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unveil the undermining progress of that Power) which enables her silently to dissolve the Austrian monarchy whenever she desires. What, for example, is easier than to promise to the serfs of the Banat, in place of the system of centralization which they so much detest, a union with the serfs of the Principality, and to the Wallachs of Transylvania a union with those of Wallachia? the double purpose would thus be effected of the dismemberment of reconstructed Austria and of undermined Turkey.
But let us suppose that, without the aid of such manæuvres, Russia occupies the Danube Provinces, or that she finds an opportunity to march upon Constantinople,—where would Austria look for support? Hungary alone has the national interest to prevent the domination of Russia in the East—but will she fight for her oppressors ? will Hungary fight, when robbed of her national existence? why should she, when she will have absolutely nothing to lose? There is no defence possible without patriotism ; but can the Austrian Government octroyer a new patriotism, as it has octroyé a new country to the Hungarians ?
It is therefore clear that, at the present time, there is more than ever need of a Hungary interested by the very preservation of her own national existence in the maintenance of the Austrian Monarchy. But the Cabinet of Vienna is not engaged in consulting the interests of the monarchy, or the peace and balance of power in Europe ; it is actuated solely by the vengeance of ministers and generals humiliated by the reverses they have suffered in Hungary. The consequences of such a policy are already at hand : it cannot be denied that the Italians, a great portion of the Germans, and above all the Sclaves, are at the present moment equally discontented with the Austrian Government as the Hungarians; but with this difference, that whereas Hungary had only her own resources to rely upon, the Sclaves, allied by religion and language, labour in the cause of the Russian propaganda, and will eventually throw themselves into the arms of Russia, in order to separate from Austria.
But the friends of the Austrian Government may say, that the Czar will not support them ; that if he had desired the dismemberment of Austria, he had only to leave the accomplishment of this to the Hungarians. We answer, that the cases are widely different: if the dismemberment of Austria by the Hungarians was not for the interest of the Czar, the same object effected by the Sclaves might very well be so : the establishment of a Sclavish federation, under the direct or indirect protectorate of Russia,-an obedient auxiliary in all her projects on the East, on Germany, and perhaps on France, and, above all, less exposed
than Greece to the disagreeable surprises of the English fleet,might well suit the views of that Power.
But if the evils which lie in the future may be questioned, those which already exist cannot be disputed. Has not Austria already ceased to be a bulwark, a guarantee, of the balance of power in Europe? Is she not rather proved to have become a mere instrument of the Czar, by the very fact that he is able to deal such a dangerous blow? With this sword of Damocles suspended over her head, can she in any one instance act contrary to, or even independently of, Russia ?
Such is the present condition of victorious Austria, and this state of things is mainly attributable to the acts of the Austrian Government; for if, previously to March 1848, the position of that monarchy had already difficulties to encounter, it is certain that the present state of Austria, the dependence which this incorporation of Hungary will eventually render absolute, must be attributed principally to the mischievous attempt at centralization of which the war in Hungary was the first, but not the last, and perhaps not the most sanguinary, result.
The contre-coup of the February Revolution was manifested at Vienna in a movement of nationalities: the different countries of the Empire demanded a national and constitutional existence. The German Provinces and Vienna raised the standard of the German Union, the Sclaves hoisted the tricolor, the Hungarians their national banner. To judge how universal and irresistible was this movement, it suffices to observe that the Court itself was actually obliged to replace its ancient colours with the German tricolor; and that the Emperor, surrounded by his family, was seen one day on the balcony of his palace, waving with his own hand a German standard, amidst the huzzas of an immense multitude.
But if it was easy to see the danger, it was not less so to perceive the remedy; never were nations so different better disposed, or more capable of being formed into a firm and durable federation.
Whatever those may say who only judge by the result, there was at the period of which we are speaking no one nationality, except the Italian, who had entertained the slightest intention or desire to separate from the rest. But among all the constituent portions of the Empire of Austria, the nation the furthest removed from any such a thought was certainly Hungary. This assertion may appear astonishing to those who have only a superficial knowledge of the events of 1848, nevertheless nothing is more true and more natural. Hungary having obtained, by the laws of 1848, the guarantees which she deemed
necessary to secure her national existence, threatened by the proximity of Russia, and beset with dangers from the hostile position of the Sclaves, had no imaginable reason to incur the risks of an isolated existence. At the period in question, the idea of separation had not arisen-at least, it had acquired the support of no party; it was the Austrian Government which subsequently first gave to it a party, and afterwards an entire country. It was the Ban Jellachich, with his armed Don Quixotte-iade, who, first drawing the sword in the cause of separation, gave to it a party; it was the reply of Prince Windischgrätz, that he did not treat with rebels, and above all the March Constitution, which raised in this cause an entire nation, demanding simply guarantees for its constitutional existence.
But the principal accusation brought against Hungary is that of having taken advantage of the weakness of the Austrian Government, to extort the laws demanded and obtained in the days following the Vienna Revolution, and of having thereby, and especially by the demand of an independent ministry, sought to accomplish its separation from Austria.
It is true that the Austrian Government was beset with difficulties at the period alluded to; but have not all those nations which enjoy constitutional rights obtained them at similar moments ?' When sovereigns have powerful armies at their command, and are free from embarrassment, they have no predilection for granting rights; in saying which we are far from wishing to attack the principle of royalty, for it is in the nature of the executive power to seek to extend rather than to diminish its rights. Hungary cannot then be reproached for having taken advantage of the only moment when she could obtain without revolution or bloodshed such guarantees as had become necessary to her constitutional existence.
When in 1809 Napoleon, entering Vienna as a conqueror, proposed to the Hungarians to form an independent kingdom, under a king of their own choice, the Hungarians, notwithstanding the continual violation of their rights, of which they had more than ever
complain since the time of Maria Theresa, declined this offer, but at the same time made no use of these advances, which they might easily have turned to their advantage. And what were the results? The parliament, which during the danger was convoked, in conformity with the law, every three years, from 1802 to 1812, was not again summoned for twenty-five years; and, still further, in 1823 an attempt was made to destroy the Constitution by force. After such lessons, then, Hungary cannot be reproached for having chosen a propitious moment to demand the guarantees which she believed necessary; nor can she be charged with having taken unjust advantage of the position of the Court, unless it be first proved that her demands were neither founded upon right, nor offered a necessary guarantee to her national existence, but were instigated solely by the desire of accomplishing a separation of Hungary.
With respect to the historical right of demanding an independent government, we shall not seek to prove this by the ancient laws of the country, which place it beyond a doubt;
it is sufficient to show that Hungary had never ceased to enjoy that right both de jure and de facto—simply with more or less restriction.
Previous to 1848, Hungary had her legislative chambers, which, independent of every other power, interpreted, abrogated, and enacted new laws, obligatory on the kingdom and the king of Hungary, from the moment when, as in every constitutional country, they had received the royal assent. The kingdom of Hungary had therefore a complete legislative independence.
The civil administration was organized in the following manner :-All the magistrates, up to the rank of sub-lieutenant (Foispán Obergespan), were elected by the fifty-two counties into which the kingdom was divided : the control and chief direction of the departmental and municipal administration were exercised by the supreme Council of the civil administration (Statthalterei-Rath, Helytartótanács), which, constituted in fact the ministry of the interior. The executive power, represented in the counties by the lord-lieutenant, appointed by the king, was centred, together with the supreme direction of the whole civil and judicial administration, in the hands of the Royal Chancery of Hungary; and its head, the grand chancellor of the kingdom of Hungary, residing at Vienna, near the person of the king, was the supreme councillor and head of the Government. That he was second in authority, legally at least, to no one except the king, is proved by the fact, that no decree, ordinance, or royal nomination issued with relation to Hungary, was ever signed by any other person than the chancellor. If, then, previous to 1848, the civil administration of Hungary was not altogether independent, being subjected to the unseen influence of the Austrian ministers, it has never ceased to be separate de facto and independent de jure.
Whilst the charges of administration throughout the rest of the monarchy were defrayed from the common treasury, Hungary herself furnished the expenses of her administration and the costs of the army by taxes, which were voted by the parliament: and whilst all the rest of the monarchy was considered responsible for the debt contracted by the Austrian Government, no one previous to 1848 ever suggested that Hungary participated in this debt. The crown lands and the financial department were administered by a separate office (the Hungarische Hofkammer), established at Buda. Even the coinage of Hungary differed from that of the rest of the monarchy. If, therefore, Hungary, previous to 1848, had not an administration of finance entirely regulated and independent, it had an administration of finance separate de facto and independent de jure.
The administration of justice, the civil and criminal code, the tribunals of every kind, were completely independent and separate. We see, therefore, that in almost all its functions the Government of the kingdom of Hungary was nearly independent previous to 1848, and that the demands which the Hungarians made and obtained by the laws of that year were merely changes rendered necessary by the change of circumstances.
Before the year 1848, the constitutional life of Hungary had reached that point at which, opposed to and counteracting the ambitious projects of a Government exercising an absolute sway over the other provinces, it must necessarily have either been abolished or guaranteed by the responsibility of the ministers. The collegial government of the council of state, irresponsible in its nature, and the royal chancery, chosen without regard to the majority of the legislative chambers, could no longer continue, and were obliged to give place to a government more conformable to the increasingly developed spirit of the constitution. But if a modification of the Collegial Government was urgently required even before the revolution of Vienna, the consequences of that event rendered this absolutely imperative. After the promise of a responsible ministry had been obtained, Hungary had only one of three courses to follow :-to renounce her national freedom and independence, which she had enjoyed for ten centuries, and quietly to submit to her incorporation into a state which was yet to be created, in order to share in the promised control over the government; secondly, to separate from Austria, by declaring her complete independence; or, if disinclined to follow either of these courses, to acquire guarantees, protected by which she would have no interest in separating from Austria, nor any danger of losing her national existence.
As soon, therefore, as the responsibility of the ministry was promised to the provinces of Austria, Hungary must either have remained the only country devoid of influence upon the government, or have renounced her national and independent existence, in order to participate in the control promised to the