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received holy orders fourteen years previously, and was then in the prime of life. He was appointed preacher at the Church of St. Giles, and to ensure his livelihood a parson's living at Litomerice (Leitmeritz) was also given to him. At that time—as at the present day-many of the more educated citizens of Prague were acquainted with the German language, and the eloquent sermons of Conrad produced a deep impression on the people. We read that, during the first year of his activity, wondrous and sudden conversions took place. Thus Hanek, son of the rich merchant Jacob Bavorov, an alderman of the "old town," ? one of the most notorious gallants who, even in church, pursued women, disturbing their devotions, was suddenly converted.
He now devoutly attended Conrad's sermons and even obtained the friendship of the pious preacher. One of the most notorious usurers of Prague, after hearing the sermons of Conrad, returned to his victims all his ill-earned gains; and the women of Prague, struck by the Austrian monk's denunciations of luxury, discarded their fine clothing and jewellery, and adopted a plainer and more modest dress. Many Jews flocked to Conrad's sermons and were, by his orders, allowed to be present, though some of the citizens endeavoured to exclude them. The Church of St. Giles, where Conrad preached, though one of the largest in Prague, soon became too small for the audience, and he was often obliged to preach in the open air outside the church. The state of Prague became as that of a modern town during a revival meeting, and we here meet for the first time with one of those outbreaks of religious enthusiasm that are henceforth so frequent in the annals of Prague. Like so many other church reformers, Conrad soon came into conflict with the mendicant friars. He had in his sermons vigorously attacked
1 Tomek, Dejepis mesta Prahy (History of the Town of Prague), vol. iii.
* The community of Prague at this period consisted of three cities: the old town, the new town, and the" small quarter on the left bank of the Vltava (Moldan). See my Prague, Mediæval Town Series.
8 The animosity of the mendicant friars against all church reformers was great at this period. In a letter addressed to Conrad by Adalbert Ranco, one of the most learned Bohemians of the time and sometime rector of the University of Paris, known as a friend of Conrad, Milic, and Janov, he writes
these friars, whose dishonesty, avarice, and immorality caused great scandal in Bohemia. They were, no doubt, particularly incensed against Conrad because he had—as they complainedadmonished his congregation to give alms rather to the poor than to strong and well-fed monks. 1 The monks and nuns of the mendicant orders had been in the habit of demanding a sum of money from young boys and girls who wished to enter their orders. Informed of this practice, which he considered simonical according to canon law, Conrad complained to the Archbishop Ernest of Padrubice, who, however, declined to interfere, declaring that these orders, both male and female, were subject only to their own regulations. This fact witnesses to the difficulty that confronted even the best of bishops, if he attempted to remedy the evil customs of the church of that time. The mendicant friars were not long in seeking for vengeance. When, at the end of the year 1358, a French dominican arrived as papal legate in Prague, they immediately brought their complaints against Conrad before him. The preacher was summoned to appear before the legate, and he proceeded to the archiepiscopal court accompanied by several aldermen of the old town and the town-writer, Master Werner, who is described as a learned and worthy man. Archbishop Ernest was then at Vratislav (Breslau) at the court of King Charles, and the legate did not give audience to Conrad, but appointed several dominican monks who were to receive him. One of these monks engaged in a dispute with Werner, who told him that his master, the legate, had more wisdom in one foot than Master Werner in
from Avignon: “ Dicatis Milicio quod Parisiis publice dicitur et quasi super certa per mendicantes praedicatur quod ego sum simplex Armachanus (a reference to Richard Fitz Ralph, Archbishop of Armagh). Casopis Musea Královstri Ceskeho (Journal of the Bohemian Musem), 1880, p. 561.
1 The mendicant friars declared: “ Item dixit (Conrad): Vos non vultis dare pauperibus et datis monachis qui sunt fortes et qui plus habent quam habere debent. Nolite talibus fortibus dare quia modicum meritum ex hoc habebitis quia videlicet in quolibet collegio esset nec unus qui mereretur illud stipendium quod omnes devorant in guttura sua. (Höfler, Geschichte der hussitischen Bewegung Böhmen, vol. ii. pp. 17-50, contains previously unpublished documents concerning the conflicts of Conrad, Milic, Janov, and Ranco with the ecclesiastical authorities and with the mendicant friars).
his whole body. Thus provoked, Werner answered, “You are all simonists, and your master also.” In the absence of the legate no decision was taken, and the matter appears to have remained in abeyance. Ten days later, on December 28th, Conrad Waldhauser was again summoned to appear at the archiepiscopal court. Preaching early on that morning he, from the pulpit, begged the aldermen to appoint two of thefr number who were to accompany him. They readily consented, and Werner, the writer, also again joined them. Meanwhile, the rumour was circulated in the city that the monks were menacing Conrad, and a large crowd of men and women followed the venerated preacher, determined to protect him if necessary. When the crowd passed the dominican monastery of St. Clement, some of the monks appeared at the windows. They had to hear evil words, were told that they were heretics who deserved to be burnt, and the people spat out before them. Conrad and Master Werner endeavoured as far as possible to calm the people. Of what befell at the archbishop's palace we have no certain information. It appears, however, that all parties agreed to leave matters in suspense till Archbishop Ernest should have returned to Prague. Early in 1359, the papal legate summoned Conrad to a disputation probably at the monastery of St. Clements. Waldhauser declined, stating that he was certain that the monks of that community, who were among the strongest opponents of church-reform, would stone him should he appear there. He added that he would, however, justify himself before the archbishop. On the return of Ernest, the mendicant friars presented to him their complaints against Conrad, formulated in twenty-four articles. Their contents were very futile, and to those who read the articles it will appear that the accusations of laziness, immorality, avarice, and gluttony levelled against the friars were thoroughly justified. Other accusations, such as that Conrad had said that the monks and nuns who received children for a pecuniary remuneration were
Arian heretics,” are too absurd to deserve belief. Conrad's dignified answer, in which he did not deny having spoken strongly
1 Tomek, History of the Town of Prague, vol. iii.
against the vices of the friars, but complained that words he had never spoken had been attributed to him, seems to have satisfied the archbishop. He caused an inscription to be placed on the doorways of all the monasteries of the mendicant friars, summoning all who might have any accusation to bring against Conrad, to appear on a certain day at the archbishop's court. No one appeared. The friars, however, continued secretly to attack the pious preacher. Thus when Duke Leopold of Austria visited Prague, the mendicant friars brought many mendacious accusations against Conrad before him. The duke appears to have disbelieved these accusations, as he invited Conrad to return with him to Vienna. The conscientious preacher none the less considered it his duty to draw up a statement defending his conduct and to send it to Vienna. Of the later years of Conrad but little is known. He, however, always retained the favour of King Charles, who conferred on him the rectorship of the Tyn Churchnext to the Cathedral-Church of St. Vitus, the most important one in Prague. It is a proof of the great independence of mind of King Charles, who has often been judged very falsely by superficial writers, that he ventured to do this in face of the continued opposition to Conrad on the part of the mendicant friars. That opposition, indeed, only ceased with the death of Conrad in 1369. He left several Latin writings, among them are the Apologia that has already been mentioned, and an extensive Postilla studentum sanctae universitatis Pragensis super evangelia dominica, written on the request and for the benefit of the young students of the university. Conrad Waldhauser's writings have only been preserved in MSS.
Among those who listened to Conrad's sermons was a young priest, who was destined to become his successor on the arduous path of church-reform. I refer to John Milic of Kromerize (in German, Kremsier), whose truly Christ-like nature caused him to be revered as a saint even during his lifetime.2 Milic was born
1 The friars accused Conrad of having said that: Prius quam homo filiam suam Simoniace traderet religioni, eligibilius esset eam meretricem fieri.”
* Matthew of Janov writes: Ipse vero Milicius filius et imago domini Jesu Christi, apostolorumque ipsius similitudo prope expressa et ostensa."
at Kromerize probably in the early part of the fourteenth century, but all tales concerning his earliest years must be considered as legendary. It is certain that he was of humble origin, and was from childhood destined for the church. He appears even in early youth to have taken his life-work more seriously than was then usual with young clerics. He read widely and showed early in life that great capacity for work and study that never left him throughout life. It is specially noted that he devoted much time to the study of scripture, and the same has been stated of his successor Matthew of Janov. This devotion to the Bible may, indeed, be considered as generally characteristic of the Bohemian churchreformers. Though symptoms of exceptional earnestness are from the first evident in the career of Milic, he did not, and perhaps under the circumstances could not, seek preferment otherwise than in the manner then usual among young priests. Milic early in life found employment in the chancery of the Emperor Charles. The head of that chancery was then John of Streda, Bishop of Litomysl. Through the influence of Streda, Milic obtained in 1361-even before he had been ordained a priest—from Pope Innocent VI. a papal provision, bestowing on him a benefice in the archdiocese of Prague. He became a canon of St. Vitus in that city, and it appears that somewhat later the rank of archdeacon was also conferred on him. But his enthusiastic, pious, and conscientious nature induced him in 1363 already to abandon all his honours.
It has often been stated that the impression produced on Milic by the preaching of Conrad Waldhauser was the cause of this determination. It was at any rate not the only cause. The work of Milic as archdeacon had given him a terrible insight into the depravation of the clergy, and he could not fail to perceive that the system of papal provisions by which he had himself benefited, contributed largely to the general demoralisation. Milic therefore considered it his duty to renounce all worldly goods, and to devote himself entirely to preaching. Being of the Bohemian nationality, he was able to preach to the people in their own language, a thing · Dr. Novotny, Jan Milic %. Kromerize.