The letters of John Hus/Letter 52, To his Friends

For other English-language translations of this work, see Letter of Jan Hus to his friends (24 March 1415).

LII. To the Same

(March 24, 1415)

All my gaolers are now taking to flight. I have nothing to eat and I don’t know what is going to happen to me in prison. Please go with the other nobles to the King and get him to take some final steps in my case, lest he fall into sin and confusion on my account.

Please also come to me with the Bohemian nobles, for I must have a word with you.

Noble Baron John and Baron Wenzel and the rest of you, make haste and see my lord the King. There is danger in delay. It is so urgent that it should be done at once. Think carefully and quickly of the other things I want from you.

I am afraid that the master of the Pope’s house hold will carry me off with him by night; for to-day he has been hanging about the monastery. The Bishop of Constance hath sent letters to me hinting that he wishes to have no responsibility for me. The cardinals have done the same.

If you love your poor Goose, get the King to send me guards from his own court or to set me free from prison this very evening. Written in prison (note the introit of the day, “O Lord, make no long tarrying”) late on Sunday night.[1]

  1. Datum in carcere, Domine ne longe, dominico die sero. The introit, Domine ne longe (Ps. xxi.), is the proper introit for Palm Sunday, which on this year fell on March 24. Bonnechose ineptly translates: ‘My good lord (Chlum), do not delay.’ Dies dominicus by itself means ‘Palm Sunday’ (see Ducange), but should not here be pressed, as with Hus ‘dies dominicus’ is frequently used for the more correct Dies Dominica (Sunday).