His death is a great loss to our nation. Whether he made a mistake or not: I can’t decide. Whether the affairs of our nation are developing well or badly: we certainly cannot know. But if he had made a mistake: his great talent, his will to iron, the power of his authority and his strong and pure Hungarianness would have made up for all the mistakes. And the danger that threatened us could have been overcome more easily with his help.
He’s been sick for a long time.
When he ruled justice: I had already seen the destruction of his nerves. Often an unbridled temper erupted over him in an instant, too, for nothing he would have noticed or dealt with with a smile. He broke his brain incessantly with hard work, I attributed the nerve irritability to the unusual strain on the brain.
In the summer of 1898, he said from Tátrafüred that he would like to talk to me for a few days there. Let us open our souls to each other.-142-
I went there. I found it. We talked to each other with tender attention, but we didn’t know each other on some big issues.
But I must have recognized his illness, which he took to the sickle, even then. And not a friend of mine can bear witness to this, I have not concealed the sad suspicion of his impending death.
The grave where he takes his eternal rest must be marked by the nation. Dezső Szilágyi, the historical figure who lived while living by the hand of providence, was made of reason and character, knowledge and Hungarian feeling, iron will and ambition. His memory lasts a long time. And as long as there is: there will be the true respect of our nation.
* * *
I also have to tell you about my illness and death from what I observed myself.
He had huge bones and strong and hardened muscles. Wide shoulders, thick neck, strong head backed back, deeply bent Hungarian spine, full arms and legs. Perfect lungs, safe, fast and easy walking. It is faded by nature and a little fattened, but there is no exaggeration, no extravagance in food, drink, love making friends or exercise. He cared for his strength and health carefully. He spent enough time sleeping, forgetting, cheering.
It never occurred to me that his age did not extend beyond sixty years.-143-
However, he got the more dangerous kind of heart disease. This is a medical and incurable disease that is a normal and common way to pass away. This gender of death also destroyed the life of Ferencz Deák.
Heart disease is often accompanied by other problems in the lungs, larger blood vessels, stomach, and kidneys. If you do connect: the way and time of the heart failure can certainly not be calculated. Death can happen quickly and accidentally. But all serious phenomena proved that no other connecting problems had occurred at Szilágyi. Even the water sickness had no trace. Appetite, mood, muscle strength is complete, movement is fast. So for a few years of life, he was even entitled to heart failure.
In my experience, heart disease is mistreated by so many doctors and so many patients. I saw this in Szilágyi as well.
The heartbreaking person, I have noticed, should not walk much, make a stronger movement, do work with muscle strength, bathe or get involved in bigger emotions. Carrying, swimming, going uphill, bending down quickly, lifting weights are especially dangerous. Szilágyi either did not know this or did not take it into account. Eat heartbreakers eat and drink wisely and albeit often during the day, but not much. Sit in a comfortable armchair in the sun or in the fresh air and surround yourself with tender and cheerful company. Although not everyone can do this with strict regularity, Szilágyi could do it.-144-
However, he could not tolerate the idea that the world would see him weaken, wither, run out. He was disgusted to regret it. He would have been terribly angry if he had seen that his word no longer had the old weight, his authority was diminishing, the men of the legislature and government were in no hurry to win his advice and benevolence as before, and they were no longer afraid of those he had seen afraid of him all the time. .
He also instinctively believed that he could bring back the strength and dexterity of his spirit and muscles with force and violence, even from heart disease.
Who were your doctors: I don’t know. I don’t even know when he was first warned of his heart disease. By August 1898, this problem was already there. That’s when I visited Tatra-Füred, as I mentioned. Maybe this was my last visit to him. Apparently I noticed many external symptoms of heart disease on it. I asked him if he was still continuing his morning exercises? Weightlifting, arm stretching, hand clamping. He continued, but only at his apartment in Budapest. He even continued to carry, though less frequently. But he took huge mountain walks in the Tatras every day and bathed in a cruel cold water of eight to ten degrees with his heated body.
The heartbreaking man had already had a deadly operation. I told him I wouldn’t do all this. I did not say that one should not live with heart disease in this way, but I said that a fat person of fifty-eight years of age could get heart disease with this way of life, and then there is no escape from it. I was excited by this speech. Common-145- our friend was Count Gábor Károlyi. He also died of a heart attack suddenly. He asked about his relationships and his last days. When I mentioned the heart problem, he became irritated again and immediately diverted the speech.
From this I concluded that he either already feels or knows his great illness, but he does not want to hear about it.
He lived in great political activity for another three years.
It was close to the last crisis at times. There was a time when the pale color of death was on his face for weeks. But from the bouncing power of body and soul he would not let go then.
The Karlsbad Bath was fatal for him the last time. Famous bath. People in science consider it very good in many diseases. I don’t even want to get into their science, but I can’t even keep quiet that this has already become a losing place for many of my good friends and acquaintances, who I sacredly believed were not so close to death.
Szilágyi should not have been allowed to go to Karlsbad to recover. Is it another thing that you obeyed your doctor? There, death could have been as intact as it was on the road. But he brought it with him from there, and he couldn’t cope with it for twenty-four hours at home.
What a time! What a force! What a huge ghost! And all this became nothing during the time a thought flew, a flash of lightning!
No one saw his collapse, his final writhing. No one heard the bronchial bucus of the escaped life. He could not witness the last distortion of his hard face-146-nobody. He closed every door of his room and died unnoticed.
If he ever thought of death: that’s what he wanted for himself. Even the panther, if he suspects his passing, marches into an inaccessible dark den to fall asleep forever. Let no one see the last moment he was weak.