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tioned. This is done, not by a citizen of the country, native or adopted, but by a stranger, driven from his own nation by inability to defend it, in a conflict produced by his own rashness, received in the United States with the characteristic hospitality of the people, and seeking to abuse their kindness, by making them a tool for working out a scheme of distant revolution, utterly absurd and impracticable, at variance with the settled policy of our country, and destructive to its interests.
This proceeding, on the part of M. Kossuth, affords the strongest evidence that he is not the man for the crisis which his inflammatory eloquence has created, and does not possess the character or qualifications necessary to the difficult achievements of redeeming or establishing the fortunes of a nation. When this is to be done, something more than specious oratory and petulant impulses are required. The vivacious vanity of M. Kossuth is foreign and adverse to the character which is fitted to control the destinies of states. His cloquence, if it equalled that of the Athenian or Roman orator, will continue to be as impotent as theirs to protect or defend the liberties of a people. Such an opinion of the distinguished Hungarian leader may have been premature three years ago, before events had tested his capacity for the difficult work of constituting a state, or determined whether, with the powers of an accomplished rhetorician, he combined the heroic qualities which alone are sufficient for the task. But time has decided the question. The pilot quailed, when the storm was at its height. If he had perished at the head of his last squadrons, his heroism would be unquestioned, whatever we might even then think of his judgment and capacity for the work he undertook to perform. But he abandoned his post. He threw the government of Hungary, by an unauthorized act, into the hands of a traitor, who immediately betrayed his country. He fled from the field ignobly, when he yet commanded an army of one hundred and thirty thousand men, and still held the strongest fortresses of Hungary. That all this may admit of explanations, consistently with the honesty and well-meaning of M. Kossuth, we are willing to admit; but his conduct is irreconcilal with the stern will, the indomitable courage, the fertility of expedients and resources, essential to the man NEW SERIES, VOL. VI.--No. 11.
who assumes the place he occupied. He is not the champion to vindicate a nation's liberties and rights. He may boast, or lament, the “relicta non bene parmula,” in words as attractive as those of the Roman poet; but he is not made of the same stuff with those more sturdy champions of the ancient republics, who, whether they came home with their shields or on them, never recoiled from the most unequal conflict.
Neither, in our estimation, is it quite consistent with what Carlyle would consider essential to the heroic character, nor altogether compatible with the most delicate sense of honour or propriety, to pursue the course followed by M. Kossuth, since his release from Turkey, and, more especially, since his arrival in the United States. On board the American frigate, he was arrogant and overbearing. In the port of Marseilles, he was ready to fraternize with the disorganizers, whose only hope and object seem to be the overturning of established order or government. In the States, his vanity has so completely closed the eyes of his judgment, as to make him incapable of seeing that, amid all the huzzas, harangues and resolutions, made or passed, from New-York to St. Loris, he is merely a temporary plaything to party demagezues, a subject for stump oratory, a pawn on the political chess-board. Let it distinctly appear that M. Kossuth could, in no shape or form, be made available in securing party triumphs and party spoils, or let it once be seen that the play has become distasteful to the sovereign people, as it soon will, and neither politician nor dinner orator will be found, to do honour, for one moment, to the illustrious Magyar. He will be able to pass from the Dan to the Beersheba of the United States, unhonoured by committee or mob, and have ample reason for crying out that all is barren. He will very soon see that he has been a mere contributor to the love of excitement, which is becoming the bane of our people—a sort of political Jenny Lind, in the hands of the puppet players. He has fallen into clumsy hands too. He would have done vastly better, if he had placed himself and suite under the charge and management of Mr. Barnum. M. Kossuth would have been worth two Jenny Linds and a dozen mermaids, to that illustrious exhibitor and getter-up of foreign curiosities. They who really have a just respect
for Hungarian courage and spirit, and for M. Kossuth, as a distinguished orator and advocate of the liberties of his country, are, for the most part, the persons who have not followed in his train, or thrown up their caps at his arrival, or violated sense and decorum, in absurd speeches and ridiculous toasts. The demonstrations that have been made, in grotesque profusion, do not, in a single instance, spring from any other source but political craft and selfseeking vanity.
But if this display of puerile egotism, on the part of M. Kossuth, is undignified and ridiculous, it is, nevertheless, the least objectionable of his proceedings. What shall we say of his systematic attempts to obtain money by what may justly be called false pretences? If a small rogue were to pursue the same object, in a similar mode, he would subject himself to the good offices of the constable and the penitentiary. If some such ingenious and unfortunate gentleman, as a certain benevolent bookseller would call him, were to obtain material aid from dry goods merchant or grocer, by falsely representing himself as having a certain influence or control over salt or silver mines, or by assuring his credulous friends in trade that some rich relative or moneyed agent would pay his bills, notes or bonds for merchandize, the next day, or the next year, it does seem to us that the transaction would savour very strongly of what is vulgarly called swindling. But wherein does this supposed mode of procuring material aid differ from that which consists in taking the money of simple people, on the promise that, some time or other, the bonds they receive shall be paid, out of the proceeds of the Hungarian salt mines, or any other Hungarian funds ? M. Kossuth has no authority or right whatever to contract loans for the Hungarian people, even supposing them to be a people. He has no right to speak or act for Hungary. He has no reason for believing that, if, by any miraculous event, she should become an independent nation, she would ever recognize his promises to pay, or his authority to make them. Even his former compatriots censure and repudiate him. He no longer commands their confidence, and it is doubtful, to say the least of it, whether, if M. Kossuth were permitted to return to his country to-morrow, and find it restored to its former con
dition, he could any longer control or influence her counsels. He has outlived his popularity at home. His pretensions to be Governor of Hungary are ridiculous. Не appears to think, with our militia officers, that to be once a captain is to be always a captain. If, on the other hand, M. Kossuth has issued bonds on his own responsibility only, he must know that he has no prospect, not the most remote, to pay them. They are as worthless as forged notes, and not more creditable; and he has been engaged in the very ingenious, but not very honourable employment, of getting money for nothing-of pocketing cash for promises that can never be performed-of taking specie or material aid for Hungary, that Hungary has never authorized him to receive, and for which, most certainly, she will never pay. All this is, without doubt, vastly more easy and pleasant than earning a living, like General Ujhazy, by the sweat of his brow, and exacting material aid from the American soil; but it may be doubted whether it is quite as much in accordance with honour or self-respect. If one of the simpletons, who have given their money for Hungarian or Kossuth bonds, should take it into his head to complain before a magistrate that he had been beguiled out of his funds by false pretences, we do not perceive what other defence could be set up for the illustrious Magyar, except the plea, that the fraud is so evident it ought to deceive no one but an idiot, and that it should be regarded rather as a farce than a cheat.
It is this political pedlar of unsound wares who is traversing the United States, for the purpose of persuading the American people to abandon their confidence in the advice and principles of General Washington. They must no longer honour the pure and simple dignity of our illustrious countryman, and take his sound wisdom and solid judgment as their guide. They must learn to admire the little popular artifices of the Hungarian orator, the trickeries with which he tickles the vanity of the mob, his compliments to the eloquence of his audience, his eulogies on their patriotism, at the expense of their government, his boasted coincidence of birth with that of a great Western State, and all the other cajoleries with which he befools the multitude of great and little people who so eagerly surround him. Is this the impersonation of the
heroism of Hungary? We must say, that the knight of La Mancha, with all his hallucinations, comes vastly nearer to the true standard of courage, magnanimity and honour. To compare the Magyar politician errant with General Washington, would be to insult the memory of the dead and the common sense of the living.
But suppose that we all become converts to the new doctrine of M. Kossutb, and are zealous to adopt his creed—what is it? What is the solidarity of the peoples? It is certainly not English, but has it any meaning in any language? Is it anything more than a form of conjuration, for commanding the pockets of the people and obtaining material aid ? Does it mean a consolidation of all the peoples of the civilized world? We are not prepared for that, even within our own States. Is it a confederacy of all the peoples, for one particular purpose ? The thing is impossible. Is it to be merely an understanding, or secret agreement, that the peoples are to aid and abet each other in every effort for overturning established governments and asserting their freedom? In what possible mode could this be accomplished? Who is to determine on the fitness of the occasion, or the nature of the aid to be rendered, or the mode of giving it, without the co-operation, consent or knowledge of the governments to which the people are subject? But suppose all this possible, what is the nature of the freedom to be vindicated by these united efforts ? Is it to include religious, as well as civil and political liberty? If so, where are we to begin? The catholic, in Ireland, claims protection from the peoples against protestant domination. The protestant, in Rome or Spain, has his head broke by the catholic zealot, if he does not take off his hat in reverential respect, for what he has no reverence for at all. How shall protestant peoples proceed, in the case of Ireland ? and how shall catholic peoples act, in that of Rome or Spain? Will not either case sorely puzzle the solidarity of the peoples, and require the especial aid of M. Kossuth's ingenuity? If he were constituted the general agent and director of the peoples, we may readily conjecture one part of his proceedings, but nothing more. He would be diligent, in all cases, to collect material aid ; but what farther he would do is an insoluble problem, or one to be solved by time alone. We shall be able to