Fragments taken from Mykolas Biržiška’s memoirs, Anuo metu Viekšniuose ir Šiauliuose (iš 1882-1901 m. atsiminimu, pasakojimu ir raštu), translated from Lithuanian into Polish by Dr Vanda Sruoga (date unknown) with comments and corrections added by Vanda Sruoga and Edward Pawłowicz. Translated into English by Barbara Dieu.
Note on the English translation: I have kept the Polish names but added the Lithuanian equivalents in brackets. I have also linked these Lithuanian family and place names to the English Wikipedia whenever possible so as to extend the meaning and provide a fuller picture for those interested in the subject. I have moved the comments and transformed them all into footnotes, which refer directly to the text. Dr Sruoga’s corrections to Mikolas Birziska’s book appear inline in the original translation. Edward Pawłowicz’s comments on some of the paragraphs from the translated version of Mykolas Biržiška’s book and comments are added to the end in the original translation. I have also included my own links and comments in the footnotes. To differentiate them, I have added the initials of each person at the end of the footnote. V.S. stands for Dr Vanda Sruoga, E.P. for Edward Pawłowicz and B.D. for Barbara Dieu.)
About 7 km from Wieksznie (Viekšniai) to the west, on the road to Tryszek (Tryškiai) village, on the bank of the Wyrwity (Virvytė) river lies the splendid Powyrwycie estate (Pavirvytės), which, during my times, belonged to Edward Pawłowicz. His father, Józef, was Ivinskis’ friend, but, just like the Kurszanski Godlewski, he enjoyed annoying him slightly. One can find this in the writings of priest Tumas about Laurynas Ivinskis. Among Józef’s books I found Ivinskis’ calendars and the popular Simonas Daukanta’s uncut booklets. His son Dominik committed suicide at the age of 35 in Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) and he is buried there.1
His other son, Edward (1837-1894), after going to high school in Szawlach (Šiauliai ) in 1855, finished his studies in Natural Sciences at the Dorpat university 2 and was a teacher and later the headmaster of the Royal School in Kalisz.3
In Poland he got married to Maria Szaniawska (1840-1905). In the 1870’s, when the Russian authorities began Russifying Polish schools, he left his school and as a gift from the school, he received the wonderful Polish school library, which he brought to Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės), where he lived to the end of his life.4 He was a handsome, tall man, an enlightened person. He spoke Polish very well and on occasions he would get angry at those who made mistakes in the Polish language. He was a good manager. Thanks to his suggestion and efforts, around the 1880’s, the Polish Flying Library5 was founded, in which participated not only the Pawłowicz family but also my parents…The librarian, from what I can remember, was at the beginning Ant. Mozo, and later Jan, Edward Pawłowicz’s son…
The Pawłowicz family was large, 4 sons: Jan, Kazimierz, Józef and Edward, and 5 daughters: Marja, Jadwiga, Aniela, Zofia and Wanda. The three elder sons studied at the Royal School in Kalisz and Józef at the Šiauliai high school. Later they specialized in the higher scientific institutions – Jan at the Riga Polytechnic School, Kazimierz did architecture in Warsaw, Józef studied Pomology and Gardening in Prusków, Germany. The youngest, Edward, tried to prepare himself in Šiauliai and for some time my brother Viktoras helped him, but he he was not cut out for studies. The daughters were taught at home. The eldest, Jan, did not finish his Polytechnic studies, he participated in the Polish Fraternity Welecja 6 and urban life swallowed him. At a time, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was interned with the consent of the family.
Kazimierz, who was younger than Jan but older than Józef, disconnected himself early from Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) and went to live in Poland, where he established himself with his family.7
The family did not entrust Jan with Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės).8 Jan was the most educated person from the whole family, the most well-read and in this he equalled his father and so did Kazimierz and Józef as regards to abilities and eloquence – they were called the golden-tongued. Józef created a big garden in Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) but as he was of unstable character, he sold the property to Wiktor Nagurski, a notary in Petersburg, Salantai 9 in independent Lithuania.
After parting with his paternal legacy, Józef Pawłowicz settled in Viekšniai with his wife and two daughters, and later, supported by a friend of his father’s, the City Council president of Vilnius, lawyer Michał Węsławski, he became the city gardener in Vilnius and managed the gardening school in the urban property in Leoniškės , then he spent some time in the Caucasus, and is presently in Poland. One of his daughters married president’s Mościcki’s son10 but died young.11
The eldest Pawłowicz daughter, Maria, was reknown for her beauty. She got married to a friend of her brother, Jan Zycki, who lived near Raseiniai – and I wonder whether it was not the brother of the Polish activists of Vilnius, the Zyckis – and she died young, leaving a son, whom I saw in 1919 in a Lithuanian officer’s uniform, who, however, did not go back to independent Lithuania.
The second daughter, Jadwiga, was very much liked by the locals and neighbours for her lively disposition, sincerity and warm hospitality. She got married to Kazimierz Dowgierd and with him she traveled to Podolia.12 She died young,13 right before the war, leaving a daughter Vanda, presently Sruoga. The wedding of a Pawłowicz to a Dowgierd (Daugirdas) especially pleased my father, a close friend of both families, especially of the young couple. Thus a misunderstanding was smoothed out, which had lasted a dozen years and interfered in the good relations of both families, when Kazimierz’s father, Rajnold, was snubbed. He was given the traditional black glaze – then he formed his family, but for a long time, until his death, as a Samogitian and as a nobleman, he did not forgive the Pawłowicz for this affront. This same offense was not forgotten by his wife Józefa (1839-1904), the sister of Matusewicz-Pietkiewicz from Siauliai, the aunt of Tadeusz Pietkiewicz, a professor at the Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Kaunas.
The third Pawłowicz, Aniela, got married to the Vernordin widower in the Caucasus, and now that she has become a widow, she lives in Poland. The fourth, Zofia got herself into a secret monastery in Poland, from where her brothers had to rescue her from unconsciousness and exploitation. The youngest, Wanda, worked in Zawadski’s bookstore in Vilnius14 and got married to Micuta, an employee in the same bookshop and now she also lives in Poland.
The whole Pawłowicz family was highly educated in Polish/Krolewiec and were distinguished by their courtesy and sociability and did not look askance at the budding Lithuanian national identity. Jan was on good terms with me and my brothers even though he knew we considered ourselves Lithuanians. Even when in 1919 he arrived in Vilnius coming from Poland, already as the Chief of the Polish police, he did not avoid us. He visited my brother Vaclovas in prison and he clearly showed us his sympathy. He even escorted my wife to Vaclovas’ cell, and acted as an intermediary helping to free him from prison. Around 1910, Józef told me in Vilnius that at the end of 1900, he considered himself a Lithuanian. Only later he started repeating Polish intrigues about “Lithuanians maniacs” and in the end he started avoiding our Lithuanian family. The youngest Edward willingly mingled with the Lithuanians in Šiauliai. Jadwiga married a nobleman, a firm Samogitian, who never shied away from the Lithuanian language and work – their daughter was a Lithuanian patriot.
Under the influence of Povilas Višinskis, Aniela, and under her influence, Zofia, visibly supported the Lithuanian national movement. In Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) they read “Varpas” and other Lithuanian publications, they clearly spoke [line partly cut at the end of the page] and even in the Caucasus, Aniela clearly favored the Lithuanians. I even remember that their father Edward not only knew how to animate the whole community, played the piano, sang Lithuanian songs ( basically folk and children) but also happily and beautifully he sang in Lithuanian “I znów, i znów w niedziele ‘swieto” (Again and again a holy Sunday). I am sure that each member of this refined cosmopolitan family, had they waited for the Lithuanian freedom, they would have become very close to the young Lithuanian intelligentsia.
Around 1840 Pawyrwicie (Pavirvytės) was bought from Ilinicz. (Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) was acquired by grandfather Józef Pawłowicz from Petras Ilinčius (Piotr Ilinicz) in 1846 for 24,000 rubles, in this were comprised 4000 rubles of bank debt, and it was bought from the Pawłowicz around 1910 by the Nagurskis. E.P.) by his enriched manager Józef Pawłowicz (1804-1881)15
His father (Aleksandrowicz’s brother) was attacked wittily but not meanly by those who liked to keep him company, and also by those who did not count words, the young Moncewicz and the Pawłowicz.
Rudziewicz…for some time he was even the tutor of the underaged Zawadzskis in Vilnius, the Pawłowicz and also of the drunkard Michal Dowgierd.
The young Pawłowicz children if compared to us, as well as the Moncewicz, were older and interacted more with our parents than with us. Only our parents went to their Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) and they did not take us.
I only remember that Jan Pawłowicz’s friends, students from Riga [university] visited us: Huszczo – later an engineer in Vilnius, and Zycki, who got married to Jan’s sister, Maria. She was loved by all the neighbours and was very gentle to us. Her wedding, the first we ever went to, we saw in the church from the choirs, where for the first time we found ourselves and we found it strange when our mother ordered us to kiss the young woman’s hand. After that, I never saw her again. She traveled to a property near Rosien and some years later she died of consumption.
I also remember her brother Kazimierz, as he very vividly recounted (line cut at the end of page) and saw his younger sisters, Aniela, Zofia and Wanda, more often and much later. All of them, with the exception of Edward, were much older than we were.
My father liked all the Pawłowicz family and also the Moncewicz. However, although they respected him, they avoided him due to his rude personality and to his straightforwardly telling people unpleasant truths. Sometimes misunderstandings arose over trivialities. For instance, the young Pawłowicz girls were hurt when once they entered our garden and did not close the gate.They did not notice that the pigs followed them later and father, who had not seen the ladies but saw the pigs, exclaimed angrily that the pigs were let into the garden. The girls thought that father had addressed these words to them.
I can boldly say, that with the exception of the citizens, the Pawłowicz parents and some of their elder children and we, the Biržiškas, and from among them, especially me….were at that time the greatest Polish patriots.
The main legacy from my mother was that I learnt to speak the Polish language well. In the Viekšniai region, the nobles usually spoke well, and the Pawłowicz had spent long years in Poland – they even spoke with the Warsaw/Kalisz accent – and yet they (the nobles) sometimes inserted a Samogitian word to diversify their conversation, but not the Pawłowicz. Yet, for the grammatical training, we, without any doubt, ranked above the others.
Pages 145 and 146
Michał Węcławski widely told those gathered in the Daubiszkach (Daubiškiai) neighbourhood about the just ended Krozski process, in which he took part as a defender. I do not know why my father took me to this meeting. Among the listeners, besides the Morów, I remember the Pawłowicz from Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės).
Cholera in Viekšniai
The citizens of Viekšniai prepared themselves for it and they organized a special commission to which belonged not only my father, the canon priest, but also, from what I remember, the Orthodox pope, the owner of Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) Edward Pawłowicz, and others. Line missing at the end and continues to:finished gymnasium in 1855 and was later the headmaster of the Royal School in Kalisz.
The Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) Library
When I was at the last year of the gymnasium (VI-tej klasy), I became closer to Jan Pawłowicz, the landowner. After the death of his father Edward Pawłowicz, he managed the Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) estate, 6 km from Viekšniai, replacing his brother Józef, who was the gardener of Vilnius and who then for some time lived in Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) with his family.
Well-read and eloquent Jan Pawłowicz was not only in good terms with my parents, but was in general well liked in the whole area for his vitality and sociability, and also liked us, the young Biržiškas. While I was still a student, he drove us, the children, around the Viekšniai area, and spoke to us gently and animatedly about the gymnasium and gymnasium matters, and sometimes drove us to Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės). For several years he ran the Polish Flying Library, in which my parents took part from the very beginning. He often spoke to us about books. In Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės), after his father’s death, the several thousand volume library from the Kalisz Royal School remained, from which Jan gave us either one or another book to read.
The manor house in Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) was without a doubt the largest nest of Polishness in the area. Its owners, the Pawłowicz, were considered the most genuine Poles and not only did they speak Polish beautifully, but having lived longer in Poland, they even looked a bit down on us, the most Polish ones. Yet it turned out that the unfortunate Lithuanian identity, the hideous litwomania, the unwanted litwomania even here entangled itself. One of the young Pawłowicz girls, Aniela, maybe met Povilas Višinskis in Viekšniai and she returned full of wonder and belief in the rationale and rightfulness of the Lithuanian case, and equipped herself with a number of Lithuanian publications. After returning home she also convinced her sister Zofia about the fairness of the cause. When I, as usual in summer, came for books to Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės), the girls started fuzzy and careful conversations, which in short meant that the girls felt it was their duty to support and give me even more strength and this was the last impulse for me to officially decide myself. Taking me back home, Aniela got so excited in the conversation with me about the future of Lithuania, that the horse-cart on which we were almost capsized as we drove over the ferry crossings over the Virvytė river. Our enthusiasm, our flaming idealism would have been extinguished by this cold bath.
I went back to Viekšniai firmly decided to work on the Lithuanian language, to declare myself a Lithuanian and dedicate work on Lithuanian education. And Aniela, some years later went to the Caucasus, got a post in Armavir and there she got married to a Polish widower. Before marrying, she wrote to me, not mentioning her marrying intentions, but explaining that she had to fulfill some step, which would be useful to Lithuania.
Miss Zofia also found herself in Poland.
In the Viekšniai cemetery one can find the Dougierda’s and Pawłowicz’s graves from the 50’s and some of the later years
Explanation to page 158 of the book
The nobility (szlachta) of the Šiauliai area committed to paying about 20 kop. yearly in tithes until amassing the proper sum to erect a two-storey brick building, in which a philological gymnasium could be fit. The building was finished and handed over to be used in 1852. Our grandfather Józef Pawłowicz, was one of the initiators and even actively participated in the building committee as a treasurer.
Copy from father’s memoir
The daughter of Warrant Officer Piotr Ilinicz, Aleksandra, married a Janowicz. After the Janowicz, a fund remained together with the village of “Łapkasie pod Kurszanami”, which was managed by the youngest son, Casimir. The eldest, Antoni, died young and the middle one, Ludwik, was entangled in socialism matters and he was imprisoned in Shlisselburg, and later deported to the Siberian mines, to Srednekolymsk.
- Dominik was not the son, but grandfather Józef’s younger brother. E.P [↩]
- Our father, Edward Pawłowicz, finished his studies in the physics-mathematics department of the Dorpat University in 1861 with a Candidate degree E.P [↩]
- The school was founded in 1873 as a 4-class private establishment, then, as from 1875 already as a 6-class Royal School it was maintained with the students’ fees, and the lacking part, the quite important sum of over 2500 rubles yearly, was covered by the founder Edward Pawłowicz. As from 1880, the municipality of Kalisz paid a meager subvention, I think, of some hundred rubles (600 rubles), so the school was maintained from Edward Pawłowicz’s funds and was known as “the Pawłowicz School”. After Pawłowicz left, the citizens from Kalisz committed to paying 3000 (three thousand) rubles yearly until the school transitioned to a governmental one. The school never had any aid from the Welfare Council. E.P. [↩]
- Edward Pawłowicz established himself in Powyrwycie (Pavirvytės) in 1883 and took care of the estate for 11 years. E.P. [↩]
- Similar endeavour as in Warsaw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_University B.D [↩]
- On this web page, Jan is member number 563. B.D. [↩]
- Kazimierz was Bohdan Pawłowicz’s father. From my mother’s comments, her grandfather and grandmother did not speak Lithuanian nor the Samogitian dialect at home and did not teach their children (Bohdan and Krystyna) to speak them, which, to a certain extent, created a schism between this branch of the Polish family and the Lithuanian one. Once Vanda (Bohdan’s cousin) and her husband Balys visited the family in Warsaw. They were angered and left when they learnt the family had not taught their children any Lithuanian nor Samogitian. B.D. [↩]
- After their father’s death, who died suddenly on July 16th 1894, Jan, the eldest son, took over the property, which he managed for 3 years.The family suggested abdicating from their rights in favour of the eldest son, in spite of his unwillingness to work in this role because of (line missing). They settled the price of the land in Powyrwicie (Pavirvytės) in 100 rubles for the tithes, including the woods and the buildings. The project was put together by the eldest son Jan. This project was approved by mother and the family and the formalities linked to the entitlement of the property were conducted by lawyer Dominik Bociarski from Kaunas. Jan and Józef abdicated from their part totally on behalf of our mother and Kazimierz gave mother the right to use the interest rate over his part of the property. E.P. [↩]
- error: in Plungė. V.S. [↩]
- (?) question mark V.S. [↩]
- None of my brother’s Józef’s daughters married a Mościcki; the eldest Maria married Waclaw Berka, a major of the Polish Army; the youngest Halina was a maiden and died young. E.P. Mykolas Biržiška’s comment on this: son Jerzy, the youngest of the siblings, was born in the Caucasus and sat his matura exam very young. [↩]
- error: to the Ukraine, Charkowskiej gub. V.S [↩]
- on 24th May 1912 V.S [↩]
- error: in Kaunas V.S [↩]
- Józef Bernard Pawłowicz, our grandfather, was the plenipotentiary, the main manager of the Kajsarowa’s properties, the widow of the Russian Finance minister. The Kajsarowa was the natural daughter of “Badniewskiej” with Earl Dmitry Zubov. Grandfather Pawłowicz lived in the Łabgiry , 3 miles from Rosien (Raseiniai) on one of the Kajsarowa’s properties and received 900 rubles salary in addition to a significant amount for maintaining it. He led, on his own account, an important trade with the Prussians, besides [line missing] from the Kajsarowa and from her brothers, Płatonów’, for managing well their interests [page 13 and 14 from Edward Pawłowicz’s memoir]. The following keys belonged to the Kajsarowa: the Łabgiry folwark key together with the Dargaitėliai and Mile folwark, and in the countryside: Poszoltun, Mankuny, Plekiszki, Promadziów, Raudonė estates and to two of the Płaton’s brothers, the keys to Grūšlaukė, which were sold later by way of division (drodze dzialow) for one million rubles in gold, which grandfather Pawłowicz drove in a horsedrawn coach , from Taurog (Tauragé), through Riga to St.Petersburg to hand them over to Płaton’s heirs.[page 10 E.P. memoir] [↩]