22 FEBRUARY 1890, Page 7


COUNT Jumus ANDRASSY, dead this week, was a man who ought to have had a special interest for Englishmen. He belonged to a type of politician which we fear has not been developed in this country, the deter- mined and faithful Home-ruler who nevertheless can rise above localism, and when called on, prefer the interest of his Empire to that of his particular State. A more deter- mined friend to the autonomy of Hungary never lived. He detested the fusion which up to 1866 was the idea of the Hapsburg dynasty, and he expressed his detestation in the only honourable way. He joined no secret society, waged no war of calumny, and would no more have entered an Austrian Parliament in order to overthrow Austria, than he would have entered a club in order to burn it down. Though the Magyars numbered only five and a quarter millions, barely the population of Ireland in 1881, he advocated and prepared for rebellion in the field, fought with desperation in half-a-dozen battles, and when the Russian intervention and Gorges moral despair or treason destroyed the last hope of his nation for the time, he exiled himself, and returning in 1855 under the general amnesty, retained and expressed all his opinions unchanged. His hopes for Hungary were realised in 1866 by the result of Sadowa, and the Emperor, who hates .no one, though from supreme inner pride rather than from forgiveness, having made him Premier, he might have, made of Hungary an absolutely separate State. He did gradually secure for her every right he thought worth having, including the revival of her separate Militia—a measure considered fearfully dangerous—but he was no local agitator, unable to recognise any object which was not purely pro- vincial. He was a great aristocrat, who had studied much, and knew intimately many more countries than his own ; he understood what a people can and cannot do ;_and, like Detik, seeing clearly that the Magyar nation, if left alone, .must sink in the Slav •morass, he accepted the Empire with his whole heart, and contended for its greatness as eagerly as for that of Hungary. To the end of his life, he resisted the mad project of the Hungarian extremists for dividing the Imperial Army ; he refused to help France against Germany, though the Hungarians wished it, on the distinct ground that the Germans of the Dual Empire would never forgive the defeat of their race by Frenchmen ; and earnestly pressed on the alliance with the Hohenzollerns which has been, and will be, the salva- tion of the composite Imperial State. He maintained this alliance even when Bismarck's swerve towards Russia made it most galling to him, and in the Congress of Berlin, where he represented his Emperor as Chancellor, he gave a startling proof of his loyalty not only to the Empire, b. t to its ruling. House. The Hungarians hated the notion.of annexing Bosnia and the Herzegovina, first because of their sympathy with the Ottomans, who are, like themselves, a ruling caste ; and secondly, because they dread any increase to the number of Slays within the Empire. Count Andrassy rose, however, above all that. He knew perfectly well that the Magyars, to rule, must have the support of their Emperor, whose passion it is to leave his dominion as extensive as he found it ; that the best way to resist Russia was to protect the Southern Slays; and that Hungary, as part-protectress of a federated or subordinate Balkan Peninsula, would be best defended , against that absorption into a Pan-Slav Empire which, and not anything the Hapsburgs can do, is the danger that threatens her life, He knew he should not be forgiven by his countrymen, but he resolved to act on his own opinion, and, mainly owing to his influence with Prince Bismarck, he came back from the Congress bearing in his hand a European ratification of the secret agreement between his Sovereign and Alexander II., an agreement, we may remark, which, instead of diminishing, has increased understood as admiring We have no wish to be ring all much of his policy was not dictated by the conviction, ticularismus " so intensely, and sympathising so deeply y be described as of world-wide import. with his clan, could rise so entirely out of both pre- When the Convention meets next January at Melbourne, judices into a wider region of thought, could see the we trust that the first resolution passed will be the same necessity of " Austria " to Hungary, could get rid at as that adopted by the body which one hundred and four a stroke of even justifiable rancours and stand forward years before entered upon its sittings in the State House —he, the dispossessed noble condemned to death per of Philadelphia. In obedience to a happy inspiration, that contumaciain—to protect alike the Empire which had famous assembly decided from the beginning that they thrown him out, the Army which had court-martialed would sit with closed doors, and that not even a transcript him, and the dynasty which had so persecuted his race, of their minutes should be made public, and this decision his family, and himself. Something of this largeness he in favour of secrecy was rigidly and faithfully maintained. owed, perhaps, as Cavour did, to his birth, which made It may at first sight seem as if the free air of public him one of the cosmopolitan caste of Europe, and some- criticism would be as beneficial to a Constituent Convention thing to a trace of recklessness in his disposition, which dis- as to an ordinary deliberative assembly. As a matter of played itself, as it did also in Cavour, in his pecuniary affairs; fact, any such notion is a fallacy. Just as a Cabinet but its chief origin must have been a certain greatness of could not last a week if the words used and the policies mind and heart personal to the man himself. He could favoured by its individual members were published to the see, what no Irish Home-ruler as yet has ever seen, that world, so any body of men engaged in drafting a Constitu- it was possible to be devoted to a State, yet devoted to the tion must maintain complete secrecy. The reason is this. Empire of which the State forms part ; that, in fact, one A Parliament acts by and through a majority, and this can love one's household without ceasing to be a faithful fact is universally recognised. A Convention such as that member of a larger organisation. And he could also see, which is to meet at Melbourne, like a Cabinet, acts, on the what we fear no Irish Home-ruler yet sees, that hatred other hand, in a corporate capacity and as one man. It can never be a foundation for a great policy; that if any must act unanimously, or its decisions carry no weight. country is to have a great future, its rancours must be If the people of the various States of America, had known buried by its own citizens, and that amnesties are some- the clauses over which their own special representatives times demanded of a people for the reasons which make had been beaten, and the exact manner in which the various them so frequently the wisdom of Kings. If Mr. Parnell compromises effected had been arrived at, they could never could rise to the level of Count Julius Andrassy, we should have been brought to accept the Constitution as a whole. continue to differ from his policy as much as ever, for And apart from this, secrecy is essential if a constituent body Ireland is not Hungary, either in position or in nature ; is to do its work well. In such an undertaking as Constitu- but we should think very differently of the result of tion-making, men learn as they go, and do not fully realise the advantages or disadvantages of a proposal at first sight. surrendering the island and its people into his control.