Pan Tadeusz

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Title page of the 1834 edition of Pan Tadeusz

Pan Tadeusz is an epic poem written in Polish by Adam Mickiewicz, first published in Paris in 1834. It is generally considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Polish literature and a national epic of Poland. Set during the Napoleonic era in a fictional idyllic village of Soplicowo somewhere in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, or in modern-day Belarus, the poem tells a story of litigation over ruins of an old castle between two noble families – Soplica and Horeszko – against the backdrop of an anticipated Franco-Russian war.

All English quotations are from Marcel Weyland's translation.

Title[edit]

  • Pan Tadeusz czyli Ostatni zajazd na Litwie. Historia szlachecka z roku 1811 i 1812 we dwunastu księgach wierszem.
    • Translation: Pan Tadeusz or The Last Foray in Lithuania. A Tale of the Gentry during 1811–1812 in Twelve Books of Verse.
    • Comment: Tadeusz (Thaddeus) is the first name of the main character, Tadeusz Soplica. Pan is an honorific, then reserved to noblemen, roughly equivalent to "Sir". Mickiewicz explains the term zajazd (here translated as "foray") as an armed execution of a court order carried out by the plaintiff's relatives and neighbors.

Book One: The Estate[edit]

Księga Pierwsza: Gospodarstwo

  • Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! Ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
    Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
    Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
    Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.
    • Translation:
      Lithuania, my country! You are as good health:
      How much one should prize you, he only can tell
      Who has lost you. Your beauty and splendour I view
      And describe here today, for I long after you.
    • Comment: Initial verses of the epic containing an apostrophe to Lithuania, the author's native land.
  • Panno święta, co Jasnej bronisz Częstochowy
    I w Ostrej świecisz Bramie!
  • Tymczasem przenoś moją duszę utęsknioną
    Do tych pagórków leśnych, do tych łąk zielonych,
    Szeroko nad błękitnym Niemnem rozciągnionych;
    Do tych pól malowanych zbożem rozmaitem,
    Wyzłacanych pszenicą, posrebrzanych żytem;
    Gdzie bursztynowy świerzop, gryka jak śnieg biała,
    Gdzie panieńskim rumieńcem dzięcielina pała,
    A wszystko przepasane jakby wstęgą, miedzą
    Zieloną, na niej z rzadka ciche grusze siedzą.
    • Translation:
      Meanwhile, bear my soul heavy with yearning's dull pain,
      To those soft woodland hillocks, those meadows, green, gleaming,
      Spread wide along each side of the blue-flowing Niemen,
      To those fields, which by various grain painted, there lie
      Shimmering, with wheat gilded, and silvered with rye;
      Where grows the amber mustard, buckwheat white as snow,
      Where, with maidenly blushes, clover flowers glow,
      And all as if beribboned by green strips of land,
      The balks, upon which scattered quiet pear trees stand.
    • Comment: Niemen is the Polish name of the river known as Neman in Belarusian and Nemunas in Lithuanian. There is some debate about exact identification of two plants mentioned in the above passage: świerzop and dzięcielina (here translated as "mustard" and "clover" respectively).
  • Grzeczność nie jest nauką łatwą ani małą.
    Niełatwą, bo nie na tym kończy się, jak nogą
    Zręcznie wierzgnąć, z uśmiechem witać lada kogo;
    Bo taka grzeczność modna zda mi się kupiecka,
    Ale nie staropolska ani też szlachecka.
    Grzeczność wszystkim należy, lecz każdemu inna...
    • Translation:
      Courtesy's not a science too easy, or small.
      Not easy, for it is not sufficiently done
      With a deftly bent knee, smile at just everyone;
      For meseems, such politeness a merchant's is only,
      And is not of old Poland, nor yet gentlemanly.
      Courtesy's due to all, but not quite in same style...
    • Comment: Excerpt from Judge Soplica's lecture about old Polish rules of courtesy and etiquette.

Book Two: The Castle[edit]

Księga Druga: Zamek

  • Takiej kawy jak w Polszcze nie ma w żadnym kraju...
    • Translation: Such coffee as in Poland you'll not find elsewhere...

Book Three: Flirtations[edit]

Księga Trzecia: Umizgi

Mushroom picking, Franciszek Kostrzewski's illustration to Book Three of Pan Tadeusz (1860)
  • Ale Wojski zbierał muchomory.
    • Translations: But the Tribune, of course, fly-bane gathered.
    • Comment: Excerpt from the description of nobles picking wild mushrooms, a popular Polish pastime. Fly-bane, or fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), is a common poisonous mushroom.
  • Miejsce piękne i ciche, tu się często schrania
    Telimena, zowiąc je świątynią dumania.
    • Translation:
      Telimena, this lovely still spot often choosing
      For her refuge, had called it her Temple of Musing.
  • Trzeba wiedzieć, że to jest Sopliców choroba,
    Że im oprocz Ojczyzny nic się nie podoba
    • Translation:
      One should know that this is the Soplicas' malaise,
      That they'll nothing else but their own fatherland praise
  • Tak to na świecie wszystko los zwykł kończyć dzwonem.
    Rachunki myśli wielkiej, plany wyobraźni,
    Zabawki niewinności, uciechy przyjaźni,
    Wylania się serc czułych! – gdy śpiż z dala ryknie,
    Wszystko miesza się, zrywa, mąci się i niknie!
    • Translation:
      Thus in this world fate all with a bell's tolling ends,
      Great ambitions, great projects of imagination,
      Childhood's playtimes and friendship's heart-felt consolations,
      The hearts' tender confessions! Should some dread bronze roar
      From afar, all is shattered, confused – is no more!
    • Comment: Count's reflection made on hearing a lunch bell ringing.

Book Four: Diplomacy and the Hunt[edit]

Księga Czwarta: Dyplomacja i łowy

  • Gdybyś i te zapory zmógł nadludzkim męstwem,
    Dalej spotkać się z większym masz niebezpieczeństwem;
    Dalej co krok czyhają, niby wilcze doły,
    Małe jeziorka, trawą zarosłe na poły,
    Tak głębokie, że ludzie dna ich nie dośledzą
    (Wielkie jest podobieństwo, że diabły tam siedzą).
    Woda tych studni sklni się, plamista rdzą krwawą.
    A z wnętrza ciągle dymi zionąc woń plugawą,
    Od której drzewa wkoło tracą liść i korę;
    Łyse, skarłowaciałe, robaczliwe, chore,
    Pochyliwszy konary mchem kołtunowate
    I pnie garbiąc brzydkimi grzybami brodate,
    Siedzą wokoło wody, jak czarownic kupa
    Grzejąca się nad kotłem, w którym warzą trupa.
    • Translation:
      If you these with amazing great bravery subdue
      Then even more dire perils are waiting for you:
      There lie in wait, like wolf-pits, that dare you to pass,
      Little pools half grown over with mat of rank grass
      So very deep, that no man can fathom such pit,
      (And it is very likely, therein devils sit).
      Water in these shafts glistens, with bloody rust spotted,
      And steam from the depths rises, with smell of things rotted,
      Which makes the trees that grow there lose all leaf and bark;
      Bald and dwarfish, worm-riddled, unhealthy and stark,
      With mossy tangled elf-locks from crooked limbs hanging,
      And stumps hump-backed, and bristling with unlovely fungi,
      Squat like a witches' coven round a cauldron wheezing,
      Their hands warming, while in it a fresh corpse is seething.
    • Comment: Part of a description of the most inaccessible parts of Lithuanian primeval forests.
Tribune's concert, Michał Elwiro Andriolli's illustration to Book Four of Pan Tadeusz
  • Natenczas Wojski chwycił na taśmie przypięty
    Swój róg bawoli, długi, cętkowany, kręty
    Jak wąż boa, oburącz do ust go przycisnął,
    Wzdął policzki jak banię, w oczach krwią zabłysnął,
    Zasunął wpół powieki, wciągnął w głąb pół brzucha
    I do płuc wysłał z niego cały zapas ducha...
    (...)
    Tu przerwał, lecz róg trzymał; wszystkim się zdawało,
    Że Wojski wciąż gra jeszcze, a to echo grało.
    • Translation:
      Thereupon grasped the Tribune, to his belt well knotted,
      His great buffalo horn, long, and twisty, and spotted
      As the snake boa; two-handed to his lips he pressed it,
      Blew his cheeks out like pumpkins, eyes with blood congested,
      Half slid down his two eyelids, drew in half his belly,
      And to his lungs he sent off all his spirit swelling...
      (...)
      Now the Tribune paused holding the horn; in the glade
      It seemed to all he played still: but now echo played.
    • Comment: Excerpt from a description of the Tribune playing a blowing horn as part of a hunting ritual.
  • Wódka to gdańska, napój miły dla Polaka;
    "Niech żyje! krzyknął Sędzia, w górę wznosząc flaszę,
    Miasto Gdańsk, niegdyś nasze, będzie znowu nasze!"
    • Translation:
      This was vodka from Gdańsk, to a Pole a drink dear;
      "Long live Gdańsk", cried His Honour, flask raising to pour,
      "The city, which once ours, shall yet ours be once more!"
    • Comment: Reference to Goldwasser, a liqueur from the city of Gdańsk.
  • W kociołkach bigos grzano; w słowach wydać trudno
    Bigosu smak przedziwny, kolor i woń cudną.
    • Translation:
      In the pots warmed the bigos; mere words cannot tell
      Of its wondrous taste, colour and marvellous smell.
    • Comment: Reference to bigos, or hunting stew, made from cabbage and meat.
  • Domeyki i Doweyki wszystkie sprzeciwieństwa
    Pochodziły, rzecz dziwna, z nazwisk podobieństwa
    Bardzo niewygodnego.
    • Translation:
      Domeyko's and Doweyko's adverse feelings came,
      Strange to say, from resemblance between name and name,
      Inconvenient to both men.
    • Comment: Beginning of the Tribune's anecdote of Domeyko's and Doweyko's argument about who should get the credit for killing a bear during a hunt.

Book Five: The Quarrel[edit]

Księga Piąta: Kłótnia

  • Stąd też nieprzyjacielem zabitym był fajki,
    Wymyślonej od Niemców, by nas scudzoziemczyć;
    Mawiał: "Polskę oniemić, jest to Polskę zniemczyć".
    • Translation:
      Of the pipe habit was an inveterate foe:
      A German scheme, so Poles, like them, speechless become.
      He said: "Poland turned silent, is Poland struck dumb".
    • Comment: In Polish, the words Niemcy, "Germans", and niemy, "mute", are related. The Tribune's adage may be more literally translated as: "to gag Poland is to Germanize it."
  • "Nigdy jeden drugiemu nie zachodzić w drogę,
    Nigdy we dwóch nie strzelać do jednej źwierzyny".
    Właśnie Wojski wymawiał to słowo: "źwierzyny",
    Gdy Asesor półgębkiem podszepnął: "dziewczyny"...
    • Translation:
      "Not to hinder each other should be huntsmen's aim,
      And that two should not ever shoot at the one game."
      The Tribune had just spoken that little word "game",
      When the Assessor, under his breath, whispered "dame"...
    • Comment: Allusions to Tadeusz's and the Count's rivalry in both hunting and seduction.
  • Sztuka rzucania nożów, straszna w ręcznej bitwie,
    Już była zaniedbana podówczas na Litwie,
    Znajoma tylko starym...
    • Translation:
      The old art of knife-throwing, for close fights perfected,
      By then in Lithuania was somewhat neglected,
      Known but to the old...

Book Six: The Settlement[edit]

Księga Szósta: Zaścianek

  • Szabel nam nie zabraknie, szlachta na koń wsiędzie,
    Ja z synowcem na czele, i – jakoś to będzie!
    • Translation:
      Of sabres there are plenty; all gentry to horse,
      Nephew and I shall lead, and – we'll manage, of course!
    • Comment: Part of Judge Soplica's war musings

Book Seven: The Meeting[edit]

Księga Siódma: Rada

  • Wpadam do Soplicowa jak w centrum polszczyzny:
    Tam się człowiek napije, nadysze Ojczyzny!
    • Translation:
      I seek his [Soplica's] house, the kernel of old Polish ways:
      There man can breathe and drink in the Fatherland's praise!
    • Comment: Bartek Dobrzyński's defense of Judge Soplica.
  • To póki o wskrzeszeniu Polski była rada,
    O dobru pospolitym, głupi, u was zwada?
    Nie można było, głupi, ani się rozmówić,
    Głupi, ani porządku, ani postanowić
    Wodza nad wami, głupi! a niech no kto podda
    Osobiste urazy, głupi, u was zgoda!
    • Translation:
      When talk was to raise Poland again from this rubble,
      And of common good, stupid, all you did was squabble,
      No one could, stupid, either exchange proper views,
      In some good order, stupid, nor properly choose
      A chief over you, stupid! But should one by chance
      Bring out your private hurts, fools, agreement at once!
    • Comment: Maciek Dobrzyński's remonstrance.

Book Eight: The Foray[edit]

Księga Ósma: Zajazd

  • Żadne żaby nie grają tak pięknie jak polskie
    • Translation:
      No frogs croak as divinely as Polish ones do
  • Ja jestem tobie wdzięczen, ale niepodobna
    Żenić się, kochajmy się, ale tak – z osobna.
    • Translation:
      Marriage is out of question, my dear, have a heart!
      I am grateful, let's love, yes, but sort of – apart.
    • Comment: Tadeusz breaking up with Telimena
  • Panie Woźny, pan Hrabia śmie Waćpana prosić,
    Abyś raczył przed szlachtą bracią wnet ogłosić
    Intromisyją Hrabi do zamku, do dworu
    Sopliców, do wsi, gruntów zasianych, ugoru,
    Słowem cum gais, boris et graniciebus,
    Kmetonibus, scultetis et omnibus rebus
    Et quibusdam aliis.
    • Translation:
      The Count is so bold, Usher, to ask you this once
      That before all the gentry you deign to announce
      The Count's seising of castle, of homestead, of village,
      Of all fields sown, lands fallow, and land under tillage,
      Cum gravibus, forestis, and cum bounderibus,
      Peasantibus, bailivis, et omnibus rebus,
      Et quibusdam aliis.
    • Comment: Gerwazy's attempt to force a court usher to issue a legal ruling in the Count's favor. His use of mock Latin is typical of legal parlance of the era.
  • ... każdy, gdzie siedział, tam pada:
    Ten z misą, ten nad kuflem, ten przy wołu ćwierci.
    Tak zwyciężców zwyciężył w końcu sen, brat śmierci.
    • Translation:
      ... wherever they sit, there they fall:
      Over bowl, jar, forequarter, they drooped and they languished.
      Thus by sleep, Death's own brother, the victors were vanquished.

Book Nine: The Battle[edit]

Księga Dziewiąta: Bitwa

  • Różnie słychać o tem,
    Lecz nikt pewnie nie wiedział ni wtenczas, ni potem.
    • Translation:
      Much was said thereafter,
      But none found out for certain, either then, or after.
  • Comment: A phrase recurring in subsequent books.
Left to right: Father Worm (bedridden), Judge Soplica, Chamberlain, Warden Gerwazy, Capt. Rykov. Michał Elwiro Andriolli's illustration to Book Ten of Pan Tadeusz
  • Przysłowie ruskie: wszystko można, lecz ostrożnie;
    I to przysłowie: sobie piecz na carskim rożnie;
    I to przysłowie: lepsza zgoda od niezgody;
    Zaplątaj dobrze węzeł, końce wsadź do wody.
    Raportu nie podamy, tak się nikt nie dowie.
    Bóg dał ręce, żeby brać, to ruskie przysłowie.
    • Translation:
      Russian proverb: Can do all, but best done with wit;
      And this: Do your own roasting upon the Czar's spit,
      And this too: Fighting's good, but agreement is better;
      Tie the knot very well, put the ends in the water.
      We'll submit no report, so none will this discover.
      God gave us hands to grab with, is our Russian proverb.
    • Comment: Capt. Rykov justifying bribery by quoting Russian proverbs.
  • Lachy braty!
    Oj, biada mnie, żem nie miał choć jednej armaty!
    Dobrze mówił Suworów: "Pomnij, Ryków kamrat,
    Żebyś nigdy na Lachów nie chodził bez armat!"
    • Translation:
      "Brother Poles," said he,
      "Shame, I did not have even one cannon with me!
      'Mark this well, comrade Rykov,' Suvorov said once,
      'Against Poles you must never proceed without guns!' "
    • Comment: Capt. Rykov's reference to Gen. Alexander Suvorov.

Book Ten: Emigration. Jacek.[edit]

Księga Dziesiąta: Emigracja. Jacek.

  • Jedna jest restrykcyja: jeśli popełniono
    Nie z zemsty głupiej, ale pro publico bono.
    • Translation:
      But there is one proviso: you salvage your honour
      If done not for revenge, but pro publico bono.
    • Comment: Father Worm justifying Gerwazy's killing of Major Plut as done for the public good (pro publico bono in Latin).
  • Soplicy Horeszkowie odmówili dziewkę!
    Że mnie, Jackowi, czarną podano polewkę!
    • Translation:
      The Horeszkos denied me the girl! Had the nerve
      Me, me, Jacek, a bowl of black gruel to serve!
    • Comment: A reference to the Polish tradition of serving czernina, or blood soup, to a young man as a sign of refusing him the hand of a girl he wanted to propose to.

Book Eleven: Year 1812[edit]

Księga Jedenasta: Rok 1812

  • Wszyscy pewni zwycięstwa, wołają ze łzami:
    "Bóg jest z Napoleonem, Napoleon z nami!"
    O wiosno! kto cię widział wtenczas w naszym kraju
    Pamiętna wiosno wojny, wiosno urodzaju!
    O wiosno, kto cię widział, jak byłaś kwitnąca
    Zbożami i trawami, a ludźmi błyszcząca,
    Obfita we zdarzenia, nadzieją brzemienna!
    Ja ciebie dotąd widzę, piękna maro senna!
    Urodzony w niewoli, okuty w powiciu,
    Ja tylko jedną taką wiosnę miałem w życiu.
    • Translation:
      All, of victory certain, cry out with tears thus:
      "God is with Napoleon, Napoleon's with us!"
      O Spring! Who had then witnessed you walk through our fields,
      Spring of war unforgotten, spring of bounteous yields!
      O Spring, who'd seen you blossom abundantly then
      With corn and with green grasses, and glittering with men,
      Profuse with events, pregnant with hope unfulfilled!
      O fair phantom of dreamland, I can see you still!
      I, in slavery born, and then swaddled with chain,
      Only one such spring knew, and will not know again.
    • Comment: An apostrophe to the spring of 1812, the time when Napoleon's invasion of Russia began.
  • "Tak, tak, mój Protazeńku," rzekł klucznik Gerwazy.
    "Tak, tak, mój Gerwazeńku," rzekł woźny Protazy.
    • Translation:
      "Yes, yes, Protazy dear," said the Warden Gerwazy.
      "Yes, yes, Gerwazy dear," said the Usher Protazy.

Book Twelve: Love and Friendship![edit]

Księga Dwunasta: Kochajmy się!

  • Węgrzyna pożałuje, a pije szatańskie
    Fałszywe wino modne, moskiewskie, szampańskie
    • Translation:
      He begrudges Tokay, and his palate will stain
      With that devil's brew, modish, false Moscow champagne
  • Prawda, że się wywodzim wszyscy od Adama,
    Alem słyszał, że chłopi pochodzą od Chama,
    Żydowie od Jafeta, my szlachta od Sema,
    A więc panujem jako starsi nad obiema.
    • Translation:
      While it's true that we all from old Adam have come,
      Yet I've heard that the peasants are issue of Ham,
      Jews of Japhet, we gentry from eldest of brothers,
      Are of Sem, and as eldest rule over the others.
    • Comment: Gerwazy's biblical justification of social inequality, after hearing about Tadeusz's plans to free serfs and give each one a portion of land. In Polish, cham, or "boor", was a derogatory term for a serf; Cham is also a Polish rendering of the name of Noah's son, Ham.
Jankiel's concert, Michał Elwiro Andriolli's illustration to Book Twelve of Pan Tadeusz
  • Było cymbalistów wielu,
    Ale żaden z nich nie śmiał zagrać przy Jankielu
    • Translation:
      Many cymbalists were there,
      But when Jankiel was present to play none would dare
    • Comment: Beginning of a description of a Jewish innkeeper, Jankiel, playing a medley of Polish patriotic tunes on a cimbalom, or hammer dulcimer.
  • Wiwat Król kochany!
    Wiwat Sejm, wiwat Naród, wiwat wszystkie Stany!
    • Translation:
      Long prosper our great,
      Our dear King, Diet, Nation! Vivat each Estate!
  • Uderzenie tak sztuczne, tak było potężne,
    Że struny zadzwoniły jak trąby mosiężne
    I z trąb znana piosenka ku niebu wionęła,
    Marsz tryumfalny: Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła!...
    Marsz Dąbrowski do Polski! - I wszyscy klasnęli,
    I wszyscy: "Marsz Dąbrowski!" chorem okrzyknęli!
    • Translation:
      The blow struck with such skill, with such force unsurpassed,
      That the strings rang out boldly, like trumpets of brass,
      And from them to the heavens that song wafted, cherished,
      That triumphal march: Poland has never yet perished!
      ...March Dąbrowski to Poland! – The audience entire
      Clapped, and all "March Dąbrowski!" cried out as a choir.
    • Comment: Jankiel concludes his cimbalom concert with Poland Is Not Yet Lost, or Dąbrowski's Mazurka, a song praising Gen. Jan Henryk Dąbrowski which eventually became Poland's national anthem.
  • Jenerale, rzekł, Ciebie długo Litwa nasza
    Czekała – długo, jak my Żydzi Mesyjasza
    • Translation:
      General, long Litwa awaited the news
      Of your coming, as of the Messiah we Jews
    • Comment: Jankiel's address to Gen. Dąbrowski
  • Poloneza czas zacząć.
    • Translation: For the polonaise now.
    • Comment: Reference to polonaise, Polish national dance.
  • I ja tam z gośćmi byłem, miód i wino piłem,
    A com widział i słyszał, w księgi umieściłem.
    • Translation:
      I, too, was there indeed, drank the wine and the mead,
      What I saw and heard wrote here for all you to read.
    • Comment: Final verses of the poem containing an ending typical for fairy tales.

Epilogue[edit]

Adam Mickiewicz
  • O tym-że dumać na paryskim bruku,
    Przynosząc z miasta uszy pełne stuku
    Przeklęstw i kłamstwa, niewczesnych zamiarów,
    Zapóźnych żalów, potępieńczych swarów!
    • Translation:
      What should one dream of on this Paris street
      Bringing, from town, ears chock-full of deceit,
      Curses and clamours, untimely intentions,
      Too-late regrets, and confounded contentions!
    • Comment: In the epilogue, the author returns from his dreamy recollections of a bygone world to the reality of his life in exile in France after a failed anti-Russian November Uprising in Poland.
  • O Matko Polsko! Ty tak świeżo w grobie
    Złożona – nie ma sił mówić o tobie!
    • Translation:
      O Mother Poland! So freshly entombed,
      One has not strength now to speak of your doom!
  • Kraj lat dziecinnych! On zawsze zostanie
    Święty i czysty, jak pierwsze kochanie
    • Translation:
      Land of one's childhood! She only will prove
      Holy and pure, as the very first love
  • O, gdybym kiedy dożył tej pociechy,
    Żeby te księgi zbłądziły pod strzechy
    • Translation:
      O that I win to this pleasure some day,
      That these books under thatched roofs find their way

About Pan Tadeusz[edit]

  • The sun had gone already behind the gardens and the forest of Panama, and was going slowly beyond the isthmus to the other ocean; but the Atlantic was full of light yet; in the open air there was still perfect vision; therefore, he read further: "Now bear my longing soul to those forest slopes, to those green meadows." At last the dusk obliterates the letters on the white paper,—the dusk short as a twinkle. The old man rested his head on the rock, and closed his eyes. Then "She who defends bright Częstochowa" took his soul, and transported it to "those fields colored by various grain." On the sky were burning yet those long stripes, red and golden, and on those brightnesses he was flying to beloved regions. The pine-woods were sounding in his ears; the streams of his native place were murmuring. He saw everything as it was; everything asked him, "Dost remember?" He remembers!
  • No European nation of our day has such an epic as Pan Tadeusz. In it Don Quixote has been fused with the Iliad. The poet stood on the border line between a vanishing generation and our own. Before they died, he had seen them; but now they are no more. That is precisely the epic point of view. Mickiewicz has performed his task with a master's hand; he has made immortal a dead generation, which now will never pass away. (...) Pan Tadeusz is a true epic. No more can be said or need be said.
  • In Pan Tadeusz Poland possesses the only successful epic our century has produced.
  • Pour les Polonais, Pan Tadeusz est le grand poème héroï-comique de leur histoire : c'est leur Cid, leur Légende des siècles et leurs Trois Mousquetaires à la fois.
    • Translation (by Wikiquote):
      For the Poles, Pan Tadeusz is the great heroicomic poem of their history: it is their Le Cid, their Legend of the Ages and their Three Musketeers rolled into one.
    • Source: Introduction to a 1992 French edition
  • (...) Pan Tadeusz gradually won recognition as the highest achievement in all Polish literature for having transformed into poetry what seemed by its very nature to resist any such attempt. In it, Mickiewicz's whole literary training culminates in an effortless conciseness where every word finds its proper place as if predestined throughout the many centuries of the history of the Polish language.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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