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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

Online LibraryTherese Albertine Louise von Jacob RobinsonHistorical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations → online text (page 25 of 33)