It is a singular fact, that although, down to the year 1818 when the Russian government interfered to prevent it, foreign travel was one of the favourite means of education among the Polish nobility, their literature exhibits hardly any books of travels. A few were formerly written in Latin or French; among the latter we mention John Potocki’s ‘Travels for the purpose of discovering Slavic antiquities,’ Hamb. 1795. In more modern times count Raczynski has published the ’Journal of his travels to Constantinople and the plain of Troy,’ richly embellished with illustrations, mentioned above. A view of Great Britain was given in 1828 by Ljach Szyrma, under the title Anglia i Szkocya.
From the Polish Revolution in 1830 to the present time.
We have thus brought down the history of Polish literature to the year 1830; an epoch of glorious, although most melancholy moment in the history of Poland. If the literature of a country could ever be regarded completely in abstracto; if it was not in intimate connection with the political fate and position of its country; we would have commenced this period with the first combats of the Romantic and Classical schools, that is, about fifteen years earlier. But while these fifteen years may be considered in some measure as the time of the fermentation of that spirit, which broke out in 1830; this latter year—with its melancholy attempts on the part of Russia to crush all Polish nationality, by the annihilation of their higher seats of learning and the spoliation of all their libraries, as the principal means of cultivating it—forms only too distinctly an epoch, not only in Polish history in general, but specially in Polish literature.