Page:Poetry of the Magyars.djvu/99

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INTRODUCTION.

the field of poetry, it is of these epics that the Hungarians feel most proud, and desire that these should be deemed the representatives of their poetical cultivation.

Vörösmarty (Mihály) was born on the 1st of December, 1800, at Nyék, of noble Catholic parents. In 1816, he was a student at Pest. In this year his father died, and he undertook the office of tutor, which he filled for nine years. In 1824, he became an Advocate, and has ever since that period made Pest his place of abode, studying the writings and benefiting by intercourse with the distinguished men of his time. He visited Transylvania with his pupil in 1820-3, and there began to study Shakspeare, his mind growing stronger and stronger by the communion with noble spirits of other ages. He wrote several dramas, but did not receive the applause which was to welcome his productions till his Zalán appeared in 1825, which was received with marks of uncommon delight. On Kisfaludy's recommendation, he engaged in celebrating the conquest of King Salomon over the Kumanians— a popular and successful enterprise. Other pieces followed, both historical and critical; and invested now with the Editorship of the Tudomá-