The series of articles on the “Resurrection of Hungary” originally appeared in “The United Irishman” during the first six months of the present year . The object of the writer was to point out to his compatriots that the alternative of armed resistance to the foreign government of this country is not acquiescence in usurpation, tyranny, and fraud.
A century ago in Hungary a poet startled his countrymen by shouting in their ears: “Turn your eyes from Vienna or you perish.” The voice of Josef Karman disturbed the nation, but the nation did not apprehend. Vienna remained its political centre until, years later, the convincing tongue of Louis Kossuth cried up and down the land: “Only on the soil of a nation can a nation’s salvation be worked out.”
Through a generation of strife and sorrow the people of Hungary held by Kossuth’s dictum and triumphed gloriously. The despised, oppressed, and forgotten province of Austria is to-day the free, prosperous, and renowned Kingdom of Hungary.
Sixty years ago, and more, Ireland was Hungary’s exemplar. Ireland’s heroic and long-enduring resistances to the destruction of her independent nationality were themes the writers of Young Hungary dwelt upon to enkindle and make resolute the Magyar people. The poet precursors of Free Hungary – Bacsanyi and Vorosmarty – drank in Celtic inspiration, and the journalists of Young Hungary taught their people that Ireland had baffled a tyranny as great as that which threatened death to Hungary. Times have changed, and Hungary is now Ireland’s exemplar.
It is in the memory of men still living when Hungary had not five journals in which a word of the Hungarian language was permitted to appear, when she had no modern literature save a few patriotic songs; when she had no manufactures of moment, and no commerce, save with her enemy, Austria; when she was cursed with an atrocious land-system and ruled by foreign bureaucrats; when her whole revenue did not reach £6,000,000 yearly, and her finances were robbed to perpetuate her oppression.
To-day the revenue of Hungary is £42,000,000 – 800 newspapers and journals are printed in the Hungarian language. She possesses a great modern literature, an equitable land-system, a world-embracing commerce, a thriving and multiplying people, and a National Government. Hungary is a Nation.
She has become so because she turned her back on Vienna. Sixty years ago Hungary realised that the political centre of the nation must be within the nation. When Ireland realises this obvious truth and turns her back on London the parallel may be completed. It failed only when, two generations back, Hungary took the road of principle and Ireland the path of compromise and expediency.