The Queen's Court Manuscript with Other Ancient Bohemian Poems/Notes


Note A.

It is remarkable, that in the Russian poëm, Igor’s Campaign, we find Boïan, the Orpheus of the Russians, mentioned much as Lumir is here. The beginning of Igor’s campaign runs as follows.

“Would it not be better, brethren, to begin in ancient style the woeful recital of the expedition of Igor, son of Sviatoslaw. Let the poem begin after the history of that time, and not after the manner of Boïan. Did Boïan the bard intend to frame a song of any one, his thoughts strayed in the wood, a grizzled wolf on the plain, a grey eagle beneath the firmament. Did he think upon a battle of ancient times, he sent forth ten falcons against a troop of swans, and the first, who made a capture, entoned also the first song, whether of the ancient Jaroslaw, the brave Mistislaw, who hewed down Rededia before the Kasosk bands, or the beautiful Roman, descendant of Sviatoslaw. Though Boïan, brethren, loosed not ten falcons against a flock of swans; his prophetic fingers touched the living strings, which of themselves celebrated the glory of the princes.”

Note B.

The word mlat, which I have sometimes translated war-axe , sometimes axe, and sometimes mace, would be properly rendered war-hammer. Everybody has heard of the exploits of Thor and his hammer in the Edda.

Note C.

The Kmets were possessors of landed estates, a kind of franklins, who had the right of seats in the sniem or parliament. The term includes both the Lechs and Vladykas.

The Lechs were nobles, and the word is connected with szlechta, and the Polish szlachtic, a nobleman.

The Vladykas (from vladiti, to sway) were the representatives or heads of families or clans. In later times the term Vladyky signified the lesser nobility, as opposed to the Páni or Magnates.


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