1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Niemcewicz, Julian Ursin

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NIEMCEWICZ, JULIAN URSIN (1758-1841), Polish scholar, poet and statesman, was born in 1757 in Lithuania. In the earlier part of his life he acted as adjutant to Kosciusko, was taken prisoner with him at the fatal battle of Maciejowice (1794), and shared his captivity at St Petersburg. On his release he travelled for some time in America, where he married. After the Congress of Vienna he was secretary of state and president of the constitutional committee in Poland, but in 1830-1831 he was again driven into exile. He died in Paris on the 21st of April 1841. Niemcewicz tried many styles of composition. His comedy The Return of the Deputy (1790) enjoyed a great reputation, and his novel, John of Tenczyn (1825), in the style of Scott, gives a vigorous picture of old Polish days. He also wrote a History of the Reign of Sigismund III. (3 vols., 1819), and a collection of memoirs for ancient Polish history (6 vols., 1822-1823). But he is now best remembered by his Historical Songs of the Poles (Warsaw, 1816), a series of lyrical compositions in which the chief heroes are of the golden age of Sigismund I., and the reigns of Stephen Bathori and Sobieski.

His collected works were published in 12 vols. at Leipzig (1838-1840).