The letters of John Hus/Letter 53, To John of Chlum

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

LIII. To John of Chlum

(Without date: morning, June 5, 1415)

My dear friend in Christ, still arrange for all the nobles to have access to the King and Council; and get the King and Council to do as they have both already stated “in the hearing that is to take place you will have a brief written statement and to this you shall reply.” They can drive both Sigismund and the Council to this by telling them that by God’s help I will make a plain statement of the truth. I would rather that my body be consumed by fire than that I should thus be kept basely out of sight by them, in order that all Christendom may know the last words I have spoken. I beg my friends the nobles for God’s sake to act by showing to the end their diligence and constancy. My hope in the Lord is always firm.

Lord John, my most trusty and gracious supporter, may God be your reward! I beg you not to leave until you see the end reached. Would that you might see me being led to the flames rather than so craftily smothered here! I still cherish the hope that God Almighty is able to snatch me from their hands through the merits of the saints. Let me have the hint if to-morrow I am to be brought up for a hearing. Greet all my friends in Bohemia,[1] beseeching them to pray God on my behalf. If I am to remain a prisoner, let them pray that I may await death without failing of heart. Exhort the masters to stand firm in the truth; also our special friends, the virgin Petra[2] and all her household and Master Jesenicz,[3] urging him to marry. Beg my friend Girzik[4] and the rector[5] to rest content, though I have not been able to do enough for them in return for their service; please let them give my greetings to my friends of either sex. I know not who will repay those who have advanced money, except the Lord Jesus Christ, for whose sake they have advanced it. Yet I should like some of the richer people to club together and pay the poorer ones. But I am afraid that the proverb will be fulfilled in some cases: “Co s očí, to z mysli” (“Out of sight, out of mind”).[6]

  1. In regno.
  2. Cf. p. 236.
  3. Who had left in March (p. 200).
  4. Cf. p. 151, where we learn that he was a scholar of Hus by name George. From p. 212 we learn that he had become a rector.
  5. i.e., Cardinalis.
  6. Ep. Piiss. G. 4: Tzo so-czy, to smyssli, which Luther (Ep. Piissimæ) and the Monumenta naturally left untranslated.