cause in the Daily News during the autumn of 1905. Similar attempts 
were made from time to time to influence the leading organs of French 
and German opinion in favour of the Magyars. 

In December, 1907, Mr. Szell, in publicly denouncing the present 
writer as a fanatical liar at a banquet of the Constitutional Party, 
urged upon his countrymen the patriotic duty of refuting the slanders 
published against Hungary in the foreign press. Good examples of 
these " refutations " are supplied by the articles of Count Joseph 
Mailath in the Contemporary Review for August, 1908 (" The Nationali- 
ties of Hungary ") and of Dr. Julian Weiss, the hero of one of the 
most corrupt elections of recent years (Nemet Bogsan, 1907) in 
Die Zukunjt of September 4, 1908. No two articles could be better 
calculated to defeat their own purpose. » 

R.P.H. 193 Q 


(Education) ; Mr. Dardnyi (Agriculture) ; Mr. Polonyi (Jus- 
tice) ; and Count Aladdr Zichy (Court). At the new general 
elections (April 28 — May 2, 1906), the Liberal Party finally 
disappeared from the scene, Count Tisza withdrew into private 
life, and the singular spectacle was presented of a Parliament 
without an Opposition. ^2* The collapse of the Liberals had 
left a large number of constituencies free, and the unseemly 
rush of candidates to secure the spoils roused even the indigna- 
tion of the Coalition press. Many of Count Tisza's former 
adherents now paraded their Kossuthist principles, and the 
once Radical Party of Independence soon fell into the hands 
of the agrarian gentry, with their following of county officials, 
and of the Jewish capitalists, with their dependent array of 
professional lawyers. 

The CoaHtion leaders, whose accession to power was greeted 
in many quarters with such jubilation, laid the greatest possible 
stress upon the transitional character of their Government.^^' 
Its main tasks, they declared, would be to repair the mis- 
chief wrought by the " unconstitutional " Fejervary Govern- 
ment, and then to introduce the long delayed measure of 
franchise reform, which would make it possible to ascertain 
the win of the whole nation regarding the questions at issue 
between Crown and Coalition. Two years and a half have 
now passed since the Coalition took office, and yet the pro- 
posed Universal Suffrage Bill, which was to be their main 
achievement, stiU remains a jealously guarded secret in the 
Ministry of the Interior. Meanwhile, reaction has been 
spreading through aU ranks of the Coalition, The shocking 
scandals which drove the Minister of Justice, Mr. Polonyi, 
from office in February, 1907 ^2^; the fresh scandals of theRail- 

^^^ In May, 1906: Independents, 246; Constitutional Party, 70; 
People's Party, 32 ; New Party, i ; Democrats, 3 ; Socialists, 2 ; 
Nationalities, 25 ; non-party (including Saxons), 19. See Grof Bela 
Kreith Kerkep, 1906. 

In summer, 1908, the grouping was as follows: Independents, 224 ; 
Constitutional Party, 78 (including Saxons) ; People's Party, 32 ; New 
Party, 2 ; Democrats, 4 ; Socialist, i ; Nationalities, 25 ; non-party, 
21 ; New Independent Left, 16. 

^" See, e.g., Count Apponvi's great speech at Jaszb6reny (September 
8, 1906). 

«" On January 21, 1907, the Independent deputy, Mr. Zoltdn Lengyel, 
published in his journal A Nap the facsimile of a letter written by 
Pol6nyi on February i, 1905, to Baroness Schonberger, whose 
reputation is well known ; in it he asked her to try to discover what the 



way Fund misappropriation and the Government subsidies 
to the press ^^^ ; the frequent assaults upon such press freedom 
as exists in Hungary ; the attempt to muzzle unpopular 
deputies ; the political persecution of the Socialists and the 
nationahties ; the violation of the Croatian Ausgleich involved 
in the Railway Servants Bill (XLIX., 1907)^; the attitude 
of Parliament to emigration and to agrarian and economic 
questions, as revealed in the scandalous Agricultural Labourers 
Act (XLV, 1907)^^^ — all these were signs of the lamentable 
change wrought by place and power in the once democratic 
party of Louis Kossuth and Daniel Iranyi. Despite all talk 
and protestations, and in defiance of its own past record, 
this Kossuthist majority sanctioned a new commercial Aus- 
gleich which is less favourable to Hungary than any passed 
by Liberal Governments ; and for the past year the Coalition 
has devoted itself to the vain effort to convert a regime of 
transition into one of stagnant permanence. But the day 
of reckoning cannot be postponed much longer, and before 
the present volume is in the hands of the reader, Hungary 
may already be in the throes of a popular agitation such as 
that which preceded the great Reform Bill of 1832. 

In the Parliament of 1906 the nationalities were for the 
first time represented in sufficient strength to form an organiza- 
tion of their own ; and the Coalition was guilty of a serious 
tactical blunder in refusing to recognize their existence as a 
parHamentary party. Twenty-five Nationalists have actually 
been elected, and as their leaders justly argue, it is absurd to 
refuse to admit a fact merely because it is unpalatable. ^^ The 

Emperor-King had said to Count Stephen Tisza at his private audience 
during the crisis, and whether he would receive [Mr. Kossuth also. 
A series of further scandals followed, upon which I prefer not to 

^^* In answer to an interpellation of Mr. Szemere regarding the over- 
production of daily newspapers in Budapest, Dr. Wekerle, the Premier, 
admitted a knowledge of subsidies to the Press. The Coalition Govern- 
ment, he said, proposed to continue certain subsidies, but would secure 
the purity of public life in this as in other directions. Present condi- 
tions he regarded as untenable. 

^^" See Appendix xxviii. 

*'^ See an able critique of the Act in the Times oi September 25, 1907, 
by the Times correspondent for Austria-Hungary. 

^'* To take an obvious parallel, it is as though the British Parliament 
had in 1906 refused to recognize the existence of the new Labour Party. 
The only possible verdict on such an attitude would have been that 
the present Cabinet was intransigent in tjie extreme. 



little group has from the first showed marked ability, and 
some of its members — notably Dr. Michael Polit, the disciple 
of Miletic and leader of the Serb Liberals : Dr. Milan Hod^a, 
the young Slovak leader and Dr. Alexander Vaida, a Rou- 
manian landowner and deputy — soon earned themselves a 
reputation for debating skill and knowledge of parliamentary 

But their reception at the hands of the majority was alto- 
gether unworthy of a constitutional assembly. Many of 
the Chauvinists argued that the political programme of the 
nationalities was incompatible with the office of deputy, and 
cited the case of Vasul Demian, the Roumanian deputy, as 
a precedent for annulling the mandates of the whole party. 
The Government was too wise to adopt a course which would 
inevitably have shocked European public opinion, but found 
other equally effectual methods of reducing the non-Magyar 
deputies to silence. On November i6, 1906, Father Ferdi- 
nand Juriga, one of the seven Slovak deputies, was sen- 
tenced at Pressburg to a term of two years' imprisonment 
and a fine of 1,200 crowns ; his offence consisted in " incite- 
ment against the Magyar nationality," incurred in two news- 
paper articles attacking the Chauvinists and defending himself 
against the charges of disloyalt}' which they brought against 
him.^^ Soon afterwards, two other non-Magyar deputies, 
Messrs. Hodza and Petrovic, were sentenced to terms of two 
and six months' imprisonment for similar offences. Father 
Jehlicka, another Slovak deputy, was also charged with 
" incitement against the Magyar nationality," and was threat- 
ened by the ecclesiastical authorities with suspension from 
office, unless he withdrew from an active part in politics. 
His attachment to the priestly calling proved too strong for 
his Slovak sentiments ; he resigned his seat, and nothing 
more has been heard of the charge of " incitement." The 
Bishop, who disapproved of Jehlicka's political activity, 
raised no objection to a Magyar priest standing for the vacant 
constituency ; and the growth of national feeling among 
the Slovak Catholic peasantry was strikingly illustrated by 
their election of Mr. Ivanka, a young Lutheran advocate who 
had only recently settled in Nagy Szombat (Tymau). The 
Government wreaked its vengeance on Mr. Ivdnka by a poli- 
tical action for " incitement," incurred in his electoral address ; 
and on August 2, 1908, he was sentenced to a year's imprison- 

»»• See Lulenie by Father F. Juriga (Turiiiansky Sv. Martin, 1907). 


Dr. Milan Hodza, M.P. 



ment and a fine of 1,200 crowns. These experiences have 
taught the Slovak leaders caution. Indeed, the only means 
by which they can escape political extinction is to erect a 
system of " straw men," who take the responsibility for 
articles against which the public prosecutor takes action ; 
and young Slovaks or Roumanians regard it as an honour to 
go to prison in such a cause. Vivat sequens, as the Slovaks 
themselves say when they hear of a new victim. 

The Magyar Chauvinists are fond of describing the oppo- 
sition of the nationalist group as unpatriotic ; but in view 
of the official statements of members of the Government, it 
is not easy to see how any self-respecting non-Magyar could 
give his support to the present regime. 

On June 2, 1906, the Premier, Dr. Wekerle, openly announced 
in the House, that he was not in a position to fulfil the lin- 
guistic clauses of the Law of Nationalities, especially that affect- 
ing legal decisions.^^ 

A few days later Baron Banffy pleaded the cause of " the 
Magyar national State " before a sympathetic House, and 
argued that the Law of Nationalities must only be carried 
out in such a manner as shall not endanger this national 
character. ^^ He protested against linguistic concessions in 
the commune, on the ground that these would inevitably 
lead to similar concessions in county and central government ; 
and this objection to the minimum of concession saved him 
from the necessity of condemning the whole law, the more 
so as he already knew it to be a dead letter. On July 11 
of the same year Banffy attempted to defend his " system " 
against the attacks of the Roumanian and Slovak deputies. 
" The legal State," he declared, " is the aim, but with this ques- 
tion we can only concern ourselves when we have already assured 
the national State. . . . Hungary's interests demand its 
erection on the most extreme Chauvinist lines." ^^ A year 
later Baron Banffy spoke still more openly upon the racial 
question. "In a peaceful manner this question cannot be 
solved. An understanding cannot be reached between us ; 
for we wish the unitary Magyar national State, while they 
wish the polyglot State, with equal rights of the nationalities." ^' 

^3* See Indemnity debate, June 2, 1906/fully reported in Pester Lloyd. 

'^^ See ibid. June 5, 1906. 

33« See Pester Lloyd, July ii, 1906. 

^" October 31, 1907 (see Pester Lloyd of November i). "The Na- 
tionalities," he added, " are wrong if they complain of unjust treat- 
ment. The Law of Nationalities, it is true, secures to them more rights 



Baron Binffy's violent and tortuous policy has gradually 
alienated all his followers ; but his pronouncements on the 
racial question are always sure of a favourable reception from 
a majority in the House. ^^ 

Count Julius Andrassy, the Minister of the Interior, in an 
important speech on the racial question (November 27, 1906), 
described the policy of the nationalities as " dangerous, anti- 
national and hostile to the State, and refused to recognize 
their existence as a party, because he knew their " poUtical 
aims to conflict with ' the idea of the Magyar State.' " ^^ 
Andrassy went on to admit that the principles embodied 
in the Law of Nationalities had been abandoned by subsequent 
legislation, and assured the nationalities that they themselves 
were to blame for the fact that this law " will shortly have 
to be repealed." He closed with the following definition of 
poUcy : " Kindness and justice toward the masses, but 
pitiless severity in the prosecution of the agitators." 

Six months later Count Andrassy expressed himself even 
more uncompromisingly. On May 25, 1907 (in answer to 

than they actually enjoy, hut that is a consequence of those numerous new 
laws which subsequently abrogated various provisions of the Law of Na- 
tionalities." On January i, 1908, he again declared a compromise to 
be impossible. " Without Chauvinism," he said, " nothing can be 
achieved." i 

*«8 Even so eminent a statesman as Count Stephen Tisza holds equally 
extreme views on the racial question. On January 16, 1905, he spoke as 
follows at a public banquet in Budapest : "A cardinal condition for 
the enjoyment of rights by other nationalities is that the citizens of other 
nationalities should recognize unreservedly that this state is the Magyar 
state (a Magyar allam), that state which the political unitary Magyar 
nation has created. . . . The Magyar nation, as soon as it recovered 
its autonomy, as soon as we had a national administration, assured to the 
nationalities in the Law of 1868 very far-reaching rights. I hold that 
the nation was right in this. But it did this on the assumption that by 
the concession of such wide rights it would bind the citizens of non- 
Magyar tongue to itself by ties of love and devotion. And this policy 
can only be justified so long as this assumption proves itself true for 
at least the main body of our citizens of foreign tongue. And should 
we (which God forbid) once more become convinced that this was a sad 
illusion, that the majority of the citizens of non-Magyar tongue had 
united against us in a campaign which was hostile to our political and 
national aims, then this policy would lose its inner justification. The 
Magyar nation has never given a binding promise to maintain this law 
for all time, or not to alter it . . . when conditions alter and when we per- 
ceive that through this law we grant to our opponents rights against our- 

3»» See Pester Lloyd, November 27, 1906. 





an interpellation of Dr. Vaida on electoral corruption), he 
openly admitted the racial question in Hungary to be one 
of brute force. The aims of the nationaUties, he argued, 
could only be attained, and if once attained could only be 
defended, by blood and revolution ; for " a situation which 
is opposed to the wishes and interests of the Magyar nation 
and of the strongest factors in the country wiU always be 
untenable." ^ 

Perhaps, however, the most striking pronouncement of 
recent years upon the racial question is that of the ex-Premier 
Mr. Coloman SzeU, who had hitherto enjoyed a reputation 
for tolerance and moderation. Speaking on June 21, 1908, 
at the annual Congress of the Magyar Cultural Leagues, Mr. 
SzeU described " the unitary Magyar State " as the foremost 
aim of Hungarian policy, in the furtherance of which every 
statesman is intransigent. " Every citizen," he declared, 
" is equal before the law, with the single limitation regarding 
language which is demanded by poUtical unity and the unity 
of administration and justice." The non-Magyars are free 
to develop their own language and culture ; only one thing 
is asked of them — that they should declare themselves ad- 
herents of " the idea of the Magyar State." In short, " this 
country must first be preserved as a Magyar country, and 
then it must be cultured, rich, enlightened and progressive." ^^ 

At a banquet which followed the congress. Count Apponyi, 
the Minister of Education, endorsed the speech of Mr. SzeU 
with the assertion that " an energetic national policy " alone 
can solve the racial question in Hungary. As this statesman 
argued on another occasion,'*^ it always has been and still is 
a tradition in Hungary to create a unitary Magyar nation. 
No one will deny the energy with which the Coalition Govern- 
ment has persecuted the nationaUties ; for it has ecUpsed even 
the records of Coloman Tisza and the first Wekerle adminis- 
tration. But this persecution has only served to fan the flame 
of national feeling among the non-Magyar races ; and the 
unrest and discontent is greater to-day than it has been for 
over a generation past.^^ 

'" Count Andrassy's astounding speech on the Csernova massacre 
is referred to on p. 343. 

^** See full report of this speech in Pester Lloyd, June 22, 1908. 

*" See speech in defence of his own Education Act, April 13, 1907. 
(See full report in Pester Lloyd.) 

*" The Budapesti Hirlap of April 8, 1908, discusses in a leading article 
the true meaning of the word " reaoiion " : " Charles Kerkapoly 



The material progress made by Hungary during the past 
forty years has been little short of marvellous.^** New means 
of communication have been opened up in all directions ; new 
methods of agriculture have been introduced in many districts, 
even if in others the soil is still managed on the most primitive 
principles. Banks and public institutions of every kind have 
sprung into existence. Though the county administration 
still remains mediaeval under a transparent veil of modernism, 
the old system of elected judges has been swept away and re- 
placed by a system of justice more suited to the require- 
ments of the world of to-day. Meanwhile vast strides have 
been made in education, even despite the unjust attempt to 
restrict all progress to a single race and language. But the 
very variety and number of the reforms required to convert 
Hungary into a modem state acted as a fatal temptation to 
the true Magyar. Instead of sharing in the industrial revival 
of his country as the great Szechenyi would have had him, he 
left mere commerce to the Jew, and devoted himself to the 
more aristocratic pursuit of politics, with the result that in 
the twentieth century trade, finance and journalism have well- 
nigh become a Jewish monopoly in Hungary. The Magyar 
passion for legality, of which Hungarian history supplies so 
many instances and which found its loftiest expression in 
Francis Deak, has steadily degenerated under the corroding 

declared as follows in 1894 — ' ... I do not regard reaction as under 
all circumstances criminal or reprehensible. Since reaction is generally 
merely a negation of a hostile action, it is natural that if that action 
is justifiable (helyes), reaction is criminal, but if that action is inad- 
missible, reaction is a duty.' In this way Kerkapoly treats the question 
from its theoretical side. On its practical side the attitude of the 
nationalist agitators throws greater light. Their behaviour makes it 
quite clear to us that there are indeed such actions against which 
reaction is a duty. When we see that they merely use those laws which 
the nation passed to appease them, in order to make a breach in the 
national unity ; when that which was given for the sake of peace, is 
used as a weapon against us, (etc.) . . . Then we understand very 
well, what is inadmissible (helytelen) action, and — let them convince 
themselves — we shall also understand what is justifiable reaction." ' 

'** It is only necessary to open any English or German book of 
travel in Hungary forty or sixty years ago, in order to realize the truly 
mediaeval condition of the Hungary of that date. Even to-day the 
towns of Hungary impress the; traveller as mere glorified villages, 
essentially provincial in their dull monotony ; and indeed those of 
which this is least true are those where Magyar influences are weakest. 
Budapest, upon which the Magyars have lavished all their efforts, can 
only be regarded as a magnificent exception. 



influence of racial Chauvinism into a mere passion for legal 
forms ; and to-day the worst crimes of political tyranny are 
committed in the name of the law by its own officers. 

Since the Ausgleich, everything has favoured the Magyars — 
their strong central position in the country ; their league with 
the dominant German party in Austria ; the approval of the 
Polish aristocracy in Gahcia ; the favour of the Court and the 
support of Bismarck and the Triple Alliance ; and last but 
not least the active adherence of the Jews and international 
Finance. But the suddenness with which complete success 
followed apparent ruin, seems to have destroyed all sense of 
proportion in the Magyars : and to-day it is part of every 
Magyar's political creed that the non-Magyar races are mere 
" foreigners," who must be assimilated as rapidly as possible. 
Undeterred by the manifest impossibility of six million human 
beings assimilating other seven million, the Magyars have 
pursued the phantom of a " national Magyar state," and have 
employed every means in their power to crush out the resistance 
of the other races to what they regard as their " superior cul- 
ture." The natural result has been that they find themselves 
to-day, at a critical moment of their history, ringed round by 
hostile races, whom the bitter memory of past wrongs renders 
adverse to compromise. 

Meanwhile the non-Magyars, shut out from every public 
profession, deliberately set themselves to build up an independ- 
ent economic position. Starting at zero, they were long un- 
successful against the competition of Magyarized Jewish firms 
and the unfair favouritism of the Government ; but the self- 
sacrifice of many a gallant but unknown pioneer is beginning 
to bear fruit. Judged by the standards of Lombard Street, 
the Roumanian and Slovak banks and credit-institutions, 
the few factories owned by men of national sentiment, are very 
insignificant ; but such as they are they are now self-support- 
ing and independent of Jewish finance. The activity of the 
Roumanian banks — especially the Albina — in advancing loans 
to the peasantry of Transylvania, is creating an increasing 
proprietary class hostile to Magyar predominance ; and the 
scandalous manner in which the authorities forbid Roumanian 
communes to invest money in Roumanian banks, ^ only serves 

^*5 In September 1907 the county assembly of Temes forbade the 
communal assemblies within its jurisdiction to invest any of their funds 
in nationalist banks. Seven communes petitioned the Minister of the 
Interior against this ; but their complaint w^s rejected, and the decision 
of the county upheld. See Pester Lloyd, 15 Sept. 1907. 



to intensify the feeling. At the same time the returned Slovak 
emigrants who have saved money in the United States, are 
steadily acquiring small holdings in Hungary and helping to 
propagate ideas of freedom and nationaUty among their neigh- 
bours. The growth of Slovak banks since 1900 ^^ has been 
specially remarkable, and though stiU trifling compared with the 
large Jewish and Magyar institutions of North Hungary, they are 
none the less able to hold their own and extend their business. 
These two parallel movements hold within them more than 
one secret of future development, and help to explain the des- 
perate efforts of the Magyar caste to retain their political 
monopoly. From the very first they realized the difficulty 
of assimilating the Roumanians, but it is only in the last few 
years that they have condescended to speak of " a Slovak 
danger." This danger has come to them from America. Dur- 
ing the past generation many thousands of Slovak peasants 
have emigrated to the United States, carrying with them feel- 
ings of bitterness and resentment towards the authorities of 
their native land. They speedily learned to profit by the free 
institutions of their adopted country, and to-day the 400,000 
Slovaks of America possess a national culture and organiza- 
tion which present a striking contrast to the cramped develop- 
ment of their kinsmen in Hungary. There are more Slovak 
newspapers in America than in Hungary ; ^^ but the Magyars 
seek to redress the balance by refusing to deliver these Ameri- 
can journals through the Hungarian post office. Everywhere 
among the emigrants leagues, societies and clubs flourish 
undisturbed — notably the American Slovak League (Ndrodnie 
Slovensky spolok), the Cathohc Zednota (Unity) and the 
women's league 2ivena. These societies do all in their 
power to awaken Slovak sentiment, and contribute materially 
to the support of the Slovak press in Hungary. The 
self-confidence and manly independence of the returned 
emigrants contrasts with the pessimism and passivity of the 
older generation, and they are doing much to leaven the 
Slovak population with new ideas of hberty and justice. The 
alarm with which the Government views this movement was 
revealed by its summary action against Francis Pollakovic, 
a young American citizen, in the autumn of 1907.^*^ 

''" See Appendix xiii. 

^" The first was the Amerikdnsko-SlovensM Noviny in 1886. The 
two chief centres of Slovak hfe in America are Pittsburg and Cleveland. 
^** See Appendix xxiv. 



Whilst national feeling is growing stronger among the 
nationalities, and is fanned into flame by the Magyars' insane 
policy of persecution, the position of the ruling caste is threat- 
ened in the rear by a still graver danger. For the native Mag- 
yar peasantry has been estranged by long years of neglect, 
and can now no longer be relied upon by its masters. The 
veiled feudalism which still prevails in the Alfold, offered a 
fertile soil for Socialist propaganda ; and although the pure 
doctrine of Marx or of Proudhon is never likely to strike root 
amid a population whose foremost ambition is to own the soil, 
the new ideas are none the less a source of grave danger to 
the existing governmental system and must in the long run 
play havoc with parties committed to the reactionary class 
legislation of Daranyi and Kossuth. The Chauvinist frenzy 
of the upper classes is almost unknown among the Magyar 
peasantry, who bear no ill-feeling towards the nationalities 
and are perfectly content to Uve and let live. Nothing illus- 
trates this contrast more strikingly than the fact that the non- 
Magyar leaders have been invited to address mass meetings 
of Magyar peasants ; and they would undoubtedly have been 
greeted with applause and sympathy, had not the Govern- 
ment seen fit to impose its veto upon the scheme. 

The Magyar clique, then, would seem to be at the end 
of their resources. The situation in Austria and in Europe is 
no longer favourable to their pretensions, and the introduction 
of universal suffrage cannot be postponed much longer. Count 
Andr^ssy's project for paralyzing this reform by a complicated 
system of plural voting is scarcely likely to obtain the monarch's 
sanction, and will almost certainly lead to internal convulsions 
such as preceded the great Reform Bill of 1832. The only hope 
for Hungary lies in an extension of the franchise to the nation- 
alities and to the working classes, both of whom have hitherto 
been virtually excluded from political life by the narrowness 
of the franchise and the corrupt manner in which it is adminis- 
tered. Under the stress of a new danger, the process by which 
Coloman Tisza and his Left Centre united with the moderate 
Decik Party, is repeating itself to-day. The Coalition during 
its period of office has realized that the means at its disposal 
are insufficient for the attainment of the Personal Union, and 
indeed that its attainment might possibly prove fatal to the 
country. The masterstroke of Mr. Kristoffy and his sovereign 
in advocating Universal Suffrage has thrown the Coalition 
upon the defensive, and at present it»is endeavouring to fuse 



into a single whole the followers of Kossuth, Apponyi, Andrassy, 
and Rakovszky, as a preliminary step towards a desperate 
struggle of the privileged classes which these statesmen repre- 
sent, against the impatient proletariat of classes and races. 
Whether even the dangers of the situation will promote the 
fusion of such uncongenial elements is a problem which only 
the future can solve. 

The present volume appears at a critical moment in the 
history of Hungary, and the uncertainty of the future warns 
me to abstain from further speculation. In the follo\\dng 
seven chapters I propose to pass in review the chief institutions 
of Hungary in so far as they affect the racial question ; and 
I hope to prove that in matters of education, administration 
and justice, of association and assembly, of the franchise and 
the press, the non-Magyar nationalities are the victims of 
a policy of repression which is without any parallel in civilized 


E. MaUk. 

A Slovak Village Church. 
(The Lutheran Church of Velka Paluuza.) 


The Education Laws of Hungary and the 

" Un peuple parle toujours la langue qu'il veut parler." 


STATE education in Hungary may be said to date from the 
year 1867, and even at the present day the majority of 
schools, both primary and secondary, are controlled by the 
various Churches. Nowhere on the Continent do sectarian 
divisions exercise so great an influence upon educational prob- 
lems as in Hungary. While in Austria the entire population 
is Catholic, with the exception of half a million Protestants : 
in Hungary great diversity of rehgious belief prevails. This 
can best be shown in tabular form : — 



1869 319 


1 869-1900 

Roman Catholic 

. 6,215,251-45-8 . 

. 8,136,108-48-7% 

.. 30-9% 

Greek Catholic , 

• 1,583,043-117 • 

. 1,830,815-10-9% 

•• 157% 

Greek Oriental . 

. 2,067,778-15-2 . 

. 2,187,242-13-1 %, 

.. 5-8% 


. 1,096,184- 80 . 

. 1,250,285- 7-5%, 

.. 14-1% 


• 2,017,391-14-9 . 

• 2,409,975-14-4% 

•• 19-5% 

Unitarian . 

54»345- "4 • 

67,988- -4% 

•• 25-1% 

Jewish .... 

• 542,257- 4-0 • 

. 826,222- 49% 

.. 52-4% 

Other sects . 



Total population . 


. 16,721,574 

Note. — For this chapter the following principal v/orks have been con 
suited : Ungarische Landesgeseizsammlung (Amtliche Ausgabe) 
for 1868, 1879, 1883, 1884, 1891, 1893, 1907 ; Das Ungarische 
Untervichtswesen (Reports of Minister of Education to Parliament), 
1877 onwards ; L'Enseignemeni en Hongrie (published by Minister 
of Education), 1900 ; Education in Hungary (issued gratis at the 
Hungarian Exhibition in London, 1908, on behalf of the Ministry 
of Education ; and Ungarisches Statistisches Jahrhuch (an annual 
official publication, from which all my statistical Appendices are 
^*» Exclusive of Croatia-Slavonia, where educational conditions are 

different. Here in 1900, 71-2 per cent, of the population was Roman 

Catholic, 25-5 per cent. Orthodox. 

^^° From this it appears that the Catholics and the Jews have thrived 



Under such circumstances any wholesale scheme of national 
education is well-nigh impossible, even if the financial situation 
of Hungary would permit it. 

Till the beginning of the eighteenth century, all schools re-, 
mained exclusively in the hands of the clergy of the various 
denominations. In 1715 the King was entrusted with the 
supreme supervision of education, and a special department 
for religion and education was created in the newly formed 
Palatinal Council. To Maria Theresa is due the first genuine 
attempt at educational reform ; all schools were grouped 
under three classes,^^ and nine school districts were formed, 
under the general control of the Palatinal Council. But 
attendance was not made obligatory, and the scheme was only 
partially enforced. Joseph II, whose lofty idealism sought 
to achieve by a single arbitrary decree results which could only 
be attained by a century of evolution, ordered the compulsory 
attendance of all children between the ages of six and twelve 
under needlessly severe penalties, and ventured upon the dan- 
gerous experiment of mixed (or interdenominational) schools. 

- Not content with this, he insisted upon German as the 
universal language of instruction, and thus kindled into flame 
the dormant national sentiment of the other races of his Empire. 
His successor Leopold II at the eventful Diet of 1790-1, re- 
stored to the Churches their former control of education, made 

— the Magyar language an obligatory subject of instruction, and 
appointed a commission to draw up a new educational law. 
But the Napoleonic wars supervened, and all soon fell back 
into the old grooves. A further scheme of education {Ratio 
Educationis) was published in 1806, but, except that German 

• was no longer made an obligatory subject, no change of any 
importance was introduced. Though the various sects dis- 
played praiseworthy activity in improving secondary educa- 
tion, and a less admirable zeal for Magyarization, the state took 
no further steps till the year 1845, when a royal decree known 
as the " Systema Scolarum " was published in the name of 
Ferdinand V. By it, primary schools were divided into two 
classes, roughly corresponding to board schools and grammar 
schools : the obligation on the part of commimes and land- 
lords to found schools was more closely defined ; and special 
institutions were erected for the instruction of teachers. In 

most under the new regime. This helps to explain the undoubted fact 
that the CathoUc Church and the Jews form to-day the two chief bul- 
warks of Magyar Chauvinism. 

"^ L'Enseignement en Hongrie, p. 65. 



1848, Baron Joseph Eotvos was entrusted with the portfolio 
of education in the Batthydny Cabinet, but the outbreak of 
hostihties prevented even the discussion of his educational 
reforms. The system introduced during the fifties by Count 
Leo Thun has already been referred to elsewhere, and it would 
be unprofitable to discuss it further, since it was entirely abro- 
gated in i860. Unfortunately nothing definite was put in its 
place, and thus it is not too much to say that by the year 
1867, when the constitution was at length restored, Hungarian 
education was in a state of chaos bordering upon anarchy. 

A very brief statistical summary will make this clear to the 
reader. In 1869,^2 while Hungary had a population of 
13,579,129,^^ there were only 13,646 primary schools in exist- 
ence or I to every 995 inhabitants ; and of these hardly any 
were fully equipped with the necessary teaching appliances. 
Many of the buildings were overcowded, insanitary or even too 
dilapidated for use : 1,598 communes were without a school 
of any kind, and of the total number of children liable to 
attend under the new act, barely 48 per cent, actually at- 
tended. ^^ What was perhaps worst of all, there were only 
17,792 teachers, of whom as many as 4,308 or 24 per cent., 
were without diplomas. In other words, there was only one 
qualified teacher to every 170 children liable to attend school, 
and to every 81 actually attending. Considering that large 
numbers of teachers received a salary less than the wages 
of a common labourer, it is hardly to be wondered at that 
many of them followed other callings as well as that of school- 
master ; but it is obvious that this cannot have increased 
their efficiency. The natural result of all this was that at 
the census of 1869, 63 per cent, of the population was entirely 
illiterate, and that another 97 per cent, could read but could 
not write. Under such circumstances it was obvious to any 
person of average intelligence that the crying needs of Hun- 
garian education were reorganization, efficient teaching and an 
increased staff, and that among a population so backward 
and illiterate normal conditions could only be attained through 
the medium of the mother tongue. As an official Hungarian 

"* The first year in which proper statistical data are obtainable. 
Throughout this chapter all facts and statistics refer to Hungary 
proper, exclusive of Croatia-Slavonia, which has an autonomous system 
of education. 

353 Ung_ Stat. Jahrhuch, ix. p. i6. 

'*♦ Only 1,093,077 out of 2,304,887. 

207 * 


publication justly observes,^ this is the dominant idea of the 
Primary Education Act introduced in 1868 by Baron Eotvos, 
who now resumed the portfolio of education after an interreg- 
num of nineteen years. 

Any attempt to nationalize the schools was clearly quite 
outside the realm of practical politics, since the necessary funds f 
were not at the disposal of the state, and since in any case 
public opinion was in no sense prepared for such a step. The 
reformer was met at every turn by the jealously -guarded claims 
of Church autonomy ; and an educational system had to be 
devised which contains the maximum of uniformity and effi- 
ciency compatible with respect for this autonomy. The two 
main principles of the Act were (a) compulsory education 
between the ages of six and twelve (with continuation classes 
up to the age of fifteen) and (&) obligatory erection of schools by 

^^* L' Enseignement en Hongris (Min. Roy. des cultes et de I'instruction 
publique), Budapest, 1900, pp. 94-5. The writer, however, signifi- 
cantly fails to add that the educational policy of the past thirty years 
is a direct negation of any such idea. This book, which forms one of 
the chief authorities for this chapter, was compiled for the instruction 
of the foreign public. It must be used with the very greatest caution, 
for it contains misrepresentations on many important points. Perhaps 
the most startling of these is to be found on p. 71, where we read, 
" Aujourd'hui encore cette loi (i.e., Law on Primary Education, 
xxxviii. 1868) subsiste dans toute son etendue." This is directly 
untrue of §§116-32, 136, 137, which are expressly annulled by § 8, 
xxviii. 1878, and of the important § 58 which is superseded by various 
paragraphs of the Law of 1879; it is also untrue of §§ i, 4, 27, 34, 36, 
81 and of parts of the highly important § 11, all of which remain 
a dead letter. 

In referring to the higher primary schools (biirgerliche Schulen) 
it adroitly escapes from an indefensible position as follows : " Le 
principe des §§ 57, 58 est que tout eleve recoive I'instruction dans 
sa langue maternelle. Toute fois le ministre a . . . le devoir et le 
droit de fixer la langue d 'enseignement dans les ecoles primaires superi- 
eures. Ainsi dans toutes ces ecoles la langue d'enseignement est le 
hongrois (i.e. Magyar) exclusivement." . . . Comment is needless. 

In this connexion I may refer to another equally misleading official 
publication entitled The Millenium of Hungary, ed. by Joseph de 
Jekelfalussy Director of Roy. Hung. Statistical Office (Budapest), 1897. 
On p. 420 it is stated that " 80 per cent of our population speak 
Hungarian ' ' (he means of course Magyar) . This can only be a deliberate 
misstatement, for even at the next census 46 per cent. (8,946,834) 
knew no Magyar, according to the of&cial statistics, and last year Count 
Apponyi in an official report placed the percentage even higher. After 
such an example of this book's trustworthiness, we are not surprised 
to read that " Hungary " (by which he again means the Magyar race) 
" increases principally by virtue of its own strength of propagation ! " 

■ 208 



all communes where no denominational school already existed, 
and where at least thirty children were without any accommo- 
dation. Neither of these points has been properly enforced. 
In the first ten years of the new regime the number of illiter- 
ates was reduced by nearly 900,000, and the number of children 
attending no school fell from 52 to 21 per cent, of the total 
number of those liable. But as Magyaromania strengthened 
its hold upon educational policy, all efforts were concentrated 
on the Magyarization of secondary schools, and primary educa- 
tion was allowed to lag far behind. Since 1880 the number of 
children not attending school has steadily increased,^® and 
between 1900 and 1906 their proportion to the total number of 
children liable has actually risen from 18 to 24 per cent., 
even despite the ever-growing emigration of the last decade. 
In the same way there were in 1903 still about fifty communes 
which had no school at all, and the inadequate manner in which 
even the existing schools are supplied with teachers may 
be gathered from the fact that in 1906 there was only one 
properly qualified teacher to every 89 children in attendance,^' 
and that in the same year 247 schools (including ten State 
schools) remained partially closed owing to lack of teachers.^* 
The backward state of primary education which is revealed by 
these figures (and which is wholly eclipsed by the grim reality) 
must be directly ascribed to the policy of Magyarization. It is 
useless to erect schools unless there are teachers to fiU them, and 
since the Magyars only form half the population of Hungary, 
it is clear that the supply of Magyar-speaking teachers (and 
only such are now appointed) cannot be adequate for the needs 
of the population as a whole. The non-Magyar Churches are 
too poor to erect fresh schools in any numbers, and Church 
autonomy restricts each sect to the erection of schools among 
its own adherents. Hence the gaps can only be filled by State 
and communal schools, and as the former appoint exclusively 
Magyar, the latter mainly Magyar teachers, the increase of the 
teaching staff is necessarily slow, and only forty or fifty 
new schools can be erected every year. As at present there is 
only one school to every 190 children and one class-teacher 

*" In 1881, 463,339; in 1890, 466,757; in 1900, 552,628; in 1906, 

^*' 27,904 qualified teachers, Ung. Stat. Jahrbuch, xiv. p. 352 ; 2,507,916 
children liable, ibid., xiv. p. 339. 

^^* In addition 119 schools were partially closed owing to want of 
accommodation, and 1,817 "owing to other reasons," which are very 
naturally not specified. See Appendix vi.»6. 

R.P.H. 209 P 


(with or without diploma) to every 107 children liable, and as 
the proportion of schools and teachers to the land-population 
as distinct from the towns is even more alarming,^^ it is no 
exaggeration to maintain that primary education in Hungary 
is still chaotic, and in no way corresponds to western standards. 
Indeed the primary schools of Hungary must be compared not 
with those of Scandinavia, Scotland or Bohemia, but with 
those of Calabria and Portugal. 

So far as the nationalities are concerned, the most import- 
ant provision of the Act is contained in section 58, which lays 
down the broad principle of instruction in the mother tongue. 
In mixed communities, the post of schoolmaster is to be filled 
only by such persons as are qualified to teach in the languages 
of their pupils, and assistant teachers speaking the language 
of racial minorities are to be appointed so far as the means 
of the commune permit. ^^ This provision is reinforced by 
section 17 of the famous Law of Nationalities of the same year, 
which definitely pledges the State to supply all its citizens with 
instruction in the mother tongue " up to the point where the 
higher academic course begins." In other words, the State is 
to erect primary schools and gymnasiums with Slovak and 
Roumanian language of instruction. But almost from the 
first this clause has been ignored or openly violated. Not 
merely has the State never erected a single secondary school 
where the language of instruction is anything but Magyar, 
but it has even Magyarized some of the few existing non-Mag- 
yar gymnasiums, and those which it could not Magyarize, it 
tyrannously dissolved. The whole energy of the Magyars for 
a generation past has been devoted to the creation of a Magyar 
middle class, with which to feed officialdom and main- 
tain the Magyar predominance. Their chief instrument has 
been the secondary school, which has been skilfully adapted 
to the manufacture of renegades. As Bela Griinwald brutally 

**• E.g., in Maramaros Co., i teacher to 174 children liable, i school to 
250 ditto ; inCsik Co., i teacher to 141 children liable, i school to 285 
ditto ; in T. Aranyos Co., i teacher to 120 children liable, i school 
to 167 ditto ; in Jasz-Szolnok Co., i teacher to 138 children liable, 
I school to 404 ditto. ; and the difficulty is solved by the fact that 
only 43 per cent., 55 per cent., 57 per cent., and 66 per cent, respec- 
tively of the children liable actually attend. I have chosen one mixed 
county, one Magyar, one Roumanian, and the county containing the 
constituency for which the present minister of Education, Count 
Apponyi, has sat for twenty-six years. 

"» 1868, xxxviii. § 58. 



remarks : " The secondary school is like a huge machine, at 
one end of which the Slovak youths are thrown in by hundreds, 
and at the other end of which they come out as Magyars. " ^^ 
The process of assimilation went on merrily so long as there 
were more posts to fill than individuals to fill them. But a 
new stage has now been reached, when the renegades or Mag- 
yarones as they are called, are no longer welcome, and when 
competition is embittered by the overproduction of an edu- 
cated class ; and as this corresponds with a genuine economic 
revival among the non-Magyars, those who would have been 
turncoats or trimmers a generation ago, find fewer openings 
and a colder reception than their predecessors, and are thus 
tempted to remain loyal to their nationality. ^^ While the assi- 
milation of the non-Magyar " intelligence " is no longer making 
the same headway, the Government has gradually come to 
realize that in its efforts to create a middle class, a still more 
essential task has been neglected. On the intellectual and 
material progress of the Magyar peasantry of Central Hun- 
gary depends the permanence of the Magyar hegemony in the 
State ; yet since the Ausgleich so little has been done for them 
that the fever of emigration is decimating their ranks, and that 
the survivors are permeated by socialist doctrines and finally 
estranged from the " idea of the Magyar state " (a magyar 
dllam eszme). An anti-democratic franchise still conceals this 
fact from the superficial observer, but the knowledge embitters 
the life of the ruling caste and goads them into unwise measures 
of repression. 


The law of 1868 was of course passed by a House where 
the nationalities were practically unrepresented, and this proves 
effectually that Chauvinism had not yet gained a hold upon 
the majority, and that the liberal influence of Deak and Eotvos 
was strong enough to counteract the Jingoes of the Left. 
But what the nationalities had to expect in the near future 
became only too apparent from the intolerance with which they 
were treated by Coloman Tisza the Radical leader. On 
November 23, 1868, the future Premier declared that the 
nationalities must follow the Magyar proverb, " Be silent and 
pay" (csit, hallgas es fizes). When the Roumanian deputy 
Babes argued that " equal rights " and reciprocity would 

^^^ A Felvidek, p. 140. 

••* In this connection see Rudolf S^rixi.gQr,^rundlagen, pp. 67-8. 



vanish if the Magyar language were to be made compulsory 
in non-Magyar schools, and went on to claim not only 
the right of each commune to decide what language was to be 
employed in its school, but also the right of the non-Mag- 
yar schools to teach their own national history as well as 
that of Hungary as a whole, Tisza retorted that this would 
be contrary to the interests of Babes' own constituents, who 
ought to assimilate as quickly as possible with the Magyar 
section of the population. Besides, he added, the non-Mag- 
yars could not boast of any such thing as a " national history " ; 
and it was evident that Babes' intense hatred of the Magyars 
(which of course the speaker calmly assumed by way of effect) 
was due to the fact that he had always attended a German 
school, if indeed he ever visited a school at all ! This kind of 
rant from the lips of a serious statesman was hardly calculated 
to reassure the nationalities, and their suspicions soon proved 
to have been only too well founded.^*^ 

Eotvos himself may be described without risk of exaggeration 
as one of the most truly liberal statesmen of the nineteenth 
century, and the provisions of his Education Act are in every 
way worthy of their author. Unhappily he was removed by 
death in 1871, and his successors, though men of genuine cul- 
ture and ability, found the Chauvinist current too strong 
for them. Dedk, it is true, lived until February, 1876, but 
although he continued to exercise a permanent influence in all 
constitutional questions, he regarded the conclusion of the 
Ausgleich as the crowning achievement of his life, and reso- 
lutely declined to take an active share in politics under the 
new era. The racial intolerance which was spreading so 
rapidly in political circles, was in direct conflict with Deck's 
calm and dispassionate nature, which sought legal sanction fori 
every action, and which detested the idea that brute force j 
should decide in politics. His'speech at the opening of a Serbs 
gymnasium in Neusatz (Ujvidek) proves beyond all question ' 

'" This should be contrasted with the noble attitude of Deak towards! 
Rannicher the Saxon deputy. After the latter had vigorously protested! 
against the union of Transylvania with Hungary,Deak came over to him.j 
and shaking him by the hand said, not in Magyar, but in German :| 
" AUe Achtung vor einem solchen Deutschen ! " Alas ! such a scene! 
would be impossible in the present Hungarian Parliament, where thel 
non-Magyar deputies are frequently described as swine or traitors, 
and where a deputy of the standing of Mr. Ugron had the insolence to ; 
call Baron Aehrenthal an " ass." Oia sont les neiges d'antan ? 



that he utterly disapproved of a poHcy of Magyarization.'** 
But the views of Deak and Eotvos on the vital question of the 
nationalities were already regarded as antiquated by the 
majority of their followers. The star of Coloman Tisza was 
in the ascendant, the dream of a Magyar national State fired 
the imagination of public opinion, and the Law of Nation- 
alities within a few years of its adoption had already become 
a dead letter. In the autumn of 1874 the three gymnasia 
which the Slovaks had erected in the sixties by their own 
exertions, were dissolved by ministerial order, under the pre- 
text that they had fallen a prey to Panslav influences. No 
attempt was made to purge them of bad practices, no public 
inquiry was ordered, no report of the facts was ever published, 
and their endowments were confiscated with the calm brutality 
which characterizes a despotic government. Since that date 
the Slovaks have made more than one attempt to found a 
new gymnasium, with Slovak as the language of instruction, 
but the Government has steadily withheld its permission, not 
even shrinking from the violation of church autonomy to 
secure its end.^ 

^** Konyi, Dedk Ferencz Beszedei, vi., pp. 339-40. How soon Deak's 
policy was abandoned is best shown by the history of this very gym- 
nasium. In the debate of the Education Act of 1879 (sitting of May 3) 
Dr. Maximovi^, the Serb deputy, quoted the following passage from the 
Minister of Education's report : " The German, Serb, Dalmatian and 
Slovak pupils cause linguistic difi&culties only in the first class ; as 
early as the third class it is seldom necessary to use the German or 
Serb languages in addition to the Magyar." The Minister then adds, 
" The task with which this gymnasium is charged consists in Magyar- 
ization." Comment is needless. 

8*8 Not content with depriving the Slovaks of their schools, the autho- 
rities stamp out the slightest signs of national Slovak feeling among 
the Slovak pupils of Magyar gymnasia. A few examples of this will 
suffice. In June, 1886, eleven pupils were expelled by order of the 
Minister of Education from the gymnasium of Leutschau (Locse) for 
" Panslav intrigues " ; these were said to consist in reading Slovak 
books, singing Slovak songs, corresponding with dangerous " Pan- 
slavs," and receiving 150 roubles a month from Russian agents. In 
March, 1894, four youths were expelled from the Lutheran gymnasium 
in Kesmark, because they met together out of school hours to study 
and converse in their mother tongue ; in 1896 three others were ex- 
pelled for the same reason from Selmeczbanya. In December, 1900, 
six Slovaks were expelled from Eperjes Theological College, because 
they were photographed in a group and signed their names in Slovak 
on the photograph. In the spring of 1907 some Slovak boys were 
expelled from Rozsahegy gymnasium, because they spoke their native 
language " demonstratively " in the streets. 

In May, 1906, tliree young Slovak semtnaxists were expelled from 



While the clear letter of the law pledges the State to provide 
instruction in the mother tongue up to the commencement 
of a university career, in practice two million Slovaks have for a 
whole generation been illegally deprived of the most necessary 
means of culture ; and of the thirty-nine gymnasia and 
Realschulen in the Slovak counties not a single one provides 
instruction in the language of the people. The plight of the 
Ruthenes is equally cruel, for they too have no gymnasium, 
and their lamentably backward state has been increased by 
the ruthless Magyarization of their primary schools, in all but 
twenty-one of which " instruction " is imparted in the 
Magyar language. Compared to these two races, and to 
the scattered German population of West and South Hun- 
gary, the Serbs and Roumanians are more favourably 

the Pazmaneum (the famous Hungarian Cathohc theological college 
in Vienna) for their Slovak national sentiments. Their offence con- 
sisted in associating with a Slovak teacher in Vienna, in corresponding 
with Father Juriga, the Slovak leader, and in removing from the re- 
fectory reading table a copy of the clerical Alkotmdny, which attacked 
the Slovak press. (See Budapesti Hirlap,Ma,y i8and 19, 1906.) Alkot- 
mdny of May 20, 1906, published a declaration by the seminarists of 
the Pazmdneum ; this gave the following four reasons for the expulsion : 
(a) The three Slovaks " formed a special group, in which they aired 
their favourite views and drew suspicion on themselves by their somewhat 
retiring manners " (valamint tart6zkod6 modoruk altal a gyanut magu- 
kra vontak) ; {b) Yet they propagated Slovak national ideas, and 
one of them (Gaspar^ik) openly admitted this, so that inquiry was 
unnecessary, though it actually was held, (c) They were in direct 
intercourse with Juriga and Jehlicska, " which is in itself a sufficient 
reason for expulsion from an institute which aims at training patriotic 
pupils." (d) " Though in the institution every foreign language is for- 
bidden, they smuggled in Mr. Stefanek and talked Slovak with him." 
(Here again Slovak is treated as a foreign language ! Cp. p. 87.) 
Qui s'excuse, s'accuse. 

None of the expelled students were heard in their own defence. 
Mr. Gaspar^ik, in particular, was one of the ablest students of his time 
at the Pazmaneum, and received from the Rector a letter characterizing 
his " mores optimos et pietatem insignem." He is now priest of one 
of the Slovak congregations in the United States. (Mr. Rovnanek, 
the Slovak American millionaire, was originally expelled for similar 
reasons from the seminary of Esztergom.) The intolerable feature 
of the incident is that Slovak youths who wish to enter the Church 
are obliged to pass through a Magyar institution, as there is no Slovak 
seminary in existence. Thus from the very first they are driven to 
suppress their natural sentiments, lest they should be debarred from 
the career which they have chosen ; while study of their native lan- 
guage — the language of the people to whom they are to minister in 
after life— earns them the reputation of Panslavs 



placed, owing to the national character of their Churches, 
and thus six of their secondary schools have so far survived 
the onslaughts of Magyarization.^^ But needless to say, 
in their case also the State has never even dreamt of carry- 
ing out its obligations. In a word, the non-Magyars of to- 
day (according to the official statistics) form 48 'd per cent, 
of the population of Hungary proper ; but out of the 169 
gymnasiums and the thirty-two Realschulen of Hungary only 
7'i and 12 '5 per cent, respectively are non-Magyar, while 
of the eighty-nine secondary schools directly controlled by 
the State, ^' none at all are non-Magyar, and only one is even 
mixed. Those who are accustomed to western notions of law 
and order will doubtless be surprised at so glaring a contrast 
between theory and practice ; but when they discover similar 
discrepancies in paragraph after paragraph of the most funda- 
mental laws of the country, they will be tempted to throw 
doubt upon the liberal nature of Hungarian institutions, and 
to endorse the mordant phrase of Sennyey and of Polit — 
" Nous sommes en pleine Asie." 


The great revival of national feeling among the Balkan 
peoples in the seventies awakened many echoes in the Dual 
Monarchy. The outcome of the Russo-Turkish War, the laurels 
won by Roumania at Plevna, and above all the accept- 
ance by Austria-Hungary of a European mandate in Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, caused great alarm and excitement among 
the Magyars. So thoroughly did they consign their own past 
history to oblivion, that they presented a well-known Turkish 
general with a sword of honour and sentenced Mr. Miletic, the 
leader of the Hungarian Serbs to five years' imprisonment for 
advocating war against an " allied nation." The Press clam- 
oured for the adoption of more decided measures to ensure the 
hegemony of the Magyar race, and attacked the Tisza Cabinet 
for its complaisant attitude in the Eastern Question. Under 
these circumstances the Government threw a sop to Cerberus 

^'* On July 22, 1889, the Roumanian Bishop of Nagj'varad was or- 
dered by the Minister to introduce the Magyar language of instruction 
into the Roumanian Gymnasium of Belenyes (founded in 1826 by 
private effort). The Government has on more than one occasion 
refused permission to the Bishop of Arad to erect a Roumanian gj'm- 
nasium in Karansebes or in Arad. 

"' i.e., State, Royal Catholic, and Conyiiunal. 



in the shape of a new Education Act, which made Httle or no 
attempt to conceal its Magyarizing tendencies. 

The new law (XVUI. 1879) commenced by assuming the 
necessity that opportunity should be offered to every citizen 
of acquiring the Magyar language as the " language of State," 
and then proceeded, by a curiously illogical process of reasoning, 
to make the Magyar language compulsory in every primary 
school in the country. Henceforth no one can obtain a teaching 
diploma or be appointed to the post of schoolmaster, unless he 
can show a sufficient knowledge of Magyar to be capable of 
teaching it in a primary school (§§ 2-3). The non-Magyar 
teachers can only obtain their diplomas if the State inspector 
of schools certifies their thorough knowledge of the Magyar 
language (§ 6) ; the inspector acquires an absolute power, 
and all the many qualifications of a teacher are made to 
depend upon one alone. The teachers' institutes belonging 
to the non-Magyar Churches are thus subjected to a control 
from which similar institutions, if only they are Magyar in 
character, are exempted ; and a direct inroad is thus made 
upon the legally guaranteed autonomy of the various denomin- 
ations. Not merely must the Magyar language be taught in 
all the primary schools of Hungary, but the Minister of Edu- 
cation is given power to decide the number of hours in the week 
which are to be devoted to it (§ 4). In the event of failure 
to meet the requirements of the new act, the Minister is em- 
powered either to close the faulty non-Magyar institution, or to 
order the erection of a rival communal school (§ 6, alinea 
3, 4), where of course the language of instruction would be 

To the superficial observer such provisions may not at 
first sight appear at all unreasonable, and if he discusses the 
matter with a Magyar friend, he will be met with the argu- 
ment that in Hungary every one must know " Hungarian," 
just as in Italy every one knows Italian, and in England every 
one knows English. Even if he notices the fallacious parallel 
between force of circumstances and compulsion by law, he 
will, unless he is familiar with the situation in Hungary, fail 
to detect the unwarrantable use of the word "jHungarian " to 
describe the Magyar language. As a matter of fact, one might 
with equal fairness insist that all natives of India should know 
the " Indian," all natives of Switzerland the " Swiss " lan- 
guage ; this is a logical reductio ad dbsurdum of one of the 
standard arguments in defence of Magyarization. Meanwhile 


THE ACT OF 1879 

the very men who employ this argument will, when the 
occasion serves, disclaim all idea of Magyarization.^^ But no 
one who has studied the Hungarian Statistical Year Book, 
still less the debates on the Act of 1879, could be deceived by 
such a disclaimer. These debates will initiate the future his- 
torian into the mysteries of the Magyar psychology ; but for 
my present purpose a few random instances must suffice. 
The well-known deputy Helfy (formerly Heller) boldly asserted : 
" There should be no nationalities, but only a Magyar nation.'^* 
. . . We cannot renounce the development of our nation 
and our State merely in order not to embitter the nation- 
alities " ^'" — a typical specimen of the confused reasoning of 
Magyar politicians, who are still incapable of distinguishing 
between the Magyar race and the Hungarian nation. Mada- 
rasz argued from the Law of Nationalities (!), " that the Magyar 
nationality is the political nation, and hence Hungary is not a 
polyglot hut a Magyar state !"^'^ No one, he asserted amid general 
approval, who^desired not only a free and independent Hungary 
but also a Magyar state, could vote against this bill. Orban, 
after calmly contrasting the modest claims of the Magyars with 
the action of the English, " who have violently Anglicized ten 
million Irishmen and Scotsmen " (sic) ^^^ proceeds to give the 
non-Magyars a foretaste of the future by asserting that the 
new law will only be effective if beside the Magyar-speaking 
teacher is placed the Magyar-feeling and Magyar-speaking 
priest. When the Roumanian deputy Cosma described the 
new policy as an attempt " to Magy arize the non-Magyar 
races at all costs with iron and fire," he was greeted with cries 
of assent and approval from the House ; and the same applause 
followed the complaint of Mr. Mocsary (the only Magyar who 
took the side of the Nationalities) that the Bill was merely 
a stage in progressive Magy arization. As Helfy frankly con- 

"* This at least has frequently been my own experience in conversa- 
tion with Magyars. 

"* " Ne legyenek nemzetisegek, de legyen magyar nemzet" {Orszdg- 
gyiiles kepvizelohdzdnak Naploja, 1879, v. p. 298). 

^'^ See Magyarisirung in Ungarn, p. 156, which is an accurate German 
translation of the stenographic report of the debates on the law of 1879. 

^'^ Hogy Magyarorszagon a magyar nemzetiseg a politikai nemzet ; 
tehat ez nem polyglott allam, hanem magyar allam, {O.K.N., 1879, v. 
p. 271). 

"* A man who talks in this strain cannot expect to be taken seri- 
ously. As a patriotic Scotsman, I can assure the many Magyars who 
still believe such fantastic assertions, that they are very lucky in having 
to deal with Slovaks, and not with Scotsnsien and Irishmen. 



fessed, the Magyars " were only at the beginning of that which 
they wished to attain," and the general opinion of the House 
was that the Bill did not go nearly far enough. 

Nothing however shows more strikingly the Magyarizing 
tendencies of education than the system which has been fol- 
lowed in the erection of State primary schools. In 1906 
there were 2,046 State schools in existence, but although they 
were attended by 117,746 non-Magyar children, the language 
of instruction in all save one was exclusively Magyar ! In 
many cases care has been taken to appoint as teachers men who 
know no language save the Magyar, so that there may be 
no danger of the mother tongue claiming its share in the in- 
struction ; and no knowledge of the rules of pedagogy is 
required in order to imagine the lamentable results. Indeed 
a not unknown solution of the difficulty is that teacher and 
'pupils absent themselves by mutual consent, and swell the 
vast number of those who attend no school. Meanwhile, to 
such lengths has the State carried its Magyaromania, that the 
pure Magyar districts of Central Hungary have been scandal- 
ously neglected. While the eleven Roumanian counties con- 
tain 22 per cent., and the seven Slovak counties 11 per cent, 
of all the State schools of Hungary, on the other hand the nine 
Magyar counties and four of the largest Magyar towns to- 
gether only boast of 6 per cent. In other words, State pri- 
mary schools are generally erected in non-Magyar and mixed 
districts, where they may serve to develop Magyar patriotism 
and to extend by artificial means the boundaries of the Magyar 
race. For, as a candid official writer significantly admits, 
" the primary school is one of the most powerful means of 
consolidating the Magyar national state." ^'' 

373 << L'^cole primaire constitue en Hongrie un des plus puissants 
moyens de consolidation de I'etat national hongrois " (here he of 
course means Magyar, not Hungarian, for a " Hungarian national 
state," is a contradiction in terms). Aussi la ou les autres fonda- 
teurs d'ecoles ne mettent pas leurs etablissements au service de 
cette idee, ou si ces ecoles ne remplissent pas bien le but qui leur 
a ete assigne, I'etat intervient pour y remedier et donner a la localite 
ce dont elle a besoin. Voild pourquoi les tcoles primaires de I'etat sont 
surtout rencontrees dans les communes les plus pauvres ou dans les 
regions dont les populations sont mixtes et de langue etrangere." {L'En- 
seignement en Hongrie, p. 79.) Further, we read on p. 168, " Si les 
interetsd'ordremajeur I'exigent, I'etat fait usage de son droit et cree 
des ecoles publiques meme dans les localites ou il en existe deja soit des 
communales, soit des confessionelles. C'est tout simplement una pre- 
caution en faveur de la race Hongroise (here he again means Magyar) 



This assertion is profoundly true, but it involves one very 
necessary postulate — the due execution of the existing laws — 
and unhappily (or should we say happily) the Education Act 
of 1879, like its predecessor of 1868, has not been properly 
enforced. Indeed, in January, 1905, the Premier, Count 
Stephen Tisza, publicly asserted that it has remained merely 
on paper.^'* Allowances must be made for a law which attempts 
to achieve the impossible, and which was perhaps regarded 
even by its promoters as a piece of bluff rather than as a serious 
constructive policy. The fact that in 1879 over 2,600 teachers, 
or roughly one in every seven, knew not a word of Magyar, 
shows that its enforcement was by no means an easy task ; 
and in effect after a lapse of eleven years their numbers had 
only been reduced to 1,600. The gradual elimination of the older 
teachers by death or retirement has naturally altered this , and the 
younger generation of teachers may be supposed to have ac- 
quired an adequate knowledge of a subject without which 
not even the most accomplished pedagogue can obtain a Hun- 
garian diploma. None the less, in 1890 Magyar as an obliga- , 
tory subject was either not taught at all or was taught entirely 
without success in 34 per cent, of the non-Magyar schools, 
and in 1906 there still remained 957 teachers who were either 
entirely ignorant of Magyar or possessed a mere smattering 
of the language. But if any proof were needed that the Act 
of 1879 has failed in its effect, it is supplied by the fact that 
44 per cent, of the population of Hungary proper is still entirely 
ignorant of the Magyar language. ^'^ From time to time spas- 
modic attempts have been made to improve matters, and 
Dr. Wlassics, as Minister of Education, was in 1902 guilty 
of issuing the monstrous order that from eighteen to twenty- 

qui demande a 6tre protegee quand elle se trouve comme c'est souvent 
le cas, enserree par la grande masse de populations a langue etrangdre. 
Pour celles-ci elle signifie le developpement de I'etat et de I'esprit 
nationaux ; aux hongrois (i.e., Magyars) elle garantit V augmentation 
de leur force expansive et etend la race vers la frontiere." Here again all 
comment is superfluous. 

On the occasion of the Hungarian Exhibition in London in igo8, the 
Ministry of Education published a book entitled Education in Hungary. 
This is merely our old friend L' Enseignemenf en Hongrie revised and 
translated into English. It is interesting to note that all the tell-tale 
passages which I have quoted have been omitted, otherwise it is as 
misleading and one-sided as its predecessor. (See especially p. 46.) 

''* See report of his speech at a banquet in Budapest, January 16, 1905. 

*'* (Exclusive of Croatia) 6,730,997 out of 15,162,988. 

219 » 


four hours in the week should be devoted to Magyar instruc- 
tion in the denominational schools. As the number of hours 
of instruction in Hungarian primary schools never exceeds 
twenty-six in the week, it would appear that the minister was 
less concerned that the children of a Roumanian village should 
learn the rudiments of reading and arithmetic than that they 
should be able to talk a language which perhaps not half a 
dozen persons in the neighbourhood could understand. Even 
Wlassics' attitude is eclipsed by that of Mr. Rakosi, the brilliant 
dramatist and editor of the Budapesti Hirlap, who at the 
Berzeviczy School Commission in 1904 argued that the Nation- 
alities should be compelled to teach nothing in their schools 
for three whole years save speaking, reciting and singing Mag- 
yar. At the same Commission Bishop Firczak worthily 
seconded Mr. Rakosi by the following argument : "A good 
educational policy is a security to the State, but its first require- 
ment is that it should be Magyar in all its parts. (Cries of 
" Eljen " and applause.) The second requirement is the 
maintenance of a moral and reUgious basis in education." 
In other words, let us insist on national sentiment, and 
leave the civic virtues to take care of themselves. Very 
different is the standpoint of a Roumanian leader, who said 
to me : "I willingly contribute to the taxes of the estate ; 
I am ready to give up my life in its defence ; more than that 
it has no right to ask. The rest is mine ! " 


The census of 1890 made it clear that the task of Magyariza- 
tion was by no means so simple as the parliamentary hot- 
heads had imagined. Forty-four per cent, of the population 
still knew not a syllable of Magyar, as compared with 47 
per cent, in 1880 ; and at this rate of progress at least a cen- 
tury would be required before the entire population could 
speak the language of State. Considerable alarm had been 
caused of late years by rumours of a decreasing birthrate among 
the Magyar peasantry, and the vampire doctrine of Bela 
Griinwald, the chief literary exponent of Chauvinism, gained 
every year a greater number of adherents. "If we are to 
survive," re-echoed his admirers, " we must increase and 
strengthen ourselves by the assimilation of foreign elements." 
" Let us hasten, let us hasten and Magyarize ... for other- 
wise we shall perish," Louis Kossuth had cried in his halcyon 



days, and these fatal words were endorsed by the next genera- 
tion, which turned a deaf ear to those lessons of racial toler- 
ance which he had learned to preach in his exile. Firmly 
convinced that there was no alternative between dominance 
and slavery, the Magyars adopted a policy which Hobbes 
would have regarded as proving his view of the primitive 
instincts of man ; and they were destined ere long to find an 
even worthier exponent of this policy than Griinwald, in the 
person of Baron Bdnffy. The Government fully recognized 
the value of the primary school as a political instrument, but 
possessing a more intimate knowledge of the prevailing edu- 
cational^and administrative chaos than was vouchsafed to the 
general public, they were tempted to resort to still more drastic 
measures. Twelve years' experience had taught them what 
the common sense of pedagogic specialists had foretold from 
the beginning — that a language so difficult as the Magyar 
can only be effectually acquired in a Magyar atmosphere, and 
that Slav of Roumanian village children, who perhaps only 
attend school for half the year and during the remaining six 
months seldom hear a syllable of Magyar spoken around them, 
are hardly likely to make any real progress in the language, 
unless the teaching staff is multiplied twenty-fold. An 
ingenious device was invented to cope with this practical 
difficulty, which exists even where there is no reluctance on 
the part of pupils and parents. The children must be won for 
Magyar culture at that tender age when the mind of the child 
is as undeveloped and as sensitive as a photographic plate. In 
1891, therefore, a Bill was introduced by Count Csaky for the 
compulsory erection of Infant Homes* (Kindergarten and Asiles) 
throughout the country. The ostensible aims of the new law 
were {a) to place under proper supervision young children 
^vhose parents were not in a position to give them personal 
attention, and {b) to promote their physical development 
and inculcate habits of cleanliness and intelligence. That it 
was not designed to counteract the terribly high rate of infant 
mortality 3'8 is clearly proved by the fact that it only applies 
to children between the ages of three and six. Another aim is 

^''* In 1891, 41 per cent, of the children born died under the age of five ; 
in 1901, 30 per cent, of the children born died under the age of five ; 
in 1906, 31 per cent, of the children born died under the age of five : the 
dreadful total of 198,981. The fact, however, that in 1906 37 per cent, 
of all deaths occurred under the age of two, proves that creches are far 
more urgently needed than infant homes in the interests of the nation 
as a whole. » 



regarded by Hungarian statesmen as infinitely more impor- 
tant than the reduction of infant mortality and the appalling 
overcrowding and lack of medical treatment to which the 
mortality is mainly due.^" This aim is the Magyarization of . 
the coming generation of non-Magyars. Lest I should be 
accused of exaggeration, I prefer to use the inimitable words of 
an official Hungarian publication. Since 1867, we are told, 
the kindergarten movement had lost more and more its human- 
itarian character, " et son cote important ressortit tous les jours 
davantage." ^'^ The disposition regarding language " fait 
de la question de V enseignement des enfants un facteur de cul- 
ture politique. Cette circonstance possede d'autant plus d'im- 
portance, qu'il devient de plus en plus evident que I'enfance 
est I'age le plus propice pour enseigner la langue hongroise 
(i.e. Magyar). ... La mission toute nationale de nos etab- 
lissements d'enseignement maternel est ce qui les distingue 
surtout des institutions analogues de I'etranger." ^'^ This 
official commentary would in itself justify the alarm and 
protests of the non-Magyars, and makes all further discussion 
of the text of the law superfluous. 

By the Law of 1891 the State has deliberately assumed the 
attitude of the Sultans in earlier centuries. Just as the Chris- 
tian rayah was regarded as a breeding-machine to supply 
janissaries, so to-day the non-Magyars of Hungary are breed- 
ing-machines whose children must be taught Magyar from their 
earliest age, in the hope that they may become renegades to 
the traditions of their ancestors. ^^ If the law were genuinely 
carried out, a whole generation would grow up which knew the J 
state language better than its mother tongue, and a gulf would " 
thus be created by the State between the children and their 
parents. But after our experience of previous educational laws, 

*" In Budapest 740 houses in every 1,000 are overcrowded, as 
compared to 280 in Vienna and Berlin. There were still only 26 doc- 
tors and 61 midwives to every 100,000 inhabitants. Fifty per cent, of the 
deaths took place without medical attendance, and in 39 per cent, of 
the cases the cause of death was not certified. 

^" U enseignement en Hongrie, p. 53. The italics are in the original. 

«■» Ibid., p. 54. 

^*" If anything were needed to prove the Magyarizing tendencies of 
the Act, it is supplied by the fact that in 1905-6 the Magyar language 
was exclusively employed in 757 per cent, of these institutions (only 
2-4 per cent. non-Magyar), and that while the Magyar infant homes 
received 58,478 crowns, the non-Magyar infant homes did not receive 
one farthing as subvention. U.S.J, xiv. p. 332. 



it will no longer cause surprise to find that the Kindergarten Act 
of 1891 has also been very partially carried out. After a lapse of 
seventeen years only 21 per cent, of the children who are liable 
to attend actually made their appearance ^^ ; and as a quarter 
of these institutions are open only during the summer, 21 
per cent, is really a somewhat arbitrary and misleading figure. 
Twelve per cent, of the attendants are unqualified ; ^^ and even 
if we include these unqualified persons, we find that there is 
still only an average of one attendant to every ninety children. ^^ 
Under these circumstances there can be little question of the 
children learning anything, and it is difficult to believe that one 
woman single-handed can keep ninety tiny children clean 
and orderly. She can no doubt teach them to wave flags 
and hum Kossuthist tunes, which is the modern conception 
of patriotism ; but she must surely often feel like the old 
woman of the Enghsh nursery rhyme, " who had so many 
children, she did not know what to do." 


The imperfect execution of these two Magyarizing laws is the 
more remarkable because less than three years after the latter 
was passed the accession of Baron Banffy to power evoked 
an outburst of Chauvinism hitherto undreamt-of even in Hun- 
gary. But though the " Magyar national State " was now 
openly proclaimed as the great aim of every " patriot," though 
the ancient placenames of the country were Magyarized 
wholesale by Act of Parliament, and though extreme mea- 
sures of repression were adopted against the nationalities, 
yet the two educational laws which the Chauvinists regarded 
as so full of promise, still remained very largely on paper. It 
is true that in 1896 (Law VIII.) Parliament voted £56,000 
for the immediate erection of 400 new primary schools in 
memory of the Millenary, but five years elapsed before even 
this seemingly simple provision had been fully carried out. 
Nothing illustrates more clearly the growing corruption 
and degeneracy of Hungarian public life than the fact that 
even these outworks of Chauvinist progress were neglected in 
favour of party brawls and the ceaseless hunting of a con- 
stitutional snark. 

^*^ I.e., 245,214 out of 1,087,396. 
^*^ I.e., 734 out of 2,595 = 29 per cent. 
^*^ One qualified person to every 102 children. 



The gaps in primary education were still so lamentable, 
that a really far-seeing statesman would have concentrated 
all his efforts upon raising the educational standard of the 
genuine Magyar peasantry of the central plains, and thus fit- 
ting them for the economic crisis with which Hungary 
was already being threatened. Unhappily the Wekerle and 
Bdnffy Cabinets (i 892-1 895-1898) pandered to the Chauvin- 
ist leanings of the majority by erecting numerous state schools 
in the non-Magyar districts with Magyar as the exclusive lan- 
guage of instruction, and still more by attempting to effect 
a breach in the autonomy of the non-Magyar denominational 
schools. The Roumanians and Serbs, though well-nigh help- 
less in every other respect, possessed one effective weapon 
against Magyarization in the legally guaranteed autonomy 
of their Churches — an autonomy which extended itself to their 
denominational schools. The weak spot in the armour of 
these churches is their extreme poverty, and the difficulty 
which they experience in providing adequate salaries for the 
teachers in their schools. The Government skilfully took 
advantage of this difficulty in Act XXVI. of 1893 by fixing 
600 (or in certain cases 400) crowns as the minimum salary 
at all communal and denominational schools. This was in 
itself a perfectly just and reasonable provision ; for it was 
obvious that even under the primitive conditions of life which 
still prevail in many districts of Transylvania or the Northern 
Carpathians, no man with any pretence to real culture could 
be secured as schoolmaster for the paltry sum of £25 a year. 
But the real motive of the provision was to encourage and 
in many cases to compel the church schools to accept a sub- 
vention from the State, in order to make up the necessary sum ; 
and the acceptance (willy nilly) of his grant secured to the 
State the right of interference in the management of the church 
schools. In other words, the Government was fully entitled 
to insist upon the adoption of higher standards and more 
modern methods by the denominational schools, but definitely 
infringed the autonomy of the Churches when it imposed re- 
strictions on the election of teachers in their schools. For 
instance the Minister was given discretion (§ 12), in the event 
of applications for the grant on the part of church schools, 
to dissolve existing schools, if he considered that " weighty 
interests of State " demanded this step, and to erect state 
schools in their place.^* Finally the new law arranged for the 

^" Under § 11 the minister's sanction is necessary for the appointment 



prosecution of subventioned denominational teachers who 
are accused of a " tendency hostile to the State." ^^ This 
tendency was defined in the most comprehensive manner to 
include "every action, which is directed against the Constitu- 
tion, the national character, unity, independence, or territorial 
integrity of the State, as also against the legally prescribed 
use of the language of State — whether it be committed in 
school or out of school, on the territory of a foreign state, in 
word or writing, by means of printed matter, pictures, books 
or other objects of instruction." This extraordinary clause, 
which attempts to impose patriotism by Act of Parliament, 
has placed the non-Magyar schoolmasters at the mercy of the 
Chauvinist county officials, who interpret it with all the 
exclusive ardour of the Magyar race.^^ 

Where a church school failed to meet the increased demands 
put by the State upon its scanty resources, a state school was 
founded in its place, and in all state schools the language of 
instruction is exclusively Magyar. In other places; the 
State has actually erected state schools where communal or 
denominational schools already exist, and it is usually the 
latter who suffer most from the unequal competition.^^' But 
it is fair to add that in such cases the inhabitants are not 
forced to contribute to the upkeep of the new school, if they 
already pay the education rate in support of their own church 
school. ^^ 

of any denominational teacher to whose salary the state contributes 
over I20 crowns (;^5). In the event of an appointment which he con- 
siders objectionable, the electors are enjoined to select a new person 
within thirty days, and if their choice again wins the disapproval of 
the Minister, he can make the appointment without even consulting 
the school authorities, and is merely bound to select a member of the 
denomination in question. 

Under § 13 the Minister can compel the denominational authorities 
to order a disciplinary inquiry against any teacher enjoying state aid, 
and if they neglect his injunction he can entrust the Administrative 
Committee of the county (which in educational matters fulfils in Hun- 
gary the functions of the English county councils) with the inquiry, 
without consulting the school authorities. 

^*^ § 13, Subsection 4. 

*** If two successive teachers are deprived on these grounds, the minis- 
ter has the right to close the school in question, and to establish a 
state school in its place. 

*" As Count Apponyi neatly expresses it in his essay, " L'Instruction 
primaire en Hongrie {Revue de Hongrie, No. i, p. 75), I'enseignement 
d'etat gagne rapidement du terrain sous le regime de libre concurrence , 
et tout fait presager qu'il en gagnera encore. 

388 Five per cent, of the direct taxes is assessed as a fair educational 

R.P.H. 225 Q 


It would not be fair to criticize too severely the Law of 
1893 ; but it cannot be denied that it marked one more stage 
on the road of interference with the autonomy of church 
schools. Another fourteen years of undermining were neces- 
sary before a fresh onslaught could be delivered ; but the 
question of Magyar teaching in the schools would have been 
brought before Parliament far sooner, had not the military dis- 
putes which led up to the crisis of 1905-6 wholly absorbed the 
attention of the Chauvinists. In 1904 an Educational Com- 
mittee was appointed under the presidency of Albert Berze- 
viczy, to report upon the reform of primary education, and 
made various recommendations which caused great alarm 
among the non-Magyars. The President in his opening ad- 
dress lamented the inefhcacy of the existing law for compul- 
sory Magyar instruction and urged the adoption of fresh 
precautions. " The object of this is by no means to deprive 
forcibly the non-Magyar inhabitants of our country of their 
nationality and mother tongue, but far rather to secure, by 
spreading a general knowledge of the state language, such a 
common means of communication as shall make the assimi- 
lation of our nation possible. For a nation whose members 
cannot understand one another can no doubt be described 
as " a geographical expression," but its unity as a state, its 
national existence is and remains an empty fiction. The 
aim of these provisions is to enforce effectively that civil 
equality of rights without which the equal rights of the na- 
tionalities cannot exist, since without a knowledge of the 
language of state the citizen is not in a position to assert him- 
self in all circumstances with equal right and equal power."^^ 
In short, this genial Liberal proposed to make the Magyar 
language the sole key which can unlock the gate of equality. 
The Roumanian Metropolitan argued that the proposed bill 
violated the principles of pedagogy in establishing as the chief 
aim of the primary school not general culture, but the acquisi- 
tion of a particular language, in this instance the Magyar. At 
this point he was greeted by indignant cries : " One who speaks 

rate throughout the country, and those who pay less than 5 per cent, 
are hable to contribute the remaining fraction in aid of the new school 
— a very just arrangement. Unhappily, the rating schedules are drawn 
up in Magyar only, and opportunities of overcharging or making charges 
for interpretation are afforded to the ofl&cials of outlying districts. 
»8» See Pester Lloyd report, 28 May, 1904. 



thus of the Magyar language has no right to sit here." " That 
is the language of the Magyar nation, who gives you your 
bread." The majority of those present betrayed a similar bias 
and a tendency to regard Magyar instruction as the great end 
of all education. 

The crisis of 1905 was the inevitable result of the rampant 
Chauvinism which had captured the Hungarian Parliament, 
and of the growing consciousness that no amount of repression 
could avail against Roumanian or even Slovak nationalism. 
The demand for the Magyar language of command was simply 
an attempt to turn to purposes of Magyarization the educative 
opportunities of the Joint Army. The scheme failed owing 
to the firm attitude of the monarch, but meanwhile the tactless- 
ness of Count Tisza shattered the Liberal party and incident- 
ally revealed the artificial basis upon which it had governed for 
forty years. When the Coalition took office in April, 1906, 
its leaders emphasized the transitional character of their Govern- 
ment ; but the measure of electoral reform which was then 
allowed to figure as the chief item on their programme was 
soon relegated to a distant future, and a number of projects 
of varying degrees of reaction were brought up for parliamen- 
tary sanction. Foremost among these were the Education 
Acts of Count Apponyi, which I now propose to discuss in 

Act XXVI. of 1907 regulates the salaries of teachers in 
State elementary schools, according to an elaborate graduated 
scale. Little exception can be taken to many of its provisions, 
which genuinely aim at improving the material condition 
and raising the efficiency of the primary teacher. But this 
improvement in their status is won at the expense of their 
freedom ; they become mere officials, bound hand and foot by 
jealous oaths, inquiries, inspections and penalties, their every 
movement is watched, and all their qualities have to be con- 
centrated upon instruction in a single subject — the Magyar 
language. While they are placed more than ever in the power 
of their superiors, even the very partial control exercised by 
local school boards is undermined by sections of the Act. Under 
it no one can become member of a local school board, unless 
he can both read and write Magyar. This is merely a veiled 
way of saying that in ^jaI'^ distp'^t'? the local management 
of the State schools ueiungs to a nandful of Magyar officials, 
and over 90 per cent, of^ the population are excluded from all 
control of the education of their children. 



It is of course easy to argue that the State is entitled to 
insist upon the closest control over its own teachers, perhaps 
all the more because of the limited number of State as com- 
pared to Church schools. But no argument save that of force 
majeur can be found to justify Act XXVII. of 1907, which 
deals with the salaries of teachers in the communal and de- 
nominational schools. This Act aims openly and unashamedly 
at the Magyarization of the non-Magyar primary schools, 
and its provisions deliberately impose upon the non-Magyar 
Churches burdens which its framers well knew to be insup- 
portable. Indeed it is difficult to say which is most flagrantly 
violated, the Equal Rights of the Nationalities (as guaranteed 
by Law XLIV. of 1868), or the legal autonomy of the Churches. 
Its more important provisions, so far as they bear upon the 
racial question in Hungary, can be summarized under the 
following heads : — 

{A) All teachers in denominational schools are declared to 
be state officials, and a plausible excuse is thus given for inter- 
ference on the part of the State (§ i). 

{B) The State prescribes a minimum salary which must be 
paid to all teachers in Church schools. It thereby makes 
impossible demands upon the poverty-stricken non-Magyar 
Churches, and forces many of their schools to apply for State 
subventions as the sole alternative to bankruptcy and collapse. 
For if the necessary funds cannot be raised within a certain 
period, and if the school authorities still neglect to apply for a 
grant, they lose the right to maintain their school (§§ 12-13). 
Of course if the State merely made these grants in order to 
raise the general standard of education and enable the Churches 
to provide more capable teaching, they would be accepted 
with the greatest alacrity. But State aid, though offered to 
the Church schools — and indeed in many cases thrust upon 
them in defiance of their vvishes — is made to depend upon 
certain highly vexatious conditions, which play havoc with 
their autonomy. The financial needs of the schools are of 
course verified, and compliance with certain rules of accom- 
modation and sanitation are insisted upon. ^^ But in addition 
to this, the teacher must be able to read, WTite and teach 
Magyar correctly (§ 15&) ; his pupils must receive Magyar 
instruction in the manner and to the extent laid down by the 
minister (§ 19) ; all instruction in the Magyar language, in 

»•« Under §§ 27, 28 of XXXVIII., 1868. 


arithmetic, geography, history and civil rights and duties, must 
be given solely in accordance with the syllabus sanctioned by 
the minister, and no books of " patriotic contents " may be 
used unless they have received his approval (§ 20). Where 
State aid exceeds 200 crowns {£8) the minister acquires a veto 
upon the teachers' appointment, and if after a fresh election 
he is, " on State grounds," still dissatisfied with the new choice, 
he can make the appointment himself without even consulting 
the school authorities ! (§21).^^^ Asa result of this provision 
the school authorities, in appointing teachers, are as much 
at the mercy of the State as is the patron of a living at the 
mercy of his bishop in the Catholic Church. It is hardly neces- 
sary to point out that the object in view here is to prevent so 
far as possible the appointment as teachers of persons who 
are non-Magyar in sentiment. 

The minister is further empowered to order a disciplinary 
inquiry against any teacher in a Church school (whether in 
receipt of State aid or not) for neglect of Magyar instruction, 
for a tendency hostile to the State,^^^ for "incitement against con- 
fessions, single classes of society or the institutions of property 
and marriage," for meddling with emigration matters, or for the 
use of schoolbooks which have not received the sanction of the 
minister (§ 24 and § 22 (i) a to e) — such minor offences as 
immorality, brutal treatment of his pupils or culpable negligence 
of his duties, being left to the care of the local school authorities. 
No check whatever is imposed upon the minister's action, 
save the vague phrase " if he considers this necessary with a 
view to assuring the interests of State "; and thus a permanent 
sword of Damocles is suspended over the head of the non- 
Magyar teacher, who may at any moment become the victim 
of some local official's Chauvinistic zeal. 

In the event of dismissal as the result of such an inquiry, 
the new teacher can only be appointed subject to the minister's 
approval, and a second case of dismissal gives the latter the 
right to dissolve the school and establish a State school in its 
place (§ 25). If the Committee of management is implicated, 
dissolution can at once follow, while if the priest is involved, 
he is liable to forfeit the congrua or State tithe (§ 27). Thus 
the whole tendency is to make the teachers less dependent upon 
their denominations and to reduce them to mere machines 

''^ He is merely bound to appoint a member of the denomination to 
which the school belongs. 

*'* As defined in Act XXVI. of 1893 (see»page 225.) 



in whom any expression of political opinion is highly danger- 
ous. The comprehensive interpretation put upon " tendencies 
hostile to the state " places the schoolmaster at the mercy of 
the local notary or szolgabiro, who, as we shall see in a later . 
chapter, are ultra-Chauvinist even when they are not dictatorial 
and corrupt. 

Finally the conditions to which State aid is to be made subject, 
are to be tested by the county administrative committee 
(the local authority for State schools), the fact of the school 
authorities and their teachers having already conformed 
to all the regulations regarding syllabus, diplomas, etc., not 
being regarded as sufficient. The injustice of this becomes 
apparent when it is borne in mind that this committee is com- 
posed of the very class to avoid submission to whom the non- 
Magyar Churches support schools of their own.^®^ 

(C) Still more astonishing are the linguistic provisions 
of the Act. {a) In all non-Magyar schools, whether in receipt 
of State aid or not, the children must be taught Magyar in the 
manner and for the time prescribed by the minister, 
" so that the child of non-Magyar tongue on the completion 
of its fourth school year can express its thoughts intelligibly 
in the Magyar language in word and writing " (§ i8). 
Even if no minister of Education in the future is guilty of 
such a monstrous order as that of Dr. Wlassics (see p. 219), this 
clause opens the door to all kinds of wild linguistic experi- 
ments, such as are bound to prove fatal to the general culture 
of the victims. 

{b) One of the clauses of the famous Law of Nationalities 
secures to the various Churches the right to prescribe the 
language of instruction in their schools according to their own 
free will. The Act of 1907 with brazen assurance declares 
that this clause " is to be understood in the sense that they are 
free to establish as language of instruction either the language 
of State or the mother tongue of the children, while in the 
latter case the provisions relating to the teaching of the Magyar 
language must of course be enforced without restriction." 
If Parliament's mind was set upon a provision of such doubtful 

3»3 As one further proof of the unequal measure dealt out to non-Mag- 
yar schools, it may be pointed out that while in the case of the latter 
a grant need only be made where there are over thirty children liable, 
on the other hand the grant cannot be refused to any school with Magyar 
language of instruction, unless another school of the same type already 
exists in the parish (§ 15, last part). 



content, it would at least have been honest ^to annul Clause 
14 of the Law of Nationalities, instead of striving to inter- 
pret black as really equivalent to grey. But this law has long 
served the convenient purpose of deluding foreign opinion on 
the subject of Magyar tolerance — and hence the abrogation 
of one of its clauses would have deprived the Magyars of a 
favourite tactical manoeuvre. 

(c) Wherever Magyar has already been introduced as the 
language of instruction, this fact can never be altered again 
(§ 18, subsection 2). 

(d) In all continuation schools Magyar is to be the language 
of instruction (§ 18, subsection 3). 

(e) If want of success in Magyar instruction is due " not to 
neglect but to the incapacity of the teacher," the latter must 
be pensioned or dismissed (§ 28). This clause, if literally 
enforced, would denude the non-Magyar schools of their 
teachers, for it stands to reason that proficency in Magyar 
can only be acquired in a Magyar atmosphere, and this is 
precisely what is lacking in the non-Magyar districts, where 
in many villages the children rarely hear a Magyar word 
outside the school building. 

On the other hand the minister can at the suggestion of the 
Government inspector assign special grants to denominational 
teachers for " special services," which is of course merely a 
veiled allusion to Magyarization (§ 4). In other words, a 
premium is set upon the teaching of Magyar, and the teachers 
are encouraged to give it precedence over the mother tongue 
of their pupils. 

{D) Great attention is paid in the Act to external forms 
and symbols. The arms of Hungary are to be erected outside 
and inside every school, the national flag is to be hoisted on 
anniversaries, pictures from Hungarian history are to be hung 
up in the class-rooms (§ 17) ; everything is to be done to 
encourage the hysterical form of patriotism. But nothing 
which " has a bearing upon foreign history or geography," or 
which is manufactured abroad — in other words nothing which 
could remind the Roumanians or Slavs of their close kinship 
with Hungary's neighbours — is to be allowed under any 
circumstances. The portraits of church dignitaries are toler- 
ated, but anything which could remind the Slovaks of Saints 
aCyrilandMethodius,^^* the Serbs of St. Sava, the Roumanians 
of St. Basil, would be regarded as the rankest treason. More- 

^•* A bishop of North Hungary forbade Jiis clergy to baptize children 



over, all schools, even those in purely non-Magyar districts, 
are compelled to place Magyar inscriptions on their buildings 
(§ 17), to use Magyar circulars and printed forms, and to fill up 
their certificates in Magyar (§ 33) — a clause whose petty and 
vexatious nature is likely to lead to more ill-feeling than others 
which are in reality far more tyrannous. 

The object of all this is revealed in the clause by which the 
teacher is legally " bound to encourage and strengthen in 
the soul of the children the spirit of attachment to the Hun- 
garian fatherland and the consciousness of membership in 
the Hungarian nation, as also (this seems to hold the second 
place) religion and moral sentiments " (§ 17) . Here we encoun- 
ter the idee fixe of the Magyar politician — that patriotism can 
be forced down millions of unwilling throats, instead of being 
a moral conception which differs infinitely according to race, 
environment and religion. ^^^ 

{E) Apparently with the same object, an oath of loyalty 
is henceforth to be exacted from all teachers in denominational 
and communal schools. The oath contains nothing to which 

under the names of Cyril or Methodius, the great apostles of the Slavs. 
In this connexion it is interesting to note that there is a " Pan-Slav " in 
the Imperial and Royal family. The Archduke Charles Stephen chris- 
tened one of his sons " Leo Charles Marie Cyril Method " (born 1893 at 
Pola). It is surprising that he has not been prosecuted for " incite- 
ment against the Magyar nationality, "for setting so bad an example to 
the Slovak subjects of the House of Habsburg ! 

'®^ Count Apponyi says (op. cit. p. 80) that the schools must produce 
good Hungarian citizens. Every one will, of course, admit this ; but 
unfortunately the State attempts in its schools to produce good Magyar 
citizens. It is mere playing with words to say that children " are free 
to retain and cultivate their national idiom," if at the same time they 
are persistently taught in another language both at the infant home 
and at the primary school, and if the State makes absolutely no pro- 
vision for teaching that " national idiom " in the State schools. " There 
must," Count Apponyi adds, "be no doubt about their absolute and 
exclusive attachment to the Hungarian fatherland," a sentiment with 
which no one will quarrel so long as it is not interpreted in the narrow 
Magyar sense. But when he asserts that " within the limits of this 
principle " education in Hungary enjoys a liberty which has not its 
equal in the entire world," he falls, perhaps involuntarily, into one of 
those empty declamatory phrases to which I was continually treated 
during my travels in Hungary. Patriotism cannot be enforced by law 
even in the case of village schoolmasters, and to describe those who have 
a different conception of patriotism from his own as " criminals and 
traitors " whom it is as impossible to tolerate as " any other form 
of immorality," is merely to throw ideas of tolerance to the winds. 



a patriotic non-Magyar should take exception, and does not 
differ from that imposed upon State teachers ; but several 
needlessly offensive conditions are coupled with it. Firstly, 
it must be taken in the presence of the Government inspector, 
not of the authorities of the teacher's own school. Secondly, 
it must be administered in the Magyar language — a fact 
which is very naturally resented as a needless slight upon the 
other races of the country. And, thirdly, refusal to take 
the oath involves a teacher in prosecution for a " tendency 
hostile to the State." In other words, it is held like a high- 
wayman's pistol to the victim's head. The " conscientious 
objector " would fare ill in Hungary. 

Under provisions so sweeping as those of Count Apponyi's 
Act, the autonomy of the Church schools is bound to become 
little more than a name. But perhaps the most flagrant case 
of its violation are the clauses which subject all books — 
even Church catechisms and religious textbooks — to the 
approval of the Minister of Education (§ 20) and empower 
him in extreme cases to deprive a priest of the right of 
imparting religious instruction. 

It is too soon to discuss the probable effects of the Act 
of 1907, for such revolutionary changes as those at which 
it aims cannot be effected in the short space of a year. But 
it will be already apparent to the reader that the whole trend 
of the Act is in favour of State interference of the most crude 
and vexatious type, and that such powers as still remain to the 
Churches in educational matters are either dependent upon the 
good will of the State or have become a negligible quantity 
altogether. The bitter words of a Roumanian deputy would 
appear to be justified ; for the Act of 1907 is little better 
than " an addition to the Criminal Code, such as will encourage 
espionage and demoralize the teaching staff. ' ' The present edu- 
cational policy of the Magyars is based upon two radically false 
assumptions, first that patriots can be created by act of Parlia- 
ment, and second, that language is the sole basis of nationality. 
Neither is true, and the Hungarian Parliament, if it must 
needs shut its eyes to the obvious examples of Ireland and 
Scotland, might remember that the foremost champions of 
the nationalities have received a Magyar education and have 
a complete mastery of the Magyar language. 



Administrative Evils 

" For forms of government let fools contest, 
That which is best administered is best." 


THE chief curse of Hungary is its bad administration, 
and until a thorough revision of the much-vaunted 
system of county government is undertaken, matters are 
bound to go from bad to worse. Formerly the bulwark of 
the Hungarian constitution, the county assemblies are to-day 
mere preserves of a few great landed families, and of the ineffi- 
cient and intolerant officials who depend upon them. It 
has sometimes been argued that the racial question in Hun- 
gary is an administrative question, and even if this is an exag- 
gerated view, there is no doubt that the oHgarchic nature 
of county government aggravates racial differences, and that 
these will tend to grow more, not less acute, so long as the 
democratization of local government is postponed. A really, 
adequate account of local government in Hungary would 
involve the study of a Ufetime, and would far exceed the limits 
of the present volume. AU that I can attempt is a brief 
analysis of its most salient features, and an indication of those 
flaws which most obviously require a remedy, my main object 
being to supply a key to the abuses connected with the electoral 
and judicial systems. 

Before 1848, the Kingdom of Hungary proper was divided 

into forty-six counties, Croatia-Slavonia into six, Transylvania 

into 25 counties or districts,^^^ thus making a total of 77 for the 

territories of the Crown of St. Stephen. As the Diet was merely 

ijcomposed of delegates from the county assemblies, elected 

["by pubUc vote and charged with strict marching orders, the 

centre of gravity naturally lay not in the capital — which 

was indeed more German than Magyar even as late as 1840 — but 

in the provinces. To the jealous and obstinate manner in 

which the counties guarded their privileges may fairly be 

3»» 8 Magyar counties and i district : 5 Szekel Sees (Stuhle ; szekek) ; 
and 9 Saxon Sees (Stiihle) and 2 districts. 



ascribed the fact that the constitution survived the peril of 
the Turkish occupation, of Jesuit perfidy and of Habsburg 
absolutism. In the same way, to the political judgment and 
tenacity of the local assemblies Hungary owes most of the 
rights recovered or acquired during the reigns of Leopold II, 
Francis I and Ferdinand V. Without the incentive imparted 
by the local assemblies, the Diets of the " forties " might have 
been reduced to impotence by the central government, and 
the year of re^^olution might have found Hungary still unrip^ 
Under the mediaeval franchise, which was not overthrown till 
1848, the lines of cleavage lay not between race and race, but 
between populus and flehs, in other words between nobles and 
non-nobles ; and thus the evils to which Hungary was ex- 
posed were merely those to which all countries are liable 
where whole classes are excluded from the franchise and where 
no machinery has been devised against corruption. As, how- 
ever, nationality became a factor in modem life, new elements 
of discord were introduced ; by an unhappy chain of events 
a single race was able to concentrate in its own hands the 
power of a class which had been inter -racial, at least in name ; 
and the helotry of the non-noble classes was perpetuated 
after 1848 in the exclusion of the non-Magyar races from all 
pohtical power. 

The congregations, as the county assemblies were called, 
were composed exclusively of " nobles," either dwelling or 
owning property in the county ; but as rights of nobility had 
always been lavishly conferred in Hungary and were vested in 
aU male descendants of the original grantee, the franchise ^ 
was at the commencement of the nineteenth century enjoyed I 
by a relatively greater number of persons than in other Wes-y 
tern states. ^^' This circumstance led to extraordinary abuses^ 
The numerous needy " nobility " — the "bocskoros nemesseg "\ 
or " sandal nobility," as they were called from their dilapidated! 
footgear — found their votes at the triennial county election \ 
to be a valuable asset, allowed themselves to be organized 
by the rival candidates, and being as ignorant as they were ' 
needy, gave their votes to whoever plied them most liberally 
with food and drink, found them free lodging for the longest 
period and sent them home when aU was over with the largest 
-pourhoire in their pockets. Indeed this " noble rabble " was 
a class which, in the words of a Magyar writer, " had not its 

*" Roughly, one man in every twenty \yas noble. Wildner, p. 4. 



like in Europe for poverty, violence, arrogance, laziness and 
worthlessness." Marshalled for days before the election into 
two hostile columns, they often met in battle array in the 
streets of the county town, and the doughtiest upholders of 
this fist and cudgel law, left in possession of the field, thronged 
the county hall and secured the vacant posts to their own party. 
If the rival party still succeeded in effecting an entrance (a pro- 
ceeding which reasons of space sometimes rendered impos- 
sible), scenes of the stormiest character ensued. Freedom 
of speech was Httle respected, the minority was howled down, 
and the exertions of the " noble rabble " were aided by a 
mixed crowd of non-nobles which intruded upon the pro- 
ceedings, and gave an added zest to the scene by their tumultu- 
ous applause or abuse. At length excitement reached a fever 
pitch, and the assembly too often degenerated into a free fight, 
with its attendant crop of broken Hmbs and bloody noses. 

As the feeling of nationality grew more intense, the turbu- 
lence of the county assemblies became more marked, and the 
press of the forties is full of the excesses indulged in at the 
congregations and " restorations " {restaurationes, or elections 
of county officials) and of suggestions for the reform of such 
abuses. This increasing violence is to be ascribed, at least 
in part, to hnguistic rivalries. Till 1840 the entire proceed- 
ings were conducted in the neutral Latin tongue ; but in that 
year Magyar was proclaimed the language of the Government 
and administration, and the application of this rule to the 
debates in the county assemblies virtually disfranchised the 
non-Mag}^ar members, who in those days rarely knew a word 
of Magyar. The abuses to which this innovation led may be 
simply illustrated by the proceedings in Lipto County Assembly 
in 1841 during a debate on mixed marriages. " The lower 
nobles, not understanding Magyar, desired to have the mean- 
ing of the matter explained to them in Slovak, but this was 
refused to them." ^^^ Here then, as elsewhere, the decision 
fell into the hands of an insignificant minority ^^ whose racial 
fanaticism passed all bounds. A further cause of the violence 
of the assemblies was the gradual abandonment of the ancient 
practice of vota saniora {non numeranda sed fonderanda). 
In former days the president of the assembly had it in his power, 
in cases of disagreement, to class the votes by culture and 

"« Hirnok, April 8, 1841 (No. 28). 

^'" Even in 1900 only 75 per cent, of the population of Lipto county 
was Magyar, and this includes a considerable proportion of Jews. 



merit instead of by mere numbers, and thus to ensure that the 
more sober elements of the assembly should not be swamped 
by the " sandal nobility." This custom, well as it seems to have 
worked in practice, was too flagrantly at variance with modem 
ideas to survive ; but unhappily its abandonment left all 
critical decisions with the least worthy section of the electorate, 
and the non-Magyars found themselves almost everywhere 
in a crushing minority, which was rendered still more effective 
by the new linguistic provisions. 

The election of delegates to the Diet was by no means the 
only important function of the county assembUes. They 
also elected by public vote the leading officials of the county — 
the vice-sheriff, the deputy vice-sheriff, the notaries, the 
Fiscals, the preceptor, the szolgabiros (who then presided 
over the district courts in addition to their local executive 
functions) and the jurymen (jurassores). The high sheriff of 
the county possessed the right of nominating candidates to 
all these offices, and successful candidates had to submit to 
frequent re-election — as a rule every three years ; they were 
thus at the mercy of the dominant local party, and were forced 
to devote themselves to canvassing and party intrigue in order 
to maintain their position. 

When in 1848 the special privileges of the nobles were abol- 
ished, and the franchise was extended to the bourgeois classes, 
a reform of the county assemblies became inevitable. But 
events moved too fast in that eventful spring ; the law dealing 
with local government was hastily drafted and avowedly 
provisional in nature (Law XVI., 1848) ; and the opening of 
hostilities relegated further discussion to a distant future. 
For the ten years following Vilagos, the ancient county auto- 
nomy was suppressed, and Alexander Bach^ officials admin- 
istered Hungary on centralist lines. The old half-Asiatic 
principles on which the country had hitherto been governed, and 
which are so vividly described in the novels of Baron Eotvos 
and Maurice Jokai, were now suddenly abrogated, and the 
bureaucratic ideas of the Germans of Austria infused a new 
life into the rusty and disjointed machine. But with all its 
sterling merits, the Bach system was based upon an arbitrary 
negation of historic rights and traditions, and as such was 
opposed by the entire poHtical nation of that day, while even 
the Slovaks, though they welcomed its humane and impartial 
administration, were alienated by its unwise Germanizing 
tendencies. ♦ 



One of the " Bach Hussars," as his officials were contemptu- 
ously nicknamed by the Magyar gentry, has left us an admir- 
able account of his term of office as szolgabiro (or Stuhlrichter) 
in a remote Slav district. Nothing could be more graphic 
than the tale of his vicissitudes. When he reported himself 
at headquarters before starting, one of the sectional chiefs 
expressed the hope that he would have things in order in the 
course of a year. Full of astonishment, he replied that he 
fully expected to have everything in full swing within a few 
weeks. " Don't flatter yourself ! " was the discouraging 
answer, " you don't know the old regime." Nor had his chief 
exaggerated. The office could not even boast of tables or ink. 
The documents at first lay upon the floor, for want of cupboards 
or boxes. The land registers, which had been entirely omitted 
from the formal inventory, were discovered under the bed of 
the beadle. Arrears of taxes amounting to 35,000 florins 
were due to be collected. There was no jail in the village ; 
the prisoners were quartered at the inn, where they were free 
to go in and out at pleasure. The junior officials knew Magyar 
and a smattering of canine Latin ; aU were bad at German, 
and one knew no Slav, though the surrounding district was 
entirely Slav. Two of them had never read a law, and he had 
to begin by teaching them the elements of their work.*°° Yet 
these ignorant fellows treated their superior with studied con- 
tempt, and habitually spoke of him as " the Bohemian dog." 
The nobles were still more supercilious, and at an evening 
party a Magyar lady, roused to enthusiasm by the singing of 
one of our chronicler's Bohemian colleagues, exclaimed, " Then 
it is true what I have often heard, that every Bohemian is either 
a musician or a thief." ^"^ One more story must suffice. He 
received a visit from a neighbouring priest, who complained 
of the insults of a peasant and demanded his summary 
punishment. On closer inquiry, the priest merely said : " He 
insulted me and I boxed his ears for it once or twice ; be kind 
enough to punish him." When the new official hinted that 
this also was a punishable offence, the priest indignantly re- 
torted : " Formerly when the sz61gabir6 came'and I complained 
of anybody, he did not ask his name or what he had done, but 
simply ordered his haiduck (servant) to give twenty-five strokes 
to the man whom I pointed out to him." 

"° Acht Jahre Amtsleben in Ungarn, p. 24. 
"I Ibid., p. 33. 



The Bach regime was from the first doomed to failure, for 
its very merits were at variance with the wishes of the nation. 
When Bach fell in 1859 hardly a voice was raised in favour of 
the officials who had served him so loyally. They were sum- 
marily dismissed without compensation, and in more than one 
case were ejected in midwinter by the Magyar authorities 
under circumstances of peculiar brutality. But it is worthy 
of note that aU advocates of administrative reform during the 
past forty years have freely recognized the efficiency and 
impartiality of the Bach officials, and have advocated the 
adaptation of their methods to the national requirements, rather 
than a further advance on traditional Magyar lines. 

In i860 the old county autonomy was revived, but remained 
throughout the period of the " Provisorium " in a more or 
less chaotic state. The one really clear provision of the law 
of 1848 (§2, e) by which Magyar was declared the sole language 
of debate in the congregations, provided the Magyars with a 
powerful instrument against the other races, of which they 
were not slow to take advantage. Parliament was now no 
longer composed of delegates from the local assembhes, but of 
deputies elected by direct franchise. But the congregations, 
though deprived of this important function, stiU retained 
complete control of the administration, and their officials 
conducted the elections, with the result that the Slovaks, 
Roumanians and Serbs together returned less than twenty 
deputies to Parliament. 

After the Ausgleich many of the wisest Hungarian statesmen 
favoured an extension of the powers of the central executive 
as the sole remedy for the many abuses of local administra- 
tion. But local sentiment proved too strong for these views ; 
and the only really radical reform effected in this direction 
was the withdrawal of the lower courts from the jurisdiction 
of the county assemblies, and the erection of District courts 
with judges nominated directly by the Crown.*"^ In the same 
year some order was introduced into the chaos of the county 
assemblies. These were henceforth to be composed of 120 to 
600 members, according to the population of the county ; of 
these half consisted of the chief taxpayers of the county, known 
in Hungary as " virilists," and half were elected by those 
persons enjoying the parliamentary franchise.*"^ The chief 
functions of the assemblies were defined as the publication 

*°* 1870, XV ; 1871, viii., xxxi., xxxii. 
<»» 1870, xlii. » 



of statutes, control of traffic and public works, contracting of 
loans, revision of local finance, discussion of appeals from 
communes, and all other matters of municipal self-government. 
Finally the assemblies elect sexenniaUy their chief administra- 
tive officials — the Vice-Sheriff, who conducts the affairs of 
the county, carries out the decisions of the assembly and of 
the Government, prepares periodical reports to the assembly 
and draws up the agenda of its meetings, checks the accounts 
and signs official documents, prepares all protests against j 
ministerial orders and has power to suspend negligent officials ; I 
the Notaries, who keep the minutes of the assembly and its 
committees and draft aU official reports and correspondence 
of the county ; the Fiscal, who represents the county's in- 
terests at law, acts as its general legal adviser, takes action 
against faulty officials and prosecutes in cases of libel against 
the authorities ; the Szolgabiro (Stuhlrichter), the local exe- 
cutive official who enforces the instructions of the Vice-Sheriff, 
exercises control over the communes in his district, imposes 
fines or short terms of imprisonment for the infringement of 
police regulations and similar delinquencies, and possesses a 
special seal of his own and a clerk for the conduct of his busi- 
ness ; the president and members of the Board of Orphans, 
the cashier, archivist, bookkeeper, county engineer, official 
doctor and veterinary surgeon. 

In 1876 ^^ the privileges of forty-seven free towns — for the 
most part towns where the non-Magyar element predominated 
— were annulled, and they were incorporated in the surround- 
ing counties. At the same time the State's solemn pledge to 
respect Saxon autonomy was set at open defiance, and the 
historic Konigshoden was swallowed piecemeal by the Transyl- 
vanian counties, care being taken to adjust the county bound- 
aries to the advantage of the Magyar element. ^^^ A farther 
law of the same year introduced a new system of county 
administrative committees (Kozigazgatasi bizottsag : Ver- 
waltungsausschuss) to which were henceforth assigned almost 
all the essential functions of local administration.*"* These 
committees were composed on the one hand of ten members 
of the county assembly, elected for two years, and half retiring 
annually, and on the other hand of the ten chief administrative 
officials of the county,^' while the High Sheriff possessed the 

"* Law XX. *•» Law XXXIII. 

*"• 1876, vi. ; especially §§ 1-4, 12, 13, 16, 24. 
*°' Vice-Sheriff, Chief Notary, Fiscal, President of Board of Orphans, 



casting vote. The wide executive and disciplinary powers 
thus secured to the committees divested the assembhes of 
much of their power, reduced popular representation to a mini- 
mum, and strengthened the hold of the central government 
upon local affairs. 

In 1886 the system of county government was subjected 
to a partial revision. Henceforth the county assemblies 
are to consist of from 120 to 600 members, according to the 
population of the county ; but the franchise under which 
they are elected cannot be described as truly representative, 
still less as democratic. One half of the seats are assigned 
automatically to the virihsts, or most highly taxed persons in 
the county, and in an agricultural country like Hungary these 
are of course generally the great landed proprietors. Only the 
other half is elected at all, and then under the narrow and com- 
plicated parliamentary franchise, of which we shall have occa- 
sion to speak later.*"^ In addition, the county officials — the 
vice-sheriff, the notaries, the fiscals, the president and mem- 
bers of the Orphan Board, the official county doctor, the 
chief szolgabiros, the treasurers and archivists, and the mayors 
of all boroughs situated within the county — are ex officio 
members of the assembly,*"^ and as the posts of all save the 
latter are not held for life but are subject to sexennial re-elec- 
tion by the Assembly, their holders are naturally dependent 
upon the viriHst squires, who are thus enabled to secure a clear 
majority. Every six years three candidates for each office 
are nominated by the County Committee,*^" in which the high 
Sheriff (foispan) commands the majority, and thus in practice 
the vacancies are virtually filled by the high sheriff himself, 
who is as a rule a prominent landlord of the county and con- 
sults the interests of his own narrow class. The captain of 
police, the archivists, bookkeepers and clerks, the unpaid 
supernumeraries (gyakomokok) , the county and district doctors 
and veterinary surgeons, are indeed all appointed directly 
by him for life. The whole system of " election " to such 

County Doctor, Royal Inspector of Taxes, chief official of Royal Board 
of Works, School Inspector, Public Prosecutor, and Director of Post 
Office district. 

"^ See pages 250-1. 

"» See §§ 24, 31, 51, xxi., 1886. 

*i" This consists of the high sheriff (with a casting vote), three mem- 
bers elected by the Assembly, and three members nominated by the 
high sheriff. It is not bound to give any explanation of its decisions 
(§ 82). 

R.P.H. 241 R 


offices is open to grave objections. It tends to encourage 
subserviency and intrigue ; those who are most in evidence 
and make the noisiest profession of patriotic feelings, are, as 
a rule, those whose advancement is surest. The uncertainty 
which the short period of office and the passions of local politics 
engender militates against industry and devotion to duty, 
and the average official's energies are devoted to furthering 
the interests of the party to which he owed his election and 
on whose favour he depends. Short hours, non-attendance, 
incredible carelessness and accumulation of arrears are ram- 
pant in many counties. Many officials live beyond their 
means ; card playing and gambling are only too common 
vices. The extent to which municipal offices had been sinecures 
for decayed members of the gentry, may be gathered from the 
fact that in 1882, out of 428 szolgabiros, as many as 243 had 
not passed any legal examinations, and over 100 had not com- 
pleted their school education. *^^ By the law of November 22, 
1882, the county officials were for the first time required to 
quahfy for their posts, but even now the old system of " pro- 
tection " lingers on. Many men enter the civil service imme- 
diately after their " maturity " examination, are inscribed at 
an academy of law, and pass out without having heard a 
single lecture. Influence secures promotion to worthless 
members of a decayed family, shuts off advancement from good 
men, and gives the right of decision to men who are not quali- 
fied to use it aright. In some of the smaller counties a few 
families control the whole administrative machine, most of 
the offices being held either by their own members or their 
dutiful dependants. Instances of good and able men rising 
from the ranks are by no means unknown in Hungary ; but 
they, too, are due not to the system, but to the influence exerted 
by some enlightened and powerful individual. 

As we have seen, it is quite misleading to describe the Hun- 
garian system of county government as representative in any 
true sense of the word, since the elected members of assembly 
only represent a single class of the population, and are in any 
case outnumbered by permanent and official unelected mem- 
bers. The same is true of the communal assemblies, in 
which only half the members are elected, while the other half 
consists of the chief taxpayers of the commune, and the local 
officials, who also sit, thus possess in effect a casting vote. These 

"^ Schulthess, Geschichtskalender, 1882, p. 331. 


officials — the judge and vice-judge, two jurymen, the notary, 
the director of the Board of Orphans, and the communal 
doctor — are " elected " in the communal assembly ; but the 
right of nominating candidates for the first two and the last 
two (i.e. the most important) of these offices, is vested in the 
president of the assembly, who is the foszolgabiro (Oberstuhl- 
richter), in other words the chief executive official of the dis- 
trict. *i2 As votes may only be recorded in favour of " candi- 
dates," it is a mere farce to speak of their " election." In the 
case of boroughs, the right of nominating candidates lies with 
a committee, composed of the vice-sheriff as chairman, two 
members nominated by him, and two members elected by 
the council. Thus in either case the appointments are bound 
to rest in the hands of a devoted instrument of the central 
government, and the " election " of any non-Magyar save a 
renegade is a physical impossibility. 

The reforms introduced by Coloman Tisza, half-hearted as 
they were, have broken down the old defences of county 
autonomy ; and just as the fortresses of Vauban and Eugene 
can no longer resist the terrors of modern artillery, so the 
county assembhes cannot hold out indefinitely against the 
onslaughts of a resolute central government. They retain, 
it is true, the power to withhold taxes and recruits which have 
not been legally voted by Parhament *^^ ; but with these two 
exceptions the ancient jus resistendi has been restricted to 
a bare right of making " representations." If after considera- 
tion the Minister sees fit to repeat his order, it must be obeyed 
without delay ; while a ministerial order which purports to 
defend " the endangered interests of the State," can only be 
contested through the medium of Parliament. 

The power thus possessed by the Minister of the Interior 
to enforce his wishes in the teeth of local opinion, is found 
specially useful against the nationalities, and is reinforced 
by the right of appeal which belongs to each individual member 
of a county assembly, and which in the case of refractory 
counties — for instance those with a Saxon majority — makes 
it possible to overrule any decision of a county assembly. 
Either the Minister decides upon such an appeal, or the High 
Sheriff makes a representation against the decision, without 
either the appeal or the representation being submitted to the 
assembly ; and the Minister then revokes the decision and 

"* 1886, xxii., § 77. 413* 1886, xxi., § 20. 



enjoins the exact opposite ! When in 1876 ParHament recog- 
nized the Saxon University's right to control its own property/^* 
its decisions remained subject to the sanction of the Minister, 
and this has sometimes been given to resolutions which were • 
passed by a minority of two Roumanian members against 
the joint protest of all the Saxons. For instance, in 1878 the 
county assembly of Hermannstadt decided to build a county 
house, but on the appeal of several of its members the Minis- 
ter annulled this decision. A subsequent resolution of the 
assembly to purchase a building for the purpose was ignored 
by the Minister for eighteen months, and then annulled on 
the appeal of a single member. He then ordered the assembly . 
to huild a county house, and prescribed its site, and the pro- | 
tests of the assembly against this illegality were unavailing. *^^ 
Again, on January 26, 1878, the finance committee of the 
Saxon University proposed to prohibit the high sheriff from 
using as his official dwelling a house belonging to the Uni- 
versity ; the latter, however, declared himself to be respon- 
sible only to the King and to the Minister, and forbade the 
discussion of this proposal. *^° The petition of a certain indi- 
vidual for a grant of 500 florins was rejected by nineteen 
members of the University on grounds of economy, but favoured 
by one member, who appealed to the Minister ; the latter 
then assigned the money from the funds of the University, 
thus making a laughing stock of even the scanty remnants of 
its autonomy. 

In the same way a decree of July 14, 1877, forced the Uni- 
versity to make an annual grant of 2,000 florins to the titular 
Saxon Count, though this ran directly counter to its own 
wishes.*" The Count was at the same time empowered " to 
have the affairs of the central administration of the University 
carried out according to his direction"; in other words, the 
Government through its nominee assumed the right not only 
of inspection but also of absolute control. When the Univer- 
sity protested, Tisza issued a new order (October 5, 1877), 
enjoining them to incorporate the original order in their 
statutes. When the committee of the assembly wished 

«i* xii., § 7. 

«i« Preussische Jahrbucher, xlvii. {1881), pp. 41-8, "Die Deutschen- 
hetze in Ungarn." 

*" Geographische Nachrichten fiir Welthandel und Volkswirthschaft, 
iii. (1881), p. 58. 

*" Preussische J ahrbucher, xlviii. pp. 150-170. 



to submit a report on the incident, Wachter, the High 
Sheriff, declared that he would not allow its discussion, and 
that the assembly must adopt unquestioningly the ruling of the 
Minister. In spite of protests, he then moved its adoption 
and added that he would declare it carried if there were 
but a single vote in its favour. Two Roumanians voted for 
its adoption, and the sixteen Saxons present against it, where- 
upon Wachter announced the adoption of the Ministerial order 
" as a decree of the University." On November 19, 1877, a 
further decree was published to the following effect : " The 
fact that the alterations in the statutes indicated in my decrees 
have been carried out not by the majority but by the minority, 
does not in the slightest degree weaken the legality of these 
changes ; for since the majority by its illegal action volun- 
tarily abdicated the execution of the privileges which the 
law confers upon it, it has thereby of its own accord handed 
over to the minority the lawful right of representation in the 
Assembly ! " ^^ 

This same Wachter, at the election of a vice-sheriff for the 
county of Hermannstadt (Szeben), declared beforehand that 
he would not recognize the validity of the election of any man 
save August Senor. One hundred and fifty votes were re- 
corded, and of these only twenty-seven for Senor ; yet Wachter 
declared the latter elected and swore him in without delay. 
On appeal to headquarters, Tisza endorsed Wachter's action, 
and in due course ParUament confirmed the Premier's decision.**^ 

The growing power acquired by the Minister of the Interior 
to override local opinion, makes it all the more unpardonable 
that the clauses of the Law of Nationalities relating to the 
linguistic proficiency of officials, should have been so entirely 
neglected. Knowledge of the local language is not one of 
the qualifications required of county officials, and even to-day 
there are still many szolgabiros who can speak no language 
save Magyar.*2o In December, 1907, Count Andrassy found it 
necessary to issue a circular insisting that all officials who come 
into close contact with the people, shall acquire a thorough 
knowledge of the local idiom ; but it is to be feared that this 
circular wiU merely be shelved, like so many of its fellows. 

*i8 Geogr. Nachrichten III. (1881), p. 57. 

*i» See debate of March i, 1879. 

**" For instance, Mr. Pereszlenyi, the sz61gabir6 who was involved 
in the maissacre of Csernova (see p. 341) knew no Slovak. But for 
this, the massacre might perhaps have be^en averted, 



The " Asiatic " conditions of Hungarian administration 
are, in the opinion of the well informed " Mercator," ^^^ not 
due solely to the manner in which the local officials are at 
present appointed ; "for the financial administration, with 
its state officials, is quite as bad as the political." But far 
worse even than the repeated scandals among treasury officials, 
is the treatment to which the peasantry are subjected at the 
hands of local notaries. These officials often exercise an 
almost despotic power within the bounds of their narrow 
kingdom, and as the schedules of taxation are in most counties 
drawn up in the Magyar language only,*^^ those non-Magyars 
who do not know the language of state (and they form the 
vast majority) are entirely at their mercy. It must not be 
supposed that these schedules are easily understood, for quite 
apart from the terrors of Magyar official phraseology, the num- 
ber of items which they contain ^^^ makes it hard for an edu- 
cated man, still harder for a peasant, to satisfy himself that 
he is not being overcharged. In many a village the notary 
and the Jew are the only persons able to explain to the un- 
fortunate peasant the meaning of these mysterious documents, 
and needless to say, the information is not volunteered for 
nothing, and is not always strictly correct. Besides, it is by 
no means unusual to find a notary who knows no language 
save Magyar appointed to a Slav or Roumanian district, in 
which case explanations are rendered almost impossible. The 
peasant is then obliged to spend a couple of days in visiting 
the nearest town, in order to discover what a particular notice 
requires of him ; and before his work permits him to leave, 
the specified time may already have elapsed. 

Thus it is hardly too much to say that the Magyar autho- 
rities show less respect for the languages of the nationalities 
than does an army of occupation for that of a conquered 
country ; and where so little consideration is shown, it is 
ridiculous to expect enthusiastic loyalty on the part of the 
victims. Before passing from this subject, I propose to cite 
three typical instances of the manner in which linguistic rights 
are respected in local government ; in each case I have simply 

*'^ Die Nationalitdtenfrage, p. 62. 

"* The county of Pressburg is a notable exception. 

*2* Land tax, house tax, earnings tax, hcences for game and firearms, 
income tax, additional income tax, to say nothing of county and 
communal rates. 



translated the report given by the Pester Lloyd, which was 
for a whole generation the official organ of the Liberal Party 
and its interpreter to the foreign public. 

(i) July, 1894. — " In the interests of the language of state, 
Count Joseph Zichy, then High Sheriff of Pressburg county, 
in October of last year brought forward a motion in the county 
assembly, by which aU communes within the county of Press- 
burg should be bound in their internal administration, in aU 
official acts, in issuing certificates, etc., to use the Hungarian ^^^ 
language only, as being the language of state. In this sitting 
Dr. J. Derer, the Panslav advocate of Malaczka, rose amid 
general disturbance and protested against this resolution, 
which he described as illegal. Amid great excitement, the 
motion of the permanent committee in favour of its acceptance 
was carried. Dr. Derer hereupon moved a minority vote 
against this. In his appeal to the Minister of the Interior he 
referred to Law XLIV. of 1868, §§ 20 and 22, which lay down 
that the communes can themselves prescribe their own official 
language. The decision of the Minister, Mr. Hieronymi, has 
now been published ; he rejected the appeal on the ground 
that the vice-sheriff is justified in endeavouring within his 
sphere of action in the communes under him, to secure a wider 
currency for the Hungarian language of state. Naturally the 
Pan-slavs (die Herren Panslaven) are, according to the Press- 
burg Zeitung, scarcely edified at the effect of their appeal." *^^ 
(2) December, 1907. — " The town of Zombor summoned a 
meeting of town council for to-day, in order to decide upon 
the offers for the lease of the town rates. The permanent 
committee recommended the acceptance of the offers of a 
Budapest firm. No decision, however, was arrived at owing 
to an incident. George Nikolics, member of the town council, 
put forsvard a motion in the Serb language and spoke in its 
favour in the same language. High -sheriff Charles Fembach, 
together with the Chief Fiscal Sigismimd Turszky, and the 
councillor Gregory Buday, endeavoured to persuade Nikolics, 
who had formerly -been captain of police and has a complete mas- 
tery of the Hungarian language, to bring forward his motion 
in Hungarian Nikohcs, however, declined to do this, on the 
ground that he had a legal right to speak Serb. The high- 
sheriff then rejected the motion, closed the sitting amid great 

*** The Magyar language is of course meant. 

*" Pester Lloyd, July 20, 1894, cit. Brote, op. cit., p. 69. 



uproar and withdrew, accompanied by the applause of mem- 
bers of the assembly." *2^ 

(3) January, 1908. — " On the loth inst. in the sitting of 
the communal assembly of Miava, the retired postmaster and 
nationalist agitator, Samu Jurenka, declared that he would 
only pass the minutes, if they were drawn up in the Slovak 
language as weU. The chief szolgabiro protested against 
this irregular and unpatriotic attitude ; he described Jurenka's 
declaration as ' instigation,' adding the warning that if a simi- 
lar attitude were again adopted, the legal sphere of the 
coimty assembly would be suspended, since the Hungarian 
authorities would under no circumstances tolerate that the 
action of legal corporations should be misused for Panslav 
propaganda and incitement." *^' 

It would be an insult to the intelligence of my readers, to 
comment upon these incidents. 

I have endeavoured to show how greatly the local administra- 
tion of Hungary stands in need of reform, and it is permissible 
to hope that this may speedily follow the introduction of 
universal suffrage. The redistribution of the counties, their 
adjustment to the ethnical conditions of the country and to 
its judicial divisions ; the democratization of the county 
assemblies by a wide extension of the franchise ; the reform 
of the present system of appointment of county officials, and 
their appointment for life ; the appointment of non-Magyars 
to local offices in districts where the population is non-Magyar ; 
the strict enforcement of those provisions of the Law of Na- 
tionalities which deal with the use of non-Magyar languages 
in the administration and with the linguistic proficiency of 
local officials ; the introduction of severe checks upon corrup- 
tion and inefficiency — these are only the most important 
features of a far-reaching programme of administrative re- 
organization, which alone can assure to Hungary progress 
and tranquilHty in the future. Without administrative 
reform the racial question in Hungary can never be solved, 
and indeed it is not even possible to take the first steps towards 
a solution. Nor wiU these steps be taken until the Magyars 
realize that, in the words of one of their noblest writers,*^ " a 
vexatious administration rouses more antipathy than the 
most cruel depotism." 

**' Pester Lloyd, December 6, 1907. 
■"^^ Pester Lloyd, January 10, 1908. 
*" Eotvos, Die Nationalitdtenfrage, p. 168. 


Electoral Corruption and Electoral Reform "* 

Igazad, sogor, de senki sem hiszi. 
(You're right, coz, but no one'U believe you.) 

Magyar Proverb. 

EVER since universal suffrage became an accomplished 
fact in Austria, the real centre of interest in the Dual 
Monarchy has been transferred to Hungary, where the ques- 
tion was originally raised in the autumn of 1905. The present 
political situation of Hungary is unique in Europe. The 
Party of Independence, after upholding extreme Radical 
principles during forty years of Opposition, at length attained 
to power, only to be captured in its turn by reactionary in- 
fluences. As a result we have an Extreme Left which is 
at once ultra-Conservative, ultra-Protectionist and ultra- 
Chauvinist — an overwhelming majority which will tolerate 
no conflicting opinions and which is not ashamed to thin 
the scanty ranks of its opponents by suspension of immunity 
and even by more violent methods. But while within the 
walls of Parliament there is no Opposition worthy of the 
name, the country is full of discontent and impatience. In Octo- 
ber 1907 Mr. Mezofi, the only Socialist deputy in the House, 
was received with loud and hostile cries when his interpel- 
lation on electoral reform was announced, and only a single 
member of the entire Coalition party voted for its urgency. 
This would seem somewhat illogical in a party whose leaders 
at their accession to power laid repeated stress on the tran- 
sitional nature of their government. The Coalition has now 
been in office for two years and a half, and so far no indication 

"» The germ of this chapter is contained in an article entitled " Poli- 
tische Verfolgungen in Ungarn," published last December in the Oester- 
reichische Rundschau, and republished in April, 1908, in pamphlet 
form in English, French, German {Political Persecution in Hungary : 
An Appeal to British Public Opinion. By Scotus Viator) and 
in an article in the Manchester Guardian of November 30, 1907, en- 
titled " Backward Hungary : Her Political and Social Needs." 



has been given as to the hnes on which this reform, admittedly 
the chief item in their programme, is to proceed. As Count 
Andrassy, the Minister whose duty it will be to introduce 
the Bill, has justly observed, the whole future of Hungary 
depends upon the manner in which this problem is solved ; 
and hence no apology is needed for its discussion in a book 
. which deals with the racial question in Hungary. 
I The present electoral law of Hungary, when it was passed 
I in 1874, compared not unfavourably with that of many other 
^ countries, especially Austria, where the comphcated curial 
system prevailed. But since that date it has been out-dis- 
tanced by all its neighbours, and is to-day probably the 
most illiberal franchise in Europe. 

The qualifications for the vote are so elaborate and so 
involved that the official organ of the Government once de- 
scribed the Hungarian franchise as " the confusion of Babel." 
They are based upon property, taxation, profession or official 
position, and ancestral privileges *^ ; and care has been taken 

"0 See Law XXXIII (1874). Property qualification: (a) In free 
towns, owners of houses which contain three dwelHngs paying house 
tax, and owners of land paying taxes on a direct income of 32 crowns 
(§ 3. «. ^)- (^) III country districts, owners of " a quarter urbarial 
session " or its equivalent. This nominally corresponds to about 
14 acres, but as a result of the elaborate provisions of § 4, it varies 
greatly in the different counties, (c) Owners of houses whose house 
tax was imposed on a basis of 210 crowns of clear income (§ 6, a), {d) 
In Transylvania, house owners who pay ground tax on a direct income 
of 168 crowns, 159 crowns 60 heller and 145 crowns 60 h. respect- 
ively, according to the class under which they are scheduled for pur- 
poses of taxation (§ 5 , a). 

Taxation qualification — (a) Merchants, manufacturers or town arti- 
sans, paying taxes on income of at least 210 crowns (§ 6, c, d). (b) 
In boroughs, those who pay taxes for at least one apprentice (§ 6, e). 
(c) Those paying State taxes on a direct income of at least 210 crowns 
(§§ 5. b, 6,6). (d) Those paying income tax on 210 crowns income in 
Class I., on 1,400 crowns in Class II., or in the case of officials on 1,000 
crowns in Class II. (§ 7). 

Professional and official qualification : All members of the Hungarian 
Academy, academy artists, professors, doctors, veterinary surgeons, 
engineers, chemists, foresters ; public and communal notaries, advo- 
cates, clergy, schoolmasters (§ 9). 

Ancestral qualification : All those possessing the franchise previous 
to 1848 (§ 2). In 1905 32,712 persons still voted by right of ancient 
privileges {tfng. Stat. Jahrb. xii. p. 431). In 1872 Transylvania had 
73 deputies and 121,415 electors, of whom 80,896 (or 66-6 per cent.) 
were noble. If the ancestral qualification had been abolished, the 
number of electors at that date would have sunk in the county of 
Csik from 15,000 to 1,729, in Haromszek from 11,418 to 4,950, in the 



to exclude not merely servants in the widest sense of that 
word, but also all apprenticed workmen and agricultural 
labourers (§ lo). Hence the proletariat is entirely unrepre- 
sented in the Hungarian Parliament, and even the skilled 
artisan is a neghgible quantity in politics ; less than 6 per cent, of 
the working classes, and only 13 per cent, of the small trading 
class,' possess the franchise. No fewer than 59 per cent, of the 
electors are owners of over 8 acres of land. Indeed only six per 
cent, of the entire population enjoys the franchise, and as a 
result, a number of constituencies have become little better than 
rotten boroughs. At present there are two constituencies 
with less than 200 voters, nine with less than 500, 49 (or 11 
per cent.) with less than 1,000 : while 280 more contain less 
than 3,000 voters. *^^ As the proportion of voters who actually 
come to the polls is not high in Hungary,*^^ ^j^g elections of 
1 90 1 presented the following startling result. Almost one- 
third of the deputies (125) were elected by less than 100 
votes ; close upon two-thirds (254) received less than 1,000 
votes ; 377, or over 91 percent., received less than 1,500 votes, 
and only 11 candidates received more than 2,000 votes.*^ In 
1905 there was no contest in 108 seats, or 26 per cent, of all 
the seats.*^ 

Though the Magyars are never tired of emphasizing the 
need for uniformity in the lands of St. Stephen, they did 
not scruple to introduce a special franchise for Transylvania, 
which is skilfully devised in such a way as to secure the 
Magyar " hegemony." While in Hungary, as a whole, the 
franchise is possessed by 6*i per cent, of the population, in the 
central districts by from 6*5 to 7*5 per cent., in Transylvania, 
on the other hand, only 3*2 per cent, are enfranchised. Indeed 

towns of Olahfalu and Elizabethstadt from 623 and 275 to 17 and 130. 
Among these " noble " voters the percentage of illiterates was very 

**^ Grof Kreith Bela, Terkep az 1906 orszaggyulesi kepviselova- 
lasztasok eredmenyerol, 1906 ; Ung. Stat. Jahrb. xiv. The nine 
" rottenest " are as follows : Bereszk, 142 voters ; Szek, 182 ; Erzseb- 
etvaros, 258 ; Abrudbanya, 254 ; Olahfalu, 262 ; Vizakna, 330 ; 
Szamosujvar, 366 ; Ujegyhaz, 437 ; Toroczko, 500. These are all 
either Magyar or Saxon. Seven constituencies (Karansebes, Godollo, 
Homonna and four districts of Budapest) have over 7,000 voters. 

*^* In 1896, 73'5 per cent, of the voters came to the polls ; in 1901, 
67-3 per cent. ; in 1905, 67-8 per cent. ; in 1906, only 61 -9 per cent. 

**' Bunzel, Studien zur Sozial und Wirtschaftspolitik Ungarns, p. 109 

*** See Appendix xi. • 



the more Roumanian a county is, the fewer voters does it 
possess.*^ Thus out of the 74 deputies whom Transylvania 
sends to Budapest, 35 represent the 4 Magyar counties and 
the 15 chief towns,*^^ which together form only 28 per^cent. 
of the population ; while only 30 represent the remaining 
72 per cent, of the population, which is of course overwhelm- 
ingly Roumanian, In other words, among the Roumanians 
there is an average of one deputy to every 50-60,000 inhabi- 
tants, among the Szekels of East Transylvania, i to every 
4-5,000 ! Moreover, in Transylvania the qualification is from 
three to six times lower in the towns than in the rural districts, 
for the excellent reason that the Roumanians are in a hopeless 
minority in most of the urban communes. Nor is this aU. 
In the rural districts of Transylvania the qualification is in- 
finitely higher than in other parts of Hungary. In the latter 
the vote falls to all owners of a " quarter urbarial session " 
(roughly 14 acres), in the former it is limited to taxpayers 
who can show a net income of 159 crowns. Owing to the 
greater poverty of the soil and the primitive conditions which 
still prevail in Transylvania, the practical result of this is 
that a Roumanian peasant must own at least six times as much 
land as his Magyar equal, before he can obtain a vote. This 
helps to explain why in the 25 more or less Magyar counties 
of Hungary the proportion of voters to the entire population 
is nearly twice as large as in the Roumanian counties. 

The statistics with which I have inflicted the reader tell 
an eloquent tale, and he will no longer be surprised or in- 
credulous when he reads that the Hungarian franchise is not 
exactly monopolized, but effectually controlled by two classes 
— the Gentry and the Jews. No one who has any knowledge 
of Hungary can venture to deny this assertion, for the Magyar 
" intelligents " and the enfranchised portion of the petite 
bourgeoisie are mainly recruited from these two classes.*^' 

*8* In Kolozsvar 8 per cent, are voters ; inDebreczen, 7-1 ; in Szeged, 
69 ; in Nagyvarad, 6'5 ; in Hodmezo, 7*9 ; in Marosvasarhely, 
6"9 ; in the counties of Somogy, 73 ; Hajdu, 6*8 ; Bereg, 7'i. But 
in the Roumanian counties of Kolozs, 17 ; Kiskiikiillo, 2 ; Als6feh6r 
and Torda-Aranyos, 2*2 ; B. Naszod, 2-3 ; Fogaras, 2*8 ; Hunyad, 
3 '2. See Ung. Stat. Jahrb. xiv. p. 424. 

"« These are, of course, either Magyar or Saxon. 

*^'' So far from blaming the Jews for the dominant position which 
they have secured in Hungary, I can only admire the enterprise and 
industry to which they owe their success. I merely wish to draw 
attention to the very large grain of truth which underlies the odious 



The proletariat has no share in poHtical Hfe, and if it has 
not been found possible to exclude the non-Magyar races 
entirely from the franchise, numerous devices, of which we 
shall have to speak shortly, have been successfully employed 
for the past 40 years to keep them from the polls or to pre- 
vent them from electing men of their own nationality. In 
short, under the present franchise the non-Magyars and 
the working classes are little better than political helots. 
There is no pretence of democratic representation ; or 
rather there is a great deal of pretence, but absolutely no 

If the distribution of seats is unequal, gerrymandering, or 
electoral geometry as the Germans aptly call it, has reached its 
acme of perfection in Hungary. The constituencies have 
been cut up in the most arbitrary fashion, in defiance of 
geography, population and nationality, but with the one 
great object of favouring the Magyar element. There is 
only one polling booth in each constituency, and as the non- 
Magyar constituencies are apt to be larger than the Magyar, 
it will not surprise the reader to learn that the larger the 
constituency, the farther from its centre is placed the polling 
booth. It is only necessary to glance at an electoral map 
of Hungary to see the truth of this assertion ; indeed a score 
of instances could be cited where the polling place is in the 
extreme corner.*^ 

Strangely enough, this is most noticeable in the mountain 
districts, where difficulties of communication would seem 
to call for some other arrangement, and the fact that the 
Magyar strength lies in the towns serves to emphasize the 
handicap thus laid upon those coming from a distance, who 
are in the main non-Magyars. The constituencies on the 
frontier are often carved into long and narrow strips, which 
seem to mock at the convenience of the inhabitants,*^^ in many 
others the boundary follows so tortuous and serpentine a 
route that the general effect reminds us of the most difficult 

nicknames, " Judaeo-Magyar," and " Judapest " invented by Dr. Lueger, 
the Mayor of Vienna. 

*** E.g., Karansebes, Weisskirchen, Muhlbach (Szaszsebes), Fogaras, 
Maramaros Sziget, Tecso, Belenyes, Tape, Kaszony, Toke-Terebes, 
Vag-Illava, etc. 

"^ E.g., Tecso, Huszt, Bethlen, Szasz Regen, Okland, Illyefalva, 
Szaszvaros, Szaszsebes, Karansebes, Duna Vecse, Duna Keczel, Gyalu. 



Chinese puzzles of our childhood.*^ One constituency**^ is 
divided into two portions, the larger of which is separated 
by another large constituency (to say nothing of the river 
Maros) from the smaller portion which contains the polling 
booth ; in] another **2 a distance of sixty miles separates the 
polling place from the southern boundaries of the constitu- 
ency. Under such circumstances it is often necessary for 
voters to leave home on the morning before the election in 
order to arrive in time to record their votes. How insuper- 
able the difficulties must have been twenty or thirty years 
ago when the railway system was less developed, can easily 
be imagined ; and even to-day the climate and the weather 
play a very important part in elections, owing to the great 
distances which many voters have to cover. **^ 

**" E.g., Fiilop Szallas, Oroshaza, Szolnok, Also Dubas, Beregszasz, 
Arany-Maroth, etc. 

**i Toroczko. **' Karansebes. 

*" An electoral map which also marked the geographical features 
and the railway system of the country, would form a most valuable 
commentary on these difficulties of communication. 

In this connexion it may be mentioned that a Hungarian railway 
time-table forms a highly instructive commentary on the policy adopted 
towards the nationalities. The railway system of Hungary may be 
compared to a wheel, of which the frontier forms the rim, while 
the main lines form the spokes. All radiate from Budapest, the princi- 
pal being those to ( i ) Pressburg-Vienna, (2) Kremnitz-Oderberg-Berlin ; 
(3) Kassa-Tatra-Oderberg; (4) Debreczen-Maramaros Sziget-Lemberg ; 
(5) Kolozsvar-Kronstadt-Bucarest ; (6) Szeged-Temesvar-Orsova- 
Bucarest ; (7) Szabadka-Neusatz-Belgrad ; (8) Bosnisch-Brod-Serajevo ; 
(9) Agram-Fiume ; (10) Steinamanger-Graz. The services on all these 
lines are good, except that leading through Transylvania. But there 
are no facilities for crossing from one line to another, the trains being 
so slow and the connexions so bad that it is almost simpler to return 
each time to Budapest and start afresh on a new spoke. The real 
interest begins when a Slovak wishes to cross into Moravia, a Ruthene 
into Galicia, a Roumanian into Bukowina, a Serb of the Banat into 
Bosnia or Croatia, a Croat into Dalmatia. In each case the con- 
nexions are execrable or there are no connexions at all. The Slovak 
centres, Turocz, Szakolcza, Neusohl, Trencscn are as inaccessible to 
each other as though they were across the frontier. To get from 
Maramaros Sziget to Kolozsvar, from Eperjes toMunkacs, fromNeusatz 
to Agram, from Kolozsvar to Bistritz, even from Hermannstadt to 
Kronstadt, great patience and resolution is required. Crede experto. 
Hermannstadt, the Saxon capital and still a very important garrison 
town, can only be reached by branch lines, along which the trains 
crawl at a truly Oriental pace. After taking a whole day to get from 
Kolozsvar to Kronstadt, most of a day from Kronstadt to Hermann- 
stadt, and another whole day from Hermannstadt to Arad, my curi- 
osity was aroused ; and the evasive answers with which my questions 




On the other hand every obstacle is thrown in the way of 
the Opposition voters, especially in the case of a non-Magyar 
candidate. Bridges have sometimes been broken down or de- 
clared unsafeforvehiclesontheday of the election, in order to 
force Opposition voters to walk impossible distances or lose 
their votes. With the same object, all the horses in the 
outlying villages of a constituency have been placed under 
veterinary supervision, which is of course withdrawn on the 
day following +he election. And even when the outlying 
voters have reached their destination, their troubles are not 
ended. It is quite a common trick to keep a body of peasant 
voters waiting all day outside the village in rainy or frosty 
weather, in the hope that this treatment may thin their ranks 
or induce them to transfer their allegiance. At Pancsova in 
1875 the non-Magyar voters were made to wait two days in the 
open in ice and snow, before they were admitted to the poll.*^ 
Meanwhile in full view the rival voters are probably being 
ostentatiously feasted or plied with drink and money. If 
the Opposition voters remain firm, they may perhaps at length 
be admitted to the poll, only to be subjected to still greater 
indignities. But sometimes a cordon of troops or gendarmes 
blocks all entrance to the town, until the recording officer 
has closed the poll. Then, if the frantic peasants, who have 
come miles to vote, are rash enough to resist, ball cartridge 
is freely used, and dreadful scenes of bloodshed ensue. At 
the elections of 1896 thirty-two persons were killed and over 
seventy wounded ; and though the death roll on this occasion 
was unusually high, military intervention always claims its 
victims.^ (See Appendix xxiii.). 

were parried, convinced me that these difficulties form part of a deUber- 
ate plan to isolate the nationalities so far as is possible (the main arteries 
are of course inevitable) from the outer world and from each other. A 
whole chapter might easily be devoted to the elaboration of this theory. 

*** In case the reader should be tempted to reject this as incredible, 
it should be mentioned that in Hungary there is no fixed hour by which 
the poll must be closed. This is left to the discretion of the returning 
oflScer, and if his friends are delayed, the election may be prolonged 
into the night or the following day, or when once his friends have 
voted, the poll may be prematurely brought to an end. At Szilagy 
Cseh in 1884, over 600 Roumanian voters were prevented by the troops 
from entering the town, and the returning of&cer meanwhile declared 
the election at an end ; 140 Magyar electors thus secured the return 
of their candidates in the teeth of a large Roumanian majority. 

**^ Even the scanty records of Hungarian elections which appear in 
the Viennese press are highly suggestive. For instance, in 1896, ac- 
cording to the Neue Freie Presse, troops had* to intervene actively at 



At every general election the troops of the Joint Army are 
requisitioned by the Magyar authorities to " preserve order " 
at the polls ; the regiments quartered in Hungary itself are 
regarded as insufficient, and fresh battalions are poured into' 
the country from Galicia and Styria.*^ 

At an election in a Slovak or Roumanian district, it is by 
no means unusual for the authorities to send 1,500 troops 
and 100 gendarmes to " preserve order " in a single con- 
stituency **' ; and the Magyar Press is full of tales of the " ter- 
rorism " exercised by the non-Magyar agitators in such 
favourable circumstances ! Of course, in reality, so far from 
being able to terrorize, they are scarcely free to turn round 
without the permission of the authorities, who shamelessly 
set the law at open defiance. Hitherto the Hungarian Govern- 
ment has been free to employ the military for purposes of 
electoral coercion ; but it is to be hoped that the reformed 
Austrian Reichsrath will no longer submit to this misuse of 
the splendid institution of the Joint Army, and that the elec- 
tions of 1909 wiU be conducted on West European principles. 

It must not, of course, be supposed that such practices 
are universal in Hungary. All depends on the locality and 
the administrative officials. While, for instance, in the 
County of Nyitra the corruption and tyranny of the authorities 
baffles description, in the adjoining county of Pressburg 
an entirely different system prevails, and the elections are 
conducted in an orderly and impartial manner. At the same 
time, it is no exaggeration to say that for the past forty 
years an honestly conducted election in a non-Magyar con- 

Vagujhely, Tyrnau, lUava, Iglo, Locse, Lublo, Kis-Thalia, Szabad- 
barand. At Tyrnau the hussars were stoned by the mob and attacked 
them with drawn swords. At three villages near Lublo there was 
bloodshed between Liberals and Clericals. At Dunapataj blood was 
shed " owing to a trifling incident, after which the hussars rode into 
the Opposition voters." At Diosad the gendarmes gave a salvo and 
killed a Liberal voter. At Tura the gendarmes, in trying to separate 
Liberal and Opposition voters, used their weapons, and killed one and 
severely wounded two others. Many of the most scandalous incidents, 
especially those in Roumanian districts, are not reported at all. 

*" It is interesting to follow the movements of the troops on the 
eve of a general election, as recorded in the Press. See especially 
Pester Lloyd and Neue Freie Presse of October 25-26, 1896. 

*" At a bye-election in Szentes in January, 1900, two battalions of 
infantry, fifty gendarmes and many police were sent to " preserve 
order." The streets were patrolled as if under martial law ; a cordon 
was drawn, and only voters were let in. 



stituency has been a very rare occurrence ; and the Roumanian 
petition of 1892 to His Majesty was only stating the brutal 
truth when it asserted that a non-Magyar citizen " can only 
take part in the electoral campaign if he disregards his life 
and personal safety," and that Hungarian elections " have 
well-nigh assumed the character of a civil war." ^^ 

The way in which electoral rolls are prepared in Hungary 
throws a lurid light upon local administrative methods. 
Everything depends upon the personal character of the local 
notaries, szolgabiro *^^ or village mayor, of whom the former 
are notorious for their arrogance and Chauvinism and the 
latter for his helpless subservience. Applications by Op- 
position electors, above all applications by non-Magyars, 
are often simply ignored. Names are arbitrarily omitted 
or intentionally mis-spelt, or entered with WTong age, pro- 
fession or address, and thus disqualified at the poll ; and 
the fact that the lists are drawn up solely in the Magyar 
language, even in parishes where those speaking Magyar 
may be counted on the fingers of one hand, makes these mani- 
pulations a safe and easy task. Persons accused or suspected 
of " Pan-Slav " tendencies are thus apt to find their names 
passed over in the electoral rolls, Their verbal complaints 
will be met with insolent or stolid neglect, and their formal 
written appeals are in danger of finding their way into the 
waste-paper basket. Needless to say, the higher the qualifi- 
cation and the intelligence of the persons concerned, the 
more likely is this abuse to occur, and I myself know the 
manager of a large bank and a prominent Slovak advocate who 
were in this way deprived of their votes at a former election.*^" 
As an instance of what is possible among the officials who 
direct the elections in Hungary, I cannot do better than quote 
an incident which occurred in June, 1907, at Gernyeszeg, a 
purely Magyar constituency in Eastern Transylvania. Here 
at a bye-election between two rival candidates of the Inde- 

*" Brote, Appendix xli. Denkschrift der Rumanen an den Kaiser- 
Konig, p. 332. 

**» Stuhlrichter, or local executive official. 

*^° Most of the so-called Pan-Slavs in the County of Tur6cz, have been 
treated in this way. According to the author of Die Unterdriickung der 
Slovaken, there were in 1895 22,812 electors in [the county of Nyitra, 
but a few years later they had sunk to 17,073, and of the 5,739 thus 
disqualified, not a single man was a Magyar. The significance of this 
begins to emerge when we realize that 7^ per cent, of the population of 
this county is Slovak. 

R.P.H. 257 * S 


pendent Party, the opening of the poll had to be delayed for 
several hours, because the voting roll had mysteriously dis- 
appeared ! 

Needless to say, the officials take an active part in politics, 
especially during elections ; and nowhere is their zeal so 
manifest as in the non-Magyar districts. The regulations 
which enjoin their political neutrahty are openly flouted, 
and the local officials are frequently the most prominent, 
not merely in canvassing, but in intimidating and bribing 
the peasant electors. The village notary especially keeps 
a close eye upon the voters of his district, and his intimate 
knowledge of their private means and taxable capacity, backed 
often enough by his alliance with the all-powerful Jewish 
publican and usurer, enables him to exercise very consider- 
able pressure when the day of the election comes round. 
If the fight is closely contested, unwilling or wavering voters 
are often dragged from their houses, and browbeaten into 
voting for the " desirable " candidate. The Magyar officials 
know very well that these illegalities, so far from exposing 
them to reprimands or punishments, are the surest path to 
promotion and the favour of the authorities. Those who 
shout loudest are the greatest patriots, and those who prefer 
to be patriotic in their mother tongue are traitors and agi- 
tators, and as such must be ruthlessly suppressed. In ex- 
treme cases, where the Magyar hegemony is endangered by 
the candidature of a Slovak or Roumanian, the county officials 
are supported in their " patriotic " efforts by the High Sheriff. 
For instance, in 1906, when the election of the Slovak candi- 
date at Rozsahegy seemed certain, the High Sheriff of Lipto 
came over in haste and canvassed from door to door among 
the Jewish shopmen, until a majority could be secured for 
the Magyar and Anti-Semite candidate. 

The same partiality prevails among the officials who direct 
the elections. As I have already indicated, administrative 
efficiency varies greatly in the different counties, and one result 
of this is, that while in one county corruption and bribery are 
confined to the agents and canvassers of the candidates, in 
another the electoral officials are themselves guilty of the most 
outrageous illegalities. In each county the recording officers 
are appointed by the Central Committee of the County 
Assembly, which is only too often a mere tool in the hands of the 
High Sheriff or of a few powerful local magnates. A great deal, 
therefore, depends on the personal character of the recording 



officer, for he is charged with all preparations for the poll 
and disposes over the gendarmes and troops which may have 
been requisitioned to preserve order. With him are present 
during the election representatives of each commune in the 
constituency (generally their mayors) and also representatives 
of the rival candidates. *^^ But their helplessness becomes 
at once apparent whenever the president stoops to illegali- 
ties. Their protests are disregarded, and their withdrawal 
only opens the way for even greater abuses. For instance, 
cases could be cited where during the five or ten minutes 
which elapsed between the departure of one Vertrauensmann 
and the arrival of another, the president arbitrarily disqualified 
a whole batch of electors and even credited some of their votes 
to the other side ! 

There is no secret ballot, and to vote by public declaration 
before a mainly Magyar electoral committee requires very 
considerable courage on the part of a Slav or Roumanian 
peasant voter, who knows only too well the acts of petty 
tyranny and injustice by which the local demi-gods can re- 
venge themselves for his refusal to support their candidate. 
The minutes and the entire proceedings of the election are 
conducted in Magyar, and the slightest slip in that language 
often serves as an excuse for disqualifying him. Votes are 
sometimes annulled en masse on the wildest pretexts. For 
instance, a voter who, from ignorance of the language, failed 
to understand a question put to him, or mispronounced the 
candidate's name, or put his Christian name before his sur- 
name (and not vice versa according to the Magyar custom), 
is often ordered to stand aside, and loses his vote. The list 
of such sordid electioneering tricks could be added to almost 
indefinitely, but the lengths to which this swindling is some- 
times carried can best be realized from the following account 
of the notorious Szenicz and Verbo elections in May, 1906. 

Szenicz is a constituency of 2,391 electors, situated in the 
county of Nyitra on the Moravian frontier. The population 
is entirely Slovak, with the exception of a handful of officials 
and Jewish tradesmen. On the eve of the general elections 
of 1906, Szenicz and the neighbouring villages were filled 
with gendarmes and troops ; and on the polling-day the 
returning officer, Mr. Coloman Szabo (the szolgabiro of Holies), 
cut off the Slovak voters by a military cordon from all access 

*^i Wliat the Germans call Veriratiensmdnner. 


either to the polling-booth, or to the village inns. Their 
leaders were not allowed to communicate with them, and 
they were kept waiting outside Szenicz without food or drink 
till late at night, before they were even admitted to record 
their votes. As there seemed to be no prospect of the Magyar 
candidate being returned, Szabo and Pfauser, the presidents 
of the two committees, then proceeded to annul votes whole- 
sale. Fifty-seven Slovak electors were disqualified because 
they either pronounced the candidate's name wrongly, or 
credited him with a wrong Christian name, or omitted, or 
were ignorant of it, or described him as " Frank " or " Frano " 
Veselovsky, instead of " Veselovsky Ferencz " (the Magyar 
form). Others were rejected because their names or ages 
were entered incorrectly on the voting-roll, even when there 
could be no question of mistaken identity ; while certain 
names were treated as having been struck off the roll, because 
a careless clerk had written them half through the line in- 
stead of above it. In short, every possible trick or manoeuvre, 
some just within the letter of the law, others far beyond it, 
was employed to thin the ranks of the Slovak electors — with 
the result that 326 Slovak voters were disqualified and the 
Magyar candidate was elected by a majority of 141 votes. 
After the election, 214 voters charged Szab6 with misuse of 
his official position and violation of the law regulating elec- 
tions. The inquiry into the case was entrusted to Dr. Szile, 
the sz61gabir6 of the neiglibouring district of Szakolcza, 
who had organized the electoral campaign in favour of the 
Government candidate. The plaintiff's counsel was not 
allowed to attend the inquiry, and Mr. Szile did not even 
examine Szabo, the accused official ! On the other hand, 
he succeeded by threats and other devices in inducing 86 
of the petitioners to withdraw from the action. The re- 
mainder held firm, but the Fiscal, in rejecting their appeal, 
did not scruple to argue that their evidence could not he con- 
sidered, because they all belonged to the Slovak party ! *^'^ 

The election of Szenicz was wholly eclipsed by that in the 
neighbouring Slovak constituency of Verb6, where the total 
number of electors only amounted to 1,522. Baron George 
Rudnyanszky, the candidate of the Constitutional Party, 
was opposed in the interests of the Slovak national party by 
Dr. Julius Markovic, a well-known Slovak doctor in Vdgujhely, 

"* See his verdict, translated in Appendix 22. 


who has done more than any other man to improve the con- 
dition of the Slovak peasantry by the foundation of village 
banks and co-operative societies, and by strenuous opposi- 
tion to the fearful abuses of usury as practised by the Jewish 
tradesmen of North-west Hungary. Out of the 1,522 voters, 
the Magyars could not count on more than 400 to 500, even in- 
cluding those amenable to bribes, and thus in order to bring 
in their candidate, extremely drastic measures were adopted. 
Voting, it must be remembered, is by public declaration. 
A peasant, then, is asked to name the candidate for whom 
he votes. " Gyula Markovics," he may reply. " Gyula ? 
Gyula ? " says the returning officer, " there is no candidate 
called Gyula. Stand aside." And the unlucky voter, 
who ought to have said, " Markovics, Gyula," instead of 
" Gyula Markovics," has lost his vote. Another may make 
the same mistake with his own name, or may, from ignorance 
of Magyar, use a wrong number in stating his address. By 
these and similar dodges man after man was disqualified ; 
yet at 10 p.m., after all the Magyar voters had polled, the 
Slovak candidate was still leading by 150 votes, and Rud- 
nydnszky's cause seemed desperate. The situation was 
saved by a little band of roughs, who were allowed to force 
their way into the polling-booth, upset the president's table, 
and smashed the lamp. In the darkness the registers 
were torn up, and thus the election had to be annulled. 
The Magyar papers, ignoring the fact that Markovic was 
known to be leading easily, had the effrontery to assert that 
the disturbance was due to his supporters. Such an accusa- 
tion merely added insult to injury, for the Slovak headquarters 
were outside the village and were surrounded by troops and 
gendarmes, who also guarded the polling-booth, and who 
could have stopped such disturbances in a moment, unless 
they had been given the hint to hold aloof .*^ Most significant 

**' At the time of the elections I was in Budapest, and the newspaper 
I which I happened to buy next day contained the following report of 
the incident : " At 10 p.m. Julius Markovics (Nationalist) had 494, 
George Rudnyanszky (Const.) 349 votes. Owing to the unbridled 
agitation of the Nationalist party a brawl arose with the second com- 
mittee. The petroleum lamp was thrown down on to the voting cards 
of the Constitutional party. After the general panic Zocher, the 
Returning Ofi&cer, quashed the election." (See Magyar Hirlap, May 
4, 1906.) This was printed in ordinary type, among a crowd of other 
electoral results, as if such an event was of every -day occurrence. In 
other countries whole columns would have been filled with sensational 



of all, no inquiry was ordered, and the drunken louts who 
had caused the mischief were allowed to go unpunished. 

A fortnight later, on May i8, a fresh election was held at 
Verbo, the chief szolgabiro Szale acting as returning officer. Over 
1,200 troops and lOO gendarmes had been requisitioned to 
preserve order, and on an appeal of Mr. Hod^a to the Minister 
of the Interior, instructions had been issued for a " pure 
election." Three Slovak deputies (Jehlicka, Juriga and 
Skycak) were, despite their immunity, forcibly expelled 
by the gendarmes. The main body of Slovak electors was 
assembled outside the village, and, despite heavy rain, were 
kept waiting till dusk in the open fields, surrounded by a 
strong force of troops. They were not allowed their own 
" marshals," but were placed at the mercy of a Magyar can- 
vasser, who beguiled over 150 peasants before an entirely 
sham electoral committee, where they recorded their votes 
without discovering the deception. The Slovak candidate, 
hearing of this in time, collected them once more and brought 
them to the proper polling-booth, only to find that Szale 
absolutely refused to admit them. Meanwhile votes were 
annulled wholesale on the most flimsy pretexts. All those 
who failed to give the candidate's name, age and address 
in correct Magyar were promptly disqualified, and the Slovak 
candidate was robbed of sometlung like 700 votes. Dr. Mar- 
kovic's representative on the committee was charged no 
fewer than six times, and for the last two hours no Slovak 
representative was present at all, with the result that whole 
batches of Markovic's supporters were credited to the rival 
candidate ! Thus an absolutely safe majority of over 200 
for Markovic was twisted into a minority, and Rudnyanszky 
was declared elected by 95 votes. Not content with their 
victory, the authorities took action against a number of 
villagers for carrying white banners on the day of the election 
— an ancient custom which denotes that the villagers to 
which the banners belong intend to vote solid for one parti- 
cular candidate. The Lutheran pastor of Krajne and seven 
peasants were sentenced to ten days and 150 crowns {{6 
5s.) each, and five others to five days and 100 crowns each. 
Such is the history of this astounding election, which threatens 
to rob Coloman Tisza and Bdnffy of their laurels, and re- 
details and indignant protests : in Hungary it was not even thought 
worthy of editorial comment. No more eloquent proof of the prevalent 
corruption could be found than this unnatural indifference. 



veals the Coalition Government as the worthy champion of 
the Magyar " liberal " tradition. 

Wholesale bribery has always been recognized in Hungary 
as a political instrument of the first importance, and it formed 
the basis of that far-reaching system of corruption to which 
the Liberal Party owed its thirty-eight years of power. In 
former years the electors were invariably regaled with food 
and drink for days, sometimes for weeks, before the day of 
the poll ; and the money which in Britain is spent in hiring 
public halls and deluging the country with pamphlets and 
fly-leaves is applied in Hungary to the refreshment of the 
inner man. Though since 1899 greater respect may be 
shown for appearances, the corruption strikes as deep roots 
as ever, while in the non-Magyar districts no trick is too 
mean or discreditable to ensure the return of a " patriotic " 
member. The large proportion of uncontested seats is in 
no small measure due to previous monetary arrangements, 
especially where there is a limited number of voters ; and 
rumour has it that not a few deputies speculate upon their par- 
liamentary salaries. Be this as it may, a large mass of electors 
have their price, and even to-day an election is still regarded 
in many country districts as an opportunity for getting blind 
drunk for nothing. No disgrace attaches to bribery, and 
indeed its success is only too often regarded with envy and 

In 1899, it is true, Mr. ColomanSzell introduced an elaborate 
Corrupt Practices Act, as a reaction against the disgraceful 
trickery and violence of Baron Banffy's regime ; but this 
law, like so many others in Hungary, has for the most part 
remained merely ornamental. The blame for this does not 
attach to Mr. Szell, who was probably genuinely disgusted 
at the excesses of his predecessors, but to the bad adminis- 
tration against which every educated Hungarian inveighs ; 
and until the latter is radically reformed, no great improve- 
ment can be expected in the matter of purity of elections. 
Meanwhile, even this law directly sanctions bribery under 
certain prescribed forms. In other words, the candidate 
may drive his supporters to the poll at his own expense, may 
supply those coming from a distance with food and drink, 
and may entertain individual voters in his house " so far 
as this does not exceed the limits of ordinary hospitality."*^^ 
With this exception, however, the new law looked very well 
*** Sch wicker. *°^ 1899, xv. § 9. 

263 » 


on paper, and meanwhile the local authorities might be trusted 
to maintain their ancient reputation. The baneful effects 
of the system upon the moral standard of the peasants, and 
indeed of society as a whole, cannot be two strongly em- 
phasized ; and one of the most sterling merits of the little 
band of non-Magyar deputies is their resolute condemnation 
of corrupt practices, and their endeavour to appeal to the 
reason and sentiment rather than to the appetite and pockets 
of their constituents. May they long remain true to the 
motto of Kollar, " Our people must base its existence upon 
virtue ! " 

Of course, no one will ever know the sums spent by the 
Governments of the past forty years for electoral purposes ; 
but the scandals which came to light in the spring of 1907 
render it highly probable that considerable sums have been I 
diverted from the Budget for necessary electoral "expenses." 
Mr. Ugron, the well-known Clerical Independent, did not 
hesitate in 1900 to accuse Baron Banffy of not handing 
over to his successor the electoral fund of the Liberal Party ; 
and though Mr. Ugron's statements are not always very 
accurate, the existence of such a fund can hardly be called 
in question. In this connexion we cannot do better than 
quote from an Address moved in November, 1898, by the 
National Party, under the leadership of Count Albert Apponyi : 
" The Premier has partly in his earlier, partly in his most 
recent announcements, declared it to be the duty and business 
of the Government to collect, control and distribute electoral 
money for the support of official candidates, and make use 
of the power of the pubUc offices." In a word, the brazen 
assertion of Baron Banffy, that absolutely no incorrect use 
of money was made at the elections of 1896, need not be 
taken seriously ; indeed it was received by the House in 
the same spirit in which it was uttered. In the course of 
the same debate (Feb. 17, 1898), Mr. Rohonczy, a Liberal 
deputy, had openly asserted in the House that at the " Banffy 
elections," the Government spent six million crowns to defeat 
opposition candidates. His assertion was, of course, denied, 
and he subsequently admitted that he was not in a position 
to prove the exact sum. But when he confessed to having 
himself received 9,000 crowns on that occasion, and 4,000 
crowns at each of the two previous elections, his statement 
was accepted on all sides as bona fide.^^ Of course there is 

"• On July II, 1891, Mr. Charles Eotvos, the well-known Independent 



not necessarily anything discreditable in the grant of pecuniary 
support to a poor candidate by his party ; the real significance 
lies in the admission of the manner in which a large portion 
of this money was spent, and of the direct and active support 
received by " desirable " candidates from the central and 
local executive authorities. Besides, there is all the difference 
in the world between a -party fund for electoral expenses, 
and a Government fund for the same purpose. It is the latter 
which exists in Hungary, and in the so-called " pure " elec- 
tions of Mr. Szell (1901), and Count Tisza (1905), the Govern- 
mental support to Governmental candidates was reckoned 
at close upon ten crowns a head for the number of electors. 
For instance, in a constituency with 1,000 electors, the 
" desirable " candidate would receive from 8,000 to 10,000 
crowns, and made his arrangements accordingly.*^" Each of 
these general elections must, therefore, have cost the Govern- 
ment at least eight million crowns. Thus with charming im- 
partiality the Government provides money for its own supporters 
and troops and gendarmes for the benefit of its opponents. 
The money thus placed in the hands of candidates is of course 
distributed with varying degrees of delicacy. The banknotes 
may be handed over concealed in a newspaper, or may be 
left protruding from a pocket in sight of the proper people : 
on other occasions such hypocritical tricks may be dispensed 
with altogether. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Rohonczy's avowed object of provoking 
\ an inquiry was not achieved, and time after time, when inter- 
■jpellations have been made respecting specially outrageous 
[electoral incidents, the House has almost unanimously decided 
/to ignore them, and has accepted with significant readiness 
the most childishly inadequate explanations. Scandals of 
this kind, instead of being probed to the bottom, are ignored 
or hushed up ; for " no nation possesses so much esprit de 
corps as the Magyars, and nowhere are all facts which might 

deputy, admitted that his candidature in Papa cost him 6,200 crowns 
(of which 800 were not spent in a lawful manner), but maintained that 
his rival, afterwards a Secretary of State, spent over 40,000 crowns in 
order to obtain a majority of eleven votes. 

*^' I have been assured that no less than 500,000 crowns were spent 
in three elections in the single constituency of Lipto S. Miklos, in order 
to secure the return of Mr. Lanyi, a member of the Liberal Cabinet. 
Needless to say, such a statement cannot be proved ; but the fact that 
a man like my informant could have even believed it possible is highly 



compromise the ruling nation in the eyes of the foreign pubhc, 
passed over in such unanimous silence." *^^ As Mr. Rakovszky, 
the clerical leader, once pertinently remarked in Parliament ,*^^ 
a single newspaper article would suffice in Britain to produce 
a parliamentary inquiry on a question of corruption. But 
in Hungary matters are very different. The county in which 
Mr. Rakovszky's home is situated, has long been the 
scene of specially flagrant electoral corruption and political 
persecution, and yet his attitude has been one of open and 
unqualified approval. Doubtless he regards all means as 
justifiable, when applied against the race to which his an- 
cestors belonged, but which he himself pursues with all the 
fanaticism of a convert. 

Electoral freedom of speech and action is a mere farce 
wherever opposition voters are concerned, and is continually 
violated in the case of non-Magyar candidates. Not merely 
are voters intimidated or forcibly prevented from recording 
their votes, btit obnoxious candidates are prevented from 
addressing meetings of their adherents. For instance, last 
year at a bye-election in Bazin (County Pressburg) two Slovak 
deputies were forcibly ejected from a village where they 
wished to speak in favour of the Slovak candidate, Mr. Ivanka.*®" 
An even more typical case was reported in the following 
laconic words in the Pester Lloyd during the elections of 
1905 : — " Cseke (Bihar Co.) — The Roumanian candidate has 
roused the population to such an extent, that he has been 
arrested by order of the foszolgabiro ! " An incident whose 
occurrence in any other country might have caused the fall 
of the Government, is in Hungary dismissed in a couple of 
lines. Incidents of this kind occur so frequently, that public 
opinion has long ceased to wax indignant, especially as the 
majority of these illegalities are committed against the non- 

*^8 These remarkable words, which have gained in truth during the 
forty years which have elapsed since they were written, are quoted 
from a leading article of the Neue Freie Presse (Nov. 18, 1868). fin 
those days the Viennese organ had not yet joined the conspiracy of 
silence which too often surrounds the truth in Hungary. 

**» Ten years ago, it is true. 

*•" This treatment is not confined to Nationalist deputies. At the 
last election in Dunapataj two Magyar members of Parliament, Messrs. 
Nagy and Madarasz, were forcibly ejected from the town by order of 
the returning officer. They protested to the President of the Chamber 
against this violation of their parliamentary immunity, but without 
obtaining any satisfaction. 



Magyar helots, and not against " the ruHng nation " (azural- 
kodo nemzet). An incident which occurred at the general 
elections of 1906 will give the reader a still clearer idea of the 
arbitrary and scandalous conduct of the local authorities in 
many Hungarian counties. The constituency of Giralt in 
the county of Saros, on the Galician frontier, was to be con- 
tested by Count Aurel Desewffy, a member of the Constitu- 
tional Party, and Mr. Pivko, a small Slovak proprietor, as 
a Slovak national candidate. Giralt contains 2,027 electors, 
of whom the vast majority is Slovak, and as there was a 
real danger of Pivko being elected, drastic steps had to be 
taken to avert such a disaster. One fine morning Pivko 
was arrested by a couple of gendarmes and thrown into prison 
at Eperjes. Though he had all the necessary papers to prove 
his identity, all his protests were in vain, and he was neither 
allowed to call in an advocate, nor to wire to his brother or 
to the Minister of the Interior. In prison he remained for 
forty-eight hours, and meanwhile, as he failed to present 
himself for nomination, his rival Desewffy was elected un- 
opposed ! He was then released with faint apologies, and 
no further proceedings were taken against him. By way of 
adding insult to injury, the szolgabiro Kerekes forbade him 
to set foot in the county of Saros for ten years to come, though 
needless to say no legal title could be found for such a pro- 

Those non-Magyars who succeed in running the electoral 
gauntlet are often prevented from addressing their consti- 
tuents. For example, Mr. Milan Hod^a had arranged to hold 
meetings on one Sunday of the autumn of 1907, in order to deliver 
the customary annual report of his parliamentary activity. 
But the chief szolgabiro of Neusatz (Ujvidek) interposed his veto 
on the ground that the general discontent among the popu- 
lation and especially among the working classes had assumed 
such dimensions that such meetings were calculated to en- 
danger the public order ! Meanwhile the unsuccessful candi- 
dates are brought to trial for remarks made on electoral 
platforms or contained in their party programmes. Here 
again examples might be quoted ad nauseam. On Septem- 
ber 6, 1902, Dr. Rudolf Markovic and his brother were 
found guilty of holding a meeting in the previous October in 
the village of Hrusso without previously intimating it to the 
authorities (see p. 324). One of the incriminated passages 
in the former's speech was the following sentence : " Let 



us hold together, there is no power on earth which can crush 
us." These outrageous remarks savoured of treason to the 
Magyar officials, the plain fact being that a Slovak who no 
longer cringes to the local tyrant already stands self-convicted 
of " Panslav " leanings. 

It is evident that an electoral system such as has been 
described above, so far from being worthy of a country whose 
constitutional Charter dates from the thirteenth century, 
actually eclipses that of England in its most corrupt epoch 
before the Reform Bill, and that of Tammany at the 
present day. The system has so many grave defects that 
it is difficult to know where to begin with a reform ; but this 
does not supply the Government with an excuse for further 
delay. An extension of the franchise is now admitted on 
all sides to be inevitable, and the only question now at issue 
is whether the ruling caste can succeed in rescuing some 
fragments of its old privileges from the grasp of the young 

The Coalition was guilty of a fatal error of judgment in 
refusing to accept office in the spring of 1905 ; for the so- 
called " unconstitutional " Government of Baron Fejervary 
was thus enabled to overtrump the Opposition by including 
Universal Suffrage in its programme. The proposals of Mr. 
Kristoffy aroused rage and consternation in the camp of the 
Coalition, and corresponding enthusiasm among the working 
classes and the non-Magyar helots. The Russian revolution- 
ary movement of that autumn had already prepared the 
soil, and the ideas of Kristoffy, transplanted into Austria, 
rapidly grew into the stately tree of a rejuvenated and demo- 
cratic Reichsrath. Meanwhile at the eleventh hour the 
Hungarian Coalition capitulated to the Crown (April, 1906) 
and accepted office on the basis of a transitional programme. 
The new Cabinet solemnly pledged itself to postpone all discus- 
sion of the military questions which had evoked the crisis, until 
a radical measure of electoral reform had been adopted by 
the House and a new Parliament elected on a really repre- 
sentative basis could express its opinion at the polls. Though 
anxious to postpone the evil day as long as possible, the 
Wekerle Cabinet knows that there is now no escape from the 
dilemma. La v6rite est en marche et rien ne Tarretera plus. 
The real question is how the principal of Universal Suffrage 
will succeed in running the gauntlet of a House whose main- 



stay are the landed interest and professional politicians, 
both of whom are threatened by the Socialist leanings of 
the proletariat. At least a quarter of the House is composed 
of mere " carpet-baggers," who owe their position solely to 
the narrow franchise and to the favours of some all-powerful 
political Maecenas. When entrance to Parliament is no 
longer largely dependent on the svirepulling of a few individ- 
uals and the greasing of a few hundred palms, but on the 
successful organization of a numerous electorate, then an 
entirely new class of men will enter the worn-out Parliament 
of privilege, and the poisonous Chauvinism of the present 
day will be supplanted by a growing enthusiasm for social 

Unhappily the present House is Kossuthist merely in its 
attitude towards Austria, and in all internal questions favours 
a scarcely veiled mediaevalism such as may well make its 
former leaders turn in their graves. The brilhant financier 
who gives his name to the Cabinet, is an opportunist 
of the first water, while the two representatives of Western 
culture, Mr. Francis Kossuth and Count Albert Apponyi, 
are the reluctant victims of their corrupt milieu. This 
fact became apparent to all the world when these men 
and Count Julius Andrdssy consented to share the sweets 
of office with Mr. Geza Polonyi, whose scandalous collapse 
in February, 1907, cannot have surprised any of his country- 
men, and who was peculiarly unfitted for the position of 
Minister of Justice. 

Reaction has for the moment gained the upper hand in 
Hungary, and it may be taken for granted that a House 
which is so essentially oligarchic as the present, will make des- 
perate efforts to modify any measure of universal suffrage 
in an illiberal sense. An attempt may be made to neutralize 
any accession of strength to the non-Magyars by giving the 
Magyar districts and the towns more than their fair pro- 
portion of seats. But such a manoeuvre would only have the 
effect of strengthening the Socialists, whose chief following 
lies among the artisans of the towns and among the Magyar 
peasantry of the Alfold ; and the fact that the latter can no 
longer be relied upon, shows how grave is the situation of 
the dominant caste. As the Socialists are strongly in favour 
of equal rights and linguistic liberty for all races, the result 
of the manoeuvre would merely be to drive most of the non- 
Magyars into their arms. Unfair distribution, then, if carried 



very far, would become a two-edged weapon. Skilful gerry- 
mandering will no doubt place the non-Magyars in a minority 
in all constituencies which are situated on a linguistic frontier ; 
for Count Andrdssy is hardly likely to adopt the just and en- 
lightened system now in vogue in the Moravian Diet, by 
which each race has a separate register and all inter-racial 
contests are avoided. But even when all the resources of 
geometry have been exhausted. Universal Suffrage is bound 
to bring a great accession of strength to the non-Magyars, 
especially in Transylvania — for the simple reason that the 
existing franchise throws all its weight into the Magyar scale. 
Hence a much more insidious plan is being discussed in certain 
sections of the Independent Party. Universal Suffrage, 
they admit, is a pledge to which they are irrevocably com- 
mitted. But of course this universal suffrage must be brought 
into harmony with " the idea of the Magyar state " (a mag- 
yar allam eszme), and it is obvious that in any well-regulated 
country a knowledge of " the language of state " is an essen- 
tial qualification for a vote. In other words, these Radical 
stalwarts proclaim their adherence to the great principle of 
Universal Suffrage, but at the same time are anxious to ex- 
clude from its benefits those 40*9 per cent, of the population 
who are still entirely ignorant of the Magyar language I 
The difficulty would thus be solved in a manner worthy j 
of Magyar constitutional casuistry. But happily the 
Coalition Government was unwary enough to commit itself 
in its compact with the Crown to a measure of Universal 
Suffrage at least as liberal as that put forward in 1905 by 
Mr. Kristoffy. As the latter was careful to remind his audience, 
in the course of a brilliant public address last March, the 
new reform is therefore bound to extend the franchise at 
any rate to all males over twenty-four who are capable of 
reading and writing any Hungarian language. But even 
without this pledge, it is hardly credible that the Sovereign 
would ever give his sanction to a bill which excluded half 
the nation from political rights for no other reason than for 
the accident of their birth. 

Another group of Chauvinists favours a still more Jesuitical 
method of securing the Magyar hegemony in the new Parlia- 
ment. In their view the franchise should be extended as 
widely as possible among the people — geometrical allowances 
being doubtless made, and loopholes being left for the in- 
ventive genius of the local officials ; but a " patriotic " test 



must be imposed upon all candidates for Parliament. *^^ Even 
as it is, any candidate guilty of " instigation of one class, 
nationality, or confession to hatred of another," or of agi- 
tation against the political unity of the nation or the institu- 
tions of property and marriage, is ipso facto disqualified. 
But the Chauvinists would like to see even these outrageous 
limitations increased and applied with such severity as to 
exclude every non-Magyar or Socialist who dared to criticize 
the Divine right of the Magyar clique. In short, all kinds 
of fantastic schemes are on foot, whose sole and avowed object 
is to counteract the effect of a reform of the franchise ; and 
it will require all the firmness of the Sovereign and the Heir- 
Apparent to overcome the reluctance of the Government 
and the virtual hostility of its adherents. 

In any case the crying grievances of the present system 
can never be removed unless three safeguards are imposed 
upon the extended franchise. In the first place voting must 
be by ballot, for in the words of Mr. Kristoffy, to abandon 
the ballot " especially in our country, where governmental and 
economic hypertrophy has reached its climax, is as much as 
to take back with one hand what has been given with the 
other." Moreover, the most stringent and detailed rules must 
be introduced for the guidance of voters at the poll. The 
voting papers must be printed on uniform paper, must not 
be transparent, and must be drawn up not in Magyar only 
as hitherto, but in Magyar and all other languages spoken 
in the constituency in question. All writing on the voting 
paper must be strictly prohibited, and only a cross filled in 
opposite the name of the candidate for whom the elector 
wishes to record his vote. Great care must be taken to pre- 
vent the voter from being overlooked or influenced in any 
way while he is recording his vote, and still more to prevent 
him from carrying away a voting-paper from the polling-booth. 
The old evil system of separate entrances to the booth for 
rival parties must of course be finally abolished. I mention 
these apparent trifles because they have been found in other 
countries to be esseptial to the purity of elections, and their 

*" This plan was explained to me with great gusto by a Semin- 
arist priest, who had stood for Parliament as a candidate of the Inde- 
pendent Party. I could not help feeling thankful for Hungary's sake 
that he had not been elected. Of course the plan was not his invention ., 
it has often been discussed in the Magyar Press. 



neglect might render the introduction of secret balloting 
entirely illusory. 

Secondly, there must be polling booths at regular distances 
in every constituency, so arranged as to enable all voters to 
reach the poll on foot in all weathers. It may not prove 
possible to establish a polling booth in every parish (kozseg 
or Gemeinde) : but there is nothing to prevent them from 
being sufficiently numerous to enable every man to exercise 
his political rights without hardship or inconvenience. 

Thirdly, the elections must on no account be conducted 
by the county officials, who are mere creatures of the ruling 
oligarchy, and whose corrupt and autocratic tendencies would 
poison the whole reform. Royal officials from headquarters 
must be appointed ad hoc, and not appointed on the eve of 
the election by the influence of the Cabinet, but at stated 
intervals, and on the basis of some arrangement between all 
existing parties. Finally, appeal against electoral abuses 
must be rapid, cheap and easy, not slow, expensive and futile 
as at present. These two latter innovations are essential 
to the success of Electoral Reform. In most Hungarian 
counties, local administration is so bad that all honest Hun- 
garians, irrespective of race, inveigh bitterly against it ; and 
its democratization must be the first task of the coming People's 
Parliament, if social and economic disaster and revolution 
are to be averted. It is obvious, then, that the extended 
franchise, — the only legal instrument by which this demo- 
cratization can be affected, must not be placed in the absolute 
control of the corrupt officials whom it threatens with a just 

Finally, the complicated system of plural voting devised 
by Count Andrdssy and so opportunely revealed by the Social 
Democratic organ Nepszava, can hardly be accepted as a basis 
of electoral reform.*®^ Its real object is, under pretence of safe- 
guarding the interests of the Magyar race, to perpetuate the 

*«* Mr. Paul Balogh, the most brilliant of Hungarian statisticians, 
has shown that the introduction of plural voting would still leave the 
nationalities in an absolute majority in 179 of the existing constituen- 
cies, while in 195 others the nationalities already form a minority, so 
that the Magyar element does not stand in need of the plural vote 
there. Indeed, this system would, in the event of aU other races com- 
bining, enable them to wrest ^^from the Magyars certain seats in which 
the latter commanded a clear majority. See articles on Die Pluralitdt 
im Wahlrechte and Das Pluralstimtnrecht und die Nationalitdten, in 
Pester Lloyd of September 2, 4 and 8, 1908. .^ 

27a I 


reactionary and oppressive sway of a narrow oligarchy. Less 
than four years ago in his electoral address the present Minister 
of Education, Count Albert Apponyi, described the electoral 
system of Hungary as " belonging to the realm of fables," 
and as " forming the laughing-stock of the world " (January, 
1905). His colleague's Reform Bill is likely to accentuate 
the truth of these words. 

The Coalition is solemnly pledged to introduce universal 
suffrage " on at least as broad a basis " as Mr. Kristoffy's Bill ; 
in other words, the suffrage must be universal, secret and 
equal for every man who has reached the age of twenty-four 
and is able to read and write. Hence only direct perjury on 
the part of the Government can avert this reform much longer ; 
and their reluctance to fulfil the pledge will not avail against 
the fact that the Royal word is also given. For many months 
there have been furtive endeavours to secure a revision of 
the compact with the Crown ; but Francis Joseph, with a 
true instinct for the great issues involved, has remained reso- 
lute in his desire to extend to Hungary the reform which re- 
juvenated Austria in 1907. The Coalition leaders in their 
rash endeavour to tamper with electoral reform are engaging 
in a struggle upon four fronts — against the dynasty, against 
Croatia, against the nationalities, and against the working 
classes. Each of these separately is a formidable enemy ; to 
resist all four at once is simply to court disaster. Yet racial 
Chauvinism and class interests combine to blind the ruling 
caste to the danger of its position ; and there is every reason 
to fear that Hungary is on the eve of internal convulsions 
similar to those which preceded the great Reform Bill of 1832. 
It is sincerely to be hoped that a wide extension of the fran- 
chise may be attended with the same blessings in Hungary 
as in Britain ; for upon it depend many problems, not only 
of the Dual Monarchy, but even of the Northern Balkans. 

R.p.H. 273 


Association and Assembly in Hungary 

" The laws are merely an instrument for concealing the arbitrary 
action of the government." — Count Apponyi (now Minister of Educa- 
tion) at the elections of 1896 (eighth ward of Budapest, October 25). 

THOSE who talk of personal freedom in Hungary either 
do not know their subject, or are guilty of deliberate 
misrepresentation. It is merely ridiculous to talk of liberty 
of the subject in a country where societies, unions and clubs 
of all kinds, public or private, have to obtain Governmental 
sanction for their existence and can be arbitrarily dissolved at 
any moment by Ministerial order ; where the Minister of the 
Interior can actually dissolve a political party as illegal ; 
where the previous intimation of public meetings is not a mere 
formality, but is used by the local authorities as a means of 
paralysing all opposition ; where boys are expelled from 
school for talking their mother tongue in the streets ; where 
political offenders are detained for weeks and months untried 
in prison ; where candidates for Parliament are arrested or 
reduced to silence ; where an electoral address is often treated 
as a penal offence ; where deputies are prevented from address- 
ing their constituents and Parliamentary immunity is sus- 
pended for purely political reasons. 

The reader will be disinclined to believe that such things 
are possible in the twentieth century in a State which boasts 
of possessing the most ancient constitution on the Continent. 
But if he has read the preceding pages at all carefully, he will 
probably have realized that the resemblances between English 
and Hungarian institutions, of which Magyar statesmen 
talk so glibly, are superficial and non-essential. Habeas 
Corpus, press freedom, strict severance of the judicial from 
the executive arm, unrestricted right of association and assembly 
— are conceptions wholly alien to the Magyar spirit, and indeed 
are incompatible with the monopoly of political power by a 



single race. It is with the last of these four liberties that I 
propose to deal in the present chapter. 

No Law of Association has ever burdened the Hungarian statute 
book, and the formation of societies depends upon the goodwill 
of the Government. The Law of Nationalities (1868, xliv. § 26) 
guarantees in the most precise terms the right of all citizens, 
irrespective of nationality, to found associations and societies 
for the furtherance of language, art, science, trade or agricul- 
ture, to collect funds for their support and to prescribe their own 
language. The most important of the non-Magyar societies, 
the Matica Slovenska or Slovak Academy, was however dis- 
solved in 1875 by Coloman Tisza,*^' on a charge of political 
intrigue, and its entire funds and buildings were illegally con- 
fiscated. Closely following upon this act of oppression, a Minis- 
terial order was issued on May 2, 1875, by which every associa- 
tion is bound to submit its statutes to the Government, and can 
only be definitely constituted after the official sanction has been 
granted. This has often been withheld or interpreted in the 
most absurd and arbitrary fashion, and with every decade 
since the Ausgleichthe reins of reaction have been drawn tighter. 
In 1898, when the intolerable condition of the agricultural 
labourers led to a so-called " Agrarian Socialist " movement, 
Banffy enforced the rescript of 1875 with the utmost severity, 
and on February 26 of that year issued a fresh order to the 
county authorities, empowering them to punish any infringe- 
ment of the rules of association or the slightest connexion 
with a suspended or dissolved association, with fines and 
imprisonment up to £8 and fifteen days. Thus under B4nffy, 
than whom no statesman ever described himself as a Liberal 
with less justice, it became virtually impossible to form 
societies at all. Twenty-eight of the existing associations 
were dissolved, including two in Czegled with 3,742 members.*^ 
In the county of Szatmir the heads of an association number- 
ing 300 members were summoned to court, and the dissolution 
of their society announced to them. When their members 
continued to meet in defiance of the order of the court, 
gendarmes forced their way into the building, and one of the 
members was killed in the ensuing scuffie. A capital example 

"' See p. 166. The Matica was suspended on April 6, 1875, i.e., 
witliin a month after Tisza's accession to power (March 2), and definitely 
dissolved on November 12 of the same year. 

"* Bunzel, Studien zur Sozial- und Wirtschaftspolitik Ungarns, p. 28. 



of the strange grounds on which permission is sometimes with- 
held, is supphed by the case of several associations of agricul- 
tural labourers in the counties of Bdcs and Torontdl in 1898. 
These could not be sanctioned, ran the official verdict, " because 
the towns contain sufficient associations following exactly ana- 
logous aims, and hence those who wish to found the association 
can satisfy their desire for further self -culture within the limits 
of already existing associations. Moreover, through the for- 
mation of fresh associations the powers of those already exist- 
ing would be weakened." *^^ 

In November, 1874, the Government imposed its veto upon 
the Slovak temperance leagues of north Hungary. The so- 
called " rosary " temperance society which had been founded 
in 0-Bystrica in imitation of Father Mathew's institutions, 
secured within a few months no fewer than 30,000 members, 
and its founder was encouraged by this success to invite several 
Redemptorist Fathers from Galicia to extend the activities of 
the society. This was treated by the authorities as " Pan- 
slavism," and the Fathers were obliged to withdraw. The 
real reason of Governmental action, however, was that the 
Jewish publicans found it impossible, owing to the new move- 
ment, to pay their rents to the country magnates whose in- 
fluence was- paramount in high quarters. 

Perhaps an even more characteristic example is that of the 
Slovak singing society of Tiszolcz. In 1879 a number of 
citizens of this little town submitted to the authorities the 
bye-laws of their proposed society. These were rejected owing 
to some trivial technicality, and the amended rules were 
simply ignored. In December, 1886, the petitioners filed a 
new copy, and were promptly fined 15s. for inadequate revenue 
stamping ; on appeal the fine was reduced by one-half, and a 
higher court disallowed it altogether. In May, 1887, the county 
authorities decided that in view of Panslav manifestations in 
the district the bye-laws must be disallowed, and the Govern- 
ment, when appealed to, declined to interfere. In 1890 a 
fresh draft of the bye-laws was submitted to the county author- 
ities, who refused to recommend their adoption, owing to the 
" Panslavism " rampant in Tiszolcz ; and again the Govern- 
ment dismissed the appeal. At the next general elections, 
one of the leading county officials undertook to recommend 
the bye-laws for approval, if the petitioners would support the 

*•* Ibid. p. 27, cit. from Neue Freie Presse. 


Government candidate. A new draft was therefore submitted, 
and the name of the proposed society was changed to please the 
whim of the county clerk. But after endless delays the 
Government merely returned the bye-laws to the municipality 
of Tiszolcz for an expression of opinion, and their sanction 
was no nearer than before. To this day the town has failed 
to obtain permission to found its singing society ! ^^ 

In the same way the Roumanians have in vain attempted to 
obtain official sanction for the formation of an Agricultural 
Association, andjfiumerous women's and teachers' leagues and 
reading clubs. *^^ ipSeptember, 1870, the Catholic Slovaks founded 
the Society of St. Adalbert at Tyrnau, for the publication of cheap 
literature for the people, especially religious and devotional 
books, calendars and collections of popular tales.*^ From the very 
first the society had to face the hostility of the Magyars, and 
has been repeatedly in danger of dissolution. At its second 
general meeting in Nyitra, in September, 1871, its proceedings 
were cut short by a crowd of roughs, and no help was given 
by the authorities. This incident was actually greeted with 
approval by a number of Magyar journals, and the Minister 
of the Interior declined to order any inquiry, though the facts 
were laid before him.*l^ 

In 1870 permission was refused to the Roumanian students 
of Kolozsvar to form an academic society " Minerva," on the 
grounds that there were already enough of these societies, and 
that 70 or 80 Roumanian students were too few to form a 
society ! *"° In 1886 an association of the Roumanian ladies 
of Szatmar for literary and benevolent aims was forbidden 
on similar grounds.*'^ 

In 1888 sanction was refused to a society of Roumanian 
workmen for advancing funds in the case of sickness, on the 
ground that no need was felt for such a society ^''- ; and in 1890 

"* The details of this case are abridged from Thomas Capek, The 
Slovaks, pp. 197-200. 

J" Brote, op. cit. p. 70. 

*** Permission had for many years been withheld by the late Primate 
Scitovsky, himself of Slovak origin ; by way of contrast, the new Pri- 
mate, a Magyar, yielded to the persuasions of the Slovak clergy. 

*•' See Aeltere und neuere Magyarisirungsversuche, pp. 71-73. 

*'° Ministerial Order No. 4,290 of February 4, 1870, cit. " The Rou- 
manian Question " (Reply of the Roumanian Students of Transylvania, 
1892), p. 98. 

*" Ministerial Order No. 18,252, vii. of April 7, 1886, cit. ibid. p. 99. 

<'2 Ministerial Order No. 84,717 of 1888, cit. ibid. 



to a society of Roumanian ladies of Kolozsvdr in aid of Greek "^ 
Catholic girls' schools, on the ground that the latter did not"^ 
require any help.*^^ 

A flagrant example occurred only last spring of the vexatious 
manner in which the non-Magyar politicians are affected by 
this lack of the right of association. On February i8, 1908, 
several of the Roumanian deputies in the Hungarian Parlia- 
ment opened a small political club at Arad. Shortly after- 
wards the police of that city applied to Parliament for the 
suspension of the immunity of Messrs. Goldis, Suciu, Pop and 
Oncu, on the ground that the club had been opened without 
previous intimation to the police, and that its statutes had 
not as yet received the sanction of the Minister of the Interior. 
At the end of July, Messrs. Suciu and Pop were sentenced 
to a fine of 150 crowns each, with the alternative of eight days' 
imprisonment ; the other two deputies were acquitted.*^* 

But this act of political vexation is a mere trifle compared 
to the attitude adopted by Dr. Wekerle's first Cabinet towards 
the Roumanians. For in 1894 Mr. Hieronymi, the Minister of 
the Interior, went so far as to dissolve the executive com- 
mittee of the Roumanian National Party, thus placing an 
arbitrary limit upon the programme which a political party 
may adopt, and indirectly challenging the non-Magyars to 
employ violent measures to secure what they might not attempt 
by constitutional means. This iniquitous step was justified 
on the ground that a political organization based upon some 
special racial individuality violates the unity of the political 
Hungarian nation ("apolitika magyar nemzet"), and hence 
no Hungarian Government can tolerate permanent organiza- 
tions on a nationahst basis within the frontiers of Hungary.*'^ 
At the elections of January, 1905, Count Tisza's Government 
declared that it still stood " irrevocably on the standpoint " 
of Mr. Hieronymi. No more scandalous infringement of 
political rights can well be imagined, and Dr. Wekerle may 

*'* Ministerial Order No. 50,406 of August i, 1890, cit. ibid. 

"* See Pester Lloyd, 31 July, 1908. 

*" On this principle the Irish Nationalist party, whose avowed aim 
is the dissolution of the Union with Great Britain, and which bases 
its existence on the idea of Irish nationality, would be refused admission 
to the Imperial Parliament as subversive of the idea of political unity. 

See Appendix xvi. for Mr. Hieronymi's order. See also Govern- 1 
ment declaration on the subject, published on January 14, 1905, inj 
Magyar Nemzet. 



be congratulated on the fact that, intolerant as his second 
Cabinet is in all racial matters, it at least has not attempted 
to enforce this reactionary decree of his first administra- 

The Minister of the Interior even goes the length of dissolv- 
ing trade unions, whose very existence in Hungary is recent 
and precarious.*"® As the statutes of trade unions require 
the sanction of the Minister, they often lie for years unheeded 
or are simply rejected altogether. Even the present Coalition 
Government, which makes so great a parade of its enlightened 
policy of social reform, has not hesitated to annul trade unions 
in the interests of employers of labour. In 1906 the waiters' 
union in Arad was suspended, the miners' union in Pecs 
(Fiinfkirchen) was annulled.*^' In December, 1907, the chief 
szolgabiro of Bekescsaba, accompanied by police and 
gendarmes, took possession of the Peasants' Club, ejected its 
members by main force, seized aU its papers, books and loose 
cash and closed and sealed the building.*'® In January, 1908, the 
captain of police in Kaposvar provisionally suspended another 
union, because, in the words of the newspaper report, " it 
attempted to terrorize a printer's assistant." *'^^ In February, 
1908, the Minister of the Interior dissolved the iron and metal 
workers' union in Gyor (Raab), because it had organized a boy- 
cott of the waggon factory in that town.*®" Such incidents are, 
however, as nothing compared to the general uncertainty 
under which the Socialists work, and which helps to explain, 
if it does not justify, the acrid tone habitually employed by 
their representative organ the Nepszava. 

The treatment of the Social Democrats in Hungary during 
the last ten years has no parallel west of the Vistula. In 1898 
agrarian disturbances and the threatened agricultural strikes 
were met by a veritable reign of terror on the part of the 
Government. Not merely was the Socialist Press muzzled 
and confiscated. The help of the postal authorities was requisi- 

*^« On January i, 1902, the Hungarian trade unions had only 9,999 
members. At that date only 2 39 per cent, of the industrial workmen were 
organized ; but on January i, 1904, their numbers had risen to 41,138 
(974 per cent.) ; on January i, 1906, to 71,173 (i5"07 per cent.) ; a year 
later to 140,000. 

*" Bericht der Parteileitung der soz. dem. Partei, 1906-7, pp. 37-41. 

*'* Pester Lloyd, 8 Dec, 1907. 

"» Pester Lloyd, January 15, 1908. 

"•> Pester Lloyd, February 2, 1908. 



tioned in order to obtain the private correspondence of the 
leaders ; domicihary visits and arbitrary expulsions took 
place in many of the chief towns, and large numbers of workmen 
were forcibly photographed by the police. Peasants were for- 
bidden to visit neighbouring districts or arrested for travelling 
without passports in their own country ! ^^ In the brief space of 
eighteen months — from June 13, 1897, to December 31, 1898 — 
sentences were passed against Socialists for political agitation, 
which reached the total figure of 171 years and 80 days, in 
addition to fines of over 30,000 crowns. Meanwhile a highly 
reactionary measure received the sanction of Parliament, which, 
under pretence of " regulating the legal relations of agricultural 
employers and employed," made organization or strikes on 
the part of the workmen well-nigh an impossibility. By these 
drastic steps the Government temporarily crushed the agrarian 
movement among the peasants, who, despairing of improved 
conditions in Hungary, began to emigrate in thousands, until 
by the year 1907 many districts had been depleted of the 
flower of their population. The alarming increase of emigration 
dates from the Banffy-Daranyi repression ; and it is highly 
significant that Banffy's Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Daranyi, 
should continue to hold the same office under the Coalition 
Government.*^^ During the winter of 1907-8 the financial crisis 
in America and the consequent unemployment put a check 
to emigration from Hungary, and the figures for 1908 will 
therefore be less alarming. During the past three years 
Socialism has again begun to gain ground in Hungary, partly 
owing to the disgust felt by the working classes at the manner 
in which politicians wrangled over a barren constitutional 
issue, while neglecting the most pressing economic questions. 
In 1905 the Agricultural Labourers' League numbered 13,814 
members ; at the end of 1906, 48,616 members ; in June, 1907, 
72,562 members in 577 groups. Since then several hundred 
branches have been dissolved, with the result that in December, 
1907, the numbers had sunk to 11,910 in 145 groups. In the 
year preceding this latter date, 698 agricultural labourers 
were sentenced by szolgabiros to 6,721 days (=:i8 years, 261 
days) and 29,772 crowns in fines ; while sentences amounting 
to 62 months and 4,300 crowns were passed on Socialist news- 
papers by the Budapest courts alone. 

*" Bunzel, op. cit. p. 30, cit..from Pester Lloyd. 
"* See Appendix xii. for emigration statistics. 





No public meeting of any kind may be held in Hungary with- 
out previous intimation having been given to the szolgabiro and 
his formal permission having been granted. Intimation is of 
course necessary in most Continental countries, and there is no 
doubt a good deal to be said for such a formality. But to 
make the holding of a meeting dependent upon the whim of 
some local bureaucrat, opens the door to every kind of abuse and 
petty tyranny. In the case of " patriots " — in other words 
of adherents of the Government — the permission is accorded 
as a matter of course ; but applications made by non-Magyars or 
Socialists are treated in a very different manner. Either they 
are not dealt with till the last moment and then rejected owing 
to some technicality, such even as a blot or a mistake in 
spelling, with the result that the meeting has to be postponed ; 
or they are refused on the flimsiest pretext, or finally they 
are ignored altogether. *^^ Magyar ideas of freedom of assembly 
may be gathered from the debates of May 9 to 11, 1878, when 
a Ministerial Order of Tisza restricting this freedom was under 
discussion. The famous Szilagyi defended the citizen's right of 
resistance to illegal measures of the authorities, and based his 
contention not only on the practice of all constitutional states, 
but even on the new criminal code of Hungary itself. Tisza, 
however, polemized against what he described as a " street- 
riot doctrine," and Parliament approved the restrictions which 
he had imposed. 

In 1894 a meeting of Slovak electors of the Turocz district, 
convoked to discuss the question of the nationalities and electoral 
reform, was simply forbidden by the szolgabiro ; and indeed for 
many years previous to the Szell Ministry it was well-nigh 
impossible for the Slovaks to hold a political meeting of any 

In 1898 a Ministerial order was sent to all county and muni- 
cipal authorities, by which popular meetings are only per- 
mitted if announced twenty-four hours beforehand and 

"' E.g., in the autumn of 1902 the szolgabiro of Raczkeve simply 
ignored an application for holding a Socialist meeting at Soroksar. 
The Nepszava thereupon published two articles entitled " From Asia," 
attacking the county notary and " the notorious Ox of the Raczkeve 
district, szolgabiro Rudnyanszky," and suggesting that their heads 
should be knocked together to see which sounded hollowest. The 
editor was prosecuted for these articles, but was somewhat unexpectedly 
acquitted (January 19, 1904). See Pester Lloyd of that date. 

"* Even in October, 1908, the Slovak electoral meetings were forbidden. 



sanctioned locally. Any neglect of this rule, or the continu- 
ance of a meeting after it has been dissolved, are punishable 
with fourteen days and £S.*^^ Meetings were then forbidden 
wholesale, in the hope of crushing out the Agrarian Socialist 
movement. As an example of the reasons adduced for such 
refusal, we cannot do better than quote the words of the 
captain of police in Czegled (June ii, 1898) : " The meeting 
is not allowed," he wrote, " because it does not seem suitable 
that the workmen should concern themselves with questions 
which offer no advantages to them, or should be roused to 
excitement in public assemblies." A well-known story in 
Hungary tells how a waggish official once forbade an open-air 
political meeting for want of space, the proposed "room" 
being " too cramped and low." As recently as October, 1907, 
the notorious szolgabiro of Holies, on the Moravian frontier, 
Szabo by name, forbade a political meeting on the following 
astonishing grounds : "I cannot sanction the holding of the 
popular assembly, firstly . . . because in the matter of 
' Universal, secret, equal and communal suffrage,' it is not 
mentioned in what sphere the exercise of this suffrage is aimed 
at — ^whether in communal or municipal autonomy, or in the 
Churches, or in the State. It is not stated in what connexion 
this right of franchise is to be exercised, and it is also not made 
clear whether this right of franchise, whose propaganda it is 
desired to proclaim, is to be exercised in the territory of the 
Hungarian State or in that of another State." ^^ 

An equally outrageous case occurred the same autumn in 
Pressburg, where a joint political meeting was to have been 
held in favour of Universal Suffrage by Mr. Bokanyi and another 
Socialist leader, and a number of non-Magyar deputies. Per- 
mission was refused because speeches in Slovak were announced. 
And yet there are many thousand Slovak workmen in the city, 
to say nothing of the surrounding population. 

Even when permission is granted, a police officer attends 
officially and has the right at any moment to dissolve the 
meeting or deprive the speaker of the word. Any phrase which 
might be construed as a demonstration against the authori- 
ties, against the upper classes, against property, is apt to draw 

"5 Bunzel, op. cit. p. 26. 

**• The original document (which I have had in my possession, and part 
of which is literally translated above) was written in pencil (except the 
signature) on an odd sheet of shabby foolscap paper, and signed, 
" Szabo, foszolgabiro," Holies, October 9, 1907, with official stamp. 



down this fate upon the meeting. For instance, on July 23, 
1899, the Slovaks of Lipto St. Miklos held a public meeting, in 
which they demanded the use of the Slovak language in the 
schools. One of the speakers, a schoolmaster named Salva, 
who has since been suspended for " Panslav agitation," was 
admonished by the szolgabiro, Mr. J 60b, to avoid using the 
term " Slovak," and even when he substituted for it the word 
" man," he was not allowed to proceed.*"^ 

On February 3, 1908 the Socialists of the county of Vas held 
a congress at Szombathely (Steinamanger), but hardly had the 
secretary begun to read the annual report when the police 
official who was present dissolved the meeting, on the ground 
that the speaker was inciting against employers of labour.**^ In 
April, 1908, the Socialist apprentices of Budapest wished to 
hold a congress, but Dr. Boda, the captain of police, refused 
his permission and declared that he would never allow persons 
under tutelage to hold meetings of any kind.*^^ In the 
same month the Social Democrats had summoned a congress 
to meet at Bekes during Easter week, and delegates from 214 
communes had announced their intention of attending. At 
the very last moment the chief szolgabiro of the district for- 
bade the opening of the congress, on the grounds that the 
holding of assemblies at Easter is offensive to religious senti- 
ment, and that the programme of the meeting, in advocating 
the nationalization of land, involves an " incitement against 
property," in the sense of the criminal code.*^° According to 
the report of the Social Democratic Party, over 200 Socialist 
meetings were prohibited in Hungary in the year 1906-7 alone. 

But if the right of assembly is thus interpreted in Hungary on 
ordinary occasions, what is to be said of the manner in which 
it is applied at parliamentary elections ? Freedom of speech 
depends not upon the letter of the law, but upon the whim 
of the local officials, and prosecutions are frequent for phrases 
used in electoral speeches and programmes . A whole book might 
be written to describe the illegalities of a single general election. 
But rejecting all stories of victims and opponents and merely 

*" Capek, op. cit. pp. 192-3. It is said that the Slovaks are sometimes 
referred to as " Chinamen " in speeches or addresses, in order to avoid 
treatment of this kind. It is interesting to learn that English is 
occasionally employed by returned Slovak emigrants, when they do not 
wish to be understood by the local officials. 

*^^ Pester Lloyd, February 4, 1908. **» Ibid., April 19, 1908. 

"» Ibid., April 18, 1908. 



consulting the files of a Ministerial organ during the elections 
of 1896, we find that (apart altogether from rioting, cavalry 
charges and volleys of ball cartridge) in Aranyos-Maroth two 
priests and a clerk were arrested for canvassing, by order of 
the High Sheriff ,*^^ that in Ugod the szolgabiro arrested the priest 
of Jako because he " instigated the peasants," *^^ and that in 
Kisucza-Ujhely the priest and his curate were arrested owing 
to their " unbounded agitation." *^^ Needless to say only the 
most glaring cases are chronicled in the official Press ; the 
arrest of an opposition candidate at the height of the election 
is by no means an unheard-of incident in Hungary, and the 
supporters of a non-Magyar are treated with the very scantest 
ceremony. A szolgabiro has even been known to expel a 
Social Democratic candidate from his constituency, on the 
pretext that the Minister of the Interior's permission had not 
been obtained for his candidature. At a bye-election in Bazin 
(Co. Pressburg) in the spring of 1907, two Slovak deputies were 
actually ejected from a village where they wished to address 
a meeting on behalf of the Slovak candidate, Mr. Ivanka ; 
and similiar treatment has repeatedly been meted out to 
Roumanian deputies in Transylvania. Candidates are fre- 
quently prohibited from addressing their constituents.*^^ 

Reasons of space prevent me from describing the endless 
restrictions placed in Hungary upon the personal liberty of the 
subject, at least of the non-Magyar subject. A whole book 
could be written upon the affronts and vexations by which 
the official classes seek to render the lives of nationalists 
intolerable. Meanwhile the incidents which I propose to 
quote will perhaps impress those readers whom the recital of 
broken and neglected laws has left unmoved. 

A careful system of espionage is organized by the local notary 
and szolgabiro, the Jewish innkeeper proving a valuable 
auxiliary ; and the appearance of a foreigner in an outlying 
district is viewed with great suspicion, unless he is in the company 
of some " patriotic " Magyar, bent upon showing him " Potem- 
kin villages." A Ruthene professor from Galicia who has 
devoted many years to the study of folklore and peasant 

*" Pestey Lloyd, October 29, 1896. "" Ibid., October 30, 1896. 

*" Ibid., November 13, 1896. 

**° See p. 267, for the treatment of Mr. Hodza. In September, 1908, 
Mr. Dusan PeleS, a Serb deputy, was forbidden by the local authorities 
of Dragotin to give his annual address to his constituents. See Pester 
Lloyd, September 17, 1908. 



customs, visited some years ago a small Ruthene colony which 
still exists in the great plain of Hungary. When he went 
among the peasants and talked to them in their native lanugage, 
the szolgabiro scented treason and asked him for his passport. 
It was written in Polish. What further proof was necessary ? 
He was arrested as a Panslav agitator, and was detained in 
the local jail until a telegram from the Austrian Premier to 
Budapest released him from his uncomfortable position.*^® 

In the autumn of 1907 Dr. Paul Blaho, the Slovak Member 
of Parliament, entertained some Czech journalists, personal 
friends of his own, at his house in Szakolcza without announc- 
ing their arrival to the police. For this, on February 3, 1908, 
his parliamentary immunity was suspended, not on the ground 
that the law had been violated (for it had not), but that the 
visit had political objects ! *^' In the same way another Slovak 
deputy, Mr. Skycak, entertained a Bohemian priest at his 
house for a single day, and having omitted to notify his ar- 
rival, was sentenced by the szolgabiro of Nameszto to a fine 
of £8.*9« 

49S jn May, 1907, I spent four nights in the httletown of TuroczSt. 
Marten and made the acquaintance of a number of Slovak NationaUsts. 
I afterwards learnt that the szolgabiro called upon one of them and 
questioned him about the object of my visit. One of our letters, bear- 
ing a Canadian stamp, was opened in the post — a practical illustra- 
tion of the suspicion with which American correspondence is regarded 
by the North Hungarian authorities. In Maramaros-Sziget my letters 
were again tampered with at the Poste Restante ; but the effusive polite- 
ness of the official had staved off the discovery until it was too late 
to make a complaint. A fortnight later I had occasion to mention 
these little incidents to a Magyar acquaintance, and frankly asked him 
whether they were to be explained by political reasons. " Oh, no," 
he said, " it has nothing whatever to do with politics ; but the Govern- 
ment is very anxious to know how much money comes into the country 
from America and Bohemia, and that may possibly be at the bottom 
of it. Curiously enough," he added, " something of the same 
kind happened to me the other day. I received a large order 
(he was a prominent manufacturer in one of the chief towns of 
Hungary) from Prague, which was addressed entirely in the Czech lan- 
guage, and when it arrived, I found written on it, ' envelope to be re- 
turned.' Of course I did not return it ; but I mean to ask an explana- 
tion from the postmaster, and am very curious to know what he will 
say." Another acquaintance of mine, who is of Slovak origin, and 
takes a keen interest in village customs and peasant art, tells me that 
on his wanderings in " Slovensko " he often passes himself off as a 
photographer or a preparer of picture post cards, in order to ward off 
the inquisitive inquiries of local officials. 

"•^^ See Parliamentary Sitting of February 3, 1908. 

*'" Pester Lloyd, June 12, 1908. 



Every effort is made to prevent the erection of public in- 
scriptions of any kind in a non-Magyar language ; and as a 
result, there are not half a dozen inns with Slovak 
inscriptions throughout Slovensko — a territory as large as 
Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, and 
inhabited by over two million Slovaks. The Jews, who hold 
most of the drink licences in their hands, dare not put up 
notices in Slovak for fear of the proprietor's disapproval.*^ 
Even such notices as " Beware of the steam tram," or " Keep 
off the grass," are generally posted in Magyar only ; and of 
course in every railway station and post office of the kingdom 
all inscriptions are exclusively Magyar. The Slovak or 
Roumanian peasantry who are ignorant of the language, 
are ordered about like cattle by the officials whose duty it is to 
attend to all passengers irrespective of language ; and I myself 
have more than once seen the booking-office window slammed 
in the face of a peasant who dared to ask for a ticket in his 
native tongue. The inconvenience caused to foreigners who 
are expected to recognize the historic towns of Hermannstadt, 
Kronstadt, Tyrnau, and Pressburg under the alias of Nagy 
Szeben, Brasso, Nagy Szombat, and Pozsony, is trifling com- 
pared to the injustice suffered by the non-Magyars, who are 
thus treated as aliens in the country of their ancestors. 

The same fate follows the non-Magyars after death. The 
Town Council of Budapest has prohibited the erection in the 
leading cemeteries of the city of tombstones bearing non-Magyar 
inscriptions. This act of petty interference with the most 
sacred family rights was of course directed against the 130,000 
Germans and the 30,000 Slovaks who live in Budapest. In 
some churchyards in the north of Hungary it has been found 
necessary by the Slovaks, who were unwilling to place Magyar 
inscriptions over their dead, to resort to neutral Latin as the 
only language which they could employ without opposition. 

*'« In this connexion it may be mentioned that at every election for 
Parliament or county assembly pressure is brought to bear upon the 
village Jews to vote for the " desirable " candidate. Refusal is apt 
to involve loss of licence and is therefore rare. 

The only inn in Turocz St. Marton which could pretend to describe 
itself as a hotel, is that in connexion with the Slovak national Casino 
{Hotel Dom). Simply because it is in Slovak hands, a licence has been 
purposely withheld from it ever since its foundation fifteen years ago. 
When the chief inn in Nagy Szombat (Tyrnau) fell into Slovak hands 
eighteen months ago, a similar attempt was made to deprive it of its 
licence, and was only prevented with great difi&culty. 



In a country where the racial feud throws its shadow upon 
the graves of the dead, it was hardly to be expected that the 
non-Magyars would be free to erect monuments to their national 
heroes. In 1895 public subscriptions were invited from the 
Roumanians of Transylvania for the erection of a monument 
to Jancu, their leader in 1848 ; but the Minister of the Inte- 
rior prohibited this action and confiscated the money which 
had already been collected by the " Albina " Savings Bank. 
This money was deposited in a bank in Arad, and after a lapse 
of nine years, instead "of being restored to the original sub- 
scribers, was arbitrarily handed over by the Minister of the 
Interior to the Roumanian literary and cultural League, a 
society whose avowed aims are the very reverse of Jancu's 
admirers. ^"° 

When in October, 1902, a handsome monument was erected 
to Matthias Corvinus in the market place of Kolozsvar, John 
Motia, a Roumanian priest, had the temerity to remind public 
opinion that the great king whom the Magyars celebrated as 
one of the glories of their race, was a Roumanian by birth, and 
had even less of Arpad's blood in his veins than the present 
writer. After quoting the ancient proverb " King Matthias is 
dead, and with him justice has died," he reminded his readers 
that Corvinus, should he rise from the dead, would see close 
to his statue the home of modern justice, where the flower of 
his Roumanian nation were sentenced for their loyal appeal 
to his successor,^^ The Jury Court of Kolozsvar sentenced 
Father Motia for this article to a year's imprisonment and a 
fine of 1,000 crowns, for incitement against the Magyar nation- 
ality and glorification of a criminal act. The Curia annulled 
this decision and ordered a fresh trial, but the court again 
im.posed the same severe sentence. On June 2, 1904, the 
Curia at length acquitted Motia of laudatio criminis, and sen- 
tenced him on the other charge to two months and 200 crowns.^^ 

But it is not merely monuments which are regarded as illegal ; 

*"" In Ireland, on the other hand, no attempt was made by the Govern- 
ment to prevent the erection of monuments to the United Irish rebels 
of 1798 (e.g., in Wexford) to Wolfe Tone, and to the so-called " Man- 
chester martyrs " of 1867 (Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien), who were 
hanged for killing a policeman in the endeavour to rescue Fenian 
prisoners from a prison van. On the Kilrush monument to these last 
there is an inscription in English, Irish, and French, denouncing the 
tyranny of the English Government. 

""^ A reference to the Memorandum trial of 1894 (see p. 301). 

5 OS Pester Lloyd, June, 1904. 



the most harmless objects are liable to confiscation, if they serve 
the purpose of encouraging a non-Magyar language. In 1907 
the American Slovak League issued national medals, bearing on 
the one side the head of Dr. Paul Mudron, the weU-kno\Mi Slovak 
advocate in Marton, and the words, " Ja som pisni ze som 
Slovak " (I am proud to be a Slovak), and on the reverse the 
phrase, ' Za tu nasu slovencinu " (For our Slovak language) .^'^ 
Following the custom of many German patriotic and charitable 
societies, the League also issued Slovak stamps. On April 3, 
1908, the Minister of the Interior, Count Andrassy, issued a 
special order to all county assemblies, forbidding the sale or use 
of these stamps and medals, and enjoining the confiscation of 
the latter.504 

In December, 1907, the attention of the County Assembly of 
Csik was drawn to the fact that certain Roumanian parishes 
were employing seals with Roumanian inscriptions ; these 
were promptly confiscated.^"^ In the same month the Court of 
Rozsahegy ordered domiciliary visits in all the photographic 
studios of the town, in the hope of discovering the negative 
of a snapshot of Father Hlinka's arrest. This photograph 
had been reproduced as a picture postcard and widely cir- -• 
culated in the North of Hungary ; it was now confiscated, M 
as constituting the glorification of a penal act.°"^ A reproduc- 
tion of this photograph will be found on the opposite page ; 
it is given not for its artistic value, which is nil, but as an 
example of what a Hungarian Court regards as laudatio criminis. 

Great severity is shown to those non-Magyars who venture 
to carry distinctive banners or colours either at elections or 
on other occasions. Two ministerial orders of 1874 and 1885 
prohibited the use of all save the Hungarian national emblems, 
though of course no law to that effect exists.^' A few examples 
will suffice to show how these orders have been interpreted. 
In 1886 forty-eight youths of Brasso (Kronstadt) were sentenced 
for wearing Roumanian tricolour ribbons at the Easter 
festivities to eight or ten days' imprisonment each and fines 
varying from 100 to 160 crowns. In February, 1900, twenty- 
four youths of Salistye were condemned for the same offence 
to twelve days' imprisonment each, or a total of nine months 

^"^ See Pester Lloyd, January 14, 1908. 
^°* See Pester Lloyd, April 12, 1908. 
^^'^ See Pester Lloyd, December 30, 1907. 
*"* See Pester Lloyd, December 4, 1907. 

*"' No. 26,559 of July 6, 1874, and No. 62,693 of November 24, 1885. 


w ^ 

fe •«», 


and eighteen days ; in October,T903, two priests and an advocate 
to two days and lOO crowns each. In April, 1908, another 
Roumanian priest was sentenced to eight days and 200 crowns, 
because he had decorated the acolytes at the funeral of a 
parishioner with Roumanian colours. ^^ At the elections of 
1906 in Verbo seven Slovak peasants from Brezova were 
sentenced to ten days and 150 crowns each, and five others to 
five days and 100 crowns each, for carrying white banners on 
the polling day. This is an ancient custom at Hungarian 
elections, signifying that the voters of a particular village are 
voting solid for one candidate ; but it was treated by the 
local Magyar authorities as savouring of Panslavism. Most 
incredible of all, however, was the fine imposed upon two Slovak 
patriots for allowing their children to run about with two- 
coloured ribbons on their dress ! 

Even an after-dinner speech or the dispatch of a telegram may 
lead to serious consequences. In 1892 Gustav Marsal, a Slovak 
medical student, was brought before the Court of Ujvidek 
(Neusatz) on the usual charge of " incitement," incurred in a 
toast which he gave in a company of jovial friends. In his post- 
prandial eloquence, he was charged with saying that the Danube 
is and will remain a Slav river. On its banks grow many wil- 
lows : if only a Magyarone could hang on each ! The lower 
court and the Royal Table in Szeged acquitted Marsal, but on 
appeal by the Public Prosecutor, the Curia found that his speech 
revealed " a deep hatred towards the Magyar nationality," and 
therefore sentenced him to six months' imprisonment.^ 

The celebration of anniversaries dear to the non-Magyar 
population is frequently forbidden. The Roumanians are not 
allowed to commemorate February 28, of the date of Horia's 
rising in 1785, which broke the chain by which the serfs were 
bound to the soil ; nor May 15, the day of the Roumanian 
Assembly at Blaj (Balazsfalva) in 1848, and the national oath 
of loyalty to the Emperor as Grand Prince of Transylvania. 
In the same way in 1893 the celebration of the centenary of 
the poet KoUdr's birth was absolutely prohibited, and this 
decision of the county authorities was confirmed by the minister 
of the Interior. In Mosocz an attempt was made to place a 
wreath upon the house of KoUdr's birth ; but this was frus- 

60* See p. 320. The rivalry of orange and green would have been 
impossible in Hungary, for the simple reason that only orange would 
have been tolerated by the authorities. 

*»» Ndpor-Odpor, p. 87. 

R.P.H. 289 U 


trated by gendarmes, who scattered the poet's admirers and 
trampled the wreaths and flowers under foot. In Turocz St. 
Mdrton an order was issued that all guests must be announced 
to the szolgabiro within an hour of their arrival in the little 
town, under pain of a heavy fine or immediate expulsion. A 
dinner arranged in honour of the occasion in the Slovak club 
was prohibited by the authorities ; gendarmes with fixed 
bayonets guarded its entrance and even prevented an evening 
dance and the singing of a choral society. A formal greeting 
sent by the Slav Society in St. Petersburg in honour of the 
great poet, was opened by the postal authorities and con- 

On September 8, 1892, a monument was to be unveiled in 
the little churchyard of Hluboka over the grave of the Rev. 
J. M. Hurban, the leader of the Slovak bands in 1848. From 
far and near the country people flocked into Hluboka to be 
present at the ceremony. But before this could take place, 
gendarmes appeared upon the scene and ordered the crowd to 
disperse, threatening to use force unless their orders were strictly 
obeyed. Only two or three of the nearest relatives were allowed 
to enter the churchyard at all, and in their indignation at this 
cruel treatment, they very naturally renounced the ceremony.^ ^° 
The pupils of the Roumanian gymnasium and commercial 
school of Kronstadt (Brasso) have for a number of years past 
secretly placed wreaths on the grave of Andrew Muresianu, 
the author of the Roumanian national song " Desteapteto 
Romanei " (Roumanians awake). In May, 1908, seventeen 
schoolboys were brought before the police of Kronstadt on this 
charge, but all denied having taken part in the demonstration. 
The captain of police required the head master to supply 
the names of the offenders within twenty-four hours, as 
otherwise a disciplinary inquiry would be opened against the 

Of the difficulties with which the non-Magyar press and con- 
sequently the literatures of the non-Magyar races have to 
contend, we have spoken in another chapter. A brief allusion 
may be made here to the attitude of the Magyar authorities 
towards the theatrical performances of the nationalities. A 
campaign had long been conducted by the Magyar Chauvinists. 

*i» See p. 306. Contrast with this the imposing annual processiond 
through the streets of Dubhn to Parnell's grave on the anniversary ol 
his death. 

5'* See Pester Lloyd, May 18, 1908. 


Slovak Tombstones. 

(Carveb and Painted.) 

Z ^ 


against the existence of the German drama in Hungary ; and 
when on December 20, 1889, the German theatre of Pest was 
burnt to the ground, the Town Council withheld permission 
for its re-erection. On November 29, 1894, a Magyar deputy 
delighted Parliament with the blasphemous phrase : " It is 
to God's help that we owe the burning of the German theatre." 
In 1896 an order was sent to the directors of all Hungarian 
watering-places, forbidding them in future to accept offers from 
German theatrical companies. In the same year Slovak theatri- 
cals were prohibited in Miava, Rozsahegy, Tiszolcz and Brez- 
nobanya^^^; and anything more ambitious than amateur or 
peasant plays is almost invariably forbidden in * Slovensko.' 
In Versecz, the last German performance was held on September 
14, 1897 ; the manager, in a farewell address, announced that 
the Minister had refused to renew his licence, and that his com- 
pany were now without a home,^^^ As a special favour of Count 
Apponyi, the Minister of Education, to whose province all 
theatrical matters belong, one of the leading Bucarest actors 
was allowed to go on tour in Transylvania last summer, after 
his performances had already been vetoed by the local authori- 

Perhaps, however, the most outrageous examples of interfer- 
ence with personal liberty are those connected with the Magyari- 
zation of family names. Not merely are all non-Magyars 
entered in the registers and in all public documents under the 
mangled Magyar form, but petitions are rejected by the Courts 
if even their signatures retain the non-Magyar forms. Worst 
of all, pressure is put upon the officials in all Government ser- 
vices — especially the railways and post office — ^to adopt Magyar 
1 names. Three striking examples of this will be found in 
Appendix xxv. 

Even in purely commercial matters the Government exer- 
cises an unfair pressure upon the nationalities. Two examples 
of this must suifice. In 1903 a limited company was started in 
ITurocz St. Marton, for the manufacture of cellulose. The ven- 
ture was financed by the Tatra Bank, and a capital of 1,500,000 
xrowns was all subscribed within a few months. Some of the 
[directors of the board, who were all Czechs or Slovaks, obtained 
from the Minister of Commerce the promise of the necessary 
" concession " when the works were ready. On the strength of 

*i^ April 15, May 5, October 6. See Ndpor-Opdor, p. 90. 

*" Schultheiss, Deutschtum und Magyarisierung, p. 39. 



this, the factory was erected and finished in 1904 ; but on the 
day when the machinery was first tested, the High Sheriff 
appeared with gendarmes and ordered the factory to be closed. 
For eighteen months the new factory remained idle ; permission 
for the opening was steadily withheld. At length, the Czech 
shareholders grew tired of the deadlock, and accepted an offer 
of purchase from a rich Jewish Magyar bank (the Hungarian 
Credit Bank) which already owned two cellulose factories. 
The very day after the sale had been effected, the new " patrio- 
tic " owners began to work the factory without waiting for the 
concession, and all opposition on the part of the authorities 

A typical example of the difficulties encountered by the young 
Slovak banks is supplied by the following incident, which If, 
give in the words of a Magyar newspaper : " In August, 1907, || 
Mr. Skycik, the Slovak deputy, summoned the shareholders of 
the Slovak People's Bank founded in Jablonka to a new general . 
meeting, because the Court had declined to register the institu-l 
tion owing to formal errors (in the application). The szolga- 
biro of Turocz, Bulla, however, broke up the meeting forcibly, 
because foreign citizens also wished to take part in the meet- 
ing." ^1* 

It is not necessary to enlarge further up on this subject. Th^ 
large number of instances which I have adduced above, evei 
at the risk of wearying the reader, should have made it abun^ 
dantly clear that the liberty of the subject and the right 
assembly and association are virtually non-existent in Hui 
gary, or at best are at the mercy of administrative officio 
whose standards are hardly those of Western Europe. 

5^* See Pester Lloyd, August 12, 1907. 



The Persecution of the Non-Magyar Press 

"Against arbitrary action as such, men feel no antipathy ; but what 
disgusts, enrages, embitters them is that dupHcity by which they are 
told, ' You have Liberty of the Press,' and it is not true ; ' You are 
subject only to the law,' and it is not so ; ' Your nationality is not 
endangered,' and it is a lie. . . . Such trickery infects even the mildest 
blood with poisonous venom." 

SzfecHENYi, Ein Blick auf den anonymen Riickblick (p. 39). 

PRESS freedom in the proper sense of the word cannot be 
said to exist in Hungary — or rather it exists for the 
Magyars alone of all the races of the country ,^^ and even then 
only for those Magyars who refrain from espousing the cause of 
the downtrodden proletariat, and who in their criticisms of the 
present reactionary regime succeed in evading the ever-watchful 
Public Prosecutor. The law which regulates Press affairs dates 
from 1848 and was drawn up amid the enthusiasm and excite- 
ment kindled by the news from Paris. In its own day it was a 
genuinely liberal measure and represented a decided advance 
upon previous practice ; but it has long ago become antiquated, 
and now stands in urgent need of revision. More than one of 
its clauses shows that its authors sympathized with Wilkes 
and Junius, but recent Governments have none the less found 
it possible to interpret its phraseology in a highly reactionary 

The Press Law of 1848 (Article XVIII.) finally abolishes the 
preventive censorship and secures to every one the right to com- 
municate and spread his thoughts freely through the medium 
of the Press. This phrase expressly includes all printed litera- 
I ture, engravings or prints produced either for sale or for distri- 
bution. Lea.ving aside the provisions which deal with libel 
. and with incitement to crime or to breach of the peace, we find 
!that the restrictions imposed upon liberty of the Press in 

''* And of course for members of other nationalities who have sub- 
mitted to Magj'arization. 



political questions are contained in paragraphs 6 to 8. Press 
attacks on the dynasty and its members are punishable with 
imprisonment up to six years and a maximal fine of 6,000 
crowns ; and this formed the ground on which Mr. Polonyi was 
being prosecuted at the very moment when he was admitted to 
the Coalition Cabinet as Minister of Justice. He who through 
the Press incites {a) to the dissolution of the territorial unity of 
the State or of the dynastic link with Austria, [h) to the forcible 
alteration of the Constitution, (c) to disobedience against the 
lawful authorities, and {d) to the commission of crime, is liable 
to imprisonment up to four years and a maximal fine of 4,000 
crowns. Special Jury Courts are erected for the trial of all 
Press offences. 

These provisions, if strictly applied, would seem to offer little 
opportunity for the oppression of the nationalities ; but they 
have been effectively reinforced by subsequent legislation. The 
new Criminal Code which became law in 1878, contains specially 
stringent provisions (§§ 170-4) against political offenders. 

(i) Instigation to the committal of any offence, whether by 
words in a public assembly, or by the dissemination or 
public display of printed matter or pictures, is punish- 
able by two years' imprisonment and 4,000 crowns. 

(2) Similar incitement to disobedience to the law or the 

lawful action of the authorities, " direct incitement of 
one class of the population, one nationality or religious 
denomination to hatred of another," and " incitement 
against the legal institutions of property and marriage 
are punishable with two years' imprisonment and 2,oooj 
crowns (§ 172). 

(3) Instigation against the monarch and his succession, the^ 

Dual System, Constitution and Parliament, may be 
visited with five years' imprisonment (§ 173). 

(4) Glorification of any action which has been punished as an; 

offence under these three sections {laudatio criminis) 
makes its author liable to six months' imprisonment 

As if such provisions did not confer sufficient powers upon 
the Court, the Curia has interpreted " direct incitement " under 
section 172 to mean " any spoken or written word, any action 
which is capable of producing in another hatred against a 
nationality, etc." Direct and indirect are thus made inter- 
changeable terms by the highest court in the land, and alii 



criticism of the existing regime of course becomes a penal of- 

All this is merely part of a system for creating patriotism by 
Act of Parliament. What is known as " a tendency hostile 
to the State " is pursued with ruthless severity by the Magyar 
authorities. Law XXVI. of 1893, which specially enjoins the 
prosecution of primary schoolmasters for such a tendency, 
defines it to include " every action which is directed against 
the Constitution, the national character, unity, independence, 
and territorial integrity of the State, and against the use of the 
language of State as prescribed by law." This is at once so 
far-reaching and so evasive, that it affords unlimited scope for 
arbitrary sentences against all who decline to renounce their 
racial identity, and who dare to draw the aU-important distinc- 
tion between " Hungarian " and " Magyar," a distinction which 
the language of State alone of all the languages spoken in 
Hungary is incapable of drawing. All such persons are with- 
out further ado branded as Panslavs or Irredentists, though 
this is in reality a mere tu quoque in the mouths of the Pan- 
Magyars, who naively admit that the language question can 
only be solved by force, and in the same breath assert that no- 
where in Europe is freedom so complete as in Hungary. The 
falsity of this last assertion may be gathered from the records 
of political trials for Press offences during the last quarter of a 

Before, however, passing to a discussion of these trials, it is 
necessary to point out the exceptional position enjoyed by 
Trans3dvania in matters of the Press. Though Magyar states- 
men have for the last two generations laid repeated stress upon 
the need for political unity, and have on this ground justified 
the assimilation of Transylvania and the iniquitous treatment 
of the Saxon University, on the other hand they have not 
scrupled to uphold a special franchise and special Press 
laws for Transylvania, so contrived as to place the Magyar 
minority in a favoured position. A stringent Press Law had 
been promulgated for Transylvania in 1852 by the Absolutist 
Government in Vienna ; and the Constitutionalists who framed 
the Ausgleich of 1867 allowed this reactionary measure to 
remain in force, while reviving the more liberal law of 1848 for 
the benefit of the rest of the country. Hence in Transylvania 
the Public Prosecutor possesses special discretionary powers, 
of which he makes full use against the Roumanian Press ; and 
it is still possible to impose severe punishment for the spread, 

295 . 


not only of confiscated pamphlets and other literature (as else- 
where in Hungary), but even of printed matter which had been 
allowed to pass unchallenged. 

The composition of the special Jury Courts by which Press 
offences are tried, forms a still more serious grievance. Since 
no one with an income of less than 400 crowns can sit as jury- 
man, the non-Magyars are handicapped by their poverty, and 
the majority rests automatically in the hands of their enemies. ^^^ 
In 1 87 1 three Press Jury Courts were erected in Transylvania 
by ministerial order — two in the Magyar towns of Kolozsvir 
(Klausenburg) and Maros-Vasarhely, and the third in Her- 
mannstadt. In the latter, however, the Saxon jurymen ac- 
quitted the non-Magyar editors whom the Government saw fit 
to bring before it for political articles ; and consequently in 
1885 the Jury Court of Hermannstadt was abolished — once 
more by ministerial order — and all cases which it would have 
decided fell under the jurisdiction of the Chauvinists of Ko- 
lozsvar. Similar drastic measures were not found necessary 
against the other Press Courts : for aU save that of Hermann- 
stadt had from the first proved to be docile instruments of a 
tyrannous executive. Their entire proceedings were of course 
conducted in the Magyar language, and the natural result was 
that no one who was not entirely conversant with Magyar could 
be appointed as a juryman. 

In other words, not merely are 40 per cent, of the population of 
Hungary disqualified from serving as jurymen in political trials, 
but the non-Magyars have almost invariably been tried by 
their bitterest political enemies, and the sentences have been 
notoriously coloured by the prevailing disease of Chauvinism. 
Little wonder that the committee of the Roumanian National 
Party, when tried collectively in 1894 for their political 
activity,^" declined to defend themselves before a court com- 
posed of those against whom the incriminated petition had been 
directed. " Do not then ask us," they exclaimed with a defi- 
ance worthy of those Romans from whom they claim descent, 
" do not ask us to become the accomplices of this mock justice 
of yours." 

A number of legal restrictions attend upon the foundation 
of a newspaper in Hungary. A declaration must be handed in 

* 1* The only exception is the Germans, who are generally well-to-do. 
But in their case intimidation and assimilation have done their work. 
*" In the "Memorandum" Trial. See p. 301, and Appendix xv. 




to the local authorities, stating the place where it is to appear, 
and who are its proprietor, printer, and responsible editors ; and 
this must be communicated to the Minister of the Interior. 
It is no longer possible, as in the period preceding 1848, to 
withhold for years the permission to found a non-Magyar 
newspaper ^^^ ; and the security cash deposit of 20,000 
crowns which is required for every daily paper ^^^ naturally 
affects the entire Hungarian Press irrespective of lan- 
guage. None the less this weighs far more heavily upon 
the non-Magyars, not merely because they have so little spare 
capital at thtir back, but especially because fines imposed 
upon their newspapers can be deducted from the caution 
money and as publication can be at once stopped by the 
authorities if the deficiency is not speedily made good, it will be 
seen that this provision supplies the Government with a con- 
venient handle against the non-Magyar Press. It was doubtless 
this fact which suggested to Coloman Tisza the policy which 
was elaborated by Banffy and brought to perfection by the 
present Coalition Government — the deliberate design namely of 
involving the Nationalist Press in chronic financial difficulties 
and if possible of reducing it to bankruptcy. And indeed the 
levy of countless fines for the most trivial Press offences would 
undoubtedly have produced the desired effect, but for timely 
financial support from abroad. Just as the Irish Party was 
financed from America, so the Roumanians of Hungary receive 
aid from their kinsmen in Roumania, the Serbs from Belgrad, 
the Slovaks from Bohemia and the United States. The Mag- 
yars, instead of treating this as natural and inevitable, indulge 
in wild charges of treason and bribery. The chief reason, how- 
ever, that the grapes are sour, is that the Magyars have no 
kinsmen of their own outside Hungary, from whom they could 
under any circumstances receive support, whether financial or 

A copy of every newspaper must be deposited with the local 
authorities, signed by the responsible editor, under a penalty of 
400 crowns. Advantage is taken of this and other trifling 
regulations, to worry the life of non-Magyar or Socialist editors 
by endless petty formalities and vexatious summonses and 
inquiries. Proceedings are instituted on the very flimsiest 
pretext, often without any intention beyond involving a " Pan- 

51* See p. 79. 

si» Note, for others 10,000 crowns. 



slav " or " Irredentist " editor alarm, expense or loss of time. 
Here again there are great differences between the different 
counties and municipahties ; but I am understating the facts 
when I say that it is the exception for the local authorities to 
treat the non-Magyar journalists with courtesy and common 

Quite apart from continual press-actions, the non-Magyar 
Press is handicapped by] frequent confiscations of single num- 
bers of a newspaper. Not merely the regular political journals, 
but even the comic papers are confiscated, for a joke or carica- 
ture which is distasteful to the Government, or for a poem or 
folksong which seems calculated to kindle national sentiment. 
Such confiscations have been especially frequent since the 
Coalition Government came into power. In 1907 the Slovak 
weekly newspaper Ludove Noviny was confiscated no less than 
twenty times,^^" and more than one of the leading Slovak or 
Roumanian journals has frequently shared the same fate. The 
lengths to which this practice is carried may be gathered from 
an incident which occurred only last year. A people's 
Almanac edited by Dr. Paul Blaho, the Slovak member of Par- 
liament, was confiscated for reproducing an ancient folksong 
of the seventeenth century. This song, which sings the praises 
of Janosik, the Johnnie Armstrong of Slovak popular tradi- 
tion, was regarded by the authorities as threatening the exist- 
ence of the Magyar national state. 

Another not uncommon device for the annoyance of the non- 
Magyars is the withdrawal of the post-debit. ^^^ In the case of 
non-Magyar newspapers which are actually published in Hun- 
gary itself, this step is only resorted to occasionally and for 
brief periods, by way of a salutary warning. But all the Slovak 
newspapers published in the United States are under this ban, 
and quite a number of important Czech, Roumanian, Servian, 
and Russian papers have from time to time been subjected to 
the same indignity, on account of their articles in defence of 
the nationalities. 

The severity of the laws as they stand in the statute book is 
of less importance than the manner in which they are inter- 
preted by the Courts : and here Hungary has an unique record 

*" Pester Lloyd, December 12, 1907. 

^*i The special arrangement by which the Post Office in Hungary, as 
in Austria, Germany and other countries, agrees to deliver newspapers 
with the same promptitude as letters and at specially reduced rates. 



in the matter of political persecution. I am fuUy aware of the 
serious nature of this charge, and I propose to prove it not by 
vague generalizations but by concrete examples — by passing 
in review a number of the press actions to which Slovak and 
Roumanian journalists have been subjected during the past 
thirty years. 

In May, 1886, Cornelius Pop-Pacurar was sentenced to a year's 
imprisonment for an article published in the Roumanian news- 
paper Tribuna, which contained the assertion : " this country 
belongs neither to the Magyars nor to the Roumanians, but is 
the common country of both. ' ' The article was really a polemic 
against a violent effusion of the Magyar paper Kolozsvdri 
Kozlony, which had argued that the Hungarian State could 
never be anything but Magyar and could never make any con- 
cessions to the nationalities, since this would merely prove fatal 
to itself. Provoked by such sentiments, Pacurar had broken 
a lance against the Kossuth cult, and exclaimed, " The Magyar 
should not keep coming and telling us that this territory (i.e. 
Transylvania) is Magyar and only Magyar ; for they force the 
Roumanians to try to prove to them that it is Roumanian — or 
else a desert." Needless to say, the extreme provocation under 
which he had written was not taken into account, and no action 
was taken against the incendiary articles of the Magyar news- 
papers in Kolozsvar. Indeed, during the whole period succeed- 
ing the Ausgleich, not a single Magyar newspaper has ever been 
prosecuted for incitement against one of the other nationalities, 
though the whole press has re-echoed year in year out with the 
most libellous and venomous attacks upon the non-Magyars. 
To no people in Europe is the idea of fair play so alien as to the 
Magyars. A Magyar newspaper may with impunity express 
regret that the city gates are no longer receptacles for the head 
of traitors,^^^ or describe flaying alive as suitable punishment for 
a Slovak patriot. ^^^ But if a non-Magyar journalist vents his 
wrath in unmeasured adjectives or lays unwelcome stress upon 
the polyglot nature of Hungary's population, he is haled with- 
out mercy before the courts and left in prison to repent his 

"'2 Magyar Hirlap, September 22, 1894, cit. Brote, op. cit. p. 92. 

'*' A writer in the Cechische Revue, a Review of high standing in 
Prague (Bd. ii. Heft 3, December, 1907), cites two horrible sentences 
to this effect from the CoaUtion organ Egyetertes ; but I have been unable 
to verify the quotation, as I only read the Bohemian article after my 
return home, and as EgyetSrtSs cannot be consulted in any library in the 
British Isles. 

299 » 


In September, 1888, General Trajan Doda, M.P., was brought 
to trial for the address which he had issued to the electors of 
Karansebes in October, 1887. In it he had accepted the man- 
date, but announced that he would not take his seat, in order 
to show to the sovereign and to the world at large " that there is 
something rotten in the State," and that the Roumanian people 
has been " by violence and intrigue ejected from all its positions 
in the constitutional struggle." It was not, he added, merely a 
vote in Parliament, but the national honour of the Roumanian 
people which was at stake. For this address. General Doda 
was sentenced to two years' imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 
crowns ; as a fit of apoplexy prevented the old man from ap- 
pearing, the verdict was pronounced in his absence.^^ Joan 
Slavici, who had reproduced Doda's address in the Trihuna, 
and had commented on it as a sign of national awakening, was 
also sentenced in April, 1888, to a year's imprisonment and a 
fine of 200 crowns. 

On September 11, 1890, John Macaveiu was brought to 
trial before the Court of Kolozsvar for two brilliant articles in 
the Trihuna,^^ criticising the idea of the Magyar state (a magyar 
allam eszme) as a monstrous and impossible dogma. The State, 
he argued, cannot belong to the Magyars alone, for it is not to 
them alone that it owes its existence. If the Magyars were to 
acquire a monopoly in the State, the Roumanians would be 
forced to regard themselves as subjects of another state, but 
" so long as our beloved monarch calls all nationalities under 
his sway ' my beloved peoples,' so long have we the right and 
duty to call ourselves his loyal subjects and not strangers." 
" Europe," he contended, " and Europe alone, is called upon to 
solve the future of this country." For this article Macaveiu 
was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment, and S. Albini, 
as responsible editor, to six months' common gaol ! Macaveiu 
returned from prison broken in health and died shortly after- 

In 1 891, the students of Bucarest University published in 
several European languages a pamphlet describing the situation 
of their Roumanian kinsmen in Hungary. To this the Magyar 
students of Budapest and Kolozsvar published an answer pur- 
porting to refute the charges of oppression and intolerance. 
Hereupon the Roumanian students of the various Universities 

''** He was afterwards pardoned by a special act of the Emperor-King. 
^"^ Then published in Hermannstadt. 



of Austria-Hungary in their turn entered the fray, and ap- 
pointed a committee out of their midst, to draw up and publish 
a counterblast to the Magyar pamphlet. This so-called " Re- 
plique " duly appeared at a printing press in Hermannstadt, was 
sent openly through the post and allowed by the public prose- 
cutor, who duly received a copy, to go unchallenged. After a 
whole year had elapsed, the " Replique " was confiscated by the 
authorities in Kolozsvar, and those who had helped to spread 
it were brought to trial for " incitement against the Magyar 
nationality " (which was, of course, treated as coincident with 
the " Hungarian nation "). The printer, Nicholas Roman, 
was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and 600 crowns, Aurel 
Popovici, a member of the students' committee, to four years' 
imprisonment and 1,000 crowns. Mr. Popovici, who evaded 
the execution of this sentence, is of course an exile from his 
native country, and has become one of the foremost advocates 
of a federalized Austria-Hungary. His book on " The United 
States of Great Austria," though marred by a very natural pre- 
judice against the Magyars, shows wide reading and consider- 
able political judgment, and the sensation which its publica- 
tion caused in the spring of 1906, led to the foundation of 
that mysterious Viennese weekly Gross-Oesterreich, which 
preaches the unadulterated Pan-Austrian doctrine. But for 
the tyranny of the Magyar authorities, it is safe to say that Mr. 
Popovici's book would never have been written. 

In the course of the year 1894 the editors of the Trihuna 
were sentenced to repeated fines and terms of imprisonment 
for pubHshing congratulatory addresses to the victims of the 
"Replik" trial. 

On March 26, 1892, the Committee of the Roumanian Na- 
tional Party, in its official capacity, addressed a petition to the 
Emperor-King, complaining of the many illegalities to which 
their nationality had been subjected. On June i a deputa- 
tion of 300 Roumanians appeared in the Hofburg of Vienna 
to deliver this so-called " Memorandum " to His Majesty in 
person, but they were not admitted to an audience, and on 
July 26 the Hungarian Premier returned the document to the 
party president. Dr. Ratiu, with the remark that it could not 
be submitted to the monarch, since its framers had no legal 
right to speak in the name of the Roumanians of Hungary ! 
After six months' delay, legal proceedings were instituted 
against its authors, and on May 7, 1894 — or twenty-six months 
after the date of the petition — the president of the Roumanian 

301 , 


National Committee, John Ratiu ; the vice-president, George 
Popp de Basesti and Eugene Brote ; the secretaries, Father Basil 
Lucaciu, Demetrius Comsia and Septimius Albini, sixteen other 
members of the committee and four other Roumanians who had 
helped to distribute copies of the Memorandum, were brought 
to trial before the Press Jury Court of Kolozsvdr, on the usual 
charge of incitement.^^® After a trial lasting eighteen days, 
Father Lucaciu (who had already been thrice convicted for 
political offences) was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, 
Comsia to three years, Coroianu to two years eight months, Dr. 
Ratiu and one other to two years each, four other accused to 
two and a half years each, two others to eight months each, 
and three others to eighteen, twelve and two months respec- 
tively.^" In October, Albini, against whom the charge had been 
postponed owing to illness, was condemned to two and a half 
years. Thus a total of thirty-one years two months imprison- 
ment was imposed upon the leaders of a political party for 
exercising their natural right of petitioning their sovereign. 
To crown this infamy, the Roumanian political organization 
was dissolved by ministerial decree, and an arbitrary limit was 
thus placed upon the programme on which a parliamentary 
candidate may seek election.^^^ The reader must form his own 
opinion of this incident ; I for my part refuse to describe a 
country where such a decision is possible, as either Western or 

Consideration of space forced me to relegate to an appendix 
the long series of political trials which followed the suppression 
of the Roumanian Party.^^^ But lest the reader should suppose 
that the storm of persecution shows signs of abatement, I pro- 
pose to cite a number of instances which have occurred during 
the past eighteen months. 

'*• See Appendix xv. 

"*' The comments of the Magyar Press upon the Memorandum 
Trial would form an interesting Appendix : I content myself, however, 
with a reference to the official Pester Lloyd, which said of the accused 
(May 27, 1894) that they " eignen sich wohl zu den Talmihelden eines 
schlechten Operettenlibrettos, nicht aber zu nationalen Heroen eines 
historischen Dramas." Those who read the fiery declaration published 
by Dr. Ratiu and the other defendants (Appendix xv.) will probably 
be of a very different opinion. The Journal des Debuts of 19, 20, 24 
May and 29 June, 1894, contains accounts of the trial. 

"** See Appendix xvi. (The Dissolution of the Roumanian National 

'*• See Appendix X., containing statistics of the non-Magyar political 
trials between the years 1886 and^igoS. 



In September, 1906, a Roumanian journalist, Avram Indreica, 
was sentenced by the Court of Nagyvdrad to seven months' im- 
prisonment for reproducing an anti-Magyar article from a 
Viennese newspaper. 

In June, 1907, an action was announced against a Rou- 
manian editor for reproducing a speech delivered by the Greek 
Oriental Metropolitan of Hermannstadt, severely criticizing 
the new Education Acts of Count Apponyi. Let us imagine 
for a moment the prosecution of the Daily Mail for printing 
the Archbishop of Canterbury's criticisms of Mr. Birrell ! The 
fact that nothing further has been heard of this action would 
seem to suggest that the charge was regarded as too flimsy even 
for a Hungarian Press Jury. 

In November, 1907, Basil Macrea, one of the responsible 
editors of the Roumanian paper Lupta, was sentenced to six 
months' imprisonment and a fine of 1,200 crowns, for an article 
attacking the Apponyi Education Bills in February, 1907 ^^ — in 
other words, two months before they received the sanction 
of Parliament, and at a moment when they were being discussed 
on all sides. Of course the offence was the usual " incitement 
against the Magyar nationality " ; but in effect such actions 
deprive the nationalities of the right to criticize freely legislation 
which affects them even more nearly than the Magyars. For a 
non-Magyar to say " nihil de nobis sine nobis " is still regarded 
as little short of treason in Hungary. 

In November, 1907, John Jovan, one of the staff of the 
Tribuna, was sentenced to six months and 500 crowns for pub- 
lishing a telegram of greeting sent by the Roumanian students 
of Vienna to Dr. Vaida on the occasion of his forcible expulsion 
from Parliament, and for commenting favourably on this tele- 
gram. ^^^ 

In the same month Demetrius Lascu was sentenced by the 
Nagyv4rad Press Court to six months and 500 crowns, for an 
article entitled " Furor Asiaticus," containing severe criticisms 
of the behaviour of the administrative authorities towards the 
nationalities. Needless to say, no steps have been taken to 
verify the accuracy of Lascu's charges. Lascu stood for Par- 
liament at the last election in Ugra (Bihar county), but failed 
to obtain a majority. A number of Roumanian voters were 
tried and punished for electoral excesses, the voters on the 

"•» See Pester Lloyd. November 23, 1907. 
*'i See Pester Lloyd, November 21, 1907. 



Magyar side going unpunished. The town theatre of Jassy in 
Roumania arranged a special benefit performance for the victims 
of this trial ; and the Tribuna of Arad published an account 
of this performance, and in its editorial comments praised the 
condemned Roumanians as sufferers in the national cause. 
For this remark an action is pending against the editor of the 
Tribuna, for the offence of laudatio criminis}^'^ 

During a sitting of the Hungarian Delegation in February, 
1908, Mr. Hollo, the well-known Independent deputy, so far 
forgot himself as to boast of Hungary's tolerance towards its 
non-Magyar races, and to compare that " tolerance " with the 
oppressive policy of Germany and Russia towards the Poles. 
On three consecutive days of the very week in which he made 
this speech, three Roumanian editors were sentenced in three 
different courts for newspaper articles, to ten months and 400 
crowns, eighteen months and 1,500 crowns, and eighteen 
months and 2,000 crowns respectively.^^ 

A very common method of intimidation, which has been 
specially adopted against the Roumanians, is to sentence them 
not to state prison, according to the regular legal practice for 
political offences, but to ordinary jail confinement, which, 
it is hardly necessary to add, is far more trying to clergymen 
and journalists than to vagabonds or burglars. For instance 
Andrew Baltes, editor-in-chief of the Tribuna, was sentenced in 
1894 to four months jail for publishing a poem in honour of 
Michael the Brave.^^^ Father Lucaciu, the famous Roumanian 
priest (now member of the Hungarian Parliament) was in 1889 
detained five weeks in a common jail previous to trial, for hold- 
ing an electoral speech : the court acquitted him, but of course 
did not compensate him for this treatment. In 1892 he was 
sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment for another elec- 
toral address, and in June, 1893, to four months for " libelling 
the Government." On the latter occasion, the court lumped 
the two sentences together, and commuted them into thirteen 
months of common jail. In the same way PoUakovic, the 

632 See Pester Lloyd, November 2 and 13, 1907. 

*3» In Maros-Vasarhely, Theodore Pacatian (editor of the Telegraful 
Roman, the official organ of the Metropolitan of Hermannstadt 
and the Greek Oriental Consistory) ; in Budapest, George Stoica, 
editor of the Lupta ; in Kolozsvar Julius Joanovici, of the Libertatea. 
See Pester Lloyd, of February 8, 9, 10, 1908. 

*3* The Wallachian Hospodar, who overran Transylvania at the end 
of the sixteenth century. 




American citizen whose case I have discussed in another part of 
the book, though sentenced to seven months' state prison, was 
actually confined throughout this period in an unhealthy county 
jail, where he eventually fell ill with bronchitis.^^ 

In this connexion I cannot do better than cite a conversation 
which I had with a prominent public prosecutor in Hungary 
during the spring of 1907, on the subjects of the Juriga and 
Hlinka trials. The impression left upon me is one which I am 
not likely soon to forget. With unveiled ferocity this gentleman 
declared that it was monstrous to treat these rascally Panslav 
agitators as gentlemen, and to allow them decent quarters in a 
state prison. The proper place for them, he said, was in a 
common jail, among thieves and other criminals. 

A similar device is that by which the trials of non-Magyars 
are often intentionally delayed or protracted. Meanwhile the 
victims sometimes have to languish for weeks or months in 
preliminary arrest ; and even when they are allowed to remain 
at large, the continual summonses and inquiries to which they are 
sub j ected, act as an intimidation . Father Hlinka was kept for five 
months untried in prison for a political offence,^* and Dr. Srobar 
was only released at the end of six weeks because he threatened 
to refuse all food. Such instances of preliminary confinement 
for political offences are now of more frequent occurrence in 

In the last three years there has been an outburst of prose- 
cution against the Slovaks, whom the Government seeks to 
crush by every means in its power. If till then the Slovak press 
has fewer press actions to show than the Roumanian, the ex- 
planation of this is very simple. On the one hand, the Magyars 
always affected to despise the Slovaks,^^'' and left their repression 
in the hands of the local administrative demigods ; on the other 

*3* See p. 321 and Appendix xxiii. 

^^* See p. 335. 

637 Xwo years ago an influential Magyar Jewish journalist, in a con- 
versation with a friend of mine, poured contempt upon the Slovaks, 
their culture, intelligence and prospects, contrasting them with the 
Roumanians, whom he described as a real danger for Hungary. This 
year my friend discussed the same subject with him, and found that 
his whole attitude had changed. The Slovaks were a " Culturvolk," 
their art and literature deserved recognition, and in fact the savage 
Roumanians could not be mentioned in the same breath with them. 
These two conversations are typical of the gradual change which is 
coming over the public mind, and which in a few years will force its 
way even into the corrupt Chauvinist Press. ' ' La verite est en marche, 
et rien ne I'arretera plus." 

R.P.H. 305 X 


hand, a Slovak Press can hardly be said to have existed before 
the twentieth century, and the newspapers which kept the torch 
of Slovak nationalism alight in the dark days of Tisza and 
Banffy could be numbered on the fingers of one hand. These, 
however, were treated with a severity which left nothing to 
be desired. A whole series of press actions were directed 
against the staff of the Ndrodnie Noviny in Turocz St. Mdrton, 
which at that time still represented the political views of most 
educated Slovaks.^^ It was hoped to intimidate the little band 
of journalists by repeated imprisonment and the prospect of 
financial ruin ; and but for the stubborn and indomitable spirit 
of Mr. Hurban Vajansky (now the chief editor of the little 
paper), there is little doubt that this end would have been at- 

In the previous chapter I have related the manner in which 
the authorities prevented the unveiling of a tombstone to the 
memory of Joseph M. Hurban. Mr. Svetozdr Hurban Vajansky, 
the son of the dead leader, in passionate indignation at this 
insult to his father's memory, published a violent article in the 
Ndrodnie Noviny, entitled " Hyaenism in Hungary." " Such an 
event," he wrote, " as took place in Hluboka on the 8th of 
this month, has not been known — to quote the words of an old 
peasant woman — since the days when Roman soldiers kept watch 
by the Saviour's grave." After describing the behaviour of the 
gendarmes in the churchyard, he continued : 

The instruments of the Government acted with animal brutality 
and proved that in this state, depraved by Magyarization, the last 
traces of humanity and justice have disappeared ; it has forfeited the 
title of a legal state, and we are now, as in prehistoric times, depend- 
ent upon self-help, and can only pray to God that the day of deliver- 
ance may come at last and may bring with it the ruin of those diabolical 
forces which now rule unrestrained. 

And this is freedom ! With bayonets they expel gratitude from 
the hearts of the people, they pollute a quiet village with hordes of 
gMidarmes, in order to demoralize the people and rob them of the last 
vestige of human feeling. Thus they vitiate filial piety, and every 
nobler thought ; thus they show that power is theirs, that the gen- 
darme's rifle can shoot, that they are gods and our unhappy people 1 
but a worm which can be crushed at any moment. 

What heroism ! — to send armed columns against the handful of 
educated Slovaks, silently mourning their dead, against the assembled 
women of Hluboka and Brezova. That is a heroism and a victory 

^^8 The change which has taken place in recent years and for which 
Mr. Hodza's newspaper, the Slovensky TyMennik, is mainly responsible, 
is described on pp. 201-2. 


Mr. Svetozar Hurban Vajansky. 


which must bring its revenge. God is not so unjust, fate is not so 
cruel, that an open deed of violence should remain unavenged. Ven- 
geance will surely come, in answer to our cry, as once it fell upon the 
Ammonites in answer to the cry of the prophets. 

They have wreaked their vengeance on the dead and on the living : 
they would not allow us to celebrate the memory of a man who is 
already dead. " They are afraid that we shall waken him," cried an 
old peasant woman, as she saw the thirty bayonets encircling the grave 
of Hurban. . . . But they cannot hinder the awakening with their 
bayonets ! Yes, we shall waken him in spirit : his spirit shall dwell 
among us and shall encourage us to the desperate struggle against this 
Babylonian corruption, against this Sodom. 

On the ground of this article, whose exaggerated phrases were 
but the natural outburst of outraged filial affection, Svetoz4r 
Hurban was charged with " incitement against the Magyar 
nationality," and " against an institution of the constitution," 
and was sentenced at Pressburg to a year's imprisonment and a 
fine of 600 crowns ! 

Inthet:ourseof less than three years,^^^ Isidore 2iak Somolicky 
was four times sentenced to terms of imprisonment amounting 
to sixteen months and fines of 1,300 crowns, for articles attack- 
ing the prevailing Chauvinism in Magyar circles. In October, 
1899, he was once more brought to trial for an article entitled 
" Megalomania." After recounting for the benefit of the 
Magyars a number of unpleasant home truths, the writer in- 
dulged in somewhat cheap j ests at their love of magnifying every- 
thing in the public life of Hungary and describing as " great " 
what was really very small indeed. For instance, he said, over 
700 small villages in Hungary have the prefix " Nagy " (great). 
For this article the jury convicted Somolicky of " incitement to 
class hatred," though this had not formed the charge on which 
he was indicted. As a result, the case had to be reheard, when 
the jury found a similar verdict on the proper count, and Somo- 
licky was sentenced to three months and 800 crowns. ^^ 

On June 23, 1898, Ambrose Pietor was sentenced to eight 

"9 October, 1895— April, 1898. 

*" An interesting illustration of a Jury Court verdict is supplied by a 
libel action brought against Nathan Griinfeld, editor of the Nyitrai 
Hirlap. In February and March, 1906, the defendant had accused the 
Nyitra Central Bank, of which he had formerly been a director, of falsi- 
fying its balance sheets. Three of the directors took action against him 
before the Jury Court of Pressburg, which acquitted him after hearing 
only the witnesses for the defence. On September i, 1908, the Curia 
annulled this judgment and ordered the witnesses for the prosecution 
to be heard also. See Pester Lloyd of latter date. This incident further 
illustrates the slowness of Hungarian justice. 



months* imprisonment and a fine of 1,200 crowns, for instigation 
to class hatred and incitement against the Magyar nationahty, 
incurred in two articles published in the Ndrodnie Noviny. In 
the first, entitled " Slavery Above and Below " and written 
eleven whole months previously, he had discussed a strike of 
Slovak bricklayers in Budapest, and had declared that they 
were treated worse than dogs. In the second, entitled " Para- 
lysis Progressiva," he entered a strong protest against the vio- 
lent Magyarization of the ancient placenames of the country, 
and the substitution of a barbarous jargon invented for the 

On December 5, 1906, the Ndrodni Hlasnik in Turocz St. 
Marton published an article entitled " The Political Persecution 
of the Slovaks," in which the Magyar boast of freedom and 
racial equality was described as mere lies and humbug. An 
action was brought before the Budapest Jury Court against 
Milosch Pietor, the responsible editor of the paper, who stated 
that he first took charge of the paper on the very day on which 
this article appeared, and that the responsibility lay with his 
late father, who had ordered its publication. The court de- 
clined to allow Pietor to bring forward witnesses to prove his 
contention, held him personally responsible for the article, and 
sentenced him to four months' imprisonment.^^ 

On May 13, 1907, John Greguska published an article in 
Slovensky Tyzdennik, passing in review the cruel treatment of 
the nationalities in the forty years following the coronation. 
A nationality, he argued, can be oppressed, humiliated, ill-used, 
but its annihilation is a physical impossibility. For this article 
he was sentenced for incitement against the Magyar nationality 
to three months' imprisonment and 600 crowns.^*^ 

The same Greguska published a similar article in the same 
paper on September 13, 1907, entitled " Awake, ye Sleepers," in 
which the Slovaks were urged to shake off the old lethargy and 
prepare for action. Here again on the usual charge he was 
sentenced to five months and 1,000 crowns.^^ 

**^ The sequel to this trial is related on p. 328. In 1902 Joseph 
§kult6ty brought an action for perjury against a lieutenant of gendar- 
merie and two of his men, in connexion with the Pietor trial. The 
Court, however, decided that Skultety had thereby committed the offence 
of " libel against the authorities," and sentenced him to a month's im- 
prisonment. See Ndpor-Odpor, p. 104. 

'** Pester Lloyd, October 13, 1907. 

'" Pester Lloyd, January 26, 1908. 

*** Pester Lloyd, February 19, 1908 



In the same paper John Bagyula pubhshed an article con- 
taining the phrase, " The Magyars hurl themselves like a wild 
horde upon the nationalities, in order to rob them of their land, 
their language and their religion." For this he was charged 
with incitement against the Magyar nationality (as usual, this 
was deliberately confused with the radically different concep- 
tion, " the Hungarian nation ") and condemned to one year's 
imprisonment and a fine of 1,200 crowns. 

Father Hlinka, before entering upon his term of two years' 
imprisonment imposed upon him for speeches delivered on an 
electoral platform,^ published in the Ludove Noviny, a farewell 
article to his parishioners. He went to prison, he declared, 
with a clear conscience, knowing that he must suffer for the 
rights of the Slovak people. On his return he will contend for 
Slovak liberty with redoubled energy ; persecution and im- 
prisonment will not intimidate him. For this article a fresh 
action was brought against the unfortunate priest ; and on 
May 4, 1908, he was sentenced to eighteen months' additional 
imprisonment and a fine of 400 crowns. The deliberate 
aim of the authorities is to break him in health and spirit by 
prolonged imprisonment ; nothing else can explain their vin- 
dictive and cowardly action. 

If we summarize these trials, we find that between the years 
1886 and 1896 no fewer than 363 Roumanians were committed 
for political offences, and that sentences amounting to ninety- 
three years one month and twenty-three days were imposed 
upon them.^*^ Excluding those cases which were tried before 
the ordinary courts, we find that from 1884 to 1894, thirty-six 
trials of Roumanians took place before Hungarian Press Juries, 
and that in these sixty-six persons were condemned to terms of 
imprisonment amounting in all to fifty-three years and to fines 
whose total exceeded 18,000 crowns. Between 1897 and 1908, 
2i4Roumanians were sentenced to thirty-five years nine months' 
imprisonment and to fines amounting to 51,937 crowns. Be- 
tween 1906 and 1908, no fewer than 560 Slovaks were sentenced 
to a total of ninety-one years seven months and 42,121 crowns. 
The fierceness of the persecution under the Coalition Government 
becomes apparent from the fact that between June, 1906, and 
June, 1907, 245 Slovaks were condemned to nineteen years and 
four months ; in the last three months of 1907, twenty-six more 

'" The notorious Hlinka trial is described at length in chapter xviii ; 
and the Juriga trial much more briefly on p. 196. 
*" See Appendix x. (a) and (6). 



to a total of three years, and in the first three months of 1908, 
48 more to a total of 39 years and 6 months, in addition 
to fines and heavy costs. Drawing the balance, we reach 
the following remarkable total: Betw'een the years 1886 
and 1908 (end of August) 890 non-Magyars were condemned, 
for purely political offences, to a total of 232 years 6 months 
and 2 days, in addition to heavy costs and 148,232 crowns 
in fines. 

In this connexion it would be unjust if I were to pass over 
in silence the persecutions to which the Socialist Press of Hun- 
gary has been subjected. A great deal might be written of the 
manner in which the Liberals under Banffy repressed the 
agrarian movement of I1898. The outside world has for forty 
years past accepted the Liberals of Hungary at their own value, 
and rarely troubled itself to put their principles to the hard test 
of fact. The so-called Liberals have been replaced by a party 
which is professedly Radical and democratic ; and yet the 
Coalition Government has outbid all its predecessors in its se- 
verity towards the representatives of Labour and of Socialism. 
Half a dozen instances of its true attitude will therefore not be 
out of place in the present volume. 

Mr. Polonyi, for many years the most loud-mouthed exponent 
of Kossuthist views of liberty and independence, became Minis- 
ter of Justice in the new Coalition Cabinet, and ere three months 
had elapsed, the weapons of " nocturnal censorship " and con- 
fiscation were once more being employed against the Opposition 
Press. In July, 1906, in answer to an interpellation to Mr. 
Brody, on the confiscation of the Vildgszdbadsdg, the organ of 
the Agricultural Labour party, Mr. Polonyi — who a few months 
before had preached the annihilation of the Fejervary Ministry 
for its action against openly disloyal newspapers — now resorted 
to the same hackneyed phrases w^hich every muzzier of Press 
liberty had employed from the days of Junius onwards."' The 

**' After admitting that the epoch in which we live was built up on 
Press freedom, he went on : " But if any one understands by ' Press 
freedom ' that one may not punish a crime, because it was committed 
through the Press (great excitement in the House) then I must declare 
with regret that I do not regard this as compatible with the essence of 
Press freedom. If some one dares under the aegis of Press freedom 
to instigate uninformed fellow-citizens to crimes which would cause 
irreparable loss — there exists no constitutional state where the existing 
legal order would not defend itself against this." Obviously incite- 
ment to crime must be strictly punished. The real question in Hun- 
gary is what is to be regarded as " crime," more than one of the sec- 



movement among the agricultural population for higher wages 
and more humane treatment is naturally most distasteful to the 
reactionary landowners who form a majority in the present 
Parliament. They were interested in the suppression of any 
agitation among the harvesters, and therefore used their in- 
fluence to secure the confiscation of articles such as those pub- 
lished by the Vildgszabadsdg. While the local authorities raged 
against strikers and agitators (the szolgabiro of Oroshaza alone 
is said to have imposed sentences amounting to 30,000 days' 
arrest in the course of the year 1906-7),^*^ action after action has 
been brought against the NSpszava and other Social Democratic 
newspapers, and quite a number of Socialist pamphlets and 
leaflets have been confiscated. 

In June, 1907, the Vildgszabadsdg (Freedom of the World), 
the organ of the Agrarian Socialists, published two articles 
which preached upon the text of Proudhon, " La propriete est 
le vol," and urged the labourers to strike. For this, Stephen 
Kovacs was sentenced to eight months and 800 crowns, Julius 
Franczia to one year and 1,000 crowns, on a charge of incite- 
ment to class hatred.^*" 

Early in 1907, when the Agricultural Labourers Bill was laid 
before Parliament, Rudolf Ladanyi published a pamphlet 
entitled " The Flogging-bench Act " (A derestorveny),^" in 
which he argued that its provisions would place the labourers 
at the mercy of their employers, and exhorted them to oppose 
the measure by every means in their power. The Bill did not 
become law till some months after the publication of his pam- 
phlet, and then in a somewhat altered form, so that it might have 
been presumed that free criticism of so controversial a measure 
would be allowed. Ladanyi, however, was prosecuted fot 
incitement to class hatred, and after a spirited defence, in which 
the judge treated his counsel with marked severity, was sen- 
tenced to six months' imprisonment and a fine of 600 crowns.^^^ 

In 1907 an article appeared in the organ of the "Socialist 

tions of the' Criminal Code being reactionary in the highest degree and 
incompatible with the Press Law of 1848 (e.g., §§ 171-174, 567). 

5*8 Bericht der Parteileitung, 1906-7, p. 50. 

^" Pester Lloyd, November 17, 1907. 

"" A reference to § 3 of the Bill as subsequently adopted, by which 
workmen under the age of 18 and all members of workmen's families 
who are under age are subjected to the " domestic discipline " of the 
proprietor (in other words, may be flogged for certain offences). 

^5 1 Pester Lloyd, November 16, 1907. 



Count" Erwin Batthyany, TdrsacLalmi Forradalom (Social 
Revolution) three articles under his own name, expounding 
Marxian^, doctrines and violently attacking the army and the 
propertied classes. An action was brought against the paper by 
the public prosecutor in Szombathely, and as Count Batthyany 
had meanwhile moved to London, the responsible editor, John 
Horvath, was charged in his place with incitement and 
agitation, and sentenced to three months and lOO crowns.^^ 

On October 29, 1907, the NSpszava published an article on 
the massacre of Csernova under the title " Who are the mur- 
derers ? " ^^^ The author maintained that the gendarmes had 
no excuse for firing on the crowd, and openly criticized the 
brutal attitude of the Government and the bishop towards the 
Slovak nation. Stephen Hegediis, a shoemaker's apprentice, 
gave himself out as the author of the article, and was sentenced 
to two months and 1,000 crowns for incitement to class hatred 
and instigation against the Hungarian nation. ^^ 

In the summer of 1906, Trajan Novak, the secretary of the 
Social Democratic party in Temesvar, visited the commune of 
Sagh in order to discuss with the natives the formation of a 
local Socialist branch. The village notary and the landlord's 
agent ordered him to leave the place, on the ground that he was 
urging the workmen to break their harvesting contracts ; and 
on his refusal, he was arrested and sentenced by the szolgabiro 
to one month's imprisonment and a fine of 200 crowns. On 
leaving prison Novak described the incident in a Socialist news- 
paper of TemesvAr, and spoke of the szolgabiro Vdcz as a man 
who trod the laws under foot. For this remark an action was 
brought against Novak, and when he fled abroad to escape 
punishment, JohnToth, the responsible editor of the paper, was 
sentenced to three months and 200 crowns. ^^ 

At the end of August, 1907, a leading workman was ejected by 
the police from the town of Szekesfehervar for his political 
activity. In an article entitled " And you are to love this father- 
land ! " the Nepszava commented on the incident as follows : 
" The proletariat have no fatherland, for the patriots have 
robbed them of it. And yet they are expected to love this 
country. Here no law exists to protect the weak ; and yet we 
are to love the fatherland of our oppressors. They possess the 

*•"'* Pester Lloyd, February 15, 1908. 

*" See p. 339. *" Pester Lloyd, February 16, 1908. 

»66 Pester Lloyd, February 26, 1908. 



right of association ; we do not. They are protected by the law 
in their economic efforts ; we are persecuted, sabred or shot ! 
They are served by troops and gendarmerie, we are murdered 
by them. Theirs are all property and all rights ; ours are all 
burdens and misery. Theirs are the special train, the saloon- 
car, the free ticket ; ours are the police cell and the prison van. 
But for all this we too are to love this fatherland of theirs ! " 
In short, a hackneyed sermon on ths text " ubi bene, ibi patria ! " 
On March 14, 1908, Joseph Varro, a carpenter's apprentice, was 
tried as the author of this article, for the usual incitement to 
class hatred, and was condemned to a year's imprisonment and 
a fine of 1,200 crowns. ^^ 

At the monster demonstration organized by the Socialists in 
October, 1907, a flyleaf entitled " To the vagabonds who have no 
fatherland " (A hazatlan bitangokhoz) was distributed among 
the crowd. Its author, Maurice Fleischmann, described the 
Coalition Government as a police regime, whose aim was plunder 
and whose sole success was the ruin of the people. In April, 
1908, Fleischmann was sentenced to nine months and 1,000 
crowns, for incitement to class hatred.^^' 

At the risk of wearying the reader, I have endeavoured to prove 
my original contention that Press freedom is virtually non-exist- 
ent in Hungary ; and I cannot close this chapter without express- 
ing my astonishment that it should have been left to me to 
publish the first English account of a state of affairs at once so 
lamentable and so outrageous. 

*^« Pester Lloyd, March 15, 1908. **^ Pester Lloyd, April 22, 1908, 



Judicial Injustice 

"It became a second nature of the Hungarian national character 
not to take the law seriously, not to comply with, but to evade it. 
Even to-day we are still suffering from this fact." 

Count Julius Andrdssy (now Minister of the Interior) in 1897.*'* 

IN Hungary justice moves at an Asiatic pace. An interval 
of many months separates the offence from its trial, 
and meanwhile the accused person only too often languishes 
untried in prison. The abuses of this system, which are 
mainly due to those dilatory and easy-going habits which are 
innate in every Magyar, are specially flagrant in the case of 
political offences. Persons charged with instigation "against 
the Magyar nationality " (instigation against other nation- 
alities goes unpunished) or with " class hatred " (which of 
course means hatred of the upper classes) are kept in sus- 
pense for months and occasionally even imprisoned pending 
trial, until the Public Prosecutor has taken a leisurely survey 
of the facts. Those who take the trouble to study the law- 
court reports in any Hungarian newspaper will find that even 
most of the Press offences for which legal proceedings were 
taken, are eight, ten, fifteen, even eighteen months old 
before they come into court. 

These judicial delays are sufficiently reprehensible ; but 
if they formed the only complaint against Hungarian justice 
it would have been obviously unfair to mention them. A 
far more serious charge consists in the disagreeable fact that 
two kinds of justice exist in Hungary to-day — one for " pat- 
riots," that is for Magyars, but of course only such Magyars as 
refrain from active resistance to the ruling clique and from 
open sympathy with the oppressed proletariat — and another 
ifor the non-Magyar races and the working classes, the helots 
f of the Magyar oligarchy. That this is no mere sweeping 
assertion will become abundantly clear from the details 
contained in this chapter. 

8S8 Ungarns Ausgleich mit Oesterreich, p. 221. 


The linguistic provisions of the Law of NationaHties in the 
matter of justice, remained from the first a dead letter, and 
their non-observance has led to the gravest abuses and in- 
justice. Under sections 7 and 8 of this law, every citizen 
has the right to employ his mother tongue in all petitions and 
applications to the communal and district courts, and if he 
avails himself of this right, the judge is bound to answer the 
complaint in the language of the appellant, and to conduct 
the trial in the language of the plaintiff or witnesses, while 
the official record must be drawn up in the language chosen 
by mutual agreement between the rival parties.^^^ The judge 
is further bound to issue all summonses in the language of 
the parties concerned, to interpret to them all essential docu- 
ments which are written in a language of which they are 
ignorant, and finally to interpret his decision to each party 
in whatever Hungarian language they may desire. The 
sentence must be pronounced in the same language as that 
in which the record of the trial has been conducted.^^ 

Now except in certain cases among the Saxons of Transyl- 
vania — and not always even among them — these provisions 
are set at open defiance thoughout the length and breadth 
of Hungary. Petitions are not accepted by the courts unless 
they are drawn up in Magyar ^^ ; and even when the non- 
Magyars submit to this illegality, a Saxon or Roumanian 
will have no chance of obtaining a hearing if he dares to sign 

^5» Failing agreement, the judge selects the language to be used 
out of the languages in use in the district, but is bound to provide for 
the translation of the record by a regular interpreter, if required. 

s*" One of the foremost ofi&cials charged by Baron Banffy with the 
supervision of Nationalist practices assured me in private conversation 
that the judicial sections (7-9) of the Law of Nationalities were only 
intended to last until the mediaeval system of law which still pre- 
vailed in Hungary had been revised. 

Personally, I refuse to credit Deak and Eotvos with so dishonest an 
intention ; but the fact remains that when the judicial system was re- 
organized in 1871 these sections necessarily j;became obsolete, yet no 
linguistic provisions were introduced in their stead into the new law. 

"•1 By Ministerial Order No. 326,710 of November 12, 1875, it was 
announced that all applications to the courts, whether regarding legal 
proceedings or the execution of deeds, would only be accepted if drawn 
up in Magyar. Another Ministerial Order (No. 43,721 of September 7, 
1875) obliged all communes to use Magyar only in their correspondence 
with the courts. By Order 947 of 1888, the Minister of Justice prescribed 
that all documents for the registration of title deeds must be drawn up 
exclusively in Magyar. The necessity for an ofi&cial Magyar copy in 
every case is, of course, clear. See Roumanian Question, pp. 85-86. 

315 » 


his name after the manner of his nation. Ferdinand Strauss 
and Joan Lucaciu must masquerade as Strausz Nandor and 
Lukacs Janos, before their case can be considered. Not 
merely are the inscriptions and notices in all Hungarian 
courts of justice posted exclusively in the Magyar language, 
even in counties where 90 per cent, of the population is non- 
Magyar ; but all summonses are issued exclusively in Magyar, 
regardless of whether the person summoned knows that lan- 
guage. Many of the judges are entirely ignorant of the local 
language, or have a very inadequate knowledge of it, and 
thus in their intercourse with the people are dependent upon 
some half-educated junior clerk. Persons who are rash enough 
to insist upon the letter of the law merely bring down the 
wrath of the judicial demigods upon their heads. Last April, 
for instance, when a Roumanian priest declined to answer 
the questions of the szolgabiro in anything but Roumanian, 
this was treated as an aggravating circumstance, and the 
sentence was increased accordingly. 

Magyar justice compels all parties at law to prepare and 
recognize Magyar translations of their plaints and deposi- 
tions, without their being in a position to convince themselves 
of the accuracy of the translation. The whole proceedings 
in court are conducted in Magyar, and sentence is pronounced 
and published exclusively in Magyar — even if it is a sentence 
of death ! A characteristic instance of this was cited by the 
Ndrodnie Noviny in 1900, A blacksmith was condemned 
for some offence, and requested the judge to explain the sen- 
tence to him in his native tongue, as he knew no Magyar. 
" Erti, nem erti, mindegy — " It doesn't matter whether 
you understand or not," replied the courteous judge. 

If there is an interpreter, the defendant can obtain from him 
a translation of the sentence ; but this is a private trans- 
action, and involves a fee which the peasant may regard as 
prohibitive.^®^ His legal right to an official gratis translation 
is entirely disregarded. The natural result is that the non- 
Magyar peasantry have come to regard interpreters' fees as 
a penalty imposed upon them for the use of their mother 
tongue, and so long as this continues it is obvious that their 
suspicion of Magyar justice will remain. The existing grievance 
is all the more crying, since no modern language — not even 

5'* The official interpreters charge 5 crowns for the half day, and this 
is exacted even in petty appeals from the local Justice to the District 



English before the days of Bentham — can boast of such a 
horrible legal jargon as Magyar. Many a legal document, 
with its labyrinthine sentences and involved constructions, 
taxes all the ingenuity of an educated Magyar, and is, of 
course, utterly beyond the comprehension of a Slovak or 
Roumanian peasant. 

Many Magyars are in the habit of boasting of the manner 
in which the Law of Nationalities is carried out, at the same 
time emphasizing the equality of all individual citizens before 
the law, irrespective of race or religion. The sooner this 
presumptuous boast is withdrawn the better ; for where 
half the population can only obtain justice in an unknown 
tongue, it is mere hypocrisy to talk of equality before the 
law. Those who pretend that the law is carried out are 
either ignorant of the facts or purposely concealing them ; 
and this was tacitly admitted by the present Premier, Dr. 
Wekerle, in the summer of 1906, when he publicly declared 
in the House that he was not in a position to fulfil that pro- 
vision of the law by which the decision is to be given in the 
same language in which the petition is handed in.^^^ 

Open pressure is put upon the judges by the central govern- 
ment, and only too often their promotion is made dependent 
upon their so-called " patriotism." When the Law of Nation- 
alities was passed in 1868, there were a considerable number 
of non-Magyars in judicial positions ; but within a few years 
all the Roumanians had been transferred to purely Magyar 
districts and their places supplied by men who were ignorant 
of the local language.^^ About the same time the presidents 
of the various courts were advised from headquarters that 
in future they should employ the Magyar language only, 
and should instruct the advocates in their sphere of juris- 
diction to prepare all documents in that language, since no 
others would be accepted or recognized. Appeals against 
this illegal action were rejected by the higher courts ; the 
central authorities declined to interfere ; and when the matter 
was brought before Parliament, Perczel, the Minister of Justice, 
made the significant reply that the action of the judges was 
not in accordance with the law, but that he would endeavour 
by means of an amendment bill to bring the law into harmony 

"' See page 197. 

"* See Parthenius Cosma's speech in Parliament, May, 1879. Mag- 
yarisirung in Ungarn contains a German translation of the debates 
(see p. 282). 



with their action ! In other words, the mouthpiece of Hun- 
garian justice openly encouraged his subordinates to set the 
laws at defiance, and tacitly excluded half the population 
from their natural rights. Many instances could be adduced 
to show that this policy has been consistently pursued by 
all subsequent Governments ; but I prefer to limit myself to 
one from the last year of the Banffy Ministry. In February, 
1898, Mr. Alexander Erdely, the Minister of Justice, publicly 
expressed his thanks to the jury courts of Hungary for the 
manner in which they had checked anti-national agitation, 
in other words for their brutal attitude towards the non- 
Magyars and the Agrarian Socialists. When a Cabinet 
Minister so far forgets his duties, it is no wonder that justice 
in Hungary tends to become a mere tool in the hands of the 

While all the linguistic provisions of the Law of Nation- 
alities remain a dead letter, and, in the trenchant words of a 
Slovak patriot, the non-Magyar "stands like an ox" before 
the courts of his native land, his situation is aggravated by 
the arbitrary action of the lower courts. Not content with 
employing all the severity of the law against the non-Magyar 
" agitators," they endeavour to break their spirit and alienate 
their supporters by every imaginable kind of petty tyranny 
and persecution. Actions are brought by the authorities, 
not so much with a view to enforcing the law, as with the 
deliberate aim of crushing out all resistance to the policy of 
Magyarization. Lest the reader should accuse me of exag- 
geration, I propose to bring forward a considerable number 
of concrete cases to illustrate my assertion. 

On July 31, 1905, as Peter Sokol and several other Magyar 
canvassers in Lipto St. Miklos were returning home, some one 
threw a stone at them. The sequel was a trial for violence 
against the individual ; and as it was impossible to prove who 
had actually thrown the stone, every one in the group of men 
from which it came was sentenced to one month's imprison- 
ment ! This decision of Mr. Chudovsky, president of the 
Sedrial Court in Rozsahegy, was reversed by the Curia. It 
may be described as a worthy miniature companion to the 
larger painting of the Csernova trial. (See p. 347.) 

This same Peter Sokol, a notary in the county of Lipto, 
and a violent agitator on the " patriotic " side, was charged 
on two separate counts with misuse of his official position, 
having beaten a peasant caUed Chovanka, and having, on 



July 14, 1905, shut him up for twenty-four hours in the local 
gaol, solely because he agitated for the Slovak cause. Though 
the facts were beyond dispute, the Public Prosecutor declined 
to take action against a " patriotic " official ; and the trial 
resulted in Sokol's acquittal ! 

In the Sedrial Court of Trencsen, John Valasek and twenty- 
four peasants from Predmier were charged with breach of the 
peace (under §§ 175, 176 of the Criminal Code). Their offence 
consisted in a demonstration against Father Teselsky, the 
candidate of the People's Party, in the course of which stones 
were thrown and the lives of the Magyars were said to have 
been endangered. The case was allowed to drag on for close 
upon eighteen months, and finally all the defendants were 
acquitted and the president of the Court reprimanded the 
procedure [of the Crown prosecutor and the examining 

During the elections in Lipt6 St. Miklos, two Slovak peasants, 
Kovacik and Kralicek, were charged with an offence against 
the " liberty of the individual." They were said to have 
instigated the gipsy musicians, who were playing at the elec- 
tion, to kick John Kucharik out of the village inn. But 
the leader of the gipsies gave evidence that Kucharik threw 
a bottle at one of the fiddlers, and tried to smash another 
of the instruments, and that this was the sole cause of his 
ejection. As a result, both defendants had to be acquitted. 
Their real offence had of course been support of the Slovak 

John Jurecka and nine other villagers of Poruba were 
accused of threatening the village mayor during these same 
elections, and of beating a couple of his friends. The action was 
merely brought forward in order to influence their votes on 
the day of the poll, and after the usual delays, resulted in 
their acquittal.^^ 

*** This and the four preceding instances are drawn from an article, 
entitled " A Contribution to the Statistics of our Persecutions " in the 
new Slovak monthly review, Slovensky Obzor, vol. i. part 7 (December, 
1907). No attempt has been made to disprove the facts recorded in 
this article, for the documentary evidence is beyond dispute. But an 
action has been brought against its author for " incitement against the 
Magyar nationality," and in July 1908 Joseph ^ak was sentenced 
for it to two months' imprisonment ! To give my reader an idea 
of what is treated in Hungary as "incitement" against the Magyars, 
I quote the incriminated passages in toto. (i) "Above all, people in 
Slovensko do not devote sufficient attention to political trials. W 



Martin Kelo, the schoolmaster of Jalovec, a man of over 
seventy, was brought into court on a similar charge of breach 
of the peace, because he " offered resistance " to a soldier 
on the day of the election. I wish I could give my readers 
a true idea of what " resistance to the soldiers " at a Hungarian 
election means ! ^^^ 

Francis Veselovsky, a Slovak advocate and ex-deputy, was 
some years ago brought to trial for incitement against the Magyar 
nationality. His offence consisted in not hoisting any flags 
on his house in Nagy Szombat (Tyrnau) during the public 
reception of a prominent Magyar statesman, and in using 
the word " Emperor " instead of " King " in a public speech. 
The latter is certainly a highly improper phrase in the mouth 
of a Hungarian citizen, but by no stretch of the imagination 
can it be described as incitement against the Magyars ; and 
in any case the pettiness and spite of the authorities in prose- 
cuting him on such grounds cannot be stigmatized too strongly. 
The Corporation of Dublin would find Hungary a most un- 
congenial place of abode. 

In Hrddek (Liptoujvar) John Krdlik, the mayor of a neigh- 
bouring village, was brought before the szolgabiro for the 
terrible crime of hoisting the colours of the Slovak candidate. 
Dr. Stodola, on the church tower ! Strangely enough he 
was acquitted. 

Less fortunate was a Roumanian priest. Father John 
Popovici, who was sentenced last April to eight days and 200 
crowns for " action hostile to the State " (allamellenes cseleke- 
detert). At the funeral of a parishioner he had decoratec 
the little acolytes with Roumanian national colours.^^' The 
szolgabiro in passing sentence treated as an aggravating 

are accustomed to political persecution ; for our whole national struggle 
is really nothing but a continual strife with courts, szolgabiros, notaries 
and similar individuals " (p. 385). (2) "At the very beginning I must 
remark that the great number of charges which are groundless both in 
form and substance, throws a very strange light upon Hungarian Justice. 
The courts bring actions, issue summonses, intimidate people, for abso- 
lutely no reason. Thus not merely a biassed application and definition of 
the paragraphs of the law . . but also quite arbitrary accusations and! 
summonses, etc., are prominent features of political trials in Hungary.! 
To Hungarian Justice may well be applied the words of Spinoza : ' Quia* 
unusquisque tantum iuris habet quantum potentia valet.' " Such phrases 
are severe and possibly libellous, but by no stretch of the imagination 
can they be interpreted as " incitement against the Magyar nationality." 

^" See p. 289. 

"' See Budapesti Hirlap, April 11, 1908. 


A Church Interior. 
(The Lutheran Church of Velka Pai.udzaJ 


circumstance the priest's refusal to answer questions in any 
save his mother tongue. Here is a practical example, if 
any were needed, of how the law of Nationalities is observed 
in non-Magyar communities. 

One of the most outrageous cases of recent years is that of 
Francis PoUakovic, a young Slovak who had become an Ameri- 
can citizen and after ten years' residence in the United States 
had returned to Hungary in the summer of 1907. On October 9 
of that year he was arrested on a charge of " incitement against 
the Magyar nationality." A few days before, he had distri- 
buted copies ot a Slovak national song among a number of 
friends at the skittle alley of the inn of Bobro, and had then 
urged them " to hold together as Slovaks, not to give up their 
mother-tongue, to battle for their Slovak language and their 
rights." After remaining in jail from October 9 till December 
17, he was on the latter date brought for trial before the Court 
of Rozsahegy, and sentenced by Mr. Chudovszky to seven 
months' state prison. Pending the appeal, he was detained in 
an unhealthy cell, and fell ill with bronchitis. The representa- 
tions of the American Embassy failed to secure his release. 
At the end of his term of imprisonment he was removed across 
i the frontier, without even being allowed to say good-bye to 
I his relations.^^ 

I In Kovacica (Antalfalva), a large Slovak community in 
\ the County of Torontal in South Hungary, an attempt was 
I made in April, 1907, to introduce a Magyar service into the 
I Lutheran Church, although in a population of 6,000 there 
i were not twenty Magyars in all, and of these only a single 
I individual who knew no Slovak. Mr. Caplovic, the clergy- 
j man, received an order to preach in Magyar once or twice 
every month, in direct violation of the constitution of the 
Church, which gives every congregation the absolute right 
i to choose the language in which its services are to be con- 
-i ducted. Instead of complying, he brought the matter before 
^; the church session, which unanimously decided against the 
i innovation ; but at length yielding to the reiterated orders 
i of the Superintendent, he consented to deliver a Magyar 
'; sermon at the close of the ordinary Slovak service. The 
i congregation, however, were equal to the occasion, and by 
! remaining in its pews and singing the Slovak version of Luther's 
" Feste Burg," compelled him to abandon the attempt. A 

"* Appendix xxiii. contains a translation of the indictment against 

R.P.H. 321 Y 


week later the same tactics were tried, but on this occasion 
the szolgabiro introduced gendarmes and cleared the church 
at the point of the bayonet ! As a result of this incident, 
in May, 1908, 30 men and 5 women were sentenced to a total of 
6 years and 8 months' imprisonment and 5980 crowns in fines, 
on a charge of forcible hindrance of a religious service.^^ 
Mr. Caplovic, despite his weak compliance with an illegal 
order, was deposed by the Superintendent, and a Magyar 
clergyman was sent in his place, but since his appearance 
the great mass of the congregation has boycotted the 
church, and threats of secession from the Lutheran Church 
have begun to be heard.^'° 

In the Greek Catholic parish of Ize (Mdramaros county), the 
priest was an elderly and tactless man, a bad preacher and a 
bad reader of Mass. By his personal qualities and by his Mag- 
yar leanings he earned the dislike of his parishioners, some of 
whom actually insulted him in church. He brought the culprits 
before the szolgabiro and had them punished ; but naturally 
this course destroyed the last shreds of his popularity, and the 
Bishop was more than once besought to replace him by another 
priest, but without effect. The consequent discontent at 
length took the form of a secession of 370 Ruthene peasants to 
the Greek Oriental Church in the course of the year 1903. The 
villagers applied to the Serb Patriarch, who sent a doctor of 
theology to be their priest ; but the Ministry, taking alarm at 
this development, telegraphed to the local authorities to detain 1 
the intruder on arrival, and then demanded from the PatriarchJ 
his prompt recall. The seceders have ever since been deniec 
the ministrations of an Orthodox priest, at the instance of th( 
Government ; yet they have stubbornly maintained a boycott 
of the church, burying their own dead and dispensing with the 
sacraments ; and early in 1907 a deputation of women went t( 
the Serb Bishop of Budapest, bringing their children, some as 
old as three years, for baptism. In April, 1904, the leaders of 
the Secession movement were tried at Huszt for " incitement 

*•» Under Section 190 of the Criminal Code (vallds haboritasa). 

*'" In the Synod of the Mountain District, held on September 19/ 
1907, the church authorities were empowered to excltlde Nationalist 
agitators and individuals " who are untrustworthy in a patriotic 
respect " from candidature as clergy or teachers. Steps must be 
taken, it was argued, to prevent the recurrence of an incident like that 
of Kovacica. When a Mr. Vanovic deprecated the persecution of 
any one for his love for his mother tongue, he was greeted with stormy 
protests from the Synod. See also Appendix x. c. 



against a confession." Maxim Vassili Pleska, who was accused 
of extolling the " Little Father " as their overlord, and of fore- 
telling his people's deliverance by Russia from the yoke of the 
szolgabiro, was sentenced by the court to one year's imprison- 
ment and 500 crowns ; Vakaro, Lazar and Kemeny to 14 months 
each, three others to two months and 180 crowns each, and five 
to a week each. On appeal, the Court at Debreczen reduced 
most of the sentences by about half; but they were again 
raised by the Curia, and one of the unfortunate men (Vakaro) 
died in prison. 

Perhaps the strangest commentary upon the judicial atti- 
tude towards the non-Magyars in certain districts of Hungary 
is supplied by the case of the two Markovic brothers, which 
attained a certain notoriety owing to the decision of the 
higher court, and the publication of a lengthy narrative of 
the trials by one of the victims. The following narrative, 
which is drawn from this book, is based upon documentary 
evidence, and has never been called in question ; but I have 
naturally omitted Dr. Markovit's own comments on the case."^ 

On November 3, 1901,^^2 Dj- Rudolf Markovi6, advocate, 
and three other Slovaks met in the Protestant schoolhouse 
of Lubina (county of Nyitra) to make preliminary arrange- 
ments as to the foundation of a village co-operative society : 
and on the loth the society was formally constituted in the 
same place. On the ground of evidence given by four Jews 
of Lubina, none of whom were present on either occasion, 
Dr. MarkoviC and his friends were summoned before the 
szolgabiro for illegally holding a public political meeting 
without previous intimation. All four accused denied having 
i discussed any political matters at their meeting, which was 
mot in any way public ; and no proof could be adduced. 
The szolgabiro, however, sentenced them to a fine of twenty 
crowns each, on the following grounds : " Though the accused 
denied that the meeting in question was a popular assembly 
(n^pgyiiles), and maintained that they were holding the 
opening meeting of a co-operative society : since, however, 
*Dr. Rudolf Markovi£ admitted that the invitations to vote 
for the members of the County Committee were drawn up 
in his own office, and since these invitations ^'^ were actually 

^'^ Dr. Julius Markovic^, A Nyitrai Politikai Biinper [The Nyitra 
Political Criminal Trial). Vagujhely, 1903. 
''^ Markovi^, Biinper, pp. 48-49. 
*"* These invitations were dated on November 13, i.e., ten and three 



sent to the individual electors, it is clear that the popular 
assembly [here, of course, he begs the question] was held 
not merely with the object of founding the co-operative 
society; and since the accused themselves do not pretend 
to have reported the popular assembly, therefore they must 
be found guilty." On appeal, the court of second instance 
dismissed the case, because though the evidence of the Jews 
made it probable that the meeting in question had the char- 
acter of a political public assembly, yet probability in the 
absence of definite proof was no basis for the sentence. 

On October lo, 1901, Dr. Rudolf Markovic and his brother 
Dr. Julius Markovic passed through the little village of Hruss6 
on their way to 0-Tura, and stopped half an hour in the house 
of Adam Szetvak, where they thanked those who had voted 
for the former at the previous elections. The two brothers 
ordered a supply of beer for the dozen or so of villagers who 
had assembled in the house. As a result of this action, they 
were charged before the szolgabiro for holding an illegal 
political assembly. The inquiry dragged on for ten months, 
all the men in Hrusso were summoned to give evidence, 
and the Markovic brothers had to appear no fewer than 
eight times. At last, on September 6, 1902, they were sen- 
tenced to ten days and 200 crowns each. In his verdict 
the szolgabiro, Dr. Csenkey, argued that the evidence of the 
accused could not be taken into account, and that those who 
were present on the occasion could not be heard in evidence, 
" because they had themselves committed the same offence by 
their presence." He graciously added that " no action was 
taken against them, having been led astray (the bad grammar 
is in the original) by the accused, and in consequence of their 
low standard of education and their ignorance." ^'* On appeal, 
the Vice-Sheriff of the county confirmed this judgment 
(September 26, 1902). A final appeal was made to the Minister 
of the Interior, who replied, in April, 1903 (i.e., after seven 
months' further delay), that the facts on which the sentence 
of the lower court is based " seem " (latszik) to be proved, 
since the notary overheard the sentence, " Let us hold together ; 
there is no power on earth which can crush us." He then 
ordered a retrial of the case. Comment on this incident 
would be an insult to the intelligence of the reader. 

days after the two meetings in question. They were sent privately to 
individual electors. 

*'•* Markovic, Biinper, p. 63. 



On September 22, 1901, Dr. Rudolf Markovic, as candidate 
of the Slovak National Party, held speeches at the villages 
of Hrusso, Lubina, and Bottfalu, and was supported on the 
platform by his brother and the Rev. J. Csulik. The notary 
Brhlovics summoned the local justice Svondrk as incriminating 
witness with regard to the meeting in Hrusso, but as Svondrk 
deposed that he was absent at the time on official business, this 
part of the charge had to be dropped for lack of evidence. In 
the case of the other two meetings the principal witnesses for 
the prosecution were Brhlovics the notary, who was not 
present himself and could only speak from hearsay, and 
three Jewish usurers belonging to the district. The three 
defendants were charged with inciting their audiences against 
the Magyars, misrepresenting the Magyar attitude towards 
the Slovaks, and saying — " Let us hold together, so that we 
may get the better of the Magyars and oppress them as they 
are now oppressing us." Needless to say, all three denied 
having used such childishly improbable expressions. They 
had spoken in favour of a reduction of taxes, of the use of 
Slovak as well as Magyar in the taxation schedules, of Slovak 
schools : they had condemned civil marriage and the non- 
execution of the Law of the Nationalities, but they were 
not guilty of incitement against the Magyars. The indict- 
ment went so far as to maintain, in flagrant defiance of the 
facts, that the witnesses were unanimous ^"^^ in regarding these 
speeches of the defendants "as so incendiary as to endanger 
the property and persons of their opponents." In reality, 
sixteen witnesses were summoned for the defence, among 
others two clergymen, and all these emphatically denied 
that any inflammatory expressions had been employed by 
the speakers. After a delay of sixteen months, the trial 
was opened before the District Court of Nyitra, on Janu- 
ary 26, 1903, and was conducted in a highly illegal manner. 
A number of essential witnesses had not been heard at all 
at the preliminary inquiry, and others though heard were 
not cited at the trial. The appeal of the defence against this, 
was disallowed on the ground that after so long a time had 
elapsed, these witnesses could no longer recollect clearly the 
course of events ; yet at the last moment one of these very 
witnesses was admitted at the instance of the prosecution. 

The speech of Mr. Chudovsky, the Public Prosecutor, deserves 

'" "A tanuknak egyertelmii nyilatkozata szerint " (according tothe 
unanimous declaration of the witnesses) — a direct lie. 



special attention, in view of his subsequent record. He 
of course accused the defendants of glowing hatred towards 
the Magyars, without making any effort to conceal his own 
hatred of his Slovak compatriots, declared " that a good 
patriot does not go to Prague," and threw doubt upon the evi- 
dence of one of the witnesses for MarkoviS, since he was born 
in Prague and had been an official in Russia. Not content with 
this, he denied that the Law of Nationalities secured to the 
Slovaks any kind of linguistic rights, and argued that in 
claiming the Slovak language of instruction in primary and 
secondary schools (under section seventeen of that law) the 
Slovaks were guilty of incitement against the Magyar nation- 
ality ! In Hungary, said Mr. Chudovsky, it was unpatriotic 
to desire more than one language, since this must mean the 
partition of the country into several provinces, which in 
the Magyar language was justly described as Panslavism. 

One of the principal witnesses for the prosecution was 
the under-notary Barancsik, a man who had formerly been 
sentenced by the same court to seven months' imprison- 
ment for a common burglary committed in a railway cloak- 
room, but who had none the less been appointed to the 
responsible post of a village notary. The defence claimed 
that in accordance with section 222 of the Criminal Code, a 
convicted criminal could not be heard on oath, and Barancsik, 
when questioned by the judge, made no attempt to deny 
the facts. None the less the presiding judge ordered the 
oath to be administered to Barancsik, because though once a 
criminal, he had atoned for his misdeed by his patriotic actions 
and opinions, and because his evidence in this case had proved 
him to be an honourable Magyar ! ^'® The objections of the 
defence to Pless and Deutsch, two Jewish usurers, upon whose 
evidence the chances of a conviction depended, were over- 
ruled by the court, though both were admittedly bitter enemies 
of the accused, and were knowTi to have suffered materially 
from the societies which Dr. Julius MarkoviC had founded. 
Indeed Deutsch, who had previously been prosecuted by 
Markovic for libel, actually expressed in court the wish 
that the father of the Markovic brothers had died "' before 

"• Markovic^, op. cit. pp. 193-4. 

5" The expression he used was stronger and literally means " had 
become a carrion " (megdoglStt volna). This statement of Deutsch 
was cited in the final verdict of the court of second instance, as proving 
his prejudice against the Markovic brothers, p. 306 et seq. 



he had bred two such men, since then the district would 
have been free of them. 

On Febuary 7, 1903, the decision of the'court was announced. 
"The objections raised by the defence against the witnesses 
for the prosecution were not vaHd ; for instance, the fact 
that the president had allowed Barancsik's evidence, invali- 
dated their complaint against him. Baranscik, Pless, Deutsch 
and Herzog were entirely trustworthy, while the ten witnesses 
for the defence could not be relied upon, some because they 
admitted that they did not remember the whole of the speech, 
two others (Krafta and Pisny) because they were officials in 
Markovic's bank in Vagujhely, another (Hrusovsky) because 
he was an enthusiastic adherent of the Slovak party and 
edited a Slovak paper, another (Dr. Duchany) because he 
helped Dr. MarkoviC to compose his speech." In other words, 
the process of reasoning followed by the judge may be summed 
up as follows : A " Panslav " always lies, a patriotic Magyar 
or Jew never Ues : therefore the accused are guilty. Dr. 
Rudolf Markovic was sentenced to five months and 500 crowns. 
Dr. Julius Markovic to two months and 200 crowns, and 
Rev. Louis Csulik to three months and 3,000 crowns. 

The defendants appealed against this decision, and on 
August 6, 1903, the court of second instance in Pressburg 
reversed the sentence of the lower court and acquitted all 
three defendants. The verdict ^'^ admitted the objections 
of the defence to be valid, on the grounds that the evidence 
in the trial conflicted with that brought forward in the pre- 
hminary inquiry, that Pless, Deutsch and Herzog were notori- 
ously hostile to the accused, that Herzog had been obliged to 
withdraw part of his evidence as unfounded, that Barancsik's 
criminal conviction debarred him from appearing on oath, 
and that the evidence of these four witnesses could not be 
relied upon more than that of the twelve witnesses for the 
defence. In thus reversing all the grounds on which the 
previous decision rested, the court tacitly cast the gravest 
possible censure upon the conduct of the trial in the lower 
court ; but no steps were taken against the officials involved, 
and indeed Mr. Chudovsky (who was not of course respon- 
sible for the illegalities of the judge, but whose indictment 
of the accused had clearly transgressed the legal limits) was 
only a year later promoted to the position of judge of the 
Sedrial Court of Rozsahegy, (See p. 335.) 
"« No. 858, 1903, B.* 


The offence of laudatio criminis is a special feature of the 
Hungarian criminal code, and the manner in which it is inter- 
preted is without parallel in other civilized countries. Need- 
less to say, even in Hungary it has not yet been found neces- 
sary to prosecute any one for the glorification of murder or 
other bestial actions ; the paragraph exists, and is applied 
merely for political purposes. A few startling instances 
win suffice to enlighten the reader. 

On June ii, 1894, twelve Roumanian priests were brought 
to trial at Kolozsvar, for having sent an address of sympathy 
to the victims of the " Replique " trial (seep. 301), which was 
duly reported in the Tribuna. Of the twelve, one was acquitted, 
but aU the others were sentenced to three months' imprison- 
ment each for laudatio criminis, and two of them were fined 
400 and 200 crowns as additional punishment, while the 
Tribuna forfeited 600 crowns of its caution money. 

On June 23, 1898, Ambrose Pietor, one of the editors of 
the Ndrodnie Noviny in I'urocz St. Marton, was sentenced 
to eight months' imprisonment for two. articles in which he 
severely criticized the new Bill for the Magyarization of place- 
names. On his return home from prison, he was greeted at 
the railway station by a large crowd of friends and admirers ; 
Mr. Dula, a Slovak advocate in Marton, delivered a short 
speech of welcome, and his daughter and two other girls pre- 
sented Pietor with a bouquet of flowers. The crowd escorted 
the carriage at a walking pace as far as Pietor's house, and 
when gendarmes attempted to surround the vehicle, began 
to sing national Slovak songs. As a result of this perfectly 
orderly incident, during which no disturbance of any kind 
occurred, no fewer than twenty-four persons were sentenced 
to terms of imprisonment varying from fourteen days to 
three months, and on appeal most of the sentences were sub- 
stantially increased. Among others Matthew Dula was con- 
demned to six months, and Svetozar Hurban to five months, 
the total sentences amounting to fifty-two months ! The 
three girls who had presented the flowers were fined £16. 
In December of the same year eight Roumanians of Salistye 
were sentenced to eight days each, for going to welcome their 
priest on his return from prison. 

Such incidents have grown commoner in recent years. 
Father Ladislas Moys, then priest of Lucski, was brought 
before the court of Rozsahegy on January 29, 1907, on a charge 
of laudatio criminis. On the festival of Saints Peter and 


Father Ferdinand Juriga, M.P. 



Paul in the previous year (June 28, 1906) he had preached 
a sermon upon those sick and in prison — according to a very 
common practice in CathoUc countries on that day — and at 
its close had asked the congregation to join him in prayer 
for all prisoners. The whole neighbourhood was still under 
the impression of the arrest of Father Hlinka, the popular 
priest of Rozsahegy, and Dr. Srobar, the candidate whose 
election he had endeavoured to secure; and the authorities, 
assuming that he had prayed for Hlinka and Srobar by name, 
regarded this action as likely to foster hostility to the State ! 
The prosecution of Moys on the charge of glorification of 
a penal act was in itself a flagrant violation of the law ; for 
Hlinka and Srobar were not brought to trial till many months 
after Father Moys' sermon, and therefore had not been con- 
victed of any criminal act which admitted of glorifica- 
tion. It was found necessary to acquit Father Moys, since 
no incriminating evidence could be obtained ; but so far as the 
authorities are concerned, the will must be taken for the deed, 
and it is not too much to say that justice and order lose their 
meaning in a country where such prosecutions are possible. 

On the festival of Corpus Christi, 1907, three peasants of 
Lab (a village in the county of Pressburg) displayed, instead of 
the usual pictures of the Virgin, the portrait of Father Juriga, 
the Slovak national priest and deputy, who is at present under- 
going two years' imprisonment for a couple of articles against 
the Magyar Chauvinists. For this presumptuous act they 
were charged with laudatio criminis and sentenced at Press- 
burg to three months' imprisonment each. 

What a farce such prosecutions sometimes become may 
be gathered from the case of Gideon Turzo, who published 
in the Slovak comic paper Cernoknaznik a poem in praise 
of Hlinka and his companions in prison. Although this 
poem also appeared before Hlinka had been convicted, the 
jury none the less sentenced Turzo for glorification of a penal 
act to four months' imprisonment ! ^'^ 

In the same way Father Edward Sandorfi, priest in Verbo, 
was sentenced in February, 1908, to two months for laudatio 
criminis : the offence was incurred by an article in L'udove 
Noviny praising Father Juriga as a national martyr. 

Still more scandalous than these prosecutions for the offence 
of laudatio criminis, are the occasional attempts of the authori- 
ties to invalidate wills made in favour of national Slovak aims, 
*" Pester Lloyd, January ^, 1908. 


or at least to engulf in the expenses of endless litigation most of 
the money involved. An account will be found in Appendix 
XXV. of the devices which have been resorted to, to rob the 
Slovak cause of monetary bequests. 

The abuses which we have shown to exist in the Hungarian 
judicial system must not betray us into rash generalizations. 
The Hungarian Bench and Bar contain men of as high char- 
acter and proved ability as those of any other country in 
Europe ; and the stormy scenes which mark the proceedings 
of the Chamber of Advocates in Budapest show how keenly 
many members of the legal profession resent the reactionary 
policy pursued by the governing classes of the country. Un- 
happily the low standards of the administration are not 
without their effect upon the lower courts of justice, whose 
officials are in certain districts greatly inferior to those in 
others.* The executive still exercises an unhealthy influence 
upon the judicature in cases with a political tinge, and Chau- 
vinism on the part of a public prosecutor or a judge is one 
of the surest roads to promotion. Even the most fair-minded 
and scrupulous judge is liable to be infected by the all-per- 
vading racial intolerance ; while with most juries the con- 
viction of a " Panslav" or a Socialist is a foregone conclusion. 
Matters are specially bad in the Slovak districts, where the 
mass of the population is devoid of political influence and 
is even shut out from the control of local affairs. But serious 
as are these judicial grievances, their redress is far less urgent 
than the reform of the franchise and the grant of free right 
of assembly and association. When these two concessions 
have been made, the faults of the judicial system — which 
are very largely due to overrapid and unforeseen develop- 
ment — wiU easily be repaired, and the way will be opened 
for the much needed revision of the Criminal Code and legal 
forms of procedure. 

In the following chapter I propose to describe in greater 
detail one of the most notorious " Panslav " trials of recent 
times, and the lamentable results to which it directly led. 

* See Appendix xxviii. for a startling incident since going to press. 



A Political Trial in Hungary and its Sequel 

" In this country the poHtical opponent is not merely a personal 
enemy ; he is also at once branded as the enemy of the fatherland." 
Pester Lloyd (leading article), February 15, 1907. 

ROZSAHEGY is a small town of 8,000 inhabitants, 
situated in lovely scenery on the Vag, in one of the 
western valleys of the Tatra Mountains. The central square 
of the town crowns the summit of an outlying ridge, at either 
end of which rise the church and town hall, and the Piarist 
seminary and gymnasium. Round the base of the hill lies a 
dirty but thriving little town, full of shops and cheap stores, 
while a long straggling street leads to the new factory town 
(Rozsahegy-Gyar) , over a mile away. Rozsahegy (really 
Rosenberg), like most North Hungarian towns, was originally 
founded by German colonists ; to-day it is divided between 
the Slovaks and the Jews, and with two important exceptions, 

Note. — Authorities for this chapter: (i) The indictment and verdict 
(No. 2,634, December 6, 1906) in the first Hlinka trial, of which I 
possess copies ; (2) A Political Criminal Trial in Hungary, published by 
the American Slovak Association of Journalists of U.S.A. and dedicated 
" To the free and fair people of the United States." This pamphlet, 
though based on original documents, must be used with considerable 
caution, owing to its omissions and inaccurate translations. (3) Reports 
of the massacre of Csernova and of the subsequent trial, in Pester Lloyd, 
and other newspapers (in English, see Times oiOct. 30, Nov. i, 1907, and 
Spectator of Nov. 2, 1907, March 28, 1908). (4) A private account of 
the massacre sent to me direct from R6zsahegy ; this contains exagger- 
tions, but is on the whole accurate. (5) Two detailed reports of the 
Csernova trial of last spring, drawn up on the spot by persons for whose 
trustworthiness and accuracy I can vouch, but whom, for obvious 
reasons, I cannot allude to by name. I also had the advantage of 
personal conversations in May and June, 1907, with two of the leading 
actors in the drama — Mr. Chudovszky 'and Dr. Srobar. Appendix xxi. 
contains the defence of Father Hlinka before the Court of Pressburg in 
May, 1908. This speech, and the photograph which forms the frontis- 
piece of my book, will enable the reader to form his own personal 
impression of the Slovak leader. 


most of the shops in the town are owned by the latter. The 
population of the surrounding district is overwhelmingly 
Slovak : in the whole county of Lipto 92*5 per cent, are Slovaks 
and 90 "6 per cent, understand no Magyar. With the excep- 
tion of the government and county officials, the Piarist Fathers 
and some of the regular clergy, there are no Magyars in the 
district ; but the Jewish element here, as in most parts of 
Hungary, has allowed itself to be assimilated. While par- 
tially retaining German as the language of the family, they 
have for the most part adopted the extreme Chauvinist prin- 
ciples now favoured by official circles. 

In 1905 the Town Council, which is patron of the parish 
of Rozsahegy,^^*' presented Father Andrew Hlinka to the vacant 
living. Hlinka, who is a native of the neighbouring village 
of Csernova, rapidly acquired great influence among his 
parishioners, the more so because he encouraged them in the 
use of their native Slovak tongue. As a member of the Town 
Council, he took a leading part in exposing the municipal 
jobbery and corruption which had so long been rampant in 
Rozsahegy. The town having fairly large revenues, and 
the sanitary and lighting conditions being still somewhat 
primitive, local rates were practically unknown. None the 
less extravagance and dishonesty allowed a debt to accumulate. 
Large sums were squandered on building repairs — sometimes, 
as in the case of the church and of the town inn, double the 
estimated figure. At last a heavy rate had to be imposed, 
and the scandal could no longer be concealed. The muni- 
cipal elections were fought under the impression of these 
revelations, and as a result the Slovaks for the first time gained 
a majority in the Town Council and, declaring for a policy of 
retrenchment and economy, put a stop to building schemes 
which would have cost the town an additional sum of 600,000 
crowns. Needless to say, as most of the defeated party 
happened to be Magyar in politics, these events tended to 
increase the racial friction in the town. 

(Meanwhile Father Hlinka did not confine his attention 
to "municipal problems, but took a more or less active part in 
politics. For many years the constituency of Rozsahegy 
was held by the old Liberal Party, which governed Hungary 
from the Ausgleich till the fall of Count Tisza in 1905. Part 

680 By right of a special charter dating from the year 1424, allowing 
them to elect as their priest quemcunque et undequaque. 



of the settled policy of this party had been to force the non- 
Magyar races of the country into political passivity, and 
thus to secure safe seats in the non-Magyar districts, with 
which to outvote the staunch Kossuthists of the central 
plains. Among the Slovaks Kossuthism never gained any 
hold, but except in a few small centres like Turocz St. Marton, 
national sentiment was either dormant or despairing. Thus 
the only serious rival of the Liberals in the North was the 
People's, or Clerical, Party, section 13 of whose official pro- 
gramme favoured the execution of Law XLIV. of 1868 guaran- 
teeing the Equal Rights of the Nationalities. In 1905, however, 
when the People's party had joined the Coalition, this section 
was so interpreted as to lose whatever practical value it may 
have possessed ; and the alienation of the Slovaks was com- 
pleted by the fact that Count Zichy, the nominal leader of 
the party, was falling more and more into the hands of two 
ultra-Magyar Chauvinists, Abbot Molnar and Mr. Stephen^ 
Rakovszky, a landed proprietor in the Rozsahegy district./ 
At the elections of 1906, as the Liberal Party had disappeared 
entirely from the political arena, the People's Party regarded 

JSlpzsaliegy as a seat which they might occupy unopposed. 

CTheir annoyance can therefore be imagined when the Slovaks 
of the district, still elated by their municipal victory, decided 
to contest the seatjn the interest of the newly formed Slovak 
National Party.) /Their candidate, Dr. Srobar, a local Slovak 
doctor, was eagerly supported by Father Hlinka, who on 
more than one occasion addressed village audiences in his 
favour, and publicly demanded the execution of the Law of 
Nationalities, Great enthusiasm prevailed and on the day 
of the election Dr. Srobar headed the poll till the very last 
moment. The High Sheriff, informed by telephone of the 
course of events, came over from Lipto, and by canvassing 
from door to door among the Jewish shopkeepers, induced a 
large number of them to record their votes for Mr. Beniczky, 
t he Clerical and Magyar candidate, who was thus elected 
by a majority of 104. Throughout the day perfect order 
prevailed — a most unusual occurrence at a disputed election 
in Hungary. 

On May 10, 1906 (i.e. within a fortnight of the election), 

• Father Hlinka was suspended by the Bishop of Szepes (Zips) 

ab ordine et officio, on the ground of political agitation ! 

Against the nine Piarist priests and Hlinka's own curate, 

who had canvassed actively on the Magyar side (the latter it 



is said by the express orders of the Bishop !) no steps of any 
kind have been taken^ The Papal Nuncio, when appealed to on 
the subject, demanaed an explanation from the Bishop, 
and Hlinka was then permitted to read Mass, but not to 
preach or dispense the sacraments. In their indignation at 
this suspension, the parishioners decided to boycott the town 
church, and refused all intercourse with the priest appointed 
as Hlinka's substitute. They even attempted to organize 
processions, but these were promptly forbidden by the 
szolgabiro (the local executive official). On June 19, the 
Bishop, influenced by a memorial against Hlinka addressed 
to him by the Magyar Szovetseg, once more wholly suspended 
Father Hlinka, this time on the ground of simony, committed 
at the time of his appointment to Rozsahegy. The vice- 
president of the society, Mr. Geza Chudovszky, if he did not 
actually take part in drawing up the memorial, was present 
when it was handed to the Bishop, and yet did not regard 
this fact as a reason for not presiding over the court which 
subsequently tried Father Hlinka ! Over two years have 
now elapsed, yet the contents of the memorial have been 
carefuUy kept secret, and thus the public is still ignorant 
of the nature of the charges against Hlinka. The nearest 
approach to simony of which he can be accused, is that being 
a man of some private means, he gave, previously to his 
appointment as priest of Rozsahegy, 75 crowns (£3) to a number 
of poor persons, to enable them to take part in the deputa- 
tion of welcome to Dr. Parvy, the newly appointed Bishop. 

Father Hlinka, who had gone to plead his case personally 
with the Bishop, wired the same day to Dr. Srobar : " New 
suspension. Arrive to-night." As the result of this telegram, 
a crowd of several hundred persons awaited the arrival of 
the train, gave Hlinka an ovation and indulged in hostile 
cries against the Magyars and the Jews. Gendarmes ordered 
the crowd to disperse, and. they obeyed without any dis- 
turbance taking place.^®'^ /A week later. Father Hlinka, Dr. 

o*^ In the subsequent triaf- one of the charges against Dr. Srobar 
was that he had made known HUnka's wire — as if this were a criminal 
act ! — and had thus caused an anti-Magyar demonstration, or in legal 
phrase, had " incited one nationality to hatred of another." It trans- 
pired that the Postmaster of Rozsahegy had revealed to the szol- 
gabiro the contents of the wire, thus violating postal secrecy. The 
authorities had therefore ample time to act, and theirs would have 
been the blame, had the bloodbath of Csernova been forestalled in 
Rozsahegy itself. 



Srobar and a number of other Slovaks were placed under 
arrest, and an inquiry was instituted against them for agi- 
tation and instigation during the recent elections. Hlinka, 
as well as three others who were merely charged with 
uttering anti-Magyar cries in the street, were left for five 
months in prison previous to trial. 

At last, on November 26, 1906, the trial of Fathers Hlinka 
and Tomik, Dr. Srobar and thirteen other Slovaks was opened 
before the court of Rozsahegy. A proclamation was issued, 
by which so long as the trial lasts all public meetings and 
demonstrations are prohibited in Rozsahegy and the surround- 
ing district, and every citizen must report all visitors to the 
police, under heavy penalties.^ The town was filled with 
gendarmes, forty guarding the courthouse, and forty the 
residence of the presiding judge. The latter, Mr. Chudovszky, 
himself of Slovak origin, has for many years, especially in 
his former capacity as public prosecutor in Nyitra, taken 
a prominent part in opposing national sentiment among the 
Slovaks. Since coming to Rozsahegy, he has been one 
of the leading members of the Magyar Szovetseg (Union), 
which founded and owns a local Magyar paper [Rozsahegy 
es Videke) in which the most violent attacks upon the Slovaks 
and their tactics have frequently appeared. Needless to 
say, Mr. Chudovszky and Father Hlinka had long been on the 
worst possible terms. On these and other grounds (some of 
which were exaggerated and incorrect) the defence appealed 
to the court of second instance at Pressburg against the 
competence of Mr. Chudovszky to preside. The appeal was, 
however, overruled, the Court holding that Mr. Chudovszky 
was himself best fitted to decide as to his own impartiality. 
(The latter took up the position that even if the five charges 
preferred against him were true (and this he denied) he would 
still be quite justified in presiding over the trial. ^^^ As the 
appeal accused him of " often trespassing the limits of a 
prosecutor " in political actions against the Slovaks, of lead- 
ing the Magyars of Rozsahegy in their boycott of the Slovaks, 
of writing " outrageously libellous " articles against them 
in the local paper, and of quarrelling with the town council 
led by Hlinka, on a matter of rent, it is obvious that if even a 
fraction of such charges were true (and there is every reason 

^** This was the attitude which he took up in a private conversa- 
tion with the present writer. 



to accept his denial of their truth) Mr. Chudovszky would 
still be the last person in all Hungary competent to conduct 
the trial. 

The accused'were charged, under section 172 of the Criminal , 
Code, with " instigation against the Magyar nationality," 
which the Public Prosecutor persisted throughout the trial 
in confusing with " the Hungarian nation ! " No fewer than 
ninety-seven witnesses were summoned for the prosecution, 
close upon forty for the defence, but of the latter all save 
four were disallowed by the Court ! Moreover it is a remark- 
able fact that the incriminating witnesses almost without 
exception had either voted or taken an active part in the election 
on the other side from Hlinka, or else were members of the 
gendarmerie : that many of them were local officials or in 
positions of dependence on the authorities : and that some 
of the most important possessed only a smattering of the 
Slovak language. More than one witness was prevented 
by the presiding judge from answering questions put by counsel 
for the defence. One of the witnesses, a county official, 
hinted that Father Hlinka and his followers had leanings 
towards Russia ; but the president forbade his cross examina- 
tion. It is difficult to grasp the reasons for this refusal, since 
the charge of intrigue with Russia lies at the root of the whole 
" Panslav movement," as the Pan-Magyars have christened 
the growing revival of national sentiment among the Slavs of 
Hungary ; and hence any clue to the reality of ^Pan- 
slavism ought to have been probed to the bottom.^ At 
one point the president declared that to sing " 1st en aid 
meg a magyart " (God bless the Magyar) could not be 
described as a demonstration, when suiig under Hlinka's 
window by an unfriendly crowd ; and yet the Slovak hymn 
" Hej Slovaci " which contains no attack on the Magyars 
was treated as an " incitement against the idea of the Magyar 
state." Strangest of all was the treatment of Peter Cheben, 
one of the accused. This man was sitting one Sunday before 
the door of his house, and read aloud to a group of fifteen 
to twenty women an article from a] Slovak newspaper. In 
it the phrase occurred, that there was nothing left for the 
Slovaks to do, but to take hoes and scythes into their hands 
and work harder than ever. A Jewess named Mrs. Eckstein, 
passing by with her maid, understood Cheben to be inciting 
the women round him to take up hoes and scythes and drive 
the hated Magyars from the town ! The article in question 



was laid before the court, and it was proved that the witness 
had had no fewer than twelve lawsuits with the defendant 
and therefore was a somewhat prejudiced person. None 
the less, her statements were allowed to stand against the 
denials of the other women. 

Thus the issue of the trial was a foregone conclusion. Sen- 
tences were passed as follows : — 

Father Hlinka, 2 years and fine of 1,500 crowns. 

Dr. Srobar, i year. 

Father Tomik, 4 months and 300 crowns. 

Andrew Jancek, 6 ,, 

George Gregus, 6 

Peter Cheben, 6 ,, 

Antony Matiasovsky \ 

months each and 5,500 

Michael Serafin 
Joseph Janovec 

Steve Jesensky C crowns. 

George Novak 1 

John Vlkolinsky / 

Total : 5 years and 10 months imprisonment and fines 
of 8,720 crowns (costs extra). 

At the very time of the Hlinka trial, when the whole neigh- 
bourhood was in a fever of excitement, the Bishop saw fit 
to transfer Father Moys, priest of Lucski (a village of 
1,400 inhabitants, some miles east of Rozsahegy) to another 
and inferior charge, on the ground of " Panslav agitation." 
To prevent " excesses " arising from this high-handed action, 
troops were sent to Lucski {Pester Lloyd, November 30, 1906). 
As a result, the parishioners vowed not to set foot in the church 
until their priest is restored to them. They erected in the open 
air the picture of a favourite saint, to which they go in pro- 
cession, presumably to invoke his intercession. Meanwhile 
the new priest is sternly boycotted, and for nearly two years the 
population has voluntarily deprived itself of the sacraments 
and has buried its own dead. No one will supply the priest 
with provisions, no servant will stay with him ; he is obliged 
to hack his own wood, and is dependent upon the protec- 
tion of soldiers. This tactless Bishop has transferred as 
many as twenty of his clergy as a punishment for national 
feehng, evidently failing to realize that his action only serves 
to spread the Slovak movement ovei* a wider area. Meau 

R.p.H. 337 z 


while the unfortunate boycotting movement has spread from 
church to school. At the Hlinka trial it transpired from the 
address of the public prosecutor and from the evidence of four 
local teachers, that parents no longer sent their children to 
schools where the instruction was solely Magyar. In three vil- 
lages near Rozsahegy, out of 306 children only 46 appeared 
at the final examination : in Bielapotok, out of 100 only 4. 
The Court was amply justified in ascribing this to Father 
Hlinka's influence ; its fault lay in ignoring the fact that 
Hlinka was simply claiming the fulfilment of one of the funda- 
mental laws of the state. ^^^ 

Father Hlinka's persecution by the civil authorities finds its 
counterpart in his treatment by the Bishop of Szepes (Zips), 
who is a pliant instrument in the hands of the Magyar Govern- 
ment. Father Hlinka was suspended on June 19, 1906, ab 
ordine et oficio, on a charge of simony. A private discussion of 
his case had previously been held before the Bishop, and Mr. 
Chudovszky had been consulted. But no formal investigation 
has ever taken place, and Hlinka has never been heard in his 
own defence, though over two years have elapsed since his 
suspension. Of the eight points upon which the charge of 
simony was based, seven have gradually been allowed to drop, 
and the main hope of his accusers rests upon false informa- 
tion supplied to the Roman Curia regarding the eighth point. 
Hlinka is accused of having written to Mr. Szmrecsanyi, the 
former High Sheriff of Lipto county, and to have promised, if 
elected priest of Rozsahegy, to use his influence in support of the 
Liberal Party and to refrain from all political action on behalf 
of the Slovaks. No such letter has been produced, and its very 
existence is effectively disproved by the sworn evidence 
of Mr. Szmrecsanyi at the political trial of Father Hlinka in 
November, 1906. On that occasion he stated that he had 
given Hlinka nothing and had asked nothing from him, and 
expressly denied having helped Hlinka to the appointment in 
any way whatever. Hlinka's defenders only ascertained 
indirectly that this imaginary document had been dispatched 

883 I am quite aware that in the strict legal sense Hungary, like our 
own country, has no " fundamental " laws. But those who regard 
Habeas Corpus and the Act of Settlement as two of the foundations 
on which modern Britain is built, will hardly attempt to deny that the 
Law of 1868, guaranteeing equal rights to the various races of Hungary, 
partakes equally of the nature of a fundamental law, which may not 
lightly be revoked or left unexecuted. 



to Rome, and they at once took steps to inform the Curia of 
Mr. Szmrecsanyi's evidence. The decision, however, is still 

Neither Bishop Parvy nor Father Hlinka can be said to have 
shown conspicuous tact or forbearance in their mutual rela- 
tions ; and it is possible that the Bishop, who has allowed 
himself to be captured by such extreme Chauvinists as Mr. 
Stephen Rakovszky,^^^ may have been the dupe of unscrupulous 
informants. If the supporters of Hlinka were unwise enough 
to treat the question as a trial of strength between Hlinka and 
Parvy, the Roman Curia might well take alarm, and in the inter- 
ests of church discipline agree to rid the Bishop of " this turbu- 
lent priest." To Rome the political aspect of the case is a 
matter of complete indifference, and if Bohemian advocacy of 
Hlinka's cause should appear more lukewarm than Magyar 
official support of Parvy, the Slovaks will inevitably go to the 
wall. In any case, a loophole must be left to the Bishop for 
an honourable retreat, and there can be little doubt that this 
might be found but for the influence of the Coalition Govern- 

Meanwhile, Hlinka's persecution continues. On May 4, 
1908, he was brought from the prison of Szeged to answer to a 
fresh charge of " incitement," incurred in two farewell articles 
addressed to his parishioners on his entrance into prison. For 
this the Court of Pressburg condemned him to eighteen months' 
imprisonment and a fine of 200 crowns, thus making a total of 
three years and a half for political offences.^^ The object of this 
unjust and vindictive policy is, of course, to deprive the Slovaks 
of one of their ablest leaders, and thus, if possible, to crush out 
all resistance to Magyarization. 


Previous to his suspension, Father Hlinka had, partly out 
of his own means but chiefly by public subscription, arranged 
for the erection of a church in his birthplace, Csernova, a 
Slovak village of 1,300 inhabitants, situated within the parish 
of Rozsahegy. To the cost of erection, which reached the figure 
of 80,000 crowns (;£3,30o), no one belonging to the official world 

'** One of the leaders of the People's Party and Vice-President of the 
Hungarian Parliament. 

**** See Pester Lloyd, May 5, 1908, and Appendix xxi., containing' his 
speech in his own defence. 



contributed a single farthing ; everything was done by the 
unaided efforts of the parishioners, and their friends. Under 
these circumstances, they naturally regarded themselves 
as entitled to some say in the matter of the consecration. In 
September, 1907, as the church was approaching completion, 
a petition in favour of its consecration was handed in to the 
bishop ; this document, which was only signed by four of 
the villagers, was drafted by Father Hlinka himself. The 
great majority of the people of Csernova, however, were 
indignant at this petition, and only willing to consent to the 
ceremony on condition that Hlinka was allowed to be present. 
This was the general sentiment expressed at a meeting which 
was held in the village on October 6, and which was attended 
bypean Paziirik and Father Fischer, the unpopular substitute 
of Hlinka since his suspension. Father Pazurik helped the vil- 
lagers to prepare a fresh petition to the bishop, and promised to 
use his influence in its support. To the original petition 
Bishop Parvy replied by fixing October 20 as the day 
of the consecration and entrusting Canon Kurimsky with the 
ceremony ; to the second petition and to a third which insisted 
more strongly than ever that before the ceremony took place 
Hlinka must either be rehabilitated or finally condemned, the 
bishop returned no answer whatever. Deputations and messages 
were equally without effect. Father Pazurik did indeed obtain 
a postponement of the date, but merely in order to announce 
from all the pulpits of the neighbourhood that the ceremony 
would definitely take place on Sunday, October 27. Alarmed 
at this, the villagers sent a fresh deputation to Pazurik and 
Fischer. They were met with evasive answers from the two 
priests, but it transpired at the subsequent trial that Pazurik 
ordered the painter to be finished with his work inside the 
church by the following Sunday. On Saturday, the 26th, 
Backor the village mayor visited Paztirik and advised him 
to abandon all idea of the consecration, owing to the excite- 
ment which prevailed in Csernova. According to BaCkor's 
own story, the priest replied, " Whether it ends well or ill, the 
consecration must take place." ^^^ The villagers had already 

^8« At the trial (see p. 347) when Backor gave evidence to this effect, 
he was interrupted by the judge, who remarked that Father Pazurik 
could not possibly have said this. Backor repeated his evidence 
no less than three times, until at last, yielding to the intimidation of 
the judge, he conceded that the phrase used by Pazurik might have 
run, " Whether it ends well or ill, we must go there." 



telegraphed to the canon who was to officiate, that they would 
not permit the ceremony, and as a result Canon Kurimsky 
actually gave up his journey to Csernova. But the clergy 
of Rozsahegy, under the influence of the civil authorities, 
decided not to let the matter drop, and doubtless by way 
of pouring oil upon the troubled waters, sent gendarmes 
on the previous day to Csernova. As a last resort, the 
villagers had removed and hidden the various church utensils 
and vestments required for the ceremony ; but the gendarmes 
recovered these by force and set a watch upon the church. 
On Sunday morning early the villagers'sent a further deputation 
to the Rozsahegy clergy, begging Fathers Pazurik and Fischer 
to renounce their intention, since the greatest excitement 
prevailed in the village. Mr. Andahazy, the chief szolgabiro, 
who had received a report from the gendarmes in the village, 
also strongly advised the priests to desist, since he could not 
answer for the consequences. Only when they stubbornly 
ignored his repeated warnings, did he give them an escort 
of gendarmes and instruct Mr. Pereszlenyi the under-szol- 
gabiro to accompany them to Csernova. The latter, unlike 
some of those who accompanied him, is a genuine Magyar 
by birth, and is specially suited to his official position amid 
a Slovak population, by reason of the fact that he is ignorant 
of the Slovak language ! 

In two carriages the false apostles of Magyar culture set 
forth upon their self-imposed errand, escorted by Pereszlenyi 
and his eight gendarmes. At the entrance of the village of 
Csernova, in the long narrow street, a crowd of several hundred 
Slovak peasants had assembled. A solid phalanx blocked 
the way, the cortege was greeted with cries of " Turn back," 
" We don't want you," and a spokesman came forward from 
the crowd and begged the szolgabiro to desist from the attempt 
to consecrate the church. The szolgabiro ordered his coach- 
man to force a passage through the crowd, and when the latter 
attempted to obey, a number of young fellows seized the 
horses' heads and tried to turn the carriage back in the direc- 
tion from which it came. At this moment stones must have 
been thrown from the back of the crowd ; for when all was 
over, it was discovered that, though no one else in the party 
had been hurt, one of the gendarmes had received a slight 
injury in the face. Fortunately this could speedily be remedied 
by the application of some English sticking-plaster, and he was 
then doubtless free to assist his comrades to remove the dead 



and dying. For without any preliminary warning to the crowd 
to disperse, the gendarmes began to fire upon the peasants. 
Some accounts assert that Pereszlenyi himself brandishing 
his stick, gave the order "quick fire"; but he has publicly 
denied this in the press, and there is no good reason for doubt- 
ing his word.^' The commander of the gendarmerie appears 
to have ordered one of his men to fire on any one whom he 
saw lifting stones, and hence the first victim was a woman, 
shot through the breast at a distance of two paces. The 
other gendarmes followed suit, though none had actually 
heard the command to fire. 

It matters very little who gave the order to fire ; one dread- 
ful fact stands beyond aU doubt. Without even resorting 
to the bayonet, far less to the butt-ends of their rifles, the 
gendarmes fired indiscriminately into" the crowd, packed to- 
gether as it was in the narrow roadway, and some are said 
to have reloaded and discharged again. Nine persons were 
killed on the spot, including two women ; three more succumbed 
to their wounds in the course of the day ; twelve more were 
seriously wounded, and three of their number have subse- 
quently died. Among the slain was a woman far advanced 
with child, who in her dying agony gave birth to an infant. 
Another was a girl of sixteen, who tried to seize a gendarme's 
rifle and was shot down in the attempt. The number of persons 
slightly wounded is said to have exceeded sixty. 

For a time all was in confusion. The panic-stricken peasants 
scattered in all directions, the clergy fled in just horror at 
the bloodshed caused by their own insistence. The szolga- 
biro, instead of sending for doctors in all haste, turned 
back to Rozsahegy to summon the military and to make 
preparations for a judicial inquiry ! A young peasant had 
the presence of mind to run for a doctor ; and thus Dr. Srobcir, 
the leader of the Rozsahegy Slovaks, was the first to appear 
upon the scene. This so incensed the szolgabiro, who soon 
afterwards returned to Csernova with a clerk to draw up a 
report, that he at once had the youth who had fetched Dr. 
Srobar arrested and put into prison. So great was the terror 
among the villagers, that when Dr. Polgar, the official surgeon, 
arrived, hardly any of the wounded would trust themselves 
to his care. An even clearer idea of the depth of feeling among 
the peasantry may be obtained from the fact that the rela- 

"' Sze Pester Lloyd, Oct. 27 to Nov. 2, 1907. 


tives of the victims refused the assistance of the Magyar clergy 
and buried their dead without the rites of the Church ; that 
all the wounded with one exception refused to receive a Magyar 
priest : and that the eighteen persons who were arrested for 
their share in the incident declined to attend the Magyar prison 
chaplain's Mass. 

Such an incident naturally could not be ignored by Parlia- 
ment, and two interpellations were brought before the Lower 
House in the course of the week. Despite the conflicting 
reports which were circulating in the Press, the Speaker, Mr. 
Justh, did not regard the matter as urgent, and the discussion 
was not open till Wednesday, October 30th. 

Mr. Hod^a, the Slovak leader, in addressing his interpella- 
tion to the Minister of the Interior, was repeatedly interrupted 
by loud and hostile cries. The Deputy-Speaker rebuked 
him for speaking at such length, and actually insinuated 
that he was treating the incident in a cynical manner. When 
Mr. Hodza protested against this charge, he was at once 
called to order, and when he apologized for the length of his 
explanation, a deputy cried out that he was simply talking 
to waste the House's time. When at length, roused by other 
frivolous and insulting interruptions, he went on to inquire, 
" who then were the murderers ? " he was greeted by a storm 
of abuse and shouts of " You are the murderers." Mr. 
Rakovszky was obliged to suspend the sitting for five minutes, 
and even after proceedings were resumed a second suspension 
was almost rendered necessary. But if the attitude of the 
House in general was sufficiently reprehensible, the reply of 
Count Andrassy was even more extraordinary. He began 
by expressing his surprise that Mr. Hod^a had dared to inter- 
pellate in this particular matter. He then stated that accord- 
ing to information received, all idea of consecrating the church 
had been abandoned, and that the clergy had come with 
the very object of calming the people and of announcing 
that the consecration would not take place. It is unfor- 
tunate that Count Andrassy made no attempt to explain 
why the clergy charged with such a message (which they must 
have known would be received with the greatest delight by 
the people), took an escort of gendarmes with them, to say 
nothing of an unpopular official who could not speak the 
language of the villagers, and why on finding a large crowd 
blocking their progress, they did not at once make known 
their errand. Incredible as it may* seem, the explanation 



was regarded as satisfactory by the House, which gave new 
and signal proof of its racial intolerance by its attitude to 
the whole affair. But it sets too great a demand on the 
credulity of external observers, and his speech will go far to 
confirm the impression, already widespread in Hungary, 
that Count Andrassy's utterances on the racial question do 
more harm to his own cause than all the mistakes of the 
Coalition Government or the unlovely Jingoism of its satellites 
in Parliament. 

After this promising beginning Count Andrassy went on to 
assert that the standpoint of the villagers, in not allowing 
anyone save Hlinka to consecrate the church, was in itself 
an offence against aU order in State and in Church — an asser- 
tion which was greeted with stormy applause from the House. 
When, he added, the crowd threw stones, and caught hold 
of the rifles of the gendarmes, their captain gave the order 
to fire ; and this being so, he, the Minister of the Interior, 
took full responsibility for their action, and saw not the slight- 
est reason for suspending the officials concerned from office. 
In conclusion. Count Andrassy quoted from an article pub- 
lished some months before in Mr. HodJ^a's paper, Slovensky 
Tyzdennik, entitled " We can wait no longer." This article 
referred to the victory of the well-known Roumanian priest 
Father Lucaciu at a recent bye-election, despite the swarms 
of gendarmes and troops employed by the authorities, and 
contained the following passage : " The Roumanians are 
not afraid of a little blood ; and the result was that this 
nation has won. But we Slovaks are but a timid people. 
We have never indulged in violence, and so our position is 
a worse one than that of the Roumanians." Only those who 
know of the veritable pitched battles by which alone the 
Roumanians have sometimes managed even to reach the poll, 
can realize the terrible truth of these words. 

Mr. Giinther, the Minister of Justice, rode the same high 
horse as his colleague, actually boasted of the withdrawal of the 
postal delivery from certain foreign newspapers, and appeased 
the outraged feelings of the House by the assurance that 
eight Press actions were pending against Mr. Hod^a's journal 
alone, to say nothing of other Slovak newspapers. Thus 
an incident which could never have occurred in most Western 
countries, or whose occurrence would have caused the fall 
of the Government, was merely treated as a pretext for re- 
newed abuse and persecution of the wicked " Panslavs."^^ 

••• Mr. Szell, the ex-Premier, however, affects to believe that " inci- 



Needless to say, the attitude of the Magyar Press corre- 
sponded to that of the parhamentary Jingoes ^^^; and even the 
Pester Lloyd, which treated the matter with conspicuous 
moderation, wrote as follows : " We shall say no more of 
the Hlinkas and the Hod^as. These are small fry, who live 
upon blind nationalism, just as those amongst us who rise 
to honours and riches through frenzied Chauvinism. ^^® People 
of that sort one seizes by the collar if they break the law, 
and basta." The writer takes himself more seriously when 
he goes on to argue that prosecutions are no policy, and that 
the general policy of the Government towards the nationali- 
ties must be changed. " But," he adds, " we want to be 
the masters in our own house." ^^^ Here is the crux of the 
whole Hungarian question. Soft phrases about the policy 
of Deak, comradeship, " the moral suasion of culture and 
law," are mere waste of breath, so long as this odious phrase 
is upheld. If the Magyars are the masters, the other races 
must be servants, and while this relationship subsists it is 
absurd to talk of equality. 

The unhappy incident of Csernova was used by Father 
Hlinka's enemies to blacken his reputation still further, and 
at the same time to touch a weak spot in his armour by mak- 
ing his sister the scapegoat of the subsequent trial. The 
story was spread abroad that Father Hlinka wished at all 
costs to prevent the consecration of the church, incited the 
people of Csernova to resistance, and then decamped to Mor- 
avia, in order to be out of harm's way. The true facts are 
very different. More than three months before the massacre 
Father Hlinka had made arrangements with Czech friends 

dents like that of Csernova occur in every country." See his speech at 
the Congress of Magyar Cultural Leagues, June 21, 1908, neported in 
Pester Lloyd of following day. 

**• A selection of the comments of the Magyar Press would be most 
instructive reading. The massacre was invariably described as the 
" revolt ! " 

"° A very delicate reference to the prevalent corruption. 

*8^ A similar confusion of ideas is betrayed by another article of the 
Pester Lloyd, April 3, 1907, where the writer advocates a coalition of all 
Hungarians " against Austria and against the nationalities." If then 
the nationalities are not Hungarians, what are they ? If they dare 
to call themselves Slovaks or Roumanians, they are promptly accused 
I of Panslavism or Daco-Romanism. Here we have the same state of 
limind as created the proverb " tot nem ember " ("the Slovak is not a 



to give a series of lectures upon the Slovaks the following 
autumn in a number of Bohemian and Moravian towns. 
The first lecture was to have been held at Coding on October 
13 but a week before Hlinka sent the following telegram 
to the professor who had been entrusted with the arrange- 
ments : " Impossible owing to dedication of church in Cser- 
nova and possible visit of Bishop : — Andreas." Hlinka's idea 
that the Bishop was coming proved to be based on a misunder- 
standing ; and as the dedication did not take place on the 13th, 
and as there seemed no prospect of any fresh arrangement, Hlinka 
yielded to the pressure of his friends, and left Rozsahegy on 
October 17 for Moravia. During the next few days he lectured 
at Olmiitz, Kremsier and other places, and was in Coding 
when a telegram arrived announcing the massacre. In his 
horror and excitement at the news, he wished to hurry back 
to Rozsahegy, but his friends, knowing that this would merely 
have led to his arrest, restrained him with difficulty and 
eventually induced him to continue his course of lectures 
as announced. Yet at this very time certain Magyar news- 
papers were spreading the story that Father Hlinka, disguised 
in woman's clothing, had agitated among the peasantry for 
days before the massacre and fled out of danger at the critical 
moment ! 

Father Hlinka was probably well advised in continuing 
his lectures, for they contributed materially to the storm of 
indignation which the incident of Csernova aroused in Bohemia, 
and indeed in most parts of the Austrian Empire. Father 
Sillinger, a Moravian member of the Reichsrath, brought 
forward an interpellation on the subject, which led to a heated 
demonstration against Magyar pohcy. The speeches of 
Professor Redlich for the German Liberals and Professor 
Masaryk •for the Czechs accurately reflected the opinion of 
most Austrians ; and Dr. Weisskirchner, the President of 
the House and one of the leaders of the Christian Socialist 
party, formally expressed the sympathy of the House towards 
the relatives of the victims. This attitude was keenly resented 
by the Hungarian Parliament as an unwarranted interfer- 
ence in the private affairs of an independent state, and mutual 
recriminations between the two countries were the result. 
In this connexion it is impossible to bestow full approval 
upon either Parliament. On the one hand, Hungary was 
fully entitled to treat as an insult the cries of Austrian hot- 
heads for active intervention. On the other hand, no true 




believer in the Dual System could concede the theory of 
absolute non-interference between two States which are 
interdependent, not independent, of each other. Had the 
Csernova incident occurred upon the Servian or Roumanian 
frontier, it might easily have led to complications with Belgrad 
or Bucarest, such as must have involved not merely Hungary 
but Austria as well. The idea that Austria must blindly 
and unquestioningly follow Hungary, or Hungary Austria, 
in dealing with some internal affair which influences opinion 
in both countries, and their relations to neighbouring states, 
is altogether intolerable and would speedily prove fatal to 
the partnership. It is only necessary to consult the history 
of the last half century] in order to realize that the theory of 
non-interference has never been acted upon in the past, and 
that Hungary has been the chief offender.^^^ 

Eighteen villagers were at once arrested for complicity in 
what was officially described as " the revolt of Csernova " ; 
and a number of gendarmes were quartered in the village 
for months afterwards. The gendarmes who had fired the 
volley were brought before a court martial but acquitted of 
all blame. But this was not deemed sufficient by the local 
authorities, who were determined that all the responsibility 
should be thrown upon Hlinka and his supporters. On 
March 2, 1908, therefore, no fewer than fifty-nine persons were 
brought to trial before the court of Rozsahegy on a charge 
of " violence against the authorities and against private 
individuals." As usual the presiding judge was Mr. Geza 
Chudovszky, Father Hlinka's leading opponent in the dis- 
trict ; and the fact that the latter's sister was the principal 
defendant merely serves to emphasize his unfitness to conduct 
this new trial. In such circumstances a severe sentence 
was to be expected ; but the cruel truth surpassed all expecta- 
tions. Mrs. FuUa, nee Hlinka — a woman of fifty-seven — 
was condemned to three years' imprisonment, while twenty- 
two men and sixteen women (including one who had lost 
her husband in the massacre, who was herself severely wounded 

"2 Andr assy's action against the Hohenwart Ministry in 1870, and 
Banffy's action against Badeni in 1897, are only two of the most notable 
instances. Andrassy's attitude in 1878, when he won the Tisza Cabinet 
for the Austrian policy in Bosnia in defiance of Hungarian public 
opinion, hardly fits into the same category, and since 1867 no case 
has occurred where Austrian influence has caused the fall of a Hun- 
garian Cabinet. ^ 



in the breast, who had seven children, and against whom 
nothing was proved save that she was present in the crowd) 
were sentenced to terms varying from eighteen to six months' 
imprisonment. Thus a total of thirty-six years and six' 
months' imprisonment was imposed on these unhappy peasants 
for acting as every self-respecting man or woman would 
have acted in their position, 

A full account of this astounding trial would form a highly 
instructive commentary on the Magyar judicial attitude 
towards the subject races ; but the proportions of the present 
volume compel me to be brief, and I must confine myself to 
recounting a few of its most salient features. 

It was, of course, established beyond all doubt that the 
villagers had agitated previously against the ceremony ; 
indeed Father Pazurik actually received a threatening letter, 
warning him that he would be beaten if he attempted to con- 
secrate the church. It was further proved that the crowd 
resisted and threatened the authorities on their arrival, and one 
gendarme swore that he heard cries of " Kill the Jews," 
which might have referred to the Hebrew origin of Father Fischer. 
But so far from blaming them for their resistance, I fail to 
see what else they could have done without sinking to the 
level of mere beasts of burden. 

The fifty-nine defendants were selected in an entirely 
arbitrary manner. Those peasants who came forward as 
witnesses at the preUminary inquiry in order to estabhsh 
their ahbi, found themselves brought to trial for the same 
offence as ^those arrested at the time ; and this whole- 
sale indictment entirely denuded the defence of witnesses, 
since aU those who could give first-hand evidence concerning 
the incident were either killed or in the dock. In such cir- 
cumstances, the principal witnesses were the gendarmes, 
the szolgabiro and the two priests, aU of whom were naturally 
hostile to the defendants. 

The judge conducted the trial with extreme severity and par- 
tiality, repeatedly browbeating and contradicting the witnesses, 
One witness, Francis Holota, he interrupted with the words, 
" That is a lie, I will not let you say more of that." When one of 
the defendants, in [cross-examination, asked that Father Fischer 
should be heard in support of 'a certain statement, Chudovszky 
exclaimed, " Kindly don't offer me advice. We shall soon 
see whether there is any truth in your tittle-tattle." One 
witness, Stephen Fiath, in his excitement cried, " It was a murder, 



just a regular murder " ; whereupon the judge fined him 
100 crowns, with the alternative of five days' arrest. When 
a female witness, Ludmilla Druppa, asserted that Mrs. FuUa 
incited the crowd to throw stones at the gendarmes (a fact 
which the great majority of witnesses denied), and when Mrs. 
Fulla indignantly interrupted and called the witness a liar, 
the judge promptly imposed on her a fine of lOO crowns. 
On the other hand, he treated witnesses for the prosecution 
with marked leniency, refused to press home facts which seemed 
to favour the accused, and more than once prohibited counsel 
for the defence from questioning and cross-examining. A 
good deal turned on the question whether Pereszlenyi's coach- 
man used his whip against the crowd, as this might be regarded 
as a provocation. The villagers maintained that he did, 
while the gendarmes to a man denied it. Yet Mr. Chudovszky 
refused to permit the coachman himself to be put on oath ! In 
the same way he would not allow the official report of the coroner 
to be read in court, though one of the gendarmes maintained 
that a peasant had seized hold of his bayonet and no trace of 
such a wound was to be found on any of the survivors. It 
had been established at the inquest that all the wounds 
were in vital parts, and their position proved the gendarmes 
to have fired upon the unfortunate peasants in their flight ; 
and it was to prevent the publication of these awkward facts 
that Mr. Chudovszky disallowed the reading of the report. 

It was proved that no one was injured by the stones which 
the villagers threw, so that the danger of the priests and 
gendarmes cannot have been very great. Indeed, only one 
person out of the entire fifty-nine admitted having thrown 
a stone ; only against the first seven was any direct share 
in the resistance proved ; the remainder were merely present 
in the crowd and raised cries and shouts of protest. Judg- 
ment was therefore based upon an anachronous provision 
of the Hungarian criminal code, by which collective offences 
are punishable more severely than individual offences,^^^ The 
judge doubtless had in his mind a famous pronouncement 
of the Supreme Court that mere passive presence in a 
I crowd guilty of excesses constitutes a committal of the same 

Father Pazurik maintained that he and his colleague, when 

s" § 163 (1878 V.) for collective offences up to five years, for 
individual up to three years. 

"»* Under the terms of § 176. * 



they went to Csernova, had no intention of consecrating the 
church without the consent of the villagers, and merely 
wished to read to them a letter of Hlinka, which approved 
of the ceremony. The improbability of this story may be' 
gathered from the fact that the dedication had been announced 
for that day from all the pulpits of the neighbourhood, that a 
deputation from Csernova had in vain urged Pazurik to desist, 
and that the szolgabiro invited a friend whom he met on 
the road to come with them " to the consecration." The 
priests appear to have brought with them all that was requisite 
for the'service, but this they explained at the trial by their 
intention to telephone for the Bishop's permission to proceed 
with the ceremony, in the event of the villagers expressing 
their approval. Considering that they only arrived in Cser- 
nova at 10.15, that the nearest telephone was well over a 
mile distant, and that some delay would have been almost 
inevitable in establishing connexion with Szepes Varalja 
(seventy miles away), it is difficult to see how they could 
have hoped in any circumstances to begin the ceremony 
before midday, after which hour high mass may not be cele- 
brated. In short, their story can scarcely be taken seriously ; 
either they had already obtained the Bishop's permission, 
or else they went prepared to conduct the ceremony by force. 
The fact that Canon Kurimszky, who was originally deputed 
to officiate, never came at all, suggests that the former alter- 
native is the true one. 

Mr. Andahazy, the chief szolgabiro of the district, gave 
evidence that on the morning of the massacre he had received 
reports from the gendarmes in Csernova warning him of 
the excitement in the village, that he called upon Fathers 
Pazurik and Fischer and repeatedly urged them to abandon 
the project. When they still persisted, he instructed Mr. 
Pereszlenyi to accompany them, but to withdraw all the 
gendarmes immediately if they should meet with any resist- 
ance. Both the priests and Pereszlenyi, in the course of 
their evidence, asserted that they had merely met each other 
accidentally on the road to Csernova, but the latter, when 
confronted with his chief, admitted that he might possibly 
have received instructions to go with them, though he had 
no recollection of receiving them. It is highly characteristic 
that Mr. Andahazy, who alone of all the authorities showed 
signs of tact and humanity, has since the massacre been 
removed from office, and Pereszlenyi promoted to his place ! 




Perhaps, however, the most astounding incident in the whole 
trial is the fact that this same Pereszlenyi acted as reporter 
for the Hungarian Telegraphic Bureau, ^^^ and thus was respon- 
sible for the reports of the trial in the Hungarian Press. As 
Mr. Chudovszky would not allow a single representive of 
Slovak or Czech newspapers entrance to the court, the out- 
side world was mainly dependent for its information con- 
cerning the trial upon one of the chief witnesses for the pro- 
secution, who had taken a prominent part in the actual mas- 
sacre, and whose reputation depended upon the conviction 
of the prisoners. 

I think I have said enough to show that the Csernova trial 
was a mere travesty of justice, and that the sentence was 
literally a punishment imposed for daring to survive mas- 
sacre. The Court of Rozsahegy has no mercy : for it justice 
and equity alike are a sealed book, and from its brutal decisions 
we may appeal to a higher court, to the public opinion of the 
civilized world, li the incident had occurred in Turkey or 
in Russia, it would have aroused a storm of indignation 
throughout Europe ; and the fact that it actually occurred in 
the country of the Golden Bull and the Pragmatic Sanction 
is no reason why it should be allowed to pass unpunished. Nor 
is it unreasonable to express the hope that the venerable 
Emperor-King, on the occasion of his impending Diamond 
Jubilee, may see fit to extend a pardon to Father Hlinka and 
the victims of the Csernova trial, even if no general amnesty 
should be proclaimed for political offences. 

595 Except for the first two days. 



Slovak Popular Art 
By Dusan JurkoviC 

THE cradle of the Slovaks lies beneath the shadow of 
the Tatra mountains. Their most typical settlements 
are the " kopanica " — lonely huts girt by forest and mountain, 
far from the world, far even from their nearest neighbours, 
with a mere patch of cultivated ground planted amid the 
wide heath. Here our people Hves its own life apart — a 
life which has well-nigh become part of the surrounding ■ 
nature. At home the Slovak is of a conservative bent, but 
in the greater world he proves himself open to new ideas and 
ready of judgment. At home he cHngs passionately to his 
old traditions, and in out-of-the-way spots he lives even 
to-day very much the same primitive life which his ancestoi 
led a thousand years ago. 

He built his house himself, and there are still many places 
where he prepares with his own hands and according to hk 
own taste all the various necessaries of life. Throughoul 
the spring and summer he is busy in the woods and in the 
fields, and in winter the whole family works at home. The 
men prepare articles of wood, metal, plaster, straw or leather ; 
the women devote themselves to sewing, painting and decora- 
tion. Both sexes spin and weave, while the children assist 
at the work ; and thus the entire family is kept busy. The 
dwelling-house is at the same time workshop and school. 

Before turning to a description of the Slovak dwelling- 
house, I am obhged to say something of the people itsel 
and its highly original manner of life ; for it is impossible 

Note. — I should like to draw the attention of my readers to a charm- 
ing publication of Mr. JurkoviC, Prace Lidu Naleho — Les Ouvrages 
Populaires des Slovaques (Ant. Schroll & Co., Vienna, 1908). Foul 
parts have already appeared (7 crowns each), containing in all 40 excel- 
lent reproductions of village art, several in colour. 

A Slovak Peasant Home. 

(Northern District.) 


to understand the one without the other. The northern 
districts of the county of Trencsen are in this respect still un- 
touched by the outside world, and the primitive manner of 
Ufe has by no means died out. Families still live in groups 
(hromada) or communities (zadruha), a practice which in almost 
every district of Slovensko has vanished without leaving a 
trace behind. The "group " is the home and refuge of the entire 
family, however large. Its eldest member is the manager 
(gazda), who in common with his wife the gazdina, manages 
the property and controls the household. The individual 
members of the family are on a footing of absolute equality 
among themselves, but aU are subject to the gazda, or in 
the case of the women to the gazdina. According to true 
patriarchal tradition, the older members are held in peculiar 
reverence by the younger ; but we none the less find quite 
young men as managers, for the many cares of this position 
often tempt the older men to hand it over voluntarily. 

Every male member of the family, on reaching manhood, 
becomes part owner of the property, which is held in common 
and is indivisible ; the cash profits are divided annually in 
equal portions among aU the members. Larger properties 
of this kind require the labour of young people of both sexes, 
and hence every member of the family must marry early. 
The dower of a bride consists, not in any portion of the pro- 
perty, but in cash and in clothes, and indeed the latter are 
often worthy of a place in a museum of arts and crafts. The 
happy possessor of twenty beautiful costumes is not looked 
upon as wealthy. 

In case the number of male hands is insufficient, an out- 
sider can by common agreement be admitted ; but this course 
is only adopted as a last resort of dire necessity. 

The last regular " groups " disappeared in the third quarter 
of the nineteenth century. The indirect causes of the decay 
of this almost communist mode of life are the courts of law 
and the Jews. Wastrel members of the family, ejected for 
drunkenness, would seek the aid of the village publican (gene- 
rally a Jew), in whose bar he had wasted his substance, and 
would successfully dispute in court the indivisibility of the 
joint property. The forms which such official partitioning 
of property take among the Slovaks are only too well known 
to the initiated, but to the foreigner it is well-nigh impossible 
to describe them. Suffice it to say that the individual members 
of the family eventually lose their Whole means, and are 
R.P.H. 353 A A 



forced as glassware pedlars to seek a scanty living by wandering 
across the Continent. None the less one or two partitioned 
" groups " have clung firmly to their old manner of Ufe, and 
hence are still fairly prosperous. 

The common dwelling-house of the whole family, large, 
roomy, one-storied, is built fronting on to the road or on to a 
stream. On this side is the front door, which leads into the 
" black room " (ciema izba). This is a commodious room, 
used by all members of the family for their various kinds 
of work ; here the gazdina cooks and the joint meals are 
taken. In the corner towards the courtyard stands the 
hearth ; above it hangs the large kettle which serves for the 
preparation of their food. The walls are plastered with yellow 
clay, but only to two-thirds of their height ; the upper portion 
and the ceiling are blackened with smoke, and retain a per- 
manent shiny black colour which has earned the room its 

From the lobby a stair leads to the upper story. Here 
the rooms are not heated in winter ; indeed, except in the 
" black room," there is hardly ever any heating. The upper 
rooms are used by married members of the family, and here 
they keep their private belongings, especially their dresses 
and household Unen. Except the beds and a great array of 
chests, there is no furniture to speak of. Even though the 
inhabitants are Catholics, pictures of saints are seldom to 
be seen upon the walls. Above the vestibule they are wont 
to fasten little statues, whose meaning the present generation 
can no longer explain ; perhaps they are an artistic survival 
of the household penates of pagan times. The houses are 
decorated with branches of palm and of lime, juniper flowers 
and berries and various plants — a custom which has doubt- 
less some primeval meaning which is now lost to us. 

The mountain villages and townlets were also entirely built of 
wood, and fitted up according to the needs and status of their 
owners. Nestling close together, they are irretrievably doomed 
in the event of fire ; and hence many of the most characteristic 
and ornamental of these wooden houses have perished. In 
former days every man was at once his own designer and 
workman, and in this way the carpenter's and builder's crafts 
had their root in the people itself, as is proved by the most 
characteristic specimens of Slovak houses. Through the 
development of household industries and by its own exertions, 
our people had attained to a certain degree of prosperity, 



A Slovak Peasant Home. 
(Southern District.) 


and at the very time when home industries had reached their 
highest point we find the greatest progress in building and 
in the treatment of interiors. It was in the plains, where 
lack of wood naturally rendered development on different 
lines necessary, that the Slovaks first began to employ solid 
material for building. The stone houses of the southern 
districts of Trencsen and Pressburg counties are built on 
exactly the same plan as the wooden huts of the north. The 
most charactenstic innovation here is the arched and pro- 
jecting porch — the so-called vystupok or ^ebracka — on either 
side of which are niches containing seats. It is on this porch 
that the Slovak peasant women concentrates all her skill in 
decoration and design. But in the southern districts the 
building art of the Slovaks undoubtedly sinks to a lower 
level, since the peasants foUow a more intensive form of 
agriculture, and have no time left over for any save the most 
necessary work. The carvings on wooden houses are the 
work of the carpenter, who also executes all decorations on 
the gables and any paintings or inscriptions on the waUs ; 
in the southern districts, on the other hand, the woman of 
the house is herself responsible for aU the decorations without 
exception. For though the woman is not spared any of 
the work in the fields or the necessary household duties, she 
remains a model of tidiness, good order and taste. Just as 
the English proverb says. My house my castle, so the Slovak 
woman has every right to exclaim : My house my pride. 
How charming are aU these simple httle houses without false 
adornment, with their white-rimmed and gaily-coloured 
windows, with their quaint porches, dazzHng white and painted 
in rich designs, enticing the stranger to enter. How many 
ideas of decorative art are to be found both inside and out- 
side these Slovak houses — above all on the walls of the dwelling- 
room and above the hearth. The simplest dwelling-room, 
with its hearth but no chimney-piece, became by a gradual 
evolution the " show " room of the house — the " white 
room " (biela izba), as it was called — whose design makes 
its sure appeal not merely to the intelligent townsman, but 
even to the gentry whom old culture has made sensitive to 
111 its personal surroundings.^** 

5 6»« [^j. jurkovic has himself 'put this assertion to the most practical 
! of all tests, by planning his charming villa at Zabovfesky out- 
ij side Briinn (Moravia) on the lines of Slovak peasant architecture, 
^ while, of course, adapting them to modern rec^uirements. — R.W.S.W.] 

i 355 


The earliest and most characteristic specimens are to be 
found in outlying mountainous districts, which also can 
boast the most tasteful peasant costumes. Hitherto we possess 
no complete study of Slovak national dress ; the excitements ■ 
of the political struggle have led to a neglect of the subject, 
and I greatly fear that ere the calm necessary for such studies 
has been restored, it will already be too late. For the national 
garb is slowly but surely disappearing, and carrying with 
it all its rich treasure of delicate design. If the Slovak Museum 
in Turocz St. Mdrton does but take timely steps to secure 
the necessary collections, it might become the interpreter to 
future ages of Slovak popular culture and art, and might win 
for itself a unique position among the museums of Europe, as a 
haunt of artists and students of peasant life and manners.^®' 

TTie national dress of the Slovaks was from the very first 
prepared by each family in its own home. And it is in its 
earliest form — consisting of underclothes of hemp and of the 
woolly " halena " material, and a kind of divided kilt — 
and later on when this original form is supplemented by 
rich ornamentation, that its simple character shows to most 
advantage and it attains its highest aesthetic value. 

In the plains, where the economic conditions are more 
favourable and intercourse with the towns is easier, the national 
costume assumes new forms and even new materials in almost 
every parish, and yet every change introduced has been 
carefuUy adapted and blended with the characteristic Slovak 
style. In the mountainous districts the material employed 
both for the costume and for embroideries consisted exclu- 
sively of coarse bleached linen thread, dyed with saffron and a 
decoction made from willow bark and wild pears ; whereas 
in the plains coloured silks are used to embroider and decorate. 
The original geometrical patterns were worked without any 
frame, right on the linen itself, the threads being counted. 
These straight-Hned ornamentations, combined with drawn 
thread work and prepared in various colours, for the most 
part yellow or red, have the very greatest artistic value. 
In Slovak embroidery may be traced the whole technique of 

*" Even as it is, this Museum contains a unique collection of Slovak 
costumes, embroideries and local pottery, and compares favourably 
with any museum in Hungary outside the capital. Yet the very 
name of Turocz St. Marton is omitted from Baedeker. The iniquitous 
treatment of the earlier Slovak museum in Marton has already been 
related in the text (see p. i66). 

A Slovak Cottage Interior. 

E. Mdlei 


artistic needlework design, and one continually comes across 
articles of clothing, especially baby linen and churching- 
cloths, which, we are amazed to find, must have taken a whole 
lifetime to prepare. To-day it is already generally known 
that the Slovaks follow the so-called Holbein technique in 
their embroidery, and from the oldest dated specimens of 
this work, we find that they worked in exactly the same way 
during the Holbein period. They also used for these costumes 
artistic textures which had been prepared according to the 
same process as ancient costumes discovered in Egyptian 
tombs. Lace work of all kinds has survived up to the present 
day among the peasantry, and modern home industries could 
easily be developed on these lines. ^^'^ 

The Slovaks, then, are divided according to their costume 
into two groups : the White Slovaks (bieU Slovaci) of the 
mountain districts, and the Red Slovaks, who belong to the 
more prosperous south. The dress of the former is cut in 
simple straight lines and square shapes, and adorned with 
geometrical designs, while the natural white colour of the 
material predominates. The latter choose bright materials 
for their dress, which has already been essentially modified 
by foreign influences, but none the less remains effective owing 
to its harmonious blend of colours. The difference in dress 
bears out the contrast between the fiery temperament of the 
southern Slovak and the soft, pensive and melancholy char- 
acter of the mountaineer. 

This lowland district is the birthplace and home of Jo^a 
Uprka, a few of whose pictures are reproduced in the present 

*"" Naturally the Government endeavours to bring before the world 
all the artistic products of Slovensko, under the device of " industry 
of the Magyar people " (there being no distinction in the Magyar 
language between the words "Magyar" and "Hungarian"). In 
the course of the last twenty years, it is true, three excellent exhibi- 
tions of Slovak art have been held in Vienna ; but no one was found to 
supply the public with the true facts of the case, and hence there are 
many people to-day who imagine that everything which comes from 
within the political frontiers of " Magyarorszag " is really Magyar. 
Through the introduction of home industrial products the Slovaks 
might be brought into contact with the whole civilized world, and 
that is just what Government circles regard as so dangerous. Hence, 
instead of coming to the aid of the Slovaks, they hinder industries 
of this kind from assuming large dimensions. Attempts have already 
been made in this direction, but the undertaking has its represen- 
tatives in a society controlled by the Government, with the result 
that foreigners can only come into contact with this society. 



volume. Uprka lives in the Moravian Slovensko, at a two 
hours' drive from the Hungarian frontier. This frontier is 
merely political, it does not correspond to ethnographical 
and cultural divisions ; and this in itself explains the fact 
that Uprka is the artist alike of the Moravian and of the 
Hungarian Slovaks. He fetches his models even from the 
Little Carpathians, and makes excursions for study as far 
as the " White Mountain " (Biela hora) in that range of hills ; 
while, on the other hand, Hungarian Slovaks visit the places 
of pilgrimage lying to the west of the Moravian frontier, 
and have thus provided Uprka with many of the most charming 
motives for his pictures. 

The Czech art critic, V. Mrstik writes as follows regarding 
Uprka and his work. " After completing his studies, Uprka 
shook off the dust of Prague, as soon as he realized the cruel 
mockery of the model dressed in Slovak costume. He felt 
that it was not enough to hang clothing on a handsome human 
form, but that he must study everything in the very spot 
where these gay blossoms grow and flourish. And so he 
settled in Moravia, and mastered what had really lain hidden 
in his own soul. As son of the soil, healthy, spirited, full of 
verve, and yet at times of a dreamy and thoughtful disposition, 
he watched the people in the fields, in church, in their own 
homes, in the village inn, at the fairs and processions ; he 
studied the children, the old women, the young girls, the^ 
village patriarchs, the splendid figures of the young men,! 
and everywhere he endeavoured to gain insight into thej 
character of the people. Their country unveiled its inmost] 
secrets to his gaze, and the whole poetry of the Slovaks found 
in him its truest and most spirited interpreter. What some 
call ' mystere des formes,' became for him an open book, 
his figures must all move and stand in this way and in no 
other, he knows their walk, their every action is familiar 
to him, and as he himself belonged to this little world of! 
theirs, he felt it to be in the nature of things that the girls'] 
light movements, the old men's prayers, the children's play] 
should be as they are and not as among other peoples. Hel 
portrays them all in their natural truth and beauty, with] 
all their gaiety and simplicity, with their traits of weakness! 
and brutahty, with all the passion, the dreaminess, the breadth i 
of the true Slav character. There is not one of his sketches i 
of which you can say, 'ce n'est pas de notre pays.' All his! 
figures are so intimately bound up with their own native dis- 



Ingle-xeuk in a Slovak Cottage. 



trict, with the poetry of the fields, that those who look at 
his pictures seem to breathe in the very soul of the country 
{'The Sowers,' 'King's Festival,' *A Spring Idyll,' etc.). 
His composition is simple and yet rich with the glowing colours 
of his native land and of the people whom he loves so passion- 
ately. His pictures combine lyrical balance and epical calm ; 
to reproduce what he feels is not enough for his desires, he 
transcends the bounds of what is possible, and from the realm 
of sight he seems to pass to the realm of sound. His exquisite 
picture, ' A Pilgrimage to St. Antony,' breathes a boundless 
silence over the people as they kneel sunk in prayer. Noise 
and clamour, the neighing and whinnying of frightened horses, 
come to us from his later picture of the ' King's Festival,' painted 
with a true dramatic power. As is the case with all artistic 
geniuses, Uprka's own native district supphes the key to 
his originality ; for there every peasant is a poet and an artist 
in embryo, taste and temperament assert themselves in every 
motion, and above all in the clear and passionate colours 
of the national dress. The ' gorgeous East ' has breathed 
upon the land ; beauty and strength of race speak to us 
from its colours. The crowds at a fair, a pilgrimage, or a 
church festival, convey the impression of a garden in flower, 
where the dominant red and white mingle with every imagin- 
able colour, and form a rich and varied symphony." 

It is impossible to do justice to popular art within the 
limits of the present work. Everything which the people 
makes has its own character and style. I need only refer 
to the metal ornaments — clasps and brooches, girdles, cudgels, 
axe hilts, spinning-wheels, pieces of furniture, the painted 
Easter eggs (Kraslice) and " little doves " (as symbols of 
the Holy Ghost), aU of which are decorated, carved, pokered, 
inlaid, or painted.^^^ As time went on, the production of such 
articles spread from the outlying peasant houses to the villages 
and little towns, and thus a local art industry gradually arose 
and flourished. I need only mention the native pottery and 
modelling in clay, weaving and dyeing, leather work, and 
work in brass and other metals. These simple observers of 
nature, with their clear unspoilt perception, have borrowed 
from nature a few of the most ancient forms of ornament ; 
the eye of the bom artist of the people has given its own 
interpretation to the magic forms of nature. 

^'* See plates opposite pp. 3^2, 374, 376. 


But popular art did not rest content with a mere slavish 
imitation of nature, and free play was given to the Slovak 
people's peculiar gift of invention and combination, through 
which its art was raised to a quite unusual standard of taste. 
Of course even here the due hmits were sometimes exceeded, 
and the playful fancy of certain less talented individuals 
degenerated into the bizarre. 

This popular art is a precious heritage whose mysteries 
the child drinks in with its mother tongue and the popular 
poetry of the race. Wherever decoration is attempted, from 
the cradle to the coffin, to the churchyard and the sepulchral 
cross,^*^ everywhere the same ruling motive is to be found ; 
for the Slovaks did not nierely build their own houses, they 
imparted to them a style and character which is entirely 
their own, and proved themselves capable of work on a still 
more ambitious scale, by building their ovkTi churches. The 
great majority of wooden churches have, it is true, perished, 
and those which have survived have been injured by repeated 
restorations. The church of Velka Paludza (Nagy Paludza), 
of which two reproductions are included in the present volume, 
dates from the year 1773.^^ 

The Slovak districts of Himgary have not received the 
attention which they deserve ; and unjustly enough, it is in 
matters of art and culture that they are most neglected. 
The stream of modern pseudo-culture is undermining the 
work of our people, and the lack of interest in the Slovaks 
displayed by the Government cannot be deprecated too 
strongly. The authorities realize clearly enough that it is 
impossible to Magyarize or exterminate a race so well preserved 
and so distinctive as the Slovaks, but for this very reason 
they give free play to demoralizing influences, in the hope 
of ruining those whom they fear. The Slovak who has re- 
nounced his nationality is more accessible to Magyarization 
both in language and in politics. The most striking example 
of this is supplied by America ; for though the Slovak emigrant 
often returns home stronger both from an economic and a 
national point of view, he none the less lays aside with his 
national costume the songs, the habits, and the customs of 
his race, and no longer preserves his simple poetic outlook 
upon life, his sense of personal dignity or his ideal love of a 
home life. 

•""' See plates facing pp. 286, 290. 
«oi See plates facing pp. 204, 320. 



The Jewish dealers, with a keen sense of the aesthetic 
value of Slovak popular art, have been for years past 
denuding the Slovak districts of their artistic treasures. The 
German museums are especially rich in these articles, and 
only too often no indication is given of their true origin. The 
present generation is only partially educated in such work, 
and having no idea of their monetary value, is often tempted 
to part with real treasures for a few pence. A few old women, 
who all their lives have sat up at night with needle in hand — 
in fear lest they should lose the result of their labours carry 
them with them to the grave. The exquisite piece of needle- 
work which is reproduced on the opposite page, was intended 
as the winding-sheet of a Slovak peasant. Let us hope that 
this is no omen for the fate of the Slovak race, and that what 
has been saved from the hands of strangers wiU still serve 
as an inspiration to the Slovaks in their national revival. 



Slovak Popular Poetry'"' 

By Svetozar Hurban Vajansk^ 

" In Gebirgen, Thalern pflegen sich uralte Sitten, Religionen, Ge- 
brauche, Spiele, Erzahlungen, Traditionen, Sprichworter, Gesange, 
Sprachformen, und andere Schatze der Volkstiimlichkeit, am langsten 
und reinsten zu erhalten. Goethe. 

THE Slovaks of Hungary, generously endowed with the 
gift of imagination, have created a rich popular litera- 
ture of their own ; and the words of Goethe which we have 
just quoted are amply justified in their case. To take but a 
single instance, the original forms of speech are so well pre- 
served in the Slovak language, that every Slav philologist is 
obliged to learn it thoroughly. In form, grammar and syntax 
it is almost as original and important as the old ecclesiastical 
language of the Slavs. 
Slovak popular poetry, which has exercised a decisive influ- 

"' [Svetozar Hurban was born on January i6, 1847, at Hluboka 
(county of Nyitra), where his father, Joseph Miloslav Hurban, the well- 
known Slovak leader in 1848, was Lutheran pastor. He was educated 
in Germany, and from 1874 to 1878 practised as a young advocate in 
Szakolcza and Lip to St. Miklos. He served in the Bosnian campaign 
of occupation in 1878. After his return, he became editor of the 
Ndrodnie Noviny in Turocz St. Marton — for many years the only Slovak 
political paper. He has more than once been imprisoned for political 
offences, having been sentenced to one year for an article protesting 
against the insults offered to his father's grave (see p. 306), and six 
months for the part which he took in welcoming his brother 
editor, Ambro Pietor, on the latter's return from prison (see p. 328). 
In any country save Hungary Mr. Hurban would be in high honour as 
a poet and critic ; but his gallant resistance to Magyarization has 
earned him continual persecution. It is one of the tragedies of the 
Slovak race that a man of so essentially poetic a temperament as 
Svetozar Hurban should have been driven into the arena of politics. 
His Russophil sympathies, resting as they do upon a literary basis, 
have caused friction between him and che younger generation of Slovak 
leaders, who look not to St. Petersburg but to Prague and Vienna. 
But he wUl always be revered as the man who kept the tiny flame of 


Wall Uecoratiox in a Slovak Cottage. 



ence upon the literature of our race, takes three main forms — 
the lyric song, the epic poem and the epic story, saga or fairy 
tale. In many of the people's habits, customs and games are 
to be found the first elements of drama, and often enough 
there occur obvious survivals from pagan times, as, for instance, 
the old lines about the drowning of Morena (or Death), a 
winter goddess — 

Morena, Morena, for whom didst thou die ? 
Not for us, not for us, but for the Christians. 

The supply of proverbs and phrases is well-nigh inexhaust- 
ible ; the collection of Mr. Zaturecky fills a folio volume of 600 
pages. Nor has Slovak literature allowed these treasures to 
lie fallow ; even in the sixteenth century there appeared collec- 
tions of popular songs. But it was not till the nineteenth 
century that a true appreciation was attempted. The pioneer 
in this direction was Paul Joseph Safafik, the brilliant historio- 
grapher of the Slavs, a Slovak by birth, who in collaboration 
with John Blahoslav published a classic collection of Slovak 
songs. His example was followed by another Slovak, John 
Kollar, the famous author of " The Daughter of Slava." The 
poet's two-volume edition of " National Songs of the Slovaks in 
Hungary " was printed in Buda in 1834, and affords a proof of 
the versatility, the richness of expression and the depth of feel- 
ing of the Slovak people. In recent years such collections have 
multiplied, until they form quite a library of Slovak songs and 
melodies. In many of them the melodies play an all-important 
part ; for often a little verse which when read is insignificant 
and pointless, is thrown into relief and acquires lyrical value 
through its melody, for the text was composed singing, and 
can only be understood when sung. The Slovak song breathes 

Slovak nationalism burning in the dark days when it was nearest 
to extinction. 

His chief works are (a) Poetical : Tatry a more (Tatra and Sea), a 
collection of poems ; Zpod jarma (From under the Yoke) ; Besedy a 
dumy (Causeries and Dreamings) : (6) Novels : Sucha ratolest (The 
Rotten Branch) , by which is meant the Slovak nobles who have deserted 
their nationality ; Kotlin : (c) Stories and Sketches : Lalia (The Lily) ; 
Svietace piene (Flying Shadows) ; Husla (The Violin) ; Two Sisters ; 
The Young Minister. German translations have appeared of " Der 
Kandidat," " Der Nachtwachter," " Das Weib des Holzhauers," " Der 
schwarze Idealist," " Das Heimatslied." May English translations 
soon follow !— R.W.S.W.] * 



out the fresh air, the scents of the woods and meadows and 
mountains, for these were its cradle and its source. ^"^ 

The Slovaks possess an ancient Gentry class, which has, it 
is true, allowed itself in recent times to be Magyarized, but which 
is none the less Slovak in nature, and living as it does in the 
midst of the people, speaks and sings Slovak, when wine or 
song have rubbed off the false veneer of Magyar customs. 
There is even a small Slovak middle class, consisting of trades- 
men, merchants and small manufacturers. But the vast 
majority of the race is made up of peasants tilling the soil, 
fishers and craftsmen, pedlars and men engaged upon home 
industries — in other words, classes who are in direct and per- 
manent contact with the surrounding nature. The scenery 
in which they live is, in its northern district, of Alpine grandeur, 
and farther south of soft idyllic beauty, with rich meadows 
and wooded hills, sinking gradually into the great Hungarian 
plain. Only two Slovak rivers — the Poprad and the Dunajec 
— flow into the Vistula and the Baltic Sea ; with these excep- 
tions the country faces southwards, and connects with the 
geographical system of the Danube and the Black Sea. There 
are, however, numerous Slovak colonies in the southern plains, 
in the Banat and even as far as Syrmia ^^ ; so that the Slovaks 
cannot be regarded as a race of mountaineers pure and simple. 

This variety of climate and scenery — the wild torrents and 
beetling crags of the Tatra, the soft outlines of the fertile 
lowland valleys — has wakened an echo in the soul of the people, 
and is reflected in the varied forms and notes of their popular 
poetry. We find in it a discord which is strengthened by the 
sad fate of the race, but also a harmony which reveals an eternal 
aspiration towards the beautiful. Our people's temperament 
is so rich, its joy of living so intense, that long centuries of 
repression in every department of life have not availed to rob 
their poetry of its joyous character. No doubt its underlying 
tone is one of melancholy, but never has it yielded to despair. 
At the close of the saddest song, there is a flash of hope and 
confidence, as though it were impossible that God should 
desert a people which believes in Him. Such a song is the 
following — 

•"» A fairly exhaustive bibliography of Slovak songs is to be found in 
the work of Dr. V. Zibrt, published in 1895. 
"* For instance, the town of B6kescsaba, with 35,000 inhabitants. 



Our home was once in blossom, 

But faded is the flower. 
Good-night, my Slovak brothers. 

Past is your hour ! 

But though our home has faded, 

'Twill surely flower again. 
Its joyous dawn shall lighten 

The eyes of future men ! 

Slovak popular poetry contains obscure but highly interest- 
ing reminiscences of prehistoric and mediaeval times — of the 
brief and distant days when the Slovak nation was powerful 
and famous. In many a song there occur the names of heathen 
deities and references to old primaeval customs. Thus we 
find Svantovit the Slav Jupiter, Perun the god of thunder, 
the nymph-like Vily, Zmok the'treasure-god, Lei the god of love, 
Lojda and 2iva, the Venus and Ceres of the Slavs. In an old 
game of question and answer played by the Slovak girls (no 
one of the other sex is allowed to take part), we find the name 
of the goddess Djundja (f)unda), whose attributes can no 
longer be traced. The girls form two choirs of equal number, 
and as they sing, dance to a slow and solemn measure. 

1st Choir. '.^^ 

Hoja, £)unda, hoja — The Queen has sent us — Hoja, i^unda, hoja. 

2nd Choir. 
Hoja, 6unda, hoja — What did the Queen send you for ? — Hoja, 
6unda, hoja. 

ist Choir. 
Hoja, £)unda, hoja — For three carts of stones — Hoja, £>uncla, hoja. 

2nd Choir. 
Hoja, lJunda, hoja — And what are the stones for ? — Hoja, £)uncla, 

ist Choir. 
Hoja, £)uncla, hoja — To build golden bridges — Hoja, £)unda, hoja. 

And so they go on indefinitely. The girls' faces glow, their 
voices ring more passionately, their slow movements grow more 
lively and more rhythmical ; involuntarily we are reminded 
of the mysterious practices of pagan times. 

There is frequent mention of the god Vajan, always in con- 
nection with lire and fire-offerings. On the evening of June 23, 
great fires are lighted on many of the heights throughout 
Slovensko — Vajanske ohne, the flames of Vajan, as they are 
called — and a whole series of hymns are sung in his honour. 

It is highly interesting that in these old fragments the names 
of the heathen mythology should have* survived all the efforts 



of the Church to erase them from the people's memory. Even 
more remarkable is the fact that these names exactly coincide 
with those which we find in similar songs of the Russians, the 
Obotrites (a now vanished Slav tribe in Mecklenburg) and the, 

Strange as it may seem, the Slovak people, while it has pre- 
served the memory of pre-Christian times at least dimly and 
fragmentarily, has allowed more recent historic events to sink 
into oblivion. The barbarian invasions, the inroads of the 
Huns and the Magyars, have not left a trace behind, and only theli 
great epoch of Saints Cyril and Methodius, of Rastislav and 
Svatopluk, has struck a plaintive echo in the soul of the Slovak 
people. The most exquisite fragment of any historic import- 
ance which has survived to the present day is the song which 
celebrates the departed glories of Nitra, the capital of the 
Moravian Empire. The melody is also very ancient — 

Nitra, mila Nitra, ty vysoka Nitra, 

Kdeze su tie (5asy, v ktorych si ty kvitla ? 

Nitra, sweetest Nitra, Nitra throned so proudly. 
Where are now the days of thy bloom and glory ? 

Nitra, sweetest Nitra, mother of the Slovaks, 
Bitter tears of sorrow flow when I behold thee. 

Once thou wert the mistress of those wide dominions 
Which the March and Danube and the Visla ••"* water. 

Svatopluk our hero held high court within thee. 

When his royal sceptre still compelled obedience. 

Once thou wert the holy city of Methodius, 

When he won our fathers to our Lord's Evangel. 

Now upon thy glory lies a gloomy shadow. 

Such are time's sad changes, such the world's revenges. 

This song is widely known and often sung ; it gives expression' 
to the deep sadness and pathos of the Slovaks, whose eyes 
with tears as they sing its melancholy but exquisite air. Foi 
the fall of the Moravian Empire was a fatal blow, from whicl 
the race has never recovered. 

Other historic songs are of far more recent date — for the] 
most part from the rising of Francis Rakoczy, though a few go 
back as far as the Turkish occupation and even the reign of the! 
great Matthias Corvinus. Some tell of the gallant defence oi 
Brezno and other towns against the Turks, and of the captured! 
Slovak maidens who remembered the land and speech of theirj 
fathers even in the Sultan's harem. 

«•* Vistula. 


One figure stands out prominently in the popular songs of 
later times — Janosik, the robber, the hero, the social liberator. 
Countless songs and epics recount his exploits and invest him 
with the renown of a benefactor and martyr of the people, 
their champion in the struggle against the intolerable yoke of 
feudal serfdom, an avenger of the bloody wrongs which they 
endured at the hands of the Gentry. Janosik is a name which 
lives in the mouth of every Slovak ; wherever injustice is done, 
there his name is to be found, and there is hardly a river, a 
vaUey, a cave or a precipice in aU Slovensko with which it is 
not connected. Janosik with his twelve comrades fled into 
the primaeval forests of the Carpathians, in order to escape 
from the tyrants and to avenge the death of his father, who was 
beaten to death upon the flogging-bench (deres). His head- 
quarters were in the mountains of Kralova Hola (on the out- 
skirts of the counties of Lipto, Zolyom and Gomor) ; but the 
traces of his brief career as outlaw are to be found everywhere 
from Pressburg as far as Kassa and Eperjes in the north-east ; 
here a cave and there an oak, a lime-tree or a spring is associated 
with the name of Janosik. Marvellous tales are told of his 
strength and desperate valour, his ubiquitous presence, his 
generous moods and deeds of genuine chivalry. The rich 
oppressors he robbed of gold and treasure, in order to divide 
them among the people ; to the needy travelling student he 
measured out the " anglia " or English cloth, by spreading it 
from tree to tree. Veritable epic poems are the songs which 
celebrate his deeds — how with twelve heroic comrades he 
fought against three counties, how he plundered and burned 
the castles of the nobles, how he defended the common people 
and summoned them to the fight ; but a pathetic lyrical note 
is struck in the songs which recount his capture, his tortures 
and death upon the gallows at Lipto St. Miklos. They hanged 
him in heavy irons, and in this plight he lived three days and 
three nights, proud and obstinate, and sang from the gallows 
a song of the final deliverance of his people from the grim 
bondage of feudalism. 

All along the mountain there winds a woodland path ; 
My father was a true man, and I must be a robber. 
Yes, I must be a robber, for bitter are our wrongs, 
Falsehood is on the lord's side, but on the robber's, truth ! 

The figure of Jdnosik has found its way into modem Slovak 
literature, and the poet John Botto has written a fine epic 



poem, " The Death of Janosik," which may fairly be classified 
as popular poetry, so widely is it known and sung. It begins 
thus — 

On Krdlova there gleams a fire, 
And round it gather falcons twelve — 
Twelve Tatra falcons, snowy-white, 
Fair as a single mother's brood. 

Naturally the lyrical element is by far the strongest in Slovak 
popular poetry. In it are reflected the griefs and wants of 
everyday life, the close affinity with nature, the eternal con- 
flict of the elemental powers of good and evil. As in the folk- 
songs of all races, the infinite themes of love play the chief part ; 
the longings of the absent lover, the joys of married life, the 
beloved's death or faithlessness, the intrigues of relations — aU 
recur in endless variations, and yet are seldom flat or mono- 
tonous. The Slovak folk-song collections, though they contain 
close upon 100,000 such songs, are still far from complete ; 
indeed, the fount is inexhaustible, and is ever brimming over 
with new songs, so that there can never be any question of 

Needless to say, these songs are not all pearls. Many of 
them are made up of mere jests and doggerel rhymes or plays 
upon words and sounds ; yet even in the coarser songs we find 
a certain deUcacy of expression — never mere vulgarity for its 
own sake, as in the street songs of a great city, and this is 
noticeable even in songs whose double entendre is of doubtful 

Most Slovak songs have a tinge of melancholy ; for the life 
which they portray is earnest and sad even when it is most 

Ye mountains black and gloomy, 

The storm clouds o'er ye lay. 
She bathed her brother's golden locks 

And armed him for the fray. 

" And tell me, sweetest brother, 
When shall I see thee home ? " 
" Sweet sister, look thrice from thy window bar, 
And soon shalt thou learn my doom." 

The first morning she looked out. 

Red gleamed the dawn and bright. 
White rays fell all along the land. 

"My brother goes out to fight." 




Slovak Peasant Embroidery. 



The second morning she looked out. 

And oh, the dawn gleamed red. 
Red rays fell all along the land 

" My brother has fought and bled." 

The third morning she looked out 

And oh, the dawn frowned dark. 
Black shadows fell upon the land. 

" My brother lies cold and stark." 

To heaven she raised her lily arms 

And ne'er a word she spoke. 
Amid the roses red she fell. 

Her little red heart broke. 

This feeble rendering can give no real idea of the tenderness 
and sweet melancholy of the original, still less of the harmonious 
effect produced by text and melody together. Indeed, the 
melody often breathes inspiration into mediocre words, and 
supplies and explains what the words have left unsaid. There 
are many Slovak songs with absolutely trivial or worthless 
words, which none the less produce upon a stranger unacquainted 
with the language an effect of tragedy and vigour ; their true 
magic lies in the melody. For the Slovak peasantry have 
thrown their whole heart into these melodies, which help them 
to endure their gloomy fate, and brighten the gray monotony 
of everyday hfe. 

I sing, I sing, and seem in merry mood. 
And none can guess the sorrow of my heart. 

I sing, I sing, and none would ever dream 
That my whole path is watered by my tears. 

My mouth is gay, and smiling are my cheeks. 
But O ! my heart,, its sorrow longs and bleeds ! 

In the case of a people whose connexion with nature has 
been so intimate, it was only to be expected that natural 
phenomena would figure largely in their poetry. The sun and 
moon, and even the distant sea, so far beyond the peasant's 
ken ; the mighty crags of the T4tra range, the strength and 
swiftness of its rivers, the mystic beauty of its primaeval 
forests, the lush meadows and the fruitful fields, the wind which 
sweeps across the stubble — these aU form the themes of the 
Slovak song. Great stress is laid upon Nature's softer and 
more kindly traits ; the song of the nightingale is not of this 
earth, but has been stolen from the angels, the dew upon the 
grass is the tears of the gentle meadow-maidens. But the 

R.P.H. 369 B B 


darker powers of nature also play their part ; eerie superstition 
and the uneasy dejection inspired by the unknown or the mys- 
terious are strangely blended with a touching submission to 
the dispensations of Providence. The black starless night is the 
evil stepmother who offers a stone to the child that cries for 
bread, and lays vinegar before it in the place of water ; fierce 
winter, with its drifting snow, is the cruel feudal lord who battens 
upon the blood of his serfs. The grim Werewolf (Vlkolak) and 
other spirits of evil surround the children of the lonely peasant 
with unknown dangers. 

The Slovak folk songruns through the whole gamut of human 
passions. The joys and sorrows of the human heart, love and 
hate, embarrassment and triumph, hope and dejection, devo- 
tion and defiance, flattery and mockery are reflected in its 
mirror ; bloodthirstiness and godless despair alone are missing. 

Humour and satire also play their part, but always tinged 
with a quaint bonhomie, an easy-going temper and a deep fund 
of human nature. Slovak humour is as a rule more farcical 
than sarcastic ; its roguery has very little sting. Thus the 
Slovak maiden sings as she goes — 

Oh, I have a lover, whose beauties are three, 
Pockfaced and bowlegged and squinting is he. 
A rich bride am I ; my three treasures are sung — 
Three carts of old shavings, of rags and of dung. 
And — richest of dowries — my merits are three, 
I sleep hard and work light and eat solidly. 

These crude jokes, banal as they may be, are expressed ii 
terse pregnant phrases of which only a rich and well-develope( 
language is capable. 

The influence of the folksong upon Slovak poets made itsel 
felt from the very beginning of the modem literary revival ;j 
such writers as Janko Krai, Jan Botto, Samo Chalupka — thej 
latter the author of more than one powerful ballad — drew thei 
inspiration entirely from popular sources.^^ But the higher 
poetry also sips at the clear fount of popular song, and thus 
enriches the literary language with many a telling phrase oi 
idiom. In this way the poet Hviezdoslav ^^ has interwoven his 

so< Mj. Hurban has made effective use of Slovak folksongs in more 
than one of his own novels. " Kotlin " contains a charming description 
of how the heroine Lejla, when asked to play a nocturne of Schubert, 
plays instead a simple Slovak air. 

•" Paul Orszagh-Hviezdoslav, who is Svetozar Hurban's only 


epic poems, " The Woodman's Wife " and " Gabriel Vlkolin- 
sky " with exquisite songs, which rapidly won the popular ear 
and are sung by hundreds who have no idea of their modern 
origin. Their deeper insight into life does the poet all honour ; 
but their highest merit lies in their kinship with the earliest 
products of the genius of the race. 

The Slovak people, despite all external influences and the 
ravages wrought by so-called " education " in an alien tongue, 
has lost but little of its originaHty. Factories, railways, emigra- 
tion, Magyar schools, have not availed to rob the Slovaks of 
their nationality and of their beautiful and sonorous language ; 
and to-day, amid many signs of impending change, new waters 
still well forth from the perennial source of their popular song 
and melody. 

peer among living Slovak writers, was born on February 2, 1849. at 
Also Kubin (county of Arva). At one time he practised as an advo- 
cate, but now lives in retirement in his native town, and devotes him- 
self to literature. His best works are " Hajnikova 2ena" (The Wood- 
man's Wife) : "Ezo Vlkolinsky " (Village Annals) : Hagar: Elegies and 
Psalms. He has translated Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream 
into Slovak. 



Slovak Popular Melodies 

Bose Menschen haben keine Lieder. 
(I) By Milan Lichard. 

THE songs of the Slovaks are scarcely known beyond 
the boundaries of their narrow home. In recent 
times intimate relations with our Czech kinsmen have done 
something to atone for this neglect ; for more than one dis- 
tinguished Czech musician has turned his attention to the 
Slovak folksong, and by imparting an artistic form to the 
existing raw material has made our popular melodies acces-s 
sible to a wider public. Apart from the work of a few native 
Slovak musicians, something like a dozen books have appearec 
in Bohemia, dealing with Slovak popular songs and melodies 
Unfortunately all these works treat only of a small portioi 
of these songs, and indeed from a musical point of view the 
least characteristic portion, so that it is stiU by no means 
easy to obtain a clear conception of the true nature of the 
Slovak song. For with few exceptions they have passee 
over those songs which are composed in the ancient mediaeva 
Church modes, and which are still to-day a living traditioi 
among the people ; or if the peculiar songs are referred to 
no stress is laid on their modes, and no real idea is given oi 
the beauty and simplicity of these venerable melodies. For 
this very reason I propose to discuss our songs from this 
point of view ; for it seems to me that the living folksong must 
be taken just as it is found, no matter whether modern music 
has long ago rejected these old scales. Only the conservatisi 
of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches has saved them froi 
extinction ; and it is our duty to retain them in our popuh 
songs and to rescue what has not perished. 

A collection of Slovak folksongs has been published in" 
Tur6cz Szent Mdrton (TurSiansky Svaty Martin) und-er 



the title Slovenske Spevy. Two thousand melodies have 
already appeared, and yet the collection is far from complete — 
indeed the most interesting districts have not yet been 
thoroughly explored. None the less what has already been 
published gives a sufficiently clear idea of the nature of the 
Slovak song. Slovak songs are, without exception, com- 
posed of strophes reaching up to ten bars, and triple time (3-4) 
is unknown. This and the fact that every note has a syllable 
for itself are such essential features of the Slovak song, that 
those melodies which are composed in triple time or allow 
several notes to one syllable, can be at once dismissed as of 
foreign origin. Nor do we find iambic forms (■—. — ), which can 
only be expressed in music by means of an Auftakt. The 
occasional occurrence of the 6-8 time is probably due to an 
irregular, almost spasmodic attempt to reproduce the rhythm 
of the dactyl ; for the common people, as was only to be 
expected, does not strictly observe time when it sings, but 
follows its own inner feelings. The attentive listener will 
often trace this rhythm, but it is alien to the true nature of 
the song. 

What may be called the undisciplined nature of the 
folksong leads to far more serious abuses, when we try to 
commit to paper the song as it is sung by the peasantry. For 
an endless number of these songs are based on ancient modes, 
a musical ear will not allow the intervals to be modified, 
and we hear notes which it is impossible to reproduce in our 
notation. Hence it greatly depends on the musical judgment 
of the editor whether he gives even the approximate value of 
the intervals as sung. Without a close knowledge of the 
ancient modes, the Slovak melodies cannot be correctly 
harmonized, and this doubtless accounts for the inaccurate 
versions of some of the melodies which have been given to the 
world, and which are of course the more marked, the more 
elaborate the setting is. 

Turning to the inner structure of Slovak songs, we begin 
with simple motifs consisting of a few notes, and then go on to 
themes built up on a thoroughly artistic principle — which 
clearly shows that melodies of this kind date from a time when 
these modes were in full favour and that their composers 
must have been really trained musicians. For unless these 
modes had been widely in vogue, it is obvious that the common 
people, who had no knowledge of musical rules, could never 
have composed such melodies. * 



In these songs the motif is treated in various ways. The 
first half of the tune often consists of two strains (a) and 
(b), of which (a) states a motif, (b) either varies or transposes 
it so as to end on a half-close. Sometimes the resemblance 
between (6) and {a) is in rhythm alone ; in a few cases they 
are entirely different. When the second half leads to a full- 
close it not infrequently completes the stanza in cross-metre — 
its first strain balancing the second of the earlier half, its second 
strain balancing the first. At any rate, there is, in almost 
every case, a rhythmical symmetry between the two halves 
of the tune, and the few exceptions which occur seem to be 
due less to dehberate structure than to faulty transmission. 

The Slovak folksong shows greater variety of rhythm and 
of internal structure than its Magyar fellow ; the latter is for 
the most part limited to a single foot {-^C-), which occurs, 
it is true, in Slovak songs also, but must in their case be ascribed 
to Magyar influences (Ex. IV.). This rhythm has also unques- 
tionably been affected by gipsy music, which in Hungary gen- 
erally supplies the lack of instrumental music, and appropriates 
the melodies which it hears, only to transform them according 
to its own taste. Cases of the contrary are also not altogether 
unknown, the Slovaks adopting some Magyar air which appeals 
to them, and even adding a version of the original words. 
At the present day these mutual influences have already 
grown so strong that in many cases we are no longer able 
to assert with accuracy the origin of some particular song.j 
This is to be regretted, if only because the pure form of the'' 
Slovak song suffers in the process, and the gipsies, those 
musicians of nature, show none too great respect for the 
melody. Those time-honoured melodies which date from thej 
Reformation period, have been the chief sufferers, and traces 
of such influences are to be found on almost every page oi 
the Turocz collection (Ex. V.). Modern intervals have beeni 
smuggled into the ancient scales, disagreeable harmonies have] 
been added, wrong time has been introduced, and so on ; soj 
that the whole is little better than a faint echo of what itj 
should be. Those who would hear the Slovak song in its 
primitive purity, must go among the peasantry of the 
mountains, where gipsy music has never spread its infection,^ 
and where the original airs are to be heard unspoiled. The] 
will never hear them in the towns, and least of all from gipsj 
bands ! 

These old scales are a special characteristic of the Sloval 


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song, which distinguishes it so widely from its Czech neighbour ; 
for they have already disappeared from the Czech folksongs, 
and only a few traces are to be found on the linguistic frontier. 
This loss is certainly to be regretted from a historical point 
of view, even by those who do not admit that the musical 
world is the poorer for it. The German folksong also knows 
them no longer ; and yet Johann Sebastian Bach was an incom- 
parable master in their treatment, and to him alone it is due 
that certain Lutheran hymns in these modes have survived 
to the present day in his settings, and quite apart from their 
immediate Church purpose, provide us with a rich source of 

The peculiar rhythm and the antique scales impart to the 
Slovak song a special national character of its own, and when 
full justice is done to these features, we hear something which 
to the modern musical ear may possibly sound strange and 
unusual, but which is in any case genuinely Slovak (Ex. VI. a — f). 
This peculiar charm is produced by the different position of 
the semitones in the old scales, with the result that effects 
of sound are produced such as are unattainable by the diatonic 
scale. We must not, however, suppose that all the intervals 
which are rendered necessary by the position of the semitones, 
have been preserved unaltered ; on the contrary, we firid 
varied chromatic changes both up and down the scale, and are 
faced by the hitherto unexplained fact that these intervals 
are better preserved when going down the scale than up. 

Since our songs do not always begin and end with the key- 
note, it is naturally by no means easy, in the case of these 
ancient but corrupted melodies — especially when an error in 
transcription occurs — to recognize the keynote or scale as the 
case may be (Ex. VII.). The surest way to do this is to 
construct the scale out of the intervals in descending — a 
task in which any one can succeed with a little practice. When 
the scale has thus been constructed, it is easy enough to decide 
which intervals have been tampered with, and we shall find : — 

(ist) that the minor sevenths have been chromatically 
raised, in order to preserve the leading tone (seventh of the 

(2nd) that in ascending the scale the augmented fourth of 
the Lydian mode is changed into a perfect fourth. 

(3rd) that in the Dorian scale, the major sixth, being in 
conflict with the weak character of the minor third, changes 
into a minor sixth. * 



(4th) that wherever even a passing modulation gives to an 
interval the character of the new keynote, the preceding whole- 
tone is chromatically raised. 

All this not with infallible certainty, but in the majority 
of cases. The causes were, on the one hand, melodic con- 
siderations '(scarcely singable progressions), and on the other, 
harmonic considerations arising from the implied harmony. In 
the actual harmonic treatment this last reason becomes still more 
cogent, and divergences of this sort are always to be regarded 
as justifiable, even if the character of the old mode is affected 
by them. 

Arbitrary mutilations, which are for the most part due to 
ignorance of these modes, fall under quite a different category, 
and can easily be corrected on the lines which we have indi- 
cated above ; indeed it is our duty to correct them, even if the 
common people have adopted these wrong intervals (Ex, IX.). 
The gipsies have done a great deal of damage by introducing 
the " Magyar Scale." This scale, which has been fixed by 
Francis Liszt, is really a harmonic minor scale, with raised 
fourth and seventh, so that an exaggerated interval (i| tones) 
follows the third and sixth. The earliest notations of Slovak 
songs, which it is true do not date back very far, do not show 
this mutilation, which must therefore date from quite recent 
times ; the people has been attracted by them, owing to the 
intensely melancholy effect which they produce and hence 
they have found a place in our collections. But they deserve 
to be ejected without mercy, since they give a foreign tinge 
to our vigorous Slovak songs. 

The part-song, still universal among the Russian peasantry, 
has almost disappeared from our midst (Ex. X.). Only 
in the extreme north-west