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stantinople, and the Bishops John of Lübeck and Bernard of Città di Castello, who were to report on the case of Hus. Michael de causis, the Judas of Bohemia, had drawn up a series of accusations against him. The heretical statements of which he was accused were principally derived from Hus's treatise De Ecclesia. Some of these accusations were palpably and positively false; thus it was affirmed that Hus had said that the substance of bread remained in the sacrament after consecration and that unworthy priests could not validly administer communion.1 Much ingenuity was displayed also by Michael's accomplice Palec, who described accusations made by Hus against Pope John XXIII.- far more moderate than those afterwards sanctioned by the council-as general accusations against papacy. It is difficult to imagine a greater amount of ignoble and mendacious sophistry than that which was produced by Michael de causis and Stephen Palec.
It is almost pitiful to imagine the position of a simple, truthful, and honest man as was Hus when attacked by such unscrupulous and mendacious adversaries. He seems himself to have felt the necessity of obtaining legal advice, and begged to be allowed to employ a lawyer for his defence. In distinction from a large number of priests of his day who were better jurists than theologians, Hus had devoted his time to preaching and writing in favour of the cause of church-reform, as well as to theological study. Michael de causis, on the other hand, was the type of the most unscrupulous and cunning lawyer-priests of a period when the ecclesiastical state was often assumed by unworthy men, because of the advantages and privileges which it conferred.
Hus's request was immediately and sternly refused. declared that, according to canon law, no aid could be given to a heretic. Hus only now saw how greatly he had been deceived and how desperate his position was. The mediæval church looked on heretics very much as the Roman emperors looked on the early
1 As regards the first point, Hus had already, when questioned by Didacus, denied holding the opinion attributed to him. See p. 203. On the second point Hus long before had expressed views in accordance with the teaching of Rome in his Super IV. Sententiarum. See p. 85.
Christians. They were men outside of the pale of humanity with whom no faith need be kept. The same argument was brought forward later when Hus's safe-conduct was declared invalid. That the refusal to allow Hus to obtain a legal representative sealed his fate was afterwards openly stated by John Gerson, one of the most prominent members of the council. When the proposed condemnation of the monk John Petit (Parvus), who had written in praise of tyrannicide, was discussed, Gerson, indignant at what he considered the unfairness of the council, declared that, had Hus been allowed an advocate, he would never have been convicted of heresy and that he (Gerson) would rather be tried by Jews and pagans than by the members of the council. Hus, though now aware that he had been enticed to Constance entirely on false pretences, could but submit. Palec and Michael continued their proceedings against him with indefatigable energy. Hus, shortly after his imprisonment, had fallen dangerously ill, as he had been placed in a dungeon close to the sewer. With fiendish ingenuity Michael de causis thought that this moment when Hus was weak through illness and deeply depressed by the treachery of which he had been the victim was a favourable one to confront him with as many witnesses as possible. According to the proceedings of the inquisition which were adopted, publicity was excluded, but the witnesses gave their evidence on oath in the presence of the accused. Once, when Hus's illness was at its worst, fifteen witnesses were brought into his prison on the same day. It was natural that he should be quite bewildered, and God only, as he afterwards wrote, knew what he suffered. Mladenovic, who enumerates many of those who were made to give evidence against Hus, writes that sone of them were very reluctant to do so. A layman, before he was called in, said: "I swear to God that I have nothing to depose. " Then Michael de causis said to him: “My good man, you don't know what they will ask you, and you swear that you have nothing to depose. As for me, I would bear witness against my own father
1 This matter, which cannot be discussed here, is thoroughly treated by Von der Hardt, Lenfant, and also by Dr. Schwab, Johannes Gerson.
if it was (if he was accused of) something against the faith.” The result of these investigations was that the commissioners, on the advice of Michael and Stephen Palec, drew up a new act of accusation against Hus consisting of forty-four articles, all derived from the treatise De Ecclesia. “ These had,” Mladenovic writes, “ been falsely and unfairly extracted from the book by Palec, who had mutilated some sentences at the beginning, others in the middle, others at the end, and who had also invented things that were not contained in the book at all."
The Bohemian informers uninterruptedly continued their task of persecuting Hus, but the council was now for a time occupied with other matters. On Christmas Day, 1414, Sigismund arrived at Constance. Richenthal, who describes the arrival of such illustrious visitors in his native town with evident pleasure, writes: “On the holy day early, two hours after midnight, came from Ueberlingen to Constance that most noble prince Sigismund, King of the Romans, of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, etc., and with him the most noble princess, Lady Barbara, Queen of the Romans, his spouse, by birth Countess of Cilli, and the most noble princess, Lady Elizabeth, Queen of Bosnia, and also the most noble princess, Lady Anne of Wurtemberg, by birth a burgravine of Nuremberg. There came also with the king the most noble elector, Duke Louis of Saxony. After landing from the boats they retired to their apartments and warmed themselves for an hour. Then the citizens of Constance presented them with two golden cloths. The one was carried-as a baldachin--on four poles over the king, the other, also on four poles, over the queen and the Queen of Bosnia. Thus they proceeded to the cathedral, and the pope, wearing a handsome mitre adorned with gold and precious stones, read the first mass on Christmas Day, which they call Dominus dixit ad me." Richenthal then continues to describe the other functions, for the pope, according to custom, said three masses on Christmas Day. He afterwards presented Sigismund
1 Wife of Tvartko of Bosnia, who had been an ally of Sigismund during his wars in Hungary and Dalmatia.
with a sword, hoping that he would use it for the defence of the church. The German princes had not at first paid much attention to the council. The schism and the violent and undignified controversies between the adherents of the rival popes, which had been its consequence, had caused the clergy to fall in Germany into a state of contempt and disesteem, which is not the less certain because little written evidence of this feeling remains. The Bohemian writers of the fifteenth century who so strongly attacked papacy and the Roman Church certainly met with more sympathy in Germany than is usually supposed. The German princes, therefore, felt little inclined to go to Constance to greet Pope John XXIII. Some of their number, such as the Archbishop of Trier, still acknowledged the obedience of Pope Gregory XII. After the arrival of Sigismund, the head of the empire and since his recent coronation at Aachen-emperor, a great change took place in this respect. In January 1415, the Bavarian princes, Louis Count Palatinewho played a prominent part at the execution of Hus—and Dukes Henry and Louis, arrived at Constance. Other new arrivals were, the burgraves John and Frederick of Nuremberg, Duke Frederick of Austria, the Margrave of Baden, and the Elector-Archbishop John of Maintz. This prelate rode into Constance in full armour, a fact that scandalised even the large-minded Richenthal.
Sigismund, whose dominant characteristic, next to perfidy, was puerile vanity, greatly rejoiced over his position as leader of so brilliant an assembly. He had undoubtedly succeeded in renewing the waning prestige of the Roman crown. Though Hus's loyal Bohemian friends continued to bring their unwelcome grievances before Sigismund, he felt little interest in the case of the pious and humble Bohemian priest. He knew him to be under lock and key, and had decided long ago that he should never return to his native country. No one at the council probably attached the slightest importance to the protestations against Hus's imprisonment, which Sigismund still thought it politic to make.
1 This is, of course, only true of the early part of the fifteenth century. There are, as is known, countless German writings with anti-papal tendency belonging to the sixteenth century.
The members of the council were now entirely absorbed in the conflict between the papacy and the college of cardinals. The position of Sigismund was a difficult one. Immediately after his arrival at Constance, Baldassare Cossa had attempted to win him over to his side by the offer of a gift of 200,000 florins. The emperor declined this offer, probably considering the pope's position as already hopeless, or distrusting his promise. It appeared certain that even the laxity of morals of that period, almost inconceivable as we now consider it, would in the long run not accept a man such as the diavolo cardinale as head of the Catholic Church. Sigismund therefore arrived at the conclusion that it was only by forcing John XXIII., as well as Gregory XII. and Benedict XIII., to abdicate that the termination of the schism could be assured.
Sigismund therefore soon assumed a conciliatory attitude towards the council. He entirely gave up his insincere demand that Hus should be released from prison, and in contradiction to his former, probably also disingenuous, desire that the council should first devote its attention to church-reform, he now consented to its first discussing the schism. The negotiations between John XXIII. and Sigismund, between the pope and the college of cardinals, the dissensions between the cardinals and the other members of the council-all these events here require but brief mention. To exercise a certain pressure on John XXIII., it was decided that the council should not be considered as a continuation of that of Pisa, which had deposed Popes Gregory and Benedict. Representatives of these pontiffs were, therefore, allowed to appear before the council and the emperor. The representatives of Gregory declared that their master was willing to renounce the papal throne if John and Benedict did likewise, and Benedict's envoys expressed themselves in a manner that was interpreted as expressing a similar intention. John XXIII., however, who denied the analogy between his own case and that of Gregory and Benedict, who had been deposed by the Council of Pisa, took up a very intransigent attitude.
1 Dr. Aschbach (Geschichte Kaiser Sigmunds, vol. ii. p. 38), who makes this statement, founds it on documentary evidence. There is nothing in the character either of Sigismund or of Baldassare Cossa to render it improbable.