MIKALOJUS DAUKA. POSTILLA CATOLICKA
Fragment from Dauksa Foreword of Postilla
in Lithuanian recited by Grazina URBONAITE
Mikalojus Dauksa. Postilla catholicka. Tai est izguldimas
ewangeliu... Vilnius: Akademijos sp., 1599
Translation from Polish into Lithuanian of a work entitled Postylla Katolicka by
Jokubas Vujekas, rector of the Vilnius jesuit College. Approhimately 500 copies published.
The Foreword to the Gracious Reader, which exalts the native tongue,
emphasizing its importance to nation, and which expresses the hope that Lithuanian will
become the language of Lithuanian literature and public usage, is highly significant to
the history of Lithuanian culture.
From Early Books of Lithuania (16th-18th Century)
Fragment of Postilla
- Let me ask: is there in the world such a nation, however
impoverished it might be, that does not have these three basic things: ancestral homeland,
customs and native language? Always and everywhere people have spoken their native
language and always struggled to protect it, and to beautify, improve and perfect it.
- Nowhere on earth is there such a miserable nation as
would abandon its own native language. Every nation aspires to use its native language for
its laws, its affairs of state, its literature, and wishes to use it proudly and
appropriately at all times, be it in the church, or at work, or at home.
- One might ask, would there not be a sensation amongst the
animals it the crow decided to sing like the nightingale, and the nightingale to croak
like the crow? Or if the goat began to bellow like a lion, and the lion to bleat like the
- It is not the bounty of its crops, nor the
distinctiveness of its garments, nor the beauty of its countryside, nor the strength of
its castles and cities that make a nation hale; rather it is the maintenance and use of
its native language, which strengthens fellowship, peace and brotherly love. For our
language is our common bond of love, the mother of unity, the father of civic solidarity,
the guardian of nationhood. If you destroy our language you destroy cooperation, unity and
From the Foreword of Postilla (1599), one of the earliest Lithuanian books.
Tranlsation by Gintautas KAMINSKAS.
In: Lithuanian Papers. Annual Journal of the
Society at the University of Tasmania.
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