The letters of John Hus/Delays in the Trial; The Papal Difficulty; The Way of Cession; A Letter from Chlum; That Tattered Bit of Paper; The Rhymes of Hus
John of Chlum to John Hus
(Without date: first week in March 1415)
Dearest friend, you ought to know that your case and the cause of truth never moved on so brightly as at present, although some other foreign and irrelevant matters have cropped up, so that your case is delayed for the moment.
All your friends, especially Christian, are paying court to the good widow, who is a second widow of Sarepta!
That tattered three-cornered bit of paper has come to hand and has been duly read. Its arrival without the least delay could not have been so quickly anticipated.
Our doctor of Biberach only asks for a reasonable excuse for writing; from which you can guess his incurable itch for scribbling! I beg you to send some comforting words to your good-hearted friends.In the following letter we are introduced to the ‘consolatory rhymes,’ which Hus wrote in prison, as Mladenowic puts it, ‘to pass the time and console himself.’ Their value as hexameters may be judged from the third line,
‘Jonam, Danielem, tres pu. Susannam, quia fuere’ (!)
- 1 Kings xvii. 9 ff. Christian Prachaticz, whose attentions to Hus’s landlady, widow Faithful of the bakehouse, with the sign of the White Pigeons, Chlum here jokingly mentions, soon after this was arrested on the suit of Michael the Pleader and brought before the Patriarch of Constantinople. Thirty articles were presented against him. But on the intervention of Sigismund, who had a special interest in him as a learned astronomer, he was released, and allowed to return to Prague (March 18–19) with a letter from Lacembok: ‘There it is feared he will sow other lies, as is the manner of all the Wycliflsts’ (Doc. 512). This helps to fix the date of the letter.
- Cf. p. 172. Paper evidently once more running out.
- See p. 155. Chlum had written only a day or two before. See p. 191. Hence the allusion and the date.