Select Speeches of Kossuth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 535 pages of information about Select Speeches of Kossuth.

Select Speeches of Kossuth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 535 pages of information about Select Speeches of Kossuth.



[The speeches of Kossuth in England, though masterly in themselves, are in great measure superseded by those which he delivered in America, where the same subjects were treated at far greater length, and viewed from many different aspects.  From the speeches in England I here present only three topics, in a rather fragmentary form.]


[First Extract:  from Kossuth’s Speech at the Guildhall, London, Oct. 30th, 1851.]

The time draws near, when a radical change must take place for the whole world in the management of diplomacy.  Its basis has been secrecy:  therein is the triumph of absolutism, and the misfortune of a free people.  This has won its way not in England only, but throughout the whole world, even where not a penny of the national property can be disposed of without public consent.  It surely is dangerous to the interests of the country and to constitutional liberty, to allow such a secrecy, that the people not only should not know how its interests are being dealt with, but that after the crisis is passed, the minister should inform them:  “The dinner has been prepared,—­and eaten; and the people has nothing to do, but digest the consequences.”  What is the principle of all evil in Europe?  The encroaching spirit of Russia.—­And by what power has Russia become so mighty?  By its arms?—­No:  the arms of Russia are below those of many Powers.  It has become almost omnipotent,—­at least very dangerous to liberty,—­by diplomatic intrigues.  Now against the secret intrigues of diplomacy there is no surer safeguard, or more powerful counteraction, than public discussion.  This must be opposed to intrigues, and intrigues are then of no weight in the destinies of humanity.

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[Second Extract from a Short Speech in London, May 25th, 1858.]

I must ask leave to make a remark on the system pursued by your Government in their Foreign relations.  You consider yourselves a constitutional nation:  I fear that in some respects you are not so.  There is a Latin proverb [current in Hungary], Nil de nobis sine nobis,—­“nothing that concerns us, without us.”  This in many things you make your maxim.  You say that none of your money shall be spent without your knowledge and approval; and in your internal affairs you carry this out; but I think that the secrecy in which the transactions of your diplomacy are involved is hardly constitutional.  Of that most important portion of your affairs which concerns your country in its relations with the rest of Europe, what knowledge have you?  If any interpellation is made about any affair not yet concluded, my Lord the Secretary of the Foreign Office will reply that he cannot give any answer, for the negotiations are still pending.  A little later he will be able to answer, that as all is now concluded, all comment will be superfluous.

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Select Speeches of Kossuth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.