The Letter of the Emperor Sigismund, to the Nobles of Bohemia.
In the mean time as we were about the coasts of the Rhine, John Huss
went to Constance, and there was arrested, as is not to you unknown; who, if he had first resorted unto us, and had gone up with us to the council, perhaps it had been otherwise with him. And God knoweth what grief and sorrow it was to our heart, to see it so to fall out, as with no words can be well expressed; whereof all the Bohemians, who were there present, can bear us witness, seeing and beholding how careful and solicitous we were in labouring for him, insomuch that we many times with anger and fury departed out of the council; and not only out of the council, but also went out of the city of Constance, taking his part, unto such time as the rulers of the council, sending unto us, said, that if we would not permit them to prosecute that which right required in the council, what should they then do in the place? Whereupon thus we thought with ourselves, that here was nothing else for us more to do, nor yet to speak in this case, forasmuch as the whole council otherwise had been dissolved. Where is to be noted, moreover, that in Constance, the same time, there was not one clerk, nor two, but there were ambassadors from all the kings and princes in Christendom: especially, since the time that (Petrus de Luna giving over) all those kings and princes who took his part, came to us; so that whatsoever good was to be done, it was now to be passed in this present council, &c.
By this it may appear that the emperor, as partly ashamed and sorry of that which was done, would gladly have cleared himself thereof, and have washed his hands with Pilate: yet he could not so clear
himself, but that a great portion of that murder remained in him to be noted, and well worthy of reprehension; as may appear by his last words spoken in the council to John Huss, whereof John Huss in his epistles complaineth, writing to certain of his friends in Bohemia, in his thirty-third epistle, as by his words here following may appear.