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Newton could not have thoroughly comprehended Brougham. It is strange to note that the more painstaking, quiet, simple mind, has dealt with the more tremendous elements. The Abolition of Slavery, Popular Education, and Law Reform, are not small matters, as our descendants will think when they remember Lord Brougham, especially when these public objects are wrought in with a perennial pouring forth of historical and scientific writings, and with a very high range of acquisitions throughout the whole cycle of human knowledge; but these dwarf when we put them beside the discovery of the system of the universe.
AUSTRIANS AND HUNGARIANS.
R. G. LATHAM, ESQ., M.D., Author of "Native Races of the Russian Empire,” “Man and his
[Delivered at the Royal Manchester Institution.]
DR. LATHAM first described the geography of the Austrian empire by the aid of the map, noticed the different provinces under the dominion of Austria, and pointed out their various nationalities. We were, he said, in the habit of considering the great city of Vienna—third, if not second, in size of Continental capitals—as an exclusively German town; and so it was so far as the court and its scientific industry and wealth went; but it was exceedingly dashed and complicated with Slavonic elements. First of all, an enormous proportion of the vast Austrian army was Slavonic in some shape or other. The German of Vienna was a very impure form of German indeed. When the famous Austrian Empress
Maria Theresa spoke German, it was much in the same way that the humblest peasant in Yorkshire spoke English ; she spoke a broad patois, though she was Empress of Germany. The fact was, the better classes of people in Vienna spoke French. Bohemia, a rich and industrial country, and the heart of the Austrian power, was half Slavonic and half German. In Bohemia the Slavonic element had a good deal of political and social importance.
Moravia was more Slavonic than Bohemia. Then came the vast and rich country of Hungary, which was slightly German, largely Slavonic, but chiefly Magyar-which meant Hungarian proper. The extent to which the Magyars were neither Germans nor Slavonians, was a very important point indeed. It was plain how excessively mised the Austrian population was. The province of Gallicia, which belonged originally to Poland, was also Slavonian. Its industrious, agricultural, and mining population was not German at all, but Slavonian-Polish rather than anything else. The last of the districts belonging to Austria, were the Italian possessions of Lombardy and Venice. He need not say the extent to which these were Austrian politically speaking; but in other respects they were something very different from Austria indeed, namely, Italian. Now, as to the several nationalities.
I deal first, continued Dr. Latham, with the Italian population of Austria ; the most southern, the most fertile; politically speaking, one of the most important of their elements. I think if we could get in detail the history of Northern Italy, we should find that as far as the blood, the pedigree, of the population is concerned, it is an exceedingly mixed district indeed. At the very beginning of the historical period, the mountains of the Tyrol, that now separate Austria from Italy, were occupied by a nation of which no remains at all now exist; that is, no clear, definite, and palpable remains. Their language and indepen
dent nationality have been extinct nearly two thousand years; their high civilisation is only known through the monuments that the antiquarian discovers. The population that held Lombardy at this time, was the Ancient Etruscans; and a good deal of the early civilisation of Italy came from these northern populations. I need not say, what Roman history tells us, that they descended from their mountains in the north to Italy, as far south as Tuscany, and there took the name of Etrurians.
If you ask in what points the Italian differs most from the Austrian; if you ask in what points the ethnological and political divisions most agree; you will find, as is often the case, that the differences in one respect are far less than they are in another. In the way of language they differ, but not to the extent that the speech of various parts of the populations of France and England differs. As far as community of religion goes, there ought to be a most harmonious understanding between the Austrians and the Italians, for they are both Christians, and both influential Roman Catholic powers.
The real grievance is the comparative want of freedom and independence, which with the northern Italians is contrasted and embittered by their great and glorious historical reminiscences. I do not think that the old Italian governments were much better upon
the whole than the present government of Austria ; but in saying this, I do not for one moment wish to be understood as thinking that the occupation of any part of Italy by a foreign power like Austria, is in any shape or way justifiable. It is no justification for Austria to say, “We give you a better government than your own country gave you in the indepenilent period of your history;" it is no justification to say, “If we did not hold these parts, France, or some other powerful country, would hold them.” The great point of difference between Austria and Italy is less one of ethnology, than one of nationality.
D:. Latham next spoke of the extent to which the populations of Austria were Slavonic. The Slavonic element was strong in the Croatians, the Dalmatians, and the Serbs of Servia. Another division of the Slavonic population of Austria were the Bohemians, whu called themselves Czekhs—pronounced Cheks -for in Bohemian and Polish cz spelled the same as ch in English. Of all the Slavonian population the Bohemians, or the Czekhs, were the most industrial, the most civilised, and the most literary, with a strong feeling for developing what they called the Slavonic nationality. The Austrian Slavonians, as a budy, are Roman Catholic, the Bohemians generally, but there was some Protestantism amongst thein, and had been a great deal more, for Bohemia was the wountry of Huss, one of our first martyrs. The Moravians and the Vends were briefly noticed. Vend was the general name given by the Germans to all the southern Slavonians. Gallicia was formerly part of Polanl, when Poland had a separate nationality; and Craww, with the other towns of Gallicia, were inhabited by Poles speaking a language of their own, and with an alphabet of European origin. Like the Buhemians, the Poles were Roman Catholics now, but with a considerable mixture of Protestants amongst them, and there had been more.
The Slavonian language was, as a rule, spoken all over Russia. The Slavonic population of Russia fell into three divisions, and they were not difficult to remember, because they were characterised by three different colours. The main body of the Russians, in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Siberia, were called Great Russians, and they formed the bulk of the population, amounting to upwards of thirty-two millions. These attach their nationalities to the two capitals. On the frontier of Lithuania, northern Poland, and Smolensko, there was an unimportant division calling themselves White Russians. They were said to be physically weaker than the Great Russian, more un
gainly in appearance, ruder also, and possibly differed as much in language as a Yorkshireman did from a Londoner. The third division was the one he was now dealing with — the Red Russian, sometimes called the Little Russian. The Ruthenians, or the Russians of Gallicia and Poland, belonged to the Red Russian, or the Little Russian division, and this division was one of some importance, differing a little in dialect, and a good deal in nationality, from the Great Russian. The Little Russian thought very little of St. Petersburg or Moscow, not more than a true Scotchman did of London. The Little Russians were the finest portion of the Russian population. The old Cossack Russian troops were originally Little Russians rather than Great Russians: the Cossacks of the Ukraine are Little Russians. Leaving the Slavonians of Austria, the lecturer came to the last and not the least interesting elements of the Austrian population.
The population I am now dealing with, bears the name of Magyar (pronounced Majiar by the lecturer; Magyar by Kossuth). We in England rarely use the word Magyar. We talk of the people of Hungary under the name of Hungarians. Now, the less we do this, the better our ethnology, and the safer our politics will be; for it is a great and a serious error to look upon the twelve million inhabitants of Hungary as anything like a homogeneous population. You see that they are not so. In the first place, they are the Slovaks of the northern frontier, who are Slavonians; you see they are not so, because they are the Croatians of the southern frontier, who are Slavonians also; you see they are not exclusively Magyar, or Hungarian, because they are the population of the Austrian frontier, who are Romanyo; you see it is a very heterogeneous population : and instly, there is the population of the large towns, which is German, rather than aught else.
So that Hungary" is merely a political name. The true