Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 7.djvu/289

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


KOSSUTH

ON HIS WELCOME TO NEW YORK[1]

(1861)

Born in 1802, died in 1894; Member of the Hungarian Diet from 1882 to 1836; imprisoned by Austria from 1837 to 1840; Minister of Finance in 1848; Governor of Hungary on the Declaration of Independence in 1849; resigned In the same year and went into exile, visiting the United States in 1851.

Let me, before I go to work, have some hours of rest upon this soil of freedom, your happy home. Freedom and home; what heavenly music in those two words! Alas! I have no home, and the freedom of my people is downtrodden. Young Giant of free America, do not tell me that thy shores are an asylum to the oppressed and a home to the homeless exile. An asylum it is; but all the blessings of your glorious country, can they drown into oblivion the longing of the heart and the fond desires for our native land? My beloved native land! thy very sufferings make thee but dearer to my heart; thy bleeding image dwells with me when I wake, as

  1. From his first speech after landing in America in December, 1851. After Kossuth escaped to Turkey, Austria and Russia had demanded his extradition, but Turkey, supported by France and England, refused it. In September, at the instance of England and the United States, he was liberated and taken to Gibraltar on board the United States frigate, the Mississippi, which had been sent for the purpose. From Gibraltar he sailed for England and thence came afterward to the United States.

249