Page:Sonnetsfromcrime00mick.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
ADAM MICKIEWICZ

In the eighteen-thirties we find Mickiewicz in Paris, which happened to be filled just then with a crowd of brilliant Slavic exiles. Here he became the friend of Chopin, and one of Chopin's most talented pupils—a young Polish girl—made the first translation of the Sonnets into French. It was a wonderful and brilliant Paris which Mickiewicz entered. This was the time when the city was first called "the stepmother of Genius." Heine was here in exile, and Börne. It knew the personal fascination and the denunciative writings of Ferdinand la Salle. It was the day, too, of Eugene Sue, Berlioz, George Sand, de Musset, Dumas, Gautier, the Goncourt Brothers, Gavarni, Sainte Beuve, Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Ary Scheffer, Delacroiz, Horace Vernet—to mention only a few great names at random. Julius Slowacki, Count Krasinski and Adam Mickiewicz were all here editing their poetry in the midst of this brilliant life in the inspiring city by the Seine. This period in Paris signs perhaps the high-water mark of the creative genius of Mickiewicz. He had already written the Ballads and Romances, the third part of Dziady, Pan Tadeuz.

The Crimean Sequence belongs to the period of Mickiewicz's youth, the Vilna period. He joined a society at this

XII