jueves, 8 de febrero de 2018


 Mária Terézia és Ferenc István

Az Eszterházy-testvérek

Mária Teréziának 16 gyermeke született

If we had to rank the Habsburgs, Reserl would probably be in my top picks. Here's a strong female who did a lot during her reign. A loving consort, sixteen children, and marriages of state left and right to secure alliances against Prussia.
Also, aside from all that female agency and matchmaking... for backing off from Austrocentrism.
In particular, the Magyars think of Mária Terézia as a role model (her consort, Ferenc István, is lesser known but nevertheless relevant to them). As I have read in a series of Victorian historical tales:

After a march of some days, they reached Pressburg, our days' Bratislava, then the capital of Hungary, and were welcomed in person by the Queen, who, alarmed by the danger impending over her kingdom, hastened to solicit the aid of her Hungarian subjects.
Mrs. Jameson, a distinguished English writer, has given so fine and graphic a description of Maria Theresa's appearance before the Hungarian chiefs, that I am tempted to transcribe the whole passage. She writes thus :—
"Who has not read of the scene which ensued, which has so often been related, so often described? and yet we all feel that we cannot hear of it too often. When we first meet with it on the page of history, we are taken by surprise, as though it had no business there : it has the glory and the freshness of old romance. Poetry never invented any thing half so striking, or that so completely fills the imagination.
"The Hungarians had been oppressed, enslaved, insulted by Maria Theresa's predecessors. In the beginning of her reign, she had abandoned the usurpations of her ancestors, and had voluntarily taken the oath to preserve all their privileges entire. This was partly from policy, but it was also partly from her own just and kind nature. The hearts of the Hungarians were already half won, when she arrived at Pressburg, in June 1741. She was crowned Queen of Hungary on the 13th, with the peculiar national ceremonies: the iron crown of St. Stephen was placed on her head, the tattered but sacred robe thrown over her own rich habit, which was incrusted with gems; his scimitar girded to her side. Thus attired, and mounted upon a superb charger, she rode up the Royal Mount, a rising ground near Pressburg, so called from being consecrated to this ceremony, and, according to the antique custom, drew her sabre, and defied the four quarters of the world, in a manner, that showed she had no occasion for that weapon t& conquer all who saw her. The crown of St. Stephen, which had never before been placed on so small or so lovely a head, had been lined with cushions to make it fit; it was also very heavy, and its weight, added to the heat of the weather, incommoded her; when she sat down to dinner in the great hall of the castle, she expressed a wish to lay it aside. On lifting the diadem from her brow, her hair, loosened from confinement, fell down in luxuriant ringlets over her neck and shoulders; the glow which the heat and emotion had diffused over her complexion added to her natural beauty, and the assembled nobles, struck with admiration, could scarce forbear from shouting their applause.
"The effect which her youthful grace and loveliness produced on this occasion had not yet subsided, when she called together the Diet, or Senate of Hungary, in order to lay before them the situation of her affairs. She entered the hall of the castle, habited in the Hungarian costume, but still in deep mourning for her father, the late Kaiser Charles; she traversed the apartment with a slow and majestic step, and ascended the throne, where she stood for a few minutes silent. The Chancellor of the State first explained the situation to which she was reduced, and then the Queen, coming forward, addressed the assembly in Latin, a language which she spoke fluently, and which is still in common use among the Hungarians.
"' The disastrous state of our affairs,' said she, 'has moved us to lay before our dear and faithful states of Hungary, the recent invasion of Austria, the danger now impending over this kingdom, and propose to them the consideration of a remedy. The very existence of the kingdom of Hungary, of our own person, of our crown, is now at stake, and, forsaken by all, we place our sole hope in the fidelity, arms, and long-tried valor of the Hungarians.'
"She pronounced these simple words in a firm, but melancholy tone. Her beauty, her magnanimity, and her distress, roused the Hungarian chiefs to the wildest pitch of enthusiasm : they drew their sabres half out of the scabbard, then flung them back to the hilt, with a martial sound, which re-echoed through the lofty hall, and exclaimed, with one accord, ' Our swords and our blood for your Majesty—we will die for our King, Maria Theresa!' Overcome by sudden emotion, she burst into a flood of tears. At this sight, the nobles became almost frantic with enthusiasm. They retired from her presence, to vote supplies of men and money, which far exceeded her expectations."
Ulrich was a witness to this glorious scene, and his valor was so much aroused by the youth and loveliness of his beloved Queen, that he felt impatient to advance and seal his devotion on the field of battle.

And I imagine those fierce, moustachioed Magyars saw the Virgin and her Child in the blond, blue-eyed, lilywhite Queen with little Crown Prince Joseph in her arms. At the time, Ferenc István was left in Vienna, heartfully sitting the two elder girls (the couple had so far had but three kids, and she left for Pressburg, and was crowned and they swore allegiance to her, when she was not only mourning her father... but also recovering from having given birth to a male heir!).

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