The life and times of Master John Hus/Chapter 9

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While the great part that Hus played as a church-reformer is widely known, his great importance as a Bohemian patriot is almost unknown beyond the borders of his native land. Many Bohemians who are firm adherents of the Roman Church therefore feel great sympathy for Hus, admiring not only his saintly character, but also his devotion to his country and its language, to the development of which he so largely contributed. As has already been mentioned, Husinec, the birth-place of the great church-reformer, lies in a district in Western Bohemia which is near the Bavarian frontier and where the German nationality marches with the Bohemian one. No doubt, in consequence of this proximity, the national feeling is very strongly developed in this part of the country. Though little is known of his early youth, it is certain that Hus was brought up as a strong Bohemian patriot. Though so saintly a man as Hus was incapable of hatred of Germans or of men of any country, the injustice of the system which placed in the hands of foreigners—mostly men hostile to the Bohemian nation—most of the dignities of the university and the largest part of the ecclesiastical patronage, filled him with great and justifiable indignation. In one of his earliest sermons, which has already been mentioned,[1] Hus spoke very strongly on the humiliating and subordinate position of the Bohemians in their own country. Like the Bohemian patriots of all periods—for they have retained this characteristic up to the present day—Hus was devotedly attached to the national language. The constant contact with Germany and the fact that many Bohemians, particularly nobles, married German wives, always endangered the purity of the Bohemian language, and furthered the introduction of many German words. Skilfully seeking an analogy in the records of the Old Testament, Hus has enlarged on this subject in one of his most characteristic sermons.[2] “It is written,” he says, “in the book of the good Nehemiah:[3] ‘I saw Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews language, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and beheaded some. I cursed them in the name of God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. I said: Did not Solomon King of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then being disobedient commit a mortal sin, and transgressing against our God marry strange wives?’

“You see then that this good priest (Nehemiah) forbade the Jews to marry heathen women, even if they accepted their faith, and that for two reasons: firstly, that these women should not lead them away from God and to idols, as they led Solomon, that king beloved of God and wise; secondly, that the Hebrew language should not perish. Thus he (Nehemiah) says that he heard children who knew not even Hebrew, but spoke in a half-heathen speech. And therefore he smote them badly, whipped them, and the men he slew. Thus also should the princes, lords, knights, patricians, citizens prevent their people from committing unchastity, and particularly adultery. They should not permit this, but should whip them and beat them—I will not say slay them, though this holy man beheaded them; for in later times Christ the merciful king would not allow the adultress to be immediately sentenced to death. Thus also should we behave that the Bohemian language perish not. If a Bohemian marries a German, the children must immediately learn Bohemian and not divide their speech in two (speak partly Bohemian, partly German). For this division causes but jealousy, dissension, anger, and quarrels. Therefore did the Emperor Charles, King of Bohemia, of holy memory, order the citizens of Prague to teach their children Bohemian, to speak it, and to plead at law in Bohemian in the town hall, which the Germans call ‘Rothaus.’ And just as Nehemiah, when he heard Jewish children speaking partly in the speech of Ashdod, and not knowing Hebrew (well), whipped them and beat them, thus would those citizens of Prague deserve a whipping, as well as those other Bohemians whose speech is half Bohemian and half German—men who use such German words as Hantuch, Knedlik, Shorz, Hauszknecht.[4] And who can describe how greatly they have confused (rendered unintelligible) the Bohemian language? Therefore a true Bohemian who listens to them, and hears them speak, understands not what they say. Thence spring ill-will, envy, dissensions, quarrels, and dishonour to Bohemia.”

This curious passage shows how strongly developed the feeling of racial antipathy between Bohemians and Germans was at the beginning of the fifteenth century. How fully Hus felt with his countrymen is proved by the fact that so pious and kind-hearted a man did not hesitate, following the example of the Hebrew prophet, to place the marrying of a foreign wife on the same level as the most heinous sins. How little the popular feeling among the Bohemians has changed in the period of nearly five centuries that divides us from the time of Hus is proved by the fact that almost all political interest in Bohemia in the present day centres in the “question of languages,” the Sprachenfrage, as the Germans call it.

Hus’s endeavours to strengthen and develop his native language were, however, by no means limited to the purely negative task of opposing the encroachments of the German tongue. He well knew that his own language, to become exclusively the language of the state and of the scholars of Bohemia, required development and improvement in many respects; even as regards such elementary matters as orthography great disorder prevailed; no generally accepted rules existed. In the scanty written documents and in the language of the people there still remained many traces of the different dialects from which the Bohemian language originally sprang. Hus first attempted to establish a universally recognised written language for the whole extensive district—including Moravia and Silesia as well as Bohemia proper—in which the Bohemian language is spoken. He first attempted a task in which the revivers of the Bohemian tongue in the nineteenth century were finally and definitely successful.[5] These men were indeed greatly indebted to Hus, as well as later to the writers of the Bohemian brotherhood. While residing at Prague Hus had already directed his attention to the improvement of his native language. The result of these studies was his Orthographia Bohemica, which probably dates from the year 1411.[6] The Bohemians had, in distinction from many other Slavic races, adopted the Latin characters, which are inadequate to render many sounds peculiar to Slavic speech. Many different attempts had been made to obviate this “anarchy of spelling”—as Dr. Flajshans calls it—which resulted from this inability. Hus, however, was the first who, in his work that has just been mentioned, introduced the diacritic signs which in a modified form are still used in the Bohemian language. During the period in which he studied and afterwards lectured at the university Hus had generally spoken and written in Latin. When he was an exile, no longer in close contact with his university, but had, on the other hand, many opportunities of hearing the common talk of the country people to whom he preached, he devoted yet more attention to his native language. The earlier Bohemian writers, even Stitny, had written in a somewhat pedantic fashion similar to that of the ponderous writers of mediæval Latin. Hus, as he himself tells[7] us, formed his style on the common speech of the people, which he ennobled and raised to the rank of a language adapted to the expression of theological and philosophical thought, though the earlier merits of Stitny in this respect must not be overlooked. That Hus, who shared the great devotion to the holy gospel which is a characteristic of all Bohemian church-reformers, should have given much time and study to the Scriptures is but natural. He endeavoured to make the Bible more accessible to his; countrymen, and this may be considered as one of the causes why he incurred the intense hatred of the opulent Bohemian clergy. It appears, though the matter is somewhat obscure,[8] that, as early as the second half of the fourteenth century, parts of the Bible had been translated into Bohemian by various writers, and that these parts had been collected and joined together about the year 1410. These translations were, however, of very unequal value; some were written in the rough Bohemian in use about the year 1350, others in the more refined language of the fifteenth century. Some teemed with mistakes of the grossest description; others bore witness to the learning of the masters of the university. Of these some, including Hus, were acquainted with the Hebrew language.[9] Hus undertook the difficult task of revising and correcting the already existent translations of the Bible, and it may be said that it was mainly through him that the Scriptures became more accessible to the Bohemian people.[10]

In close connection with Hus’s striving to render his countrymen more familiar with the sacred documents which form the basis of Christianity, reference should be made to his endeavours to facilitate the participation of laymen in the religious rites, and more especially in church-song, which had gradually become an exclusive privilege of the clergy. This part of the activity of Hus had, up to recent times, been entirely neglected, and only recently scholars of the University of Prague have thrown some light on matters that were formerly almost unknown.[11] In consequence of the ever-increasing claims of the clergy to superiority over laymen, the custom—no doubt general in the time of the primitive church—that the congregation should join in the singing during religious services had gradually been abandoned. This caused great resentment among the people, particularly among the Bohemians, with whom a taste for music is innate. The early Bohemian church-reformers, Milic in particular, were deeply interested in this matter, and Hus here walked completely in their footsteps. We find here, as in so many other cases, close connection between Hus and his forerunners, while as regards music and art generally the somewhat puritanic views of Wycliffe were directly antagonistic to those of the Bohemians. This, as Dr. Nejedly writes, is a matter by no means devoid of importance if we consider the arguments of those who attempted to prove that Hus was a mere copyist and imitator of Wycliffe. The theories on which the two opponents of Rome agreed were mainly common property of all mediæval opponents of the Church of Rome, while the natures and characters of Hus and Wycliffe were in most respects different, even antagonistic. The somewhat pedantic and matter-of-fact nature of Wycliffe, devoid of artistic instincts, contrasts absolutely with the enthusiastic and fanciful character of Hus, who fully possessed the fondness for vocal and instrumental music that is so characteristic of his countrymen.

Hus has in his works frequently expounded his views with regard to singing in church. He declares that song is one of the three forms of devotion which constitute the religious services of the heavenly temple in our home (heaven). The religious services of the temples of the soul and the body should conform to this. The song of those who dwell in our celestial home consists of praise of God and of thanksgiving.[12] Elsewhere Hus mentions that Christ sang a hymn of thanksgiving when He proceeded with His disciples to the Mount of Olives.[13] In yet another passage of his writings he advised the mournful to expel the plague of sorrow from their hearts by the sweetness of song.[14] Many other passages could be quoted to prove the importance which Hus attached to devotional music. Hus's appointment to the Bethlehem chapel afforded him the desired opportunity. The chapel soon became famed for its singing. It had, indeed, originally been built for preaching, particularly in the national language, and the preaching continued mainly to attract the people, as is natural, if we consider the unrivalled eloquence of Hus. Yet the singing of hymns by the congregation soon became a very important feature. In his interesting work Dr. Nejedly thus describes the services in the Bethlehem chapel at this period: “The people assembled to hear Hus’s sermons, which inspired with enthusiasm all classes represented in the congregation. All were greatly moved when the sermon ended, and then a low mass was said. The people had previously already been in the habit of singing Hospodine pomiluj ny[15] (the Lord have mercy on us) and Buoh vsemohuci (Almighty God) after the sermons, and now they did so also after the sermons of Hus. Psychologically the enthusiastic disposition of the crowd required some outlet; it could find no better one than in song. Only a low mass was permitted in the chapel after the sermon, and this did not interfere with the singing and indeed rather helped it. We can, therefore, consider these regulations of the Bethlehem chapel as being largely the reason why the people sang there more than elsewhere, and why popular singing in churches sprang from there. Hus well understood the disposition of the crowds who listened to his sermons and helped them to give vent to it in that manner which is most natural to an emotional multitude, that is to say, by means of song. Hus’s delight in church song, even though it had a liturgic[16] character, had a strong influence on the development of devotional music of a popular character.” The then established system of singing in churches, the “liturgic” one, as Dr. Nejedly calls it, was very faulty. Hus always declared himself its determined enemy. The total reform of the Bohemian Church—the cause for which Hus lived and died—was to include a reform of church-song also. The part which the congregation was allowed to take in the singing at religious services had, through the influence of the priesthood—desirous here also to accentuate the difference between the clergy and the laity—become very insignificant. The singers—monks, or ecclesiastics who had only received the minor orders—showed a complete want of reverence, and mechanically accomplished their duties in a negligent manner that deeply offended so pious a Christian as was Hus. The priests, and particularly the friars, deacons, and acolytes who were paid for their services, behaved in a most unseemly manner, roving about the church and scoffing at the congregation. Some sang so falsely that they were derided by the congregation, and a Bohemian audience is always critical with regard to music. Their principal fault was, however, the indecent hurry with which they despatched their duties as singers. Hus blames this abuse in quaint words: “Such a (singer),” he writes,[17] “grinds his words without using his lips or teeth, and they seem as the sound of a millstone, which thunders out : tr, tr, tr!” It was Hus’s endeavour to remedy such abuses and to introduce in his chapel “quiet song and prayer that should be pleasing both to the learned and to the simple.”

It was a very important and by no means easy task that Hus undertook when he attempted to replace the Latin singing in his chapel by songs in the national language. With the exception of the one or two hymns that have already been mentioned, there then existed only secular songs in the Bohemian language, and these had frequently a frivolous and even obscene character. Hus, who thoroughly understood his countrymen, knew that singing of some sort is to them a necessity. He, therefore—like some more recent church-reformers—endeavoured to expel the objectionable songs that were popular, and replace them by others that were of a pious character. He began by translating into Bohemian some of the Latin hymns which the people were in the habit of hearing, though of course without understanding them. As it had already proved to be possible to introduce the native language into the pulpit, Hus resolved to render the singing of Bohemian hymns in the churches general. Here, as in all his efforts to further church-reform, Hus was confronted by the violent hostility of the Bohemian prelacy. The fact that, as hymns were now sung in the national language, women were able to take part in the singing and were permitted to do so, met with great opposition and derision on the part of the enemies of church-reform. They were all the more exasperated because the Bohemian women from Queen Sophia downward had from the first been fervent adherents of Hus. The evil life of the priests was a cause of great resentment to the women of Bohemia. As on so many other occasions, the monk Stephen of Dolein is prominent among those who attacked the church-reformers. He accused them of having, contrary to the regulations of the church, sung masses and hymns together with women in the common Bohemian language.[18]

Hus was very indignant at this opposition. “Ha, ha,” he writes,[19] “where are those slanderers and babblers who endeavour to prevent the Bohemian language from being honoured?” To encourage singing in the native language Hus established at the Bethlehem chapel what Dr. Nejedly calls a “school” in which the people were taught the new devotional songs in their own language. There was, however, at first a great scarcity of such songs. Only four Bohemian hymns, among them the Hospodine pomiluj ny—one of the oldest documents in the Bohemian language—had hitherto been recognised by the Church of Rome. Through Hus’s influence, however, other ancient Bohemian hymns began to be sung in churches, and new ones were composed, or adapted from the Latin. In consequence of the generally prevailing religious enthusiasm, new hymns—often the work of unknown writers—suddenly appeared in Bohemia, and were, after a short time, sung in all parts of the country. This was yet more the case after the death of Hus, and it is only then that we meet with the famous Hussite songs, of which the famed “All ye warriors of God[20] is the prototype, which partook both of the character of a hymn and of that of a war-song. Many of these hymns, however, became known during the life of Hus, and it would be very interesting to inquire as to what part Hus himself played as a writer of hymns. This is still a matter of controversy, and Dr. Nejedly, our principal authority on the subject, refuses to express a final opinion. Many of the early hymns are the work of unknown writers, and a large number of these were attributed to Hus, particularly in the hymn-books of the community of the Bohemian brethren,[21] who considered themselves the true disciples and successors of Hus. Brother Blahoslav,[22] born in 1523, mentions as undoubted works of Hus only two hymns, those entitled, “Jesus Christ, bountiful Lord” and “O living bread of angels.” Later writers attributed to Hus an ever-increasing number of hymns. There is great probability that at least six of these devotional songs are genuine works of Hus. Hus’s love of singing did not forsake him to the last. As previously mentioned, it was while singing a hymn that he ended his life in the flames.

Hus’s patriotic efforts to increase the power and importance of his country induced him to endeavour, as far as circumstances permitted, to establish relations with foreign countries. As regards this subject, also, our materials are scant. The racial hatred between Slav and Teuton rendered amicable intercourse with Germany impossible at Hus’s time, though a century later the German reformation undoubtedly caused religious sympathy for a time to prevail over racial antipathy. The Bohemians were, on the other hand, greatly influenced and attracted by the Wycliffite movement in England. The fact that King Richard II. had married a Bohemian princess, the daughter of Charles IV., undoubtedly led to considerable intercourse between England and Bohemia. Though the influence of Wycliffe on Hus was not so great, and particularly not so exclusive, as has recently been affirmed, its existence cannot be denied. Hus’s reference to “blessed England” when informing the Bethlehem congregation of the message of Richard Wiche has already been mentioned here. There is also no reason to doubt the assertion of a recent Bohemian writer[23] that Hus wrote to Lord Cobham begging him to send him copies of Wycliffe’s writings.[24]

The purely theological intercourse between England and Bohemia led to no political consequences, even at a period when religious and political controversy were more closely connected than is the case at the present day. Hus’s relations with the Slavic countries had, on the other hand, political results, which influenced even the period subsequent to the death of the Bohemian reformer. The prominent part played in the Hussite wars by the Poles and particularly by the princes of the reigning family of Poland is foreshadowed by the hitherto little known relations which Hus established with King Vladislav of Poland. The Polish king was then engaged in war with the knights of the Teutonic order—one of the many episodes of the eternal conflict between Slav and Teuton. Many Bohemians, among them, according to an ancient tradition, John Zizka, subsequently the hero of the Hussite wars, joined, as volunteers, the army of the kindred Polish nation. The war was, of course, watched with the greatest interest by the Bohemians. In 1410, the King of Poland obtained a decisive victory at Tannenberg over the army of the Teutonic order which broke its strength for all times. On receiving the news of the great victory, Hus addressed to the king a congratulatory letter, which has recently been published[25] and is of the greatest interest. According to Dr. Nedoma’s conjecture, Ones of Hurka, mentioned in this letter, was an envoy sent by the King of Poland to Hus to inform him of the great victory. We have evidence that King Vladislav sent messengers of victory not only to all sovereigns, but also to men of importance in Bohemia.[26] It is a proof that the fame of Hus was already widely spread in Slavic countries that such a messenger should have been sent to him as the leader of the national party in Bohemia. The members of that party naturally rejoiced greatly over what they consider a victory of the Slavic cause. It is interesting to note that Hus here refers to his wish to meet the king and to visit Poland—no doubt in the interest of church-reform. It appears from a remark of the Emperor Sigismund, previously quoted,[27] that that movement had acquired considerable strength in Poland. This planned journey of Hus was hitherto quite unknown. Both in this letter, and in a second one which will be quoted presently, Hus, acting truly as a peacemaker, entreats the King of Poland to live on good terms with Sigismund of Hungary, though the cautious reference to his arrogance proves that Hus was by no means unacquainted with the true character of that prince. Hus writes: “Greetings and thanks, peace and victory from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ! Most illustrious prince and magnificent king! When Ones of Hurka, your Majesty’s messenger of victory and of praiseworthy agreement,[28] brought certain news, he gave my heart such joy that neither can my pen describe it, nor my voice express it, as would be seemly. I know, however, most Christian king, that not the power of your magnificence, but that of the supreme King, the peaceful Lord Jesus Christ, humiliated the proud enemies and rivals of your glory. He powerfully expelled them from the seat of glory and exalted the humble; therefore should both (adversaries), having before their eyes the power of the peaceful King, tremble and in their peril invoke His aid, and know that there is no victory but through Him, whom no mortal can defeat and who is pleased to grant victory to the humble, and because of their humiliation finally to exalt them. He (Jesus Christ) taught us this, saying frequently: ‘All who exalt themselves shall be humiliated, and those who humiliate themselves shall be exalted.’ Both things have been fulfilled. Where are now the two swords[29] of the enemies? Verily have they been struck down by those (swords) by which they endeavoured to terrify the humble. They directed the two (swords) at kindness and at pride, and behold they lost many thousands struck down unexpectedly. Where are now their swords, their war steeds, their mailed men, their warriors in whom they confided? Where their innumerable florins or treasures? Assuredly everything failed them. Proud men, they who confided not in Christ, did not believe that they would be deceived. Therefore, most illustrious prince, wisely bearing this in your mind, adhere to humility, for it exalts. Follow the example of the peaceful King, the Lord Jesus Christ, strive for peace with that illustrious prince, King Sigismund, and should he in his arrogance raise unjust claims—may God avert this!—let your Majesty preserve the moderation of humility, lest Christian blood be again spilt, and great harm to the souls befall. But I, unworthy servant of Christ, with the whole people, will not cease humbly to invoke the grace of God on this concord, praying that the most kind Lord may deign to grant it. I also, O magnificent king, wish from the depth of my heart to behold you in person, and I hope that the Lord Jesus Christ will deign to grant me this, if He knows that it will in some fashion be of advantage to your Majesty and to my preaching. May the Almighty God deign to assist your Majesty for (the sake of) our Saviour, the mediator between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”

This letter is undated, but we may consider it certain that it was written in 1410, later than the 15th of July, the day on which the battle of Tannenberg was fought. On February 1, 1411, King Vladislav concluded a treaty of peace with the Teutonic order. His principal motive was that, shortly before, King Sigismund of Hungary had attacked Poland. Hus was therefore not successful in his attempt to prevent hostilities between the two kings. The only other letter of Hus to the King of Poland that is known was written two years later. It is dated June 10, 1412. It is closely connected with the previous letter, for Hus begins by expressing his joy over the re-establishment of peace between the King and Sigismund of Hungary. Hus, however, expresses in this letter more clearly than in the former one his hopes with regard to church-reform. He lays particular stress on the suppression of simony, which he very truly considered the real cause of the depravation of the clergy. A priest who had often for a very high price purchased his ecclesiastical dignity by no means felt obliged to conform to rules laid down by men whom he no doubt despised as absurd pietists and fanatics. Hus firmly believed that simony was the principal source of the evil condition of the church in his time. He writes to the King of Poland:[30] “The grace of the Saviour Jesus Christ (assist you) to rule your people and to attain a life of glory. Most serene prince, I was filled with great pleasure when I heard that your serene Highness had, by the will of the Almighty Lord, come to an agreement with that illustrious prince, King Sigismund, and I only pray with the people that the life of you both and of your peoples may continue in the path of justice. Therefore, most illustrious prince, it appears most necessary in the interest both of your Majesty and of his Highness King Sigismund and also of the other princes that the heresy of simony be removed from your dominions. But can I expect its extermination while the poison has spread so widely that hardly anywhere can a priesthood or a people be found that is not tainted by the heresy of simony? Who then confers a bishopric, purely for the honour of God, the salvation of the people, and his own salvation? Who also, considering only these three motives, accepts a bishopric, parsonage, or any other benefice? I wish there were many who did not accept them merely from servility, or to curry favour with men. Is not thus fulfilled the word of Jeremiah, who said: ‘From the smallest to the greatest of them, all pursue avarice, and from the prophet to the priest, all practise deceit’? And was the disciple of Christ mistaken when he said: ‘All seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ’s’?[31] We hear the voice of the church, which moans because the gold has been obscured and the finest of colours changed; for the priesthood formerly, as gold made brilliant by fire and whitened by virtue, has now become polluted and obscured, as saith St. Bernard. Fulfilled is the word of our Saviour: Iniquity will abound and love will wax cold among the people. Woe, then, on him who at this time does not mourn. Hearing these my words, most illustrious prince, the simoniacal, ostentatious, luxurious, and unrestrained priesthood attacks me before the people by disparaging me, and declaring me a heretic. Should I then be silent? Woe on me, if I were silent! It is better for me to die than not to oppose such wickedness, for then should I also be a participator in their (the simonists’) crimes, and deserve hell, as they do. From this may the King of glory preserve your Majesty, who rules holily over your people.”

These valuable letters prove that it was Hus who at this period first established amicable relations between the two kindred Slavic countries, Bohemia and Poland, hoping that they would jointly destroy simony and the other terrible evils from which the church then suffered. At the Council of Constance the ambassadors of King Vladislav endeavoured, as far as their diplomatic position allowed them to do so, to save Hus. Vladislav continued to be on terms of friendship with the Bohemian church-reformers, who at one time even offered him the Bohemian crown.

  1. See p. 73.
  2. Vyklad desateta Boziho prikazanie (Exposition of God’s Ten Commandments), Erben’s edition of Hus’s Bohemian works, vol. i. chap. iv. pp. 132–133.
  3. Nehemiah, chapter xiii. 23–27. Hus’s quotation differs slightly from the English version of the gospel.
  4. I have preserved Hus’s spelling of the one or two German words given above. The Bohemian language is so little known in England that it would be useless to translate this passage in full. Hus gives a list of Bohemian words, and adds the corrupted word derived from the German which had taken its place in popular parlance.
  5. See my History of Bohemian Literature.
  6. Flajshans, Literami cinnost Mistra Jana Husi (Literary Activity of Master John Hus), pp. 74–75.
  7. “Let him who wishes to read (my works) know that I write in the manner in which I am in the habit of speaking. . . . I beg every one who shall write to write not otherwise than I have written. If I have made a mistake about a letter or omitted a syllable or a word, correct it. . . . Many, thinking they understand better, efface that which was well written and write (something) wrong instead.” (Introduction to Postilla, ed. Flajshans.)
  8. Flajshans, Mistr Jan Hus, p. 276.
  9. Hus’s acquaintance with the Hebrew language is proved by passages in the Orthographia Bohemica which has just been mentioned—and in other of his works.
  10. Though so much study has recently been devoted to Hus by Bohemian scholars, his work as a translator and editor of Scripture requires further research.
  11. I must here acknowledge my great indebtedness to Dr. Nejedly, whose work, Pocatky Husitskeho zpevu (the beginnings of Hussite song) is most valuable.
  12. “Sunt tria pertinentia ad officium templi coelestis in patria, quibus debet se conformare officium templi in anima et officium templi corporalis extra in materia, scilicet cantus, cultus et visio vultus. Cantus templi coelestis habitatorum in patria consistit in divina laude et gratiarum actione.” Explicatio in psalmum cxviii. (Hus Opera, 1715, vol. ii. p. 456.)
  13. “Et hymno dicto—id est gratiarum actione Deo—exierunt in montem Oliveti.” Passio Christi ex quatuor evangelistis (Hus Opera, 1715, vol. ii. p. 17).
  14. “Crebra psalmodiae dulcedine nocivam tristitiae pestem de corde pellat.” Explicatio in epistola Jacobi (Hus Opera, 1715, vol. ii. p. 230).
  15. See my History of Bohemian Literature, p. 8.
  16. Dr. Nejedly describes as the “liturgic” system that which allowed only priests, and men in minor orders, to sing in church while the rest of the congregation remained silent.
  17. Vyklad modlitby pane (Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer), chap, lxxxiii.; Erben edition, i. p. 307.
  18. “Et iterum recenti confictione contra ritum ecclesiae junctis vobis mulieribus et Begutis (i.e. beguines) vestris in choro cantatis cum eisdem tam missas, quam alias cantilenas in vulgari Bohemico, quae societas scripturis testantibus clericis non convenit. Utinam caveretis earundem societatem vel in thoro!” (Stephanus Dolanensis epistola ad Husitas, Pez Thesaurus Anecdotorum Novissimus, vol. iv. part 2, p. 590.) The engrained coarseness of the monk Stephen is apparent here also.
  19. Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer (Erben’s edition, vol. i. p. 313).
  20. See my History of Bohemian Literature, p. 151. Writing for English readers I do not think it necessary to give the Bohemian names of these hymns.
  21. See my History of Bohemian Literature, p. 249.
  22. Ibid. pp. 232–241.
  23. Dr. Nedoma, A Hussite codex of Star a Boleslav [Alt Bunzlau]. (Proceedings of the Bohemian Society of Sciences, 1891.)
  24. The statement is confirmed by English writers: “The Lord Cobham is said likewise . . . at the desire of John Huss to have caused all Wiclif’s works to be written out and to be dispersed in Bohemia.” (John Lewis, The Life of Dr. John Wiclif, 1820, p. 247.)
  25. By Dr. Nedoma in the Proceedings of Bohemian Society of Sciences for 1891. The letter also formed part of the codex of Stara Boleslav which has already been mentioned.
  26. Such a letter, addressed to Lord Henry of Rosenberg is published—in a German translation—by Pubitschka. (Chronologische Geschichte Böhmens, vol. vii. p. 34.)
  27. See p. 259.
  28. This probably refers to a truce between the Poles and Germans immediately after the battle. Peace was only concluded on February 1, 1411.
  29. On the eve of the battle the grandmaster of the Teutonic order, Conrad of Juningen, sent in derision two swords to the Polish camp, implying that the Poles were insufficiently armed.
  30. Palacky, Documenta, pp. 31–32.
  31. St. Paul to the Philippians ii. 21.