Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic.

The Protestants succeeded at last in the establishment of a seminary for the education of Vendish ministers at Leipzig in 1716.  Another was instituted at Wittenberg, A.D. 1749.  Their literature continued to be almost exclusively of a religious kind; and consisted mostly of translations from the German.  Another Wendische Grammatica was written by G. Matthei, one of the translators of the Vendish Bible.  A dictionary was prepared by Frencel.[7] Both works can now only be considered as curiosities.  The latter proceeds upon the firm conviction, that the Slavi were originally Hebrews; and contrives to point out in all the substantives or nouns of the Sorabian language a certain degree of analogy.  The only philological works, which will be of use to those who may wish to study this Slavic dialect in our day, is a short grammar by Seiler,[8] and a more modern one by J.P.  Jordan.  The latter has adopted the system of orthography best adapted to the language, viz. that introduced by Dobrovsky for the Bohemian.[9]

The Upper Lusatian dialect has acquired in this way a degree of cultivation, which of course, since most of those who speak and read it are of the common people, comparatively few are able to appreciate.  In religious hymns, there is no deficiency; and several cantos of Klopstock’s Messiah have been translated into it by Moehn, in the measure of the original.  In regard to the popular songs of the Sorabians, a kind of poetry in which most Slavic nations are so rich, no pains was taken until recently to discover whether they had any or not.  But when on the publication of the remarkable Servian ballads, the interest of the German public in this species of poetry became strongly excited, the Saxon minister of state, baron Nostitz, himself an esteemed German poet, turned his attention particularly to this subject; and succeeded in collecting several little songs full of that sweet, half pensive, half roguish feeling, which characterizes Slavic popular poetry in general.  They were translated by him and communicated in manuscript to his friends:  but whether they have ever been printed we are not informed.

This subject, however, was not long suffered to rest.  Two societies have been formed within the last twelve years, one at Breslau among the students of the university natives of Lusatia; the other at Bautzen among the scholars of the Gymnasium or High School; for the promotion of their native language and extending the knowledge of the antiquities of their country.  Both these societies of the rising generation are favoured and assisted by gentlemen who take a general interest in Slavic affairs.  Another learned society, called “The Scientific society of Upper Lusatia,” a union of scholars, had been founded previously.  In 1836, this society offered a premium for collecting a certain number of genuine songs with their melodies, still extant among the common people.  The result has been a very valuable collection.  The first

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Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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