Before we cross the Kiralyhago, let us cast a parting glance at Hungary. I will unroll before your eyes a scene, partly the result of an adverse fate, partly of a dark mystery, representing joy and also deep sorrow. An incident of a moment becomes the turning-point of a whole century.
My soul is saddened by the images thus conjured up; the figures out of the past blind my sight. Would that my hand were mighty enough to write down what my soul sees in that magic mirror. May your impressions, your recollections, complete the scene wherever the writer fails through weariness.
We find ourselves in the valley of the Drave, in one of those boundless tracts where even the wild beasts lose themselves. Here are primeval forests, the roots of which rest in the water of a great swamp encircled not by water lilies and reed-grass, but by giant trees whose branches, dropping below the surface, form new roots in the quickening water. Here the swan builds its nest; this is the haunt of the heron and all those wild creatures one of which only now and then marches out into more frequented regions. On the higher ground, where in late summer the waters ebb, spring such flowers as might have been seen just after the deluge, so luxuriant and so strange is their mighty growth out of the slimy mud. The branches of ivy, stout as grape vines, reach from tree to tree winding about the trunks and decking the dark maples as if some wood-nymph had garlanded her own consecrated grove.