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suppress at any price every discussion on the all-important question of the prevalence of simony.
King Venceslas was naturally greatly disappointed at the complete failure of the synod in which he had placed great hopes. He rightly attributed this failure mainly to the attitude of the opponents of Hus, and, always an enemy of the rich and overbearing higher clergy of Bohemia, he now became even more determined in his hostility to these men. He did not, however, even now despair of reconciling the contending parties. By his wish a large number of prominent ecclesiastics in April 1414 met for another conference at the house of Magister Kristan of Prachatice, parish priest of St. Michael, who was at that time also rector of the university. Kristan was a thorough adherent of Hus, and the choice of the meeting-place proves that the king still favoured the party of church-reform. As royal commissioners Archbishop Albik and Zdenek of Laboun, Provost of All Saints, were present. Four masters of theology, Peter and Stanislas of Znoymo, Stephen Palec, and John Elias, represented the theological faculty, in which the opponents of church-reform still had the upper hand. The other representatives of the university were, besides Kristan the rector, Magister Jacobellus, Simon of Tisnov, and John of Jesenice, one of Hus's intimate friends, who seems to have acted as his representative at the conference. The conference ended almost as soon as it began. Acting by royal authority Zdenek of Laboun asked the assembly whether they would consider themselves bound by the decisions of the Roman Church in all matters of faith. Palec and his friends said that they agreed to this, but added that they wished to state that the Roman Church was that of which Pope John XXIII. was the head, and his cardinals the members. John of Jesenice protested against this statement declaring that the Roman Church was that of which Christ was the head while the pope was his representative. He added that he and his friends would obey this church "as faithful and pious Christians." Laboun, who, like his master, wished above all things to re-establish concord in the country, declared that these definitions
formed the base of an agreement and that their acceptation bound all present under penalty of fine and imprisonment to submit to whatever resolutions the conference might adopt. His hopes were not destined to be fulfilled. At the second meeting of the conference Stephen Palec raised various sophistical objections to the continuation of the proceedings. The bad faith of Palec appears to have been so palpable that it caused the indignation of the royal commissioners, who spoke sharply to Palec, accusing him of rendering an agreement impossible, while the friends of church-reform had been willing to come to terms. The conscience of Palec does not appear to have been very clear, for he and his colleagues did not assist again at the meetings of the conference, which therefore broke
up. Palec and the other members of the theological faculty, declaring that they were afraid of the anger of King Venceslas, left Bohemia and retired to foreign countries, where they continued to stir up public opinion not only against Hus and his disciples, but also against the King and Queen of Bohemia and their court. Many of their falsehoods and fictions were circulated at Constance and have even found their way into books written centuries after these events. King Venceslas was not unnaturally indignant at the departure of Palec, which accentuated the failure of another attempt to re-establish concord in his kingdom. By a decree published in the month of April 1414, he pronounced the sentence of banishment against Palec and his companions and gave the order that other masters should in order of seniority obtain the offices that had become vacat.
Hus had on leaving Prague again retired to the castle of Kozi
1 It has not appeared to me necessary to give a full account of these objections. They will be found in Dr. Flajshans, Mistr Jan Hus, p. 325, and Tomek, History of the Town of Prague, vol. iii. p. 538. We have also Palec's own letter to his colleagues of the theological faculty (Palacky, Documenta, Pp. 507–510).
?" Ipsi vero " (the royal commissioners) “commoti sunt et nos gravissime inclamaverunt, comminationes facientes quod infra sex dies adhuc, debet redundare in nostra capita, et quod volunt D. Regi et omnibus dicere quod pars adversa vult et voluit, quae nos optavimus consentire et omnia facere, et nos noluimus acceptare; et sic cum indignatione magna stomachati recesserunt.” (Letter of Palec. Palacky, Documenta, p. 509.)
Hradek.' He seems now to have despaired of a reconciliation between the contending parties and to have spoken even more openly than before. Now, as ever, he dwelt little in his sermons on controversial matters of theology, but he exhorted the peasants who flocked to his preaching to lead honest, chaste, pious, and abstemious lives and to demand that the priests, who, according to the church, were superior to them in authority, should at least not be inferior to them in their private life. Hus preached not only in the immediate neighbourhood of Kozi Hradek, but also at more distant places such as Usti, Lhota, and at Cerveny Dvur, where, according to a very ancient tradition, he said mass in a barn. His sermons, preached of course in the national language, attracted great crowds and caused intense enthusiasm. The neighbourhood of Tabor henceforth became the centre of the partisans of churchreform. Among the younger men who listened to Hus's preaching were many who afterwards as “ warriors of God” formed part of the armies which under Zizka beat back the forces of the whole world that was in arms against Bohemia. From this period dates the immense popularity of Hus among the Bohemian people-a popularity that clings to his memory up to the present day. It would, however, be very untrue to history if we pictured Hus as a democratic or socialist agitator—and it is not only his enemies who have sometimes attempted to do this. Hus remained to his death a loyal subject of King Venceslas, and for his pious consort, Queen Sophia, he always retained a respectful admiration. He was always on terms of friendship with many of the Bohemian nobles, as is indeed proved by the fact that he sought refuge in their castles. As he wrote in his famed Bohemian letter of June 10, 1415–a letter to which I shall again refer-he wished “the nobles to rule justly, the burghers to conduct their business honestly, the artisans to work conscientiously, the servants to obey faithfully their master and mistress.” The unspeakably evil life, the avarice, and the simony of the Bohemian clergy strongly excited
According to some Bohemian writers the spot to which Hus first retired on leaving Prague is uncertain, and he only now proceeded to Kozi Hradek.
his indignation, and as a true Bohemian patriot he deeply resented the fact that, in consequence of former faulty regulations of the university, the rich benefices of his country were almost exclusively in the hands of German aliens. Frequent preaching did not, however, entirely absorb the activity of Hus at Kozi Hradek. He kept up a constant correspondence with his many friends at Prague and exhorted them to continue to worship at the Bethlehem chapel as long as it should not have been destroyed by the Germans; for it was frequently rumoured at this time that they had the intention of doing so. Some of Hus's most important works also were written at the castle of Kozi.
Neither the departure of Hus from Prague nor the exile of Palec and his adherents had re-established tranquillity in the city. Lengthy and wordy warfare was carried on between the contending parties by means of numerous books and pamphlets. Some writings of Hus which deal with these polemics will be mentioned presently when referring to his works of this period. The population of Prague took an increasing interest in the controversy. Bohemia has, except during the not infrequent periods when the ruling powers have forbidden all discussions on matters of religion, been one of those countries where, as in England and Scotland, theological controversies have greatly interested the large masses of the people. Nicknames were soon given to the adherents of the contending parties, and while the upholders of church-reform were called “ Wycliffites,” its opponents became known as “the Mohamedans." The latter strange byname is said to have been given to them because of the violence with which they enforced their doctrines. It may also have conveyed an ironical allusion to the morals of the rich parish priests of Prague, who were Hus's bitterest enemies.
Foreign countries, in which—with the exception of England -Hus's teaching had not hitherto attracted much attention, now
1 This is the explanation given by Magister Jacobellus in a treatise printed by Von der Hardt, Magnum Oecomenicum consilium Conlantiense, iii. 648. Jacobellus writes: Hanc enim legem, ut legitur in chronicis Machmet docuit suos, ut scilicet persequerentur et occiderent, non Christus."
began to feel a certain interest in the Bohemian movement in favour of church-reform. The first statements concerning the Bohemian movement came from France, a country that, mainly through dynastic links, had for some time been closely connected with Bohemia. A man whose opinion carried the greatest weight in France wrote denouncing severely the endeavours of Hus and his friends. This man was the famed divine, John Gerson, then chancellor of the University of Paris. Since Dr. Schwab has proved that Gerson was not the author of the treatise De modis uniendi et reformandi Ecclesiam a long attributed to him, and on the strength of which he was believed to have been a tolerant and enlightened divine, Gerson's violent attack on the Bohemian church-reformers no longer causes surprise. In a letter sent from Paris on May 27, 1414, to the new Archbishop Conrad, Gerson denounced the heretical views that were then being spread in Bohemia, and carnestly entreated the archbishop to extirpate at any price all doctrines and practices contrary to the Roman Church. Gerson laid great stress on the necessity of employing if necessary the secular arm. This, he continued, the archbishop should do at any price lest his sheep be infected with the poison of heresy; for St. Peter, who had confided them to him, had ordered him to feed them, not to allow them to be poisoned. Archbishop Conrad was to appeal to King Venceslas to advise, request, and, if necessary, order him to exterminate all heresies, if he wished to avoid the penalties that awaited all rulers who were lax in the persecutions of heretics. Conrad's answer 4 was very short. He entirely joined in the reprobation of the "heresiarch” Wycliffe, and said that as far as it was his duty and circumstances permitted he would extirpate heresy, even at the risk of his soul or his body. Conrad, who had been a member of the royal court, knew how anxious the king was to re-establish peace among the Bohemian clergy, and how strongly he objected to the intervention of foreigners
1 Dr. Schwab, Johannes Gerson. 2 Printed by Von der Hardt, who attributed the authorship to Gerson. 3 Printed by Palacky, Documenta. · Palacky, Documenta.