The letters of John Hus/Letter 61, To Henry Skopek de Duba

For works with similar titles, see Letter of Jan Hus to Henry Skopek de Duba.

LXI. To Henry Skopek de Duba

(Without date: June 9, 1415[1])

To the generous Lord Henry of Duba, my faithful and beloved lord. I commend you, my dear lord, to God. Fear Him as the Lord Almighty, love Him as the Father most holy, ever aim at Him in mind, works, and desire. For His sake carefully abstain from sin, do all the good you can, and be not afraid of the adversities of this world. For He is a Master that surely rewardeth wrongdoing, Who will not cause His faithful servant to be in need, will not weary him nor spoil him; but the more he serves, the more will He enrich him, strengthen him, and make him a better man. He cannot forsake His servant, nor will He leave Him outside; for He said, “Where I am, there will My servant be also."[2] He doth not dismiss a faithful servant even if He requires him not, nor can his goods and sustenance be cut off. He hath served His servant before His servant served Him, seeing that for His servant’s sake He suffered a shameful and cruel death after enduring insults, shame, buffeting, scourging, and spitting. Oh, how wretched is that servant who doth not dare for such a Master to risk his good name and possessions, or even to suffer shame! He knoweth not that he will most surely lose what he so miserably desires to keep, and a greater good withal; for in this life he will keep men’s goodwill, paltry, slight, and fickle, but when he departs this life he will incur the hatred of all, both men and devils and angels, and thus, by reason of his poor-spirited service, he will lose eternal joy and grace.

At life’s end we shall know
What account we must show:
Holding cheap the All-wise,
’Tis the flesh we most prize;
Lip-worship’s enough,
While our body we stuff!
We pursue joys above
Like a cat that’s in love
With fish, but to fish
By no means doth wish!
There’s one like a cat
Whom you may guess at,
Foul and greedy and slow,
False and crafty and low;
With pride too he’s puffed:
But of this quite enough!
With such do not stand,
Or in judgment you’ll land.
I leave you, friend Duba,
My horse-cloth and bag.[3]
Remember me, please,
Whene’er you eat cheese.
May God be your crown
For all you have done.
May Hus have a part
In the grace of your heart!
May you die in the Lord,
A true saint adored!

Amen.

  1. See next letter, with which it seems to have been enclosed. But part was written before (see p. 229. For Henry Skopek, see p. 169, n. 2. In the MS. a note, perhaps by Mladenowic, has been added that the enclosed song is composed in “dimeter trochaics, of which every two lines in succession rhyme with one another in the two last syllables.” The whole letter and song is in Czech.
  2. John xiv. 3.
  3. Manticam cum ephippio.