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artifices thou shalt lose thy life; that for which thou strivest thou shalt not obtain. Thou wilt be neither Roman Emperor nor King in Bohemia. Hearing this the Hungarian king blushed with shame and hung down his head; then they immediately read out some articles against him (Hus) according to the deposition of some witnesses mentioned above or mentioned afterwards, and they said: For this we have (as witnesses) two canons of the Vysehrad, two of the castle (Hradcany), two masters of the University of Prague, two aldermen of the old town, that thou didst say in one of thy sermons that the mother of God is like any other woman. And bursting into tears and protesting, he said: Far be this from me, miserable and weak man. Of the Virgin Mary I believe and hold that from the beginning she was a pure virgin, that after the birth she remained a pure virgin and that she remained without any corruption of her body. I believe also that she was raised to heaven, and that she is the highest person in heaven and therefore above the angels, above the prophets, above the apostles, above the martyrs. After he had professed his faith about the mother of God, he immediately ended. Then they spoke saying: Obdurate heretic, deserving to be condemned, sentenced to death and sent to hell, thou hast said: When a priest consecrates the body of God, raises it to his head and lays it on the corporal ? there does not remain only material bread, that is to say it in Latin, panis materialis vel substantialis. And bursting into tears and protesting he said: Far be this from me, miserable and weak man. This do I believe and hold, concerning the body of God, when an ordained priest according to regulations approaches the altar piously and says the words (of consecration), there immediately remains the whole body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, martyred on the cross and now sitting on the right hand of God Father, the Almighty, as long as the sacrament (the holy wafer), its whiteness and roundness, are at all visible. Concerning the third article the witnesses said: Hear, obdurate heretic, deserving to be condemned, thou hast said that thou art the fourth person of the Holy Trinity (sic). Protesting he said: Far be this from me, miserable and weak man, that I should think so unwisely. This do I believe and hold concerning the Holy Trinity. I declare—and for this I am ready to die—that the three names, the three persons are one, one power, that is the Father, the
1 These (false) predictions, here wrongly attributed to Hus, seem to point to the early date of the manuscript. Though he always claimed the Bohemian throne, Sigismund was only recognised as King of Bohemia in 1436.
• The cloth used in churches for covering the elements of the Eucharist.
Son, and the Holy Ghost; these three are one without difference, and I by no means add a fourth to them. Then they brought a paper crown, yards in height, on which three devils were painted in black. Seeing it Master John Hus took it in his hands and placed it on his head. And he said: Oh, crucified Jesus, meek lamb, Thou hast received a crown of thorns, bloody and piercing to the brain on Thy sacred head, for the sake of me, sinful one, and I now take on me this soft and light crown for Thy truth and because of my earthly sins that I may timely escape them. Then immediately they brought a chain and Master John Hus spoke saying: Oh, crucified Jesus, meek lamb, Thou wert by the bishops of the old law bound during a whole night, mocked and imprisoned. This light chain I gladly receive for Thy truth; then immediately the bishops spoke, saying: Wrongly hath this heretic enjoyed the dignity of priesthood, without permission of the Roman church hath he preached God's word, he hath dared to say mass. Therefore let his priestly dignity be destroyed, let his tonsure be shaved off as if he were a madman; others said, let it be cut out with knives! And he (Hus) smiling, spoke and said: Oh, how quickly the bishops of the old law agreed about the scoffing and mocking of my dear Lord, and ye cannot agree about me, miserable and weak man. Forgive them, oh God, for they know not what they do. Answering him the Cardinal of Cambray spoke saying: Sufficiently, Hus, hast thou screamed in the city of Prague, leading the common people to error and heresy, therefore wilt thou not be allowed to do so here. Then they immediately dress him in massvestments, place him for derision in their midst before the high altar, put a sliver chalice with a paten in his hand and speak saying: Oh accursed Judas, who hast deserted the peaceful ranks of this holy assembly, and hast gone out to join the ranks of the Jews, we take to-day from thee the chalice in which thou hast offered
the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and thy soul with thy lord devils 1 we send to damnation. Answering them, Master John Hus said: And I hope that I will to-day drink of the chalice in the heavenly kingdom with the martyrs and the Lord Christ. You commend my soul to the devil, but I commend it to the Lord Christ. Then they took from him the mass-vestments, and placed him in their midst. Then immediately the Bishop of Lodi who was called (a) monk stood on a chair and preached a sermon on
1 Probably an allusion to the three devils painted on the cap that had been placed on the head of Hus.
heresy, taking (for his text) the words of St. Paul in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans,“ because of unbelief they were broken off.” The body of John Hus, the unbeliever (the bishop said) is worse than the body of Judas, for Judas, having betrayed the Lord Jesus, thus helped all men to salvation, but this man has committed a greater sin than Judas by contaminating the holy Roman church. Therefore hath the spiritual hand nothing more to do with him, and surrenders him to the temporal hand, that the temporal hand may purify his errors and heresies by the flames of death. Then they immediately begin to burn some little books, similar to his (books) and condemn them for heresy. Master John Hus answered and said: How could you condemn my Bohemian writings, and disparage them, as being heretical, as you had not read them! even had you wished it, you would have been unable to do so, for there were here (men of) many nations, Hungarians, Germans, Italians, Frenchmen, Englishmen, and (men of) other nations. Except John, Bishop of Litomysl, none could understand (the Bohemian writings); for he is a Bohemian. Then Master John Hus recited an offertory which is usually sung at mass saying: Arise, Lady Mother, queen of heaven, beg of your son good things for us; then as he had learnt German in prison he spoke to the common people saying: Thus do I believe and hold with regard to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Then the common people began to whisper among themselves: “ This man professes good things, he should not die, if he acted thus in Bohemia.” Remarking this the King of Hungary with his instigators," his (Hus's) bitterest enemies, spoke saying: Perhaps he will lead astray the common people by his fine speeches to (believe) his errors and heresies, and he ordered the beadles and constables to whip the common people away from him with whips and clubs. Meanwhile he (the king) himself rises with the executioners, bishops and prelates, and he orders Prince Hanus, Lord of Klem the younger 2 to rise and hand him (Hus) over to the executioner. Prince Hanus, Lord of Klem, the younger, gave the golden apple with the cross, the emblem of his dignity, to another prince and handed him (Hus) over to the executioner. Then while twelve bishops read holy prayers, Master John Hus professed the common faith (saying):
· This refers to the Bishop of Litomysl, Michael de causis, Palec and the other Bohemian priests, opponents of church-reform, who were then at Constance.
* The author writes in German" her czu klem.” Rupert, Count Palatine, was generally known by the sobriquet of Klem. The writer here describes his son Louis, whom he wrongly calls “ Hanus,” '-as“ Klem the younger."
Thus do I hold and believe concerning the common Christian faith; and they led him out by the gate on the road to the Gottlieben Castle, where the road runs close to the Rhine, and they drive a wooden stake deep into the earth. Seeing this, Master John knelt down and prayed saying: Lord God, deign, I beg you, to grant me your holy help while I end my life on this couch. The crown falls from his head, and he, seeing the three devils painted on it, smiles, saying: These will not harm me, for I fear not the powers of hell. Then one of the masters said: Always have heretics the habit of smiling, be their fate ever so evil. Place again, master, on his heretical body that crown, that he may die separated from the wholesome heart of the holy church. One standing near said: Let a confessor be given to this man. But he (Hus) said that he had already secretly confessed in prison and that it was therefore not necessary now. Then a priest on a fine horse and clad in red silk (said): It is not seemly to give to a heretic the sacrament of the holy church, let him die like a dog! Then he begged that his gaolers might be allowed to approach him. He thanked them and having blessed them he said: Your reward will be the Lord God in the hour of your death. Then the executioner bound him, standing, to the stake, with one chain round his head, another round the middle, and a third round his feet, and he surrounded his body with dry faggots of vine up to his chin. Then Prince Hanus, Lord of Klem the younger, and the Count of Puphaim (Pappenheim), the imperial marshal spoke, saying: Recant, and save your life, or let some small child recant for you. Answering, Master John Hus said: As my lips have since my childhood never intentionally lied, assuredly the mouth of another will not lie for
Then they waved their hands asunder (as a signal to the executioner) and went away, saying: Burn, master, thou art obdurate in thy heresy, it is sure that thou wilt not give way. When the executioner set fire (to the stake) a great flame with smoke arose. Master John Hus cried out to God with great confidence and said: Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, sinner. Then taking a hymn of the holy David in the psalter, he sang one psalm, saying: Lord God Almighty, according to thy great and manifold compassion, have mercy on me, sinner. Then he still moved his lips, saying the Lord's prayer, and remained in the flames for the time you would take to go from the town of Prague across the bridge to the other sideas far as the great
· The Mala Strana ("small quarter ") of the town of Prague, situated on the left bank of the river Vltava.
church of the Virgin Mary; and then he gave up the ghost. Then the fire sank, the body was burnt down and only the stake remained standing. Then the Lord of Klem ordered three cart-loads of wood to be brought and the remains to be broken up into fragments, that the heretical Bohemians might not obtain possession of his bones and venerate them as relics. Then they threw his garments and the boots which he had worn in prison into the fire, roasted his heart on a pointed stake and turned everything, even his bones, into dust. Then they dig up the earth deeply · load (the remains) on carts and, as the Rhine was near, scatter them in the water saying: Swim, Hus, to thy God. Then assembling the beadles he (the Count Palatine), gave them orders with a loud voice (saying): He who shall mourn over this heretic, or follow him, or hold to him, to him shall the same be done or worse, and then they all went their way.
I have translated this curious document as literally as the rugged Bohemian of the original permitted. The document obviously dates from the time of the Hussite wars, and represents Hus as he appeared to the warriors of that period. The account of the martyrdom of the master is very similar to that of the eye-witness, Mladenovic. Greater stress is laid on the brutalities committed against Hus, and it is attempted contrary to facts--to connect Hus very closely with the origins of utraquism. The writer was a Bohemian well acquainted with Prague-as is proved by his quaint allusion to the duration of the martyrdom of Hus. He had little knowledge of Germany, as is proved by various mistakes concerning German personalities.
1 To prevent the Bohemians carrying away morsels of earth as relics.