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twenty thousand souls were gathered heart. " She is dead!” he repeated. together, listening to the words of a The words died away upon his lips, popular orator, exalted upon a scaf- and he fell, like one thunderstruck, folding in their midst. George made headlong to the ground. his way into the throng; the speaker This tragical incident raised to a was relating the incredible atrocities climas the excitement of the multiof the Raitzen. Several of his hearers tude. noticed the weary, wild-looking, travel- “Revenge I-a bloody revenge!” stained man, carrying in his arms a thundered a voice; and the tumult pale girl with closed eyes, who stood that now arose was like the howling amongst them like a fugitive from a of the storm. mad-house.
" To arms! To arms! all who are “Whence come you ? ” they asked men!” was shouted on every side, him.
and the people thronged through the "From St Thomas."
streets and lanes of the city. “To “Ha! Up! up with him on the arms !-to arms !" was re-echoed scaffold !” cried those who heard his from house to house, and in an hour's reply.
time ten thousand furious men stood "A man is here from St Thomas. armed and equipped, and ready to Up with him, and let him speak to set out for St Thomas. the people ! ”
Then there got abroad a sullen The crowd opened a passage, and apprehension, speedily succeeded by George was hurried to the scaffold. a fierce resolve. Some one chanced When, from this elevation, his ema- to say :ciated and ghastly countenance, fur- “But what if, when we march rowed by suffering and despair, his away, the Raitzen rise up and murfailing limbs, and the faded and der our children ? ashy pale features of the child upon The words passed front mouth to his shoulder, became visible to the mouth. assembled multitude, a deep shudder- “ They shall die!" exclaimed ing murmur ran through its masses, many voices. "Let them perish, as like that the Platten Lake gives forth our brothers perished at St Thomas ! when tempest nears its shores. At They must die!" sight and sound of the heaving And with terrible ferocity the peothrong, a hectic flush flamed upon ple turned against their own city, George's cheek, an unwonted fire and like a mountain torrent, overburned in his bosom ; he felt the spirit powering all restraint, poured into of revenge descend upon his head like their neighbours' dwellings, and slew a forked and fiery tongue.
the Raitzen to the very last man. “Magyars !” he exclaimed in loud This occurred on the sixth day and manly tones, “I come from St after the extermination of the MagThomas, the sole survivor of all who yars at St Thomas. there prayed to God in the Magyar tongue. My goods are plundered, my kinsmen slain. Have any of you
George took his doad child in his friends there ?-prepare your mourn- arms, carried her into the forest, dug ing, for of a surety they are dead. a grave at the foot of a poplar tree, Of all I possessed I have saved but and laid her in it. He lacked the one treasure — my unhappy child. courage to throw clods upon her pale Approach ! ye that are fathers, think and beautiful countenance, but he of your virgin daughters, and behold plucked leaves and twigs from the what they have made of mine!” bushes, laid them thickly over her,
As he spoke, he lifted his child and then covered all with the black from his shoulder; and then only did earth. When the grave was filled he perceive that she was dead. in, and whilst he was smoothing Until that moment, he had thought the green moss over the mound, she was only faint and silent, as she anguish tore his heart; but, instead of had constantly been for six days past. Soothing tears, the fire of hell gleamed
“ Dead!” shrieked the despairing in his eyes. man, and clasped the corpse to his Then he took out his knife, to cut
his child's name on the bark of the teristic of his features, and the sinews tree which was to be her living of his frame were like cords of steel. monument. But when the letters In his arms he held a child, three were complete, there stood, graven or four years old. The child called by his own hand, the name of him father, and clasped him affecBASIL. For he thought no longer of tionately with its little hands. A his daughter, but of her murderer. woman was also there, sobbing pasAnd more terribly significant than a sionately, and wiping the tears from thousand curses and vows of vengeance was that name, graven in that “Canst thou pray, my son ? " said hour and that place.
the man, seating the child upon his George rose from the ground, and
knee. wandered forth into the forest. He “Surely he can,” the woman anhad walked some distance, when a swered ; “morning and evening he longing desire came over him once repeats his prayer.' more to gaze upon his daughter's “Grow up a good man, my songrave. He turned to seek it, but the not such a one as thy father. In trees were all alike: in vain he sought another year put him to school, that the one beneath which his child lay he may learn something good." buried, and at last night overtook him " That will I, though it were to in the very heart of the forest. Still he cost me my last florin ! walked on, whither and wherefore he " And take him far hence! When knew not. The wood grew thicker, he is older, never tell him what his and the night darker; the birds, father was. Conceal my name from startled at his footsteps, flew scream- him ; never let him know that he is ing from their perch. At last he the son of Rosa Sandor the robber."* stumbled over a tree-root, and fell. “ Ask thy father, child, when he Why should he get up again ? As will again visit us.” well there as anywhere. He let his “I know not, my son. For me the weary head sink upon the ground, morning never dawns of which I can whispered a “good night” to his say, this day is mine. Here to-day, child, and fell asleep, and dreamed to-morrow fifty miles off; after toof burning towns and scenes of
perhaps under the turf.” slaughter.
Talk not thus! See, tears are in Towards midnight the neighing of the child's eyes.” a horse roused him from bis restless “So is it, my son, and not otherslumbers. Near at hand he saw a wise. The robber has none to whom saddle-horse, snorting and pawing the to pray, early and late, for protection ground. Behind some bushes he to his life." heard a woman's plaintive tone, and “But you are no murderer, Sandor! the harsher voice of a man, mingled
You have no man's blood upon your at intervals with the prattle of a hands!" child.
“Seek not to palliate my offence, The man was a short spare figure, dear Wench! Sooner or later, the with flashing black eyes, long mus- gallows and the ravens will claim taches hanging down over his mouth, and black hair streaming on his Again the woman began to sob; shoulders. Energy was the charac- the child cried when it saw its mother
* Schlesinger describes Rosa Sandor as a man about thirty-five years of age not very tall or stout, with fair hair, small mustaches and whiskers, and with nothing of the bandit in his appearance or demeanour," but mentions that he had a lieutenant of the popular bandit type, a broad-shouldered truculent personage with a formidable black beard, and long hair streaming on his shoulders. “A strange relation,” he adds, “exists between the two men. The master was anxious, for reasons easy to conceive, that his person should not be generally known in the country ; whilst the servant, on the contrary, had vanity enough to take pleasure in passing for the famous Rosa Sandor. All the portraits of the latter which are circulated throughout the country are faithful likenesses of the lieutenant, and hence the common erroneous notion of the Captain."
weep; with deep feeling the robber and my country. But they ever caressed and comforted them.
rejected and drove me forth. And " Go home, dear ones!” he said, thou—what wouldst thou with me?6 and be not uneasy. Tell no one betray me? Fly, wretch! Hitherto that you have seen me. And His I have shed no blood.” blessing be upon you, whose blessing “ Henceforward thou shalt sbed it, I dare not ask !"
and thereby redeem thy crimes. Your The woman and child departed. country accepts what the law refused. The robber sprang into the saddle, Your country has foes.; go, wash with and, standing up in the stirrups, their blood the stain from your name!" listened, as long as they were audible, “ Tempt me not !” said the robber to the infantine tones of his child. mournfully. “Ah, were it indeed Suddenly an icy-cold hand was laid granted me to die a happy and hon
Startled, but without ourable death upon the battle-field !" uttering a sound, he turned his head. “And if fame, instead of death, A man stood beside his horse. It awaited you there? And if, on your was the fugitive from St Thomas. return thence, the very men who now
“Fear nothing from me, Rosa! chase you from forest to forest, came Handle not your pistols. Mine shall forth to meet you with laurel crowns not be the first blood you shed. Not and joyous acclamations; and if, into that end has your life been pre- stead of “robber," hero and patriot served through sixteen years of peril. were coupled with your name?—" Your destiny is not that of a common “Stop! befool me not! Oh, I malefactor."
could do much! A strong squadron “ You know me, then ?"
could I bring into the field, composed “ By report, as an outlaw, with of men who a hundred times have a price upon your head. I know, too, looked death fearlessly in the face; that you have a beloved wife and a men inured to heat and cold, and to darling child, to see whom once in back a horse for three days and nights every year you risk your life-here, without dismounting." where all know you, and any might “I will go and intercede for you." betray you."
" But what am I to thee? Who "Not a word of that! You are rag- art thou ? And why wouldst thou ged and needy. Doubtless you would serve me?" enlist in my band. Here, take this"—he “Oh, I have my motives. I am offered him a pistol ; "rather than do one whom the Raitzen have driven that, send a bullet through your head." from house and home, whose wife
The fugitive from St Thomas looked they have seduced, whose kindred earnestly in Sandor's face. Then he they have slain. By flight alone did I said quietly, almost carelessly, “Do escape with my life ; and here, in this my bidding, and the name of the very forest, have I buried my only Robber shall no longer be coupled with child, polluted and murdered. All that of Rosa Sandor."
these things have the Raitzen done to “Are you mad ? Have I not done me. Now, tell me, if you war against my utmost ? and in every quarter? them, you will give no quarter ? " Let them pardon my past offences, and “None." they would hear of no new ones. The " Then trust me that I will never traveller need no longer fear me. rest until I bring your pardon, on the Have I not offered to compensate to condition that you take the field the utmost of my power all those I against the Raitzen with your whole have injured, and to build, out of my band. And may your happiness on ill-gotten gains, a place of worship for earth be measured by the destruction that God whose commandments I you bring upon their accursed race." have wilfully broken? All I ask is to “Clear me the path to the battlebe suffered to live amongst my fellow field, and you shall have a mountain men, and to earn my daily bread by of your enemics' skulls." the labour of my hands. They would it I will do so. By all that is sacred, never listen to my offers. There is I swcar. In a fortnight I bring your no atonement I am not willing to pardon. Where shall we meet ?" make to the offended laws of God " We? nowhere. I trust no man.
If you be sincere, come to Félegyház. Till late in the evening, they rode on There, in the tavern, sits each morn- across the endless heath. No path ing a wrinkled old beggar, his grey was there, nor visible landmark; only hair tied up in two knots. He has but at intervals a patch of stunted aspens, one hand-thereby will you know and now and then a hut, whence prohim. Show him this pistol, and he ceeded the hoarse bark of dogs, or a will conduct you to me. Seek not to sheep-pen vacant until nightfall. compel from him the secret of my There were fens overgrown with reeds hiding-place, for no tortures could and rashes, and swarming with white wring it from his lips. Be not angry. herons; and vast tracts of moor, I must be cautious. For sixteen grazed and trampled by every sort of years have I been hunted like a beast cattle. Now and then, on the far of prey. And now away, and keep to horizon, the travellers caught sight of your right to find the path. An a steeple; or of a dark mass of wood, opposite road is mine."
coaxed by toil and care from the unHe set spurs to his horse, and gal- grateful sandy soil. loped off through the forest.
At last night fell. All around grew
grey, and then black; but still the The fortnight had not expired old horse-herd kept steadily on his when George entered the tavern at way. In the remote distance a red Félegyház.
glimmer was seen: right and left In a dark corner, over a measure of famed the fires of the shepherds. wine, sat the grey-haired, one-handed “ Yonder is Rosa Sandor," said the beggar.
Betyár, pointing to the distant light: George showed the pistol. The " there we shall find him." beggar rose from his seat, drank off his Another hour brought them to the wine, paid the tavern-keeper, and left place. As they drew near, the horses the house. Not a syllable escaped that stood round the fire neighed him.
aloud, and the figures of three men The two men stopped before a were visible. Their attitude was one wretched hut, at the extremity of the of watchfulness and determination. village. The beggar went in, and A peculiar whistle from the lips of brought out two powerful black sad the old Betyár warned them of the dle-horses. He signed to George to approach of friends. mount one, whilst he himself sprang One of the three men at the firoupon the other, as actively as though was the robber chief, Rosa Sandor. he were a young man and had both “What bring you?" asked Rosa. hands.
“ Your pardon!" cried George; and, Once fairly off, the old beggar be- springing from his steaming horse, he came talkative. These horses, he said, handed a sealed packet to his interrowere hacks of Rosa Sandor's, good gator. “Read and rejoice!"* beasts enough ; but the Captain's The robber turned to the firelight, and favourite steed was far finer and bet- unfolded the document, which quivered ter, and wonld let none but its master in his hand as he read it. One tear mount it, and wonld gallop for whole and then another fell upon the paper ; days together without rest, or food, or slowly he bent his knees, and turned drink. It swam the Theiss thrice his glistening eyes to heaven. “My running, and watched its master's Lord and my God!” he exclaimed, sleep like the most faithful dog, his utterance choked by sobs, for neighing when danger approached. sixteen years I have been hunted like
* Rosa Sandor was less a highwayman thau a cattle-lifter, and pursued his vocation in the neighbourhood of Szegedin. “ He was never in prison," says , Schlesinger, “but repented his misdemeanours of his own free will, and wrote to the magistrates stating that he would leave their cattle alone, if they would pardon him for the past and allow him to pursue the Austrians.” The Hungarian Government granted his request, and he did good service, especially against Jellachich and the Serbs ; and also repeatedly entered Pesth and Komorn with despatches, when those places were closely invested by the Austrians.-See Schlesinger, i. 226-8, for other particulars of this Hungarian Robin Hood, who was at the head of a band of three. hundred men, and was further remarkable by his abstinence from bloodshed.
a wild beast, but Thou vouchsafest to Many died, and no one could say me to be once more a man!”
what had killed them.
The rough He turned to his companions. “To uneducated soldiers were pining away horse ! ” he cried ; " let the troop in home-sickness, like flowers transassemble."
planted to a foreign and ungenial soil. They sprang to their horses, and An experiment was tried. Some soon upon all sides the signal-whistle of the sick men received leave to go was heard.
In ten minutes, a hun- home. The next day-they were dred and eighty men, well mounted and well and hearty. armed, mustered round the fire.
It became known that some one “ Friends and comrades," cried was at work secretly innoculating the Sandor, " that which we have so long soldiers with this strange malady; desired has come to pass. We are no but it was impossible to detect the longer robbers-our country pardons person. us. It is granted us to atone our The soldiers !-oh, not one of them crimes by an honourable death. Is would betray him; and all snares there one amongst you who does not were laid in vain. With the officers repent his past life, and rejoice to be he never meddled. The private solallowed to end it in honour ? "
diers were his men. With them he “Not one!" was the unanimous felt himself secure from treachery. shout.
And the seed he scattered abroad “Will you follow me to the battle ?" produced an abundant harvest. “Everywhere! To death!”
The dejection of the troops became “ Swear it."
daily more striking. The soldiers The vow was brief. “We joyfully grew wild and intractable. No lonswear to shed our blood for our father- ger, when riding their horses to water, land!"
did they sing, as had been their wont, “Add," said George to Rosa, “and joyous ditties in praise of wine and to give no quarter ! "
Their songs were now sad and strange-sounding; mournfulwords
to yet more dismal tunes. They sang The soldier is dying of home-sick- of their country, of their dear native
land, and of strife and bloodshed, in On a sudden an epidemic broke out dirge-like strains; and the burden of amongst the Hungarian troops sta- every couplet was Eljen Magyar!” tioned in foreign lands.
Like the last accents of a dying man A mysterious man wandered from were the tones they uttered, sinking place to place, visiting the wine-houses deeper and deeper, and ending in frequented by the hussars, and joining piteous long-protracted cadences. in their conversation. The words he Still are such songs to be heard in spoke, repeated from mouth to mouth, Hungary's forests, and around her vilspread far and wide amongst the lages, in the silent night-time. Now, light-hearted soldiers, whose light- more than ever, do they sound like heartedness then suddenly left them. funeral dirges, and their long sad The stranger told them of things notes like wailings from the grave. which had happened in their native land; and, when he departed, he left
In a small Gallician town was behind him printed verses and pro- quartered a division of hussars--splenclamations. These the privates took did fellows, for whom the heart of to their serjeants to have read to many a Polish maiden beat quicker them.
When they heard them read than its wont. The most beautiful they wept and cursed, and learned by woman in all the neighbourhood loved heart both verse and prose, from the the best blade amongst the hussarsfirst word to the last, and repeated the Captain. them from morning till night.
Countess Anna K-nsky, the lovely Then many took to their beds, and Polish widow, had been for six months neither ate nor drank; and when the betrothed to the bold hussar officer, doctors asked what ailed them, they and the wedding-day was near at pointed to their hearts, and said, hand. A single night intervened. On 1. Home! home !-let us go home!” the eve of the happy day, the bride