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Europe. The subsequent Hussite wars, in which almost the whole of Europe was arrayed against Bohemia, naturally spread the fame of the master yet further. Portraits of Hus must, therefore, have been numerous from an early time. It is none the less certain that no existent portrait can lay claim to be an authentic representation of the Bohemian reformer. It is needless to say that the many portraits of the master which have appeared almost continuously since his death have great historical interest. In Bohemia, where everything connected with Hus is still a matter of the greatest interest, a considerable literature on the subject of Hus's appearance has recently sprung up. It is here sufficient to state that the portraits of Hus belong to two types that are entirely different. Generally, though not absolutely, it may be stated that the older portraits represent Hus beardless, and the newer ones with a large beard. The oldest representations are found in the illustrated editions of Richenthal's chronicle, and they represent Hus as being without a beard. It is, however, obvious from the drawing of these illustrations that they did not attempt seriously to portray Hus. Very many other later representations of a beardless Hus have been preserved. We find several such representations in a hymnbook preserved in the town of Litomerice. They represent, however, a very young man, and have a very conventional character.2 The numerous medals of Hus which have been preserved represent both types, and we find even medals that had a beardless Hus on one side, and a bearded one-generally represented as bound to the stake-on the other. Of the later beardless representations of Hus the one contained in the edition of the Postilla of 1563 is undoubtedly the best. In the course of the sixteenth century the bearded representations of Hus, now so familiar to all, took the place of the earlier type. The general acceptation of the new type at a time when traditions concerning the appearance of Hus must still have been widely spread, rather militates against the assurance
1 In German, Leitmeritz.
* Messrs. Faber and Kurth have reproduced these miniatures in their otherwise valueless study entitled: “ Wie sah Hus aus.”
with which some recent writers have declared in favour of a beardless Hus. It is certain that Hus grew a beard while in prison, and after a short stay in the cathedral he was immediately led to the stake on the fatal 6th of July. That he was shaved immediately before his degradation from priesthood that he might present the appearance of a secular priest, as secular priests were then beardless, is a conjecture for which I can find no evidence. The faithful Mladenovic would certainly have mentioned such an occurrence. The portrait of Hus without a beard may also have been drawn in accordance with the memory of those who had known Hus as a young man. Those which I have seen certainly do not present the appearance of a man over forty whom illness and anxiety had certainly aged. It is perhaps in this case wise not to seek for certainty where none can be found. Of the countless paintings and statues of Hus which we possess, the great majority represent the master bearded, and this type has, rightly or wrongly, been generally accepted. One of the noblest of these portraits is the probably slightly idealised-one which is preserved at Herrenhut, the present centre of the community of the Bohemian brethren. The fact that the brethren consider themselves the true followers of Hus adds to the value of the portrait, which has been reproduced in this work. According to a very ancient tradition in Bohemia, the numerous statues of Hus that existed there were by order of the Jesuits declared to be representations of that somewhat dubious saint, John of Nepomuk, and have thus been preserved. These statues, which every traveller in Bohemia will remember to have seen, certainly bear a striking likeness to the representations of the bearded Hus. The same type has been adopted for the statue of Hus, which forms part of the Luther monument at Worms, and for the painting of Hus before the Council by the Bohemian painter Brozik, which now adorns the town hall of Prague. The same can be said of the many other modern pictures representing Hus.
1 It should be stated that Professor Kalousek, one of the most eminent of the Bohemian historians of the present day, totally denies the authenticity of this tradition.
JEROME OF PRAGUE
In all early accounts of the life of Hus we find in close connection with the name of the master that of Jerome of Prague. I have in former works 1 pointed out that the importance of Jerome as a Bohemian church-reformer has been greatly exaggerated. connection with Hus was neither as close, nor as constant as was formerly believed. This is indeed natural, as Jerome was frequently absent from Bohemia for considerable periods during the last and most eventful years of the life of Hus. The career of Jerome contrasts in many ways with that of Hus. While the latter hardly ever left Bohemia before he undertook his fateful journey to Constance, Jerome led a roving life, never remaining long in one country, and sometimes departing in a manner that cannot be called honourable. There can be few greater contrasts than that between the saintly and truly evangelical simplicity of the character of Hus, and the sophistical insincerity of Jerome, who represents an early type of the humanist-with all the qualities and also all the faults that characterise the humanist. It is as a humanist also that he appealed to Poggio Bracciolini, whose letter to Bruni (Leonardo Aretino) describing the death of Jerome of Prague is one of the few documents connected with the Bohemian reformation which have become somewhat widely known. It is certain that Jerome was a man of great erudition, and the not very numerous contemporary notices referring to him lay great stress on his eloquence. On one occasion, when both he and Hus took part in one of the many disputations then customary at the University of Prague,
Bohemia, a Historical Sketch, pp. 137, 138, and A History of Bohemian Literature, p. 141.
Jerome's speech quite out balanced that of the greater man, and the enthusiastic young students conducted him home in triumph. Jerome's inflammatory language was undoubtedly harmful to the cause of church-reform, as well as to Hus, whom many even at that time identified with the views of Jerome. Probably not unaware of this, Hus, when leaving for Constance, begged Jerome not to follow him there a prayer that remained unnoticed by the latter.
Very little is known of the early years of Jerome. He is stated, though on no very certain authority, to have been of noble birth, and was probably somewhat younger than Hus. The frequently repeated statement that his family name was Faulfiss is founded on a passage of Ænæas Sylvius's Historia Bohemica, which was misunderstood. Ænæas Sylvius mentions 1 among the Bohemian church-reformers a man genere nobilis, ex domo quam Putridi Piscis vocant. This was formerly erroneously believed to refer to Jerome. After beginning his studies at the University of Prague, where he did not attempt to obtain any ecclesiastical rank, Jerome proceeded to Oxford, in 1398. He here zealously studied the works of Wycliffe, which greatly impressed him, and he made copies of the Dialogus and Trialogus. Always inclined to a roving life, Jerome did not remain long in England. He next visited Paris, and for some time pursued his studies at the university there. Here his outspoken advocacy of the views of Wycliffe already began
o attract public attention, and he incurred the displeasure of Gerson, then rector of the university. It may here be noted that in distinction from Hus, who mainly strove to reform the clergy and laity of Bohemia and to lead them to a truly Christian life, Jerome delighted in the sophistical subtility that was fashionable among the theologians and other scholars of his age. A very vain man, Jerome probably rejoiced in the notoriety which he obtained in Paris. Yet he did not remain long in that city. Under what circumstances Jerome left Paris is not clearly known, and it should be stated that little is known of most of the events of his life. The
1 Aeneae Silvii Historia Bohemica, chap. xxxv.
friends of church-reform revered in him one who had had the honour of obtaining the friendship of Hus, and who at the end of his life met his doom bravely. They therefore preferred to palliate some not very creditable incidents in his life. The partisans of Rome, on the other hand, directed their attacks rather against Hus, whose truly saintly life rendered him a far more dangerous adversary than Jerome. It appears certain that from Paris Jerome proceeded to Köln—then a university town—and afterwards to Heidelberg. In 1403 he is stated to have visited Jerusalem. It is at any rate certain that he returned to Prague in 1407. He there immediately took part in the theological controversies that were then raging at the university. When, in 1408, a French embassy arrived at Kutna Hora, then the residence of King Venceslas, and proposed that the papal schism should be terminated by the refusal of the temporal sovereigns to recognise in future either of the rival pontiffs, Venceslas summoned to Kutna Hora the most prominent members of the university, wishing to consult them. Among those summoned were Hus and Jerome. All the Bohemian magisters spoke strongly in favour of the French proposal, while the German members of the university strongly affirmed their allegiance to the Roman pontiff Gregory XII. The Bohemian magisters believed that they would be graciously received by the king, who was known to be favourable to the French proposals. The astute German rector of the university, Henning von Baltenhagen, however, diverted the king's attention from the question of the schism, and denounced the Bohemian members of the university as men who held heretical opinions. The king became greatly incensed and threatened with death at the stake Hus and Jerome, who had acted as leaders of the Bohemian magisters. As has been previously stated, the king soon changed his views and again became favourable to the party of church-reform. The antagonism between the party and the Archbishop of Prague, however, continued. Jerome continued to uphold his views with great violence, and here as in so many cases his attitude was injurious to the party of church-reform. It was 1 In German, Kuttenberg.
* See Chapter IV.