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Races and Outlaus.
• The Tartar seized her without a moment's hesitation, and, unheedful of her shrieks, swung himself upon his saddle, and spurred away, carrying off his lovely booty.
* All this was but an instant's work ; the nobleman was thunderstruck, yet he recovered, and hastened to the gate. He could hardly still distinguish the Tartar galloping in the distance, and bearing away the lady fair.
· Her consort heaved a sigh, and exclaimed with deep commiseration : “ Alas! poor Tartar!”
Madame Pulszky concludes her portion of these volumes with a very lively and instructive account of the Outlaws,'or, as they are often denominated, the · Poor Lads of Hungary. The robber is a personage who appears in almost every Hungarian tale. The traveller seldom sees him; but he hears of him at every post-house; for the inn-keepers are always well provided with tales of highwaymen, to detain their customers at night or to induce them to take an escort in the day-time.
The Austrian conscription, combined with the reluctance of the • peasant to pass the best years of his life in the garrisons of
Italy, Galicia, or the German provinces, materially contributes to recruit these roving bands. Deserters, unjust serving men,
, and fugitives from the police, betake themselves to the woods and marshes, and enjoy a precarious freedom at the expense of the farmers and the manorial aristocracy. There is, however, considerable difference between the races, both in their sense of *meum and tuum,' and as regards the kind and the degree of the offences which they commit. The German colonists in the Saxonland of Transylvania, in the free towns, and the northern county of Zipsen, are the most rigid respecters of property. Murder and arson are seldom heard of among them, and it is gratifying to learn that they are the best educated and most frugal of the
nationalities. The Jews are the accredited receivers of stolen goods, as well as the chief harbourers of thieves; for which offices they are especially fitted by their avocations as publicans and wandering pedlars. But the most active and subtle of thieves is the Gipsy. He is, indeed, a practical Communist, and has inherited from his earliest ancestors the maxim which he so punctiliously observes, 'La propriété c'est le vol. For crimes of deeper die,- murder, arson, and robbery with violence, — the swarthy Slovaks of the South are in bad odour ; and the Wallack rivals even the Corsican in the shrewdness, the patience, and the energy with which he accomplishes his
The Hungarian occupies a midway station in the statistics of crime. He is rarely a sneaking thief, and as rarely a burglar
or a deliberate assassin. On the other hand, he is addicted to arson, and frequently commits manslaughter in the frays of the tavern. But his absorbing passion is horse-stealing. His nomadic blood is stirred irresistibly at the sight of a handsome horse or a stately bull. The following anecdote strikingly illustrates the propensity of the Hungarians to cattle-lifting. Indeed, Willie of Westburnflat and the heroes of Teviotdale would have found themselves quite at home in the Hungarian borderland.
* About twenty years ago, Mr. Borbély, a wealthy man, was noted in the country for his eccentricities. He was fond of meddling in the county elections, and once rode from the county of Szabolos, with two hundred peasant-nobles, to an election in the county of Beregh, where his companions had the right of suffrage. Arrived at the frontiers of the county, on the borders of Tisza, he stopped, and said:
My noble brethren! we are proceeding to a constitutional solemnity in Beregh: we are to exercise there the greatest privilege of nobility, the right to elect a representative for the diet, and we must be mindful to behave in a manner becoming our station. We shall there see many horses, many oxen; handsome oxen. Let, therefore, every one of us well consult his conscience, and closely examine whether he is able to resist temptation : it is yet time. Whoever does not feel himself strong enough to subdue every inclination to weakness, may step forth and return. We stand now on the boundary, but as soon as we have crossed the Tisza, we are in the neighbouring county; and it would be a cruel shame if fewer of us were to return than have set out, and if several of our number should remain behind in the county-house, not upstairs in the great county. hall as guests, but below in the gaol, shut up as thieves. Consider, noble brethren *, and decide."
It was a picturesque sight. Borbély in red attire, cut in the peasant's fashion, with the drawn sword in his hand, rode on a roan horse: a white feather flowed on his broadly rimmed black felt hat. Around him were assembled two hundred peasants of Szabolos, all adorned with similar white feathers, their party sign : and in their rear halted forty cars, from which they had descended to approach their leader, and listen to his discourse. When he had ended, they thunderingly cheered him; but two of them left the ranks, and declared they doubted whether they could resist temptation, and therefore preferred to return. Borbé’ly loudly praised their conscientiousness, gave each of them ten shillings for his journey back, and led his other virtuous heroes over the Tisza. His speech had
* The peasant-nobles (freeholders) are always addressed by the higher classes of nobility with the words 'noble brethren.' One feature in common with many others, between the Magyars and the Roman burghers, who accosted one another as 'celsi Ramnes.'
The Hungarian Exiles.
the wished-for results, and his noble brethren decided the election without getting into any collision with the county justice of Beregh.'
We must now conclude our notice of these very interesting volumes. We have confined our remarks to the strictly Hungarian portion of them, and have very probably passed over some stories which may seem to our readers more attractive even than those we have cited or analysed. For this cause we have omitted the German tale of the Free Shot - a distant cousin of our well-known acquaintance Der Freischütz;' the Slovak story of the Golden Cross of Körösfő,' which is a variety of an Arabian fable, The Buried Palace;' The Jewish tales, which are incorporated in the Talmud; and Pan Twardowsky,' which, in an abbreviated form, had already found its way into England and been illustrated by George Cruikshank. Our limits, on the other hand, have compelled us to abstain from abridging the beautiful story of Klingsohr of Hungary,' and the indigenous tale of Monastir, a Magyar version of the classical legend of the Spear of Achilles, which at once caused wounds and cured them. The same reason has withheld us entirely from touching upon Mr. Pulszky's Jacobins in Hungary, which, however, its intrinsic merits will sufficiently commend to the reader.
Had these volumes been the result of lettered ease, or the harvest of studious and observant travel, we should have found much to attract us in them. But our interest in their contents is much enhanced by the circumstance of their being the fruits of exile. In the act of composing or collecting these songs of .bome in a strange land,' countless associations and recollections must have thronged upon their gifted authors, and rendered their labours a renewal of sorrows. Scenes which they may never revisit, and friends from whom sounding seas and shores, or inexorable death have divided them for ever, must here have once more passed before them in shadowy succession. The sympathy of a nation, with whom their own countrymen have 50 much in common, we are confident, will not fail them : and while we cordially welcome the present volumes as meet companions to Grimm and Auerbach, we cannot but congratulate ourselves that the English language has been made the receptacle of these gleanings from the • Tales and Traditions of the Magyars.
ART. VI. - 1. Letters to John Bull, Esquire, on Affairs con
nected with his Landed Property, and the Persons who live thereon. By Sir EDWARD BULWER LYTTON, Bart. Eighth
edition. 2. A Letter to His Grace the Duke of Bedford, on the Prospects
of Agriculture. By W. W. WHITMORE, Esquire. L ORD STANLEY has told us, what many of his party have
repeated, in language too plain to be misunderstood, that, although the cause of Protection is hopeless during the continuance of the current Parliament, there may yet be hopes of returning to the House of Commons at the next election, a Protectionist majority numerous enough to reverse the present Free-trade policy; that it will then be practicable to impose, in favour of the British farmer, moderate import duties upon agricultural produce, so as to check the downward tendency of prices, and thus enable tenant farmers to conduct their business with an adequate profit. The actual state of parties, as shown by recent parliamentary divisions, imparts some appearance of probability to this expectation of a change of Ministry, at a no very distant day. And as a dissolution of Parliament would accompany or immediately follow a change of Ministry, many of those who believe in its approach are preparing themselves for the coming combat at the hustings; and are consequently putting forth appeals to such constituencies as are supposed likely to prefer men pledged to increase, by legislative measures, the price of the produce which they raise.
Among these anglers for agricultural votes is to be found one who was once counted on the side of the Free Traders. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton is a gentleman who has undeniable pretensions to take his seat among our legislators. Since he last enjoyed that honour, he has become a considerable landowner, and it is understood to be his present ambition - a very natural one-to represent in Parliament the county in which his property is situated, comprising a constituency whose interests are thought to be bound up with those of the order to which he now belongs. The conversion to their ranks of a man of note, such as Sir Edward Lytton, is an event of some importance to the advocates of Protection, who may fairly expect that it will be followed by further accessions to their numbers. For, it is only reasonable in them to suppose, that he cannot have been gained over to their cause save by cogent reasons; and that many others who may not have before bestowed sufficient independent attention on the controversy, will be led to give to his
M. Guerry's Tables.
conversion a weight which would be denied to the opinions of a meaner advocate. In the absence of any similar apprehension, we did not think it necessary to notice the Sophisms
of Free Trade,' notwithstanding the numerous editions through which that volume passed.
Having most carefully examined the three letters which Sir Edward has lately published on the subject, we confess that we cannot see in them any arguments which have not been again and again disposed of, or which, proceeding from any writer of less account, would have appeared deserving of further refutation. But, for the reasons already given, it seems desirable at this time, and at the risk of being accused of again slaying the slain, to notice and to controvert the facts and reasonings through the aid of which Sir Edward seeks to justify his abandonment of the Free
While gladly bearing witness to the moderation of language with which he has assailed his former opinions, - a spirit not always found in political adversaries, and especially among recent converts,—we must be allowed to express our mortification that, at the outset of his argument, Sir Edward has allowed himself to cast a slur upon the efforts of society to provide more adequate means of education for the masses of our population. in a country squire, bred up to consider fox-hunting as the first of social pursuits, a fear of imparting knowledge to the people, lest they should be above the performance of menial services, would not in the least surprise us; but that an accomplished author, whose successful object it has been for so many years to enlighten the higher classes, should enrol himself among the obscurantists of the lower, does excite in us feelings of very deep regret. Is it possible that Sir Edward can be ignorant, that the facts, which he has derived from the tables of M. Guerry, in favour of the comparative innocence of the illiterate, have been most satisfactorily explained ? and that, when they are considered (as statistical facts should always be considered) in all their circumstances, they prove
ithe very reverse of the conclusion to which by inference he would lead his readers ? M. Guerry has indeed shown that in those de
partments of France, in which the average of education is "highest
, it is found almost invariably, that crimes against both "life and property are the most relatively numerous ;' but Sir Elward has omitted to tell us, that in these same departments, crimes are for the most part committed by persons from whom all instruction has been withheld, - a consequence which seems to lie upon the very surface; since it is precisely in well educated communities that the ignorant would find themselves at the