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An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution - Chapter XII

CHAPTER XII.

December 8th.

My way took me through the garden of the old Polytechnic. The place was black with people. In the great hall of the ' Stork's Fort ' Széklers and Transylvanian Hungarians were gathered together. The streets poured forth their masses : the crush up there must have been awful. I stopped against the railings and looked at the passers-by, excited officers, Székler soldiers, sad, care-worn people—homeless, every one of them. All their faces were of the Hungarian type. These are the people of whom the radical press of Budapest writes that they ought to be expelled, because there is a scarcity of lodgings !

Would these papers dare to write such a thing of, say, Englishmen, Frenchmen or Italians ? Can it be imagined that we should expel from their own capital these unfortunate people, while foreign refugees, who could have returned home long ago, have filled the houses ? In the first year of the war caravans of Galician Jews clad in gabardines fled before the Russian invasion. They were Austrian citizens, but the Hungarian capital received them nevertheless. They stayed on and have enriched themselves. And now, when homeless Hungarians are coming back, the Budapest press of the Hungarian Government shows them the door.

A big crowd of men came towards the garden, good looking, shabbily dressed gentlemen, who might have been officials who had refused to take the oath of allegiance to the invading Roumanians or Czechs. They reminded me of a declaration of the socialist Minister for Public Welfare, Kunfi : " As we are going to be a smaller country, we shall not be able to support the many officials of old Hungary. These will have to seek their living in America. " We have come to this ! The radical press of the immigrants advocates the expulsion of the Hungarian refugees, and the Minister of Public Welfare advises the native Hungarian intellectuals to emigrate !

So there is no more room for us in our own country ?

It is a wicked, devilish game. Words are used as keys to open the dark underground passages which undermine our country. The War Minister of Károlyi's Government says to the Hungarian army " I never want to see a soldier again. " The Minister for Nationalities ruins our fellow nationals and hands them over to the yoke of foreigners. The Minister of Finance says : " I don't want to see a rich man; I shall impose such taxes in Hungary as the history of the world has never known. " The Prime Minister declares that whoever invades Hungary, we shall appeal to the judgment of the civilised world, but we won't draw sword against the invader.

Just then some Transylvanian undergraduates dragged a little cart into the middle of the garden. A Transylvanian soldier was standing on it and he shouted out what had been discussed up in the hall.

" We will rise to arms. We swear it by our freedom, fifteen hundred years old ! "

An officer swore in the name of the Székler commando : " Our bodies and our souls for the Széklers' Independence. "

" We have had enough war ! " shouted a Budapest pacificist. He was expelled noisily from the place. Angry cries followed him down the stairs, and then a thousand voices shouted the curse : " May God forsake him who does not help the Széklers in their struggle ! "

I raised my head. It seemed to me that at last the town of silently suffering Hungarians had regained her voice, that the Széklers had given it back to her; and the cheers, rising, gigantic, in the garden, spread over the streets like a great, solemn oath.

........

December 9th-11th.

A black tablet has been hung under the glass roof of the railway station upon which the names of towns have been written with chalk : Ruttka, Kassa, Korosmező, Kolozsvár, Arad, Orsova) Szeged-Rókus, Pécs, Esszék. There are no more trains for these from Budapest. Passengers wait in vain. No more trains will come from the capital of Hungary. The nerves are severed, the arteries are cut, life-blood is oozing slowly out of them. Communication has ceased; tracks are covered with snow and the signal lamps are extinguished. Silence reigns in the distant little stations, the silence of a shudder. Who knows what may happen before the connection is renewed ? Foreign rule occupies our towns, it spreads further and further, always nearer to the centre...

And as each day passes, here in the isolated heart of the country everything is getting more and more antagonistic, dividing even those who have the power in their hands. The proposed law of land reform has lit a fire which shows up both extremes. Even in Károlyi's party there is a split. The radicals and socialists go hand in hand, and the Hungarians, notwithstanding their miserable position, are opposed to them.

It is said that the Government is tottering. By means of the Soldiers' and Workers' Council the power of the Socialists is increasing daily and they now claim the portfolios of War and of the Interior for themselves. Two Jews are their candidates. They accuse Batthyány of reaction and attack the Minister of War because he opposes the Soldiers' Council system, desires to diminish the socialist local guards, and recruits peasant guards in the country. They accuse him of supporting royalist movements and of forming officers' corps and emergency detachments.

The Counter-revolutionists !

This word is now beginning to raise its head in determination to break down any patriotic attempt, to stand in the way of every honest endeavour. We have reached the stage when it is counter-revolution to complain of the foreign occupations, to speak of the integrity or defence of the country's territory, or to say : " Let us work that we may not starve. "

The so-called unemployed are more powerful than those who work, and they are many. Their leader is Béla Kún, and they have plenty of money.

Shirking work is one of the best means to-day of earning one's bread and it is powerfully supported by a Government which distributes millions under the name of unemployment doles, while nobody will sweep the streets; snow and dirt grow in piles, and the garbage rots in the doorways.

It happened yesterday that, after infinite pains, I managed to obtain, at a fabulous price, a few sacks of coal. The carter who brought it threw it down in front of the cellar-trap. When I asked him to shovel it in he swore vilely because it was getting dark and he was not disposed to do it. He left it there, in spite of any tip I could offer him. And so, with the help of the little German maid, we had to do it ourselves.

The other day I saw an officer dragging home a cart of firewood. My sister brought potatoes home in a Gladstone bag because nobody would carry them for her at any price. The garbage of the capital has been removed during the last few days by some officials from the town hall; no carter would do the job, and so these officials thought it would not be out of the way to ' earn, ' besides their official pay of ten to twenty crowns a day, an extra one hundred and thirty crowns per diem.

While this sort of thing is going on there is a huge crowd in front of the office which pays out the unemployment dole. Lusty young men and ne'er-do-well domestic servants ' spoon ' in the crowded, disorderly queue. They get fifteen crowns daily, but are not satisfied and demand thirty. The agitators go even further and say persistently : " Everything is yours. " Nothing but hatred or indifference is left now in the minds of the people.

I went to a funeral this afternoon. We buried a young woman, a victim of the epidemic. We couldn't find a cab to take us to the cemetery, so we all walked. The priest was late, as he too was unable to find a cab. The large, cold garden of the dead was getting dark among the black cypresses when the coffin was lowered into the grave. The grave-diggers had waited a long time, and they became impatient and grumbled furiously. We heard coarse words. One of them looked at his watch. " It's too late, " he said, " we'll leave it till to-morrow. " So they stuck their spades into the mound of earth, took their hats and left. Down in the open grave lay the coffin, and the dismayed silence was broken by the fall of little clods of earth upon it. We looked at each other helplessly; nobody dared to speak.

" I won't leave her like this, " said the widower, and taking the spade in his shaking hands he covered with earth the most precious thing that life had given him. The lumps of earth showered noisily down on to the coffin. For a moment we stood overawed, the whole thing seemed so terrible, then we bent down and helped with our naked hands.

And in the dark a heart-breaking sob raised a human protest against all inhumanity...

........

December 12th.

A big red flag appeared in the streets this morning and went slowly towards the Danube under a gray, smoky sky. Street urchins ran beside it; the rabble rushed on like dust before the wind. The people in the street hugged the walls of the houses and again the flag came in sight, approaching unsteadily, followed by soldiers, at whose head an officer rode, with drawn sword. His face struck me as if I had been hit across the eyes by a twig. His ears projected from both sides under the officer's cap, and his lips formed a fleshy arc.

The face of the leader—the face of the people and of the army. The face of the soldiers of our war of liberation in 1848 was the face of Görgei, of Kossuth, of Petőfi. The face of Hungary of the Great War was the sad, resolute face of Stephen Tisza. The face of the October revolution was Michael Károlyi... And the face of this detachment with the red flag was the officer heading it.

Behind him the infantry came in irregular formation, many of the soldiers smoking. Guns rumbled after them; two gunners sat jolting on one of the guns, red ribbons floating from their caps. They were smoking too... The crowd went on. A battery of field artillery followed, and Hussars rode at the end. One trooper signalled to a lady friend of his who was passing, stopped his horse and had a nice, comfortable chat with her from the saddle, then he galloped after the rest.

Somebody said : " The whole garrison is here ! They are going to Buda. " " What for ? " Nobody knew. Meanwhile the red flag was climbing up the hillside towards the royal castle.

The city and the other quarters of the town knew nothing of this procession. Nobody troubled about it. The citizens of Budapest were apathetic and indifferent, and thought no more about it than did the bridge which suffered the procession to cross it. Men continued to live their precarious lives and everything seemed to be the same as yesterday, but in the afternoon came the news that this garrison had caused the downfall of the War Minister ! The Soldiers' Council and Joseph Pogány had ousted Albert Bartha.

It happened in the castle, on St. George's Square. I heard of it from an eye-witness. The infantry stood in a row, with machine-guns and the artillery behind them. And while threats against Bartha were shouted, the malicious face of Joseph Pogány-Schwarz appeared in one of the windows of the building occupied by the Soldiers' Council. The officers on horseback saw him and shouted his name and cheered him. Then the demonstrators cheered Károlyi. Meanwhile a delegation of the garrison's confidential men, led by Dr. Mór, a reserve officer, went up to the Prime Minister and presented him with a paper containing the demands of the garrison.

Károlyi received the delegation in deadly fear.

The soldiery down in the square turned their guns and machine-guns on the War Office... That is how they waited for an answer. As a matter of fact most of the men did not care what happened. It was the confidential men who told them how to come here, and what to demand, and accordingly they came and demanded : " Let Bartha resign and be replaced by a civilian Minister of War who will organise a democratic army. The staff-officers must be dismissed from the War Office, and the proclamation concerning the Soldiers' Council and the Confidential Men, suppressed by Bartha, must be put into execution at once. All the Minister's special officers' detachments are to be disbanded. " Finally they demanded that the officers should in future be elected by the ranks, and that rankers should be qualified to become officers.

In the reception-room of the Prime Minister, Károlyi addressed the deputation, submitted, promised everything and—gave up Bartha.

" I saw with pleasure, " he said, " the many thousands of soldiers, because it has afforded me the evidence of my own eyes that the Hungarian Government is not defenceless, but has a powerful army at its back. "

As a matter of fact, at that moment the powerful army was not standing at his back but opposite him; an army that was good for nothing but to demonstrate in Budapest, and whose heroism was directed against his War Office, upon which its guns were trained.

Then the soldiers marched to the offices of the Soldiers' Council and Pogány addressed them in words full of vainglory :

" This demonstration has shown that there are enough soldiers, and that the troops are in the hands of the confidential men. It has shown, " he shouted in rapture, " that discipline can be maintained, but only when it is the troops themselves who maintain it... "

" Long live Pogány, the Minister of War... " rose the cry under the red flag. And he, red with the effort of shouting, roared the following threats : " We won't allow Budapest's social-democratic army to be disbanded, just because it is social-democratic ! We won't tolerate the formation of independent peasants' detachments ! "

" Long live the socialist army ! Down with the peasants' detachments ! " came the shout back from the square.

This morning something else was lost up there in the castle. Only a desperate effort made by secret organisation can help us now. The army of Hungary has passed entirely into the hands of Pogány-Schwarz, and the soldiers, drunk with joy, are shooting in the streets.

........

December 13th-15th.

The die was cast yesterday in the Castle, and the red flag was hoisted.

It is now impossible to patch up the country's misfortune. It is the Government which has patched itself up. Albert Bartha, the patriotic Hungarian soldier, has left, and so has Batthyány. The socialists had intended the Ministry of the Interior for the communist Eugene Landler, but they did not succeed in that. All the same, the victory of the socialists is complete—they have got the War Office ! For the present Károlyi is temporary Minister of War, but it is obvious that a little Jewish electrician, the social-democrat, William Böhm, stands behind him, though not so long ago he was repairing the typewriters and electric installations of the office.

" Good, you have come at last; just repair my machine ! " the girl-clerks said to him when they saw him in the passages of the War Office. " I am the Minister of War, " Böhm answered proudly, and sat down at Bartha's desk. Already he calls himself Hungary's Minister of War. Károlyi still masks him, but the game is obvious. When Károlyi formed his government on the 1st of November he started with five Jewish Ministers, but as he was afraid of public opinion he confessed to three only : Jászi, Garami and Kunfi, while in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diener-Dénes, and in the Ministry of Finance Paul Szende were hidden behind his own name.

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They advance with frightful rapidity. The powers of destruction are putting into practice with ruthless logic the pronouncement of Kunfi to the National Assembly on the day the republic was proclaimed under the cupola of the House of Parliament : " After the institutions we shall have to change men ; we must put into every place in this country men who are inspired by the spirit of our new revolutionary ideas. "

It is clear now who these are, for the military and civilian administrations are already filled with people who used to work behind the counters of shops or banks, or in editorial offices, and used to mock at the unpractical Hungarian intellectuals who struggled for starvation wages in the public offices. Now they are taking their places, getting sudden rises in their salaries, and pursuing a racial policy such as, alas ! the Hungarian race has never been able to pursue.

" We are wiping out a thousand years, " is their cry, and they find fault with all the old institutions; but so far as they themselves are concerned, no criticism is allowed.

" Do you know, we have now come to this, " a tradesman said to me in his shop, looking round cautiously as he spoke, " that it is counter-revolution to push a Galician Jew by accident in the street. "

Now that we have retired from everything, and Hungary's social life has been swallowed up in the nation's poverty, and mourning, the twin-type of the war-millionaire, the revolution-millionaire, begins to play his part. A new kind of public invades the restaurants, the theatres and the places of amusement : plays, written by its writers, are played to full houses; people in gabardines occupy the stalls, while in the boxes orthodox Jewish women in wigs chatter in Yiddish, and in the interval eat garlic-scented sausages in the beautiful, noble foyer of the Royal Opera, and throw greasy paper bags about.

In the restaurants of the Ritz and Hungaria Hotels a new type of guests eat exclusively with their knives; their mentality is shown by the fact that the other day when a few French officers left a restaurant, they ordered the gipsy band to play the ' Marseillaise,' and rose to their feet. One of the officers turned back and said : " Sale nation... "

Invading conquerors sometimes deprive the conquered of freedom, weapons, and goods; but our conquerors deprive us of our honour as well.

Every day it becomes clearer to me that we shall never be able to repel the devastators pouring in over our frontiers till we have dealt with the devastators in our midst, and have put them back into their place. And—if we all work hand in hand—

Count Stephen Bethlen wants to weld all the patriotic Hungarian parties into one.

We women are already great in numbers. Every day we form new camps in different quarters of the town. I address the women, and tell them that our fortress is a triangle, the three advanced outworks being our country, our faith, and our family. These three outworks are threatened by Jewish socialist-communism. Before the foe can storm the fort we must strengthen the souls of the defenders so that the offensive may collapse. Of all humanity, women will be the heaviest losers if the war is lost and the communists win, for women are to be common property when once the home is broken up, and God and country have been denied.

The testament of Peter the Great is the programme of Panslavism. The communist declaration of Karl Marx, the son of a rabbi, Mordechai by his real name, is the programme of Panjudaism. If it is realised, Hungary perishes, and human culture will follow it into its grave. We who fight on the soil of dismembered, trampled Hungary do not fight for ourselves alone, but for every Christian woman in the world. They know it not, and they stretch forth no hand to help us, but look on while the nations to which they belong ruin us. But the day may still come when we shall be understood.

Those who heard my words followed me, and many of them offered their help, though at that time it was dangerous to make such an offer. I noticed more than once that furtive steps followed me in the streets, stopping when I stopped, and going on when I started again. They accompanied me down dark staircases, and when I looked back from a door I had entered, someone was standing in the dark and watching.

The Government knows about us, the police are watching us, but in vain; the idea goes on and spreads. Whenever I express it people recognise it as their own. It cannot be stopped now.

........

December 16th.

Once upon a time... Or was it not so long ago ? Was it on a winter evening in my childhood that I heard the story that once, up there in the Carpathians, a huge giant opened his jaws and tried to swallow the world ? We were already between his teeth, and all over the world folk said that that was the end of us. Poor little Hungary was done for, Imperial Austria would follow, and then it would be the turn of Germany. It seemed as if our time had come. In the shadow of the Alps, Italy waiting for her opportunity, drew her dagger from under her cloak, and stabbed us in the back. Roumania was feverishly tugging at her knife.

" Nothing can help the Central Powers now " .... The whole world said so, and thought us easy victims.

Then a miracle happened. It was on a certain day in May, and on that spring morning the three allies started an attack near Gorlice. " Mackensen, Mackensen ! " they shouted in victory, and the Tsar's Russia, the most terrible enemy whom a people had ever encountered, fell upon us.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it in my childhood that I heard the story, that, down in Transylvania, like an echo of Gorlice, the name of Mackensen rose again as a cry of victory above the Hungarian and German armies ? And then, above the vast mirror of the Danube's flood, a third time the name of Mackensen resounded. For the third time he stood at the head of the armies that were defending the gates of Hungary.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it so long ago that time has obliterated its memory ? It was yesterday ! It was on history's bloody page in the world-war, while there was still hope, while our honour was still bright.

And to-day when Mackensen came to Budapest to negotiate with Károlyi for the repatriation of his army, the red soldiers of Pogány-Schwarz, under the leadership of Captain Gerő-Grosz, with full knowledge of the Government, dragged machine-guns to the railway station and trained their muzzles on the line, while an evening paper had its Kinema operator ready. That is how Hungary's capital prepared for the reception of Field-Marshal von Mackensen.

When he looked out of his carriage window and saw the shameful spectacle of the railway station fortified against him, his fine, sharp features were distorted with rage. He took it in at a glance : he had been trapped. Capt. Gerő went up to him and told him he was a prisoner. Then he informed him that Károlyi wanted to negotiate with him and expected him at the House of Parliament. Mackensen protested, refused to go, and desired that Károlyi or his representative should come to the station. Capt. Gerő informed him that any refusal on his part would have disastrous consequences for his army.

After fierce argument the Field-Marshal reluctantly yielded, but declared that he would not leave his carriage till the machine-guns and the kinematograph apparatus were removed from the station. This was conceded. When he got out his face was white with anger and his chest heaved so that the decorations on it shook. He walked with his head erect to the closed car that was waiting for him.

The meeting between him and Károlyi took place in the House of Parliament, in the Prime Minister's room. A German friend of mine gave me the following account of it, received directly from the Field-Marshal's lips.

Károlyi received him standing and advanced a few steps to meet him. Behind him the social democratic secretary for War, the little Jewish electrician, was making himself as small as possible. Mackensen remained rigid, with both hands behind his back, glaring at the two men. He listened without a word to Károlyi, who, putting the responsibility on the powers of the Entente, requested him to give up all the arms of his army in conformity with the Belgrade Armistice. The Field-Marshal declined and said that as far as he was concerned, and according to his instructions from Spa, the conditions of the armistice concluded on the Western front were in force. He also declared that he would not leave Hungary till the last man of his army was over the frontier.

Károlyi informed him that he could not leave in any case, as he, with his whole army, was going to be interned in Fóth.

" I did not expect that ! " said Mackensen. And hard words were spoken between them. The Hungarian Government, however, had left itself a loophole. At first Károlyi threatened to intern the whole army, but at length he conceded that disarmament would be sufficient, and this Mackensen accepted only conditionally with the consent of the German Government.

During the debate Károlyi stuttered more than usual, and when this painful meeting came to an end he proffered his hand hesitatingly to Mackensen. The Field-Marshal measured him with contempt : " I have had to do with many people in my life, but I have never before met a man who was so devoid of all honour as you are. " Then, with a slight nod, he turned his back on him. And the hand of Michael Károlyi, which had already been contemptuously ignored by the French General Franchet d'Espèray, was left empty in the air.

It was thus that Mackensen became a prisoner of Hungary.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it in my childhood that I heard the story that once upon a time the shout of " Mackensen, Mackensen ! " resounded victoriously at three gates of Hungary ?

........

December 17th-22nd.

We walk in the gutter of shame between two close, high walls, whence there is no escape and no rest. In this deadly atmosphere we sink deeper and deeper at every turning.

Yesterday evening was even worse than usual. It was late when I said good-night to my mother, and I could get no sleep. Nations carry their misfortunes in common, and that is why they can bear the worst, but the shame which has now befallen us is so colossal that it seems to belong to us alone. It isolates us from humanity. I had been lying motionless in the dark for a long time and could think of nothing but how Károlyi had sinned' against us. To-morrow the whole world will know it and even our enemies will despise us for it.

Our enemies ?... The face of a German soldier seemed to stare at me from the dark. He was wounded; a shell had torn off both his legs. He had been brought from Transylvania about two years ago. I had spoken to him in the German hut at the railway station. And then there appeared another, and, as in a mad feverish dream, they came, and came, through the dark, pressing on in endless array, covered with blood, lame, mutilated, all those I had met in four and a half years' of war. One looked hard and scornful, another reproachful, and all stared at me pitilessly, and in my dream I could hear their moans.

During the years of war, the German, in his infinite pride, clumsily, coarsely, often hurt us, as he has hurt us before many times in history. His dreams of annexations have often eliminated the possibility of peace. His manner of waging war, the work of his diplomacy, and, above all, the arrogance he assumed in dealing with us, were often strange to our mind. But we recognised his greatness, his strength, his endurance and his honour, and I am convinced that there is not a single Hungarian in Hungary who does not repudiate, desperately and indignantly, that which Károlyi has dared to do in our name to Mackensen.

It was torture to lie still in bed. Why is there nobody among us who will avenge this ? Why is there nobody who will wipe off the dirt before it dries on us ? Innumerable eyes glared at me through the dark from under German soldiers' caps, and at last I could bear it no longer. I lit a candle and tried to read. I took up a Hungarian book, for I felt that at that moment it would be impossible to read a book in any other tongue. When my mind was troubled how often had I not found solace in Arány, Vörösmarty and Petőfi ? They wept over Austrian tyranny, over the failure of our war of liberation, but for all their sufferings those were pleasant times compared with the present. They knew how to console the passing sufferings of their age, and in that their age was fortunate—but we are forsaken. In our great city of a million thete is not a single poet through whose verses we can express our sorrows, who can give voice to our sufferings.

Anatole France poses as a socialist, and yet throughout the whole war he stood for the national ideals of France with the wholehearted fury of revanche. Gabriele d'Annunzio, proclaimed a traitor from the Capitol, led his nation off the right path, yet there was beauty in his wild war-cry because it was inflamed by the love of his country and his people. And while Anatole France and d'Annunzio sang in beautiful strains the glory and the victory of their nation, most of the poets of Budapest were in the cafés talking philosophy and pacifism, and more than one among them helped forward the rebellion at the Astoria Hotel. There were even some who proposed to the Council of Public Works that one public square should be called after Michael Károlyi, another in commemoration of the " battle " on the bridge, after the 31st of October, and the public park after a socialist newspaper ! Were they misled ? Maybe, but where are they now, when there can be no longer any misconception, when our land and our people are trodden down by the crowd they have joined ? If Hungarian politicians have sunk into deplorable impotence, if there is not a single soldier to draw his sword, why do not the poets rouse the sleeping nation ?

I crouched at my writing-table and in my grief started to address a letter to them. About an hour may have passed when suddenly I heard the creaking of a door in our flat. Steps went through the drawing-room. One was quick, the other hesitating. The dear, quaint rhythm approached and I remembered. Thus did my mother come to me when I was a child, when I had bad dreams, and even before she had reached my side all that was terrifying would vanish.

She opened the door. She could no more sleep than I could, so she sat down in the big arm-chair near my writing-table and remained there in silence. And I began to read to her what I had written.

" Our war was a war of self-defence. If anybody denies it, let him look at our frontiers north, south and east, if his tearful eyes can see so far. The war we lost was a war of self-defence. We lost it terribly, more terribly than fate had decreed. And now, the pain is so burning, our sufferings are so immeasurable, that the human brain has become benumbed and we are dropping from our hands that which we ought to hold on to.

" Our people, with its thousand years of history, stands exhausted, incapable of acting while the moments of grace which fate has given us before closing the most awful chapter of our history pass by.

" The sand is running out, and there is no hand to stay it. Where is he who will seize the moment and shout a message to our unarmed brethren perishing amid the bayonets of Czechs, Roumanians and Serbs ? Who will raise his voice so that it will carry beyond the walls erected by war between the peoples of the world, and bring faith, hope and love to us once more ? Where is he ? And if his voice does not carry far enough, why in this hour of our trial have all the strings of our nation's lute been slackened ? Why did our war produce no Petőfi, why is the burning pain of our defeat without Arany ? The strains of soft chords carry further than the declamations of loud-voiced orators.

" Have even the songs of our fighting bards forsaken Hungary ? Have the minstrels that remained at home all bled to death ? The recital of our sorrows should be piercing the hearts of five continents; strength and faith should be sung to our sufferers at home, the bloodless nation should be stirred up with wild inspiring songs, so that it may not abandon hope. Poets are needed, poets whose voices can hold together the Hungarian soil, poets who will teach Hungarians to help each other.

" Let them come, I beseech them, let the poets come who still feel Hungary's pain as their own, for whom Hungary's death is the death of themselves. For Pressburg weeps above the Danube, the people of our northern counties have lost their homes, faithful Zips calls broken-hearted to the Great Plain. Kassa is ready to grasp Rákoczi's sword. Transylvania shows her martyr's wounds while the proud Székler shakes off his shackles and the ancient land that Hunyadi held is breaking its heart over the disgrace of Belgrade. Who can give us a word of comfort, who can strengthen us with faith in a better future, in this hour of our agony, if not the poets of the nation ?

" And while I clamour in vain for them the immortals rise from their tombs, the great army of national spirits, planting a standard round which the millions of Hungarians should rally : a torch to guide them, a camp-fire to rest them, and the soft flames of the hearth to comfort them in the night of great deception.

" While our contemporaries fail to find a voice for our sufferings, Petőfi wanders among the ragged mutilated heroes who have returned :

" Oh shame, oh bitter shame ! Once Clio's records told
Of fame no fairer than thy fair name's fame ;
Now thou'rt despised, and those who would of old
Cringe at thy feet, dare strike thee free and bold
Full in the face, and cover thee with shame.
Whate'er my fate, whatever its decree,
I shall forbear and suffer for thy sake;
Though God's most bitter curse should fall on me,
Ne'er shall I rest, but goad and harass thee
Until I stir thy heart, or my heart break. "

" Down there in the plain, Arány wandered after sunset over the snow-covered land. He stopped at the threshold of stately manors, under hamlets' tiny windows, lit up by the brushwood fire from within. And it is the soul of the plains that speaks from his lips :

" The Nation lives and shudders as its heart
With horror feels destruction's deadly grip... "

" And above all, alone, like the voice of a giant choir, the voice of Vörösmarty exclaims :

" For come it will, for come it must
The dawn of better days,
For which this land, with pious lips
Beseeches Thee and prays. "

" Thus speaks the past to us while the lute of the present is silent, while innumerable, homeless Hungarians wander aimlessly in the streets of the distracted country's epidemic-ridden capital, whose streets are bedizened with flags fluttering in heartbreaking irony.

" My poor, unfortunate town, is there nobody to tell thee to put thy begrimed flags at half-mast ? Hast thou not a single minstrel to rouse thee ? Dost thou not see thy disgraced streets trodden by the fugitives of half thy country, by foreign armies, while all around thee the country is dismembered ?

" So let the dead come with their lyre to raise the quick, let the grave shout into the dwellings of the living, let the past console the present. For the songs of Hungary's poets of the past are all our hope; for they alone hold the promise of Hungary's future. "

So far had I written. In the morning I telephoned to the editor of the Pesti Hirlap and asked him if he wanted an article. It was the first time in my life that I had had to ask for space : up till now it was the papers who had asked me for copy. The editor accepted with thanks, so I sent him the manuscript; but I looked in vain for it in the paper next day, and the day after. I telephoned again. The editor was embarrassed, he apologised and said that he regretted he was unable to publish the article as it was not in accordance with the Government's views.

" Are the Government's views so anti-patriotic then ? " I asked.

" Please don't forget, " said the editor nervously, " that the present situation is terribly delicate; this may be the last bourgeois government, and goodness only knows how long it can hold its own. "

" I hope not long. I would rather see destruction declare itself openly. This downfall in disguise is intolerable. "

While we were speaking I heard a curious buzzing in the telephone, as if something were wrong with the apparatus. I wanted to speak to the editor of another paper, but the exchange was unable to give me the connection, though I tried for a long time. Meanwhile I sent to the Pesti Hirlap for my manuscript.

When it came at last I took it to the editor of the Radical Az Ujság. That also was a new experience, but I was determined that the article should appear in print, and refused to give in. Again the editor received my request courteously, and actually carried out his promise next day ; the article appeared, though in an obscure corner, and very indistinctly set.

Some day, when peace and quiet have returned, people will wonder how this could have happened under a government which proclaimed the freedom of the press, and at a time when the mouthpiece of the Social Democrats could promise its readers over their breakfast table that " the glorious revolution " would sweep away " bourgeois " society, and could accuse the Hungarian race of jingoism because it would not renounce without protest territory it had held for a thousand years—that a poor essay dealing with Hungary's sufferings should have had to perform such an Odyssey before a newspaper could be found to publish it. It will perhaps seem just as astonishing that I received in connection with it innumerable letters of thanks, and that a friend of mine who had spent fifty-one months at the front, and who had shown reckless courage, telephoned to me, saying : " Tears came into our eyes when we read your article. I take off my hat to you for having the courage to speak out. "

And while all these people, suffering greatly, were grateful because I said what they all felt, our foremost actress, Theresa Csillag, was walking about the town selling the shabby newspaper and, with her inimitable, beautiful voice, reading to the very souls of the passers-by the appeal : " Wake up ! "

There are many of us, only we don't know each other.

Szóljon hozzá!

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