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excommunicated he was by canon law prohibited from attending a council. His frequent requests to appear before the recent synod at Prague had met with a refusal. It was, therefore, a very serious step on the part of Hus to proceed to Constance. Yet now, as at every moment when he believed that he was obeying God's command, he did not hesitate. The negotiations concerning Hus's journey to Constance were probably carried on at the castle of Krakovec. Peter of Mladenovic, who is our foremost authority on the last months of the life of Hus, writes: 2 " After having come to an agreement with Pope John XXIII. for the purpose that a general council of the church should be held at Constance in Suabia, King Sigismund sent from Lombardy certain Bohemian noblemen, his councillors and friends, who were to persuade Magister John Hus to proceed to Constance that he might there purge both himself and the kingdom of Bohemia from the infamous accusation (i.e., of heresy). They were to inform him that the king would grant him a safe-conduct which would enable him to go safely to Constance and to return safely to Bohemia.” The much-discussed though really very clear question as to Hus's safe-conduct will have to be mentioned when referring to its violation by Sigismund, It should, however, here already be noted that Sigismund distinctly guaranteed Hus's safe return to Bohemia, whatever might be the decision of the council. Hus, Mladenovic continues, having received so great and so far-reaching promises, wrote to the king that he would proceed to Constance.
There were not wanting warning voices that advised Hus to reconsider his decision. Even one of Sigismund's envoys, Nicholas Divoky of Jemniste-according to the Bohemian custom of abbreviating names he was generally known as Divucek-during the final negotiations that took place at Prague said to Hus:
Master, be sure that thou wilt be condemned.” A member of the court of one of the most perfidious of rulers, Divucek well
1 For Mladenovic, see my History of Bohemian Literature, and edition, p. 145.
: “ Relatio de magistri Joannis Hus causa (printed by Palacky, Documenta).
knew how easy it would be to Sigismund and to the council to apply to Hus the then generally accepted maxim that no faith should be kept with heretics. Hus at this time, probably to consult his friends, left Krakovec and again visited Prague for a short time. Here many of the prominent members of the university also entreated him to remain in Bohemia, where he would be safe under the protection of the nobles and the people. Many of the nobles
as one of them afterwards declared at the council-were not only willing, but able to defend Hus in their castles against all enemies. Of the sympathy of King Venceslas and the more open friendship of the queen, Hus felt sure. Yet he remained firm. He wrote several letters of farewell to friends, one of which has somewhat the form of a last will. There is, however, no justification in suggesting, as has been sometimes done, that Hus believed from the first that King Sigismund would break his word. His way lay through a wide expanse of German territory, and he knew, and even exaggerated, the hostility of the Germans to his person. It was also known that the former German members of the University of Prague were stirring up the people against Hus and the Bohemian kingdom. Hus being a man of truly apostolical poverty, it now became necessary to raise money to enable him to undertake so lengthy a journey. Many of the nobles and probably the king and queen contributed to the expenses. The university, which considered him its representative at the council, also supplied some financial aid. The " nobles presented him with a comfortable carriage, Lord Pflug of Rabstein gave him a handsome horse, and another noble also gave him a horse."i On October II, 1414, Hus left Prague accompanied by Lord Venceslas of Duba, Lord John of Chlum, whom King Sigismund had deputed to escort him, Peter of Mladenovic, private secretary to Lord John, and some attendants. A large crowd, including many magisters and other members of the university, accompanied him to the city gate. Many expressed fears that Hus would never return to his native country.
1 Dr. Flajshans, Misty Jan Hus, p. 360.
It has already been mentioned that the years 1412–1414 were the years of Hus's greatest literary activity. It will be well to notice first his Bohemian writings, which are more interesting as giving a clearer insight into the individuality of the writer. The recent researches of scholars have added so largely to the number of works rightly or wrongly attributed to Hus that I shall here confine myself to the mention of a few that are particularly valuable.1 To the earliest part of this period, if not to a yet earlier date,2 belong two treatises entitled Zrcadlo Hrichuv (the Mirror of Sin), an almost literal translation of the work entitled Speculum Peccatoris that has been attributed to St. Augustine, and a similar shorter work entitled Mensi Zrcadlo (the Smaller Mirror). To the year 1412 belong a series of expositions (Vyklad) dealing consecutively of the faith, the commandments, and the Lord's Prayer 3 and a short work entitled Dcerka (the Daughter) dedicated to one of the pious women who had taken up their abode near the Bethlehem chapel. An ancient and interesting tradition states that the book was dedicated to Anezka, the daughter of Thomas of Stitny. The teaching of Hus is here quite in accordance with that of the Roman Church. He here and everywhere maintains the mediæval and indeed monkish theory of the superiority of maidenhood to the state of a matron.
Of greater interest than any of these writings is the short book entitled 0 Svatokupectvi (On Simony) written early in 1413; for it deals with the real cause of the Bohemian troubles of this period. The intense horror and detestation of the traffic in ecclesiastical titles and religious dignities-enhanced by the fact that both buyer and seller were generally Germans—was really the greatest
· The late Rev. A. H. Wratislaw in the chapter of his John Hus entitled ' John Hus as a writer in his native language,” refers to some of the Bohemian works of this period, though many would not now agree with his appreciation of their relative value. In my History of Bohemian Literature I refer (pp. 121-131) to the Bohemian works of Hus.
* See Dr. Flajshans, Literarni cinnost Mistra Jana Husi (Literary Activity of Master John Hus). It is not-according to Dr. Flajshans certain that the Smaller Mirror is a work of Hus.
3 My History of Bohemian Literature (2nd ed., pp. 123–127) contains translations from the Vyklad.
factor in the religious upheaval of Bohemia. This has often been overlooked by those who have written on this period, though it is obvious enough to the reader of the contemporary Bohemian chronicles. In close connection with this point arose the question whether men who had by foul and unworthy means obtained ecclesiastical dignities could truly and validly administer the sacraments. Hus himself, as has already been stated, held the orthodox Roman opinion, but the subject gave rise to much discussion, which was by no means exclusively caused by the study of Wycliffe's works. The troubles of the schism had, of course, increased the difficulty of judging what bishops and priests could administer the sacraments validly. The papal secretary Collucio, in a letter addressed to Margrave Jodocus of Moravia, even stated that a schismatical or simoniacal pope could not ordain true bishops, and that those who worshipped the sacrament administered by a schismatical priest worshipped an idol.1 It was for this reason that the Hussites in the “ Articles of Prague” and elsewhere laid so great stress on the administration of the sacrament by "worthy priests."
It is with this then burning question that the treatise on simony deals. It was stated by the adherents of all the contending popes that their opponents were heretics, and at that period, more than at any other, the accusation of heresy was scattered broadcast among the people. Hus desired to affirm that simony also is a form of heresy. Written at a time when Hus was incessantly accused of heresy by all those whom his denunciations of simony displeased, the book has, of course, an intensely personal note. In the first chapter Hus writes: “As simony is heresy, and as the evil
1" Quis nescit ex vitiosa parte veros episcopos esse non posse ? et per consequens veros deficere sacerdotes, veraque non habituros post aliquid temporis sacramenta, quos contigerit partem vitiosam esse sečutos. . Illi ergo qui fuerint obedientes non vero pontifici quamvis simpliciter et conscientia non corrupta, si in aliquem inciderint ordinatum ab episcopis novis adorantes hostiam et calicem non Christi corpus et sanguinem, sed illam puram panis materiam atque vini cum aqua mixti velut quoddam idolum adorabunt.' (Letter printed by Martene et Durand, Thesaurus novus Anecdotorum, vol. ii. pp. 160-161.)
. I have used Dr. Novotny's edition published in 1907.
denounce good men as heretics, I wish as an admonition and confirmation for the good, and also for the correction of the evilto define first of all what heresy is, that people may know whether those are heretics to whom they give that name, or whether they are themselves tainted by heresy.” Hus then gives a definition of heresy derived almost literally from St. Augustine, and identical with the one contained in his Super IV. Sententiarum. In the following chapter Hus defines the three sources from which heresy springs; they are apostacy, blasphemy, and simony. Apostacy is committed by those who forsake God's laws. Those are guilty of blasphemy who attempt to limit God's power, or speak irreverently of him, or attribute to human force things that God alone can do; among the latter are the priests, who say that they are creators of God, that they create the body of God whenever they wish, and that they send to hell whomever they will. Even such a short extract from this chapter conveys an idea of the unlimited power which a clergy holding such views necessarily acquired over an uneducated population, and of the terrible consequences which such a power wielded by immoral and unscrupulous men was likely to produce.
In the third chapter Hus writes of the origin and development of simony. Its beginnings, he tells us, date from the time of the Old Testament. It had “two fathers, one in the Old Testament called Gehazi, the other in the New Testament called Simon. The former took gifts for the healing of Naaman of leprosy, the latter gave the apostles money,: wishing to obtain the power of conferring the Holy Ghost on men by laying their hands on them-but I will now more plainly describe the simonists, who are like those sons who, having had evil fathers before them, put on their boots." + “Know then," Hus continues, " that as those who follow Simon are called Simoniacs or Simonists, thus the followers of Gehazi are called Gehazites, those of Balaam Balaamites, of Jeroboam Jero
* See Chapter III.
• Kings ii. 5.
8 Acts viii. * A colloquial expression in old Bohemian signifying the following an example (i.e. " walk in their footsteps").