The letters of John Hus/Paintings on the Bethlehem Chapel; Hus and His Dreams

The following letter forms a pleasant break in the records of Inquisition methods. To understand it we must remember that Hus, when a priest in Prague, had adopted a novel method of advertising his creed. He had found a use for the great bare walls of the Bethlehem Chapel. On these, in addition to the customary pictures, he had painted up sundry theses, once even a long treatise, On the Six Errors. This idea Hus seems to have taken from the practice in the monastery at Königsaal, the burial-place of the Bohemian kings. His enemies did not fail to sneer at his twentieth-century methods of advertisement. ‘You paint,’ wrote Andrew Brod, ‘The Ten Commandments on your walls; would that you kept them in your heart!’ (Doc. 519).

The letters, undated both in the originals and Palackẏ, would seem to have been written on March 4 and 5. We infer this from the last sentence of Chlum’s reply (see Hardt, Magnum Constantiense Concilium, iv. 52, and Finke, op. cit. p. 167).

From another letter of Hus we learn some further details of his dreams, of his own belief in their value, and, apparently John of Chlum’s incredulity. (Compare infra, p. 222, with p. 192, second sentence.)