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Title: Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations
Author: Robinson, Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob, 1797-1870
Language: English
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Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations


With a Sketch of Their Popular Poetry



With a Preface by Edward Robinson, D.D. Ll.D.
Author of _Biblical Researches In Palestine_, etc.

New-York: George P. Putnam, 155 Broadway



The present work is founded on an essay, which appeared in the
Biblical Repository for April and July, 1834, then conducted by the
undersigned. The essay was received with favour by the public; and
awakened an interest in many minds, as laying open a new field of
information, hitherto almost inaccessible to the English reader. A few
copies were printed separately for private distribution. Some of these
were sent to literary men in Europe; and several scholars of high name
among those acquainted with Slavic literature, expressed their
approval of the work. Since that time, and even of late, inquiries
have repeatedly been made, by scholars and by public libraries in
Europe, for copies of that little treatise; which, of course, it was
impossible to satisfy.

These circumstances, together with the fact, that in these years
public attention has been more prominently directed to the character
and prospects of the Slavic nations, have induced the author to recast
the work; and to lay it anew before the public, corrected, enlarged,
and continued to the present time; as a brief contribution to our
knowledge of the intellectual character and condition of those
nations, in the middle of the nineteenth century.

In its present shape, the work may be said to supply, in a certain
degree, a deficiency in English literature. It is true, that
the literature of the Russians, Poles, Bohemians, and some
others, is treated of under the appropriate heads in the
_Encyclopædia Americana_, in articles translated from the German
_Conversations-Lexicon_, though not in their latest form. The Foreign
Quarterly Review also contains articles of value on the like topics,
scattered throughout its volumes. Dr. Bowring, in the prefaces to some
of his Specimens of Slavic Poetry, has given short notices of a
similar kind. The Biblical literature of the Old Slavic and Russian
has been well exhibited by Dr. Henderson[1]; while an outline of
Russian literature in general is presented in the work of Otto[2].
Valuable information respecting the South-western Slavi is contained
in the recent work of Sir J.G. Wilkinson.[3] But beyond this meagre
enumeration, the English reader will find few sources of information
at his command upon these topics. All these, too, are only sketches of
separate _parts_ of one great whole; of which in its full extent, both
as a whole and in the intimate relation of its parts, no general view
is known to exist in the English language.

Yet the subject in itself is not without a high interest and
importance; relating, as it does, to the languages and literature of a
population amounting to nearly or quite seventy millions, or more than
three times as great as that of the United States. These topics
embrace, of course, the history of mental cultivation among the Slavic
nations from its earliest dawn; their intellectual development; the
progress of man among them as a thinking, sentient, social being,
acting and acted upon in his various relations to other minds. They
relate, indeed, to the history of intellectual culture in one of its
largest geographical and ethnological divisions.

In this connection it is a matter of no small interest, to mark the
influence which Christianity has exercised upon the language and
literature of these various nations. It is to the introduction and
progress of Christianity, that they owe their written language; and to
the versions of the Scriptures into their own dialects are they
indebted, not only for their moral and religious culture, but also for
the cultivation and, in a great degree, the existence of their
national literature. The same influence Christianity is even now
exerting upon the hitherto unwritten languages of the American forest,
of the islands of the Pacific, of the burning coasts of Africa, of the
mountains of Kurdistan; and with the prospect of results still wider
and more propitious. Indeed, wherever we learn the fact, whether in
earlier or more recent times, that a language, previously regarded as
barbarous, and existing only as oral, has been reclaimed and reduced
to writing, and made the vehicle of communicating fixed thought and
permanent instruction, there it has ever been _Christianity_ and
_Missionary Enterprise_ which have produced these results. It is
greatly to the honour of Protestant Missions, that their efforts have
always been directed to introduce the Scriptures and the worship of
God to the masses of the people in their own native tongue. In this
way they have every where contributed to awaken the intellectual, as
well as the moral life of nations.

The present work has been prepared with great care; and with the aid
of the latest and best sources of information, so far as they were
accessible. The author, however, would be the last to desire, that any
one should regard the volume as comprising a full or complete history
of the literature of the seven or eight Slavic nations. Scholars
familiar with the subject, and especially intelligent Russian, Polish,
or Bohemian readers, will doubtless discover in it deficiencies and
errors. Limited to the resources of a private library,--for the public
libraries of the United States and of Great Britain have as yet
accumulated little or nothing in the Slavic department,--and without
the privilege of personal intercourse with others acquainted with
Slavic literary matters, the author desires to be distinctly
understood, as aiming only to present a _sketch_, an _outline_,--a
work which may fill its appropriate place, until it shall be
supplanted by something more perfect.

The preceding remarks have reference especially to the first _three_
Parts of the volume. In the _fourth_ Part, containing a Sketch of the
Popular Poetry of the Slavic nations, the author is perhaps still more
at home; and the reader, it may be hoped, will receive gratification
from the views and specimens there presented. Similar views, and a few
of the same specimens, were given in an article from the same pen, in
the North American Review for July, 1836.

In conclusion, it may not be inappropriate to remark, that
circumstances have combined to secure to the author some
qualifications for the preparation of a work of this kind, which are
not common to writers in the English language. A residence of several
years in early life in Russia, first in the southern provinces, and
afterwards at St. Petersburg, presented opportunity for a personal
acquaintance with the language and literature of that country. At a
later period, this gave occasion and afforded aid for an extensive
study of the Servian dialect and its budding literature; the results
of which were given to the public in a German translation of the very
remarkable popular songs and ballads of that country[4]. The field was
new: but certainly that can be regarded as no barren soil, nor that as
a fruitless labour, which at once drew the attention, and secured to
the translator the friendship and correspondence, of scholars like
Goethe, von Humboldt; J. Grimm, Savigny, G. Ritter, Kopitar, and
others. Similar researches were subsequently extended into the popular
poetry of the Teutonic and other nations; a portion of the results of
which have likewise been given to the public[5].

I may venture to commend this volume to the good will and kind
forbearance of the reader, in view of the difficulties which must ever
press upon the writer of such a work. The enterprising publisher has
done his part well; and I would join him in the hope, that the book
may prove an acceptable offering to the public.


NEW-YORK, April 10, 1850.


[Footnote 1: See _infra_, p. 45.]

[Footnote 2: Page 100.]

[Footnote 3: Page 121.]

[Footnote 4: _Volsklieder der Serben, übersetzt von Talvj_, Halle
1825-26, 2 vols.]

[Footnote 5: _Versach einer geschichtlichen Charakteristik der
Volkslieder germanischer Nationen, etc. von Talvj_, Leipzig 1840.]

       *       *       *       *       *



Origin of the Slavi, 1.--Mythology, 4.--Early language and dialects,
6.--Classification, 7.--Eastern Stem, 8.--Western Stem, 11.--Slavic
languages, 13.

_Part first_.


Home of the Old Slavic, 26.--Characteristics, 29.--Alphabet,
30.--Cyril and Methodius, 31.--Their translation of the Bible,
34.--Influence of the Old Slavic on the other dialects,
36.--Glagolitic alphabet, 37.--Dodrovsky's theory, 37.--THREE PERIODS,
34.--First Period, 39.--Second Period, 41.--Third Period, 42.--Present
state, 45.

_Part second_.




Origin of the Russians, 47.--Periods, 49.--Language and dialects,
49.--Russian Proper, 49.--Malo-Russian, 50.--White Russian, 51.--FIRST
PERIOD, 52.--SECOND PERIOD, 60.--Energy of Peter the Great, 60.--THIRD
PERIOD, 65.--Lomonosof, 66.--FOURTH PERIOD, 72.--The emperor Alexander
and his influence, 72.--Russian Bible Society, 74.--Karamzin,
76.--FIFTH PERIOD, 85.--The emperor Nicholas and his measures,
85--Panslavism, 86.--Pushkin, 95--Works on the Russian language, 101.




_Language and Literature of the Illyrico-Servians Proper._

Language written with different alphabets, 103.--Characteristics,
104.--History, 105.

_Servians of the Greek Church._

Their extent, 107.--Earlier literature, 108--Modern writers, 112--Vuk
Stephanovitch, 113.--His collection of popular songs, 114.--His
arrangement of the alphabet, 116.--- Recent poets, 118.--Montenegro,
the Vladika, 119.

_Servians of the Romish Church._

GLAGOLITIC LITERATURE, 123.--Manuscripts, _Text du Sacre_,
124.--Earliest works and writers, 126.

SECULAR LITERATURE, 127.--_Dalmatia Proper_, 128.--Ragusa and its
literature, 128.--Orthography, 131.--Dr. Gaj, 133.--_Catholic
Slavonians_, 133.


_Language and Literature of the_ CROATIANS, 135.--Relation of the
Croats to other Slavi, 135.--Orthography, etc. 136.


_Language and Literature of the_ VENDES _or_ SLOVENZI, 138.--Their
home, 138.--Efforts of Truber, 139.--Orthography, etc.
140.--Literature, 142.



Corruptions, 144.--No trace of early literature, 145.--Present state,

_Part Third_.





_History of the Czekhish or Bohemian Language and Literature._
Bohemian literature distinguished, 147.--Early history,
149.--Moravians, 151.--Note on pronunciation, 151.--Characteristics of
the language, 154.--Periods, 156.--FIRST PERIOD, 157.--SECOND PERIOD,
163.--John Huss and Jerome of Prague, 167.--Their martyrdom,
170.--Consequences, 174.--THIRD PERIOD, 182.--Golden age of Bohemian
literature, 183--Events, 184,--Literary activity, 188.--Desolations of
the thirty years' war, 195.--FOURTH PERIOD, 196.--Paralysis of
literature, 196.--Emigrants, Comenius, 197.--Slovak writers,
199.--FIFTH PERIOD, 200.--State of the language, 201.--Writers,
202.--Dobrovsky, 204--Kollar, 206.--Panslavism, 207--Schaffarik,
207.--Palacky, 209.--Works on the Bohemian language, 211.


_Language and Literature of the Slovaks._

Home of the Slovaks, 212.--Their language, 214.--Earliest traces of a
literature, 217.--Understand the Bohemian dialect, 218--- Writers in
German, 220.--Grammars, etc. 221.



Origin of the Lekhes, or Poles, 222.--Periods, 225.--Extent of the
Polish language, 225.--Its ancient character, 227.--FIRST PERIOD,
229.--SECOND PERIOD, 231.--THIRD PERIOD, 235.--Rapid progress of
literature, 235.--Toleration, 236.--Dissidents, Unitarians, etc.
236.--Culture of the language, 240.--Printing offices and schools,
241.--Degradation of the peasantry, 241.--Copernicus, 243,--Writers,
244.--FOURTH PERIOD, 250.--Perversion of taste, 251.--Theological
controversy and persecution, 252.--The Jesuits prevail, 253.--Poets,
255--FIFTH PERIOD, 256.--Revival, French influence, 257.--Political
struggles, 258.--Schools and cultivation, 259.--The peasantry were
serfs, etc. 260.--Literary activity, 262.--Effect of French influence,
263.--Writers, 264.--Czartoryski, 265.--The family Potocki,
266.--Lelewel, 268--Niemcewicz, 275.--SIXTH PERIOD, 285.--Causes of
the revolution in 1830, 285.--Results upon literature, 286.--Russian
efforts to destroy Polish nationality, 287.--Historical researches,
288.--Literature of Polish emigrants, 291.--Lelewel, 292.--Mickiewicz,
293.--Recent poetry, 297--Works on the Polish language, etc. 298.



History, 298.--Branches: The Obotrites, 300.--The Wiltzi, or
Pomeranians, 302.--The Ukern in Brandenburg, 303.--The Sorabians or
Vendes in Lusatia, 304.

1. _Vendes in Upper Lusatia._

Language, 308.--Influence of the Reformation, 308.--Two systems of
orthography, 310.--Literary efforts, 311.

2. _Vendes in Lower Lusatia._

Language, 313.--Literature mostly religious, 313.--Philological works,

_Part Fourth_.


SLAVIC POPULAR POETRY: Difficulties of the subject, 315.--Still
flourishes only among Slavic nations, 317.--Its antiquity and
prevalence, 318.--Nothing in it of romance, 319.--Different moral
standard, 320.--Nothing dramatic, 322.--Sometimes allegorical,
323--_Elegy_, 323.--Antithesis, 324.--Standing epithets,
325.--Plastic, 325.--Personifications, 327.--Superstitions,
328.--_Jelitza and her Brothers_, 329.--Moral characteristics,
332.--Love and heroism, 334.--Hopeless love, 336.--_The Farewell_,
336.--A mother's and sister's love, 338.


RUSSIAN POPULAR POETRY, 339.--Character and antiquity,
339.--Tenderness, 342.--_The Postilion_, 343.--Diminutives,
344.--Melancholy, 344.--Hopeless love, 344.--_Parting Scene_,
346.--_The Dove_, 347--_The Faithless Lover_, 349.--Veneration for the
Tzar, 350.--_The Boyar's Execution_, 350.--_The storming of Azof_,
353.--Malo-Russian songs, 354.--The Kozaks, 355.--Their history,
356.--Their ballads, 358--_The murder of Yessaul Tshural_,
359.--_Lament for Yessaul Pushkar_, 360--_Song of the Haidamack_,
362.--_Sir Sava and the Leshes_, 363.--_The Love-sick Girl_,
365.--_The Dead Love_, 366.

SERVIAN POPULAR POETRY, 366.--Only recently known,
367.--Characteristics, the Guslè, 369.--Cheerfulness, 369.--Roguery,
370.--Passion, 371.--_Parting Lovers_, 371.--_Rendezvous, St. George's
Day_, 372.--_United in Death_, 373.--_Household Matters_, 374.--Heroic
poems, 374.--Ravens ill boding, 376.--Subjects, 377.--Rite of
brotherhood, 378.--Modern heroic poems, 379.--Vuk Stephanovitch as
collector, 381.--Music, the Guslè, 382.--In what parts of the country
prevalent, 383.--BULGARIAN Ballads, 383--_The Slave Gangs_, 384.

POPULAR POETRY OF THE SLOVENZI, 384.--_The Dovelet_, 385.


BOHEMIAN POPULAR POETRY, 386.--Ancient Bohemian songs compared with
Servian and Russian ballads, 386.--German, influence, 388.--_The
Forsaken Maiden_, 389.--_Liberal Pay_, 389.--_Happy Death, The Lying
Bird_, 300.--_The Dead Love_, 391.

SLOVAKIAN Ballads, 392.--_The Mother's Curse_, 392--_Sun and Moon_,

POLISH POPULAR POETRY, 394.--Formerly neglected, 395--Ancient hymn,
396.--Ballads, characteristics, 396.--_Invasion of the Tartars_,
397.--Orphan ballads, 399.--_Poor Orphan Child_, 399.

POPULAR POETRY OF THE VENDES, 400.--Characteristics, 401.--_The
Orphan's Lament_, 401.--_Good Advice for Lads_, 402.--Dying out, 404.



       *       *       *       *       *


On the Orthography and Pronunciation of Slavic proper names, see the
note on p. 151; also the note under the letter V in the Index.

       *       *       *       *       *



The earliest history of the Slavic nations is involved in a darkness,
which all the investigations of diligent and sagacious modern
historians and philologians have not been able to clear up. The
analogy between their language and the Sanscrit, seems to indicate
their origin from India; but to ascertain the time at which they first
entered Europe, is now no longer possible. Probably this event took
place seven or eight centuries before the Christian era, on account of
the over-population of the regions on the Ganges.[1] Herodotus
mentions a people which he called Krovyzi, who lived on the Ister.
There is even now a tribe in Russia, whose name at least is almost
the same.[2] Strabo, Pomponius Mela, Pliny, Tacitus, and several other
classical and a few oriental writers, allude to the Slavic nations
occasionally. But the first distinct intelligence we have of them, is
not older than the middle of the sixth century.[3] At this period we
see them traversing the Danube in large multitudes, and settling on
both the banks of that river. From that time they appear frequently in
the accounts of the Byzantine historians, under the different
appellations of the Slavi, Sarmatae,[4] Antae, Vandales, Veneti, and
Vendes, mostly as involved in the wars of the two Roman empires,
sometimes as allies, sometimes as conquerors; oftener, notwithstanding
their acknowledged valour and courage, as vassals; but chiefly as
emigrants and colonists, thrust out of their own countries by the
pressing forward of the more warlike German or Teutonic tribes. Only
the first of the above mentioned names is decidedly of Slavic
origin;[5] the second is ambiguous; and the last four are later and
purely geographical, having been transferred to Slavic nations from
those who had previously occupied the territory where the Romans first
became acquainted with them.

It results from the very nature of this information, that we cannot
expect to get from it any satisfactory knowledge of their political
state or the degree of their civilization. In general, they appear as
a peaceful, industrious, hospitable people, obedient to their chiefs,
and religious in their habits. Wherever they established themselves,
they began to cultivate the earth, and to trade in the productions of
the country. There are also early traces of their fondness for music
and poetry; and some circumstances, of which we shall speak in the
sequel, seem to justify the supposition of a very early cultivation of
the language.

All the knowledge we have respecting the ancient history of the Slavic
race, as we have seen, is gathered from foreign authors; the earliest
of their own historians did not write before the second half of the
eleventh century.[6] At this time the Slavic nations were already in
possession, partly as masters, partly as servants, of the whole vast
extent of territory, which they now occupy; and if we assume that at
the present time about seventy or eighty millions speak the Slavic
language in its different dialects, we must calculate that at the
above mentioned period, and in the course of the next following
centuries, before the Slavic was by degrees supplanted in the
German-Slavic provinces by the German idiom, the number of those who
called that language their mother tongue was at least the fifth part
greater. Schlözer observes, that, with the exception of the Arabians,
no nation on the globe had extended themselves so far. In the South,
the Adriatic, the range of the Balkan, and the Euxine, are their
frontiers; the coasts of the Icy Ocean are their limits in the North;
their still greater extent in an Eastern and Western direction reaches
from Kamtschatka and the Russian islands of the Pacific, where many of
their vestiges are to be found among scattered tribes, as far as to
the Baltic and along the banks of the rivers Elbe, Muhr, and Raab,
again to the Adriatic. It is this immense extent, which adds greatly
to the difficulties of a general survey of the different relations and
connections of nations, broken up into so many parts. The _history of
the language_ is our object, not the history of the people; we
therefore give of statistic and political notices only so much, as
seems to be requisite for the illustration of our subject.

The earliest data for the history of the civilization of the Slavic
race, we find in their mythology; and here their oriental origin
again appears. The antithesis of a good and evil principle is met with
among most of their tribes; and as even at the present time in some
Slavic dialects every thing good, beautiful, praiseworthy, is to them
synonymous with the purity of the white colour, they call the good
Spirit _Bielo Bòg_, the white god; the evil Spirit _Tcherno Bôg_, the
black god. The _Div_ of the old Russians seem to be likewise akin to
the _Dev_ of the Hindoo; the goddess of life, _Shiva_, of the Polabae,
to the Indian _Shiva_; as the names of the Slavic personification of
death, _Morjana_, _Morena_, _Marzana_, evidently stand in connection
with the Indian word for death, _Marana_. Strabo describes some of the
idols of the Rugians, in which we meet again the whole significant
symbolization of the East. The custom prevalent among many Slavic
nations, of females burning themselves with the corpses of their
husbands, seems also to have been brought from India to Europe.

There are, however, other features of their mythology which belong to
them exclusively, and which remind us rather of the sprightly and
poetical imagination of the Greeks. We allude to their mode of
attributing life to the inanimate objects of nature, rocks, brooks and
trees; of peopling with supernatural beings the woods which surrounded
them, the mountains between which they lived. The _Rusalki_ of the
Russians, the _Vila_ of the southern Slavic nations, the _Leshie_ of
several other tribes, nymphs, naiads, and satyrs, are still to be
found in many popular tales and songs. If, however, we have compared
them to the poetical gods of the Greeks, we must not forget to add,
that their character has less resemblance to these gods, (who indeed
appear only as ordinary men with higher powers, more violent passions,
and less limited lives.) than it has to the northern Elf; and the
German Nix and mountain Spirit--without heart and soul themselves, but
always intermeddling with intrusive curiosity in human affairs,
however void of real interest in them; revengeful towards the most
trifling offence or the least neglect; and beneficent only to
favourites arbitrarily chosen.[7]

The earliest historians mention the Slavi as divided into several
tribes and as speaking different dialects. There are no very ancient
remains of their language, except those words or phrases, which
we find scattered through the works of foreign writers; and these
mostly perverted by their want of knowledge. Besides these we have
the names of places, of festivals, partly still existing, and of some
dignitaries, _Knes_, _Zupan_, etc. There are, indeed, among the
popular songs of the Bohemians, Servians, Russians, and several other
tribes, many which are evidently derived from the pagan period; but as
they have been preserved only by tradition, we must of course assume,
that their diction, has been changed almost in the same proportion as
the language of common life. Hence, national songs, before they have
been fixed by letters, are always to be considered as much safer
proofs for the genius than for the language of a people.

It is, however, probable that at least _one_ Slavic idiom was
cultivated to a certain degree in very ancient times; for from the
single circumstance, that Cyril's translation of the Bible, written in
the middle of the ninth century, bears the stamp of uncommon
perfection in its forms, and of great copiousness, it is sufficiently
evident, that the language must have been the means of expression for
thinking men several centuries before. There is, indeed, no doubt that
the state of the language, as it appears in that translation, required
no short interval of preparation.

The first attempts to convert portions of the Slavic race to
Christianity were probably made before the seventh century; but it was
only at the beginning of the ninth that their partial success became
of importance to their language and literature. It is true, that by
the last investigations of the late great Slavist, B. Kopitar, the
fact has been ascertained, that a portion of the Slavic race was
already in possession of an alphabet _before_ Cyril;[8] but as this
fact appears to have had no further result, we must still consider the
ninth century and Cyril's translation of the Gospels as the beginning
of their literary history, the dawn at least of a brighter day.

Before we enter upon our examination of the different branches, we
must not neglect to direct the attention of the reader to the whole
great trunk, which in the most ancient times appears to have ramified
into two principal stems.

A boundless confusion indeed reigns in the classification of the
Slavic nations among the earlier historians and philologists. It was
the learned Dobrovsky of Prague, who first brought light into this
chaos, and established a classification, founded on a deep and
thorough examination of all the different dialects, and acknowledged
by the equally great authority of Kopitar. Adelung, in his
Mithridates,[9] has adopted it. The specific names, however, Antes and
Slavi, which Adelung applies to the great divisions, and which were
first used by Jornandes, are arbitrary, and less distinct than those
adopted by Dobrovsky, Kopitar, and Schaffarik; who divide all Slavic
nations, according to certain philological affinities and differences,
into the _North-Western_ and _South-Eastern_ Stems.[10]

Far better would have been the terms 'Northern _and_ Western,'
'Southern _and_ Eastern,' divisions; which indeed can be the only
proper meaning of those appellations. The Slovaks in Hungary, for
instance, who belong to the first division, can in no way be called a
_North_-Western people; and the Russians, who belong to the second,
still less a _South_-Eastern nation. The _origin_ from the South is
common to all the Slavic tribes; hence the appellation of Northern and
Southern can be applied to them only in a relative sense; and that
portion of the Slavic race, which inhabits Russia, is not known to
have ever lived in a more southern region than their Bohemian
brethren. We adopt, therefore, the division of the Slavi into EASTERN
and WESTERN Stems; which seems indeed to be the only strictly proper

The following enumeration of the still existing distinct nations of
the Slavic race, may serve to give a clearer view of them.



1. RUSSIANS. The Russians of Slavic origin form the bulk of the
population of the European part of Russia. All the middle provinces of
this vast empire are occupied almost exclusively by a people of purely
Slavic extraction. The numerous Slavi who are scattered through
Asiatic Russia, are of the same race. They belong to the Greek
Church. To ascertain the exact numbers of the different races of one
and the same nation, is exceedingly difficult. The statistical tables
of the government afford little help; since it is the policy of the
latter to annihilate as much as possible the difference of races.
Schaffarik, in his Slavic Ethnography, gives the number of the
Russians proper at 38,400,000. We follow him, as the most diligent and
most consistent investigator of this matter; but we also feel bound to
remark, that his statistical assertions have occasioned surprise, and
met with contradiction.

2. RUSSNIAKS or RUTHENIANS, also called _Russinians_ and
_Malo-Russians_. These are found in Malo-Russia, the South of Poland,
Galicia, Ludomeria or Red Russia, the Bukovina, also in the
north-eastern part of Hungary, and scattered over Walachia and
Moldavia. The Kozaks, especially the Zaporogueans, belong chiefly to
this race; while the Kozaks of the Don are more mixed with pure
Russians. Their number is given at more than thirteen millions. They
all belong to the Oriental Church; though a portion of them are
Greek-Catholics, or adherents of the United Church.


1. The ILLYRICO-SERVIANS proper, frequently called _Rascians_ or
_Raitzi_, comprising five subdivisions.

a) The SERVIANS in Servia, lying between the rivers Timock, Drina,
Save, the Danube, and the Balkan mountains; and, as a Turkish
province, called Serf Vilayeti. Their number is at least a million. In
earlier times, and especially at the end of the seventeenth century,
many of them emigrated to Hungary; where even now between three and
four hundred thousand of them are settled; exclusive of their near
relatives, the Slavonians, in the kingdom of Slavonia so called.

b) BOSNIANS, between Dalmatia, the Balkan mountains, and the rivers
Drina, Verbas, and Save; from four to five hundred thousand in number.
Most of them belong, like their brethren the Servians, to the Greek
Church; about 100,000 are Roman Catholics. There are of late many
Muhammedans among them, who still retain their language and most of
their Slavic customs.

c) MONTENEGRINS (Czernogortzi). The national name of the Montenegrins,
here given as _Czernogortzi_, is better written _Tzernogortzi_; see p.
119, n. 17. Their number is given by Sir J.G. Wilkinson at 80,000, or
more. These are the Slavic inhabitants of the Turkish province
Albania, among the mountains of Montenegro. They have spread
themselves from Bosnia to the sea-coast as far as Antivari. This
remarkable people the Turks never have been able to subjugate
completely. They enjoy a sort of military-republican freedom: their
head chief being a Bishop with very limited power. They amount to
nearly 60,000 souls, belonging to the Eastern Church.

d) SLAVONIANS. These are the inhabitants of the Austrian kingdom of
Slavonia and the duchy of Syrmia, between Hungary on the north and
Bosnia in the south, about half a million in number. A small majority
belongs to the Romish Church; the rest to the Greek Church.

e) DALMATIANS. The country along the Adriatic, between Croatia and
Albania, together with the adjacent islands, is called the kingdom of
Dalmatia, and belongs likewise to the Austrian empire. It has,
together with the Istrian shore north of it, towards 600,000
inhabitants; of whom 500,000 belong to the Slavo-Servian race. They
are all Roman Catholics; with the exception of about 80,000 who belong
to the Greek Church.

2. The Austrian kingdom of CROATIA in our time, between Styria,
Hungary, Slavonia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, and the Adriatic, is not the
ancient Croatia of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Together with the
Croatian colonists in Hungary, and the inhabitants of the Turkish
Sandshak Banialouka, it contains about 800,000 souls. Of these less
than 200,000 belong to the Greek Church; the great majority are
Catholics. We shall see further on that the Croats are divided in
respect to their language into two parts: one of them having affinity
with the Servians and Dalmatians, the other with the Slovenzi of
Carniola and Carinthia.

3. SLOVENZI or VINDES. These names comprise the Slavic inhabitants of
the duchies of Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, (the two latter
forming the kingdom of Illyria,) and also those of the banks of the
rivers Raab and Muhr in Hungary. Their number is over one million.
With the exception of a few Protestants, they are all Catholics. They
call themselves _Slovenzi_; but are known by foreign writers under the
name of _Vindes_.


The BULGARIANS occupy the Turkish province Sofia Vilayeti, between the
Danube, the Euxine, the Balkan, and Servia; they are about three and a
half millions in number, the remnant of a great nation. About 80,000
more are scattered through Bessarabia and the other provinces of South
Russia. Schaffarik enumerates seven thousand as Austrian subjects,
living in that great receptacle of nations, Hungary. Most of them
belong to the Greek Church.



1. BOHEMIANS and MORAVIANS (Czekhes). These are the Slavic inhabitants
of the kingdom of Bohemia and the Margravate of Moravia, both
belonging to the Austrian empire. They are about four and a half
millions in number; of whom 100,000 are Protestants, the rest
Catholics. Schaffarik includes also 44,000 of the Slavic inhabitants
of Prussian Silesia in this race.

2. SLOVAKS. Almost all the northern part of Hungary is inhabited by
Slovaks: besides this they are scattered through the whole of that
country, and speak different dialects. They are reckoned at between
two and three millions.


This comprises the inhabitants of the present kingdom of Poland; of a
part of what are called since 1772 the Russian-Polish provinces; of
the duchy of Posen; and of Galicia and Ludomeria. The bulk of the
people in this latter country are Russniaks or Ruthenians. In the
Russian provinces, which were formerly called White Russia, Black
Russia, and Red Russia, and were conquered by the Poles in former
times, the peasantry are Russians and Russniaks; in Lithuania, they
are Lithuanians or Lettones, a race of a different family of nations.
In all these countries, only the nobility and inhabitants of the
cities are really Poles, or Slavi of the Leckian race. To the same
race belongs also the Polish population of Silesia, and an isolated
tribe in the Prussian province of Pomerania, called the Kassubes. The
Slavi of the Leckian race hardly amount to the number of ten millions;
all Catholics, with the exception of about half a million of


There are remnants of the old Sorabæ; and several other Slavic races
in Lusatia and some parts of Brandenburg. Their number is less than
2,000,000; divided between Protestants and Catholics.

There is no doubt, that besides the races here enumerated, there are
Slavic tribes scattered through Germany, Transylvania, Moldavia, and
Walachia, nay, through the whole of Turkey. Thus, for instance, the
Tchaconic dialect, spoken in the eastern part of ancient Sparta and
unintelligible to the other Greeks, has been proved by one of the most
distinguished philologists to have been of Slavic origin.[12] But to
ascertain their number, at any rate very small, would be a matter of
impossibility, and in every respect of little consequence.

We thus distinguish among the nations of the Slavic race two great
families, the connection of whose members among each other is entirely
independent of their present geographical situation; and this division
rests upon a marked distinction in the Slavic language. To specify the
marks, by which the philologist recognizes to which of these families
each nation belongs, seems to be here out of place. The reader,
without knowing the language itself, would hardly be able to
comprehend them sufficiently; and he who understands it, will find
better sources of information in philological works. All that concerns
us here, is the general character, the genius of the language. For
this purpose we will try to give in a few words a general outline of
its grammar; exhibiting principally those features, which, as being
common to all or most of its different dialects, seem to be the best
adapted to express its general character.

The analogy between the Slavic and the Sanscrit languages consists
indeed only in the similar sound of a great many words; the
construction of the former is purely European, and it has in this
respect a nearer relation to the Greek, Latin, and German; with which
idioms it has evidently been derived from the same source.[13] The
Slavic has three genders. Like the Latin, it knows no article; at
least not the genuine Slavic; for those dialects which have lost their
national character, like the Bulgarian, or those which have been
corrupted by the influence of the German,[14] employ the demonstrative
pronoun as an article; and the Bulgarian has borrowed the Albanian
mode of suffixing one to the noun. For this very reason the
declensions are more perfect in Slavic than in German and Greek; for
the different cases, as in Latin, are distinguished by suffixed
syllables or endings. The Singular has seven cases; the Plural only
six, the vocative having always the form of the nominative. As for the
Dual, a form which the Slavic languages do not all possess, the
nominative and accusative, the genitive and local; the dative and
instrumental cases, are always alike.

For the declensions of adjectives the Slavic has two principal forms,
according as they are _definite_ or _indefinite_. The Old or Church
Slavonic knows only two degrees of comparison, the positive and
comparative; it has no superlative, or rather it has the same form for
the comparative and superlative. This is regularly made by the suffix
_ii_. mostly united with one of those numerous sibilants, for which
the English language has hardly letters or signs, _sh, tsh, sht,
shtsh_, etc. In the more modern dialects this deficiency has been
supplied; in most of them a superlative form is made by prefixing the
particle _naï_; e.g. in Servian, _mudar_, wise, _mudrii_ wiser,
_naïmudrii_, the wisest. The Russian, besides this and several other
superlative forms, has one that is more perfect, as proceeding from
the adjective itself: _doroghii_ dear, _doroshe_ dearer,
_doroshaïshii_, dearest. Equally rich is this language in augmentative
and diminutive forms not only of the substantive but also of the
adjective, a perfection in which even the Italian can hardly be
compared to it; of which however all the Slavic dialects possess more
or less. Almost all the Russian substantives have two augmentatives
and three diminutives; some have even more. We abstain with some
difficulty from adducing examples; but we are afraid of going beyond
our limits. It deserves to be mentioned as a peculiarity, that the
Slavi consider only the first four ordinal numbers as adjectives, and
all the following ones as substantives. For this reason, the governed
word must stand in the genitive instead of the accusative: _osm sot_
(nom. _sto_), eight hundred. In all negative phrases they employ
likewise the genitive instead of the accusative. A double negation
occurs in Slavic frequently, without indicating an affirmation; for
even if another negation has already taken place, they are accustomed
to prefix to the verb the negative particle _ne_ or _nje_.

In respect to the verb, it is difficult to give a general idea of its
character; for it is in the forms of this part of speech, that there
reigns the greatest variety in the numerous dialects of the Slavic
language. The same termination which in Old Slavonic and in Russian
indicates invariably the first person of the present, _u_ or _gu_, is
in Servian that of the third person Plural of the present and
imperfect; and the general termination of the Servian and the Polish
for the first person of the present, _am, em_ or _im_, is in Old
Slavonic and Russian used for the Plural, _em_ and _im_. There is
however one fundamental form through all the Slavic dialects for the
second person of the present, a termination in _ash, esh_ or _ish_;
and this is consequently the person, by which it is to be recognized
to what conjugation a verb belongs.

The division of the verbs adopted in all other European languages into
_Active_ and _Passive_, seems to be useless in Slavic; for their being
active or passive has no influence upon their flexion; and the forms
of the Latin Passive and Deponent must in Slavic be expressed by a
circumlocution. A division of more importance and springing from the
peculiarity of the language itself, is that into verbs _Perfect_ and
_Imperfect_. Neither the Greek, nor the Latin, nor the German, nor any
of the languages derived from them, admits of a similar distinction.
It seems therefore difficult for persons not perfectly acquainted with
any Slavic dialect, to form to themselves a clear idea of it. It is
however one of their most striking features, which adds very
considerably to their general richness and power. The relation in
which the perfect and imperfect verbs stand to each other, is about
the same as that of the perfect and imperfect tenses in the
conjugation of the Latin verb. Perfect verbs express that an action
takes place a single time, and therefore is entirely completed and
past; from their very nature it results, that they have no imperfect
tense, and their conjugation must be in general incomplete. Imperfect
verbs express that the same action continues. Both have in most cases
the same radical syllable, and may be formed with a certain degree of
freedom; thus in Servian, _viknuti_, to cry once, _vikati_, to be
crying; _umriyeti_, to die, _umirati_, to be dying. There are however
others, which stand in the same relation to each other without issuing
from the same verbal stock; e.g. in Servian, _tchuti_ and _sluskati_,
to hear; _retji_ and _govoriti_, to speak, etc.

The Polish language, which is remarkably rich in every kind of
flexion, has a still simpler and more regular way of forming also a
frequentative out of almost every verb; e.g. _czytam_, I read,
_czytivam_, I read often; _biore_, take, _bieram_, I take often, etc.
In Bohemian, which in respect to grammar is by far the most cultivated
of the Slavic languages, there is a refinement in the tenses, of which
even the most perfect knowledge of the classical languages gives
hardly any idea, and the right use of which is seldom, if ever,
acquired by foreigners. Duration, decision, repetition, all the
different shades of time and purpose, which other languages have to
circumscribe in long phrases, the Bohemian expresses by a slight
alteration of one or two syllables.

Not less rich in these variations of the verb is the Russian. Besides
a vast treasure of original, genuine _indefinite_ verbs, as they call
all those, which have the general character of the verb of other
languages, without any allusion to the duration or continuance of the
action, they have verbs _simple, frequentative_ and _perfect_. A
single example will illustrate the fact:

Verb indefinite, _dvigat'_,[15] to move.

Verb simple, _dvinut'_, to move a single time.

Verb frequentative, _dvigivat'_, to move repeatedly.[16]

Verb perfect, _sdvigat'_, to move completely.

The reader may judge for himself, of what precision, compactness, and
energy, a language is capable, which has so little need of
circumlocution. It must be mentioned, however, that not all these
verbs are complete; as indeed it is obvious from their very nature,
that in many of them, various tenses must be wanting. It is probably
for this reason, that some of the most distinguished grammarians do
not acknowledge this division of the verb itself; but put all its
variations under the conjugation of a single verb, as different
tenses,--a proceeding which contributes much to make the Slavic
grammar a horror to all foreigners.

If this short and meagre sketch is hardly sufficient to give the
reader an idea of the richness, precision, and general perfectibility
of the Slavic languages, it will be still more difficult to reconcile
his mind to their _sound_; against which the most decided prejudices
exist among all foreigners. The old Slavic alphabet has forty-six
letters; and from this variety it can justly be concluded, that the
language had originally at least nearly as many different sounds,
although a great part of them are no longer to be found in the modern
Slavic languages. It is true, that all the dialects are comparatively
poor in vowels, and, like the oriental languages; utterly deficient
in diphthongs.[17] They have neither the _oe_ nor _ue_, which the
Germans consider as the best sounds of their idiom: nor the
Greek,[Greek: ei], [Greek: ui], [Greek: au], [Greek: eu], and the
like; still less the variety of pronunciation of one and the same
vowel, peculiar to the English. The Poles, Russians, and Bohemians,
possess however a twofold _i_, [18] a finer and a coarser one; the
latter of which is not to be found in any other European language, and
is unpleasant to the ear of foreigners. The Poles, besides this, have
_nasal vowels_, as other languages have nasal consonants.[19]

It is a striking peculiarity, that Slavic words very seldom _begin_
with a pure _a_,[20] hardly ever with _e_.[21] There are in the whole
Russian language, only two words of Slavic origin, which have an
initial _e_, and about twenty foreign ones in which this letter has
been preserved in its purity; in all the rest the _e_ is introduced by
_y_; e.g. _Yelisaveta_, Elizabeth; _yest_', Lat. _est_, it is;
_Yepiscop, episcopus_, bishop; _yeress_, heresy, etc. The initial _a_
is more frequent, and is especially preserved in most foreign proper
names, e.g. Alexander, Anna; or in other foreign words, where they
omit the _H_, as _Ad_, Hades, Hell, _Alleluya_, Hallelujah. But the
natural tendency of the language is to introduce it likewise by _y_;
thus they say _yagnya_, in preference to _agnya_, Lat. _agnus_,
although this last also is to be found in the old church books:
_yasti_, to eat, _yakor_ anchor, _yavor_, maple, German _ahorn_.[22]
The _o_ in the beginning of words is pure in most Slavic dialects,
i.e. without a preceding consonant. In Russian it sounds frequently
more like an _a_ than an _o_; e.g. _adin_, one, instead of _odin;
atiotz_, father, instead of _otetz_. But the Vendes of Lusatia
pronounce it _vo_; as also the Bohemians in the language of common
life; although in higher style they have a pure initial _o_. The
Croats, on the other hand, have no pure initial _u_; they say _vuho_
ear, instead _uho_ or _ucho_.

As to consonants, there is a great variety in the Slavic languages.
There is however no _f_ to be found in any genuine Slavic word; and
even in words adopted from foreign languages, this letter has
frequently changed its sound. So the Bohemian has made _barwa_ from
the German _farbe_, color. In respect to the connection of the Slavic
with the Latin, it is interesting to compare _bob_ with _feba, bodu_
with _fodio, vru_ with _ferveo, peru_ with _ferio, plamen_, with
_flamma, pishozala_ with _fistula_, etc.

The greatest variety among the Slavic letters exists in the sibilants.
Of these there are seven, perfectly distinct from each other; some of
which it would be difficult to denote by English characters[23]. They
are the favourite sounds of the language. Not only the guttural
sounds, _g, ch,_ and _k_, but also _d_ and _t_, are changed in many
cases into analogous sibilants, according to fixed and very simple
rules. On the other hand, the Slavic nations have a way of softening
the harshness of the consonants, peculiar in that extent to them
alone. The Frenchman has his _l mouillé,_ the Spaniard his _elle
doblado_ and _ñ_. the Portuguese his _lh_ and _nh_; the Slavic nations
possess the same softening sound for almost all their consonants. Such
is the usual termination of the Russian verb in _at'_ or _it'_, etc.
where other Slavic nations say _ati_ or _iti_ or those of the western
branch _acz_ or _ecz_. In the same manner it occurs after initial
consonants; thus _mjaso_, meat; _bjel_, white; _ljbov_, love, etc.

The letters _l_ and _r_ have in all Slavic languages the value of
vowels; words like _twrdy_, _wjtr_, which judging from their
appearance a foreigner would despair of ever being able to pronounce,
are always in metre used as words of two syllables. Thus _Wlk_, _Srp_,
are not harsher than _Wolk_ and _Serp_. We feel however that these
examples cannot serve to refute the existing prejudices against the
euphony of the Slavic languages. Instead of ourselves, let one of
their most eloquent and warmest advocates defend them against the
reproach of roughness and harshness.[24] "Euphony and feminine
softness of a language are two very different things. It is true that
in most of the Slavic dialects, with the exception of the Servian, the
consonants are predominant; but if we consider a language in a
philosophical point of view, the consonants, as being the signs of
ideas, and the vowels, as being mere bearers in the service of the
consonants, appear in a quite different light. The more consonants,
the richer is a language in ideas. _Exempla sunt in promtu_. The
euphony of single syllables is only partial and relative; but the
harmony of a whole language depends on the euphonic sound of periods,
words, syllables, and single letters. What language possesses these
four elements of harmony in equal measure? Too many vowels sound just
as unpleasantly as too many consonants; a suitable number and
interchange of both is requisite to produce true harmony. Even harsh
syllables belong to the necessary qualities of a language; for nature
herself has harsh sounds, which the poet would be unable to paint
without harsh sounding tones. The roughness of the Slavic idioms, of
which foreigners have complained so frequently, is therefore
exclusively to be ascribed to the awkwardness of inexperienced or
tasteless writers; or they are ridiculous mistakes of the reader, who,
unacquainted with the language, receives the sounds with his eyes
instead of his ears."--"The pure and distinct vocalization, which does
not leave it to the arbitrary choice of the speaker to pronounce
certain vowels or to pass them over, as is the case in German. French,
and English, gives at the same time to the Slavic languages the
advantage of a regular quantity of their syllables, as in Greek; which
makes them better adapted than any other for imitating the old classic
metres. We must confess, however, that this matter has been hitherto
neglected in most of them, or has been treated with little
intelligence. We mean to say: Each Slavic syllable is by its very
nature either short or long; since each Slavic vowel has a twofold
duration, both short and long. This natural shortening and lengthening
of a syllable is, as with the Greeks, entirely independent of the
grammatical stress or falling of the voice upon them, or in other
words, of the _prosodic tone_; the _quantity_ being founded on the
nature of the pronunciation, on the longer or shorter duration of the
vowel itself, and not on the grammatical accent. This latter may lie
just as well on syllables prosodically short, as on those which are

From these introductory remarks, we turn again to the historical part
of our essay, referring the reader back to our division of the whole
Slavic race into Eastern and Western Stems. We have, first of all,
that most remarkable Old or Church Slavonic, the language of their
Bible, now no longer a living tongue, but still the inexhaustible
source of the sublimest and holiest expressions for its younger
sisters. Then follow the _four_ languages, perfectly distinct from
each other, spoken by the Eastern Slavic nations, viz. the Russian,
Illyrico-Servian, Vindish, and Bulgarian. Three of them possess a
literature of their own; and one of them, the Illyrico-Servian, even a
double literature; for political circumstances and the influence of
the early division of the oriental and occidental churches, having
unfortunately split the nation into two parts, caused them also to
adopt two different methods of writing one and the same language, as
we shall show in the sequel. And lastly, among the Slavic nations of
the Western stem, we find either _three_ or _four_ different
languages, according as we regard the Czekhish and Slovakian idioms as
essentially the same or distinct, viz. the Bohemian, [Slovakian,]
Polish, and Sorabic in Lusatia. Of these, the first and third have
each an extensive literature of its own.[25]


[Footnote 1: See Schlegel's _Sprache und Weisheit der Indier_,
Heidelb. 1808. Von Hammer's _Fundgruben des Orients_, Vol. II. p. 459
sq. Murray's _History of the European Languages_, Edinb. 1823. F.G.
Eichhoff, _Histoire de la Langue et de la Literature des Slaves etc.
considerées dans leur origins Indienne, etc._ Paris, 1839.--Frenzel,
who wrote at the close of the seventeenth century, took the Slavi for
a Hebrew tribe and their language for Hebrew. Some modern German and
Italian historians derive the Slavic language from the Thracian, and
the Slavi immediately from Japhet; some consider the ancient Scythians
as Slavi. See Dobrovsky's _Slovanka_, VII. p. 94,]

[Footnote 2: _Krivitshi_. The Greek is _Krobuzoi_, Herodot 4. 49.
Comp. Strabo VII. p. 318, 319. Plin. H.N. IV. 12.]

[Footnote 3: The first writers, who mention the Slavi expressly, are
Jordan or Jornandes, after A.D. 552; Procopias A.D. 562; Menander
A.D. 594; and the Abbot John of Biclar before A.D. 620. See
Schaffarik's _Geschichte der Slavischen Sprache und Literatur_, Buda,
1826. Dobrovsky's _Slovanka_, V.p. 76-84.--Schaflarik, in his more
recent work on _Slavic Antiquities_, 1838, and in his _Slavic
Ethnography_, 1842, supposes he has found the first Slavi already
three centuries B.C. in the Veneti or Wendi on the Baltic. But as
every connecting link between them and the _historical_ Slavi is
wanting, the fact seems of little importance.]

[Footnote 4: Schaffarik in his work on _Slavic Antiquities_ attempts
to prove that the Sarmatae were no Slavi, but a Perso-Median nation;
remnants of which, he thinks, he has discovered in the Alanes and
Osetenzes in the Caucasus.]

[Footnote 5: The name of the _Slavi_ has generally been derived from
_slava_, glory, and their national feelings have of course been
gratified by this derivation. But the more immediate origin of the
appellation, is to be sought in the word _slovo_ word, speech. The
change of _o_ into _a_ occurs frequently in the Slavic languages,
(thus _slava_ comes from _slovo_) but is in this case probably to be
ascribed to foreigners, viz. Byzantines, Romans, and Germans. In the
language of the latter, the _o_ in names and words of Slavic origin
inmany instances becomes _a_. The radical syllable _slov_ is still to
be found in the appellations which the majority of the Slavic nations
apply to themselves or kindred nations, e.g. Slovenzi, Slovaci,
Slovane, Sloveni, etc. The Russians and Servians did not exchange the
_o_ for _a_ before the seventh century. See Schaffarik's _Geschichte_,
p. 5. n. 6. The same writer observes, p. 287. n. 8, "It is remarkable
that, while all the other Slavic nations relinquished their original
_national_ names, and adopted _specific_ names, as Russians, Poles,
Silesians, Czekhes, Moravians, Sorabians, Servians, Morlachians,
Czernogortzi, Bulgarians; nay, when most of them imitating foreigners
altered the general name _Slovene_ into _Slavene_, only those two
Slavic branches, which touch each other on the banks of the Danube,
the _Slovaks_ and the _Slovenzi_, have retained in its purity their
original national name."--According to Schaffarik's later opinion, as
expressed in his _Antiquities_, the appellation Slavi, Slaveni, or
Slovenians, is derived from one of their seats, that is, the country
on the Upper Niemen, where the _Stloveni_ or _Sueveni_ of Ptolemy
lived. It is said to be called by the Finns _Sallo_ (like every
woodland); by the Lithuanians, _Sallawa, Slawa_; in old Prussian,
_Salava_; by the neighbouring Germans, _Schalauen_; in Latin,
_Scalavia_. But it seems a more natural conclusion, that _vice versa_
the name of the district was rather derived from Slavic settlers
living in the midst of a German, Russian, and Finnish population--For
the derivation from _slovo_, word, speech, the circumstance seems to
speak, that in most Slavic languages the appellation for a German (and
formerly for all foreigners) is _Njemetz_, i.e. one dumb, an impotent,
nameless, speechless person. What more natural, in a primitive stage
of culture, than to consider only those as speaking, who are
_understood_; and those who seem to utter unmeaning sounds, as dumb,
impotent beings?]

[Footnote 6: The earliest Slavic historian is the Russian monk Nestor,
born in the year 1056. See below, in the History of the _Old Slavic_
and of the _Russian_ languages. The reader will there see, that even
the authority and age of this writer has been in our days attacked by
the hypercritical spirit of the modern Russian Historical school.]

[Footnote 7: See Görres' _Mythengeschichte der Asiatischen Welt_,
Heidelb. 1810. Kayssarov's _Versuch einer Slavischen Mythologie_,
Götting. 1804. Dobrovsky's _Slavia_, new edit. by W. Hanka, Prague
1834, p. 263-275. Durich _Bibliotheca Slavica_, Buda 1795. J.
Potocki's _Voyages dans quelques parties de la Basse Saxe pour la
recherche des antiquités Slaves_, Hamb. 1795. J.J. Hanusch,
_Wissenschaft des Slavischen Mythus_. Lemberg, 1842.]

[Footnote 8: _Glagolita Clozianus_, Vindob. 1836.]

[Footnote 9: Vol. II. p. 1610 sq.]

[Footnote 10: Schaffarik in his _Slavic Ethnography_, published nearly
twenty years after his "History of the Slavic Language and
Literature," omits the word "North," and divides the Slavi into the
"_Western_," and "_South-Eastern"_ nations. He must mean the
_Western_, and the _Southern_ AND _Eastern_.].

[Footnote 11: We acknowledge, however, that even this latter
appellation admits of some restriction in respect to the Slovenzi or
Windes of Carniola and Carinthia; who, notwithstanding their rather
Western situation, belong to the Eastern race.]

[Footnote 12: By Kopitar; see the _Wiener Jahrbücher_, 1822, Vol. XVII.
Kastanica, Sitina, Gorica, and Prasto, are Slavic names. There is even
a place called [Greek: Sklabochôri], _Slavic village_. Leake in his
Researches observes that Slavic names of places occur throughout all

[Footnote 13: The affinity of the Slavic and Greek languages it has
recently been attempted to prove in several works. Dankovsky in his
work, _Die Griechen als Sprachverwandte der Slaven_, Presburg 1828,
contends that a knowledge of the Slavic language is of the highest
importance for the Greek scholar, as the only means by which he may be
enabled to clear up obscure passages and to ascertain the
signification of doubtful words. Among the historical proofs, he
furnishes a vocabulary containing 306 Slavic and Greek words of
striking analogy. "Of three sisters," he observes, "_one_ kept
faithful to her mother tongue--the Slavic language; the _second_ gave
to that common heritage the highest cultivation--the Greek language;
and the _third_ mixed the mother tongue with a foreign idiom--the
Latin language." A work of the same tendency has been published in the
Greek language, by the Greek priest Constantine, Vienna 1828. It
contains a vocabulary of 800 pages of _Russian_ and Greek words,
corresponding in sound and meaning.--That these views are not new, is
generally known; although they hardly ever have been carried so far,
except perhaps by the author of the History of Russia, Levesque, who
considers the Latins as a Slavic colony; or by Solarich, who derived
all modern languages from the Slavic. Gelenius in his _Lexicon
Symphonum_, 1557, made the first etymological attempt in respect to
the Slavic languages. In modern times, great attention has been paid
to Slavic etymology by Dobrovsky, Linde, Adelung, Bantkje, Fritsch,
and others. An _Etymologicon Universale_ was published in 1811, at
Cambridge in England, by W. Whiter.--Galiffec, in his _Italy and its
Inhabitants_, 1816 and 1817, started the opinion, that the _Russian_
was the original language, and that the Old Slavonic and all the rest
were only dialects.]

[Footnote 14: Or rather some writers in Lusatia and the Austrian
provinces comprised in the kingdom of Illyria.]

[Footnote 15: The t' signifies the _Yehr_, or _soft sign_ of the
Russians in addition to the _t_. This letter not existing in the
English language, we have endeavoured to supply it in the best
possible way by the aspirate of the Greek language, which when it
follows [Greek: t], is not very unlike it; e.g. [Greek: _nukht
êmeron_], written [Greek: _nuchthhêmeron_]. The real sound, however,
is more like the German soft _ch_ after _t_, as in _Städtchen,

[Footnote 16: They are to be compared with the Latin verbs
frequentative, as _factitare_ instead of _facere, cursitare_ instead
of _currere_, etc.]

[Footnote 17: With the exception of the Slovakish dialect.]

[Footnote 18: Pronounce the _i_ as in the word _machine_.]

[Footnote 19: To make, in writing, the different shades in the
pronunciation of the same letters in Polish, is absolutely impossible.
They must be caught with the ear; and, even then, cannot be imitated
by the tongue of a foreigner.]

[Footnote 20: The English _a_ in _father_.]

[Footnote 21: Like the English _e_ in _they_.]

[Footnote 22: Compare the smooth breathing of the Greeks, and the
Shemitish _Aleph_ or _Elif_.]

[Footnote 23: There is e.g. a single letter in Old Slavonic and
Russian for _shish_. The Pole writes _szez_.]

[Footnote 24: Schaffarik in his _Geschichte_, p. 40 sq.]

[Footnote 25: We abstain here from giving any historical references,
as it would swell the volume beyond all due proportion; and historical
notices, with the exception of those circumstances in immediate
connection with the _language_, cannot properly be expected. All
philological sources have been faithfully mentioned.]

       *       *       *       *       *



It can hardly be doubted that in very ancient times the whole Slavic
race spoke only one language. This seems however very early to have
been broken up into several dialects; and such indeed must have been
the natural result of the wide extension of the people. Eginhard, the
secretary and historian of Charlemagne, (ob. 839.) calls the Slavic
nations, whom his hero subjugated, Veletabæ, Sorabæ, Obotrites, and
Bohemians; and mentions expressly that they did not all speak the
same, but a very similar language. It would be difficult to decide
what portion of the still existing Slavic tongue has kept itself the
purest; the Old Slavic has its Græcisms, the Servian its Turcisms, the
Polish and Bohemian their Germanisms, the Russian its Tartarisms,
Germanisms, and Gallicisms. No language in the world will ever resist
the influence of the languages of its neighbours; and even the lofty
Chinese wall cannot protect the inhabitants of that vast empire from
corruptions in their language. It was formerly the general view, that
the ecclesiastical Slavonic was to be considered as the _mother_ of
all the living Slavic dialects; and there are indeed even now a few
philologians and historians who still adhere to that opinion. The
deeper investigations of modern times, wherever an equal share of
profound erudition and love of truth has happened to be united in the
same persons, have sufficiently proved, that the church Slavonic is to
be considered, not as the mother of all the other Slavic languages,
but as standing to them only in the relation of an elder sister,--a
_dialect_ like them, but earlier developed and cultivated. The
original mother-tongue, from which they were all derived, must have
perished many centuries ago. But _where_ the Old Slavic was once
spoken, and which of the still living dialects has been developed
_immediately_ out of it,--an honour to which all the nations of the
eastern stem, and one of the western, aspire,--is a question which all
the investigations and conclusions of able historians and philologians
have not hitherto been able to answer in a satisfactory manner. The
highest authorities in Slavic matters are divided on this point. The
disputes relating to it have been conducted with a degree of zeal,
little proportioned to its intrinsic importance; nay, recently, with a
passion bordering upon fierceness; and what is still more to be
regretted, without that regard to truth and candour, which ought to be
the foundation of all historical researches. The great political
questions which in the East of Europe have already disturbed the peace
of nations--the idea of Panslavism, the disputed preponderance of
Austria or Russia, the jealousy of the Slavic races against the
Germans and among each other--have been allowed to exert a decided
influence even on this purely historical question.

The claims of the Russians in this matter have long since been given
up as easily refuted; being indeed destitute of any historical
foundation. The circumstance, however, that the language of the Slavic
Bible was, in Russia, until the reign of Peter the Great, exclusively
the language of books, confirmed the natives for a long time in the
belief, that the old Russian and the church Slavic were one and the
same language; and that the modern Russian was the immediate
descendant of the latter; until modern criticism has better
illustrated the whole subject.[1]

The great similarity of the _Slovakish_ language with the Old Slavic,
especially of the national dialect spoken by those Slovaks who live
scattered through Hungary; and the correspondence of their grammatical
forms and flexion, to a degree not found in any other Slavic language;
seemed to decide for the Slovaks. An historical basis is likewise not
wanting to this hypothesis; for the Slovaks belonged formerly to the
great kingdom of Moravia; where, according to all the ancient
historians, Cyril and Methodius lived and taught the longest.[2]

On the other side, the venerable Bohemian Abbot Dobrovsky, who has
examined the opinions of his predecessors with more exactness and
erudition, and investigated the nature of the different Slavic
dialects more deeply than any philologist before him, decides for the
_Servians_. According to him, the Old Slavic was, in the time of Cyril
and Methodius, the Servian-Bulgarian-Macedonian dialect, the language
of the Slavi in Thessalonica, the birthplace of these two Slavic

His grounds seemed indeed incontestable, until Kopitar, a name of
equally high authority and importance in Slavic matters, who formerly
agreed with him,[4] proved in a later work,[5] by arguments of no
less weight, that the true home of the language of the Slavic Bible
was to be sought among the _Pannonic_ or _Carantano-Slavi_, the
_Slovenzi_ or _Vindes_ of the present times.[6] The adoption of a
number of _German_ (not _Greek_) words for Christian ideas, as
_tzerkwa_ Kirch, _post_ fast, _chrestiti_ christening, etc., can only
be explained, he asserts, by German neighbourhood and German
influence. These Pannonian Slavi were Methodius' own diocesans; for
their instruction the Scriptures were first translated, and only
carried by the two brethren, at a later period, to the Bulgarians and
Moravians, who easily understood the kindred dialect.

Kopitar's arguments have hitherto failed to convince other eminent
Slavic scholars, especially those of the Bohemian school; who still
accept it as a fact, that the language of the Slavic Bible was, in the
ninth century, the Servian-Bulgarian dialect; and Bulgaria its home.
Schaffarik, another great name in Slavic philological researches,
seemed in an earlier work to adopt the opinion of Kopitar; but, after
continuing his investigations further, he too came to the result, that
Bulgaria was the home of the Old Slavic; and that the language still
spoken in that province, corrupted indeed by foreign influences more
than any other Slavic dialect, is its direct descendant.[7]

Be this as it may, the Old Slavic has long since become the common
property of all the Slavic nations, and its treasures are for all of
them an inexhaustible mine. Dobrovsky counted in it 1605 radical
syllables.[8] Hence, it is not only rich in its present state, but has
in itself the inestimable power of augmenting its richness, the
faculty of creating new forms of expression for new ideas. But its
great perfection does not consist alone in this multiplicity of words.
Schlözer, the great historian and linguist, justly observes: "Among
all modern languages the Slavonic (Old Slavic) is one of those which
are most fully developed. With its richness and other perfections I
have here no concern. How it became so, the history of its cultivation
sufficiently explains. Its model was the Greek language, in those days
the most cultivated in the world; although Cedrenus no longer wrote
like Xenophon. No idiom was more capable than the Slavonic of adopting
the beauties of the Greek. The translators, intending a literal
version, and not like Cædmon the Anglo-Saxon, or Otfried the German, a
mere _poetic metaphrase_, were in a certain measure compelled to
_subdue_ their own language, to make it flexible, to invent new turns,
in order faithfully to imitate the original." [9]

After having ceased for centuries to be a language of common life, the
Old Slavic has of course lost that kind of pliancy and facility, which
only a living language, employed to express all the daily wants of
men, can possibly acquire. But for this same reason it has gained
infinitely in solemnity and dignity. Imposing by its very sound,
exciting in the minds of millions sanctifying religious associations,
it seems to have grown almost unfit for any vulgar use, and to have
become exclusively devoted to holy, or at least to serious and
dignified subjects.

There are, as we have mentioned above, many circumstances, which seem
to justify the opinion, that the Slavi were very early in possession
of a degree of cultivation, which would make it indeed difficult to
believe, that they should not have known how to read and write before
the ninth century. Ditmar of Merseburg, the German, speaks of the
inscriptions with which the pagan Obotrites, the Slavic inhabitants of
Mecklenburg, used to cover their idols. The southern Slavi had much
greater advantages. Neighbours of the Greeks, and in constant
intercourse with them; both as a nation, by war and traffic, and
through individuals who lived at the court of Constantinople; it can
hardly be supposed, that no earlier attempt should have been made to
adapt the Greek alphabet to the Slavic language, or to invent a new
one founded on that basis. There was however not a single
_satisfactory_ proof, that this was ever done with any degree of
success before that time; notwithstanding all the grounds by which
some modern writers, zealous and eloquent advocates of this opinion,
endeavoured to support it.[10] It is only since Kopitar's discovery of
some Glagolitic manuscripts _at least_ cotemporary with the most
ancient Cyrillic documents known, that this question has taken another
aspect. But whether there existed already a Slavic alphabet or not, it
is very doubtful whether Cyril knew it; since the Slavic tribes among
whom he and Methodius lived, were not acquainted with it; for all the
legends and early historical annals agree in calling Cyril the
inventor of the Slavic alphabet.

This alphabet, as arranged by Cyril, is founded on the Greek. In
adjusting it, Cyril employed all the Greek characters; although a few
of them have so much altered their shape in the course of time, as
hardly to be recognized in their present form, e.g. the _Z_ and the
_H_ of the Greeks. The first has the English, not the Greek
pronunciation of that letter; the latter in its altered shape is the
common _I_ of the Slavic language, and thus corresponds with the
pronunciation of the modern Greeks. The _H_ or _Eta_ in an unaltered
form, on the other hand, is the _N_ of the Slavic alphabet. The Greek
_B_, ß, went over into the still softer sound of _V_, _v_;[11] and
another sign was selected for Buki or _B_. This and all the characters
to denote Slavic sounds, which he did not find in the Greek alphabet,
Cyril took from other oriental languages, wherever he could find
similar sounds; and thus very judiciously avoided that accumulation of
letters to mark a single sound, which occur so often in all the
systems of writing derived from the Latin. In this manner he extended
his alphabet to forty-six characters or signs; some of them indeed
merely signs for expressing shades of pronunciation, which in other
languages are denoted by marks and points. Some others are not
pronounced at all, and seem, at least according to the present state
of the Slavic languages, utterly superfluous. Hence the Russians and
Servians have diminished the number of their letters considerably;
although the Russian has still some which could be amalgamated with
others, or entirely omitted. Whether the Old Slavic actually had, at
the time of Cyril's invention, so many different shades of sound, it
would be difficult to decide at present, after that language has
existed for so many centuries as a mere language of books.

Cyril, or, according to his baptismal name, Constantine, and Methodius
his brother, must be reckoned among the benefactors of mankind; for
it was they who procured for the Slavic nations, so early as the ninth
century, the inestimable privilege of reading the Holy Scriptures in a
language familiar to their ears and minds; whilst the sacred volume
yet remained, for centuries after, inaccessible to all the other
European Christians, the exclusive property of the priesthood. They
were born in Thessalonica, in the early part of the ninth century, of
a noble family; it does not appear whether of Greek or of Slavic
extraction. Macedonia, of which province Thessalonica was in the times
of the Romans the capital, was inhabited by many Slavi at a very early
period. Constantine, who obtained by his learning and abilities the
surname of the Philosopher, could have learned Slavic here, even
without belonging to the Slavic nation. As a flourishing commercial
city, this place was peculiarly favourable for learning languages; and
it was probably here too, that Constantine learned Armenian; for the
introduction of several Armenian letters into the Slavic alphabet
seems to prove, that this language was not unknown to him. When grown
up, his parents sent him to Byzantium, where he entered the clerical

It is reported that there came ambassadors from the Khazares, a
Hunnic-Tartaric tribe, to the emperor Michael, to ask for a teacher in
Christianity. On the recommendation of Ignatius, Constantine was
chosen for this mission, as being particularly qualified by his
eloquence and piety. On the road he stopped for some time in Cherson
on the Dnieper, where he learned the Khazaric language. The empire of
the Khazares extended from the Volga and the Caspian Sea, across the
Caucasian isthmus and the peninsula of Taurida, as far as to Moldavia
and Walachia. Several Slavic tribes were tributary to them; but about
the middle of the ninth century, at the time of Cyril's mission, their
power began to decline; their vassals became their enemies, and
gradually their conquerors; until towards the end of the tenth and at
the beginning of the eleventh century, their empire became entirely
extinct.[12] Constantine converted and baptized their Khan, whose
example was followed by a great part of the nation. It was probably
after he had returned from this mission, that Cyril went to convert
the Bulgarians. At this time, or just before, according to Dobrovsky's
opinion, he invented the Slavic letters, and translated the Gospels,
during his stay in Byzantium. This however is nothing more than an
hypothesis, against which other hypotheses have been started by other
scholars. Between A.D. 861 and 863, there came another embassy to the
emperor from the Moravian prince Rostislav, who asked for a teacher,
not only to instruct his subjects in Christianity more perfectly than
it had been done before, but also to teach them _to read_. Most of the
Moravians were already baptized. Constantine, accompanied by his
brother Methodius, was sent to Moravia, where the people received them
with expressions of joy. They introduced here the Slavic liturgy, and
preached in the Slavic language.

One peculiar circumstance served to give to their persons a more than
common sanctity. Constantine had been so fortunate as to discover in
Cherson the bones of the holy Clement, relics which he every where
carried with him. After three or four years, the pope invited the two
brethren to Rome, where the possession of these relics procured them
great honour and distinction. The pope Adrian, followed by the clergy
and people, met them and their treasure before the gates of the city.
Both the brothers were consecrated as bishops; those of their Moravian
disciples who had accompanied them to Rome, were made priests and
deacons. Constantine received the consecration, but did not accept the
diocese allotted to him. With the permission of the pope, he adopted
the name of Cyril, and died forty days afterwards, Feb. 13, A.D. 868.
His remembrance is cherished as holy by the Slavic nations; and even
as early as A.D. 1056, we find, in the calendar of the _Evangelium of
Ostromir_, the fourteenth of February set down for the celebration of
his memory.

Methodius returned to Moravia the same year, A.D. 868. He was what was
called an _episcopus regionarius_, and had therefore no fixed
residence. In the letters of pope John VIII, he is called bishop of
Moravia and Pannonia. The first of these countries was at this period
the theatre of bloody wars; the Slavic inhabitants of the other had
been already converted to Christianity by German priests, as early as
A.D. 798. In consequence of this, Methodius found the Latin worship
established here, and the Latin language in use. The innovation made
by him, however, was of course greatly favoured by the people; who for
the first time heard the gospel read to them in a language they
understood. But he met with the more opposition from the priests. The
whole jealousy of the Romish church seems to have been awakened by
Methodius' proceedings. He found however a protector in the pope
himself; who feared perhaps an entire alienation of the Slavic
population, and their transition to the Oriental church; but was at
the same time desirous to preserve the whole authority of the Latin
language. In a letter to the Moravian prince Svatopluk, he enjoins
expressly, "that in all the Moravian churches the gospel, for the sake
of the greater dignity, should be read first in Latin, and afterwards
translated into Slavic for the people ignorant of the Latin."

The question, what part of the Scriptures was translated by Cyril
himself, what by his brother, and what supplements were made by their
immediate successors, can now hardly be answered in a satisfactory
manner. The honour of the invention of the alphabet appears to belong
exclusively to Cyril; but in the sacred work of translation, Methodius
was not less active; and his merits in respect to the conversion and
instruction of the Slavi, were more favoured by a longer life.
According to John, exarch of Bulgaria, Cyril translated only
_selections_ from the Gospels and the _Apostle_, as the book of Acts
and the apostolic epistles are together called in Slavic; i.e. a
_Lectionarium_, or extracts from those parts of the Scriptures,
arranged in such a way as to serve as a lesson for every sacred day
through the whole year. The Russians call such a collection
_Aprakoss_, the Greeks [Greek: evangelia, eklogadia]. A work of this
description is the above mentioned Evangelium of Ostromir, of the year
1056, written out expressly for the domestic use of Ostromir.
_posadnik_[13] of Novogorod, a near relation of the grand-duke of
Izjaslav. It is however held to be more probable, that Cyril
translated at first the whole of the Gospels, as still contained in a
Codes of A.D. 1144, in the library of the Synod of Moscow. The
Presbyter of Dioclea, who wrote about A.D. 1161, ascribes to Cyril not
only the translation of the Gospels, but also of the Psalter;[14] and
at a later period that of the whole Old and New Testaments, as well as
of the _Massa_, i.e. the Greek liturgy of Basilius and Chrysostom.
This opinion has since been generally received. In respect to the Old
Testament, however, it is much to be doubted; since no ancient Codex
of it exists, or has ever been proved to have existed. As to the New
Testament, the Apocalypse must at any rate be excepted.

What part of the translation was performed by Methodius does not
appear. John, exarch of Bulgaria, who lived in the same century,
translated the books of Johannes Damascenus into Slavic. In the course
of the tenth and eleventh centuries, the Russian and Servian princes
called into their empires many learned Greeks, versed in the Slavic
language, that they might continue the holy work of translation.
From the historian Nestor it appears, that the Proverbs of Solomon
existed in the twelfth century in Slavic. The book of Wisdom,
Ecclesiastes, the Prophets, and Job, were translated in Servia in the
thirteenth or fourteenth century; the Pentateuch in Russia or Poland
A.D. 1400, or about that time. It is certain, that towards the close
of the fifteenth century, the whole Bible was already translated into
Old Slavic. According to Dobrovsky, the different parts of it were not
collected until after A.D. 1488, when the Bohemian Bible of Prague was
printed. This latter served as a model for the arrangement of the
Slavonic Bible; what was wanting was at that time supplied, and those
books of the Old Testament which had been translated from the Greek,
were reviewed and corrected according to the Vulgate. The Codex of
Moscow of A.D. 1499, the most ancient _existing_ copy of the whole
Bible in the Old Slavic, is probably at the same time the first which
was ever wholly completed.

The domains of the Old Slavic language, which seemed at first to be of
very great extent, were soon, by the well known jealousy of the Romish
church, limited to Russia and Servia. In Bohemia, which owed its
conversion to German priests, the Slavic liturgy seems never to have
been generally introduced; and the old Slavic church language has
therefore exerted only an inconsiderable influence on the Bohemian. In
Poland too, the Slavic liturgy was only _tolerated_, although the
first books with Cyrillic types were printed there. In Moravia,
Pannonia, and Illyria, the Slavonic worship was, after some struggle,
supplanted by the Latin; in the two latter countries, however, the
language was retained, and the occidental church service conducted in
the Slavic language; i.e. in a language which at that time was
perfectly intelligible to the Illyrians.

It appears that the priests of this part of the country had never
adopted the alphabet, which Cyril invented for the benefit of their
brethren in Pannonia or Bulgaria;[15] who, less advanced in
civilization than the tribes bordering on Italy, could as yet neither
write nor read; while the latter were already in possession of an
alphabet of an ancient and mysterious origin. For the first appearance
of the Glagolitic letters, (_glagol_ signifies in Slavic _word_, or
rather _verb_,) is still buried in perfect darkness. An almost
fabulous antiquity has been ascribed to this alphabet by various old
writers. According to some it was derived from the Goths or Getæ;
according to others, from the Phrygians and Thracians; and a very
common tradition made St. Jerome, who was a native of Dalmatia, the
inventor of it. The sounder criticism of our age seems at last to have
proved that all these opinions were untenable. The oldest Glagolitic
manuscript known before 1830 was a Psalter of A.D. 1220; i.e. more
than three and a half centuries younger than the Cyrillic alphabet,
and evidently copied from a known manuscript written in this latter.
This, in connection with some other circumstances, induced the learned
Dobrovsky to declare the whole alphabet to be the result of a pious
fraud. It seems surprising that this view should have been generally
adopted,--at least for a certain time. It was explained by Dobrovsky
in the following way.

At a Synod held at Spalatro in Dalmatia, in A.D. 1060, Methodius,
notwithstanding he had been patronized by several popes, was declared
a heretic, nearly two hundred years after his death; and it was
resolved that henceforth no mass should be read except in the Latin or
Greek language. From the decrees of that Synod, it appears that they
took the Gothic and Slavonic for the same idiom. A great part of the
inhabitants of Illyria remained nevertheless faithful to their
language, and to a worship familiar to their minds through that
language. A singular means, Dobrovsky asserts, was found by some of
the shrewder priests, to reconcile their inclinations with the jealous
despotism of Rome. A new alphabet was invented, or rather the Cyrillic
letters were altered and transformed in such a way, as to approach in
a certain measure to the Coptic characters. To give some authority to
the new invention, it was ascribed to St. Jerome. This, it was
maintained, is the Glagolitic alphabet, so called, used by the Slavic
priests of Dalmatia and Croatia until the present time. Cyril's
translation of the Bible and the liturgic books were copied in these
characters, with a very few deviations in the language; which probably
had their foundation in the difference of the Dalmatian dialect, or
were the result of the progress of time; for this event took place at
least 360 years after the invention of the Cyrillic alphabet. With
this modification, the priests succeeded in satisfying both the people
and the chair of Rome. It _sounded_ the same to the people, and
_looked_ different to the pope. The people submitted easily to the
ceremonies of the Romish worship, if only their beloved language was
preserved; and the pope, fearing justly the transition of the whole
Slavic population of those provinces to the Greek church, permitted
the mass to be read in Slavonic, in order to preserve his influence in

This hypothesis had come to be pretty generally received; when in the
year 1830, some Glagolitic manuscripts, which bore very decided
evidence of being at least as old as the middle of the eleventh
century, were discovered by Kopitar in the library of Count Clotz in
Tyrol. The existence of the calumniated alphabet at a period
cotemporary with the oldest Cyrillic manuscript known (the Evangelium
of Ostromir), was a death-blow to the above singular narrative.
Kopitar published the newly discovered Codex, accompanied by a
thundering philippic against the defenders of the former theory, and
in favour of the antiquity of the Glagolitic alphabet, and of the
Pannonian origin of the Slavic liturgy.[16] But here the matter
rested. Nothing has since been discovered, (so far as we are
informed,) to throw light on the first invention or introduction of
this alphabet; no connecting link to explain its relation to the
Cyrillic forms of writing.

According to Vostokof, a Russian scholar of great learning, and one of
the principal names in Old Slavic literature,[17] the history of the
Old Slavic or Church language and its literary cultivation, may be
divided into three periods:

1. From Cyril, or from the ninth century, to the thirteenth century.
This is the _ancient_ genuine Slavonic; as appears from the
manuscripts of that period.

2. From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. This is the _middle_
age of the Slavonic, as altered gradually by Russian copyists, and
full of Russisms.

3. From the sixteenth century to the present time. This comprises the
_modern_ Slavonic of the church books printed in Russia and Poland;
especially after the _Improvement_ of those writings, so called.

The most ancient documents of the Old Slavic language, are not older
than the middle of the eleventh century. There has been indeed
recently discovered a manuscript of the translation of John of
Damascus, written by John, exarch of Bulgaria, in the ninth century.
Vostokof however proves on philological grounds, that it cannot be the
original, but is a later copy. The above-mentioned Evangelium of
Ostromir (1056) is the earliest monument of the language, as to the
age of which no doubt exists. It is preserved in the imperial
library at St. Petersburg.[18] According to Vostokof, this is the
third, or perhaps the fourth, copy of Cyril's own translation. This
latter is irretrievably lost, as well as the copy which was made for
Vladimir the Great, a hundred years afterwards.

Only a few years younger is a _Sbornik_, A.D. 1073, or a collection of
ecclesiastical writings, discovered in the year 1817, and a similar
_Sbornik_ of 1076; the former in a convent near Moscow, the other now
in the library of the imperial Hermitage of St. Petersburg. Further,
the _Evangelium of Mistislav_, written before the year 1225, for the
prince Mistislav Vladimirowitch; and another _Evangelium_ of the year
1143, both at present in ecclesiastical libraries at Moscow.

Besides these venerable documents, there are several inscriptions on
stones, crosses, and monuments, of equal antiquity; and a whole series
of political documents, contracts, ordinances, and similar writings;
among which one of the most remarkable is the oldest manuscript of the
_Pravda Russkaya_[19] a collection of the laws of Jaroslav, A.D. 1280.
The libraries of the Russian convents possess a large number of
manuscripts; some of which proved to be of great value, when examined
about twenty years since by a Commission of scholars, appointed
expressly for that purpose by the Academy of Sciences.[20] The spirit
of critical-historical investigation, which took its rise in Germany
within our own century, has penetrated also the Russian scholars; and
their zeal is favoured by their government in a manner at once
honourable and liberal. The task was not small. The Synodal library of
Moscow alone has a treasure of 700 Old Slavic Codices; the Academy of
Sciences in St. Petersburg possesses likewise numerous Slavic
manuscripts. Among the libraries of other countries, there is hardly
one of any importance, which has not like Codices of more or less
value to exhibit. Those of Vienna and the Vatican are in this
department especially rich. These two were thoroughly searched by a
like Commission.[21] Of the great activity, and the critical spirit
which the Russian historians of our day have shown in respect to their
own past, more will be said in our sketch of the Russian literature.

The number of the monuments of the Old Slavic increases considerably
in the _second_ period; and we find ourselves the more obliged to be
satisfied with mentioning only the most important among them. At the
head of these, stands the _Laurentian Codex_, the oldest existing copy
of Nestor's Annals, A.D. 1377, now in the imperial library at St.
Petersburg. Nestor, a monk in a convent near Kief, born A.D. 1096, was
the father of Russian history. He wrote Annals in the Old Slavic
language, which form the basis of Slavic history, and are not without
importance for the whole history of the middle ages. They were first
printed in A.D. 1767, and subsequently in four editions, the last in
1796. Schlözer, the great German historian, who published them anew in
1802-9, with a translation, added considerably to their intrinsic
value by a critical and historical commentary upon them. But even his
edition could not satisfy the more critical spirit of our days. A
new one has been published in the course of the last seven years; for
which, not less than fifty-three manuscripts were carefully compared.
The merit of it belongs to the Archæographical Commission of the

The _third_ period begins with the sixteenth century. In the course of
time, and after passing through the hands of so many ignorant
copyists, the holy books had of course undergone a change; nay, were
in some parts grown unintelligible. The necessity of a revision was
therefore very strongly felt. In A.D. 1512, the Patriarch of
Constantinople, at the request of the Tzar Basilius Ivanovitch, sent a
learned Greek (a monk of Mount Athos) to Moscow, to revise the church
books, and to correct them according to the Greek originals. As this
person some years afterwards fell into disgrace and could not
accomplish the work, it was taken up repeatedly in the course of the
same and the following century, until the revision of the liturgical
books was pronounced to be finished in A.D. 1667; but that of the
Bible not before A.D. 1751. The principles on which this revision, or,
as it was called, _Improvement_, was made, were in direct conflict
with the reverence due to the genius of the Slavic language. The
revisers, in their unphilosophical mode of proceeding, tried only to
imitate the Greek original, and to assimilate the grammatical part of
the language, as much as possible, to the Russian of their own times.
They all acted in the conviction, that the language of the Bible and
liturgical books was merely _obsolete Russian_. Even the latest
revisers of the Bible, in 1751, knew nothing of Cyril or Methodius;
and had no doubt, that the first translation was made in Russia under
Vladimir the Great, A.D. 988, in the language which was then spoken.

Such other works in Old Slavic, as were the productions of this
period, seem rather to belong to the history of the Russian and
Servian literature. We have seen from the preceding, that the Old
Slavic had altered considerably; nay, was in a certain measure
amalgamated with those dialects. We shall see in the sequel, how it
was gradually supplanted by them.[22]

The printing of works in the Old Slavic, at the present day, is almost
exclusively limited to the Bible and to what is in immediate
connection with it. The first printed Slavonic work was set in
Glagolitic letters. This was a missal of A.D. 1483.[23] The earliest
Cyrillic printing office was founded about A.D. 1490, at Kracow, by
Svaipold Feol. Nearly at the same time, 1492, they began in Servia and
Herzegovina to print with Cyrillic types. In A.D. 1518, a
Cyrillic-Slavonic printing office was established at Venice; and about
the same time, a part of the Old Testament in the White-Russian
dialect, printed with Cyrillic letters, was published at Prague in

In Russia, now the principal seat of the eastern Slavic literature,
printing was not introduced until after the middle of the sixteenth
century. The first work was published in Moscow A.D. 1564, an edition
of the _Apostle_, executed by the united skill of two printers. It
would seem, however, that they did not succeed in Russia; for a few
years after we find one of them in Lemberg, occupied in printing the
same book; and the other at Wilna, in printing the Gospels. In Russia,
the Gospels were printed for the first time in A.D. 1606. The first
complete Slavonic Bible was published at Ostrog in Volhynia (Poland)
A.D. 1581, fol. printed after the manuscript of 1499, which also was
the first that comprehended the whole Bible.[24] The second edition of
the whole Slavonic Bible was printed eighty-two years later, at
Moscow, A.D. 1663. An enumeration of all the subsequent editions, is
given in the note below.[25]

The philological part of the church Slavonic language was not
cultivated so early as would have been desirable. There exists however
a grammar by Zizania, published A.D. 1596 in Warsaw. Twenty years
afterwards another by M. Smotrisky appeared, Wilna 1618. This work,
written like Zizania's grammar in the White-Russian dialect,[26] was
for a long time considered as of good authority; it reappeared in
several editions, and served as the basis of most of the grammars
written during the 17th and 18th centuries. M. Stroyeff found in the
Paris library the manuscript of an Old Slavic grammar, written in
Latin by John Uzewicz, a Student of Theology at the University of
Paris in 1643. In the year 1822, Dobrovsky published his
_Institutiones Linguæ Slavicæ dialecti vcteris_, a grammatical work
which, like all the productions of this distinguished scholar, throws
a new light upon the subject, and renders all former works of a
similar character useless.

The lexical part of this literature is more defective. Most of the
existing dictionaries are merely short and unsatisfactory
vocabularies. The most ancient is the work of P. Berynda, _Lex.
Slaveno-Russicum_, Kief 1627. More in use at present are the _Kratkoi
Slowar Slavjanskoi_, or 'Short Slavic Dictionary,' by Eugenius, St.
Petersb. 1784; and the larger 'Church Dictionary' by Alexejef, 4th ed.
St. Pet. 1817-19. A dictionary of this dialect for the special use of
foreigners, does not yet exist.[27]

In modern times considerable attention has been devoted to the
examination of the Old Slavic language and its relation to its kindred
dialects. Antiquarian and paleographical researches have been happily
combined with philological investigations; and the eminent names which
are found among these diligent and philosophical inquirers, insure the
best prospects to their cause.[28]


[Footnote 1: See below in the History of the Russian Language, and the
so called _Improvement_ of the Bible and church books.]

[Footnote 2: In modern times this view has been defended principally
by Russian philologists, the Metropolitan Eugene, Kalajdovitch, etc.]

[Footnote 3: See his _Kyrill und Method_, Prague, 1823. Schlözer
considers likewise the Old Slavic as a Bulgarian dialect of the ninth
century. See his Northern History, p. 330. In another place he calls
it the mother of the other Slavic languages; see his Nestor, I. p.

[Footnote 4: In his Grammar of the Slavic Language in Carniola,
Carinthia, and Stiria.]

[Footnote 5: _Jahrbücher der Literatur_, Vienna, 1822, Vol. XVII.
Grimm is of the same opinion; see the Preface to his translation of
Vuk Stephanovitch's Servian Grammar.]

[Footnote 6: See above, p. 11.]

[Footnote 7: This view Schaffarik takes in his work on _Slavic
Antiquities_, and in his _Slavic Ethnography_. Palacky, a
distinguished Bohemian scholar, adopted the same opinion in his
_History of Bohemia_, Prague 1836. Both were combatted in a furious
review by Kopitar, in Chmel's _Oestr. Geschichtsforscher_, III. 1838;
printed separately under the title: _Der Pannonische Ursprung der
Slavischen Liturgie_. etc.]

[Footnote 8: Dobrovsky's _Entwurf zu einer allgemeinen Slavischen
Etymologie_, Prague 1812. See also the _Slovanka_ of this celebrated

[Footnote 9: Schlözer's Nestor, III. p. 224.]

[Footnote 10: Rakoviecky, in his edition of the _Pravda Russka_,
Warsaw 1820-22. Katancsich, _Specimen Philologiæ et Geographiæ_, etc.
1795. See also Frähn's publication, "Ueber die alteste Schrift der
Russen," St. Petersb. 1835; where a specimen is given of the form of
writing which the Arabian author Ibn Abi Jakub el Nedim ascribes to
the Russians. This writer lived at the close of the tenth century. He
quotes as his authority an envoy sent from some Caucasian prince to
the king of the Russians.]

[Footnote 11: As in modern Greek; see also Bullmann's Gram. § 3. 2.]

[Footnote 12: See Rees' Cyclopedia, art. _Khazares_; where however it
is incorrectly said, that they were a Turkish tribe.]

[Footnote 13: _Posadnik_ is about the same as _mayor_.]

[Footnote 14: In the Slavic version of the Chronicle of Dalmatia, the
Epistles instead of the Palter are named.]

[Footnote 15: That the Glagolitic alphabet, as has been affirmed, was
the one invented by Cyril, and was gradually changed into that
afterwards known as the Cyrillic, is an untenable position; partly,
because no form of writing _could_ change in such a degree in one or
two centuries; and partly, because in some early manuscripts both
alphabets appear _mixed_, or rather are used alternately.]

[Footnote 16: _Glagolita Clozianus_, Vindeb. 1836.]

[Footnote 17: In his essay _On the Old Slavic Language_. See the
Russian periodical: _Treatises of a Society of Friends of Russian
Literature_, No. XVII. Mosc. 1820.]

[Footnote 18: Extracts from it may be seen in the valuable collection
of Documents prepared by P. von Köppen: _Sobranie Slovenzki
Pamjatnikov_, St. Petersburg 1827. See also Hanka's Edition of
Dobrovsky's _Slavia_, Prague 1834.]

[Footnote 19: This remarkable manuscript was not known until 1738,
when it was discovered in the chronicles of Novogorod. It has since
been published in six different editions, the first prepared by
Schlözer, 1767; the last by the Polish scholar Rakowiecky, enriched
with remarks and illustrations. See note 10, above.]

[Footnote 20: _Aktu Sobrannyje etc._ i.e. Collection of Acts and
Documents found in the Libraries and Archives of the Russian Empire,
by the Archæographical Commission of the Academy, etc. 4 vols. St.
Petersburg, 1836, 1837. The oldest of these documents does not go
farther back than A.D. 1294.]

[Footnote 21: On the remarkable Slavic manuscript called "Texte du
Sacre," which was first re-discovered on this expedition, see
_Glagolitic Literature_, in Part II. Chap. II.]

[Footnote 22: According to Vostokof, the dialects of all the Slavic
nations deviated not only much less from each other at the time of
Cyril's translation than they now do; but were even in the middle of
the eleventh century still so similar, that the different nations were
able to understand each other, about as well as the present
inhabitants of the different provinces of Russia understand each
other. The difference of the Slavic dialects was then almost
exclusively limited to the lexical part of the language; the
grammatical varieties, which exist among them at the present day, had
not then arisen. The principal features which distinguish the Russian
of the present day from the Old Slavic, are exhibited in an article
_on Russian Literature_ in the Foreign Quarterly Review, Vol. I. p.

[Footnote 23: We learn that P. von Köppen several years ago discovered
a Slavic work printed in 1475; but being unacquainted with the
details, we are unable to give a particular notice of it.]

[Footnote 24: See above p. 36.]

[Footnote 25: The first two editions are described above. The _third_
edition did not appear till nearly a century later, after the revision
of the text had been completed, Moscow 1751, fol. Subsequent editions
are as follows: Moscow 1756, fol. ib. 1757, fol. St. Petersb. 1756,
fol. Kief 1758, fol. St. Petersb. 1759, fol. Moscow 1759, 3 vols. 8vo.
ib. 1762, fol. ib. 1766, fol. ib. 1778, 5 vols. 8vo. Kief 1779, fol.
Mosc. 1784, fol. Kief 1788, 5 vols. 8vo. Mosc. 1790, fol. ib. 1797,
fol. ib. 1802, fol. Ofen (Buda) 1804, 5 vols. 8vo. Mosc. 1806, 4 vols.
8vo. ib. 1810, fol. ib. 1813, 5 vols. 8vo. ib. 1815, 8vo. St. Petersb.
1816, 8vo. stereotype edition, issued sixteen times up to 1824. Also
in 4to, stereotype edition, issued five times from 1819 to 1821.]

[Footnote 26: In the work of J. Lewicky, _Grammatik der ruthenischen
oder kleinrussischen Sprache in Galizien_, Przinysl 1836, to which is
annexed a short history of the Ruthenian Literature, the Russinian and
White-Russian dialects seem to be wholly confounded.]

[Footnote 27: Schaffarik mentions that an Old Slavic Grammar and a
Dictionary were prepared and ready in manuscript, by Vostokof, in
1826. Whether these works have been since printed we are not

[Footnote 28: Very valuable and detailed notices on all the subjects
in immediate connection with the Old Slavic and modern Russian Bible,
are to be found in Henderson's _Biblical Researches and Travels in
Russia_, Lond. 1826. As this book is accessible in this country, and
our limits are narrow, we abstain from giving more than a general
reference to it, as containing the best information on Slavic matters
ever written in the English language. The reader will find there too a
table of the Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabet, taken from Dobrovsky's

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *



The name of _Russia_ and the _Russians_ is not older than the ninth or
tenth century. The northern part of that vast empire, however, was
long before inhabited by Slavic nations, who seem to have been divided
into small states under chiefs chosen by themselves; to have been
peaceable in their character, and most of them tributary to more
powerful neighbours. About the middle of the ninth century, civil
dissensions arose among the Slavi of Novogorod, at the election of a
new head or _posadnik_. Troubled at the same time from without, by the
conquering and enterprising spirit of the Varegians, a Scandinavian
tribe, they no longer felt able to make resistance against them; and
therefore, A.D. 862, they chose Rurik, the chief of the Varegians, for
their own head. These Scandinavians were by the Finns called _Ruotzi_,
an appellation which in their language signifies _strangers_. This
name, in a somewhat altered form, passed over to the inhabitants of
the acquired territory, with whom the conquerors soon amalgamated.
Rurik founded thus the first Slavo-Russian state; and his followers,
long accustomed to a warlike nomadic mode of life, settled down among
the Slavic inhabitants of the country. The nationality of the
_strangers_, comparatively few in number, was merged in that of the
natives; but still, in one respect, it exercised a strong influence
upon the latter, by infusing into them the warlike spirit of the
former. It is only since that time, that we find the Slavi as
conquerors. Their empire rapidly extended in the course of the
following hundred and fifty years, and their power and external
influence also rose; while at the same time the ancient civil
institutions of the native Slavi were respected and improved.

In the beginning of the eleventh century, Jaroslav, the son of
Vladimir the Great, imitating his father's example, divided on his
death-bed his empire among his sons, and thus sowed the seeds of
dissension, anarchy, and bloody wars; a case repeated so often in
ancient history, that it seems to be one of the few from which modern
princes have derived a serious lesson. The Mongols broke into the
country; easily subdued the Russians thus torn by internal
dissensions; succeeded, A.D. 1237, in making them tributary; and kept
them for two hundred years in the most dishonourable bondage. During
this long period, every germ of literary cultivation perished. In the
middle of the fifteenth century, Ivan Vasilievitch III, [1] delivered
his country from the Asiatic barbarians, then weakened by domestic
dissensions; conquered his Russian rivals; and united Novogorod with
his own princedom of Moscow. From that period the power and physical
welfare of Russia have increased without interruption to the present
time. The literary cultivation of its inhabitants has likewise
advanced; at first indeed with stops hardly proportioned to the
external progress of the empire; but now for more than a century, in
consequence of the despotic activity of their sovereigns, with a
wonderful rapidity.

The history of Russian literature has five distinct periods. The
_first_ period comprises an interval of more than nine centuries, from
the date of our first knowledge of the Russian Slavi, to the coming of
age of Peter the Great. A.D. 1689. This period would easily admit of
several subdivisions; and did we pretend in these pages to give the
reader more than a _sketch_ of literary history, we should perhaps
find it advisable to adopt them. This long period, however, both in a
comparative and an absolute sense, is so very poor, that, limited as
we are, a few words will suffice to give a general survey of it; and
so much the more, because the productions of this period are closely
connected with the history of the Old Slavic language, and have mostly
been already mentioned under that head.

The _second_ period extends from the coming of age of Peter the Great
to the accession of Elizabeth his daughter, A.D. 1741, which was the
commencement of Lomonosof's influence.

The _third_ period extends from Lomonosof, the creator of Russian
prose, to Karamzin, the reformer of it, who was born in 1765.

The _fourth_ period covers the interval from Karamzin to the accession
of the emperor Nicholas in 1825.

The _fifth_ period begins with the accession of Nicholas in 1825, and
continues to the present time.

Before however we begin our historical notices, a few words relating
to the characteristic features of the Russian language, may find a
place here. Three principal dialects are to be distinguished, viz.

1. The _Russian proper_, the true literary language of the whole
Russian nation, and _spoken_ in Moscow and all the central and
northern part of the European Russian empire. And here we will
mention the remarkable fact, that the peasant on the Wolga, on the
Oka, and on the Moskwa, speaks the same pure Russian which is heard in
the parlour and from the pulpit. Vulgar and corrupted branches of this
dialect, are those of Suzdal and Olonetzk, the last of which is mixed
with Finnish words.

2. The _Malo-Russian_, the language of the south of Russia, especially
towards the east. The principal difference between this dialect and
the Russian proper, consists partly in the pronunciation of several
letters; e.g. in that of the consonant [Cyrillic: character ghe],
which sounds in the latter like _g_ hard, but in the former like _h_,
as _hospodin_ instead of _gospodin_, master, lord; partly in many
obsolete forms of expression, which seem to give to the Malo-Russian a
nearer relationship to the Old Slavic, in which similar idioms are to
be found. The influence of the Poles, who for nearly two centuries
were rulers of this part of the country, is also still perceptible in
the language, This dialect is especially rich in national songs. Many
of them are of peculiar beauty, touching _naiveté_; and a poetical
truth which far outshines all artificial decorations. The greater part
of these songs have an elegiac character; as is the case indeed with
most productions of the common people.[2] The dialect itself, however,
is far from being less adapted to the expression of the comic. There
exists in it a travesty of the AEneid, written by J. Kotliarevski, a
Kozak, which has found great favour throughout all Russia, although a
foreigner is less able to appreciate its peculiarities and beauties;
since indeed all poetic excellence of a comic description can be felt
only by those who are familiar not only with the poetic language, but
also with all those minute local and historical circumstances, the
allusions to which contribute so frequently to augment the ludicrous.

Essentially the same with the Malo-Russian is the idiom of the
_Russniaks_ in Red Russia, in the eastern part of Galicia, and the
north-eastern districts of Hungary; and the few variations which occur
in it have not yet been sufficiently investigated. Comparatively
little attention has been paid to this branch of the Slavic race; and
their beautiful national songs, scattered among a widely extended
people, have only recently become the object of curiosity and

3. The _White-Russian_ is the dialect spoken in Lithuania and a
portion of White Russia, especially Volhynia. The situation of these
provinces sufficiently accounts for its being full of Polisms. All the
historical documents of Lithuania are written in this dialect; and
several Russian writers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
employed it in preference to the Old Slavonic. The first Russian
translation of the Bible was written in it. It is the youngest of the
Russian dialects.

What first strikes us in considering the Russian language as a whole,
is its immense copiousness. The _early_ influence of foreign nations
appears here as a decided advantage. The German, in the highest degree
susceptible for foreign _ideas_ and forms of _thought_, repels
nevertheless all foreign _words_ and forms of _expression_ as
unnatural excrescences. It is evidently disfigured by the adoption of
foreign words, and can preserve its beauty only by adhering to its own
national and inexhaustible sources. The Russian, having been in early
times successively subjected to the influence of the Scandinavian,
Mongolian, Tartar, and Polish languages, is in this respect to be
compared, in a certain measure, with the English, in which the ancient
British, the Latin, the Saxon, the Danish, and the French, amalgamated
in the same proportion as the ideas of these different nations were
adopted. Hence nothing that ever contributed to the singular
composition of this rich language, appears to be borrowed; but all
belongs to it as its lawful property. But the great pre-eminence of
the Russian appears in the _use_ which it made of these adopted
treasures. Its greater flexibility made it capable of employing
foreign words merely as _roots_, from which it raised stems and
branches by means of its own native resources. It is this copiousness
and variety of _radical_ syllables, which gives to the Russian in
certain respects a claim over all other Slavic languages.

Another excellence is the great freedom of construction which it
allows, without any danger of becoming unintelligible or even
ambiguous. It resembles in this point the classic languages; from
which however its small number of conjunctions decidedly distinguishes
it. This want of conjunctions has been objected to the language as a
defect; it seems however to be one of the causes, why it is so
remarkably clear and distinct; since it can only admit of
comparatively short phrases. In spite of this clearness, its
adaptedness for poetry is undeniable; and in this branch the
incomparable national songs extant in it would afford a most noble
foundation even in respect to forms, if nature could ever obtain a
complete victory over the perverted taste of fashion. Whether this
language is really capable of entirely imitating the classic metres,
is still a matter of dispute among distinguished Slavic
philologians.[3] As to its euphony, what has been said above in
respect to the Slavic languages in general, may be applied
particularly to the Russian. Here however the ear of the unprejudiced
listener alone can decide.


_To the coming of age of Peter the Great_, 1689.

The influence of the Varegians in respect to the language, appears to
have been inconsiderable; their own idiom on the contrary being soon
absorbed by that of the natives. Rurik's grandsons had already Slavic
names.[4] The principal event in those ancient times, and one which
manifested its beneficent consequences in respect to civilization
here, as every where, was the introduction of Christianity, towards
the end of the tenth century. Vladimir the Great, the first Christian
monarch, founded the first schools; Greek artists were called from
Constantinople to embellish the newly erected churches at Kief; and
poetry found a patron and at the same time her hero in Vladimir.
Vladimir and his knights are the Russian Charlemagne and his peers,
king Arthur and his Round table. Their deeds and exploits have proved
a rich source for the popular tales and songs of posterity; and serve
even now to give to the earlier age of Russian history a tinge of that
romantic charm, of which the history of the middle ages is in general
so utterly void. The establishment of Christianity was followed by the
introduction of Cyril's translation of the Scriptures and the
liturgical books. The kindred language of these writings was
intelligible to them; but was still distinct enough from the old
Russian to permit them to exist side by side as two different
languages; the one fixed and immovable, the voice of the Scriptures,
the priests, and the laws; the other varying, advancing, extending,
adapting itself to the progress of time.

That this latter, the genuine old Russian, had its poets, was, until
the close of the last century, only known by historical tradition; no
monument of them seemed to be left. But at that time, A.D. 1794, a
Russian nobleman, Count Mussin-Pushkin, discovered the manuscript of
an epic poem, 'Igor's Expedition against the Polovtzi,' apparently not
older than the twelfth century. It is a piece of national poetry of no
common beauty, united with an equal share of power and gracefulness.
But what strikes us even more than this, is, that we find in it no
trace of that rudeness, which would naturally be expected in the
production of a period when darkness still covered all eastern Europe,
and of a poet belonging to a nation, which we have hardly longer than
a century ceased to consider as barbarians! There hovers a spirit of
meekness over the whole, which sometimes even seems to endanger the
energy of the representation.

The genuineness of this poem has, so far as we know, never been
questioned; but it is indeed a very surprising feature, that during
the recent diligent search through all the libraries in the country
after old manuscripts, not a single production has been discovered,
which could in any way be compared with it. This remarkable poem
stands in the history of ancient Russian literature perfectly
isolated; and hence exhibits one of the most inexplicable riddles in
literary history.[5]

On the whole, the Russians enjoyed at this early period as much mental
cultivation as any other part of Northern Europe. There were several
writers even among their princes. Jaroslav, the son of Vladimir the
Great, was not less active than his father had been in advancing the
cause of Christianity, and all that stands in connection with
religion. He sent priests throughout the whole country to instruct the
people, and founded in Novogorod a theological seminary for three
hundred students. He took care that the translation of the church
books was continued; but the most remarkable monument of his reign, as
well in an historical as in a philological respect, is the _Pravda
Russka_, a collection of laws.[6] Another grand duke of Russia,
Vladimir Vsevolodovitch Monomach, who died in 1125, wrote
'Instructions for his Children;' one of his successors, Constantine
Vsevolodovitch, a hundred years later, produced a history of the
Russian princes, which is now lost. The clergy, safe in their cells
from the tempests of war, were busy in translating from the Greek;
Nestor wrote his valuable annals;[7] another priest, Basilius,
described the cotemporary events in the south of Russia; Sylvester,
bishop of Perejaslavl, ob. 1124, and several others of the clergy,
continued Nestor's annals;[8] while Hegumen Daniel wrote his travels
to Palestine in the beginning of the twelfth century.

The theological productions of the early portion of this period, are
of less value than the historical. It was however this field, that was
cultivated most diligently. There are several sermons, or rather
synodal _oraisons_, still extant; some of which, by another Cyril,
metropolitan of Kief, A.D. 1281. are said to be not without real
eloquence. Most of the productions of this early period, which belong
indeed more to the history of the Slavonic than of the Russian
literature, perished in the devastations and conflagrations of the

From A.D. 1238 to 1462, the Russian princes, as we have seen, were
vassals of the Mongol Tartars, or the _Golden Horde_.[9] In the course
of these two centuries, nearly every trace of cultivation perished.
No school existed during this whole time throughout all Russia. The
Mongols set fire to the cities; sought out and destroyed what written
documents they could find; and purposely demolished all monuments of
national culture. The convents alone found in their policy a sort of
protection. Science therefore became more than ever the exclusive
possession of the monks. Among these, however, no trace of classical
learning, and hardly a show of scholastic wisdom, was to be found.
Fortunately they improved their time as well in respect to posterity
by writing annals, as for their own personal benefit by accumulating

The re-establishment of Russian independence in the middle of the
fifteenth century, had a reviving influence on national science and
literature. The nation however had been too long kept back, ever to be
able to overtake their western neighbours. From this point a new
division of this period begins. Some of the Russian princes were men
of powerful and active minds; they invited artists and physicians from
Greece, Italy, and Germany, into their country, and rewarded them
liberally. Ivan IV,[10] A.D. 1538-84, ordered schools to be founded in
all the cities of his empire; under his reign the first
printing-office was established in Moscow in 1564. Soon afterwards a
theological academy was founded at Kief. Boris Godunof, 1598-1605,
sent eighteen noble youths to study at foreign universities. The
princes of the house of Romanof showed themselves not less active.
Alexei and Fedor, the father and brother of Peter the Great, opened
the way for that bold reformer, and appear as his worthy predecessors;
indeed the merit of several improvements, which have been generally
ascribed to Peter, belongs to them. During this whole later period,
the Polish language and literature exerted a decided influence on the
Russian; and some writers began to use the dialect of White Russia, an
impure mixture of the two,[11] while the pure Russian was despised as
merely fit for vulgar use. The Malo-Russian also, or Ruthenian
dialect, was, by the influence of the Polish language, cultivated
before the pure Russian; which last began, only in the latter half of
the seventeenth century, to shake off these chains and acquire for
itself an independent form.

The first germs of dramatic art were likewise carried from Poland to
Russia. In Kief, the theological students performed ecclesiastical
dramas; and travelled about during the holidays, to exhibit their
skill in other cities. The scenes which they had to repeat most
frequently, were the three Children in the fiery furnace, and Haman's
execution. The tragedies of Simeon of Polotzk, in the Old Slavic
language, had great success in the middle of the seventeenth century.
Their renown penetrated from the convents to the court; where they
were performed before Tzar Fedor, the predecessor of Peter.[12] His
minister, Matveyef, the Slavic Mecaenas of his time, and himself a
writer, invited the first stage-players to Russia; and at his
instigation, the first secular drama, a translation of Molière's
"Médecin malgré lui," was played before the gratified princesses and
their enraptured maids of honour. The sister of the two Tzars, the
Tzarevna Sophia, was a great patroness of the dramatic art: and was
herself the author of several tragedies and comedies, which were acted
before her by her ladies.

This latter portion of the first period, poor as it is, has
nevertheless several books of travels to exhibit. A merchant of
Tver, Athanasius Nikitin, travelled in the year 1470 to India, visited
the Dekkan and Golconda, and gave on his return a description of those
countries. Two other merchants of Moscow, Korobeinikof and Grekof,
described a century later their travels through Syria, Palestine and
Egypt. Fedor Baïkof, Russian envoy to China, published likewise a book
of travels in that remarkable country.

In the department of history, this portion of the first period was
surprisingly productive. Not only were the Annals of the venerable
Nestor, the basis of all Slavic history, continued by the monks with
fidelity and zeal; but a whole series of other annals, biographies of
single princes, and chronographies, were produced; and even some
foreign nations received their share of attention.[13] The reader
however must not expect to find a vestige of philosophical genius, nor
a philosophical representation of the events. Entirely unacquainted
with classical literature, the Greek writers of the Byzantine age were
their only models. The best that can be expected is a dry and faithful
narrative of facts.[14]

The weakest part of the literature of this later portion of the
period, is the theological branch; a sketch of which however may not
be inappropriate here. It is true, that the _Improvement_ of the old
church books was executed with much zeal; but in what spirit this was
done, in a philological respect, we have mentioned above in the
history of the Old Slavonic literature, to which the labours of the
translators properly belong. Nikon, patriarch of Russia, ob. 1681,
carried on this work with the greatest activity; and besides this set
on foot a collection of historical annals.[15] The light of the
Reformation, which at that time spread its beneficent beams over all
Europe, and exerted particularly such a strong influence on Poland,
did not penetrate into the night of the Russian church; the gloom of
which, however, had always been mitigated by a spirit of meekness and
Christian charity. Still, we notice among the pulpit productions of
this time somewhat of the polemic genius of the age. It was not,
however, against the bold innovations of Lutherans or Calvinists, that
the clergy found occasion to turn their weapons, but against the
_Jewish_ heresy![16] A translation of the Psalms of David, Moscow
1680, deserves to be distinguished among similar productions. The
writer was the monk Simeon of Polotzk, author of the above-mentioned
spiritual dramas, and instructor of the Tzar Fedor. Still more
remarkable is the first attempt to translate the Bible into the
Russian language. Francis Skorina, the translator, likewise a native
of Polotzk, where the Polish influence was stronger than in any
other quarter, was a doctor of medicine; but the time had now come
when it began to be felt over all Europe, that the holy volume did not
belong exclusively to the clergy. Some parts only of his translation
have been printed.[17]

In the course of the sixteenth century, several printing offices had
been established in Russia, almost exclusively for the benefit of
theological works. Nearly all the historical writings were preserved
in manuscript; and have been first printed in modern times. The
awkward appearance of Cyril's alphabet seemed to add an unnecessary
difficulty to the diffusion of the knowledge of reading. Towards the
end of the seventeenth century Elias Kopiovitch made some improvement
in the appearance of the Slavic letters; it was however reserved to
Peter's reforming hand, to give to them a fixed and permanent shape.


_From the majority of Peter the Great, A.D. 1689, to Lomonosof, A.D.

The history of the genuine Russian literature begins only with the
adoption of the language of the people for all civil writings. It was
Peter the Great, who raised this language to be the language of public
business, in which all transactions of the courts of justice
henceforth were to be held, and all ordinances to be issued. Ere this
energetical man was able to establish a Russian printing office in his
own empire, in order not to lose time, he gave a privilege for
fifteen years to the Dutch printer Tessing for Russian works. It was
in Amsterdam, in 1699, that the first Russian book was printed. About
the year 1704, Peter himself invented some alterations in the Slavic
letters, principally so as to make them more similar to the Latin. He
caused a fount of these new types to be cast by Dutch artists; and the
first Russian newspaper was printed with them at St. Petersburg in
1705. These letters, with some additional alterations during the
course of the following ten years, were generally adopted for the
Russian language, and are in use at the present time. The same
letters, with a few slight variations, are also used by that portion
of the Servians who belong to the eastern church; the other portion
making use of the Latin alphabet. In all theological writings,
however, the ancient forms of the letters are preserved. This is the
difference between the _grashdanskii_ and _tzerkvennii_, or the civil
and church alphabet.[18]

The energy with which this emperor, _a real autocrat_, proceeded,
caused his people to overleap a whole century. If there is something
revolting to a liberal mind, in the despotic haste with which he
deprived a great nation at once of a part of their nationality,
through his arbitrary decision in all that he deemed best for them;
still it serves greatly to allay this feeling, to observe that the
resistance which he experienced did not proceed from the people, but
almost exclusively from the obstinate pride of a spoiled nobility, and
the narrow-minded policy of an ignorant and jealous priesthood. The
Russian nation itself is indeed, more than any other people,
susceptible of deep impressions. Hence they are in general not averse
to innovations; and were in Peter's time, as now, willing to be
conducted by a hand acknowledged as that of a superior. In
consequence of these very national qualities, good or bad, they are
capable of being readily moulded into any new form.

Whether the rapidity, nay, vehemence of the Tzar's improvements were a
real benefit to the nation, this is not the place to examine; but for
the free development of the language and literature, it is evident,
that his proceedings were injurious, notwithstanding their apparently
wonderful effect. Although the language possesses all the elements of
completeness, and notwithstanding the not inconsiderable mass of
talent which has developed itself in the course of time, the Russian
literature has perhaps not yet produced a single work of great and
decided _original_ value. The best works which they have, are
imitations; and he is the most distinguished writer whose discernment
leads him to choose the best model. No doubt, the present standing of
the Russian literature _in general_ would have been much lower, and
its extent especially would have been much smaller, than it now is,
had the Russian genius been permitted to break its own way through the
darkness; but there is still less doubt, that in this case it would
have preserved its original peculiarity, that wonderful blending of
the East and the West, of Asiatic suppleness and European energy, of
which their popular songs give such affecting, and in some cases
powerful specimens.

Peter, without delay, caused many books to be translated into Russian,
from the German, French, English, and Dutch languages. The haste
however with which this was performed, and the greater attention of
the Tzar to the _matter_ than to the _form_, had the natural
consequence, that most of these translations were miserable
productions, executed without the least regard for the language
itself. Peter's only object was to enable his subjects to become a
_reading_ people, and to communicate to them useful knowledge through
the medium of books. Beauties of style, and even mere purity of
language, belong in a certain measure to the luxuries of literature;
the Tzar thought only of utility.

These innovations in literature found of course a great many opponents
among the clergy; but there were some enlightened priests, among those
who held the highest standing in the church, who favoured in general
the Tzar's plan. The field of theology became somewhat more cultivated
during this period. Theophan Prokovitch, archbishop of Novogorod, ob.
1736, alone wrote sixty works, of which however only about half were
printed. He was Peter's faithful assistant; and not only his learning
and mental gifts, but his high moral character, gained him a decided
influence. He was styled the Russian Chrysostom.

The metropolitan of Rostof, called the holy Demetrius, ob. 1709, was
likewise a very productive theological writer. He was considered by
his contemporaries as a true pattern of Christianity; and was equally
distinguished for his learning. The metropolitan Stephen Javorsky, ob.
1722, was celebrated for his eloquence in the pulpit. Gabriel
Bushinsky, bishop of Rjazan and Murom, ob. 1731, was not only a
theological writer, but translated also works on history. A remarkable
example in this period, is Elias Kopiyevsky,[19] ob. 1701, who studied
theology in Holland, and became a protestant, and afterwards a pastor
at Amsterdam. He aided zealously in Peter's great work of
translations. Several historical and philological works translated by
him, were published by Tessing. Luther's Catechism was translated
about the same time by the pastor Glück of Livonia, who had been made
a prisoner by the Russians and carried to Moscow. It was in his house
that Catharine, the future empress of Russia, was brought up.[20]
Among the secular writers of this period, prince Antiochus Kantemir,
ob. 1745, must above all be mentioned. Of Greek extraction and born in
Constantinople, with all the advantages of an accomplished education,
and in full possession of several highly cultivated languages, he
nevertheless chose the Russian idiom for his poetical productions.
These are mostly satires, and evidently bear the stamp of a thorough
knowledge of the classics. Besides these he wrote on different
subjects of natural philosophy; and translated a selection from the
Epistles of Horace, and Fontenelle's work on the plurality of worlds.
About the same time, Leont. Magnitzky wrote the first Russian
Arithmetic with Arabic numerals.

Among the lyric poets two Kozaks, Cyril Danilof and Semen Klimofsky,
are named with some distinction. The first of the two, better known
under the diminutive of his name, _Kirsha_ Danilof, deserves
particular attention. The Russians have their cyclus of heroic
legends, as well as the occidental nations. Vladimir and his Boyars
are to them what Arthur and his Round table, Charlemagne and his
twelve peers, are to Britons, Franks, and Germans. These traditions
lived still among the people in Kirsha Danilof's time; and yet live to
some extent as nursery tales. Kirsha versified them; and, we fear,
changed them according to the spirit of his time. They have only been
printed and published in the present century, at least seventy-five
years after they were written; for Kirsha was a cotemporary of Peter
I. It is no doubt to him, that we owe their preservation through an
age of a false and pedantic taste, which could only have despised
these relics of barbarism, and during which they were forgotten by the
Frenchified literati.[21] In historical contributions this period is
not wholly poor; but as the writers paid not the slightest attention
to style, or did not know from what principles to begin, the language
remained entirely uncultivated. There was as yet no thought of a
Russian _Grammar_. In poetry the system of rhymed verses, in which the
syllables were not measured, but counted, in imitation of the Poles,
reigned exclusively. Meanwhile the popular songs held faithfully to
the old Russian irregular but highly musical numbers, consulting only
the ear. Trediakofsky, born 1703, was the first who examined more
closely the nature of the language, and advised the adoption of the
classical metres founded on quantity. He applied on this point merely
the principles which Zizania and Smotrisky, nearly a century before,
had established for the Old Slavic idiom, and with equal propriety.
But, as the talent for illustrating his rules by good examples was
wanting in him, he made very little impression; and his name and
endeavours were soon forgotten.[22]


_From Lomonosof to Karamzin, A.D._1741--1796.

We have now reached the epoch from which the temple of Russian
literature, as it appears at present, must be dated. It was Peter's
hand that laid the corner-stone; it was Lomonosof who raised it above
the ground; whilst the fortunate turns of Elizabeth's and Catharine's
vanity caused it to be filled with more worshippers than would
otherwise ever have sought the way thither. Academies were founded for
the sciences and arts; numerous institutions for the education of all
classes and ages were created and endowed with true imperial
magnificence. In the year 1758 the university of Moscow was founded;
while other scientific institutions of all descriptions were
established by Catharine's unbounded liberality. In the year 1783 the
free establishment of printing offices was permitted; of course not
without reserving to the government the privilege of a strict
censorship. A seminary for educating teachers for popular schools was
erected, with the intention of founding Gymnasia all over the country.
These measures, no doubt, had an essential and beneficial influence on
the general civilization of the nation. But the common people, the
peasantry, remained entirely neglected.

It was however in a family of the lowest standing, that Michael
Lomonosof was born, A.D. 1711. His father was a fisherman in the
government of Archangel. During the long winters, when his father's
trade was interrupted, Lomonosof learned to read of one of the church
servants. The beauties of the Bible, and the singing of the Psalms
during the church service, in the rhymed translation of Simeon of
Polotzk, first awakened his own poetical faculties. An ardent desire
for an education caused him to leave home privately and seek his way
to Moscow, where, he was told, was an institution, in which foreign
languages were taught. Circumstances proved fortunate; he found
liberal patrons; was educated afterwards in Kief and St. Petersburg,
and obtained means to go to Germany. Here he connected philosophy with
the mathematical studies which he had hitherto chiefly pursued;
devoted a part of his time to the science of mining, at the
celebrated school in Freiburg; and sat in Marburg at the feet of the
philosopher Wolf. In passing through Brunswick, he escaped with
difficulty the horrors of the Prussian military system. He succeeded
in reaching Holland, and thence returned to his own country; where he
was well received and honourably employed by the government. He died
A.D. 1765, in the enjoyment of high general esteem, but not that
degree of reputation which has been allotted to him by a more
judicious posterity. He first ventured to draw a distinct boundary
line between the Old Slavic and the Russian languages; which hitherto
had been confounded in a most intolerable manner. In his Russian
Grammar, he first laid down principles and fixed rules for the general
compass of the language; without however checking the influence of the
Church Slavonic more than was necessary, in order to preserve the
identity of the former. He wrote a sketch of Russian History, a long
and tedious epic poem called the _Petreide_, speeches, odes,
tragedies, and several works on chemistry and mineralogy. None of his
productions are without merit; but he was more a man of sagacity and
strong talent, than of poetical genius. His poems are all cold and
artificial; excepting perhaps his version of a few chapters of the
book of Job, where the beauties of the original appear to have
inspired him. His speeches and odes are written in the same style of
panegyric, which then reigned, and which reigns still, in all the
creations of Russian poetry or prose having the least reference to the
imperial family; and which, in connection with the boastful style of
all productions purporting to describe national deeds, is a real
blemish upon the Russian literature, fitted to render it disgusting to
all foreigners.[23]

The two most celebrated writers among Lomonosof's cotemporaries,
though somewhat younger than he, were Alexander Sumarokof, ob. 1777,
and Michael Kheraskof, born 1733, ob. 1807. Both were very productive
writers in prose and poetry, overwhelming the reading public with
tragedies and comedies, odes and epistles; and the latter also with
two long epic poems, one in twelve, and the other in eighteen cantos!
Both were highly admired, and the overflowings of their pens were
devoured with avidity. Kheraskof was called the Russian Homer. The
childhood, in which Russian literature then was, is not the age of
criticism; sounder judges of later times have allotted to those
productions a place hardly above mediocrity.

The first Russian theatre was instituted in Jaroslav. A.D. 1746. The
permission, which the actors obtained A.D. 1754, to establish
themselves in St. Petersburg, and still more the foundation of a
national stage in Moscow in 1759, served much to awaken the decided
dramatic talent of the Russians; a faculty in which they are perhaps
incomparable, and certainly are not surpassed by any other nation.
Several gifted literary men employed themselves in writing for the
stage. Such were J. Knjashnin, ob. 1791, an imitator of the French,
but not without talent of his own; Von Wisin, ob. 1792, the author of
two comedies, full of genuine comic power; Maïkof, Nicolef, Klushin,
etc. The distinguished productions of Von Wisin alone have continued
to hold possession of the stage.[24]

As the most prominent poets of a miscellaneous character the following
may be mentioned: Hippolit Bagdanovitch, born 1743, ob. 1805, author
of a tale in verse, _Dushenka_, Psyche, not without gracefulness and
_naiveté_; Chemnitzer, ob. 1784, the writer of the best Russian
fables; Gabriel Dershavin, born 1743, ob. 1816, the most celebrated
Russian poet of his time. The glory of Catharine II, and of the
Russian army, was his favourite theme; but even the panegyrical style
of his odes, the most dangerous enemy not only of moral, but likewise
of poetical truth, cannot destroy the power of his truly poetical
genius. His ode _To God_ has obtained the distinction of being
translated not only into several European languages, but also into
Chinese, and hung up in the emperor's palace, printed with golden
letters on white satin.[25] Further, Vasilii Kapnist, born 1756, ob.
1823, who as a lyrical poet stands next to Dershavin; Bobrof,
familiarly acquainted with English literature, which he endeavoured to
imitate, full of imagination, but bombastic and obscure; Prince
Dolgoruky. distinguished by a philosophical vein; Neledinsky-Meletzky,
whose songs are known even by the lower classes.

During this period also the field of translation was not less
cultivated. Kostrof translated the Iliad in rhymed verses, A.D. 1787,
and also Macpherson's Ossian from the French. Petrof gave a version of
the Æneid in 1793. Bulgakof first made the Russian public acquainted
with Ariosto; Popovsky with Pope and Locke, etc.--As a writer of
general and favourable influence on literature, we must not forget to
name N. Novikof, editor of several periodical journals, author of the
first Russian bibliographical work, and a man of that general literary
activity, which, even without productiveness of its own, induces
others to exercise theirs.

The patriotism which caused the Russians ever to pay a certain
degree of attention to their national history, deserves the highest
praise. During all periods of their literature, this branch has been
attended to with diligence. It is however especially the laborious
collection and faithful preservation of materials, for which posterity
is indebted to them; since there is little of a philosophical spirit
to be found in their arrangement of these materials; and in regard to
the language in which they are presented, it is striking to observe
how the Russian prose was always far behind the Russian poetry. G.F.
Müller, ob. 1783, a German by birth, but who devoted all his life to
Russian literature, published the first Russian periodical, dedicated
chiefly to historical objects.[26] He also caused several old
manuscripts to be printed; and added greatly to their value by his
investigations and commentaries. Prince Shtsherbatof wrote fifteen
volumes of Russian history, besides several smaller works,--a mere
collection of facts, but rendered more important by a review and
criticism upon them by Boltin, ob. 1792, a distinguished historian.
Tchulkof wrote a history of commerce; Jemin, Rytchkof, Golikof, and
others, wrote on particular portions of Russian history.

For the philological studies of the language, the foundation of the
Russian Academy. A.D. 1783, was of great importance. A standard
grammar and etymological dictionary were published by it in 1787-90,
founded on a plan perfectly new, and in the merit of which the empress
Catharine had no small personal share. Her example awakened not a
few Mecænases among the _magnates_ of the country; and it became a
point of high ambition to favour literature and literary men.[27]

As for theological and biblical science, scarcely any thing
interesting, certainly nothing gratifying, meets our eye in this vast
deserted field. Except a few didactic works on dogmatics and rhetoric,
several catechisms and similar productions, this department is limited
exclusively to sermons, or rather synodal discourses. There is not
always a want of talent, and sometimes even a rich share of natural
power; but the language, though first developed in similar
productions, is here so full of bombastic, tasteless, and mere
rhetorical ornaments, that the _thought_ seems to be entirely drowned
in them.

Demetrius Sjetchinof, metropolitan of Novogorod, ob. 1767, and the
archbishop of White Russia, Konissky, oh. 1795, are considered as not
being without eloquence. Platon Levshin, metropolitan of Moscow, was
the most productive of the ecclesiastical writers. He died in 1812,
and continued to write until the end of his life; his productions
consequently, in respect to time, belong partly to the next period of
Russian literature.[28] Anastasius Bratanofski, archbishop of
Astrachan, ob. 1806, takes the first place among Russian
ecclesiastical orators, in respect to style and command of language;
though higher powers and profounder feelings are ascribed to an
arch-priest of Kief, Ivan Levanda, ob. 1814. Here our catalogue
terminates. All the remaining ecclesiastical writers of any
distinction, although only a few years younger than those here
mentioned, seem in respect to language to belong to the following


_From Karamzin, A.D._ 1796, _to the commencement of the reign of the
emperor Nicholas in_ 1825.

The number of Russian writers increases during this period so
considerably, that we feel more than ever obliged to limit ourselves
to the most distinguished; thus, no doubt, passing over in silence
many a name more deserving to be mentioned than others of the
preceding periods, which borrowed a comparative lustre only from the
poverty of the times.

The emperor Alexander, during the first years of his reign, showed a
zeal for the mental cultivation and enlightenment of his subjects,
which presented him to the eyes of admiring Europe in the light of one
of the great benefactors of mankind. Whoever will take the trouble to
follow the career of this prince closely, and contrast the shouts of
acclamation with which the world hailed him at first, with the
disesteem into which the same individual a few years afterwards
shrunk, as a weak and insignificant being,--and then again compare the
enthusiasm with which during the time of his better fortunes he was
received anew as the deliverer of Europe, with the part which was
afterwards assigned him in the system of _obscurantismus_ supposed to
be adopted by the united sovereigns of Europe,--whoever considers all
this, cannot but be struck with the small portion of discernment and
discrimination which is manifested in the world. A sober and
keen-sighted observer might have seen even in the beginning, glorious
as it was, that not all is gold that glitters. All that was done, was
accompanied with a noise and boasting which strangely imposed upon
foreigners. Universities, on the plan of the venerable institutions of
learning in Germany, were founded, where all the preparation necessary
in order to profit by them was wanting; and the profoundest sciences
were professedly taught to pupils, who were still deficient even in
elementary knowledge. We do not however mean to say, that much real
good was not done; and even if some of the new institutions were not
propitious in their immediate results, still the time has come, or
will come, when all of them are or will be at least in a measure
useful. The establishment of numerous common schools of a less
elevated character throughout the whole empire, deserves unqualified
praise. More than fifty higher schools, called gymnasia or
governmental schools, and twice as many lower or provincial schools,
were established under Alexander's reign alone.[29]

Besides the universities, eight in all, of which Alexander founded
five, there are a considerable number of professional schools; among
which are four theological academies. In the year 1823, an Institution
for the study of oriental languages was founded at St. Petersburg; and
in 1829 a similar one at Odessa, a city which has by its location more
natural advantages for the learning of Asiatic languages than any
other, and where for most of them native teachers may be readily
obtained. On the other hand, the Asiatic Museum, attached to the
school at St. Petersburg, contains all the means and aids for those
studies to be met with at a more remote place. Richly endowed by the
munificence of the emperor Alexander, who caused scientific treasures
of every kind to be liberally purchased, it was also greatly augmented
during the late war with Persia; where by order of the emperor all
conquered cities were deprived of their libraries, whether public or
private; while, by a stipulation in the treaty of peace, the Persian
government was compelled to deliver to Russia towards four hundred
manuscripts, a list of which was drawn up by the orientalists Frähn
and Senkofsky. Among these were the geography of Ptolemy, and several
Arabic translations of Greek and Latin works, lost in the original
languages. Although the object of the oriental schools in Russia was
originally to educate translators for diplomatic missions, they have
proved themselves very useful to oriental philology in general;
especially through the many gifted Germans in the Russian service, who
avail themselves gladly of opportunities for those studies which their
own country cannot give. It will however be seen in the sequel, that
several learned Russians also have paid an honourable attention to
this branch, especially within the last twenty years.

The Russian Bible Society, founded A.D. 1813. was at first patronized
by the emperor. Under its auspices, and at the instigation of the
emperor himself, there was prepared a version of the Scriptures in the
Russian dialect. In the year 1820, not less than 50,000 copies of the
Gospels and the Acts were issued from the press; in 1823 the whole New
Testament was finished, and in the course of eight months 20,000
copies were distributed. For this translation the peasantry, to whom
the Old Slavic church Bible was only half intelligible, showed such an
eagerness, as soon to excite trouble among the clergy. In some of the
governments, remote from the capital, the readers of this version of
the Bible had to encounter serious persecution. In respect to
translations into foreign languages, a kind of rivalship arose between
the parent society in England and the daughter in St. Petersburg.
Besides the preparation by the latter of translations into
_thirty-one_ different languages and dialects within the limits of the
Russian empire, she likewise took care of several Asiatic nations,
and founded auxiliaries in the deserts of Siberia, and also in the
midst of the Kozaks of the Don and the Circassian provinces. In A.D.
1820, this society had fifty-three sections and 145 auxiliaries; and
the number of copies of whole Bibles and of New Testaments
distributed, exceeded 430,000. But in 1822, the society held its last
aniversary; and three years later, some of the more important Russian
clergy succeeded in closing the series of annual reports. In April
1826, the activity of the society was ultimately terminated, or, as it
was expressed, _was suspended_, by the Ukase of the emperor Nicholas,
at the instigation of the metropolitans Eugene and Seraphim. Since
that time, only the sale of the copies already printed has been

The Russian Bible Society stood of course in connection with societies
for Foreign Missions; but was active in this respect chiefly through
the agency of the United or Moravian Brethren. In 1823 the Moravians
of Sarepta sent, with the express consent of the minister of
Ecclesiastical Affairs, two missionaries to the Kalmuks; into whose
language the Gospels had been translated at St. Petersburg by Schmidt.
In the same degree that they found the people susceptible for divine
truth, did they meet with opposition from the priesthood. The Khans,
yielding to the influence of the priests, threatened to emigrate; and
the Russian government found it advisable to withdraw the mission. An
interesting report of this mission was published in 1824, in the
Journal of St. Petersburg. In the year 1824, a mission of the Greek
church, at the instigation of the bishop of Archangel, was sent to the
Samoyedes. This was the first attempt ever made to convert that
savage people to Christianity; of the results we are not informed.

The compass of Russian literature extended itself during the course of
Alexander's reign, or rather from A.D. 1800 to 1822, with a most
remarkable rapidity. In the year 1787 the number of books written in
the Old Slavonic and Russian dialects, did not exceed 4000;[31] before
1820 twice that number was counted; the year 1820 alone produced 3400
works, 800 of them translations from the French, 483 from the German,
and more than 100 from the English. Sopikof, in his bibliographical
essay, enumerates the titles of 13,240 Russian and Slavonic books,
printed in Russia from A.D. 1552 to 1823. But at this time literature
seems to have reached its height in respect to productiveness; and
sunk again with a still greater rapidity, probably in consequence of
the political measures of the government. The year 1824 produced only
264 Russian works. The yearly average of literary productions,
original and translated, from 1800 to that time, is about 300 to 400.
This number perhaps will not strike the reader as so very small, if he
is informed that in the whole eighteenth century only 1000 works were
printed. Three hundred and fifty living authors were enumerated in the
year 1822; mostly belonging to the nobility, and only one eighth part
to the clergy. Their literary activity towards the end of this period,
and at the commencement of the next, was in a great measure confined
to works of fiction; especially novels end lyrical poetry. But at this
time a deeper interest in their national history began to be awakened.
This department indeed had never been entirely neglected; and more
than 10,000 manuscripts, unopened and unexamined, lay scattered
throughout the imperial and monastic libraries.

Nicholas Karamzin, from the commencement of whose influence this
period of Russian literature is in general dated, was born A.D. 1765.
He was educated in the house of a German professor at Moscow. In spite
of the early development of his literary propensities, he entered the
military service, which was then considered as the most honourable in
Russia. After two years spent in travelling through Europe, he opened
his literary career with the publication of a periodical work called
the Moscow Journal, which exercised a decidedly favourable influence
on Russian literature; although those productions of Karamzin himself,
which first appeared in this journal, evidently bear the stamp of the
author's youth. Both in his prose writings and in his scattered
lyrical poems, at this period, there is a certain dulcet
sentimentality, behind which we look in vain for energetic or true
poetic thoughts. He showed more maturity in his second periodical,
called the European Messenger; where political and moral subjects
occupied his pen. But his principal reputation rests upon his History
of the Russian Empire. In composing this work, he was greatly favoured
by the government; all the archives were opened to him; all documents
delivered into his hands; and when it was completed, rewards and
gratuities of every description were heaped upon the author with
imperial munificence, and continued to his widow and children after
his decease in 1826. [32]

The beauties of Karamzin's style are so entirely _idiomatic,_ that no
one, who is not perfectly and thoroughly acquainted with the language,
is able to appreciate in what the charm of his writings consists. To
foreigners of sound critical taste, on the contrary, the productions
of his early life exhibit an affectation, a pretension to feeling, and
an emptiness of original thought, sometimes quite intolerable. And as
to the more condensed and exact style of his great historical work,
even the highest beauties of diction, and the acknowledged diligence
and accuracy of the writer's examination of facts, could never
reconcile us to that _want of truth_, which, without wresting the fact
itself, impresses upon it a false character by the whole colouring and
mode of representation. Over the characteristic barbarism of ancient
times his dexterous hand throws a veil of embellishment, and lends a
spirit of chivalry and romantic charm to historical persons and deeds,
where all the circumstances of place and time stand in absolute
contradiction to it. Not seldom do we seem to be perusing a novel.

By this mode of proceeding he of course flattered the national
feelings of his countrymen; and thus gained their approbation and
applause, in the same measure that he disgusted all other nations. His
History of Russia will nevertheless remain a standard work in Slavic
literature, partly on account of the copiousness of its sources,
partly because of the great learning and research displayed by its

In respect to Karamzin's innovations on the language, his influence
was early counterbalanced. He considered the French or English mode of
construction as better adapted to the present state of the Russian
language, than that imitation of the classical structure, which had
hitherto given to the Russian prose writings so stiff and awkward an
air. He himself adopted with ease and gracefulness the peculiarities
of these modern languages; but a portion of his followers thought to
reach the same object by introducing Gallicisms. Just at the proper
time an opposition was formed; the head of which, Admiral Shishkof,
insisted upon preserving the influence of the Church Slavonic upon the
Russian language; and reproached Karamzin with having injured the
purity of the latter by the introduction of foreign forms. These two
parties, which still divide the Russian literature in some measure,
are called the _Russian_ and _Slavonic_, or also the Moscow and St.
Petersburg parties.

Not much less influence than Karamzin on the Russian prose, has Ivan
Dmitrief, born 1760, exercised on poetry. He had more taste and purity
than any of his predecessors; and was the first to prove by a great
many poetical tales, fables, odes, etc. that imagination and
correctness of language are not incompatible. The most successful of
his followers are the following:

Vassilii Shukofsky, born 1784, a poet of true and deep feeling,
without affectation, possessing more of what the Germans call
_subjectivity_, than any other Russian writer. He took the Germans for
his models, and partly imitated and partly translated them with
success. Ivan Koslof, interesting by his personal character and trying
misfortunes, must be mentioned as one of the most happy translators
from the English and German. His literary talents were awakened only
when he had lost the power of enjoying the world. Early in life he was
deprived by sickness of the use of his limbs; and of his eyes, some
years after. He bore this great affliction with the most amiable
philosophy; devoted himself entirely to literature; and studied and
imitated the English poets, chiefly Byron. Another successful
translator of this great poet, who excited as much interest in Russia
as in any other country, was Baron Rosen. Further, as lyrical poets,
are also esteemed: Prince Vjazemsky, Vostokof distinguished as an Old
Slavic philologist, Chwostof, Batjushkof,[33] Rileyef,[34] Baron
Delwig, Glinka, etc.

At the head of the Russian poets stands, almost without a rival,
Alexander Pushkin, born 1798, ob. 1835; but as his principal
productions belong to the next period, and his influence is chiefly
perceptible among the more recent poets, we defer for the present a
fuller notice of his writings and his fortunes.

The Russians are particularly fond of fables. Besides Chemnitzer,
mentioned above, who is flat and prosy, Ivan Krylof, born 1768, is
celebrated in this department. He may be truly called the favourite of
the nation. His fables, equally popular among all classes and
conditions of life, are the first book that a Russian child reads. A
considerable portion of them has been translated into French and
Italian; partly by Count Orlof at Paris, and partly by friends of the
latter, ladies and gentlemen of the most fashionable society in that
capital, among whom that nobleman distributed the labour of
translation. He then published them, with the original, in the year
1825. The perfect harmlessness and _naiveté_ of this author has made
him also a favourite of the government; and when, twelve years ago, he
celebrated his seventieth birthday, honours and distinctions of all
kinds were accumulated on his head.

As dramatic poets, Shakhofskoi, Chmelnitzky, Gribojedof,[35] and
Ozerof, must be mentioned; the first three chiefly as writers of
comedies; the last as the author of a very popular drama entitled
_Gore ot Uma_, Miseries of Intellect. While it cannot be doubted that
the Russians have a decided talent for the comic, both as writers and
as actors, it is still a fact that they have never produced a single
tragedy of great power. Ozerof, who wrote quite a number of them,
belongs more in spirit to the preceding period; during which the
French was the only acknowledged model. The success he met with can
be explained only by the want of competitors.

No form of poetry has found more favour in Russia than the historical
novel. It was cultivated to some extent at this time; but the flower
of this branch falls more properly within the following period. A
voluminous novel, entitled _Bursak_ by B. Nareshnoi, belonged to
another species. It was written with a good deal of harmless humour,
somewhat in the style of Le Sage's Gil Blas. It narrated the history
of a _Bursarian_, or scholar of one of the monastic seminaries in
Malo-Russia; and is full of adventures, lively descriptions of
manners, and amusing incidents.[36]

The literature of translations continued to occupy very many pens.
Here must be mentioned: Gnjeditch's version of the Iliad; Merzljakof's
translation of Tasso's Jerusalem; Wojeikof's Æneid; Martynof's
translation of several ancient classics, etc.

To foreigners, the travels of the Russians by sea and land offer the
most interesting and instructive part of their literature. The most
distinguished of their well known expeditions have indeed been
conducted by Germans, as Krusenstern, Kotzebue, Bellinghausen,
Wrangel; some however by Russians, as Golovnin, Lazaref, and others;
and the results of all of them contribute to the honour of Russia, and
are laid up in the temple of her literature. The regions of
Malo-Russia, the Caucasus, and Taurida, of which comparatively little
was known, were explored by Muraviev-Apostol, Glinka, Bronefsky, and
others; and described by them in valuable volumes. An account of China
by Timkofsky, was translated in 1827 into the English language. The
works of the monk Hyacinth Bitchourin, head of the Russian
ecclesiastical mission at Pekin, published in 1828-32, are of great
importance for the knowledge of China, Thibet, and the country of the
Mongols.[37] The great patriot and protector of science, Romyanzof,
whose name is known throughout the civilized world, caused Abalghasi's
_Historia Mongolorum et Tartarorum_ to be printed in 1825, under the
special care of the distinguished German oriental scholar Frahn. The
publication of the Mongol work. _History of the Eastern Mongols and
their Princes_, written by Ssanang Ssetzen, with a German translation
and illustrations and remarks by J.J. Schmidt, although no Russian
work, may be mentioned here; as it was only made possible by Russian
means, and the support of the emperor. The same author, known to the
literary world by his learned Researches in Eastern Asia, translated
also the Gospels into the Mongol and Kalmuk languages for the
Russian Bible Society. A Mongol Grammar was prepared by him in 1828,
and the Mongol-German-Russian Dictionary was announced in 1834. A
Mongol-Russian Dictionary had been previously published by Igumnof of
Irkutzk. Volkof composed a Tartar Dictionary, an earlier one having
been written by Giganof in 1804. For the study of the Armenian,
numerous opportunities are presented; the Armenian archimandrite
Seraphim published in 1819 an Armenian elementary Encyclopedia, and in
1822 a Russian Armenian Dictionary. But the oriental studies of the
Russians are not limited to the languages of the Russian empire. A
Hebrew Grammar has been published by Pavsky, the learned author of
the Russian version of the Old Testament; and in the year 1821 there
were, according to Henderson, not less than forty of his pupils
employed as teachers in the different academies and seminaries
throughout the country. An Arabic Grammar has been published by
Boldryef, and also a Persian Chrestomathy in 1826. Senkofsky
translated the _Derbent-Nahmeh_; and also edited with considerable
additions the French-Arabic dictionary, originally written by the
Swede Berggren, a work of great utility to the Arabic scholar; not a
mere vocabulary, but full of geographical notices and general
information; in short a work which, according to the prospectus
written by the learned Frähn, "contains every thing that can be useful
to the traveller, diplomatic agent, missionary, physician or
merchant." The editor among other things has added in Roman characters
the vulgar pronunciation of the Arabic, which differs materially from
that given by the grammarians.

Among the ecclesiastical writers of this period, Ambrosius Protasof
archbishop of Kazan and Simbirsk, and Philaret Drozdof archbishop of
Moscow, are considered as the most eloquent. The last is the author of
several works on church history. Other theological writers are the
following: Eugene Bolchovitinof metropolitan of Kief,[38] Ambrosius
Podobjedof metropolitan of Novogorod, and Michael Dosnitzky
metropolitan of St. Petersburg. Stanislas Bogush, a Roman Catholic
priest, published a history of Taurida and several other historical
works in the Russian language. The branch of _Memoires_ in the French
sense of the word, has recently been much cultivated. The publications
of Count Munich, in 1818; of Prince Shakhofsky, 1821; of General
Danilevsky. 1830; and of Admiral Shishkof, 1832; are valuable
contributions to the history of our time. The two latter, although
belonging to the next period in respect to the years of publication,
are nevertheless productions of the period now under review, and refer
chiefly to it.

The national feeling of the Russians has led them, during the period
of their literary history, to examine the nature of their language;
and all philosophical investigations, or antiquarian researches, which
could throw additional light upon the past, have been favoured by
persons of distinction and influence; as for example, by Admiral
Shishkef, himself a writer on various subjects. With this view he
caused a new edition of the Dictionary of the Russian Academy to be
published; and set on foot the preparation of another more perfect
work of that kind, founded on an improved plan.[39] To this class of
philological antiquarians belong the names of Vostokof already cited
in these pages, Sokolof, Kalaïdovitch, and Stroyef; the two latter
learned and judicious commentators on old manuscripts which they first
published, and which but for them would still lie mouldering in dust
and oblivion. In the department of literary history and bibliography,
we find as writers of merit, P. Köppen, author of the well-written
article "Kunst mid Alterthum in Russland" in the Vienna _Jahrbücher_,
and of various valuable paleographic and other essays in the Russian
language; also Gretsch, Sopikof, Anastasevitch, the metropolitan
Eugene above mentioned, Pletuef, Mussin-Pushkin, Korshavin,
Katchenofsky, etc. etc. The principal activity and success of this
school falls within the next period.


_From A.D. 1825 to the present time._

The reign of the emperor Nicholas opened with a bloody tragedy, which
concerns us here only so far, as the dissatisfied, effervescing,
unhealthy spirit of the literary youth of Russia was in a very
striking manner exhibited in it.

Several poets and men of some literary fame were among the
conspirators. Rileyef, Bestushef, and others, became the victims of
their imprudence. An analogous spirit had some years before banished
young Pushkin from the capital. It was evident, that the Russian muse
was no longer the good old gossiping lady in French court-dress and
hoops, who was ready to drop a humble courtesy to every person of rank
and influence; she was no longer the shepherdess who had inspired
Dmitrief with his sweet yet tame verses; she had been by the example
and the pernicious influence of the modern philosophical schools
gradually metamarphosed into a wild romantic girl, burning with desire
to drink freely, and without being watched by police agents, from the
true source of poetry open to all nations; to rove about in the world
of imagination free from fetters and restraint. The means which the
emperor chose to cure her from these eccentricities; to chain her at
home by endearing it to her; in short, to _Russify_ her again; were
certainly _judicious_.

We have seen that the spirit of historical and archaeological
researches, as well as the interest for the study of the Slavic
languages, was already awakened in the preceding period. The
government did every thing to favour it, and to nurse that truly
patriotic zeal which tries to penetrate the past in order to search
for those links which connect it with the present. All influence from
without was as much as possible checked; the professorships of
philosophy were abolished at all the universities (1827); the scissors
of censorship were directed to cut sharper; the catalogue of forbidden
books was made longer; the permission to travel was often denied, and
the term of lawful absence for a Russian subject confined to five
years. But in the interior, within the safe inclosure of the Chinese
walls of protection against the epidemic fever of the age, the most
energetic measures were taken to promote national education, and to
cultivate those fields of science where no political tares could be
sown among the grain.

Of all political ideas, one at least was favoured; and this was the
great idea of _Panslavism_, that is, of the close connection or union
of all the Slavic races among themselves. Of this great family, some
of whose members after a short period of flourishing life are
withering fast away, if not supported by the whole, Russia is the
natural head, the great animating soul, into which the other parts all
must naturally be absorbed at last. This idea, first scientifically
wrought out by Bohemian scholars, and cherished by their pride, which
was justly offended by the oppressions and undisguised contempt
experienced from the Germans, was well received by the Russian
literati; and even by many of those who naturally loved the Poles, and
did not approve of the harsh measures of the Russian government. There
was even in Poland itself a school which adopted this view; nay,
some distinguished Polish scholars claim it as their own original
idea. According to them, the Austrians and Prussians alone were the
real usurpers; in being absorbed by Russia as a member of the great
Slavic empire, Poland yielded only to its fate, and could hope for a
more glorious _Panslavic_ resurrection, i.e. a resurrection as a
member of the great whole.[40]

In reference to the critical researches, which were made through all
branches of history, the period now under review may be appropriately
called the _historical_ period. The investigations of the
Archæological Commission, have been mentioned above. It was first
appointed in 1834; and considerably enlarged in 1837. The examination
of manuscripts was not confined to the libraries of the empire;
Stroyef was sent to Paris, Newerof to Germany, Solovyef to Denmark and
Sweden, Wenelin to Bulgaria; and Nadeshdin travelled among the
despised Russian tribes of Northern Hungary. In 1844, five volumes of
Russian annals were printed; besides a series of historical and
juridical documents which had preceded them. The Moscow Historical and
Geographical Society, an older institution, and also the St.
Petersburg Historical Society founded in 1846, have contributed their
share of information; and a general interest has been awakened among
the higher classes of society.

The new critical spirit of the times was first perceptible in the bold
attitude assumed by the editor of a periodical work, called the
_Telegraph_. Polevoi was a self-made man, a merchant without classical
education, without deep learning, and indeed without depth in any
thing. He had however by an uncommon share of sagacity, by a rare
energy of thought, and a restless activity, gained more influence over
his countrymen than any previous writer; and succeeded In giving to
his very popular periodical an important voice in all matters of
literature. In the year 1829 he announced a new History of Russia, in
twelve volumes; and at the same time expressed the opinion, that
Karamzin's work was to be called neither practical nor philosophical,
and was no longer worthy of the present standing of Russian
literature. His own publication, which followed soon afterwards, and
was executed with the rapidity which was characteristic of the man,
proved that it is easier to point out the deficiencies of others, than
to avoid them ourselves.

The young historical school found another champion in Sergei
Skromnenko, who attacked the authority of Nestor, or at least the age
ascribed to this first Russian annalist; essaying to prove that he did
not write before the beginning of the fourteenth, or perhaps towards
the end of the thirteenth century.[41] Another young historian, J.
Bodianski, defended this opinion. W. Perewostschikof examined it in a
separate work.[42] Pogodin, a name of more weight, refuted it in his
_Studies on Nestor_; and it seems since to have been given up.

Another production of some importance was an "Essay towards a
Geography of the Old Russian World," by Nadeshdin; in which the author
attempted with ability and success to trace the old seats of the
Slavic nations. Several monographs and histories of particular regions
or periods appeared in the interval between 1830 and 1842. Such were
the histories, e.g. of the unfortunate Prince Ivan and his relatives,
by Polenof; of Catharine II. by Lefort; of Tzar Boris Godunof, by
Krayefski; of Peter II, by Arsenief. Also a History of the time of
troubles (as the period between Boris Godunof and the reign of the
house of Romanof is called) by Buturlin; the biographies of the first
three Tzars of the house of Romanof, by Berg; the histories of Kief by
Samailof, of Pskow by Pogodin, of Siberia by Slowzof; of the fair of
Nishni Novogorod, which goes back to the fourteenth century, by Zubof;
of the Zaporoguean Kozaks by Sreznefski. This latter valuable work is
especially rich in historical popular songs, never before printed.
Further, the History of the insurrection of Pugatschef, by the poet
Pushkin; the Historical and statistical survey of Russia, by T.
Bulgarin; and the Memoirs for Russian History by Svinyin (ob. 1839);
must be here mentioned. The two latter had hitherto been more known as
writers of novels than as historians; and the rosy light which the
first of the two tries to throw over his subject, seems still to
testify more to his talent for romance than to his historical

This was however the spirit in which the government wished its
historians to write. A work of decided importance appeared in 1839, a
History of Russia, in which the principles of _Panslavism_ were
developed in a striking manner. The author, Professor Oustrialof, who
had made himself favourably known by several monographs relating to
Russian History, has displayed in the above-mentioned work not only
considerable acuteness, but also a great deal of research,
consistency, and thoroughness.[43] His principal tendency is to
represent Russia as the natural central point of the Slavic race. The
immediate result of the appearance of this work was, that Oustrialof
was commissioned by the government to write a compendium or guide for
historical instruction in all the schools of the empire.

Although this view may be called the most popular in Russia, it
appears from the decided predilection with which Russian writers of
history devote their pens to subjects anterior to the reign of Peter
I, that they consider the comparatively greater liberty which is
allowed them in their researches into the history of this earlier
period as a decided advantage. Karamzin had proved by the picture he
drew of Ivan the Terrible, that, at this remote period at least,
justice was free. It may thus be explained, why Boris Godunof, the
friend of the people, the promoter of liberal ideas and modern
improvements, is a favourite subject of the young historical school.

The treatment of modern history has in Russia its own difficulties, which
may easily be comprehended; and nothing is permitted to appear without
the approval of the government. General Michailovski-Danilevski, who
wrote a history of the war of 1812-14, may be considered as its true
representative. He ascribes all the merits of the final victory of the
Allies to the Russians alone. Among several works of that time written
in an analogous spirit, the "Description of the campaigns of 1812 and
1814" must be noticed; because the author is a lady by the name of Dorof,
who served in the army as a common soldier, and describes only what she
saw. An anonymous work, written by an eye-witness, gives an account of
the Turkish war in 1828-29. The work entitled "Biographies of the Russian
Admirals" (1834), gives a history of the Russian navy.

In no department has Russian Literature remained more behind its age,
than in the treatment of foreign history, and especially European
history. The series of publications which have appeared relating to
it, consist almost exclusively of defective translations, or weak
imitations. For the Russian scholar this defect was less essential
than for the public in general, as all of them read foreign languages.
Pogodin has recently begun to give more attention to this subject.

In respect to several Asiatic nations we are almost entirely
dependent on Russian writers. The priest Hyacinth, honourably
mentioned in connection with this branch, continues his useful
activity. Chopin on the provinces of the Caucasus (1840); Nefedyef on
the Wolga-Kalmuks (1835); several articles in the Siberian Mercury, a
periodical; a History of the Mongols, from the Persian, by Grigoryef;
the Kirgises of the inner Horde, by Khanikof; and several publications
of the Geographical Society of St. Petersburg; deserve to be noticed
here. The works of two foreigners, one by Haguemaster on the Commerce
with Persia and Turkey, the other by Chaudoir on the Numismatics of
China, Japan, and Korea, may also be included; as they appeared
simultaneously in the Russian and French languages, and were both of
them occasioned by the Russian government.

The interest of the Russians for Law as a science has only recently
been excited. Prince Peter of Oldenburg, a cousin of the emperor,
founded a Law School in 1832. Since that time the nobility have
endowed several professorships of law in the universities; and the
names of N. Krylof and Manoshkin have become favourably known in this

In Statistics the name of Arsenyef is an authority. Many valuable
contributions are to be found in Stepanof's Description of the
Government of Yennissci, and in various Russian periodicals;
especially in the annals of several Bureaus, which are from time to
time published by the government, and the Statistical Annuals edited
by the Academy.

The literature of Travels cannot well be very rich at the present day,
in a country where travelling to foreign lands meets with so many
difficulties; and where even travels in the interior are at least not
made very easy. To the most valuable productions in the first
department belong: Norof's Journey to the Holy Land, St. Pet. 1838;
Davidof's to Greece and Italy; Demidof's to Moldavia and Wallachia;
Korf's to Persia; Wcewolodski to the East and through Europe;
Gretsch to the Western countries of Europe, etc. Two collections of
_old_ travels, viz. one containing those made by Russians to foreign
countries, among which is the description of a journey to the Holy
Land in the twelfth century; another comprising the accounts of
foreigners who travelled in Russia in olden times; have also recently
been published.

Modern works of travels in Russia have been written by A. Demidof,
Baer, Böthlingk, Glagolyef, Kavelin, and others. Most of these
journeys were made for certain scientific purposes. Mouravyef's
Pilgrimage to the holy places of Russia must be classified rather as a
work of religion.

And here a short survey of this latter branch of Russian literature
may naturally be subjoined. To it belong the other works of the writer
just mentioned; who is attached to his own church with an almost
fanatical enthusiasm. They are, first, a History of the Greek Church;
secondly, Letters on the Greek Church Service. An elaborate History of
the Russian Patriarchate, published a few years ago, is ascribed to
the bishop Philarete, a clergyman who is said to have shown an
immoderate zeal in making proselytes in the Baltic provinces. A
biographical History of the Russian Saints, by Yeristof, belongs also
here. Of theological _science_ there can hardly be a trace, in a
country where all free investigation in exegetical matters is cut off.
Theological literature is entirely confined to synodal orations and
some ascetic writings. The spirit of the present age in Russia is
strictly orthodox; and the monocracy of the Greek Church is the great
object for which clergy and laity exert themselves; especially in the
Baltic provinces. Among sermons, those of Innocenz, vicar of the
metropolitan of Kief, are much admired.

Literary history has recently been a favourite branch. Polevoi,
Gretsch, Schevyrof, Maximovitch, Nadeshdin, Nikitenko; and, in respect
to languages and antiquities, Kalaidovitch, Vostokof and Koppen, the
latter of German extraction, and mentioned in the preceding period;
are the names which have most weight in these matters.

We have at last come back to _belles lettres_, the department of
literature by which the genius of a nation is most distinctly
characterized. The tendencies which in Russia prevail in the other
branches, viz. a revival of interest for all that is native, Slavic,
or relating to the past; the reaction from a period of fondness for
all that was foreign and outlandish; is very clearly perceptible also
in this portion of literature. Yet the Russians, once forcibly thrust
into the way of _imitation_ by their great Tzar, appear here even now
only as imitators; and are still far from having found the path back
to their simple popular poetry.

After this remark it cannot surprise us, that towards the close of the
last, and especially at the beginning of the present period, the
historical novel was cultivated with particular fondness; and was
almost exclusively devoted to _Russian_ history. T. Bulgarin, P.
Svinyin, Sagoskin, Massalski, wrote the most approved works of that
kind. More recently the novelists have rather returned to the
description of morals and manners, as their more appropriate province.
Pawlof, Prince Odoyeski, Lermontof, Gogol, Laschetnikof, Weltmann,
Dahl, who writes under the name of Kozak Luganski, are the most
popular writers of tales. Karamzin and Shukofski are still considered
as models in this department.

We must not forget to mention here the unhappy youth Alexander
Bestushef; who, as lieutenant in one of the Petersburg regiments, was,
like his friend Rileyef, implicated in the conspiracy of 1825. He was
deprived of his nobility and illustrious name, and sent to the mines
of Siberia; afterwards, as a species of pardon, he was placed as a
common soldier in the army of the Caucasus, where he rose to the
rank of an officer and fell soon after by the balls of the Therkesses.
He had been well known to his countrymen as the editor of a favourite
Annual, entitled the _Polar Star_; and as the author of a very
spirited and clear survey of Russian literature, distinguished by
characteristic sketches of some of their principal poets. The name of
Bestushef was buried; but its bearer succeeded a second time in
acquiring a literary reputation under the name of Alexander Marlinski.
His Sketches of the Caucasus and of Siberia, his tales entitled Amulat
Beg and Mullah Nur, are animated and spirited pictures of scenes quite
novel and fresh. He has been compared to the German novelist Spindler;
but, although this latter has the advantage in respect to invention,
we think Marlinsky _far_ superior to him in a poetical respect. There
is a vigour, a freshness, an originality, in some of his descriptions,
which would class him among true poets, even when stripped of the
novelty of the scenery among which they are laid, and which gives them
indeed a peculiar attraction. Nothing was more natural nor even more
honourable to the Russian public, than that, as an unavoidable effect
of the pity and interest felt for this young writer, his real talent
should have been for a short time overrated. But even after his death,
it seems that the government regarded this enthusiasm with suspicion;
for in a literary collection in which the unprinted works of one
hundred writers are promised,[44] accompanied by their portraits,
Marlinsky's portrait was not permitted to appear.

The attention of the Russian literati has been for some time directed
mainly by the Germans to their own treasures of popular poetry. They
are particularly rich in nursery tales, for which the nation indeed
has always had a great fondness; but which, during an age of a false
pedantic taste, were after all not thought worthy of literary
preservation until of late. In close connection with this subject is
the cultivation of popular dialects. Grebenko and Kwitka, the latter
under the name of Osnovianenko, wrote their charming novels in the
Malo-Russian or Ruthenian dialect. Several writers of talent, natives
of Malo-Russia, endeavoured to establish their language as a literary
language in opposition to the Great Russian. The judiciousness of
these proceedings, especially as the Russian literature has hardly
passed from childhood to youth, would seem very questionable, even if
their practicability was settled.

As to poetry, the reader will be surprised to hear, that Russian
critics themselves think the short-lived flower of the Russian soil
already in danger of fading; the productiveness of their poets being
already apparently on the decline. No genius has risen as a rival to
Pushkin. Alexander Pushkin, born 1799, showed his uncommon talents
early; he was educated at one of the imperial Institutes, and was in
the service of the government; when an Ode to Liberty, written in too
bold a spirit, induced the emperor Alexander to banish him from St.
Petersburg. He obtained however employment in the southern provinces
of Russia; and life in these wild and poetical regions was more
favourable to the development of his genius, than that of the capital
ever could have been. All his poetry bears strong testimony to Byron's
influence; but he would be wrongly judged if taken as a mere imitator
of that great poet. His poetical tales, _Ruslan and Ludmilla_, from
the heroic times of Russia; _The Prisoner of the Mountains_, a
Caucasian scene (1823): and the _Fountain of Baktshiserai,_ a Tartar
Story (1824); have each great beauties. The emperor Nicholas, when at
Moscow on the occasion of his coronation, recalled him, and showed
himself his patron. He made him one of the historiographers of the
empire: and the archives were opened to him. The effect on the whole
was not favourable to the poet's genius. The first production after
his return to fashionable life was 'Eugene Onegin,' a novel in
verse, the life of _un homme blasé_. Of this Byronic tendency, his
Prisoner, and a great many of his small poems likewise, bear strong
evidence. And it is this feature chiefly, which, in turn, Pushkin's
followers and imitators have seized upon; for instance, Lermontof. It
is painful to see, how, instead of the freshness, the vigour, the
joyfulness, which we ought to meet in the representatives of a young
and rising literature, resting on the foundation of a rich,
uncorrrupted, original language, we find in them the ennui, the
dissatisfaction, and the indifference of a set of _roués_ disgusted
with life. It seems as if after having emptied the cup of the vanities
of the world to the very dregs, this world, which has nothing left for
their enjoyment, is despised by them; unfortunately, however, without
having educated their minds for a better one. In his later
productions, especially in his _Boris Godunof_, a drama, which may be
rather called a tragical historical picture than a regular tragedy,
Pushkin showed a more elevated mind, and a more objective way of
viewing things. His last work, we believe, was his _Istorija Bunta_,
History of the Insurrection of Pugatshef; no noble struggle for
liberty, but a mere mutiny. He died in St. Petersburg in 1835, a short
time after a marriage of choice and inclination; in a duel occasioned
by a fit of jealousy, maliciously provoked by some of the courtiers.

Other successful lyrical poets of this period are, Chomiakof,
Baratinski, N. Jazikof, A. Timofeyef, Benedictof, Sokolovski, A.
Podolinski, Lucian Jakubovitch, A. Ilitshevski, etc. Several ladies
also have recently mounted the Pegasus. A Princess Volkonski, a
Countess Rostoptshin, a Miss Teplef, are favourably mentioned; as are
also Anna Bunin and a Mrs. Pawlof, the latter as a happy translator. A
Mrs. Helene Han, who writes under the name of Zeneide B., is compared
to George Sand. Nor must we forget two natural poets so called, that
is, men from the people, who write verses; one named Alipanof, born
a serf, and the other Kolzof. The lyric poets enumerated in the last
period are all mostly still alive and continue to write.

The very limited productiveness of the Russian poets is however a very
striking and discouraging feature. While in the animated forest of
German poetry, even during the most trying struggles of the times, a
full chorus of songs and ballads resounds from every branch, we hear
from Russian groves only solitary voices, and these voices seem to be
exhausted almost as soon as they are heard. A volume of twenty sheets
is in general considered in Russia as quite a respectable collection.
Pushkin is almost the only one of their poets, whose very thoughts
were verses.

The more exuberant, however, do we find the productiveness of some of
their dramatic writers. Polevoi, whom we have mentioned as the editor
of the "Telegraph," and as a keen critic who exerted great influence,
poured out a whole flood of tragedies and comedies. To judge from the
applause with which they were received on the stage, the writer was
more successful in this branch, than in his historical enterprises.
Besides him, Lenski, Koni, Feodorof, and others, as well as numerous
translators, furnished provision for the stage. The most respectable
talent was shown by Kukolnik; of whom his countrymen have a very high
idea, but to whom foreign critics assign rather a lyric than a
dramatic genius. The reverential attachment of Russians to their
monarch is exhibited in the very titles chosen by several dramatic
poets. One of Kukolnik's dramas bears the rather prolix name, "The
hand of the Almighty shelters the Tzar." A piece of Glinka is called,
"Our Life for the Tzar," etc.

The popular poetry which is scattered over all Slavic countries, has
at last received the attention due to it. That of Russia is not so
early as that of some other branches of the same family; with the
exception however of certain songs for harvest, weddings, festivals,
funerals, and some other like verses, sung or recited on certain
stated occasions. There are among them some, which in their most
essential portions are derived from pagan times. The Ukraine, and
indeed Malo-Russia in general, and all the regions where Ruthenian
tribes have settled, are particularly rich in popular poetry. Valuable
miscellaneous collections have been made by Prince Tzertelef,
Maximovitch, Sacharof, by the Polish literati Bielowski and
Siemienski, Bodianski, etc.[45]

To the philological works enumerated on page 84, we may add the
following productions of the present period: Brosset, on the
Literature and Language of Armenia and Georgia;[46] also the
Dictionaries of these languages by Chodubashef and Tschubinof, the
latter (Georgian or Grusinian) the first which was ever published; a
Chinese grammar by the priest Hyacinth, who prepared likewise a
history of China some years ago, which we must suppose has been
published. A new Turkish dictionary was published in 1830 by Rhasis.
Prince Alexander Handsheri prepared another of French, Arabic,
Turkish, and Persian; in aid of which the Sultan subscribed for 200
copies. Sjogren, an academician, known by his Studies on the Finnish
Language and Literature, devoted himself in connection with the latter
to the Caucasian idioms, and published the results in the Transactions
of the Academy. A Turco-Tartar grammar was written by Kasembeg, a
Tartar by birth, but educated in European Russia, and professor of
those languages at the university of Kazan.

In the different departments of natural science, although the Russians
may be still called beginners, their progress has recently been
immense. This has resulted in a great measure from the judicious plan
of the government, in sending out annually a certain number of young
men to study at German universities. Philosophy as a science was
formerly despised, and considered as the exclusive property of German
pedants and bookworms;[47] but since German philosophy has seemed to
take a more practical turn, it has begun to excite more interest. The
government, which in the first affright after the conspiracy of 1825,
had abolished all the professorships of philosophy, began to relax;
and went even so far as to send young men to Germany for these
studies, and to re-establish the chairs in several of the Russian
universities. It was, however, still regarded as a _dangerous_
science; and the learning which some young clergymen acquired in
it--Golubinski, Gabriel, and above all Sidonski--was carefully
watched, and proved of little value to the public.

In regard to periodical literature, the number of _political_ journals
is of course very small. That which most highly extols the merits and
exploits of the Russians is always considered as the best, and is most
patronized by the government and the nation. In Russia the _praise_ of
one's country and _love_ for it are regarded as synonymous ideas. The
literary journals, most of which are of a miscellaneous character, are
more in number, and are generally conducted with some critical talent.
Those of a purely scientific character are rarely sustained longer
than a few years; for instance, the very valuable Bibliographical
Journal, edited by P. Köppen in 1825-26. The ephemeral race of
_Annuals_, those vehicles of superficial taste and knowledge, early
took broad possession of the Russian Parnassus. In the year 1839,
eight hundred and eighty different works were published in Russia; of
which seventy-three only were translations. The number of journals
and periodicals, which in general are quite thick pamphlets, amounted
only to fifty-three. In 1842 those latter had increased to one hundred
and thirty-nine; nearly three times as many as in the former year. Of
these 98 were in the Russian language, 22 in German, 8 in French, 1 in
Italian, 3 in Polish, and 3 in Lettonian.[48]

In a recent work on Russian literature, by F. Otto,[49] the Lexicon of
authors subjoined comprises about 250 names; and the English
translator speaks of having seen a list of nearly _twelve hundred_
more in the author's hands. We are compelled to regard this last
statement with some distrust; especially when we perceive, that among
the names printed in the Lexicon, at least _thirty_ are Germans and
Poles who wrote _on_ Russian matters, but not _in_ Russian. It is also
singular to find among Russian _authors_, not only the Grand-duke
Constantine of Kief, because he was a _patron_ of science, and first
caused the Old Slavonic Bible to be printed; but also even the old
traditional bard Bojan, mentioned in the ancient epic of Igor![50]

The recent movements in Europe have of course built up still higher
the Chinese wall which surrounds the Russian empire. Even in
anticipation of them, the government had been seized with a new shock
of fear; and attempted to shut out the intrusive new lights. This was
indicated by several strong and very unpopular measures; among which
we may here mention, that travellers in foreign countries were called
home, and the number of students at each university was suddenly
limited to _three hundred_.

This is not the place to enlarge on the distinguished merits which
foreigners, and especially Germans, have acquired in relation to
Russian history, statistics, etc. But their labours in relation to the
language, form a part of the literature to which they were devoted;
and cannot of course be separated from the works of native writers.
The most distinguished names in this department are again Germans,
viz. Heym, Vater, Tappe, Puchmayer, etc. The catalogue of elementary
works upon the Russian language, is too long to be inserted here; we
limit ourselves therefore to those only which are written in English,
and the best in German and French. The English grammars and
dictionaries of the Russian, are indeed so few, that an American or
Englishman would hardly succeed in acquiring a full knowledge of the
language, except through the medium of the German and French. The
first Russian Grammar, however, that was ever printed, was published
at Oxford. We give the titles of this and of the other principal
grammars and lexicons of the Russian language, in the note below.[51]


[Footnote 1: Also called Ivan I.]

[Footnote 2: See more on this subject in Part IV.]

[Footnote 3: See Schaffarik, _Geschichte_ p. 178, note 4.]

[Footnote 4: Sviatoslav, Jaropulk, Jaroslav, etc.]

[Footnote 5: The chronographic manuscript in which the above poem was
found, entitled _Slowa o polku Igora_, literally _Speech on Igor's
Expedition_, is said to have also contained several other pieces of
poetry. By an unpardonable carelessness, the manuscript, after Igor
was copied, was lost again. We hear too of an old poetical tale,
_History of the wicked Tzar Mamai_; but have no means of ascertaining
its age or value, nor even its existence.]

[Footnote 6: _Pravda Russka_, Jus Russorum. See above, p. 40, n. 19.]

[Footnote 7: See above, p. 41.]

[Footnote 8: These valuable chronicles were continued under different
titles, but without interruption, until the reign of Alexis, father of
Peter I.]

[Footnote 9: The Mongols and Tartars have been frequently confounded
by historical writers; they are however two races perfectly distinct
from each other, the first a North-Eastern, the second a South-Western
Asiatic nation. The Mongols, however, between the thirteenth and
fifteenth centuries, conquerors of the Tartars as well as of half
Asia, and of Europe as far as Silesia, and comparatively not numerous,
amalgamated gradually with the subjugated Tartars among whom they
settled. The present Mongols are partly under the sovereignty of China
in the ancient Mongolia, the country whence Jenghis Khan came; partly
Russian subjects, scattered through the government of Irkutzk, and
mixed with Kalmucks and other Asiatic tribes.]

[Footnote 10: Also called Ivan II, and Ivan the Cruel; by modern
historians the Russian Nero.]

[Footnote 11: See above, p. 51.]

[Footnote 12: Most of these dramas are extant in manuscript in the
synodal library at Moscow. A selection has been printed in the _Drewn.
Rossisk. Bibliotheka_, i.e. Old Russian Library, Moscow 1818.]

[Footnote 13: The above mentioned chronicles, and another series of
annals of a genealogical character, known under the title _Stepennaja
Knigi_, mutually supply each other. Simon of Suzdal, the metropolitan
Cyprian a Servian by birth, and Macarius metropolitan of Moscow a
clergyman of great merits, are to be named here. Another old chronicle
called _Sofiiskii Wremenik_ was first published in 1820 by Stroyef. A
chronicle of Novogorod referring to the sixteenth century was found by
the same scholar in the library at Paris.]

[Footnote 14: There is, however, in the style of Nestor and his
immediate successors, a certain effort towards animation. Speeches and
dialogues are introduced, and pious reflections and biblical sentences
are scattered through the whole.]

[Footnote 15: Known under the title _Nikonov spisok_, published St.
Petersburg 1767-92, 8 vols. For the _Improvement_ of the Slavonic
Bible, Nikon alone, by applying to the Patriarch of Constantinople and
other Greek dignitaries, obtained 500 Greek MSS. of the whole or
portions of the N. Test. Some of them contained also the Septuagint.
These were mostly from Mount Athos, and are now the celebrated Moscow
MSS. collated by Matthæi. See Henderson, p. 52, 53.]

[Footnote 16: Joseph Sanin, a monk, wrote a history of the Jewish
heresy, so called, in the fifteenth century, and a series of sermons
against it. This last was also done by the bishop of Novogorod,

[Footnote 17: A part of the O.T. Prague 1517-19; the Acts and
Epistles, Vilna 1525. Skorina, in one of his prefaces, found it
necessary to excuse his meddling with holy things by the example of
St. Luke, who, he says, was of the same profession. The dialect of
this translation is the White Russian; and the book of Job contains
the first specimen of Russian _rhymed_ poetry.]

[Footnote 18: The Russians, however, out of the forty-six characters
of the Slavonic alphabet, could make use only of thirty-five; the
Servians, according to Vuk Stephnanovitch, only of twenty-eight.]

[Footnote 19: Or _Kopiyevitch_, the same whom we have mentioned as
having improved the appearance of the alphabet.]

[Footnote 20: The same Glück had translated the Gospels into
Lettonian, and made also an attempt to furnish the Russians with a
version of the Scriptures in their vulgar tongue. The detail may be
read in Henderson's Researches, p. 111. The Russian church had a
zealous advocate in the archbishop Lazar Baranovitch, ob. 1693.]

[Footnote 21: Kirsha Danilof's work was first published at Moscow,
1804, with the title _Drevniya Ruskiya Stichotvoreniya_, Old Russian
Poems. A more complete edition, by Kaloidovitch, appeared in 1818.--A
valuable little work in German by C.v. Busse, _Fürst Vladimir und
seine Tafelrunde_, Leipzig 1819, was probably founded on that of

[Footnote 22: As a characteristic of this poet, we mention only that
the empress Catharine, in her social parties, used to inflict as a
punishment for the little sins against propriety committed there, e.g.
ill humour, passionate disputing, etc. the task of learning by heart
and reciting a number of Trediakofsky's verses.]

[Footnote 23: Lomonosof's works were first collected and published by
the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, 1803, 6 vols. in several

[Footnote 24: His masterpiece, _Nedorosl_, "Mama's Darling," literally
_the Minor_, published 1787, presents an incomparable picture of the
manners, habits, etc. of the Russian country gentry. Potemkin, who was
Von Wisin's patron, felt so enchanted once after a theatrical
representation of this comedy, that he advised the author to die now.
"Die, Denis!" he cried, "thou canst not write any thing better! do not
survive thy glory." A posthumous drama by the same author has recently
been found and printed.]

[Footnote 25: Also into Japanese, according to Golovnin's account, and
suspended in like manner in the temple of Jeddo. See Bowring's Russian
Anthol. I. p. 3.]

[Footnote 26: This was a monthly periodical, first published 1755. The
list of Germans whose labours have proved of the highest importance to
Russia is very long; among them are those of Pallas, Schlözer, Frähn,
Krug, etc. The department of statistics has been exclusively
cultivated by Germans, Livonians, etc. and all that the Russians have
done in the philological and historical departments, rests on the
preceding solid and profound labours of German scholars.]

[Footnote 27: To the honour of the Russians it must be said, that it
is still so. Dershavin and Dmitrief were ministers of state;
Griboyedof was an ambassador; Karamzin occupied, and Shishkof and
Shukovski still occupy, high offices of the empire.]

[Footnote 28: His _Summary of Christian Divinity_ has been translated
by Dr. Pinkerton, and published in his "Present state of the Greek
Church in Russia."]

[Footnote 29: A survey of the number and general classification of the
universities and schools in Russia at this period, is to be found in
the American Quarterly Observer for Jan. 1834, Vol. II. No. 1.]

[Footnote 30: On all that relates to the Russian Bible Society,
Henderson's Biblical Researches contain most interesting details. The
active part, however, which he ascribes to the Jesuits in effecting
the suppression of the Society, is far from being historically

[Footnote 31: See Backmeister's _Russische Bibliothek_, Riga 1772-87.]

[Footnote 32: Of Karamzin's _Istorija Gosudarstva Rossissavo_, History
of the Russian Empire, (extending only to the reign of the house of
Romanof, A.D. 1613,) in eleven volumes, a second edition was published
in 1818. His other works have been collected in nine volumes, of which
a third edition was published in 1820. This great historical work has
been translated twice into German, first by Hauenschild and Oertel,
and later by Tappe; and twice into French, St. Pet. 1818, and by St.
Thomas and Jauffort, Paris 1820.]

[Footnote 33: The Foreign Quarterly Review contains under the head
_Critical Sketches_, a review of Batjushkof's works and a Specimen of
his poetry. Vol. IX. p.218.]

[Footnote 34: Executed as involved in the conspiracy of 1825.]

[Footnote 35: He was sent as Russian ambassador to Persia; and was
there slaughtered by a mob in 1829.]

[Footnote 36: _Bursak, Malorossiiskaja powiest_, Mosk. 1824.]

[Footnote 37: This venerable missionary, who resided at Pekin from
1807 to 1821, published after his return to his own country a series
of valuable and instructive works, a catalogue of which, as they have
met with general acknowledgment in foreign countries, will not be
unacceptable to the American reader.--1. _Sapiski o Mongolii_, Account
of Mongolia, St. Pet. 1828, 2 vols. It contains a part of his travels,
a description of the country and people, and a translation of the
Mongol code of laws.--2. _Opisanie Tibeta_, i.e. Description of Thibet
in its present state, translated from the Chinese, with remarks and
illustrations, St. Pet. 1828. This work has been translated into
French and published by Klaproth under the title: _Description du
Tubet partiellement du Chinois en Russe, par le P. Hyacinth
Bitchourin, et du Russe en Francois par M.... etc. Accompagnée de
Notes par M. Klaproth_, Paris 1831.--3. Description of Dshongary and
Eastern Turkestan, in 2 vols. under the title: _Opisanie Dshongarii i
vostotchnavo Turkestana_, etc. St. Pet. 1829.--4. _Istorija pervyck
tchetyrech Chanov_, i.e. History of the first four Khans of the House
of Jenghis, St. Pet. 1829. This and the preceding work are not
properly translations, but original works drawn from _Chinese_
sources, all of which are specified. Besides these works, Hyacinth has
published some of less importance, translations from the Chinese, etc.

[Footnote 38: The reputation of this clergyman rests however more on
his publications in the department of bibliographical and literary
history, than on his own theological works.]

[Footnote 39: The etymological tables, published since 1819 by
Shishkof, as a specimen of the labours of the Academy, are highly
interesting. We see here the words reduced to the first elements of
the language; and in some cases more than 3000 words springing from a
single root.]

[Footnote 40: This view seems to have been taken by Count Adam
Gurowski, now in this country, the author of the _European Pentarchy_,
Leipzig 1839; a work in which a great deal of mental power and an
admirable acuteness is employed to defend the despotic claims of
Russia, and to shake the independence of Germany.]

[Footnote 41: _O mnimoi drewnosti etc._ i.e. On the pretended age, the
original form, and the sources of our History; first printed in the
periodical, "The Library," in 1835.]

[Footnote 42: _O Russkich Letopisiach, etc._ i.e. On the Russian
Chronicles and their writers, Petersb. 1836.]

[Footnote 43: It appeared in a German translation as early as 1840.]

[Footnote 44: _Sto Literaturow, etc._, edited by Smirdin, Petersb.
1840, etc.]

[Footnote 45: See in Part IV.]

[Footnote 46: In connection with this work stands the Grammar by the
same writer, written in French: _Elémens de la Langue Georgienne_,

[Footnote 47: There are a few honourable exceptions. The work _Essais
philosophiques sur l'homme, publiés par De Jakob_, Halle 1818,
although written in French, was the production of a Russian, the late
writer Poletika, brother of the former Russian ambassador of that name
in this country.]

[Footnote 48: According to official reports, more than seven millions
of volumes of Russian books were printed in the ten years from 1833 to
1843; and four and a half millions of foreign books were imported.
During the same ten years 784 new schools were established. In 1842,
there were in the Russian empire 2166 schools of all kinds; among them
_six_ universities.]

[Footnote 49: F. Otto, _History of Russian Literature, with a Lexicon
of Russian Authors. Translated from the German by the late G. Cox_.
Oxford 1839.]

[Footnote 50: See above, p. 51.]

[Footnote 51: This was Ludolf's _Grammatica Russica et manuductio ad
linguam Slavonicam_, Oxon. 1696.--ENGLISH Russian Grammars are,
_Novaya ross. Gram. dlja Anglitshani_, 'Russian Grammar for
Englishmen,' St. Petersburg, 1822. Heard's _Practical Grammar of the
Russian Language_, St. Pet. 1827. 2 vols. 8vo.--GERMAN Russian
Grammars are: Heym's _Russ. Sprachlehre für Deutsche_, Riga, 1789,
1794, 1804. Vater's _Prakt. Gramm. der russ. Sprache_, Leipz. 1808,
1814. Tappe's _Neue russ. Sprachlehre für Deutsche_, St. Pet. 1810,
1814, 1820. Schmidt's _Prakt. russ. Grammattk_, Leipz. 1813.
Puchmayer's _Lehrgebäude der russ. Sprache_, last edit. Prague 1843.
Gretsch, _Grundregeln der russ. Sprache_, from the Russian by Oldekop,
1828. The newest German-Russian Grammars are: J.E. Schmidt's
_Russische Sprachlehre, und Leitfaden zur Erlernung, etc._ Leipz.
1831. _Noakovski Grammatica Rossiiskaya_, Lipsk. 1836. A Malo-Russian
Grammar, _Mala-Ross. Grammatica_, was published by Pawlofski, St. Pet.
1818.--FRENCH Russian Grammars are: Maudru's _Elémens raisonnés de la
langue Russe_, Paris 1802. Langan's _Manual de la langue Russe_, St.
Pet. 1825. Charpentier's _Elémens de la langue Russe_, St. Pet. 1768
to 1805, five editions. Gretsch, _Grammaîre raisonnée de la langue
Russe_, par Reiff, St. Pet. 1828.

DICTIONARIES.--ENGLISH. Parenoga's _Lex. Anglinsko-ross._ and
_Russian-English Lexicon_, 4 vols. 1808-17. Zdanof's _Angl.-ross._ and
_Russian-Engl, Dict_. St. Pet. 1784. Constantinon's _Russian Grammar
and Dict_. 3 vols. 8vo. Lond. _A Russian-Engl_. and _Engl.-Russ.
Dict_. 18mo. Leipz. Tauchn. 1846.--GERMAN. Heyne's _Russisch-Deutsch
und Deutsch-Russ. Wörterb_, Riga 1795-98. The same writer's _Russ.
Deutsch and Frauz. Wörterb_. in several forma and editions, Riga 1796
to 1812; also Moscow 1826; last improved edit. Leipz. Tauchn, 1844.
Oldekop's _Russ.-Deutsch und Deutsch-Russ. Wörterb._ St. Pet. 1825.
J.A.E. Schmidt's _Russ.-Deutsch und Deutsch-Russ. Wörterb_. Leipz.
Tauchn, 1841. The same writer's _Poln. Russ. Deutsch. Wörterb_. 2
vols. 8vo. Breslau 1834-6.--FRENCH. Tatishtchefs _Nouveau Dict.
Franc.-Russe_, etc. 2 vols. 8vo. Moscow 1832.]

       *       *       *       *       *





The literature of the western Slavo-Servians has hitherto been
altogether separated from that of their brethren of the oriental
church, and treated as a distinct branch.[1] Their language, however,
being essentially the same, we do not see why the rather accidental
circumstance, that the former use the Roman letters, while the latter
adhere to the Cyrillic alphabet, should be a sufficient reason for
such a separation. The literature of neither of them has as yet
treasures enough, to renounce willingly the claims which their mutual
and naturally rich though uncultivated language gives to the one upon
the productions of the other. We now proceed, in a short historical
introduction, to show the origin of this separation; after making a
few preliminary remarks on the character of the language as a whole,
unaffected by its division into different dialects, not more distinct
indeed from each other than is the case in almost every other living

The Servian language is spoken by about five millions of people. It
extends, with some slight variations of dialect, over the Turkish and
Austrian provinces of Servia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, and
Dalmatia; over Slavonia and the eastern part of Croatia. It is further
the property of several thousands, who emigrated from their own
country on account of the Turkish oppression, and are now settled as
colonists along the south-western bank of the Danube, from Semlin to
St. André near Buda. The southern sky, and the beauties of natural
scenery existing throughout nearly all these regions, so favourable in
general to the development of poetical genius, appear also to have
exerted a happy influence on the language. While it yields to none
of the other Slavic dialects in richness, clearness, and precision,
it far surpasses all of them in euphony. The Servian has often been
called the _Italian_ among the other Slavic idioms. Comparisons of
this sort are always superficial, and tend to give a false view of the
character of an object. Be this as it may, the Servian is decidedly
the most melodious of the Slavic languages, rich in vowels, and
abounding alike in soft and powerful accents. The accumulation of
consonants, with which the other dialects are so often reproached, is
rarely, if ever, to be met with in Servian. The reader may compare the
Servian _wetar_ with _wjtr_, _krilo_ with _krzydlo_ or _skrzydlo, pao_
with _padl_, etc. Those who ascribe this mildness of the Servian
language to the Italian neighbourhood of Dalmatia, forget that the
eastern Servians are remote from Italy. It is true that the dialects
of these latter are at the same time full of Turcisms; but these are
mere excrescences, which may easily be removed without touching the
essential structure of the language. The Turkish words adopted into
the Servian, are mostly nouns, and verbs derived from them; and may
naturally be explained by their political relation to the Turks during
so many centuries. If we may confide in a remark of the profound
philologist J. Grimm, _some_ foreign ingredients are useful and even
necessary to languages. They act as a cement, and fill up gaps; nay,
they not seldom serve to give to the expression colouring and pliancy.
The attention of the civilized world, although directed at the
beginning of the present century to the Servians and their heroic
struggles, has only recently been excited in respect to their
language; and this through the efforts of a single individual. We
shall have more to say on this point in the section devoted to the
literature of the Servians of the eastern church.

The ancient Illyricum comprised all the countries situated between the
Adriatic and the Black Sea, and along the Danube and Save.[2]
Towards the middle of the seventh century, we find this vast country
mostly occupied by a Slavic people of one and the same race,
alternately called Bulgarians, Croatians, and Servians. We find also
six kingdoms gradually established by them: Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia
(Rama), Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia; some of them powerful and of
great influence in their time, but now and long since sunk into ruin,
and existing only as Turkish or Austrian provinces. An impenetrable
night rests on the early history of these regions; and if the
judicious criticism of modern philologists has thrown comparatively
some light on this general topic, still, their investigations have
been of little consequence for the history of the language. All that
it concerns us to note here, is, that as early as the seventh century
a part of these nations were already Christians, converted by Romish
priests. Among the remainder, Christianity as taught by Greek
missionaries found a welcome reception in the eighth and ninth
centuries, and soon was fully established. The oriental Servians had
the chief seat of their power in the present Turkish province of
Serf-Vilayeti; and governed by princes called _Shupans_, we see them
in a constant war of resistance against the Greek emperors, and during
several centuries also against the powerful Khans of Bulgaria; now
conquered, subjugated, destroyed almost to annihilation, but
recovering with effort and rising again in power, with such energy as
to enable them under the great Tzar, Stephan Dushan, not only to hold
all their neighbours in awe, but to take a menacing position towards
Byzantium itself, and dictate conditions of peace to the imploring
envoys of that proud imperial court. But this brilliant point of
Servian glory, which even now after five hundred years still lives in
the hearts of the people, and is the subject of a thousand legends and
songs, was only a meteor. It vanished in almost the same moment that
it appeared. Stephan's immediate successors, enfeebled by their
domestic dissensions, sunk under the superior forces of the Turks, who
had broken into Europe thirty-four years earlier. They soon became the
conquerors of the Servians, though not without fierce and bloody
struggles; and they still remain their masters and oppressors.[3]

The western Servians were early divided into small states, some of
which adopted an aristocratic republican form of constitution. Among
these, only the republic of Ragusa requires to be mentioned here, as
the cradle of the Dalmatian branch of Servian literature. The local
situation of these western states made them dependent on Hungary; and
thus Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, sometimes under the title of
kingdoms, and now as dukedoms, became at length mere provinces of that
larger kingdom, and ultimately of the Austrian empire. Bosnia and
Herzegovina, which form the boundary between the Servians of the East
and West, were subject to the influence of both; and are to the
present day divided in religion and in language.

1. _Literature of the Servians of the Oriental or Greek Church_.

However small the circuit of country, properly called Servia, is in
proportion to the whole extent over which the southern Slavi are
spread, the name of Servians nevertheless appears to modern
philologists as the best adapted for being employed as the common name
of them all. Dobrovsky thinks it even appropriate to become the
general appellation for all Slavic nations. Although of obscure
derivation, it is at least sufficiently ascertained that it is of pure
Slavic origin; glorious associations are attached to it; it is
moreover still a living name, while the learned appellation of
_Illyrians_, formerly more in use, is dead; and that of _Bosnians_,
preferred by some Dalmatian writers, rests upon no satisfactory
grounds. The name of Servians, however, was never, till recently,
applied to the Dalmatians. It is indeed still rejected by themselves;
and they continue to call themselves _Illyrians_.

Under the present head, besides the Servians proper, of whom great
numbers have emigrated in early times to Hungary, are also strictly
comprised the Bosnians, the greater portion of the inhabitants of
Herzegovina, the Montenegrins or Czernogortzi, and the Slavonians of
the Greek Church. These all use the same language and alphabet; but
the four latter have no distinct literature, except some collections
of popular poetry.

The literature of the eastern Servians, the result of their
intellectual life as a nation, does not yet date back a hundred years;
nay, if regarded from another point of view, it is not yet forty years
old. Up to that time, all the Servians belonging to the Greek Church,
notwithstanding the honourable example of Russia to the contrary, had
written in the Old or Church Slavonic; or, in more modern times, in a
language mixed up from this latter and several other dialects.
Schaffarik remarks, that out of about 400 Servian books printed
between the years 1742, or more properly 1761, and 1826, about one
eighth part are written in Old Slavic; another eighth in the common
dialect of the people; while all the rest vary between these two in
innumerable shades and degrees.[4] This eighth part written in
ordinary Servian, and essentially the same language which the
Dalmatians and the greater part of the Croats speak, are all of very
recent date. Indeed, with the exception of a single writer,
Obradovitch, who found no immediate followers, the dialect of the
people was in general despised by the clergy and those who laid claim
to education, as being wholly unfit for books, and (as Vuk
Stephanovitch strongly expresses himself) only proper for "cowherds
and swineherds." How the once flourishing literature of Ragusa could
ever have sunk into oblivion to such a degree, is hardly to be
conceived; as indeed, in general, the division so sharply drawn in
respect to literature between those two branches of the same people,
while they were still bound together by the strong ties of one and the
same language of common life and in part also of the same government,
belongs among the most remarkable facts in literary history.

The most ancient document of the Servian Old Slavic language, is out
of the middle of the thirteenth century, viz. the Hexaemeron of
Basilius, with a preface by John, exarch of Bulgaria. Then follow the
"Acts of the Apostles," written by the hieromonach Damian, A.D. 1324.
Of higher historical importance are some secular writings from the end
of the thirteenth to the middle of the fourteenth century, viz. a
genealogical register of the Servian princes and the events of their
reigns, called _Radoslov_, written by archbishop Daniel; a similar
work called the _Tzarostavnick_; and above all the statutes of Tzar
Dushan the Powerful, A.D. 1336-56. These statutes, dated from the year
6837, or A.D. 1349, not only afford us a good survey of the
constitution of the Servian kingdom, but are a remarkable contribution
to the history of its moral state at that early period, The
philanthropist cannot but perceive, with satisfaction, the rare union
that reigns in these laws of stern justice and true Christian
benevolence, attempting to alleviate those evils which it was not in
the power of an individual to abolish,--thehardships of slavery, the
insecurity of property peculiar to those barbarous times, and those
rash and bloody acts of self-protection, which are preferred by the
powerful all over the world to the slower steps of avenging justice.
It is indeed remarkable to observe, how these statutes not only
counteracted the grosser vices and crimes, (which for the most part is
the only object of laws,) but also favoured the characteristic virtues
of the times, for instance hospitality. One statute ordains, that when
a traveller asked for night-quarters at the dwelling of a landed
proprietor and was not admitted, he had the right to take lodgings in
his village wherever he pleased; and did he lose any thing, not his
host, but the proprietor who had refused to harbour him, was bound to
remunerate the loss.[5]

The monks of this and the following centuries must have written a
great deal; as is proved by the many manuscripts that still lie
accumulated in the numerous Servian and Macedonian monasteries,--the
mere remnant of those which perished in the long tempests of bloody
wars and desolating conflagrations. About fifty years after the
invention of printing, some of the church books from time to time were
published in Servia and Syrmia. The earliest Servian print extant is
from the year 1493, viz. an Octateuch, published at Zenta in
Herzegovina. In Russia they did not begin to print until sixty years
later. In 1552 the Gospels were printed in Belgrade; in 1562 another
edition in Negromont. But these faint signs of life soon became
extinct; and we hear no longer of the least trace of literature among
the Servians of the Turkish empire. Among the Austrian Servians also,
literature seems to have been equally dead; with the exception of a
History of Servia, written and left in manuscript by George
Brankovitch, the last despot of that country, towards the close of the
seventeenth century. A genealogical work published by Dshefarovitch at
Vienna in 1742, had to be engraved, for the want of proper types. In
the year 1755, under the reign of Maria Theresa, when some attention
began to be paid to the schools of her Illyrian provinces, the
archbishop of Carlovitz was compelled to have Smotrisky's Grammar[6]
printed in Walachia, because no Slavic types were to be found in the
whole Austrian empire. Some years afterwards, A.D. 1758, a private
Slavic press was founded at Venice. In Austria, Cyrillic-Slavonic
books could not be printed earlier than A.D. 1771, when a printing
office was established at Vienna; the monopoly of which for all
Slavo-Servian scientific works throughout the empire, was given to the
university of Buda. From this one point, therefore, the whole literary
cultivation of the Servians of the oriental church in the Austrian
empire, could alone proceed.[7]

After the partial revival of Servian literature in 1758, a
considerable number of works were composed; and there are among them
not a few, which, notwithstanding the mixed and unsettled idiom in
which they are written, attest the general capacity of the nation, and
may serve as imperfect specimens of the mass of talent buried there.
Among the historical writers, we must name above all J. Raitch. He
wrote on many different subjects; and also left behind him a whole
library of theological manuscripts. His 'History of the Slavic
Nations'[8] has given him a lasting reputation. Other historical
writers of some merit, are, Kengelatz, Magarashevitch, Julinatz,
Solaritch.[9] Writers on different subjects of natural philosophy and
medicine, are, Orphelin, Stoïkovitch, Beritch, Jankovitch, P.
Hadshitch, etc. On statistics and geography the above-mentioned
Solaritch, Vuitch, Bulitch, Popovitch, and others. In the department
of theology, we hardly meet with a single book of a doctrinal
character; but there are quite a number on ethics. The principal
writers of the language, therefore, may perhaps be more properly
arranged under the heads of philosophy (comprehending logic),
rhetoric, ethics, etc. as Obradovitch, Raitch, Terlaitch, Lazarevitch,
Vuitch, Davidovitch, Masovitch, etc.[10]

Poetry and belles-lettres being more dependent on the state of the
language than purely scientific works, we can proceed no further,
without first making our readers acquainted with the recent
innovations of a few patriotic individuals.

It was Dositheï Obradovitch, born A.D. 1739 in the Banat of Temeswar,
who first among the eastern Servians ventured to write books in the
despised language of the country. The fortunes of this person are, in
several respects, of uncommon interest. Brought up in a monastic
school, he became monk when he was only fourteen years old. After
several years of severe struggles, he fled. For twenty-five years he
travelled over all Europe; and then returned to his comparatively
barbarous native land, where he died in 1811, as inspector of the
schools, and the instructor of the children of the celebrated Kara
George. He left several works.

A far greater influence, however, has been exerted on Servian
literature by Dem. Davidovitch and Vuk Stephanovitch Karadshitch, who
have not only followed the same literary course, but were the first to
defend both theoretically and practically the principle, that the
Servians ought to _write_ as they _speak_. Their boldness met with
strong and decided opposition from the old school; and the contest and
rivalry which have been the consequence, although tending for a time
to prevent the progress of the good cause, cannot but have, ere long,
beneficial results, by exciting the minds of the people to a higher
activity than they have had until then occasion to exert.

Davidovitch published from 1814 to 1822 a Servian newspaper in Vienna,
not exclusively of a political character, by which he intended to
diffuse information on various subjects; the first undertaking of the
kind in his language. His influence however is not confined to the
language alone; as secretary of Prince Milosh, then at the head of the
Servians, his influence on the general cultivation of his countrymen
was very decided.

Vuk Stephanovitch Karadshitch, born 1786 in Turkish Servia, is the
author of the first Oriental-Servian grammar and dictionary; and in
the arrangement of the former has manifested the true spirit of a
genuine grammarian. Besides these he has written several works of
value, a biography of Prince Milosh, a series of annuals, a volume on
the Proverbs, and idiomatic phrases of the Servians, etc.[11] But the
best proof which he could give of the beauty, richness, and
perfectibility of the vulgar Servian dialect, is his Collection of
the Servian popular Songs, in four volumes, comprising nevertheless
only about the fourth or fifth part of the similar treasures hidden
among the mountains of his country. In making this collection, he very
judiciously wrote down only those songs which he had himself caught
from the lips of the Servian peasantry. There had already been a
rumour among the literati of Europe, for more than fifty years, of the
beauty and singularity of the Illyrian national songs, founded mostly
on the communications of Italian travellers and the citations of
Dalmatian dictionaries. Herder, in his valuable Collection of popular
Poetry, gave two historical fragments from the work of a Dalmatian
clergyman, A. Cacich.[12] Goethe also has a beautiful tale, taken from
Abbate Fortis' Travels among the Morlachians. Both translated by means
of the French; and although this double translation could not possibly
do justice to the originals, they were sufficiently admired. But when
Vuk's collection appeared, and a part of its contents was made
intelligible to the civilized world by a translation attempted by the
author of this work, imperfect and deficient as any translation of
popular poetry must necessarily ever be, the public and the critics
were nevertheless alike struck with the strong expression of the high
and incomparable beauties of nature. All that the other Slavic
nations, or the Germans, the Scotch, and the Spaniards, possess of
popular poetry, can at the utmost be compared with the lyrical part of
the Servian songs, called by them _female_ songs, because they are
sung only by females and youths; but the long epic extemporized
compositions, by which a peasant bard, sitting in a large circle of
other peasants, in unpremeditated but perfectly regular and harmonious
verse, celebrates the heroic deeds of their ancestors or
cotemporaries, has no parallel in the whole history of literature
since the days of Homer.[13]

Vuk Stephanovitch Karadshitc,[14] in his successful attempts to
reduce a language, which hitherto had been merely an unwritten dialect
of the common people, to certain general rules and principles, had,
besides the more philosophical part of the work, also to adapt the
Slavonic alphabet to his purpose. The mixed and unregulated language,
which up to his time had been employed, had been written alternately
with the Old Slavonic and the Russian letters. To the Russian
language, with its multitude of sounds, the latter is perfectly
suitable; in Servian, however, several letters could be easily spared;
while others had to be added. Some change of the alphabet seemed
therefore necessary. As those Servians among whom Vuk was born, and
among whom chiefly he had gathered the treasures of remarkable poetry,
which serve as so beautiful a base to their young literature, all
belonged to the Greek or Oriental Church, he seems never to have
thought of the possibility of adopting the Latin alphabet, which had
already served for several centuries for the once flourishing
literature of their Catholic brethren, who spoke essentially the same

We are ready to acknowledge that the Slavic alphabet, as arranged by
Vuk, is better adapted to express the sounds of the Slavic languages,
than the Latin; it is at once simpler and richer. But we nevertheless
cannot help regretting, that he did not yield to the various reasons,
which on the other side spoke in favour of the Latin alphabet. It was
already used by some millions for the same language, and had been so
for centuries. It would have given a _history_ to the young Servian
Literature built on the solid foundation of that of Ragusa. It had
been, with the exception of the Russians, adopted by all the other
Slavic nations. It would have indeed estranged him, seemingly, from
his nearer countrymen, who made the most passionate objections against
his innovations, even as they were; but as they, at any rate, had to
go to Austria for a literary education, this opposition would probably
not have lasted longer than it will last now. There was some fear,
that, with the Roman alphabet, the Roman chair would try to get
possession of their church; but those were not the times of Rome's
power; and the Turkish patronage seemed to secure them against such
arrogance. One thing is certain. Instead of strengthening for ever the
artificial wall of separation between the two classes of
Illyrico-Servians, it would have undermined that which already
existed; and Vuk, by his strong philosophical-grammatical talent,
would soon have gained influence enough on the Illyrico-Dalmatian
literature to mend the imperfections of their orthography, and to
induce the Croats and Servians to give up their capricious varieties.
The many detached parts of the products of Illyrico-Servian intellect
would have grown into one great whole; and would have become at least
accessible to foreigners; who, puzzled by all these varieties of
letters and forms of writing, lose the courage to penetrate into a
structure where they meet so much confusion at the very door. Indeed,
whether they turn to the eastern or to the western branch of the
Southern Slavi, they find equal individual and provincial anarchy; a
state of things which the latter at least have taken great pains to

Vuk published at Vienna, in 1824, the Gospel of St. Luke, as a
'Specimen of a translation of the New Testament into Servian.' What
part he had in the version printed at Leipsic by the British and
Foreign Bible Society, and now circulated among the Servians, we are
unable to say.[15] Modern educated Servian poets, upon whose writings
the very general interest which the national popular poetry has
excited, and no doubt also their own consciousness of its power, have
had a favourable influence, are the following: Lucian Mushitzky,
bishop of Karlstadt, a writer in many departments, and the author of
odes and other lyrical pieces, all of them highly esteemed by his
countrymen; Milovan Vidakovitch, Mich. Vitkovitch, J. Popovitch, G.
Kovatzevitch, etc.

More generally known is Simeo Milutinovitch, the author of several
small volumes of poetry, and of a larger epic poem entitled
_Serbianka_, which describes the Servian war of 1812. In 1837 he
published an historical work on Servia during the years 1813-15. Both
these latter narratives are valuable, as he himself had been an
eye-witness of many of the events described; had acted as secretary to
Czerny George, who could neither write nor read; and was afterwards
also employed by Prince Milosh.[16]

Two interesting collections of the popular poetry extant among the
inhabitants of Montenegro and Herzegovina were published in the course
of a few years by Tshubar Tshoikovitch; one of them edited by J.
Milowuk, himself a modern Servian writer of praiseworthy activity; the
other by the collector himself.[17]

Last, although not least, the present Vladika or bishop of Montenegro,
must be named among the modern Servian poets. The constitution of this
little mountain state, half warlike, half patriarchal, is an anomaly
in the system of European state governments in general. They form a
community of about 20,000 families, pressed into the valleys and
scattered along the slopes of the dark mountain ranges between
Cattaro, Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Albania; covering a surface of 80 or
90 geographical square leagues. Hitherto they have been permitted to
enjoy a perfect independence in respect to both their great
neighbours, Austria and Turkey. They look up only to the emperor of
Russia as a kind of liege lord; but more in his quality of Head of the
Slavic-Greek Church, than in that of a powerful sovereign. They stand
under the rule of a Vladika or bishop; who, besides being their
spiritual guide, is their chief judge and their leader in war; as
also, since 1832, exclusively their executive magistrate. Up to that
time they were accustomed to elect a _governor_; but he assumed too
much power; and the post had become hereditary in the family of
Radonich. They therefore dismissed him; and his functions were
likewise intrusted to the bishop.

Although the office of the Vladika had been formerly purely elective;
yet towards the close of the seventeenth century, through the
influence of Vladika Daniel Petrovitch of Niegosh, it became
hereditary in his own family; a member of which since that time has
always been appointed by the Russian emperor. As the Greek bishops
belong to the monastic clergy, who of course are not permitted to
marry,--while the secular clergy are _required_ to do so,--the
succession goes in a collateral line. The present Vladika, Peter
Petrovitch Niegosh, a man of uncommon size, handsome features,
considerable talent, and a highly respected character, was partly
educated in Russia. When his predecessor died,--a powerful man who had
ruled for fifty-three years, during which time he had led his flock to
many a bloody battle, and who was canonized as a saint by the present
bishop,--this latter was appointed by the emperor Nicholas. But as he
was then only fifteen years old, Montenegro was governed by a sort of
guardian; and the Vladika did not enter upon his office until he had
completed his eighteenth year. The wisdom, the energy, the consistency
in his improvements, which, he has displayed since that time,
constitute him, in connection with his youth, one of the most
remarkable personages of our time. His chief aim seems to be to make
Montenegro a member of the great civilized family of Europe, without
depriving her of her freedom and independence; and the firmness with
which he proceeds further and further in a course, where he meets with
difficulties at every step, deserves praise and admiration.

The first circumstance which directed the attention of literary Europe
to this remote corner, was a visit of the present king of Saxony, who
in 1838 made a botanical excursion into those "black mountains." [16]
Since then, the celebrated Egyptian scholar, Wilkinson, has visited
it; and this country is no longer closed against travelling artists.
The Vladika has naturally the manners of a gentleman; he is said to
speak French, and to understand German, Italian, and of course
Russian. That he is considered as one of the best riflemen and
horsemen in his country, we cannot esteem as of much importance in a
bishop; but he studies also the classics and translates the Iliad for
his own pleasure. His Servian poems seem mostly to have been written
on particular occasions. He addressed an ode to the king of Saxony
after his return to Dresden, which unfortunately not a person of the
whole court could understand; and the author of this volume, who
happened then to be at the "German Athens," was applied to for a
translation.[17] In their own productions, all these educated writers
imitate the modern literature of other nations further advanced in
civilization, especially the Germans. Milutinovitch has even a tinge
of their philosophy. There is no want of talent; but there is no
nationality in them. Nothing of that wonderful amalgamation of the
East and the West; of mountaineer wildness and Christian principles;
of barbarism and civilization; nothing of that interesting blending of
Asia and Europe, which we feel entitled to expect from the poetry of
_Servians_, who stand on the border between Muhammedanism and
Christendom. Nothing which these educated writers have hitherto
produced, can be compared with the effusions of their old blind men,
and of their peasant lads and girls, that is, their popular poetry.

Vuk's grammar, printed at Vienna 1818, before his dictionary, has
since been rendered accessible to other European nations by Grimm's
translation. Another Servian grammar has been published in German, by
Schaffarik. Vuk's judicious alphabetical arrangement and orthography,
we are sorry to say, have not been generally adopted; and the Russian
alphabet is still partly in use, with a number of letters superfluous
for the Servian language, which has not the shades of sound they are
meant to denote.

The political movements in Servia, during the last twelve years, have
of course been exceedingly injurious to the development of its infant
literature. While it seemed, under the energetic administration of
prince Milosh, in a fair way of progress, the confused cries of war
and insurrection since his abdication have drowned the modest voice of
the young muse. Of late, indeed, intelligence from that country has
been so rare, that we are unable to give a picture of the present
state of things.

2. _Literature of the Dalmatians or Illyrico-Servians of the Romish


It is not without some hesitation that we approach a region, into
which we cannot penetrate without stepping through a border of perfect
darkness. We allude to the introduction of the Glagolitic alphabet;
the great antiquity of which, supported by numerous traditions and
legends, as well as by its venerable and almost hieroglyphic look,
Kopitar's recent investigations and discoveries have again made
probable; without, however, throwing any more light upon its origin.

As Christianity was first introduced into Dalmatia by Romish priests,
the Latin language was of course adopted for religious purposes. But
so soon as the people became acquainted with the liturgy of Methodius
in a language intelligible to them, this innovation met with such a
general and heartfelt welcome, that all the severe decrees of synods,
nay, of the holy chair of Rome itself, were unable to stop its

Even more than a hundred and fifty years afterwards, when Methodius
was solemnly declared by pope Nicolas II. a heretic, and the Romish
mass again introduced, the attachment to their own language was too
deeply rooted to be taken away at once. Hence the Old Slavic idiom,
with the pope's reluctant permission, continued to be the language of
the Church service. It appears, however, that the alphabet which their
priests employed for writing their ecclesiastic documents, was not the
same with that used by other Slavi of the oriental church: but was of
a different character, and evidently _not_ derived from the Greek,
with the exception of a few letters. It was called the _Glagolitic._

_Glagol_ signifies in Old Slavic _the word_ or rather _the verb_; but
the reason of the application of this term to the Illyrico-Servians of
the catholic communion (_Glagolitæ)_, and to the language of their
sacred writings (_Glagolic_ or _Glagolitic_), has not yet been
ascertained; all that has as yet been asserted by Slavic philologians
being mere hypothesis. The oldest monument known up to 1830. in which
these letters were extant, was a Psalter of A.D. 1220. This Psalter
was by tradition ascribed to St. Jerome himself, who was in general
called the inventor of the Slavic, that is the _Glagolitic_ alphabet.
According to a popular legend of the Dalmatians, this father, who was
a native of Illyria, also translated the whole Bible into the Slavic;
but it has been since clearly proved, that while (as is well known) he
corrected the old Latin version of the Bible, he yet never wrote a
single line of Slavic.

The mystery, in which the origin of the Glagolitic was and still is
buried, gave birth to the singular hypothesis already above
mentioned.[18] The discovery however of several very ancient
Glagolitic manuscripts, and especially of one which could be proved to
be older than the Council of Spalatro[19] destroyed it at once; but
unfortunately, without clearing up the mystery either of its invention
or of its introduction.

Another Glagolitic manuscript of some interest may be mentioned here.
It was generally known, that the kings of France were accustomed, at
their coronation at Kheiras, to take the oath on a large book, called
_Texte du Sacre_, bound in gold or gilding, and covered with unwrought
precious stones, which contained the Gospels written in some unknown
hieroglyphic language. When in 1717 Tzar Peter I. visited Rheims, this
book was shown to him among other curiosities, and he exclaimed at
once: "This is my own Slavonic!" This view was soon spread among
Slavic scholars. But the precious parchment was written in two
columns, and in two languages. What idiom could the other be? The
French, it is said, took it for Greek: more probably for Coptic. In
1789, a learned English traveller, Thomas Ford Hill, was shown some
Glagolitic manuscripts in the imperial library at Vienna; whereupon he
declared without hesitation, that this was the mysterious writing of
the Rheims manuscript. Before the Vienna scholars, Dobner and Alter,
then at the head of Slavic matters, had time to investigate the matter
further, the revolution broke out, and the precious document
disappeared. No trace was left of it; and for half a century the
patriotic Slavic scholars supposed they had cause to lament the loss
of a document of the very highest antiquity. It was conjectured that
the book had originally been brought to France by some Slavic
princess; for instance, by a princess of Kief, who is said to have
been sent for by Henry I., son of Hugh Capet and king of France in the
beginning of the eleventh century. Application was made on the subject
to Sylvestre de Sacy; whose report gave some hope, that the precious
relic might still be preserved. Search was made by Kopitar in Italy
and at Paris, but all in vain. At last it was again found at Rheims by
the Russian scholar Stroyef;[20] who, however, seems not to have been
acquainted with the Glagolitic writing, and therefore laid little
stress on it. The volume was stripped of its costly ornaments, and had
therefore been the more easily recovered during the reign of Napoleon;
who endeavoured, as much as was in his power, to restore the spoils of
the revolution, while he himself filled Paris with the spoils of all
other nations.

The librarian at Rheims, in order best to meet the numerous inquiries
of Slavic scholars, caused a _fac simile_ of it to be taken; audit was
finally committed to the learned Kopitar's care. It was now
discovered, that this long deplored document contained two
unconnected portions of the Gospels; one in Cyrillic letters, the
other, considerably longer, in Glagolitic; and both executed with
remarkable calligraphic skill. The Glagolitic portion was marked with
the date 1395. It was written at Prague, and presented by the emperor
Charles IV. to the Abbot of Emaus; with the injunction, that these
_Evangelia_ should be chanted at mass; and the remark was added, that
the accompanying Cyrillic portion was written by St. Procopius with
his own hand. Procopius was one of the patron saints of Bohemia, who
died in 1053. How this valuable manuscript was finally removed to
France, is still unexplained. At Rheims nothing further was known,
than that it had been presented by the Cardinal of Lorraine in A.D.
1554. A rumour ascribed to the Cyrillic portion a Greek origin; the
Glagolitic part was generally considered as a relic from St. Jerome's
own library. This supposed immediate connection with two saints, may
well account for the reverence with which the book was treated in
France.[21] A splendid edition of this work, under the patronage of
the emperor of Russia, was prepared by Kopitar, and appeared in 1843
at Paris.[22]

Although the use of the Slavic language was in a certain measure
authorized by the pope, yet the clergy of Dalmatia preferred
unanimously the Latin for their theological and ecclesiastical
writings. The Glagolitic literature was therefore almost exclusively
limited to copies of the productions of their Cyrillic brethren. The
Glagolitic letters had, however, the precedence of the Cyrillic
alphabet, in respect to printing. The first printed Glagolitic missal,
is of the year 1483; whilst the earliest work printed in the
Cyrillic letters is not older than A.D. 1491. In the sixteenth century
books were printed at Zengh (Segna), at Fiume, at Venice, and at
Tubingen, with Glagolitie letters. In the year 1621, the emperor
Ferdinand II. presented the Propaganda with a font of Glagolitic
types, which he obtained from Venice. Several improved breviaries and
missals have since been printed at Rome. In our day, this city
possesses the only Glagolitic printing office in existence. On the
Dalmatian islands, books are still copied in manuscript, just as
before the invention of printing.

Among the Dalmatian clergy, there were a few who united a real
interest for the preservation of their language and for science in
general. Raph. Levakovitch improved the breviary in 1648, in respect
to language; the archbishop Vincenz Zmajevitch, ob. 1771, a great
patron of the literature of his country, founded a hundred years later
a theological seminary in Zara. Matthias Caraman, on occasion of a new
edition of the missal by the Propaganda in 1741, undertook a
fundamental revision and correction of it. The Propaganda also founded
a Slavic professorship in the _Collegia Urbano_; and for the benefit
of this Society a new translation of the whole Bible was resolved
upon, which however has never been published. A notice of the
exertions of the priest Rosa belongs rather to the history of
Dalmatian secular literature.


It is not certain at what time, nor by whom, the Latin letters were
first adopted for the Servian language. The earliest teachers of the
occidental portion of that people having been Romish priests, they of
course used their own letters for writing such Slavic words or names
as occasion required. The Latin alphabet probably came into use
without any particular pains, long before the introduction of the
Glagolitic letters. These, in their awkward hieroglyphic form, were
little adapted to supersede the Latin forms. The example of the Poles
and Bohemians could only encourage the first Dalmatian writers to
continue in the same course; although each of these nations follows a
different system of pronouncing the same letters. The orthography of
the Dalmatians remained, however, for a long time entirely unsettled:
and is so still in some measure. A greater difficulty arose from the
absurd practice of the Slavonians and Croatians, who, although
speaking and writing the same language, yet write and print it each
according to a different system of combination; thus limiting the
perusal of their own scanty productions almost exclusively to the few
readers of their small provinces respectively, whilst the remainder of
their countrymen are hardly able to understand them. This division,
however, compels us likewise to separate in our sketch the literature
of the Dalmatians proper, and that of the catholic Slavonians.

_Literature of Dalmatia Proper_.

The neighbourhood of the Italians exercised in very early times a
happy influence on the literature of the Dalmatians. The small
republic of Ragusa, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was
at the zenith of its splendour and welfare. Celebrated Italians were
teachers in her schools; and the persecuted Greeks, Lascaris,
Demetrius Chalcondylas, Emanuel Marulus, and several others,
celebrated over all Europe for their learning, found an asylum within
her walls. Thus the treasures of the classics and of the Italian
middle ages became familiar to the noble youths of Ragusa, until, in
the beginning of the sixteenth century, poetry began to appear in a
national dress. The Italian influence remained strikingly visible.
Blasius Darxich, Sigismund Menze, Mauro Vetranich, and Stephen Gozze
(ob. 1576), are mentioned as the first Dalmatian poets. The latter
wrote a comic epic, the _Dervishiade_, which met with great success. A
poem of the same kind is _Jegyupka_, the Gipsy, by Andreas
Giubronavich, printed at Venice 1559. Dominic Zlatarich (ob. 1608)
translated Tasso and the Electra of Sophocles, and was himself a lyric

The annals of this period, towards the end of the sixteenth century,
report likewise the name of a lady, Svietana Zuzerich, as an Illyrian
poetess; called also Floria Zuzzeri, as an Italian poetess; for she
wrote with success in both languages. Several other ladies followed
the example, as Lucrezia Bogashinovich, Katharina Pozzo di Sorgo, etc.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Ragusa enjoyed peace,
and a degree of wealth and prosperity most favourable to high
attainments in science and literature. The first Slavic theatre was
founded here, and the dramatic art seems to have been considered so
honourable, that even noblemen acted publicly; as is related of Junius
Palmota, who died in 1657. The noble names of Palmota or Palmotich,
Gondola or Gondolich, for they appear alternately both in the Slavic
and Italian form, are very frequent in Ragusian literature. Junius
Palmota wrote tragedies; selecting his subjects principally from
Slavic history. But his most esteemed production is a Slavic version
of a great Latin epic on Christ, by M.H. Vita, which may be considered
as a kind of precursor to Klopstock's Messiah. John Gondola, a
dramatic writer before him, translated Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered;
and left many lyrical poems.

In the year 1667, a horrible earthquake in a few moments destroyed the
prosperity of the state for whole centuries. It was as if the genius
of the Ragusian literature had been crushed under the ruins. From that
period we find all that relates to literature in a rapid decline. The
catastrophe itself, however, furnished the poets with a new subject.
In the same year, N. Bonus published a poem entitled, The city of
Ragusa to her Rulers; and Jacob Palmota (ob. 1680) wrote an elegiac
poem, The renovated Ragusa. But the most interesting production of
this period is a collection of national songs, published by the
Franciscan monk, And. Cacich Miossich.[23] This work, although
executed with little critical taste or judgment, and disfigured by
many interpolations, might have given to the literary world a
foretaste of the treasures, which fifty years afterwards were to be
discovered here.

Whilst Slavic poetry found so many votaries among the Dalmatians, it
is a remarkable fact, that all their historians wrote in Latin or
Italian. They possess indeed a very old chronicle, of the date of A.D.
1161, written in the Slavic language by an anonymous Presbyter of
Dioclea, and translated by himself into Latin; but in the more
flourishing period of the Dalmatian literature, the love of their own
language was overcome by the stronger desire of a more universal
reputation than any works written in Slavic could procure for them.
The names of N. Ragnini, Francisco Gondola, Razzi, and Caboga, must
here be mentioned. The dialect of the country, however, found some
advocates even among the clergy. For some theological works it was
preferred to the Old Slavic; or at least the Latin letters were chosen
for this language instead of the Glagolitic types. An Old Slavic
translation of the Gospels and Epistles by Bernardin de Spalatro was
printed with Latin letters, Venice 1495. At the same place appeared,
in 1613, Bandulovich's translation of the same holy books in the
common language. A Jesuit, Barth. Cassio, A.D. 1640, had translated
both the Old and New Testaments; but the printing of it was prevented
by the bishops. Anton Cacich wrote a work on moral theology, in the
common dialect of the country: and several ecclesiastics of high
standing published works for religious instruction in the same
language. The period following the catastrophe of Ragusa was fertile
in theological, or rather religious, productions. The works of the
archidiaconus Albertus, as also of Gucetich and others, contain
treatises for spiritual edification, devotional exercises, etc.
Biankovitch, bishop of Makarska, wrote a treatise of Christian
doctrine, Venice 1708, in the common Dalmatian dialect. But this
dialect found its most ardent champion in a priest, Stephan Rosa, who
exerted himself greatly to have the old church Slavonic entirely
superseded by the Dalmatian-Servian language. He made a complete
translation of the whole Bible, and sent it to the pope, requesting
that it might be printed and introduced under his high authority
instead of the Cyrillic Bible. At the same time, he proposed that the
mass should be read in the Dalmatian dialect; dwelling especially on
the circumstance, that the Cyrillic language was an ingredient of the
Greek church, and consequently the use of it in sacred things a
species of Greek heresy. The pope appointed a committee to examine the
new translation; the result of which was, as may easily be supposed,
the rejection of a measure which savoured so strongly of
Protestantism. From the time of this decision in A.D. 1754, nothing
was done to provide the catholic inhabitants of Dalmatia, Bosnia and
Slavonia with a version of the Bible, until at last a new translation,
the first satisfactory one in the language, made by the Franciscan
monk and professor Katanesich, was accepted and introduced in 1832 The
merit of having procured it to be printed and published, belongs to
the late primate of Hungary, cardinal Rudnay.[24]

The inconvenience of such an anarchical state of orthography, and
likewise in part of the grammar itself, must of course have been felt
very early; but it would seem that in this department also, the
Dalmatian writers acted with more zeal and diligence, than success.
The above-mentioned Barth. Cassio, and after him another Jesuit, J.
Micalia, endeavoured in the first half of the seventeenth century to
settle the orthography and subject it to fixed rules. Ardelio della
Bella, a member of the same order, published in 1728 a dictionary and
grammar, in which he abandoned the way opened by his predecessors,
without however finding a better one. Jos. Voltiggi endeavoured to
establish a third system of pronunciation and orthography; his
dictionary and grammar appeared in the year 1803. A few years later a
useful grammar was published by Appendini; also the great dictionary
of J. Stulli, a work of considerable merit, and far excelling all
previous works of the same kind.[25]

All the different systems and rules of orthography, exhibited and laid
down in these works, had unfortunately no permanent result. The
Dalmatians, the Slavonians, the Croats, and the Servians in Hungary,
whenever they used Latin letters, all continued to write each in their
own way. This continued until about twelve years ago; when new efforts
began to be made to unite all the different branches of the
Illyrico-Servians, and if possible also the Servians of the Greek
Church, in the use of one general system of orthography. We have seen
above the anarchy in respect to their literary language, which some
years before the two Servians Davidovitch and Vuk Stephanovitch had
found prevailing among their Cyrillic brethren; and what pains they
took to introduce the pure dialect of the people (essentially the
language of the Dalmatians) as the literary language of the whole
race; as also the efforts made by Vuk to establish a new alphabetical
system. It can hardly be doubted that these efforts; the interest they
excited; and, above all, the claims preferred by some eminent scholars
connected with them; roused the jealousy and just ambition of the
Illyrico-Servians. They were far from being willing to give up the
name of _Illyrians_ for that of _Servians_; they felt themselves a
part of a great whole, but they wanted to be acknowledged as the
_principal_ part. In order to become strong, they had above all to
unite, A gentleman of uncommon energy and intelligence at Agram, Dr.
Ludovic Gaj, the editor of a Croatian periodical, took the matter in
hand. He prepared a new system of orthography for all the
Illyrico-Servian dialects, founded on the Bohemian model, and greatly
approved by the Bohemian scholars. He himself established a printing
office in order to carry out his plan. At the same time he enlarged
his paper, which now became "The Illyrian National Gazette;" and
contrived to secure patrons of name and influence. Schaffarik declared
himself decidedly in his favour. How far he has succeeded, and how far
in general the few Illyrico-Servian literati have been able to keep up
their budding literature during the recent tempests of the times, we
are unable to say. We may say truly that we have wished for Dr. Gaj's
system of union the very best success; and have expressed above, how
desirable we deem it in every respect.[26]

_Literature of the Catholic Slavonians_.

The Slavonians of the Greek Church make use of the Cyrillic letters;
and their productions belong therefore to that division of Servian
literature.[27] We have seen above, that the catholic Slavonians also
neither speak nor write a different dialect; but that only their mode
of writing, the strange combination according to which they express
the sounds of the same language, separates them from the Dalmatian
Servians.[28] To enter into the details of these varieties would be of
little interest for our readers.

The light of the Reformation penetrated at an early day into Slavonia,
and gave birth to a kind of limited theological or ecclesiastical
national literature. But the catholic clergy soon succeeded in
extinguishing it; and in the same proportion, the Latin language
continued to supersede the dialect of the people. In more modern days,
the Latin has been preferred by nearly all catholic Slavonic writers;
and their own literature is now almost exclusively limited to works
for religious instruction, catechisms, prayer-books, etc.

But although their language was thus relinquished in a practical point
of view, it remained nevertheless the object of investigation to some
of their profoundest scholars. Thus the Latin works of Prof.
Katancsich, are almost all of them devoted to Slavic philological
inquiries, etc, The translation of the Bible mentioned above, was made
by the same learned individual.[29]



Schaffarik in his history of the Slavic Language and Literature
enumerates, on Dobrovsky's authority, the Croatians or Croats as a
distinct branch of the great Eastern Slavic stem. Later researches
however have identified them, to a certain extent, with the other
Southern Slavi or Illyrico-Servians, with whose language theirs is
essentially the same. The recent political events, and their struggles
against the Hungarians, have made the Croats in our days again the
subject of some interest and curiosity, There is however such a
confusion in the early history of this race; such a change of names,
boundaries, and constitutions; such a contradiction between the
accounts of ancient writers and the experience of modern times; that
it would require a long historical exposition to give to the reader a
clear view of their relation to each other and to their Slavic
brethren. For such an exposition there is no room in these pages.[30]

The subject becomes far simpler if we consider the Croats only in
respect to their language, as it prevails among them at the present
time. Here they do _not_ appear as a distinct race; but still are
divided into two portions. One, in Military Croatia, comprising the
military districts of Carlstadt and Varasdin, and also the Banal
Border, speak the Dalmatian-Servian dialect with very trifling
variations; the other, in Provincial Croatia, i.e. the provincial
counties of Agram, Kreutz, and Varasdin, approach nearer to the
Slovenzi or Vindes, whose language will be the subject of our next
section.[31] The dialect of this latter division of the Croatians
forms indeed, in a certain measure, the transition and connecting link
between the Dalmatian-Servian and the Vindish languages.

We have mentioned above,[32] that the Croatians adopted a system of
writing different from that of the Dalmatians. The earliest documents
of their literature are of the sixteenth century, and all belong to
the history of the Reformation. Here also the new doctrines found
minds willing to receive them; and as several of the _magnates_, among
whom is the illustrious name of Zriny, were also their supporters,
there was no difficulty in establishing a press, in order to diffuse
the new light with greater speed and certainty. In the course of the
last half of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth
centuries, a large number of Croatian books, catechisms, postillae,
etc. were printed. One of the warmest champions of the Reformation was
Michael Buchich, curate of the island Murakoz, who publicly adopted
the Calvinistic confession, and endeavoured to spread abroad his own,
convictions by sermons and writings. Persecuted by the bishops,
condemned by synods, he and his followers found some protection in the
Christian tolerance of the emperor Maximilian II. But the successors
of this prince thought otherwise; and the most powerful of the
Hungarian noblemen took arms for the defence of the Romish religion.
At the diets held in 1607 and 1610, destruction was sworn to the new
doctrines and to their adherents; and all steps were taken for the
fulfilment of the oath.

In the middle of the seventeenth century, all Croatia had reverted
to Romanism. From that time onward, for more than fifty years, there
was not a thought of cultivating the language of the people; all books
were again written in Latin, and are so mostly even to the present
day. The first who interested himself anew for the foundation of a
national literature, was Paul Ritter, of Vitezovich, ob. 1713, who
procured a printing office to be established by the estates, and
himself wrote several books in the Croatian language. A few writers
followed his example; but the activity of the press was, and is now,
almost exclusively devoted to the printing of the ordinary catholic
books for spiritual edification and religious instruction. The Gospels
are extant in the Croatian dialect; but not the whole Bible. Most of
the Croats, however, are able to read and understand the books of
their Dalmatian neighbours.[33]

The idea of a union among the Illyrico-Servians in respect to
orthography and literature, was principally favoured by the
Croatians, and indeed originated among them. Here Dr. Gaj and
Count Janko Draskovich, who endeavoured to interest the Illyrian
_ladies_ in the subject, by a patriotic address, had their residence.
The events of our own days have taught us, how in general the
feeling of _Slavic nationality_, in opposition to the Magyar
nationality, was roused among the Croatians; for although all
the different Slavic tribes scattered throughout Hungary--Slovaks,
Ruthenians, and Servians--participated in them, yet that feeling
was strongest among the South western Slavi; who united, as is
generally known, to elect Jellachich as their Bann.



The Slavic inhabitants of the Austrian provinces Carinthia, Carniola,
and Stiria, extending from thence in scattered villages into Udine
once the territory of Venice, and of the Hungarian counties Eisenburg
and Szala, about a million in number, call themselves _Slovenzi_. By
foreign writers they have generally been called _Windes_ or _Vindes_;
a name, however, less definite and less correct; inasmuch as the term
Vindes or Vendes served in ancient times among the Germans as a
general name for _all_ Slavic nations. The Slavic settlements in
Carniola took place at a very early period, certainly not later than
the fifth century. In the course of the following centuries their
number was increased by new emigrations from the southeast; and they
extended themselves into the lower parts of Stiria and Carinthia, and
the western counties of Hungary.[34]

In regard to the language of this people, it was formerly considered a
matter of certainty, that it had never been a written language before
the time of the Reformation. But the investigations of modern
philologians have proved, on the contrary, that this portion of the
Slavic race was earlier acquainted with the art of writing than were
any of the other branches; probably even before the time of Cyril; and
since the discovery of several very old manuscripts in the library of
Munich, every doubt of this fact has been silenced. According to
Kopitar,[35] the true home of the Old Slavic Church language is to be
found among the Pannonian and Carinthian Slavi; and it was for them
that the Old Slavonic Bible was translated. The liturgy of Methodius
was, however, soon supplanted by the Latin worship; which at any rate
must have been earlier established in this part of the country; since
Christianity appears to have been introduced about the middle of the
eighth century, by German priests.

Be this as it may, the definite history of the language begins only
with the Reformation; and it is principally to the exertions of one
distinguished individual, that it owes its introduction into the
circle of literature. There is nothing more pleasing in the moral
world, than to behold the whole life of a man devoted to one great
cause, his thoughts all bent on one great object, his exertions all
aiming at one great purpose; and so much the more, if that object has
respect to the holiest interests of mankind. Such was the case with
the _primus_ Truber, who may be called the apostle of the Vindes and
Croatians. The direct results of his labours long ago perished in the
lapse of time; but this does not render them less deserving, although
it diminishes his fame. Truber, born A.D. 1508, canon and curate at
several places in Carniola and Carinthia, seems to have been early in
life impressed with the truth of the new doctrines of the Reformation.
His sound judgment taught him, that the surest way of enabling his
flock, and the common people in general, to receive the new light in a
proper spirit, would be the diffusion of useful knowledge among them.
And as the German, which at the present day is almost exclusively the
language of the cities of Stiria, Carniola, and Carinthia, was at that
time far less generally understood, he ventured to commit to paper a
dialect apparently never before written. In the second edition of his
New Testament, A.D. 1582, he states expressly: "Thirty-four years ago,
there was not a letter, not a register, still less a book, to be found
in our language; people regarded the Vindish and Hungarian idioms as
too coarse and barbarous to be written or read."

Truber and his assistants in this great work of reformation and
instruction, among whom we mention only Ungnad von Sonnegg and
Dalmatin, met every where with opposition and persecution; but their
activity and zeal conquered all obstacles, and succeeded in at least
partially performing that at which they aimed. Meantime, Christopher,
duke of Würtemburg, a truly evangelical prince, had opened in his
dominions an asylum for all those who had to suffer elsewhere on
account of their faith. The translation of the Scriptures every where
into the language of the common people, was regarded by this prince as
a holy duty; and this led him to cause even Slavic printing-offices to
be established in his dominions, Thither Truber went; and after
printing several books for religious instruction, he published the
Gospel of Matthew in a Vindish translation, Tübingen 1555; and two
years later the whole New Testament. As Truber did not understand the
Greek original, his translation was made from the Latin, German, and
Italian versions. At the same time a translation for the
Dalmatic-Croatians was planned; and several works for their
instruction printed and distributed. Truber, thus an exile from his
own country, died in 1586 as curate in the duchy of Würtemburg,
engaged in a translation of Luther's House-postillæ.

Two different systems of orthography had been adopted by Truber and
Dalmatin. For this reason, when in 1580 the whole Vindish Bible was to
be printed at Wittemberg, it seemed necessary to fix the orthography
according to acknowledged rules. This led also to grammatical
investigations. In the year 1584, a Vindish grammar was printed at
Wittemberg, the author of which, A. Bohorizh of Laibach, was a pupil
of Melancthon, and a scholar of that true philosophical spirit,
without which no one should undertake to write a grammar, even where
he has only to follow a beaten path; much less when he has to open for
himself a new one. Thus the Vindish written language, almost in its
birth, acquired a correctness and consistency, to which other
languages hardly attain after centuries of experiments, innovations,
and literary contests. According to the judgment of those who are best
acquainted with it, the Vindish language has undergone no change since
the time of Bohorizh,--a fact indeed scarcely credible; and the less
so, because during that whole interval it has been maintained almost
exclusively as a spoken language. About thirty years after the
publication of this grammar, the Roman Catholics, sheltered by the
despotic measures of the archduke Ferdinand, afterwards the emperor
Ferdinand II, gained a complete victory. All evangelical preachers,
and all Protestants who faithfully adhered to their religion, were
exiled; their goods confiscated; and, more than all, their books
_burned_, and their printing-office in Laibach destroyed.[36]
Fragments of the Gospels and of the Epistles were however printed at
Grätz, in 1612, for the Slavic Catholics, in their own language.

A whole century passed, and the Vindish language seemed to be entirely
lost for literature and science. Towards the close of the seventeenth
century, an academy was founded by some learned men of Carniola, on
the plan of the Italian Academy; and some attention was again paid to
the language of their forefathers. In A.D. 1715 a new edition of
Bohorizh's work, with several alterations and without mentioning the
true author, was printed by a capuchin, P. Hippolitus; who left also
in manuscript a Vindish dictionary, the first in that language.

Fifty-three years later, another grammar was published by the monk
Marcus Pochlin; a work in itself, according to the best authorities,
utterly devoid of merit, but which from the necessity of the case, and
for the want of a better, met with success, was reprinted in 1783, and
remained in common use until the appearance of Kopitar's grammar. This
last work,[37] written by one of the most eminent Slavists of the age,
made a decided epoch; not only in the history of the Vindish language,
but also, by its learned preface and comments, in the Slavic
literature at large. Several grammatical works, not without merit, and
for the most part founded on Kopitar's grammar, have since been
published;[38] and since scholars like these are now occupied with the
cultivation of the Vindish language, there exist for it and for its
kindred dialects the happiest prospects.

That this Slavic branch, a mountain people, had its treasures of
popular poetry, has always been supposed; and many single pieces, not
without beauty, have been communicated to the public in German
translations. A _collection_ of these flowers, which fade rapidly away
in this German neighbourhood, was ten years ago made by Achazel and

The literature of a people, among whom every individual of any
education may call another highly cultivated language in the fullest
sense his own,--as is the case with the Bohemians and Slovenzi in
respect to the German,--cannot be very extensive. There have, however,
in modern times, been published several works of poetry and prose in
the Vindish language; among the writers of which we can mention only
the most distinguished. Such are, V. Vodnik, author of some
collections of poems; Kavnikar, author of a biblical history of the
Old and New Testament, and several works for religious edification;
Farnik, Kumerdcy, Popovich, etc.

But the most important work, both in a philological and moral point of
view, is the translation of the whole Bible, set on foot by G. Japel,
and executed by a society of learned men. This version being intended
for Catholics, was made from the Vulgate, and was published at Laibach
1800, in five volumes; the New Testament appeared also separately, in
two volumes, Laib. 1804. A Slavic pulpit, which was established ten
years ago at the same place, has also been of great service to the

The inhabitants of the provincial counties Agram, Kreutz, Varasdin,
and the neighbouring districts, called Provincial Croatia, who speak a
somewhat different dialect of the Vindish language, but are able to
read that version of the Bible, have nevertheless several translations
in their own dialect, lying in manuscript, and only waiting for some
Maecenas, or for some favourable conjuncture, in order to make their

The only portion of the Vindish race among whom the Protestant
religion has been kept alive, are about 15,000 Slovenzi in Hungary.
Their dialect approaches in a like measure to that of the Slovaks; and
hence serves as the connecting link between the languages of the
Eastern and Western Slavic stems. For them the New Testament exists in
a translation by Stephen Kuznico; Halle 1771; reprinted at St.
Petersburg, 1818.


[Footnote 1: This portion of the Slavic race was formerly more
commonly known under the general appellation of _Illyrians_. With the
exception of the Bulgarians, who never have been comprehended under
it, this name has alternately been applied to the Southern Slavic
nations; sometimes only to the Dalmatians and Slavonians; sometimes to
them together with the Croatians and Vindes; by others again to the
Turkish Servians and Bosnians, etc. The old Illyrians, i.e. the
inhabitants of the Roman province Illyricum, were not Slavi, but a
people related to the old Thracians, the forefathers of the present
Albanians; see Schaffarik _Gesch_. p. 33, n. 2. _Illyricum Magnum_
comprised in the fourth century nearly all the Roman provinces of
eastern Europe. Napoleon affected to renew the names and titles of the
ancient Roman empire, and called the territory ceded to him by Austria
in 1809, viz. Carniola and all the country between the Adriatic, the
Save, and the Turkish empire, his Illyrian provinces, and their
inhabitants Illyrians. In the year 1815 a new kingdom of Illyria was
founded as an Austrian province, comprehending Carniola, Carinthia,
and Trieste with its territory. It was partly on account of this
indefiniteness, that the name of _Illyrians_ had been entirely
relinquished by modern philologists; until it was quite recently again
token up by some Croatian and Dalmatian writers. In its stead the name
of _Servians_, or more properly _Serbians, Serbs,_ has been adopted as
a general appellation by the best authorities. See below in § 1, on
the Literature of the Servians of the Greek Church. The word _Srb,
Serb, Sorab_, has been alternately derived from _Srp_, scythe; from
_Siberi, Sever,_ north; from _Sarmat_; from _Serbulja_, a kind of shoe
or sock; from _servus_, servant, etc. The true derivation has not yet
been settled. See Dobrovsky's History of the Bohemian Language, 1818;
and also his _Inst. Ling. Slav_. 1822.]

[Footnote 2: See above, p. 9 sq. and the preceding note.]

[Footnote 3: The Servians, however, under the government of their own
energetic countryman, Prince Milosh, for some years enjoyed a certain
degree of freedom, which no doubt has had good results for the mental
life of the nation. A good view of their country, constitution, and
literature, is given in a modern German work: _Reise nach Serbien im
Spätherbst_ 1829, by Otto von Pirch, Berlin 1830. See also _Servia und
Belgrade in_ 1843-44, by A.A. Paton, Lond. 1845.]

[Footnote 4: See Schaffarik _Gesch_. p. 217.]

[Footnote 5: These statutes were first printed by Raitch, in his great
work on Slavic history (see Note 8); and translated by Engel in his
History of Hungary and the adjacent Territories, Vol. 2, p. 293.]

[Footnote 6: See above, in the History of the Old Slavic Language, p.

[Footnote 7: There is however still another Cyrillic printing office
attached to an Armenian convent in Vienna. Since the printing of Vuk's
second edition of the Servian popular songs at Leipsic, several other
Servian books have also been printed there. The Vladika of Montenegro
has also established a printing office at his residence of Tzetinja.
Vuk's "Proverbs" have been printed there.]

[Footnote 8: The complete title of this valuable work is: _Istorja
raznich Slavenskich narodov nairatchvedshe Chorvatov, Bolgarov, i
Srbov_, Vienna 1792-95, 4 vols.]

[Footnote 9: The writings of this very productive philologist and
historian are however more remarkable for boldness and singularity of
assertion, than for depth. In his _Rimljani slavenstvovavshii_, Buda
1818, he undertakes to derive the entire Latin language from the
Slavic. In an earlier work, written 1809, he contends that the German
language was a corruption of the Slavic dialects spoken on the Elbe.]

[Footnote 10: The reader will find a more complete catalogue of the
Servian writers and their works, in O.v. Birch's Travels; see above,
p. 107, n. 3.]

[Footnote 11: _Narodne Serpske Poslovitze_, Zetinya 1836.]

[Footnote 12: See below in §2.b, Dalmatian Literature.]

[Footnote 13: See more on Servian popular poetry in Part IV. The title
of Vuk's collection, a part of which appeared 1814-15 at Vienna, in
two small volumes, is _Narodm Srpske pjesme_, Lpzg 1823-24, three
volumes. A fourth volume was published at Vienna 1833, with a very
instructive preface. Some of these remarkable songs have been made
known to the English public in Bowring's Servian Popular Poetry,
London 1827. This little collection contains also an able and spirited
introduction, which serves to give a clear view not only of the state
of the Servians in particular, but also of the relation of the Slavic
nations to each other in general; with the exception of some mistakes
in respect to classification.--In Germany a general interest for
Servian national poetry was excited by Goethe; see his _Kunst und
Alterthum_, Vol. V. Nos. I and II. German translations are:
_Volkslieder der Serben_, by Talvj, 2 vols. Halle 1825-26; from which
work Bowring seems chiefly to have translated. _Die Wila_, by
Gerhardt, 2 vols. Lpzg. 1828. These two works contain nearly all the
songs published by Vuk, in his first three volumes; but only half of
those he has collected. _Serbische Volkslieder_, by v. Götze, St. Pet.
and Lpzg. 1827. _Serbische Hochzeitlieder_, by Eugen Wesely, 1826. A
French translation of these songs does not yet exist, although they
have excited a deep interest among the literati of France. The work
_la Guzla_, published at Paris in 1827 and purporting to contain
translations of Dalmatian national songs, is not genuine; it was
written by the French poet Mérimée, with much talent indeed, but
without any knowledge of the Servian language.]

[Footnote 14: That is: Wolf, son of Stephan, belonging to the family
of the Karadshians, inhabitants of a certain district or village. The
Servians in Servia proper and Bosnia have not yet any family names.
Those who emigrated in early years to other countries mostly adopted
their fathers' names with the suffix of _vitch_ as a family name; for
instance Markovitch, Gregorovitch, i.q. Markson, Gregorson, etc. The
Servian subjects of Turkey, who settle in other parts of the country,
still mostly follow this rule. Vuk neglected this; and acquired
therefore his literary fame under his Christian name of _Vuk_. But, as
a father of a family and an Austrian citizen, he is called
_Karadshitch_ after his tribe; which for reasons we do not know he
seems to have preferred to the name of Stephanovitch.]

[Footnote 15: We must correct here a mistake made by Dr. Henderson in
his Biblical Researches, in respect to the Servian New Testament. He
says, p. 263, "A version of the (Servian) New Testament was indeed
executed some years ago, but its merits were not of such a description
as to warrant the committee of the Russian Bible Society to carry it
through the press; yet, as they were deeply convinced of the
importance of the object, they were induced to engage a native
Servian, of the name of Athanasius Stoïkovitch to make a new
translation, the printing of which was completed in the year 1825, but
owing to the cessation of the Society's operations, the distribution
of the copies has hitherto been retarded." Dr. Henderson probably
received his information at St. Petersburg, and felt himself of course
entitled to depend on it, being very likely not acquainted with the
great schism in modern Servian literature above mentioned. If we may
confide in our own recollections, the translation, the merits of which
the committee of the Russian Bible Society was so little disposed to
acknowledge, was made by Vuk Stephanovitch, who knew better than any
one else the wants of the Servian people, and who presented in the
above mentioned Gospel of St. Luke a specimen to the learned world,
which received the approbation of all those Slavic scholars entitled
to judge of the subject. The committee of St. Petersburg, however, was
probably composed of gentlemen of the opposite party; as indeed the
Russian Servians are, in general, advocates of the mixed Slavo-Servian
language, in which for about fifty years all books for the Servians
were written, and which we have described above in Schaffarik's words;
see p. 108. According to their ideas of the Servian language, the mere
use of the common dialect of the people was sufficient to inspire
doubts of the competency of the translator; although it was for the
people, the unlearned, that the translation was professedly made. They
engaged in consequence Professor Stoïkovitch, the author of several
Russian and Slavo-Servian books (see above p. 112), and who had been
for more than twenty years in the Russian service, to make a new
translation. This person, who, to judge from our personal acquaintance
with him, probably on this occasion read the Gospels for the first
time in his life with any attention, took the rejected version for his
basis; altered it, according to his views of the dignity of the
Servian language, into the customary mixed Slavo-Servian Russian
idiom; and received the reward from the Society. Whether this is the
version afterwards printed at Leipsic and distributed in Servia by the
English Bible Society, we are not informed. From private letters we
know, that in the year 1827, that Society proposed to Vuk
Stephanovitch to allow him £500, if after obtaining appropriate
testimonies for the correctness of his version, he would print one
thousand copies in Servia; and also authorized its correspondent in
Constantinople, Mr. Leeves, to arrange the matter finally with Vuk.
From M. Kopitar's remark however, that the translation for the
Dalmatian Roman Catholics needed only to be transcribed with Cyrillic
letters to come into use among the eastern Servians, we are entitled
to conclude that the version now circulated, is not such as it ought
to be; and a correct one, for that part of the nation, is still a
desideratum. It would seem therefore that Vuk Stephanovitch cannot
have accepted the offer in question. See Kopitar's Letter to the
Editor of the Bibl. Repos. Vol. III. 1833, p. 186.]

[Footnote 16: The _Serbianka_ of Milutinovitch was published at
Leipsic, 1826; his History at the same place, 1837.]

[Footnote 17: _Pjevanija Tzernogorska i Herzegovatshka etc. izdana
Josifom Milowukom,_ Ofen 1833--_Pjevanija Tzernogorska i
Herzegovatshka sabrana i izdana Tshubrom Tshoikovitckom, etc_. Leipz.

[Footnote 16: _Montenegro_, properly _Montenero,_ is the Italian
translation of _Tzernagora,_ Black Mountain, a name which is applied
to these ranges on account of the dark colour of the rocks and woods.]

[Footnote 17: More on the Vladika and on Montenegro in general, see in
the recent work of Sir J.G. Wilkinson, _Dalmatia and Montenegro_, 2 vols.
Lond. 1848. Also an article in the _British and Foreign Review_, July
1840, by Count Krasinski. A full and very interesting account of the
country and people, is found in the little work of Vuk Stephanovitch
Karadshich, _Montenegro und die Montenegriner_, 8vo. Stuttg. u. Tüb.
1837; published in Cotta's "Reisen u. Landerbeschreibungen der ältern
u. neuern Zeit."]

[Footnote 18: See above, p. 37 sq.]

[Footnote 19: Kopitar, _Glagolita Clozianus_, Vindob. 1836.]

[Footnote 20: See above, p. 41.]

[Footnote 21: On the still earlier Glagolitie manuscript discovered at
Trent, there was also found a note written by one of its former noble
owners, that "dises puech hat Sant Jeronimuss mit aigner hant
geschriben in krabatischer sprach."]

[Footnote 22: A fine copy of the above splendid work is now on sale by
the publisher of this volume.]

[Footnote 23: _Razgovor ugodni naroda slavinskoga_, Venice 1759. A new
edition appeared in the year 1811.]

[Footnote 24: Letter of Kopitar to the Editor, Bibl. Repos. 1833, p.

[Footnote 25: F. Verantii _Dictionarium quinque nobiliss. Eur. Ling.
Lat. Ital. Germ. Dalm. et Ung_. Venice 1595. Micalia _Thesaurus
linguae Illyricae_, etc. Ancona 1651. Delia Bella _Dizionario It. Lat.
Illyr_. Venice 1728; later edit. Ragusa 1785. Voltiggi _Riesosbronik
illyriesiskoga, ital. i nimacsk_, Vienna 1803. Stulli _Lexicon Lat.
Ital. Illyr_. etc, Buda and Ragusa 1801-10, 6 vols. Prefixed to the
four last works, are also grammars. Other Dalmatian grammars are:
Cassii _Institutiones linguae Illyricae_, Rome, 1604. Appendini
_Grammatik der illyrischen Sprache_, Ragusa 1608. Starchsevich _Nuova
Gramm. Illyrica_, Trieste 1012. Babukich _Illyrische Grammatik_, Wien

[Footnote 26: See above, p. 116, 117.]

[Footnote 27: See above in § 1. p. 108.]

[Footnote 28: See p. 128 above.]

[Footnote 29: See p. 131.--As dictionaries and grammars of this
dialect are to be mentioned: Relcovich _Deutsch illyrisches and illyr.
deutsches Wörterb._ Vienna 1796. By the same: _Neue Slawonisch-deutche
Grammatik_, Agram 1767. Vienna 1774. Buda 1789. Lanossovich
_Einleitung zur Slav. Sprache,_ several editions from 1778-1795.]

[Footnote 30: See the second volume of Engel's _History of Hungary_
etc. Katanesich _Specimen phil. et geogr. Pannon._ etc. 1795.
Schaffarik's _Geschichte_, etc. p. 226-31, 235, 265.]

[Footnote 31: These two divisions of Military and Provincial Croatia
constitute the modern Austrian kingdom of Croatia, which is united
with that of Hungary. See For. Quart. Review, Vol. VII. p. 423 sq.]

[Footnote 32: See p. 128 above.]

[Footnote 33: Croatian philological works are: _Einleitung zur croat.
Spracklehre,_ Varasdin 1783. Kornig's _Croat. Sprachlehre,_ Agram
1795. Gyurkovshky's _Croat. Grammatik,_ 1825. Rukevina v. Liebstadt
_Kroatische Sprachformen,_ etc. Trieste 1843. Habdelich _Dictionarium
croat. lat_. Grätz 1670. Belloszlenecz _Gazophylacium s.
Latino-Illyricor._ etc. Agram 1740. Jambressich's _Lex. Lat. interpr.
illyrica, germ_. etc. Agram 1742.]

[Footnote 34: See Engel, etc. III p. 469.]

[Footnote 35: See the _Wiener Jahrbücher_, 1822, Vol. XVII. See too
the _Glagolita Clozianus_, and the article "On the Pannonian Origin of
the Slavic Liturgy." See above, pp. 28, 39.]

[Footnote 36: Schaffarik observes, _Geschichte_, p. 283, "The public
library in the state-house was delivered to the Jesuits, who had just
been introduced. The books which these did not commit to the flames on
the spot, perished in the great conflagration in 1774, together with
the edifice of their college. In all Carniola only two copies of
Bohorizh's grammar are known to exist"]

[Footnote 37: _Grammatik der Slavischen Sprache in Krain, Kärnthen,
und Steyermark_, Laibach 1808.]

[Footnote 38: These are: V. Vodnik's _Pismenost ali gramm. saperve
shole_, Laib. 1811. Metelko's _Lehrgelaude der Slovenischen Sprache_,
1825. Schmigoz _Theor. pract. wind. Sprachlehre_, Gratz 1812. P.
Dainko _Lehrbuch der wind. Sprache,_ Gratz 1825. Mali _Bezedniak
Slovenskich_, Laibach 1834.]

[Footnote 39: _Slovenske pjesmi Krajnskiga Naroda_, Laibach 1839.]



According to the opinion of the Russian, and especially of the
Bohemian philologians, Bulgaria and the adjacent regions of Macedonia,
are the real home of the Old Slavic language; which was here, as they
suppose, the language of the people in the time of Cyril, who was born
in Thessalonica.[1] No other Slavic dialect however, as Kopitar
remarks, has been so much affected as the Bulgarian by the course of
time and foreign influence, both in its grammatical structure and its
whole character.[2] It has an article, which, as if in order to show
whence it was borrowed, is put _after_ the word it qualifies, like
that of the Walachians and Albanians. Of the seven Slavic cases, only
the nominative and vocative remain to it; all the rest being supplied
by means of prepositions. As Bulgaria has been for centuries the great
thoroughfare of other nations, the Slavic natives have become mixed
with Rumenians, Turco-Tartars, and perhaps Greeks, It is in this way,
that the state of their language may be accounted for.

Up to 1392, when Bulgaria was an independent kingdom,--tributary to
the Greek empire, until the decline of the latter encouraged them to
break the weak tie of vassalage.--their writings were in the Old
Slavic language; and many documents in it are still extant in monastic
libraries. Venelin, a young Russian scholar, who by his researches on
the Bulgarian, or, as he would fain call it, the _Bolgarian_ language,
had excited great hopes in the learned Slavic world, was sent in 1835
to Bulgaria, by the Russian Archaeographical Commission, to search,
after historical documents and to examine the language. The
publication of a "Bolgarian Grammar," and two volumes of a "History of
the Bolgarians," were the result. While engaged in preparing a third
volume, he died; less regretted by the literary world, it is said,
than would have been anticipated some years before; since his
productions had not justified the expectations raised by his zeal. He
seems to have been one of those visionary etymologists, who found
their conclusions on the analogy of sound and similar accidental
features; a class of scholars, which, in our age of philosophical
research, has no longer much chance of success.

The history of the Bulgarians is a series of continued warfare with
the Servians, Greeks, and Hungarians, on the one hand; and on the
other, with the Turks, who subdued them, and put an end to the
existence of a Bulgarian kingdom in A.D. 1392. The people, first
converted to Christianity by Cyril and Methodius, had hitherto adhered
to the Greek church; except for a short interval in the last half of
the twelfth century, when the Roman chair succeeded in bringing them
under its dominion. Since the establishment of the Turkish government,
apostasy to Muhammedanism has been more frequent in Bulgaria, than in
any other of the Christian provinces of the Porte. Still, the bulk of
the population has remained faithful to the Slavic Greek worship. The
scanty germs of cultivation sown among them by two or three of their
princes, who caused several Byzantine works to be translated into the
Bulgarian dialect, perished during the Turkish invasion. The few
books used by the priesthood in our days, are obtained from Russia.
They have no trace of a literature, and the only point of view from
which their language, uncultivated as it is, can excite a general
interest, is in respect to their popular songs. In these this dialect
likewise is said to be exceedingly rich.

The Russian Bible Society had prepared a Bulgarian translation of the
New Testament, intended more especially for the benefit of the
Bulgarian inhabitants of the Russian province of Bessarabia. But the
specimen printed in 1823 excited some doubt as to the competency of
the translator in respect to his knowledge of the Bulgarian language;
and it was deemed advisable to put a stop to its further progress.
Among the Albanian portion of its inhabitants, the New Testament has
been distributed by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

In the dearth of all philological helps in respect to the Bulgarian
language, it is matter of grateful acknowledgment to Slavic scholars,
that an American missionary, the Kev. E. Biggs, stationed at Smyrna,
should recently have taken up the subject, and furnished us with a
brief sketch of the principal features of the Bulgarian grammar. It
seems that the Bulgarians have availed themselves of the printing
establishment founded by the American missionaries at Smyrna; and some
books in this language have been there printed. Mr. Kiggs says of the
language, that "its literature is very slender, consisting almost
entirely of a few elementary books, printed in Bucharest, Belgrad,
Buda, Cracow, Constantinople, and Smyrna." A Bulgarian translation of
Gallaudet's "Child's Book on the Soul," was sent by the same gentleman
to New York. From the same source we learn that a Bulgarian version of
the New Testament was printed at Smyrna in 1840, for the British and
Foreign Bible Society; and that in 1844 the first number of a monthly
magazine, entitled "Philology," was issued from the same press.


[Footnote 1: See above, pp. 27, 28.]

[Footnote 2: _Wiener Jahrbucher der Literatur_, 1822, Vol. XVII.]

       *       *       *       *       *







Of all the Slavic languages, the Bohemian dialect with its literature
is the only one, which, in the mind of the protestant reader, can
escite a more than general interest. Not so much indeed by its own
nature, in which it differs little from the other Slavic languages;
but from those remarkable circumstances, which, in the night of a
degenerate Romanism, made the Bohemian tongue, with the exception of
the voice of Wickliffe, the first organ of truth. Wickliffe's
influence, however great and decided it may have been, was
nevertheless limited to the theologians and literati of the age; his
voice did not find that responding echo among the common people, which
alone is able to give life to abstract doctrines. It was in Bohemia,
that the spark first blazed up into a lively flame, which a century
later spread an enlightening fire over all Europe. The names of Huss
and Jerome of Prague can never perish; although less success has made
them less current than those of Luther and Melancthon. In no language
of the world has the Bible been studied with more zeal and devotion;
no nation has ever been more willing to seal their claims upon the
Word of God with their blood. The long contests of the Bohemians for
liberty of conscience, and their final destruction, present one of the
most heart-rending tragedies to be found in human history. Not less
ready to maintain their convictions with the pen than with the sword,
the theological literature of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and the first
twenty years of the seventeenth centuries, is of an extent with which
that of no other Slavic language can be compared. It is true, however,
that most of these productions bear decidedly the stamp of the period
in which they were written. Dictated by the polemical spirit of the
age, and for the most part directed by one protestant party against
another, there is very little to be found in them to gratify the
Christian, or from which the theological student of the present day
could derive any other than historical instruction. On the other hand,
while the theological literature of all the other Slavic nations is
almost exclusively limited to sermons, catechisms, prayer-books, and
other devotional exercises, among the Bohemians alone do we meet with
cxegetical researches and interpretations, founded on a scientific
examination of the original text of the Scriptures.

There are few branches of science or art in which the Bohemians have
not to boast of some eminent name. But the talent for which this
nation is the most distinguished is that of music A fondness for music
and a natural gift to execute it is indeed common to all Slavic
nations: but whilst their talent is mostly confined to a susceptible
ear, and a skill in imitating,--for the Russians and Poles possess
some celebrated musical _performers_ though very few distinguished
_composers_,--the talent of the Bohemian is of a far higher order.
He unites the spirit of harmony which characterizes the Germans, with
the sweet gift of melody belonging to the Italians, and thus seems to
be the true _ideal_ of a complete musician. A great part of the most
eminent names among German composers are Bohemians by birth; and there
is hardly any thing which strikes the American and English traveller
in that beautiful region more, than the general prevalence of a gift
so seldom met with in their own countries.

Bohemia, until the sixth century was inhabited by a Celtic race, the
Boii. After them the country was called _Boiohemnum,_ i.e., home of
the Boii; in German still Böheim.[1] The Boii were driven to the
south-west by the Markomanns; the Markomanns were conquered by the
Lombards. After the downfall of the great kingdom of Thuringia in the
middle of the sixth century, Slavic nations pushed forward into
Germany, and the _Czekhes_ settled in Bohemia, where an almost
deserted country offered them little or no resistance. The Czekhes, a
Slavic race, came from Belo-Chrobatia, as the region north of the
Carpathian range was then called.[2] Their name has been usually
explained from that of their chief, Czekh; but Dobrovsky more
satisfactorily derives it from _czeti, czjti_, to begin, to be the
first; according to him Czekhes signifies much the same as
Front-SIavi.[3] The person of Czekh has rather a mythological than an
historical foundation. The whole history of that period, indeed, is
so intimately interwoven with poetical legends and mythological
traditions, that it seems impossible at the present time to
distinguish real facts from poetical ornaments. The hero of the
ancient chronicles Samo, the just Krok, Libussa the wise and
beautiful, and the husband of her choice, the peasant Perzmislas, all
move in a circle of poetical fiction. There is, however, no doubt that
there is an historical foundation for all these persons; for tradition
only expands and embellishes; but rarely, if ever, invents.

What we have said in our introduction, in regard to the vestiges of an
early cultivation of the Slavic nations in general, must be applied to
the Czekhes particularly.[4] The courts of justice in which the just
Krok and his daughter presided, and which the chronicles describe to
us, present indeed a wonderful mixture of the sacred forms of a well
organized society, and of that patriarchal relation, which induced the
dissenting parties to yield with childlike submission to the arbitrary
decisions of the prince's wisdom. According to the chronicle, so early
as A.D. 722, Libussa kept a _pisak_ or clerk, literally, _a, writer;_
and her prophecies were written down in Slavic characters. The same
princess is said to have founded Prague. A considerable number of
Bohemian poems, some of which have been only recently discovered, are
evidently derived from the pagan period. Libussa's choice of the
country yeoman Perzmislas for her husband, in preference to her noble
suitors, indicates the early existence of a free and independent
peasantry. All these scattered features are however insufficient to
give us a distinct picture of this early period; and here, as among
all other Slavic nations, _history_ commences only with the
introduction of Christianity. The small states originally founded by
the Czekhes, were first united into one dukedom during the last years
of Perzmislas; while under his son Nezamysl, in the year 752, they
are said to have first distributed the lands in fee, and to have given
to the whole community a constitutional form.

The name of Boii, Bohemians, was transferred to the Czekhes by the
neighbouring nations. They continued to call themselves Czekhes, as
they do even now. The Moravians, a nearly related Slavic race, who
probably came to these regions at the same time with the Czekhes,
called themselves _Morawczik_,[5] from _Morawa,_ morass, a name
frequently repeated in Slavic countries. Until A.D. 1029, they were as
a people entirely separated from the Bohemians. They had formed
different petty states; their chiefs were called _Kniazi_, like those
of their eastern brethren. The ancient Moravia, however, spread far
beyond the limits of the present country of this name, and extended
deep into Hungary. Hence this portion of the Slavic race was also
generally comprised under the name of the Pannonic Slavi. We have
shown above, in the history of the Old Slavonic language, that
Moravia, then for a short period a powerful kingdom, was the principal
theatre of Methodius' exertions.[6] As at this time Christianity had
been already introduced into these regions, and the kings Rostislav
and Svatopluk, as well as most of their subjects, were already
baptized, it is very probable that they were induced by motives of
policy to send to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Oppressed by
the Germans, the usurpations of whose emperors were in a certain
measure sanctioned by the chair of Rome, they desired to secure for
themselves in the Byzantine court a powerful ally. After the
dissolution of the Moravian kingdom in A.D. 1029, the present Moravia
fell to Bohemia; was separated from it repeatedly in the course of the
following centuries; and at length, in the beginning of the
seventeenth century, became together with this kingdom an ingredient
part of the Austrian states.

The Moravians were among the earliest Slavic tribes converted to
Christianity. As early as the seventeenth century a considerable
portion of them were baptized by German priests. It was however not
before the first half of the ninth century, that the first Christian
missionaries entered Bohemia. In the year 845, fourteen Bohemian
princes were baptized at Ratisbon. In the year 894 the duke Borzivog,
the head of the nation, received baptism; but his successors went back
to idolatry, and with them the greatest part of the people.
Christianity was not firmly established in these regions until the
second half of the tenth century. At this time the Slavic liturgy
introduced by Methodius into Moravia was already, in some measure, by
the indefatigable exertions of the Romish German priesthood,
superseded by the Latin worship. Thus it never was fully established
in Bohemia with the exception of a few churches, attached to convents
founded expressly in memory of the Slavic saints, Jerome, Cyril, and
Methodius. Their inmates however were expelled in favour of
German-Bohemian monks, or they died; and with them disappeared every
vestige of the innovations of Cyril and Methodius. Hence the Old
Slavic language, and the noble translation of the Bible extant in
it, have exercised only an inconsiderable influence on the Bohemian

Bohemia, under the sovereignty of her dukes, and from A.D. 1198, under
that of kings, was independent of the German empire, or at least did
not belong to its circles; it recognized however a kind of sovereignty
in that powerful neighbour, and the kings of Bohemia deemed it an
honour to belong to the seven Electors, who chose the worldly head of
Christianity. In the year 1306, the last male descendant of Perzmislas
was murdered. His house had reigned in Bohemia in uninterrupted
succession; although the kingdom was properly not hereditary, but
elective, like Germany, Hungary, and Poland. After a short interval,
the crown of Bohemia fell by succession to the house of Luxemburg, and
thus became several times united with the Roman imperial crown. Under
the emperor Charles IV, Bohemia rose to the summit of its lustre. It
was he who founded, A.D. 1348, the university of Prague, the first
Slavic institution of that description.[8] Under his successor,
Wenceslaus, the war of the Hussites began. In the year 1457. the
Bohemians maintained their right of election by placing George
Podiebrad, a Bohemian, on the throne. The wisdom and equity of this
individual justified their choice. In A.D. 1527, Ferdinand I, archduke
of Austria, was elected king; and from that time the Bohemians have
never again been able to detach themselves from Austria; with the
exception of a short interval, during which the unfortunate palatine
Frederic, known in the history of the thirty years' war, was placed on
their throne. During the fifteenth, sixteenth, and the first half of
the seventeenth, centuries. Bohemia was almost without interruption
the theatre of bloody wars and contests in behalf of their religious
liberties. Then came the awful stillness of death, which reigned for
more than a hundred years over this exhausted and agonized country.
For its revival and its present comparatively flourishing condition,
it is indebted to its own rich natural resources, and to the wiser
policy and milder dispositions of the more recent Austrian sovereigns.

The Bohemian language is the common property not only of the Bohemians
and the Moravians, constituting together about three and a half
millions in number, but also of nearly two millions of Slovaks, those
venerable remains of the ancient Slavic settlements between the
Carpathian mountains and the rivers Theiss and Danube. This people, so
nearly related to the Czekhes, occupy the whole north-western part of
Hungary; and are, besides this, scattered over that whole kingdom.
They _speak_ indeed a dialect or rather several dialects essentially
different from the language spoken in Bohemia and Moravia; but the
circumstance of their having, since the Reformation, chosen the
Bohemian for their literary language, amalgamates their contributions
to literature with those of the Bohemians, and gives them an equal
right to the productions of these latter.

Of all the modern Slavic languages, the Bohemian was the first
cultivated. Two bishops of Merscburg, Boso towards the middle of the
tenth century, and Werner at the close of the eleventh, as also fifty
years later another German priest, Bruno, were above all active in
promoting the holy cause of Christianity by religious instruction. The
application of Latin characters to Slavic words had long been familiar
to the German priesthood; inasmuch as very early attempts had been
made to convert the subjugated Slavic tribes, scattered through the
north of Germany.

They now were applied to the Bohemian, so far as writing was requisite
for religious instruction. According to the old chronicles, there were
even some regular schools erected in those early times, one at Budecz,
near Prague, and another somewhat later in Prague itself, where Latin
was taught. Be this as it may, the Latin and German languages had an
early influence on the formation of the Bohemian. Many foreign words
were adopted and amalgamated with the language; still more were formed
from native roots, after the model of those two idioms. In later times
this capacity of the Bohemian has been greatly improved; it being one
of the few languages, which, in philosophy, theology, and
jurisprudence, have not borrowed their terminology from the Latins and
Greeks, but formed their own technical expressions for ideas received
only in part from other nations. The extraordinary refinement of the
Bohemian verb we have mentioned in our remarks upon the Slavic
languages in general. In respect to free and independent construction,
the Bohemian approaches the Latin; by its richness in conjunctions it
differs essentially from the Russian, and is able to imitate the Greek
in all its lighter shades. Thus it yields neither in copiousness nor
in pliability, neither in clearness nor in precision,[9] to any other
Slavic language; while in respect to lexical and grammatical
cultivation it is superior to all of them. The Bohemian alone, of all
the Slavic languages, has hitherto succeeded in imitating perfectly
the classic metres; although the same degree of capacity for them is
acknowledged in the Southern-Slavic dialects.

After so much well deserved praise, we must also mention, that in
respect to sound, the reproach of harshness and want of euphony has
been made with more justice against none of the Slavic tongues. It
is true that all the reasons, by which we have above seen the Slavic
languages in general defended,[10] apply with equal weight to the
Bohemian in particular. It appears also, that this apparent harshness
is more a production of modern times, than a necessary ingredient of
the original language; for the ancient Bohemian of legends and popular
songs sounds by far more melodious; and the dialects spoken by the
Slovaks, which are kindred to the Old Bohemian, are full of vowels,
and are even distinguished from the other Slavic tongues by
diphthongs. On the other hand, it cannot be denied, that the
accumulation of consonants, in which the Bohemian surpasses by far,
not the Polish, but the southern and eastern languages, and its
peculiar preference of the vowels _e_ and _i_ over the fuller sounding
_a, o, u_, do not add to the euphony of the language; although it
seems singular to bring forward such a reproach against a people so
distinguished for their musical talent.

The history of the Bohemian literature may be divided into five

The _first_ comprises the whole interval from our first knowledge of
the Czekhes to the influence of Huss; or from A.D. 550 to A.D. 1400.

The _second_ period comprises a full century, from Huss to the general
diffusion of the art of printing.

The _third_ period, the golden age of the Bohemian literature,
comprises about the same interval, and extends to the battle at the
White Mountain, A.D. 1620.

The _fourth_ period, extends from the battle at the White Mountain to
the revival of literature in 1774-1780.

The _fifth_ period, covers the interval from 1780 to the present time.


_From the first settlement of the Czekhes, A.D_. 550, _to John Huss,
A.D_. 1400.

Of the language of the Czekhes as it existed when they first settled
in Bohemia, nothing is left, except the names they gave to the rivers,
mountains, and towns, and those of their first chiefs. All these names
entitle us to conclude, that their language was then essentially the
same as at the present time, though more nearly approaching the Old
Slavic. The first _certain_ written documents of the language are not
older than the introduction of Christianity. There were indeed
discovered, about thirty years ago, some fragments of poetry, which
appear to lie derived from the pagan period.[11] The manuscript has
been deposited in the Museum of Prague, and the high beauties and
evident antiquity of these poems have secured them warm advocates and
admiring commentators. But the circumstance that Dobrovsky doubted
their genuineness, induces us to regard this point at least as not
incontestable in respect to the language; in respect to the manners
they describe, and the institutions they allude to, they bear very
strong evidence of a later origin.[12] Another highly valuable
fragment is the celebrated manuscript of Koniginhof, discovered in the
year 1817 by the librarian Hanka, half buried among rubbish and
worthless papers.[13] This collection, the genuineness of which is
subject to no doubt, contains likewise several poems, the original
composition of which belongs evidently to the eighth or ninth century.
But the manuscript itself is not older than the end of the thirteenth
century, and cannot therefore be considered as a sure monument of the
language in an earlier age. All these national songs have an
historical foundation; they celebrate battles and victories; and their
evident tendency is to exalt the national feelings. They have not that
plastic and _objective_ character which makes Homer and the Servian
popular epics so remarkable; and from which it appears that the poet,
during the time of his inspiration, is rather _above_ his subject; but
like the Russian tale of Igor's Expedition, the epic beauties are
merged in the lyric effusions of the poet's own feelings, who thus
never attempts to conceal that his whole soul is engaged in his

The oldest monuments of the Christian age are the names of the days,
which are of pure Slavic origin. Of the Lord's Prayer in Bohemian, on
comparing the oldest copy he could find among the ancient manuscripts,
Dobrovsky presumes that the form must have been about the same in the
ninth or tenth century; although the manuscript itself is somewhat
later. A translation of the _Kyrie eleison_, ascribed to Adalbert
second bishop of Prague, dates from the same time. During the eleventh
and twelfth centuries many convents were founded and schools attached
to them; German artists and mechanics and even agriculturists settled
in Bohemia. The influence of German customs and habits showed itself
more and more, and the nobility began to use in preference the German
language. In the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries,
this influence increased considerably, and exhibited itself most
favourably in the lyric poetry of the time, an echo of the German
Minnesingers; many of the poets belonging like them to the highest
nobility. Of all the Slavic nations, the Bohemian is the only one in
which the flower of chivalry has ever unfolded itself; and the cause
of its development here is doubtless to be sought in their occidental
feudal system, and in their constant intercourse with the Germans. The
natural tendency of the Polish nobility to heroic deeds and chivalrous
adventures was counterbalanced, partly by the oriental character of
their relation to the peasantry, which impressed on them at least as
much of the character of the Asiatic satrap, as of the occidental
knight; and partly by the want of a free middle class in Poland, as
also in Russia. True chivalry indeed does not require simply the
contrast of a low, helpless, and submissive class; its lustre never
appears brighter than when placed side by side with an independent

In calling the Bohemian lyric poetry of this age the echo of the
German, we do not mean to say it was wanting in originality; but wish
rather to convey the idea, that the same spirit inspired at the time
the Bohemians and the Germans, proceeding however from the latter, who
themselves received it from the more romantic Provence. Of these
heroic love-songs very few are left. There are, however, several
productions of this period, in which the German influence is not to be
recognized at all, but which exhibit purely Slavic national features.
We will here enumerate the monuments of the Bohemian language from
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which have been preserved,
before we pass to the fourteenth, which was more productive and
exhibited in some measure a new character.

The most remarkable is the above-mentioned manuscript of Königinhof.
It contains, besides several epic songs partly complete and partly
fragmentary, seven or eight charming lyric pieces. The near
relationship of the Slavic nations among each other, is exhibited in
no feature more strikingly than in their national popular poetry,
especially in the little lyric songs, the immediate effusion of their
feelings, wishes, and cares; whilst epic poetry, which draws her
materials from the external world, must hence, in every nation, be in
some measure modified by their different fortunes and situations. With
the exception of this manuscript and a few scattered love-songs and
tales, all we have from this early period is of a religious character,
viz. a fragment of a history of Christ's passion in rhymes, another of
a legend of the twelve apostles, and a hymn on the merits of the
Bohemian patron saint, Wenceslaus. There is also a complete Psalter in
Bohemian, with a whole series of hymns, or rather rhymed formularies,
corresponding to those sung in the catholic church, viz a _Te Deum,_,
an office for the dead, a prayer for the intercession of all saints,
etc. A piece in prose, entitled "The complaint of a lover on the banks
of the Moldau," a very rare appearance in those early times, was
formerly considered as genuine, on the authority of Linde and
Dobrovsky; but has since been proved to be spurious. The first
historians of Bohemia, Cosmas and Vincentius, born towards the middle
of the eleventh century, wrote both of them in Latin. The chronicle of
the first is still extant.

During the fourteenth century the German influence increased so much,
that the jealousy and impatience of a great part of the nation was
powerfully excited. The king kept a German body guard; German fashions
in dress and manners prevailed at the court; and even in the year
1341, when the privileges of the city of Prague were first solemnly
committed to writing, it was done in the German language. Under the
reign of Charles I, or the emperor Charles IV, for he united the two
crowns on his head, Bohemia, as we have said, reached the highest
point of its splendour. He wisely limited the privileges of the
Germans in his own kingdom; and reconciled the minds of the Bohemians
by granting to them similar privileges in the German empire. He
honoured the Bohemian language so much as to recommend expressly, in
the golden bull, to the sons of the Electors to learn it. His capital,
Prague, was like the apple of his eye; and he did all he could to add
to its embellishments and magnificence. Here he founded in the year
1348 the first Slavic university, on the plan of those of Paris and
Bologna. The influence of this institution, not merely on Bohemia, but
on Germany and indeed all Europe, was decided. From the time of its
foundation until 1410, it was the general resort for students from
among the Poles, Hungarians, Swedes, and Germans. It was doubtless the
wish to give it this very kind of universality, which induced Charles
IV, in the statutes of the institution, to allow to the Bohemians only
one suffrage in the senate, and the three others to foreigners. We
shall show in the sequel, with what jealousy this apparent preference
was received by the natives, and what a violent reaction it caused in
the Bohemian national feelings.

Experience every where teaches, that schools and academies never
enkindle the spark of genuine poetry; nay, that the erection of formal
scientific institutions is even not favourable to the free
developement of that high gift. In Bohemia, too, the fourteenth
century was indeed very productive in rhymed works; but most of them
were utterly deficient in real poetry. On the other hand, as the
natural result of a more strictly logical and clearer mode of
thinking, by reason of a scientific education, the style of the
prose writings became more cultivated, concise, and distinct; and the
direction of mind more general and universal. We find in this period
several historical works, viz. (1) A chronicle in Bohemian rhymes,
extending as far as to 1313, and finished about the year 1318, written
under king John the father of Charles IV, when the influence of the
German had reached its highest point. A glowing hatred against that
nation dictated this work, and made it for more than two hundred years
the favourite book of the Bohemian people. The name of the author is
not ascertained, although it has been usually ascribed to the canon
Dalimil Mezericky.[14] (2) Another Bohemian chronicle, written by
order of Charles IV in Latin, but translated into Bohemian by Przibik
Pulkawa. It was first published by Prochazka in the year 1786; the
Latin original in 1794. (3) Martimiani or the Roman chronicle,
translated A.D. 1400 from the German, by Benesh of Horowic. (4)
Another chronicle of the Roman emperors, translated from the Latin by
Laurentius of Brezow, the writer of several other works, some of which
were printed in the course of the following centuries.--There were
also several collections of laws; among others the oldest Bohemian
statutes, by A. of Duba, a valuable manuscript, preserved in the
imperial library of Vienna; the common and the feudal law, translated
from the Latin and kept in the library of Prague; the celebrated
_Sachsenspiegel_ or laws of Magdeburg, etc. The constant intercourse
with foreigners directed the attention of the Bohemians early to the
utility of acquiring other languages, and made the possession of their
own valuable to foreigners. We find, consequently, not less than seven
dictionaries, or vocabularies as they were called, compiled in the
course of this century; one of which, the _Bohemarius_ so called of
A.D. 1309, is even written in hexameters. As all these vocabularies
are incomplete, and better ones, founded partly upon them, have been
since compiled, they have never, so far as we know, been printed; but
are extant in several copies, and are preserved in the libraries of
Prague, Brünn, and several churches.

Poetry, during this century, took also in Bohemia the same course as
in Germany, and degenerated into loose works of fiction between prose
and verse, mostly allegorical compositions, and the basis of the
modern novel. Such are Tristram, in 9000 verses, a translation from
the German; the life of Alexander and the History of Troy from the
Latin, both of them more novel than history; and a great number of
similar works.[15] Some fragments of an heroic epic, entitled "The
Bohemian Alexander," have been recently found in the archives of
Budweis by Professor Kaubek, and published in the Journal of the
Museum. All the other poetical productions of this century may be
divided into fables, satires, and legends, or other allegorical pieces
of an ecclesiastico-didactic tendency, as may be seen even from
their titles; e.g. the Nine Joys of Mary, the Ten Commandments, the
Five Sources of Sin, etc. All are equally deficient in poetical merit.

With what thoughts the minds of reflecting men and of the reading
class were at this time chiefly occupied, and how well they were
prepared to receive, in the beginning of the following century, the
doctrines of Huss, Jerome, and Jacobellus, those teachers of a purer
system of divinity, is manifested in some measure in the theological
literature of the day. A treatise upon the great distress of the
church, written by a clergyman called John Miliez, before 1370;[16]
several others on the principal Christian virtues; a book of Christian
instruction written by Shtitny, a Bohemian nobleman, for his own
children; a translation of the Jewish Rabbi Samuel's book on the
coming of the Messiah; and several similar works,--all these seem to
indicate that the religious system of the day was no longer able to
satisfy reflecting minds. We find also that a great part of the Bible
was already extant in the Bohemian language in the second half of the
fourteenth century;[17] although not yet collected together. Several
translations of the Psalter from this period; also of the prophets
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel; and the Sunday lessons from the Gospels;
are preserved in manuscript in the libraries of Prague, Vienna, and
Oels in Silesia. Many others have doubtless perished in the lapse of


_From John Huss, A.D. 1400, to the general diffusion of the art of
printing, about A.D. 1500._

At the commencement of the fifteenth century, the university of Prague
was in the zenith of its splendour. Several celebrated German scholars
occupied the professors' chairs, and the average number of students
was twenty thousand. No department of science was neglected; each
faculty had its distinguished teachers; but it was theology which
excited decidedly the warmest national interest among the Bohemians
themselves; it was theology in which the Bohemians maintained the
first rank as teachers. The interest in spiritual things was no longer
confined, as in former times, to those who intended to devote
themselves to the clerical profession; it pervaded all classes, high
and low. Immediately after Wickliffe's death, an intercourse had been
opened between England and Bohemia by the marriage of a Bohemian
princess, Ann, sister of king Wenceslaus, to Richard II of England. A
young Bohemian nobleman, who had finished his studies in Prague,
repaired to Oxford, imbibed the sentiments and opinions of Wickliffe,
and on his return put a copy of all Wickliffe's writings into the
hands of John Huss, at that time one of the professors of theology at
Prague; whose mind was probably already prepared for them, and who
began to study them with great zeal and devotion. Indeed, the
pretensions of the chair of Rome, and the corruption of the clergy,
had been for some time since looked upon in Bohemia with private
disgust and open disapprobation; and when the professors Huss, Jerome,
and Jacobellus, began to declaim against monks, auricular confession,
and the infallibility of the pope, they found a responding echo in the
breasts of their hearers; and all that was novel in their doctrines,
was the boldness with which they were pronounced, and the logical
consistency with which they were justified.

Another difference of opinion, which tended greatly to augment the
excitement then reigning at the university, was the contest between
the two philosophical schools, viz. that of the Realists, who were
defended by Huss, and the Nominalists, to which nearly all the Germans
adhered. This contest became very soon a national affair; or, more
probably, had its principal origin in the unjust privileges of the
Germans and the jealousy of the Bohemians. The preference given to the
former at the foundation of the university, viz. the possession of
three out of the four suffrages in all matters determined by vote,
became anew the subject of debate, and was more especially assailed by
Huss, then rector of the university. After a whole year of resistance,
the king at length yielded. A decree of A.D. 1409 ordained that in
future the proportion should be reversed, so that the Germans should
possess only one suffrage, and the Bohemians three. For this victory
of their national pride, the university, the city, nay the whole
country, had to suffer severely. Immediately after this decision, the
famous literary emigration took place. All the German professors and
students left Prague at once. The immediate consequences of this step
were, the foundation of the universities of Leipzig, Rostock, and
Ingolstadt; and the building up of those of Heidelberg, Erfurt, and
Cracow. Prague never again became what it had been; although it
obtained a transient lustre through the victory itself, and the
eminence and martyrdom of some of its national teachers. Before we
proceed, we must devote a few words to the personal merits and
fortunes of these latter.

John Huss was born A.D. 1373, at Hussinecz, a village in the southern
part of Bohemia; from which he sometimes took the name of Huss of
Hussinecz, or John of Hussinecz. Although without property himself, he
was enabled, at the age of sixteen years, by the pecuniary assistance
of the proprietor of his native village and some other patrons, to
prosecute his studies at the university of Prague, where he
distinguished himself by his abilities and diligence. In the year 1396
he was made Master of Arts, and two years later began to lecture on
philosophical and theological subjects. In A.D. 1402 he was appointed
curate and preacher to the chapel of Bethlehem at Prague, the duties
of which office he united with his professorship. In the same year the
queen Sophia chose him for her confessor. He thus at once acquired an
influence over the people, the students, and at court. It was about
this time that he became acquainted with the writings of Wickliffe. In
the year 1407 he began publicly to oppose and preach against the
errors in doctrine and the corruption then reigning in the church. The
archbishop of Prague, Zbyniek, an illiterate and violent man, whose
ignorance had made him the laughing-stock of the students, by whom he
was called the _Alphabetarius_, or ABC doctor, collected two hundred
manuscripts of Wickliffc's writings; and, without any further
authority from the pope than his previous condemnation of them,
committed them to the flames in the archiepiscopal palace. Huss, both
in his lectures and sermons, not only blamed this act in strong terms;
but translated the _Trilogus_ and several other of Wickliffc's works
into Bohemian, distributed them among laymen and females, and caused
new Latin copies to be made. When the archbishop interdicted his
preaching in the Bohemian language, Huss not only refused to obey, but
continued to spread, by all legal means, those doctrines of Wickliffe
which he approved. At the same time the first translation of the whole
Bible--whether a collection of the parts already extant, or a new
version, we are not informed--appeared, and was distributed in
multiplied copies among the public. It is not known whether this
translation was prepared by Huss; but it is certain that he did what
he could to promote its circulation. On such proceedings the Romish
clergy could not look with tranquillity. Twice he was called to Rome;
twice he disobeyed; and at length appealed to a general council. In
consequence of his doctrines, and of some tumultuous scenes among his
followers, the excess of which he himself highly disapproved, he was
by a decree of pope John XXIII solemnly expelled from the communion of
the church. Deeming himself no longer safe at Prague under the weak
king, he retired to the territory of his friend and patron, Nicholas
of Hussinecz, where he prepared new works, some of which are among his
most powerful ones, and preached repeatedly in the open fields before
an innumerable audience. Those of his works which caused the greatest
sensation, were his treatise 'On the Church,' and a pamphlet entitled
'The Six Errors;' both of which he caused to be fixed on the walls and
gates of the chapel of Bethlehem. Both were directed against
indulgences, against the abuse of excommunication, simony,
transubstantiation, and the like; and, above all, against the
unlimited obedience required by the see of Rome; maintaining that the
Scriptures presented the only rule of faith and conduct for the

In consequence of this conviction, the correction and distribution of
the Bohemian Bible was his constant care. In all his Bohemian writings
he paid an uncommon attention to the language, and exerted a decided
and lasting influence on it. The old Bohemian alphabet, which
consisted of forty-two letters, he arranged anew; and first settled
the Bohemian orthography according to fixed principles.[18] In order
to render it more interesting and impressive to learners, he
imitated Cyril's ingenious mode of giving to each letter the name of
some well-known Bohemian word, which had the same initial letter, e.g.
H, _hospodin_, lord; K, _kral_, king, etc. Thus he devoted his whole
life to the different means of enlightening his countrymen; and justly
considered a general cultivation of the mind as the best preparation
for receiving the truth.

Among the coadjutors of Huss, the most distinguished was Hieronymus
von Faulfisch, more generally known under the name of Jerome of
Prague; who was, like Huss, professor in the university. In erudition
and eloquence he surpassed his friend; he accorded with him in his
doctrinal views; but did not possess the mild disposition, the
moderation of conduct, for which Huss was distinguished. His hatred
against the abuses of the Romish church was so violent, that he used
to trample under his feet the relics regarded as holy by that church.
He is even said to have once ordered a monk who resisted him, to be
thrown into the river. He was so great an admirer of Wickliffe,
several of whose writings he translated into Bohemian, that even when
preaching before the emperor at Buda, he could not but interweave that
reformer's doctrines in his sermons; an imprudence which caused him to
be arrested immediately afterwards at Vienna. He obtained his liberty
in consequence of the solicitation of the university of Prague. He
wrote several works in the Bohemian language, for the instruction of
the people, hymns, pamphlets, etc. His reputation for erudition and
extraordinary powers rests, however, more on the testimony of his
cotemporaries, than on his works, of which very few remain.

Another active assistant of Huss, especially in his improvement and
distribution of the Bohemian Bible, was Jacobellus of Mies, known
under the name Jacobellus of the [sacramental] Cup, on account of his
zeal for the general introduction of the communion in both forms. He
wrote commentaries on some of the epistles, sermons, religious hymns,
etc. He too was a professor in the university of Prague.

In the year 1414 Huss was summoned to appear before the Council of
Constance, to exculpate himself before the united theologians of all
the Christian nations of Europe. Without the least reluctance, and
rather with rejoicing at the opportunity of justifying himself from
the extravagant charges brought against him by his enemies, and of
demonstrating publicly the truth of his doctrines, he obeyed this
call. Provided with a safe conduct from the emperor Sigismund, and
accompanied moreover by several Bohemian noblemen at the express order
of king Wenceslaus, he undertook the journey without fear for his
personal safety, and arrived on the fourth of November at Constance.
Here, before he was permitted to appear in the presence of the general
Council, he had to undergo several private audiences before a few
cardinals; at one of which, about three weeks after his arrival, he
was arrested, cast into prison, and without being tried or even heard,
kept more than _six months_. When the news of this treachery reached
Bohemia, it was felt by the whole people as a national insult. Three
petitions, signed by nearly the whole body of the nobility, were in
the course of time successively tendered to the Council; and as the
two first were without avail, the third was accompanied by one to the
emperor, in which he was reminded of his broken word, in terms so
strong,--he having pledged his imperial honour for the safety of
Huss,--that at length the 5th of June was fixed for a public
hearing. Here however every attempt of Huss, not merely to justify
himself, but even to speak, was frustrated by the most indecent and
tumultuous clamour of the assembled clergy, who loaded him with
invectives and reproaches. In the two following audiences he was
indeed allowed a hearing, at the special demand of the emperor, who
had been disgusted and offended by the indecent behaviour of the
Council. Huss was now permitted to justify himself at large upon all
the forty articles brought against him, most of them founded on his
writings by the frequent aid of the most unfair deduction; but
although he exculpated himself completely from some of the charges,
yet he himself acknowledged so many others, that the Council could
only be confirmed in its previous determination to condemn him as an
obstinate heretic. A month was allowed him, to give in his final
answer. During this time cardinals and bishops tried their eloquence
to persuade him to recant; especially at the instigation of the
emperor, who wished to save his life on account of his own pledged
honour. But all these efforts could not move the faith nor firmness of
this pious and heroic man; and on the 6th of July, A.D. 1415, he was
unanimously condemned, ignominiously degraded from the office of a
priest, and burned alive the same day. His ashes were thrown into the

His friend Jerome of Prague, on hearing of his dangerous situation,
hurried to Constance, to assist and support him, without even waiting
for a safe conduct from the emperor or Council. In the vicinity of
Constance he stopped, and tried all possible means to obtain some
assurance for his personal safety. Not succeeding in this, he felt
himself compelled by prudence to return, although slowly and
reluctantly, to Bohemia. But on the road, in consequence of a dispute
in which he became engaged with some bigoted priests, he was arrested
by the duke of Salzbach and sent to Constance, where the same scenes
were repeated before the Council, as in the case of Huss. At his first
appearance, a thousand voices exclaimed: Away with him! burn him, burn
him! It is most melancholy to read in the reports of the time, that
even this strong and pious man could have been terrified into
temporary submission; not by the prospect of death, which he met
gladly, but by the horrors of a lonely and protracted imprisonment in
a noxious dungeon. But his fortitude did not long abandon him;
tortured by his own conscience, he solemnly announced at the next
audience his recantation; and declared, that of all the sins he had
committed, he repented of none more than his apostasy from the
doctrines he had maintained. In consequence of this he was subjected
to the same condemnation as his illustrious friend; and met his
painful death with the same magnanimity and resignation. He was burnt
the 30th of May, 1416.

The behaviour of both these eminent men; the Christian mildness with
which they bore the infamous treatment of their enemies; the
generosity with which they forgave their persecutors; the patience,
nay cheerfulness of Huss, when during his imprisonment severe bodily
sufferings united with the persecutions of his adversaries to make his
life a heavy burden; the magnanimity and fortitude with which both of
them submitted to their final fate, and maintained the truth of their
religious opinions until the very moment of an excruciating death,
praising the Lord with soul and voice; all this presents one of the
most affecting and at the same time elevating pictures which the
history of martyrs has to exhibit. The eloquence of Jerome made a
powerful impression on his enemies; and there were some moments during
his trial, when even his judges wished to save his life. The
celebrated Poggio Bracciolini, one of the revivers of Italian
literature, happened to be present at the trial and execution of
Jerome; and although not agreeing with him, or rather being
indifferent in point of religion, the eloquence, magnanimity and
amiable deportment of the unfortunate martyr, excited his sympathy and
admiration in an uncommon degree. This is manifested in his letters to
Leonardo Aretius; who in his reply found it advisable to warn his
friend, not to show too much warmth in this matter.[20]

The instigators of these cruel acts, when they kindled the faggots by
which these two martyrs died, did not anticipate that the fire they
had lighted would spread over a whole country, and carry horror and
devastation through the half of Germany. The war by which the
disciples of Huss avenged him, was one of the most bloody and
destructive known in history. The news of his death, when it reached
Bohemia, touched the heart of every individual like an electric spark.
But this is not our province. Keeping only our own object, the fate of
the language and literature in view, we must refer the reader to the
historical accounts of this distressing period, and limit ourselves to
the mention of those events only, which had an immediate influence on
these two topics.

Under the guidance of Nicholas of Hussineccz, the friend and patron of
Huss, in whom even his enemies acknowledged more a defender of the
Reformers, than a persecutor of the Catholics; of Zhizhka of Trocznow,
a Bohemian knight of great valour, but disgraced by cruelty; and,
after the death of these two, under Procopius, formerly a clergyman;
the Hussites carried their victorious arms throughout all Bohemia,
into Silesia, Franconia, Austria, and Saxony; and made these unhappy
countries the theatre of the most cruel devastations. If, divided into
several parties, as they were, they were thus powerful, they would
have been twice as strong, had they been united in the true spirit of
Huss. But even as early as A.D. 1421 dissensions arose among them; and
they finally split into several sects and parties, who mutually hated
each other even more than they did the Romanists. Among these the
Calixtins or Utraquists, whose principal object was to obtain the
sacrament in both forms; and the Taborites, who insisted on a complete
reform of the church; were the two principal. The Calixtins
comprehended the more moderate of the nobility and the wealthy
citizens of Prague; between them and the Romanists a compact was
concluded at Basle, in A.D. 1434, by which a conditional religious
liberty was granted to them, and they acknowledged the emperor
Sigismund as their sovereign; the weak king Wenceslaus having died in
1419. The Taborites were unable to resist any longer the united power
of both parties. They partly dispersed; the rest united in the year
1457, in separate communities, and called themselves United Brethren.
Under the severest trials of oppression and persecution, the number of
these congregations, the form of which was modelled after the
primitive apostolic churches, rose in less than fifty years to two
hundred. In the middle of the sixteenth century, numerous emigrations
to Prussia and Poland took place, where a free toleration was secured
to them. In the beginning of the seventeenth century, their
communities in Bohemia were finally dissolved. From the remnant of
these persecuted Christians, who were called by the Germans, Bohemian
or Moravian Brethren, has sprung the present community of United
Brethren, often called in English, Moravians, which was founded at
Hernhut in 1722, at first under the protection and ultimately under
the patronage and direction of count Zinzendorf.

The consequences of the barbarous measures of the Council of Constance
became immediately visible. Even the common people began to show an
intense interest in the numberless theological pamphlets, which were
published in Bohemia and Moravia for or against Huss. Among the
former, one written by a female deserves to be distinguished. The
copies of the Bohemian Bible became greatly multiplied; many of them
were made by females: and Æneas Sylvius takes occasion to praise the
biblical erudition of the women of the Taborites, whilst the abbot
Stephen of Dolan in Moravia complains of their meddling in
ecclesiastical affairs. In the revision of the text of the Bohemian
Scriptures, the clergy were indefatigable. From 1410 to 1488, when the
Bible was first printed, at least four recensions of the whole Bible
can be distinguished, and several more of the New Testament. The
different parties of the Hussites were united in a warm partiality for
their own language; the Taborites began as early as 1423 to hold their
service in Bohemian. After the compact of 1434, the Calixtins also
attempted to introduce the mass in their own language, an innovation
which caused new disturbances and contests. Meanwhile the language of
the country assumed gradually even among the Romanists its natural
rights; the privileges of the city of Prague, the laws of the
painters' guild, the statutes of the miners, were translated into
Bohemian. At the session of the Estates in Moravia in 1480, the Latin
was exchanged for the Bohemian; in Bohemia itself not before 1495. The
knowledge of the Bohemian language, which Albert duke of Bavaria had
acquired at the court of king Wenceslaus, where he was educated, had
a decided influence on the Bohemian Estates, when in 1441 they offered
him their crown. Under George Podiebrad, diebrad, a Bohemian by birth,
this language even became that of the court. After the death of
George, one of the reasons which led to the election of Vladislaus,
king of Poland, was, that the Bohemians "could hope to see elevated
through him the glory of the Bohemian nation and of the Slavic
language." [21] Under this king all ordinances and decrees were issued
in the Bohemian language, which gained prodigiously in pliancy and
extent by the application of it to different uses. The most favourable
influence on its formation, however, was effected towards the close of
the fifteenth century, by the custom which began to prevail of
studying the classics, and of translating them with all the fidelity
of which the idiom was capable. Thus fostered by judicious application
and patriotic feeling, the Bohemian language approached, with rapid
steps, the period of its _golden age_,--a time, indeed, in a political
respect, of oppression, war, and devastation; but affording a
gratifying proof, how powerfully moral means may counteract physical

At the head of the theological literature of this period may be named
the Life of Huss, written by P. Mladienowicz. Although, strictly
speaking, not a theological book, yet this character was in some
measure impressed upon it by the custom which prevailed for a time, of
causing it to be read aloud in the churches, in order to communicate
to the people all the circumstances of the martyr's death.
Mladienowicz, acting as a notary at Constance, had been an eye-witness
of the whole transaction. Among the Romish theological writers of the
day, Hilarius Litomierzicky, ob. 1467, Rosenberg bishop of Breslau,
Simon of Tishnow, and others, wrote against the practice of communion
in both forms. But they were inferior to their adversaries in talent,
and still more in productiveness. Rokycana, archbishop of the
Calixtins, ob. 1471, Koranda, Mirosh, and others, defended their right
to the sacramental cup; and exerted their pens in doctrinal
controversies with the other sects. The Bohemian Brethren, Paleczek,
Procopius, Simon, Mirzinsky, and others, wrote interpretations of
portions of the Scriptures, polemical pamphlets, religious hymns,
apologies, and the like, partly printed, and partly preserved in
manuscript. In the contests of the different parties, the use of
weapons of every description was regarded as lawful; and among them,
satire and irony were employed with much skill and dexterity by the
Hussites.[22] Uricz of Kalcnicz wrote a satirical letter from Lucifer
to Lew of Rozhmital. Bohuslav of Czechticz partly wrote and partly
compiled the work, "Mirror of all Christendom," with many remarkable
illustrations.[23] The Bohemian brother, Chelcicky, ob. 1484, called
also the Bohemian doctor, because he did not understand Latin, and of
course neither Greek nor Hebrew, undertook, nevertheless, besides
several other works, to write an interpretation of the Sunday Lessons
of the Gospels. His most popular book, called _Kopyta_, i.e. "The
Shoe-last," (being himself a shoemaker by trade,) which was much read
by the common people, is no longer extant. A pamphlet of Martin
Lupacz, ob. 1468, called "The Sprinkling-brush," was likewise in the
hands of every body. This clergyman, however, acquired better claims
on the gratitude of his cotemporaries, by a careful revision of the
New Testament, which he undertook with the aid of several learned
friends. Indeed, both among clergymen and laymen, there was an ardent
desire for the right understanding of the Scriptures; which induced
many individuals, who were not satisfied with the existing Bohemian
translations, to undertake the task themselves anew.

Out of this period alone the manuscripts of thirty-three copies of the
whole Bible, and twenty-two of the New Testament, are still extant;
partly copied from each other, partly translated anew; all, however,
having been made from the Vulgate.[24] The Bohemian versions made from
the original languages belong to the following period.

Although religion filled the minds of the learned during this period
more than in any other, it did not absorb their interest so entirely
as to occupy them exclusively. It could not, however, be expected,
that in the midst of such struggles, both political and religious, the
minds of men could elevate themselves so far above their
circumstances, as to look at any science or art in the light of its
independent value. Poetry, at least, with a few exceptions, was only
regarded as the handmaid of religion. We find many books of legends,
biographies of the fathers and saints, both prose and rhyme, written
partly by Romish, partly by Hussite writers. The doctrines of Huss did
not, like those of Luther a century later, shake the belief in saints.
Dobrovsky mentions a very ancient printed work of 1480, in which the
letters of Huss, his life by Mladionowicz, and the letter of Poggio on
the execution of Jerome, are annexed to a _Passional_, as such
collections of the lives and sufferings of the saints are called.
There is also an abundance of Taboritic war-songs; many of them
replete with life and fire. These appear to have been partly founded
on ancient Bohemian popular songs; for there are passages in them
which are also to be found in the old chronicles. Altered to suit the
existing circumstances, their effect must have been the more powerful
by association. This period was also rich in religious hymns; most of
them translated from the Bible as literally as the rhyme would permit.
But no form of poetry was more used, and none operated more strongly
on the minds of the people, than the satirical ballads, with which the
streets and alleys every where resounded. All these productions are
only remarkable, as characteristic memorials of the age. Hynck of
Podiebrad, fourth son of king George, who was born A.D. 1452, a highly
accomplished and amiable man, is named as one of the most
distinguished among the Bohemian poets of the age.

Politics, too, united with religion. Stibor of Cimburg, a patriotic
and distinguished nobleman, wrote in 1467 an ingenious work in the
form of a novel, "On the goods of the Clergy;" Waleczowsky wrote on
the vices and hypocrisy of the clergy; and Zidek, in 1471,
instructions on government. All these books were dedicated to king
George, and the latter work was even written at his instigation. Hagck
of Hodielin, and Wlezek, between 1413 and 1457, wrote strategetical
works. Marco Polo's description of the East, and Mandeville's Travels,
were translated from the Latin. Kabatnik, J. Lobkowicz, and Bakalarz,
wrote descriptions of Palestine between 1490 and 1500; the two first
in books of travels. Mezyhor wrote a journal of the travels of Lew of
Rozhmital, whom he accompanied as jester through Europe and a part of
Asia. Collections of statutes, of the decrees of diets, of judicial
decisions, and of other documents, were made by patriotic and
sometimes eminent men; and those merely extant in Latin were carefully
translated into Bohemian.[25] Thus they gathered materials for future
historians, although in their own day the field of history was but
poorly cultivated, or at least with no more than common ability; for,
as to quantity, there is no want. Procopius, following out the example
of Dalimil, wrote a new rhymed chronicle; Bartosh of Drahenicz wrote a
chronicle extending from 1419 to 1443, in barbarous Latin, to which he
added some notes in Bohemian. Several other chronicles, the authors of
which are not known, serve as continuations of those of the preceding
century, which were devoted to the affairs of their own country. The
above-mentioned Zidck, on the other hand, undertook to write a
universal history, after the division of time then customary, into six
ages. This book forms the third part of his great work, "Instructions
on Government," to which we have above alluded. In this work the
author seizes every opportunity to lecture the king, to give him
advice, and to rebuke him. According to Dobrovsky, his boldness not
unfrequently degenerates into coarseness and insolence. It is an
amusing reproach, which among others he brings against the king, that
he had net one camel, whilst Job had six thousand. The same individual
wrote also a large work in Latin, a kind of Cyclopædia, the manuscript
of which is in the library of the university of Cracow.

We finish the history of this period with a short account of the state
of medicine and natural sciences in Bohemia. It is true, that the
greater part of the learned men who wrote on these subjects, preferred
the use of the Latin language. But many of them were in the habit of
making at least Bohemian extracts or abridgments of their most popular
works, or sometimes had the whole of them translated by their pupils.
Among the medical writers of this time, Christian Prachatitzky a
clergyman, John Czerny and Claudian Bohemian brethren, Albik, and
Gallus, must be mentioned; the two latter wrote only in Latin.

This section of the Bohemian literature is particularly rich in
herbals. Several works of instruction in botany were also written. A
manuscript of 1447, "On the inoculation of Trees," may be mentioned
here, although belonging rather to the department of agriculture.

The Bohemian language, although improving and evidently rising in
esteem with every lustrum of the fifteenth century, had however not
yet supplanted the Latin. Many of the most eminent among the learned
of this period preferred still to write in Latin: as Hieronymus
Balbus, Bohuslav, Hassenstein of Lobkowic, Shlechta, Olomucius, and a
number of others; who all contributed nevertheless to elevate the
glory of the Bohemian name, and could not but exert a powerful
influence on the nation.

In respect to the date of the introduction of printing into Bohemia,
the first regular printing establishment at Prague is not older than
A.D. 1487. Several Bohemian books, however, were printed before this
time by travelling workmen. In regard to the first work printed in the
Bohemian language historians are not entirely agreed. According to
Jungmann,[26] a letter from Huss to Jakaubek, of 1459. was the first
specimen of Bohemian printing; the above-mentioned chronicle of Troy
of 1468 the second; and the New Testament of 1475 the third. According
to Dobrovsky, the New Testament of 1475 is the earliest printed work
in Bohemian. From that year to 1488, only seven Bohemian works appear
to have been issued from the press; among which was a Psalter and
another New Testament. In 1488, after the foundation of a regular
printing office, the whole Bohemian Bible was printed for the first
time; in the same year the History of Troy again, and the Roman
chronicle; and in the following year the first Bohemian almanac, and
the Bible of Kuttenberg. The subsequent editions belong, as to time,
to the following period; but are given in the note below.[27]


_Golden age of the Bohemian Literature. From the diffusion of
printing, about A.D._ 1500, _to the battle at the White Mountain,
A.D._ 1620.

It is chiefly for the sake of clearness and convenience, that writers
on the literary history of Bohemia separate this period from the
former; in its character and its genius it was entirely the same. What
the Bohemians had _acquired_ in the one, they _possessed_ in the
other; what they had only aimed at in the former, they reached in the
latter; what had been the property of a few, was now augmented by an
abundant harvest in their diligent hands, and enriched a multitude.
But the objects, the stamp, the character, of both centuries were
essentially the same. Literary cultivation, which during the sixteenth
century was every where else monopolized by the clergy and a few
distinguished individuals, was now in Bohemia the common property of
the people; who for the most part embraced the evangelical doctrines
in their manifold, though but little differing shades. But although
religion was to them the object of chief interest, it was yet far from
occupying their minds exclusively. And this is the point, in which the
history of the Bohemian Reformation materially differs from that of
some other countries. Luther's elevated mind did not indeed give room
to narrow prejudices against those flowers of life, with which a kind
Creator has adorned this earth. But almost all the other Reformers
were led, either by a one-sided zeal or by circumstances, to show
themselves decidedly opposed to the cultivation of elegant literature
and the fine arts; they destroyed or banished pictures, music,
statuary, and every thing which they could in any way regard as
worldly temptations to allure men from the only source of truth and
knowledge; nay, they sometimes went so far as to look at science and
art in themselves only in the light of handmaids to religion; and to
deem a devotion to them without such reference, as sinful worldliness.
Of such narrowness we do not find a trace in the fathers of the
Bohemian Reformation, who were themselves men of high intellectual
cultivation; and even their most zealous followers kept themselves
nearly free from it. If, as we have seen in the preceding period,
political, poetical, and religious subjects were merged in each other,
it was only the necessary result of the confusion occasioned by the
struggles of the time. Where one object is predominant, all others
must naturally become subordinate; but wherever that which appears
amiable only as the free tendency of the whole soul, is exacted as a
duty, a spiritual despotism is to be feared; of which we find very
little in the history of Bohemian literature. The classics never were
studied with more attention and devotion, were never imitated with
more taste. Italy, the cradle of fine arts, and then the seat of
general cultivation, was never visited more frequently by the Bohemian
nobility, than when three-fourths of the nation adhered to the
Protestant Church. At the very time, too, when the Bohemian
Protestants had to watch most closely their religious liberties, and
to defend them against the encroachments of a treacherous court, they
did not deem it a desertion of the cause of religion to unite with the
same Romanists, whose theological doctrines they contested, in their
labours in the fields of philology, astronomy, and natural philosophy.

The extent of the Bohemian national literature increased during the
sixteenth century so rapidly; the number of writers augmented so
prodigiously; and the opportunities for literary cultivation presented
to the reading public, by the multiplication of books through the
press, became so frequent; that the difficulty of giving a condensed
yet distinct picture of the time is greatly augmented. A sketch of the
political situation of the country may serve as a back-ground, in
order by its gloomy shades to render still brighter the light of a
free mental development.

After the death of George Podiebrad in 1471, the Bohemians--or rather
the catholic party, after the pope had excommunicated this
prince--elected Vladislaus, a Polish prince, for their king; who, like
his son and successor Louis, united on his head the crowns of Hungary
and Bohemia. The different evangelical denominations were during these
reigns in some measure tolerated; except that from time to time a
persecution of one or another sect broke out, and again after a year
or two was dropped, when the minds of the community had become
somewhat pacified. It is a melancholy truth for the evangelical
Christian, that at this time the most violent persecutors were to be
found among the Calixtins or Utraquists. During the first years of the
sixteenth century, persecution was mostly directed against the United
Brethren and their writings. The latter were burned; the former
banished; until, driven from place to place, they found an asylum in
the territory of some high-minded nobleman, where they established
themselves anew; and then after some years perhaps a new persecution
began. Of a more revolting and bloody description were the measures
directed principally against the Lutherans in the years 1522-26; in
which the most shocking tortures were employed, and several faithful
Lutherans and Picardites were burned alive. During all this time the
Romanists and Calixtins exercised a severe censorship; and it was
ordained, that every individual who brought a newly printed book into
the city of Prague, must submit it to the revision of the consistory.
These laws, however, were no better observed than all similar
ordinances, when directly in opposition to the spirit of the age.
Meanwhile the Calixtins and Romanists, although writing against all
others, had their own mutual contests. When, however, the former
caused a new edition of the Bible to be printed in the year 1506,[28]
it was unanimously adopted by the Roman Catholics also; who, as is
amusing to observe, did not notice that a wood cut is appended to the
sixth chapter of the Apocalypse, in which the pope is represented in
the flames of hell.

In the year 1526 king Louis died in the battle of Mohaez.

According to a matrimonial treaty, he was succeeded by his
brother-in-law Ferdinand, archduke of Austria and brother of the
emperor Charles V. This prince was received by the Bohemians with
reluctance as their king, and only on the condition, insisted on by
the Estates, that he should subscribe the compact of Basle, by which
their religious liberties were secured to them. So long as Ferdinand
was occupied in Hungary against the Turks, all went well in Bohemia;
but when, in the war which followed the league of Smalkalde (1547),
the Protestants of this country refused to fight against their
brethren, a new and unremitted persecution began against all, who
could in any way be comprised under the name of _sectarians_. The
compact of Basle was strictly only in favour of the Utraquists or
Calixtins; the Lutherans and Taborites, or, as they were then called,
United Brethren, as also the Picardites and Grubenheimer, were
considered as _sects_, and did not belong to the indulged.[29] Their
churches were shut up; their preachers arrested; and all who did not
prefer to exchange their religion for the Roman Catholic, were
compelled to emigrate. The scene altered under Maximilian II,
Ferdinand's successor, a friend of the Reformation, and in every
respect one of the most excellent princes who ever took upon himself
the responsibility of directing the destinies of a nation; to use
Schaffarik's happy metaphor, the benefits of his administration fell
on the field, which Ferdinand's strength had ploughed, like a mild and
fertilizing rain. During his life, and the first ten years of his son
Rudolph's reign, Bohemia was in peace: the different denominations
were indulged; literature flourished, and the Bohemian language was at
the summit of its glory. But we regret to add, that the Protestants,
instead of improving this fortunate period by uniting to acquire a
legal foundation for their church, instead of a mere indulgence
depending on the will of the sovereign, lived in constant mutual
warfare, and attempted only to supplant each other. An ordinance in
1586 against the Picardites, a name under which the Bohemian Brethren
were then comprehended; and still more the strict censorship
introduced in 1605; first aroused them to unite their strength against
oppression; and in 1609 they compelled the emperor to subscribe the
celebrated _Literæ Imperatoriæ_, or edict, by which full liberty in
matters of religion was secured to them. During the rest of this
period, the Protestants remained the ruling party. The university of
Prague, by the side of which from A.D. 1556 another of the Jesuits
existed, was by that treaty given entirely into their hands. This
institution, although in consequence of the foundation of so many
similar schools it never recovered completely from the shock it
received in 1410, and though for more than a hundred years it had been
decidedly on the decline, yet rose in reputation towards the middle of
the sixteenth century; and among the professors who filled its chairs,
there were always celebrated names. Among the schools of a less
elevated rank, those of the Bohemian Brethren at Bunzlau, Prerow, and
other places, were distinguished.

Rudolph was a great patron of literature and science; and was quite
favourably disposed towards the Bohemian language. Nearly two hundred
writers were numbered under his reign; and among these many ladies and
gentlemen of his court, of which Tycho Brahe, Kepler, and other
scientific foreigners were the chief ornaments. Zeal for the
cultivation of their mother tongue, seemed to be the point in which
all religious denominations in Bohemia united. But during this
century, as in the preceding one, the language of the country existed
only side by side with the Latin; which was still preferred by many,
for the sake of a more general reputation. It became the chief object
of other eminent men, to make their countrymen acquainted with the
classics in a Bohemian dress; and to improve the language by a strict
imitation of Latin and Greek forms. Among these a rich and noble
citizen of Prague named George Hruby must be first named;[30] also
Pisecky, ob. 1511, who translated Isoerates' Epistle to Demonicus;
Nicholas Konacz and Ulric of Welensky, the translators of Lucian;
Krupsky, of Plutarch; Ginterod, of Xenophon's Cyropaedia. Kocyn,
celebrated for his eloquence and other gifts, translated the
ecclesiastical history of Eusebius and Cassiodorus; Orliczny, the
Jewish wars of Josephus, several of the Latin classics, etc.

When we consider this general zeal for the cultivation of the
language, it is a matter of surprise that the first Bohemian grammar
should not be older than A.D. 1533. Its author was Benesh Optat, who
also translated Erasmus' Paraphrase of the New Testament. Another
grammar was published by Beneshowsky in 1577, a third by the Slovak
Benedicti in 1603. But the individual to whom is justly assigned the
chief merit in regard to the language, is Weleslawin, ob. 1599,
professor of history in the university of Prague, and the proprietor
of the greatest printing establishment in Bohemia. Partly by his own
works, original and translated, and among these three dictionaries for
different purposes; partly by the encouragement he gave to other
writers, and the activity with which he caused works whether old or
new deserving of a greater circulation, to be printed; he acquired a
most powerful influence among his cotemporaries.

The field however which was cultivated with the most diligence, was
that of theology; and fortunately, during this whole period, with an
equal measure of talent and zeal. The writings of the Bohemian
Brethren, Thomas Prelavsky, Laurentius Krasonicky, and more
especially of Lucas, belong partly to the former, partly to the
present period. The latter was a most productive writer; and as being
one of their best scholars, he was generally chosen to answer the
charges made against the United Brethren, in learned and elaborate
pamphlets.[31] Several of the productions of the Brethren, mentioned
in the former period, were written and printed in the beginning of
this. Among these in 1508, Procopius' question. "Whether it is right
for a Christian to compel infidels or heretics to embrace the true
faith?" is remarkable, as one of the earliest instances in which this
position of intolerance was made the subject of public debate, or at
least answered in the negative. In 1563 the New Testament was first
translated directly from the Greek, by J. Blahoslav, another
president of the Bohemian Brethren, a man of profound erudition. The
first translation of the whole Bible from the original languages, did
not take place until several years later. The first edition of this
latter splendid work, for which the patriotic and pious baron John of
Zherotin expressly founded a printing office in his castle of Kralicz
in Moravia, and advanced money for all the necessary expenses, was
printed in 1579. This version is still considered, in respect to
language, as a model; and in respect to typography, as unsurpassed.
On the fidelity of the translation and the value of the commentary,
Schaffarik remarks, that "they contain a great deal of that which,
two hundred years later, the learned _coryphaei_ of exegesis in our
day have exhibited to the world as their own profound discoveries."
The translators were Albert Nicolai, Lucas Helic, Joh. Aeneas, George
Stryc, E. Coepolla, J. Ephraim, P. Jessenius, and J. Capito.--G.
Stryc wrote also a good translation of the Psalms in rhyme, and
several theological works. J. Wartowsky likewise translated the Old
Testament from the Hebrew and left it in manuscript; but his version
has never been published. Of his translation of Erasmus' Paraphrase
of the Gospels, only that of the Gospel of Matthew has been printed.
Among the Bohemian Brethren, Augusta surnamed Pileator, ob. 1572,
Stranensky, the above-mentioned Blahoslav, Zamrsky, ob. 1592, were
distinguished by great erudition. They and many others wrote
voluminous works on theological subjects, e.g. biblical researches,
systematic divinity, sermons, etc. Several of these writers, and also
many others, were authors of numerous religious hymns; among which
not a few are still considered as unsurpassed in any language.
Nicholas Klaudian, who was at the same time physician, printer, and
theologian, wrote an apology in favour of the Brethren. This
individual, who, besides being the printer and editor of several
medical works written by himself and others, was in part the
translator of Seneca and Lactantius, has further the merit of having
published in 1518 the first map of Bohemia. Luther's sermons and
other writings were translated into Bohemian; and the religious
affairs of Germany began to excite an intense interest among all

The theological productions of this period written by Roman
Catholics--among which we distinguish the names of Pishek surnamed
Scribonius, Makawsky, and the Jesuits Sturm and Hostowin--are mostly
of a polemical character; while some also are translations of the
fathers, especially of Augustine's writings; or original ascetic
productions in the form of allegorical novels. Among the Utraquists
several individuals were celebrated as preachers; above all Ctibor
Kotwa, who was called the Bohemian Cicero, and Dicastus Mirkowsky.
Others wrote theological treatises and interpretations of portions of
the Scriptures. Such were Beransky, author of an interpretation of
Daniel, of the gospels, and the epistles; Orliczny, or, as he is
called in Latin, Aquilinas, known chiefly as a translator of the
classics;[32] Turnowsky, a Slovak by birth; Bydzhowsky, Bilegowsky the
writer of a Bohemian church history and of a history of the Hussites
and Picardites; Rwaczowsky, Zeletawsky, Tesak, author of many popular
religious hymns; Palma, who published towards twenty theological
works; Peshina, Maurenin, and Borowsky, who wrote interpretations of
the epistles and gospels; Wrbensky, author of a biblical Synopsis, a
Harmony, etc.; Rosacius Sushishky, distinguished as a Latin poet;
Martin of Drazow, Jacobides Stribrsky, Jakesius Prerowsky. and

There are few among the theological writers of this century,--of whom
we have named perhaps the twentieth part,--who have not left at least
ten volumes of their own writings; while many have reached twice, and
some thrice the number. More than one third of the printed works in
this department contain sermons. The eloquence of the pulpit acquired
a high degree of cultivation; and besides the two Utraquist preachers
mentioned above, many other names were celebrated among them. In
respect to erudition, however, the Brethren occupied decidedly the
first rank. In religious hymns all sects were equally productive; and
there are, as we have mentioned already, not a few among them of a
high excellence. To the names of spiritual poets alluded to in the
preceding paragraphs, we may here add the following: T. Sobeslawsky
Reshatko, Gryllus, Herstein of Radowesic, Horsky, Mart. Pisecky,
Taborsky, Sylvanus a Slovak by birth and called by way of eminence
_Poeta Bohemicus_, Chmelowecz, Mart. Philomusa, Karlsberg, Hanush; and
more especially Lomnicky, _poeta laureatus_, who is regarded as the
first Bohemian poet of that age.

These names comprise also nearly all we have to say of the state of
Bohemian poetry in general. Not that some of them did not occasionally
desert the sacred muse, and compose specimens of secular poetry; for
some of Lomnicky's larger and most celebrated works belong to this
class, as may be seen by the titles; e.g. 'The arrows of Cupid,' 'The
golden Bag,' etc.[34]

But every thing of real poetical value is of a religious character;
and bears too much the stamp of its age, to be relished at the present
day. The secular poets of the time wrote, with a few exceptions, in

Among the historians of merit we may name the following writers of
Bohemian history: Hagek of Liboczan, Kuthen, Procopius Lupacz,
Paprocky a Pole who however wrote some of his works in the Bohemian
language, Racownicky, and the above-mentioned Weleslawin and
Bilegowsky. In respect to universal history, or that of other lands,
we find the names of Placel, Sixt von Ottersdorf, Konstantinovicz,
Kocin, and others. This period is equally rich in valuable books of
travels. Count Wratislaw of Mitrowicz, ob. 1635, described his
interesting embassy from Vienna to Constantinople; C. Harant, a
courtier and statesman, published his travels in Egypt and Palestine;
Prefat of Wlkanow likewise gave a description of his journey from
Prague to Palestine; Charles of Zherotin, the son of the munificent
patron of the United Brethren, and like him their protector and
friend, left letters and a description of his travels.

As lawyers, orators, and political writers, the following names may be
adduced: Baron Kocin of Kocinet, whom we have had occasion to mention
repeatedly; the counts Sternberg, Wratislaw of Mitrowicz, and Slawata;
the latter known as one of the persons thrown from a lofty window of
the castle by the violence of count Thurn--one of the introductory
scenes of the thirty years' war; Baron Budowecz of Budow, equally
excellent as a Christian and a statesman, the protector and public
defender of the Bohemian Brethren, and faithful to his religious
conviction until his last breath; Christopher Harant, another nobleman
of great merit, whom we have mentioned above as a traveller in the
East. Both these last were executed in 1621. Writers of merit in the
department of jurisprudence, were also the counsellors Ulric of
Prostiborz under Ferdinand I, Wolf of Wresowicz, the chancellor
Koldin, and others. But on topics like these, by far the greater
number wrote only in Latin; and these of course we do not mention

Writers on the medical and natural sciences we cannot well separate;
since, in most cases, the same individuals distinguished themselves in
the departments of medicine, astronomy, and mathematics. The
following, along with many others, are named with distinction: Th.
Hagek, body physician of the emperors Maximilian and Rudolph, and a
celebrated astronomer; Zhelotyn, author of medical and mathematical
works; Zaluzhansky, physician and naturalist, who anticipated Linnæus
in his doctrine of the sexual distinction and impregnation of plants;
P. Codicillus, historian, philosopher, theologian, and astronomer, who
wrote on all these different subjects; Huber von Reisenbach, a
physician and rector of the university of Prague; Shud, a celebrated
astronomer; and many more.[35]

The number of books printed during this period cannot well be
ascertained; since by far the greater number were burned, or otherwise
destroyed, in the dreadful catastrophe which signalized its close.
Prague alone had eighteen printing offices; and fourteen more existed
in other places in Bohemia and Moravia. Besides these, many Bohemian
books were printed at Venice, Nürnberg, Wittenberg, and some in
Holland and Poland.

In 1617, the emperor Matthias succeeded in obtaining the crown of
Bohemia for his nephew Ferdinand, archduke of Austria. This was the
signal for the Romanists, in spite of the _Literæ Imperatoriæ_ of the
emperor Rudolph, to make new attempts for the suppression of the
Protestants. The Estates belonging to this denomination brought their
complaint before the emperor, who gave them no redress; and thus the
spark was kindled into flames, which for thirty years continued to
rage throughout all Germany. At the death of Matthias in 1619, the
Bohemians refused to receive Ferdinand II as their king; and elected
the Protestant palatine Frederic V, a generous prince, but incapable
of affording them support. The battle at the White Mountain, near
Prague, in 1620, decided the destiny of Bohemia. Twenty-seven of the
leaders of the insurrection were publicly executed; sixteen were
exiled or condemned to prison for life; their property, as also the
possessions of seven hundred and twenty-eight noblemen and knights,
who had voluntarily acknowledged themselves to have taken part in the
insurrection, and of twenty-nine others who had fled, was wholly
confiscated; and thus the amount of fifty-three millions of rix
dollars transferred from Protestant to Romish hands. The _Literce
Imperatorice_ were annulled; the Protestant religion in Bohemia
abolished; and that kingdom declared a purely catholic hereditary
monarchy. All non-catholic preachers were banished; thirty thousand
families, who preferred exile to a change of their religion,
emigrated. Among them 185 were noble families; the others artists,
mechanics, merchants, and labourers. Yet in the villages, among the
woods and mountains, where neither soldier nor Jesuit had penetrated,
and there alone, many Protestants remained, buried in a fortunate
obscurity. From the time of this catastrophe, the Bohemian language
has never again been used in public business. The thirty years' war
completed the devastation of this unfortunate country. In 1617,
Bohemia had 732 cities and 34,700 villages; when Ferdinand II died in
1637, there remained 130 cities and 6000 villages; and its three
millions of inhabitants were reduced to 780,000.


_From the battle at the White Mountain, A.D_. 1620, _to the Revival of
Literature in A.D_. 1774-80.

Of this melancholy period we have but little to say. A dull pressure
lay upon the nation; it was as if the heavy strokes inflicted on them
had paralyzed their very limbs. Innumerable monks came to Bohemia from
Italy, Spain, and the south of Germany, who condemned and sacrificed
to the flames every Bohemian book as necessarily heretical. There were
individuals who boasted having burned with their own hands 60,000
literary works. They broke into private houses, and took away whatever
Bohemian books they could find. Those which they did not burn, were
deposited in separate chambers in the convents, provided with iron
grates, bolts, and chains, drawn before the door, on which was
written. _The Hell_. They distributed pamphlets respecting hell and
purgatory, the reading of which produced derangement of mind in many
weak persons; until, at last, the government was wise enough to lay a
severe prohibition upon these measures. The Bohemian emigrants indeed
continued to have their religious books printed in their foreign
homes; but they wrote comparatively few new works. These however they
contrived to introduce into Bohemia, where they were answered by the
Jesuits and Capuchins in thick folio volumes, written in a language
hardly intelligible. There were however some honourable exceptions
among these fathers; some persons, who, independent of religious
prejudices; continued to labour for the benefit of a beloved mother
tongue. The Jesuits Konstanz, Steyer, and Drachovsky, wrote
grammatical works, and the two first attempted to translate the Bible
anew. Plachy, ob. 1650, Libertin, and Taborsky, were distinguished
preachers; Peshina, ob. 1680, Hammerschmidt, ob. 1731, and Beckowsky,
ob. 1725, wrote meritorious historical works; Rosa, ob. 1689, composed
another grammar and a dictionary. Others wrote in Latin; and among
these must be named the Jesuit Balbin, ob. 1688, who prepared several
historical and bibliographical works of importance, part of which,
however, were not published until long after his death.[36]

We turn once more to the unfortunate emigrants, and in the midst of
the distress, privations, and sacrifices, which were the natural
accompaniments of their exiled condition, we rejoice to meet with a
name, which owes its splendour not alone to the general poverty of the
period; but which outshines even the most distinguished of the former
age, and is indeed the only one in the literary history of Bohemia,
which has acquired a _European_ fame. This is Comenius, the last
bishop of the Bohemian Brethren. Although he belongs partly to the
former period, and, in respect to his style, decidedly to the golden
age of the Bohemian. literature, the time of his principal activity
falls within this melancholy interval. A few words may be devoted to
the life of this remarkable individual. He was born A.D. 1592, in the
village of Komna in Moravia. His baptismal names were John Amos; his
father had probably no family name, as was frequently the case at that
time among the lower classes throughout all Europe. According to the
custom of the time, he was called Komnensky from his native place, the
Latin form of which is Comnenius, or more commonly Comenius. His
parents, who belonged to the community of the Brethren, sent him to
school at Herborn. He distinguished himself so much as to be made
rector at Prerow, when only twenty-two years old; and two years later
was transferred to Fulnck. In 1618 this latter city was plundered by
the Spaniards, and Comenius lost all his books and other property.
When the great persecution of the Protestants broke out, he fled to
Poland. Here he found many of his countrymen, of the sect of the
Brethren, whom the persecutions of the former century had already
driven hither, and who had here gathered themselves into communities
essentially of the same constitution; although in some measure they
were amalgamated with the dissenters in Poland. In 1632 they elected
him their bishop. In 1631 he published his _Janua linguarum
reserrata_, a work which spread his fame over all the world, and which
was translated into twelve European languages, and also into Persian,
Arabic, and Mongolian. His object in this work was to point out a new
method of teaching languages, by which they were to be used as keys
for acquiring other useful knowledge. In 1641 he was invited to
England to prepare a new arrangement of the schools; but the civil war
having prevented the execution of this project, he went from England
to Sweden, whither the chancellor Oxenstiern had invited him for a
similar purpose. After protracted journeys through half Europe, he
returned to Lissa, the principal seat of his activity. In 1659 be
published his _Orbis pictus_, the first picture-book for children
which ever appeared, and which acquired the same reputation as the
work above-mentioned. The war and the destruction of Lissa compelled
him some years later to leave Poland; he sought another asylum in
Germany, and settled at length at Amsterdam, where be died in 1671,
occupied with literary pursuits until his last hour. According to
Adelung, he wrote not less than ninety-two works, of which only
fifty-four have come down to us; and among these, twenty are in the
Bohemian language. His style has a classical perfection; the contents
of his works are manifold, and have mostly lost their interest for
the present age.[37] In the last years of his life Comenius is said to
have devoted himself to a mystical interpretation of the prophetic
Scriptures; he discovered in the Revelation of St. John the state of
Europe, as it then was; awaited the millennium in the year 1672; and
believed in the far-famed Bourignon, as an inspired prophetess.

A few names only among the emigrants require to be mentioned as
writers, after Comenius. They may find their place here: Paul
Stransky, who was exiled in 1626 and found an asylum as professor at
Thorn, wrote a history of Bohemia in Latin in 1643, which was
translated and accompanied with supplements and corrections by
Cornova, in 1792. Elsner, pastor of the Bohemian Brethren at Berlin,
and Kleich at Zittau, printed works for religious instruction and
devotional exercises for Protestants.

The greater part of what was written during this period proceeded from
the Slovaks in Hungary, a nation related to the Bohemians in race and
language, who after the Reformation had adopted the Bohemian dialect
as their literary language.[38] Although also constantly struggling
against oppression and persecution, the Protestants in Hungary were
not formally annihilated, as in Bohemia; but belonged rather to the
tolerated sects, so called. A certain degree of activity in behalf of
their brethren in faith was consequently allowed to them; especially
later under Maria Theresa. We meet among them, with hardly any other
than theological productions, or works for religious edification.

The two pastors Krman and Bel, who both died towards the middle of the
eighteenth century, men of no inconsiderable merit as Christians and
as scholars, prepared a new edition of the Bohemian Bible, and also
translated several works of Luther, Arndt, etc. Ambrosius, their
cotemporary, wrote a commentary on Luther's catechism, and several
other useful religious works. G. Bahyl published an introduction to
the Bible, a history of the symbolical books, and assisted Comenius in
his _Orbus pictus_. Matthias Bahyl became the object of a cruel
persecution, on account of a translation of Meissner's _Consultatio
orthod. de fide Lutherana._ Numerous religious hymns were written in
Bohemian by Hrusbkowic, the two Blasius, Glosius, Augustini, and
others. Michalides translated the _Summarium biblicum_ of the
theologians of Wittenberg; and another Protestant minister, Dolezhal,
wrote in 1746 a Bohemian grammar. But their books, with a few
exceptions, were little read beyond the frontiers of Hungary; and had
consequently little or no influence on the Bohemians. The works
written in the Slovakian dialect do not belong here.


_Revival of Bohemian Literature, from A.D_. 1774-80 _to the present

In A.D. 1774, the marshal count Kinsky published a work on the
advantages and necessity of a knowledge of the Bohemian language. At
that time so great was the neglect of the mother tongue, that even for
a work of so patriotic a nature, he had to employ a foreign language
in order to be understood! One year later appeared an apology for the
vernacular tongue of the country, written a hundred years before by
the Jesuit Balbin in Latin,[39] and edited by Pelzel. These two
writings created a deep sensation; and even the government would seem
to have taken notice of them. We find, at least, that in the same year
teachers of the Bohemian language were appointed in the university of
Vienna and in two other institutions in that city. At the same time,
the royal normal school at Prague began to print several Bohemian
books for instruction. When the tolerant views and principles by which
Joseph II was actuated, became known, more than a hundred thousand
concealed Protestants immediately appeared; their hidden books were
brought to light again; and many works, of which only single copies
existed, were reprinted. In 1781 the severe edict of Ferdinand II was
repealed, and a censorship established upon more reasonable
principles. In 1786, the Bohemian language had gained friends enough
to induce the government to institute a Bohemian theatre; which, with
a short interruption during the present century, has ever since
existed. The unfortunate system of general centralization adopted by
Joseph II, was on the whole not favourable to the cultivation of any
but the German language; but during the reign of his two successors,
the Bohemian received more encouragement. In 1793 a professorship for
the language and literature of the country was founded in the
university of Prague; the use of that language in all the schools was
ordained by several decrees of the government; and by a law of A.D.
1818, a knowledge of it was made a necessary qualification for holding
any office.

In the very outset of this revival of Bohemian literature, there
appeared so great a multitude of writers; such habits of diligence and
productiveness were immediately manifested throughout the whole
nation; and such a mass of respectable talent was brought to light;
that the long interval of a dull and deathlike silence, which
preceded this period, presents indeed an enigma difficult to be
solved. No small influence may be ascribed to Germany. The principles
of the government were changed; the country, physically as well as
morally exhausted, could recover but gradually; but all this could not
create talents where there were none; nor could all external
oppression and unfavourable conjunctures destroy the germs of real
talent, if they had been there. The list of modern Bohemian writers of
merit is very extensive; but we must be satisfied with bringing
forward the most distinguished of them, and refer the reader to works
less limited than these pages, where he may find more complete

Among those whose desert is the greatest in respect to the revival of
Bohemian literature, Kramerius, born 1753, ob. 1808, must be named
first. He was one of those indefatigable and creative minds, which
never sleep, never lose a moment, and by a restless activity and happy
ingenuity know how to render the difficult easy,--the apparently
impossible, practicable. From the year 1785, he was editor of the
first Bohemian newspaper; from 1788, of the annual called the
_Toleranz Kalender_, or Almanac of Toleration; and published besides
this more than fifty works, written by himself and others, but
accompanied with notes or commentaries of his own. None of his
productions surpassed mediocrity; but according to the best judges,
they were well and perspicuously written; they became popular and
exerted a very favourable influence.

As literary historians, Slavic philologians and antiquaries, Pelzcl,
Prochazka, Durich, Puchmayer, Negedly, Jungmann, Tomsa, Hanka, and
above all Dobrovsky, must be distinguished. One of the principal
merits of most of these scholars consists in their preparing for the
press and editing valuable old manuscripts; or in the judicious
commentaries which they added to new editions of ancient works already
printed. Pelzel we have named above as the editor of the writings of
the Jesuit Balbin. Most of his works are in German, but some also in
Bohemian. In 1804 Prochazka and Durich translated the Bible for Roman
Catholics; the former had already translated the New Testament in
1786. His principal labours besides this were in the department of
history. Durich wrote in Latin; but his researches were nevertheless
devoted to the Bohemian language and history. Tomsa and Negedly have
written Bohemian grammars, and several other Slavic-philological works
and essays.[40] Puchmayer published a large collection of poetry,[41]
consisting partly of his own productions, a token of the reviving
poetical genius of the nation, which had slept for centuries; while
his elaborate Russian grammar is also a valuable contribution to
Slavic literature in general.

Joseph Jungmann, besides a translation of Chauteaubriand's Atala and
of Milton's Paradise Lost, which Bowring calls "the most admirable
among the many admirable versions of that renowned and glorious
heroic," [42] has written many important essays scattered in
periodicals; and also published in 1820 a Bohemian chrestomathy, in
1825 a history of Bohemian literature, and in 1830-31 a complete
dictionary of that language.

W. Hanka. librarian at Prague, has made himself particularly known by
critical editions of valuable writings out of the golden age of
Bohemian literature. In 1817 he was so fortunate as to discover a
manuscript of high importance, as well in a philological respect, as
for its intrinsic poetical value; which he published in 1819 with a
modern Bohemian translation, and also a German translation by
Swoboda.[43] He has written several works, and also essays in
periodicals, of a bibliographical and antiquarian character.

Joseph Dobrovsky, born 1753 in Hungary, but of Bohemian parents, ob.
1829, is called the patriarch of modern Slavic literature, and was one
of the profoundest scholars of the age. His merits in regard to Slavic
philology and history are so generally acknowledged, and we have so
often had occasion to cite his name in these pages, and to refer the
reader to his authority, that without attempting to present a critical
view of one, or an analysis of another of his works, we are contented
to give in a note the title of his principal works. We are the more
willing to adopt this course, because the most of his works form in a
certain measure one great whole, and mutually supply each other; and
because too, the author having in part first explored unknown regions,
and having of course sometimes found it necessary to retract
hypotheses started in his earlier writings, his works cannot well be
separated. He wrote mostly in German; sometimes in Latin; while
comparatively very few of his numerous books are in the Bohemian
language. In this way only could they gain that kind of universality,
which the subject required; and which has so much contributed to
promote the cause of Slavic literature in general.[44]

There were also some scholars among the Slovaks, who aided the same
cause with diligence and talent. Leska, ob. 1818, published from 1785
onward the first Slovakian newspaper, and was a diligent and judicious
compiler in respect to Slavic lexicography. Palkowicz published a
Bohemian dictionary, and prepared in 1808 a more correct edition of
the Bible. Plachy, besides many volumes of prose and poetry, published
a valuable periodical; Schramko wrote some philological works;
Schaffarik and Kollar, of whom more will be said in the sequel, were
also Slovaks.

After the collection of poetry by Puchmayer above alluded to, several
others of a miscellaneous kind appeared; poetry having been hitherto
limited almost exclusively to religious purposes. Kamaryt, Palacky,
Chmelensky, Zdirad Polak, Czelakowsky, Snaidr, Hnewkowsky, Turinsky,
Stulcz,[45] Jablonsky, Tupi, Sabin, are favourably known as poets. A.
Marek has translated several dramas of Shakspeare; Machaczek several
from Goethe; Kliczpera, Stepanek, and Sychra, are esteemed dramatic
writers. Among the Slovaks, Holli translated the Latin and Greek
elegiac poets; Roshnay, Anaereon.

As historical writers Tomek and Jordan must be honourably mentioned.
An excellent work on Bohemian Antiquities, written in German by J.E.
Wocel, ought also to be noticed.[46]

In the department of natural science are to be mentioned, Presl, count
Berchtold, Strnad, Sedlaczek, Wydra, Smetana, etc. Others, Bohemians
by birth, have written in German, e.g. Haenke, Sieber, etc. etc. Count
Buquoy also is of Bohemian origin.--Writers of merit on moral and
religious subjects are, Rautenkranz, Zahradnik, Parizek, and others.
The Slovak Bartholomaeides, a distinguished scholar, has written
several useful works on various topics.--Periodicals full of learned
researches and variety of interest were edited, _Dobraslaw_ by
Hromadko and Ziegler, _Krok_ by Presl, etc. Modern journals of a more
general tendency are _Wlastimil_ (the Patriot), _Dennica_, etc. Among
the highest nobility the national language found powerful patrons; and
in the establishment of a national Museum, a Bohemian Academy of
Sciences, and similar patriotic institutions, the national literature
received great encouragement. One of the principal objects of this
institution was to publish old works and to patronize new ones. Its
first publication was an old treatise on Bohemian law.[47] The names
of the counts K. Sternberg and Kolowrath-Liebsteinsky must be
mentioned here; to which, in our days, may be added those of the
counts J.M. and Leo Thun.

The leading poet of the present day in the Bohemian language is J.
Kollar, born 1793 at Thurocz in Hungary. In 1821 he published a volume
of poems; and some years later a larger beautiful poem in two cantos,
called _Slawy dzery_, the Daughter of Glory, by which he meant
_Slavina_, or the Slavic nations personified; for _Slava_ means glory.
With talents of the first order, and at the same time purely national,
he imitates Petrarch in some measure; making his nation his Laura,
praising her beauty, and prophesying her ultimate triumph.[48]

The patriotic zeal which in our days has instigated the Slavic
scholars to follow out the traces of their language and history into
the remotest past, in order to clear up more satisfactorily the origin
and primitive connection between the different members of the great
Slavic family, and their relative position to the Germans, has nowhere
been exhibited in a more energetic and disinterested way than in
Bohemia. The idea of Panslavism was here first worked out
systematically.[49] If we are not entirely mistaken, it was the same
Kollar, the Czekho-Slovakian poet, who first conceived, or at least
expressed, that idea. In a Slavic periodical, published in Hungary,
entitled _Hronka_, he came out with an address to his Slavic brethren,
which he himself translated into German. He urged the Slavi to drop
their numerous intellectual family feuds; to consider themselves as
_one_ great nation; their mutual languages essentially as _one_; their
respective interests as one. He prophesied power and predominance to
the Slavi _united_ as a whole. The idea was seized with eagerness;
especially by the Bohemian scholars, in whom a certain irritation
against the Germans, the oppressors of their nation for centuries, was
far from being unnatural. At the head of this movement, so far as it
respects philological investigations, was P.J. Schaffarik; in respect
to historical researches, Fr. Palacky; the first a Slovak, the second
a Moravian by birth; and both of them highly esteemed as scholars of
great learning, uncommon acuteness, and indefatigable research; but
both also, from a very laudable national partiality, inclined to
favour those results of their researches, which should serve to
support their own patriotic or Panslavic views. It will therefore not
be found surprising, that they should have met with a strong, nay
passionate opposition.

Schaffarik, whose valuable work on the Slavic languages and their
history we have chiefly consulted in our present sketch, (not however
without due regard to his own altered and corrected views, as given to
the public in his later works,) was born in 1795 at Kbeljarowo in
Northern Hungary. He received a German education; and, following the
example of other leading Slavic scholars, like Dobrovsky and Kopitar,
notwithstanding his partiality for all that is Slavic, he wrote most
of his earlier works in German. His "History of the Slavic Language
and Literature," although a production of his youth, and written
before the full maturity of the author's views, has perhaps
contributed more than any other work to a knowledge of the Slavic
literature in general, and of the classification and mutual relation
of the Slavic languages. After further researches, he prepared a
"History of the Southern Slavi;" which however, so far as we are
informed, has never been printed. Instead of it he published a work on
"Slavic Antiquities" in the Bohemian language. It was patriotism which
induced him not only to choose this language in preference to the
German, and thus give up a far greater field of influence; but he also
declined a well endowed Slavic professorship in the university of
Berlin, from the same generous and patriotic motive, and settled in
Prague. Here he undertook the editorship of a periodical founded by
Palacky; and operated in connection with him and other Slavic scholars
for the promotion of Slavic, and principally Bohemian, literature. For
this end a society was founded among the Bohemian and Slovakian
scholars and gentry, called the _Stalci_, the Constant. They bound
themselves to buy every respectable book, which should be printed in
the Bohemian language. In 1842 Schaffarik published a "Slavic
Ethnography," a small introductory work, but founded on extensive
studies. Of this he himself prepared a German translation.[50]

The faithful fellow-labourer of Schaffarik is Francis Palacky, a
scholar of great diligence and research, a few years younger in age;
who however seems to have adopted an opposite course, in so far as his
early works were written in Bohemian, while his later and principal
ones are in German. In 1829 he was appointed Historiographer of
Bohemia by the Estates; but he was too warm a _Bohemian_ to hope for
the confirmation of the Austrian government under the emperor Francis,
and it was not obtained until under his successor. By means of the
"Journal of the Bohemian National Museum," of which he was the founder
and editor, he had early gained a leading voice in all that concerned
the revival of Bohemian literature; and, in that capacity, had to
fight his way through a series of literary struggles and combats,
sometimes conducted with personal vehemence and bitterness. He had the
satisfaction, however, of finally coming off as victor in the more
essential points. His most important work is his _History of Bohemia_;
of which two volumes were published in the German language in 1836. A
Bohemian edition, with additions and a historiographical introduction,
appeared in 1848.

The spirit which pervades this great work makes the author to a
certain extent the representative of his nation. One of the objects of
the work is to point out the _primitive_ relations of Slavism on the
one hand, and of Germanism, the heir of Romanism, on the other; their
contrasts and necessary conflicts; the Germans, warlike, conquering,
oppressing all their neighbours, and bearing the germs of privileged
castes in their earliest institutions; the Slavi, peaceful,
industrious, living in patriarchal communities, and in their
fundamental elements purely democratic. Hence, the author says, the
principal idea and fundamental feature of Bohemian history is the
uninterrupted clashing and struggle of Slavism and Germanism; and in
another place he remarks, that "the history of Bohemia consists
chiefly in the combat with Germanism; or in the alternate reception
and rejection by the Czekhes of German manners and institutions." [51]

Our own days have witnessed the enthusiasm with which the thought of a
total separation between Slavism and Germanism was received, when the
events of the month of March 1848 seemed to open an unexpected
prospect of realizing a long cherished idea. A great congress of all
the Slavic nations was convoked at Prague. But at that very moment, at
the gathering together of so many members of that wide-spread family,
it became strikingly apparent that they were a _family_ of nations;
but could never again become, what for thousands of years they had not
been, _one_ nation. In order to be understood, several of their
deputies had to speak in German; and even for the journal founded as
the great central organ of Slavism, the _German_ language had to be

The patriotic efforts made to prevent the Bohemian language from
gradually yielding to the German, are honourable and laudable; but
whether they will have any ultimate result seems to be quite doubtful.
The times indeed are somewhat changed, since Jungmann called the
present literature of Bohemia "the produce of a few enthusiasts, who,
exposing themselves to the hatred of their enemies and the ingratitude
of their countrymen, have devoted themselves to the resuscitation of a
language, neither living nor dead." Twenty-five years have brought on
a great revolution; and those enthusiasts are no longer "a few." But
they have still a hard combat to fight. It may be doubtful whether
their strength will hold out to struggle against the torrent of time;
which, in its resistless course, overwhelms the nations, and only
throws their vestiges in scattered fragments on the banks, as feeble
memorials to show to an inquiring posterity that they once



The northwestern part of Hungary is inhabited by the Slovaks, a Slavic
nation, who appear to be the direct descendants of the original Slavic
settlers in Europe. Numerous colonists of the same race are scattered
all over the other parts of that country. The Byzantine historians,
and, somewhat later, the Russian annalist Nestor, speak of the region
on the north of the Danube as being the primitive seat of the Slavi.
In early times the _Sarmatae limigantes_ or _Jazyges metanastae_,
nomadic tribes between the Danube and the Theiss, whose name indicates
incontestably their having been Slavi,[53] are mentioned as having
troubled the Byzantine empire. But they soon disappeared entirely from
history, and it is not before the ninth century, when they were
already Christians, that we meet them again. At that time Slovakia, in
Slavic _Slovansko_, viz. the regions adjacent to the two rivers Waag
and Gran, reappears as an ingredient part of the ephemeral kingdom of
great Moravia. The rest of Pannonia was inhabited by other Slavic
tribes, by Bulgarians, Rumelians and Khazares. In A.D. 894, the
Magyars conquered Pannonia, drove back the Slovaks into the mountains,
and made them tributary; whilst they themselves settled on the plains.
But although the Slovaks appear to have submitted to their fate, and
to have thenceforth lived on good terms with their conquerors, it
cannot unconditionally be said that the two nations were merged in
each other; since, even after nearly a thousand years have passed,
they still speak different languages. The Magyars learned the arts of
peace from the Slavi; who, besides being already Christians, had built
many cities, and were mechanics, traders, agriculturists. All words
and terms relating to these occupations, the Magyars had to obtain
from them. The Slovaks on their side lost their national existence in
that of their Asiatic conquerors, entered into their ranks as
soldiers, and participated thence-forward in all their fortunes; but
the influence of the Magyars on their language could be only
inconsiderable, since the circle of new ideas which the Slovaks had to
receive in exchange from them, barbarians as they were, could be only
very limited. The language however is the only remnant of their
national existence which the Slovaks have preserved; in every other
respect they belong to the Hungarian nation, of which they form an
ingredient part, as the Magyars form another; and on the glory of
whose valiant deeds they have an equal claim.

Hungary, traversed by two large rivers, the Danube and the Theiss, is
divided into four great districts, usually called this side the Danube
and beyond the Danube, this side the Theiss and beyond the Theiss. The
district this side the Theiss is the principal seat of the Slovaks.
The counties Trencsin, Thurocz, Arva, Liptau, and Sohl, are entirely
inhabited by them, amounting to about 550,000 in number. In the other
counties of the same district they live more mingled with Russniaks
and Magyars; and, together with the numerous Slovakish settlements
which are scattered over all Hungary, are computed in all at about
1,800,000. About 1,300,000 of them are Roman Catholics, and the
remaining 500,000 Protestants.

The Slovakish language, exposed through the geographical situation of
the nation, to the influence of various other Slavic idioms--as the
Polish, Bohemian, Malo-Russian, Servian, and Vindish--is more broken
up into different dialects than perhaps any living tongue. In its
original elements it is very nearly related to the Old Slavic
language;[54] a fact which is easy to be explained, when we consider
that the development of this language must have been the result of the
primitive cultivation of the Slavi; and that the region about the
Carpathian mountains, the seat of the ancient as well as of the
present Slovaks, was the cradle of all the Slavic nations which are
now spread over the whole of eastern Europe. Of all living Slavic
tongues, the Bohemian is the nearest related to the Slovakish,
especially as it appears in the oldest Bohemian writers; a
circumstance which induced Dobrovsky at first to consider both
languages as essentially the same; or rather to maintain, that the
Slovakish was nothing more than Old Bohemian. But after entering more
deeply into the subject, he found reason to regard the Slovakish idiom
as a separate dialect, which forms the link of connection between
the Bohemian and Croatian-Vindish dialects, or between the two
principal divisions, the Eastern and Western stems, of the great
Slavic family.[55]

To enumerate the features by which the Slovakish dialects are
distinguished from the other Slavic languages, would oblige us to
enter more into detail than would be acceptable to persons not
acquainted with any of them; as we may suppose to be the case with
most of our readers. Besides, most of the peculiarities which could be
alleged as _general_ characteristics, are contradicted by so many
single cases, that all general rules would be in danger of being
rendered void by a plurality of exceptions. The only thing which
belongs to the Slovaks alone, and is not common to any of the other
Slavic tongues, is a variety of diphthongs where all the rest have
simple vowels; e.g. _kuoñ_, horse, for _koñ; lieucz_, light, for
_lucz_, etc. In the counties situated on the frontiers of Galicia, the
Slovakish language participates in many of the peculiarities of the
Polish tongue; on the frontier of Moravia, the dialect of the people
approaches nearer to the vernacular idiom of that province, and
consequently to the Bohemian; which has been adopted as their own
literary language. On the Slovaks who live more in the interior of the
country, the influence of the Magyars, or of the Transylvanian-Germans,
or of the Russniaks, or of the Servians, is more or less prominent,
according to their locality. The less exposed to the influence of
other races, the purer of course has the proper Slovakian idiom
been preserved, But even in its purest state, it has, as we mentioned
above, a strong and decided resemblance to the Bohemian tongue; from
which it is however distinguished by a more harmonious and pleasing
sound; its vowels being fuller and occurring more frequently. But a
peculiarity which distinguishes it more materially, is a treasure of
words and phrases obsolete or entirely unknown in the present Bohemian
language; although they were to be found in the old Bohemian, and are
so still, in part, in the Old Slavic, Russian, and Vindish dialects.
Schaffarik mentions that G. Rybay, a minister in the county of Bacz,
who possessed many valuable manuscripts, had collected 15,000 words
for a Slovakish _Idioticon_, and that it would be easy to enlarge this

The Slovakish language has never been a literary language; the first
attempt to render it so, with a few trifling exceptions, was made
about forty years ago; but the opposition which it met with from the
literati who had already adopted the kindred Bohemian tongue for their
literary language, together with the political obstacles which it had
to encounter from the jealousy of the Magyars, seems to have been too
strong to be conquered. Indeed, in consequence of this jealousy of the
Magyars, the Slovakish language is so far oppressed, that even in the
higher schools of the Slovaks themselves this language is not
permitted to constitute a branch of instruction, like the Hungarian
and Latin. Schaffarik thinks it probable, that in ancient times the
vernacular tongue of the counties inhabited by Slovaks was used in
public documents and similar writings; and that such historical
monuments must be buried in the libraries and archives of the catholic
archbishops, noblemen, and cities.[57] But this subject has never been
sufficiently examined. The historical popular songs, which nearly a
hundred years ago were familiar to the Slovakian peasants, and some of
which appear to have been derived even from the pagan period, have
perished, with the exception of a few initial verses.[58]

There is no trace known to be left of the mental existence of this
nation of nearly two millions of souls, until the middle of the
fifteenth century. At that time a great body of Hussites, who were
exiled from Bohemia, broke into Upper Hungary, and, under the conduct
of Giskra von Brandeis, were hired by the queen Elizabeth against the
rival Polish-Hungarian monarch Vladislaus, afterwards king of Bohemia.
The Bohemian soldiers were accompanied by their wives and children,
and settled finally in different parts of Hungary, Other Taboritic
colonists followed them, and amalgamated gradually with the Slovaks,
among whom they principally established themselves. It is probable,
that at this time the Slovaks became familiar with the Bohemian as a
literary language; which from its kindred genius and its similarity of
forms was perfectly intelligible, and must have been highly acceptable
to them. When the doctrines of the German Reformers penetrated into
Hungary, they found the Slovaks already so well prepared, that those
doctrines were at once spread among the people by numerous books
written by Slovakian clergymen in the Bohemian language. The Bible and
the liturgical books were written and printed in Bohemian; and many
Bohemians and Moravians came into Hungary as preachers and teachers.
Thus the dominion of the Bohemian language over the pulpit, and, since
_all_ the Slovakian writers of this period were clergymen, in the
republic of letters also, was established among the Slovaks without
struggle. There is nothing known of any catholic Slovakish writers
at this period; if there were any, they probably followed the beaten
track, and wrote also in Bohemian or in Latin. But the produce of the
literary cultivation of the Slovaks during the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, is at most but small: for the times appear to
have been too heavy, and men's minds too much oppressed, for a free
development of their powers. The civil wars, the devastations of the
Turks, the religious controversies, and after the battle at the White
Mountain, religious oppression and persecution, chased the peaceful
muses from Pannonia, and put the genius of the people in chains. All
the productions of these two centuries, with a few exceptions, are
confined to theology, and are mostly sermons, catechisms, devotional
exercises, or religious hymns. Schaffarik observes, that from these
latter there speaks a melancholy gloomy spirit, crying for divine aid
and deliverance.[59] Among the clergymen who during the first half of
the eighteenth century exerted themselves for the diffusion of
biblical knowledge, were Matth. Bel and D. Krman, who prepared a new
edition of the Bible; G. Ambrosius and G. Babyl, authors of
theological commentaries, etc. Those Slovakian writers who in any
measure distinguished themselves, have been enumerated under their
proper heads in our sketch of the Bohemian literature.[60]

The Bohemian dialect, as we have mentioned repeatedly, is perfectly
_intelligible_ to the Slovaks. But as it is not to them the language
of common conversation, it cannot be _familiar_ to their minds. If, in
listening to their preachers in the churches, the people succeed in
straining up their minds sufficiently to enable them to follow the
course of the sermons and devotional exercises, it still seems rather
unnatural, that even their prayer books, destined for private use,
should not be written in their vernacular tongue; but that even
their addresses to the Most High, which, more than any thing else,
should be the free and natural effusions of their inmost feelings,
should require such an intellectual exertion and an artificial
transposition into a foreign clime. It is a singular fact, that,
whilst every where else Protestantism and the friends of the Bible
have advocated and attempted to raise the dialect of the people, in
opposition to a privileged idiom of the priesthood, among the Slovaks
the vindication of the vernacular tongue has been attempted by the
Romanists, and has met with strong opposition from the Protestants. In
the year 1718, Alex Macsay, a catholic clergyman, published sermons at
Tyrnau, written in the common Slovakian dialect. The Jesuits of Tyrnau
followed his example, in publishing books of prayers and several other
religious works, in a language which is rather a mixture of the
dialect of the people and the literary Bohemian language. During the
last ten years of the eighteenth century, a more successful attempt
was made to elevate the Slovakian dialect spoken on the frontiers of
Moravia, and which approaches the Bohemian language most, to the rank
of a literary language. At the head of this undertaking were the Roman
catholic curates Bajza, Fandli, and Bernolak, especially the last. A
society was formed, the members of which bound themselves to buy the
books written in Slovakish by Bernolak and his friends. The Romanists
proceeded in the work with great zeal and activity, and were
patronized by the cardinal Rudnay, primate of Hungary; who himself
published some of his orations held in the Slovakian dialect, and
caused a voluminous Slovakish dictionary, a posthumous work of
Bernolak's, to be printed.[61] A version of the Bible in the same
dialect, made by the canon G. Palkowicz, who is also the author of
the fourth volume of the above dictionary, was printed in the year

The Protestant Slovaks, who several centuries ago had already acquired
by their own contributions the right of citizens in the Bohemian
republic of letters,--especially during the course of the seventeenth
century, when most of the native Bohemians had been banished from
it,--feared to endanger the cause of literature itself by innovations
of this kind. They too united themselves into a society, and founded a
professorship of Bohemian-Slovakian literature at the Lyceum of
Pressburg, which was occupied by another G. Palkowicz, honorably
mentioned in our History of Bohemian literature.[62] The number of
Protestant Slovaks being comparatively small, this institution was not
sustained longer than ten years. To the names of the principal
Slovakish-Bohemian writers during this and the last century, which
have been given above,[63] we add here those of Bartholomæides,
Tablicz, Lovich, and Moshotzy, themselves writers of merit, or
promoters of literature and science.

Many among the Slovaks, like many of their brethren the Magyars, and
among other Slavi the Bohemians and Illyrians, have received a German
education, and have that language at command. For the sake of more
fame, or a larger field of influence, these mostly prefer to write in
German. Among them was Schaffarik; until, from a principle of
patriotism, he adopted the Bohemian.[64]


[Footnote 1: More generally contracted into _Böhmen._]

[Footnote 2: The country along the banks of the Upper Vistula.
According to other writers, Belo-Chrobatia was the name of the country
on both sides of the Carpathian chain. In some old chronicles the
Czekhes are said to have come from _Croatia_, which induced more
modern historians to suppose them to have emigrated from the present
Croatia; others conclude that under this name Chrobatia was
understood, as these names were frequently confounded.]

[Footnote 3: In his essay _Ueber den Ursprung des Namen Czech_, Prague
and Vienna, 1782. In his later works he confirms this opinion; see
_Geschichte der böhmischen Sprache und alten Literatur_, Prague, 1818,
p. 65.]

[Footnote 4: See above, pp. 6, 30.]

[Footnote 5: In writing Russian and Servian names, we have adapted our
orthography to the English rules of pronunciation, so far namely as
English letters are able to express sounds partly unknown to all but
Slavic nations. The Poles and Bohemians however, who use the same
characters as the English, have a right to expect that in writing
their national names in the English language, their orthography should
be preserved; just as it is in the case of the French, Spaniards,
Italians, etc. No English writer would change French or Spanish names
according to the English principles of pronunciation. We consequently
alter letters only in cases where otherwise a foreigner, unacquainted
with the Bohemian language, would find an absolute impossibility of
pronouncing them correctly.--In both Polish and Bohemian _c_ is in
every case pronounced like _ts_; hence Janocky must be pronounced
_Janotsky_; Rokycana, _Rokytsana_; Ctibor, _Tstibor_, etc. The
Bohemian _cz_ is equivalent to the English _ch_ in _check_; so in
their national name, _Czekhes_. The vowels _a, e, i, y_, are every
where to be pronounced as in _father, they, machine, frisky_.]

[Footnote 6: See above, pp. 33, 34.]

[Footnote 7: On the fate of the Old Slavic liturgy and language in
Bohemia, see Dobrovsky's _Geschichte der bohm. Sprache_, etc. pp.

[Footnote 8: According to the Pole Soltykowiez, Casimir the Great laid
the foundation of the high school of Cracow as early as A.D. 1347; but
it is certain, that this institution was not organized before 1400;
whilst the papal privilege granted for the University of Prague is
dated A.D. 1347, and the imperial charter in A.D. 1348. Jerome of
Prague, one of its most celebrated professors, was invited to Cracow
in 1409, to assist in the organization of that institution]

[Footnote 9: See above, p. 17]

[Footnote 10: See p. 21.]

[Footnote 11: First communicated in the periodical _Krok_, Vol. I. Pt.
III. p.48-61. Rokawiccki, Hanka, Czelakowsky, and Schaffarik, maintain
their authenticity.]

[Footnote 12: This manuscript, which was sent in anonymously at the
founding of the Museum in 1818, and which Dobrovsky was at first very
much inclined to think a forgery, has since been published (1840) in
the first volume of a collection of the most ancient documents of the
Bohemian Language, edited by Palacki and Schaffarik.]

[Footnote 13: In a chamber attached to the church of Königinhof or
Kralodwor. It was published by Hanka in 1819, with a translation in
modern Bohemian and in German, under the title _Rukopis Kralodworsky_,
Manuscript of Königinhof. According to Dobrovsky, who formed his
judgment from the writing, this remarkable manuscript belongs to the
interval from about A.D. 1290 to A.D. 1310. By the numbering of the
chapters and books into which it is divided, it appears that the
collection comprised three volumes; and that the manuscript thus
accidentally rescued from oblivion, is only a small part of the third
volume. Goethe honoured it with his peculiar attention and applause.
Bowring has given some pleasing specimens of it, in his essay on
Bohemian literature in the Foreign Quarterly Review, Vol. II. p.

[Footnote 14: It was first published by Jeshin, A.D. 1620; later by
Prochazka, Prague 1786. The author spurned no means to reach his
patriotic object, viz. to inspire his nation with hatred against the
Germans. The most absurd fables came through him into the early
history of Bohemia. During the late rule of prince Metternich, this
work was considered by the censors as too ultra-national, and was put
on the list of the forbidden books. It is only quite recently (1849),
that Hanka has been allowed to publish a new edition, carefully
prepared by himself after the collation of several manuscripts.]

[Footnote 15: The History of Troy was one of the first works which
issued from the Bohemian press, about A.D. 1476 according to
Dobrovsky; and again A.D. 1488, and 1603. It was published for the
fourth and last time by Kramerius in 1790. Even before it was printed,
it appears to have been multiplied in a great many copies, as being a
favourite book among the Bohemian knights and damsels. Its author was
Guido di Colonna. See Dobrovsky's _Geschichte der böhm. Sprache_, p.
155. Another remarkable production of the fourteenth century is
_Tkadleczek_, the Little Weaver, the manuscript of which is extant in
several copies; but it has been printed only in an ancient German
translation; see Dobrovsky, ibid. p. 157.]

[Footnote 16: This work was printed in 1542; it was put into the
renowned _Index librorum prohibitorum_ first printed in 1629, and the
Bohemian part last in 1767; the original author of which was the
famous Jesuit Koniash, one of the most violent book-destroyers who
ever lived. Not only all books written by the Hussites or their
immediate predecessors, but even many catholic writers also of that
period were put upon this list; e.g. the historian Hagek, translations
of Æneas Sylvius, etc.]

[Footnote 17: Ann, queen of England, sister to king Wenceslaus of
Bohemia, possessed a Bible in Latin, German and Bohemian; to which
circumstance Wickliffe alluded in one of his writings, quoted by Huss
in his reply to Stockes, Tom. I. p.108. See Dobrovsky's _Gesch. der
böhm. Sprache_, p.142.]

[Footnote 18: The Bohemians, like the Germans, adopted the Latin
alphabet; but the former, receiving it from the Germans, adopted it in
the corrupted form of these latter, viz. they imitated the Gothic
letters, so called, in which also all ancient Bohemian books are
printed. In modern times the genuine Roman letters have nearly
supplanted them; to which several different signs are added to adapt
them to the Slavic sounds. The Bohemian alphabet can only be said to
have forty-two letters, in so far as the same letter with or without a
sign can be considered as two different letters. The English alphabet
would be almost without number, if all the three or four modes of
pronunciation connected with one and the same letter in that language,
were indicated by certain signs, and these signs made three or four
letters out of one.]

[Footnote 19: The Bohemian writings of Huss are extant partly in
manuscript, partly in single printed pamphlets, but have never been
collected. They consist of sermons, hymns, letters to his friends,
postillae, and other interpretations of the Scriptures, etc. His
complete Latin works were first printed in Wittenberg 1558, and
repeatedly afterwards. They contain many pieces which were originally
written in Bohemian; as were also the letters which Luther caused to
be printed with a preface of his own, Wittenberg 1536. Luther
translated several of his hymns. The letters written by Huss from the
prison at Constance are the expressions of a pure and elevated mind,
and present the best evidence of his spotless Christian character.
Some of them might serve as beautiful specimens of the sublime.]

[Footnote 20: These interesting letters, containing all the
circumstances of Jerome's last days and death, his eloquent speeches
before the Council and a full account of the despicable conduct of his
accusers, may be found at large in Shepherd's Life of Poggio

[Footnote 21: See Dobrovsky's _Geschichte der böhm, Sprache_, p. 201.]

[Footnote 22: In a polemic satirical pamphlet the question was
started: "Master, tell me what birds are the best, those which eat and
drink, or those which eat and do not drink? and why are those which
eat but do not drink, enemies to those which eat and drink?" A Latin
pamphlet which decided for those which do not drink, was followed by a
Bohemian refutation.]

[Footnote 23: This manuscript, one of the most remarkable of the age,
is in the library of Jena. It has not less than eighty-eight pictures,
partly on paper, partly on parchment; and besides this forty-one
smaller figures, scattered through the text itself. See Dobrovsky's
_Reise nach Schweden_, p. 7; also his _Geschichte der böhm. Sprache_.
p. 235.]

[Footnote 24: By whole Bibles are here intended also those
manuscripts, of which, although in their present state incomplete, it
is presumed that the missing parts were lost accidentally. The New
Testaments also are not all of them perfect. Of single biblical books,
manuscripts of the Psalms are found the most frequently. See
Dobrovsky's _Lit. Magazin für Böhmen. Reise nach Schweden, p. 57.
Geschichte der böhm. Spracke_, p. 211.]

[Footnote 25: Vict. Cornelius of Wshehrd composed in 1495 a work in
nine books, "On the Statutes, Courts of justice, and Legislature
(Landtafel) of Bohemia," which is the most celebrated among several
similar works of this period, and was in its time indispensable to the
Bohemian lawyer. It has since been published, 1841. The same learned
individual translated Cyprian, Chrysostom, etc. See Dobrovsky's
_Geschicte der böhm, Sprache_.]

[Footnote 26: See his _Historie literatury Czeske_, Prague 1825, p 49,
68. Schaffarik agrees with him. Pelzel presumed that the letter of
Huss, of 1459, was printed in some foreign country by a travelling

[Footnote 27: Other Bohemian Bibles are: Venice 1506, fol. Prague
1527, fol. ib. 1537, fol. Nürnberg 1540, fol. Prague 1549, fol. ib.
1556-57. ib. 1561. fol. the same edition with a new title, ib. 1570,
fol. Kralicz 1579-98, 6 vols. sm. fol. prepared by the United
Brethren, the first from the original languages. Without place 1596,
8vo. by the same. Without place 1613, fol. by the same. Prague 1613,
fol. for the Utraquists. Prague N. Test. 1677. Old Test. 1712-15, 3
vols. fol. for Roman Catholics. Halle 1722, 8vo. for Protestants.
Halle 1745, 8vo. for the same. Halle 1766, 8vo. for the same. Prague
1769-71, 3 vols. fol. for Roman Catholics. Prague 1778-80, 2 vols.
8vo. for the same. Pressburg 1786-87, 8vo for Protestants. Prague
1804, 8vo. for Roman Catholics. Berlin 1807, 8vo. by the Bible
Society. Pressburg 1808, 8vo. for Protestants. Berlin 1813, by the
Bible Society.]

[Footnote 28: At Venice; see the preceding note. Dobrovsky calls it a
splendid edition, and thinks the reason why the Bohemians had it
printed at Venice was, that it could not have been executed so well in
Bohemia. _Gesch. der böhm. Sprache_, p. 343.]

[Footnote 29: The Picardites, or Picards, who are also called
Adamites, existed as early as 1491, when Zhizhka crushed them, without
annihilating them entirely; the Utraquists detested them because they
denied the doctrine of transubstantiation, although they agreed with
them in their general principles. They were frequently confounded with
the Taborites, among whom at last the remnants of them became lost.
The Grubenheimer were the remnants of the Waldenses, who fled to
Bohemia in the middle of the 14th century; where, under persecution
and ridicule, they used to hide themselves in caves and pits,
_Gruben_; hence their name. Under the shield of the Reformation they
thought themselves safe; but met only with new oppressors and
persecutors. There were numerous other sects, and still more different
names of one and the same sect. A sect of the Taborites, for instance,
founded by Nicholas Wlasenicky, were alternately called _Miculassenci_
(i.e. Nicolaites, the Bohemian form for Nicholas being Miculass), or
_Wlasenitzi_, from his name; _Pecynowshi_, from the place of their
meetings; and _Plachtiwi_, i.e. the crying, from their manner. See
Dobrovsky's _Gesch. der böhm. Sprache_, p. 234. It may be the place
here to remark, that the Calixlins or Utraquists, although at first
decidedly against the infallibility of the pope, nevertheless in
forming the compact of Basle, submitted in the main to the doctrine of
Rome, with these four conditions; viz. the free distribution of the
Bible to the people; the administration of the sacrament in both
kinds; reform of the clergy after the pattern of the Apostles; and
punishment for "mortal sins" in proportion to their enormity.]

[Footnote 30: His full name was George Hruby Gelenshky. This patriotic
and active individual translated and published a whole series of
valuable books; among which we mention only Petrarch's Letters,
Cicero's Lælius and Paradoxa, several works of Jovian, etc. Nicholas
Konacz followed in the same path. He translated the Bohemian History
of Æneas Sylvius, two dialogues of Lucian, and wrote, edited, and
printed other meritorious and elaborate works.]

[Footnote 31: This venerable man was ten years president or bishop
(Zprawce) of the United Brethren; and his whole life appears to have
been devoted to religious purposes. He prepared the hymn-book in use
among all the congregations of the Brethren; wrote an interpretation
of the Apocalypse, 1501; of the Psalms, 1505; a treatise on Hope,
1503; on Oaths, etc. His writings, most of which are replete with
erudition, are enumerated in Dobrovsky's _Gesch. der böhm. Sprache_,
pp. 238, 239, 372, 378, 379.]

[Footnote 32: See page 189.]

[Footnote 33: The five last named were banished in 1621.]

[Footnote 34: Simon Lomnicky of Budecz, was court poet; and in
addition to the poetical crown, his talents procured him a patent of
nobility. He wrote twenty-eight volumes, most of which are printed.
For more general information respecting his works, and those of the
other writers here mentioned, we must refer our readers to Jungmann's
_Historie Literatury Czeske_, Prague, 1825, and Schaffarik's often
cited work.]

[Footnote 35: See the two works named in the preceding note.]

[Footnote 36: Balbin was professor of rhetoric at Prague. His works
are of importance for the literary history of Bohemia: _Epitome rer.
Bohem_. Prague 1677. _Miscellanea hist rer. Bohem_. Prague 1680-88.
After his death Unger edited in 1777-80 his _Bohemia docta_, and
Pelzel in 1775 his _Dissertatio apologetica pro lingua Slavonica,
præcipue Bohemica_. See below under the fifth period of Bohemian
literature, near the beginning.]

[Footnote 37: One of Comenius's works: _Labirynt swieta a rag srdce_,
i.e. the World's Labyrinth and the Heart's Paradise, reminds us
strongly of Bunyan's celebrated Pilgrim's Progress. It was first
published at Prague, 1631, in 4to; and after several editions in other
places, it was last printed at the same city in 1809, 12mo. His Latin
works were printed at Amsterdam in 1657, under the title _Opera

[Footnote 38: See above p. 154.]

[Footnote 39: See above, p. 197.]

[Footnote 40: J. Negedly translated the Iliad, and also Young's Night
Thoughts under the name of _Kwileni_, Lamentations. He and his brother
Adalbert are also favourably known as lyric poets. A series of new
translations of the Classics in their original measures has recently
been prepared; in which a Bohemian version of the Iliad by J.
Wlckowski (Prague 1842), forms the first volume.]

[Footnote 41: In the year 1795; the fifth and last volume appeared in
1804. Bowring has given several specimens of this collection in the
For. Quart. Review, Vol. II. p. 145.]

[Footnote 42: For. Quart. Review, Vol. II. p. 167.]

[Footnote 43: The celebrated manuscript of Königinhof; see above, pp.
157, 158.]

[Footnote 44: Dobrovsky's principal works are the following: _Script.
rer. Bohem_. (with Pelzel) Prague 1784. _Böhm. und Mähr. Literatur_,
Prague 1779-84. _Lit. Magazin fur Böhmen und Mähren_, 1786-87. _Lit.
Nachricten von einer Reise nach Scheweden und Russland_, Prague 1796.
_Geschichte der böhm. Sprache und Lit_. Prague 1792; new edition much
altered, ib. 1818. _Slavin_, Prague 1808; new improved edition by W.
Hanka, Prague 1834. _Slovanka_, Prague 1814-15. _Lehrgebäude der böhm.
Sprache_, Prague 1809, 1819. _Etymologican_, Prague 1813.
_Deutsch-böhm. Wörterb_. 1802-21. _Institutiones Linguae Slav_. Vienna
1822. _Kyrill und Method_, Prague 1823. Also a great number of smaller
treatises, essays, reviews, either printed separately or in

[Footnote 45: A collection of poems by this author recently appeared
under the title _Pownenky no cestach Zivota, od Waclawa Stulce_,
Prague 1845, which has been translated into German: _Errinnerungsblumen
auf dem Lebenswege_, aus den Neuczechischen, von J. Wenzig, Prague

[Footnote 46: _Grundzüge der Böhmischen Alterthumskunde_, Prague 1845.
Jordan's History of Bohemia is also written in German.]

[Footnote 47: _Victorina Kornelia ze Wshehrd, Knitry dewatery prawiech
o siediech i o dskoch zeme Céké_, Prague 1841, edited by W. Hanka. It
is the work mentioned above, p.180, n.25.]

[Footnote 48: For several beautiful specimens of this poet, see
Bowring's Essay on Bohemian Literature, in the Foreign Quart. Rev.
Vol. II.]

[Footnote 49: See p. 86 above.]

[Footnote 50: Schaffarik's principal works are: A Collection of
Bohemian Poems, published at Leutschau 1814; also another of Slovakian
Popular Poetry, printed at Pesth 1833. Along with Palacky he
published: _Ansangsgründe der Böhmischen Dichtkunst_, Pressburg 1818.
His _Geschichte der Slav. Sprache und Literatur_ appeared at Ofen
1826; and two years later at the same place a work _Ueber die Abkunst
der Slaven_, 1828; also _Serbische Lesekörner_, 1833. The title of his
great work on Slavic Antiquities is _Slovanske Starozitnosti_, Prague
1837. A German translation appeared under the title, _Schaffarik's
Slavische Alterthümer_, aus dem Böhm. von Aehrenfeld, herausgeg. v.
Wutke, Leipzig 1844. See a notice of this work in For. Quart. Rev.
Vol. XXVI. No. 51.]

[Footnote 51: Palacky's Bohemian works, besides the various
productions of his youth, and many valuable articles in the Journal of
the Museum both in German and Bohemian, are the following: _Aelteste
Documente der Böhmischen Sprache_, Prague 1840. _Literärische Reise
nach Italien in 1837_, with Schaffarik, Prague 1838. _Geschichte von
Böhmen_, Th. I. Prague 1836; in Bohemian, _Dejing narodu Czeského_, I.
Prague 1848.]

[Footnote 52: For more complete information in respect to Bohemian
literature, a knowledge of one of the Slavic idioms or of the German
language is absolutely required; we know of nothing written on this
subject in the English language, except the article of Bowring already
cited. This gives an able survey of the poetical part of the
literature, but does not profess to cover the whole ground.--The
grammatical and lexical part of the Bohemian literature is uncommonly
rich, and exhibits no small mass of talent. We confine ourselves to
citing the titles of those written in German or Latin. No helps in
English or French for learning the Bohemian language, so far as we
know, ever existed.--GRAMMARS. _Kurze, Unterweisung beyder Sprachen,
teutsch und bömisch_, Pilsen 1531, and several later editions.
Klatowsky _Bömisch-deutche Gespräche_, Prague 1540, and several later
editions. B. Optat _Anleitung zur böhm. Orthogr._ etc, 1533, Prague
1588 and 1643. Beneshowsky _Gram. Bohem._ Prague 1577. Benedict a
Nudhozer _Gram. Bohem._ Prague 1603. Drachowsky _Gramm. Bohem._ Olmütz
1660. Constantin's _Lima linguae Bohem._ Prague 1667. _Principia
linguae Bohem._ 1670-80; new edition 1783. Jandit _Gramm. ling. Bohem._
Prague 1704, seven new editions to 1753. Dolezal _Gramm. Slavico-bohem._
Pressburg 1746. Pohl _Böhmische Sprachkunst_, Vienna 1756, five editions
to 1783. Tham _Böhm. Sprachlehre_, Prague 1785; also his _Böhm.
Grammatik_, 1798-1804. Pelzel _Grandsätze der böhm. Sprache_, Prague
1797-98. Negedly _Böhm. Grammatik_, Prague 1804, fourth edition 1830.
Dobrovsky's _Lehrgebdude der böhm. Sprache_, Prague 1809, second edition
1819. Koneczny _Anleitung zur Erlernung der Böhm. Sprache,_ Prague
1846.--DICTIONARIES. Of these we mention only such as would aid persons
who wish to learn the language so far as to read Bohemian books;
referring the reader for an enumeration of the others to Schaffarik's
_Gesch._ p. 301. Weleslawin _Sylva quadrilinguis_, Prague 1598.
_Gazophylacium bohem. lat. graec. germ._ Prague 1671. Rohn _Böhmisch-lat.
deutscher Nomenclator_, Prague 1764-68. Tham _Böhmisch-deutsches
National-lexicon_ Prague 1805-7. Also his _Deutsch-böhmisches
und Bohmisch-deutsches Taschenwörterbuch_, Prague 1818.
Tomsa _Böhm. deutsch-lat. Wörterbuch,_ Prague 1791. Palkowicz
_Böhmisch-deutsch-lateinisches Wörterbuch_, Pressburg 1821. Koneczny
_Böhmish-Deutsches und Deutsch-Böhm. Taschenwörterbuch_, Prague 1846.
The same, _Handbuch der Böhmischen Sprache,_ Prague 1847.]

[Footnote 54: We have seen in the history of the Old Slavic language,
that on account of the great similarity of the old Slavic and the
Slovakish dialects, both in respect to form and grammatical structure
and in the meaning of words, it has been maintained by several
philologists, that the language of Cyril's translation of the Bible
was in the translator's time the Moravian _Slovakian_ dialect. See
above, p. 27.]

[Footnote 55: See above, p. 143.]

[Footnote 56: _Geschichte der slavischen Sprache_, etc. p. 377. G.
Palcowicz, who bought this manuscript, has inserted a large number of
Slovakish provincialisms in his Bohemian dictionary.]

[Footnote 57: See the same work, p. 381.]

[Footnote 58: More modern Slovakish popular songs are to be found in
Czelakowsky's collection, _Slowanske narodni pisne_, Prague 1822,
1827; also in _Pisnie swietske lidu slowenskeho w Uhrich_, Pesth 1823,
edited by Schaffarik. The little work _Slavische Volkslieder_, by
Wenzig, Halle 1830, contains sixteen Slovakish songs, mostly taken
from Czelakowsky's work, in a German translation. A large collection
of Slovakish popular poetry was made in 1834 by the distinguished poet
J. Kollar. It is said to contain 2300 pieces.]

[Footnote 53: See Schlözer's edition of Nestor, Vol. II. p. 76, 97.
_Jazyk_ signifies in Slavic, _lingua_, tongue.]

[Footnote 59: See _Geschichte der sl. Spr_. p. 383.]

[Footnote 60: Pages 199, 205.]

[Footnote 61: The same individual who caused the Dalmatian Bible to be
printed; see p. 131 above.]

[Footnote 62: These two individuals of the same baptismal and family
names, George Palkowicz, both following the same pursuits, and both
not without desert in respect to their countrymen, but nevertheless
serving opposite interests according to their different views, must
not be confounded. Professor Palkowicz prepared a new edition of the
Bohemian Bible for the Slovaks; see p. 205 above. Canon Palkowicz
translated the Scriptures into the Slovakian dialect. Professor P.
published a Bohemian dictionary, see pp. 205, 212; Canon P. the fourth
volume of Bernolak's Slovakian lexicon, as said in the text above.]

[Footnote 63: See pp. 199, 205.]

[Footnote 64: There does not yet exist a philological work, from which
a complete knowledge of the Slovakian language, in its different
dialects, could be obtained. The following works of Bernolak regard
chiefly the Slovakish-Moravian dialect: _Grammatica Slavica_, Posonii
1790. _Dissertatio de literis Slavorum_, Posonii 1783. _Etymologia
vocum Slavicarum_, Tyrnau 1791. _Lexicon Slav. Lot. Germ. Hung._ Buda



The regions of the Baltic and Lower Vistula, after the Goths and
Vandals had finally left them, were occupied, towards the fourth
century, by the Lettonians and Lithuanians, who are according to some
historians Slavic, and according to others Finnic-Scythic tribes.[1]
It appears, that the various nations which inhabited this country were
by the ancients comprised under the name of Sarmatae. In the sixth, or
according to others, in the seventh century, the Lekhes, a people
kindred to the Czekhes, and coming like them from the Carpathian
regions, whence they were urged forwards by the Bulgarians, settled on
the banks of the Vistula and Varta. Lekh (Ljakh) signified in old
Bohemian a free and noble man, and had this meaning still in the
fourteenth century.[2] The Lekhes were divided into several tribes, of
which, according to Nestor, at first only those who settled on the
vast plains, _polie_, of the Ukraine, were called _Polyane_, Poles,
i.e. inhabitants of the plain. The tribes which occupied Masovia were
called _Masovshane_; the Lekhes who went to Pomerania, _Pomoriane_,
etc. The specific name of _Poles_, as applied to all the Lekhish
tribes together, does not appear until the close of the tenth century,
when the generic appellation of Lekhes or Ljakhes had perished. In the
year 840, the chiefs of the different tribes united themselves under
one common head; at that time they are said to have chosen a
husbandman by the name of Pjast for their duke, and the male
descendants of this, their first prince, lived and reigned not less
than six hundred and thirty years. From Germany and Bohemia
Christianity was carried to Poland by Romish priests, probably as
early as the ninth century. In the beginning of the tenth, some
attempts were made to introduce the Slavic liturgy into Poland. Both
species of worship existed for some time peacefully side by side; and
even when, through the exertions of the Latin priesthood, the Slavic
liturgy was gradually superseded by the occidental rites, the former
was at least tolerated; and after the invention of printing, the
Polish city of Cracow was the first place where books in the Old
Slavic dialect, and portions of the Old Slavic Bible, were printed.[3]

In the year 965, the duke Miecislav married the Bohemian princess
Dombrovka, and caused himself to be baptized. From that time onward,
all the Polish princes and the greatest part of the nation became
Christians. There is however not one among the Slavic nations, in
which the influence Christianity must necessarily have exerted on its
mental cultivation, is so little visible; while upon its language it
exerted none at all. It has ever been and is still a favourite opinion
of some Slavic philologists, that several of the Slavic nations must
have possessed the art of writing long before their acquaintance with
the Latin alphabet, or the invention of the Cyrillic system; and among
the arguments by which they maintain this view, there are indeed some
too striking to be wholly set aside. But neither from those early
times, nor from the four or five centuries after the introduction of
Christianity, does there remain any monument whatever of the Polish
language; nay, with the exception of a few fragments without value,
the most ancient document of that language extant is not older than
the sixteenth century. Until that time the Latin idiom reigned
exclusively in Poland. The teachers of Christianity in this country
were for nearly five centuries foreigners, viz. Germans and Italians.
Hence arose that unnatural neglect of the vernacular tongue, of which
these were ignorant; the private influence of the German, still
visible in the Polish language; and the unlimited dominion of the
Latin. Slavic, Polish, and heathenish, were to them synonymous words.
Thus, while the light of Christianity everywhere carried the first
dawn of life into the night of Slavic antiquity, the early history of
Poland affords more than any other part of the Christian world a
melancholy proof, how the passions and blindness of men operated to
counterbalance that holy influence. But although so unfavourably
disposed towards the language, it cannot be said that the influence of
the foreign clergy was in other respects injurious to the literary
cultivation of the country. Benedictine monks founded in the beginning
of the eleventh century the first Polish schools; and numerous
convents of their own and other orders presented to the scholar an
asylum, both when in the year 1241 the Mongols broke into the country,
and also during the civil wars which were caused by the family
dissensions of Pjast's successors. Several chronicles in Latin were
written by Poles long before the history of the Polish literature
begins; and Polish noblemen went to Paris, Bologna, and Prague, to
study sciences, for the very elements of which their own language
afforded them no means.

Polish writers are in the habit of dividing the history of their
language into five periods.[4]

The _first_ period extends from the introduction of Christianity to
Cassimir the Great, A.D. 1333.

The _second_ period extends from A.D. 1333 to A.D. 1506, or the reign
of Sigismund I.

The _third_ period is the golden age of the Polish literature, and
closes with the foundation of the schools of the Jesuits, A.D. 1622.

The _fourth_ period comprises the time of the preponderance of the
Jesuits, and ends with the revival of literature by Konarski, A.D.

The _fifth_ period comprehends the interval from A.D. 1760 to the
revolution in 1830.

As the Polish literature of our own day bears a different stamp from
that of former times, we may add a _sixth_ period, extending from 1830
to the present time.

Before we enter upon a regular historical account of these different
periods, we will devote a few words to the history and character of
the language itself.

The extent of country, in which the Polish language is predominant, is
much smaller than would naturally be concluded from the great
circuit of territory, which, at the time of its power and
independence, was comprised under the kingdom of Poland. We do not
allude to the sixteenth century, when Poland by the success of its
arms became for a short time the most powerful state in the north;
when the Teutonic knights, the conquerors of Prussia, were compelled
to acknowledge its protection; and when not only were Livonia and
Courland, the one a component part of the Polish kingdom, and the
other a Polish fief, but even the ancient Smolensk and the venerable
Kief, the royal seat of Vladimir, and the Russian provinces adjacent
to Galicia, all were subjugated by Poland. We speak of this kingdom as
it was at the time of its first partition between Russia, Austria, and
Prussia. Of the four or five millions of inhabitants in the provinces
united with Russia at the three successive partitions of 1772, 1793,
and 1795, only one and a half million are strictly Poles, that is,
Lekhes, who speak dialects of that language;[5] in White and Black
Russia, the Russniaks are by far more numerous; and in Lithuania the
Lithuanians. Besides the independent language of these latter, the
Malo-Russian and White Russian dialects are spoken in these provinces;
and all documents of the grand-duchy of Lithuania before it was united
with Poland in A.D. 1569, were written in the latter.[8]

The Polish language is farther spoken: 1) By the inhabitants of the
kingdom of Poland formed in 1815, three and a half millions in number,
or reckoned together with the Poles of the Polish-Russian provinces,
five millions; 2) By the inhabitants of the cities and the nobility of
Galicia, belonging to Austria, and the Poles in the Austrian part of
Silesia, about three millions; 3) By the inhabitants of the small
republic of Cracow, about one hundred thousand; 4) By the inhabitants
of the Prussian grand-duchy of Posen, and a part of the province
called Western Prussia, together with the Poles in Silesia and the
Kassubes in Pomerania; In all less than two millions.[7]

Thus the Polish language is spoken by a population of about ten
millions.[8] Like all living languages, it has different dialects, and
is in one place spoken with greater purity than in another. As these
varieties, however, are neither very striking nor have ever had an
influence on literature, they do not concern us here.

The ancient Polish language seems to have been very nearly related to
the dialects of the Czekhes and the Sorabian Vendes. Although very
little is known in respect to the circumstances and progress of the
formation of the language into its present state, it is sufficiently
obvious, that it has been developed from the conflict of its natural
elements with the Latin and German idioms. Of the other Slavic
dialects, the Bohemian is the only one which has exerted any influence
upon the Polish tongue. The Italian and Turkish words introduced
during the dominion of an Italian priesthood, and through the
political relations of the Poles and the Turks, never entered deeply
into the body of the language; and might be easily exchanged for
better Polish forms of expression.

Of all the Slavic dialects, the Polish presents to the foreigner the
most difficulties; partly on account of the great variety and nicety
of shades in the pronunciation of the vowels, and from the combination
of consonants in such a way that only a Slavic tongue can conquer
them, and cause the apparent harshness in some measure to
disappear;[9] partly on account of its refined and artificial
grammatical structure. In this latter respect it differs materially
from the Russian language; which, although equally rich, is remarkable
for its simplicity and perspicuity. The Polish and Bohemian idioms, in
the opinion of the best judges, are above all others capable of
faithfully imitating the refinements of the classical languages; and
the Polish prose is modelled after the Latin with a perfection, which,
in the golden age of Polish literature, was one of its characteristic
features. It is therefore surprising, that the Polish language in
poetry, although in other respects highly cultivated, does not admit
the introduction of the classical prosody. We mean, the Polish
language in its present state; for it is very probable, that in its
original character it possessed, in common with all the other Slavic
languages, the elements of a regular system of _long_ and _short_
syllables. So long, however, as there have existed Polish poets, they
have not measured, but, in imitation of the French, have _counted_ the
syllables. With the exception of a few recent poets, who have written
in blank verse, and a few weak attempts to adapt the Greek principles
of accent to the Polish language, all Polish poetry is, like the
French, in rhyme; and the French Alexandrine is the favourite form of
the Polish poets.[10]


_From the introduction of Christianity to Casimir the Great, A.D.

In dividing the early part of the history of the Polish literature
into two periods, we follow the example and authority of Bentkowski;
although it seems to be singular to pretend to give an account of a
literature which did not yet exist. The history of the Polish
literature does not indeed properly begin before the close of the
second period; yet that of the _literary cultivation_ of the nation
commences with the beginning of that period; and a few slight traces
of it are to be found even in the middle of the first. Of the language
itself, nothing is left but the names of places and persons, and some
Polish words scattered through the Latin documents of the time,
written without orthographic rules, and therefore often hardly
intelligible. There exists an ancient Polish war-song, the author of
which is said to have been St. Adalbert, a Bohemian by birth, who was
bishop of Prague at the end of the tenth century;[11] but even
according to Rakowiecki, a philologist who is more disposed than any
other to find traces of an _early_ cultivation of the Slavic nations,
and especially of the Poles, this song, or rather hymn, is, in its
present form, not older than the fourteenth century. All that is
extant from this period is written in Latin. Besides some unimportant
documents and an anonymous biography of Adalbert, there remain several
historical works of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Martin Gallus, a Frenchman, who lived in Poland between 1110 and 1135,
is considered as the oldest Polish historian. Other chronicles of
Poland were written by the bishops of Cracow, Matthew Cholewa, and
Vincent, son of Kadlubec, who died in 1223; by Bogufal, bishop of
Posen, some twenty years later; and by Godzislav Baszko, about thirty
years later still. Strzembski wrote towards the middle of the
thirteenth century a history of the popes and Roman emperors. In 1008
duke Boleslav, the son of Miecislav, invited Benedictine monks to
Poland, who founded convents at Sieciechov and Lysagora, with schools
attached to them. This example was followed at a later period by other
orders: and in Poland, longer than in any other country, education was
entirely in the hands of the ecclesiastics. For several hundred years
the natives were excluded from all clerical dignities and privileges,
and the numerous monasteries were filled only with foreign monks. Even
as late as the fifteenth century, foreigners had decidedly the
preference. In the year 1237 Pelka, archbishop of Gnesen, directed the
institution of schools by the priests; but added the recommendation
to the bishops, that they should employ as teachers only Germans who
understood Polish. In A.D. 1285 at the synod of Leczyc, they went a
step further in excluding all foreigners, who were ignorant of the
Polish language, from the places of ecclesiastical teachers and
instructors. But more than eighty years later, it was found necessary
at the synod of Kalish in 1357 to repeat the same decree; and even a
century after this time, in A.D. 1460, John Ostrorog complained that
all the rich convents were occupied by foreign monks.[12] These
ignorant men were wont to throw into the fire the few writings in the
barbarian language, which they could discover; and, as instructors of
the youth, were able to fill the heads of the young nobility with the
most unnatural prejudices against the vernacular tongue of their own
country. Besides the clergy, many other foreigners also settled in
Poland, as mechanics and traders, especially Germans. But as they all
lived merely in the cities of Poland, they and their language had far
less influence on the people, than was the case in Bohemia, where they
mingled with all classes.


_From Casimir the Great to Sigismund I. A.D. 1333 to A.D. 1506._

Casimir is one of the few princes, who acquired the name of the Great
not by victories and conquests, but through the real benefits of laws,
national courts of justice, and means of education, which he procured
for his subjects. His father, Vladislaus Lokietek, had resumed the
royal title, which hitherto had been alternately taken and dropped;
and was the first who permanently united Great and Little Poland.
Under Casimir, the present Austrian kingdom of Galicia, which,
together with Lodomeria, the present Russian government Vladimir, was
then called Red Russia, was added by inheritance. Lithuania became
connected with Poland as a Polish fief in the year 1386. when queen
Hedevig, heiress of the crown of Poland, married Jagello, duke of
Lithuania; but was first completely incorporated as a component part
of the kingdom of Poland only so late as the year 1569. Masovia had
been thus united some forty years earlier. At the time of the marriage
of Hedevig and Jagello, the latter caused himself to be baptized, and
introduced Christianity into Lithuania, where he himself in many cases
acted as an apostle.

As to the influence of Casimir the Great upon the literary cultivation
of his subjects, it was more mediate than immediate. Whilst his
cotemporary and neighbour, Charles IV of Bohemia, loved and patronized
the language of that kindred nation. Casimir paid no attention
whatever to the vernacular tongue of his country; nor was any thing
done under his administration for the development of that rich
dialect. This king indeed, as early as A.D. 1347, laid the foundation
of the high school of Cracow; but the regular organization and
influence of this institution dates only from half a century
later.[13] But by introducing a better order of things, by providing
his subjects with their earliest code of laws, by instituting the
first constitutional diets, by fortifying the cities and protecting
the tillers of the soil against a wild and oppressive nobility, he
established a better tone of moral feeling throughout the nation. A
seed, sown in such ground, necessarily springs up slowly, but surely.

With Casimir the race of the Pjasts expired. His nephew, Louis of
Hungary, a prince of the house of Anjou, was elected king; but his
reign was spent in constant war, and left no trace of care for the
internal cultivation of the country. The limitation of the power of
the sovereign, and the exorbitant privileges of the Polish nobility,
date from the reign of this prince; he resided mostly in Hungary, and
granted to the Poles all their demands, in order to prevent the
alienation of their crown from his house. After his death his second
daughter, Hedevig, was preferred to the emperor Sigismund, who was
married to the eldest, Mary; because this prince refused to subscribe
the conditions demanded by the Polish Estates. Hedevig married Jagello
of Lithuania; and under their descendants the Jagellons, who reigned
nearly two centuries, Poland rose to the summit of its power and
glory. With Siegmund I, the grandson of Jagello, but the fifth king
after him, a new period of the Polish literature begins.

The history of the Polish language, as we have already said, properly
commences only with the close, or at the utmost with the middle of the
present period, when in the year 1488 the first printing office was
erected at Cracow. Of the more ancient times, with a few exceptions,
only weak and scattered traces are left. There was said to have
existed a Polish translation of the Bible, made by order of queen
Hedevig before the year 1390; but no copy had ever been seen; and
there was reason to doubt whether it ever existed. There was extant
however, an old manuscript of a Psalter, which the antiquarian Thadd.
Czacki took to be a fragment of it; and other ancient manuscripts of
portions of a Psalter were found at Saros Patak in Hungary, and seemed
to belong to it. But no one of these codices bore any incontestable
mark of its age. The Psalter of St. Florian, a convent near Linz in
Austria, discovered in 1826 by the librarian Chmel, proved at last to
be in reality the lost treasure. This important document, the origin
of which could be philologically and historically traced back to the
fourteenth century, after having given occasion to a passionate
conflict in the Slavic literary world, was finally published by
Kopitar in a complete and erudite edition, as the most ancient
monument of the Polish language.[14]

All other Polish manuscripts of those times are fragments; documents
relating to suits of law, translations of statutes issued in Latin,
the ten commandments in verse, a translation of one of Wickliffe's
hymns, etc.

The orthography of the language, and especially the adoption of the
Latin alphabet, seems to have troubled the few writers of this period
exceedingly. They appear to have founded their principles alternately
on the Latin, the Bohemian, and the German methods of combining
letters; an inconsistency, which adds greatly to the difficulties of
modern Slavic etymology.[15] In 1828 a remarkable manuscript was
published under the title, _Pamientniki Janozara_, or Memoirs of a
Janissary. It was the journal of a Polish nobleman, who had been
induced by circumstances to enter the Turkish army during the siege
and conquest of Constantinople, an event which took place A.D. 1453.
This interesting document of a language, that is so remarkably poor in
ancient monuments, was no longer intelligible to the common Polish
reader. It was necessary to add a version in modern Polish in order to
make it understood.

Annalists of Polish history, who wrote in Latin, were not wanting in
this period. Sig. Rositzius, Dzierzva,[16] and more especially John
Dlugosz, bishop of Lemberg, wrote histories and chronicles of
Poland; and the work of the latter is still considered as highly


_From Sigismund I, to the establishment of the schools of the Jesuits
in Cracow. A.D._. 1505 _to A.D_. 1622.

In northern climates, the bright and glowing days of summer follow in
almost immediate succession a long and gloomy winter, without allowing
to the attentive mind of the lover of nature the enjoyment of
observing, during a transient interval of spring, the gradual
development of the beauty of the earth. Thus the flowers of Polish
literature burst out from their buds with a rapidity unequalled in
literary history, and were ripened into fruit with the same prodigious

The university of Cracow had been reinstituted under Jagello in A.D.
1400, and organized after the model of that of Prague. Although the
most flourishing period of this institution was the sixteenth century,
yet it presented during the fifteenth to the Polish nobility a good
opportunity of studying the classics; and it is doubtless through this
preparatory familiarity with the ancient writers, that the phenomenon
to which we have alluded must be principally accounted for. It was
moreover now the epoch, when the genius of Christian Europe made the
most decided efforts to shake off the chains which had fettered the
freedom of thought. The doctrines of the German Reformers, although
the number of their professed disciples was in proportion smaller than
in Bohemia, had nevertheless a decided influence upon the general
direction of the public mind. The wild flame of false religious zeal,
which in Poland also under the sons and immediate successors of
Jagello, had kindled the faggots in which the disciples of the new
doctrines were called to seal the truth of their conviction with their
blood, was extinguished before the milder wisdom of Sigismund I;
although the early part of his reign was not free from religious
persecution. The activity of the inquisition was restrained. But the
new doctrines found a more decided support in Sigismund Augustus.
Poland became, under his administration, the seat of a toleration then
unequalled in the world. Communities of the most different religious
principles formed themselves, at first under the indulgence of the
king and the government, and finally under the protection of the law.
Even the boldest theological skeptics of the age, the two Socini,
found in Poland an asylum.[17]

The Bohemian language, which already possessed so extensive a
literature, acquired during this period a great influence upon the
Polish. The number of clerical writers, however, which in Bohemia was
so great, was comparatively only small in Poland. Indeed it is worthy
of remark, that while in other countries the diffusion of information
and general illumination proceeded from the clergy, not indeed as a
body, but from individuals among the clergy, in Poland it was always
the highest nobility who were at the head of literary enterprises or
institutions for mental cultivation. There are many princely names
among the writers of this period; and there are still so among those
of the present day. This may however be one of the causes, why
education in Poland was entirely confined to the higher classes;
while, even during this brilliant period, the peasantry remained in
the lowest state of degradation, and _nothing_ was done to elevate
their minds or to better their condition. For it is to the clergy,
that the common people have always to look as their natural and
bounden teachers; it is to the clergy, that a low state of cultivation
among the poorer classes is the most dishonourable. During this
period, however, the opportunity was presented to the people of
becoming better acquainted with the Scriptures, through several
translations of them into the Polish language, not only by the
different Protestant denominations, but also by the Romanists
themselves. Indeed, with the exceptions above mentioned, all the
translations of the Bible extant in the Polish language are from the
sixteenth or the beginning of the seventeenth century.[18]

We meet also, among the productions of the literature of this period,
a few catechisms and postillac, written expressly for the instruction
of the common people by some eminent Lutheran and reformed Polish
ministers. But the want of means for acquiring even the most
elementary information, was so great, that only a very few among the
lower classes were able to read them. The doctrines of the Reformers,
which every where else were favoured principally by the middle and
lower classes, in Poland found their chief support among the nobility.
Comparatively few of the people adhered to them. There was a time,
between 1550 and 1650, when half the senate,[19] and even more than
half of the nobility, consisted of Lutherans and Calvinists. In the
year 1570, these two denominations, together with the Bohemian
Brethren, formed a union of their churches by the treaty of Sendomir
for external or political purposes. In 1573, by another treaty known
under the name of _pax dissidentium_, they were acknowledged by the
state and the king, and all the rights of the Catholics were granted
to the members of these three denominations, and also to the Greeks
and Armenians. The want, however, of an accurate determination of
their mutual relation to each other, occasioned repeatedly in the
course of the following century bloody dissensions. The Protestants
succeeded, nevertheless, in maintaining their rights, until the years
1717 and 1718, when their number having gradually yet considerably
diminished, they were deprived of their suffrages in the diet. Their
adversaries went still further; and, after struggling against
oppression of all sorts, the dissidents had at length, in 1736, to be
contented with being acknowledged as _tolerated sects_. After the
accession of Stanislaus Poniatowsky to the throne in 1766, the
dissidents attempted to regain their former rights. In this they were
supported by several Protestant powers; but more especially by Russia,
who thus improved the opportunity of increasing its influence in
Polish affairs. In consequence of this powerful support, the laws
directed against the dissidents were repealed; and in 1775 all their
old privileges were restored to them, except the right of being
eligible to the stations of ministers of state and senators. In more
recent times the Protestants have been admitted to all the rights of
the Catholics; although the Roman Catholic is still the predominant
religion of the kingdom of Poland.

We have permitted ourselves this digression, and anticipation of time;
although we shall have an opportunity of again returning to this
subject. The influence of Protestantism on the literature of Poland
cannot be denied; although its doctrines and their immediate
consequence, the private examination and interpretation of the
Scriptures, have occupied the minds and pens of the Poles less than
those of any other nation among whom they have been received. We now
return to the sixteenth century.

The Polish language acquired during this period such a degree of
refinement, that even on the revival of literature and taste in
modern times, it was necessary to add nothing for its improvement;
although the course of time naturally had occasioned some changes.
Several able men occupied themselves with its systematic culture by
means of grammars and dictionaries. Zaborowski, Statorius, and
Januscowski wrote grammars; Macynski compiled the first dictionary.
The first part of Knapski's _Thesaurus_, an esteemed work even at the
present day, was first published in 1621, and may therefore be
considered as a production of this period. But the practical use,
which so many gifted writers made of the language for a variety of
subjects, contributed still more to its cultivation. The point in
which it acquired less perfection, and which appeared the most
difficult to subject to fixed rules, was that of orthography. That
the Latin alphabet is not fully adapted to express Slavic sounds, is
evident in the Polish language. Indeed the reputed harshness of this
language rests partly on the manner in which they were obliged to
combine several consonants, which to the eye of the occidental
European can only be united by intermediate vowels. On the other
hand, it is just this system of letters which forms a connecting link
between the Polish language and those of western Europe; and although
most Slavic philologists regret that the Latin alphabet ever should
have been adopted for any Slavic language in preference to the
Cyrillic, yet Grimm (with whom we fully agree) thinks that "the
adoption of the former, with appropriate additions corresponding to
the peculiar sounds of each language and dialect, would have been
beneficial to all European languages."[20]

Although the art of printing was introduced into Poland as early as
1488, when the first printing office was established at Cracow, yet
printed books first became generally diffused between the years 1530
and 1540. The first work printed in Poland was a calendar for the year
1490; the first book printed in the Polish language was Bonaventura's
life of Jesus, translated for the queen of Hungary, and published in
1522. In the second half of the sixteenth century nearly every city,
which had a considerable school, had also its printing office.[21] The
schools were unfortunately confined to the cities; nothing was done
for the peasantry, who have remained even to the most recent times in
a state of physical and moral degradation, with which that of the
common people of no other country except Russia can be compared. A
peasant who could read or write, would have been considered as a
prodigy. So much the more, however, was done for the national
education of the nobility. In the year 1579 the university of Wilna
was instituted; in 1594, another university was created at Zamosc in
Little Poland, by a private nobleman, the great chancellor Zamoyski;
which however survived only a few years, and perished in the beginning
of the seventeenth century.[22] Numerous other schools of a less
elevated character were founded at Thorn, Dantzic, Lissa, etc. most of
them for Protestants.

So early as under Casimir, the son of Jagello, the Polish language
began to be employed as the language of the court. Under his grandson
Sigismund Augustus, the public laws and decrees were promulgated in
the vernacular tongue of the country. But a language which thus issued
from the court, was necessarily also dependent on the changes of the
court. The influence of the French prince, Henry of Valois, successor
of Sigismund Augustus, could not be considerable, as he occupied the
throne only two months. But Stephen Bathory, prince of Transylvania,
the brother-in-law of Sigismund Augustus, who was elected after Henry
of Valois had deserted the country, was as a foreigner in the habit of
interspersing his conversation and writings with Latin words, when the
proper Polish words, of which language he had only an imperfect
knowledge, did not occur to him. It is hardly credible that such a
habit, or rather the imitation of it among his courtiers, could have
had any influence on a language already so well established and
cultivated, as the Polish idiom was at the close of the sixteenth
century. The Polish literary historians, however, ascribe to Bathory's
influence the fashion, which began at this time to prevail, of
debasing the purity of the Polish language by an intermixture of Latin
words and phrases.[23]

Although the Polish literature acquired during this period a kind of
universality, and there were few departments of science, familiar to
that age, which were not to some extent cultivated in it, yet it owes
its principal lustre to the contributions made in it to history,
poetry and rhetoric. The didactic style did not reach the perfection
of the historical; nor did Polish literature acquire any wide domain
in purely scientific productions. In accordance with the national
tendency, the mass of distinguished talents was devoted to those
interests, which yield an immediate profit in life, or which are
themselves rather the results of empirical knowledge, than of abstract
contemplation, viz. to politics, to eloquence, and to poetry, in so
far as this latter is considered not as a creative power, but as the
most appropriate means for expressing and describing the emotions,
passions, and actions of man. There have however always been not a few
gifted Poles, who have cultivated the field of science for its own
sake, without reference to the practical importance of their labours;
and there are more especially at the present time many distinguished
names among the Polish mathematicians, natural philosophers, and
chemists. In Copernicus himself, born indeed of parents of German
extraction, and in a city (Thorn) mostly inhabited by German
colonists, but also born a Polish subject and educated in a Polish
university, Poland and Germany seem to have equal rights.[24]

The principal reason why didactic prose did not acquire the same
degree of cultivation as the historical style, is, that all
scientific works during this period, which was that of the formation
of the language, were written by preference in Latin. Indeed, the
authority of the classical languages did not suffer at all from the
rising of the national literature. It is on the contrary a remarkable
fact, that the cultivation of the vernacular tongue of the country,
and the study of the Latin language in Poland, have ever proceeded
with equal steps. The most eminent writers and orators of this period,
who employed the Polish language, managed also the Latin with the
greatest skill and dexterity. Even for common conversation, Latin and
Polish were used alternately. Sigismund I, when separated from his
first queen, Barbara Zapolska, maintained with her a correspondence in
Latin; his second queen, Bona Sforza, used to employ that language in
their most familiar intercourse.[25] Choisnin, in his Memoirs of the
election of Henry of Valois, observes, that among a hundred Polish
noblemen, there were hardly to be found two, who did not understand
Latin, German, and Italian; and Martin Kromer goes so far as to state,
that perhaps in Latium itself fewer persons had spoken Latin fluently
than in Poland.[26] The reputation of the Latin poet Casimir
Sarbiewski, in Latin Sarbievus, spread through all Europe. Most Polish
poets were equally successful both in Polish and Latin verse. As the
former language first developed itself in poetry, we therefore, in our
enumeration of the principal writers of this time, begin with the

Here the influence of the classics, and, above all, that of the
Italian literature, is very distinctly perceived. Rey of Naglowic, ob.
1569, is called the father of Polish poetry. Most of his productions
are of the religious kind, chiefly in verse, but also orations and
postillæ. His chief work was a translation of the Psalms.[27]

His principal followers were the Kochanowskis, a name of threefold
lustre. John Kochanowski, ob. 1584, by far the most distinguished of
them, published likewise a translation of David's Psalms, which is
still considered as a classical work; in his other poems, Pindar,
Anacreon, and Horace, were alternately his models, without diminishing
the original value of his pieces.[28] Adam Mickiewicz compares him, in
respect to the brevity, conciseness, and terseness of his expression,
with the last named Roman poet; in reference to his treatment of the
classic elements, to Goethe. His brother Andrew translated Virgil's
Æneid; his nephew Peter, with more talent and success, the great epics
of Tasso and Ariosto.

Rybinski maintains, as a lyric poet, in the opinion of several
critics, the same rank with John Kochanowski; like him he wrote Polish
and Latin verses, and was created poet laureate. Simon Szymonowicz,
called Simonides, ob. 1629, obtained likewise the poetical crown from
the pope Clement VIII; indeed his Latin odes secured him a lasting
fame throughout all Europe, and procured him the appellation of the
Latin Pindar. In Polish he wrote mostly idylls, after the model of
Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus; but these, as their chief merit
consists in the sweetness and delicacy of the language, only natives
are able fully to appreciate.[29] The productions of his friend and
contemporary Zimorowicz have the same general character, but are of
less value in respect to diction. Other lyrical poets of merit may be
named; e.g. the archbishop of Lemberg, Grochowski, a very productive
writer; Czahrowski, Klonowicz, called also Acernus, and others.[30] As
poets of a religious character we name here together, without
reference to the denomination to which they belonged,--since most of
the Polish poetical productions of this age were of a higher character
than to suffer the intrusion of polemics,--Dambrowski, Bartoszewski,
Miaskowski, whoso hymns are considered as the finest of that period,
Sudrovius, Turnowski, and others. The age was also rich in satires and
epigrams, Polish as well as Latin. Productions of this class by the
two Zbylitowskis, Pudlowski, Kraiewski, and a great many others, are
still extant.

The facility of rhyme in a language so rich in rhymes as the Polish,
seduced several writers to use verse as a vehicle for the most trivial
thoughts, or for subjects the very nature of which is opposed to
poetry. Thus Paprocki of Glogol, who is esteemed as a diligent
historian and accurate investigator of the past, wrote his numerous
works on genealogy and heraldry mostly in rhyme.[31] Other historical
poems were also written, which perhaps would not have been utterly
deficient in merit, had they been transferred into prose.

Eloquence, so nearly related to poetry, and which, nevertheless,
perhaps on that very account, should be distinguished from it by the
most definite limits, is a gift, the cultivation of which may be
expected above all in a republic. The Poles possess indeed all the
necessary qualities for public orators; and eminent talents not only
for poetical eloquence, but also for the pulpit, are not uncommon
among them. Gornicki, ob. after 1591, Czarnkowski, Odachowski, and
others, but especially the first named, were considered as the most
distinguished orators of the age. The eloquence of the pulpit was
exhibited in its highest eminence by Peter Skarga, court preacher of
Sigismund III, whom his cotemporaries used to call the Polish
Chrysostom; and by the learned Jesuit Wuiek, who also translated the
Bible into Polish.[32] The sermons and orations of both of them,
besides numerous other theological productions, were published at the
time. Other theological writers of some distinction were, among the
Catholics, Stanislaus Karnkowski, archbishop of Gnesen, Bierkowski,
who was Skarga's successor, Bialobrzeski, Kuczborski, the Jesuit
Rosciszewski, and others; among the Protestants, Seklucyan, the
translator of the Polish Bible for Protestants;[33] Koszutski of
Zarnowec, Radomski, Gilowski, and Budny, one of the leaders of the
Unitarians, who also translated the Bible into Polish from the
original languages.[34] We must remark, that the Polish theological
literature of this period evinced much less of a polemical spirit than
might have been expected, in an age when that of the neighbouring
countries, Bohemia and Germany, abounded in controversial books and
pamphlets, replete with unchristian bitterness and doctrinal rigidity.
For productions of this character we have to look in Poland to the
following period. The wise moderation of the two Sigismunds, and of
Stephen Bathory, seems to have had a prodigious influence on the minds
of the nation, to pacify them and keep them within appropriate limits.

History, especially national history, was justly considered as one of
the subjects most worthy of human attention. History is the great
school, in which nations appear as the pupils, experience as the
teacher; and the fate of mankind depends on a wise application of the
great moral lessons which they daily receive. Most of the Polish
historians of this ago preferred however the Latin language; but their
productions are too intimately connected with Poland to be separated
from its literature, and may, therefore, be named here. The Polish
chronicle written by Matthew of Miechow, body physician to Sigismund
I, and published in 1521, was the first historical work printed in
Poland. Martin Kromer, bishop of Ermeland or Warmia, called the Livy
of Poland, Wapowski, Guagnini, an Italian, but naturalized and
ennobled in Poland, and Piasecki, a Protestant, distinguished for his
frankness, wrote works on Polish history; Koialowicz, on that of
Lithuania. They all wrote in Latin. The first who published an
historical work in Polish was Martin Bielski, ob. 1576. His chronicle
of Poland, which is of value in every respect, is written in a style
so beautiful, that it was called _le style d'or_. His son Joachim
continued this work as far as to the reign of Sigismund III.[35]
Another Polish chronicle, compiled with more erudition than taste, was
written by Stryikowski, the author of numerous works on various

Other writers of merit, some of whom published original works on
portions of history, while some translated the Latin volumes of their
countrymen, or those of classic historical authors, were Wargocki, the
Polish translator of Julius Cæsar, and other Roman writers;
Orzechowski, also lauded as an orator; Januszowski, Blazowski,
Paszkowski, Cyprian Bazylik, and others. Works on tactics were
published by John Tarnowski, a general celebrated in his time; by
Strubicz, and Cielecki. Collections of statutes and laws were made by
Herbart, Sapieha, Groicki, Sarnicki, and others.

Several memoirs referring to this period, and written during it, have
been first published in our days; since the value of cotemporary
historical documents has begun to be sufficiently appreciated. One of
these publications (Wilna, 1844) is a chronicle referring to the first
half of the sixteenth century; and was written by John Tarnowski, the
general mentioned above. The manuscript had been long considered as

It still remains to note the progress made in the philosophical
sciences. We remarked above, that scientific works in Poland were
mostly written in Latin; and since the case with them is different
from that of historical works,--because, as the results of scientific
examination and discovery, they are independent of the country where
they are written, and belong to the world,--we therefore mention here
only those works which were published in the Polish language.
Falimierz, in Latin Phalimirus, first ventured to use the vernacular
tongue of the country for a scientific book. He published as early as
1534 a work on natural history, and especially _Materia medica_. The
first medical work in the Polish language was written in 1541 by Peter
of Kobylin; the first mathematical work by Grzebski. Their example was
followed by Latosz, Rosciszewski, Andrew of Kobylin, Umiastowski,
Spiczynski, Siennik, Oczko, Grutinius, Syrenski, in Latin Sirenius,
and others, all physicians, astronomers, botanists, etc.[36]


_From the erection of the Cracovian Jesuit Schools in A.D_. 1622, _to
the revival of science in A.D_. 1760.

The noble race of the Jagellons had become extinct on the death of
Sigismund Augustus, in 1572.[37] Poland had become formally an
elective monarchy. Henry of Valois was the first to subscribe the
_pacta conventa_, the fundamental law of the national liberty; the
nation being understood to consist legally only of the nobility.[38]
Stephen Bathory's strength kept the discordant elements together; and
while at home he took care to improve the administration of justice,
and erected the high tribunals of Petricau, Lublin, and Wilna, his
victorious arms in his contest with Russia raised Poland for a short
time to the summit of its glory. But under his successor Sigismund
III, a Swedish prince, and nephew of Sigismund Augustus and of
Stephen, began that anarchy which is to be considered as the principal
cause of Poland's final calamitous fate. For about fifty years the
Poles still maintained with equal valour, though with alternate good
and ill success, their warlike character abroad; even while internal
dissensions and bloody party strife raged in their own unhappy
country. But to such fundamental evils, combined with the rising power
of Russia, with the revolt of the Kozaks in 1654, occasioned
principally by religious oppression, and with the gradual but sure
advancement of a new rival in the elector of Brandenburg, hitherto
considered as a weak neighbour--to all these influences, the building
thus sapped in its foundation could make no resistance, and its walls
could not but give way, when they were suddenly shaken by the hands of
avaricious and powerful enemies from without.

The perversion of taste, which at the beginning of the seventeenth
century reigned in Italy, and thence spread over all Europe, with much
more rapidity indeed than the true poetry and pure style of the
fifteenth century had done, created also in the literature of Poland a
new period; which, through the political circumstances above referred
to, was protracted to a greater length than would have been expected
in a literature already so rich in national models. To the remarkable
activity of mind in the preceding period, there followed a literary
lethargy. A very pernicious influence is also ascribed, by the
literary historians of Poland, to the Jesuits; although this order is
in general disposed to favour the cultivation of science. Under
Sigismund III, they were shrewd enough to make themselves gradually
masters of nearly all the colleges; and after a long and obstinate
struggle, even the university of Cracow had to submit. According to
Bentkowski, it was principally by their influence, that the tone of
panegyric and of bombast was introduced, which for nearly a hundred
and fifty years disgraced the Polish literature. The tastelessness of
this style reached its highest point under John Sobieski; when the
panegyrics with which this victorious captain was hailed by his
courtiers, became the model for all similar productions. The fashion,
first introduced at the close of the preceding period, of
interspersing the Polish language with Latin words and phrases, became
during the present more and more predominant; and was at length
carried so far as to give even to Polish words a false Latin sound, by
means of a Latin termination. French, German, and Italian forms of
expression soon obtained the same right. But what was still worse, and
what indeed affected the language most of all, was the fact, that even
the natural structure and well established syntax of the Polish
language had to give place to an injudicious imitation of foreign
idioms. Thus the very circumstance of its great pliancy, one of its
principal excellencies, became a source of its corruption.

Poland, moreover, at a time when the minds of the rest of Europe were
tolerably pacified in a religious respect, became the scene of
theological controversies full of sophistry and bitterness, the
natural consequence of the incipient oppression of the dissidents. The
literature was overwhelmed with pamphlets, stuffed with a shallow
scholastic erudition, and written in a style both bombastic and
vulgar. But the influence of the Jesuits was not limited to literature
and science; it had a still more unhappy result in its active
consequences. Poland became also during this century the theatre of a
religious persecution, less authorized by even the semblance of law
than any which had before, or has since, occurred in other countries.
The Arians or Unitarians, after having been for more than sixty years
tacitly included in the general appellation of _dissidents_, had to
sustain between the years 1638 and 1658 the utmost rigour of
oppression, and were finally banished from the country; and all this
without having done any thing to forfeit their rights as dissidents,
from which body they had to be formally expelled by the united hatred
of the other Protestants and Catholics, before even a pretext could be
devised of proceeding lawfully against them. Nor had the Lutherans,
Calvinists, Greeks, and Armenians, who, after the exclusion of the
Unitarians, Quakers, and Anabaptists, were alone comprised under the
name of dissidents, given any occasion for that gradual deprivation
which they had to encounter of their lawful rights, in the possession
of which they had been a hundred and fifty years undisturbed. The
storm which threatened them, first manifested itself publicly in the
diets of 1717 and 1718, and degenerated at last into open and
shameless persecution. In the year 1724, a quarrel arose at Thorn, on
occasion of a procession of the Jesuits, between the students of one
of their schools and those of the Lutheran gymnasium. A Lutheran mob
intermeddled and committed some excesses; in consequence of which the
Jesuit Wolanski, in the name of his order, instituted a lawsuit
against the Lutheran magistracy of the city. The result of this
lawsuit was a tragedy, such as only the bloody pages of the books of
the inquisition can exhibit, and unequalled as to its motives in the
annals of the eighteenth century. All the perpetrators were punished
with the utmost rigour; while Rösner, the president of the city,
together with eleven other citizens, was publicly beheaded, and their
property confiscated for the benefit of the order.

A body which acted in such a spirit, placed at the head of public
education, could exert but a very injurious influence in a moral and
religious respect; its influence on the literature and language has
been described above. The general mental paralysis and lethargy, which
reigned in Poland during this period, can indeed hardly be ascribed
solely to their influence; but the latter served greatly to increase
it. For more than twenty years _all_ the schools in the whole country
were in the hands of the Jesuits; and when in the year 1642 the
congregation of the Piarists erected their first school in Warsaw,
which soon was followed by several others founded by the same order,
these seminaries had to struggle for nearly a century, watched and
oppressed by the jealousy and despotism of the Jesuits, before they
could acquire any influence consistent with the spirit in which they
were founded. To the talents and firmness of Stanislaus Konarski,
himself a Piarist, the Polish literary historians ascribe the
principal merits of the final victory of his order. His endeavours
indeed were favoured by a combination of fortunate circumstances.
Literature and the fine arts found a friend and protector in a gifted
and accomplished king, and in several high-minded noblemen of even
more than regal authority. But the period of pedantry, perversion of
taste, and deficiency of true criticism, had already lasted more than
a hundred and thirty years. There was much to be done to cleanse the
beds in the garden of literature from all the weeds which had
luxuriated there, and to fertilize a soil which had so long lain
fallow. The details of these endeavours belong however to the
following period.

To the character of the theological literature of this age, we have
above alluded. Among the Protestant writers were Andrew and Adalbert
Wengierski. The works of the latter gave occasion to the polemical
discussions of the Jesuit Poszakowski, himself the author of a history
of the Lutheran and of the Calvinistic creed, and of several other
books. Other works on subjects of theology and education, or
collections of sermons and devotional exercises, were published by the
Jesuits Szczaniecki, Koialowicz, Sapecki, Poninski, Zulkicwski, and
others; and the Piarists Gutowski, Wysocki, Rosolecki, and others. The
Jesuit Niesiecki wrote a comprehensive biblio-biographical work of
great merit, which is considered as one of the best sources for the
inquirer in Polish history and literature.[39] Another Jesuit, Wiiuk
Koialowicz, translated Tacitus' Annals into Polish, and wrote in Latin
a history of Lithuania. Knapski, also a Jesuit, published a large
dictionary or "Thesaurus," which is still highly esteemed.
Luhienski, archbishop of Gnesen, wrote in 1740 the first detailed
geography in the Polish language. One of the most productive writers
on various subjects of theology, history, and politics, was
Starowolski, who died in 1656. Fourteen of his forty-seven works are
written in Polish, the rest in Latin. We mention further, as
geographical and historical writers of some merit, the Piarist Kola,
professor Saltszewicz, Chodkicwicz, Niemir and Chwalkowski; and as a
distinguished mathematician and scholar of general information,

We conclude this period with the poets of that age; who, although
perhaps they exhibited more talent than the cotemporary prose writers,
must necessarily, from the nature of poetry, have suffered more from
the predominant tastelessness of the time. Sam. Twardowski, ob. 1660,
must be named first; a poet of fine gifts, but of an impure,
bombastic, rhetorical style, the author of numerous lyrical and epic
poems of very unequal value. After him came Vespasian Kochowski, the
best lyric poet of the age; Gawinski, a very productive author, whose
pastorals have been collected by Mostowski, together with those of
Kochanowski, Simonides, and other classical poets; and Wenceslaus
Potocki, the author of novels, poetry, and more especially epigrams,
not without merit, but frequently licentious and indelicate. Among the
poets of this age, who are in some measure distinguished by Polish
critics, we find also a lady. Elizabeth Druzbacka, a poetess of high
rank, but without a literary education or a knowledge of foreign
languages, though not without natural gifts. Satires were written by
Dzwonowski and Opalinski; historical and didactic poems by Bialabocki,
prince Jablonowski, and by Leszczynski, father of king Stanislaus
Leszczynski. Ovid was translated by Zebrowski and Otfinowski; Lucan's
Pharsalia by Chroscinski, who versified also portions of the Bible;
and again with more fidelity and skill by the Dominican monk

Other poets of this age were, prince Lubomirski, who on account of his
wealth and wise sayings is styled the Polish Solomon; prince
Wisniowiocki, who published whole poems without the letter _r_,
because he could not pronounce that letter; Bratkowski, the author of
a series of happy epigrams; Falibogowski, Szymonowski, the Jesuits
Ignes and Poniatowski, and others.


_From Stephen Konarski, A.D. 1760, to the Revolution in 1830_.

The Polish language, at the beginning of this period, was in a
melancholy state; it was, to use Schaffarik's expression, stripped of
its natural gifts of perspicuity, simplicity, and strength, deformed
by tastelessness, and grown childish and obsolete at the same time. An
able work, _Memoirs_, referring to the period between 1750 and 1760,
written by K.H. Kallontaj, and published a few years since by count E.
Raczynski, gives a graphic picture of the miserable and illiterate
state of society in Poland at that time; and shows clearly how the
seeds of decay and destruction were already scattered with full hands
on a susceptible soil. It was a fortunate circumstance, that, just at
the time when several of the most powerful Polish noblemen began to
feel an intense and patriotic interest in their neglected
language,--the king Stanislaus Augustus and his uncle prince
Czartoryski at their head,--there awoke a number of gifted minds, who
began to plant with so much activity on the long deserted though still
fertile soil, that the field of Polish literature soon flourished and
bore fruit again. These fruits, however artificial and _un_national in
their character, could only be compared to green-house productions.
Various effective measures were taken for the revival of literature,
and also for the promotion of science and art. But the new patrons
could not afford to wait. The French literature of the day, with all
its levity, shallowness, and splendour, seemed to be a material nearer
at hand and more in harmony with the spirit of the court--the only
school of revival for Polish literature--than their own national
productions of former ages. In this way we may explain in part the
frivolous tone, the shallow-mindedness, which prevail in all the
Polish works of this age; during a period when vehement passions and
furious contests already tore the country in pieces, and deep sorrow
and grief reigned among all classes of society.

The establishment of the Monitor, a periodical work, to which the best
and ablest men of Poland contributed, first exerted a superficial
happy influence on the language.[40] Of still more importance in this
respect was the establishment of a national stage, at the head of
which were distinguished and well qualified men. But the measure which
produced more effect than any other, was the appointment of a
department of Education, resolved upon by the diet of 1775. Public
instruction was thus made one of the great concerns of the government
itself; and the power of the Jesuits, which had been for some time on
the decline, was finally annihilated. The rich income of this order
was henceforth entirely set apart for the benefit of learned
institutions, to which free access was given. The provincial or
departmental schools throughout the whole kingdom received a new
organization on a different plan; and the university of Cracow resumed
again its former rights. In respect to the instruction and melioration
of the situation of the common people, we find as yet no attention
whatever paid to these important subjects. It was not until 1807, or
the foundation of the duchy of Warsaw under the administration of the
king of Saxony, that the lower classes obtained their rights as men;
and unfortunately even then without the power of availing themselves
of these rights. Stanislaus Augustus, however, and some of his
advisers and counsellors, acted in this respect with an honest will
and noble intention; and by promoting the general interests of mankind
in literature and science, did much for the social improvement of
their own country.

Meanwhile, this unhappy country was the scene of the most violent
party struggles; during which the heads of the parties conducted
themselves with the most revolting selfishness, and an entire
forgetfulness of all political consequences and of their own moral
responsibility. The fanaticism of the bishops of Cracow and Warsaw
refused to the dissidents the restoration of their rights; and Russia
thus acquired the first pretext for intermeddling with Polish affairs.
In the course of a few years, Poland was reduced to that torn and
broken state, which induced Catharine II to consider it as a country
"where one needed only to stoop, in order to pick up something." For a
short time this course of things even seemed to be favourable to
literature. The minds of men were in a state of excitement, which gave
them power to produce the greatest and most extraordinary things. But
a reaction very naturally followed. After twenty years of mental and
political struggles and combats, to sustain which claimed the whole
united powers of mind and soul,--twenty years numerically productive
in every department,--there followed a mental calm, an intellectual
blank, of more than twelve years.

It was, as if with the political dissolution of the kingdom, with the
annihilation of the unity of the nation, this latter had sunk back
into a state of intellectual paralysis. The interval from A.D. 1795 to
A.D. 1807, in comparison with the years which preceded and have
followed, was remarkably poor in productions of value. The literature
of translations rose in an undue proportion, and the purity of the
language suffered considerably. The government of the duchy of Warsaw
acted on wise and truly humane principles; and during the short period
between 1807 and 1812, all was done for the improvement of the
country, which the unfortunate circumstances of the case permitted.
Under this administration the number of schools rose from 140 to 634;
a commission was instituted for procuring the publication of
appropriate books of instruction in the Polish language; and several
similar measures were taken for advancing the best interests of the
country. The constitution of the new kingdom of Poland, in 1815,
entered essentially into the same views; and was in every respect
favourable to the development of the mental faculties of the nation.
The modern kingdom of Poland embraced, indeed, not much more than the
sixth part of the vast territory, which under the Jagellons had
constituted the kingdom of that name. Before the cessions at Andrussov
in the year 1667, the ancient kingdom contained sixteen millions of
inhabitants; the census of the modern kingdom in 1818, counted only
2,734,000. But that the population of this exhausted country increased
during the Russian administration,--especially in consequence of the
encouragement given to foreign colonists, the establishment of
manufactures which furnished means of support for the lower classes,
and other similar measures,--is apparent from the results of the
census of 1827; according to which the kingdom then contained
3,705,000 inhabitants.[41]

In the field of science and literature, the nobility had at length
found rivals among the free citizens; and the courts of these temples
were now, through the erection of village schools, made accessible
even to the peasant, who was, in name at least, no longer a degraded
slave.[42] If the Russian government in Poland had been exercised in
practice, according to the same principles on which it was founded; if
Alexander's first intentions had been practically executed in the same
spirit in which the happiness of his Polish subjects had been
theoretically planned; perhaps it would have been less difficult to
reconcile the minds of the Poles to the loss of their independence as
a nation, which they justly consider as an inestimable good. We have
here no concern with politics, except so far as they have a necessary
influence on the state of general cultivation; or so far as they give
birth to important occasional appearances in the republic of letters.
Considered in the first point of view, it is not to be denied, that
the Polish nation, since the foundation of the _constitutional_
Russian kingdom of Poland in 1815, has made more progress towards
social improvement, and has advanced more towards a state of equality
in a mental and intellectual respect with the countries of middle
Europe, viz. Germany, France and England, than during the whole vast
period of their previous existence.

For most of these improvements, however, the preparation had already
been made, in the last ten years before the dissolution of the
republic. The emancipation of the serfs, who comprised the whole
peasantry, one of the fundamental laws of the duchy of Warsaw in 1807,
was confirmed at the creation of the kingdom of Poland in 1815. In the
diet of the kingdom, not only the nobility and the government, but
also the cities and smaller communities, had their own representatives;
and all Christian denominations acquired equal political rights. To
the universities of Cracow, Wilna, and Lemberg,[43] there was added
in 1818 a fourth at Warsaw. The kingdom of Poland contained in 1827,
in each of its eight woiwodships, a palatine school, and besides this
three other institutions for the higher branches of education;
fourteen principal department schools, and nine for sub-departments;
several professional seminaries for miners, teachers, agriculturists,
and others; a military academy, a school for cadets, and a number of
elementary schools, both private and public.[44] The Russian-Polish
provinces, i.e. the part of Poland united with Russia in the three
successive dismemberments of Poland, participate in all the means of
education which the Russian empire affords; the province of West
Prussia and the grand duchy of Posen, in those of the kingdom of
Prussia, where an enlightened government has made, as is generally
acknowledged, the mental improvement of the lower classes one of its
principal objects. The Austrian kingdom of Galicia had in the year
1819 two lyceums, twelve gymnasiums, several other institutions for
education of different names and for specific purposes, and also
numerous elementary schools. The Catholic religion is here the only
reigning one; although the Protestants, who here are still comprised
under the name of dissidents, are tolerated.

The literary activity of the Polish nation occupied in 1827 not less
than sixty printing offices and twenty booksellers. Of the latter,
fifteen were in Warsaw, the rest scattered over all the province
formerly belonging to Poland. At Warsaw alone five daily political
papers and one weekly were published in the Polish language; besides
these there existed only five, viz. one in each of the four larger
cities, Cracow, Lemberg, Wilna, and Posen, and a fifth at St.
Petersburg. There are other periodicals for scientific objects
published at Warsaw; while in the other cities the German publications
of that character are chiefly read. The periodical published by the
national institution, called after count Ossolinski, at Lemberg, is
however considered as the most important in the Polish language.

The high spirit of the Polish nation, and that glowing patriotism for
which they are so distinguished, has induced them during the period of
their unnatural partition and amalgamation with foreign nations, to
devote more zeal than ever to the sole national tie which still binds
together the subjects of so many different powers--their language.
There have been numerous learned societies founded; among them, above
all, the society of the friends of science at Warsaw, to which the
most eminent men of the nation belong, must be distinguished.
Academies of arts and sciences have been established, and associations
formed for various scientific purposes. The influence of all these
institutions, more especially that of the above-mentioned society at
Warsaw, has been very favourably employed in limiting that of the
French and German languages, naturally induced by political

The French language indeed, independently of the political events of
modern times, had already acted powerfully on the Polish at the close
of the preceding period. In poetry, the affected bombastic school of
the Gongorists and Marinists had been supplanted throughout all Europe
by the better taste of the cold, stiff, and formal French poets, whose
defects it was much easier to imitate than their merits. For more than
half a century the French language reigned with an uncontrolled and
unlimited sovereignty over all the literary world. But its most
absolute dominion was in Poland. In the manners of the nobility of
this country, French gracefulness and ease were, in a peculiar and
interesting manner, blended with the daring heroism of the knight and
the luxuriousness of the Asiatic despot. French refinement and French
witticism covered the rudeness and revelry characteristic of the
middle ages. French teachers and governesses had inundated the whole
country, and a journey to France was among the requisite conditions of
an accomplished education. The Polish writers--all of them belonging
to the nobility--to whom, from their youth, the French language was
equally familiar with their own, unconsciously disfigured the latter
by Gallicisms; since French forms of expression seemed to be the
best adapted for the expression of French thoughts and French
philosophy. A modern Polish author calls the Polish literature of this
period a second edition of the French with inferior types and on worse
paper.[45] Long after the rest of literary Europe had shaken off the
yoke, the Polish poets, although the genius of their rich, creative,
and pliant language was decidedly opposed to such a slavery, continued
to submit to French rules and laws, and do so partly still.

We begin the enumeration of the distinguished writers of this period,
with its principal founder, Stephen Konarski, mentioned above,[46] who
was born A.D. 1700, and died in 1773. In his seventeenth year he
entered the order of Piarists, and became later a professor in the
college of this congregation at Warsaw. After a long stay in Italy and
France, he returned to Poland; accompanied king Stanislaus Leszczynski
to Lorrain; but again returned to his country and founded several
institutions for education in Warsaw, Wilna, and Lemberg, on
principles different from those of the Jesuits. In the year 1747 he
went a third time to France, but returned after three years; and from
that time devoted himself entirely to the literary and mental reform
of his own country. Of his printed works, twenty-eight in number,
fourteen are written in Polish. They embrace different topics in
poetry, and a tragedy; but his principal merits lie in his writings on
the subject of politics and education.[47]

After him we name the illustrious philosopher Stanislaus Leszczynski.
Most of his works, on politics and ethics, were written in French; in
the Polish language he wrote, besides one or two other works, a
history of the Old and New Testaments in verse.[48] Zaluski, known
more especially by the foundation of a large and celebrated library,
in which he spent an immense fortune, and which he finally made over
to his country,[49] was the friend of king Stanislaus and of Konarski.
In possession of an uncommon amount of knowledge, and a very extensive
erudition, which however he owed more to his remarkable memory than to
any distinguished capacity, he wrote a large number of Latin and
Polish books on literary and biographical subjects, and on poetry; in
all which the genius of the preceding period still reigns.

Another nobleman of high rank, who distinguished himself by his
patriotism and erudition, was Wenceslaus Rzewuski, woiwode of Podolia,
and cotemporary with Zaluski, whom he surpassed however in critical
taste and productive powers. His translation of the Psalms is highly
esteemed. A still higher name as a patron of literature and the arts,
is the uncle of king Stanislaus Augustus, prince Adam Czartoryski. He
was marshal of the diet in 1764, when the ill-famed _liberum veto_ was
abolished, which gave to every deputy, singly, the right of
overthrowing the otherwise unanimous resolutions of the diet, and thus
was the principal cause of the lawless disorder which disgraced the
sessions of that body. His merits as a statesman and a Mecænas are
equal. Several historical works, designed to advance the honour of
Poland, were published under his care and at his instigation. Amid all
his numerous avocations, he found time to write several pieces for the
national stage; which, as a promoter of the purity of the language,
was a subject of his particular care and attention.[50]

By the side of the name of Czartoryski, shines that of Potocki. More
than one member of this illustrious family had in former times
acquired the right of citizens in the republic of letters. Count Paul
Potocki and his grandson Anthony, in the seventeenth and beginning of
the eighteenth century, were both equally celebrated for their
talents. The works of the former were published by count Zaluski,
under the title of _Genealogia Potockiana_; the speeches and addresses
of the latter are partly printed in Daneykowicz' _Suada Polona_, and
were in their time considered as models. But the most elevated rank in
this family is occupied by the two brothers Ignatius and Stanislaus
Kostka Potocki, whether as patriots and statesmen, or as writers and
patrons of science. Ignatius, besides promoting several literary
undertakings, and bearing the expenses of more than one journey for
the purposes of science and learning, was himself a distinguished
writer. He translated Condillac's work on logic, and introduced it
into the Polish schools as a class book. His merits in respect to
public education were great; he was one of the most urgent promoters
of the emancipation of the serfs; and at his death in the year 1809,
he left behind the reputation of a true friend of the people. His
brother Stanislaus Kostka, although entertaining the same political
principles, did not take the same active part during the struggles of
the Poles for their expiring independence; he retired to Austria after
the king had joined the confederation of Targowicz, and there devoted
himself entirely to his studies. In 1807 he returned to his country;
and there, as president of the department for schools and education,
he found means to carry out his enlightened views and benevolent
intentions for the good of his country. At the foundation of the
kingdom of Poland in 1815, he was made minister of public instruction,
and was always found at the head of every noble and patriotic
undertaking. From his oratorical powers, he was called _princeps
eloquentiæ_. In respect to genius he was above his brother; although
the latter seems to have surpassed him in energy of character. His
principal work, "on Style and Eloquence," was published in 1815;
another work of value is his translation of Winkelmann's book on
ancient art, which he accompanied by illustrations and remarks, but
did not finish. His influence on Polish literature was decided.[51]
Another nobleman, distinguished as an orator and political writer, was
Hugo Kollantay, count Sztumberg, who published, together with Ignatius
Potocki, a history of the constitution.

At the head of the historical writers of this period stands Adam
Naruszewicz, the faithful translator of Tacitus, whose style he
adopted also in his original works. His history of the Polish nation
is considered as a standard work; as a production, which in respect to
erudition, philosophical conception, and style, is the _chef d'oeuvre_
of Polish literature. The six volumes published by himself comprise
only the period between A.D. 965 and 1386, beginning with the second
volume; as for the first, which was to have contained the earliest
history of Poland, he intended to have executed it afterwards, and had
indeed collected all the necessary materials, but was prevented by
death. The Warsaw Society of Friends of Science published it thirty
years after his death, and endeavoured to engage the principal talents
of Poland in the continuation of his work. This was done in such a
way, that each writer was to undertake the history of the
administration of a single king; and at last, after each part had
appeared separately, the society was to make a collection of the
whole, and, if necessary, cause it to be rewritten. Several able men
have devoted themselves to this work. The plan of the society, which
by its very nature excluded all unity of character, seems to have met
with more approbation than, according to our opinion, it deserved. The
Polish public is however indebted to it for more than one valuable
work on history, to which it gave birth. Naruszewicz had collected for
his undertaking a library of materials, in 360 folio volumes. He wrote
also a history of the Tartars, a biography of the Lithuanian captain
Chodkiewicz, and was admired as a poet. He died in 1796, it is said of
grief at the fate of his unhappy country.

Naruszewicz was educated by the Jesuits, and was himself of that order
until its dissolution. He died as bishop of Luck. In respect to time
he stands as the first eminent writer of a new period, just on the
verge of the past; and even his warmest admirers do not deny that he
participated, in some slight degree, in the character of that past, by
a certain inclination to panegyric and a flowery style. But in energy
and richness of thought, he far surpasses all his predecessors, and
has not yet been reached by any who have written after him.[52]

Another historical work of value on Poland, was edited by Joachim
Lelewel. The history of Poland by Waga, in the want of any thing more
suitable, had been in use as a class book in the Polish schools for
more than fifty years. Lelewel, in order to improve its popularity,
took this book as a foundation, but completely recast it, divided the
history of Poland according to a plan perfectly new, completed the
work, and published it under Waga's name. His rich additions regard
chiefly the legislature, statistics, and the cultivation of the
country. His very division of the history of Poland, into Poland
conquering, Poland divided, Poland flourishing, and Poland on the
decline, seems to indicate the political tendency of his work, and his
desire to impress upon the Polish youth the great moral lessons which
history presents.[53]

Another history of Poland of more extent was published by G.S.
Bantkie. Lelewel said of the second edition of this book, which
appeared in 1820, that "a more perfect work in this department did not

One of the most remarkable writers of his time, on history and
bibliography, was the Jesuit Albertrandy; who, besides being the
author of several historical works and treatises, was indefatigable in
collecting materials for the history of his country. He went to Italy,
and here gathered during a stay of three years a hundred and ten folio
volumes of extracts, entirely written with his own hand. He then went
to Stockholm and Upsal, where the most important manuscripts relative
to Poland are deposited. The Swedish government was narrow-minded
enough, to allow him access to their libraries only on condition of
his not taking any written notes. But Albertrandy had so remarkable
a memory, that he was able to make up for this disadvantage, by
writing down every evening all that he had read during the day, and
added in this way not less than ninety folio volumes to his library of

Portions of Polish history, or subjects belonging to it, were treated
with success by the poet Niemcewicz; by Bentkowski, Kwiatkowski,
Soltykowicz, Surowiecki, Lelewel, Onacewicz, the counts Ossolinski and
Czacki, the former distinguished by learning and critical discernment,
the latter the author of an esteemed history of the Polish and
Lithuanian laws; by Maiewski, Siarczynski, and others. The princess
Isabella Czartoryski intended her "Pilgrim of Dobromil," to be a book
of historical instruction for the common people. Abridgments of Polish
history were given by Miklaszcwski and Falenski. The historical songs
written by Niemcewicz, at the instigation of the Warsaw Society of
Friends of Science, are also to be considered as belonging to history,
as well as to poetry, since they are accompanied by valuable
historical illustrations. The same author wrote Memoirs on ancient
Poland. Turski translated the memoirs of Choisain on the
administration of Henry of Valois; and the memoirs of Michael Oginski,
_Sur la Pologne et les Polonais depuis 1788 jusqu'en 1815_, are a
valuable contribution to the history of our time. Memoirs of J.
Kilinski, a shoemaker by trade, but like the butcher Sierakowski, a
successful revolutionary leader in 1795, were published in 1830. The
modern periodicals likewise contain many well written historical
essays, some of them of decided importance. This is especially true of
the _Memoirs_ of Warsaw, and also of Lemberg, the _Scientific
Memoirs_, the Wilna and Warsaw _Journals_, the _Bee_ of Cracow, the
_Ant_ of Poznania, and others.

We have remarked above, as a characteristic of the Polish literature,
that although Poland was never poor in talents of various kinds, yet
its literary contributions have aimed less at the advancement of
science in general, than to exalt the glory of the Polish name, and
thus have an immediate reflexive influence on the nation. In the same
spirit, the history of other countries has received little attention,
not excepting even ancient history. Poland indeed does not possess a
single distinguished work on foreign history; and their Gibbons and
Robertsons seem ever to have been absorbed in their own patriotic
interests. As writers of merit on universal history and its auxiliary
branches, we may mention Cajetan and Vincent Skrzetuski, count John
Potocki, Bohusz, Jodlowski, Sowinski. prince Sapieha, count Berkowski,
and above all Lelewel.[54] Several of his works have been translated
into French and German. The German version of his History of the
discoveries of the Carthaginians and Greeks (Berlin 1832), was
accompanied by an introduction from the celebrated Ritter.

The Polish language, the purity of which at the beginning of the
present period was an object of particular attention, has in our own
century been the subject of numerous learned inquiries; some of which
have added considerably to the light thrown in modern times by
Slavic-German scholars upon the Slavic languages and Slavic history in
general. Linde, besides several other philological and historical
writings, has enriched Slavic literature with a comparative critical
dictionary in six volumes, which is considered as one of the standard
works of the language. G.S. Bantkie, the author of several historical
and bibliographical works of great merit in the Polish, Latin, and
German languages, has written a Polish grammar and Polish-German
dictionary. Rakowiecki prepared a new edition of the _Jus Russorum_,
introduced by a critical preface, and accompanied with many
explanatory notes. We must, however, take this occasion to remark,
that the Polish critics in general; even if in every other respect
qualified as sagacious and impartial judges, are by no means
infallible on subjects which have any relation to their own country.
The glory and honour of their own nation are always with them the
principal objects, to which not seldom the impartiality of a
scientific inquirer, and even historical truth, is unscrupulously
sacrificed. Maiewski wrote a book rich in ideas on the Slavi;[55]
bibliographical works, and books on the literary history of Poland
have been published by Chrominski, Sowinski, Juszynski, count
Ossolinski, Szumski, and more especially by Bentkowski.[56] Count
Stan. Potocki's works contain likewise a number of articles on Polish
literature. In the previous periods, all bibliographical works were
written in Latin.

The brilliant talent of the Poles for eloquence enjoyed, during the
early part of this period and before the dissolution of the republic,
the best possible opportunity for development, among the intellectual
struggles and combats occasioned by the political circumstances of the
country and the discussion of new political theories. The
constitutional diet of 1788-1791 exhibited a rich store of oratorical
talent. The names of the Potockis, Sapieha, Czartoryski, Kollantay,
Matuszewicz, Niemcewicz, Soltyk, Kicinski, and others, were mentioned
with distinction. The eloquence of the pulpit was of course much less
cultivated in a nation which lives chiefly in politics. Lachowski, a
Jesuit and court preacher of the last king, is by the Poles considered
as an eminent preacher; although according to German judges he was
shallow and voluble, and was surpassed by his cotemporary Wyrwicz, and
above all by Karpowicz. Prazmowski, Jakubowski, Woronicz bishop of
Warsaw, Szismawski, Szweykowski, Zacharyaszewicz, and others, were
esteemed as powerful preachers.

Besides the oratorical powers and the historical productions of the
Poles, the reputation of their modern literature rests chiefly on
poetry. Although the Polish poets adhered longer to the strict rules
of Boileau than the rest of Europe, and have only in the most recent
times chosen better models in the Germans and English,--without
however having been able to free themselves entirely from their French
chains,--yet the national genius of their language has sometimes
conquered the artificial restraints of narrow rules and arbitrary
laws. Naruscewicz, the celebrated historian, occupies also a
distinguished rank as a poet. He translated Anacreon and some of
Horace's odes; but wrote still more original pieces, odes, pastorals,
epigrams, satires, and a tragedy entitled 'Guido.'

The most distinguished poet under Stanislaus Augustus was count
Ignatius Krasicki, bishop of Ermeland or Warmla, and later of Gnesen,
the Polish Voltaire. His principal works are an epic under the title
of _Woyna, Chocimska_ or 'War of Chocim,' and three comic epics, one
of which, _Monachomachia_, ridicules the monkish system and exhibits
its absurdity in strong colours. He wrote this poem at the suggestion
of Frederic the Great, to whose _coterie_ of literary friends he
belonged. His great heroic epic is considered by his countrymen as a
standard work; while foreigners look at it as a valuable historical
poem indeed, but as utterly deficient in true epic power and original
invention. His smaller poems and prose writings are replete with wit
and spirit; to see a bishop writing erotic songs and satirical
epigrams was nothing extraordinary in his time. As a prose writer be
appears as one of the few who were not blind to the defects and
follies of their countrymen. Of his translations we mention
Macpherson's Ossian and Plutarch. He belongs so decidedly to his age,
i.e. to the age of the freezing, unpoetical, French influence, that
our time, with its higher standard for a true poet, can no longer set
a great value on his works.[57]

Trembecki, ob. 1812, as a lyric poet takes equal rank, according to
some Polish critics, with Krasicki. His chief poem, _Zofiowka_, which
has been translated into French by La Garde, is of that descriptive,
contemplative kind, which was fashionable in his day. He had more
imagination than other cotemporary Polish poets. Szymanowski, ob.
1801, a writer of pastorals, is distinguished for delicacy and
sweetness. As to the beauty of his diction his countrymen are the best
judges; but as for the character and real poetical value of his
productions, we doubt whether the sounder taste of our day would
relish the whole species so highly as was done at a time, when the
forms of society had reached the very summit of artificial perversion.
A certain longing after nature and its purity was the necessary result
of such a state of things; but even nature itself they were unable to
see, except in an artificial light. All the Polish productions of this
species, in the present period, savour strongly of the French school;
whilst the pastorals of the sixteenth century hover in the midst
between the bucolics of the ancients and the Italian and Spanish

There was the same decided influence of the French literature on
Wengierski, who died in 1787; although less in respect to taste than
to morals. Karpinski, also a writer of pastorals, approaches nearest
the Greeks, and is on the whole a poet of uncommon talent. His
original writings bear much more of a national stamp than those of
other poets of this period. His translation of Racine's Athalia is
considered as a masterpiece, and his version of the Psalms has not
been surpassed in any language. Another distinguished poet is
Dionysius Kniaznin, remarkable for a certain external freshness, which
imparts life to all his productions. He was educated in the college of
the Jesuits at Witebsk; and it was during his whole life a matter of
regret to him, that he "had lost the golden season of his youth, and
wasted the labour of sleepless nights on irksome trifles."
Notwithstanding this learned education, the author of the Letters on
Poland finds between him and Burns a kind of analogy. Kniaznin's
principal fame rests on a ludicrous heroic called the 'Balloon.' He
spent a part of his life at Pulawy, the estate of prince Czartoryski,
under the patronage of this nobleman; and is said to have become, like
Tasso, the victim of a passion for one of his lady patronesses.

The following are further regarded among their countrymen as poets of
the first rank, viz. Niemcewicz, Brodzinski, bishop Woronicz, and
Mickiewicz. Julius Niemcewicz is also known by his political fortunes
and influence, and is equally esteemed as an historian and for his
poetical talents. The eloquence which he exhibited in the diet of
1788-92, as the _nuntius_ or deputy of Lithuania, laid the foundation
of his fame. When his country was lost, after having fought at the
side of Kosciuszko and shared his fate as a prisoner, he accompanied
this great man to America, where he associated with Washington, whose
life he has since described. His eulogy on Kosciuszko is considered as
a masterpiece. His principal works are his historical songs, his
dramas, and his "Reign of Sigismund III." Whatever he writes evinces
more than common talents; as to which his friends only deplore that he
has scattered them so much, or, according to the expression of the
author of the Letters on Poland, that "his genius was too eager in
embracing at once so much within its potent grasp; and thus, instead
of concentrating his powers, lessened their brilliant beams, by
diffusing them over too wide a horizon." [58]

John Woronicz, bishop of Cracow, and afterwards of Warsaw, whom we
have named above as one of the most eloquent preachers, is equally
celebrated as a poet. His productions all have a character of dignity
and loftiness; and, with the exception of some religious hymns, are
devoted to the historical fame of his country. His "Sybil," in which
he conjures up in succession the ancient Polish kings from their
graves to behold the cruel state of their once triumphant country, and
the "Lechiade," an epic, which Schaffarik considers as the best Polish
production of this species, are his principal works. The inclination
of the Polish poets to celebrate and exalt their own country and the
heroic deeds of their ancestors, without even admitting the
possibility of rivalship on the part of any other nation, can easily
be accounted for; while to foreign critics the same poems, which
inspire Polish readers with patriotic enthusiasm, often appear pompous
and void of that simplicity, which is the true source of the sublime.

Casimir Brodzinski, ob. 1835, was an eminent original poet, and an
excellent translator. His poetry is pervaded by a character of strong
and decided nationality, and Bowring says of him: "If any man can be
considered the representative of Polish feelings, and as having
transfused them into his productions, Brodzinski is certainly the
man." He translated Macpherson's Ossian; and first introduced Scott's
masterpieces into the literature of Poland. He may be considered as
one of the founders of the modern romantic school in Polish

Adam Mickiewicz, born in 1798, whose name belongs, perhaps, more
appropriately to the next period, owed his first reputation, as a poet
of eminent talent, to three small volumes of miscellaneous poetry,
first published in 1822-1828. A poetic tale, _Conrad Wallenrod_, a
scene from the wars of the Poles with the Teutonic knights, was
published shortly after.[59]

The series of Polish poets towards the end of this period, who have
manifested some talent, is too long to permit us to enumerate them
all; and even a complete catalogue of their names must not be expected
in these pages, which are devoted merely to an historical review of
the _whole_ literature, and to individuals only so far as they go to
form characteristic features of the physiognomy of the former. The
"Dictionary of Polish poets," published in 1820 by Juszynski,
describes the lives of not less than 1400 individuals, independently
of course of their poetical worth. We confine ourselves to presenting
some of the most distinguished names in addition to those
above-mentioned, viz. Gurski, a very productive and popular writer; L.
Osinski, still more esteemed as a critic: Molski, Tanski, Boncza
Tomaszewski, Okraszewski, Tymowski, Szydlowski, and Kozmian, the
author of a popular didactic poem.

The Polish literature of this time was particularly rich in
translations, which are approved by their countrymen, although they
perhaps will not satisfy the higher standard of German or English
criticism. This is due partly to the richness and pliability of the
language itself. Dmochowski, Przybylski, and Staszyc, translated
Homer; and the first also Virgil. Dmochowski's translations are in
rhymed verse; those of Przybylski, who also enriched Polish literature
with translations of the Paradise Lost, the Lusiad, and of many other
poems, are in the measures of the originals, and manifest both a
profound knowledge of the foreign languages, and great dexterity in
using his own. Staszyc has written valuable works on various subjects,
and enjoys a high esteem as a literary man and patriot. Felinski, the
translator of Delille and Racine, is considered as the most harmonious
Polish versifier. Hodani, Osinski, Kicinski, Kruszynski, have likewise
transplanted the productions of the French Parnassus into the Polish
soil; Sienkiewicz, Odyniec, and others, devoted their talents to the
English. Okrascewski translated the Greek tragic poets. Minasowicz,
the author of fifty-three various works, and Nagurczewski, translated
also several of the ancient authors; but according to the best
critics, with more knowledge of the classic languages, than skill in
the management of their own. Among all the distinguished poets
mentioned above, there is hardly one, who, besides his original
productions, did not likewise devote his talents to poetical
translations; in which Karpinski, Naruscewicz, and Krasicki, were
considered as eminently successful.

In the whole domain of poetry, there is no branch in which the Poles
manifested a greater want of _original_ power, than the dramatic. Here
the influence of the French school was most decided, and indeed
exclusive. We have seen above what pains were taken by the most
distinguished men of the nation, to establish a national stage; to
which they looked, not in the light of a frivolous amusement, but as a
school for purifying and elevating the national language and literary
taste, and also as a means of correcting vice by ridiculing it. In
this view several clergymen wrote for the theatre. The Jesuit
Bohomolec wrote the first original comedies in 1757; other comedies,
valuable as pictures of the time, were written by bishop
Kossakowski. Prince Czartoryski we have mentioned above as a writer of
dramas. Zablocki, Lipinski, Osinski, Kowalski, and others,
transplanted the French masterpieces to the Polish stage, or imitated
them. The actors, Boguslawski, Bielawski, and Zolkowski, wrote
original pieces. Tragedies, mostly on subjects of Polish history, were
written by Niemcewicz, Felinski, Dembowski, Slowacki, Kropinski.
Hofmann, and F. Wenzyk, whose "Glinski" is considered as the best
Polish production of this kind. The most popular comedies in recent
times are by count Fredro, who is called the Polish Molière. The
Polish stage is still richer in melo-dramas, especially rural pictures
in a dramatic form; of which Niemcewicz's piece, "John Kochanowski,"
is a fine specimen.

As it respects novels, tales in prose, and similar productions, the
literature of Poland has been much less overwhelmed with this species
of writing, in which mediocrity is so easy and perfection so rare,
than that of their neighbours the Russians. We think this can easily
be accounted for. They possess few, for the same reason that the
English are so rich in them. Domestic life, the true basis of the
modern novel, has no charms in Poland. The whole tendency of the
nation is towards public life, splendour, military fame; theirs are
not the modest virtues of private retirement, but the heroic deeds of
public renown. The beauty, the spirit, the influence of their women,
is generally acknowledged; but that female reserve and delicacy which
draws the thread of an English novel through three volumes, would be
looked for in vain in Poland. Niemcewicz, however, published in 1827
an historical novel, "John of Trenczyn," which is considered as a
happy imitation of Scott. Others were written by count Skarbeck. Among
the novels, which present a psychological development of character,
and a description of fashionable life, "The Intimations of the Heart"
is regarded as the principal work. It was written by the princess of
Wirtemberg, daughter of Adam and Isabella Czartoryski. Another
esteemed female writer is Clementina Hofmann, formerly Tanska.

The Poles, although from a feeling of pride and patriotism naturally
disposed to overrate the productions of their own literature, are far
from being deficient in critical judgment or in exalted ideas on the
theory of the beautiful. The count Stanislaus Potocki and Ossolinski,
L. Osinski, Golanski, and others, maintain a high rank in this

Philosophy, as an abstract science, independently of its immediate
application to subjects of real life, has never found more than a few
votaries among the Poles. In the beginning of the seventeenth century,
Aristotle was translated into Polish by Petryci. For nearly two
hundred years, the teachers of philosophy in the Polish universities
stopped at Aristotle; and a few commentaries on his Ethics and
Politics composed the whole philosophical literature of Poland. In the
first years of our own century, Jaronski and Szianiawski made an
attempt to introduce the philosophy of Kant; but although the cause
appeared to be in the best hands, they met with little success.
Galuchowski, a German philosophical writer of merit, is a Pole by
birth;[60] as also Trentovski and Cieszkowski, followers of Hegel, who
prefer the German for their organ.[61]

For the study of polite literature and the Slavic languages during
this period, Warsaw was the principal seat; for philology and the
exact sciences, the university of Wilna. This learned institution had
taken special pains in respect to the necessary elementary books for
the study of the classical languages; and was distinguished by its
able professors Groddek, Bobrowski, and Zukowski. The former, a
scholar of high reputation, in addition to several philological works,
translated Buttman's Greek Grammar into Polish; the latter published
also a Greek and a Hebrew Grammar. In the oriental languages Senkowski
at St. Petersburgh is distinguished; and count Rzewuski at Vienna had
great desert in connection with the periodical work, _Fundgruben des

In consequence of the grand-duke Constantine's predilection for
mathematics, an undue share of attention, after the erection of a
kingdom of Poland under his administration, was paid in schools to the
exact or empirical sciences; _undue_ we call it, because on account of
its excess, the moral and literary pursuits of the pupils were
necessarily neglected. Mathematics, during this whole period, were
taught by several eminent men; by John Sniadecki, who is at the same
time considered as a model in respect to style and language; by
Poezobut, Zaborowski, Czech, Rogalinski, and others. In the same
departments the names of Twardowski, Polinski, and Konkowski, must be
honourably mentioned. Count Sierakowski wrote a classical work on
architecture; and the learned Polish Jew Stern is celebrated over all
Europe as the inventor of arithmetical and agricultural machines.
Count Chodkiewicz and Andrew Sniadecki are distinguished chemists.
Natural philosophy, although less studied, had able professors in H.
Osinski and Bystrzycki; natural history, more particularly botany and
zoology, in Kluk and Jundzill. Medicine, until the middle of the last
century, was in Poland exclusively in the hands of foreigners,
especially Germans and French [62] since then several gifted Poles
have devoted themselves to this science, although they have not yet
formed a national school. Lafontaine, body physician of the last king,
Dziarkowski, Perzyna, Malcz, and others, must be mentioned here. The
university of Wilna was the most celebrated school for medical

Among the reflecting statesmen of Poland, in the second decennium of
our century, there began to be a great deal of attention bestowed on
national economy and its various branches; more especially on studies
connected with agriculture, as being the science most applicable to
the present wants of the country. Poland being the most extensive
plain in Europe, and for the most part of a very rich and fertile
soil, the Poles would seem destined by nature to be an agricultural
people. We cannot but observe here, that from this very circumstance,
the wretched state of the labouring classes is placed in a still more
striking light. The interests of agricultural science have been
promoted by different societies, and several able treatises on those
subjects have been published; although it does not appear that any new
theory or principles have been started. Of all the branches of moral
science, political economy has met in Poland with the most disciples.
Valuable statistical works on Poland in the Polish language have been
written by Staszyc, honourably mentioned above;[63] by Slawiarski, and
others. Swiencki in his 'Geography of ancient Poland,' Surowiecki in
his 'History of the Polish towns and peasantry,' give very valuable
statistical notices; and the 'Journey to Constantinople and Troy' by
count Raczynski, contains an exact statistical account of Podolia and
the Ukraine.

The science of law must ever have been in a melancholy state in a
country like Poland. Poland proper has always been governed by
_statutes_ and _constitutions_, sanctioned by the diet.

These were either founded on ancient usages, _consuetudines_, or
occasioned by particular circumstances. The towns were governed
according to the code of Magdeburg. In Lithuania the ancient
Lithuanian statutes, collected in 1529, prevailed and still prevail,
if not in collision with any intervening _ukase_.[64] In the other
provinces, the laws of the respective monarchies to which they are
annexed, are in force. Thus the different portions of Poland are
governed in accordance with seven different systems of law.[65] Under
the administration of the last king of Poland, which was so rich in
improvements; a general code of laws was also planned, and projects
were prepared by able statesmen and lawyers; but they were all
rejected by the diet of 1777. Under the Russian administration,
preparation was made from the very beginning for the introduction of a
new code; but the first project of a criminal code presented by the
council of state, was likewise rejected by the diet of 1820. A portion
of the civil code was accepted in A.D. 1825; but the complete code,
which was ready for publication in the year 1830, had not, so far as
we are informed, been introduced before the outbreak of the
revolution. The administration of justice in Poland is about as bad as
in Russia; being nothing but one great system of bribery and
corruption. Of the judges of the lower courts, two thirds are elected;
one third of these, and all the officers of the higher tribunals, are
appointed by the government. In former times the profession of a
lawyer, as well as that of a physician, was considered in Poland as
degrading and unworthy of a nobleman. These two professions were not
indeed prohibited by law, like that of traders,--for a nobleman who
retailed "by yards or by pints," legally lost his rank,--but custom
had made all those occupations which were the source of pecuniary
profit, equally the objects of contempt. There was even a time, "when
it was reckoned a matter of indifference for a nobleman _to understand
arithmetic_[66]." In modern times the ideas on this subject have of
course changed; the study of law is no longer despised, especially in
its necessary connection with the administration of justice.
Slotwinski in Cracow, Bantkie and Maciejowski in Warsaw, were esteemed
as teachers of law. We shall hereafter have occasion to mention the
valuable work of the latter on this subject. The Roman law, both civil
and criminal, was studied in the universities, as well as the law of
nature and nations; which latter, in the case of this unhappy country,
has been for more than seventy years so cruelly violated.

It is a singular fact, that although, down to the year 1818 when the
Russian government interfered to prevent it, foreign travel was one of
the favourite means of education among the Polish nobility, their
literature exhibits hardly any books of travels. A few were formerly
written in Latin or French; among the latter we mention John Potocki's
'Travels for the purpose of discovering Slavic antiquities,' Hamb.
1795. In more modern times count Raczynski has published the 'Journal
of his travels to Constantinople and the plain of Troy,' richly
embellished with illustrations, mentioned above.[67] A view of Great
Britain was given in 1828 by Ljach Szyrma, under the title _Anglia i


_From the Polish Revolution in 1830 to the present time_.

We have thus brought down the history of Polish literature to the year
1830; an epoch of glorious, although most melancholy moment in the
history of Poland. If the literature of a country could ever be
regarded completely _in abstracto_; if it was not in intimate
connection with the political fate and position of its country; we
would have commenced this period with the first combats of the
Romantic and Classical schools, that is, about fifteen years
earlier.[68] But while these fifteen years may be considered in some
measure as the time of the fermentation of that spirit, which broke
out in 1830; this latter year--with its melancholy attempts on the
part of Russia to crush all Polish nationality, by the annihilation of
their higher seats of learning and the spoliation of all their
libraries, as the principal means of cultivating it--forms only too
distinctly an epoch, not only in Polish history in general, but
specially in Polish literature.

The state of the country on the whole in the beginning of 1830 was not
unprosperous. The cruel wrongs inflicted on the Poles since 1815 were
all in express violation of a constitution, which met with the
approbation of Kosciuszko and the best of the nation. A noble
individual, or a high-spirited people, can more easily submit even
to unjust laws, than to arbitrary despotism. _Legally_ the Grand Duke
had no right to keep a single Russian soldier in Poland; by the terms
of the constitution they could be there only as foreign guests.
_Legally_ the press was free. _Legally_ Poland could have defended
herself by her charter against any arbitrary act of her sovereign or
his viceroy. It would seem, however, that even the repeated
infringements of the constitution, and the direct violation of the
laws by the government, did not contribute so much to induce the Poles
to insurrection, as the fierce and brutal behaviour of the Russian
generalissimo, and of the Russian civil and military officers high and
low, whose profligacy had long made them the objects of deep contempt.
The annals of Warsaw indeed present, during the Russian
administration, one of the most revolting pictures which history
exhibits. And the idea, that it owes its darkest shades principally to
the reckless despotism of one individual, serves only to make them
appear still darker.

The war, which called into exercise all the mental faculties of the
nation, put a stop of course to all literary activity; but even during
the more quiet period which immediately succeeded it--the quietness of
a cemetery--the dejected spirits of the nation, whose noblest sons an
interval of two years had rendered prisoners, exiles, or corpses, are
easily to be perceived in the results of their intellectual pursuits.
A small volume, containing three poems by Niemcewiecz and Mickiewicz
was printed in 1833 at Leipzig. It is the swan-like melody of the aged
poet; whilst the younger celebrates the exploits of his valiant
brethren. To the poems of the latter, (three volumes, Paris 1828.) a
fourth volume was added, containing the riper productions of his
manhood. The late vice president of Warsaw, Xavier Bronikowski,
published at the same time _Polnische Miscellen_ in the German
language at Nuremberg. A number of Polish literati were gathered at
Paris. A work, intended to contain about twelve volumes, with the
title _Souvenirs de la Pologne, historique, statistique, et
literaire_, was announced in that city; for the printing offices at
home were of course closed against the expression of all patriotic
feelings. The fifteen printing establishments at Warsaw issued in the
year 1832, from March to December, only sixty-three works.

The universities of Warsaw and Wilna were broken up; and the rich
libraries of these institutions were carried to St. Petersburgh. The
emperor declared openly, that it should be his aim to annihilate all
traces of _Polish_ nationality, and to metamorphose it into a Russian
people. Even the lower schools were in great part deprived of their
funds, and changed to Russian government schools. After some years of
utter privation as to all means of higher instruction, a new
university for the Poles was founded at Kief; of course on a Russian
model and in a Russian spirit. In a most consistent and energetic
manner the language and the national peculiarities of the country were
every where checked and persecuted; and attempts of every kind were
made to replace them by Russian customs and the Russian language. The
union of the Greek and Catholic churches was dissolved; and in that
way thousands were compelled to join the Russian church. In the higher
schools prizes were set forth for the best essays in the Russian
language; and in 1833 a law was made, that after 1834 no Pole could
hope for employment in the Russian service, without a complete
knowledge of the Russian language. In the White Russian provinces, so
called, that is in Lithuania, Podolia, and Volhynia,--countries which
formerly had been under Russian dominion, and are still inhabited by a
Lithuanian and Russian peasantry, while the nobility is Polish,--these
severe and arbitrary measures were surprisingly successful in respect
to the youth then in training; and the minister of the School
department, Ouwarof, in his report of 1839, expressed his satisfaction
in the strongest terms.

But Poland as a whole was far from giving satisfaction to the
government. There was indeed a certain stoppage of mental life, which
seemed to favour its views. Literary productions were few in
proportion to the former productiveness. In the year 1837, not more
than 118 books were published in the whole kingdom; and of these only
75 were Polish; the rest in Hebrew. The press and all other organs of
public feeling were under the strictest control. Yet the very topics,
which were chosen by the literati for their researches and
commentaries, proved best of all that the love of their country was
not extinguished. The history of Poland became more than ever a chosen
study. Private libraries and archives were searched for materials; and
detached parts of the past, and single branches of history, were made
the subjects of a closer examination and research, than had ever
before been devoted to such topics among this active and restless
people. One of the most important works, issued immediately after the
revolution, was Prof. Maciejowski's History of the Slavic
Legislatures.[69] It was well received by the numerous German and
Slavic scholars, who devote themselves to similar pursuits; but they
soon found that it did not fully satisfy the claims of the deeper
criticism of our days. It has come finally to be considered rather as
a preparatory work, which was shortly afterwards partially completed
by another production of the same author: "Contributions to the
History of Slavic events, literature, and legislation." [70] A work by
J. Hobe, "On the Slavic rights of inheritance," appeared about the
same time; also, a publication of the oldest Slavic documents relating
to law by Prof. Kucharski.[71]

As valuable monographs must be mentioned, the history of queen Barbara
Radzivil, from sources hitherto unknown, by M. Balinski, who wrote
also a history of Wilna; the biographies of the Hetmans, by Zegota
Pauli; a history of Posen, by Lukaszewicz; of Lithuania, by Th.
Narbutt: of Poland in the first half of the sixteenth century, by
Maraczewski; historical and topographical descriptions, relating also
to language and manners, by Przezdziecki and by Kraszewski. We may
also notice here the History of the Latin Language in Poland, by Dr.
Macherzynski; a book considered as a mine of erudition and useful
knowledge. To it is annexed a list of all the different editions of
the Classics published in Poland. We learn from it that Cicero's works
have been edited there, either complete or in particular portions, not
less than forty-five times; first as early as A.D. 1500, at Cracow.
Horace also has appeared eight times, first in 1521; Ovid four times,
first in 1529; Virgil six times, first in 1642.

The publication of early chronicles, for the purpose of rendering them
more accessible to the public, was continued. That of Lemberg was
edited by D. Zubrzycki in 1844; that of Cracow, by Macynski in
1845.[72] Archæological researches have continued to excite an
interest. The dust of centuries has been shaken from many a valuable
document; and there have been published in succession, A. Grabowski's
Historical Antiquities of Poland,[73] the Antiquities of Galicia by
Zegota Pauli,[74] and a work on Polish Archaeology by count Eustace
T.[75] Here belongs also the Collection of important historical
Documents, edited in 1847;[76] and a series of numismatic
publications, by Lelewel, who wrote in exile, by Poplinski, by Ig.
Zagorski and E. Rastawiecki, and above all by count E. Raczynski.[77]
The patriotic exertions of this nobleman, who has caused many a
valuable old manuscript to be printed; and who has never seemed to be
afraid of any sacrifice, when the promotion of science and literature
is concerned; deserve the highest praise, and ought to serve as a
model to others of noble name.

Church history also, a department hitherto entirely neglected, in
Poland, has begun to receive some small degree of attention in the
present period. Joseph Lukascewicz wrote a history of the Bohemian
Congregations in Poland,[78] in 1835; and in 1846 a history of the
Helvetian (Calvinistic) Confession in Lithuania. Count Valerian
Krasinski, who found a home in England, has likewise published a
history of the Reformation in Poland, in the English language.[79]

The history of recent times cannot be expected to be written in
Poland; where the pen is chained, even if the mind keeps itself
unfettered. The republic of Cracow, until about ten years ago, enjoyed
a certain degree of liberty. It could have become the asylum of Polish
literature and science; but it became only too soon the battlefield of
political passions and combats. Some of her scholars however kept
themselves entirely aloof from the strife. Macherzinski's and
Muczkowski's learned works, already mentioned above; a history of
Polish Literature by Wisznewski; and a new Polish Dictionary, by
Trajanski; were the immediate results.

New works of travels have been written by Kraszewski and Holawinski;
the former describing the South of Russia, and the latter his
pilgrimage to the Holy Land; both were published in 1845. A book of
travels on Siberia, a land so seldom chosen for a tour of pleasure,
had preceded them.[80]

Modern history, we have said, cannot be expected to be written in
Poland. This remark leads us at once to the literature of Polish
Emigrants, as it is generally called, which has sprung up in Paris.
Since the revolution of 1830, this capital has been the principal seat
of Polish literary activity. One of the first works of importance
published there was Maurice Mochnacki's History of the Polish
insurrection; which excited among his own countrymen a new and
passionate feud. Mochnacki's name had been favourably known as the
author of a work on the Polish literature of the nineteenth
century;[81] and as the able editor of several periodicals. His
political misfortunes, however, and especially the circumstance that
he had been compelled to appear alternately as the tool of the grand
duke Constantine, and as the victim of his hatred, made him a subject
of distrust to his countrymen, although he had fought with bravery in
the revolution. He died in France when not yet thirty years old. His
scattered writings were published in 1836 by A. Jelowicki, one of the
patriotic family of that name; who had been deeply implicated in the
revolution, and lived as fugitives in Paris. A printing office,
which they have founded there, serves for the publication of Polish

Another work on the recent events was written by Wratnowski, who
published a history of the insurrection in Volhynia, Paris. 1837. An
animated picture of the time, which appeared three years ago under the
title, "Representation of the national spirit in Poland." by
Ojczyczniak,[82] exhibits strong passions in the author; a glowing and
certainly not unnatural hatred against the great powers; but a still
more violent one against his _democratic_ countrymen, to whom he
imputes the perdition of the good cause. A history of the Polish
insurrection, published by S.B. Gnorowski in the English language.
Lond. 1839, is written in the same violent and prejudiced spirit.

The Slavic press in Paris has been especially productive in
periodicals; all of them replete with passion and hatred against their
oppressors; some of them conducted not without talent. The _Revue
Slave_, the _Mlada Polska_, (young Poland), the _Cronika, Emigracyi
Polskiej_ (Polish Emigrant's Chronicle), and the _Polish Vademecum_
edited by N.U. Hoffmann, may be named here. From the latter we learn,
that, from 1831 to 1837 among the Polish emigrants in France, _nine_
died in duels and _fourteen_ by suicide.

Joachim Lelewel, whose _literary_ activity belongs rather to the
preceding period, while that now under consideration was partly the
result of his _political_ career, lives still at Brussels, where he
has recently published (1849) a work on the civil rights of the Polish
peasantry. He attempts to demonstrate, that the oppression and the
debased condition of this class came upon them along with the
introduction of Christianity; and represents the Romish clergy, whose
advantage it was to keep up this state of things, as the principal
enemies of the peasantry. Lelewel's writings have wielded a more
decided influence in Poland than those of any other modern author. The
tendency of all his historical investigations, even when apparently
without any such design, has been since the very beginning of the
Russian dominion to undermine their power; and the great ability with
which he contrived to veil hints, to disguise remarks, and to follow
out under a harmless mask a certain and fixed purpose, had earned him
twenty or thirty years ago the name of the "Jesuit of history."

It remains now to give a general survey of the progress of Polish
_belles-lettres_ during the last twenty years; and also of those mixed
publications which excite a general interest. Here we must not omit to
mention Witwicki's the "Evening Hours of a Pilgrim," [83] a book
which, in a sprightly style and a peculiarly interesting way, gives a
good deal of information as to the literary and mental condition of
Poland, and the much-lauded revival of letters during the reign of
Stanislaus Poniatowski.

But perhaps the most interesting production of this period is Adam
Mickiewicz's course of Lectures on Slavic literature and the condition
of the Slavic nations, delivered in French at Paris, where he had
found employment as a professor in the College de France.[84] The deep
enthusiasm which pervades these lectures, the mental excitement by
which they would seem to have been dictated from beginning to end,
forbid us to consider them in the ordinary light of a mere course of
instruction on the subject to which they relate. But there is no other
work more full of ideas, or richer in thought; it is the reasoning of
a poet, and a poet's way of viewing the world. The one great
principle of these lectures again is _Panslavism_,--Panslavism
spiritualized and idealized; and therefore in a shape which can
inspire little fear to others in respect to their own nationality,
although it can never excite their sympathies. Mickiewicz still
idolizes Napoleon, and prophesies a revolution of the world; a new
revolution, a torch to illumine the world; he himself is "a spark,
fallen from that torch;" his mission is to prophesy to the world the
coming events "as a living witness of the new revelation," Although
these prophecies are not strictly political, we can see plainly, that
in the expectation of the prophet this new revolution will consist in
"the union of the _force_ of Slavic genius, with the _knowledge_ of
the West" (France); by which of course the intermediate Teutonic
principle must be crushed.

In purely poetical creations, this great poet shows his full power. In
a beautiful tale, _Pan Tadeusz_, "Sir Thaddeus," (Paris 1834,) which,
though in verse, may be considered as a novel, he very graphically
described the civil and domestic life existing in Lithuania
immediately before the war of 1812; and gave also further evidence of
his genius by several smaller poems. He is, however, not very
productive; a striking peculiarity of Slavic poets.

The principal poets of the modern romantic school in Poland, of which
Mickiewicz must be considered the founder, are the following:

A.E. Odyniec and Julian Korssak, both chiefly known by happy
translations from the English; but also not without creative power of
their own. Anton Malczeski is the author of a poetical tale,
_Maria_,[85] perhaps the most popular production of the Polish
literature. It is a touching family legend, traditional in the noble
house of Potocki in Volhynia; but transposed by Malczeski to the
Ukraine, and connected in that way with graphic descriptions of this
latter country. Malczeski lived a life of wild adventures; and died
young, not yet 34 years old, in 1826.

The Ukraine appears to be, on the whole, one of the favourite theatres
for the romantic school of Polish poets. Zaleski, Gosczynski,
Grabowski, all of them poets of more than ordinary talents, give us
pictures of this country, alternately sweet and rough, wild and
romantic. There must necessarily be some mixture of attractive and
repulsive elements here even for native poets; for the common people
are Russians, and hate the Polish nobility as their oppressors.
Nevertheless Thomas Padura, another of the young Polish school, chose
even the dialect of the Ruthenian peasantry for his songs. Another
Polish poet, who has selected the Ukraine for the theatre of most of
his tales, is Michael Czaykowski; he too is considered as standing at
the head of the novel writers of his country. His legends of the
Kozaks[86], his tales, _Wernyhora_[87], _Kirdzali_, the Hetman of the
Ukraine[88], etc. manifest a more than common talent.

To the poetical literature of the Polish emigrants belong further the
works of A. Gorecki, Garczinski, J. Slawacki, but, above all, of count
Ignatius Krasinski; not the same individual who wrote a history of the
Reformation in Poland in the English language[89]. He is by many of
his countrymen considered as their greatest living poet. Most of his
productions are enveloped in a certain mystical atmosphere, which
renders a commentary necessary in order to understand them. Two
dramatic poems, one called, in contrast to Dante, "The Undivine
Comedy;" the other, "Irydion," an illustration of Schiller's stern
apothegm, that "the history of the world is the judgment of the
world;" [90] are regarded as his most powerful productions[91].

Meanwhile this department of literature, in Poland itself, has taken,
in some of its branches, the same strictly national direction which
characterizes the Russian and Bohemian tendencies of modern times.
Many of the publications, which are reckoned under belles-lettres, are
nothing better than drawing-room productions, so called, meant to
satisfy the immediate wants of the reading world. Count Skarbek, J.
Krascewski, F. Barnatowicz (ob. 1838), K. Korwell, Szabranski, and
others, are popular novel writers. Among the poets we mention the same
Szabranski, Nowasielski, Zialinski, Alex. Groza, Burski, and, above
all, Lucian Siemienski and A. Bielowski. The latter, along with
Kamienski, is the translator of Schiller. Count Vinzent Kicinski
translated Victor Hugo; and Holawinski, Shakspeare. As successful
dramatic writers are named, the counts Fredro, Korzeniowski, St.
Jaozowski, etc.

Of an entirely national character are all the productions of Wladislas
Woicicki, who devoted his life principally to the study of the
antiquities of his country and its language. In 1838 he published an
interesting collection of old Polish proverbs[92]; several historical
tales, scattered in Annuals; a greater work, entitled "Domestic
Sketches:" and another on Polish Woman;[93] all of them illustrations
of Polish life and manners at certain times, and resting on an
historical foundation. A rich collection of traditions and popular
legends was published by the same scholar in 1839.[94] This important
national feature has at last excited some attention among the Polish
scholars. In 1838 a collection of the songs of the people in the
country adjacent to the Bug was published.[95] Another appeared in the
same year, prepared by the poets Siemienski and Bielowski (Prague
1838), with the title _Dumki_, i.e. Elegies,[96] being Polish
translations of Malo-Russian popular songs. The great and simple
beauty of this poetry of the Kozaks surprised the literary world. But
Woicicki and Zegota Pauli were the first who gave their attention to
the really Polish Lekhian popular songs, i.e. songs of the peasantry
in Masavia and Podlachia, the grand duchy of Posen, the territory of
Cracow, etc. of which, until then, the existence was hardly known.[97]

It would almost seem as if the Russian government, in placing all the
evidences of the mental activity of its Polish subjects under its
strictest guardianship, was ready to supply also the supposed want of
popular poetry. There was recently published at Warsaw a collection of
ballads, sixty-nine in number, devoted to the praise of all the
sovereigns of Russia, from Rurik to Alexander. These ballads are in
the popular tone, and were sold cheap.[98] What degree of popularity
they may have obtained, we are unable to say.[99]


[Footnote 1: On the origin of these tribes, which seem to have been
kindred nations with the ancient Livonians, Esthonians, and
Borussians, many hypotheses have been started, but the truth has not
yet been sufficiently ascertained. It seems evident to us, that they
are not of Slavic origin; although this has been maintained by many
historians, who were misled by local circumstances. Even Schaffarik in
his Antiquities regards them as originally a Slavic race. See Parrot's
_Versuch einer Entwickelung der Sprache, Abstammung, etc. der Liven,
Letten, etc_. The Foreign Quarterly Review contains an interesting
essay on Lettish popular poetry, Vol. VIII. p. 61.]

[Footnote 2: Kopitar, in his review of Schaffarik's _Geschichte_,
declares this etymological derivation to be a mistake; without however
giving any other explanation of the name Lekh. _Wiener Jahrbücher_,
Vol. XXXVII. 1827. According to Schaffarik in his Slav. Antiquities,
_Lekh_, like _Czekh_, means a leader, a high officer.]

[Footnote 3: See pp. 36, 43.]

[Footnote 4: See Bentkowski's _Hist. literatury Polsk_. Warsaw 1814.]

[Footnote 5: The statistical information respecting the Russian-Polish
provinces is very imperfect, and contains the most striking
contradictions. Benken gives the number of inhabitants at four
millions; Wichmann in 1813, at 6,380,000; Arsenjef at seven millions.
According to Brömsen's _Russland und das rüssische Reich,_ Berl. 1819,
there are not more than 850,000 Poles among them, nearly all noblemen;
the lower classes are Russniaks and Lithuanians. In our statement of
the number of Poles in these provinces, we have followed Schaffarik.]

[Footnote 6: See above, p. 51; also, pp. 59, 60, n. 17.]

[Footnote 7: These statements seem to disagree with those of Hassel,
which rest on the authority of the returns of 1820. He states that
Austrian Poland has 4,226,969 inhabitants; Prussian Poland, 2,584,124.
The population of the former consists however of a large proportion of
Russniaks, and more especially of Jews; the latter has a similar
proportion of German inhabitants.]

[Footnote 8: Other private estimates make them not more than seven

[Footnote 9: We doubt whether any but Slavic organs would be able to
pronounce the name of the place, to which the college of Zamose was
removed. It is written _Szczebrzeszyn_.]

[Footnote 10: Zaluski and Minasovrez wrote verses with _counted_ not
_measured_ syllables, without rhyme; Przybylski's and Staszye's
translations of Homer are in hexameters. That rhyme is not natural to
the Polish language, is evident from the ancient popular poetry of the
other Slavic nations; which are all without rhyme. The author of the
work _Volkslieder der Polen_, assumes the absence of rhyme in some of
them as a proof of their antiquity. Of Slavic popular songs only those
of the Malo-Russians or Ruthenians are rhymed; and none of these lay
claim to great antiquity.]

[Footnote 11: This song, called _Boga Rodzica_, can be named a
war-song, only because the Poles used to sing it when advancing to
battle. It is rather a prayer to the Virgin, ending with a sixfold
Amen. In a poetical respect it has no value. It is printed in
Bowring's _Specimens of the Polish Poets_, p. 12; together with the
music, copied from a manuscript which is said to be from the twelfth
century. No translation is added. It is remarkable that this hymn is
still sung, or at least was so in the year 1812, in the churches of
the places where St. Adalbert lived and died, viz. at Kola and Gnesen.
Niemcewicz, who published it, states that he himself heard it at that
time at the latter place.]

[Footnote 12: See Schaffarik's _Geschichte der Slav. Sprache_, p.

[Footnote 13: A History of the University of Cracow was recently
published by Prof. Muczkowski, under the modest title: _Mieszkania i
postepowanie, etc_. i.e. 'On the dwellings and the conduct of the
Students of the University of Cracow in former centuries,' Cracow
1842. Vol. I. The work was planned for _ten_ volumes.]

[Footnote 14: _Aelteste Denkmäler der Polnischen Sprache_, Wien 1838.]

[Footnote 15: Dobrovsky's _Slovanka_, Vol. II. p. 237.]

[Footnote 16: His _Chronicon Polonorum_ was reprinted at Warsaw in
1824; together with Vincent Kadlubeck's _Res gestae principum ac regum

[Footnote 17: Among these sects were the Unitarians, called also
Anti-trinitarians, modern Arians, and afterwards Socinians. They
called themselves Polish Brethren. Their principal school and printing
office was at Racow; several of their teachers were distinguished for
learning, their communities were wealthy and flourishing, and not a
few of the highest families of Poland belonged to them. The doctrines
of the two exiled Italians, Lelio and Fausto Socini, uncle and nephew,
found among them only a conditional approbation; most of them were
unwilling to receive Fausto, who developed his views more openly than
his uncle, into their community. Internal dissensions were the result,
and the establishment of new and smaller congregations. A disturbance
among the Students at Racow in 1638, gave to the Catholics and to the
other Protestants a welcome pretext for persecuting them; in 1658
their denomination was ultimately suppressed, and the choice left to
them between the adoption of the Roman Catholic religion or exile
within three years. A part of them emigrated to Germany, where they
were soon merged in other Protestant denominations; others went to
Transylvania, where the Unitarians, about fifty thousand in number,
belonged and still belong to the denominations acknowledged by the
state, and enjoy all civil rights. They have two high schools, at
Klausenburg and at Thoarda; but are far from being distinguished for
learning. See Meusel's _Staatengeschicte_, p. 555. Lubienieci
_Historia Reformationis Polanicae_, etc. etc.]

[Footnote 18: An enumeration of the Polish versions of the Bible may
be acceptable to the reader. The New Testament was first translated by
the Lutheran Seklucyan, who was a Greek scholar, and printed at
Königsberg 1551, three times reprinted before 1555. Afterwards for
Catholics by Leonard, from the Vulgate, reviewed by Leopolita, Cracow
1556. Of the Old Testament, the Psalter alone was several times
translated and repeatedly printed. The whole Bible was first
translated for the Catholics by Leonard, from the Vulgate, and
reviewed by Leopolita, Cracow 1561, reprinted in 1575 and 1577. Two
years later by an anonymous translator from the original languages,
for Calvinists, Brzesc 1563. Again from the original languages by
Budny, an Unitarian clergyman, 1570, reprinted in 1572. From the
Vulgate by the Jesuit Wuiek, Cracow 1599, reprinted at Breslau in 1740
in 8vo, and 1771 in 4to, with the Latin text. From the original
languages by Paliurus, Wengiersciua, and Micolaievius, for Calvimsts,
Dantzic 1632, the first Bible in 8vo, all the former being in fol. or
4to; reprinted at Amsterdam 1660, at Halle 1726, at Königsberg 1738,
1779, and at Berlin 1810, by the Bibie Society. See Ringeltaube's
_Nachricht von den polnischen Bibeln_, Danz. 1744. Bentkowski's _Hist,
liter. Pol._ Vol. II. p. 494. _Slovanka_ Vol. I. p. 141. Vol. II. p.
228. Schaffarik's _Geschichte der Slav. Spr_. p. 424.]

[Footnote 19: The Polish senate was not a body, the members of which
were elected for a certain term; as those not acquainted with the
Polish constitution might be disposed to believe. It was composed of
all the archbishops and bishops, the waiwodes and castellans, i.e. the
titled nobility, and the principal ministers of the king. It was thus
in some measure the organ of the government and of the clergy, in
opposition to the national representatives or the mass of the
nobility. This body was not established until towards the close of the
fifteenth century. Before 1466-70, every nobleman who chose, made his
personal appearance in the senate at the summons of the king; but
Casimir, the son of Jagello, in his frequent want of money and men,
repeated these summons so often, that the nobility found personal
appearance inconvenient, and selected in their provincial conventions
_nuntii_, to represent the nation, or rather the nobility; without
however giving up the right of personal attendance. The _nuntii_,
whose number was not fixed, were bound to appear, had the right to
grant or to refuse duties, and to act as the advisers of the king. In
1505 the law was passed, that without their consent the constitution
could not be changed. At the diet in A.D. 1652 it occurred for the
first time, that a single _nuntius_ opposed and annulled by his
_liberum veto_ the united resolutions of the whole convention. On this
example a regular right was very soon founded and acknowledged.
Deputies of cities were occasionally invited to the diet, but only in
extraordinary cases.]

[Footnote 20: Preface to Vuk's Servian Grammar, p. xxiii.]

[Footnote 21: See Schaffarik, _Geschichte_, p. 414, Bautkie's
_Geschichte der Krakauer Buchdruckereyen_.]

[Footnote 22: It was afterwards reinstated in the form of a large
gymnasium by one of chancellor Zamoyski's descendants, and removed to
Szczebrzeszyn. See Letter on Poland, Edinb. 1823, p. 95.]

[Footnote 23: See Schaffarik, _Geschichte_, p. 426.]

[Footnote 24: Whether Copernicus is to be called a Pole or a German
has been and is still a matter of dispute, and has been managed on the
side of the Poles with the utmost bitterness and passion. The Poles
have recently given expression to their claim upon him by erecting to
him a monument at Cracow, and celebrating the third centennial
anniversary of the completion of his system of the world, which took
place in A.D. 1530. Let the question respecting Copernicus be decided
as it may, Poland may doubtless lay claim to many other eminent
natural philosophers as her sons; e.g. Vitellio-Ciolek, who was the
first in Europe to investigate the theory of light, in the beginning
of the thirteenth century; Brudzewski, the teacher of Copernicus;
Martinus of Olkusz, the proper author of the new or Gregorian
calendar, which was introduced sixty-four years after him, etc.]

[Footnote 25: See Macherzynski's _Geschichte der Luteinischen Sprache
in Polen_, Cracow 1833. Dr. Connor in his History of Poland, 1698,
speaking of the following period, says, that even the common people in
Poland spoke Latin, and that his servant used to speak with him in
that language. See Letters on Poland, Edinb. 1823 p 108.]

[Footnote 26: De originibus et rebus gestis Polonorum, lib. XXX.]

[Footnote 27: _Psalterz Dawidow s modlitwami_, 1555.]

[Footnote 28: The Polish works of this poet, who is still considered
as the chief ornament of the Polish Parnassus, were first collected in
four volumes, Cracow 1584-90. After going through several editions,
they have recently been printed at Breslau, 1894, in a stereotype
edition. Bowring gives among his 'Specimens' some of the sweetest
pieces of Kochanowski.]

[Footnote 29: The oldest edition extant of his Polish pastorals, was
printed at Zamosc, 1614, under the title _Sielanki_. They were last
printed, together with other eclogues, in the collection of Mostowski,
_Sielanki Polskie_, Warsaw 1805. There are some specimens of his
poetry in Bowring's work.]

[Footnote 30: This latter was honoured by his countrymen with the
title of the Sarmatian Ovid; but his pieces, according to Bowring, are
not only licentious, but also vulgar. See Specimen of the Polish
Poets, p. 29.]

[Footnote 31: The same individual has been mentioned as a Bohemian
writer; see above, p. 193.]

[Footnote 32, 33, 34: See above, p. 237, 238, n. 18.]

[Footnote 35: This work was first printed at Cracow in 1597, under the
title _Kronika Polska_. The first part of it was republished at Warsaw
in 1832, forming the sixth volume of the great collection of ancient
Polish authors published by the bookseller Galezowski.]

[Footnote 36: For more complete information respecting the writers of
this period, see Bentkowaki's _Hist. lit. Pol_ Vol. I. Schaffarik's
_Gechichte_, etc.]

[Footnote 37: We mean the direct male descendants of Jagello; for
descendants by the female and collateral lines occupied the throne
after Stephen Bathory. Poland had never been by law an hereditary
kingdom; but in most cases one of the sons or brothers of the last
king was elected.]

[Footnote 38: These _pacta conventa_, to which numerous articles were
afterwards added, not only limiled the king in his quality as king,
but even also as a private man, in a degree to which no freeman would
willingly submit. For example, he was not allowed to marry except with
the consent of the diet; and as each single nuntius had the right to
oppose and render void the resolutions of the united estates by his
_liberum veto_, the king could not marry whenever it occurred to any
one of them to withhold his consent. In 1669 it was resolved, that no
king should be allowed to abdicate.]

[Footnote 39: _Korona Polska_, Lemberg 1728-1743.]

[Footnote 40: In 1764; it was the first periodical ever published in

[Footnote 41: See page 227 above.]

[Footnote 42: The Polish serfs were indeed never regular slaves; but
merely _glebae adscripti_, i.e. they could not be sold separately as
mere things, but only with the soil they cultivated, which they had no
right to leave. They were not reduced even to this state before the
fifteenth or sixteenth century; for one of the statutes of Casimir the
Great allows them the privilege of selling their property and leaving
whenever they were ill treated. Of the present state of the Polish
peasantry, the author of "Poland under the dominion of Russia," (Bost.
1834,) says: "The Polish peasant might perhaps be about as free as my
dog was in Warsaw; for I certainly should not have prevented the
animal from learning, had he been so inclined, some tricks by which he
could earn the reward of an extra bone. The freedom of the wretched
Polish serfs is much the same as the freedom of their cattle; for they
are brought up with as little of human cultivation," etc. p. 165. And
again: "The Polish serf is in every part of the country extremely
poor, and of all the living creatures I have met with in this world,
or seen described in books of natural history, he is the most
wretched." p. 176.]

[Footnote 43: Lemberg indeed can hardly be called a Polish university.
All its professors are Germans, and the lectures are delivered in
Latin or German. It has only three faculties, viz. the philosophical,
theological, and juridical. For medicine it has only a preparatory
school, the course being finished at Vienna. Among the 65 medical
students of 1832, there were 41 Jews. The university had in that year,
in all, 1291 students. For the theological and juridical courses,
which, according to law, comprise each four years, a previous
preparation of two years spent in philosophical studies is required by
the government. Thus the regular course of an Austrian student lasts
six years. The same measures were taken to Germanize Cracow during the
Austrian administration; but when in 1815 Cracow became a free city,
it parted with all its German professors, and became again a genuine
Polish university.]

[Footnote 44: From the account given of the state of the Polish common
people in note 42 above, we must conclude that this number is very
small. Mr. Ljach Szyrma, the author of Letters on Poland, (Edinb.
1823,) says: "The lower classes, unfortunately, do not enjoy the
advantage of being proportionally benefited by the learning requisite
to their social condition. The parish schools are not sufficient to
improve them in this respect; and the village schools, upon which
their hopes chiefly rest, _are not numerous_."]

[Footnote 45: Witwicki in _Wieczory pielgrzyma_, Paris 1837.]

[Footnote 46: P. 254.]

[Footnote 47: His works, which have never been collected, are
enumerated in Bentkowski's History of Polish literature. Konarski was
the first who ventured publicly to assail the _liberum veto_.]

[Footnote 48: Nancy 1733.]

[Footnote 49: This celebrated library was transferred to St.
Petersburg at the dismemberment of Poland, and had not yet been

[Footnote 50: The Czartoryskis may justly be called the Polish Medici,
from the liberal patronage which the accomplished members of this
family have ever given to talent and literary merit. Their celebrated
seat, Pulawi, the subject of many songs, and also of an episode in
Delille's Jardins, was destroyed by the Russians in the late war, and
its literary treasures are said to have been carried to St.

[Footnote 51: The title of the former work is _O wymowie i stylu_,
Warsaw 1815-16. Another work is _Pochwaly, mowy i rozprowy_, i.e.
Eulogies, Speeches, and Essays, among which are nine on Polish
literature, Warsaw 1816. Stanislaus Potocki was also the principal
mover in the publication of the splendid work _Monumenta regum Poloniæ
Cracoviensia_, Warsaw 1822. Stanislaus Kostka P. must not be
confounded with Stanislaus Felix P. his cousin, one of the most
obstinate advocates of the ancient constitution and its corruptions,
who sold his country to Russia.]

[Footnote 52: His complete works are to be found in the great
collection of count Mostowski, Warsaw 1804-5, 12 volumes. They
appeared in 1824 at Breslau in a stereotype edition, in six volumes.
Poetical works, Warsaw 1778.]

[Footnote 53: Lelewel is the author of quite a number of historical
productions of importance; and some others he published or translated.
A catalogue of his works cannot be expected here. The most celebrated
are his volume on the primitive Lithuanians (Wilna 1808); on the
condition of Science and Arts in Poland before the invention of
printing; on the Geography of the Ancients; on the Commerce of the
Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans; on the history of the ancient
Indians; on the discoveries of the Carthaginians and Greeks (Warsaw
1829), etc. Also a Polish Bibliography (Warsaw 1823-1826); Monuments
of the language and constitution of Poland, Warsaw 1824, etc.]

[Footnote 54: See the preceding note.]

[Footnote 55: _O Slawianach i ich pobratymcach_, Warsaw 1816.]

[Footnote 56: Bentkowski's _Historya literatury Polsk_. Warsaw 1814,
contains a catalogue of all works published on Polish literature, to
1814; sec Vol. I p. 1-73.]

[Footnote 57: Krasicki's complete works were published by Dmochowski,
Warsaw 1803-4. A stereotype edition appeared at Breslau in 1824.]

[Footnote 58: P. 221 Niemcewicz'a works have not yet been collected.
Of his _Spiewy historyene_, or 'Historical Songs,' Warsaw 1819,
Bowring gives some specimens. These songs were set to music by
distinguished Polish composers, especially ladies; and, on account of
their deep patriotic interest, have reached a higher degree of
popularity than any other Polish work. They were written at the
instigation of the Warsaw Society of Friends of Science. Besides his
two historical works, _Dzicie panowania Zygmunta III_, or Reign of
Sigismund III, Warsaw 1819, and _Zbior pamietnikow_, etc. a collection
of imprinted documents, Warsaw 1822; and his large historical novel
_Jan z Teczyna_, Warsaw 1825; Niemcewicz published _Leyba i Szora_, or
Letters of Polish Jews, Warsaw 1821, presenting an illustration of
their situation. His most recent production, an elegiac poem, was
published at Leipzig 1833. See below, p. 286.]

[Footnote 59: The fourth volume appeared at Paris; where also his
earlier poetry was reprinted in 1828 under the title _Poezye Adama

[Footnote 60: Author of the work _Die Philosophie in ihrem
Verhaltnisse zum Leben ganzer Võlker_, Erlangen 1822.]

[Footnote 61: The first wrote _Grundlage der universellen
Philosophie_, Karlsruh 1837; the second, _Prolegomena zur
Historiosophie_, Berlin 1838.]

[Footnote 62: See Dr. Connor's History of Poland, 1698. Even as late
as the close of the seventeenth century, the Poles were barbarians
enough to look upon the profession of a physician with contempt. They
had however in earlier times some very celebrated physicians, as
Martin of Olkusc, Felix of Lowicz, and Struthius, who was called to
Spain to save the life of Philip II, and even to the Turkish sultan
Suliman II.]

[Footnote 63: Page 278.]

[Footnote 64: This code is frequently called the code of Leo Sapieha,
the sub-chancellor of Lithuania, who in A.D. 1588 translated it from
the White Russian into the Polish language.]

[Footnote 65: See _Revue Encyclopédique_, Oct. 1827, p. 219.]

[Footnote 66: See Letters on Poland, p. 103.]

[Footnote 67: Breslau 1821. The same author published John Sobieski's
Letters, a work read throughout all Europe in its French translation
by count Plater and Salvandy. A whole series of _Memoirs_, among which
are some of great importance for Polish history, for instance those of
Passek, of Wybicki, of Kolontaj, etc. owe their publication to the
generous liberality of this true nobleman.]

[Footnote 68: We do not know exactly from what point the Polish
literary historians _after_ Bentkowski date the period of the present
literature; as we have not been able to get a view of Wiszniewski's
_Historya literatury Polskiej_, Cracow 1840. We are even not certain,
whether the works on literary history, which J.B. Rakowiecki and Prof.
Aloys Osinski were said to be preparing about the same time, have ever

[Footnote 69: _Historya prawodawstw Slowanskich_, Warsaw 1832-1835.]

[Footnote 70: _Pamietniki o djezach, pismiennictwie i prawodawstwie
Slowian_, Warsaw 1838. A German translation appeared in 1842, at St.
Petersburg: _Denkwürdigkeiten über die Begebnisse, das Schriftwesen,
und die Gesetzgebung der Slaven_.--The same author published more
recently a work on the ancient history of Poland and Lithuania:
_Pierwotne dzieje Polski i Litwy_, etc. Warsaw 1846.]

[Footnote 71: _Najdawniejsze pomniki praw Slowianskich_, Warsaw 1838.]

[Footnote 72: Muczkowski's valuable History of the University of
Cracow has been mentioned above, p. 232.]

[Footnote 73: _Starozytnosci historyczne Polskie_, Cracow 1840.]

[Footnote 74: _Starozytnosci Gallicyiskie_, Cracow 1841.]

[Footnote 75: _Rzut okana zrodta Archæologii Krajowej_, Wilna 1842.]

[Footnote 76: Published at the same time in French: _Meduilles de
Pologne etc._, Posen 1838; a splendid work.]

[Footnote 77: _Kodex diplomatyczny Polski_, Warsaw 1847.]

[Footnote 78: This is the appellation of the Lutherans in Poland.]

[Footnote 79: Historical Sketch of the rise, progress, and decline of
the Reformation in Poland, and of the influence which the Scriptural
doctrines have exercised on that country in literary, moral, and
political respects. By Count Valerian Krasinski. Vol. I. Lond. 1838.]

[Footnote 80: _Wiadamosci o Syberyi przcz J.K._ 1838.]

[Footnote 81: _O Literaturze Polskiey w wieku dziewietnastym_, Warsaw
1830; published a few days before the outbreak of the Revolution.]

[Footnote 82: _Wizerunki Duszy narodowej_, Paris 1847.]

[Footnote 83: _Wieczory pielgrzyma_, Paris 1837.]

[Footnote 84: This work appeared at the same time in German,
accompanied with a preface by the author, written expressly for the
German edition. The German title is _Vorlesungen über Slavische
Literatur und Zustände in den Jahren_ 1840-1844. 4 vols. Leipzig

[Footnote 85: _Marya_, first published at Warsaw 1825; after wards in
several different editions, among which may be mentioned here one
prepared by Bielowski, Lemb. 1838; and one by Brockhaus and Avenarius,
Leipz. and Paris 1844. A beautiful German translation appeared in the
same year at Leipzig: _Maria_, aus dem Polnischen des A. Malczeski von
K.R. Vogel.]

[Footnote 86: _Powiesci Kosackie_, Par. 1837. A German translation by
Minsberg, Glogau 1838.]

[Footnote 87: Paris 1838; a German translation, Leipz. 1841.]

[Footnote 88: The two latter appeared at Paris in 1838 and 1841, and
were translated into French and German.]

[Footnote 89: See above, p. 290.]

[Footnote 90: "Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht."]

[Footnote 91: _Nieboska Komedya_, Paris 1835; ed. 2, 1837; Germ. _Die
ungöttliche Komödie,_ aus dem Polnischen von K. Batornicki, Leipz.
1841.--_Irydion_, Par. 1836. This latter has been twice translated
into German, Leipz. 1839, and Berlin 1846.]

[Footnote 92: _Starozytney wiessci z XI go XVI go i XVII go wieko_.
The author had published a similar work before. Polish proverbs have
also been collected by Knapski and Rysinski.]

[Footnote 93: _Zarysy domowe_, Warsaw 1841; and _Niewasty Polskie_,
Wars. 1844.]

[Footnote 94: _Klechdy, Starozytnye powviesci i podania ludu Polskigo
i Rusi_, Warsaw 1837.]

[Footnote 95: _Piesni ludu bielachrobatow, Mazurow i Rusiz nad Buga_,
Lemb 1838.]

[Footnote 96: _Duma, Dumka_, means _thought_, and is the name of the
elegaic, mostly historical, ballads of the Malo-Russian people.]

[Footnote 97: See more on this subject in Part IV.]

[Footnote 98: The title is _Spiewy historyczne Cesarstwa
Rossyiskiego_, i.e. Historical songs of the Russian emperors.]

[Footnote 99: The English reader will find further information on
Polish literature in Bowring's Introduction to his Polish Anthology,
Lond. 1827; in Ljach Szyrma's Letters on Poland, published in London;
and in an article on Polish Literature in the Foreign Quarterly
Review, Vol. XXV. No. 49. These are the only sources in the English
language with which we are acquainted.

In grammatical and lexical works the Polish language is very rich; but
the interest which the English have recently shown for the fate of the
Poles seems not to extend to their language. The following are the
principal works.

GRAMMARS: in German, Krumholz _Polnische Grammatik_, Breslau 1797, 6th
edit. _Auszug aus Kopczynski's Grammatik_, von Polsfuss, Breslau 1794,
Mrongovius _Poln. Sprachlehre_, Königsb 1794, and in several altered
editions, under different titles; last edition Danzig 1836. Szumski's
_Poln. Gramm._ Posen 1830. Vater's _Grammatik der Poln. Sprache_,
Halle 1807. Bantkie _Poln. Grammatik_ attached to his Dictionary,
Breslau 1808-1824. Szrzeniawa _Wortforschungslehre der polnischen
Sprache,_ Lemberg and Lemgo 1842-43. Poplinski _Polnische Grammatik_,
Lissa 1836; last edition 1840. Stostakowskiego _Polska Gramm_.
Trzemeszne 1846. Schieweck _Grammatik der. Polnischen Sprache,_
Fraustadt and Neustadt 1847. In French, Kopczynski _Essai d'une
grammaire Polonaise_, Wars. 1807. Trambczynski _Grammatique raisonnée
de la langue Polonaise_, new edit. Warsaw 1793.

DICTIONARIES, in German and French. The most useful are, Mrongovius
_Handwörterbuch der Poln. Sprachte_, latest edit. Danz. 1823. Troc
_Franz-poln.-deutsches Wörterbuch_ in several editions from 1742 to
1821. J.V. Bantkie _Taschenwörterbuch der Poln. Sprache_, (German and
French,) Breslau and Wars. in several editions from 1805 to 1819.
Slownik _Francusko-Polski, Dictionaire Polonais Français,_ Berlin and
Leipzig 1839-45. _Dict. Polonais-Francais,_ 2 vols. 18mo. Paris 1844.
J.A.E. Schmidt, _Nouveau Dictionaire portatif Francais et Polonais_,
Zerbst 1817. _Polnisch-Deutsches Taschenwörterbuch,_ von Jordan,
Leipzig 1845.--Standard works for the language are the etymological
dictionaries: G.S. Bantkie _Slownik dokladny iez. pol. i. niem_.
Breslau 1806, and Linde's _Slownik iez. pol_. Wars. 1807-14. For other
philological works, see Schaflarik's _Geschichte der Slav. Spr_. p

       *       *       *       *       *



The north-eastern part of Germany, as far west as the Elbe and Saale,
was, from the fifth to the tenth century, almost exclusively inhabited
by nations of the Slavic race. Various Teutonic tribes--among them the
Burgundians, the Suevi, Heruli, and Hermunduri--had before this taken
up their temporary residence along the Baltic, between the Vistula and
the Elbe. In the great migration of the Asiatic-European nations,
which for nearly two centuries kept in motion all Europe from the Icy
Ocean to the Atlantic, and extended even to the north of Africa, the
warlike German nations moved towards the south-west, and Slavic tribes
traversing the Danube and Vistula, in immense multitudes, took
possession of the countries which they left. Those who came over the
northern Vistula, settled along the coasts of the Baltic as far west
as to the Elbe and Saale, and as far south as to the Erzgebirge (Ore
Mountains) on the borders of Bohemia.

These Slavic tribes were called by the Germans, _Wenden_, Lat.
_Venedi_, for which we prefer in English the form of _Vendes_, rather
than that of Wends. It appears indeed that this name was formerly
applied by the Germans indiscriminately to all the Slavic nations with
which they came in contact; for the name _Winden_, Eng. _Vindes_,
which is still, as we have seen, the German appellation for the
Slovenzi, or the Slavic inhabitants of Southern Germany, is evidently
the same in a slightly altered form. The name of _Wenden_, Vendes,
became, however, in the course of time, a specific appellation for the
northern German-Slavic tribes; of which, at the present day, only a
few meagre remnants are left. They were nevertheless once a powerful
nation. Five independent branches must be distinguished among them.

We first name the _Obotrites_, the former inhabitants of the present
duchies of Mecklenburg, and the adjacent country, west, north, and
south. They were divided into the Obotrites proper, the Wagrians in
Holstein, and the Polabæ and Linones on the banks of the Elbe and
Leine; but were united under a common chief or king. They and their
eastern neighbours the Wiltzi, (Germ. _Wilzen_, Lat. _Veletabæ_,) with
whom they lived in perpetual warfare, were the most warlike and
powerful among the Vendish tribes. The Wiltzi or Pomeranians lived
interspersed with the Kassubes, a Lekhish tribe, between the Oder and
the Vistula, and were subjugated by the Obotrites in A.D. 782. It was
however only by the utmost exertions, that these latter could maintain
their own independence against their western and southern neighbours,
the Germans. Conquered by Charlemagne, they regained their
independence under his successors, and centuries passed away in
constant and bloody conflicts and alternate fortunes. In the middle of
the twelfth century, however, they were completely subjugated by Henry
the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria. He laid waste their whole
country, destroyed most of the people, and compelled the few remaining
inhabitants and their prince, to accept Christianity from his bloody
hands. In A.D. 1167 he restored to this latter, whose name was
Pribislaus, a part of his kingdom, and gave his daughter Matilda in
marriage to the son of Pribislaus, who, a few years later, was made a
prince of the empire, and was thus gained over to the German cause.
His descendants are the present dukes of Mecklenburg; and it is a
memorable fact, that these princes are at the present day the only
sovereigns in Europe of the Slavic race. German priests and German
colonists introduced the German language; although we find that Bruno,
the chief missionary among the Obotrites, preached before them in
their own language. The Slavic dialect spoken by them expired
gradually; and probably without ever having been reduced to writing,
except for the sake of curiosity when very near its extinction. The
only documents of it, which have come down to us, are a few incomplete
vocabularies, compiled among the Polabæ and Linones, i.e. the
inhabitants adjacent to the Elbe, in Slavic _Labe_, and to the Leine,
in Slavic _Linac_.

Long after the whole region was perfectly Germanized, a few towns in
the eastern corner of the present kingdom of Hanover, were still
almost exclusively inhabited by a people of Slavic race, who in the
seventeenth century, and even to the middle of the eighteenth, had
preserved in some measure their language and habits. But, since the
Germans were strongly prejudiced against the Vendish name,--the
nations of this race, especially those in the western part of the
German territories, being despised as subjugated tribes, and inferior
in general knowledge and information,--they gradually renounced their
national peculiarities. Towards the close of the seventeenth century,
when Hennings, German pastor at Wustrow, took great pains to collect
among them historical notices and a vocabulary of their language, he
found the youth already ignorant of the latter, and the old people
almost ashamed of knowing it, or at least afraid of being laughed at
by their children. They took his inquiries, and those of other
intelligent persons, in respect to their ancient language and
usages, as intended to ridicule them, and denied at first any
knowledge of those matters. We find, however, that preaching in the
Vendish language of this region was still continued for some time
later. Divine service was held in it for the last time at Wustrow, in
the year 1751. According to the vocabularies which Hennings and a few
others collected, their dialect, like that spoken in Lower Lusatia,
was nearly related to the Polish language; partaking however in some
peculiarities of the Bohemian, and not without some of its own.[1]

The second great Vendish tribe, the Wiltzi or Pomeranians (Germ.
_Wilzen_), also called Veletabæ, were, as we said above, subjugated
in A.D. 782 by the Obotrites; and the country between the Oder and
the Vistula formed for more than a hundred and fifty years a part of
the great Vendish kingdom. They regained, however, even before the
final dissolution of this latter in A.D. 1026, the partial
independence of their own dukes; who attached themselves to Germany,
and afterwards, under the name of the dukes of Pomerania, became
princes of the empire. In the year 1124 the first Pomeranians were
baptized by Otho, bishop of Bamberg; and the place where this act was
performed, Ottosbrunnen (Otho's Well), which five hundred years ago
was encircled by four lime-trees, is still shown to the traveller. As
they received religion and instruction from Germany, the influence of
the German language can easily be accounted for. German colonists
aided in spreading it throughout the whole country. The last person
who understood the old Pomeranian language, is said to have died in
the year 1404. No trace of it remains, excepting only the names of
places and persons, the Slavic origin of which can be recognized
throughout all north-eastern Germany by the terminations in _its,
enz, ik_, or _ow_. In A.D. 1637 the line of the old Pomeranian dukes
expired, and the country fell to Brandenburg, with the exception of
that part which Sweden usurped at the peace of Westphalia. The island
of Rügen, which till A.D. 1478 had its own native princes, belonged
to this latter. It is the principal seat of German-Slavic
antiquities. The ancient Rugians and their gods are mentioned by
Tacitus, and described by Saxo Grammaticus. The old chronicles and
legends, founded on still older traditions, speak of a large and
flourishing city named Vineta on the small island Wollin, south-east
of Rügen, once the principal seat of the western Slavic commerce,
and, as Herder calls it, the Slavic Amsterdam. This city is said by
some to have been destroyed by the Danes; by others to have been
ingulfed in the sea by the sinking of the ground beneath it. Modern
inquirers, however, have doubted whether it ever existed; and, hard
as it is to renounce the many poetical associations attached to such
a subject,--so similar to those which fill the mind in thinking of
Pompeii and Herculaneum,--their objections have not yet been
satisfactorily refuted.

The third separate branch of the Vendish stem were the Ukrians, or
Border-Vendes, Germ. _Ukern,_ from _Ukraina_, border. They lived in
the territory which afterwards became the margravate of Brandenburg,
and were divided into several tribes, as the Hevelli on the banks of
the Havel, the Retarians, etc. Their situation was such, that constant
conflicts between them and the guardians or watch of the German
frontiers, the Saxon margraves on the other side of the Elbe, were
unavoidable. These served gradually to extend the German _marches_ or
frontiers further and further, until in the year 1134 Albert the Bear,
count of Ascania, finally conquered the Vendes. The Slavic inhabitants
of this region were cruelly and completely destroyed; the country was
repeopled by German and Dutch colonists, and given as a fief by the
emperor to Albert the Bear, the first margrave of Brandenburg.
Brandenburg was the German form for _Brannibor_, the most considerable
of the Vendish cities, after which the country was called. The names
of places, many of them altered in a similar manner, are indeed the
only weak traces of the Vendish language once spoken in this part of
Germany. No tribe of the Vendes seems to have been so completely
extinguished; the present inhabitants of Brandenburg being of as pure
a German origin, as those of any other part of Germany.

The descendants of only two Vendish tribes have preserved their
language; and even these, from powerful nations spread over the
surface of at least 4800 geographical square miles, have shrunk into
the comparatively small number of scarcely two hundred thousand
individuals, now inhabitants of Upper and Lower Lusatia. Nearly all of
them are peasants; for the higher classes, even if Slavic blood
perhaps runs in their veins, are completely Germanized. These tribes
are the Sorabians, Lat. _Sorabæ_, Germ. _Sorben_, in Lusatia, divided
into two different branches. They call themselves to this very day
_Servians_, or rather (as also their brethren on the Danube) _Serbs_;
their language, the _Serbish_ language. Although in fact two distinct
tribes, and speaking different dialects, yet their early history
cannot well be separated. After the dissolution of the great kingdom
of Thuringia by the Francs and Saxons in the year 1528, the Sorabians,
or Sorbæ, took possession of the countries left by the Hermunduri,
viz. the territory between the Harz mountains, the Saale, and the
Erzgebirge, and extended their dominion in a northern direction to the
seats of their brethren, the Ukrians, and towards the east as far as
to the region in which their near relations, the Lekhes. about the
same time had settled. They made slaves of the few German inhabitants
whom they found scattered through this country; and according to their
industrious habits, began immediately after their arrival to cultivate
the soil, to build cities, and to trade in the productions of the
country. Although not strictly a warlike people, they were able for
several centuries to defend their frontiers against the frequent
attacks of their German neighbours on the other side of the Saale, and
to give them trouble in return. But they yielded before the arms of
Charlemagne; and after a short interval of renewed independence, they
were completely subjugated and made tributary by Henry I. Their
country, according to the German custom, was divided into _marches_,
and populated with German settlers. These latter more especially
occupied the towns, and built villages among the woods and mountains;
whilst the Vendes, chiefly addicted to agriculture, continued to
occupy the plains. But even on the plains, there soon arose the
castles of German knights, their masters and oppressors; and the
Vendish population was by degrees reduced to the miserable condition
of serfs.

In the year 968, the first attempt was made to convert them to
Christianity, partly by the sword of the conqueror, partly by the
instruction of Christian missionaries. But more than one century
passed away, before the Christian religion was fully introduced among
them. Benno, bishop of Meissen, who died in A.D. 1106, at the age of
ninety-six, acquired by his activity in the work of converting the
Vendes, the name of the apostle of the Slavi. The obstinate resistance
with which the Christian religion had been rejected by them, can
easily be explained by the unjudicious, nay flagitious way, in which
it was presented to them by the Germans; who came among them, the
sword in one hand and the cross in the other; and exacted moreover
from them the sacrifice of their language, their customs, their whole
nationality in exchange. The naturally childlike and submissive
disposition of the Slavi rendered them in all other regions, as we
have seen, willing to receive the Christian doctrines, more especially
when their superiors themselves acted as their apostles, as was in
some measure the case with the Russian Vladimir, Jagello in Lithuania,
etc.[2] But the mode described above, which was adopted by the German
heroes, not only among the Vendes, but also some centuries later among
the old Borussians, could not but rouse all their feelings of pride
and nationality to a decided resistance. Even when the Germans
refrained from force, their means of conversion were equally opposed
to the spirit of Christianity. Bishop Otho of Bamberg, for instance,
was accustomed, when on his missionary travels, to have fifty or more
wagons in his train loaded with cloth, victuals, and other supplies,
in order to reward on the spot those who submitted to baptism.[3]

But the holy light of Christianity, even after the Vendish tribes had
embraced its doctrines, did not clear up the darkness of their fate.
The whole humiliating relation between masters and serfs in Germany,
which still degraded the last century, was unknown to the free ancient
Germans, among whom only the prisoner of war was a slave; and is
derived from the period of the submission of the Vendes. The Germans
indeed seem to have considered them as an inferior race, and treated
them accordingly. The contempt with which the old historians speak of
them, is revolting to every liberal and unprejudiced mind, and can
hardly be explained. For the Sorabians seem to have been at the time
of their submission, superior on the whole to the Germans in respect
to civilization; although in consequence of this contemptuous
treatment, they in the course of time fell far behind them. Despised
and oppressed, they were kept for centuries in a state of ignorance
and neglect; from which, it seems, they could only escape by
renouncing their Slavic peculiarities, and above all their language.
The use of this latter before courts of justice was in the fourteenth
century forbidden by law throughout most of the country. In the
beginning of the same century, the Vendish language was still
sometimes heard at Leipzig, but not afterwards. In the villages also
it became wholly extinct fifty or a hundred years later; and only
single words passed over into the German language. But this was not
the case with their usages and other national peculiarities; there are
still several tribes, nay the peasants of whole provinces in this part
of Germany, in whom the Slavic origin can be distinctly traced.[4]
Their language however was driven into the remotest eastern corner of
their former extensive territory; and is there, and only there, still
to be heard. We speak of the province called Lusatia, situated between
Saxony, Bohemia, Silesia, and Brandenburg, of which the greatest part
is at present under the Prussian dominion, and the smallest but
richest portion under that of Saxony.

_Lushitze_, Lusatia, Germ. _Lausitz_, signifies in Slavic, a low
marshland. This name was formerly applied only to the north-eastern
part of this province, or Lower Lusatia, which is, or was at least at
the time of the Vendish settlement, a country of that description. At
a later period, the name was carried over very improperly to the
south-western part, or Upper Lusatia, a beautiful and mountainous
region. Lusatia was given by Henry I, as a fief, to the margrave of
Meissen. In the course of the following centuries, its two parts were
repeatedly separated and reunited, alternately under the dominion of
the last named margrave, of Poland, or of Bohemia, without however
belonging to the German empire. In the fourteenth century it was at
length incorporated with Bohemia, and remained so for nearly three
hundred years. To this circumstance alone the partial preservation of
the Vendish language is to be ascribed. At the peace of Prague, A.D.
1636, it was allotted to Saxony. At the congress of Vienna in 1815, it
was assigned, with the exception of the smaller half of Upper Lusatia,
to Prussia, to which monarchy it still belongs.

1. _Language of the Sorabians in Upper Lusatia_.

The cities of Bautzen, Zittau, Kamenz, Löbau, and their districts,
form the Saxon part of Upper Lusatia. Of its 195,000 inhabitants,
about the fourth or fifth part still speak the Vendish language. In
the north-eastern part of Upper Lusatia, which belongs to Prussia,
there is about the same proportion of Vendish inhabitants. In both
territories the whole number of Vendes is about 100,000. Their
language is very nearly related to the Bohemian; where the Sorabians
of Lower Lusatia and the Poles pronounce the letter _h_, the Upper
Lusatians and Bohemians give the sound of _g_. Both Lusatian dialects
have of course lost very many of their original peculiarities; thus
both have adopted the article from the German language.

The Reformation exhibited here, as every where, its favourable
influence on the vernacular language. The bishops of Meissen, to
whose diocese Lusatia belonged, had indeed repeatedly admonished the
priests and curates, to whose care the spiritual welfare of the poor
Slavic Lusatians was intrusted, to learn the language of the people;
but no particular pains was taken; and the Romish clergy, who spoke of
the natives with the utmost contempt, were quite satisfied to hear the
people say _Amen_ and _Kyrie Eleison_ after their own Latin prayers.
As Lusatia lies near to the scene of Luther's earliest influence, the
Gospel was preached early to the Slavic inhabitants by some of his
followers; and it had the natural consequence, that the Romish clergy
also began to give some attention to the vernacular language. In 1550,
if not before, a Sorabian translation of the New Testament, the
manuscript and perhaps the autograph of which is preserved in the
library of Berlin, was completed; but it was never printed; probably
because during the melancholy period of the "Interim" so called, which
commenced about that time, the energies of the Protestants were in
some measure paralyzed. Towards the end of the century Luther's
smaller Catechism, and several other religious and doctrinal tracts,
were translated from the German, mostly by clergymen, and introduced
into the schools; chiefly the village schools; for the cities were
steadily becoming more and more Germanized.

The neglect and decline of the Sorabian population was however always
painfully felt by some patriotic individuals; and the very injudicious
and tyrannic attempts of their German rulers, during the seventeenth
century, to eradicate the language and supplant it by the German,
found in all places only a reluctant and forced submission. But the
effect of appointing every where German magistrates and German pastors
was irresistible. The language was gradually forgotten by the rising
generation; and hardly a Vendish book was printed during the first
three quarters of the seventeenth century. Indeed hardly any one
knew how to write in a language, the orthography and grammar of
which had not yet been subjected to any rules or principles.

In 1679 the Jesuit Jacob Ticinus, a native of Lusatia, in a little
Latin pamphlet, advised his countrymen to adopt the rules of
orthography current in the Bohemian language, so nearly related to
their own.[5] But the Protestants among them, who constituted the
principal part in number and respectability, rejected his advice; and
preferred to adopt the rules established shortly afterwards by a
German clergyman, Z.J. Bierling.[6] This was a system between the
Bohemian and the German, and is still observed. It was probably a
sense of the approaching danger of an ultimate total extirpation of
their language, that roused the slumbering Vendes again to some
efforts. Parts of the Gospels were published towards the close of the
same century by Michael Frenzel; and in 1706 the whole New Testament
appeared in a Vendish translation, conformed to Luther's German one.

A translation of the whole Bible, made by several Protestant
clergymen, was first published in 1729; and has been twice reprinted.
A version for Catholics, by A. Swotlik, is extant in manuscript. A
German hymn-book for the latter already existed in 1696; and in 1710
the Protestants were likewise supplied with one. In the former the
orthography of Ticinus was followed; while the latter was printed
according to the system of Bierling. Thus this handful of people,
surrounded by German adversaries and underminers of their nationality,
and who would have had hard work enough even if they had stood as one
man in their own defence, were split into parties, even in things the
most indifferent; and thus made their own weakness still weaker.

The Protestants succeeded at last in the establishment of a seminary
for the education of Vendish ministers at Leipzig in 1716. Another was
instituted at Wittenberg, A.D. 1749. Their literature continued to be
almost exclusively of a religious kind; and consisted mostly of
translations from the German. Another _Wendische Grammatica_ was
written by G. Matthei, one of the translators of the Vendish Bible. A
dictionary was prepared by Frencel.[7] Both works can now only be
considered as curiosities. The latter proceeds upon the firm
conviction, that the Slavi were originally Hebrews; and contrives to
point out in all the substantives or nouns of the Sorabian language a
certain degree of analogy. The only philological works, which will be
of use to those who may wish to study this Slavic dialect in our day,
is a short grammar by Seiler,[8] and a more modern one by J.P. Jordan.
The latter has adopted the system of orthography best adapted to the
language, viz. that introduced by Dobrovsky for the Bohemian.[9]

The Upper Lusatian dialect has acquired in this way a degree of
cultivation, which of course, since most of those who speak and read
it are of the common people, comparatively few are able to appreciate.
In religious hymns, there is no deficiency; and several cantos of
Klopstock's Messiah have been translated into it by Möhn, in the
measure of the original. In regard to the popular songs of the
Sorabians, a kind of poetry in which most Slavic nations are so rich,
no pains was taken until recently to discover whether they had any or
not. But when on the publication of the remarkable Servian ballads,
the interest of the German public in this species of poetry became
strongly excited, the Saxon minister of state, baron Nostitz, himself
an esteemed German poet, turned his attention particularly to this
subject; and succeeded in collecting several little songs full of that
sweet, half pensive, half roguish feeling, which characterizes Slavic
popular poetry in general. They were translated by him and
communicated in manuscript to his friends: but whether they have ever
been printed we are not informed.

This subject, however, was not long suffered to rest. Two societies
have been formed within the last twelve years, one at Breslau among
the students of the university natives of Lusatia; the other at
Bautzen among the scholars of the Gymnasium or High School; for the
promotion of their native language and extending the knowledge of the
antiquities of their country. Both these societies of the rising
generation are favoured and assisted by gentlemen who take a general
interest in Slavic affairs. Another learned society, called "The
Scientific society of Upper Lusatia," a union of scholars, had been
founded previously. In 1836, this society offered a premium for
collecting a certain number of genuine songs with their melodies,
still extant among the common people. The result has been a very
valuable collection. The first numbers appeared in 1841; and the whole
will form a standard work in the literature of popular poetry. It was
an agreeable surprise to find, that even these isolated Slavic tribes,
who have been so long separated from other nations related to them,
were still in possession of a store of genuine Slavic ballads and
ancient melodies; while, on the other hand, many other ballads were
found among them, in which the influence of their German neighbours,
or perhaps their own influence on the latter, could be distinctly
traced. Ballads and ditties, known to have been sung centuries before
in Hessia or on the Rhine, rose suddenly from the night of an unheeded
existence: disguised, indeed, but easily recognized, in a Slavic
dress, which bore indications of the same antiquity.[10]

2. _Language of the Sorabians in Lower Lusatia_.

Lower Lusatia, or the north-eastern part of the Lusatian territory,
together with the adjacent circle of Cotbus in Brandenburg, has about
the same number of Vendish inhabitants as the upper province. The
dialect they speak has a strong affinity with the Polish; but is, like
that of their brethren in Upper Lusatia, corrupted by German
interpolations, and even in a still greater degree. It is obviously on
the decline; and we can only expect, that after the lapse of a hundred
years or less, no other vestige of it will be left than written or
printed documents.

The first book known to have been printed in this dialect, which is
written according to a peculiar combination of the German letters, is
Möller's Hymns, Catechism, and Liturgy, Bautzen 1574. Their present
literature, like that of Upper Lusatia, is confined to works for
religious instruction, grammars, and dictionaries. Of the former they
possess no small number. They have also a complete version of the
Bible. The New Testament was translated for them as early as 1709, by
Fabricius, and printed together with the German text. It has been
repeatedly reprinted; and in the year 1798 a translation of the Old
Testament by Fritze was added.[11]


[Footnote 1: Herder, in his _Volkslieder_, communicated a popular
ballad from this dialect. See _Literatur und Kunst_, Vol. VII. p. 126,
edit. of 1827-30.]

[Footnote 2: "On a certain day all the inhabitants of Kief were
assembled on the banks of the Dnieper, and on a signal from the
monarch, all plunged into the river, some to the waist, others to the
neck; parents held their children in their arms while the ceremony was
performed by the priests in attendance. Thus a nation received
baptism, not only without murmuring, but with cheerfulness; for all
were convinced that a religion, embraced by the sovereign and boyards,
must necessarily be the best in the world" Foreign Quart. Review, Art.
on Karamsin's History of Russia, Vol. III. p. 160. Compare Henderson's
Travels in Russia, p. 191.]

[Footnote 3: See Cramer's _Pommersche Kirchen Historie_, LI. c. 29.]

[Footnote 4: Among others the peasants of the duchy of Altenburg, who
are highly respectable through a certain degree of cultivation rare
among German peasants, and distinguished for their wealth and
prosperous condition. Although long since perfectly Germanized,
certain Vendish usages have been kept up among them, more especially
at weddings and similar festivals, the details of which are very

[Footnote 5: _Principia linguae Vandalicae seu Wendica_, Prague

[Footnote 6: _Didascalia sive Orthographia Vandalica_, Bautzen 1689.]

[Footnote 7: _De Originibus linguae Sorabicae_ M. Abrah. Frencelij,
Budiss. et Zwickau 1693-96.]

[Footnote 8: _Kurzgefasste Grammatik der Sorben-Wendischen Sprache_,
Bautzen 1828.]

[Footnote 9: _Grammatik der wendisch-sorbischen Sprache in der Ober
Lausitz. Im Systeme Dubrovsky's abgefasst_, von J.P. Jordan, Prague
1841. Here may be mentioned also, _Maly Sserb_, i.e. _der kleine
Serbe, wendische-deutsche Gesprache etc. mit einem wendisch-deutschen
und deutsch-wendischen Würterbuch, etc._ von J.E. Schmaler, Bautzen
1841.--There exists besides this only one Sorabian Dictionary, and
this in Latin, _Vocabularium latino-sorbicum_, by G.A. Swotlik,
Bautzen 1721.]

[Footnote 10: _Volkslieder der Wenden in der Ober und Nieder Lausitz,
und mit den Sangweisen, deutsher Uebersetzung_, etc. herausgegeben von
Leopold Haupt und J.E. Schmaler, Grimma 1841, 2 vols. The second
volume contains the songs in the dialect of Lower Lusatia.]

[Footnote 11: Philological works on this dialect are the following:
Hauptmann's _Wendische Sprachlehre_, Lübben 1761. _Kurze Anleitung zur
Wend. Sprache_, 1746. Megiseri _Thesaurus Polyglottus_, Frankf. 1603;
including the Lower Lusatian. Several vocabularies of this dialect are
extant in manuscript; see Schaffarik's _Geschichte_, p. 486.]

       *       *       *       *       *



In the preceding view of the literature of the Slavic nations, we have
abstained from giving any specimens of their poetry. A _few_ would not
have satisfied the reader, and could not have done justice to poets,
who each for himself has a literary character of his own; and _many_
would have at least doubled the size of this volume. Shukovsky,
Pushkin, Mickewicz, Brodzinski, Krasinski, Kollar--each, as we said,
has an individual poetical character of his own, of which the reader
could have gathered no just idea without a whole series of their
productions; and these even then would have lost half their value in a
translation. Yet they all have little of that peculiar _Slavic_
character, which belongs still in some degree to all Slavic nations;
and which is so strikingly expressed in their POPULAR POETRY.

Our remark respecting the loss of the principal charms which all
poetical productions have to undergo, when clothed in a foreign dress,
applies as well to popular poetry as to the works of literature, and
even more. Indeed, if any kind of poetry must needs lose half its
beauties in a translation, the truth of the Latin saying, _Dulcius ex
ipsa fonte bibuntur aguæ_, will never be more readily acknowledged,
than in respect to the idiomatic peculiarities of popular ballads.
This holds good principally of merely lyric productions, the only kind
of songs which are left to some of the Slavic tribes. They are grown
into the very bone and marrow of the language itself; and a congenial
spirit can at the utmost imitate, but never satisfactorily translate
them. And yet they are the most essential features in the physiognomy
of a people; or, as Görres expresses it, they are like pulse and
breath, the signs and the measure of the internal life. "While the
great _epic_ streams," as this ingenious writer justly says, "reflect
the character of a whole wide-spread river-district, in time and
history, these lyric effusions are the sources and fountains, which,
with their net-work of rills, water and drain the whole country; and,
bringing to light the secrets of its inmost bowels, pour out into lays
its warmest heart's blood." [1] We therefore give the specimens of
Slavic popular poetry, which we here present to the reader, not merely
as poems to be admired, but rather as characteristic features of the
mental condition of the respective nations, and of their manner of
thinking and feeling.

This is the age of utilitarianism. The Genius of poetry still lives
indeed, for he is immortal; but the period of his living power is
gone. His present dwelling is the study; the sphere of his operations
the parlour; the scene, where his exhibitions are displayed in a dress
of morocco and gold, is the centre table of the rich and the genteel.
_Popular poetry_,--we do not mean that divine gift, the dowry of a few
blessed individuals; we mean that general productiveness, which
pervades the mass of men as it pervades Nature,--popular poetry, among
all the nations of Europe, is only a dying plant. Here and there a
lonely relic is discovered among the rocks, preserved by the
invigorating powers of the mountain air; or a few sickly plants, half
withered in their birth, grow up in some solitary valley, hidden from
the intrusive genius of modern improvement and civilization, who makes
his appearance with a brush in his hand, sweeping mercilessly away
even the loveliest flowers which may be considered as impediments in
his path. Twenty years hence, and a trace will not be left, except the
dried specimens which the _amateur_ lays between two sheets of paper,
and the copies preserved in cabinets.

Among the nations of the Slavic race alone is the living flower still
to be found, growing in its native luxuriance; but even here, only
among the Servians and Dalmatians in its full blossom and beauty. For
centuries these treasures have been buried from the literary world.
Addison, when he endeavored to vindicate his admiration of the ballad
of "Chevy-Chace," by the similarity of some of its passages with the
epics of Virgil and Homer, had not the remotest idea, that the
immortal blind bard had found his true and most worthy successors
among the likewise blind poets of his next Hyperborean neighbours. The
merit of having lifted at last the curtain from these scenes, belongs
to Germany, chiefly to Herder. But only the few last years have
allowed a more full and satisfactory view of them.

In laying before our readers a sketch of Slavic popular poetry, we
must renounce at once any attempt at chronological order. Slavic
popular poetry has yet no history. Not that a considerable portion of
it is not very ancient. Many mysterious sounds, even from the gray
ages of paganism, reach us, like the chimes of distant bells,
unconnected and half lost in the air; while, of many other songs and
legends, the colouring reminds us strongly of their Asiatic home. But
the wonderful tales they convey, have mostly been only confined to
tradition; especially there, where the fountain of poetry streamed;
and streams still, in the richest profusion, namely, in Servia. Handed
down from generation to generation, each has impressed its mark upon
them. Tradition, that wonderful offspring of reality and imagination,
affords no safer basis to the history of poetry, than to the history
of nations themselves. To dig out of dust and rubbish a few fragments
of manuscripts, which enable us to cast one glance into the night of
the past, has been reserved only for recent times. Future years will
furnish richer materials; and to the inquirer, who shall resume this
subject fifty years after us, it may be permitted to reduce them to
historical order; while we must be contented to appreciate those,
which are before our eyes, in a moral and poetical respect.

The Slavi, even when first mentioned in history, appear as a singing
race. Procopius, relating the surprise of a Slavic camp by the Greeks,
states that the former were not aware of the danger, having lulled
themselves to sleep by singing.[2] Karamzin, in his history of the
Russian empire, narrates, on the authority of Byzantine writers, that
the Greeks being at war with the Avars, about A.D. 590, took prisoners
three Slavi, who were sent from the Baltic as ambassadors to the Khan
of the Avars. These envoys carried, instead of weapons, a kind of
guitar. They stated, that, having no iron in their country, they did
not know how to manage swords and spears; and described singing and
playing on the guitar as one of the principal occupations of their
peaceful life.[3] The general prevalence of a musical ear and taste
among all Slavic nations is indeed striking. "Where a Slavic woman
is," says Schaffarik, "there is also song. House and yard, mountain
and valley, meadow and forest, garden and vineyard, she fills them all
with the sounds of her voice. Often, after a wearisome day spent in
heat and sweat, hunger and thirst, she animates, on her way home, the
silence of the evening twilight with her melodious songs. What
spirit these popular songs breathe, the reader may learn from the
collections already published. Without encountering contradiction, we
may say, that among no other nation of Europe does natural poetry
exist to such an extent, and in such purity, heartiness, and warmth of
feeling, as among the Slavi." [4]

Although we recognize in the last sentence the voice of a Slavic
enthusiast, we copy the whole of his remarks as perfectly true; and
would only add, that we do not consider "heartiness and warmth of
feeling" more a characteristic feature of Slavic than of Teutonic
popular poetry. As for the purity and universality with which popular
poetry is preserved among the Slavic nations, we strongly fear, that
the chief cause of these advantages lies in the barrenness of their
literature, and in the utter ignorance among the common people even of
its elements.

Before we attempt to carry our reader more deeply into this subject,
we must ask him to divest himself as much as possible of his personal
and national feelings, views, and prejudices, and to suffer himself to
be transported into a world foreign to his habitual course of ideas.
Human feelings, it is true, are the same every where; but we have more
of the artificial and factitious in us than we are aware of. And in
many cases, we hold, that it is not the worst part of us; for we are
far from belonging to the class of advocates of mere nature. The
reader, for instance, must not expect to find in all the immense
treasure of Slavic love-songs, adapted to a variety of situations, a
single trace of _romance_, that beautiful blossom of Christianity
among the Teutonic races. The love expressed in the Slavic songs is
the natural, heartfelt, overpowering sensation of the human breast, in
all its different shades of tender affection and glowing sensuality;
never elevating but always natural, always unsophisticated, and much
deeper, much purer in the female heart, than in that of man. In their
heroic songs, also, the reader must not expect to meet with the
chivalry of the more western nations. Weak vestiges of this kind of
exaltation, with a few exceptions, are to be found among those Slavic
nations only, who, by frequent intercourse with other races, adopted
in part their feelings. The gigantic heroism of the Slavic Woiwodes
and Boyars is not the bravery of honour; it is the valour of manly
strength, the valour of the heroes of Homer. The Servian hero, Marko
Kralyewitch, was regarded by Goethe as the personification of
_absolute_ heroism; but even Marko does not think it beneath him to
flee, when he meets one stronger than himself. These are the dictates
of nature, which only an artificial point of honour can overcome.

But, for the full enjoyment of Slavic popular poetry, we must exact
still more from the reader. He must not only divest himself of his
habitual ideas and views, but he must adopt foreign views and
prejudices, in order to understand motives and actions; for the
Oriental races are far from being more in a state of pure nature than
ourselves. He will have to transport himself into a foreign clime,
where the East and the West, the North and the South, blend in
wonderful amalgamation. The suppleness of Asia and the energy of
Europe, the passive fatalism of the Turk and the active religion of
the Christian, the revengeful spirit of the oppressed, and the
child-like resignation of him who cheerfully submits,--all these
seeming contradictions find an expressive organ in Slavic popular
poetry. Even in respect to his moral feelings, the reader will
frequently have to adopt a different standard of right and wrong.
Actions, which a Scotch ballad sometimes shields by a seductive
excuse,--as for instance in the case of "Lady Barnard and Little
Musgrave," where we become half reconciled to the violation of
congujal faith by the tragic end of the transgressors,--are detestable
crimes in the eyes of the Servian poet. On the other hand, he
relates with applause deeds of vengeance and violence, which all
feelings of Christianity teach us to condemn; and even atrocious
barbarities, which chill our blood, he narrates with perfect
composure. This latter remark refers, in fact, chiefly to the ancient
epics of the Servians. Much less of barbarism and wild revenge meets
us in their modern productions, namely, the epic poems relating to the
war of deliverance in the beginning of the present century; although
their oppressors had given them ample cause for a merciless
retaliation. In the shorter and more lyric songs, of which a rich
treasure is the property of most Slavic nations, and in which their
common descent is most strikingly manifested, there prevails a still
purer morality, and the most tender feelings of the human breast are

It was on account of this decidedly exotic character of Slavic popular
poetry, that, when the author of the present work first published a
German version of the Servian popular songs, Goethe considered it as
an advantage, that the work of translation had fallen into the hands
of a lady. Only a female mind, the great poet thought, was capable of
the degree of accommodation requisite to clothe the "barbarian poems"
in a dress, in which they could be relished by readers of nations
foreign to their genius. Even the love-songs, although "of the highest
beauty," he thought could only he enjoyed _en masse_. But this last
remark applies in a certain measure to all popular poetry; for these
little songs are like the warblings of the wood-birds; and a single
voice would do little justice to the whole. The monotonous chirping of
one little feathered singer is tedious or burdensome; while we enjoy
their full concert as the sweetest music of nature. One swallow does
not make a summer. But the whole blissful sense of nature waking from
her wintry sleep comes over you, when you hear the full, mixed chorus
of the little songsters of the grove; and the monotonous cry of the
cuckoo seems to belong just as much to the completeness of the
concert, as the enchanting solo of the nightingale.

If we attempt to characterize Slavic popular poetry as a whole, we
have chiefly to consider those shorter songs, which are common to all
Slavic tribes, and which alone can be compared to the ballads of other
nations. For, among the Slavi, only the Servians, including the
Dalmatians, Montenegrins, and Croats, who speak the same
language,--and indeed among all other modern nations they
alone,--possess long popular epics, of a heroic character. What of
this species of poetry still survives among the other Slavic nations,
or indeed in any other country of Europe, is only the echo of former
times. The endlessly protracted "Storie" of the Italians are, indeed,
often longer than the Servian heroic tales; but in no other respect do
they afford a point of comparison with them.

The Slavic popular songs have nothing, or very little, of the bold
dramatic character which animates the Scotch, German, and Scandinavian
ballads. Even dialogues occur seldom, except in some narrative form;
as for instance:

  To her brother thus the lady answered;


  And the bonny maiden asked her mother.

A division into epic and lyric ballads would also be difficult. A
considerable portion, especially of the Russian and Servian songs,
begin with a few narrative verses; although the chief part of the song
is purely lyric. These introductory verses are frequently allegorical;
and if we do not always find a connection between them and the tale or
song which follows, it is because one singer borrows these
introductions from another, and adds an extemporaneous effusion of his
own. These little allegories, however, frequently give a complete
picture of the subject. They are, also, not always confined to the
introduction, but spun out through the whole poem. The following
Russian elegy on the death of a murdered youth, may illustrate our
remarks. We translate as literally as possible. The Russian original,
like the translation, has no rhymes,[5]


  O thou field! thou clean and level field!
  O thou plain, so far and wide around!
  Level field, dressed up with every thing,
  Every thing; with sky-blue flowerets small,
  Fresh green grass, and bushes thick with leaves;
  But defaced by one thing, but by one!

  For in thy very middle stands a broom,
  On the broom a young gray eagle sits,
  And he butchers wild a raven black,
  Sucks the raven's heart-blood glowing hot,
  Drenches with it, too, the moistened earth.
  Ah, black raven, youth so good and brave!
  Thy destroyer is the eagle gray.

  Not a swallow 't is, that hovering clings,
  Hovering clings to her warm little nest;
  To the murdered son the mother clings.
  And her tears fall like the rushing stream,
  And his sister's like the flowing rill;
  Like the dew the tears fall of his love:
  When the sun shines, it dries up the dew.


Servian songs begin also frequently with a series of questions, the
answers to which form mostly a very happy introduction to the tale.
For instance:

  What's so white upon yon verdant forest?
  Is it snow, or is it swans assembled?
  Were it snow, it surely had been melted;
  Were it swans, long since they had departed.
  Lo! it is not swans, it is not snow, there,
  'T is the tents of Aga, Hassan Aga, etc.[6]

In Russian songs, on the other hand, a form of expression frequently
occurs, which we venture to call a negative antithesis. It is less
clear than the Servian, but just as peculiar. A preceding question
seems to be frequently supposed; as we have also seen in the piece
adduced above, "It is not a swallow," the poet says, "that clings to
her nest; it is a mother who clings to her son." In other songs we

  Not a _falcon_ floateth through the air,
  Strays a _youth_ along the river's brim, etc.


  Not a cuckoo in the forest cool doth sing,
  Not in the gardens sings a nightingale;
  In the prison dark a brave youth sighs,
  He sighs and pours out many parting tears.

The frequency of standing epithets, characteristic more or less of all
popular poetry, is particularly observable among the Slavic nations.
The translator will be troubled to find corresponding terms; but
whatever he may select, it is essential always to employ the same;
for instance, he must not translate the far-extended idea of _bjeloi_,
white, alternately by _white, bright, snowy, fair_. In Slavic, not
only things really white are called so, but every thing _laudable_ and
_beautiful_ is called white; as, the _white_ God, i.e. the _good_ God;
the _white_ Tzar, i.e., the monarch of _white_, or great and powerful,
Russia. In most cases the poet himself no longer thinks of the
signification and original meaning of the word. Yards, walls, bodies,
breasts, hands, etc. are invariably _white_; even the breast and the
hand of the tawny Moor. The sea is seldom mentioned without the
epithet _blue_; Russian heroes have _black_ hair, but the head of the
Servian hero is called _Rusja glava_, fair-haired, with a reddish
shade. Russian youths, together with their steeds, are invariably
_dobroe_, that is, good or brave; the heart is in the poetry of the
same nation _retivoe_, cheerful, rash, light. The sun is in Servian
_yarko_, bright; in Russian _krasnoi_, which signifies fair and red.
Doves are in both languages _gray_. How much the poets are accustomed
to these epithets, and how heedlessly they use them, appears from a
Servian tale, called "Haykuna's Wedding," a charming poem, and even
much more elaborated than is common, where the breasts of a beautiful
girl are compared to two gray doves. To remind our readers of the
father of popular poetry, Homer, and of the like use by him of
stereotype epithets, is unnecessary.

The Slavic popular ballads, like the Spanish, very seldom lay any
claim to completeness. They do not pretend to give you a whole story,
but only a _scene_. They are, for the most part, little pictures of
isolated situations, from which it is left to the imagination of the
hearers to infer the whole. The narrative part is almost always
descriptive, and, as such, eminently _plastic_. If the picture
represented has not the dramatic vivacity of the ballads of the
Teutonic nations, it has the distinctness, the prominent forms, and
often the perfection of the best executed bas-reliefs of the ancients.
Like these, the Slavic poems seldom represent wild passions or
complicated actions; but, by preference, scenes of rest, and mostly
scenes of domestic grief or joy. When we look at the celebrated Greek
bas-relief, which represents an affianced maiden the evening before
her wedding, weeping, or bashfully hiding her fair face, while a
servant girl washes her feet,[7] we cannot help being impressed with
just the same feelings, which seize us when we hear or read one of the
numerous Slavic songs devoted to similar scenes. To illustrate our
remarks, and to make our readers understand exactly what we call the
_plastic_ character of Slavic popular songs, we insert here the
following Servian love-scene. We add, that it was one of Goethe's
favourites, worthy, in his opinion, to be compared with the
Canticles.[8] There is a melody in the language of this song, not to
be imitated in any translation. We confess that Frederic Schlegel's
definition of architecture, "frozen music," occurs to us when we read
it in the original.


  'Cross the field a breeze it bore the roses,
  Bore them far into the tent of Jovo;
  In the tent were Jovo and Maria,
  Jovo writing and Maria broidering.
  Used has Jovo all his ink and paper,
  Used Maria all her burnished gold-thread.
  Thus accosted Jovo then Maria;
  "O sweet love, my dearest soul, Maria,
  Tell me, is my soul then dear unto thee?
  Or my hand find'st thou it hard to rest on?"
  Then with gentle voice replied Maria;
  "O, in faith, my heart and soul, my Jovo,
  Dearer is to me thy soul, O dearest,
  Than my brothers, all the four together.
  Softer is thy hand to me to rest on,
  Than four cushions, softest of the soft ones."[9]

The high antiquity of Slavic popular poetry is manifest among other
things, in the frequent mythological features which occur. In the
ballads of the Teutonic nations, we recollect very few instances of
talking animals. As to those which talk in nursery tales, we are
always sure to discover in them enchanted princes or princesses. In
one Scotch ballad, "The Gray Goshawk," a horse speaks; and, in a few
other instances, falcons and nightingales. In Spanish popular poetry
we do not meet with a single similar example. In the songs of all the
Slavic nations, conversing, thinking, sympathizing animals are very
common. No one wonders at it. The giant Tugarin Dragonson's steed
warns him of every danger. The great hero Marko's horse even weeps,
when he feels that the death of his master approaches. Nay, life is
breathed even into inanimate objects by the imagination of Slavic
girls and youths. A Servian youth contracts a regular league of
friendship and brotherhood with a bramble-bush, in order to induce it
to catch his coy love's clothes, when she flees before his kisses.
Even the stars and planets sympathize with human beings, and live in
constant intercourse with them and their affairs. Stars become
messengers; a proud maiden boasts to be more beautiful than the sun;
the sun takes it ill, and is advised to burn her coal-black in
revenge. The moon hides herself in the clouds when the great Tzar
dies. One of the most interesting Servian tale, called "The Heritage,"
is the fruit of the moon and the morning star's gossiping with each
other. It begins thus:

  To the morning star the moon spake chiding;
  "Morning star, say where hast thou been wandering?
  Where hast thou been wandering and where lingering,
  Where hast thou three full white days been lingering?"

  To the moon the morning star has answered;
  "I've been wandering, I've three days been lingering,
  O'er the white walls of the fortress Belgrade,
  Gazing there on strange events and wonders."

The events which the star had witnessed, it now proceeds to relate to
the moon; and these make the subject of this beautiful tale.

After having touched upon these general features, did our limits
permit, we should speak more at large of those mythological beings of
a more distinct character, which belong to the individual Slavic
races; for example, the Vila of the Servians, the Russalki of the
Malo-Russians, and the like; at least so far as this belief is
interwoven in their poetry, the only respect in which it concerns us
here. But we must confine ourselves to a few brief remarks.

The strong and deeply-rooted superstitions of the Slavic nations are
partly manifest in their songs and tales; these are full of foreboding
dreams, and good or bad omens; witchcraft of various kinds is
practised; and a certain oriental fatalism seems to direct will and
destiny. The connection with the other world appears nevertheless much
looser, than is the case with the Teutonic nations. There is no trace
of spirits in Russian ballads; although spectres appear occasionally
in Russian nursery tales. In Servian, Bohemian, and Slovakian songs,
it occurs frequently, that the voices of the dead sound from their
graves; and thus a kind of soothing intercourse is kept up between the
living and the departed. The superstition of a certain species of
blood-sucking spectres, known to the novel reading world under the
name of _vampyres_, a superstition retained chiefly in Dalmatia,
belongs also here. In modern Greek, such a spectre is called
_Brukolacas_ in Servian _Wukodlak_. We do not however recollect the
appearance of a vampyre, in any genuine production of modern Greek or
Servian poetry. It seems as if the sound sense of the common people
had taught them, that this superstition is too shocking, too
disgusting, to be admitted into poetry; while the oversated palates of
the fashionable reading world crave the strongest and most stimulating
food, and can only be satisfied by the most powerful excitement.

In the whole series of Slavic ballads and songs, which lie before our
eyes, we meet with only one instance of the return of a deceased
person to this world, in the like gloomy and mysterious way, in which
the Christian nations of the North and West are wont to represent such
an event. This is in the beautiful Servian tale, "Jelitza[10] and her
Brothers." As it is too long to be inserted here entire, we must be
satisfied with a sketch of it. Jelitza, the beloved sister of nine
brothers, is married to a Ban on the other side of the sea. She
departs reluctantly, and is consoled only by the promise of her
brothers to visit her frequently. But "the plague of the Lord"
destroys them all; and Jelitza, unvisited and apparently neglected by
her brothers, pines away and sighs so bitterly from morning to
evening, that the Lord in heaven takes pity on her. He summons two of
his angels before him;

  "Hasten down to earth, ye my two angels,
  To the white grave where Jován lies buried,
  The lad Jován, Jelitza's youngest brother;
  Into him, my angels, breathe your spirit,

  "Make for him a horse of his white grave-stone,
  Knead a loaf from the black mould beneath him,
  And the presents cut out from his grave-shroud;
  Thus equip him for his promised visit."

The angels do as they are bidden. Jelitza receives her brother with
delight, and asks of him a thousand questions, to which he gives
evasive answers. After three days are past, he must away; but she
insists on accompanying him home. Nothing can deter her. When they
come to the church-yard, the lad Jován's home, he leaves her under a
pretext and goes back into his grave. She waits long, and at last
follows him. When she sees the nine fresh graves, a painful
presentiment seizes her. She hurries to the house of her mother. When
she knocks at the door, the aged mother, half distracted, thinks it is
"the plague of the Lord," which, after having carried off her nine
sons, comes for her. The mother and daughter die in each other's

This simple and affecting tale affords, then, the only instance, in
Slavic popular poetry, of a regular apparition; but even here that
apparition has, as our readers have seen, a character very different
from that of a Scotch or German ghost. The same ballad exists also in
modern Greek; although in a shape perhaps not equal in power and
beauty to the Servian.[12]

But the very circumstance that its subject is so isolated among the
Slavic nations, who are so ready to seize other poetical ideas and to
mould them in various ways, leads us to believe, that the Servian poet
must have heard somehow or other the Greek ballad, or a similar one;
and that the subject of the Servian ballad, although this is familiar
to all classes, was originally a stranger in Servia. Nowhere indeed,
in the whole range of Slavic popular poetry, do we meet with that
mysterious gloom, with those enigmatical contradictions, which are
peculiar to the world of spirits of the Teutonic North; and which we
think find their best explanation in the antithesis between the
principles of Christianity, and the ruins of paganism on which it was

It is true, that, wherever Christianity has been carried, similar
contradictions must necessarily have taken place: but the mind of the
Slavic nations, so far as it is manifest in their poetry, seems never
to have been perplexed by these contradictions. History shows, that
the Slavic nations, with the exception of those tribes who were
excited to headstrong opposition by the cruelty and imprudence of
their German converters, received Christianity with childlike
submission; in most cases principally because their superiors adopted
it.[13] Vladimir the Great, to whom the Gospel and the Koran were
offered at the same time, was long undecided which to choose; and was
at last induced to embrace the former, because "his Russians could not
live without the pleasure of drinking."[14] The wooden idols, it is
true, were solemnly destroyed; but numerous fragments of their altars
were suffered to remain undisturbed at the foot of the cross; and the
passion-flower grew up in the midst of the wild broom, the branches
of which, tied together, the Tshuvash considers, even at the present
day, as his tutelary spirit or Erich[15]. No struggle seems ever to
have taken place, to reconcile these contradictory elements; while the
more philosophical spirit of the Teutonic nations, and their genius
for meditation and reflection, could not be so easily satisfied. The
character of the Teutonic world of spirits is the reflex of this
struggle. The foggy veil which covers their forms, the mysterious
riddles in which their existence is wrapped, the anxious pensiveness
which forms a part of their character, all are the results of these
fruitless and mostly unconscious endeavours to amalgamate opposing
elements. We cannot approach the region of their mysterious existence
without an awful shuddering; while the few fairies, which Slavic
poetry and superstition present us, strike us by the distinctness and
freshness of their forms, and give us the unmingled impression either
of the ludicrous or of the wild and fantastic.

It remains to speak of the moral character of Slavic popular poetry.
If, in respect to its decency, we may judge from the printed
collections, we must be struck with the purity of manners among the
Slavic nations, and the unpollutedness of their imagination. Hacquet,
speaking of the Slovenzi or Vindes, the Slavic inhabitants of
Carniola, states, that the songs with which they accompany their
dances are often indecent[16]. But there is little dependence to be
placed on judgments of this description. Sometimes expressions and
ideas are rashly called indecent, which only differ from the
conventional forms of decency without really violating its laws.
Hacquet moreover only half understood those songs of the Slovenzi. We
will at least not condemn them without having seen them. Among the
Russian songs, there are some of a certain wanton and equivocal
character, displaying with perfect _naïveté_ a scarcely half-veiled
sensuality. The boldness, with which these songs are sung in chorus by
young peasant women, has often excited the astonishment of foreigners.
The number of ballads of this description, however, so far as we are
informed, is not considerable; and the character of Russian
love-ballads in general is pure and chaste. As for the Servians, they
have in fact a great multitude of songs of a very marked levity and
frivolity; and Goethe, when these first appeared in the German version
of Gerhardt, could not help finding it remarkable, that two nations,
one half-barbarous, the other the most practised of all, (_die
durchgeübteste_, meaning the French,) should meet together on the step
of frivolous lyric poetry[17]. But these Servian songs are pure in
comparison with many Grub-Street ballads and German _Zotenlieder_. The
spirit of roguery and joviality, which prevails in them all, proves
that they are more the overflowings of wild and unrestrained youth,
than the fruits of dissoluteness of manners. They are often coarse,
but never vulgar; they are indelicate, but they are not impudent. At
any rate, we never meet in them that confounding of virtuous and
vicious feelings, which has so often struck us painfully even in the
best Scotch and German ballads. We refer the reader here to our
previous remarks on the measure of right and wrong, to be applied in
our judgment of nations foreign to us in habits and pursuits. The
heroes of the Servian epics are always represented as virtuous, often
to harshness. Marko Kralyewitch is always ready to punish young women
for any trespass against female modesty, by severing their heads from
their shoulders; and even to his own bride, when he thinks her too
obliging towards himself, he applies the most ignominious names, and
threatens her with the sword.

Love and heroism, the principal subjects of all poetry, are also the
most popular among the Slavi. But one of the peculiarities of their
poetry is, that these two subjects are kept apart more than among
other nations. While in the exploits of the Spanish heroes, which the
popular Romances celebrate, love is so interwoven with heroism, and
heroism with love, that we are not able to separate this two-fold
exaltation of a generous mind, love is almost excluded from the heroic
poems of the Slavi; or, at least, admitted only about in the same
degree as in the epics of the ancients. It is seldom, if ever, the
motive of the hero's actions. We need then add nothing more, to
describe the character of Slavic heroism. It is never animated by
romantic _love_; although sometimes, in the more modern epics of the
Servians, by romantic _honour_. In one of the modern Servian tales,
perhaps about a century old, which describes a duel between a
Dalmatian Servian and a Turk, a scene of the most perfect chivalry
occurs. The young Dalmatian captain, Vuk Jerinitch, having just
reached manhood, inquires of the older captains, which of the Turks
had most injured their country during the last invasion, while he was
a child. The old captains name to him Zukan, the Turkish standard
bearer. Vuk consequently challenges him, proposing at the same time,
in true Oriental character, that, himself having a beautiful sister
and the Turk a wife of equal beauty, both shall belong to the victor.
Zukan of course accepts the challenge. Their meeting is in the best
chivalric style; they demand of each other no pledge or oath of faith,
but meet in Vuk's tent with perfect confidence; they embrace and kiss
each other, and make friendly inquiries after each other's health. The
first hour of their meeting flies away in conviviality, and in
admiration of the ladies. At last the desire to gain the Christian
girl induces the Turk to interrupt their drinking. But, before they
begin the fight, "they kiss each other on the cheeks, and forgive each
other mutually their blood and death." This scene indeed has a
decidedly Oriental costume; but the feelings, from which it results,
are produced by as much of romantic exaltation as any Spanish romance
could exhibit.

Goetze, in the introduction to his German translation of Russian
popular ballads, observes: "In the Russian love songs we meet with
more _softness_ of feeling than romantic delicacy." We do not perceive
any marked difference in that respect, between the character of
Russian and of other Slavic erotic songs; and apply therefore his
remark to the whole race. _Romantic_ delicacy we must not, in fact,
expect to find; but often all the natural delicacy of warm, tender,
devoted love; all the freshness of youthful, unsophisticated feelings;
all the burning passion of Spanish love, with the same strong tincture
of sensuality; though seldom, very seldom, that depth, that
infiniteness of the same feeling, so affectingly expressed in more
than one popular ballad of the Scandinavians, Germans, and
British,--that love which reaches far beyond the grave, and chains
souls to each other even in different worlds. Russian lovers, who are
compelled by circumstances to leave their mistresses, give frequently
the following or similar advice:

  Weep not, weep not, O sweet maid!
  Choose, O choose another love!
  _Is he better, thou'll forget me_;
  Is he worse, thou'lt think of me,
  Think of me, sweet soul, and weep!

Love, among the Slavi, more than among any other Christian race, seems
to be a _dream of youth_. Among unmarried persons of both sexes, free
and easy intercourse is kept up. But nothing can favour less a free
and lasting affection, than the national mode of contracting
marriages. Among those Slavic nations, who have lived long in
connection with the Teutonic races, the national manners have of
course partly changed in this respect, as in others; especially among
the higher classes. But among the Servians, the old Asiatic custom,
according to which a marriage is agreed on by the parents of the
parties, often without these knowing each other, is kept up in its
fullest extent; and, even among all Slavic nations, strong traces of
this custom are still left. Affianced Slavic girls often do not see
their intended husbands before the wedding-day. Thus a girl, even in
attaching herself to a youth, must early familiarize herself with the
thought, that the time may come when she will have to take back her
heart at her parent's bidding. Illegitimate love is rare; and is
considered as the highest crime. Of the Russian popular songs, no
small portion describe lovers taking leave of each other, because the
youth or the maid must marry another; in another considerable portion,
young married women are represented lamenting their miserable fate.
The following popular ballad will afford the reader a characteristic
specimen of the whole tenderness of such a Russian parting scene.


  Brightly shining sank the waning moon,
  And the sun all beautiful arose;

  Not a falcon floated through the air,
  Strayed a youth along the river's brim.
  Slowly strayed he on and dreamingly,
  Sighing looked unto the garden green,
  Heart all filled with sorrow mused he so:
  "All the little birds are now awake,
  All, embracing with their little wings,
  Greeting, all have sung their morning songs.
  But, alas! that sweetest doveling mine,
  She who was my youth's first dawning love,
  In her chamber slumbers fast and deep.
  Ah! not even her friend is in her dreams,
  Ah! no thought of me bedims her soul,
  While my heart is torn with wildest grief,
  That she comes to meet me here no more."

  Stepped the maiden from her chamber then;
  Wet, O! wet with tears her lovely face,
  All with sadness dimmed her eyes so clear,
  Feebly drooping hung her snowy arms.
  'T was no arrow that had pierced her heart,
  'T was no adder that had stung her so;
  Weeping, thus the lovely maid began:
  "Fare thee well, beloved, fare thee well,
  Dearest soul, thy father's dearest son!
  I have been betrothed since yesterday;
  Come, to-morrow, troops of wedding-guests;
  To the altar, I, perforce, must go!
  I shall be another's then; and yet
  Thine, thine only, thine alone till death."


But the warm and tender hearts of the Slavic women, nevertheless, find
means to satisfy that natural want of the female breast, to pour out
on certain objects the whole blessing of love. _Family_ connections
are among no other race regarded as so holy, the ties of relationship
are nowhere so cherished, as among the Slavi. Maternal tenderness is
the subject of very many songs; and is set by comparisons in the most
shining light. In the Russian ballad above adduced,[19] we have seen
how slightly the poet thinks of the love of the wife; her tears are
dried up by the sun, like the morning dew; while the mother's tears
gush out incessantly like the waters of the mountain stream. In a
Servian ballad, a youth wounds his hand. The Vila, a malicious
mountain-nymph, offers to cure him. But she exacts a high price,--from
his mother, her right hand; from his sister, her hair; and from his
wife, her necklace of pearls. The mother willingly gives her right
hand, and the sister her hair, but the wife refuses the necklace. The
love of a mother is often described by the image of swallows, clinging
to their own warm nest; or of tender doves, bereft of their young
ones. The rights of a mother are respected with true filial piety,
even by the barbarian hero Marko, who never fails to pay his aged
mother filial respect.

More remarkable, however, in Slavic popular poetry, is the peculiar
relation of the sister to the brother. This remark holds especially
good of Servia. Sisters cling to their brothers with a peculiar warmth
of feeling. These are their natural protectors, their supporters. They
swear by the head of their brothers. To have no brother is a
misfortune, almost a disgrace. A mourning female is represented in all
Slavic poetry under the constant image of a cuckoo; and the cuckoo,
according to the Servian legend, was a sister who had lost her
brother. Numerous little songs illustrate the great importance which
a Servian girl attaches to the possession of a brother. Those who have
none, think even of artificial means for procuring one. This is
exhibited in a pretty little ballad, where two sisters, who have no
brother, make one out of white and pink silk wound around a stick of
box-wood; and, after putting in two brilliant black stones as eyes,
two leeches as eyebrows, and two rows of pearls as teeth, put honey in
his mouth, and entreat him "to eat and to speak." In another ballad,
of a more serious description, "George's young wife" loses at once in
battle her husband, her brideman (_paranymphos_, in Servia a female's
legitimate friend through life), and her brother. The gradations of
the poetess in her description of the widow's mourning are very
characteristic, and give no high idea of conjugal attachments in

  For her husband, she has cut her hair;
  For her brideman she has torn her face;
  For her brother she has plucked her eyes out.
  Hair she cut, her hair will grow again;
  Face she tore, her face will heal again;
  But the eyes, they'll never heal again,
  Nor the heart, which bleedeth for the brother.

After having thus attempted to point out to the reader what we
consider as the _general_ characteristic features of Slavic popular
poetry, we proceed to add a few remarks on the _distinguishing_ traits
of the different nations of the Slavic race individually, so far as
our limits permit.

And here it is among the nations of the EASTERN STEM that we must look
for our principal harvest. We follow the same order as in the former
parts of this work.

The RUSSIANS have very few ballads of high antiquity; and, even in
this small number, hardly any one has reference to the heroic prose
tales, which are the delight of Russian nurseries.

The Russians have indeed nursery tales (_skazki_) of all descriptions;
and we have often heard, that, during the first decennium of the
present century, still many an old-fashioned country squire, many a
country gentlewoman brought up among her female slaves like an
oriental princess, were in the habit of having themselves lulled to
sleep by them. They are almost invariably told in the same words; and
as much as possible with the same intonation of voice. One
_Skazkochnik_, or _Skazkochnitza_, adopts this manner from another.
The traditions of Vladimir and his giant heroes are the favourite, but
not the exclusive subjects of these tales. They are also printed and
sold separately; with a coarse wood-cut on the upper part of every
page, representing the scene described, and the back of the page
empty. We are told that they are mostly got up by "Deacons," a class
of the lower clergy, in their leisure hours. It is probable that these
traditions formerly existed also in the shape of popular ballads; but
no trace has been left of them. In the beginning of this century the
work of Kirscha Danilof, of which we have spoken in our view of
Russian literature,[20] was first published, containing the ancient
traditions; written in the national prosodic measure, but without any
poetical spirit; replete with anachronisms and absurdities, without
the _naiveté_ which can alone make these latter tolerable. They were,
besides, full of interpolations; and were evidently the productions of
a man from the people who had acquired half an education. For this
reason they have never gained popularity in this shape.

The more modern heroic ballads of the Russians are of a remarkably
tame character. Lawless and rebellious deeds are sometimes their
subjects; but they end mostly with an act of retributive justice. We
shall give a specimen of this species before we part with the

By far the largest portion of Russian popular songs is of the erotic
kind. According to Russian authorities, even their oldest ballads, to
judge from the language,[21] cannot be traced further than to the last
quarter of the sixteenth century; and the number even of these is very
small. Most of those now current among the people are derived from the
beginning of the middle of the last century. According to Goetze, the
reign of Peter the First was very favourable to popular poetry.[52]
His daughter, the empress Elizabeth, was a successful poetess herself;
and her ditties had a perfectly popular character. If we may draw a
conclusion from the frequency with which modern historical events have
given birth to popular ballads, one must suppose that many ancient
ones are lost. The victories of Peter the First are celebrated in many
popular ballads, some of which are of no inconsiderable merit; as the
reader will judge for himself from the specimen we give below. The
French invasion also, of 1812, which aroused the Russian nation so
powerfully, gave rise to not a few patriotic songs, of many of which
the authors were peasants and common soldiers.

There are, however, various indications, which seem to justify the
belief, that several of the Russian ballads still current among the
people are, in fact, more ancient than they appear, or perhaps even
than they actually are in their present shape. We have not room here
to dwell on this subject. We remark only, that from one circumstance
alone we may draw the safe conclusion, that the Russians have ever
been a _singing_ race. We allude to their custom of attaching verses
full of allusions and sacred meaning to every festival, nay, to every
extraordinary event of human life, and thus of fettering the flying
hours with the garland chains of poetry and song. They have to this
very day their wedding songs, Pentecost and Christmas carols, and
various other songs, named after the different occasions on which they
are chanted, or the game which they accompany. Although these songs,
also, have been modernized in language and form, they seem always to
have been regarded with a kind of pious reverence, and appear to have
been altered as little as possible. Most of their allusions are, for
that reason, unintelligible at the present day. That their groundwork
is derived from the age of paganism, is evident from the frequent
invocations of heathen deities, and from various allusions to heathen

Nearly related to these songs are the various ditties of a social
kind, which peasant girls and lads are in the habit of singing on
certain, stated occasions; for instance, walking songs, dancing songs,
and the like. They consist mostly of endless repetition, often of
words or single syllables, apparently without meaning; and the tune,
in which these fragmentary poems are sung, is after all the best part
of it. Yet not seldom a spark of real poetry shines through that
melodious tissue of unmeaning words. What is most remarkable in these
songs, which have now been more than a century the exclusive property
of the common people, is the utter absence of coarseness and
vulgarity, even in the wedding songs.

The Russian songs, like the Russian language, have a peculiar
tenderness, and are full of caressing epithets. These are even
frequently applied to inanimate objects. A Russian postilion, in a
simple and charming song, calls the tavern, which he never can make up
his mind to pass without stopping, "his dear little mother." The words
_Matushka, Batushka, Starinka_, which we may venture to give in
English by _motherling, fatherling, oldling_, are in Russian favourite
terms of endearment. The post-boy's song may stand here as eminently
characteristic of the cheerful, childlike, caressing disposition of
the nation. It is translated in the measure of the original, as nearly
as it could be imitated in English.


  Tzarish Tavern, thou
  Our good motherling,
  So invitingly
  Standest by the way!
  Broad highway, that leads
  Down to Petersburg;
  Fellows young as I,
  As they drive along,
  When they pass thee by,
  Always will turn in.

  Ah, thou bright sun-light,
  Red and bright sun-light,
  O'er the mountain high,
  O'er the forest oaks;
  Warm the youngster's heart,
  Warm, O warm me, sun;
  And not me alone,
  But my maiden, too.

  Ah, thou maiden dear,
  Fairest, dearest maid,
  Thou my dearest child,
  Art so kind and good!
  Black those brows of thine,
  Black thy little eyes,
  And thy lovely face
  All so round and white;
  Without painting, white,
  Without painting, red!

  To thy girdle rolls
  Fair and braided hair;
  And thy voice is soft,
  Full of gentle talk.


Russian lovers are quite inexhaustible in fondling and caressing
expressions. "My shining moon, my bright sun, my nourisher
(_Kormiletz_), my light, my hope, my white swan," together with all
those epithets common to all languages, as, _dove, soul, heart_, etc.
are current terms In Russia. Especially favourable to this
affectionate manner of address is the abundance of diminutives which
the language possesses. Not only "little soul," "little heart,"
_Dushinka, Serdzinka_, etc. are favourite expressions of Russian
lovers; but we find even _Yagodka_, "little berry," and _Lapushka_,
"little paw," etc. Love is ingenious in inventing new diminutives for
the beloved object.

This exquisite tenderness in the Russian love-songs is united with a
deep, pensive feeling, which indeed pervades the whole Russian popular
poetry. Were we to describe the character of this in one expression,
we should call it _melancholy-musical_. Even the more frivolous and
equivocal songs have a tincture of this pensiveness. While the Servian
songs of this description are the ebullitions of merry and petulant
youth, the Russian are frequently not without a spice of
sentimentality. Girls are often represented painting the unhappy
consequences of their weakness with a very suspicious mixture of
penitence and pleasure; so that the hearer remains undecided, whether
the former or the latter is predominant.

In perfect harmony with this melancholy is the Russian national music.
The expressive sweetness of the Russian melodies has long been the
admiration of those foreign composers, to whom circumstances had made
them known. The history of these melodies is just as uncertain as that
of the verses; they seem always to have been united; no one knows
where they came from. In respect to popular tunes and songs, the
answer which the Ashantees gave to Mr. Bowditch has often occurred to
us: "They were made when the country was made." The Russian tunes are
richer and more varied than are popular airs in general. Of most of
the songs only the first two verses are set to the melody; all the
following being repeated in the same tune. But there are some which
extend further. Some of these airs include more than a whole octave in
their notes; while the national melodies of most other nations move in
general among a few notes.

To account for the melancholy character of the Russian music and
poetry, and to reconcile it with the well-known cheerful disposition
of the nation, has been attempted by several Russian critics. "The
peculiarities of a nation," Karamzin remarks, "may always be explained
by the circumstances which have operated on it; although the
grandchildren may have some of the virtues and some of the vices of
their ancestry, even if they are differently situated. Perhaps the
present character of the Russians may exhibit faults, which it
contracted during the barbarism of the Mongolian subjugation." The
pensiveness which pervades the Russian songs has also been considered
as a remnant of that gloom, necessarily impressed on the Russian
character during two centuries of the most cruel oppression. There is
no doubt that the Russians before, during, and after their subjugation
by the Mongols, had a thousand causes of discouragement and disasters;
bloody civil wars, the most barbarian despotism, the plague,
slavery,[23] and the like. But it is just as certain, that
notwithstanding all the causes of sorrow, the Russians are still the
most cheerful and light-hearted people on earth; with all their hearts
and senses enjoying the scanty pleasures of life; though deprived of
all civil privileges, and even of many social rights. The truth is,
that it is with nations as with individuals. Neither in the one case
nor in the other must we expect always to see them deposit their
_habitual_ feelings in their poetry. It is a well-known fact that
Molière was a man of a most serious disposition. Cowper, immediately
before writing his "John Gilpin," was in a mood bordering on despair.
Young, while composing his melancholy Night Thoughts, enjoyed his life
as well as any man. The Russians do not sing their every-day
sentiments, but their holiday feelings. That sweet pensiveness, which
thrills so affectingly through their music and poetry, is to them a
species of luxury. A soft, melancholy emotion, not deep enough indeed
to cause suffering, and slumbering in every-day life in the recesses
of the poet's soul, awakes in the hour of inspiration and spreads a
gentle shadow over his habitual sunshine. The peculiar melancholy
_resignation_ of Slavic lovers we have already attempted to explain.
Indeed, it is to their love songs, principally, that the general
remark on the pensiveness of Russian songs and airs is applicable.

We here subjoin some specimens of them. The first is extant in a great
many versions, differing somewhat from each other. We choose the one
we like best, as given by Sacharof:[24]


  "Sit not up, my love, late at evening hour,
  Burn the light no more, light of virgin wax,
  Wait no more for me till the midnight hour;
  Ah, gone by, gone by is the happy time!
  Ah, the wind has blown all our joys away,
  And has scattered them o'er the empty field.
  For my father dear, he will have it so,
  And my mother dear has commanded it,
  That I now must wed with another wife,
  With another wife, with an unloved one!
  But on heaven high two suns never burn,
  Two moons never shine in the stilly night;
  And an honest lad never loveth twice!
  But my father shall be obey'd by me,
  And my mother dear I will now obey;
  To another wife I'll be wedded soon,
  To another wife, to an early death,
  To an early death, to a forced one."

      Wept the lovely maid many bitter tears,
  Many bitter tears, and did speak these words:
  "O beloved one, never seen enough,
  Longer will I not live in this white world,
  Never without thee, thou my star of hope!
  Never has the dove more than one fond mate,
  And the female swan ne'er two husbands has,
  Neither can I have two beloved friends."

      No more sits she now late at evening hour,
  But the light still burns, light of virgin wax;
  On the table stands the coffin newly made;
  In the coffin new lies the lovely maid.


  On an oak tree sat,
  Sat a pair of doves;
  And they bill'd and coo'd
  And they, heart to heart,
  Tenderly embraced
  With their little wings;
  On them, suddenly,
  Darted down a hawk.

  One he seized and tore,
  Tore the little dove,
  With his feather'd feet,
  Soft blue little dove;
  And he poured his blood
  Streaming down the tree.
  Feathers too were strew'd
  Widely o'er the field;
  High away the down
  Floated in the air.

  Ah! how wept and wept;
  Ah! how sobb'd and sobb'd
  The poor doveling then
  For her little dove.

    "Weep not, weep not so,
  Tender little bird!"
  Spake the light young hawk
  To the little dove.
    "O'er the sea away.
  O'er the far blue sea,
  I will drive to thee
  Flocks of other doves.
  From them choose thee then.
  Choose a soft and blue,
  With his feathered feet,
  Better little dove."

    "Fly, thou villain, not,
  O'er the far blue sea
  Drive not here to me
  Flocks of other doves.
  Ah! of all thy doves
  None can comfort me;
  Only he, the father
  Of my little ones."


The following little elegy we translate from a Russian Annual; the
editor of which, Baron Delvig, took it down from the lips of a peasant


  Nightingale, O nightingale,
  Nightingale so full of song,
  Tell me, tell me, where thou fliest,
  Where to sing now in the night?
  Will another maiden hear thee
  Like to me, poor me, all night
  Sleepless, restless, comfortless,
  Ever full of tears her eyes?
  Fly, O fly, dear nightingale,
  Over hundred countries fly,
  Over the blue sea so far;
  Spy the distant countries through,
  Town and village, hill and dell,
  Whether thou find'st any one,
  Who so sad is, as I am?

  O, I bore a necklace once,
  All of pearls like morning dew;
  And I bore a finger-ring,
  With a precious stone thereon;

  And I bore deep in my heart
  Love, a love so warm and true.
  When the sad, sad autumn came,
  Were the pearls no longer clear;
  And in winter burst my ring,
  On my finger, of itself![25]
  Ah! and when the spring came on,
  Had forgotten me my love.

There is one trait in the Russian character, which we recognize
distinctly in their poetry, namely, their peculiar and almost Oriental
veneration for their sovereign, and a blind submission to his will.
There is indeed somewhat of a religious mixture in this feeling; for
the Tzar is not only the sovereign lord of the country and master of
their lives, but he is also the head of the orthodox church. The
_orthodox_ Tzar is one of his standing epithets. The following ballad,
which we consider as one of the most perfect among Russian popular
narrative ballads, exhibits very affectingly the complete resignation
with which the Russian meets death, when decreed by his Tzar. In its
other features, also, it is throughout natural. Its historical
foundation is unknown. There are several versions of it extant,
slightly differing from each other; which seems to prove that it has
been for a long time handled by the people.


  "Thou, my head, alas! my head,
  Long hast served me, and well, my head;
  Full three-and-thirty summers long;
  Ever astride of my gallant steed,
  Never my foot from its stirrup drawn.
  But alas! thou hast gained, my head,
  Nothing of joy or other good;
  Nothing of honours or even thanks."

  Yonder along the Butcher's street,
  Out to the fields through the Butcher's gate,[26]
  They are leading a prince and peer.

  Priests and deacons are walking before,
  In their hands a great book open;
  Then there follows a soldier troop,
  With their drawn sabres flashing bright.
  At his right, the headsman goes,
  Holds in his hand the keen-edged sword;
  At his left goes his sister dear,
  And she weeps as the torrent pours,
  And she sobs as the fountains gush.

  Comforting speaks her brother to her:
  "Weep not, weep not, my sister dear!
  Weep not away thy eyes so clear,
  Dim not, O dim not thy face so fair,
  Make not heavy thy joyous heart!
  Say, for what is it thou weepest so?
  Is 't for my goods, my inheritance?
  Is 't for my lands, so rich and wide?
  Is 't for my silver, or is 't for my gold?
  Or dost thou weep for my life alone?"

  "Ah, thou, my light, my brother dear,
  Not for thy goods or inheritance,
  Not for thy lands, so rich and wide,
  Is 't that my eyes are weeping so;
  Not for thy silver and not for thy gold,
  'Tis for thy life, I am weeping so."

  "Ah, thou, my light, my sister sweet!
  Thou mayest weep, but it won't avail;
  Thou mayest beg, but 't is all in vain;
  Pray to the Tzar, but he will not yield.
  Merciful truly was God to me,
  Truly gracious to me the Tzar,
  So he commanded my traitor head
  Off should be hewn from my shoulders strong."

  Now the scaffold the prince ascends.
  Calmly mounts to the place of death;
  Prays to his Great Redeemer there,
  Humbly salutes the crowd around;
  "Farewell world, and thou people of God;
  Pray for my sins that burden me sore!"

  Scarce had the people ventured then
  On him to look, when his traitor head
  Off was hewn from his shoulders strong.[27]


We add another more modern heroic ballad, composed, perhaps, by one of
the soldiers, who was present at the exploit. The first siege of Azof
took place in 1695. The fortress was, however, not taken by storm,
although repeated assaults were made; but the garrison capitulated in
the following year. The great white Tzar is of course Peter I.[28]


  The poor soldiers have no rest,
    Neither night nor day!
  Late at evening the word was given
    To the soldiers gay;
  All night long their weapons cleaning,
    Were the soldiers good,
  Ready in the morning dawn,
    All in ranks they stood.

  Not a golden trumpet is it,
    That now sounds so clear;
  Nor the silver flute's tone is it,
    That thou now dost hear.
  'Tis the great white Tzar who speaketh,
    'Tis our father dear.
  Come, my princes, my Boyars,
    Nobles, great and small!
  Now consider and invent
    Good advice, ye all!
  How the soonest, how the quickest,
    Fort Azof may fall?

  The Boyars, they stood in silence.--
    And our father dear,
  He again began to speak
    In his eye a tear:
  Come, my children, good dragoons,
    And my soldiers all,
  Now consider and invent
    Brave advice, ye all,
  How the soonest, how the quickest,
    Fort Azof may fall?

  Like a humming swarm of bees,
  So the soldiers spake,
  With one voice at once they spake:
  "Father, dear, great Tzar!
  Fall it must! and all our lives
  Thereon we gladly stake."

  Set already was the moon,
  Nearly past the night;
  To the storming on they marched,
  With the morning light;
  To the fort with bulwark'd towers
  And walls so strong and white.

  Not great rocks they were, which rolled
  From the mountains steep;
  From the high, high walls there rolled
  Foes into the deep.
  No white snow shines on the fields,
  All so white and bright;
  But the corpses of our foes
  Shine so bright and white.
  Not up-swollen by heavy rains
  Left the sea its bed;
  No! in rills and rivers streams
  Turkish blood so red!

Different dialects are spoken, and different ballads are sung by the
population of Malo-Russia[29] and of those Polish-Russian and
Polish-Austrian provinces, where the peasantry is of the Ruthenian
race. The musical element is still more prevalent among them; and
their ditties are rhymed. The few very ancient ones, which are still
extant, alone make an exception.

These have the form and the spirit of the ballads of the Great
Russians, and can in no way be discerned from them; while the great
mass has a different character. Indeed, such an immense number of
ballads have originated in the rich and fertile steppes of the
Ukraine, that it would seem as if each bough of their forest trees
must harbour a singer, and each blade of grass on these endless
blooming plains whisper the echo of a song.[30] The pensive character
of the Great Russian popular poetry becomes, in that of the
Malo-Russian and Ruthenian, a deep melancholy, that finds vent in a
great variety of sweet, elegiac, melodies. According to the author of
a little collection of their popular songs, published first in a
German translation, "these are the after-pains of whole generations;
these are the sorrows of whole centuries, which are blended in one
everlasting sigh!" [31] If we look back to the history of these
regions, we cannot doubt that it is the spirit of their past, that
breathes out of these mournful strains. The cradle of the Kozak stood
in blood; he was rocked to the music of the clashing of swords. For
centuries the country on both banks of the Dnieper as far as to the
northwestern branch of the Carpathian mountains, the seat of this
race, was the theatre of constant warfare and aggression; there was no
time for the blessings of a peaceful development. Their narrative
ballads have, therefore, few other subjects than the feuds with Poles
and Tartars; the Kozak's parting with his beloved one; or his lonely
death on the border, or on the bloody battle field! No wonder that
their little lyric effusions have imbibed the same melancholy spirit.

These vast level regions were the principal thoroughfares of the
hordes of Mongols and Tartars, who from the thirteenth to the
fifteenth century overspread Russia, and penetrated as far as Silesia.
In Northern Russia, at least, a shade of the old forms and
constitutions was preserved; and native princes reigned under Mongol
dominion; but in the South every thing was broken up, and the country
laid completely waste. Fugitives, reduced to a life of plunder and
booty, congregated here and there; the country on the Lower Don, near
the entrance of this river into the sea of Azof, was one of their
strongholds; another portion found refuge on the islands of the
Dnieper, just below the present site of Yekatrinoslav. Here they
fortified themselves in little rude castles; while, after all, their
situation out of the track of the wild barbarians was their best

The first named region was principally the asylum for fugitives from
Great Russia; deserters and exiles from other parts of the country
joined them; and the Tartar population, which they found on the spot,
and the neighbouring Kalmuk tribes, mingled with them. These are the
Kozaks of the Don; of whom the Kozaks of Grebensk, of Yaitzk, and of
the Ural, are branches. They are Russians, and sing the songs of their
brethren, the Russians. The river Don, or, as it is familiarly and at
the same time respectfully called, _Don Ivanovitch_[32] plays a
prominent part in their ballads. They have a touching childlike love
for that noble river, so majestic and yet so gentle, that once gave
shelter on its banks to their forefathers. Father Don, the stilly
(_tikho_) Don, Don Ivanovitch, are its constant epithets. The scene of
a considerable number of their ballads is in the vessels which glide
upon the 'stilly' Don.

The fugitives who had congregated on the Dnieper were also Russians;
but the mixture of other nations, which they received, would appear to
have come principally from the Circassians of the Caucasus, as the
still beautiful shape and countenance of the Tshernomorski seem to
indicate;[33] and also in part from the Ruthenian tribes of the
Carpathian mountains, as their language proves. These are the
Zaporoguean Kozaks; so called from having their principal seats beyond
the _porogues_, or water-falls of the Dnieper. Both sections of the
Kozaks founded a kind of military democratic government; and tried to
shelter themselves against their enemies in those rude castles called
_Sicza_, best protected by thick woods and the surrounding water. They
soon began to spread out in the small towns called _Groazisko_,
fortified also indeed, but built so slightly that they were almost as
soon erected as destroyed. The Kozaks of the Don, after the
deliverance of Russia in the second half of the fifteenth century,
acknowledged in some degree the sovereignty of the Russian Tzar; and
aided Ivan II to conquer Siberia. They were used by his successors as
border guardians against the wild Asiatic hordes; whom they partly
chased from their homes in the Ural mountains, and settled there in
their stead. Thus they spread all over Siberia; always looking back
with a pensive and languishing feeling to their "dear fatherling,"
their gentle "nourisher," their "stilly Don Ivanovitch." [34]

From the Zaporoguean Kozaks, meanwhile, had issued the population of
the Ukraine. Their first establishment consisted of a strict republic
of warriors; no female was admitted into their strongholds on the
islands of the Dnieper. By degrees they relaxed; and began with
keeping their families in villages in the vicinity, where they spread
with incredible rapidity. Then a line of separation was drawn between
the inhabitants of the settlements, and the Zaporogueans in the
castles; none of these latter were allowed to marry. Thus their youth
were always ready for the enemy; and the distinction was only dropped
in more peaceful times. They kept themselves independent of Russia
until the latter part of the seventeenth century; but their more
dangerous enemies had long been the Poles, their north-western
neighbours. It was the period of Poland's glory. The Poles were
conquerors in the North and in the East. At last the Kozaks, after a
century of struggles, acknowledged the authority of the Polish
sovereign Stephan Bathori (ob. 1586); moved partly, it is said in
their traditions, by the personal grandeur of that chevaleresque
monarch. But now the Polish nobility overspread the Ukraine. They
became land-owners and oppressors; and their stewards, their still
more detested assistants. They were followed by the Jesuits; who
alternately by persuasion and compulsion attempted to entice the
natives, who all belonged to the Greek church, to come under the
dominion of the Pope. A war of religious persecution and resistance
arose. The Kozaks ultimately revolted in 1648; and a few years after
(in 1654) their Hetman Chmielnitzky submitted himself and the whole
Ukraine to Tzar Alexei, the father of Peter I.

The struggles of this insurrection, their previous feuds with the
Poles their oppressors, and afterwards their repeated revolts from the
Russians, who tried to undermine their liberties, have given birth to
a great number of simple ballads, the bold spirit of which presents a
noble relief to the habitual melancholy of Malo-Russian poetry in
general. They have professional singers, who are called
_Bandurists_; and who, with a kind of simple guitar in their hand,
ramble through the country, sure to find a willing audience in
whatever village they may stop. Their ballads are of course not
confined to the scenes of the earlier centuries; the more recent wars
with the Turks and Tartars also, and the campaigns made in modern
times in the service of Russia, present subjects enough of interest;
for their productiveness is still alive, although the race of the
professional bards is growing more and more scarce. They call their
historical ballads _Dumi_, or _Dumki_, an appellation for historical
elegies, which has recently been adopted by Polish literati.[35]

We give here a few characteristic specimens of their poetry; serving
to illustrate their warlike spirit, as well as their domestic
relations; their skill in narrative ballads, as well as their power of
expressing in lyric strains the unsophisticated feelings of a tender
heart. We begin with two genuine Kozak elegies.


  O eagle, young gray eagle,
    Tshuraï, thou youth so brave,
  In thine own land, the Pole,
    The Pole dug thee thy grave!

  The Pole dug thee thy grave,
    For thee and thy Hetman;
  They killed the two young heroes,
    Stephen, the valiant Pan.

  O eagle, young gray eagle,
    Thy brethren are eagles too;
  The old ones and the young ones,
    Their custom well they knew!

  The old ones and the young ones
    They are all brave like thee,
  An oath they all did take
    Avenged shalt thou be!

  The old ones and the young ones,
    In council grave they meet;
  They sit on coal black steeds,
    On steeds so brave and fleet.

  On steeds so brave and fleet
    They are flying, eagle like;
  In Polish towns and castles
    Like lightning they will strike.

  Of steel they carry lances,
    Lances so sharp and strong;
  With points as sharp as needles,
    With hooks so sharp and long.

  Of steel they carry sabres,
    Two edged, blunted never;
  To bring the Pole perdition
    For ever and for ever!


  There flows a little river,
    And Worskla is its name;
  And of the little river
    Know old and young the fame.

  And on the little river,
    They know good songs to sing;
  And on the little river,
    They like good thoughts to think.

  O thoughts, ye manly thoughts,
    Ye call up sorrow and woe;
  O thoughts, ye manly thoughts,
    From you strong deeds can grow!

  Where are you, brave Kozaks?
    Where are you, valiant lords?
  Your bones are in the grave,
    In the deep moor your swords!

  Where art thou, O Pushkar?
    Where art thou, valiant knight?
  Ukraina weeps for thee,
    And for her fate so bright.

  His bones are in the grave,
    Himself with God is now;
  O weep, O weep, Ukraina,
    An orphan left art thou.

  Ukraina, thy bright fate
    Destroy'd Wihowski's spell;[37]
  He with the heart of stone,
    And with the mind of hell!

The following melancholy song expresses the general hatred against the
Pole, the oppressor, in a manner not less strong. _Haidamack_ is
another name for the Ruthenian peasant under Polish dominion, and
was formerly, as well as _Burlak_, also applied to the Malo-Russian
Kozaks in general.


  Gladly would I to the war,
      To the war so full of prey,
      Pleasure of the Haidamack!
      But the steward bids me stay,
      Lest the proud Pole's cows should stray!

  Gladly to the merry dance
      Would I on the gusli play,
      Pleasure of the rosy maid!
      But the steward bids me stay,
      Lest the proud Pole's sheep should stray!

  Gladly I would hunting go,
      With the bobtailed dog so fleet,
      Pleasure of a good brave youth!
      But the steward bids me stay,
      Lest the proud Pole's steeds should stray!

  O farewell, thou rosy maid,
      Rattle gently, rusty sabre!
      Quick on horseback, Haidamack!
      Stray may steeds, sheep, cows and all;
      Perish may the haughty Pole!

We finish with a few Ruthenian ballads, having no political reference.
The first is interesting as illustrating a peculiar popular
superstition. The Leshes are a kind of Satyrs; covered like them with
hair, and of a very malicious nature. They steal children and young
women. Their presence has a certain benumbing influence; a person whom
they visit cannot move or stir; although, in the case of our ballad,
we have some suspicion that "the brandy, the wine, and the mead," had
some preparatory influence.

The second exhibits the whole plaintive, yielding mood of a Russian
loving maid; and may be considered as a _characteristic_ specimen.


  With the Lord at Nemirov
    Sir Sava dined so gladly;
  Nor thought he that his life
    Would end so soon and sadly.

  Sir Sava he rode home
    To his own court with speed;
  And plenty of good oats
    He bids to give his steed.

  Sir Sava behind his table
    To write with care begun;
  His young wife she is rocking
    In the cradle her infant son.

  'Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Bring now the brandy to me;
  My well-beloved lady,
    This glass I drink to thee.

  'Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Now bring me the clear wine;
  This glass and this, I drink it
    To this dear son of mine.

  'Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Now bring me the mead so fast;
  My head aches sore; I fear
    I've rode and drunk my last!'

  Who knocks, who storms so fiercely?
    Sir Sava looks up to know;
  The Leshes stand before him,
    And quick accost him so:

  'We bow to thee, Sir Sava,
    How far'st thou, tell us now!
  To thy guests from the Ukraina,
    What welcome biddest thou?'

  'What could I bid you, brethren,
    To-day in welcome's stead?
  Well know I, ye are come
    To take my poor sick head!'

  'And tell us first, Sir Sava,
    Where are thy daughters fair?'
  'They are stolen by the Leshes,
    And wash their linen there.'

  'Now to the fight be ready!
    Sir Sava meet thy lot!
  Thy head is lost! one moment,
    Death meets thee on the spot.'

  The sabre whizzes through the air
    Like wild bees in the wood,
  The young wife of Sir Sava
    By him a widow stood!


  Winds are blowing, howling,
    Trees are bending low;
  O my heart is aching,
    Tears in streams do flow.

  Years I count with sorrow,
    And no end appears;
  But my heart is lighten'd,
    When I'm shedding tears.

  Tears the heart can lighten,
    Happy make it not;
  E'en one blissful moment
    Ne'er can be forgot.

  Some there are who envy
    E'en my destiny;
  Say, 'O happy flow'ret
    Blooming on the lea.'

  On the lea so sandy,
    Sunny, wanting dew!
  O without my lover
    Life is dark to view.

  Nought can please without him,
    Seems the world a jail;
  Happiness exists not,
    Peace of mind doth fail.

  Where, dark-browed belov'd one,
    Where, O may'st thou be?
  Come and see, astonished,
    How I weep for thee!

  Whom shall I now lean on,
    Whose caress receive?
  Now that he who loves me
    Far away doth live?

  I would fly to thee, love,
   But no wings have I;
  Withered, parch'd, without thee,
   Every hour I die.

The following little elegy, heard and written down in Galicia, we have
always considered as one of the gems of poetry. It is a sigh of deep,
mourning, everlasting love.


  White art thou, my maiden,
    Can'st not whiter be!
  Warm my love is, maiden,
    Cannot warmer be!

  But when dead, my maiden,
    White was she still more;
  And, poor lad, I love her,
    Warmer than before.[41]

Of still greater importance in respect to our subject are the
SERVIANS. We have seen already in this work, that the inhabitants of
the Turkish provinces of Servia and Bosnia, of Montenegro, of the
Austrian kingdom of Slavonia, of Dalmatia and Military Croatia, speak
essentially the same language; which is likewise the vernacular
dialect of numerous Servian settlements in Hungary, along the
south-western shore of the Danube. Of this language, which has been
alternately called Illyrian, Servian, Morlachian, Bosnian, Croatian,
Rascian, and perhaps by still other different appellations, it may be
truly said, that it has more names than dialects; and even the few of
these latter differ so slightly, that the difference would scarcely be
perceived by a foreigner. It is also true, that, on account of the
various systems of writing which have been adopted by the different
sections of this race, the foreigner will sometimes find it more
difficult to understand the language as written than as spoken.

The inexhaustible mine of Servian popular poetry belongs then to the
whole nation; although, of course, neither the productiveness is every
where the same, nor the power and opportunity of preservation. For its
favourite home we must look to those regions where modern civilization
has least penetrated; viz. to Turkish Servia, Bosnia, Montenegro.
There also the vernacular language is spoken with the greatest purity.

An intelligent Italian traveller, Abbate Fortis, published about a
hundred years ago an interesting description of the Morlachians, that
is, the Croatian Servian inhabitants of Dalmatia, a tribe
distinguished by wild passions and proud contempt of civil life; but
full of poetical feeling, and much attached to old usages and the
recollections of their ancestors. He printed for the first time some
of their beautiful ancient ballads; but although they were much
admired in the German versions which Herder and Goethe gave of them
(through the French), the region of their birth remained a _terra
incognita_. To a few literati only it was known, that many of these
ballads, although in a spurious shape, had been collected by the
Franciscan monk, Andreas Cacich Miossich; and also that a great many
fragments of remarkable popular heroic songs were scattered, as
illustrations, through the Croatian and Dalmatian dictionaries of
Bellosztenecz, Jambressich, and Delia Bella. It was known, too, but
only by a few, that even ancient Servian historians referred to
similar songs.

Vuk Stephanovitch Karadshitch must therefore be called the true
discoverer of this mine of beauty; and the judiciousness, patience,
and conscientious honesty, with which his collection was got up,
deserves the highest praise. Many of the remarkable songs first
communicated to the literary public were the reminiscences of his own
youth; for he was born and brought up in Turkish Servia. Many more he
was only able to find after years of careful and indefatigable
research. His large collection--four volumes with at least five or six
hundred pieces of poetry--was formed upon the principle, that no piece
should be admitted, for the genuineness of which he could not be
personally responsible, by having himself heard it from one of the
people. Nearly the third part of these poems consists of epic tales;
some of them from five to seven hundred verses long; one, more than
twelve hundred.

The poetry of the Servians is most intimately interwoven with their
daily life. It is the picture of their thoughts, feelings, actions,
and sufferings; it is the mental reproduction of the respective
conditions of the mass of individuals, who compose the nation. The
hall where the women sit spinning around the fireside; the mountains
on which the boys pasture their flocks; the square where the village
youth assemble to dance the _kolo_,[42] the plains where the harvest
is reaped; the forests through which the lonely traveller
journeys,--all resound with song. Song accompanies all kinds of
business, and frequently relates to it. The Servian _lives_ his

The Servians are accustomed to divide their songs into two great
portions. Short compositions in various measures, either lyric or
epic, and sung without instrumental accompaniment, they call _shenske
pjesme_, or _female songs_, because they are mostly made by females.
The other portion, consisting of long epic tales in verses of five
regular trochaic feet, and chanted to the _Guslé_, a kind of simple
violin with one chord, they called _Yunatchke pjesme,_ that is,
_heroic_ or _young men's songs_; for it is an interesting fact, that
the ideas of a _young man_ and of a _hero_, are expressed in Servian
by one and the same word, _Yunak_. The first are, in a very high
degree, of a domestic character. They accompany us through all the
different relations of domestic life; as well through its daily
occupations, as through the holidays and festivals which interrupt its
ordinary course. Much has been said, and more could be said, in praise
of these harmonious effusions of a tender, fresh, and unsophisticated
feeling; but, as we have already dwelt at large upon their general
character, we must be satisfied here with adding only that which
distinguishes Servian lays from other Slavic songs.

And this distinction we find principally in the _cheerfulness_, which
is the fundamental element of Servian poetry,--a serenity clear and
transparent like the bright blue of a southern sky. The allusions to
the misfortunes of married life alone, gather sometimes in heavy
clouds on this beautiful sky. The fear of being chained to an _old_
man, or of a grim mother-in-law, or the quarrelling of the
sisters-in-law, or the increasing cares of the household,--for, in the
true patriarchal style, married sons remain in the house of the
parents, and all make together only one family,--all these
circumstances disturb sometimes the inexhaustible serenity of the
Servian women, and call forth gentle lamentations, or perhaps still
oftener horrible imprecations, from their humble breasts. Indeed the
songs not made for particular occasions also bear strongly and
distinctly the stamp of domestic life, and are fall of allusions to
family relations.

A spirit of graceful roguery is very prevalent among Servian girls.
Their social spinning meetings are especially productive of little
witty ballads, in which men and women are represented as disputing,
and the former, of course, are always outwitted; just as is the case
in numerous English and German popular ballads. But love is also among
them the grand and prevailing theme. To judge from these songs,
Servian girls and youths keep up a frequent and tender intercourse
with each other. The youth bears carefully in memory the hour when the
girls go to fetch water; and the frequent festivities, where the dance
is not permitted to fail, give the best opportunity for mutual
intercourse. Further to the south, and between the mountains, the
customs are more strict, and love-songs are less frequent.

Among the ancient songs, recited on certain stated occasions, the
wedding songs, adapted to all the various ceremonies of Slavic
marriage, are the most remarkable. And here we meet again with one of
those various contradictions of the mental world, which puzzle
philosophy. While all the symbolic ceremonies are strongly indicative
of the shameful state of servitude and humiliation, to which the
institution of marriage subjects the Slavic woman[43] (for Slavic
_maidens_ are in a certain measure free and happy, and, if beautiful
and industrious, even honoured and sought after;) the _songs_, the
mental reproductions of these coarse, rough, humiliating _acts_, are
delicate, sprightly, and almost gallant. There are various
indications, that, like the Russian songs of this description, which
they strongly resemble, they are derived from a very early period.
Like them they have no allusion to church ceremonies.[44]

The feeling expressed in their love-songs is in general gentle and
often playful, indicating more of tenderness than of passion. If,
however, they are excited to anger, their hatred becomes rage; and is
poured forth in imprecations, of which no other language has a like
multitude. But these imprecations are not stereotype, as is the case
with most other nations. They are composed often, with astonishing
ingenuity, by the offended persons themselves. Sometimes we see curses
invoked upon the satisfying of the common wants of life. Thus when the
lad curses his faithless love: "As much bread as she eats, so much
pain may she suffer! as much water as she drinks, so many tears may
she shed!"

We subjoin a few of these Servian ballads as specimens, just as they
happen to come to hand.


  To white Buda, to white castled Buda
  Clings the vine-tree, cling the vine-tree branches;
  Not the vine-tree is it with its branches,
  No, it is a pair of faithful lovers.
  From their early youth they were betrothed,
  Now they are compelled to part untimely;
  One addressed the other at their parting:
  "Go, my dearest soul, and go straight forward,
  Thou wilt find a hedge-surrounded garden,
  Thou wilt find a rose-bush in the garden,
  Pluck a little branch off from the rose-bush,
  Place it on thy heart, within thy bosom;
  Even as that red rose will be fading,
  Even so, love, will my heart be fading."
  And the other love this answer gave then;
  "Thou, dear soul, go back a few short paces,
  Thou wilt find, my love, a verdant forest,
  In the forest stands a cooling fountain,
  In the fountain lies a block of marble;
  On the marble stands a golden goblet,
  In the goblet thou wilt find a snowball.
  Dearest, take that snowball from the goblet,
  Lay it on thy heart within thy bosom;
  Even as the snowball will be melting,
  Even so, love, will my heart be melting."


  Sweetheart, come, and let us kiss each other!
  But, O tell me, where shall be our meeting?
  In thy garden, love, or in my garden?
  Under thine or under mine own rose-trees?
  Thou, sweet soul, become thyself a rose-bud;
  I then to a butterfly will change me;
  Fluttering I will drop upon the rose-bud;
  Folks will think I'm hanging on a flower,
  While a lovely maiden I am kissing!


  To St. George's day the maiden prayed;
  "Com'st thou again, O dear St. George's day!
  Find me not here, by my mother dear,
  Or be it wed, or be it dead!--
  But rather than dead, I would be wed!" [45]


  Two young lovers loved each other fondly,
  And they washed them at the self-same water,
  And they dried them with the self-same napkin.
  One year passed, their love was known by no one;
  Two years passed, and all the world did know it,
  And the father heard it and the mother;
  And their love the mother would not suffer,
  But she parted the two tender lovers.

  Through a star the youth sent to the maiden:
  "Die, O love, on Saturday at evening,
  I, thy youth, will die on Sunday morning."
  And they did as they had told each other;
  Died the maiden Saturday at evening.
  Died the youth on Sunday morning early;
  Close together were the two then buried;
  Through the earth their hands were clasped together;
  In their hands were placed two young green apples.

  Little time had passed since they were buried;
  O'er the youth sprang up a verdant pine-tree,
  O'er the maid a bush with sweet red roses;
  Round the pine-tree winds itself the rose-bush,
  As the silk around a bunch of flowers.

But not all the female Servian songs exhibit so much tenderness. That
their usual gentleness and humility does not always prevent these poor
oppressed beings from sometimes taking the lead in domestic affairs,
one would be apt to conclude from the following ballad:


  Come, companion, let us hurry
  That we may be early home,
  For my mother-in-law is cross,
  Only yestreen she accused me,
  Said that I had beat my husband;
  When, poor soul, I had not touched him.
  Only bid him wash the dishes,
  And he would not wash the dishes;
  Threw then at his head the pitcher,
  Knocked a hole in head and pitcher;
  For the head I do not care much;
  But I care much for the pitcher,
  As I paid for it right dearly;
  Paid for it with one wild apple,
  Yes, and half a one besides.[46]

Objects of still higher admiration the Servians afford us in their
_heroic_ poems. Indeed, what epic popular poetry is, how it is
produced and propagated, what powers of invention it naturally
exhibits,--powers which no art can command,--we may learn from this
multitude of simple legends and complicated fables. The Servians stand
in this respect quite isolated; there is no modern nation, that can be
compared to them in epic productiveness; and a new light seems to be
thrown over the grand compositions of the ancients. Thus, without
presumption, we may pronounce the publication of these poems one of
the most remarkable literary events of modern times.

The general character of the Servian tales is the _objective_ and the
_plastic_. The poet, in most cases, is in a remarkable degree _above_
his subject. He paints his pictures not in glowing colours, but in
distinct, prominent features; no explanation is necessary to interpret
what the reader thinks he sees with his own eyes. If we compare the
Servian epics with those, which other Slavic nations formerly
possessed, we find them greatly superior. In the Russian _Igor_, the
whole narrative is exceedingly indistinct; you may read the whole of
it five times, without being able clearly to follow out the
composition. Not a single character stands out in relief. The mode of
representation has more of the lyric than of the epic. The ancient
Bohemian poems have more distinctness and freshness. No obscurity
disturbs us. But the passions of the poet break forth so often, as to
give the whole narration something of the subjective character; while
the Servian, even when representing his countrymen in combat with
their mortal enemies and oppressors, displays about the same
partiality for the former, as Homer for his Greeks.

The introductions, not only to the tales themselves, but even to new
situations, are frequently allegorical. A distinct image is placed
before the eyes at once. A tale, describing a famous sanguinary deed
of revenge, commences thus:

  What's that cry of anguish from Banyani?[47]
  Is 't the Vila? is 't the hateful serpent?
  Were 't the Vila, she were on the summit;
  Were 't the serpent, it were 'neath the mountain;
  Not the Vila is it, nor a serpent;

  Shrieked in anguish thus Perovitch Balritch
  In the hands of Osman, son of Tchorov. [45]

Ravens are the messengers of unhappy news. The battle of Mishar begins
with the following verses:

  Flying came a pair of coal-black ravens
  Far away from the broad field of Mishar,
  Far from Shabatz, from the high white fortress;
  Bloody were their beaks unto the eyelids,
  Bloody were their talons to the ankles;
  And they flew along the fertile Matshva,
  Waded quickly through the billowy Drina,
  Journey'd onward through the honoured Bosnia,
  Lighting down upon the hateful border,
  'Midst within the accursed town of Vakup,
  On the dwelling of the captain Kulin;
  Lighting down and croaking as they lighted.

Three or four poems, of which courtships or weddings are the subjects,
begin with a description of the beauty of the girl. Especially rich
and complete is the following:

  Never since the world had its beginning,
  Never did a lovelier flow'ret blossom,
  Than the flow'ret in our own days blooming;
  Haikuna, the lovely maiden flower.

  She was lovely, nothing e'er was lovelier!
  She was tall and slender as the pine-tree;
  White her cheeks, but tinged with rosy blushes,
  As if morning's beam had shone upon them,
  Till that beam had reached its high meridian.
  And her eyes, they were two precious jewels,

  And her eyebrows, leeches from the ocean,
  And her eyelids they were wings of swallows;
  And her flaxen braids were silken tassels;
  And her sweet mouth was a sugar casket,
  And her teeth were pearls arrayed in order;
  White her bosom, like two snowy dovelets,
  And her voice was like the dovelet's cooing;
  And her smiles were like the glowing sunshine;
  And her fame, the story of her beauty,
  Spread through Bosnia and through Herz'govina.

We should never end, if we continued thus to extract all the beautiful
and striking passages from the Servian popular lyrics; although their
chief merit by no means consists in beautiful passages, but, in most
cases, in the composition of the whole, and in the distinct, graphic,
and plastic mode of representation. In respect to their style, we add
only a single remark. Slavic popular poetry in general has none of the
vulgarisms, which, in many cases, deface the popular ballads of the
Teutonic nations. Yet _dignity_ of style cannot be expected in any
popular production. Those whose feelings, from want of acquaintance
with the poetry of nature, are apt to be hurt by certain undignified
expressions interspersed unconsciously sometimes in the most beautiful
descriptions, will not escape unpleasant impressions in reading the
Servian songs. The pictures are always fresh, tangible, and striking;
but, although not seldom the effects of the sublime, and of the
deepest tragic pathos, are obtained by a perfect simplicity, nothing
could be more foreign to them than the dignified stateliness and
scrupulous refinement of the French stage.

The number and variety of the Servian heroic poems is immense. The
oldest legendary cycle is formed by their great Tzar Dushan Nemanyitch
and his heroes; by the pious prince Lazar, their last independent
chief, who was executed by the Turks after having been made prisoner
in battle; and by the death of his faithful knights on the field of
Kossovo. The two battles fought here, in 1389 and 1447, put an end to
the existence of the Servian empire. In immediate connection with
these epic songs are those of which Marko Kralyewitch, i.e. Marko the
king's son, the Servian Hercules, is the hero; at least thirty or
forty in number. The pictures, which these ballads exhibit, are
extremely wild and bold; and are often drawn on a mythological ground.
Indeed both the epic and the lyric poetry of the Servians are
interwoven with a traditional belief in certain fanciful creatures of
Pagan superstition, which exercise a constant influence on human
affairs. Witches (_Vjashtitzi_), veiled women who go from house to
house, carrying with them destruction; the plague, personified as an
old horrible looking female; and also the saints, and among them the
_thunderer_ Elias and the _fiery_ Mary who sends lightning; these all
appear occasionally. But the principal figure is the Vila, a mountain
fairy, having nearly the same character as the northern elementary
spirits; though the malicious qualities predominate, and her
intermeddling is in most cases fatal.

There are various features which serve to allay the extreme wildness
and rudeness of the oldest Servian poems. As one of the principal of
these we consider the solemn institution of a contract of brotherhood
or fraternal friendship, which the Servians seem to have inherited
from the Scythians.[49] Two men or two women promise each other before
the altar, and under solemn ceremonies, in the name of God and St.
John, eternal friendship. They bind themselves by this act to all the
mutual duties of brothers and sisters. Similar relations exist also
between the two sexes, when a maid solemnly calls an old man her
"father in God," or a young one her "brother in God;" or when a man
calls a woman his "mother or sister in God." This is mostly done in
cases of distress. When a person, thus appealed to, accepts the
appellation, they are in duty bound to protect and to take care of the
unfortunate, who thus give themselves into their hands; according to
the prevailing notion, a breach of this contract is severely punished
by Heaven. Marko Kralyevitch was united in such an alliance with the
Vila; in modern times we find it sometimes between Turks and Servians
in the midst of their most bitter feuds.

The traditional ballads of the Servians, referring to the heroes of
their golden time, are undoubtedly in their groundwork of great
antiquity; but as until recently they have been preserved only by
tradition, it cannot be supposed, that they have come down in their
present form from the original time of their composition; which was
perhaps nearly cotemporary to the events they celebrate. In most of
them frequent Turcisms show, that the singer is familiar with the
conquerors and their language. According to Vuk, very few are in their
present form older than the fifteenth century.

The more modern heroic ballads--for the productiveness of this
remarkable people is still alive--are essentially of the same
character. They may be divided into two parts. One division, probably
composed during the last two centuries and down even to the present
time, is devoted to a variety of subjects, public and private. Duels,
love stories, satisfaction of blood-revenge, domestic quarrels and
reconciliation, are alternately related. The variety of invention in
these tales is astonishing; the skill of the combinations and the
final development surpasses all that hitherto has been known of
popular poetry. One of the most remarkable of them is a narrative of
1227 lines; which relates to the marriage of a young man, Maxim
Tzernovitch, son of Ivan Tzernovitch, a wealthy and powerful
Servian. The father goes to Venice to ask in marriage for his son the
daughter of the Doge. He describes him as the handsomest of young men;
but, when he comes home, he finds him metamorphosed by the smallpox
into the ugliest. By the advice of his wife, he substitutes another
handsome young man to fetch home the bride with the procession of
bridal guests; promising him the principal share in the bridal gifts;
for he commits the fraud less from covetous views than from pride,
being afraid of being put to shame as unable to keep his word before
the haughty Venetians. They succeed in bringing away the bride; but
the cheat is discovered on the road; a contest arises, and the whole
affair ends in a horrible slaughter.

Vuk Stephanovitch has heard this tale repeatedly, and with several
variations; but the principal features, for instance a rich and
elaborate description of the bridal gifts, were always recited exactly
in the same words. It was chanted in the most perfect manner by an old
singer, named Milya, whom prince Milosh often had to sing it before
him; and from whose lips Vuk at last took it down.

Another section of more modern ballads narrates events from the latest
war between the Servians and Turks, between 1801 and 1815. Who of our
readers has not heard of Kara George? His companions, Yanko Katitch,
Stoyan Tchupitch, Milosh of Potzerye, are in Servia as well known and
admired as Kara George himself. They and their comrades are the heroes
of these ballads. The gallant Tchupitch rewarded the blind poet
Philip, who chanted to him a long and beautiful poem of his own
composition, with a white horse. The subject of his narrative was the
battle of Salash; where Tchupitch himself had been the Servian

The same ballad singer Philip is the author of most of the modern
heroic poems. Of others the authors are not known. Little stress is
laid on the art of poetry; exercised with such extraordinary power.
These productions of our day are by no means inferior to the ancient.
There is indeed no essential difference, either in their diction or in
their conception; and it is easy to be perceived, that old and young
have been nursed from their infancy on tales of "the days of yore."
Some passages of Philip's ballads are really Homeric.[51] Fortunately,
the period is past when our admiration for hyperborean poetry needed
to be justified by its similarity with the classics. We have learned
that real poetry is not spell-bound to names, nor to any nation or
age; and the _beautiful_ has obtained in our time an independent
existence, no longer subject to certain forms and conditions, but
resting on itself and its divine gifts.

The difficulties Vuk Stephanovitch met with in collecting these
wonderful ballads, were not small. He was often hardly able to prevail
on the young men and girls to recite, still less to sing them before
him; partly from a natural shyness to exhibit themselves before a
stranger; partly because his search after effusions which had so
little value in their eyes, and his attempt to fix them by writing,
seemed to them an idle and useless occupation. The only reason which
they could conceive for it was, that the learned idler meant to
ridicule them; and his request was frequently answered by the words:
"We are no blind men to sing or recite songs to you."

Of the heroic poems, he tells us, that they are not only chanted, but
often recited, as _we_ are accustomed to _read_; and that in this
latter way, old people teach them by preference to the children. His
own father, grandfather, and uncle, were wont to recite and to sing
them; and the two latter even composed not a few. Among those from
whose lips he took down the present collection, were lads, peasants,
merchants, as also hayduks, i.e. highwaymen, in Servia a mode of life
less disreputable than with us, and somewhat approaching to heroism.
Further, at least seven or eight were blind men; all of them
professional bards, and almost the only persons willing to satisfy
him. The _shenske pjesme_, or female poems, he had to catch by chance;
and short as they are, it was easy to keep them in memory after having
heard them once or twice.

While these latter poems are mostly sung without any instrumental
accompaniment in the spinning-rooms, in the pastures, or at the
village dances; on the other hand the tavern, the public squares, the
festive halls of the chiefs, are the places where the Guslè is heard
which accompanies the heroic ballads. The bard chants two lines; then
he pauses and gives a few plaintive strokes on his primitive
instrument; then he chants again, and so on. He needs these short
pauses for recollection, as well as for invention. Although these
ballads are chiefly sung by blind men, yet no hero thinks it beneath
him to chant them to the Guslè. Pirch, a Prussian officer, who
travelled in Servia some twenty years ago, tells us, that the Knjas,
his host, took the instrument from the hands of the lad, for whom he
had sent to sing before his guest, because he did not satisfy him, and
played and chanted himself with a superior skill. Clergymen themselves
are not ashamed to do it. Nay, even Muhammedan-Bosnians, more Turks
than Servians, have preserved this partiality for their national
heroics. The great among them would not, indeed, themselves sing them;
but they cause them to be chanted before them; and it happened, that a
Christian prisoner in Semendria obtained his liberty by their
intercession with the Kadi, which he owed merely to their fondness for
his ballads. A considerable number of fine songs are marked in Vuk's
collection as having been first heard from Muhammedan singers.

Although the same ballads are not heard every where, yet the poetical
feeling and productiveness seem to be pretty equally distributed over
all the region inhabited by the Servian race. The heroic ballads
originate mostly in the southern mountains of Servia, in Bosnia,
Montenegro, and its Dalmatian neighbourhood. Towards the North-East
the productiveness diminishes; the songs are still _known_ in the
Austrian provinces, but the recitation of them, and the Guslè itself,
are left to blind men and beggars. Pirch heard, nevertheless, the
ballads of Marko Kralyevitch in the vicinity of Neusatz, in Hungary.
On the other hand, the amatory Servian ballads, and all those
comprised under the name of female songs,--although by no means
exclusively sung by women,--originate chiefly in those regions, where
perhaps a glimpse of occidental civilization has somewhat refined the
general feeling. The _villages_ of Syrmia, the Banat, and the Batchva,
are the home of most of them; in the Bosnian towns also they are
heard; while in the _cities_ of the Austrian provinces they have been
superseded by modern airs of less value, perhaps, and certainly of
less nationality.

It remains to remark, that while in all the other Slavic popular
poetry, the _musical_ element is prominent, it is in the Servian
completely crowded into the background. Even the little lyric pieces,
or female ballads, are not only in a high degree monotonous, but even
without the peculiar sweetness of most popular airs. They also are
chanted rather than sung.

The Bulgarian language is said to be particularly rich in popular
ballads; and it would hardly be credible, that the numerous nations
with which they mixed for centuries, should not have influenced their
poetry as well as their language. Nevertheless, those ballads we have
met with are not distinguished in any way from the Servian; especially
from those Servian ones sung in the provinces where intercourse with
a Turkish population is more frequent. One specimen will be


  O thou hill, thou high green hill!
  Why, green hill, art thou so withered?
  Why so withered and so wilted?
  Did the winter's frost so wilt thee?
  Did the summer's heat so parch thee?
      Not the winter's frost did wilt me,
  Nor the summer's heat did parch me,
  But my glowing heart is smothered.
  Yesterday three slave gangs crossed me;
  Grecian maids were in the first row,
  Weeping, crying bitterly:
  "O our wealth! art lost for ever!"
  Black-eyed maidens from Walachia
  Weeping, crying in the second:
  "O ye ducats of Walachia!"
  Bulgar women in the third row,
  Weeping, crying, "O sweet home!
  O sweet home! beloved children!
  Fare ye well, farewell for ever!"

The SLOVENZI or VINDES, that is, the Slavic inhabitants of Camiola and
Carinthia, have of course their own ballads, which have been recently
collected. That the influence of the German population, with whom they
live intermingled, has been very great, even in these songs, cannot be
matter of surprise. It is, however, chiefly discernible in the
melodies they sing; which are said to be the same familiar to the
German mountaineers of Styria and Tyrol. Several narrative ballads of
some length are still extant among them, similar to the Servian, but
rhymed. These have been communicated to the German public in a
translation by their poet Anastasius Grun. They are all too long to be
given here as specimens; we therefore confine ourselves to the
following pretty little song:


  "Where were you, and where have you stray'd
          In the night?
  Your shoes are all with dew o'erlaid;
          In the night, in the night."

  I strayed there in the cool green grove,
          In the night.
  There flutters many a turtle dove,
          In the night, in the night.

  They have such little red cheeks, they all,
          In the night;
  And bills so sweet, and bills so small,
          In the night, in the night.

  There I stood, lurking on the watch,
          In the night;
  Till one little dovelet I did catch,
          In the night, in the night.

  It had of all the sweetest bill,
          In the night;
  Red rose, its cheeks were redder still,
          In the night, in the night.

  That dovelet now caresses me
          In the night;
  And kissing each other we'll ever be,
          In the night, in the night.

The field of popular poetry, which the Slavic nations of the WESTERN
STEM present to us, promises a gleaning of a comparatively inferior

It appears from the Königshof manuscript, that five centuries ago the
BOHEMIANS _had_ a treasure of popular poetry. This document exhibits
also the extraordinary fact, that almost the same ballads were sung in
Bohemia in the thirteenth century, which are now heard from the lips
of Russian and Servian peasant girls. The reader may compare the
following songs, all of them faithfully translated.



  O my rose, my fair red rose,
  Why art thou blown out so early?
  Why, when blown out, frozen?
  Why, when frozen, withered?
  Withered, broken from the stem!

  Late at night I sat and sat,
  Sat until the cocks did crow;
  No one came, although I waited
  Till the pine-torch all burned low.

  Then came slumber over me;
  And I dreamed my golden ring

  Sudden slipp'd from my right hand;
  Down my precious diamond fell.
  For the ring I looked in vain,
  For my love I longed in vain!


  O, ye forests, dark green forests,
  Miletinish forests!
  Why in summer and in winter,
  Are ye green and blooming?
  O! I would not weep and cry,
  Nor torment my heart.
  But now tell me, good folks, tell me,
  How should I not cry?
  Ah! where is my dear good father?
  Wo! he deep lies buried.
  Where my mother? O good mother!
  O'er her grows the grass!
  Brothers have I not, nor sisters,
  And my lad is gone!


  O my fountain, so fresh and cool,
  O my rose, so rosy red!
  Why art thou blown out so early?
  None have I to pluck thee for!
  If I plucked thee for my mother,
  Ah! poor girl, I have no mother;
  If I plucked thee for my sister,
  Gone is my sister with her husband;
  If I plucked thee for my brother,

  To the war my brother's gone.
  If I plucked thee for my lover,
  Gone is my love so far away!
  Far away o'er three green mountains,
  Far away o'er three cool fountains!


_current at the present day_.


  Last evening I sat, a young maid,
  I sat till deep in the night;
  I sat and waited till day-break,
  Till all my pine-torch was burnt out.
  While all my companions slept,
  I sat and waited for thee; love!


  No good luck to me my dream forebodes;
  For to me, to me, fair maid, it seemed,
  On my right hand did my gold ring burst,
  O'er the floor then rolled the precious stone.

The Bohemians preserved their nationality, and very probably with it
their ancient popular songs, down to the seventeenth century. During
the thirty years' war, of which Bohemia was in part almost
uninterruptedly the seat, a complete revolution in manners,
institutions, and localities, took place. Whole villages emigrated, or
were driven into the wide world, wandering about in scattered groups
as fugitives and mendicants. Most of the ancient songs may have died
at that time. The German influence increased rapidly during the
remainder of the seventeenth century, mostly by force and reluctantly;
still more during the eighteenth century by habit, intermarriages,
education, etc. The Bohemians, the most musical nation in the world,
are still a singing people; but many of their ditties are evidently
borrowed from the German; in others, invented by themselves, they
exhibit a spirit entirely different from that of their ancestors.
These modern songs are mostly rhymed. The following specimen of songs
still current among the peasantry of Bohemia, will show well the
harmless, playful, roguish spirit that pervades them.


  Little star with gloomy shine,
  If thou couldst but cry!
  If thou hadst a heart, my star,
  Sparks would from thee fly,
  Just as tears fall from mine eye.

  All the night with golden sparks
  Thou wouldst for me cry!
  Since my love intends to wed,
  Only 'cause another maid
  Richer is than I.


  Flowing waters meet each other,
  And the winds, they blow and blow;
  Sweetheart with her bright blue eyes
  Stands and looks from her window.

  Do not stand so at the window,
  Rather come before the door;
  If thou giv'st me two sweet kisses,
  I will give thee ten and more.


  In a green grove
  Sat a loving pair;
  Fell a bough from above,
  Struck them dead there.
  Happy for them,
  That both died together;
  So neither was left,
  To mourn for the other.


  What chatters there the little bird,
    On the oak tree above?
  It sings, that every maid in love
    Looks pale and wan from love.

  My little bird, thou speak'st not true,
    A lie hast thou now said;
  For see, I am a maid in love,
    And am not pale, but red.

  Take care, my bird; because thou liest,
    I now must punish thee;
  I take this gun, I load this gun,
    And shoot thee from the tree.

In the following fine ballad the German influence is manifest. It is
extant in two different texts. We give it in Bowring's version, which
has less of amplification and embellishment than is usual in English


  I sought the dark wood where the oat grass was growing;
  The maidens were there and that oat grass were mowing.

  And I called to those maidens: "Now say if there be
  The maiden I love 'midst the maidens I see?"

  And they sighed as they answered: "Ah no! alas no!
  She was laid in the bed of the tomb long ago." [57]

  "Then show me the way where my footsteps must tread,
  To reach that dark chamber, where slumber the dead."

  "The path is before thee, her grave will be known,
  By the rosemary wreaths her companions have thrown."

  "And where is the church in church-yard, whose heaps
  Will point out the bed where the blessed one sleeps?"

  So twice to the church-yard in sadness I drew,
  But I saw no fresh heap and no grave that was new.

  I turned, and with heart-chilling terror I froze,
  And a newly made grave at my feet slowly rose.

  And I heard a low voice, but it audibly said,
  "Disturb not, disturb not the sleep of the dead!

  "Who treads on my bosom? what footsteps have swept
  The dew from the bed where the weary one slept?"

  "My maiden, my maiden, so speak not to me,
  My presents were once not unwelcome to thee!"

  "Thy presents were welcome, but none could I save,
  Not one could I bring to the stores of the grave.

  "Go thou to my mother, and bid her restore
  To thy hands every gift which I valued before.

  "Then fling the gold ring in the depth of the sea,
  And eternity's peace shall be given to me.

  "And sink the white kerchief deep, deep in the wave,
  That my head may repose undisturbed in the grave!"

The Slovaks, the Slavic inhabitants of the north-western districts of
Hungary, are considered, as we have seen above, as the direct
descendants of the first Slavic settlers in Europe. Although for
nearly a thousand years past they have formed a component part of the
Hungarian nation, they have nevertheless preserved their language and
many of their ancient customs. Their literature, we know, is not to be
separated from that of the Bohemians. Their popular effusions are
original; although, likewise, between them and the popular poetry of
their Bohemian brethren, a close affinity cannot be denied. The
Slovaks are said to be still exceedingly rich in pretty and artless
songs, both pensive and cheerful; but the original Slavic type is now
very much effaced from them. The surrounding nations, and above all
the Germans, have exercised a decided and lasting influence upon them.

The following ballads are still heard among the Slovaks. The first of
them is also extant in an imperfect German shape. As the coarse
dialect, in which the German ballad may be heard, is that of the
"Kuhländchen," a small district of Silesia, where the Slavic
neighbourhood has not been without influence, we have no doubt that
the more complete Slavic ballad is the original.


  The maiden went for water,
  To the well o'er the meadow away;
  She there could draw no water,
  So thick the frost it lay.

  The mother she grew angry;
  She had it long to bemoan;
  "O daughter mine, O daughter,
    I would thou wert a stone!"

  The maiden's water-pitcher
    Grew marble instantly;
  And she herself, the maiden,
    Became a maple tree.

  There came one day two lads,
    Two minstrels young they were;
  "We've travelled far, my brother,
    Such a maple we saw no where.

  "Come let us cut a fiddle,
    One fiddle for me and you;
  And from the same fine maple,
    For each one, fiddlesticks two."

  They cut into the maple,--
    There splashed the blood so red;
  The lads fell on the ground,
    So sore were they afraid.

  Then spake from within the maiden:
    "Wherefore afraid are you?
  Cut out of me one fiddle,
    And for each one, fiddlesticks two.

  "Then go and play right sadly,
    To my mother's door begone,
  And sing: Here is thy daughter,
    Whom thou didst curse to stone."

  The lads they went, and sadly
    Their song to play began;
  The mother, when she heard them,
    Right to the window ran:

  "O lads, dear lads, be silent,
    Do not my pain increase;
  For since I lost my daughter,
    My pain doth never cease!"


  Ah! if but this evening
    Would come my lover sweet,
  With the bright, bright sun,
    Then the moon would meet.

  Ah! poor girl this evening
    Comes not thy lover sweet;
  With the bright, bright sun,
    The moon doth never meet.

The reader will perceive that these Slovakian songs are rhymed. There
are however also rhymeless verses extant among them; the measure of
which seems to indicate a greater antiquity, and brings them nearer to
the nations of the Eastern stock.[58]

Of all the Slavic nations, the POLES, as we have already remarked, had
most neglected their popular poetry. There were indeed several
collections of popular ballads published, partly by Polish editors,
with the title of popular poetry in Poland. But they all, without
exception, so far as we know, refer to the Ruthenian peasantry in
Poland, who use a language different from the Polish, and essentially
the same as the Malo-Russian. These tribes, inhabitants of Poland for
centuries, may indeed be called _Poles_ with perfect propriety. Yet
this name is in a more limited sense applied to the Lekhian race
exclusively; and it is in respect to them that we remarked above, that
their songs had been collected for the first time only a few years

That they also had national ballads of their own could hardly be a
matter of doubt; and the neglect may easily be explained, in a nation
among whom all that has any reference to mere boors and serfs has
always been regarded with the utmost contempt. Their beautiful
national dances, however, known all over the world, the graceful
Polonaise, the bold Masur, the ingenious Cracovienne, are just as much
the property of the peasantry, as of the nobility. Their dances were
formerly always accompanied by singing; just as it was customary in
olden times every where, and as it is still the usage among the
Russian and Servian peasantry, to dance to the music of song instead
of instruments. But these songs are always extemporized; and in Poland
probably were never written down. The early refinement of the language
secured to the upper classes a greater or lesser share in their
national literature, which gave them apparently better things;
although we have seen above, that, far from developing itself from its
own resources, their literature was alternately ingrafted on a Latin,
Italian, or French stock. Among the country gentry, and even at the
convivial parties of the nobility, the custom of extemporizing songs,
probably full of national reminiscences, continued even down to the
beginning of our own century. Very little stress was naturally laid
upon them; since the interest for all that is national, historical, or
in any way connected with the people, belongs only to the most recent
times. In our day, the local scenes of Lithuania have excited some
interest, and the Ukraine has become the favourite theatre of Polish

The Polish nation has an ancient hymn, which may be said to belong in
some measure to popular poetry. It is known under the name of _Boga
Rodzica_, or God's Mother; and is said to have been composed by St.
Adalbert, who lived at the end of the tenth century. According to
Niemcewicz, the Polish poet, it was still chanted in the year 1812 in
the churches of Kola and Gnesen, the places where St. Adalbert lived
and died. It is a prayer to the Virgin, ending with a sixfold Amen;
and was formerly sung by the soldiers when advancing to battle. For
that reason probably we find it frequently called a war song.

The popular ballads, published by Woicicki and Zegota Pauli, are not
distinguished in any way from those still extant among the Slovakians,
Bohemians, and Lusatian Sorabians. It can only be matter of surprise,
that they have imbibed no more of the wild and romantic character of
the ballads sung by the Ruthenians, with whom they live intermingled
in several regions. They are ruder in form; and alternately rhymed, or
distinguished from prose only by a certain irregular but prosodic
measure, sometimes trochaic, but mostly dactylic. With the classical
beauty of the Servian songs they can bear no comparison; in which
latter the perfect absence of _vulgarity_ may perhaps be partly
accounted for, by their having been produced among a people where no
privileged classes exist. Only in their wedding songs, and other
similar ones, is there a striking affinity; it is in general in these
relics of ancient times, that the popular poetry of the nations of the
Eastern and of the Western Stems meet in one distinct and fundamental

Many of the more ancient ballads extant among the Poles we find also
in one or other of the Western Slavic languages. For example, the
following; which exists in the Vendish language in a shape more
diffuse and twice as long; and also in Slovakian, still more
sketchlike. That the Polish ballad is derived from a time, when the
horrid invasions of the Tartars were at least still distinctly
remembered, we may safely conclude. In the Slovakian ballad the
invaders are called Turks; in the Vendish ballad, probably the latest
of the three, they have lost all individual nationality, and have
become merely "enemies," or "robbers."


  Plundering are the Tartars,
  Plundering Jashdow castle.

  All the people fled,
  Only a lad they met.

  "Where's thy lord, my lad?
  Where and in what tower
  Is thy lady's bower?"

  "I must not betray him,
  Lest my lord should slay me."

  "Not his anger fear,
  Thou shalt stay not here,
  Thou shalt go with us."

  "My lord's and lady's bower
  Is in the highest tower."

  Once the Tartars shot,
  And they hit them not.

  Twice the Tartars shot,
  And they killed the lord.

  Thrice the Tartars shot--
  They are breaking in the tower,
  The lady is in their power.

  Away, away it goes,
  Over the green meadows,
  Black, black the walls arose!

  "O lady, O turn back,
  To thy walls so sad and black.

  "O walls, ye dreary walls!
  So sad and black are you,
  Because your lord they slew!

  "Because your lord is slain,
  Your lady is dragged away
  Into captivity!
  A slave for life to be,
  Far, far in Tartary!"

Among the ballads of almost all nations we find some that illustrate
the mournful and destitute state of _motherless orphans_. There seems
to be hardly any feeling, which comes more directly home to the
affectionate compassion of the human heart, than the pitiable and
touching condition of helpless little beings left to the tender
mercies of a _stepmother_; who, with her traditional severity, may be
called a kind of standing bugbear of the popular imagination. The
Danes have a beautiful ballad, in which the ghost of a mother is
roused by the wailings and sufferings of her deserted offspring, to
break with supernatural power the gravestone, and to re-enter, in the
stillness of the night, the neglected nursery, in order to cheer, to
nurse, to comb and wash the dear seven little ones, whom God once
intrusted to her care. It is one of the most affecting pieces of
popular poetry we ever have met with. The Slavic nations have nothing
that can be compared with it in _beauty_; but most of them have
several ballads on the same subject; and in a general collection, the
"Orphan Ballads" would fill a whole chapter.[61] The simple ditty
which we give here as another specimen of Polish popular poetry,
exceedingly rude as it is in its form, and even defective in rhyme and
metre, cannot but please and touch us by its very simplicity.


  Poor little orphan is wandering about,
  Seeking its mother and weeping aloud.

  Jesus Christ met it, mildly to it spake:
  "Where art thou roaming, poor little babe?

  "Go not, go not, babe, too far thou wilt roam,
  And goest e'er so far, not to thy mother come.

  "Now turn and go, dear babe, to the green cemetery,
  From out her deep grave thy mother will speak to thee."

  "Wo! at my grave who's knocking so wild?"
  "Mother! dear mother! it's I, thy poor child!

    "Take me to thee, take me,
    Ill I fare without thee!"

  "Go home, my babe, and thy strange mother tell,
  She'll wash thy tattered shirt and comb and clean thee well!"

    "When my shirt she washes,
    Sprinkles it with ashes.

    "When she puts it on to me,
    Scolds so grim and bitterly!

    "When she combs my head,
    Runs the blood so red.

    "When she braids my hair,
    Pulls me here and there!"

  "Go thee home, my babe, the Lord thy tears will dry!"
  And the babe went home, laid her down to cry.

  Laid her down to cry, one day only cried;
  Groaned the second day, and the third day died.

  From his heaven our Lord did two angels send,
  With the poor babe they did to heaven ascend.

  From the hell our Lord did two devils send;
  They took the bad stepmother and down to hell they went.

Of all the surviving Slavic tribes, we have seen that the nationality
of the VENDES of Lusatia is most endangered. If formerly, as a race,
they suffered from persecution and oppression, they have now for
several centuries shared all the advantages of an enlightened
education and wise institutions with their German countrymen; and it
would therefore be erroneous to consider them still in the light of an
oppressed or subjugated nation. Although their language cannot be said
to be _favoured_ by the government, they have their schools, their
worship, their courts of justice, and, above all, their ballads,
without let or hinderance; and if nevertheless the statistics of each
year, especially in the plains of Lower Lusatia, show a diminution of
the Slavic speaking population, we must attribute it rather to the
natural and irresistible effect of time and circumstances, than to any
despotic or arbitrary measures of the government. The Vendish
villages are flourishing; the costumes of the peasants are heavy and
rich; and to their general welfare the _cheerful_ merry character of
their ballads seems to bear testimony. Their melodies resemble the
Bohemian, as much as their ballads do those of their neighbours; but
German melodies also are frequently heard among them, and many
translations of German popular ballads have become perfectly
naturalized. That the language of Upper Lusatia approaches very near
to the Bohemian, we have stated above. It is, however, much more
interspersed with German words; although not to such a degree as the
Lower Lusatian dialect.

Of all the Slavic popular ballads, we find in those of the Lusatians
least of that chaste feeling, which is in general characteristic of
Slavic love songs. The pleasures of illicit intercourse and their
consequences, which make also a favourite theme of the common English
and German ballads, are often grossly described; and we may conclude
that the talent of extemporizing, or in general making pretty verses,
has forsaken the female villagers in this German neighbourhood, and
passed over to the men.

We give here two characteristic ballads of the Upper Lusatian


  Far more unhappy in the world am I,
  Than on the meadow the bird that doth fly.

  Little bird merrily flits to and fro,
  Sings its sweet carol upon the green bough.

  I, alas, wander wherever I will,
  Every where I am desolate still!

  No one befriends me, wherever I go.
  But my own heart full of sorrow and woe!

  Cease thy grief, oh my heart, full of grief,
  Soon will a time come that giveth thee relief.

  Never misfortune has struck mo so hard,
  But I ere long again better have fared.

  God of all else in the world has enough;
  Why not then widows and orphans enough?[64]


  Let him who would married be,
  Look about him and take care,
  That he does not take a wife,
      Take a wife;
  He'll repent it till his life.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take too young a wife,
  Youthful wife has boiling blood,
      Boiling blood;
  No one thinks of her much good.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take too old a wife,
  In the house she'll creep about,
      Creep about;
  And will frighten people out.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take a handsome wife,
  Nought but trouble she will give,
      Trouble give;
  Others' visits she'll receive.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take too short a wife,
  Lowly thou must stoop to her,
      Stoop to her,
  Wouldst thou whisper in her ear.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take too tall a wife,
  Ladders thou to her must raise,
      Ladders raise,
  If thou wouldst thy wife embrace.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take a snarling wife,
  Thou wilt want no dog in the house,
      Dog in the house;
  Thy wife will be the dog in the house.

  As for poor ones, let them be,
  Nothing they will bring to thee,
  Every thing will wanting be,
      Wanting be;
  Not a soul will come to thee.

  If thou shouldst make up thy mind,
  And shouldst take a wealthy wife,
  Then with patience thou must bear,
      Thou must bear,
  If the breeches she should wear.

  Pretty, modest, smart, and neat,
  Good and pious she must be;
  If thou weddest such a wife,
      Such a wife,
  Thou'lt not repent it all thy life.

Merry ballads like these are usually sung at wedding feasts, where
several of the old Slavic ceremonies are still preserved; among other
things the bringing home of the bride in solemn procession. Many old
verses, mostly fragments of half forgotten ballads, familiar to their
ancestors, are in like manner occasionally recited. But the poetical
atmosphere, which still weaves around the Russian or Servian maiden a
mystical veil, through which she gazes, as in a dream full of golden
illusions and images, into that condition of new existence feared and
desired by her at once--that atmosphere is destroyed by the lights of
the surrounding civilization, which show the sober reality of things
in full glare. The flowers are withered that were wound around the
chains; but the chains themselves have become lighter. The ancient
wedding songs, full of pagan allusions, have been supplanted by glees
mostly composed by their half German pastors; the only educated men
who still speak their language. Indeed, not a few of their most
popular ballads are written by their curates. How soon these will be
superseded by German songs, no one can say; but it requires no great
stretch of prophetic power to predict, that the time is near at hand.


[Footnote 1: _Volks und Meisterlieder_, Frankf. a.M. 1817.]

[Footnote 2: _De Bello Gothico_, lib. iii. c. 14.]

[Footnote 3: Vol. I. p. 69.]

[Footnote 4: _Geschichte der Slavischen Sprache und Literatur_, p.

[Footnote 5: This song is among the few, which Russian critics think
as ancient as the sixteenth century. See Karamzin's _History of
Russia_, Vol. X, p. 264.]

[Footnote 6: Bowring'a translation.]

[Footnote 7: The piece to which we allude was in the possession of the
Cardinal Albani, at Rome; but has since been carried to England. A
fine copy in plaster is in the Museum at Paris; from which numerous
drawings have been taken, now scattered all over Europe.]

[Footnote 8: _Kunst und Alterthum_, Vol. II. p. 49.]

[Footnote 9 _Narodne Srpske Pjesme skup. i izd. Vuk_ etc. Leipz. 1824.
Vol. I. p. 55. _Volkslieder der Serben, von Talvj_, Halle 1825. Vol.
I. p. 46.]

[Footnote 10: Pronounced _Yelitza_.]

[Footnote 11: The whole of this tale is translated in Bowring's little
volume of "Servian Popular Poetry."]

[Footnote 12: The Greek ballad is entitled "The Journey by Night," and
begins thus:

  Manna, me tous ennea sou uious, kai me tên mia sou korê.

  'O mother, thou, with thy nine sons, and with thine only daughter.'

A Russian ballad also begins very similarly:

  "At Kief, in that famous town,
    Resided a rich widow;
  Nine sons the widow of Kief had,
    The tenth was a daughter dear."

The story however is essentially different.]

[Footnote 13: See above p. 306, n. 2.]

[Footnote 14: This remarkable fact is mentioned by all Russian
historians, on the good authority of the ancient annalist Nestor.]

[Footnote 15: "The Tshuvashes have a Penate, which they call Erich.
This Erich is nothing but a bundle of broom, _cytisus_, tied together
in the middle with the inner bark of the linden. It consists of
fifteen branches of equal size, about four feet long; above is a piece
of tin attached to it. Each house has such an Erich, which usually
stands in a corner of the entry. Nobody ventures to touch it. When it
becomes dry, a new Erich is tied together, and the old one placed in
running water with great reverence." See _Stimmen des Russ. Volks_,
von P.v. Goetze, Stuttg. 1828, page 17.--The Tshuvashes, however, are
not a Slavic, but a Finnish race, living under the Russian dominion.]

[Footnote 16: Dobrovsky's _Slavin_, 1834, p. 113.]

[Footnote 17: _Werke_, _Ausgabe letzter Hand_, Vol. XLVI. p. 332.]

[Footnote 18: In those four of our Russian specimens marked P, the
translation is by J.G. Percival.]

[Footnote 19: Page 323.]

[Footnote 20: See above, p. 64.]

[Footnote 21: We say, 'to judge from the language.' But their
coincidence with Bohemian ballads of the thirteenth century, and
various other indications (e.g. their frequent mention of the Danube),
seem to vindicate, for their groundwork at least, a very high

[Footnote 22: _Stimmen des Russischen Volkes_, von P.v. Goetze,
Stuttg. 1848.]

[Footnote 23: Slavery in Russia is comparatively of modern date.]

[Footnote 24: _Pjesni Russkawo Naroda_, St. Petersb. 1837-39, Vol. IV.
p. 29.--We would remark here, that all our specimens are translated,
not by means of the German, but from the original languages, and that
all the originals are (or have been) in our possession. It would have
been easy to embellish these simple songs by little additions or
omissions, the rhymeless ones by rhyme, and the rhymed ones by more
regularity; but we could not possibly have done it without impairing
the fidelity of such a version.]

[Footnote 25: Both these are bad omens for a Russian girl.]

[Footnote 26: Names of the street and gate in Moscow, through which
formerly criminals were led to execution.]

[Footnote 27: _Buinaya golowushka_, that is, the _fierce, rebellious,
impetuous head_, and _mogutshiya pletsha_, or _strong shoulders_, are
standing expressions in Russia, in reference to a young hero; the
former, especially, when there is allusion to some traitorous action.]

[Footnote 28: Sacharof's Collection, Vol. IV. p. 218; see p. 346.]

[Footnote 29: That is, the Russian governments Kief, Pultava,
Tshernigof, Kharkof, and Yekatrinoslav. The latter, the cradle of the
present population of Malo-Russia, belongs, according to the present
geographical division of the Russian empire, to Southern Russia.]

[Footnote 30: The Polish poet Bogdjanski is said to have collected in
the government of Pultava alone towards 8000! A great many of these
consist, of course, only in variations of the same theme, owing to the
failing memory of the singer. Maximovitch's Collection contains
several thousand pieces.]

[Footnote 31: _Volkslieder der Polen gesammelt und übersezt, von W.P._
Leipzig 1833. It ought to have been called _Songs of the Ruthenian
people in Poland_.]

[Footnote 32: The origin of this polite appellation is its rise in the
Ivanovskoi Lake.]

[Footnote 33: Towards the close of the eighteenth century, Catharine
II induced great numbers of the Zaporoguean Kozaks to move to the
northern shore of the Kuban, east of the Black Sea or _Tshernayamora_,
in order to protect the border against the Circassians. They are hence
called Tshernomorskii, or Black Sea Kozaks.]

[Footnote 34: These affectionate feelings were gradually extended
towards all the rivers of their ancient establishments. Their ballads
express a tender attachment to Mother Wolga, Mother Kamyshenka, Mother
Tsarytzina, etc.]

[Footnote 35: See above, p. 297.]

[Footnote 36: Yessaul is the name of that officer among the Kozaks,
who stands immediately under the Hetman. The ballad refers to an
incident which happened before 1648. It is from Sreznevski's _Starina
Zaporoshnaya_, i.e. _History of the Zaporoguean Kozaks_, Kharkof

[Footnote 37: Probably John Wihowski, Hetman after Chmielnicki. After
the death of this latter, he fell off from Russia, and led the Kozaks
back to Poland. It seems it was he who occasioned Pushkar's death.]

[Footnote 38: Manuscript.]

[Footnote 39: From Czelakowski's Collection; see above, p. 216, n.

[Footnote 40: From Sacharof's Collection, St. Petersb. 1839. Vol. IV.
p. 497.]

[Footnote 41: The reader will find an elaborate essay on the popular
poetry of the Ukraine in the Foreign Quarterly Review, Vol. XXVI. No.
51. It was evidently written by one of the Polish exiles in England.
In it, however, a singular mistake is made as to the derivation of the
appellation of the Zaporoguean Kozaks. _Porog_ does not mean "Island"
in any Slavic language.]

[Footnote 42: See a description of this national dance in Wilkinson,
_Dalmatia and Montenegro,_ I, p. 399.]

[Footnote 43: A Servian woman never would sit down in the presence of
her husband. At table she stands behind him, and waits on him and his
guests. Even the wife of prince Milosh did so; only with the
restriction that she confined her services to her husband. The
Morlachians--who seem indeed to be the _rudest_ part of the Servian
population--do not mention their wives to a stranger without adding:
"With your permission."]

[Footnote 44: The reader will find a description of a Morlachian
wedding in Wilkinson, Vol. II. p. 164 sq. For a fuller account, see
_Volkslieder der Serben, von Talvj_, Vol. II. Introduction.]

[Footnote 45: Servian popular poetry has properly no rhymes; but
wherever a rhyme occasionally occurs, it appears to be welcome; so in
this little piece, which is faithfully conformed to the original. All
our specimens of the Servian "female" songs are taken from the first
volume of Vuk's Collection. See above, p. 115.]

[Footnote 46: For more specimens see Bowring's _Servian Popular
Poetry_, Lond. 1827. These little songs are there made much more
attractive by giving them an English dress with _rhymes_, and
accommodating them to the English way of feeling and expressing
feelings; a proceeding which we have purposely avoided, because our
only object is a _faithful_ translation. Dr. Bowring has moreover
translated mainly from our German translation.]

[Footnote 47: A mountainous region in the vicinity of Montenegro.]

[Footnote 45: See the similar beginning of "Hassan Aga," p. 324

[Footnote 49: See an account of this remarkable custom, from the
Abbate Fortia, in Wilkinson, II. p. 178 sq.]

[Footnote 59: This beautiful poem see in Vuk, III. p. 299 sq. Transl.
by Talvi, II. p. 245.]

[Footnote 51: As the best illustration of this remark we recommend,
among other examples, the poem on the death of Meho Orugditch, Vuk,
III. p. 333 sq, Transl. by Talvi, II. p. 279 sq.]

[Footnote 52: From Czelakowsky's Collection; see above, p. 216, n.

[Footnote 53: From _Slowanske narodnj pjsne sebran. F.L.
Czelakowskym_, Prague 1822-27. The collection of Carniolan ballads by
Achazel and Korytko, which appeared in 1839, we have not yet seen.]

[Footnote 54: From _Rukopis Kralodworsky, etc. wydan od W. Hanky_,
Prague 1835, p. 106.]

[Footnote 55: Ibid. pp. 107 sq. 197 sq. 131 sq.]

[Footnote 56: Taken down by Vuk from the lips of a peasant girl.]

[Footnote 57: In the original, _she was buried last week_. The lover
could hardly expect to find a _new_ grave, if she had been buried
_long ago_.]

[Footnote 58: All our Bohemian and Slovakian specimens are taken from
Czelakowsky's Collection, as we happened not to be in possession of
Kollar's and Erben's later work of that kind. For the full title see
p. 385, note.]

[Footnote 59: See above p. 297.]

[Footnote 60: _Pjesni ludu Bialo Chrobatow, Mazurow i Russinow z nad
Bugu zebr. przez K.W. Wojcickiego_, i.e. Songs of the White
Chrobatians, Masovians, and Russinians on the Bug, collected by K.W.
Woicicki, Warsaw 1836. Vol. I. p. 85. See above, p. 297.]

[Footnote 61: We have also two most exquisite Lithuanian ballads which
treat of the same subject; one of them being the lament of a
_fatherless_ boy.]

[Footnote 62: _Pjesni ludu Polskiego w Galicyi zebr. Zegoia Pauli_,
Lemberg 1838, p. 57. See above, p. 297.]

[Footnote 63: _Pjesnicki hornich i delnich Luziskich Serbow_, i.e.,
Songs of the Servians of Upper and Lower Lusatia, published by L.
Haupt and J.E. Schmaler, Grimma 1844. Comp. p. 304, above.]

[Footnote 64: A similar _naïvete_ we find in a little Servian elegy. A
poor girl sings: "Our Lord has of every thing his fill; but of poor
people he seems to have greater plenty than of any thing else!"]

       *       *       *       *       *




  Achazel, 142, 335.
  Aeneas, J. 190.
  Albertrandy, 269.
  Albertus, 131.
  Albick, 181.
  Alexeyef, 48.
  Alipanof, 97.
  Alter, 125.
  Ambrosius, 200.
  Anastasevitch, 85.
  Appendini, 132.
  Arsenief, 89, 91.
  Augusta, Pileator, 190.
  Augustini, 200.


  Bare, 248.
  Bagdanovitch, 68.
  Bahyl, G., 200, 218.
  Bahyl, M., 200.
  Baïkof, F. 58.
  Bajza, 219.
  Bakalarz, 179.
  Balbin, 197,201, 203.
  Balbus, 181.
  Balinski, 289.
  Bandulovich, 130.
  Bantkie, J.V. 298.
  --------- G.S. 241,269,271,248,298.
  Basatinksi, 96.
  Bardzinski, 255.
  Bartholomaides, 220.
  Barteszewski, 246.
  Basilius, 55.
  Baszko, 230.
  Batjushkof, 79.
  Bazylik, 248.
  Beckowski, 197.
  Berkowski, 271.
  Bel, 200, 218.
  Benedicti, S. 189.
  Benedictof, 96.
  Beneshowsky, 189, 211.
  Bentkowski, 225, 238, 249, 251.
  Beransky, 191.
  Berchtold, 206.
  Berg, 89.
  Beritch, 112.
  Bernatovicz, 296.
  Bernolak, 219, 221.
  Berynda, 45.
  Bestushef, 85, 93, 94.
  Bialobocki, 255.
  Bialobrzeski, 217.
  Biankovitch, 131
  Bielowski, 98, 279.
  Bielski, Joach, 248.
  -------- Mart, 248.
  Bierling, 310.
  Bierkowski, 247.
  Bilegowsky, 191,193.
  Bitchonrin, see Hyacinth.
  Blahoslaw, 190.
  Blasius, 200.
  Blazowski, 248.
  Bobrof, 69.
  Bobrowski, 280.
  Bodtanski, 88.
  Boethlingk, 92.
  Bogashinovitch, 129.
  Bogufal, 230.
  Bogush, 84.
  Boguslawski, 279.
  Bohomolec, 278.
  Bohorizh, 140, 141.
  Bohusz, 271.
  Bohuslaw, 181.
  Bolchovitinof, 75, 84.
  Boldryef, 83.
  Boltin, 70.
  Bonus, 129.
  Borowsky, 191.
  Brankovilein, 111.
  Bratanofski, 71.
  Bratkowski, 256.
  Brezow, 162.
  Brodzinski, 274, 276.
  Bronefski, 81.
  Bronikowski, 286.
  Broscius, 255.
  Buchich, 136.
  Budny, 238, 247.
  Budow, 193.
  Bulgakof, 69.
  Bulgarin, 89, 93.
  Bulitch, 112.
  Bunin, Anna, 96.
  Burski, 296.
  Bushinsky, 63.
  Buturlin, 89.
  Bydzhowsky, 191.
  Bystrzycki, 281.


  Caboga, 30.
  Cacich, 114, 130, 367.
  Capito, 190.
  Caraman, 127.
  Carlovitz, 111.
  Cassio, 130, 132.
  Chelcicky, 177.
  Chemnitzer, 69, 80.
  Chmelenski, 205.
  Chmelnitzky, 80.
  Chmelowecz, 192.
  Chodkiewicz, 255, 281.
  Chodubashef, 98.
  Cholewa, Mart. 230.
  Chomiakof, 96.
  Chrominski, 27.
  Chroscinski, 255.
  Chwalkowski, 255.
  Chwostaf, 79.
  Cielecki, 249.
  Cimberg, 179.
  Ciaudian, 181, 191.
  Codicillus, 194.
  Coepolla, 190.
  Comenius, 197 sq.
  Constant, Vsevolodovitch, 55.
  Cosmas, 169,
  Cyril, 31 sq.
  Cyril, M. of K. 55.
  Czacki, 233
  Czarnokowski, 247.
  Czarowski, 246.
  Czartoryski, A. 265, 278.
  Czartoryski, Isabella, 279.
  Czaykowski, 295.
  Czech, 281.
  Czechticz, 177.
  Czelakowsky, 205, 216, 385.
  Czerny, 181.


  Dahl, 93.
  Dalmatin, 140.
  Daneykowicz, 266.
  Daniel, Heg. 55.
  Daniel, Archb. 109.
  Danilewsky, 84, 90.
  Danilof, 64.
  Dankowski, 14.
  Darxich, 128.
  Davidof, 91.
  Davidovitch, 112, 113, 132.
  Della Bella, 132.
  Delwig, 79.
  Dembowski, 279.
  Demetrius, 63.
  Dershavin, 69.
  Desnitzky, 84.
  Dlugosz, 234.
  Dmitrief, 79, 85.
  Dmochowski, 277, 278.
  Dobner, 125.
  Dobrovsky, 7, 27, 33, 45, 202, 204.
  Dolezhal, 200.
  Dolgoroki, 62.
  Dorof, 90.
  Drachenicz, 180.
  Drachowsky, 196, 211.
  Draskovich, 137.
  Drazow, 192.
  Drozdof, 83.
  Druzbacka, Eliz. 255.
  Dshefarovitch, 111.
  Duba, 162.
  Durich, 202, 203.
  Dziarkowski, 282.
  Dzierwa, 234.
  Dzwonowski, 255.


  Elsner, 199.
  Ephraim, 190.
  Eristof, see Yeristof.
  Eugene, see Bolchovitinof.
  Eugenius, 45.


  Fabricius, 313.
  Falenski, 270.
  Faligoborski, 256.
  Falimierz, 249.
  Fandli, 219.
  Farnik, 143.
  Felinski, 278.
  Feodorof, 97.
  Fredro, 279, 296.
  Frenzel, 310.


  Gabriel, 99.
  Gaj, 133, 137.
  Gallus, 181.
  Garezinski, 295.
  Giganof, 83.
  Gilowski, 247.
  Ginterod, 188.
  Giubronavich, 129.
  Glagolyef, 92.
  Glinka, 79, 81, 97.
  Glosins, 200.
  Glück, 63.
  Gnjeditch, 81.
  Gnorowski, 191.
  Gogol, 93.
  Gloanski, 280.
  Gohkof, 70.
  Golovnin, 81.
  Golubinsky, 99.
  Gondola, Fr. 130.
  Gondola, J. 129.
  Gorecki, 295.
  Gozze, 128.
  Grabowski, 289, 295.
  Grebenko, 95.
  Grekof, 58.
  Gretsch, 85, 92.
  Gribojedof, 80.
  Grigoryef, 91.
  Grimm, J. 27, 241.
  Grochowski, 246.
  Groddeck, 280.
  Groicki, 249.
  Groza, 296.
  Grutinius, 249.
  Gryllus, 192.
  Grzebski, 249.
  Guagnini, 248.
  Gucetich, 131.
  Gutowski, 254.


  Hadshitch, 112.
  Hagek, 194.
  Haguemaster, 91.
  Han, Helene, 96.
  Hansheri, 98.
  Hanka, 157, 202, 203.
  Hanush, 192.
  Harant, 193.
  Hassenstein, see Lobkowicz.
  Helic, 190.
  Herbart, 249.
  Heym, 101.
  Hippolytus, 141.
  Hitshevsky, 96.
  Hnewkowsky, 208.
  Hobe, 288.
  Hodani, 278.
  Hod of Hagek, 179.
  Hofman, 279, 292.
  Holawinski, 291, 296.
  Holli, 205.
  Horowicof, 162.
  Hostowin, 191.
  Horsky, 192.
  Hromadko, 206.
  Hruby, 188.
  Hrushkowic, 200.
  Huss, 167.
  Hyacinth, 81, 91, 98.

  I, J.

  Jablonowski, 255.
  Jablonsky, 205.
  Jakubovitch, 96.
  Jakubowski, 272.
  Jandit, 211.
  Jankovitch, 112.
  Januskowski, 240.
  Januszowski, 248.
  Japel, 143.
  Jaronski, 280.
  Javorsky, 63.
  Jazikof, 96.
  Jelowicki, 291.
  Jemin, 70.
  Jerome of Prague, 169.
  Jesak, 101.
  Jessenius, 190.
  Ignes, 256.
  Igumnof, 83.
  Innocenz, 92.
  Jodlowski, 271.
  Jordan, 205, 311.
  Julinatz, 112.
  Jundzill, 281.
  Jungmann, 202, 203, 211.
  Juszinski, 277.


  Kabatnik, 179.
  Kadlubec, Vinc. 230, 234.
  Kaladovitch, 84, 93.
  Kaleniczof, 177.
  Kamaryt, 205.
  Kantemir, 64.
  Kapnist, 69.
  Karadshitch, see Vuk Stephanovitch.
  Karamzin, 76 sq.
  Karlsberg, 192.
  Karnkowski, 247.
  Karpinaki, 274, 278.
  Karpowicz, 272.
  Kasembeg, 98.
  Katancsich, 131, 134.
  Katchenofsky, 85.
  Kavelin, 92.
  Kengelatz, 112.
  Khanikof, 91.
  Kheraskof, 68.
  Kicinski, 272.
  ---- V. 278, 296.
  Kilinski, 270.
  Kinsky, 200.
  Klatowsky, 211.
  Klaudian, 191.
  Klicpera, 205.
  Kleich, 199.
  Klinofsky, 64.
  Klonowicz, 246.
  Kluk, 281.
  Klushin, 68.
  Knapski, 240, 254.
  Kniaznin, 274.
  Knjashnin, J. 68.
  Kobylin, A. 249.
  ---- P. 249.
  Kochanowski, A. 245.
  ---- J. 245, 255.
  ---- P. 245.
  Kochowski, 255.
  Kocin, 188, 193.
  Köppen, 85, 93, 95.
  Koialowicz, A.W. 254.
  ---- K. 248, 254.
  Kola, 255.
  Koldin, 194.
  Kollar, 205, 206, 207, 217.
  Kollontaj, Hugo, 267.
  ---- K.H. 256.
  Kolowrath-Liebsteinsky, 206.
  Kolzof, 97.
  Konacz, 188.
  Konarski, 254, 264.
  Koneczny, 212.
  Koni, 97.
  Konissky, 71.
  Konkowski, 281.
  Konstantinovitch, 193.
  Konstanz, 196.
  Kopczinski, 298.
  Kopitar. 27 sq. 123 sq. 142, 144, 234.
  Kopiycwitch, 60, 63.
  Koranda, 177.
  Korf, 91.
  Kovatzevitch, 119.
  Krobeinikof, 58.
  Korshavin, 85.
  Korssak, 294.
  Korwell, 296.
  Korytko, 142, 385.
  Koslof, 79.
  Kossakowski, 279.
  Kostrof, 69.
  Koszutski, 247.
  Kotliarewski, 50.
  Kotwa, 191.
  Kozmian, 277.
  Kraiewski, 246.
  Kramerius, 202.
  Krascewski, 296.
  Krasinski, Ign. 295.
  Krasinski, Valer. 290.
  Krasiski, 273, 278.
  Krasonicky, 189.
  Kraszewski, 289, 291.
  Krayefski, 88.
  Krman, 200, 218.
  Kromer, M. 244, 248.
  Kropinski, 279.
  Krupsky, 188.
  Kruszynski, 278.
  Krylof, I. 80.
  ---- N. 91.
  Kucharski, 289.
  Kuczborski, 247.
  Kukolnik, 97.
  Kumersdey, 143.
  Kuthen, 193.
  Kuznico, 143.
  Kwiatkowski, 270.
  Kwitka, 95.


  Lachowski, 272.
  Lafontaine, 282.
  Laschetnikof, 93.
  Latosz, 249.
  Lazaref, 81.
  Lazarevitch, 112.
  Lefort, 88.
  Lelewel, 268 sq. 271, 292.
  Lenski, 97.
  Leonard, 237.
  Leopolito, 237.
  Lermontof, 93, 96.
  Lesczynski, R. 255.
  ---- Stan. 264.
  Leska, 205.
  Levakovitch, 127.
  Levenda, 71.
  Levicky, 44.
  Levshin, 71.
  Libertin, 196.
  Liboczan, 193.
  Linde, 271, 298.
  Lipinski, 279.
  Litomierzicky, 176.
  Lobkowicz, J. 179.
  Lobkowicz-Hassenstein, 181.
  Lomnicky, 192.
  Lomonosof, 60, 65 sq.
  Lubienec, 336.
  Lubienski, 255.
  Lubomirsky, 255.
  Lucas, 189.
  Lucaszewicz, 289, 290.
  Lupacz, M. 177.
  ---- P, 193.


  Machaczek, 205.
  Macherzynski, 289, 291.
  Maciejowski, 288.
  Macsay, 219.
  Macynski, 240, 289.
  Maiewski, 270, 272.
  Maikof, 68.
  Magarashevitch, 112.
  Magnitzky, 64.
  Makawsky, 191.
  Malcz, 282.
  Malczeski, 294.
  Manoshkin, 91.
  Maraczewski, 289.
  Marek, 205.
  Marlinski, 94; see Bestuschef.
  Martin Gallus, 230.
  Masovitch, 112.
  Martynof, 81.
  Massalski, 93.
  Matthei, 311.
  Matusczewicz, 272.
  Matveyef, 57.
  Maurenin, 191.
  Maximovitch, 92, 98.
  Menze, 128.
  Merzjakof, 81.
  Mezericki, 162.
  Mezyhor, 179.
  Miaskowski, 264.
  Mies, Jacobellus of, 170.
  Micalia, 132.
  Michailowski, see Danilewski.
  Michalides, 200.
  Mickiewicz, A. 275, 277, 293.
  Miklaszewski, 270.
  Milicz, 162.
  Milowuk, 119.
  Milutinovitch, 119, 122.
  Minasovrez, 129.
  Minasowicz, 278.
  Miossich, 130, 367.
  Mirkowsky, 191.
  Mirosh, 177.
  Mirzinsky, 177.
  Mitrowicz, 193.
  Mladienowicz, 176, 179.
  Mochnacki, 291.
  Moehn, 311.
  Molski, 277.
  Mostowski, 246, 255.
  Mouravyef, 92.
  Mouravyef-Apostol, 81.
  Mrongovius, 298.
  Muczkowski, 232, 291.
  Mueller, G.J. 70.
  Munich, 84.
  Mushitsky, 119.
  Mussin Pushkin, 53, 85.


  Nadeshdin, 87, 88, 92.
  Nagurszewski, 278.
  Narbutt, 289.
  Nareshnoi, 81.
  Naruszewicz, 267, 278.
  Nefedvef, 91.
  Negedly, 202, 203, 212.
  Neledinsky-Meletzky, 69.
  Nestor, 41, 55.
  Newerof, 87.
  Nicolai, 190.
  Nicolef, 68.
  Niegosh, P.P. 119, 120.
  Niemcewicz, 179, 270, 272, 275.
  Niemir, 255.
  Niesicki, 254.
  Nikitenko, 92.
  Nikon, 59.
  Nitikin, 58.
  Noakowski, 101.
  Norof, 91.
  Novikof, 69.
  Nowasielski, 296.


  Obradowitch, 112.
  Oczko, 247.
  Odachowski, 247.
  Odoyeski, 93.
  Odyniec, 294.
  Oginski, 270.
  Ojczyczniak, 292.
  Okraszewski, 277.
  Olomucius, 181.
  Onacewicz, 270.
  Opalinski, 255.
  Optat, 189, 211.
  Orliczny, 189, 191.
  Orlof, 80.
  Orphelin, 112.
  Orzechowski, 248.
  Osinski, A. 285.
  ---- H. 281.
  ---- L. 277, 278.
  Osnovianenko, see Kwitka.
  Ostrorog, 231.
  Otfinowski, 255.
  Ottersdorf, 193.
  Oustralof, 89.
  Ozerof, 80.


  Padura, 295.
  Palacky, 205, 207, 209.
  Palaczek, 177.
  Palkowicz, G. Can. 220.
  ---- G. Prof. 199, 205, 220.
  Palma, 191.
  Palmota, Jac. 130.
  ---- Jun. 129.
  Paprocky, 193, 246.
  Parczek, 206.
  Parenoga, 102.
  Parsky, 83.
  Paszkowski, 248.
  Pauli, Zeg. 289, 297, 399.
  Pawlof, 93.
  Pawlof, Mrs. 96.
  Pelzel, 201, 204, 211.
  Perewostschikof, 88.
  Perzyna, 282.
  Peshina, 191, 197.
  Petryci, 280.
  Philarete, 92.
  Philomusa, 192.
  Piasecki, 248.
  Pisecky, M. 192.
  ---- W. 188.
  Pishek, 191.
  Placel, 193.
  Plachy, 196, 205.
  Platon, 71.
  Pleinef, 85.
  Pochlin, 142.
  Poezobut, 281.
  Podiebrad, 179.
  Podolinski, 96.
  Podoljedof, 84.
  Pogodin, 88, 89, 90.
  Pohl, 211.
  Polak, 205.
  Polenof, 205.
  Poletika, 99.
  Polevoi, 87, 92, 97.
  Polinski, 281.
  Poniatowski, 256.
  Poninski, 254.
  Poplinski, 290, 298.
  Popovich, 143.
  Popovitch, 112, 119.
  Poprovsky, 69.
  Poszakowski, 254.
  Potocki, Ant. 266.
  ---- Ign. 266, 267.
  ---- John, 6, 271, 284.
  ---- Paul, 266.
  ---- Stanisl. K. 266, 267, 272, 280.
  ---- W. 255.
  Prachatitzky, 181.
  Prazmowski, 272.
  Prelawsky, 189.
  Prerowsky, 192.
  Presl, 206.
  Prochazka, 202, 203.
  Procopius, Boh. Broth. 177, 190.
  Procopius, 180.
  Prostiborz, 193.
  Protosof, 83.
  Przezdziecki, 289.
  Przybylski, 277, 278.
  Puchmayer, 202, 203.
  Pudlowski, 246.
  Pulkawba, 162.
  Pushkin, 80, 85, 89, 95.


  Racownicky, 193.
  Raczynski, 256, 282, 284, 290.
  Radomski, 247.
  Radowesic, 192.
  Raguini, 130.
  Raitch, 111, 112.
  Rakowiecki, 30, 271, 285.
  Rastawiecki, 290.
  Rautenkranz, 206.
  Ravnikar, 143.
  Razzi, 130.
  Reisenbach, 194.
  Reshatko, 192.
  Rey of Naglowic, 244.
  Rhasis, 98.
  Rileyef, 79, 85, 93.
  Rogalinski, 281.
  Rokycana, 177.
  Rosa, St. 127, 131.
  Rosa, 197.
  Rosciszewski, 247, 249.
  Rosen, 79.
  Rosenberg, 176.
  Roshnay, 208.
  Rositzius, 234.
  Rosolocki, 254.
  Rostoptshin, Countess, 96.
  Rwaezowsky, 191.
  Rybinski, 245.
  Rytchkof, 70.
  Rzewuski, 265, 281.


  Sabin, 205.
  Sacharof, 98, 346.
  Sagoskin, 93.
  Saltszewicz, 255.
  Samailof, 89.
  Sanin, 59.
  Sapieha, 249, 271.
  Sapocki, 254.
  Sarnicki, 249.
  Schaffarik, 122, 205, 207 sq.
  Sehevyrof, 92.
  Schieweck, 298.
  Schloezer, 4, 20, 41.
  Schmaler, 311, 313.
  Schmidt, J.J. 82.
  Schmidt, J.E. 101, 298.
  Schraniko, 203.
  Seclucyan, 237, 247.
  Sedlaczek, 206.
  Seiler, 311.
  Senkowski, 74, 83, 281.
  Seraphim, 75, 83.
  Shakofskoi, 80.
  Shakofsky, 84.
  Shishkof, 78, 84.
  Shlecta, 181.
  Shtitny, 162.
  Shtsherbatof, 70.
  Shud, 191.
  Shukofsky, 79, 93.
  Siarczynski, 270.
  Sidonski, 99.
  Sieber, 206.
  Siemenski, 297.
  Sienkiewicz, 278.
  Siennik, 249.
  Sierakowski, 281.
  Simeon of Polotzk, 57, 59, 66.
  Simon, 177.
  Sirenius, 249.
  Sjetchinof, 71.
  Skorga, 247.
  Skorbek, 279, 296.
  Skorina, 59.
  Skromnenko, 88.
  Skrzetuski, C. 271.
  ---- V. 271.
  Slawata, 192.
  Slawiarski, 282.
  Slowacki, 279.
  Slowzof, 89.
  Smetana, 206.
  Smotrisky, 44, 65, 111.
  Snaider, 208.
  Sniadecki, 281.
  Sokolof, 84.
  Sokolovki, 96.
  Solarich, 112.
  Solowyef, 87,
  Soltyk, 272.
  Soltykowicz, 270.
  Sonneg, U.v. 140.
  Sophia, Tzarevna, 57.
  Sopikof, 76, 85.
  Sorgo di, Kath. Poz. 129.
  Sowinski, 271, 272.
  Spalatro, B.d. 130.
  Spiczynski, 249.
  Sreznefski, 89. 359.
  Starowolski, 255.
  Staszyc, 229, 278, 282.
  Statorius, 240.
  Stepanek, 205.
  Stepanof, 91.
  Sternberg, 193.
  Sternberg, K. 206.
  Steyer, 196.
  Stoikovitch, 112.
  Stranensky, 190.
  Stransky, 199.
  Stribrsky, 192.
  Strnad, 206.
  Stroyef, 84, 87, 125.
  Strubicz, 249.
  Strycz, 190.
  Stryikowski, 248.
  Strzembski, 230.
  Stulcz, 205.
  Stulli, 132.
  Sturm, 191.
  Sudrovins, 246.
  Sumarokof, 68.
  Surowieckowski, 282.
  Sushishky, 191.
  Svinyin, 89, 93.
  Swiencki, 282.
  Swotlik, 310.
  Sychra, 205.
  Sylvanus, 192.
  Sylvester, 55.
  Syrenski, s. Sirenius,
  Szabranski, 296.
  Szczaniecki, 254.
  Szianawski, 272, 280.
  Sziawianski, 280.
  Szrzeniewa, 298.
  Szumski, 272, 298.
  Szydlowski, 277
  Szymanowicz, 245.
  Szymanowski, 256, 274.
  Szyrma, Ljach, 284.


  Taborsky, 192.
  Tanska, e Clem. 279.
  Tanski, 277.
  Tappe, 101.
  Tarnowski, 248, 249.
  Tatishtshef, 102.
  Tchulkof, 70.
  Teplef, Miss, 96.
  Terlaitch, 112.
  Tham, 211.
  Ticinus, 310.
  Timkowsky, 81.
  Timofeyef, 96.
  Tishnow, S. of. 176.
  Tomaszewski, 277.
  Tomek, 205.
  Tomsa, 202, 203.
  Trajanski, 291.
  Trambczynski, 298.
  Trediakofsky, 65.
  Trembecki, 274.
  Truber, 139, 140.
  Tshbinof, 98.
  Tshoikovitch, 119.
  Tupi, 205.
  Turinsky, 205.
  Turnowski, 246.
  Turnowsky, 194
  Turski, 270.
  Twardowski, 281.
  Twardowski, S. 255.
  Tymowski, 277.
  Tzertelef, 98.


  Umiatowski, 249.
  Ustralof, see Oustralof.
  Uzewicz, 45.


  Vater, 101, 298.
  Venelin, 87, 145.
  Vetranich, 128.
  Vidakovitch, 119.
  Vincentius, 160.
  Vitkovitch, 119.
  Vjazemsky, 79.
  Vladimir Vsevolod. Monomach, 54.
  Vodnik, 143.
  Volkof, 83.
  Volkonski, princess, 96.
  Voltiggi, 132.
  Vostokof, 79, 84, 93.
  Vsevolodovitch, 55.
  Vuitch, 112.
  Vuk Stephanovitch, 113-118, 368.


  Waleczowsky, 179.
  Wangocki, 248.
  Wapowski, 248.
  Wartowsky, 190.
  Wcewolodsky, 91.
  Welensky, 188.
  Weleslawlin. 189, 193.
  Weltmann, 93.
  Wenelin, see Venelin.
  Wengierski, Ad. 254.
  ---- And. 254.
  ---- T.K. 274.
  Wenzyk, 279.
  Wirtemberg, princess of 279.
  Wisin, Van, 68.
  Wisnoiwiecki, 256.
  Witwicki, 264, 293.
  Wlzek, 179.
  Wlkanow, Prefat of, 193.
  Wocel, 205.
  Woicicki, 296, 397.
  Wojeikof, 81.
  Woronicz, 272, 276.
  Wratnowski, 292.
  Wrbensky, 191.

[Footnote A: There is only one letter in the Slavish Alphabet for _V_
and _W_. In the personal names of those nations, which use the
Cyrillic alphabet, we have written it V, according to the English
pronunciation; in those belonging to nations which have adopted the
Latin alphabet, we of course did not feel justified in making any
alteration. The Slavic _W_ is always pronounced like the English _V_.]

  Wresowicz, 193.
  Wuiek 238, 247.
  Wydra, 206.
  Wyrwicz, 272.
  Wysocki, 254.


  Yeristof, 92.


  Zablocki, 279.
  Zaborowski, 240.
  Zaborowski. Ign. 281.
  Zagorski, 290.
  Zabradnik, 206.
  Zaleski, 295.
  Zaluski, 265, 266.
  Zalushansky, 194.
  Zamrsky, 190.
  Zbylitowski, 246.
  Zdanof, 102.
  Zebrowski, 255.
  Zeletawski, 191.
  Zeneide B. 96.
  Zhelotyn, 194.
  Zherotin, C. of, 193.
  Zialinski, 296.
  Zidek, 179, 188.
  Ziegler, 206.
  Zimanowicz, 246.
  Zizania, 44, 65.
  Zlatarich, 129.
  Zolkowski, 279.
  Zibrzyeki, 289.
  Zukowski, 281.
  Zuzerich, S. 129.
  Zuzzeri, Fl. 129.

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