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Medieval Lithuania
LEGACY OF MEDIEVAL LITHUANIA

             


Mikalojus Dauksza

Preface to the kind reader

(Excerpts; full text - in Polish [original], Russian or Lithuanian)
Postilla Catholicka. Vilnius, 1599

       I know how all nations value, love and appreciate works which are written in their native language... except our Lithuanian nation, while learning Polish and using it, it started to scorn, neglect, practically renounce its own language. Everyone can see this, but praise comes with great difficulty for such a nation.
      Where, I say, in the world is there such a nation, so poor and contemptible, that it would not have these three things of its own, as it were innate: a fatherland, traditions and a language? For all ages people have spoken their native language and were always concerned to preserve it, to enrich it, to improve it and make it more beautiful. There is no one so poor, there is no corner of the earth so contemptible, where a native language is not used...
      Nations do not flourish because of the fertility of their land, their distinctive dress, the beauty of the country, nor the strength of their cities or castles, but mostly by preserving and using their language, which increases and sustains the feeling of community, harmony and brotherly love. Language is the common tie of love, the mother of unity, the father of citizenship, the guardian of a nation. If you destroy it - you will destroy peace, unity and prosperity...

       Original text in Polish: Postilla Catholicka, tai est: Išguldimas Ewangeliu kiekwienos Nedelos ir szwętes per wissus metus / per kuniga Mikaloiu Dauksza, Kanonika Medniku isz lękiszko perguldita; su wala ir dalaidimu wireusiuiu. - W Wilniui: Drukarnioi Akademios Societatis Iesu, A. D. 1599.
      English translation: Algirdas Sabaliauskas. We, the Balts / translated by Milda-Bakšytė-Richardson, edited by R. E. Richardson, with an Introduction by William R. Schmalstieg. Vilnius, 1993. P. 135-136.


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