Page:Poetry of the Magyars.djvu/101

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lxxviii
INTRODUCTION.

And witnessing the anxiety and the interest which these imperfect labors of mine have awakened among the Magyars, I could not but derive encouragement to continue them. They who have patronized the daring, as well as they who have experienced the difficulties, will find indulgence for me.

It may be deemed that originality is wanting in these compositions. But it should not be forgotten that something of originality is lost by the transfusion of any thought into a different idiom; that an English verse of necessity becomes in some degree English. There are other causes, too, which act upon Magyar literature.

A people so closely connected with Austria as are the inhabitants of Hungary, and whose learned men almost without exception speak and write the German tongue, do undoubtedly, though sometimes almost imperceptibly, adopt the character of a literature with which they are so familiar. This familiarity, if it sometimes trench on their nationality, does at the same time keep a high standard ever present to their minds, and leads to comparisons and contrasts which are on

the whole favorable to the exercise of the intellectual powers. A German critic[1] has denied to

  1. See Wiener Zahrbücher for 1829, No. xlv.