Page:A grammar of the Bohemian or Cech language.djvu/12
with its cognate Slovak, spoken in Hungary; Upper and Lower Serbish, called incorrectly Wendish, spoken about Bautzen (in Saxony) and Kottbus (in Prussia); and the extinct Polabish, once spoken in what was afterwards the kingdom of Hanover. The Slavonic people called Čechs first made their appearance in the territory which they now occupy about 451 A.D. It had previously been settled by the Boii (hence the usual name of the country, as if home of the Boii), a Keltic tribe, and the Marcomanni, a Teutonic tribe.
If we include the Slovaks in Hungary (in the north-west corner, their capital being Pressburg), the Bohemian language is now spoken by more than seven millions. The Slovakish dialect is to all intents and purposes identical with Bohemian, exhibiting a few peculiarities. Both Kollár and Schafarik were Slovaks, and the writings of Holly, Sladkovič, and Chalupka are perfectly familiar to their Bohemian brethren, although they used the Slovakish dialect.
It is much to be regretted that attempts should have been made to develop it as a literary language; the Slovaks are thereby only playing into the hands of their enemies.
It would be impossible in this Introduction to enumerate more than the most prominent of the Bohemian authors. In the early period we get the so-called Chronicle of Dalimil, which dates from the beginning of the fourteenth century. Of this an excellent edition has been published by Prof. Mourek, of Prague, from the MS. preserved in the Library of Trinity
- See article by the late Prof. Šembera in the Časopis Musea Království Českého. The exact number, according to him, is 7,581,187.