When I was six and already able to read and write Polish, my uncle the curate taught me Latin. Since he had no suitable textbook, he simply used the breviary.
My father was the church organist; the village curate was my mother's brother, a former monk from the order of Pijar, a very well-educated and ascetic man who loved nothing but solitude.
During my childhood, I had a long, dangerous spell of illness, and my health has always been delicate.
By the age of nine, I had a thorough knowledge of contemporary Polish literature as well as of foreign literature in Polish translation, and I began to write poems in honour of a lady of thirty years. Naturally, she knew nothing about them.