Letters of John Huss Written During His Exile and Imprisonment/Letter 32, To his Friends

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to his friends (after 8 June 1415) (3).



[He complains that the Emperor Sigismond had treated him with less prudence than Pontius Pilate did Jesus Christ.]

Salutation in Jesus Christ. What I am informed by Peter affords me pleasure. I do not keep his letters, but destroy them immediately. Let not the sexterni[2] be sent me; for I fear the danger that might accrue to the messenger and some other persons, I still earnestly entreat that all our Seigniors may solicit collectively for me a last audience with the Emperor; for, since he told me at the Council, that an audience would shortly be granted me, in order that I might reply briefly in writing, it will be a shame for him should he violate the promise which he has given me. But I believe his word on this subject will be as stable and firm as in the safe-conduct.

Several persons warned me in Bohemia not to rely on his safe-conduct; others told me that Sigismond would deliver me up to my enemies; the Seignior Mykest was one of these. Duvoki said to me, in the presence of Jessenitz, “Master, regard it as a certainty that you will be condemned.” I presume that he was aware of the Emperor’s intentions. I thought the latter was well versed in the law of God and the truth. I understand now that his wisdom is not great. He has condemned me before my enemies. Why has he not done like Pilate, who, after having heard the accusers, exclaimed—I find nothing to condemn in this man. If, at least, he had said—“I have given him a safe-conduct. If he will not submit to the Council I will send him to the king of Bohemia, with your sentence and the testimonies in support of it, in order that he may be judged by this prince and his clergy.” Sigismond, in fact, intimated to me by Leffl, and others, of his intention to grant me an audience whenever it might be necessary, and of his resolution to save me from all danger, should I not submit to the judgment.

  1. Hist. et Monum. Johann. Huss, Epist. xxxiv.
  2. Sexterni, a coin of these times.