Page:Poetry of the Magyars.djvu/52

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xxix
MAGYAR LITERATURE.

John von Küküllo wrote the Life of Lewis the First, 1342—1382, and John De Turocz publish- ed a Chronicle of the Kingdom of Hungary down to the year 1473, in which he has introduced, word for word, the writings of his above-men- tioned predecessors, as well as the Chronicon Budense of an anonymous author printed at Buda in 1473.[1]



 The battle of Mohács (1526) is the "Dies irae" of the Hungarians, and its story of defeat and humiliation is more melancholy from its so immediately following a period of hope and of brightness. Hungary had been enlightened by the efforts of her own sons, and by the influx of illus- trious strangers, as if merely to contrast with the darkness of Turkish oppression. The Reformation which soon after this period broke in upon the land, did much for the language. The spirit of Lutheranism was essentially popular. Its instru- ment, the vernacular tongue, especially repre- sented in that mighty machine of knowledge and of power, the Press, whose efforts have changed and continue to change the character of nations, and which acts as a security against their perma- nent decline and fall, began to exert its beneficial

influences.

  1. Eichorn, Geschichte der Litteratur, II. 319.