The Meaning of Czech History

By Tomáš G. Masaryk; René Wellek et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4

Completion of the
Czech National Renascence

Havlíček and his mission / His continuous struggle
against spiritual reaction; religious reform his life's ideal /
Havlíček as a realistic, modern, progressive person / Havlíček
as critic revolutionized literature

During the mournful period of reaction, Havlíček stood on guard, continuing his beneficent literary and political work.

We have no more magnificent figure in our modern era, and I do not know whether I shall be able, in this brief space, to do justice to Havlíček's providential significance for our nation. I shall attempt to do so.

During the repressive period of reaction, when Havlíček became our national leader, the question of tactics assumed crucial importance. I see Havlíček's greatness in the fact that he knew his goal more clearly than anyone else and that he continued to strive for that goal with steadfast firmness before the revolution, during the revolution, and after the revolution; Havlíček had virile perseverance, and knowing the means to be employed he refused to be swayed by anything—not even by the general excitement—and he

____________________
From Tomáš G. Masaryk, Česká otázka: Snahy a tužby národního obrození (Prague, 1969), Chapter III.

-76-

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