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Lomonosov's Dedication to His Russian Grammar

Abstract

Almost any book on Lomonosov, and certainly any book or article about Lomonosov and the Russian language, is bound to quote this passage from the dedication to his Russian Grammar:

Charles V, the Roman Emperor, used to say that one should speak Spanish with God, French with friends, German with enemies, and Italian with the female sex. But if he had been skilled in Russian, he would, of course, have added that one could speak it with all of them, for he would have found in it the magnificence of Spanish, the vivacity of French, the strength of German, the delicacy of Italian, and in addition the richness and conciseness of Greek and Latin.... Cicero’s powerful eloquence, the splendid majesty of Virgil, Ovid’s pleasant oratory do not lose their merit in Russian.

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Slavic Review
  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
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