All other Polish manuscripts of those times are fragments; documents relating to suits of law, translations of statutes issued in Latin, the ten commandments in verse, a translation of one of Wickliffe’s hymns, etc.
The orthography of the language, and especially the adoption of the Latin alphabet, seems to have troubled the few writers of this period exceedingly. They appear to have founded their principles alternately on the Latin, the Bohemian, and the German methods of combining letters; an inconsistency, which adds greatly to the difficulties of modern Slavic etymology. In 1828 a remarkable manuscript was published under the title, Pamientniki Janozara, or Memoirs of a Janissary. It was the journal of a Polish nobleman, who had been induced by circumstances to enter the Turkish army during the siege and conquest of Constantinople, an event which took place A.D. 1453. This interesting document of a language, that is so remarkably poor in ancient monuments, was no longer intelligible to the common Polish reader. It was necessary to add a version in modern Polish in order to make it understood.
Annalists of Polish history, who wrote in Latin, were not wanting in this period. Sig. Rositzius, Dzierzva, and more especially John Dlugosz, bishop of Lemberg, wrote histories and chronicles of Poland; and the work of the latter is still considered as highly valuable.
From Sigismund I, to the establishment of the schools of the Jesuits in Cracow. A.D.. 1505 to A.D. 1622.
In northern climates, the bright and glowing days of summer follow in almost immediate succession a long and gloomy winter, without allowing to the attentive mind of the lover of nature the enjoyment of observing, during a transient interval of spring, the gradual development of the beauty of the earth. Thus the flowers of Polish literature burst out from their buds with a rapidity unequalled in literary history, and were ripened into fruit with the same prodigious celerity.
The university of Cracow had been reinstituted under Jagello in A.D. 1400, and organized after the model of that of Prague. Although the most flourishing period of this institution was the sixteenth century, yet it presented during the fifteenth to the Polish nobility a good opportunity of studying the classics; and it is doubtless through this preparatory familiarity with the ancient writers, that the phenomenon to which we have alluded must be principally accounted for. It was moreover now the epoch, when the genius of Christian Europe made the most decided efforts to shake off the chains which had fettered the freedom of thought. The doctrines of the German Reformers, although the number of their professed disciples was in proportion smaller than in Bohemia, had nevertheless a decided influence upon the general direction of the public mind. The wild flame of false religious