Great rulers cannot be smart people

The German emperor William, as everyone in his country knows, received regular music education. He also liked music. He wasn’t even bored with his teachers, the handling of the instrument, and he even gladly spent his free time teasing some of his favorite songs. Those who know him more closely also think he has quite a lot of music-making talent. His music poem: Ägir’s song is also found by people who are not ordinary court flatterers. Káldy told me that this song is a small work, but it also has a thought, a mood and not a simple echo of the melodies we once heard. Who created this: could create something else, bigger.

So the mighty emperor has a spiritual talent that surpasses the talents of ordinary everyday people. What makes him noticeable even then-309- if he were not an emperor and if he were not the emperor of such a strong nation, the quality is German.

It is certain that he recognized the great value of Hungarian music as soon as he became acquainted with it.

This is a big and typical thing. Because he points to a special intelligence and a sentient and unbiased soul.

Becoming a smart man called a great and mighty ruler is much harder than becoming an ordinary man.

The flattery that surrounds it; the belief that he is the chosen representative of providence and the special grace of God; the thousand great affairs which draw his attention forever and which hardly allow him to meditate on himself; a sure feeling of infallibility, since all is so good, that ‘he orders; the unpredictable degree of power, that ‘he commands everyone and that’ he obeys him, even science, even art, even female charm: all this hardly allows the great and mighty ruler to become a clever man develop or remain a smart person. It is a special fortune for the rulers that misfortune, sickness, and death do not plague them. If they were to always stay healthy and live two human lives: they would have to spend the second half of their lives in a house for the mentally ill.

There are exceptions. But they are then very well developed brain men.

From a distance, I like the fact that the German emperor is one of the men with the best developed brains.-310-

In his youth, his brain could not adapt to Hungarian music, and yet he immediately perceived and felt the great perfections of it.

His whole nerves accustomed to German and so-called great music, and in spite of this, the power of Hungarian music immediately reached his soul.

How much more perfect the mind is his than the musicians in general!

He could also inherit it from his parents, but a suitable upbringing also shaped and trained this mind.

I have to make another comment about it, if I’m already talking about it.

I follow his occasional and makeshift speeches with considerable attention. Those that are caused by a momentary impression and an acute agitation.

The course of thought of these speeches, and even the shape of his thoughts, has long been familiar to me. In particular, he speaks of the world-historical vocation of the great German nation, its leading role in advancing general education, the greatness and nobility of its national self-esteem and power, and the need for inner unity between the ruler and his people. His ideals come from his soul, but this soul does not deviate for a moment from the great and old German national tradition.

I had an old teacher at the Papal Academy as a child. His name was István Bocsor. Hard Calvinist brain. Representative in 1848. At the academy he is a teacher of world history and the history of Hungarian constitutional law. He also wrote some precious work, which he does today -311-everyone has forgotten. His conception of the nature of our constitution and some of its historical developments is so peculiar, so original and so strong that the generation would consider it almost impossible for the current currents of ideas.

In the last century, around 1834–1835, he visited one or two German universities, including Berlin. Then he became a papal teacher. I listened to his historical lectures around 1855–1857.

He stood before us with wonderful predictions.

Then surely the Germans were not world leaders. It was torn to pieces, and among its larger pieces, Prussia could hardly compete even with Austria. And even then, the old teacher had predicted with arithmetic accuracy what would happen next.

– The time will come, amici, and not for long, when the German nation will form a unified state, displace the Habsburgs, overthrow the French, push the vagueness of the Romanian races into the background, and stand at the head of the world with a pure Germanic viability. A ruler will be born, whose soul will be filled with the great and noble self-esteem of the German nation and its great traditions developed and strengthened among its centuries of misery, and under which the fullness of time will come, of which German hearts still dream, but they are prepared in advance and even ready.

That’s how he talked.

Even the relationship between the ruler and his people was as scattered as Emperor William was now.

Who was his teacher, who he listened to, I do not know; I don’t have time to look up their names now. Certain that-312-he brought those thoughts and ideas from his German teachers. The third generation has been alive ever since and Emperor William is its representative. But the tradition to which his thinking corresponds is long gone.

It is old but always pure German and quite national. There was hardly ever a mighty ruler who would have been a truer national prince than he was. And no matter how strange it sounds, every time he speaks, I always remember the old Bocsor teacher and his great prophecy.

Is it then that Emperor William, the ruler whom Bocsor, the son of the peasant judge of Enying, had already recognized in advance in his future womb?

It is our human nature to want to see famous men. I also saw Emperor William well when he visited Budapest in September 1897. His bright and deep eyes, brave and self-conscious gaze struck me. Open and meaningful face. He seems to rarely stare so hard that his consciousness would not follow every thought.

On September 20, there was a big and bright evening in the Buda Castle Palace. There was also a musical performance conducted by Káldy. From Hungarian racial music, Káldy had a Hungarian dream and Lavotta’s Tent Kurucz song. Rákóczi’s song, the Svihrova song, was performed outside the program.

The next day, the German emperor visited the Opera. Here they gave details from several Hungarian operas. Among other things, the great song beginning by Szép Melinda from Bánk ban.

Nothing impressed the great emperor like Lavotta’s kurucz song and the original old Rákóczi.-313-

These are not verse melodies, not so-called folk songs. Both belong to the highest kind of great music, except they are neither perfectly harmonized nor instrumented to a large arm. Kurucz music is a superior representative of both. Although my taste is even bigger and richer in kurucz music than this.

These were performed by Lajos Oláh.

The sad but slightly muffled voice of the raven can exert its full power in the large palace hall of the Buda Royal Castle. He had never seen this instrument, such a voice had never been heard by the mighty prince.

But no music like that.

For some reason I did not go up to the evening, I could not observe the emperor’s face under the influence of the music. But I heard from Chaldi and others that on hearing the first sounds the emperor questioned the piece with nervous speed and then surrendered wordlessly, silently to the effect that this music had on the noble and cultivated souls.

Hey huge ur! You don’t know when and why those heartbreaking kurucz songs came about! You do not know how much blood and how much tears the Hungarian sacrificed to protect his race, nation, homeland, freedom, the sanctity of his creed and the proud hopes of his future.

You don’t know that, huge ur!

You don’t even know that since that proud royal castle has existed: it has now spoken within its solid walls -314-first the tarogató, and now, for the first time, the sound that was the sacred word of the so-called resurrection of Hungarian freedom, which was so stifled in blood, broke out of its black bay. And it will stay forever.

Why don’t you come to us more than once, you mighty ur?

As the music sounded: the emperor turned to Káldy. Gentle, serious, great feeling on his glowing face and eyes. And he shook hands with the humble artist.

“Thank you, thank you very much, Mr. Kaldy, it’s a pleasure.” That I didn’t know this music was in the world too! That my teachers did not let me know!

He looked around with a smile. Doesn’t dr. Lucanus or Bülow or Plessen and Hahnke s will not gossip at home in Berlin. But these soldiers and statesmen stood farther away. And he continued with a smile:

“Of course, my music teachers didn’t know anything about this music themselves!”

(- The donkeys!) The word between this bracket was not uttered by the emperor, but it just didn’t slip out of his mouth. This word should have followed the tone and face of his words.

Then he asked Káldy about the age and authors of the pieces of music. He also asked about the tarogato. And he listened with great interest to the explanations. And he said again:

– I was very touched by this wonderful music. As you know, sometimes when I can steal a little peace for myself, I do a little bit of music. Yours-315-I don’t promise anything about your music. I do not promise! But I think I’ll still deal with that.

Káldy mentioned the song of the emperor Ägir, which was also on the show and played by one of the bands. He praised its beauty.

The emperor shrugged.

“Thank you for your appreciation, but it’s a simple song!”

Early the next morning the emperor had prepared for Kaldy the king of Prussia. Crown order donation letter. In Budapest, Sept. It was dated 21 December 1897. He also sent the letter and the order to Káldy.

And our king gave Káldy a high-value three-brilliant gold brooch with the initials of his name for kurucz music, he recalls. Poor kurucz heroes who have long become dust and ashes, you never believed that your songs would once roar there in the royal castle of Buda for the beauty of emperors and kings!

But the German emperor will surely forgive his music teachers for their ignorance, once he finds out that even the music teachers of the Hungarian Royal Academy of Music do not know and perhaps still do not know Lavotta’s famous kurucz music!