Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXXVIII.: To the Same ( Constance, November 6, 1414) - The Letters of John Hus
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XXXVIII.: To the Same ( Constance, November 6, 1414) - Jan Huss, The Letters of John Hus 
The Letters of John Hus. With Introductions and Explanatory Notes by Herbert B. Workman and R. Martin Pope (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904).
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To the Same
Greetings from Christ Jesus! Dear friends, I am quite well through it all. I came without the Pope’s1 safe-conduct to Constance; pray God then that He may grant me constancy, because many powerful adversaries have risen up against me, stirred up in particular by that seller of indulgences, the Dean of Passau, now the head of the chapter there,2 and Michael de Causis, who is always posting up writs against me. But I fear none of these things, nor am I affrighted, for I hope that a great victory is to follow a great fight, and after the victory a greater reward, and the greater confusion of my persecutors. The Pope is unwilling to quash the writs. He said, “What can I do? your side are the aggressors.” But two bishops and a doctor had some talk with Baron John Kepka [Chlum] to the effect that I should come to terms under a pledge of silence. By which I apprehend that they are afraid of my public reply and sermon,3 which I hope by the grace of God to deliver when Sigismund comes. Of the latter Baron Wenzel de Leštna4 has sent news that he expressed pleasure when he (the noble Baron Wenzel) told him that I was riding direct1 to Constance without safe-conduct. In all the cities we were well treated and had respect paid to us, while we posted up notices in Latin and German in the free cities where I had interviews with the magistrates. I had a herald on the journey in the Bishop of Lebus,2 who was always one night ahead of us. He spread the news abroad that they were conducting me in a cart in chains, and that people must beware of me, as I could read men’s thoughts! So whenever we drew near a city, out came the crowds to meet us, as if to a show! But the enemy was put to confusion by his lie, while the people were glad when they heard the truth. Surely Christ Jesus is with me as a strong warrior; therefore I fear not what the enemy may do. Live holy lives, and pray earnestly that the Lord in His mercy may help me and defend His law in me to the end. Sent off on the evening of St. Leonard’s Day.
I imagine I shall be hard up for necessaries, if the Council is prolonged. So ask for an interest in me from those whom you know to be my friends, but in the first instance let the request be conditional. Greet all my friends of either sex, urging them to pray God in my behalf, for there is much need.
In addition to the letters of Hus written at this period, we possess a most valuable letter by John Cardinalis of Reinstein, at one time (e.g. Mon., Ep. Piiss.) mistakenly attributed to Hus himself.
John Cardinalis of Reinstein, vicar of Janowicz, Master of Arts and Bachelor of Common Law, had been for many years the trusted diplomatic agent of Wenzel. But he had never concealed his sympathies with the reforming party, and in an anonymous squib written in 1418 he is called ‘hæreticus principalis’ (Doc. 693). His influence was great, as we see from a remark made to him by Palecz a few days later, on the occasion of the arrest of Hus: “Master John, I grieve over you that you have allowed yourself to be seduced; formerly you were a man of weight with the Curia, more noted than all other Bohemians, and now they account you nothing, on account of that sect’ (Doc. 250). When Christian Prachaticz was arrested (infra, p. 196), no attempt was made against Cardinalis. On the death of Hus he returned to Prague and was twice rector of the University, from October 16, 1416—April 23, 1417, and again for the same period in the following year. His name ‘Cardinalis’ was mistranslated by Luther, and, as we shall see, led the great Reformer astray. See infra, p. 237.
Master John Cardinalis to his Bohemian Friends
Dear fellow-suspects1 and friends! Although we remember that we sent several letters to you, truthfully setting forth the manner of our journey and present lodging in Constance, now, however, to afford you a special proof of our abiding affection for your community, I desire to inform you that yesterday the chamberlain2 of the sacred apostolic palace, as it is now called, came along with the Bishop of Constance3 and also the burgomaster of Constance to our lodging and told our master how a fine dispute was going on between the Pope and the cardinals concerning the edict of excommunication, fulminated as it was alleged1 against our master. They cut the matter short by coming to our master to inform him that the Pope in the plenitude of his power had suspended the aforesaid edict and sentence of excommunication passed on Master John, requesting him none the less, in order to prevent scandal and gossip among the people, not to present himself at any rate at their high masses,2 though he might freely go about elsewhere, not only in the city of Constance, but in the churches and any place he liked. We learn for a fact that they are all undoubtedly afraid of the sermon which Master John proposes to deliver to the clergy at no distant date.3 For some person, whether friend or enemy is unknown, announced yesterday in church that Master John Hus would preach next Sunday to the clergy in the cathedral church of Constance, and would give a ducat to every one present! So we can roam as we like in Constance, and our master daily celebrates mass, as he has done hitherto on the whole journey.4 The master has accepted the King’s advice in his own interests and those of the truth not to force any issue until the arrival of the King of Hungary.5 In fact, nothing so far has been done in the Council; no embassy of any king or prince has arrived; nothing for certain is heard about the movements of Gregory, or Benedict, or their embassies; nor do we expect the Council to begin for several weeks. You should know, and tell the others, that all our party have been cited to appear in person, and that the rest, as is well known, have had open threats against them posted up on the porches and doors of the churches; so let them look out for themselves.6 Michael de Causis is making a great noise7 over what he has done. Baron John and Baron Wenzel8 are warm, zealous supporters and defenders of the truth. Written at Constance the Saturday before Martinmas. The Goose9 is not yet cooked, and is not afraid of being cooked, because this year the noted eve of St. Martin’s falls on a Saturday, when geese are not eaten!10
[1 ]This version differs from that which Hus gives elsewhere, and glosses over the fact that actually Hus had set off without Sigismund’s promised safe-conduct. In reality the Pope’s safe-conduct could alone have guaranteed his immunity from the Inquisition. Sigismund’s safe-conduct did not reach the spiritual sphere. See p. 144 n. and p. 146, and cf. p. 180.
[2 ]Jam præpositus. See Ducange.
[3 ]The sermons which Hus expected to give are still preserved for us in Mon. i. 44-57. They are chiefly from Wyclif, and in reality cut at the root of the mediæval system.
[4 ]i.e., Wenzel de Duba, who had ridden from Nuremberg to the King. See p. 155.
[1 ]See p. 155, n. 2.
[2 ]Epis. Lubucensem, usually, but wrongly translated, “Bishop of Lübeck” (Lubicensem). John de Bornsnitz, Bishop of Lebus, was a canon of Prague, a doctor of decrees, and ‘auditor Pal. Apostolici.’ (See infra, p. 162.) He was Bishop from September 24, 1397—1420, when he was translated to Gran. In January 1410 we find him despatched by Alexander V. on special business into Bohemia. He was one of the special inquisitors appointed to examine Hus. See infra, p. 174.
[1 ]Fautores, a technical word of the Inquisition.
[2 ]Auditor sacri utinam palatii apostolici. Possibly the Bishop of Lebus. See p. 161, n. 2.
[3 ]The Bishop was Otto de Hachberg-Röttěln, a canon of Cologne. Appointed December 10, 1410, he resigned in 1434. See p. 257.
[1 ]Fulminato prætenso.
[2 ]For explanation see p. 166, n. 1.
[3 ]See p. 160, n. 4.
[4 ]This, of course, in the case of one excommunicated was open defiance.
[5 ]Cf. p. 159. The ‘King’ is Sigismund in both cases. So passim.
[6 ]Ut sibi videantur.
[7 ]Hus falls back on Czech: ryčně.
[8 ]i.e., Chlum and Duba, as usual.
[9 ]The usual pun for Hus.
[10 ]P.: quia præsenti anno sabbato ante Martini festum ipsius occurrit celebris vigilia, for which read celebris vigilia ante festum Martini ipsius sabbato occurrit.