|Abstract: ||The book is the first attempt to fully look at the oratorical tradition retained in
the 17th and mid 18th century manuscripts conducted on the basis of source studies
covering over 140 manuscripts. What is important here is the belief that the manuscript
sources that have not been systematically examined constitute the first and
the richest collection of the oratorical monuments. The analysis of selected 17th and
18th century library proved the existence of a seperate type of a manuscript oratorical
book, grouping the texts of one author or constituting differently ordered collections
of many authors and model ones.
Chapter one entitled One author collections was devoted to the presentation of
manuscript collections of speeches by Andrzej Chryzostom Załuski, Michał Kazimierz
Radziwiłł, Franciszek Załuski, Antoni Sebastian Dembowski, Jan Dembiński,
Jakub Sobieski, Jan Gniński, Rafał Leszczyński and Krzysztof Stanisław
Zawisza. The very examples illustrate not only different, depending on specific circumstances,
conceptions of the realization of the author’s oratorical collection
(from the authograph to one author anthology), but also show wider problems.
The more important ones cover questions on the relationship between a printed
author’s collection and the manuscript one, the possibility of reconstructing bibliography
of a given speaker, the method of combining legacy in the situation of
merely dispersed fragments of orations of an assumed author’s collection.
Chapter Secondarily ordered collections describes the oratorical books, most precious
in view of material richness, representing different ways of further functioning
of texts in the manuscript circulation. It includes practical collections arranging texts
according to oratory area, connected with the court environment (e.g. the one by
Radziwiłłs AHWil — 1135 2/40) or the school one (BCz 1881 I connected with the
person of Jakub Hennicki, a Jesuit professor of rhetorics), as well as specialised collections,
involving only political speeches (e.g. AGAD AR II b. 1) or wedding ones
(BOss 4502). A vital problem for the functioning of the oratorical tradition was the
movement of historical texts from the beginning of the 17th century to the category
of rhetorical models (e.g. especially texts by Szczęsny Kryski), whereas the possibility of tracing his different stages and storing texts in different environments allowed
for the observation of the symptoms of tradition accumulation and its continuation.
A separate problem, dealt with in the chapter entitled Oratorical fragments — silvas
is the functioning of the oratorical issues in the area of bigger manuscript wholes.
The subject of interest were three silvas, by Adam Żychliński, Stanisław Rakowski
und Wojciech Iłowski. They differ not only as to the extent to which the person of
the author is revealed (the identification of the author was necessary in the last two
cases), but also the practical and private aims of the manuscript book appearing in
the choice of oratorical texts and ways of their recording. Silvas are at the same time
the only manuscripts bringing about rare and fully private oratorical monuments.
The next chapter The attempt to get closer: Andrzej Moskorzowski — a great absent
one? was treated as a test for the statistical method in reference to particular problems.
The hypothesis of the popularity of Moskrzowski as a speaker, resulting from
the number of messages, was confronted with a detailed analysis of their nature. It
led to an outline of the relationships between great oratorical collections and the
evidence of their relation with the Arian environment (AHWil 1135 2/46, BOZ 823,
BOss 3563, BK 1195). At the same time, the functions of Moskrzowski’s speech
messages other than that (i.e. anonymous, dispersed or limited to one text of
a polemic reply to the funeral speech by Jerzy Ossoliński during the funeral of
Stanisław Cikowski, an Arian) led to the conclusion on limiting Moskorzowski’s oratory
fame to the environment of Arians and a possible influence of religious motivation
on the reception of his oratory.
The last chapter under the title of Between the print and the manuscript presents
printed oratorical collections, starting from the first one: Kasjan Sakowicz (1620) to
The Polish speaker (Mówca polski) by Jan Pisarski (1668 v. 2 1676) from the perspective
of their relationship with the manuscript tradition. It was proved (K. Sakowicz)
and further documented (Antoni Wosiński, Marcin Filipowski) that not only the usage
of historical speeches by the authors of popular rhetorical models, but also a specific
usage of the oratorical messages belonging probably to the model collection already
shaped in the manuscript tradition which partly lost its historical character
(e.g. speeches by Sz. Kryski in The larder of various acts (Spiżarnia aktów rozmaitych...)
by M. Filipowski). The interpretation of A Courtly orator (Orator polityczny) by
Kazimierz Jan Wojsznarowicz in the context of the manuscript tradition allowed for
the indentification of some sources indicated by him and presentation of the imitation
methods used by him. The Polish speaker by Jan Pisarski confronted with the image
of oratorical tradition of the first half of the 17th century retained in the manuscripts
turned out, in accordance with the author’s announcement, the first historical
anthology showing the canon of Sarmatian speakers, however, clearly excluding the
infidels (e.g. an important absence of Krzysztof Radziwiłł) and restricted to the
speakers of the Crown, skipping the representatives of Grand Duchy of Lithuania,
and, certainly using the text messages taken from the manuscript tradition.
Looking at the Old-Polish oratory from the perspective of the manuscripts
proved its primary character, with all its consequences for the future editiorial actions
and showed a load of areas of Old-Polsih prose waiting for further studies, including
the texts treated by the contemporaries as canonical and which should also
regain a due place in the image of the manuscript tradition of the Baroque epoch.|