Poetry of the Magyars/Magyar Biographical Sketches
Tinódi flourished in the middle of the sixteenth century. He was employed as a literatus in the suite of Valentine Török, who being led captive by the Turks to the seven towers, left his poor bard to wander over Hungary and Transylvania. His works were collected by himself into two small quarto volumes in 1554.
Balassa (born 1550, died 1594) has a few compositions of some energy and feeling, and one or two of his warlike songs are martial and fiery. He fell in the siege of Gran. How many of the poets of war have been its victims! His first introduction to notice was on occasion of the crowning of Rudolf at Pressburg in 1572, when he exhibited a grotesque peasant dance to the court, exciting, says his biographer, the wonder of the royal family and of all who saw him. His love for poetry is manifest from the pieces he wrote amidst the clang of arms, a few days before his death.
Some dramatic writers belong to this epoch. Karádi's Balassa Menyhárt and Bornemisza's Klytemnestra are the most remarkable. A few years after, we find a description of the sort of plays performed in Transylvania. "Hinc publicae fabulae exhibitae et comaediae expugnationem Caniszensem, Turcarum trepidationem fugam et futuram stragem, represententes." But both tragedies and comedies were represented by strolling players, both in Hungarian and Latin, to which the Jesuits contributed a great number.
Rimai is not without some merit as a didactic and meditative poet. He was a contemporary of Balassa, though the exact dates are unknown of his birth and death.
Erdösi made the first attempt to break through the fetters which rhymes imposed upon the Magyar poets, and to introduce the classical prosodial forms. The Bohemians had attempted this before, and the first Sapphics of the Germans are of the year 1537. In 1541, Erdösi wrote his "A' Magyar népnek ki ezt olvassa," an address to such of the Magyars as would read it, in flowing hexameters. He had for a long time no followers, and the singular aptitude of the Hungarian language for the Greek and Roman measures, seems to have continued unobserved for nearly two centuries longer.
Zrinyi appeared at a period which several nations are disposed to claim as the golden age of their literature. He was born in the year in which Shakspeare and Cervantes died—the proud era of Italy, England, Spain, and Portugal. Zrinyi is, however, the founder of the modern poetry of the Magyars. In 1651, appeared his Zriniad, an epic poem, the produce of those hours which military and civil service left him in his busy existence. His verses, consisting of four lines of twelve syllables, with a common rhyme, have given a name to this peculiar stanza. Little can be said in favor of his language, style, or versification. They are careless and incorrect, and his battle descriptions are tedious indeed. Yet are his conceptions bold and strong. His portraits are well drawn, and his groupings happy. His facility of writing led him astray; yet, withal, he is undoubtedly far above any poet that had preceded him, or any that followed, for a century at least. In some of his shorter poems there is evidence of a playful and busy fancy. He was the representative of a family of great antiquity, and was the son of that Ban of Croatia, who was poisoned by Wallenstein in 1626. It has been said that his sword had been stained with Turkish blood before he was ten years old; and that, in after times, crowds of Osmanlis rushed to see a hero, "the beautiful, tall, thin hero," who had been so much the object of their dread. There is an address of Soliman to the Grand Vizier, in which he directs him not to desist from attack until he has captured Zrinyi, "the author of so much mischief." Zrinyi fought and won many battles, but was killed by a wild boar on the 18th November, 1664. He had been covered with honours from many of the powers of Christendom, and was as distinguished for his learning as for his courage. He spoke six languages, and was a master of the literature of ancient and modern times. The first edition of his works appeared at Vienna, in 4to., in 1651.
Liszti, a man of considerable condition but of barren fancy, printed a long Epic, Mohácsi veszedelem, on the Mohács' defeat. It is in six-lined stanzas, the lines of six and seven syllables following one another, and the whole effect intolerably monotonous. His Lyrics have not this defect. In 1659, on account of some charge made against him by the King's Fiscal, he was tried by the Diet, and lost his paternal possessions. This is the solitary fact preserved of his history.
The songs of Beniczky, who lived in the beginning of the seventeenth century, are not without merit. His Példabeszédek (Proverbs) are excellent and condensed moral lessons. He was an Eques auratus, but complains in one of his poems of his defective education. Of his history little is known. His works have been several times reprinted, and are popular among the middle orders.
Gyöngyösi deserves little praise except on account of his rhymes, which are generally perfect. He wrote with great facility; but he could not relieve himself from the trammels of ancient mythology, and he has little that is natural or characteristic about him. He has passages of beauty, and advanced the cultivation of his native tongue; but his allegories are often inappropriate, and his sentimentality not very natural. Gyöngyösi is supposed to have been born in 1620, and from the early development of talent was called, as a page, to the Court of the Palatine in 1640. He gang the charms of the Palatiness, Countess Szécsi, as the Venus of Murány, so successfully, that she rewarded him with the village of Bábaluska. In 1681, he became a representative in the Diet, obtained the favour of the then Palatine Eszterházy, and continued to hold different distinguished offices to the time of his death, having reached the age of eighty-four. His Keményiad an epic poem, in four books and thirty cantos, was received with great enthusiasm, and his name was long one of the most honoured among Hungarian writers. In 1796, a complete edition of his works was published by Dugonics.
Kohári did the service, with Beniczy, of breaking down the monotony of the Zrinian quartet rhyme. He is a moralist, "dwelling among the tombs" and bringing the shortness and the nothingness of life to bear constantly on his moralities. He was born in 1648. He was in military service, and suffered all the miseries of dungeons and chains and cold and thirst and hunger. Delivered from imprisonment, he was received with marked distinction; but soon after, being again engaged in war, his right arm was shot away by the Turks. Charles the Third advanced him to high office—and that of Oberstreichsrichter, and gave him the privilege of employing a silver stamp for his signature, which is often mentioned as the Lamina Koharii, in the Corpus Juris of Hungary. His Lyrics he published under the Latin title of Tintinabulum Tripudiantium. Some of his poems were translated into Latin by Sztrákos, and he himself wrote in Latin elegantly, as is evidenced by his Chronolographica Budæ composita (1706), and Antidota Melancholiæ (1722). He spent the latest part of his life in his Castle of Csábrág, where he died in 1730, leaving a reputation for integrity, which has passed into a proverb.
We come now to an epoch of absolute barrenness.
The extinction of the Transylvanian Court was a serious blow to the Hungarian tongue; for its employment there made it the language of courtesy and of commerce. The constant attraction of Vienna drew away from the land of the Magyars those who might best have given encouragement to the idiom of their forefathers; and if they returned home, they returned with other tastes. Latin and German seemed gradually preponderating, and driving out the Magyar from the circle of civilization.
But a reaction at last occurred, and we discover a marked revival of Magyar literature. Intercourse with Germany, which at first was the bane, became afterwards the blessing, of Hungary; and the writers who agitated Germany with a literary reformation, reflected back their influence upon the Magyars. And thenceforward, amidst some vicissitudes, a gradual progress may be traced to the present day; it is obvious the language has grown stronger and stronger by exercise, and its literature spread wider and wider by cultivation. Newspapers and literary journals in the Magyar tongue became active agents in its diffusion, and it slowly rose from that depression, that persecution rather, by which it had so long been visited.
Radai, (Pál,) who figures in history as the negociator of the peace of Shemnitz with Leopold the First, and the representative of Prince Rákóczi, who had been nominated by the French Court as the arbitrator between Peter the Great and Charles XII., and who struggled for the liberties of his fellow-Protestants with so much zeal and talent, published a volume of poetry, entitled Lelki Hódolás, (Spiritual Worship,) which has preserved its hold on the affections of the Hungarians.
Amade was Paul Radai's contemporary, and was once deemed the first of Magyar Lyric Poets. His verses were learned by heart, and circulated in MS. over the land. A few have been printed by Kultsár, in his Mulatságok, (Amusements, 1827,) and others are in the progress of publication. They do not seem to possess any special value.
But Faludi is the first poet on whose works it is possible to dwell with real satisfaction. He indeed awoke the Hungarian language, which was half-slumbering in his time. The Magyars speak of him as the Magyar poet. He caught the spirit of some of the Spanish poets, and has translated one at least of Gongora's romances. His Tündérkert (Enchanted Garden) is admirable. Few Lyrics flow more naturally and sweetly than his. They are music both to the eye and the ear. They are natural outpourings of a happy temper. One wishes the ancient mythology far away whenever it interrupts, as it frequently does, the current of his feelings. Faludi was a Jesuit, and spent some years at Rome. He taught Law afterwards in the Vienna Academy, translated Gratian, wrote a drama, and was made Librarian at Poson. He published a series of volumes on Manners, several of which were from translations from English. Révai collected his works into two volumes, which appeared at Gyö́r (Raab) 1786-7. A second edition almost immediately followed. Faludi wrote Latin and French as well as Magyar verses, and these also are to be found in his works.
Gvadányi is one of the few, the very few, comic poets of the Magyars. His account of the life, death, and journey to Tartarus, of a village notary, is witty and amusing, though not always in good taste. In his adventures of Count Benyóvsky, and his Paul Rontó, which are the delight of the lower orders of the Hungarians, he is coarse and vulgar, and his composition is throughout careless and incorrect. He was born at Rudabánya in 1725, entered the army in his 19th year, made many campaigns, and underwent the discipline of wounds and imprisonment; became a general in 1773, and died at Skaliz in 1801.
Bessenyei has been accused of supplanting a greater evil by a lesser one, instead of getting rid of both, when he drove out the Zrinian to introduce the Alexandrine measure. The charge appears to me well founded. The Alexandrine verse is one of the most monotonous of the forms of poetry, and is especially monotonous in the Magyar, which, with its many poetical capabilities, undoubtedly wants variety in its ryhmes. But Bessenyei was the representative of the French school, and it has been said of him, as of many of the French dramatists, that his Greeks and Romans are all disfigured Frenchmen. Bessenyei was the son of an obscure tavern-keeper at Berczel, and was born in 1740. He learnt a little Latin in the preliminary school, which he soon forgot, and in the course of time became a soldier in the Hungarian body-guards at Vienna. There he began again to study, mastered the French language, and was captivated by the French literature. He wrote several dramatic pieces, and an imitation of Pope's Essay on Man, Az embernek próbája. In the later part of his life he became almost wholly a prose writer, and published several philosophical works. His example served greatly to impede the project of the Emperor Joseph, whose determination to drive out the Hungarian by means of the German language, was rash and futile. Bessenyei died in 1811, an object of great affection and interest among the Hungarians.
Orczy has much that is artificial. He was almost unknown as a poet, until Révai published his works at Presburg in 1787-9, He was an officer in the service of Maria Theresa, and obtained many military honours.
Barcsai was of the race of the Transylvanian Prince of his name, and was born at Piski in 1742. He, like so many other literary men of Hungary, took military service, in 1762. He became a Catholic in 1779, having been first known as a poet about two years before. Révai did for his writings the same service he rendered those of Orczy. The works of both were printed in one volume; and so striking is their resemblance that they seem the emanations of one single mind. They are for the most part epistles. In 1794, Barcsai retreated to his rural estates in Maros-Sólymos, and Csóra, which had been ravaged by the Wallachians about ten years before. In 1806, he was found mortally wounded, under a favourite apple-tree, which had been the device of his seal, with the inscription, 'Árnyékban zöldül (Growing under its shadow). Count Haller wrote a funeral oration in French, which was afterwards translated into Hungarian by Kazinczy.
Ányos was a follower of Bessenyei in the general form of his compositions, but their spirit is more decidedly Hungarian. There is a melancholy tone and tendency in his writings which are very harmonious, and portray throughout the gentle and amiable man. He obtained early academical honours, and, encouraged by the writing of Bessenyei and Baróczi, and yet more by the personal influence of Barcsai, he became a decided votary of literature, which, amidst the high mountains and deep solitudes of the convent where he dwelt, (for Anyos was a monk,) he pursued with unwearied exertions. But amidst his brethren of the convent he found no kindred spirit, and he left the cloisters of Felsö́-Elefánt for the gymnasium of Székes-Fejévár, in 1782; but his health was broken, and he died, aged only twenty-eight, two years after his settlement there. He was gifted by nature with strong sensibilities and kindly affections. His works were collected by Baczanyi, and published at Vienna, in 1798.
Horváth (Ádám) was the son of a Calvinist preacher, and was born in 1760. His mind had much versatility, and be devoted himself not to poetry alone, but to the study of philosophy, theology, mathematics, and history. His Lyrics first appeared in the Magyar Musa, a weekly periodical of Hungary. In 1787, he published an Epic Poem (Hunnias), of which John Hunyadi is the hero, which had a brilliant but a short-enduring fame. His collection of Transdanubian Popular Songs, is interesting and valuable. His Plays are scarcely worth notice. He wrote with wonderful ease, sometimes producing a hundred strophes in a day. But to write fast and to write well are not the same thing; and the offer which he once made to write a drama per week, is a poor credential for his reputation. He was rash in his judgments, though honest in his purposes; condemned the literature of other countries, because he did not understand it; and, like too many critics, imagined that censure and snarling were wisdom and wit. He began an Encyclopedia, which was a great desideratum for his country. Spite of his weaknesses, he was beloved and honored, and died in 1820, having obtained the office of District Judge and Curator of the Reformed Church.
Dugonics lived at a period when the policy of the Austrian Emperor, in attempting to root out the national tongue of the Magyars, aroused a body of patriotic opposers. His national romances greatly aided the popular feeling―but his higher flights are all failures. He was born in 1740, at Szegedin, and was received ns a priest among the Transylvanian Piarists. Dwelling amidst the scenes, and dreaming of the events of ancient Dacia, his mind was soon wholly engaged in antiquarian studies. The Brit of his romances, which obtained distinguished attention, was his Etelka. (Poson, 1787.) He wrote many dramas, but they have little value, and several prose histories. The most valuable by far of all his productions is his Magyar példa beszédek és jeles Mondások, a very useful philological work. He wrote less for the highly cultivated than for the middling classes, among whom he labored with great effect. He was a man of fine presence and ready wit, and he died, after a happy old age, in 1818.
Molnár had, in 1760, opposed the universal employment of hexameters, and introduced with much acceptableness many of the ancient measures. A classical school soon grew up. Its leaders were Baróti Szabó, the translator of Virgil, a man who was thoroughly imbued with the characteristics of the Augustan age, and who, by dint of labour, managed to give specimens of most of the ancient forms of verse; Rájnis, not a great poet certainly, but an agreeable poetical painter; and the third, Revai, an admirable translator, and a grammarian, whose writings on language have been important auxiliaries to the Magyar stu- dent.
Baróti was born at Barot in Transylvania, and was educated by the Jesuits at Trencsén. When the order was abolished he obtained a professorship at Kassa (Kaschau Germ.), having previously made those experiments on the Magyar prosody which proved that it might be easily and happily adapted to all the antique forms of poetry. These novelties led to much literary discussion, and the controversy gave him new encouragement to proceed in his classical career. He knew no language except Hungarian and Latin, and fighting his way with honour through many a philological controversy, he died, aged fourscore, amidst "labor," but not amidst sorrow.
Rájnis was the son of a German, and born in 1741. Educated by the Jesuits, and thoroughly acquainted with the Greek language, he began, in early life, to write Hungarian verses in the classical measures. To this form of composition he continued devoted, and published, in 1781, at Gyö́r, a collection entitled Magyar Helikonra vezérlö́ kalaúz, Guide to the Magyar Helicon. In this he insists on the peculiar adaptation of the Magyar to the ancient metrical standard, and gives his own verses as evidence. He also translated Virgil. A bitter controversy grew up between him and Bacsányi, which led to his Apuléjus tǘköre, Apuleius's Mirror. It is a very erudite work, but he desisted from any farther attack on his adversary when he learned that Bacsányi had been visited by misfortune. He wrote a free translation from Plautus, Az Ikerek (The Twins), in iambics, and died in 1812. His talents were considerable — his learning more so; but the scorn, bitterness, and self-esteem, which characterize his literary polemics, leave no favorable impression of his moral qualities.
Far more amiable is the portraiture of Révai— one of the best poets of his day. He was born in 1749, and in the 16th year of his age obtained considerable notice by some admirable Latin translations. In 1778 he published a volume of Elegiac Poems. In 1780, his oration on Maria Theresa's death obtained great popularity; and in 1784, he established his Magazine, Hirmondó (News-giver) at Poson. He endeavored, in 1784, to obtain the concurrence of Joseph the Second, in the formation of a Literary Society, but failed in the attempt. In 1790, the Diet reintroduced the Hungarian language into the elementary public schools, and established Magyar chairs in the university academies. A number of small societies have since grown up, and each in its little circle has co-operated for the common object. It was only by assisting such minor associations that Révai and others could forward their patriotic designs in favour of the language of their nation. Révai published many Latin poems. Notwithstanding his broken health, he, on being called to the professorship of Hungarian Literature at Pest, devoted himself with unbounded and unbroken zeal to the topics of his chair. His large Hungarian Grammar appeared 1803-6. He died in 1807, leaving behind him many valuable philological MSS. and translations from the Greek, Latin, and German.
Szabó was a Transylvanian, who also belongs to the classical school. Some of his Epigrams are happy, and his works were deemed excellent for their classical correctness. He wrote on Magyar prosody, and a description of rural life. The criticisms of Kacinczy have diminished the number of Szabó's admirers.
Ráday (Gedeon), the son of Pál, made some farther experiments in rhyme by introducing many of the stanzas of the southern nations of Europe. He exerted an influence greater than that of his writings in furthering the cultivation of the Magyar language, and pointing out to the young inquirers around him the pathway of taste and talent. He thus led forward Kazinczy and Dayka, two of the most accomplished and industrious writers of their age. Ráday had been educated in the University of Germany. He founded the excellent library of Péczel, and died in 1792.
To Bacsanyi’s history an interest, political as well as poetical, attaches. He was born in 1763, at Tapolcza, and first obtained great notice from his valuable contributions to the Magyar Museum from 1788 to 1792. He treated in them of poetry, morals, and general literature. He began a translation of Ossian, which he has lately completed. But his opinions made him at an early period the object of mistrust, and being associated with other enthusiasts in what was called the jacobin conspiracy of the Abbé Martinovics, in 1794, he was conveyed as a state prisoner, first to Munkács, and afterwards to Rufstein. He obtained his release in 1798, and took up his abode at Vienna, where, in 1799, be married the German poetess Gabriella Baumberg. Betrayed into hope by the superb display of Napoleon's power, and miscalculating the chances that the arms of the despot might serve the cause of liberty, he translated into Magyar, in 1809, the French emperor's appeal to the Hungarian people. When peace was restored, he hastened to Paris for security, where he found employment in a public printing-office. When the Austrians entered Paris, in 1814, they seized him as a state prisoner, and conveyed him home, whence, after another imprisonment, he was banished to Linz, where he still lives, struggling with misfortune. His literary influence would have been great could he have pursued his career, but it has been often interrupted and broken by cruel political visitations, which have flung him out of the sphere in which he was successfully labouring. In 1791 he published the poems of Anyos; in 1821 an address to the learned of his country, A' Magyar Tudósokhoz; in 1824 he reprinted Faludi's poems; his own works he is now engaged in watching through the press, but coming from the solitude of his retreat, it is only the voice of one crying in the desert "Prepare." Bacsanyi's sufferings were shared by Szentjobi Szabó (Lászlo), whose poetical merits were also of a very high order. He was Bacsanyi's fellow-labourer in the Magyar Museum. His works were gathered together in 1791, and published under the title of Költeményes Munkáji, (Poetical Works); and on occasion of the coronation of Francis I. appeared his drama in three acts, Mátyás Király vagy a' nép szeretete jámbor fejedelmek' jutalma (King Matthew ― a People's Love the Recompense of a good Prince. Buda, 1792). His lyrics want the polish of critical thought, but contain the germs of fine conceptions.
Dayka was overpraised—as all poets are who die in their youth; sympathy for their early loss is a basis on which biography often builds up a false reputation. Dayka has, however, much merit, though be studied apparently in the artificial school of the French—a school growing out of a poor and unpoetical language, requiring a machinery of frigid rules of construction to elevate it above ordinary prose, from which, in fact, little French poetry is distinguishable, except by the clinquant of the rhyme. Correctness and elegance cannot be denied to Dayka, and his Anacreontic verses are airy and agreeable. He was the son of a laboring tailor, and his talents and good qualities having won the affections of two Cisterian monks of Eger, they gave him a gratuitous education. His existence was disturbed by many annoyances, and he died in his twenty- eighth year, when it was believed he had purified and elevated his style. Kazinczy published his poems, (Pest, 1813,) and has devoted a preface to an interesting and touching account of a favorite and friend.
Verseghy's Prosody is a great improvement on that of most of his predecessors. He, too, has written a Grammar of the Magyar, which, though less profound and critical than Revai's, is a very useful work. His poetry has not much that is original, but he made the best use of the powers he possessed, and elaborated his productions into correctness. The place of his birth was Szolnok; of his education, Eger. He became a member of the religious order of the Paulists, and when it was suppressed he entered the army during the Turkish campaign. Ill health compelled him to abandon the military profession, and he became a frequent and a valuable contributor to the Magyar Museum. He wrote on Thorough Bass, being an excellent singer, and on many topics of history, theology, and ethics. But being involved in political discussions, he was proceeded against capitally, and his sentence commuted to a nine years' imprisonment, which ended in 1804. He published two humorous satires in the same year. His works make up nearly forty volumes. He took an active part against the Revayen school in defending what he deemed the purity of the Magyar tongue. He might have enriched it, instead of endeavouring to close the door upon foreign contributions, for he was the master of nine languages. Schedel says of him, "In his literary contests he had not acquired the act of yielding, was exceedingly irritable, and sometimes coarse. But in his domestic relations he was gentle, friendly, and generous, and in society amiable."
Of the classical school, Virag is the most important auxiliary. He always writes in full possession of his subject—vigorous, clear, and strong. His odes might for their purity have belonged to the Augustan age. But they do not come home to us; they are the representatives of something remote and afar; they are of the past, unlinked to the present—cold as antique marble sculpture, and as motionless too. Virág was a regular priest of the Paulist order. In 1781, he was made Professor at the Gymnasium of Székes-Fejérvár, and in 1799 published his Odes, which obtained for him the name of the Magyar Horace. His Fables (Buda, 1819) are excellent. His prose works are many and good. Among them his Pragmatic History of Hungary (Magyar századok, Buda, 1808—16) is entitled to distinction. Virág still lives at Buda, fall of literary activity.
Csokonai has contributed to literature both good and evil things. He is often slovenly, sometimes coarse, sometimes exalted. His Dorrotya has much of fine wit and sharp satire in it, but is often degraded by low vulgarity. He was badly trained, and vibrated, as it were, from scholastic trammels into an unrestrained freedom of style. Writing always and about all things, he disappointed the expectations he had created. Schedel says he had in him all the elements of a popular lyric poet. In his wiser and happier vein he is charming. He helped, however, to redeem Hungarian poetry from the artificial coldness which had long frozen its genial spirit, and, with Kazinczi, Verseghy, and Dayka, to give it a genuine national character. Csokonai's birth-place was Debretzen. In his twentieth year he was chosen to fill the chair of Poetry, but was speedily dismissed on account of his irregularities. The following year (1796) he went to Poson (Presburg), where he published a poem on the then sitting Diet, which won him great praise. In 1797, he became enamored of the lady to whom many of his lyrics are addressed under the name of Lilla. She refused her hand; and he, in his gloom, abandoned the Professorship which Count Festetics had given him at Csurgó. He lost his health, and died in his thirty-first year. His reading was considerable, and spread over many oriental as well as European tongues. His history is a melancholy one of flightiness and folly. He lived, his epitaph says, somewhat slanderously towards his art, poetae more. After his disappointment he became indifferent to opinion, and produced a series of profligate writings, whose highest privilege will be—oblivion.
The present century dawned prosperously for Magyar literature. The first volume of Alexander Kisfaludy's Himfy was published in 1801. No book was ever known to produce such an impression in Hungary as was awakened by this volume; nor was the success of the second part, which appeared in 1807, less than that of the first. He pursued his successful career with his Sagas (Regék) and his Gyula, winning "golden opinions," and becoming alike the companion of the learned and the light-hearted. His Himfy is a series of short descriptive lyrics, the first part celebrating an unsuccessful, the second a happy, love. The main topic is, however, relieved by much beautiful philosophy and salutary moralizing. Between the 400 shorter Dalok or Songs, are introduced 28 Canzonets, somewhat in the Petrarchan style. There is throughout, a masterly condensation of thought, without any embarrassment of language. Kazinczy called these productions the Epigrams of Love. They have many novel forms of expression, some uncommon words; but they approve themselves constantly to the mind. His Regék are the very images of Hungarian life. In his Dramas, whether historical or domestic, he has been less successful; the characters rather describe than develop themselves. Kisfaludy was born of an ancient Hungarian family at Sümeg; educated at Gyö́r (Raab) and Poson; entered the army in his twentieth year; fought the Italian campaign, and was taken prisoner by the French in 1796. Visiting Avignon, it seems as if the mantle of Petrarch had descended upon him, and that out of the fountain of Vaucluse he had drunk of the Italian Helicon. In 1800, he left military service and married the Lisa of his songs. They were published anonymously, and he was for a time "the Great Unknown" of Hungary. His later lyrics have been all welcomed with enthusiasm. In 1809, he enlisted among the Hungarian insurgents, and wrote a history of the campaign. His abode is at Sümeg, where he was born, in a spot said to be one of romantic beauties.
Kazinczy's active spirit has poured upon his country many streams of foreign literature. His prose is admirable. He had to fight a hard battle in favour of improvements which the Hungarian language demanded, in order to accommodate itself to an improved civilization. The man who introduces one really useful word or expression into his native language, is entitled to great applause. It has been by a series of benefactions of this sort that our English tongue has become whit it is, and that it promises to go on gathering strength and riches with the progress of time. The foolish resistance to such melioration has left the French language in nakedness and poverty, unable to communicate a thousand shades of thought and feeling which find representatives in the greater opulence of other idioms. The prejudices of what is called nationality—a word the random use of which may to an unbounded extent impede good and encourage evil—are easily awakened; but Kazinczy has struggled successfully against them—and he has done well; for the author who gives to the mind any new instrument of power, who assists the development and the lucidness of ideas by finding appropriate expressions for them, plants the best seeds of knowledge, Kazinczy aroused a strong opposition against him, as if he had polluted his mother tongue; but that good sense which at last triumphs over narrow prejudices, has recognised him as a well-doer. He has translated much, and from many languages. His parents were Calvinists, and he was born at Ér-Semlyen in 1759. He pursued his studies with great activity and success at Sárospatak, and in his eighteenth year had published a geographical work. In 1786, he was placed at the head of the national schools of the Kassa district, extending over nearly a fourth part of Hungary. His literary history is one of continued labor and successful exertion. With Baróti and Bacsányi, he produced the Magyar Museum, and in 1790 he himself established the Orpheus, a monthly literary periodical. When the ancient crown of Hungary was deposited at Buda in 1790, Kazinczy was deputed with the congratulations of the Abauj district. With this event the awakening enthusiasm of the Magyars was connected. Hungarian dramas were represented, Hungarian Anthologies printed, and the works of many a celebrated foreign poet first wore an Hungarian dress. The revival of Hungarian emotions was not agreeable to the court, and Kázinczy, like many of his literary friends, became obnoxious, and was visited by state prosecution, whose sentence was commuted by the king into seven years' imprisonment. He left his jail in 1801, and married a Catholic lady, Sophia, the daughter of Count Török. On the breaking out of the war with France, he was one of the twelve Deputies chosen to organize the insurrection against the enemy; and in 1801, with Count Joseph Dezsö́fi, was appointed to plan the monument to those who had fallen at Gyö́r, which now ornaments Ujhely, in the neighbourhood of which Kazinczy dwells. A collection of his works on Belles Lettres, in nine volumes, has been published. That part of his Erdélyi Levelek (Transylvanian Letters) which has been printed—the result of a journey through that country—is much valued. Hs name is, in a word, spread over the whole field of modern Magyar literature, and will be found as a contributor to every periodical of distinction which has appeared in his native country.
Kis has acted silently, but remarkably, on the literature of Hungary. It can hardly be said that he surprises his reader, but he affects and pleases him. His is a philosophical temperament, and his style is clear and bright. He has published much original poetry and many translations. Nothing can be farther removed from affectation than his writings, and his verses especially flow like a stream down a gentle declivity. He was born of poor parents at Szent-András, in Soprony. His mother taught him to read, his father to write. When he entered the Soprony Gymnasium, a benevolent German Professor (Schwartner) took much notice of him, and greatly assisted the cultivation of his mind. In his twenty- first year, (1791,) accompanied by a school -fellow, he undertook a pedestrian tour through a great part of Hungary, for the purpose of making the personal acquaintance of the eminent writers of the time. He travelled into Germany, and followed the courses of some of the distinguished Professors of Göttingen and Jena; on his return to Hungary he was made a professor, and elevated to many distinguished offices in the career of education. He was one of the founders of the Magyar Society at Soprony for the cultivation of the poetical literature of Hungary. He obtained the prize which was offered in 1804, by an Hungarian patriot, for the best essay on the cultivation and extension of the Magyar tongue. In 1822, he was called to the ranks of nobility. He translated Lowth's Choice of Hercules from the English. His works are very numerous—sixty volumes at least, independently of many contributions to periodicals. They consist of versions from the classics, school-books, and ethics, and poetry on many topics.
Of Berzsenyi, opinions are various and sometimes contrary. He has been admired for his originality by some, and attacked for his servility by others. Döbrentei, however, says of him in a letter to me, "Berzsenyi is truly a national poet, fiery, glowing, soft, and exalted. His language the purest Hungarian." I have heard him compared to a lark soaring and singing in the heavens. The thoughts, and sometimes the phrases, of the Latin and German classics may be traded in some of his works. Nothing can be more natural than the flow of his strains, more awakened and awakening than his sensibilities, more lively than his imagination. The Hungarians call him their national bard, as a special distinction. His compositions are fervent and fiery, and so frequently breathe those warm and passionate appeals to the patriotic feelings of his countrymen which agitate their minds like an intellectual tempest. They speak of Berzsenyi with a wild enthusiasm. He has fanned and flattered the strongest of the Magyar sensibilities—has sung the ancient glories of the Hunnish race—and, with deep pathos, has poured strains of plaintiveness over their present decay. Rumy says of him, that as a boy he was "non sine Dis animosus infans." It has been objected to him that his style is sometimes inflated and degraded by provincialisms, but his severest critics are willing to allow that he has many distinguished merits. His place of birth was Hetye, and he became in early life the friend of Kis, and the correspondent of Kázinczy. In one of the assemblies of the different orders at Sümeg in 1812, Count Teleki presented our poet as the treasure of the Hungarian Parnassus. His works were published in three volumes, by Helmeczy, in 1813. Berzsenyi was one of those who were sharply attacked by the Mondolat, a satire on the Neologists, as they were called, as the introducers of novelties. His present abode is Mikla.
Helmeczy has ventured far in introducing new words and new combinations of words, particularly in his translations from Schiller and Tasso, in the original measures. Perhaps he is not always happy in his experiments, but he has, at all events, added something to the riches of his native tongue.
Szemere's Sonnets are the best existing in the Hungarian. He, too, has been a translator from other idioms, and has published a version of Körner's Zrinyi, a drama recommended to the Magyars by its connexion with their history. Szemere was of an ancient and noble family; his studies were pursued through many schools and colleges; in his twenty-third year he became an advocate, and about ten years after was made Vice Fiscal of Pest. He has written many philological papers, and taken an active part in the strife as to the improvements of the Magyar tongue. He published a collection of songs in 1812, and has been actively engaged with Kölcsey in the editorship of Life and Literature, Élet és Litteratúra. His place of abode is usually either Péczel or Pest.
In 1782, Szasz was born in Dedrád-Széplak, and educated in the College of Maros-Vásárhely. Patronized by Count Teleki, he visited Vienna and Jena to be trained to the office of Librarian. After an absence of two years he returned, and died in his thirtieth year, in 1812. His friend Döbrentei published some of his poems in the Erdélyi Museum, with an affectionate and eulogistic notice (Pt. II. pp. 102—116).
Döbrentei has translated several of Shakspeare's plays, and his Magyar Macbeth was represented at Poson during the sittings of the Diet in 1825. His epic Kenyérmezei Diadal, Victory of Kenyermezö́, a sort of Ossianic composition, has been translated into German by Count Mailáth. There is a charming popular tone about some of his productions, while others give evidence of a high and cultivated taste. His origin is noble—his birth-place Hö́gyész. His early productions obtained for him the favor of the Soprony Literary Society, whose transactions he edited in 1804. After travel in foreign lands, he became the preceptor of the young Count Gyulai, of Transylvania. He again left his country for Italy in 1814, and on his return established the Erdélyi Museum at Kolosvár, one of the most valuable contributions to Magyar literature. Men of every sect united to assist this interesting undertaking, and its pages will be found ornamented with the works of Catholics and Calvinists, Lutherans, and Unitarians. Ever labouring for the advance of his country's literature, he laid the foundations of a society of Belles Lettres on an extended scale, which has been sanctioned and recommended by many of the authorities, but has not yet obtained the patronage of the King. In 1825, he was made commissary of the Buda district, and there is his place of abode. He is one of the most zealous, one of the most enlightened and fascinating of the Magyar writers. He is the author of the article in the Leipzig Conversations Lexicon on the literature of his country, and his name will be found associated with honourable titles to distinction and affection over the whole field of Magyar intelligence.
The odium theologicum, which may be translated malevolence in its worst shape, sometimes breaks very offensively through the writings of Hungarian divines. Yet I have heard from Döbrentei a story so honourable to all concerned, that I record it here with exceeding satisfaction. Döbrentei is a Protestant, and one who, to my knowledge, has made sacrifices to his religious convictions. In 1822, when he returned from Transylvania, he visited, in Tét, the well-known Catholic Priest, Horvát Endre, who lived in his Pázmándi Magány, (Pazmandian Solitude,) amidst the vineyards on the sides of the mountain, where the ancient Benedictine convent stands. There were present several Catholics, and among them Güzmics Izidor, a Benedictine monk, the translator of Theocritus into Magyar Hexameters, and Szalai Imre, the grammarian, now Professor at Pest. A little festival welcomed the poet. It was held in the open air, under a large apple-tree. Horvát rose, and thus addressed the party: "Friends, Döbrentei is here, the Editor of the Erdélyi Museum. I take you all to witness, that, in memory of this day, I name this noble apple-tree the Gábor Fája" (Gabriel's Tree). The word was re-echoed by all the company, they filled their glasses with Hungarian wine, and baptized the Gábor Fája. Güzmics wrote a distich, which was suspended on the tree, which has been since an object of considerable attraction.
I owe much to Döbrentei, far more than my thanks can repay.
Buczy is a native of Kolosvár—his poetry is of the classic character, which has grown out of his great devotion to the writers of Greece and Rome. He was professor of rhetoric at Nagy Szeben (Hermanstadt), but ill health compelled him to abandon his chair, and to retire for some years to private life. On his recovery he was appointed to the professorship of moral philosophy at Károly-Fejérvár (Karlsburg), which occupies him at this hour. Most of his poems are contributions to the Erdélyi Museum.
Tóth has more of erudition than of poetical genius, and his erudition is visible in the classical character of his writings. His father was a preacher of the Reformed Church at Kis-Tokaj, and the young Tóth made such progress in his early studies of Latin and Greek, as to excite the admiration of his teachers. In 1814 he came to Pest in order to fit himself for the practice of medicine. Two years afterwards he published his first volume of poems; and in 1818, his Greek verses with their Hungarian translations. They were favourably received and honorably noticed. In 1816 he joined the Catholic church; but he died of cholera, some have suspected of poison, in 1820. He was the first to introduce the Pindaric Ode into the Magyar literature. His unpublished writings were more numerous than his published ones, and great hopes were indulged of the services he might render by them to the healing art.
While the paper is yet wet which bears these translations from Vitkovics, I receive the intelligence that this interesting poet has erased to be. He died on the 9th of September, 1829. He was a Servian by birth, and wrote his native and his adopted language with equal purity. His tones are easy, graceful, and airy, and he introduced into Hungary those strains of popular song which are so diffused among the Slavonian nations. Eger (Eylau) was his birth-place, and there was he educated. Having been chastised as a boy for the offence of verse-making, he clung to the art the more closely when he grew to be a man. Professor Pápay gave him the first instructions as to the composition of Magyar poetry. His Address to Horvát, and more especially his Fables and Poems, (Meséji és versei: Pest, 1817,) were welcomed with high praise. His writings are scattered over the fugitive Hungarian papers of the present century.
Fay is a sharp and sparkling writer, from whose pen mirth and laughter are constantly gushing forth. He was born in 1786, at Kohány, and was just that eager and sprightly youth who might be expected to become the lively and witty man. Having studied at Sárospatak and Poson, he became a judge in the Pest district, where he dwells. In 1807 he published a collection of his fables and poems (Bokréta), of which many were written before he had reached his fifteenth year. Another collection, Fris Bokréta, (Fresh Plumes), appeared in 1818; and a third, consisting of Fables and Aphorisms, in 1820. These are excellent,— they are humorous and wise. In 1824 appeared other Tales and a Prose Comedy, entitled Kedvesapongások (Pleasure Vibrations). Fay is one of the most popular of the Hungarian writers.
In 1814, Horvát Andreas published his Zircz Emlékezete — Remembrance of Zircz, in hexameters. The paucity of events is relieved by many philosophical musings, and the language and versification correct and easy. The date of Horvát's birth is 1778. In 1798 he entered the Cistercian order of Monks. In 1806 he was appointed to a Cure in Tét, his present abode. At the request of many of his admirers he undertook a National Epic—to celebrate the founder of the Hungarian Kingdom, Árpád, which is not yet completed, though he has published specimens in some of the periodicals, especially the Aurora, where also may be found many other productions of his pen.
The songs of Szentmiklóssy Aloys are agreeable, and his Epigrams pointed. He was the son of a state councillor, who paid great attention to his education, and on the completion of his studies at Eger, in his twenty-sixth year, he was made an Assessor at Borsod. In his early writings he appears to have made Faludi and Ányos his models; but Kázinczy obtained afterwards great influence on his mind. The presence of a number of French officers, prisoners of war, at Eger, induced him to attend particularly to the literature of their country. Szentmiklóssy's writings have not, I believe, been collected into volumes, but are spread through the different periodicals of Hungary.
Kölcsey introduced the Ballad into the Hungarian literature.—His elegiac powers are great. His remarks on his contemporaries have been salutary, though sometimes severe. He was the Editor of Élet és Litteratúra (Life and Literature), a periodical of high reputation. His own writings are warm and vigorous. Born at Szö́ Demeter, in Transylvania, he studied at Debreczen, obtained honor as a classical scholar, and mastered the literature of France and Germany. In his nineteenth year he became a Jurat at Pest, and there formed that intimate alliance with Horvát, Vitkovics, and Szemere, which afterwards exercised so important an influence on Magyar criticism. His first productions appeared in the Dámák' Kalendárioma (Ladies' Calendar), and the Transylvanian Museum. On a visit paid his friend Szemere, he wrote the attack on Mondolat, which was published without his cognizance in 1815. His criticisms on Csokonai, Kis, and Berzsenyi, won him many enemies, and made him the object of sharp censure. These criticisms appeared in the Tudományos Gyǘjtemeny (Literary Collection), and the intention of going over the whole course of Hungarian literature in the same spirit was abandoned. His critical productions are vigorous, eloquent, and useful. His translation of Homer, if it can be judged of by the specimens published, is very masterly. He inhabits Cséke (Schwäke). It is earnestly to be desired that his vigorous, original, and for the most part judicious, criticisms, should be continued.
Though so much of Kisfaludy's (Karóly) life was passed far away from Hungary, a more correct painter of Hungarian manners has never appeared. His Dramas are rich in fancy and remarkable for their truth and tact. He has far outstripped the expectations excited by his earlier productions. He has won for himself a dramatic, almost equal to his brother's lyric, fame. In 1819 and 1820 his productions first appeared on the stage, and followed one another with great rapidity, each being welcomed with new enthusiasm. He has taken his materials, for the most part, from the interesting events of Magyar history, and has presented admirable pictures in which truth has furnished all their bright lights and dark shadows. He deserves a more special attention, and a more careful and detailed criticism, than can be found room for here; but on some future occasion, I hope, with the co-operation of a valuable friend, to introduce some of his admirable works in their entirety to English readers. His Aurora cannot be mentioned without praise. For some years it has been the receptacle of the gems of modern Magyar poetry. It was here that Kölcsey first became known.
Charles Kisfaludy is the younger brother of Alexander, and was born at Tét, on the 19th of March, 1790. In his fifteenth year he entered the army,—was engaged in the campaign of Italy in 1805, and that of Germany in 1809. It is said that when he left his paternal home he had never seen any other poetry than his brother's Himfy. This, however, sufficed to enkindle the embers of his imagination, and in Italy he wrote many poems, which have seen the light at different times, and in various ways. The first of his Dramas acted was the Tartars (Tatárok). It produced such a tempest of applause, that (says Schedel) "the poet could hardly save himself from the rush of young people, who, with loud shouts of joy, insisted on producing him on the stage." It was again and again represented with boisterous applause. His second play, Zács, was prohibited,—his third, Ilka, was scarcely less fortunate than the first. In the following year he wrote his Stibor, a Drama, in four acts,—and, on a notice of only ten days, his Szécsí,—and, in a yet less period, Kemény Simon. A number of dramatic pieces followed these, and in 1820, he published an Apotheosis of Pannonics. His intimacy with Helmeczy led him to a more thoroughly philosophical examination of the character of the Hungarian language, and to project the establishment of a school of art, for the furtherance of a pure poetical taste. The Aurora dawned out of this conception, and it is sprinkled over with various works, in almost every, class of composition. In many of these Kisfaludy adopted pseudonymes, some of which became almost as famous as his own.
Bajza's poetry has a melancholy expression about it, and does not always appear to wear a natural garb of gloom. Szǘcsi was his birthplace; his parents were noble; and in the seventh year of his age (in 1811), he was sent to study at Gyöngyös; from thence be went to Pest, and afterwards to Poson. In 1825, he was chosen Secretary to the representatives to the diet of the Heves district, and remained two years in the capital. His writings are principally in the Aurora; one of them, a Borének, or Wine Song, was enthusiastically admired.
Czuczor's Augsburgi ütközet, (Battle of Augsburg, A. D. 910,) is an epic in four cantos. The subject is too remote, and too little assisted by historical facts, to excite much interest. It is an energetic composition, but swelling at times into an almost bombastic grandiosity. His Aradi gyǘlés (Diet of Arad, A. D. 1136,) in five cantos, is happier in every respect. The actors are fine and veracious portraits, the events both touching and important. Less varied, less romantic than Vörösmárty, he has more simplicity and unity in his story, and more of individuality in his actors. He was born at Andód in 1800, became a Benedictine in 1817; the following year he attended a course of philosophy at Gyö́r. In 1824, he became Latin Professor, and, in 1826, Professor of Rhetoric there, and he still fills the chair. Vörösmarty entered on dangerous ground when he determined to try his fortune as an epic poet. He had several living rivals; among them Czuczor and Horvát, who had published some specimens of his Árpád. But Vörösmarty was not a man of an every-day stamp. His rich and powerful fancy has always been sufficient to his highest intellectual conceptions. Not that he has formed on all occasions a correct estimate of his own powers. His mind is not fitted for dramatic groupings. He is a master of description, not of action. No fault can be found with the poetry of his dramas; but unless the doings of the stage are as interesting as the sayings, there is no redemption for the work. Vörösmarty's dramas are failures. As an epic poet, however, Vörösmarty is really great. Schedel speaks of the inexhaustible opulence of Vörösmarty's imagination, the infinite versatility of its creations, the marvellously varied shades of thought and feeling for which he has found expression, and especially of the felicitous sketches and personifications of woman which decorate his pages. His Hexameters are beautiful, and truly national. In 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 Tudományos Gyǘjtémeny, he is one of the most influential, as undoubtedly one of the most distinguished, of the literary men of his country.
The lyrics of Szenvey are more remarkable for their form, than their correctness of language. He is a preceptor at Maglod, and was born in 1798. The greater part of his manhood was passed in the neighbourhood of Visegrád, "the paradise of Hungary, in the midst of those ruins which make the memory of the past so beautiful, living a life of enthusiasm and of song." He has written seven tragedies, and many ballads.
I have thus gone through the list of those Magyar authors who seem more particularly entitled to notice. I trust in this good work I am the forerunner of wiser and more successful men.
That the Magyar language and literature will receive greater attention from foreigners, and that the interest excited elsewhere will act upon the better and brighter part of Hungarian ambition is certain. I see without jealousy the ardent national feeling of the Magyars, and feel that a nationality founded upon knowledge, and representing a spirit of freedom and independence, is itself a virtue, and the parent of many virtues. 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 has denied to the Magyars a poetical temperament. He says the national tone is noble, generous, gallant, susceptible, good-natured, loving, easily won, sharp-witted, and imaginative. Now, are not these elements enough for the creation of poets and poetry? And how can a nation be deemed unpoetical which can offer to the world such a roll of poets as Hungary presents?
Of the popular poetry of the Magyars, little can be referred to a high antiquity. A fragment of an ancient poem is still sung by Hungarian children, thus:
Lengyel László jó királyunk
Az is nekünk illenségünk.
Nothing, however, but these two lines remain. The martial songs of their warlike ancestors have not been saved out of the oblivion of old time. Of the historical songs none are earlier than those of the wars of the last Hungarian revolution. Of the oral stories (Mesék or Regék) of the Magyars, I shall translate Mailath's interesting description:
"The Magyar story-tellers are one of the many evidences of the oriental origin of the people. Like the Night-fablers of Arabia, they go on by the hour―aye, by the night long—without wearying their hearers. These are for the most part to be found among soldiers and peasants. The stories which in other lands are preserved only in work-rooms and nurseries to our days, are narrated in Hungary in the porch, by watch and shepherd fires, and amidst the night labors of the field. The character of the Magyar tale is wholly unlike that of southern lands. The hero is generally a student, a soldier, or a king's son; his companion, a magic horse called Tatós, who is his counsellor and saviour. His enemy is often a dragon with six, nine, or twelve heads, and the hero must undergo three ordeals; and this number is the ruling one throughout the story. There is a sharpness and oddity about the conception, and an original development of the plot. The scenery, and the deeds of the principal actors, shew that the stories emanate from a people who lived in elevated places. The narrator sometimes unites two or three stories in one — sometimes divides one into many—elaborates or changes it according to his own caprice or the demands of his audience.—It has happened that many tales of foreign origin have been introduced, which have been all nationalized by time. I remember to have heard a celebrated story-telling woman in the Abaujvár district, narrate one of Gozzi's best tales; and the well-known and foreign 'Swan Maiden' is current all over Hungary, The national may be immediately distinguished from the exotic."
Of the Lyrics of the nation, the collection I have translated will serve to give a fair idea. To advocate their merits as literary compositions is no part of my task. I have given nearly the whole that have reached me, in order to shew what are the Songs of the Magyar people. Hungarian towns and villages, and rivers and plains, and hills and valleys, have been painted and described by many. Here are some of the thoughts of those who dwell there. The dresses of Hungary and Transylvania decorate many books, and are the subject of many pictures. Here are some of the adornings of the inward man—here is something of the costume of mind.
The Ecclesiastical History of a country is undoubtedly closely connected with its Literature; hut I have been compelled to avoid entering on so wide and interesting a field. Those who wish to study this part of the subject may consult
Bartholomaedes Comentario de Bohemis Kis-Henthensibus.— Edit. 2. Poson, 1796, 4to. Historia Diplomatica de statu Religionis Evangel: In Hungaria. 1710, fol.
Lampe (Paul Ember) Historia Ecclesiae Reformatae in Hungaria et Transylvania. Poolsum, 1728,4to.
Memorabilia Augustanae Confessionis in Hungaria. Ed. Joan. Roboni. Poson, 1792. (An admirable book.)
Novi ecclesiastici et scholastici Anuales Evangelicorum Aug. et Hel. Conf. in Ditionibus Domus Aust. Herid. Ed. Sam. Ambrosius Shemnicii, 1793, 4to.
Protestans Ekklesiak Historája Magyar és Erdély Országbaun. Készitette s' kiadta. Tóth Ferentz, 8 Komáron, 1808.
J. S. Klein's Nachrichten von den Lebensumstaenden evangelischer Predeger in Ungaria. 3 vols. Leipzig, 1789.
Kurze Geschichte der Evangelischen Lutherischen Kirche in Ungarn von Anfang der Reformation bis auf Leopold II. Göttingen, 1794.
And the historians of Hungary, such as Von Engel, Fessler, Katona (40 volumes), Budai, Palma, and otliers.
Schedel (under the name of Toldy Ferencz) has done acceptable service to the Magyar literature by his well-selected Anthology, Handbuch der Ungrischen Poesie, which is in itself a little, agreeable Magyar library of poetry. His coadjutor in this excellent labor is George Stettner, who adopts the pseudonyme of Fenyéry Julius. It contains not only a series of well-selected specimens, but the most important facts in the biography of the principal poets of Hungary. On this I have ventured to draw largely. It has furnished me with the greater part of my materials. And scarcely less am I indebted to Count Mailath's Magyarische Gedichte. Without the assistance of these valuable writers I could not have effected a labor, of whose incompleteness and imperfections no individual can be more sensible than myself. But to do something, though feebly and unsatisfactorily, where nothing has been done before—to bring some mementos, though few and small, from an undescribed country—to introduce a little knowledge, in the place of much ignorance —may haply be a not unworthy service. Criticism will estimate the difficulties which surround "the stranger in a strange land," and will deal out an indulgent award.
- A'driai tengernek Syrenája, Grof Zrinyi Miklos.
- Gyöngyösi Istvannak költeményes maradványai.
- It is in three parts:
Falusi notárius' Budai utazása (Presburg, 1790).
Falusi notárius' pokolba menetele (Basil, 1790).
Falusi notárius' elmélkedése, betegsége és halála (Poson,
- Ányos Pál' munkáji. 8vo.
- Especially his Grammar.
- A' Magyar alagyáknak elsö́ könyvök.
- Kázinczy 'Munkáji Szép Literatúra. Pest, 1814—16.
- Töltényi has written, too, a great number of sonnets, but they are not very happily constructed. The sonnets of Bártfay are melodious.
- Dalok azoknak, a' kik szeretnek.
- Székely had published a short Transylvanian Epic in 1823, The Seklers, and soon afterwards Mohács.
- See Wiener Zahrbücher for 1829, No. xlv.
- Laszló the Pole—the good king—he
He also is our enemy.
- Magyarische Sagen und Maehrchen. Brunn, 1825.
- In two volumes 8vo. Pest and Vienna, 1828.
- In one volume 12mo. Stuttgart and Tubingen, 1825.