Pan Tadeusz
by Adam Mickiewicz
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The General took the penknife, but since it was very long and he could not wear it, the servants put it away in an ammunition waggon. As to what became of it there are various tales, but no one knew with certainty, either then or later.

Dombrowski turned to Maciek:—

"What have you to say, comrade? Can it be that you are not glad at our coming? Why are you silent and glum? How can your heart help leaping up when you see the gold and silver eagles, and when the trumpeters trumpet Kosciuszko's reveille close to your ear? Maciek, I thought that you were more of a fighting man: if you do not seize your sabre and mount your horse, at least you will gaily drink with your colleagues to the health of Napoleon and the hopes of Poland!"

"Ha!" said Maciej, "I have heard and I see what is going on! But, sir, two eagles never nest together! Lords' favour, hetman, rides a piebald steed!216 The Emperor a great hero! On that subject we could expend much talk! I remember that my friends the Pulawskis used to say, as they gazed on Dumouriez,217 that Poland needed a Polish hero, no Frenchman or Italian either, but a Piast,218 a Jan or a Jozef, or a Maciek—that's all. The army! They say it is Polish! But these fusileers, sappers, grenadiers, and cannoneers! You hear, in that crowd, more German than native titles!219 Who can understand them! And then you must certainly have with you Turks or Tatars or Schismatics, or men of God knows what faith: I have seen it myself; they are assaulting the peasant women in the villages, plundering the passers-by, pillaging the churches! The Emperor is bound for Moscow! That is a long road if he has set out without the blessing of God. I have heard that he has already incurred the bishop's curse;220 all this is——"

Here Maciej dipped some bread in his soup, munched it, and did not finish his last phrase.

Maciek's speech did not suit the taste of the Chamberlain, and the young men began to murmur; the Judge interrupted the wrangling, by announcing the arrival of the third betrothed couple.

It was the Notary; he announced himself as the Notary, but nobody recognised him. He had hitherto worn the Polish costume, but now his future wife, Telimena, had forced him by a clause in the marriage articles to renounce the kontusz;221 so the Notary willy-nilly had assumed French garb. The dress coat had evidently deprived him of half his soul; he strode along as if he had swallowed a walking-stick, stiffly and straight forward; like a crane, he dared not look to the right or the left. His expression was composed, and yet from his expression one could see that he was in torture; he did not know how to bow or where to put his hands, he, who was so fond of gestures! He tucked his hands into his belt—there was no belt—he only stroked himself self on the stomach; he noticed his mistake, was greatly confused, turned red as a lobster, and hid both his hands in the same pocket of his dress coat. He advanced as if running the gauntlet, amid whispers and banter, feeling as ashamed of his dress coat as of a dishonourable deed; at last he met the eyes of Maciek, and trembled with fright.

Maciej had hitherto lived on very friendly terms with the Notary; but now he turned on him so sharp and furious a glance that the Notary grew pale and began to button his coat, thinking that Maciej would tear it off him with his glance. Dobrzynski merely repeated twice over in a loud voice, "Idiot!" and was so fearfully disgusted with the Notary's change of garb that he at once rose from the table; slipping out without saying good-bye, he mounted his horse and returned to the hamlet.

But meanwhile the Notary's fair sweetheart, Telimena, was spreading abroad the gleams of her beauty and of her toilet, from top to toe of the very latest style. What manner of gown she wore, and what her coiffure was like, it were vain to write, for the pen could never express it; only the pencil could portray those tulles, muslins, laces, cashmeres, pearls and precious stones—and her rosy cheeks and lively glances!

The Count at once recognised her, and, pale with astonishment, rose from the table and looked about him for his sword.

"And is it thou!" he cried, "or do my eyes deceive me? Thou? In my presence? Dost clasp another's hand? O faithless being, O traitorous soul! And dost thou not hide thy face for shame beneath the earth? Art thou so unmindful of thy vows so lately made? Ah, man of easy faith! Why have I worn these ribbons! But woe to the rival who so contemns me! Only across my body shall he advance to the altar!"

The guests arose; the Notary was in frightful distress; the Chamberlain was making hurried efforts to reconcile the rivals, but Telimena, taking the Count aside, whispered to him:—

"The Notary has not yet taken me as his wife: if you have anything against his doing so, answer me this, and answer me right off, short and to the point: do you love me, have you not yet changed your affections, are you ready to marry me right off; right off, to-day? If you agree, I will give up the Notary."

"O woman beyond my comprehension!" said the Count, "formerly in thy feelings thou wast poetic; but now thou seemest altogether prosaic. What are your marriages except chains that bind only the hands and not the spirit? Believe me, there are proffers of love even without an avowal of it, and there are duties even without an engagement! Two burning hearts at the two ends of the earth converse together like stars with trembling beams. Who knows? Perhaps for this very reason the earth so aspires towards the sun, and is thus ever dear to the moon—that they gaze upon each other eternally, and run towards each other by the shortest path, but can never draw near to each other!"

"Enough of that," she interrupted; "by the grace of God I am no planet, Count! Enough, Count, I am a woman. I know what's coming; make an end to all this chatter. Now I warn you; if you utter one word to break off my marriage, then, as God is in Heaven, I will jump at you with these nails and——"

"I will not disturb your happiness, madam," said the Count, and he turned away his eyes, full of grief and contempt; and, in order to punish his faithless sweetheart, he chose the Chamberlain's daughter as the object of his constant flames.

The Seneschal was eager to make peace between the estranged young men by citing wise examples, so he began to recount the story of the wild boar of the forests of Naliboki, and of the quarrel between Rejtan and the Prince de Nassau;222 but meanwhile the guests had finished eating their ices and were going outside the castle into the yard, to enjoy the fresh air.

There the peasantry were just finishing their banquet, and pitchers of mead were going the rounds; the musicians were already tuning their instruments and summoning people to dance. They looked for Thaddeus, who was standing some distance away and whispering something of pressing moment to his future wife:—

"Sophia, I must take counsel with you in a very important matter; I have already asked my uncle's opinion, and he is not opposed. You know that a considerable portion of the villages that I am to be the owner of, according to the law ought to have descended to you. These serfs are not my subjects, but yours; I should not venture to dispose of their affairs without the consent of their lady. Now, when we ourselves possess once more our beloved Fatherland, shall the peasants by that happy change gain only this much, that they receive another lord? To be sure, they have hitherto been governed with kindness, but after my death God knows to whom I may leave them; I am a soldier, and we both are mortal; I am a man, and I fear my own caprices: I shall act with greater security if I renounce my own authority and give over the fate of the villagers into the protection of the law. Being free ourselves, let us make the villagers free likewise; let us grant them as their own the possession of the land on which they were born, which they have gained by bloody toil, and from which they nourish us all and make us all rich. But I must warn you that the grant of these lands will lessen our income; we must live in moderate circumstances. I from my youth am wonted to a frugal life; but you, Sophia, spring from a mighty line, and have passed your early years in the capital—will you consent to live in a village, far from the great world, like a country girl?"

In reply Zosia said modestly,—

"I am a woman, authority does not belong to me. You will be my husband; I am too young to give advice—whatever you arrange, I agree to with all my heart! If by freeing the villagers you become poorer, then, Thaddeus, you will be all the dearer to my heart. Of my family I know little, and to it I am quite indifferent; I remember only that I was poor and an orphan, and that I was taken in as a daughter by the Soplicas, that I was brought up in their house and married from it. Of the country I am not afraid: if I have lived in a great city, that was long ago; I have forgotten it, and have always loved the country. Believe me, that my hens and roosters have given me more amusement than all those St. Petersburgs, If at times I have longed for amusement and for society, that was from childishness; I know now that the city wearies me. I convinced myself last winter, after a short stay in Wilno, that I was born for a country life; in the midst of gaieties I longed once more for Soplicowo. And I am not afraid of work, for I am young and strong; I know how to walk about the place and wear a bunch of keys: you will see how quickly I shall learn how to manage the household!"

While Zosia was speaking these last words, Gerwazy came up to her, amazed and glum.

"I know it already," he said, "the Judge has already been speaking of this liberty! But I do not understand what that has to do with peasants! I am afraid that there may be something a trifle German in this! Why, liberty is not a peasant's affair, but a gentleman's! To be sure, we are all derived from Adam, but I have heard that the peasants proceed from Ham,223 the Jews from Japhet, and we gentry from Shem; hence we are lords over both, as the elder brothers. But now the parish priest gives us different teaching from the pulpit—he says that so it was under the old law; but that when once Christ our Lord, though he sprang from the blood of kings, was born among Jews in a peasant's stable, from that time on he has made equal all classes of men and brought in peace among them. Well, so be it, since it can't be otherwise! Especially if, as I hear, Your Excellency my Lady Sophia has agreed to everything; it is for you to give orders and for me to obey them: authority belongs to you alone. Only I warn you that we must not grant merely an empty liberty, in words alone, like that under the Muscovites, when the late Pan Karp freed his serfs and the Muscovite starved them to death with a triple tax.224 So it is my advice that according to the ancient custom we make the peasants nobles and proclaim that we bestow on them our own coats of arms. You, my lady, will bestow on some villages the Half-Goat; to others let Pan Soplica give his Star and Crescent.225 Then will even Rembajlo recognize the peasant as his equal, when he beholds him an honourable gentleman, with a coat of arms. The Diet will confirm the act.

"But, sir, do not make anxious your lady wife by saying that the giving up of the lands will make you both so extremely poor; God forbid that I should see the hands of a dignitary's daughter hardened with housewifely labour. There is a way of preventing this: in the castle I know of a certain chest in which lies the table service of the Horeszkos and with it various rings, necklaces, bracelets, rich plumes, caparisons, and marvellous swords—the Pantler's treasures, hidden from plunderers, in the ground; to Pani Sophia, as his heiress, they belong; I have guarded them in the castle like the eyes in my head, keeping them from the Muscovites, and from you, my Soplica friends. I have likewise a good-sized pouch of my own thalers, saved from my earnings, and likewise from the gifts of my masters; I had intended, when the castle should be returned to us, to devote some pennies to the repairing of the walls—to-day it turns out that they will be needed for the new style of farming. And so, Pan Soplica, I am moving to your abode; I shall live with my lady, on her bounty, and shall rock to sleep a third generation of Horeszkos; I will train my lady's child to use the penknife, if it is a son—and she will have a son, for wars are coming on, and in time of war sons are always born."

Hardly had Gerwazy spoken these last words, when Protazy approached with dignified steps; he bowed, and took from the bosom of his kontusz a huge panegyric, two and a half sheets long.226 It had been composed in rime by a young subaltern, who once had been a famous writer of odes in the capital; he had later donned a uniform, but, retaining even in the army his devotion to letters, he still continued to make verses. The Apparitor read aloud full three hundred of them; at last, when he came to the place:—

Thou whose fair eyes Rouse in us painful joys and blissful sighs; When on Bellona's ranks thy glance descends, All spears are broken and each buckler bends: To-day soft Hymen conquers cruel Mars; Thy gentle hand the hissing serpents tears } From Discord's hydra front, emblem of dreadful wars— }

Thaddeus and Sophia began to clap vigorously, as if in applause, but really because they did not wish to hear further. Now at the Judge's bidding the parish priest mounted the table and proclaimed Thaddeus's determination to the villagers.

Hardly had the peasants heard this news, when they leapt towards their young master and fell at the feet of their lady. "The health of our masters!" they shouted with tears, and Thaddeus shouted, "The health of our fellow citizens, free Poles, our equals!" "I propose the health of the common people!" said Dombrowski—the people shouted: "Long live the generals, vivat the army, vivat the people, vivat all classes!" With a thousand voices, one health thundered after another.

Buchmann alone did not deign to share in the general joy; he praised the project, but would have preferred to change it slightly, and first of all to appoint a legal commission, which should—but the shortness of the time prevented them from adopting Buchmann's advice, for in the yard of the castle the officers and ladies, the privates and the village girls were already standing in couples: "the polonaise!" they all shouted with one breath. The officers were bringing up the army musicians, but the Judge whispered in the General's ear:—

"Pray give orders for the band to restrain itself for a while longer. You know that to-day sees the betrothal of my nephew, and it is the ancient custom of our family to celebrate betrothals and marriages with village music. Look, there stand the player of the dulcimer, the fiddler, and the bagpiper, all worthy musicians—already the fiddler is making mouths, and the bagpiper is bowing and begging with his eyes that I will have them begin—the poor fellows will weep. The common folk will not know how to skip to other music; so let them begin and let the folk have their fun; afterwards we will listen to your excellent band."

He made a sign. The fiddler tucked up the sleeve of his coat, squeezed tightly the finger board, rested his chin on the tailpiece, and sent his bow over the fiddle like a race horse. At this signal, the bagpipers, who were standing close by, blew into their sacks and filled their cheeks with breath, making a quick motion with their arms as though flapping their wings; you might have thought that the pair would fly off on the breeze, like the chubby children of Boreas. But there was no dulcimer.

There were many players of the dulcimer, but none of them dared to perform in Jankiel's presence. (Jankiel had been spending the whole winter no one knows where; now he had suddenly made his appearance along with the General Staff.) Everybody knew that no one could compare with him in playing that instrument, either in skill, taste, or talent. They begged him to play and offered him the dulcimer; the Jew refused, saying that his hands had grown stiff, that he was out of practice, that he did not dare to, that he was embarrassed by the men of high station; with many a bow he was stealing away. When Zosia saw this, she ran up, and with one white hand proffered him the hammers with which the master was wont to sound the strings; with the other hand she stroked the old man's grey beard, and said with a curtsy:—

"Jankiel, be so good; you see this is my betrothal; play for me, Jankiel. Haven't you often promised to play at my wedding?"

Jankiel, who was beyond measure fond of Zosia, nodded his beard as a sign that he did not refuse. So they led him into the centre of the company and put his instrument on his knees; he gazed on it with delight and pride, like a veteran called back to active service, when his grandsons take down from the wall his heavy sword: the old man laughs, though it is long since he has had a sword in his hand, for he feels that his hand will not yet betray the weapon.

Meanwhile two of his pupils were kneeling by the dulcimer, tuning the strings afresh and twanging them as a test of their work. Jankiel with half-closed eyes sat silent and held the hammers motionless in his fingers.

He lowered them, at first beating a triumphal measure; then he smote the strings more briskly, as with a torrent of rain: all were amazed, but that was only a test, for he suddenly broke off and lifted both hammers aloft.

He played anew; now the strings trembled with motions as light as though the wing of a fly were sounding on the string, giving forth a gentle, hardly audible buzzing. The master fixed his gaze on the sky, awaiting inspiration; he looked down and surveyed the instrument with a haughty eye, he raised his hands and lowered them together, and smote with both hammers at once; the auditors were amazed.—

All at once from many strings there burst forth a sound as though a whole janissaries' band had become vocal with bells and cymbals and drums.227 The Polonaise of the Third of May228 thundered forth! The rippling notes breathed of joy, they poured joy into one's ears; the girls wanted to dance and the boys could not stand still—but the notes carried the thoughts of the old men back into the past, to those happy years when the Senate and the House of Deputies, after that great day of the Third of May, celebrated in the assembly hall the reconciliation of King and Nation; when they danced and sang, "Vivat our beloved King, vivat the Diet, vivat the people, vivat all classes!"

The master kept quickening the time and playing with greater power, but suddenly he struck a false chord like the hiss of a snake, like the grating of iron on glass—it sent a shudder through every one, and mingled with the general gaiety an ill-omened foreboding. Disturbed and alarmed, the hearers wondered whether the instrument might not be out of tune, or the musician be making a blunder. Such a master had not blundered! He purposely kept touching that traitorous string and breaking up the melody, striking louder and louder that angry chord, confederated against the harmony of the tones; at last the Warden understood the master, covered his face in his hands, and cried, "I know, I know those notes; that is Targowica!" And suddenly the ill-omened string broke with a hiss; the musician rushed to the treble notes, broke up and confused the measure, abandoned the treble notes, and hurried his hammers to the bass strings.

One could hear louder and louder a thousand noises, measured marching, war, an attack, a storm; one could hear the reports of guns, the groans of children, the weeping of mothers. So finely did the wonderful master render the horrors of a storm that the village girls trembled, calling to mind with tears of grief the Massacre of Praga,229 which they knew from song and story; they were glad when finally the master thundered with all the strings at once, and choked the outcries as though he had crushed them into the earth.

Hardly did the hearers have time to recover from their amazement, when once more the music changed: at first there were once more light and gentle hummings; a few thin strings complained together, like flies striving to free themselves from the spider's web. But more and more strings joined them; now the scattered tones were blended and legions of chords were united; now they advanced measuredly with harmonious notes, forming the mourrlful melody of that famous song of the wandering soldier who travels through woods and through forests, ofttimes fainting with woe and with hunger: at last he falls at the feet of his faithful steed, and the steed with his foot digs a grave for him. A poor old song, yet very dear to the Polish troops! The soldiers recognized it, and the privates crowded about the master; they hearkened, and they remembered that dreadful season when over the grave of their country they had sung this song and departed for the ends of the earth; they called to mind their long years of wandering, over lands and seas, over frosts and burning sands, amid foreign peoples, where often in camp they had been cheered and heartened by this folk song. So thinking, they sadly bowed their heads!

But they raised them straightway, for the master was playing stronger and higher notes; he changed his measure, and proclaimed something quite different from what had preceded. Once more he looked down and measured the strings with his eye; he joined his hands and smote with the two hammers in unison: the blow was so artistic, so powerful, that the strings rang like brazen trumpets, and from the trumpets a well-known song floated to the heavens, a triumphal march, "Poland has not yet perished; march, Dombrowski, to Poland!"—And all clapped their hands, and all shouted in chorus, "March, Dombrowski!"

The musician seemed amazed at his own song; he dropped the hammers from his hands and raised his arms aloft; his fox-skin cap dropped from his head to his shoulders; his uplifted beard waved majestically; his cheeks glowed with a strange flush; in his glance, full of spirit, shone the lire of youth. At last, when the old man turned his eyes on Dombrowski, he covered them with his hands, and from under his hands gushed a stream of tears.

"General," said he, "long has our Lithuania awaited thee—long, even as we Jews have awaited the Messiah; of thee in olden times minstrels prophesied among the folk; thy coming was heralded by a marvel in the sky. Live and wage war, O thou our—"

As he spoke, he sobbed; the honest Jew loved his country like a Pole! Dombrowski extended his hand to him and thanked him; Jankiel, doffing his cap, kissed the leader's hand.

It was time to begin the polanaise.—The Chamberlain stepped forward, and, lightly throwing back the flowing sleeves of his kontusz and twirling his mustache, he offered his arm to Zosia; with a polite bow he invited her to lead off in the first couple. Behind the Chamberlain a long line of couples formed; the signal was given and the dance began—he was its leader.

Over the greensward glittered his crimson boots, the light gleamed from his sabre and his rich girdle shone; he advanced slowly, with seeming carelessness—yet in every step and every motion one could read the feelings and the thoughts of the dancer. He stopped, as if he wished to question his lady; he bent his head down towards her as if wishing to whisper in her ear; the lady averted her head, was bashful, would not listen; he doffed his white cap and bowed humbly; the lady deigned to gaze upon him, but still kept a stubborn silence; he slackened his pace, followed her glances with his eyes, and at last he laughed.—Happy in her reply, he advanced more quickly, gazing down at his rivals; now he hung his white cap with its heron's plumes over his brow, now he shook it above his brow; at last he cocked it over his ear and twirled his mustache. He strode on; all felt envious of him and pressed upon him in pursuit; he would have been glad to steal away from the throng with his lady; at times he stood still, courteously raised his hand, and humbly begged them to pass by; sometimes he meditated withdrawing adroitly to one side; he often changed his course, and would have been glad to elude his comrades, but they importunately followed him with swift steps, and encircled him from all sides in the evolutions of the dance: so he grew angry, and laid his right hand on his sword hilt, as if to say: "I care not for you; woe to those who are jealous of me!" He turned about with a haughty brow and with a challenge in his eye, and made straight for the throng; the throng of dancers did not dare withstand him, but retired from his path—and, changing their formation, they started again in pursuit of him.—

Cries rang out on all sides: "Ah, perhaps he is the last—watch, watch, you young men—perhaps he is the last who can lead the polonaise in such fashion!" And the couples followed one another merrily and uproariously; the circle would disperse and then contract once more! As when an immense serpent twines into a thousand folds, so there was seen a perpetual change amid the gay, parti-coloured garments of the ladies, the gentlemen, and the soldiers, like glittering scales gilded by the beams of the western sun and relieved against the dark pillows of turf. Brisk was the dance and loud the music, the applause, and the drinking of healths.

Corporal Buzzard Dobrzynski alone neither listened to the band, nor danced, nor made him merry; with his hands behind him he stood glum and sullen and called to mind his old-time wooing of Zosia; how he had loved to bring her flowers, to plait little baskets, to gather birds' nests, to make little earrings. Ungrateful girl! Though he had wasted upon her so many lovely gifts, though she had fled from him, though his father had forbidden him, yet how many times he had sat on the wall just to see her through the window, and had stolen into the hemp in order to watch how she tended her little flower garden, picked cucumbers, or fed the roosters! Ungrateful girl! He drooped his head; finally he whistled a mazurka; then he jammed his casque down over his ears and went to the camp, where the sentinels were standing by the cannon: there, to distract his mind, he began a game of cribbage with the private soldiers, and sweetened his sorrow with the cup. Such was the constancy of Dobrzynski to Zosia.

Zosia was dancing merrily: but, though she was in the first couple, from a distance she could hardly be seen; on the broad surface of the turf-spread court, in her green gown and decked with garlands and with flowery wreaths, she circled amid the grasses and flowers unseen in her flight, guiding the dance as an angel guides the motion of the stars by night: you could guess where she was, for towards her all eyes were turned and all arms stretched out; towards her the tumult pressed. In vain did the Chamberlain strive to remain by her side; his envious rivals had already pressed him out of the first couple: nor did the happy Dombrowski long enjoy his triumph; he yielded her to a second, but a third was already hastening up; and he, too, at once pressed aside, departed without hope. At last Zosia, by this time wearied, met Thaddeus as she passed down the line; and, fearing further change, and wishing to remain with him, she brought the dance to an end. She went to the table to pour wine for the guests.

The sun was already setting, the evening was warm and quiet; the circle of the heavens, here and there strewn with little clouds, was azure on high, but rosy in the west; the little clouds foretold fine weather, being light and shining—here like flocks of sheep sleeping on the greensward, there of somewhat smaller size, like coveys of teal. In the west was a cloud in shape like the drapery curtains of a couch, transparent and with many folds, pearly at the summit, gilded on the margin, purple in the centre; it still burned and glowed with the western gleams; at last it slowly turned yellow, then pale and grey; the sun dropped its head, drew the cloud about it, and sighing a single time with a warm breath—it fell asleep.230

But the gentlefolk continued to drink and to propose the healths of Napoleon, the Generals, Thaddeus, and Zosia; finally of all three betrothed pairs in turn, of all the guests present with them, of all those that had been invited, of all the friends that any one alive could remember, and of all the dead whose memory had remained holy.

And I was there among the guests, and there drank wine and mead; And what I saw and heard I wrote, that all of you might read.231


[Such of the following notes as are not enclosed in brackets are by Mickiewicz himself. They include the entire commentary that the poet published with Pan Tadeusz. The other notes are either by the translator or culled from the following books or suggested by them:—

Mickiewicz, Pisma, wyd. Kallenbach (Brody, 1911), tom v. (This includes a "glossary" to Pan Tadeusz by Franciszek Jerzy Jaroszynski.)

Mickiewicz, Master Thaddeus; or, The Last Foray in Lithuania; translated by Maude Ashurst Biggs, with notes by the translator and Edmond S. Naganowski (London, 1885).

Mickiewicz, OEuvres poetiques completes, trad. Christien Ostrowski, ed. 4 (Paris, 1859).

Mickiewicz, Herr Thaddaeus, uebersetzt von Siegfried Lipiner, ed. 2 (Leipzig, 1898).

It was difficult to draw the line between direct quotation and mere utilization of material. In particular, the translator's indebtedness to Jaroszynski is much greater than the quotation marks here used would indicate.]


[The following summary of a few important events in Polish history, and of some of the leading features of Polish society and institutions, may be of assistance to readers of Pan Tadeusz.

The Polish Commonwealth was formed by the union of two separate states, Poland proper on the west, with a population predominantly Polish, and Lithuania on the east, with a population Lithuanian in the north (Lithuania proper) and Russian in the rest of its territory. After being long at odds with each other and with the German Knights of the Cross, these two states were united in 1386 by the marriage of Queen Jadwiga of Poland to the heathen Prince Jagiello of Lithuania, who thereupon accepted Christianity (p. 288). They remained under the dominion of the Jagiellos until the last of the male line of that house, Zygmunt August (compare note 64), died childless in 1572, and the throne became elective. The union was at first very loose, depending only on the person of the sovereign, but it became constantly closer, until in 1569 the two states agreed to have a common Diet, sitting at Warsaw. Lithuania retained until the last, however, its separate officials, treasury, and army (compare pp. 171 and 310, and note 29). A constant stream of colonisation flowed east from Poland (called the Crown or the Kingdom) into Lithuania (p. 168), until the gentry of that country became Polish, while the peasantry remained either Lithuanian or Russian.

In the Polish Commonwealth the towns were of small importance; their inhabitants, though personally free, had almost no political rights. The country population was divided into the szlachta, or freemen, who fought the battles of the country and in whom was vested the entire political power, and the chlopi, or peasants, who were serfs, and cultivated the estates of the szlachta. The szlachta, who formed about a tenth of the population of the country, were legally all of equal rank (p. 100); as a matter of fact, differences of property created great social and even (in practice) political distinctions between them. Some of them, possessed of mere patches of land, lived a life little different from that of the peasants (p. 167). Still others entirely lost their land and became attached, even as menial servants, to the households of their richer neighbours. (Thus Gerwazy was a servant, though not quite a menial, of the Pantler.) The great land owners (or magnates), by gathering around them hordes of gentle-born, landless dependents, were able to support private armies, and to exercise a preponderating influence on the affairs of the country. Hence the Constitution of May 3, 1791, excluded szlachta not holding land from the right to vote.—In English works on Poland the words szlachta and szlachcic have usually been rendered as nobility and noble; in the present volume the terms gentry and gentleman are used, which, though far from satisfactory, are at all events somewhat less misleading.

The adoption of the elective instead of the hereditary principle in Poland after the extinction of the Jagiello line led to frequent civil wars, and was one cause of the country's decline in power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The King was elected for life by the whole body of the gentry, and every gentleman was theoretically eligible to the crown (p. 264). Poland's peculiar parliamentary system also contributed to its decay. Laws were made by a Diet of which the upper house, or Senate, was formed by the bishops, wojewodas (see note 26), castellans (see note 38), and ministers, while the lower house was composed of deputies elected by district diets (p. 303). A unanimous vote was required on all measures; more than this, any one deputy by his veto could dissolve the Diet, even in the last moments of its session, and undo all the work previously accomplished. This law of the liberum veto, and the elective nature of the royal office, offered countless opportunities for foreign nations to interfere in the affairs of the Commonwealth. The district diets, besides electing deputies to the General Diet, instructed them how to vote, and chose local officials (p. 75); they also were bound by the rule of the liberum veto (pp. 182, 304). Under such a constitution the only practical means of reform was through armed rebellion. Hence rebellions, or confederacies, were legalised in Poland; a number of citizens might combine together, choose a marshal (pp. 180, 182, 285), and seek to overthrow the established order; in case of success they became the government, in case of failure they were not liable to punishment. A diet held by a confederacy was not subject to the liberum veto, but adopted decisions by a majority vote.

In the seventeenth century, not to speak of civil troubles, Poland was devastated by disastrous wars, in particular with the Cossacks and with the Swedes (1655-60; pp. 169, 302). The great victory of Jan Sobieski, the warrior king, over the Turks in 1683, when he went to the relief of Vienna, was the last military triumph of old Poland (pp. 167, 170, 200, 201).

During the eighteenth century Poland sank to a condition of disgraceful dependence on Russia. In 1764 Catharine II. caused her favourite, Stanislaw Poniatowski, to be elected King. In 1768 Polish patriots, in a convulsive effort to throw off the Russian ascendancy, organised the Confederacy of Bar, which maintained a desperate struggle for four years. The Confederacy was crushed by Russia, and soon after its defeat followed the first partition of Poland (1772), by which Russia received a large share of the former Lithuanian provinces. A Diet, convoked under the forms of a confederacy, in order to avoid dissolution by the liberum veto, was obliged to sanction this partition. The desperate opposition of Rejtan, the deputy from the district of Nowogrodek (that is, from the region of which Mickiewicz was a native), Korsak, and other patriots, was of no avail (pp. 3, 139, 140).

After the disaster of the first partition the patriotic party in Poland made efforts to save their country, which culminated in the Four Years' Diet (1788-92). The labours of this Diet, which again was convoked under the forms of a confederacy, culminated in the Constitution of May 3, 1791. This measure, which was drawn up in secret and rushed through the Diet at a time when most of its probable opponents were absent, transformed Poland from an aristocratic republic into a constitutional hereditary monarchy, abolished the liberum veto, and secured religious toleration. Amid great enthusiasm the King took the oath to the new order of government (p. 324).

In the next year, however, a group of upholders of the old anarchic state of affairs, one of whose leaders was Ksawery Branicki (p. 200), formed with the support of Russia a confederacy which was proclaimed at Targowica (pp. 274, 324), a small town in the Ukraine, and the object of which was the undoing of the work of the Four Years' Diet. The Russian armies entered the country and overcame the resistance of the Polish troops, two of the foremost leaders of which were Prince Joseph Poniatowski, the nephew of the King, and Kosciuszko. Then followed the second partition of Poland (1793), by which the territory of the Commonwealth was reduced to about one third of its original dimensions. In the next year occurred a popular revolt, of which Kosciuszko assumed the leadership, and which, despite a brilliant victory at Raclawice (p. 252), near Cracow, and some other successes, was soon quelled by the allied powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. In a battle at Maciejowice (p. 252) Kosciuszko was defeated, and, severely wounded, was himself taken prisoner by the Russians. The final episode of the war was the fall of Warsaw. Suvorov, the Russian commander, captured by storm Praga, a suburb of the city, and gave over its inhabitants to massacre (pp. 3, 324). In the following year, 1795, the remnant of the Polish kingdom was divided among the three allies.

Even now not all the Poles despaired of their country's fate. The idea arose of transferring to France the headquarters of Polish interests and of forming bodies of Polish troops that should fight for France against the common enemies of France and Poland and thereby prepare themselves for service in the restoration of Poland. The leader of this movement, and the most noted general of the new Polish Legions, was Jan Henryk Dombrowski, who had won fame in the war of 1794. The Legions' first field of activity was in northern Italy, where they supported the struggle of Lombardy for independence. Here arose (1797) the famous Song of the Legions, "Poland has not yet perished, while we still live" (pp. 3, 97, 325, 326). In the next year (1798) Dombrowski aided the French in the capture of Rome, and Kniaziewicz was put in command of the garrison on the Capitol (p. 31). In 1800 a new Polish force won laurels at Marengo and Hohenlinden (p. 286). In return for these services Bonaparte did nothing whatever for the restoration of Poland. The legions were sent oversea to reduce the negro insurrection in the island of San Domingo, where the greater part of them perished (1803; p. 31).

In 1806, after his victory at Jena (p. 176), Napoleon summoned the Poles to his standards. A large force was organised, under the command of Prince Joseph Poniatowski and Dombrowski. In the succeeding war, which includes the siege and capture of Dantzic (p. 116) and the battle of Preussisch-Eylau (p. 251),

Napoleon decisively defeated the Russians at Friedland (1807) and soon after concluded the Peace of Tilsit (p. 161). By this treaty there was created, out of a portion of the Polish lands received by Prussia at the different partitions, a new state, known as the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and ruled by the King of Saxony as a constitutional monarch under the protection of Napoleon. The Niemen divided this new state from the portion of Poland under the rule of Russia (pp. 31, 255).

The new Grand Duchy had to furnish troops in aid of Napoleon. In 1808 the Polish light cavalry, led by Kozietulski, won glory by the capture of Somosierra, a defile leading to Madrid (p. 286).

In 1809, after a war with Austria, in which he received valuable aid from the Poles, Napoleon increased the Grand Duchy of Warsaw by lands taken from that country. Tardy and ungenerous though his action had been, he had thus done something to justify the hopes of the Poles that he would one day reconstitute their Commonwealth as a whole. Hence it will be clear with what enthusiasm Poland, and still more Lithuania, awaited the outcome of a great war between Napoleon and Russia, such as was evidently approaching in the year 1811. The Poles believed Napoleon to be unconquerable, and trusted that when he had defeated Russia he would proclaim the reunion of Lithuania with the Grand Duchy of Warsaw; then Poland would live once more (pp. 160, 277).

The actual outcome of the war was a crushing blow to Polish hopes. Napoleon's invasion of Russia resulted in his utter defeat; after his flight home his army was defeated at Leipzig (1813), where Prince Joseph Poniatowski met his death. Two years later, at the Congress of Vienna, the greater portion of Poland was given over to Russia, to be governed as a constitutional state. Such it remained, in name at least, until the desperate insurrection of 1831, the failure of which ended all pretence of Polish self-government under Russian rule. To drown the grief and despair with which that tragedy had filled his mind Mickiewicz turned back in the next year (when he began Pan Tadeusz) to the scenes of his childhood, to the days full of hope and joyful expectation that had preceded Napoleon's attack on Russia.]

1 In the time of the Polish Commonwealth the carrying out of judicial decrees was very difficult, in a country where the executive authorities had almost no police at their disposal, and where powerful citizens maintained household regiments, some of them, for example the Princes Radziwill, even armies of several thousand. So the plaintiff who had obtained a verdict in his favour had to apply for its execution to the knightly order, that is to the gentry, with whom rested also the executive power. Armed kinsmen, friends, and neighbours set out, verdict in hand, in company with the apparitor, and gained possession, often not without bloodshed, of the goods adjudged to the plaintiff, which the apparitor legally made over or gave into his possession. Such an armed execution of a verdict was called a zajazd [foray]. In ancient times, while laws were respected, even the most powerful magnates did not dare to resist judicial decrees, armed attacks rarely took place, and violence almost never went unpunished. Well known in history is the sad end of Prince Wasil Sanguszko, and of Stadnicki, called the Devil.—The corruption of public morals in the Commonwealth increased the number of forays, which continually disturbed the peace of Lithuania. [The rendering of zajazd by foray is of course inexact and conventional; but the translator did not wish to use the Polish word and could find no better English equivalent.]

2 Every one in Poland knows of the miraculous image of Our Lady at Jasna Gora in Czenstochowa. In Lithuania there are images of Our Lady, famed for miracles, at the Ostra [Pointed] Gate in Wilno, the Castle in Nowogrodek, and at Zyrowiec and Boruny.

3 [See p. 332.]

4 [Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Kosciuszko (1746-1817). This most famous Polish patriot was a native of the same portion of Lithuania as Mickiewicz. He early emigrated to America and served with distinction in the Revolutionary War. On his later career see p. 334. After the failure of the insurrection of 1794 Kosciuszko was imprisoned for two years in St. Petersburg; in 1796, on the death of Catharine, he was released by Paul. He thereafter lived in retirement, first in France and then in Switzerland, resisting all the attempts of Napoleon to draw him into his service. At the Congress of Vienna he made fruitless efforts in behalf of Poland. His memory is probably more reverenced by the Polish people than that of any other man. His remains rest in the cathedral at Cracow, and on the outskirts of the city is a mound of earth 150 feet high raised as a monument to him.]

5 [Czamarka (diminutive of czamara) in the original; see note 82.]

6 [See p. 333. Rejtan had taken part in the Confederacy of Bar. Owing to the disasters to Poland he lost his reason, and in 1780 he killed himself.]

7 [A soldier and poet, of a Wilno family. As a colonel of engineers he fought in the war of 1792. He prepared and led the insurrection in Wilno in 1794, and perished at the siege of Praga in the same year.]

8 [See p. 333. Korsak was a deputy to the Four Years' Diet, and a leader in Kosciuszko's insurrection. He perished by the side of Jasinski.]

9 The Russian government in conquered countries never immediately overthrows their laws and civil institutions, but by its edicts it slowly undermines and saps them. For example, in Little Russia the Lithuanian Statute, modified by edicts, was maintained until the most recent times. Lithuania was allowed to retain its ancient organisation of civil and criminal courts. So, as of old, rural and town judges are elected in the districts, and superior judges in the provinces. But since there is an appeal to St. Petersburg, to many institutions of various rank, the local courts are left with hardly a shadow of their traditional dignity.

10 The Wojski (tribunus) was once an officer charged with the protection of the wives and children of the gentry during the time of service of the general militia. But this office without duties long ago became merely titular. In Lithuania there is a custom of giving by courtesy to respected persons some ancient title, which becomes legalised by usage. For instance, the neighbours call one of their friends Quartermaster, Pantler, or Cup-bearer, at first only in conversation and in correspondence, but later even in official documents. The Russian government has forbidden such titles, and would like to cover them with ridicule and to introduce in their place the system of titles based on the ranks in its own hierarchy, to which the Lithuanians still have great repugnance. [The present translator has followed Ostrowski's example in rendering wojski as seneschal, "ne pouvant mieux faire."]

11 [See p. 334 and note 176.]

12 The Chamberlain, once a noted and dignified official, Princeps Nobilitatis, under the Russian government has become merely a titular dignitary. Formerly he was still judge of boundary disputes, but he finally lost even that part of his jurisdiction. Now he occasionally takes the place of the Marshal, and appoints the komomicy or district surveyors.

13 ["The outer garment of the ancient Polish costume, a sort of loose frock or coat, falling below the knees, and secured by a girdle round the waist. The effect was remarkably picturesque and graceful."—M. A. Biggs. A characteristic feature of the kontusz was the turned-back upper false sleeves.]

14 The Apparitor (wozny) or Bailiff, who was chosen from among the landed gentry by the decree of a tribunal or court, carried summonses, proclaimed persons in legal possession of property adjudged to them, made inquests, called cases on the court's calendar, etc. Usually this office was assigned to one of the minor gentry.

15 [See p. 334 and note 176.]

16 [A Lithuanian dish of beet leaves and cream, served with ice. Mickiewicz later repeats this passage in true Homeric fashion: see pp. 85, 133.]

17 [An allusion to a tale told by Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 23.]

18 The buzzard is a bird resembling a hawk. It is well known how a flock of small birds, particularly swallows, will pursue a hawk. Hence the proverb, to fly as after a buzzard.

19 [The reference is to the plica polonica, a disease of the hair in which it becomes matted and twisted together. It is common in certain parts of Poland, as its name indicates.]

20 [Robak is the Polish word for worm.]

21 [Plat is the Russian word for rascal. Compare p. 235.]

22 Among the Russian peasantry numerous stories are current in regard to the incantations of Bonaparte and Suvorov.

23 The assessors form the rural police of a district. According to the edicts, they are in part elected by the citizens, in part appointed by the government; these last are called the crown assessors. Judges of appeal are also called assessors, but there is no reference to them here.

24 One class of notaries (rejenci aktowi) have charge of certain government bureaus; others (rejenci dekretowi) record verdicts: all are appointed by the clerks of the courts.

25 [See p. 333.]

26 Joseph, Count Niesiolowski, the last Wojewoda of Nowogrodek, was president of the revolutionary government during Jasinski's insurrection. [A wojewoda was the chief dignitary of a Polish province or wojewodeship. The office had very slight duties, and was rather a title of distinction than an administrative position. It was particularly valued because it conferred a seat in the Senate.]

27 Jerzy Bialopiotrowicz, the last Secretary of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, took an active part in the Lithuanian insurrection under Jasinski. He was judge of the state prisoners at Wilno. He was a man highly honoured in Lithuania for his virtues and his patriotism.

28 [According to a mythical story current in Poland, three brothers, Lech, Czech, and Rus, were the founders of the Polish, Bohemian, and Russian nations. Compare p. 289.]

29 At Sluck there was a famous factory for making gold brocade and massive belts, which supplied all Poland. It was perfected by the efforts of Tyzenhaus. ["Antoni Tyzenhaus, 1733-85, first Grand Secretary, later Under-Court-Treasurer of Lithuania, a man who did much for the elevation of the economic condition and of the state of education in Lithuania, for a long time an unwavering partisan of King Stanislaw August."—Jaroszynski. Compare p. 173.]

30 [In the original, Golden Altar, a title of numerous Polish books of devotion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.]

31 The Court Calendar (Trybunalska Wokanda) was a long, narrow little book, in which were entered the names of the parties to suits in the order of the defendants. Every advocate and apparitor had to own such a calendar.

32 [The reference is of course to the golden eagles of Napoleon joined with the silver eagles of Poland. The Polish coat-of-arms shows a white eagle on a red field.]

33 [Jan Henryk Dombrowski (1755-1818): see p. 334. He took part in almost all the wars of Napoleon; in 1812 he was stationed in White Russia and had an active share in the campaign only towards its close.]

34 General Kniaziewicz, as messenger of the Italian army, delivered to the Directory the captured standards. [Otton-Karol Kniaziewicz (1762-1842). He, like Dombrowski, had taken part in Kosciuszko's insurrection.]

35 Prince Jablonowski, in command of the Legion of the Danube, died in San Domingo, and almost all his legion perished there. Among the Polish emigrants there are a few veterans who survived that unhappy expedition, among others General Malachowski. [see p. 281 and note 184.]

36 An organ was ordinarily set in the gallery of the old castles.

37 ["The health of the Primate of Poland (Archbishop of Gnesen) was drunk after that of the King, because he was the highest dignitary in the Kingdom. Between the death of one sovereign and [the] election of his successor, he was Interrex."—M. A. Biggs.]

38 [The office of castellan was next in dignity to that of wojewoda; except for some very slight military duties the post was purely titular, but it was prized because it entitled the holder to a seat in the Senate.]

39 Black soup, served at table to a young man suing for a young woman's hand, signified a refusal. [Naganowski states that it is "a thickish soup, made chiefly of the blood of a duck or goose, vinegar, and spice."]

40 [See p. 333.]

41 [The bracketed passage was inserted by the translator.]

42 These barges (wiciny) are large boats on the Niemen, with which the Lithuanians carry on trade with the Prussians, freighting grain down the river and receiving colonial wares in return for it.

43 [Zrazy in the original. "A national dish, prepared as follows: Take good and tender beef, mince it fine, add a little butter, spice, onions, salt, pepper, egg, bread-crumbs, make small pats or cakes of the compound; fried, boiled, or stewed."—M. A. Biggs.]

44 [Son of a bitch.]

45 [Goat-strangler.]

46 [The north-western part of old Poland, including the portion now incorporated in Prussia.]

47 Prince Dominik Radziwill, a great lover of hunting, emigrated to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and equipped at his own cost a regiment of cavalry, which he commanded in person. He died in France. With him became extinct the male line of the Princes of Olyka and Nieswiez, the most powerful lords in Poland and in all probability in Europe.

48 Mejen distinguished himself in the national war under Kosciuszko. Mejen's ramparts are still shown near Wilno.

49 [Kite.]

50 [The translator has omitted the phrase, "called little grand-mothers."]

51 [The translation of this poem by Miss M. A. Biggs contains a note "supplied by Dr. Rostafinski of Cracow" as to the scientific names of the different mushrooms mentioned by Mickiewicz.

(1) "Lisica [fox-mushroom]. Cantarellus cibarius(Chantarelle).

(2) Borowik [pine-lover]. Boletus edulis (called in Lithuania Bovinus). (3) Rydz [orange-agaric]. Agaricus deliciosus .

(4) Muchomor [fly-bane]. Amanita muscaria, or Agaricus muscarius (fly-agaric). This is the Siberian fungus, with remarkable intoxicating properties.

(5) Surojadki [leaf-mushrooms]. A species of the Russula. Those quoted by Mickiewicz seem to be Russula nitida, R. alutacea, and R. emetica.

(6) Kozlak. Two species of Boletus; one B. luteus, the other (mentioned in the text) B. luridus {poisonous).

(7) Bielaki [whities], Agaricus piperatus and Agaricus vellereus.

(8) Purchawki [puffball]. Lycoperdon bovista.

(9) Lejki [funnels]. The word does not signify any particular sort of fungus; it may be that the poet created the name a forma. The shape suggests Agaricus chloroides."]

52 A well-known Lithuanian folk-song tells of the mushrooms marching to war under the lead of the pine-lover. In this song the qualities of the edible mushrooms are described.

53 [Zosia is the diminutive of Zofia (Sophia).]

54 [Telimena's last words are taken almost literally from a popular song, Serce nie sluga.]

55 [The Breughels were a famous family of Dutch painters of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Pieter had a bent towards diabolic scenes, whence he received the title "hell Breughel" (Van der Helle); Jan, his younger brother, was a master in the painting of landscapes, flowers, flies, etc. Apparently the Count's learning did not extend to the father of these two brothers, who was also a famous painter.]

56 A noted genre painter; some years before his death he began to paint landscapes. He died recently in St. Petersburg.

57 [The Polish points the contrast by a rime: "the uproar was not funereal, but dinnerial."]

58 [This translation of the Polish matecznik is of course purely conventional: compare pp. 105-107.]

59 The breed of small, strong English dogs, called bulldogs [literally, leeches], is used for hunting big game, particularly bears.

60 The sprawnik or kapitan sprawnik is the chief of the rural police. The strapczy is a sort of government attorney. These two officials, who have frequent opportunities for misusing their authority, are greatly hated by the people generally. [These offices, and the names of them, are Russian, not Polish. Strapczyna would be the name given to the wife of a strapczy.]

61 [The paragraph here inclosed in brackets is not found in the editions of Pan Tadeusz published during the lifetime of Mickiewicz. It occurs in his manuscript, among many other passages that he did not choose to print; in the edition of 1858 it was added to the printed text. It has been included here, though with some hesitation, because the succeeding narrative did not seem quite clear without it. It seemed needless to record other variant readings, even in these notes; they are of little interest except to special students of the work of Mickiewicz.]

62 According to the tradition, Grand Prince Giedymin had a dream on the mountain of Ponary of an iron wolf, and by the counsel of the wajdelota [bard] Lizdejko founded the city of Wilno.

63 [Witenes and Mindowe (also called Mendog) were early princes of Lithuania. Giedymin (died 1341) was the founder of the power of that nation, and the father of Olgierd and Kiejstut. One son of Kiejstut was Witold, famous as a warrior and prince. One son of Olgierd was Jagiello: see p. 332. Lizdejko is said to have been the last high priest of heathen Lithuania.]

64 Zygmunt August [1548-72] was raised to the throne of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania according to the ancient rites; he girt on him the sword and crowned himself with the soft cap (kolpak). He was a great lover of hunting.

65 In the district of Rosieny, on the estate of Paszkiewicz, the Rural Secretary, grew an oak known under the name of Baublis, which was formerly, in pagan times, honoured as a sacred tree. In the interior of this decayed giant Paszkiewicz has founded a cabinet of Lithuanian antiquities.

66 Not far from the parish church of Nowogrodek grew some ancient lindens, many of which were felled about the year 1812.

67 [Jan Kochanowski (1530-84) was the greatest poet of Poland up to the time of Mickiewicz. Czarnolas was his country estate, on which he passed in retirement the closing years of his life. In a famous epigram he tells of the charms of his linden tree:—

"Seat thyself underneath my leaves, O guest, And rest. I promise thee that the sharp-beaming sun Here shall not run, But 'neath the trees spread out a heavy shade: Here always from the fields cool winds have played; Here sparrows and the nightingales have made Charming lament. And all my fragrant flowers their sweets have spent Upon the bees; my master's board is lent That honey's gold. And I with gentle whisperings can fold Sweet sleep upon thee. Yea, 'tis true I bear No apples; yet my Lord speaks me as fair As the most fruitful trees That graced the Gardens of Hesperides."

Translated by Miss H. H. Havermate and G. R. Noyes.]

68 See Goszczynski's poem, The Castle of Kaniow. [This poem, by Seweryn Goszczynski (1803-76) was published in 1828. The reference is probably to the following passage: "Does that prattling oak whisper in his ear sad tales of the disasters of this land, when beneath its sky the gloomy vulture of slaughter extended a dread shadow with bloody wings, and after it streamed clouds of Tatars?"]

69 ["Those used for the candles regularly lit by the Jews on Friday at sunset, to avoid the 'work' of kindling light or fire on the Sabbath."—M. A. Biggs.]

70 Kolomyjkas are Ruthenian songs resembling the Polish mazurkas. [Ostrowski states that these are popular airs that are sung and danced at the same time. Naganowski adds that the first word is derived from the town of Kolomyja in Galicia. Mazurka is "merely the feminine form of Mazur," a Masovian.]

71 [Dombrowski's march, "Poland has not yet perished." Compare pp. 325, 326, 334.]

72 [See note 42.]

73 [The Jews in Poland, though not persecuted, formed a separate class, without share in the government of the country. They were separated from the Poles by religion, customs, and language. Yet instances of intermarriage and assimilation were not uncommon. Compare p. 100.]

74 The pokucie is the place of honour, where formerly the household gods were set, and where still the Russians hang their sacred pictures (ikons). Here a Lithuanian peasant seats any guest whom he desires to honour.

75 [July mead (lipcowy miod) perhaps might better be called linden-flower mead. The Polish name of July, lipiec, is derived from lipa, a linden tree. See the epigram quoted in note 67.]

76 [See note 2. Since Czenstochowa was in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, Robak finds occasion to hint at the reunion of Lithuania and the Kingdom.]

77 [The reference is to the Eastern (Orthodox) Church, the state church of Russia.]

78 [Compare p. 319.]

79 [An old jingle expressing the equality before the law of all members of the Polish gentry.]

80 [Maciej Stryjkowski (1547-83) wrote a famous chronicle that is one of the sources for the early history of Lithuania.

"Polish heraldry is comparatively simple beside that of other countries. The use of family names was unknown till the fifteenth century; before that the different branches of one stock were only recognised by one common escutcheon. One might belong to the stock of the arrow, the two daggers, the horseshoe, the double or triple cross, etc. There were only 540 of these escutcheons for the whole of Poland. A great number of families were grouped together under each one of these signs; we shall often find a man described as being of such and such a crest."—M. A. Biggs.

"It may be added that a wealthy and powerful nobleman often rewarded his retainers and famuli by 'admitting them to his escutcheon,' i.e. obtaining for them a diploma of honour from the King, ratifying the knightly adoption. Hence it is common to hear of the greatest and most ancient Polish families having the same armorial bearings with some very obscure ones."—Naganowski. Compare p. 319.]

81 [See p. 334.]

82 ["The tarataika is species of capote; the czamara a long frock-coat, braided on the back and chest like a huzzar's uniform, and with tight sleeves. The sukmana is a sort of peasant's coat made of cloth, the wearing of which by Kosciuszko indicated his strong democratic tendencies, and sympathy with the lower classes."—M. A. Biggs.]

83 The beaks of large birds of prey become more and more curved with advancing age, and finally the upper part grows so crooked that it closes the bill, and the bird must die of hunger. This popular belief has been accepted by some ornithologists.

84 It is a fact that there is no instance of the skeleton of a dead animal having been found.

85 Birdies (ptaszynki) are guns of small calibre, used with a small bullet. A good marksman with such a fowling-piece can hit a bird on the wing.

86 ["It may be interesting to know that one of the yet surviving friends and schoolfellows of Mickiewicz, Ignatius Domejko, the present Rector of the University of Santiago (Chili), related during his stay in Warsaw last year (1884) that he challenged the young poet, then at Wilno, to find a proper name riming with Domejko. Mickiewicz improvised a verse riming Domejko with Dowejko. It is not, however, quite certain whether there was actually a family of that name."—Naganowski.]

87 Little leaves of gold lie at the bottom of bottles of Dantzic brandy. [The city, formerly under Polish rule, was annexed to Prussia at the time of the Second Partition, 1793.]

88 ["The bigos was not of course prepared then and there on the spot. It is usually made in large quantities, put into barrels, and stored in cellars. The oftener it is heated the more savoury it is."—M. A. Biggs.]

89 [See p. 333.]

90 Queen Dido had a bull's hide cut into strips, and thus enclosed within the circuit of the hide a considerable territory, where she afterwards built Carthage. The Seneschal did not read the description of this event in the Aeneid, but in all probability in the scholiasts' commentaries.

N.B.—Some places in the fourth book are by the hand of Stefan Witwicki.]

91 Once in the Diet the deputy Philip, from the village of Konopie (hemp), obtaining the floor, wandered so far from the subject that he raised a general laugh in the chamber. Hence arose the proverb: "He has bobbed up like Philip from the hemp."

92 [There is here an untranslatable pun in the original; niemiec, the Polish word for German, is derived from niemy, dumb.]

93 [In the original: "And the Word became——" "These words of the Gospel of St. John are often used as an exclamation of astonishment."—M. A. Biggs.]

94 ["Of all spoils the most important were the spolia opima, a term applied to those only which the commander-in-chief of a Roman army stripped in a field of battle from the leader of the foe."—Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities. They were awarded but three or four times in the course of Roman history.]

95 [In the original there is here an internal jingle between klucznik (warden) and puszczyk (screech owl).]

96 [This festival furnished the subject and the title for Mickiewicz's greatest poem, next to Pan Tadeusz. The poet's own explanation of it is in part as follows: "This is the name of a festival still celebrated among the common folk in many districts of Lithuania, Prussia, and Courland. The festival goes back to pagan times, and was formerly called the feast of the goat (koziel), the director of which was the kozlarz, at once priest and poet. At the present time, since the enlightened clergy and landowners have been making efforts to root out a custom accompanied by superstitious practices and often by culpable excesses, the folk celebrate the forefathers secretly in chapels or in empty houses not far from the graveyard. There they ordinarily spread a feast of food, drink, and fruits of various sorts and invoke the spirits of the dead. The folk hold the opinion that by this food and drink and by their songs they bring relief to souls in Purgatory."]

97 [See note 1]

98 [The original here has a delightful pun. Gerwazy misunderstands his lord's high-flown word wassalow (vassals) as wonsalow (mustachioed champions). A long mustache was the dearest adornment of a Polish gentleman; compare Gerwazy's description of Jacek on pages 43 and 115, where wonsal is the title given him in the original.]

99 [The last three names might be translated, Cuttem, Slashem, Whackem.]

100 [The buzdygan or mace was the staff of office of certain subordinate officers in the Polish army, as the bulawa was that of the hetmans or generals. Each was a short rod with a knob at the end, but the knob on the bulawa was round, that on the buzdygan was pear-shaped, with longitudinal notches.]

101 [See note 82.]

102 In Lithuania the name okolica or zascianek is given to a settlement of gentry, to distinguish them from true villages, which are settlements of peasants. ["These zascianki were inhabited by the poorest of the lesser nobility, who were in fact peasants, but possessed of truly Castilian pride. The wearing of a sword being restricted to nobles, it was not unusual to see such zasciankowicze, or peasant nobles, following the plough bare-footed, wearing an old rusty sword hanging at their side by hempen cords."—Naganowski. In this volume hamlet has been arbitrarily chosen as a translation for the name of these villages of gentry.]

103 [See page 334.]

104 Kisiel is a Lithuanian dish, a sort of jelly made of oaten yeast, which is washed with water until all the mealy parts are separated from it: hence the proverb. [The literal translation of the Polish line is simply: "To the Horeszkos he is merely the tenth water on the kisiel."]

105 [See pp. 334, 335.]

106 [See p. 332.]

107 [See p. 335.]

108 [The arms of Lithuania (called the "Pursuit") are a horse-man in full career, with sword uplifted to strike. The Bear is the coat-of-arms of Zmudz, a portion of Lithuania, on the Baltic]

109 [Wilno (Vilna).]

110 [A French statesman and historian, in the years 1810-12 Napoleon's representative at Warsaw.]

111 ["A convicted slanderer was compelled to crawl under the table or bench, and in that position to bark three times like a dog, and pronounce his recantation. Hence the Polish word odszczekac, to bark back, generally used to express recanting."—M. A. Biggs.]

112 After various brawls this man was seized at Minsk, and shot, in accordance with a court decree.

113 When the King was to assemble the general militia, he had a pole set up in each parish with a broom or bundle of twigs tied to the top. This was called sending out the twigs. Every grown man of the knightly order was obliged, under pain of loss of the privileges of gentle birth, to rally at once to the Wojewoda's standard. [The twigs symbolised the King's authority to inflict punishment. The reign of Jan III. Sobieski was 1674-96.]

114 ["The district of Dobrzyn in Masovia, that exclusively Polish region the central point of which is Warsaw. The inhabitants of it are called Masovians; hence this name is also applied to the men of Dobrzyn who emigrated from Masovia to Lithuania."—Lipiner.]

115 [Bartlomiej is the Polish form of Bartholomew; Maciej and Maciek (a diminutive) are variant forms of Matyasz (Matthias).]

116 By-names are really sobriquets.

117 [Krolik, Maciej's nickname, means both rabbit and little king or kinglet.]

118 [See p. 333.]

119 [See note 29.]

120 [Maciej had naturally joined the Confederates of Bar, who opposed the King because of his subserviency to the Russians. "But when the King later declared himself for the patriotic party… it is no wonder that our Maciek took sides with the crown, the power of which then needed strengthening. He supported Tyzenhaus, because of the latter's beneficial activity in the most important direction, that of the economic welfare of the country. After the King's contemptible desertion to the camp of the Confederates of Targowica, all noble and patriotic men in Poland had of course to oppose him. Thus the King, and not Maciek, was the real Cock-on-the-Steeple, and our man of Dobrzyn was really always on the side of those who fought for 'the good of the country.' "—Lipiner.]

121 [The last Under-Treasurer of Lithuania. He took part in Jasinski's insurrection: compare p. 3 and note 7.]

122 Alexander Count Pociej, on his return to Lithuania after the war, assisted those of his fellow-countrymen who were emigrating abroad, and sent considerable sums to the treasury of the Legions.

123 [The opening line of a popular hymn by Franciszek Karpinski (1741-1825).]

124 [This form of greeting is still used by the common people in Poland.]

125 [Joseph Grabowski, a landed proprietor of the Grand Duchy of Posen, was a colonel of the General Staff during the Napoleonic wars, and later played an important part in the public life of the Grand Duchy. At Lukow, near Obiezierz, in 1831, he entertained Mickiewicz and his brother Franciszek.]

126 [See note 46.]

127 [See p. 334.]

128 [A proverbial phrase; compare p. 283.]

129 [Also often called Baptist.]

130 [See note 20.]

131 [See p. 333.]

132 ["The 'contracts' of Kiev and Minsk were famous fairs, held in those cities at stated times, for the conclusion of agreements of all sorts."—Jaroszynski. As these are the only contracts of which Maciej has heard, the word, as used by the eloquent student of Rousseau, naturally puzzles him. (Adapted from Naganowski.)]

133 ["In 1568 a Polish gentleman named Pszonka founded on his estate, Babin, near Lublin, a satiric society, called the Babin Republic. It scourged contemporary manners in a peculiar fashion, sending to every man who became noted for some crime or folly a diploma by virtue of which he was admitted to the 'Republic' and had an office conferred on him. Thus, for example, a quack was appointed physician, a coward general, and a spendthrift steward."—Lipiner.]

134 [See p. 333.]

135 ["Klejnot, here translated jewel, also means escutcheon.]

136 ["The order of the Piarists attained, after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1773, great influence over the education of youth, and initiated, mainly by the efforts of Konarski, an improved system of education. While the Jesuits had laid the main stress upon Latin, the Piarists substituted French as the groundwork of education. This was an improvement upon the previous system, but it had the effect of inducing an aping of French manners and customs in literature and social life, till the reaction in favour of Polish nationality."—M. A. Biggs (slightly altered).]

137 [Literally, "of Marymont flour." Marymont is a village near Warsaw, which is (or was) famous for its flour.]

138 [The epithet in the original is Sak, a sack; glupi jak sak, "stupid as a sack," is a Polish proverb. As an equivalent, the archaic Buzzard seemed preferable to the grotesque modern Donkey.]

139 [Lele and Polele, or Lelum and Polelum, were reputed to be twin brothers in the Polish pagan mythology. Slowacki introduces them into his drama Lilla Weneda.]

140 [See p. 332.]

141 [Berenice's hair. (Jaroszynski.)]

142 The constellation known among astronomers as Ursa Major.]

143 It was the custom to hang up in churches any fossil bones that might be discovered; the people regard them as the bones of giants.

144 The memorable comet of the year 1811.

145 ["When the plague is about to strike upon Lithuania, the eye of the seer divines its coming; for, if one may believe the bards, often in the desolate graveyards and meadows the Maid of Pestilence rises to sight, in a white garment, with a fiery crown on her temples; her brow towers over the trees of Bialowieza, and in her hand she waves a bloody kerchief."—Mickiewicz, Konrad Wallenrod.]

146 Father Poczobut, an ex-Jesuit, and a famous astronomer, published a work on the Zodiac of Denderah, and by his observations aided Lalande in calculating the motions of the moon. See the biography of him by Jan Sniadecki.

147 [Jan Sniadecki (1756-1830) was a man of real distinction both as an astronomer and as one of the intellectual leaders of Poland. During Mickiewicz's student days he was professor at the University of Wilno. The young poet disliked him, as a representative of the cold, rationalistic tradition of the eighteenth century.]

148 [At Jassy, in Roumania, peace was concluded in 1792 between Russia and Turkey. The poet represents Branicki and his comrades as rushing to the protection of the Russian armies: compare p. 334.]

149 [Fvlmen Orientis Joannes III. rex Poloniarvm ter maximus. Calissii typis Collegij Societatis Jesv. 1684.]

150 [Rubinkowski, Jan Kaz. Janina zwycieskich tryumfow Jana III. Poznan, S. J. 1739.]

151 [Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski (1734-1823), a cousin of Stanislaw Poniatowski, and one of the leading men of his time in Poland.]

152 [See p. 3 and note 6.]

153 [See note 29.]

154 [See p. 171 and note 121.]

155 Properly Prince de Nassau-Siegen [1745-1808], a famous warrior and adventurer of those times. He was a Muscovite admiral and defeated the Turks in the bay [of the Dnieper, near Ochakov]; later he was himself utterly defeated by the Swedes. He spent some time in Poland, where he was granted the rights of a citizen. The combat of the Prince de Nassau with the tiger [in Africa!] was noised abroad at the time through all the newspapers of Europe.

156 [Thaddeus, though he may catch a glimpse of this scene through the keyhole, apparently does not hear the conversation, if one may judge by his later ignorance: compare p. 261.]

157 [In the original Switezianka, a nymph that apparently Mickiewicz himself invented as an inhabitant of the Switez, a small lake near his home. One of his ballads is entitled Switezianka, another Switez.]

158 [The Polish "short mile" was of 15,000 feet, or somewhat less than three English miles; the "long mile" was of 22,500 feet.]

159 [A sort of Polish Puck. He figures prominently in Slowacki's tragedy Balladyna.]

160 [See note 21. The name of Plut's birthplace might be translated Skinnem.]

161 The Yellow Book, so called from its binding, is the barbarous book of Russian martial law. Frequently in time of peace the government proclaims whole provinces as being in a state of war, and on the authority of the Yellow Book confers on the military commander complete power over the estates and lives of the citizens. It is a well-known fact that from the year 1812 to the revolution [of 1831] all Lithuania was subject to the Yellow Book, of which the executor was the Grand Duke the Tsarevich [Constantine].]

162 [Joseph Baka (1707-80), a Jesuit, wrote Reflections on Inevitable Death, Common to All. His short doggerel rimes, which breathe a jovial gaiety, were long extremely popular. In recent times suspicion has been cast on Baka's authorship of the work. (Adapted from Jaroszynski.)]

163 A Lithuanian club is made in the following way. A young oak is selected and is slashed from the bottom upwards with an axe, so that bark and bast are cut through and the wood slightly wounded. Into these notches are thrust sharp flints, which in time grow into the tree and form hard knobs. Clubs in pagan times formed the chief weapon of the Lithuanian infantry; they are still occasionally used, and are called nasieki, gnarled clubs.

164 After Jasinski's insurrection [compare p. 3 and note 7], when the Lithuanian armies were retiring towards Warsaw, the Muscovites had come up to the deserted city of Wilno. General Deyov at the head of his staff was entering through the Ostra Gate. The streets were empty; the townsfolk had shut themselves in their houses. One townsman, seeing a cannon loaded with grapeshot, abandoned in an alley, aimed it at the gate and fired. This one shot saved Wilno for the time being; General Deyov and several officers perished; the rest, fearing an ambuscade, retired from the city. I do not know with certainty the name of that townsman.

165 Even later still forays (zajazdy) occurred, which, though not so famous, were still bloody and much talked of. About the year 1817 a man named U[zlowski] in the wojewodeship of Nowogrodek defeated in a foray the whole garrison of Nowogrodek and took its leaders captive.

166 [A town not far from Odessa, captured from the Turks in 1788 by Potemkin.]

167 [Izmail was a fortress in Bessarabia, captured from the Turks by Suvorov in 1790, after a peculiarly bloody siege. (Byron chose this episode for treatment in Don Juan, cantos vii and viii.) Mickiewicz makes Rykov give the name as Izmailov; Rykov is a bluff soldier, not a stickler for geographical nomenclature.]

168 [In Italy, near Modena, memorable for the victory of the Russians and Austrians over the French in 1799.]

169 Evidently Preussisch-Eylau. [In East Prussia: see p. 334.]

170 [Alexander Rimski-Korsakov (1753-1840), a Russian general sent in 1799 to Switzerland in aid of Suvorov; he was beaten on September 25, before uniting with Suvorov, and was in consequence for a time dismissed from the service.]

171 [A village not far from Cracow, where on April 4, 1794, Kosciuszko with an army of 6000, among them 2000 peasants, armed with scythes, defeated a body of 7000 Russians.]

172 [See p. 334.]

173 [Jan Tenczynski, an ambassador from Poland to Sweden, gained the love of a Swedish princess. On his journey to espouse her he was captured by the Danes, in 1562, and he died in confinement in Copenhagen in the next year. His memory has been honoured in verse by Kochanowski and in prose by Niemcewicz.]

174 [Compare p. 305.]

175 [See note 38.]

176 Apparently the Pantler was slain about the year 1791, at the time of the first war. [In the chronology of this poem there is serious confusion. From Jacek's narrative (pp. 269-272) it is plain that Thaddeus was born shortly before the death of the Pantler. At the time of the action of the poem he is about twenty years old (p. 21), and he was born at the time of Kosciuszko's war against the Russians (p. 6), which would be naturally interpreted as 1794, the date of the war in which Kosciuszko was the dictator. All this would be consistent with the original plan of Mickiewicz, to have the action take place in 1814 (see Introduction, p. xiv); it conflicts with the chronology of the completed poem, the action of which is placed in the years 1811-12. Apparently Mickiewicz inserted the note above in a vain attempt to restore consistency. The "first war" could be none other than that following the Constitution of May 3, 1791, in which Prince Joseph Poniatowski and Kosciuszko were leaders. But this war did not begin until after the proclamation of the Confederacy of Targowica, which was on May 14,1792.]

177 [A former adjutant of Kosciuszko; he perished in the war of 1812.]

178 A certain Russian historian describes in similar fashion the omens and the premonitions of the Muscovite people before the war of 1812.

179 Run [the Polish word here used] is the winter corn when it comes up green.

180 Wyraj [the Polish word here used] in the popular dialect means properly the autumn season, when the migratory birds fly away; to fly to wyraj means to fly to warm countries. Hence figuratively the folk applies the word wyraj to warm countries and especially to some fabulous, happy countries, lying beyond the seas.

181 [Prince Joseph Poniatowski (compare pp. 334-335) and Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860),the youngest brother of Napoleon.]

182 [See pp. 31 and 334, and note 33.]

183 [See pp. 31 and 334, and note 34.]

184 [Kazimierz Malachowski (1765-1845); he lived to share in the insurrection of 1831. Compare note 35.]

185 [Romuald Giedrojc (1750-1824); in 1812 he organised the army in Lithuania.]

186 [Michal Grabowski (1773-1812), killed at the siege of Smolensk.]

187 A book now very rare, published more than a hundred years ago by Stanislaw Czerniecki.

188 That embassy to Rome has been often described and painted. See the preface to The Perfect Cook: "This embassy, being a great source of amazement to every western state, redounded to the wisdom of the incomparable gentleman [Ossolinski] as well as to the splendour of his house and the magnificence of his table—so that one of the Roman princes said: 'To-day Rome is happy in having such an ambassador.' " N.B.—Czerniecki himself was Ossolinski's head cook. [The information given by Mickiewicz does not quite agree with that furnished by Estreicher, Bibliografia Polska (Cracow, 1896), xiv. 566, 567. Czerniecki was apparently the head cook of Lubomirski, Wojewoda of Cracow, etc., not of Ossolinski.]

189 [Karol Radziwill (1734-90), called My-dear-friend from a phrase that he constantly repeated, the richest magnate of his time in Poland and one immensely popular among the gentry, led a gay and adventurous life. In 1785 he entertained King Stanislaw at Nieswiez; this reception cost him millions.]

190 [Compare p. 177 and note 128.]

191 [The festival of the Annunciation, March 25.]

192 In Lithuania, on the entrance of the French and Polish armies, confederacies were formed in each wojewodeship and deputies to the Diet were elected.

193 It is a well-known fact that at Hohenlinden the Polish corps led by General Kniaziewicz decided the victory. [At Hohenlinden in Bavaria the French under Moreau defeated the Austrians, December 3, 1800; compare p. 334.]

194 [See p. 335.]

195 [A brand of deep disgrace. The Chamberlain is of course quoting from the Latin text of the law.] 196 [Militem (soldier) here signifies a full-fledged gentleman, of ancient lineage. Skartabell (a word of uncertain etymology) was a term applied to a newly created noble, who was not yet entitled to all the privileges of his order.]

197 [The Constitution of May 3, 1791 (see p. 333), conferred many political rights on the inhabitants of the Polish cities and took the peasants "under the protection of the law," though it did not set them free.]

198 [See p. 332.]

199 [See note 28.]

200 ["The finest palace in Warsaw was beyond dispute that of General Pac, who died in exile at Smyrna."—Ostrowski. The proprietor of the palace seems to have been present at Soplicowo at this very time: see p. 301.]

201 [This was a Polish escutcheon characterised by a golden crescent and a six-pointed golden star. It was borne by the Soplicas: see p. 319.]

202 [A village in eastern Galicia, the scene of a battle in 1667 between the Turks and the Poles under Sobieski.]

203 [See p. 295 and note 200.]

204 Radziwill the Orphan travelled very widely, and published an account of his journey to the Holy Land. [Mikolaj Krzysztof Radziwill was converted from Calvinism to Catholicism. In 1582-84 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt, on which he wrote a book.]

205 [See p. 333.]

206 [Jaroszynski explains kontaz as a sort of sausage, arkas as a cold dish of milk, cream, and yolks of eggs, and blemas (the same word as blancmange) as almond jelly.]

207 In the sixteenth, and at the beginning of the seventeenth century, at the time when the arts flourished, even banquets were directed by artists, and were full of symbols and of theatrical scenes. At a famous banquet given in Rome for Leo X. there was a centrepiece that represented the four seasons of the year in turn, and that evidently served as a model for Radziwill's. Table customs altered in Europe about the middle of the eighteenth century, but remained unchanged longest in Poland.

208 Pinety [Pinetti?] was a conjurer famous throughout Poland, but when he visited the country I do not know.

209 [Henryk Dembinski (1791-1864) took part in the Napoleonic wars, the insurrection of 1831, and the Hungarian insurrection of 1849.]

210 [Joseph Dwernicki (1778-1857), a member of the Legions, who in 1804 fitted out a squadron at his own cost. In 1826 he was made a general, and distinguished himself in the insurrection of 1831.]

211 [Samuel Rozycki entered the army in 1806; he took part in the insurrection of 1831.]

212 [The translator cannot find that counterpoint is a term of fencing, but does not know how else to render kontrpunkt.]

213 [The Pulawski family were among the organisers and most prominent leaders of the Confederacy of Bar. Joseph Pulawski was the first commander-in-chief of its armed forces. His son Kazimierz won fame as a leader after his father's death. Later, in 1777, he came to America, and distinguished himself by his services to the cause of the revolutionists. He was killed in 1779 at the attack on Savannah.]

214 [Michal Dzierzanowski, a Confederate of Bar and an adventurer famous in the eighteenth century; he took part in almost all the wars of his time. He died in 1808. The Cossack Sawa was one of the most active leaders in the Confederacy of Bar.]

215 The mournful song of Pani Cybulski, whom her husband gambled away at cards to the Muscovites, is well known in Lithuania.

216 [That is, is fickle. The translator is here indebted to Miss Biggs's version.]

217 [Charles Francois Dumouriez (1739-1823) was an agent of the French government sent to support the Confederacy of Bar. He later became prominent in the affairs of his own country.]

218 [The Piasts were the first royal dynasty of Poland. In later times the name was used to denote any candidate for the Polish throne who was of native birth.]

219 [The italicised words are of foreign origin in the original text. For old Maciek everything not Polish is Muscovite or German. Gerwazy has the same way of thinking: compare p. 318.]

220 [Doubtless Maciek had heard of the excommunication of Napoleon by Pius VII. in 1809.]

221 The fashion of adopting the French garb raged in the provinces from 1800 to 1812. The majority of the young men changed their style of dress before marriage at the desire of their future wives. [On the kontusz see note 13.]

222 The story of the quarrel of Rejtan with the Prince de Nassau, which the Seneschal never concluded, is well known in popular tradition. We add here its conclusion, in order to gratify the curious reader.—Rejtan, angered by the boasting of the Prince de Nassau, took his stand beside him at the narrow passage that the beast must take; just at that moment a huge boar, infuriated by the shots and the baiting, rushed to the passage. Rejtan snatched the gun from the Prince's hands, cast his own on the ground, and, taking a pike and offering another to the German, said: "Now we will see who will do the better work with the spear." The boar was just about to attack them, when the Seneschal Hreczecha, who was standing at some distance away, brought down the beast by an excellent shot. The gentlemen were at first angry, but later were reconciled and generously rewarded Hreczecha.

223 [Compare p. 100.]

224 The Russian government recognises no freemen except the gentry (szlachta). Peasants freed by landowners are immediately entered in the rolls of the Emperor's private estates, and must pay increased taxes in place of the dues to their lords. It is a well-known fact that in the year 1818 the citizens of the province of Wilno adopted in the local diet a project for freeing all the peasants, and appointed a delegation to the Emperor with that aim in view; but the Russian government ordained that the project should be quashed and no further mention made of it. There is no means of setting a man free under the Russian government except to take him into one's family. Accordingly many have had the privileges of the gentry conferred on them in this way as an act of grace or for money.

225 [Compare p. 296, and note 201.]

226 ["Before the inauguration of a better taste by Mickiewicz and other great writers, the so-called French or Classical school of literature in Poland produced a quantity of panegyrics or complimentary verses in honour of great personages, with stale classical images, and strained, far-fetched metaphors, destitute of real poetry. Our author has seized this happy opportunity of satirising the faults of classicism."—M. A. Biggs.]

227 ["Janissaries' music, a type of extraordinarily noisy Turkish martial music, was fashionable in eastern Europe in the eighteenth century, and was introduced into Poland."—Jaroszynski.]

228 [See p. 333.]

229 [See p. 334.]

230 ["Readers who have already observed into what close connection Mickiewicz loves to bring the phenomena of nature and the affairs of men, will not find it difficult, nor will they regard it as a forced interpretation, to understand the clouds, which at the close of the poem... he paints with such disproportionate breadth and with such apparent minuteness, as something quite different from mere external reality. They will have no difficulty in seeing in that western cloud, which was adorned with gold and pearl, but in the centre was blood-red, Napoleon, the great warrior of the west; or, if they prefer, the hopes of Poland that were linked to him. We are in the year 1812: both the aureole of that name, and the hopes and rejoicing that it aroused, we may recognise in the gleaming, but fleeting picture, which 'slowly turned yellow, then pale and grey,' and behind which the sun fell asleep with a sigh. Thus in this passage, as well as earlier, in the words of Maciek (page 314), the poet gives us warning of the great tragedy which was soon to overwhelm not only Lithuania and Poland but the world."—Lipiner.]

231 [This concluding couplet imitates the conventional ending of a Polish fairy tale.]




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