“BUCHAREST the gay has become Bucharest the grave,” says a recent cable message, and both epithets are admirably chosen. Bucharest, on a stream which joins the Danube, is a stately city of 350,000 inhabitants, about equal to Washington, D.C., or to New Orleans.
And it has elements of both; with Washington, its atmosphere of diplomacy, of legislative doings, each with its marked society; with New Orleans, its aristocratic tradition, its French affinities, its habit of gayety and large hospitality.
But it is with the gay France of the early Third Empire, not with the earnest and exalted France of today, that Bucharest is joined in spirit; or was until the straitening events of the last few weeks turned it into Bucharest the grave. For there is at stake nothing less than the future life of the nation, with the possibility that it may suddenly grow to a far larger life, the life of the completed Rumanian people.
For the Rumania of today is but a mutilated land, the fragment of the true Rumania, toward which the hearts of all her children yearn.
- Of the six divisions of the Rumanian people, only two, Wallachia and Moldavia, are as yet incorporated into the Rumanian Kingdom. These two principalities, which had their separate lives all through the Middle Ages, were united only in 1859, by the odd yet simple expedient of electing the same Prince for both.
- But Alexander John Couza, in whose person the two regions were joined together, though he had the aspirations of a patriot, had also, unhappily, the passions of a libertine, and after seven years he lost his throne, joining the Kings in exile by the banks of the Seine.
- The two principalities now united under the Rumanian crown, under the rule of a Catholic Hohenzollern, (Ferdinand I., a man of 51, a cousin of the late King Carol,) have, with an area of 50,000 square miles, (just equal to England,) a population of something over 7,000,000, (equal to that of England 120 years ago.) Of these, 6,000,000 are Rumanian by race and speech; but there are 5,000,000 Rumanians—almost as many more—in territories lying immediately about the boundaries of the present kingdom;
and it is the heart’s desire of every Rumanian, whether within or beyond the present frontier, that the partition should be broken down and the twain made one.
GENERAL AVERESCU, CROWN PRINCE CAROL,
Commander of Rumania’s Armies. Who will go to the front with the armies.
RUMANIAN SOLDIERS IN THE STREETS OF BUCHAREST
A GROUP OF RUMANIAN OFFICERS AT AN ARMY POST
RUMANIA, SHOWING HOW HER BORDERS BEAR ON THE SITUATION OF BULGARIA AND AUSTRIA HUNGARY
Much of the largest fragment of “unredeemed Rumania” is the part which now belongs to Hungary—
- the east of Transylvania, a very fertile plateau of the Carpathians and one of the few parts of Europe which produce pay gold;
- it was broken off the Rumanian Nation in the great tide of Mongol conquest when Huns, Magyars, Tartars successively flooded Eastern and Central Europe in destructive locust flights.
In imperial Roman days, Transylvania was so much a part of Rumania that Roman roads—still easily traced—join the two halves across the Carpathians, while the headquarters of the Roman legions was at Apulum—now ridiculously renamed Karlsburg, in Southwestern Transylvania. Only in the eleventh century did this region come definitely under the Hungarian yoke.
It is notorious—and not creditable—that the Rumanians subject to Hungary have been much more severely bullied than their brothers in Bukowina, “the Beech land,” directly under the Austrian crown. At the very time when, under Louis Kossuth, they were fighting for their own liberty, their own national ideal, the Hungarians planned to disfranchise the Rumanian population of Transylvania.
That province was to be represented at Budapest by sixty-nine Deputies, who were, however, to be either Hungarians or Germans, with not a single Rumanian among them, though these were two-thirds of the Transylvanian population, while the Hungarians were but a quarter, with the Germans less than a tenth.
The truth is that 10,000,000 Hungarians in Hungary have been trying to hold in serfdom an equal number of “inferior” races, of whom 3,000,000 are Rumanians. The Magyars are just despotic in will and act as are the Habsburgs themselves; and Rumania is eager to remedy that.
RUMANIAN INFANTRY ON THE FRONTIER DURING RUMANIA’S NEUTRALITY
THE ROYAL SUMMER PALACE OF PELESCH AT SINAI, IN THE TAUNUS MOUNTAINS
TWO INTERIOR VIEWS OF THE LUXURIOUS RUMANIAN SUMMER PALACE OF PELESCH
PRINCESS ELIZABETH OF RUMANIA PRINCESS MARIA AND PRINCE NICHOLAS THE CROWN PRINCE CAROL In peasant costume Playing as peasants in the royal park, Bucharest As an officer of the Royal Gua
The second fragment of “unredeemed Rumania” dwells in Bukowina, immediately north of Transylvania. This land of beech trees among the Carpathian foothills has been far more continuously a part of the Rumanian realm than has Transylvania.
- Indeed, it was only in 1777 that Austria obtained from the Sultan of Turkey (the overlord of the Rumanian principalities) the cession of this, one of the richest regions of Moldavia, both in resources and in traditions;
for it was here, at Sucheava, on a tributary of the Sereth, that the old Moldavian Princes had their metropolis, while in the ancient convent of Putna their bones were laid.