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satisfaction and regret - satisfaction that we are enabled to afford a
safe asylum to an illustrious patriot - regret that the cause of liberty
should give birth to such necessity.

_Resolved_, That we sympathize fully with the Hungarians in their
important struggles for Independence, but mindful of that Providence
which crowned our own efforts for liberty with success, trust yet to
behold that glorious future which their noble leader so eloquently
predicts for his beloved country.

_Resolved_, That we regard the alliance with Russia and Austria for
the purpose of crushing the spirit of liberty in Hungary as a fit
accompaniment in the annals of time for the infamous partition of
unfortunate Poland by the same tyrannical powers, each alike worthy of
the execration of the civilized world.

_Resolved_, That we cordially welcome Kossuth and his exiled
companions to the full enjoyment of American liberty and an asylum
beyond the reach of European despotism.

_Resolved_, further, That a Joint Committee of five from each
branch of the City Council be appointed, whose duty it shall be, in
conjunction with the Mayor, in the event of their arrival in our city,
to tender to them appropriate public tokens of our esteem and admiration
for their gallant conduct, as well as of our sympathy for their
sufferings and their cause.

Committee under the last resolution - First Branch: Henry P. Brooke, John
Dukehart, J. Hanson Thomas, David Blanford, John Thomas Morris.

Second Branch: Jacob J. Cohen, W. B. Morris, Hugh A. Cooper, James C.
Ninde, Geo. A. Lovering.

JOHN S. BROWN, President of First Branch.
HUGH BOLTON, President of Second Branch.
City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, United States of America, Oct. 28,
A.D. 1851.

[After hearing several other - complimentary addresses, Kossuth in a few
minutes replied. He began with apologies, and then proceeded]: -

Permit me to say, that in my opinion the word "glory" should be blotted
out from the Dictionary in respect to individuals, and only left for use
in respect to nations. Whatever a man can do for his country, even
though he should live a long life, and have the strongest faculties,
would not be too much: for he ought to use his utmost exertions, and his
utmost powers, in return for the gifts he receives. Whatever a man can
do on behalf of his country and of humanity, would never be so much as
his duty calls upon him to do, still less so much as to merit the use of
the word "glory" in regard to himself. Once more, I say, that duty
belongs to the man and glory to the nation. When an honest man does his
duty to his own country, and becomes a patriot, he acts for all
humanity, and does his duty to mankind.

You have bestowed great attention upon the cause of Hungary, and the
subject is here well understood generally, which is a benefit to me. I
declare to you all, that I find more exact knowledge of the Hungarian
cause here, than in any other place I have been. Yet I am astonished to
see in a report of the proceedings of the United States Senate, that a
member rose and said that we were not struggling for the principle of
Freedom and of Liberty, but rather for the support of our ancient
Charter. This, gentlemen, is a misrepresentation of our cause. There is
a truth in the assertion that we were struggling for our _ancient
rights_, for the right of self-government is an ancient right. The
right of self-government was ours a thousand years ago, and has been
guaranteed to us by the coronation oaths of more than thirty of our
kings. I say that this right was guaranteed to us, yet it had become a
dead letter in the course of time. Before the Revolution of 1848 we were
long struggling to enforce our notorious but often invaded rights; but
the whole people were not interested in them: for although they were
constitutional rights, they were restricted in ancient times, not to a
particular _race_, but to a particular _class_, called Nobles.
These did not belong to the Magyars alone, but to all the races that
settled in the country, to the Sclaves, to the Wallachians, the Serbs,
and to others, whatever their race or their extraction. Yet none but the
_Nobles_ were privileged. We saw that for one class only to be
interested in these rights was not enough, and we wished to make them a
benefit to every man in the country, and to replace the old Constitution
by one which should give a common and universal right to all men to
vote, without regard to the tongue they speak or the Church at which
they pray. I need not enter further into the subject than to say, that
we established a system of practically universal suffrage, of equality
in representation, a just share in taxation for the support of the
State, and equality in the benefits of public education, and in all
those blessings which are derived from the freedom of a free people.

It has been asked by some, why I allowed a treacherous general to ruin
our cause. I have always been anxious not to assume any duty for which I
might be unsuited. If I had undertaken the practical direction of
military operations, and anything went amiss, I feared that my
conscience would torture me, as guilty of the fall of my country, as I
had not been familiar with military tactics. I therefore entrusted my
country's cause, thus far, into other hands; and I weep for the result.
In exile, I have tried to profit by the past and prepare for the future.
I believe that the confidence of Hungary in me is not shaken by
misfortune nor broken by my calumniators. I have had all in my own hands
once; and if ever I am in the same position again, I will act. I will
not become a Napoleon nor an Alexander, and labour for my own ambition;
but I will labour for freedom and for the moral well-being of man. I do
but ask you to enforce your own great constitutional principles, and not
permit Russia to interfere.

* * * * *


[_Speech at the Corporation Dinner, New York, Dec. 11th_,

The Mayor having made an address to Kossuth, closed by proposing the
following toast: -

"Hungary - Betrayed but not subdued. Her call for help is but the echo of
our appeal against the tread of the oppressor."

Kossuth rose to reply. The enthusiasm with which he was greeted was
unparalleled. It shook the building, and the chandeliers and candelabras
trembled before it. Every one present rose to his feet, and appeared
excited to frenzy. The ladies participated in honouring the Hungarian
hero. At length the storm of applause subsided, and then ensued a
silence most intense. Every eye was fixed on Kossuth, and when he
commenced his speech, the noise caused by the dropping of a pin could be
heard throughout the large and capacious room.


Sir, - In returning you my most humble thanks for the honour you did me
by your toast, and by coupling my name with that cause which is the
sacred aim of my life, I am so overwhelmed with emotion by all it has
been my strange lot to experience since I am on your glorious shores,
that I am unable to find words; and knowing that all the honour I meet
with has the higher meaning of principles, I beg leave at once to fall
back on my duties, which are the lasting topics of my reflections, my
sorrows, and my hopes. I take the present for a highly important
opportunity, which may decide the success or failure of my visit. I must
therefore implore your indulgence for a pretty long and plain
development of my views concerning that cause which the citizens of New
York, and you particularly, gentlemen, honour with generous interest.

When I perceive that the sympathy of your people with Hungary is almost
universal, and that they pronounce their feelings in its favour with a
resolution such as denotes noble and great deeds about to follow; I
might feel inclined to take for granted, at least _in principle_,
that we shall have your generous aid for restoring to our land its
sovereign independence. Nothing but _details_ of negotiation would
seem to be left for me, were not my confidence checked, by being told,
that, according to many of your most distinguished Statesmen, it is a
ruling principle of your public policy never to interfere in European

I highly respect the source of this conviction, gentlemen. This source
is your religious attachment to the doctrines of those who bequeathed to
you the immortal constitution which, aided by the unparalleled benefits
of nature, has raised you, in seventy-five years, from an infant people
to a mighty nation. The wisdom of the founders of your great republic
you see in its happy results. What would be the consequences of
departing from that wisdom, you are not sure. You therefore
instinctively fear to touch, even with improving hands, the dear legacy
of those great men. And as to your glorious constitution, all humanity
can only wish that you and your posterity may long preserve this
religious attachment to its fundamental principles, which by no means
exclude development and progress: and that every citizen of your great
union, thankfully acknowledging its immense benefits, may never forget
to love it more than momentary passion or selfish and immediate
interest. May every citizen of your glorious country for ever remember
that a partial discomfort of a corner in a large, sure, and comfortable
house, may be well amended without breaking the foundation; and that
amongst all possible means of getting rid of that partial discomfort,
the worst would be to burn down the house with his own hands.

But while I acknowledge the wisdom of your attachment to fundamental
doctrines, I beg leave with equal frankness to state, that, in my
opinion, there can be scarcely anything more dangerous to the
progressive development of a nation, than to mistake for a basis that
which is none; to mistake for a principle that which is but a transitory
convenience; to take for substantial that which is but accidental; or to
take for a constitutional doctrine that which is but a momentary
exigency of administrative policy. Such a course of action would be like
to a healthy man refusing substantial food, because when he was once
weak in stomach his physician ordered him a severe diet. Let me suppose,
gentlemen, that that doctrine of non-interference was really bequeathed
to you by your Washingtons (and that it was not, I will essay to prove
afterwards), and let me even suppose that your Washingtons imparted to
it such an interpretation, as were equivalent to the words of Cain, "Am
I my brother's keeper?" (which supposition would be, of course, a
sacrilege; but I am forced to such suppositions:) I may be entitled to
ask, is the dress which suited the child, still suitable to the full
grown man? Would it not be ridiculous to lay the man into the child's
cradle, and to sing him to sleep by a lullaby? In the origin of the
United States you were an infant people, and you had, of course, nothing
to do but to grow, to grow, and to grow. But now you are so far grown
that there is no foreign power on earth from which you have anything to
fear for your existence or security. In fact, your growth is that of a
giant. Of old, your infant frame was composed of thirteen states, and
was restricted to the borders of the Atlantic: now, your massive bulk is
spread to the gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, and your territory is a
continent. Your right hand touches Europe over the waves; your left
reaches across the Pacific to eastern Asia; and there, between two
quarters of the world, there you stand, in proud immensity, a world
yourselves. Then you were a small people of three millions and a half;
now you are a mighty nation of twenty-four millions. Thus you have fully
entered into the second stadium of national life, in which a nation
lives at length not for itself separately, but as a member of the great
family of human nations; having a right to whatever is due from that
family _towards_ every one of its full-grown members, but also
engaged to every duty which that great family may claim _from_
every one of its full-grown members.

A nation may, either from comparative weakness, or by choice and policy,
as Japan and China, or by both these motives, as Paraguay under Dr.
Francia, - be induced to live a life secluded from the world, indifferent
to the destinies of mankind, in which it cannot or will not have any
share. But then it must be willing to be also excluded from the benefits
of progress, civilization and national intercourse, while disavowing all
care about all other nations in the world. No citizen of the United
States has, or ever will have, the wish to see this country degraded to
the rotting vegetation of a Paraguay, or the mummy existence of a Japan
and China. The feeling of self-dignity, and the expansiveness of that
enterprizing spirit which is congenial to freemen, would revolt against
the very idea of such a degrading national captivity. But if there were
even a will to live such a mummy life, there is no possibility to do so.
The very existence of your great country, the principles upon which it
is founded, its geographical position, its present scale of
civilization, and all its moral and material interests, would lead on
your people not only to maintain, but necessarily more and more to
develop your foreign intercourse. Then, being in so many respects linked
to mankind at large, you cannot have the will, nor yet the power, to
remain indifferent to the outward world. And if you cannot remain
indifferent, you must resolve to throw your weight into that balance in
which the fate and condition of man is weighed. You are a power on
earth. You must be a power on earth, and must therefore accept all the
consequences of this position. You cannot allow that any power in the
world should dispose of the fate of that great family of mankind, of
which you are so pre-eminent a member: else you would resign your proud
place and your still prouder future, and be a power on earth no more.

I hope I have sufficiently shown, that should even that doctrine of
non-interference have been established by the founders of your republic,
that which might have been very proper to your infancy would not now be
suitable to your manhood. It is a beautiful word of Montesquieu, that
republics are to be founded on virtue. And you know that virtue between
man and man, as sanctioned by our Christian religion, is but an exercise
of that great principle - "Thou shalt do to others as thou desirest
others to do to thee." Thus I might rely simply upon your generous
republican hearts, and upon the consistency of your principles; but I
beg to add some essential differences in material respects, between your
present condition and that of yore. Of your twenty-four millions, more
than nineteen are spread over yonder immense territory, the richest of
the world, employed in the cultivation of the soil, that honourable
occupation, which in every time has proved to be the most inexhaustible
and most unfailing source of public welfare and private happiness, as
also the most unwavering ally of freedom, and the most faithful fosterer
of all those upright, noble, generous sentiments which the constant
intercourse with ever young, ever great, ever beautiful virtue, imparts
to man. Now this immense agricultural interest, desiring large markets,
at the same time affords a solid basis to your manufacturing industry,
and in consequence to your immensely developed commerce. All this places
such a difference between the republic of Washington and your present
grandeur, that though you may well be attached to your original
principles (for the principles of liberty are everlastingly the same),
yet not so in respect to the exigencies of your policy. For if it is to
be regulated by _interest_, your country has other interests to-day
than it had then; and if ever it is to be regulated by the higher
consideration of _principles_, you are strong enough to feel that
the time is already come. And I, standing here before you to plead the
cause of oppressed humanity, am bold to declare that there may never
again come a crisis, at which such an elevation of your policy would
prove either more glorious to you, or more beneficial to man: for we in
Europe are apparently on the eye of that day, when either the hopes or
the fears of oppressed nations will be crushed for a long time.

Having stated so far the difference of the situation, I beg leave now to
assert that it is an error to suppose that non-interference in foreign
matters has been bequeathed to the people of the United States by your
great Washington as a doctrine and as a constitutional principle.
Firstly, Washington never even recommended to you non-interference in
the sense of _indifference_ to the fate of other nations. He only
recommended _neutrality_. And there is a mighty diversity between
these two ideas. Neutrality has reference to a state of war between two
belligerent powers, and it is this case which Washington contemplated,
when he, in his Farewell Address, advised the people of the United
States not to enter into entangling alliances. Let quarrelling powers,
let quarrelling nations go to war - but do you consider your own
concerns; leave foreign powers to quarrel about ambitious topics, or
narrow partial interests. Neutrality is a matter of convenience - not of
principle. But while neutrality has reference to a state of war between
belligerent powers, the principle of non-interference, on the contrary,
lays down the sovereign right of nations to arrange their own domestic
concerns. Therefore these two ideas of neutrality and non-interference
are entirely different, having reference to two entirely different
matters. The sovereign right of every nation to rule over itself, to
alter its own institutions, to change the form of its own government, is
a common public law of nations, common to all, and, _therefore, put
under the common guarantee of all_. This sovereign right of every
nation to dispose of itself, you, the people of the United States must
recognize; for it is the common law of mankind, in which, because it is
such, every nation is equally interested. You must recognize it,
secondly, because the very existence of your great republic, as also the
independence of every nation, rests upon this ground. If that sovereign
right of nations were no common public law of mankind, then your own
independence would be no matter of right, but only a matter of fact,
which might be subject, for all future time, to all sorts of chances
from foreign conspiracy and violence. And where is the citizen of the
United States who would not revolt at the idea that this great republic
is not a righteous nor a lawful existence, but only a mere accident - a
mere matter of fact? If it were so, you were not entitled to invoke the
protection of God for your great country; for the protection of God
cannot, without sacrilege, be invoked but in behalf of justice and
right. You would have no right to look to the sympathy of mankind for
yourselves; for you would profess an abrogation of the laws of humanity
upon which is founded your own independence, your own nationality.

Now, gentlemen, if these be principles of common law, of that law which
God has given to every nation of humanity - if to organize itself is the
common lawful right of every nation; then the interference with this
common law of all humanity, the violent act of hindering, by armed
forces, a nation from exercising that sovereign right, must be
considered as a violation of that common public law upon which your very
existence rests, and which, being a common law of all humanity, is, by
God himself, placed under the safeguard of all humanity; for it is God
himself who commands us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, and
to do towards others as we desire others to do towards us. Upon this
point you cannot remain indifferent. You may well remain neutral to war
between two belligerent nations, but you cannot remain indifferent to
the violation of the common law of humanity. That indifference
Washington has never taught you. I defy any man to show me, out of the
eleven volumes of Washington's writings, a single word to that effect.
He could not have recommended this indifference without ceasing to be
wise as he was; for without justice there is no wisdom on earth. He
could not have recommended it without becoming inconsistent; for it was
this common law of mankind which your fathers invoked before God and man
when they proclaimed your independence. It was he himself, your great
Washington, who not only accepted, but again and again asked, foreign
aid - foreign help for the support of that common law of mankind in
respect to your own independence. Knowledge and instruction are so
universally spread amongst the enlightened people of the United States,
the history of your country is such a household science at the most
lonely hearths of your remotest settlements, that it may be sufficient
for me to refer, in that respect, to the instructions and correspondence
between Washington and the Minister at Paris - the equally immortal
Franklin - the modest man with the proud epitaph, which tells the world
that he wrested the lightning from heaven, and the sceptre from the
tyrant's hands.

I will go further. Even that doctrine of neutrality which Washington
taught and bequeathed to you, he taught not as a constitutional
_principle_ - a lasting regulation for all future time, but only as
a matter of temporary _policy_. I refer in that respect to the very
words of his Farewell Address. There he states explicitly that "it is
your _policy_ to steer clear of _permanent_ alliances with any
portion of the foreign world." These are his very words. Policy is the
word, and you know that policy is not the science of principle, but of
exigencies; and that principles are, of course, by a free and powerful
nation, never to be sacrificed to exigencies. The exigencies pass away
like the bubbles of a shower, but the nation is immortal: it must
consider the future also, and not only the egotistical dominion of the
passing hour: it must be aware that to an immortal nation nothing can be
of higher importance than immortal principles. Again, in the same
address Washington explicitly says, in reference to his policy of
neutrality, that "with him a predominant motive has been to _gain
time_ to your country to settle and mature its institutions, and to
progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency
which is necessary to give it the command of its own fortunes." These
are highly memorable words, gentlemen. Here I take my ground; and
casting a glance of admiration over your glorious land, I confidently
ask you, gentlemen, are your institutions settled and matured or are
they not? Are you, or are you not, come to such a degree of strength and
consistency as to be the masters of your own fortunes? Oh! how do I
thank God for having given me the glorious view of this country's
greatness, which answers this question for me! Yes! you _have_
attained that degree of strength and consistency in which your less
fortunate brethren may well claim your protecting hand.

One word more on Washington's doctrines. In one of his letters, written
to Lafayette, he says: - "Let us only have twenty years of peace, and our
country will come to such a degree of power and wealth that we shall be
able, in a just cause, to defy any power on earth whatsoever." "In a
just cause!" Now, in the name of eternal truth, and by all that is dear
and sacred to man, since the history of mankind is recorded, there has
been no cause more just than the cause of Hungary. Never was there a
people, without the slightest reason, more sacrilegiously, more
treacherously attacked, or by fouler means than Hungary. Never has
crime, cursed ambition, despotism, and violence, united more wickedly to
crush freedom, and the very life, than against Hungary. Never was a
country more mortally aggrieved than Hungary is. All _your_
sufferings - all _your_ complaints, which, with so much right, drove
your forefathers to take up arms, are but slight grievances in
comparison with those immense deep wounds, out of which the heart of
Hungary bleeds! If the cause of our people is not sufficiently just to
insure the protection of God, and the support of right-willing men - then
there is no just cause, and no justice on earth. Then the blood of no
new Abel will moan towards Heaven. The genius of charity, Christian
love, and justice will mourningly fly the earth; a heavy curse will fall
upon morality - oppressed men will despair, and only the Cains of mankind

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