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nobles become, by these divisions, extremely poor, and are often obliged to discharge all the duties of the meanest peasant. If any of these nobles wish to sell an estate to a stranger, however high in rank, even to a noble of the Austrian empire, application must first be made to the surrounding proprietors, to learn whether they wish to purchase at the stipulated price; if they decline, the stranger may purchase it for a period of thirty years; at the end of which time, any branch of the family which sold it, however distantly related, may oblige the stranger to surrender his bargain. This goes so far, that, in many cases, though the purchaser be a Hungarian noble, the family of the former possessor can reclaim itafter thirty years, on payment of the original price, together with expenses incurred in the buildings and improvements which have been made during that period. The liti gation, ill-will, and evils of every kind to which such laws give rise, are beyond calculation.
• The peasants on these estates were formerly bound to perform indefinite services, on account of supposed grants and privileges likewise little understood. Maria Theresa put the whole under certain regulations, which left less arbitrary power in the hands of the lord. She fixed the quantity of land upon each estate which was to remain irrevocably in the possession of the peasantry, giving to each peasant his portion, called a Session, and desiring the services which should be required of him by his lord in return. The only points determined, however, were, first, the whole quantity of land assigned to the peasants; secondly, the relation between the quantity of land and the quantity of labour the lord should require for it. The individual peasants are not fixed to the soil, but may always be dismissed when the superior finds cause; nor is it of necessity that the son succeeds to his father, though usually the case. The peasant has no absolute claim to a whole session:-if the lord please, he may give but half a session, or a third; but, in this case, he cannot require more than one-half or one-third of the labour. The quantity of land allotted to a whole session is fixed for each comitatus or county. In the county of Neutra, where Urmeny is situated, it varies, according to the quality of the soil, from twenty to thirty ioch, each equal to 1.46 acres, or nearly 1 English statute acre; and of these, sixteen or twenty must be arable, the rest meadow. The services required of the father of the family for the whole session, are one hundred and four days of labour during the year, if he work without cattle; or fiftytwo days if he bring two horses or oxen, or four if necessary, with ploughs and carts. In this work he may either employ himself, or, if he prefer and can afford it, may send a servant. Besides this, he must give four fowls, and twelve eggs, and one pfund and a half of butter; and every thirty peasants must give one calf yearly. He must also pay a florin for his house,-must cut and bring home a klaster of wood,-must spin in his family six pfund of wool or hemp, provided by the landlord;-and, among four peasants, the proprietor claims what is called a long journey, that is, they must transport
twenty centners, each one hundred French pounds weight, the distance of two days' journey out and home; and, besides all this, they must pay one-tenth of all their products to the church, and one-ninth to the lord. Such are the services owed by the peasant; and happy would he be were he subject to no other claims. Unfortunately, however, the peasant of Hungary has scarcely any political rights, and is considered by the Government, much more than by the landlord, in the light of a slave. By an unlimited extension of the aristocratical privilege, the noble is free from every burthen; and the whole is accumulated upon the peasant. The noble pays no tribute, and goes freely through the country, subject to neither tolls nor duties: But the peasant is subject to pay tribute; and although there may be some nominal restrictions to the services due from him to Government, it can safely be said that there is no limit, in point of fact, to the services which he is compelled to perform. Whatever public work is to be executed,-not only when a road is to be repaired, but when new roads are to be made, or bridges built,—the county meeting gives the order, and the peasant dares not refuse to execute it. All soldiers passing through the country are quartered exclusively upon the peasantry. They must provide them, without recompense, with bread, and furnish their horses with corn; and whenever called upon, by an order termed a "forespann order," they must provide the person bringing it with horses and means of conveyance. Such an order is always employed by the officers of Government; and whoever can in any way plead public business as the cause of his journey, takes care to provide himself with it. In all levies of soldiers, the whole falls upon the peasant; and the choice is left to the arbitrary discretion of the lord and his servants.' p. 110–113.
In addition to all these burdens, operating constantly to check the prosperity of the peasant, he is liable to suffer imprisonment and stripes by the sentence of a Baronial Court, (Herrenstutil), composed of the immediate dependants of his lord. Indeed, the traveller is warned of his being in the vicinity of the residence of a noble, by meeting bands of peasants at work in irons, under the guard of heiducks or police officers; and the first sound which salutes him on entering the gateway of a palace, is the clanking of fetters in the dungeon constructed in the outer wall of the court. Of the nature of these prisons we may judge from the following description of that of Keszthely; according to the author, one of the best he saw.
Under the guidance of the keeper of the prison, I entered by a door well barred and bolted. Instantly seventeen figures, all in the long Hungarian cloak, rose from the ground on which they were sitting. Besides themselves, the room, which was not above twelve feet square, presented no one object: no table, bed, or chair. It was ventilated and lighted by several small grated windows, high up in the side of the walls. The prisoners were most of them young men ;
some had been tried,
others had not; and some had been confined seven or eight years. Their crimes were very different; but no difference was made in the mode of treating them, excepting as to the number of lashes they were to receive at stated times, or the number of years they were to be imprisoned. Such was their residence during the day-time, when they did not go out to work. We next proceeded to the dungeon in which they are confined during the night, the jailor taking the precaution to disguise unpleasant smells, by carrying a fumigating pot before us. On opening an inner door, we entered a small room, in the corner of which lay two women on beds of straw. In the middle of the floor was an iron grate. This being opened by my guide, he descended first, by means of a ladder, with a lamp in his hand, by the light of which I perceived that we were in a small antichamber, or cell, from which a door opened into the dungeon, the usual sleeping place of all the male prisoners. It was a small oblong vaulted cave, in which, the only furniture was two straw mattresses. A few ragged articles of dress lay near the place where each prisoner was accustomed to rest upon the naked floor. In one corner of the room was a large strong chain; and, at about a foot and a half from the ground, round the whole vault, were rings let into the wall. The prisoners, at night, having laid themselves upon the ground, the chain is put through the irons which confine the ancles of three of them, and is passed into a ring in the wall; it is then attached to three more, and is passed through a second ring, and continued in this way till the complete circuit of the room is made. The ends of the chain arc fastened together by a padlock, by which the whole is secured.' p. 440-441.
It is evidently impossible that the peasant, without capital, and exposed to such treatment, can do justice to the thirty acres of land allotted to him; and we accordingly find them very ill cultivated. During the first year, wheat and rye are sown in winter; in the second, wheat and maize in the spring; in the third, the land is fallow. In the fourth and fifth years, the winter and spring crops are repeated; and the sixth again brings round the fallow, with such manure as they are able to give. The meadow land continues to afford them hay without interruption, which is left out during the winter in large heaps, without any protection from the weather. The corn, after being trodden out by oxen, or beaten by a flail consisting of a large bullet at the end of a stick, is put into holes dug in the ground, which have been previously dried by fire and lined with straw, and then covered over with earth. From this mode of keeping, it usually acquires a musty taste, and is at the same time impoverished in quality. We believe a more rude state of agriculture has hardly been described by any traveller among the uncivilised nations of either Asia or Africa.
From Buda, our author returned direct to Vienna, by Raa, along the banks of the Danube; but soon set out again, to visit the more southern districts of Hungary. After visiting Eisenstadt, the residence of Prince Esterhazy, he proceeded to Keszthely, the seat of Count Festetits, on the shore of the lake of Balaton, where he enjoyed the best opportunity of becoming acquainted with the management of land, in the hands of the noble proprietor. Of the complex system adopted in the administration of the property, he gives the following description.
To regulate such extensive domains, we may easily perceive that much accuracy of detail is necessary, and, at times, not a little exertion of power. Accordingly we find, in a well regulated Hungarian property, all the subordination which exists in an army, united to all the accuracy of accounts, which is necessary to conduct a mercantile concern. To procure this, a central office is instituted, the mandates and regulations of which are absolute. This office is usually at or near the estate on which the Magnat resides, if he resides on any, and may be considered as the seat of government of these little principalities; such is Eisenstadt to the estates of Prince Esterhazy, Keszthely to those of Graf Festetits, and Kormond to those of the Prince Batthyani. Here a court of directors is held at stated periods, usually every week; but this will vary, as well as the number of officers who compose the court, according to the extent of the estates, and the will of the possessors. The following, however, may be considered as the usual officers of such a court:-a President or Plenipotentiary, whose office it is to preside over all judicial proceedings, and to represent the person of the Magnat. The Director of Causes, or Solicitor, who conducts legal processes in the assembly of the comitatus, and is employed in other law business. Five Assessors. 1st, The Prefect, who is referred to, by the court. in all agricultural affairs, and who superintends the agriculture of the whole domain. 2d, The Auditor, referred to in matters of accounts, and who superintends all articles of receipt and expenditure. 3d, The Engineer, referred to on all architectural, geometrical, and mechanical subjects, 4th, The Fiscal, referred to in law affairs before the directors. 5th, The Keeper of the Archives. The secretaries, the clerks, &c. this court is taken a review of all which has passed, both judicially and economically; and all the alterations and improvements which may be suggested, are brought under consideration. Accounts and statements sent in from distant estatcs are examined; plans of operation for the future, and regulations and directions to be issued in consequence, are finally agreed upon. In some instances, these regulations and orders are printed; particularly if any radical change is to take place, or any admonitions of general importance are to be enforced.
The Hofrichter, or steward of each separate estate, is required to send to the directors monthly reports of his proceedings, with hints
of his future projects, and a most accurate account of all expenses; together with the quantity of produce which remains on the estate. The Hofrichter likewise holds his weekly court, to regulate the concerns of the particular estate which is under his individual management. The officers of each estate are nearly as follows:-the Fiscal, who takes charge of the law affairs of the lord; the Hofrichter, or steward, who conducts the agricultural concerns; the Forest Master; the Engineer; the Treasurer; several Ispans, whose duty it is to execute the orders of the Hofrichter, each in his particular district of the estate; many Pazela, who, under the direction of the Ispans, superintend the labourers; many Heiducks, or officers of police, who likewise guard the prisoners, and keep the labourers to their work; Forest-keepers; Rangers; and a Gaoler, (Porkolab).' p. 373–375.
The necessity of having intelligent and well educated officers to carry into effect this cumbrous system, has caused the institution of schools expressly for their education. We must refer to the work itself for a full and interesting account of the Georgicon, or agricultural school established at Keszthely by Count Festetits. In this establishment are maintained and educated eight or ten pensioners; and as many independent students are admitted as choose to attend. The course lasts three years, in which time they are instructed in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Natural History, Veterinary Medicine, and Law; while, on a large experimental farm, they are taught Agriculture, as practised by the Norfolk farmers, the management of forest and fruit-trees, and the care of cattle, sheep, swine, and bees. There is also a school for the education of girls as housekeepers. From the pensioners are chosen the of ficers of the Count's extensive estates; and the independent students are eagerly sought to fill similar situations by the nobility of the country. Institutions of a similar description have been formed by the Government at Schemnitz, Szarvas, Karanselies, and Maria Brunn; and by the Nobles at Szent Miklos and Eisenstadt. There are many more dispersed through the Austrian dominions; and they have all received their chief improvements, both in agriculture and in their implements of husbandry, from the celebrated Fellenberg of Hofwyl in Switzerland. Before Austria, however, can reasonably hope that these schools are to improve the cultivation of her territories in the same degree with that of Hofwyl, she must place the scholar in the same situation, by giving him the same motives for exertionfreedom-and security of property.
Count Festetits has made this experiment on a large scale. Having purchased an estate in the Murakös, a tract of country between the Muhr and the Drave, he granted lands to the