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Title: A History of Bohemian Literature
Author: Lützow, Count Francis (František)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of Bohemian Literature" ***

         Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: VII.

                    Edited by Edmund Gosse, LL.D.

                        Short Histories of the
                       Literatures of the World

                     EDITED BY EDMUND GOSSE, LL.D.

               Large Crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._ each Volume

      By Prof. GILBERT MURRAY, M.A.

      By Prof. EDWARD DOWDEN, D.C.L., LL.D

      By the EDITOR




      By THE COUNT LÜTZOW, D.Litt., D.Ph.

      By Prof. A. A. MACDONELL, M.A.

      By Dr. RIEDL

      By Prof. W. P. TRENT


      By Prof. A. GILES

      By C. HUART

                            _In preparation_




                      _Other volumes will follow_

                       LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN

                             A History of

                          BOHEMIAN LITERATURE


                           THE COUNT LÜTZOW

                     D.LITT. OXON. AND D.PH. PRAG.

                      AND OF THE BOHEMIAN ACADEMY


                           WILLIAM HEINEMANN

                                        _First printed, May 1899._
                                        _New Edition, April 1907._

  _This Edition enjoys Copyright in all countries signatory to the
      Berne Treaty, and is not to be imported into the United
      States of America._


It has given me great pleasure that a new impression of my _History
of Bohemian Literature_ should have been required. I am, I think,
justified in believing that the British public now takes a certain
though still limited interest in the literature and language of my
country. I am also perhaps not wrong in thinking that the origin
of the struggles in the Austro-Hungarian empire--almost entirely
attributable as it is to racial and linguistic discord--has become
better understood in England. As I show in my book, the revival of
Bohemian literature was largely responsible for the movement in favour
of Bohemian autonomy; and the early leaders of the Bohemian movement
in the nineteenth century were mostly literary men. I am justified,
therefore, in claiming a certain political importance for this book.
The new impression on the whole differs little from the former one, and
in revising the book I noticed with pleasure how few printer's errors
required correction--a somewhat astonishing fact if we consider how
difficult the spelling of Slavic words is. I have added considerably to
the last pages of the book, which deal mainly with writers who are now
alive. This part of the subject had been previously somewhat neglected,
as I originally intended to omit all mention of living authors.


  _October 26, 1906._


With the approval of Mr. Gosse, I have written this short History of
Bohemian Literature according to a plan that differs considerably
from that of certain earlier volumes in this Series. The works of
Modern English, French, Italian, and even of Ancient Greek and Spanish
writers, will be known to many readers of the volumes that deal with
them. Bohemian literature, on the other hand, is absolutely unknown in
Western Europe, and a large amount of space has therefore been devoted
to translated quotations from Bohemian writers. Many of these unknown
works have great interest and value.

Bohemian literature, as we possess it, is to a certain extent
disappointing and unsatisfactory. In consequence of the wholesale
destruction of everything written in Bohemian that continued during
more than a century, countless Bohemian books, many of which are known
to have been valuable, have disappeared.

Many forms of literature are scarcely represented in Bohemian. No
dramatic works worthy of notice exist before the present century.
Poetry also is valuable only in the earliest period and in the present

Bohemian literature is so closely connected with Bohemian history,
that without some knowledge of the latter it is often difficult to
understand the references to historical events which must necessarily
be found in a history of Bohemian literature. Though I have sometimes
explained such references by notes, I could not do this to any great
extent without trespassing on the domain of history. Those who wish to
turn their attention to the dramatic history of Bohemia will find their
best guide up to the year 1526 in Palacký, whose monumental _History
of Bohemia_ was published in German as well as in Bohemian. Though no
continuous narrative on the same plan brings Bohemian history down to
the year 1620, Gindely, Tieftrunk, and Rezek have written extensively,
in German as well as in Bohemian, on the last years of Bohemian
independence. Professor Tomek has in his short _Geschichte Böhmens_
given an outline of the history of the country from the earliest ages
up to the present day. I have in my _Bohemia: an Historical Sketch_,
endeavoured to give a brief account of the history of Bohemia from
an early period to the year 1620, written in accordance with the
requirements of non-Bohemian readers.

Bohemian writers have divided the literature of their country into
three periods. The first extends from the earliest time to the days of
Hus; the second from Hus to the battle of the White Mountain; the third
from that battle to the present day. Chaps. I. and II. of this book
deal with the first; Chaps. III., IV., V., and VI. with the second; and
Chap. VII. with the third period.

Like the history, the literature also of Bohemia is, particularly
in the most interesting periods, a record of incessant religious
struggles. I am thoroughly conscious of the fact that an account of
these struggles is a most difficult task, that the writer

    "Incedit per ignes
    Suppositos cineri doloso."

I can only express my conscientious belief that I have delineated these
religious controversies in accordance with the writings of the most
accredited authorities.

I have only been able to allude incidentally to some of the materials
that I have used while writing this book. I have, however, principally
relied on a prolonged study of the works of the Bohemian writers with
whom my work deals. It is at least the privilege of a critic of so
little known a literature as that of Bohemia that he is not confronted
by an enormous amount of anciently accumulated criticism. In one or two
cases where I felt uncertain, I have had the privilege of receiving
advice from Professor Josef Kalousek, of the Bohemian University of
Prague, and from Mr. Adolphus Patera, head-librarian of the Bohemian
Museum in that town. I have entirely limited my remarks to the works
of those Bohemian writers who have general interest, or are at least
characteristic of their time. Very many names contained in the
histories of Bohemian literature written in the national language have
therefore been omitted.


  _New Year's Day, 1899._


  CHAP.                                                             PAGE

       FOREWORD TO NEW IMPRESSION                                      v

       PREFACE                                                       vii

       INTRODUCTION                                                 xiii

    I. THE EARLIEST BOHEMIAN POETRY                                    1


  III. HUS                                                            86

   IV. THE PERIOD OF THE HUSSITE WARS                                143

    V. HUMANISTS AND THEOLOGIANS                                     174


  VII. THE REVIVAL OF BOHEMIAN LITERATURE                            354

       BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                  423

       INDEX                                                         427


The Slavic language, a branch of the great Aryan family of speech, was
originally one. It gradually divided itself into various dialects, a
certain number of which have become written languages. According to the
generally accepted division, the existent Slavic languages are divided
into three great classes--the North-Eastern, Southern, and Western
groups. The last-named group consists of the Bohemian and Polish
languages and the almost extinct dialect of the Lusatians in Prussia
and Saxony.

The Bohemian language is spoken in a large and continuous part of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, comprising the greater part of Bohemia and
Moravia, part of Silesia, a small portion of the Archduchy of Austria,
and extensive districts in Northern Hungary. There are considerable
numbers of Bohemians beyond the borders of this continuous territory,
in Lower Austria (particularly in Vienna), in Prussian Silesia (where
their homes adjoin those of the Bohemians in Austrian Silesia), in
Russia (particularly in Volhynia), and in the United States of America.

According to the most authentic statistics, the Bohemian language is
spoken by about 7,930,000 people. Of these, 7,650,000 live in the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, 70,000 in Prussia, 60,000 in Russia, and
150,000 in the United States of America. Minor Bohemian colonies, such
as that in London, do not require special notice: the native language
also often disappears here after one or two generations.

The Slavonic inhabitants of Northern Hungary, identical with the
Bohemians as regards their race, have in the present century developed
a written language somewhat different from that of Bohemia. If we
therefore deduct them from the total, we come to the result that the
Bohemian language is spoken by about 5,750,000 people.





If it were possible to compare the greatest literature of the world
with that of a small and little-known country, it might be said that
the "Question of the Manuscripts" is the necessary beginning of every
account of Bohemian literature, just as the "Homeric Question" must
form the commencement of every work on the literature of Greece. The
"Question of the Manuscripts" turns on the genuineness of two documents
which first became known at the beginning of the present century, and
were supposed to be the most ancient writings in the Bohemian language.
These manuscripts have from the first attracted great notice, and
they gave a great impulse to the revival of Bohemian literature in
the present century. The Manuscript of Königinhof is also by no means
devoid of poetical merit, and these documents will therefore always
have to be mentioned, even should it be finally proved that both were

The manuscript that was first discovered is the so-called _Rukopis
Kralodvorsky_ or Manuscript of Königinhof.[1] It was stated that this
document had been found by Venceslas Hanka (afterwards librarian of
the Bohemian Museum) in the tower of the deanery church of Königinhof,
or Králové Dvur, on September 16, 1817. It was further declared that
Hanka's attention had first been attracted to the manuscript by Borč,
chaplain at Königinhof, who was previously aware of its existence. The
discovery at Königinhof immediately created great sensation even in
countries very distant from Bohemia, a circumstance all the more worthy
of note as Bohemia was then even more unknown than it now is. Goethe
was greatly interested in the new discovery, to which he frequently
refers in his writings, and he himself published a translation, or
rather adaptation, of the _Kytice_ (Nosegay), one of the lyrical
poems of the Manuscript of Königinhof. Numerous translations of these
poems into English,[2] German, Polish, Russian, Italian, and other
languages soon appeared, and the interest was of course yet far
greater in Bohemia itself, where they became the recognised models for
the Bohemian writers who were then beginning to revive the national

Though some doubts as to the genuineness of the manuscript were
expressed from the moment of its appearance, yet the majority of
the Bohemian learned men, including such authorities as Palacký
and Šafařik, firmly maintained its ancient origin. Within the last
twenty years a change has taken place. Perhaps the majority of the
Bohemian philologists of the present day believe the manuscript to
be a forgery, that is to say, that it was written at the beginning
of the present century. Its genuineness has been attacked from the
palæographic point of view; it has been attempted to prove anachronisms
in the manuscript; and it has been asserted that it contains verbal
formations unknown to the early Bohemian language. A chemical
examination of the manuscript has, however, proved that it differs
in no way from authentic Bohemian manuscripts of the fourteenth
century, and it can therefore now be affirmed that the Manuscript of
Königinhof cannot be attacked from the point of view of palæography.[3]
The defenders of the manuscript have been less successful in their
endeavours to disprove the statement that it contains anachronisms,
which could not have been committed by a writer of the thirteenth
or fourteenth century. The almost complete darkness which surrounds
the condition of the Slavonic race in very early times renders it
very difficult to form a judgment on many of the disputed points.
The defenders of the manuscript also lay stress on its similarity to
undoubtedly genuine collections of early Bohemian writings, such as
those known as the Manuscript of Königgrätz and that of St. Vitus. It
is true that the contents of these collections differ somewhat from
those of the manuscript, and are mainly of a religious character.

As regards the philological test, it is certain that the manuscript
contains some verbal formations of which no other example can be
found in the scanty remains of early Bohemian writings that have been
preserved. On the other hand, in consequence of the very scantiness
of these remains, a ~Hapax Legomenon~ does not necessarily prove the
falsehood of the document in which we find it. The defenders of the
manuscript have shown great ingenuity in proving that many of the
locutions, unknown to ancient Bohemian, may be traced to the Moravian
dialect, which at all times has differed somewhat from the language
of Bohemia. They therefore maintain that the poems of the manuscript
originated not in Bohemia itself, but in the sister-land, Moravia.

If the falsehood of the manuscript be admitted, the question arises,
Who was the falsifier? who at the beginning of the present century,
when the Bohemian language was at its lowest level, had a sufficient
knowledge of that language to have written these poems? Hanka, of
whom it is natural to think, has left us verses of his own so vastly
inferior to some of the poems contained in the manuscript, that it is
almost impossible to believe him to have been its author.[4]

Whatever may be the final result of the discussion, the Manuscript of
Königinhof will always remain one of the curiosities of literature. The
first part of the manuscript consists of six ballads, if we may thus
describe them, five of which deal with warlike events; the first,[5]
which describes a battle between the Bohemians and the Germans, has a
distinctly heathen character. The sixth ballad contains a description
of a tournament, and is one of those pieces in which the opponents
of the genuineness of the manuscript think that they have discovered
anachronisms. The second part of the manuscript consists of eight
shorter songs. Some of them are by no means devoid of poetic merit, but
they have a somewhat sentimental manner, which makes them appear rather
modern to the reader. The adversaries of the manuscript have not been
slow in noting this circumstance. I shall only translate one of the
short poems of the manuscript, entitled "The Cuckoo":--

    "_In the fields there stands an oak-tree,_
    _On the oak-tree a cuckoo calls:_
    _He ever calls, he laments_
    _That spring does not last for ever._
    _How could the wheat ripen in the fields_
    _If spring lasted for ever?_
    _How could the apples ripen in the garden_
    _If summer lasted for ever?_
    _Would not the ears of corn freeze in the stack_
    _If autumn lasted for ever?_
    _Would not the maiden be mournful_
    _If her solitude lasted for ever?_"

In view of the uncertainty concerning the authenticity of the
Manuscript of Königinhof, it is obviously impossible to assign a date
to it. The writers who believe in its genuine character hold that the
poems were transcribed and collected in their present shape at the
end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century, but
that some of them are of far higher antiquity. The distinctly heathen
character of one of these poems renders this certain, of course, if
only we can dismiss the supposition of a modern falsification.

The second ancient Bohemian manuscript that was supposed to have been
discovered at the beginning of the present century is that of Zelená
Hora or Grüneberg, which is generally mentioned in connection with the
Manuscript of Königinhof, and is printed together with it in most
editions. It has now been proved that the Manuscript of Grüneberg is a
falsification dating from the present century, and its genuineness is
now no longer maintained by any scholars, though a natural patriotic
feeling has rendered it painful to many to admit that this manuscript,
which was attributed to the ninth century, and described as "the most
ancient document in Bohemian, and indeed in all Slavonic literature,"
is nothing but a fraudulent imposture.

It is proverbially easy to be wise _post eventum_, that is, in this
case, after the fact of a forgery is recognised, but it is difficult
to repress very natural surprise that the mysterious manner in which
the Manuscript of Grüneberg first became known did not create greater
suspicion than was actually the case. The manuscript was (in 1818)
sent anonymously by post to Francis Count Kolovrat-Liebsteinsky, then
high burgrave (or governor) of Bohemia. That nobleman had shortly
before published an appeal to the Bohemians in favour of the National
or Bohemian Museum, of which he was one of the founders, and which
had as principal object the preservation of the relics of Bohemian
antiquity. It was not until many years later that John Kovár, steward
on Count Colloredo's estate of Grüneberg, declared that he had found
the manuscript in an outlying room of the castle of Grüneberg; he
further stated that he had believed his master, Count Colloredo, to
have been so thoroughly German in his feelings that he would have
destroyed the manuscript had it been shown to him. It is difficult for
others than Bohemians to realise the absurdity of such a statement. The
strictly absolutist government of Austria during the first half of the
present century inexorably suppressed all public demonstrations of
national feeling; whether German or Slavonic. It was thus impossible
that literary controversies should assume a political aspect at that
period, though this has certainly happened in more recent times. It was
equally absurd to suggest that Count Colloredo, a distinguished general
during the Napoleonic wars, was likely to take any interest whatever
in documents belonging to the early period of the Bohemian language--a
language that then, and even far more recently, was almost unknown to
the upper classes of Bohemian society.

The Manuscript of Grüneberg consists of two small fragments of
parchment, one of which contains a few lines only, entitled "The Decree
of Domestic Law." The second larger fragment is called the "Judgment
of Libussa." It deals with the semi-mythical Bohemian princess who is
the heroine of many ancient tales. It is curious to note that many
very grave disquisitions on the early social condition and judicial
institutions of the Slavonic race have been based on this apocryphal

The "Question of the Manuscripts," at least with regard to that of
Königinhof, is yet undecided. The vast literature on the subject which
has gradually accumulated has incidentally thrown much light on many
social and philological questions concerning ancient Bohemia and its
language. The committee of the Bohemian Museum no doubt indirectly
expressed its opinion when the Manuscript of Grüneberg was removed from
public view, while that of Königinhof continued to be exhibited in the
hall of manuscripts in the museum.

Several other Bohemian manuscripts purporting to be of very ancient
origin also made their appearance at the beginning of the present
century, and modern additions were made to an authentic ancient
manuscript. These falsifications were soon discovered, and in some
cases suspicion undoubtedly points to Hanka.

       *       *       *       *       *

The earliest Bohemian writings, the authenticity of which is
uncontested, have a distinctly Christian and religious character. One
of the most ancient written documents in the Bohemian language is
the hymn "Gospodi pomiluj ny" (Lord have mercy on us). The earliest
version is written in a language resembling the Old Slavonic, but with
many specially Bohemian locutions. The authorship of the hymn has been
attributed to St. Cyrillus and to St. Methodius, or to their early
disciples, but there is no evidence to prove this conjecture. The date
of the hymn also cannot be fixed, but the chronicler, Comas of Prague,
tells us that it was sung by the people at the installation of Bishop
Dietmar of Prague in 973. The hymn is sung, in a modernised version, in
the Bohemian churches up to the present day.

Another very ancient hymn that has great historical interest is that to
St. Venceslas. The date of this hymn also cannot be ascertained, but
there is evidence that the veneration for the murdered Prince Venceslas
was already very great in the eleventh century, and the hymn is
certainly very ancient. The existent version dates from the thirteenth
century. The composition of the hymn, which is rhymeless, but has
frequent assonances, also vouches for its antiquity. The three original
strophes run thus:--

"Holy Venceslas--Duke of the Bohemian land--Our Prince--Pray for us to
God--And the Holy Ghost--Kyrie Eleison.

"Beautiful is the court of heaven--Happy he who enters there--Into
eternal life--And the clear light--Of the Holy Ghost--Kyrie Eleison.

"Thy help we implore--Have mercy on us--Comfort the mournful--Deliver
us from all evil--Holy Venceslas--Kyrie Eleison."

Many further strophes were added to this hymn when it became famous.
During the Hussite wars it was the favourite war-song of the "lords sub
una" (= Catholics), while the utraquists or Hussites sang the famous
"All ye warriors of God."[6]

Among the very ancient documents written in the Bohemian language are
a considerable number of missals, psalm-books, and translations of
portions of the Holy Scriptures, which, though of great archaeological
and historical interest, hardly require notice in an account of
Bohemian literature.

Undeniable literary value, on the other hand, belongs to some of the
many early Bohemian legends that have been preserved. Some have been
known since the beginning of the revival of Bohemian literature,
while others have been discovered quite recently, sometimes in parish
churches or the libraries of remote monasteries. Such discoveries
indeed continue up to the present day. A considerable number of these
legends (with a few small writings of a more secular character) are
contained in two collections, known respectively as the manuscripts of
Königgrätz and of St. Vitus, the cathedral church of Prague.[7]

Many of these legends are very similar in character, and obviously
adhere closely to Latin models. This, however, does not apply to all.
_The Legend of Judas_ differs greatly from other mediæval legends that
deal with the same subject. It has a distinctly Oriental manner, and a
strange similarity to the Greek tale of _Œdipus_. This is one of the
few early legends the date of which can be approximately fixed. The
author alludes to the murder of the last Premyslide prince (1306) as
to a recent event. After referring to the death of "the hope of the
Scariotic land" the author writes: "Let us on this occasion remember
our country, that which has now happened in Bohemia, where there are
now no kings descended from King Premysl."

One of the saints whose martyrdom the Bohemian writers have specially
celebrated is St. Catherine. A long legend on this subject, which
formed part of the Rosenberg Library,[8] was discovered at Stockholm,
and has since been transported to Brünn. A more concise account of St.
Catherine's martyrdom is preserved in the Church of St. Jacob at Brünn.
Both legends have been published.

According to the longer legend, Catherine, daughter of Kost, King
of Cyprus, declared that she would wed no one but Jesus Christ. She
therefore refuses to marry the son of the heathen Emperor Maxentius.
After fifty of the wisest masters vainly attempted to persuade her to
renounce Christianity, Catherine is cruelly tortured by order of the
Emperor Maxentius, and finally decapitated. The description of her
martyrdom gives a curious insight into mediæval mysticism. By order of
the Emperor, who is enraged at her steadfastness, "the beadles whip
her with threefold whips of horse-hair," which have "leaden knots and
angles;" then her snow-white nude body appears in six colours: her body
appears white, her face green; red the flowing stream of blood; black
the open wounds; blue the stripes caused by the whip; golden the plaits
of her hair. All these colours of course have a mystical significance.
When Catherine is decapitated, milk, as symbol of her purity, flows
from her body.

Less known than the legend of St. Catherine, but certainly equally
valuable, is the Bohemian legend of St. Dorothy. The martyrdom of
that saint has been a favourite subject for the painters and poets of
many countries. In our time Mr. Swinburne has made it the subject of
a beautiful poem. Several Bohemian versions of the legend have been
preserved. The most interesting of them, though probably not one of the
oldest, is the version contained in the manuscript of St. Vitus. It is
written in short and somewhat irregular rhymes. The mediæval mystical
idea of the marriage between Christ and female saints appears here even
more prominently than in the legend of St. Catherine. Dorothy, who
is of royal blood, refuses to marry the cruel heathen King Fabricius
and to renounce the Christian faith. The poem begins with a short
invocation of St. Dorothy:--

    "_Dorothy, O maiden fair,_
    _The Holy Church celebrates thy festival,_
    _For thou wast a maiden choice,_
    _One chosen by God._
    _Thy virtues, beauty, and purity_
    _No one can describe;_
    _Adorned by these_
    _Thou wast wedded to Christ._
    _Rejoicing now with thy husband,_
    _Help us in our misery;_
    _Lead us to eternal bliss._"

In consequence of her refusal to renounce Christianity, Dorothy is
cruelly scourged by order of King Fabricius. The description of her
sufferings is very similar to that contained in the legend of St.
Catherine, but we miss the curious conceit of the six colours that
suddenly appear on the body of the martyr. Dorothy is finally led out
to execution, and on her way meets "Theophilus, the clerk of the land,"
who mockingly asks her where she is going. Dorothy answers:--

    "_To a garden, a delightful one,_
    _In which manifold fruits,_
    _Apples, flowers, and roses,_
    _I shall gather._"

Theophilus replies with a sneer, "Send me some of the fruits which grow
in your lord's garden." After Dorothy's death "a child beautifully
dressed in purple" (that is, an angel) appears to Theophilus, carrying
a basket which contains three apples and three roses. The child says,
"My sister Dorothy sends you this fruit." Then, seeing this, Theophilus

    "_I believe in thee, O Jesus Christ,_
    _That thou art the living Son_
    _Of the True God,_
    _For whose sake the virtuous Dorothy,_
    _Guiltless, was executed to-day._
    _I the sinner beg, O maiden,_
    _Earnestly for thy favour;_
    _Deign to intercede for me,_
    _That in the realm of thy husband_
    _I too may join thee._"

The legend of St. Prokop (which forms part of the Manuscript of
Königgrätz) also deserves special notice. It incidentally throws
considerable light on the condition of Bohemia at the period when
Christianity was introduced. There was then great antagonism between
the partisans of the Greek ritual, which Cyrillus and Methodius had
introduced, and the followers of the Latin Church, who from Germany had
introduced their ritual into Bohemia. The monastery on the Sazava[9],
of which Prokop became abbot, was the centre of those who sympathised
with the Eastern Church. Up to the time when the Slavonic monks were
replaced by priests of the Latin Church (in 1096), the religious
services were held there according to the Eastern ritual, and when
Charles IV. again established a community of Slavonic monks at Prague,
he obtained for it the Pope's permission to use the Slavonic tongue in
all ecclesiastical functions and to employ the Glagolitic alphabet[10].
The legend, written in an awkward and unattractive style, has little
artistic value. The author was, no doubt, a monk, since the monastery
of Sazava and its records were probably his source of information. As
is the case with most early Bohemian legends, it is very difficult to
fix the date of that referring to St. Prokop. The existent manuscript
probably belongs to the early part of the fourteenth century, though
the circumstance that some rhymes have been corrupted and lines omitted
has led Bohemian critics to the supposition that the legend was written
a considerable time before, perhaps not long after the death of St.
Prokop, who lived in the eleventh century. The legend[11], as already
stated, deals principally with the rivalry between the monks of the
Eastern and those of the Roman ritual. Prokop, who had retired to the
then desert region near the river Sazava, is found there by Prince
Ulrick, who builds a monastery for him on the spot where they met.
After Prokop's death, as well as that of Prince Ulrick, "Germans of the
Latin rite" take possession of the monastery on the Sazava. The ghost
of Prokop three times appears to them, and on his third apparition the
Germans return terrified to Prague.

The author begins by thus addressing his readers: "Listen, old people
and children--To what I wish to tell you--Of the patron of the
Slavs--Of the holy Prokop--He who was born in Bohemia--Who propagated
God's law in a saintly fashion--Who faithfully fulfilled the holy
law--Who worked many miracles.... St. Prokop is of the Slav race--Born
not far from Česky Brod.--That village did God well bless--In which
this saint was born."

The legend then proceeds to tell us of Prokop's youth and education,
laying special stress on the fact that at the monastery on the Vyšehrad
he received instruction in the Slavonic language. Prokop obtains great
favour among the monks, who wish to choose him as their provost.
But Prokop flies from all worldly honours and retires to a desert
district, "where is a river, and that river is called Sazava, and it
still flows beneath the monastery." The meeting between the hermit and
Prince Ulrick is thus described: "The Prince, named Ulrick--Called
to the hunters, who were running in every direction--And speaking
to them all said--'In what woods shall we hunt?'--He said, 'We must
begin--Where shall we begin?'--'Let us,' he said--'try the hills
near the Sazava.--Into these woods I desire to go--Let us go there;
that is my counsel.'--All run after him; all obey him--But when they
penetrate into the forest--They all lose the prince.--By God's will
it happened--That not one of them remained with him.--To the prince
a stag appears, beautiful--Large and very fleshy--Prince Ulrick is
not frightened--And having his crossbow in his hand--He wished to
shoot the stag--Which was running not far from him--Not fleeing
hastily before him.--Just as if sense were given it--It placed itself
on that rock--Where St. Prokop was working.--He was then felling an
oak--And the stag sprang up behind him--Turning its antlers towards
him.--Between the antlers it had a cross--Prince Ulrick well noticed
this--Directly he drops his crossbow from his hand--And stops his
horse--Seeing this wondrous animal--And the meek-faced monk--The prince
begins to ask the monk--Having rapidly descended from his horse--'Who
art thou who lives here in this solitude?--How art thou called and what
art thou doing here?'--Holy Prokop directly--Answered him kindly--'I
live in this solitude--As a sinner, and Prokop is my name.'" The prince
then begs Prokop's forgiveness for having attempted the life of an
animal evidently consecrated to Christ. He becomes yet more certain of
the saintliness of the hermit when Prokop miraculously transforms into
exquisite wine the water which the prince is drinking. Ulrick exclaims,
"Such noble wine hast thou in this desert? I have been in many lands,
but never have I drank better wine." He then tells Prokop that he
will build a monastery on the spot where they are standing. Of this
monastery Prokop, in spite of his hesitation, becomes abbot. The legend
then gives an account of several other miracles wrought by him. Then
"in the year 1054 after the birth of Christ, he was, two days before
his death, informed by a divine vision of his approaching end." Before
dying Prokop foretells that troubles after his death will befall the
monks. Under the reign of Ulrick's successor the prophecy is fulfilled.
The Slavonic monks are expelled and Germans take their places. During
the first night which the Germans spend in the monastery Prokop's ghost
appears to them, warning them to leave instantly; he again, equally
without result, repeats his warning on the following day. Then "he
shows himself to them on the third night--And shows them his power.--He
begins to speak:--'Listen, ye Germans--I have fulfilled my duty (by
giving them due warning)--But you heed not my words.--Not for you did I
prepare this site--But I founded it for the sons of my own country--Not
for you, faithless calumniators--You are infamous Hungarians[12], come
from anywhere.--If even the prince has given you this monastery--It
will to-day be taken from you.--You would not listen to good words--I
will now render your dwelling on the Sazava distasteful to you.--Quick,
delay not your journey--Return in haste to Prague.--After he had said
this, holding a large stick in his hand--He unmercifully thrashed the
Germans with it."... The legend ends with the return of the Bohemian
monks to the monastery on the Sazava.

Early Bohemian legends, as already mentioned, are very numerous.
Besides those already referred to, the legends of the "tears of St.
Mary," the "joys of St. Mary," the "tears of Mary Magdalene," the
"legends of St. George and St. Anselm," are among the best. The
last-named legend expresses the characteristic opinion that Judas
Iscariot was probably a German! Two allegorical poems, of a religious
character, entitled _The Contest of the Body and the Soul_ and
_Truth_, are also very ancient.

Though the chronology of early Bohemian literature is hopelessly
unreliable, it can, speaking generally, be stated--leaving the
manuscripts of Grüneberg and Königinhof out of consideration--that the
existent Bohemian writings of a secular character are less ancient than
those dealing with entirely religious subjects. Here, too, the earliest
writings have the character of poetic works; for the first prose
writings belonging to Bohemia were all in Latin.

Among these early works should be mentioned several poems of an epic
character, which are very similar to the chivalrous poetry of other
European countries. The literature of the period of the Crusades
(wars in which the Bohemians took a considerable part) possessed, in
many respects, an international character. Knights of many European
countries met in Palestine. A brisk exchange of ideas between men whose
tendencies and ideals were identical was but natural. The subjects of
the songs and epics of chivalrous poetry are limited in number, and
often belong to several countries when national particularities often
influence the details of the narrative. Such heroes of chivalrous
poetry are Alexander of Macedon, who is conceived as a Christian knight
and a crusader, Tristram and Isolde, and the other heroes and heroines
of the round table; Theodoric or Dietrich of Berne (Verona), and the
other heroes of ancient Gothic tradition.

In consequence of the geographical position of Bohemia, these tales
reached the country later than lands lying farther west, and often from
German sources. Yet the prejudiced attempts of German writers to prove
that the Bohemian remains of chivalrous poetry are adaptations and
translations from the German have in many cases proved unsuccessful.

In consequence of the wholesale destruction of Bohemian literature, we
are here also obliged to found conjectures on a comparatively small
number of fragments.

Of only one of these epic poems has a considerable portion been
preserved. This is the _Alexandreis_, of which several manuscripts of
different dates are in existence. From these fragments the erudition
of Bohemian scholars has, to a great extent, reconstituted the poem:
we now possess more than half the poem, and can, to a certain extent,
conjecture what was contained in the still missing parts. The Bohemian
_Alexandreis_ is undoubtedly an adaptation of the Latin poem of Philip
Gaultier (Walter) de Chatillon, also known from his birthplace, Lille,
as Gualterus de Insulis, who lived in the twelfth century, and died
about the year 1201. Chatillon's _Alexandreis_, based on the work of
Quintus Curtius, enjoyed great popularity during the Middle Ages,
and was generally adopted as the classical account of the career of
the great Macedonian. The author of the Bohemian _Alexandreis_ is
unknown, but it is possible to fix an approximative date for the poem.
It was undoubtedly written during the reign of King Premysl Ottokar
II. (1253-78). Ottokar, who had extended the frontiers of Bohemia
from the Baltic in the north to the Adriatic in the south, was often
compared to Alexander the Great, and that hero's history, therefore,
had great interest for the Bohemian writers of that period. Recent
critics have attempted to fix the date of the _Alexandreis_ yet more
accurately. In the years 1264 and 1267 Ottokar undertook crusades
against the heathen Prussians and Lithuanians, and seems even to have
thought of rendering parts of those districts permanently dependent on
Bohemia, thus securing for the country an outlet towards the Baltic.
It is conjectured that the passage in the account of Alexander's entry
into Babylon, in which the author prays that "God may grant Bohemia a
king who will subdue the Lithuanians, Tartars" (see later), refers to
Ottokar's far-reaching plan.

Generally speaking, the author of the _Alexandreis_ follows strictly
in the footsteps of Chatillon, or rather of Quintus Curtius, to whom
so many of the mediæval tales about Alexander can be traced. Yet the
Bohemian _Alexandreis_ has not only a distinctly Christian, but also
a national (Bohemian) character. The Persians are heathens doomed to
hell. Margraves, burgraves, and counts are found in the contending
armies. The Bohemian nobles Jan, Radvan, Mladota, and Radota form part
of Alexander's court. The account of the festivities on the occasion of
Alexander's entry into Babylon (a portion of which I have translated)
describes them as similar to those which took place at Prague on the
occasion of the coronation of the Bohemian kings. For Chatillon's
hexameters the author has substituted a rhymed metre, consisting of
verses of eight syllables, which generally, though not always, have a
cæsura after the fourth syllable. The rhymes are very rugged and often

The author's preface begins with a quaint attempt at disarming his
critics. He tells us that Solomon, the wisest of men, admitted that
there were three things, and even four things that he did not know[13];
"if, then, he who surpassed all others in wisdom was liable to be
mistaken, then I, should any one doubt my word, need not be offended; I
who compared to him am as a weary beast to a lion, a wax taper to the
sun, or a shallow rivulet to the sea."

The account of the deeds of the great Macedonian conqueror strictly
follows the mediæval tradition of Alexander's career. Beginning with
his birth and youth, the author then gives a detailed account of
his education by Aristoteles and the wise counsel given him by that
philosopher. Then follows a full account of Alexander's campaigns and
victories. Very interesting is the author's account of his hero's
arrival at Troy. He here has an extensive digression concerning the
destruction of that city, which is not contained in Chatillon's
work. It is curious to meet with the world-old tale of Paris and
the three goddesses in Bohemian literature. The Christian writer
no doubt considered it more seemly to relate the appearance of the
three goddesses in the form of a dream. He writes: "Now it happened
to him (Alexander) to march--To the spot where are the bastions of
Troy--Now the only traces--Are stones lying on the ground--If it does
not appear idle to you[14]--I will relate to you--Why this destruction
took place--Why all this happened.--Paris was the king's son at
Troy--Brought up at home in honors.--His father and mother--Out of
love for their child--Treated him so kindly--That they allowed him his
will in all things--The prince prepared for the chace--Nothing else
was on his mind.--Then it befell--That when he was riding far away in
the woods--He went astray from the other hunters--And his horse was
very weary--He rode away from the path to a lonely spot--Where a fine
beech-tree stood in a thicket.--Throwing his horse's bridle up to one
of the branches--He fell asleep under the tree--It then befell him in
this hour--That in his dream he saw three goddesses--The one who rules
love--The other who rules over wisdom--And all warlike knowledge--The
third who rules over (= disposes of) riches--And they had a golden
apple--Which each of them desired--For on it was written:--'To her who
is the most beautiful, this shall be given.'--They chose him as judge
between them--Saying: 'We give you this power--That we may dispute no
longer about this--Give this apple to whichever one thou wilt--And over
whatever thing each of us has power--In that will she aid you.'--Then
at that moment the prince--Began to take counsel with himself--Saying:
'What is not due to me--According to my right as a prince?--I have
already too great riches--Also warlike spirit have I sufficient--And
sense as great as others--Why then should I require greater wisdom?--My
fortune also is favorable to me--But I should wish to possess a fair
woman.'--Saying this he awards the apple--To her who rules over love."

The author ends his digression with these reflections: "Oh, erring
heart of man--Oh, restless designs!--For the sake of one fair
woman--For indeed her beauty was great--The whole world was in
arms--For ten years it strove in war--Till in the eleventh year!--How
can we remember all the ills that then befell Troy!"

It is natural that in a work such as the _Alexandreis_ dealing
principally with the events of war, and written for warlike knights,
battle-pieces should be numerous, and indeed constitute the greatest
portion of the work. The following is an extract from one of the best
of these battle-pieces, the description of the battle of Arbela.
Alexander has just killed "Aristomanes, prince of India." "Easy," cry
the Greeks, "easy will be for us glory and praise--Now that our king
has obtained such glory!--The fight was stubborn on both sides--Not
few the mortal wounds--They then dealt each other--When they first
met--Then the battle-axes, lances--Drew blood like water--And the Greek
king rushing at the enemy--Struck at the foolish people.--Meanwhile
sword, lance, and battle-axe--Aimed at him from every direction--Strike
his head;--Yet his mind remains undisturbed.--Thus did he bear himself
in fight--As if he had been forged out of iron--And it was easy for
him to bear all blows--While fortune in everything favoured him.--Thus
did death refrain from him--Though it struck down many of the best
men there.--Faros was the name of one of them--The second was called
Eliphas--And he was Count of Egypt--While the former was Margrave of
Syria--Both were valorous men--A great loss by their deaths--Befell
that heathen king.... But ever, as was said--Nothing availed the
heathens--When they attempted to destroy the Greeks--Everywhere on the
sand, on the grass--A stream flowed, rendering the earth bloody--In
it lay the wretched men--Like a forest or a grove that has been
felled.--On both sides hundreds were killed--The fourfold gates of
hell--Then were opened wide--Such a cry was raised by the devils--As
if they thought that the earth had resolved--To drive them out of
hell--Then the souls flew away quickly--Like herds that scatter.--So
many fell that day--That they would have been sufficient to fill
Pluto's house--For in that battle rarely was any one spared--Until the
Greeks were tired."

Very interesting is the account of the festivities which took place
at Babylon when Alexander entered the town. As I have already
mentioned, many of the ancient Bohemian customs on the occasion of
the coronation of their kings are here accurately reproduced. The
author first describes a tournament; he writes: "Already courageously
and in a manner worthy of praise--Had they fought bravely--Striking
with their heavy lances;--Many a one on both sides, as may be
believed--Had been unhorsed.--This knightly pastime--Lasted for some
time--Till the king himself gave a sign to the people--And thus did
the time pass away.--Then all the more important citizens--Nobles
and men who held State offices--Appeared before their king--Bringing
great presents--Honouring his dignity--Goods of various sorts (they
brought)--Such as to the human eye--Give the enjoyment of pleasure--For
their valuable presents--They received much praise.--In the meantime
they lead in panthers--Lions and many great ostriches--And whatever
other birds they had collected.--The beasts shaking their cages--Began
to bellow (literally neigh), not liking their imprisonment--How could
they (the people) have had anything better?--Anything more pleasant
to see:--Many actors and jugglers--Various boxers--With whom the
streets swarmed--Gave them pleasure--And they also enjoyed music of
various sorts--The rejoicing continued so long--That the whole night
passed;--Then only did the people go home--Never, I ween, was there
so great a rejoicing in the world.--Not even when mighty Rome--Chose
her king--Was there so great joy.--Nor did they (the Romans)--With
such overwhelming honours--Receive their emperor--As were then awarded
to him (Alexander)--And rightly were they given to him,--The honours
which he then received.--For starting with but a small force--And
after enduring many troubles--He had struggled so vigorously for his
cause--That the whole world bowed down before him--May God deign to
listen to his Christian people and ordain this,--That there be such
a king in Bohemia!--I warrant that then in a short time--Lithuania
and the Tartars--Men of whatever name--The Besermans and the
Prussians--Also the unconformed (not yet baptized) Russians--Would
be in such a state of terror--That they would accept baptism--And
renounce their idols--And this could happen--Were but one obstacle
removed--That is, that the Germans, who are strangers here--Wish and
hope--That on the bridge of Prague--[May God avert this]--No Bohemian
be seen any longer[15]--And it may perhaps soon happen--That we shall
see none of them (the Germans) any more--Admire your king, O city of
Babylon--For, know it, he is worthy of wonder--He the conqueror of the
whole world--The terror of all other kings!"

It has already been stated that the author of the _Alexandreis_ is
unknown. There is, however, no doubt that the book is the work of a
Bohemian noble. The whole current of thought, the descriptions of
battles and the pomps of chivalry, the author's pedantic accuracy with
regard to the different grades of the nobility, his dislike of the
German townsmen (up to the time of Hus the Bohemian cities were mainly
inhabited by Germans)--these and other circumstances tend to prove that
this supposition is correct.

Portions of other epic poems belonging to chivalrous literature have
also been preserved; among them are some belonging to the circle of
legends of which Theodoric was the centre; such are _The Garden of
Roses_, _Laurin_, and others. They are evidently adaptations from
the German, and possess little originality and less interest. Other
fragments deal with the tale of the Round Table. Among these _Tristram_
and _Tandarius and Floribella_ may be mentioned. The former poem, as
the late Mr. Wratislaw has remarked, is strikingly similar to parts of
the _Morte d'Arthur_. This specially applies to one of the fragments
which contains a description of the combat between Tristram and the
"noble from Ireland whose name was Morolt." _Tandarius and Floribella_
also differs little from many other poems of chivalry. The heroine is
imprisoned and eventually rescued by Tandarius. Numerous descriptions
of tournaments and single combats fill up the greatest part of the book.

Closely connected with the chivalrous poetry of an epic character are
some early lyric poems that have been preserved. They, however, all
belong to a period considerably later than the _Alexandreis_, and
Bohemian critics have no doubt correctly attributed them to the reign
of King John. Here, too, the songs that have been preserved are not
numerous. A favourite form of these early Bohemian lyrics were the
so-called _Songs at Daybreak_ (in Bohemian _Svitanicka_), which have
a great affinity to the French _aubades_ and to the _albes_ of the
Provençal minstrels. The motive of these songs, several of which have
been preserved, varies but slightly. They tell of the parting of two
lovers, caused by the approach of dawn, and of the fears which they
express with regard to the "false gossips," rivals, or inquisitive
people who may be watching them. A translation of the best of these
songs may be of interest.

    "_Dear clear day, how have you surprised me,_
    _You that have awakened the false gossip;_
    _The day rises there_
    _Where two lovers live together._
    _Almighty Lord God,_
    _Deign Thou to guard these two._

    _From the east a breeze arises,_
    _Trembling over hill and vale;_
    _The moaning of the woods, their noise and crashing ceases;_
    _The game flees, the birds scream;_
    _Everything tells us, everything shows_
    _That the night has vanished._

    _Above us the morning star has disappeared,_
    _For into the distance it has vanished,_
    _Hastily retiring behind the hills._
    _It does not stop,_
    _It wishes to rise higher._
    _It is time for us, my beloved, to take leave._

    _The heart of my beloved was aggrieved_
    _When, rising, she perceived the daybreak;_
    _Then spake my beloved:_
    _'Why have we two slept so long?_
    _Hasten, my beloved,_
    _Lest disgrace may overtake us.'_

    _Clear daylight is here, I know;_
    _The sky appears light blue,_
    _The splendour of the sun is rising,_
    _Therefore my heart is in fear._
    _Almighty Lord God,_
    _Deign Thou to guard us two._

    _Oh, my beloved, listen to my advice:_
    _When you are with your lover, hope in your heart_
    _That thy pleasure and mine may not be changed to grief_
    _Because of the malice of the evil gossip,_
    _For no one knows what his intentions are;_
    _Therefore it befits us to be on our guard._

    _The gossip is fair to all in his speech,_
    _But his heart is full of evil, false craft._
    _I should wish that maidens and matrons_
    _Would always hate the gossip._
    _And that man shall be my comrade_
    _Who will never be at peace with such a one (as the gossip)._

    _For in this world there is nothing more difficult_
    _Than to beware of gossips;_
    _For he is friendly with you to your face,_
    _But, like a snake, he bites you from the back;_
    _His speech is sweet as honey_
    _And his heart is as cruel poison._

    _Dear God, do not grant success_
    _To him who troubles the comfort of lovers,_
    _As his heart is endeavouring (to find)_
    _Where the two lovers live together._
    _Almighty Lord God,_
    _Deign Thou to guard these two._"

It will be noticed that the refrain "Almighty Lord God," &c. (slightly
varying in the middle of the poem), recurs three times. It has been
conjectured that these _Songs at Daybreak_, which were discovered in
the archives of Bohemian castles, were the works of knights or nobles,
men somewhat similar to the "Minnesänger" of Germany. By the song which
I have translated it will be seen that these songs are tainted with the
peculiar views concerning conjugal fidelity which characterise so large
a part of chivalrous literature, where Tristram is so often the hero
and King Mark so often the knave.

A few ancient love-songs which have not the character of the
_Svitanicka_ have also been preserved. Of these, the so-called _Cantio
Zavisonis_, written in Bohemian in spite of its Latin name, deserves
notice. It was formerly falsely attributed to Zavis of Falkenstein, the
lover of Queen Kunegund, and one of the most celebrated Bohemian nobles
of his time. The fact that Falkenstein wrote verses in prison shortly
before his death (as the historians tell us) led to this supposition,
which is contradicted by the manner of the poem. Nothing except the
name "Zavis" is known of the author of this strange love-song, one of
the best of early Bohemian literature. I have translated a few of the
best lines:--

    "_Now all joy has left me,_
    _Now for me all comfort has ceased,_
    _My heart swims in wistful blood,_
    _All this because of the beloved one for whom I long._
    _By the glance of her eye_
    _She has sharply struck my heart._
    _I live in flaming yearning,_
    _My life sickens with love,_
    _All for the sake of her dear beauty._

           *       *       *       *       *

    _My longing cannot decrease;_
    _Pity me, oh air! pity me, all creation!_
    _Carbuncles, sapphires, and all precious stones,_
    _Rays of the sun and everything on the earth,_
    _Pity me, lilies! pity me, most precious roses!_
    _My beloved wishes to take my little life[16] from me_
    _If she will not have compassion on me._"

Neither the mysterious Zavis nor the author of the Song at Daybreak
which I quoted before were devoid of poetical talent. But they, as
well as other writers whom I have not specially noticed, were greatly
deficient in the technique of versification; nor did they adhere
with sufficient care to the Western metres and forms of song which
they endeavoured to adopt. These verses, therefore, lose little by
translation. Bohemian writers have attributed the absence of polish and
finish which we find in these early writings to the fact that, while
in France, Provençe, and Germany the different courts were the centres
of knights' poetry, the Bohemian court at all periods had a distinctly
German character, and favoured poetry in the national language but

The poems of a chivalrous character which I have noticed above have
little distinctly national except occasional invectives against the
Germans. That poetry was indeed, as noticed before, international in
its very essence. With the decline of this manner of poetry (which
in Bohemia took place about the middle of the fourteenth century) a
different style of poetry arose, which dealt mainly with national
subjects from a national point of view. It was attempted to acquaint
the Bohemians with the earliest legends and traditions of their race;
the satirical verses which now become numerous have a distinctly local
flavour and deal principally with the faults and shortcomings of the
Bohemian people.

The most important writer of this period is the author of the so-called
_Dalimil_, a rhymed chronicle of the events of Bohemian history,
which, beginning with the deluge, ends with the close of the reign
of Henry of Carinthia (1310). The book was mostly written during the
reign of John of Luxemburg, Henry's successor. In no prince was the
cosmopolitan element inherent in chivalry so thoroughly developed as
in King John. The conduct of a prince who considered that Paris was
the most chivalrous city in the world, and who (anticipating the
modern American) declared that he did not care to live anywhere except
there, who visited Bohemia but rarely, and then only for the purpose
of levying taxes, and who expressed open contempt for the national
language, was bound to produce a strong national reaction in Bohemia.
The beginning of the great national movement which culminated in the
Hussite wars can undoubtedly be traced as far back as to the reign of
King John.

The author of the so-called _Chronicle of Dalimil_ is unknown; the
researches of recent Bohemian scholars, however, prove that he was a
Bohemian noble, probably belonging to the northern districts of the
country. From the contents of the book, which is plentifully supplied
with dates, it can be gathered that the author began writing in 1308
and finished his work in 1316; of the events from 1279 downward he
writes as an eye-witness.

_Dalimil's Chronicle_ is one of the most important works of Bohemian
literature and the first historical work written in the Bohemian
language. Its popularity, to which the pronounced Bohemian-nationalist
views of the author no doubt largely contributed, was very great. In
proof of this it may be mentioned that, in spite of the wholesale
destruction of Bohemian writings, nine complete manuscript copies of
the Chronicle are in existence; the oldest of them, curiously, is to
be found in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. The work was
first printed in 1620, during the brief reign of Frederick of the
Palatinate, but this edition was from political motives destroyed after
the occupation of Prague by the Austrian troops in the autumn of the
same year. The book has been several times printed and published in the
present century.

The author has availed himself largely of the _Chronicon_
_Boemorum_[17] of Cosmas, particularly when dealing with the most
ancient records of Bohemia. He indeed in his preface refers to Cosmas
as his principal authority, while stating that he also had access
to the records of various monasteries, which he enumerates. The
intense patriotic feeling that animated the writer shows very clearly
in his preface. He writes: "Many search for historical tales--But
they heed not those of their own country--Acting thus unwisely and
strangely--Treating their own nation unfavourably--For had some one but
sought glory there--Books about his own country he would have found--By
which he could have known what is our race--Learnt from whence we
came.--I have long searched for such books--Ever have I desired--That
some learned man should undertake--To connect (in one work) all the
deeds of the Bohemians;--Up to now have I desired this--Till I truly
ascertained--That no one will undertake (to do) this--Therefore I must
myself undertake (this task)."

Then follows the passage already referred to, in which the author
declares his indebtedness to Cosmas as well as to the chronicles of
Prague, Breznov, Opatovic, and Vyšehrad. The preface ends thus: "Vain
words I will as far as possible avoid--But yet set down my whole
meaning clearly--That every one may thus learn more willingly--And
have more regard for his nation.--Hearing my speech, the wise man will
become yet wiser--The sad man will be freed from sadness.--I have
written this down plainly--And I beg that a better man--May for the
glory of our country--And because of the craft of our enemies--Improve
my words by fair rhymes--And embellish the subject with brilliant
speech--But he should not jeer at me--Saying, he meddles with what he
does not understand--Of one thing I am full certain--That I have my
nation much at heart--That has encouraged me in this work--That has
aroused my energy."

The first part of the book narrates the well-known tales of the
making of Bohemia; the appearance of Čech and his companions in the
land; their settlement near the mountain Rip; the adventures of Krok,
Premysl, and Libussa; and the deeds of the early Premyslide princes.
All these semi-mythical tales are related in very much the same manner
in which Cosmas had told them two centuries before, and Hayek was to
tell them two centuries later.

Among the most interesting episodes in the Chronicle are the
descriptions of the murder of Prince Venceslas by his treacherous
younger brother Boleslav, and of the first meeting of Prince Ulrick
and the peasant-maiden Bozena, whom he afterwards wedded. The peculiar
national prejudice of many Bohemian nobles, founded not on pride
of birth, but on intense racial antipathy, appears very clearly in
_Dalimil's_ account of Prince Ulrick's marriage. When the nobles
reproached him for his unequal alliance, he answers: "We all descend
from one father--And he ranks as a noble--Whose father had much
silver--And as nobility and peasantry are thus intermingled--Bozena
shall be my wife--Rather would I entrust myself to a Bohemian
peasant-girl--Than that I should take a German queen as my wife--Every
heart clings to its nation--Therefore a German woman would less favour
my language;--A German woman will have German servants--German will
she teach my children--Then there will be division of languages--And
thereby certain ruin to the state."

Of interest also is the author's account of the reign of the great King
Ottokar II. He writes as a violent enemy of that king, and attributes
the disastrous close of his reign to the fact that he neglected his
Slavonic countrymen and showed too great favour to the Germans.

The geographical position of Bohemia, which is the outpost of the
Slavonic race that advances farthest westward, has been the cause
why that country has always been the scene of racial feuds. National
animosities were as violent at the beginning of the fourteenth as they
unfortunately are at the end of the nineteenth century. Ottokar's
part in this struggle belongs to the political history of Bohemia;
but it may be incidentally remarked that, as regards the accusation
of having unduly favoured the Germans to the detriment of his own
countrymen, the greatest of Bohemia's kings has found an eloquent
defender in Palacký, the greatest Bohemian historian. The so-called
_Dalimil_ thus describes the close of King Ottokar's reign: "Then the
king began to heed no longer his own (countrymen)--Towns and villages
he began to give to the Germans--The Germans appeared to surround
him--Against the nobles he used violence--His officials he instigated
against the lords of Vitkovic--Against other nobles also he began
to use violence.--Therefore many nobles became angry--They appealed
to Rudolph, king of the empire (_i.e._ of the Germans), against
him--Saying, 'It is better that the land should be a desert--Rather
than that by the king's order the Germans should hold it.'--Rudolph
arrives in Austria--On the advice of the Germans the king goes to meet
him--Then the king makes over all his lands to Rudolph--Rudolph,
keeping the others, makes over Bohemia and Moravia to the king.... Alas
for the noble king--That he did not remain true to his own nation--Thus
would he have obtained great fame--And also great riches--With the help
of which he could have made yet further conquests--And defeated all his
foes.--But the king continued to revile his countrymen--To injure them
whenever he could."

A lengthy account of the grievances of various great Bohemian nobles
against King Ottokar follows. The writer closes the chapter dealing
with that king by these words: "When, therefore, the king had need of
the Bohemians--He did not receive willing aid from them--They left him
when he required them.--When the king saw that he could not rely on
them in the hour of need--As they would not forget their sufferings
and the evil (which they had endured)--The king said: 'When I return
from the wars--I will inflict much evil on the Bohemians--I will thus
stain the Petrin[18] with their blood--That no Bohemian will any longer
be seen on the bridge of Prague.--Truly he could no longer wish to
live.'--When he spake such words publicly.--Few Bohemians did he take
with him--He marched with Germans, made them his own--Zavis[19] and
his brother were with Rudolph--This was very harmful to the Bohemian
king--For he (Zavis) knew the strength of his forces--And had friends
in his army--When at daybreak they were preparing for battle--Zavis
sent a message to the king, saying--That if he were gracious to him--He
would be willing to render him service.--The king would not hear of
the proposal and advanced--Saying, 'Rather than that I did this, I
would let myself be killed.'--Then the king with his Germans rushed
into battle against Rudolph--And alas! he fell there--This misfortune
occurred on the day of St. Rufus, a Friday--(That holy martyr's day is
a great festival)--It was in the year since the birth of the Son of
God--One Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy-eight." Dalimil's chronicle,
as already noted, enjoyed great popularity in Bohemia for many years,
in fact, up to the sixteenth century, when Hajek's chronicle took
its place. In consequence of this popularity the chronicle found
continuators, and several of the manuscripts contain additions that
are obviously by a different writer. Shorter tales relating warlike
events in a manner and metre similar to _Dalimil_ also vouch for
the popularity of the chronicle. Such are the tales of _William of
Zajic_, _Ottokar and Zavis_, and _The Death of King John_, the most
interesting one to English readers.

To the early literature of Bohemia a considerable amount of didactic
and satirical poetry also belongs. The most important of the writers
of such verses is Smil Flaška, lord of Pardubic, the earliest Bohemian
writer whose name and personality are well known. He is the author of
the _Father's Advice to his Son_, of the _New Council_, one of the
many beast-epics of the Middle Ages, and of a collection of proverbs.
Other satirical writings, such as the _Contest of Water and Wine_
and the _Groom and the Scholar_, were formerly, though incorrectly,
attributed to Smil. All these satirical and didactic poems have little
poetical value, but are of great interest for the student of the social
condition of Bohemia in the fourteenth century. They contain, however,
a vast amount of allusions of a local or national character, which
render it very difficult to give an account of them or quote from them
without entering into disquisitions and explanations which would have
little interest for English readers.

Smil Flaška, lord of Pardubic, played an important part in the history
of his times. He was born about the middle of the fourteenth century.
From his father, William, a brother of Ernest of Pardubic, the first
Archbishop of Prague, he inherited very considerable estates in the
districts of Bohemia that are near Pardubic. During the prolonged
struggle between King Venceslas IV. and the Bohemian nobles, Smil was
among those who opposed the king. He was killed (in 1403) in a skirmish
near Kutna Hora (Kuttenberg) while leading the forces of the "League of
the Lords" against the citizens of Kuttenberg, who were on the side of
King Venceslas.

Smil's _Advice of a Father to his Son_ is a work of great interest, as
it clearly shows what were then considered to be the duties of a young
Bohemian noble,--what was required to make him a perfect gentleman,
as a recent Bohemian writer on Smil has expressed it. Smil begins by
telling his readers that an old nobleman, addressing his son, who
has just attained maturity, and to whom he presents sword and lance,
advises him as to his conduct in life. The various counsels are then
enumerated. Piety is first mentioned. The father says: "This is my
first advice, O son--Have God at every hour--In your heart with all
your might--Humbly both by day and night--Remember, too, His dear
Mother--Her sacred sufferings bear in your mind--This you should always
have before your eyes--Remember this, my son."

Smil is by no means devoid of worldly wisdom; witness the following
passage: "Be liberal as far as is seemly--Do not by shabbiness
injure your soul--Neither must you come to ruin by too great
liberality--Dignified measure (moderation) is honourable in all
things.--To your poor friends be amiable--And take special heed
to be generous to them--Visit them in their distress--These are
honourable and knightly debts (duties).--Reward those who serve you
faithfully--Who heartily strive for your glory--Who wish to raise
you higher--Than your own power (alone) could reach;--To these your
hand should not be niggardly.--To be too haughty, O my son--To
impose your will on the people--That I by no means advise.--For he
who is too proud--Haughty more than is well--He cannot be beloved
of the people.--Even if by his bravery in battle he could penetrate
victoriously through all ramparts--Yet by his haughtiness he
vexes--Every one in every way--Too great haughtiness, therefore, does
not become a great lord...."

In the last part of the counsel the father advises his son with regard
to his duties towards ladies, repeatedly inculcating chivalrous
devotion to them. He writes: "Dear son, nearly all have I said--(To
my best knowledge)--That is truly necessary for your fame--But
carefully will I give you--Yet one more token of knightly honour.--You
should honour all good ladies--Defending with true faith their fair
name--Should any one by evil speech against women attempt to curry
favour--You should declare--That evil speech ever remains evil--And
that honest words should contradict it.--According to honour and
wise advice--You should everywhere spread their (_i.e._ the ladies')
glory--You should ever obey their will--Be constantly in their
service--And be grateful for their favours.... Therefore, my son,
reflect on this--Consider the favour of ladies as gold--And indeed as
worth more than precious stones--Compared to this there is--No thing as
precious in the whole world."

Very different from the _Counsel of the Father_ is Smil's other
important work, _The New Council_, written in 1394 or 1395, somewhat
later than the book referred to before. As I have already mentioned,
it is one of those beast-epics in which mediæval writers put their
social and political ideas into the mouths of various animals, while
certain animals generally became the representatives of persons or of
classes of the people. Smil's work, one of the most noteworthy of these
writings, is an elaborate and very striking satire on the condition of
Bohemia at this period. The young lion who, on his accession to the
throne, assembles all animals around him in council, is undoubtedly
King Venceslas IV. of Bohemia; and the eagle, who is the first to
appear before the king, represents Moravia, the land that for many
centuries was suzerain to Bohemia. To most of the other animals
who (forty-four in number)--a quadruped always alternating with a
bird--successively appear before the king, an allegorical significance
can be attributed. The leopard, who follows the eagle, is the
representative of the Bohemian nobility; and, true to his character, he
says to the king: "Allow no foreigners in your council; put not your
trust in the peasant; rather consult your high-born and noble lords on
the welfare of the land." The wolf here, as in many other beast-epics,
represents the monks; the fox, who tells the king that "he has need of
us, the lower ones," is the representative of the citizens, who were
always opposed to the nobility, and therefore favoured the increase of
the royal power. The starling is the representative of the ordinary
court-poets; while the nightingale personifies Smil himself and those
poets who were enthusiastic for the Bohemian nation. The praise of
poetry which Smil puts into the mouth of the nightingale is considered
the finest part of his work; and I shall translate a passage from it.
The last "counsel," that of the swan, is couched in deeply religious
language. Smil has indeed in this passage closely imitated the
celebrated hymn, "Dies Iræ." Of this "counsel," also, it may be well to
translate a small portion.

Smil in his first verses expounds the motive of his tale; he writes:
"King Lion once upon a time--Sent many messengers--To his princes, to
his lords--To all counties, in every direction--He sent for the large
beasts and the small ones--Saying that they should all appear before
him--This also he decided, that the eagle should receive notice--That,
taking all the other birds with him--He should appear before the throne
of the king."

The praise of poetry which Smil puts into the nightingale's mouth
is worth quoting; he writes: "Listen gladly to sweet sounds--As it
is natural to you--And is a wholesome pastime.--Singers, musicians,
on whatever instrument they play--By these shall thy mind be
strengthened.--Great is the pleasure afforded to you--By the sound
of sweet songs--Particularly at springtime--When all plants begin to
revive--When all creatures are merry--When May already with manifold
flowers--Preciously refreshes the whole world.--The air everywhere is
mild--Everywhere sweet sounds are heard--At day, at night-time, and at
dawn--The soft song of birds--(Is heard) in the woods, in the groves,
in the fields.--In such things, O king, seek comfort."

The swan's song, the last "counsel" in the book, is also one of the
most interesting parts of Smil's work. He here strongly exhorts the
young king to lead a virtuous life, and vividly describes the terrors
of the day of judgment; he writes: "On that day of wrath, that day of
darkness--That day of anguish and of rage--Of misery, of evil, and of
pain--That sudden day of wrath and woe--The day of the awful trumpet
and its roar--Fearful will be the fate of a sinner."

The "counsel" of the swan, and with it the whole poem, ends with these
lines: "Therefore let every one seek salvation--For this is not our
lasting dwelling-place--Let us here with our whole might--Strive for
our future happiness--By doing deeds of mercy, remaining constant to
the true faith.--Aid us in this, dear Jesus Christ--May we be saved
from eternal misery--And rather live in happiness eternally with
Thee.--Who faithfully strives for this--Him help, O Lord God--Grant him
your grace and eternal life--Which is always certain for those who are
with Thee. Amen."

Besides the two works mentioned, a collection of proverbs which goes by
Smil's name is undoubtedly a genuine work of the author. This is not
the case with two satirical poems that were up to recently attributed
to Smil. One of these is the _Groom and the Scholar_, a satirical
dialogue, which dates from the reign of King Venceslas IV. The two
characters of the dialogue meet at a tavern, and interchange ideas as
to the happiness of their respective states. The scholar, of course,
is one of the mendicant students so frequent in the Middle Ages, and
the groom taunts him bitterly with his poverty and misery, and his
constant liability to the rod. The student, on the other hand, reminds
the groom of the hard and lowly work he is obliged to do, and the
scanty wages which he receives. The discussion--not unnaturally, the
reader of the dialogue will think--finally degenerates into a free

The contest of water and wine, also formerly attributed to Smil, is
a curious satirical dialogue between water and wine regarding their
superiority. They are finally reconciled, and it is stated that "Water
is a necessity for the world, but we require wine also." Among many
other satirical poems, the _Satires on Trades_ should be mentioned,
which give a curious insight into low life in early Bohemia. They,
however, teem with local allusions and far-fetched puns, and are more
interesting to Bohemians than to other readers. A satirical poem in
dramatic form is the _Mastičkář_ (= quacksalver). Of didactic poems,
_Cato_, an adaptation from the Latin, may be mentioned. The curious
little work contains a collection of moral precepts which are put into
the mouth of Cato.


[1] Königinhof is a small town in North-Eastern Bohemia.

[2] Some of the poems of the Manuscript of Königinhof were translated
into English many years ago by the late Sir John Bowring, whose
knowledge of the Bohemian language was, however, very slight. The late
Rev. A. H. Wratislaw published in 1852 an English translation of the
Manuscripts of Königinhof and Grüneberg.

[3] My authority for this statement is Mr. Adolphus Patera, chief
librarian of the Bohemian Museum at Prague, and one of the greatest
living authorities on Bohemian palæography.

[4] Though the controversy concerning the MS. of Königinhof or Králové
Dvur still continues, and its genuineness still finds believers, hardly
any Bohemian scholars now believe in the authenticity of the MS. Strong
and increasing evidence tends to the supposition that the poems are a
work of Wenceslas Hanka.

[5] I follow the classification of Dr. Jireček's edition (1879);
recent writers have divided the contents of the manuscript somewhat

[6] See Chapter IV.

[7] Both manuscripts have recently been edited and published by Mr.
Adolphus Patera.

[8] See Chapter VI.

[9] See my _Bohemia, an Historical Sketch_, p. 39 and p. 93.

[10] The Glagolitic alphabet is similar, though not identical with that
of St. Cyrillus. It was used by those Slavs who were in communion with
the Church of Rome, but enjoyed certain privileges with regard to the
use of the national language in ecclesiastical functions.

[11] It has recently been stated that this legend, as now preserved,
contains modern interpolations. It is impossible at present to give a
certain opinion on this subject.

[12] The monks were Germans, not Hungarians. The latter designation was
then a term of reproach in Bohemia.

[13] See Proverbs, chap. xxx. vers. 18 and 19.

[14] The author is addressing his readers.

[15] This appears to have been a proverbial expression. In _Dalimil's
Chronicle_ (see later) King Ottokar is made to say that soon no
Bohemian will any longer be seen on the bridge of Prague.

[16] _Živútek_, the diminutive of _život_ = life.

[17] See Chapter II.

[18] A hill near Prague (known in German as the Laurenz Berg), where
the executions then took place.

[19] The head of the family (or rather clan) of Vitkovic, whom Ottokar
had exiled.



In Bohemia, as in most countries, we find the national language
employed in poetry long before an attempt is made to use it in prose.
Latin was the language exclusively used by the writers on history,
legal matters, and theology. The writers indeed were generally
ecclesiastics, to whom the Latin language was necessarily familiar.
Even as late as the second half of the fourteenth century Thomas of
Štitný was blamed for using the Bohemian language in his theological
and philosophical works.

A few very early Latin prayers and lives of saints originated in
Bohemia, but the earliest prose work which possesses general interest
is the Latin _Chronicon Boemorum_ of Cosmas, commonly called Cosmas
Pragensis. Cosmas, "the father of Bohemian history," has always enjoyed
a great and well-deserved reputation, and has often been called "the
Bohemian Herodotus" by his countrymen.

We are better informed as to the life of Cosmas than is the case with
regard to most early Bohemian writers. Writing in 1125, he calls
himself an octogenarian, and it may therefore be considered as certain
that he was born about the year 1045. He was probably of noble
descent, and early in life adopted the ecclesiastical career. He became
canon and afterwards dean of the chapter of Prague, and accompanied
the bishops of Prague--whose position then gave them considerable
political importance in Bohemia--on several missions. The last chapter
of Cosmas' book, dealing with matters of which he had some personal
knowledge, has therefore far greater value than the rest of the work.
The regulations concerning the celibacy of the clergy were not at that
period, nor indeed far later, observed by the Bohemian priests, and his
ecclesiastical dignities did not prevent Cosmas from marrying, at the
age of forty-one, Božetečha, to whom he was sincerely attached, and
to whom he refers in his chronicle as "rerum cunctarum comes indimota

It was only after Božetečha's death in 1117 that Cosmas--perhaps to
solace his sorrow by study--began his great historical work. The writer
was then a man of over seventy years, and traces of senile garrulity
can be found in his book. Still Cosmas appears to us as a man of great
learning and perspicacity, sharpened, no, doubt, by some knowledge
of the practical politics of his day. With regard to the critical
faculty, he was undoubtedly superior to the contemporary chroniclers
of other countries. In his writings he almost always distinguishes
between popular traditions, "senum fabulosæ narrationes," for which he
could find no authority, and records which he believed to be founded
on truth. The classical reading of Cosmas was very extensive for his
times. His writings show a thorough knowledge of the works of Sallust,
Ovid, Virgil, Terence, Lucan, and Horace. Of these, the last-named, if
we may judge by Cosmas' frequent quotations, appears to have been a
special favourite. The Latinity of Cosmas, if we may venture to employ
that word when dealing with a writer of the twelfth century, contrasts
favourably with that of most of his contemporaries, and in his works we
sometimes meet with slight but charming reminiscences of the style of
more classic periods.

Cosmas' work consists of three books, which were written at different
periods and at first appeared separately, each book in the earliest
MSS. containing a separate dedication. Cosmas afterwards published
his work as a whole, dedicating it to his friend Severus, provost of
Mélnik. The work is written in the chronological manner universally
adopted at that time. In the earlier part of the first book, which,
beginning with the deluge, deals with the establishment of the Čechs
in Bohemia and the reigns of their early princes, Cosmas wisely
abstains from giving any dates. From the deluge Cosmas proceeds
rapidly to the establishment of Čechus and his companions in Bohemia.
It is interesting from the historical point of view to note that all
recollection of the earlier inhabitants of the country, both of the
Celtic and of the Teutonic race, had already faded out of the memories
of the people. Obviously guided by recollections of his classical
readings, Cosmas describes the time of the first establishment of the
Bohemians in their new homes as if it had been a golden age. "Most
happy," he tells us, "was that age, content with moderate expenditure,
not inflated by restless pride. The gifts of Ceres and Bacchus were
unknown, and indeed did not exist; their evening meal consisted of
acorns and the flesh of wild beasts; uncorrupted water-springs afforded
them wholesome drink. As the splendour of the sun and the moisture of
the water, the fields and pastures, and even marriage was common to
them all.... The use of wool and linen, and indeed of all clothing, was
unknown to them. In winter only they used the skins of wild beasts and
of sheep as clothing. No one could say of anything, 'It is mine,' but,
as is usual in monastic communities, they said with their mouths, their
hearts, and their deeds, 'Everything we own is ours (in common).' Their
stables had no bolts, and they did not close their doors on the poor,
for there were neither robbers nor poor.... No arms were to be seen
except arrows, and these they only used against wild beasts."

In Bohemia, as elsewhere, the "golden age" was of short duration.
Cosmas, continuing his narrative, tells us the tales of Crocus and
Libussa, of Premysl, the ploughman-prince, and of the foundation of
Prague, which we afterwards find in an enlarged form in the works of
the so-called Dalimil and of Hajek. Many of these tales, such as that
of the ploughman-prince, are common property of most Slav countries;
but the strange tale of the "war of the maidens," _divči válka_, which
is said to have occurred after Libussa's death, evidently founded on
the ancient traditions concerning the Amazons, is found in the records
of no other Slav country. Bohemian scholars have recently attempted,
with great ingenuity, to trace the manner in which this Eastern tale
found its way to Bohemia.

From the year 894, the date which Cosmas fixes as that of the
conversion of the Bohemian prince Bořivoj, he adopts the chronological
system. Cosmas, however, very frankly admits that many of his
statements are founded on slight and doubtful authority. For the
second and third books of his work, on the other hand, Cosmas
claims perfect accuracy. As he writes at the end of the first book:
"Henceforth, with the aid of God and of St. Adalbert, we intend to
narrate those events which we have either seen ourselves or truthfully
gathered from those who saw them." This statement is not absolutely
true, for Palacký, who critically examined the writings of the early
Bohemian historians, has discovered numerous errors, particularly in
the chronology of the second book. The third book, which begins with
the year 1092, and was continued by Cosmas up to the year of his death
in 1125, is the most valuable and also the most interesting part of the
work. As already stated, Cosmas often accompanied the bishops of Prague
on their travels through Germany, Lorraine, Italy, and Hungary, and
this part of his work gives many interesting details referring to the
social and political conditions of his times.

The work of Cosmas immediately obtained great and deserved success,
and its popularity continued for a very considerable period. This is
proved by the very numerous MSS. of the _Chronicon Boemorum_ that are
still in existence. It is therefore not surprising that Cosmas found
many imitators and continuators. They belonged, as he had, to the
ecclesiastical calling, and, like him, wrote in Latin. The works of
these writers are of interest only to students of Bohemian history;
it will therefore here be sufficient to mention a few of the most
important chronicles. The earliest of these chroniclers is the writer
known to us as the "Canon of Vyšehrad;"[20] his chronicle continues
the work of Cosmas from the year 1125, and ends with the year 1142.
Another also anonymous chronicler is the "Monk of Sazava." He has
incorporated the whole of Cosmas' chronicle with his work, but has
added many interesting facts, some of which refer to his own monastery.
The monastery on the Savaza had, since the year 1096, been in the
hands of friars who used the Latin ritual, but our author relates the
foundation of his abbey by St. Prokop, and the subsequent disputes
between the German and Bohemian monks (so vividly described in the
_Legend of St. Prokop_[21]) with an impartiality that deserves the
highest praise. From the end of the year 1125, with which Cosmas'
chronicle ends, to the year 1162, the last of which his own work
treats, the monk of Sazava of course writes more independently. His
work is on the whole trustworthy, and he often writes of contemporary
events as an eye-witness. It is, however, to be regretted that the
annals of the last years, when the monk no longer had Cosmas for a
guide, are written in a briefer, more succinct manner than the earlier
parts of the book, for the writer is here dealing with some of the
most obscure years of Bohemian history. Several minor chronicles, also
written in Latin, and probably by ecclesiastics, are also to be counted
among the continuations of Cosmas' work. Such chronicles are that of
Vincent, canon of Prague, dealing with the years 1140 to 1167, and
that of Gerlach or Jarloch, abbot of Muhlhausen. Jarloch's chronicle
begins with the year 1167, and the existent portion ends with the year
1198. It is, however, probable that he continued his work to a far
later date, perhaps nearly up to the time of his death, which only
occurred in 1228. After the year 1198 we have no knowledge of Bohemia
from the writings of native authors during a considerable number of
years. Somewhat later we find the chroniclers Peter of Zittau, abbot
of Königraal, and Francis, provost of Prague; the work of the former
writer deals with the annals of Bohemia from 1253 to 1338, while the
work of Francis, beginning with the year 1333, carries on the history
of Bohemia up to the year 1362.

More interesting than any of these chronicles are the works of several
writers who flourished during the reign of Charles IV. (1346-1378).
Though Charles only acquired the Bohemian language when already grown
up, and always used Latin in his own writings, yet his interest in
the language of his favourite country was very great. It is during
his reign, and probably through his influence, that we find Bohemian
translations of Latin historical works appearing almost simultaneously
with the Latin originals. Charles IV. himself ranks among the Bohemian
historians. His _Commentarius de Vita Caroli Bohemiæ Regis et postea
Imperatoris ab ipso Carolo conscriptus_ is of the greatest interest,
and gives an insight into the true nature of the great sovereign which
we scarcely find elsewhere. The book very clearly shows us Charles's
attachment to his country, his piety, and his strong tendency to
mysticism, the latter a characteristic of the king of which perhaps
only Bohemian historians have taken sufficient account. If it were
not contrary to the plan of this book to give lengthy quotations from
works not written in the Bohemian language, the _Commentarius_ would
certainly deserve a more extensive notice. The book has unfortunately
reached us in a very incomplete state. It appears probable that the
writer intended to conclude his work with his election as King of the
Romans; but the part which is undoubtedly the work of Charles does not
go beyond the year 1340. Additions by a very inferior writer continue
the work up to the year 1346, when the electors at Rhense chose Charles
as King of the Romans. It appears, however, that Charles had collected
notes in view of continuing his historical work, and that he made over
these notes to Canon Benes of Weitmil, who afterwards incorporated them
with his own chronicle. The _Vita Caroli_ was translated into Bohemian
very shortly after its appearance, probably by the so-called "Pulkava."
The personality of "Přibik, son of Dluhý of Radenin, surnamed Pulkava,"
was formerly very obscure, and his chronicle was attributed to a person
of the name of "Pulkava of Tradenin." Recent researches of Bohemian
scholars have afforded us some information as to the career of a man
who enjoyed high favour with Charles IV., and held what may be called
the position of court-historian. Přibik was a layman, rector of the
collegiate school of St. Giles at Prague. He took orders later in life
and became rector of the parish of Chudenic, but probably carried
on the duties of his office by means of a substitute. It was by the
direct order of his sovereign that he composed his Bohemian chronicle,
which, beginning, as was then usual, with the dispersion of the human
race, narrates the history of Bohemia up to the year 1330. The book
first appeared in Latin, but was almost immediately translated into
Bohemian. Charles took great interest in this work and furnished the
writer with numerous documents, so that he can almost be considered as
his collaborator. Recent Bohemian writers have gone further, and have
suggested--though without bringing forward sufficient evidence--that
Charles was himself the author of the Latin chronicle, and that
"Pulkava" only wrote the Bohemian translation, or rather adaptation,
for the contents of the two books are by no means identical. This is
one of the many questions concerning ancient Bohemian literature that
is still obscure. Pulkava's work is written in the same fashion as the
work of Cosmas, whom, indeed, all early Bohemian historians imitated,
whether they expressly called themselves continuators of his work or
not. Published under the auspices of Charles, Pulkava's chronicle
enjoyed great popularity and is preserved in numerous MSS., from one of
which the Bohemian version was printed in 1786. The work has, however,
little historical value, and the style of the Latin version is inferior
to Cosmas.

Of the many other writers of history who flourished during the reign of
Charles, it will be sufficient to mention Benes (Benessius) of Weitmil,
a canon of the chapter of Prague. Charles IV., as already mentioned,
furnished the author with many notes, that were incorporated with his
work. The chronicle of Benes, written in Latin, deals with the history
of Bohemia from the year 1283 to the year 1374, about which time the
author appears to have died. The part of the work which describes
King John's last campaign and his death at Crécy has great interest,
not only for Bohemian readers. Laurence of Březova, who is generally
mentioned in connection with the writers referred to above, belongs
rather to the period of the Hussite wars.

While Bohemian was at this period, at first only in the form of
translations, taking its place beside Latin as a language adapted
to historic writing, it was already extensively used for writings on
matters of law. Such works hardly belong to a history of literature;
yet the _Kniha starého pána z Rožmberka_, the book of the old Lord of
Rosenberg, deserves mention. It contains an enumeration of the laws
and customs of Bohemia as they existed in the author's time. It is the
oldest prose work in the Bohemian language, and dates either from the
beginning of the fourteenth or from the last years of the thirteenth
century. Another early legal work is the _Výklad na pravo zemske_,
exposition of the law of the land, which is attributed to Andrew of
Duba. Several other very early Bohemian writings on legal matters have
been preserved.

One of the earliest and most curious prose works in the Bohemian
language is the singular dialogue known as _Tkadleček the Weaver_. The
book was one of the first that were printed when the revival of the
Bohemian literature in the present century began. It was published by
Wenceslas Hanka[22] in 1824, and was greatly admired. Recently the
value of the book has, I think, been unduly depreciated. It certainly
abounds with affectations and conceits such as were usual in the
literature of most countries at the time--about 1407--when the book
appeared; yet the complaints of the lover sometimes reveal a touch
of real passion, and the style is generally fluent and lively. The
monotony and the repetitions for which the lovers' long speeches are
blamed are no peculiarity of the _Weaver_ but rather are ever inherent
to the speech of the discarded and distressful lover. Far inferior
to the speeches of the lover are the answers of the personified
Misfortune to whom he addresses his complaint.

Of the author of this very interesting work little is known. His
Christian name was Ludvik, and he represents himself as being himself
the discarded lover who addresses his complaint to Misfortune. He
adopted the name of the Weaver, being, as he writes, "a weaver of
learned lines." He was, according to recent research, not a nobleman of
the Bohemian court, as had been formerly supposed, but a literary man
who was in the service of the Dowager-Queen Elizabeth at Königgrätz,
employed as a "writer" in some not clearly defined position. While
it thus appears that the Weaver was a man of comparatively humble
position, a more thorough study of the book has also proved that the
fair Adlička, who had forsaken him to marry another, was not, as
has been written, "one of the beauties of the Bohemian court," but
that she was (as her lover indeed himself tells us) employed at that
court as a "topička" (literally, lighter of fires), a word that we
must reluctantly translate by "housemaid". Ludvik is, therefore, yet
another instance of the facility with which a literary man idealises
his mistress. It has been proved in recent years that the _Weaver_
in many respects resembles a somewhat earlier German book entitled
_Der Ackermann aus Beheim_, which dates from the year 1399. Without
entering into the controversy that has arisen on this subject, it will
be sufficient to state that the _Weaver_ is not an adaptation, far
less a translation of the German work, though there are certainly many
resemblances between the two books. It may be interesting to quote
part of one of the laments which the Weaver addresses to Misfortune.
He thus expresses his grief: "After a loss a man often incurs mockery;
the sorrow of others is to many an object of ridicule, such as thou
hast bestowed on me, O unfortunate Misfortune! Through thee this
has happened to me, the unhappy and thrice unhappy weaver. This all
know and feel, this they fully understand. For already have all said
and loudly affirmed it, that my most delightful, most excellent
serving-maid[23] has been endowed with diverse gifts, happy and most
choice; greater were her gifts than any that Nature has allowed any
one to have; for all these gifts that she had from fortune, she had
them not from fortune only; she obtained them also from the supreme
Creator. Not only was she endowed with goodly customs, but a shapely
form, a beautiful figure, and noble birth also God gave her, who had
chosen her for her virtues and (who gave her also) much that was very
good, sweet, and honourable; hardly ever has God given to one person
so many remarkable, good, and prosperous gifts. And yet you mockingly
tell me that my most excellent serving-maid, my most beloved maiden,
is not different from others. And not only this (do you say), but also
that I could find many other matrons and maids such as she, did I but
cast glances around me.... I wonder at this: what devil has sent you
to me? what devil gave you power over me? what devil or what demon,[2]
or what fiend[24] has roused you and instigated you against me? I
wonder indeed at the meaning of this. I trust in my Creator for this,
that He has not given you this power, and that you have not from Him
this authority, and that this is by no means just. But you tell me
that God has instructed you--chosen you for this! but I know not this;
rather do I know that I have been deprived of all my comfort, of all
my pleasure, of all good merriment; to me is bequeathed poverty and
eternal grief; my name is marked out and written down in the doleful
register of the longing and anxious ones until I die. Now indeed there
is truly discord between me and the beloved and adored one; now indeed
there is a quarrel worse than all other quarrels and discords. This
indeed may be called truly discord and anger, which never again will
change to peace. Oh, that I should ever have known what wrath between
two lovers is. Alas and again alas, and woe to you, wicked, infamous
Misfortune! Oh, wicked Misfortune, now, indeed, through your evil anger
all my happiness, and with it my youth, is at an end. Why then am I
still alive? what can I rejoice over? in what can I find pleasure?
where can I seek refuge in this my great need? What shall I now love,
what can I love now that everything is lost to me. In what shall I now
find pleasure, what shall render me merry and happy, when I no longer
love her through whom everything appeared lovable to me. Little now
will be my joy, for little mercy shall I find.... And for what purpose
have you endeavoured to do this, shameful, wicked, false Misfortune?
Alas, alas! Woe, ever woe to thee. Gone is all my grace, gone are all
my many qualities. O Misfortune, to whom shall I now go for counsel
in this my hateful adversity? to whom shall I complain of my loss in
this my depression and sorrow? I have no one to whom to complain of
my misfortunes, of whatever nature they may be, except you, evil,
disagreeable, and displeasing Misfortune, from whom I expect no relief.

"Alas, alas, and again alas! What yearnings have besieged me, what
woe has bound me, what orphanage (_i.e._ bereavement) has subdued me!
What longings and more than longings have overwhelmed me, and still
overwhelm me from day to day, from hour to hour, so that I know of them
neither beginning, nor middle, nor end. I am like a child that has
been separated from its mother before the time, like a kitten which,
though not yet grown up, is deprived of milk. As the colt of an ass
that has not yet acquired strength is driven and forced to work before
the time, thus I, evil Misfortune, am subject to you and given over
to you before the time and in my youthful years; and still I do not
know in what manner and wherefore and by whose orders. Alas, alas, O
Misfortune! were it but possible that you, instead of Lot's wife, could
be changed into that statue of salt, then at last your end would be
certain. For it is you, O Misfortune, evil and shameful, and yet again
evil Misfortune, who hast made of me more than a widower, more than an
orphan, more than a man in whom all hope is dead. Every widower, when
he is deprived of her who comforts him and loses her--knowing that it
cannot be otherwise, and that his wife cannot return to him--gets over
it, and so to speak forgets her, if not for ever, yet occasionally.
But how should I forget my dearest, my most excellent and most beloved
serving-maid? for she is yet alive, she is yet in good health, she is
full of strength; she is as the pastime for another, not for me. And
yet greater therefore is my bitterness, my sorrow, my anguish."

A short extract from one of Misfortune's replies to the Weaver will
be sufficient. I shall here quote from Mr. Wratislaw's translation:
"How much more fortunate then dost thou desire to be that I may
honour thee more than the Emperor Julius or the King Alexander, or
the excellent, truly excellent Emperor Charles, at this time king of
Bohemia? who, powerful as they were, could not at times escape my power
and my contrariety. Prithee, imagine how many of my misadventures
have happened to those only whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast
heard in thine own days, whether of higher or lower rank; and neither
thou nor any one else will be able to express in writing or words how
many times this has happened to them.... If thou wilt, as thou canst,
recollect thine own adversities only in thine own mind, how many of
them hast thou also had from me? For it would have been more proper to
cry out against me about them, or to argue with me about that which
once threatened thy life, thy property, thy honour, and all the good
that thou hadst, and it would have been convenient to speak of that
rather than of that damsel of thine. Therefore, Weaver, hold thy peace,
speak no more with me of thy darling."

Other early Bohemian prose-writings are the _Tale of Alexander
the Great_, founded on the writings attributed to Callisthenes, but
probably a translation from the Latin. It has little in common with
the rhymed Bohemian _Alexandreis_. The _Chronicle of Troy_, also one
of the earliest existent works in Bohemian prose, is also probably a
translation from the Latin. The chronicle is remarkable as being the
first Bohemian work that was printed (at Pilsen in 1468). These and
other translations which require no special mention prove that the
development of the Bohemian language was proceeding rapidly at this

I shall now refer to a group of writers and thinkers who are generally
known as the precursors of Hus. This designation is still correct,
though more extensive study of the works of Hus has recently proved
it to be so to a lesser extent than was formerly supposed. It will be
mentioned, when treating of the writings of Hus, that they show very
little trace of the study of the works to which I shall now refer,
while the influence of Wycliffe, from whom Hus quotes extensively, is
constantly perceptible in his works, particularly in those written in
Latin. Some ideas common to Wycliffe and Hus can also be traced far
farther back; still many thoughts which we frequently meet with in the
writings of Hus, his indignation against the immorality and avarice
of the clergy, his endeavours to encourage the study of the Bible and
to extend the use of the national language in the religious services,
are clearly to be found in the writings of his Bohemian precursors.
Štitný, in particular, was also a precursor of Hus in that sense that
he greatly developed and perfectioned the Bohemian language, endowing
it with a phraseology such as was necessary for the proper rendering of
difficult theological and philosophical definitions.

By employing his native language for subjects which had hitherto only
been dealt with in Latin, Štitný set an example that was afterwards
followed by Hus.

The great prosperity which the wise rule of Charles IV. had assured
to his country had produced a great change in the hitherto simple
fashion of living of the Bohemians, and of the citizens of Prague
in particular. A more sumptuous mode of life now prevailed, and the
contemporary writers are eloquent in their references to the luxurious
fashion of dress, the extreme devotion to the pleasures of the table,
and the general immorality of the citizens of Prague. The clergy, with
a few honourable exceptions, gave by no means a good example to the
laymen. Simony, and immorality--according to the Catholic creed a far
greater offence on the part of a priest than of a layman--were almost
general, both among the monks and the members of the secular clergy.

This deplorable condition of his beloved Bohemia did not escape the
notice of Charles IV., whom his countrymen in his lifetime already
described as "Otec Vlastí" (=Pater Patriæ). Hoping to improve the moral
condition of the country by calling in foreign priests, Charles in
1358 invited the Austrian monk Conrad Waldhauser to Bohemia. Conrad, a
native of Upper Austria, had lately attracted great attention by the
eloquent sermons he had preached at Vienna. A German by nationality,
Conrad was ignorant of the Bohemian language, but though he was thus
unable to make himself understood by the mass of the people, the
impression produced by his sermons was none the less very great. The
educated citizens of Prague were then, as now, almost as familiar
with the German as with their own language. Graphic accounts of his
eloquent denunciations of the corruption and luxuriousness of his age
have been preserved; they sometimes read like a modern account of a
revival meeting. The Teyn Church, where Conrad preached, soon became
too limited for his audience; people assembled in squares and public
places to listen to his sermons. The ladies of Prague discarded their
jewellery and sumptuous clothing, while many men publicly confessed
their sins. Though Conrad's preaching was in the strictest conformity
with the teaching of the Church of Rome, he yet incurred the hostility
of the monks, particularly the Dominicans and the Augustines. The
protection of Charles, however, ensured his safety, and Conrad's death,
in 1369, put a stop to the controversy which his sermons had caused.
Waldhauser has left a considerable number of Latin works; of these, the
_Postilla Studentium Sanctæ Universitatis Pragensis super evangelia
dominica_ and the _Apologia_, which contains his defence against the
attacks of the monks, are the most important.

Among those on whom the preaching of Conrad Waldhauser produced a
strong and permanent impression was the Moravian MILIČ of Kremsier,
who, after Conrad's death, became his successor as rector of the
Teyn Church at Prague. We find a considerable amount of information
concerning Milič in his biography, contained in the _Miscellanea_ of
the learned Jesuit Balbinus. This biography, which dates from the
second half of the seventeenth century, written, if not by Balbinus
himself, by a member of his order, is noticeable for its conscientious
impartiality. It is the foundation of all the more recent notices of
Milič. The date of the birth of Milič is unknown; we only learn that
he was of humble origin, and was probably born in the town of Kremsier
in Moravia. He took orders early in life, probably in the year 1350.
From the year 1360 downward he seems to have held an important official
position in the chancery of Charles IV.; somewhat earlier he had
already become archdeacon and canon of the cathedral of St. Vitus at

The ever-increasing reaction against the corruption of the times, which
had already found expression in Waldhauser's sermons, caused Milič in
1363 to renounce all these dignities. In spite of the remonstrances
of his Archbishop, Ernest of Pardubic, he decided to devote himself
entirely to the preaching of the word of God. He first preached for a
short time in the small town of Bischof-Teinitz, and then in several
churches at Prague. The sermons of Milič vigorously inveigh against the
immorality and corruption of the times, and do not spare the secular
clergy and the monks. As Milič preached in Bohemian, his teaching
was accessible to the great mass of the people, whom Conrad's German
sermons had not reached.

The constant contemplation of the evils of his time, of poverty and
vice as he saw them in the streets of Prague on the rare occasions
when he left his studies for a few moments, produced a remarkable,
though not at that period exceptional, effect on the imaginative mind
of Milič. It seemed to him that all the preliminary symptoms described
in the Revelation of St. John had already occurred. He therefore came
to the conclusion that Antichrist was about to appear--he is said to
have fixed on the years 1365 to 1367 as the date of his arrival--and
sometimes even that he had already come. In a sermon preached before
Charles IV., Milič openly denounced that sovereign as the "greatest
Antichrist." Though he was imprisoned in consequence of this sermon,
Milič remained but a short time in prison. The magnanimous prince
condoned the offence against his person in consideration of the great
benefits which Milič had conferred on Bohemia, both by his eloquent
preaching and by the example of his own spotless and ascetic life. In
1367 Milič proceeded on a journey to Rome, where Pope Urban V. was then
expected from Avignon; he wished to inform the Pope of his conviction
of the impending end of the world and arrival of Antichrist. Milič
arrived in Rome before the Pope, and, as he himself tells us in his
_Libellus de Antichristo_, he caused a placard to be published on the
doors of St. Peter's Church announcing that he would shortly preach
a sermon declaring that Antichrist had come. Milič was immediately
arrested in consequence of this act, and imprisoned in a monastery
of the Minorite Friars. The errors in doctrine which he was accused
of were probably a mere pretext for proceeding against a man whose
eloquent sermons against the avarice and immorality of the clergy had
rendered him obnoxious to many monks. As the biographer of Milič tells
us, "The friars of the mendicant orders were greatly incensed against
him (Milič) because of his sermons on the admission of simoniacs to
religious orders, and on the possession of worldly goods by clerical
persons, both men and women. He was therefore thrown into heavy bonds,
together with Theodoric the hermit, a priest of saintly memory, who had
accompanied him."

Eventually Milič and his companion were released by order of Pope
Urban, who had meanwhile arrived in Rome. They returned to Prague
towards the end of the year 1368, and were received with great
enthusiasm by the people. The citizens of Prague rejoiced all the more
on the return of their beloved preacher because during his absence
they had often heard the mendicant friars announce from the pulpit,
"Beloved brethren, very soon Milič will be burnt!" After his return to
his native land, Milič, who in 1369 succeeded Waldhauser as rector of
the Teyn Church at Prague, continued to devote his life to preaching
and to good works. He devoted much energy to rescue work, and reclaimed
a very great number of fallen women, for whom, aided by gifts from
pious citizens of Prague, he founded a refuge, to which the name of
Jerusalem was given. The ascetic and saintly life of Milič did not,
however, disarm his constant enemies, the mendicant friars. In 1374
a new accusation against him, consisting of twelve "articles", was
brought forward, and Milič travelled to Avignon to defend himself
before the Papal See. Evidence as to the result of the trial is very
uncertain, but on the whole it appears that the views of Milič were
favourably received at Avignon; but the time was now near when he would
be beyond the reach of all earthly jurisdiction. Milič died at Avignon,
probably in June 1374.

Of the literary works of Milič we unfortunately possess very scanty
remains. It is certain that copies of his Bohemian sermons were
circulated for a considerable time after his death, but all trace of
them has disappeared long since. If we consider the great eloquence
which all contemporary writers attribute to Milič, this cannot be
sufficiently regretted. The Bohemian book entitled _Of the Great
Torments of the Holy Church_, which has often been attributed to Milič,
is really a work of Magister John of Přibram. Of the numerous Latin
writings of Milič, only a few, of which the _Libellus de Antichristo_
and the _Postilla_ are the most important, have been preserved. The
biographer of Milič has stated very frankly the reason why so many
of his works are lost. He writes: "Milič wrote much, and because he,
perhaps too audaciously, attacked the vices of the clergy, and those of
the mendicant friars in particular, the Hussites (as it is the custom
of heretics) praised him as if he had been a friend of their sect, and
used his statements as arguments for their own doctrines. Therefore
Archbishop Zbynek of Hasenburg caused the writings of Milič to be
publicly burnt on a pile, together with those of other heretics."

It is certainly principally through the example of Milič that the
better known THOMAS OF ŠTITNÝ received the first impulse towards
writing his now celebrated works. Štitný, indeed, himself writes: "Had
it not been for the priest Milič, perhaps all these books which I have
written would not have existed."

Thomas of Štitný was born in 1330 or 1331 at Štitný, a small castle or
"tower," to use the Bohemian designation, in Southern Bohemia, which
appears to have been in the possession of his family for some time.
At a very early age, probably shortly after its foundation in 1348,
Štitný visited the University of Prague, where he remained for some
years devoting his time to the study of theology and philosophy. He did
not, however, seek academic honours, and thus incurred the enmity of
the "magisters" of the University, who considered him as an intruder on
their domain. Their indignation was increased by the circumstance that
Štitný wrote in Bohemian at a time when Latin only was considered to be
the fitting language for those who treated the subjects on which Štitný

His theological and philosophical studies did not, however, so
completely engross the interest of Štitný that he did not listen
attentively to the sermons of the famous preachers whose eloquence was
then attracting the attention of the citizens and students of Prague.
He indeed tells us, in the preface to his book _Of General Christian
Matters_, that this (his first original) work contained "what he heard
at sermons and from learned men, as well as what he had conceived in
his own mind." In his _Discourses for Sundays and Feast-days_, Štitný
refers more precisely to the sermons which he had heard at Prague.
Alluding to the attacks which had been made against his own works, he
writes: "Thus within my own recollection the devil incited many against
Conrad, that noble preacher of God's truth, because he showed up the
craftiness of a false priesthood, and because he taught God's truth.
Thus also have they acted towards the good Milič, and evil people still
speak evil of him, but (they speak) injustice."

At a time which cannot be exactly ascertained, but which was probably
somewhat later than the generally accepted date, 1360, Štitný left
Prague and returned to his home. After the death of his parents he
administered the little family estate, and continued living there for
some time with his three sisters. He married about this date, but in
1370 was already a widower. He had several children, for whose benefit
he first began writing, though the later editions of his works are
evidently written for a wider circle of readers. Štitný outlived all
his children except his favourite daughter Anne (Anežka), who was his
faithful companion during the last years of his life. In 1381 Štitný
returned to Prague, and now devoted his time entirely to his studies.
After his death, in the year 1401, his daughter Anežka occupied part of
a house next to the Bethlehem Chapel, where Hus was to begin preaching
in the following year. It is known that several pious ladies lived in
community in a house near Hus's chapel, and a letter addressed to them
by him has been preserved. If, as is probable, Anežka of Štitný was
one of these pious ladies, the fact forms an interesting link between
Thomas and his greater successor.

Štitný did not begin writing early in life. His earliest works,
translations from St. Augustine, St. Bonaventura, and other writers,
date from about the year 1370. His first original work, the books _Of
General Christian Matters_, one of the two on which his reputation
as a Bohemian writer mainly depends, appeared in 1376. It is, however,
certain that he had in 1374 already published several smaller tracts or
pamphlets that were incorporated with his larger work. The books _Of_
_General Christian Matters_ are therefore rather a collection of minor
writings, some of which had already appeared, than a work written from
the first on a settled plan and with a continuous range of thought.
It was a peculiarity of Štitný that he constantly re-wrote his books,
changing their contents very considerably. Of his first book we possess
four different MSS., differing considerably. The last, published under
the new name of the _Books of Christian Instruction_, appeared only
in 1400, a year before the author's death. In 1852 Erben edited and
published the books _Of General Christian Matters_, following the
readings of the best MSS. His work includes a biography of Štitný,
which, though recent research has proved that it contains a few minor
errors, is still of the greatest value.

The books _Of General Christian Matters_ possess in Erben's edition two
prefaces: the first is addressed to Štitný's children, the second to
the larger circle of readers for whom the later editions of his works
were intended. In the first preface Štitný gives us a general account
of the contents of his work, informing us that it will consist of six

The first, "Of faith and of hope and of love."

The second, "Of virgins and of widows and of married people."

The third, "Of the master of a family, of the mistress, and of the

The fourth, "How the nine orders of people bear the similitude of the
nine choirs of angels."

The fifth, "How the devil tempts us."

The sixth, "How we purify ourselves from our sins."

In his second preface Štitný defends his resolution to use the Bohemian
language in his writings. "Those who blame Bohemian books," he writes,
"perhaps wishing alone to appear learned, will do well to fear God's
vengeance, and to remember how guilty those are who would stop letters
and needful messages contained therein; thus preventing the Lord God,
the Eternal Bridegroom, from instructing His bride in His will, and
comforting her in her distress." Štitný's views on this subject will
remind English readers of those of his contemporary Wycliffe. The
second preface also contains a passage showing the great importance
which Štitný attached to the reading of the Scriptures; Štitný's
teaching, as indeed that of all the Bohemian reformers, differs greatly
from that of the Church of Rome on this important point. He writes:
"This also mark carefully, beloved brethren, that the Holy Scriptures
are, as it were, letters sent to us from our home; for our home is
heaven, and our friends are the patriarchs and prophets, apostles and
martyrs, and our fellow-citizens are the angels with whom we ought to
be, and our King is Christ."

The first and last books of Štitný's work are of a purely theological
character, differing thus from Books II. and III., which contain much
shrewd advice of a more worldly character, though always founded on a
distinctly theological basis. Štitný had not, when writing this book,
reached the height of scholastic learning which he afterwards attained
in his _Besedni Reči_. The beginning of the first chapter of the books
_Of General Christian Matters_ is a good specimen of Štitný's earlier
manner of writing on theological subjects. He writes: "Scripture tells
us, 'Without faith it is impossible to please God', just as it is
impossible to build a house without a foundation. Therefore, he who
would have a firm house must first put up a firm foundation. And if we
would have fruit, it must first originate from the root. And although
the root in itself is not beautiful, yet all the beauty of stem and
fruit originate from it. Thus, if there were no faith, all things would
be useless for our salvation; without faith, indeed, other good things
could not exist. For faith is the foundation and root of everything
that is good, though its beauty is not in itself so evident, yet could
there be neither hope nor love without faith. And how can I hope for
anything if I do not first believe that it exists. Therefore it is
necessary that whoever wishes to be saved should hold the common faith
of Christianity."

The second book _Of General Christian Matters_, as already mentioned,
differs considerably from the first. Štitný begins by telling us that
"after having finished the first book, which deals with the three
general matters that are necessary to all, of whatever condition they
may be, and without which no one can be saved, I have written for you
this second book. It deals with purity, and how it should be preserved
by those who wish to dwell with God in His kingdom, in whichever of
the three conditions[25] they may belong. For that heavenly city, the
godly, holy, New Jerusalem is thus ruled, and is so very pure that,
since the beginning of ages, nothing impure has entered it, as indeed
the holy St. John had declared in the Book of Secret Revelation."

Štitný's book, _Of Virgins, of Widows, and of Married People_, is
written from a highly moral and wise point of view, but he deals
with his subject in a somewhat outspoken manner, and caution is
often necessary when quoting from it. It is interesting to find in
the writings of a moralist of the fourteenth century views as to the
relative position of the sexes similar to some that have quite recently
given rise to considerable controversy. In the chapter entitled, "What
those who wish to get married should beware of," Štitný writes: "To
those maidens who seek a husband, and to bachelors also, will I give
this advice, that every young man should preserve himself for his bride
free from all impurity as completely as she does so for him; for it is
God's law that no man should outside of the bonds of matrimony commit
any offence with any woman. For as a young man would be displeased
should the maiden whom he wishes to marry quit the state of virginity,
in the same manner he also should preserve his innocence. A man indeed
is stronger than a woman, and as it is shameful for a virgin to leave
her state except through matrimony, thus before God it is no lighter
sin for a man. And thus it is beseeming for both man and woman to
preserve themselves pure till the time of their marriage, and to
prepare themselves for it by penitence, for marriage is a sacrament."

Very quaint is the part of the second book which deals with inequality
between married people. Štitný writes: "It is necessary that those who
wish to marry should all seek their equals, so that inequality may not
cause discord and displeasure. If you are young, beware of old people,
and one of noble birth should seek his equal, for often evil is caused
by that discord (which arises) when those who are very unequal marry.
If an old man marries some one younger, he ever fears that the younger
one may not love him, and being therefore anxious about this, he does
not feel complete love for his partner, for where there is suspicion
there cannot be complete love. Also the humours of the young do not
please the old, nor those of the old the young. Some one indeed said,
and he spoke the truth, 'When I was young the old people did not please
me, and now that I am old, the young people do not please me.' And
even if an old man does not displease a young wife, and even if she is
good, yet will she not be free from the lies of evil people. They will
indeed give her evil advice, saying, with mischievous intent, 'What an
old husband you have!...' And then evil people will in the fields sing
songs about them, the devil instigating them to do so, for he wishes to
corrupt a good woman, to bring before her mind what she had not thought
of, so that she may be seized by longing. And it will be precisely
the same thing with a young man who has an old wife. Jesting with
them, people will say to him, 'There is your beauty! why, it is your
mother!'" In this book Štitný constantly praises the state of celibacy,
strictly in accordance with the doctrine of the Church of Rome.

The third book, which, as already stated, treats "of the master of
a family, the mistress, and the household," contains much wise and
homely advice, and incidentally throws considerable light on the family
life of a Bohemian country gentleman in the fourteenth century. The
position of the head of the family is thus defined: "Every landowner is
the master of his servants, and should restrain them from everything
that is evil: he should first attempt to do this by kindness; if he
cannot at once put a stop to evil habits, he should endeavour to do
so gradually, but in no case allow any new evil habit to spring up.
If kindness does not succeed with them (the servants), then show your
right to rule (over them). Remember always that that priest Eli in the
Old Testament was indeed good himself, but his sons did evil. He, it
is true, said to them, 'You do evil,' but he did not manfully punish
them for their misdeeds. He thus incurred God's wrath, and was given
as an example to all fathers and heads of families who do not heed
what the members of their households do. But a master of a household
must beware of sudden, useless anger. If he cannot entirely get rid of
anger, let him at least be softened, and he should be cruel neither to
his servants nor to his wife, remembering that God is your only Lord
and theirs also. On this, too, should every one reflect, that it is
improbable that any one be without faults; and it often happens that
when you will not pass by a single fault, perhaps not a serious one,
you either spoil (the servant) yet more, or you are obliged later to
overlook more, serious faults in another (servant whom you take in the
place of the former one). Thus the tilter must in tournaments overlook
some faults in his charger, if but he is on the whole serviceable."

Štitný's work, like those of all moralists of all periods, contains
many reflections on the vanity of the female sex. He writes: "St. John
Chrysostom tells us that if a man has a dissipated wife, he should not
forbid her everything at a time, lest she become refractory, but from
those things that are, as it were, most serious, from those let him
first try to dissuade her. If she paints herself, then remark before
her what a shameful thing it is to grease yourself in a nasty manner,
or to cram the hair of others on your head; (also remark to her), often
one thus acquires shame while wishing to receive honours. If wise men
remark these things on her, they will take her for a mad woman, and
other women, who perhaps have some grudge against her, will, even
though they praise her, betray her and make fun of her, and often her
own servants will be obliged to hide themselves from shame of this
(their mistress's appearance). In fact, while wishing to appear young,
she becomes aged in consequence of this painting."

The leading idea of the fourth book _Of General Christian Matters_
is one which we meet with very often in Štitný's works, but which he
has perhaps developed here more clearly than elsewhere. It is the
mystic idea of the analogy which, according to Štitný, exists between
the different conditions of men and the various choirs of angels. He
writes: "It is my duty--as indeed I promised in the preface to these
books--to explain in this my fourth book in what manner the conditions
of men in this world are similar to the various choirs of the angels;
but let no man attack me, as if I had said that such or such people
of this or that condition will be in the same choir, as angels of any
particular class. It will be well for them if they obtain heaven;
but whether a man of this or that condition will be in this choir or
that, that is a matter which I cannot judge. Yet in this world certain
conditions of men are more similar to particular choirs of angels than
others. And indeed it often happens that some common little peasant[26]
or small tradesman has greater love for God than some monk. Yet both
will be with God, but I do not know in which choir each of them will
be." Štitný then proceeds to address admonitions to the divers classes
of men. The first class mentioned are the priests and monks, whom he
compares to the cherubims. The somewhat lengthy discourse about the
monks is very interesting, and I shall quote a portion of it in Mr.
Wratislaw's translation. Štitný writes: "And thus they have fallen away
in love; they have not the peace of God in their minds; they do not
rejoice with God in devotion, but quarrel, hate each other, condemn
each other, priding themselves against each other; for love has sunk
low in them on account of avarice, because they have forsaken God
for money, breaking His holy laws and the oath of their own promise.
And besides this (which is the most dreadful wickedness), they are
irritated, they are annoyed at every good preacher or every good man
who understands their error; they would gladly make him out a heretic
that they may have greater freedom for their cunning."

The fifth and sixth books _Of General Christian Matters_ again
deal, like the first one, with purely theological subjects. It will
be unnecessary to deal with them in detail, as Štitný's later work
gives us a clearer insight into his theological views. It is easily
noticeable that Štitný's studies gradually become more profound, and
there is a marked difference between the simple and homely manner in
which the books _Of General Christian Matters_ are written and the
more learned and more brilliant style of the _Reči Besedni_.

The _Reči Besedni_, which we may translate into English by "Learned
Entertainments," also known as _Rozmluvy nábožné_, "Religious
Conversations," is the second great work of Štitný, and according to
most Bohemian critics his masterpiece. A considerable number of MSS.
containing the "Religious Conversations," both separately and together
with the other works of Štitný, have been preserved, and we have two
versions that differ considerably, the author having rewritten his work
as he did the books _Of General Christian Matters_ also. Extracts
from the book were printed some years ago, but it was only in 1897 that
Professor Hattala published a complete edition of the _Reči Besedni_.
The work is, like all the writings of Štitný, mainly a theological
treatise, but philosophy, then of course the handmaiden of theology,
has a considerable share in this book. The study of Aristotle and of
numerous scholastic writers is very evident, but, speaking generally,
Štitný must be classed among the realists in distinction from the
nominalists. He has, however, incorporated with his book such numerous
quotations, or rather extracts, from other writers, that his system
appears somewhat eclectic.

The general purpose of the book is an attempt to define the
personality of God and His attributes according to the system of
mediæval scholasticism. Faith (Víra) here, as in all Štitný's works,
is assumed as existent, and only incidentally is an attempt made to
reconcile religion with science. The science of course is that of the
fourteenth century, which scarcely knew the words with

    "_Greek endings each the little passing bell_
    _That signifies some faith's about to die._"

Štitný's book, treating of abstract matters such as had never before
been dealt with in Bohemian, is yet written in a clear, lucid,
and forcible manner, and it is perhaps doubtful whether any other
modern language had at that period arrived at a sufficient degree
of development to produce a similar work on subjects which mediæval
custom reserved to the Latin language. In this respect Štitný was a
true precursor of Hus, and Palacký has rightly said that a nation which
produced and understood such a writer as Štitný could not henceforth
be called rude and uncultivated. The portion of this work which has
principally attracted the attention of Bohemian scholars is that
dealing with Krása (beauty), or rather, as Štitný words it, "the wisdom
of God, as it is shown to us in the beauty and splendour of creation."
It is impossible to quote detached passages from this treatise, as it
may be called, which is contained in chapters ix. to xii. of Štitný's
book, nor are these chapters perhaps specially characteristic of the
general purpose of Štitný's work. Some of the ideas expressed in these
chapters are considerably in advance of the times, and his theories
sometimes recall the views of modern German writers on æsthetics.

The _Reči Besedni_, in Professor Hattala's edition, contains two
prefaces. The first, by an unknown writer, gives a few interesting
details concerning the author of the _Reči Besedni_; it tells us "that
during the reign of Wenceslas of Bohemia, the fourth of that name,
there lived a renowned knight, Thomas of Štitný, a good man of letters,
honourable in his times and irreproachable in his noble life up to his
death. Leading a pious and peaceful life, he composed these books in
the Bohemian language.... Possessing a sharp intellect, he produced
beautiful, enchanting works, in which he used the writings of the Old
and of the New Testament, and of the holy fathers."

The second preface, by Štitný himself, explains his reason for writing
his work in the form of a dialogue between father and son. "Thinking
then and remembering," he tells us, "how pleasant it was to me in my
youth to listen to my father or mother when they talked on Christian
matters, and how it was through them that I acquired some knowledge of
Scripture, I devised these books, (written) as if children questioned
their father and he answered them."

A quotation from the first chapter of the _Religious Conversations_
will be interesting as showing the manner in which Štitný opens up
the discussion of his difficult subject. The chapter entitled, "How
the children now begin to question their father as to what God is
and how He can be known to us," begins with the following question:
"Dear father,[27] we would be glad to ask you, and to understand,
what God is?" The father answers thus: "O children, you have asked
a short, but far-reaching and very sublime question. Our intellect
cannot err in believing that God exists. All creation proclaims that
God is (its) creator; for no thing has made itself. Therefore all
men, heathens, Jews, Christians, heretics, and philosophers, hold
(= consider) something as (being) God. But what God is, that the
mind of men does not fathom! Therefore it can be said that God is
the ineffable Supreme Being, than whom nothing better, nothing more
blissful, nothing more majestic can be imagined, nor indeed anything
as good, as blissful, as majestic. For herein He (God) rises above all
comprehension, above all minds of men and angels; He is always more
excellent than any one can express or imagine. Thus will you ascertain
what God is not, but you cannot attain to the knowledge of what He
is. For whatever may be the highest majesty a man can imagine, yet He
(God) is above this. If a man attains to as high a heart as he can, yet
God will be raised above that. Thus many heathen errors and heresies
arose, because men having in their minds imagined God in this or that
fashion, they then said, 'This is God.' This indeed is true sense, to
know our folly and ignorance, (wherefore) it is impossible for us to
gaze on the brightness of solemn divinity, and, as it were, on the
spiritual splendour of inward light, in which resides God, to whom we
cannot accede. Rather let us in meekness, holding the strong and true
Christian faith, merit that we may once contemplate our God, through
our Lord Christ, when in that eternal kingdom of His our eyes shall
be entirely and truly cleared. Let not sin so entirely blind us that
we--God forbid it!--for some reason or other forget God, not loving
Him in true faith above everything else. For the Scripture sayeth,
'If you do not believe, you will not understand.' Therefore, children,
it beseems you to think and speak of so sublime a subject with awe and
dread and discretion, and to listen with attentive ears and a pious
heart, with love and not from frowardness."

Chapter xxii. of the _Reči Besedni_ strongly brings out the acumen and
lucidity with which Štitný elaborated his often difficult theological
definitions. The comparisons by which he endeavours to render clearer
the dogma of the Trinity are very striking. The chapter begins as usual
with a question: "How then did it happen that only the Son of God
accepted human nature in the unity of His person?" The father answers:
"The Father or the Holy Ghost could have done so, as well as the Son.
But the Lord God wished thus to accomplish this; thus in the council
of all the persons of the glorious Godhead, the Holy Trinity, was it
decreed--That the wisdom of the Son of God should, as was fitting,
overcome the cunning of the devil; that the devil should truly lose his
dominion over men when the Divine Wisdom was led to death in the human
personality of one who was not obliged to die; and that the same person
who in the Holy Trinity is eternally the Son should become the Son of

"And that you may in a manner understand this also, how the Son of God
Himself in His own personality received the human nature, and not the
Father nor the Holy Ghost--though the whole Trinity is one God, and at
the same time each person is a complete divinity--let us consider the
similar case of the sun. Not that it is the same with it as with the
Creator, but I say there is a resemblance.

"The sun has also its Trinity--that is, the body of the sun, the light
which proceeds from it, and also the heat of the sun; but when the sun
comes to us it gives us its light and its heat. But the light alone
takes (on itself) that colour of the glass or the membrane or the cloud
through which it appears to us; but the sun itself and the heat will
not have this colour.

"Oh, wondrous power! oh, unfathomable wisdom! oh, most delightful
goodness, how charming it is to gaze on you that have deigned to open
our eyes! And does it not beseem us to admire this: how in Christ in
this Unity are gathered together--and how properly and how usefully
for us--three things in their nature most dissimilar, as it appears
to our minds. But what is impossible to God? Oh, there is something
new, greater, and eternal joined together in this Unity. The spirit is
new; that was created when the Son of God accepted to become a man.
The body is greater than it was when long ago it was created for Adam;
for from that body the bodies of all men proceeded, and afterwards the
body of Christ, which He took from the pure virginal blood of her whom
He chose for Himself as a mother. The Word of God, then, the Son of
God the Father, that is eternal. And all this met in the one person of
our Lord Christ. And in this strange act of the entire Holy Trinity
the threefold power of God was shown. Firstly, because out of nothing
He created something. Secondly, because He made something new out of
something greater. Thirdly, because out of something mortal He made
something eternal, or, as I should rather say, because out of something
dead He made something eternal."

Štitný's two works--his books _Of General Christian Matters_ and
his _Religious Conversations_--give us all that is really valuable
in his teaching, and the other works are comparatively of slight
interest. Štitný's literary activity was, however, very great during
his whole life. It has already been mentioned that he re-wrote the
books _Of General Christian Matters_ four times, and the _Religious
Conversations_ twice. A third work of considerable size, not yet
printed, appeared in 1392, entitled _Speeches for Sundays and
Fast-days_; and to his death Štitný continued to publish smaller
writings, partly original, partly translated from other writers. In
the last years of his life the mysticism, almost always latent in the
mind of a Bohemian, obtained preponderating influence on the views of
Štitný. His latest work is a translation of the visions of St. Bridget,
a Swedish saint belonging to the early part of the thirteenth century.
As a recent Bohemian critic has justly remarked, the visions of St.
Bridget exercised on Štitný's mind, in his last years, an influence
similar to that of the "prophetess," Christina Ponatovská, on Komenský.

Waldhauser, Milič, Štitný, and many minor writers on theology, who do
not require special notice, energetically attacked the avarice and
immorality of the clergy, and loudly demanded Church reform. Yet they
were careful to avoid all attacks on the dogmas of the Roman Church,
and, indeed, looked to the Pope, as the head of that Church, as to the
person who would initiate Church reform. Different from these views
were those of MATTHEW OF JANOV, the last of the precursors of Hus whom
I shall mention. Matthew obviously writes under the strong impression
produced by the great schism in the Western Church, which began in
1378, four years after the death of Milič. Štitný, indeed, lived on for
many years later, but age appears to have weakened his energy and his
enthusiasm, and he has indeed, in the last editions of his writings,
considerably attenuated many remarks contained in the earlier ones.

Great, on the other hand, was the influence of the schism on the
writings of Matthew of Janov. The idea of his master, Milič, that the
Pope should himself become the originator of Church reform, appeared
an absurdity at a moment when two rival pontiffs were preparing to
organise, by the sale of indulgences, so-called "crusades" against
their opponents, whom they already attacked with the ecclesiastic arm
of excommunication and the foulest personal abuse. The only remedy
that appeared possible to Matthew of Janov--undoubtedly one of the
profoundest thinkers of his age--was a reform of the Church in which
the individual churchman was to take the initiative, and such a reform,
he thought, could only consist in a return to the ways of the primitive
Church, as described to us in the Scriptures.

Matthew's life was lived and lives for us in his books. Very few
words will suffice to tell all that is known of the circumstances of
his outer life. The year of his birth is uncertain, but we know that
his father was Wenceslas of Janov, a poor Bohemian knight, and that
when very young he proceeded to Prague to pursue his studies at the
university there. He here fell under the spell of the eloquence of
Milič of Kremsier, for whom he expresses unlimited admiration, and whom
in one of his writings he describes as "the son and semblance of our
Lord Jesus Christ, possessing a distinct and visible resemblance to His
apostles." Matthew left Prague some time before the death of Milič, and
pursued his studies at Paris for six years, obtaining there the degree
of "Magister". He thence became known as "Magister Parisiensis," by
which name he is generally described by contemporary writers. After
spending some time at Rome and Nüremberg he returned to Prague, and in
1381 became a canon of the Cathedral of St. Vitus on the Hradčany at

In distinction from both Waldhauser and Milič, Matthew obtained no
special reputation as a preacher, but principally devoted his time to
the composition of theological works. Some of these works attracted
the attention of his superiors, and were condemned in 1388 by a Synod
of the Archdiocese of Prague. Matthew was obliged to sign a document,
which has been preserved to us by Palacký, in which he withdrew a
considerable number of opinions contained in his works. In this
recantation Matthew withdraws his former statements concerning images
of Christ and the saints, which, indeed, he promises henceforth to
"adore and venerate." He further affirms "that the saints in heaven,
and their bodies and bones, and also other sanctified things, such
as the garments of Christ, of the blessed Virgin, and of the saints,
ought to be venerated here on earth." In the last paragraph of the
recantation Matthew admits that people, specially laymen, should not
be advised to receive communion daily. It is curious that Matthew's
far-reaching theories concerning the return to primitive Christianity
are not even alluded to in this recantation. As the chronology of the
works of Janov--of which no single complete MS. has been preserved--is
very uncertain, it is impossible to decide whether he had not then
expressed these views, or whether it was thought advisable to leave
them unnoticed.

Matthew's sentence, no doubt in consequence of his recantation, was a
very mild one; he was suspended from exercising his functions as a
priest, except in his own parish church, during half a year. Janov died
in the prime of his life in 1393, and retained his canonry up to that

There is sufficient proof that Matthew of Janov was a very voluminous
writer, but his works have reached us in a very incomplete state,
and they were entirely unknown before the present century. It is not
difficult to account for the almost complete oblivion into which
these important works had fallen. Though the teaching of Matthew was
on many points similar to that of the Hussites, yet no reverence for
his person and his memory was felt by them. They could not refrain
from contrasting his recantation with the very different behaviour
of Hus under similar circumstances. If some of his works have been
preserved through the agency of the party that favoured Church reform,
this was because such writings were attributed to Wycliffe or Hus.
The adherents of the Church of Rome were, of course, anxious that,
after his recantation, the former heretic theories of Matthew should,
as far as possible, be buried in oblivion. They, not without reason,
regarded some of the opinions of Matthew as most dangerous for their
Church. The celebrated Protestant divine Neander, who perhaps has
studied the works of Janov with more care than any one else, declares
that a thorough study of Janov's works proves that, independently
of Wycliffe, there existed in Bohemia at the end of the fourteenth
century a strong reaction against the Roman hierarchy, founded on
principles somewhat similar to those of the later German reformers. In
his _Kirchengeschichte_, also, Neander has expressed the opinion that
the views of Hus not only did not go farther than those of Matthew
of Janov, but that they indeed remained somewhat behind those of the
earlier divine.

It is certain that some of Janov's writings were in Bohemian, as a
decree of the archiepiscopal vicariat (dating from the year 1392) has
been preserved in which Matthew was ordered to submit for inspection
two Bohemian books which he had just written. All trace of both
these books has long been lost. There is, however, no doubt that the
majority of Janov's books were written in Latin. Those that have been
preserved consist of a large number of religious pamphlets, written at
different periods. Towards the end of his life Matthew collected these
writings and published them in a large book entitled _Regulæ Veteris
et Novi Testamenti_. The work is divided into three books consisting
of chapters, some of which retain the designation under which they had
formerly appeared as separate pamphlets. No complete MS. of the _Regulæ
Veteris et Novi Testamenti_ is in existence, but it would be quite
possible to reconstruct the work from the different MSS. and publish
it; there seems, however, to be at present little probability that any
one will undertake this task.

No work of Matthew of Janov has up to now been printed except the
pamphlet _De abominatione in loco sacro_, which forms the last
chapter of the third book of the _Regulæ_. This treatise was formerly
attributed both to Wycliffe and to Hus, and it is printed in the
large edition of the works of the latter writer that was published
at Nüremberg in the sixteenth century. Palacký has conjectured that
several smaller pamphlets included in this large edition of the works
of Hus really belong to Matthew of Janov. It is indeed only recently
that Palacký, Dr. Lechler, and Mr. Wratislaw have attracted attention
to the work of Janov, and have quoted extensively from the MS. copies.
I shall attempt to give some idea of his most characteristic theories
by quoting a few short passages from his works. Matthew's special
love and veneration for the Bible appears very clearly in a passage
contained in the introduction to the _Regulæ_. "I have in these my
writings," he tells us, "principally used the Bible, and but little
the sayings of the learned doctors; both because the Bible occurs to
me promptly and copiously, whatever matter I may be considering or
writing on, also because through it and through its divine truths,
which are clear and manifest in themselves, all opinions are more
solidly confirmed, more stably founded, and meditated on more usefully;
then also because it is the Bible that I have loved since my youth, and
called my friend and bride--truly the mother of beauteous affection and
knowledge and fear and holy hope.... And here I confess that the Bible
has never been severed from me, from youth to age, and even to decline,
neither on the road nor in my house, nor when I was busy, nor when I
enjoyed leisure."

A short quotation referring to the schism, which then attracted the
entire interest of all lands belonging to the Western Church, clearly
shows Matthew's views on this subject. He writes: "This schism has
not arisen because they loved Jesus Christ and His Church, but rather
because they (_i.e._ the priests) loved themselves and this world."
Of the reform of the Church Matthew writes: "It therefore appears to
me that it is necessary, for the purpose of re-establishing peace
and union in the Christian community, to eradicate all weeds, to
condense the Word of God on earth again, and bring back Jesus Christ's
Church to its original, salutary, and condensed condition, retaining
but few regulations, and those only that date from the time of the
Apostles." Later on, writing on the same subject, Matthew says: "All
the (above-mentioned) works of men, ceremonies and traditions shall be
totally destroyed and will cease, while our Lord Jesus shall alone be
exalted, and His Word alone shall remain in all eternity; and the time
is near when these things shall be abolished."


[20] The Vyšehrad hill, now part of the city of Prague, was the site of
one of the oldest Bohemian monasteries.

[21] See Chapter I.

[22] See Chapter VII.

[23] I have always thus translated the Bohemian word _topička_ referred
to above.

[24] The Bohemian words are _veleš_ and _zmek_ names of heathen
Bohemian divinities, which, after the acceptation of Christianity,
acquired the signification of evil spirits.

[25] _i.e._ virgins, widows, and married people. See p. 66.

[26] _Sedláček_, the diminutive of _sedlák_ = peasant. The diminutive
is used very frequently in Bohemian.

[27] Literally "little father," _tatiku_. The frequent diminutives of
the Bohemian language are very difficult to render in English.



The life and death of Hus and the principal events of his career form
perhaps the one incident in the annals of Bohemia that is familiar
to most English readers. I therefore give but a summary account of
the career of the great Bohemian, for here, as everywhere, the need
of compression confronts me. I feel the more justified in omitting
many interesting incidents, as English literature in the late Mr.
Wratislaw's _John Hus_ possesses a short but trustworthy biography of
Hus founded on lately-discovered documents. The work is superior to
any other on the same subject. Even in Bohemian literature no equally
trustworthy biography of Hus has as yet appeared.[28] The sympathies of
Mr. Wratislaw are indeed very evident, but he has never attempted to
slur over or to attenuate the arguments of the adversaries of Hus.

The study of the life and of the writings of Hus has until recently
been greatly neglected in Bohemia, and even now no complete modern
edition of his works exists. A recent editor of a selection from Hus's
letters scarcely exaggerates when he writes: "Two wrongs have been
committed on Magister John Hus--one was committed when at Constance
long ago his life was violently brought to an end; the other consists
in the neglect with which his works are treated at present by the
national (_i.e._ Bohemian) public."

John of Husinec, or JOHN HUS as he is usually called, was, according
to ancient tradition, born on 6th July 1369; neither day nor year of
his birth are, however, absolutely certain.[29] Many tales told of the
early days of Hus are taken from the records of the Bohemian brethren,
written many years after his death. From the year 1400 onward authentic
accounts of the events of the life of the Bohemian reformer exist, and
from the year 1409 to the time of his death we have a continuous and
detailed record of his life.

At a very early age Hus proceeded to Prague to pursue at the university
there the studies required for the purpose of entering the Church.
With his usual candour and simplicity Hus himself tells us that he
originally decided to adopt the ecclesiastical career rather for the
purpose of gaining a living than through any special vocation. It
is, however, certain that during his years of study he already led a
pious and studious life. He has indeed confessed[30] that before he
was ordained "he had been fond of playing chess, thus wasting time
and causing irritation" (to his partners). Such a confession, written
while he was preparing for his fatal journey to Constance, proves
indeed how little he had to confess, and is a touching instance both
of his extremely sensitive conscience and of the profound humility so
characteristic of Hus.

In September 1393 Hus took the degree of bachelor of arts, in the
following year that of bachelor in divinity, and in 1396 that of master
of arts. His reputation for great learning seems to have spread very
rapidly at the university, for in 1401 we already find him dean of the
Faculty of Arts, and in the following year he became, for the first
time and at an unusually early age, rector of the university of Prague.
He seems soon to have attracted attention by his great learning, and by
the acumen which he displayed in the learned disputations that formed
so large a part of the routine of mediæval universities. His learning
was at that period noticed rather than any special religious fervour.
His lectures, as Dr. Lechler has conjectured, were probably founded on
Wycliffe's philosophical works, which became known to the Bohemians
earlier than the theological works of the English divine.

A change appears to have come over the mind of Hus about the beginning
of the fifteenth century. He has himself told us that after his
ordination as a priest (probably in 1400) he led a yet simpler and more
ascetic life. The principal cause of the enthusiasm, both religious and
national, that henceforth distinguishes Hus was, however, undoubtedly
his appointment in 1402 as rector and preacher at the Bethlehem Chapel
in Prague. The foundation of the Bethlehem Chapel, which took place
in 1391, and was the work of Križ, a tradesman of Prague, and John
of Milheim, one of the courtiers of King Wenceslas, is an important
manifestation of the desire to reform the Roman Church and to enlarge
the sphere of the native language, which was then gaining ground in
Bohemia. In their deed of endowment the founders stated that their
object was the encouragement of the preaching of biblical doctrines in
the Bohemian language. No special provision for the reading of masses
was made, and no doubt many Bohemians, after hearing mass in other
churches where German sermons were still preached, then proceeded to
the Bethlehem Chapel. The stress laid on the preaching of the Gospel,
one of the points to which the partisans of Church reform attached
great importance, proves that the founders, or at least Milheim,
sympathised with this movement. The increased use of the Bohemian
language for preaching and its general development greatly irritated
the Germans in Bohemia, who believed their preponderant position in the
town and University of Prague to be menaced. The Germans in Bohemia
were therefore thoroughgoing partisans of the Church of Rome, rather
from antagonism to their fellow-citizens of Slav nationality than from
any sympathy for the abuses then prevailing in the Roman Church. This
division by nationalities, according to which the Bohemians favoured
Church reform, while the Germans defended the authority of Rome,
continued during the whole period of the Hussite wars, and indeed far
later. It was only with the appearance of Luther that this distinction
entirely ceased.

The sermons of Hus at the Bethlehem Chapel immediately attracted
general attention. His great eloquence is evident in the few sermons of
Hus that have been preserved, as well as in the fragments of them which
he undoubtedly afterwards introduced into his _Postilla_. He seems to
have preached on a wide range of subjects, and by no means to have
eschewed the topics of the day. In one of Hus's earliest sermons[31]
he refers to the invasion of Bohemia by the troops of the Margrave
of Meissen, the ally of Rupert, Elector-Palatine, whom the enemies of
King Wenceslas had elected King of the Romans. It is easy to imagine
the strong impression which Hus's fiery words produced on his Bohemian
audience, which, though thoroughly aware of the many faults of King
Wenceslas, yet supported him against his German rival. "The Bohemians,"
Hus said, "are more wretched than dogs or snakes, for a dog defends the
couch on which he lies, and if another dog tries to drive him away, he
fights with him; and a snake does the same. But us the Germans oppress,
seizing all the offices of state while we are silent. Bohemians in the
kingdom of Bohemia, according to all laws, indeed also according to the
law of God, and according to the natural order of things, should be
foremost in all the offices of the Bohemian kingdom; thus the French
are so in the French kingdom, and the Germans in the German lands.
Therefore should a Bohemian rule his own subordinates, and a German
German (subordinates). But of what use would it be that a Bohemian,
not knowing German, should become a priest or a bishop in Germany?
He certainly would be as useful as a dumb dog who cannot bark is to
a herd! And equally useless to us Bohemians is a German; and knowing
that this is against God's law and the regulations, I declare it to be
illegal!" Though the date of this sermon is certain, and its immediate
motive consisted no doubt in the cruelties that German troops were
then committing in Bohemia, yet it is evident that Hus already had in
view the preponderating influence which the Germans exercised in the
university and city of Prague.

It is noteworthy that Hus was during the early days of his priesthood
on good terms with his ecclesiastical superiors at Prague. This
continued to be the case even after discussions on the teaching of
Wycliffe had in 1403 begun to disturb the peace of the university. At
a meeting of the magisters which took place in May of that year, and
over which Walter Harasser, then rector of the university, presided,
the twenty-four articles from Wycliffe's writings which the London
Synod had already declared either heretical or erroneous, were laid
before the assembly by John Kbel and Wenceslas of Bechin, canons of the
chapter of Prague, the archiepiscopal seat then being vacant. Besides
these twenty-four articles, the representatives of the archbishopric
brought twenty-one other articles to the notice of the magisters, which
a German member of the university, one John Hübner, had selected from
Wycliffe's writings, and submitted to the ecclesiastical authorities.
The articles of Hübner, as Hus truthfully declared, contained various
statements that cannot be found in Wycliffe's works. "After these
articles had been read out, and Magister Walter Harasser, the rector,
had carefully noted down the votes of each and all the magisters
present as representatives of the university of Prague, it was decided
by a majority of the votes of the members of the university that no
one should dogmatise, preach, or assert, publicly or privately, the
articles which had been presented to the lord rector by John, official
of the archbishopric, and Wenceslas, the archdeacon, under penalty
of violating his oath."[32] A renewed discussion on the teaching of
Wycliffe took place somewhat later; this time, however, the matter was
only brought before the Bohemian "nation", one of the four sections
into which the university of Prague was then divided. The condemnation
of the articles taken from Wycliffe's works was renewed with a
restriction--suggested by Hus--which stated that no master or scholar
of the Bohemian "nation" should defend these articles in their false,
erroneous, or heretical sense.

Shortly after the first deliberation on Wycliffe's articles, Zbyněk
Zajic of Hasenburg was elected Archbishop of Prague. A member of one of
the most ancient Bohemian families, Zbyněk had--though long ordained a
priest and for some time provost of the town of Mélnik--devoted himself
mainly to political and military matters, as was then so frequently the
case with ecclesiastics of high descent. Though his ignorance has been
exaggerated, he certainly possessed no profound knowledge of theology.
He brought, however, to his new office a strong feeling of indignation
against the immorality and dishonesty of the clergy of his archdiocese,
and had, at least at first, a firm determination to remedy these evils
by establishing a system of severer discipline among his subordinates.
It is a striking proof of the great respect in which Hus was then held,
both because of his pure and honourable life and because of his great
learning, that the Archbishop's attention was immediately directed
to him. "At the commencement of his rule," the Archbishop, as Hus
afterwards recalled to his memory, "ordered him, whenever he noticed
any irregularity contrary to the rules of the Church, to bring such
irregularity to his (the Archbishop's) knowledge, either in person, or,
in case of absence, by means of a letter."[33] The Archbishop gave a
further proof of his confidence in Hus when he appointed him one of
the preachers before the synod of the diocese. These assemblies were
held by Archbishop Zbyněk more frequently than by his predecessors; he
no doubt thought that they would contribute to the reformation of his
clergy, which he had so much at heart. Of the sermons preached before
the synod by Hus, only few have been preserved, but they are sufficient
to prove how mercilessly he censured the immorality, avarice, and
haughtiness of the Bohemian clergy. These accusations, which were
unfortunately but too well founded, caused many to become enemies of
Hus, those in particular to whom Hus's words were specially applicable.

The amicable relations that at first existed between Hus and his
Archbishop did not continue long. In 1408 the clergy of the city of
Prague and of the archdiocese forwarded to the Archbishop a written
statement complaining of Hus's preaching in the Bethlehem chapel. In
this document--printed by Palacký--it was stated that Hus had, "in
opposition to the decisions of the Holy Church and to the opinions of
the holy fathers, and to the injury, shame, detriment, and scandal
of the whole clergy and the people generally," declared heretics all
those priests who received remuneration for the administration of the
sacraments or for other ecclesiastical functions, whether such payment
took place before or after the ceremony. Hus was further accused of
having spoken strongly against the ecclesiastics who held numerous
benefices. Hus indeed wrote an eloquent defence of his preaching, and
certainly succeeded in proving that Archbishop Ernest of Prague had,
when issuing an enactment against the avarice of the clergy in 1364,
used language almost identical with his own. Hus was none the less
deprived of his office of preacher before the synod.

It is important to note that this denunciation of Hus in no way accused
him of having preached anything contrary to the dogmas of the Roman
Catholic Church; up to the year 1409, indeed, no such charge was ever
brought forward against him. For the present, the priests of the
diocese only stated that Hus had shown extreme and imprudent zeal in
his endeavours to reform the clergy; such endeavours necessarily met
with the approbation of the worthier priests; the others could not, at
any rate, openly oppose them.

Relations with the Archbishop were yet further embittered by a letter
which Hus addressed to him in July 1408 in defence of Nicholas (or
Abraham) Velenovic, a priest who had been accused of preaching
Wycliffe's doctrine with regard to communion. As a Protestant divine,
Dr. Lechler has truly remarked, this letter reaches the extreme limit
of what is permissible to a priest when writing to his ecclesiastical
superiors. At the end of his letter Hus addresses the Archbishop in
these words: "Therefore, most reverend father, open your eyes inwardly
and within, love the good, observe those who are evil, do not let the
ostentatious and avaricious flatter you; rather let the humble and
the friends of poverty find favour with you; oblige the indolent to
work; do not hinder those who work steadfastly at the harvest of the
Lord."[34] It was inevitable that the form, if not the contents, of
this letter should cause offence. It is indeed a characteristic of Hus,
that while always speaking of himself with extreme humility and almost
exaggerating his petty failings, he yet uses authoritative, not to say
provocatory, language when he considers himself as defining "God's law."

The definitive rupture between Hus and the Roman Catholic Church, "the
principal beginning of accusations and grievances against me," as Hus
himself wrote, was brought on by events which had vast importance for
the whole Christian world. The schism in the Western Church still
continued, in spite of many efforts to effect a reconciliation between
the two rival groups of cardinals and their respective leaders. France
therefore decided no longer to recognise as legitimate either of the
two claimants to the papal throne, Benedict XIII. and Gregory XII.,
and to remain neutral up to the time that a general meeting of the
cardinals of both parties should have chosen a new pontiff. Bohemia
was one of the countries that had hitherto recognised the "Roman
Pope," Gregory XII., but King Wenceslas, no doubt honestly wishing to
re-establish the unity of the Church, decided to follow the example of
the King of France. He therefore brought the matter before Archbishop
Zbyněk, and also consulted the university of Prague. The Archbishop
immediately answered that he would never forsake the allegiance of Pope
Gregory. At the university opinions differed. The Bohemian "nation",
of which Hus was now the recognised leader, was strongly in favour
of the king's proposition. The Bavarian and Saxon "nations", as well
as the Polish one--which then consisted principally of Germans from
Silesia--took the opposite view. At a general meeting held under the
presidency of Henry of Baltenhagen, a German who was then rector, it
was decided that the university should continue to recognise Gregory
XII. as the legitimate Pope. Hus energetically defended the proposal
that the university should declare to remain neutral up to the time
that a new and legitimate Pope should have been chosen, and he thus
incurred the particular enmity of the Archbishop. At the end of the
year 1408 a decree was placarded in Bohemian and Latin on the doors of
the churches of Prague, stating that Hus, "as a disobedient son of the
holy mother, the Church," was forbidden to exercise any ecclesiastical
functions. Hus addressed an eloquent letter to the Archbishop defending
his conduct, but it made no impression on the mind of that ecclesiastic.

An important indirect result of the decision of the university was that
a fundamental change in its organisation now took place. After the
vote by which it had been decided to ignore the king's wishes, and to
refuse to accept neutrality in the struggle between the two Popes, both
parties at the university sent deputations to Kutna Hora (Kuttenberg),
where Wenceslas and his court were then residing. The representatives
of the Bohemian party, who were headed by Hus, no doubt hoped for a
favourable reception, as they alone had maintained the views of the
king with regard to the papal schism. They were, however, mistaken. The
king received them very ungraciously, and even accused Hus and other
Bohemian magisters of being the cause that Bohemia had acquired the
evil reputation of being a heretical country. On the other hand, the
king was most gracious to the German magisters, who had probably come
to apologise for their opposition to the royal will, and he assured
them that he would maintain all their privileges.

A complete change in the views of the ever-vacillating king took place
in the following month. At that moment Nicholas of Lobkovic, a man of
learning, and, it is said, a friend of Hus, had obtained considerable
influence over Wenceslas. As "supreme notary", or director of the
Bohemian mines, Lobkovic resided at Kutna Hora, then an important
mining centre, and he was thus thrown into constant contact with
the king at this time. Under his influence, Wenceslas, in January
1409, published the "Decrees of Kutna Hora", which entirely changed
the constitution of the university of Prague. As has already been
mentioned, the university was divided into four nations, three of
which--perhaps contrary to the intentions of Charles IV., the founder
of the university--always voted together, and were jointly known as the
German nation. The Bohemians were thus in their own country permanently
in a minority. A complete change was effected by the decrees of Kutna
Hora. The king stated that, "whereas the German nation, possessing
no rights of citizenship in the kingdom of Bohemia, has hitherto
held three votes" (at the university), "while the Bohemian nation,
the lawful heiress of that kingdom, possessed and enjoyed but one,
we consider it unjust and most improper that foreigners should enjoy
in abundance the profits" (_i.e._ benefices, foundations, &c.) "of
the natives, who consider themselves aggrieved by this deprivation,
and we declare that the Bohemian nation shall, ... according to the
regulations existing in favour of the French at the university of
Paris, and according to similar rules which exist in Lombardy and
Italy, possess in future three votes at all councils, judgments,
examinations, and other acts and dispositions of the university."[35]
Four days later a decree of the king forbade all persons in Bohemia,
both ecclesiastics and laymen, to continue their allegiance to Pope

All resistance to the king's will now ceased at the university. In
the year of the publication of the decrees of Kutna Hora, all German
professors and students, that is to say, all those members of the
university who supported Pope Gregory, and were opposed to Church
reform, left Prague. The university now became a stronghold of that
party which was favourable to Church reform, as well as to the national
aspirations of the Bohemian people. It was but natural that the
reconstituted university should choose John Hus, the leader in the
struggle, as its rector, though he had already held that office a few
years before.

The position of Hus was now more assured and more prominent than at
any previous period. His popularity with the Bohemian people, who
attributed to him the change in the regulations of the university
so favourable to their nationality, was greater than ever, and they
flocked to his sermons in the Bethlehem chapel in even greater
numbers than before. King Wenceslas was grateful to Hus for his aid
in obtaining the neutrality of the university during the schism in
the Church, and his consort, Queen Sophia, made no secret of her
veneration for the great preacher whose sermons at Bethlehem she
often attended. Archbishop Zbyněk, indeed, continued inimical to Hus,
but circumstances rendered it for the moment difficult for him to
harm the preacher at Bethlehem. The Council of Pisa had deposed both
claimants to the papal throne, and had elected a new pontiff, who took
the name of Alexander V., and who was recognised by the greatest part
of Europe. The two previously elected Popes did not renounce their
claims, and still found followers. The Archbishop of Prague, who still
recognised Gregory, was therefore naturally without influence on Pope
Alexander. It was thus for the moment fruitless that the Archbishop
appointed an "inquisitor" who was to inquire into the complaints raised
against Hus and his followers, and specially into the right of Hus
to continue preaching at the Bethlehem chapel. Hus entirely ignored
these proceedings, and some of his followers even brought before Pope
Alexander a complaint against the conduct of the Archbishop, stating
that he had raised false accusations against them. The matter went so
far that Zbyněk was summoned to appear before the new pontiff.

On September 2, 1409, Archbishop Zbyněk--inconsistently, as Hus
maintained--renounced the allegiance of Pope Gregory, and recognised
Alexander as the legitimate pontiff. The reconciliation between the
generally recognised Pope and the Archbishop of Prague had a marked
influence on the destiny of Hus. The united strength of the Roman
Church is now directed against him, and matters proceed much more
rapidly. As early as December 20, 1409, a decree of Pope Alexander
stated that, "through the action of the enemy of the human race,
recently in the city of Prague, the kingdom of Bohemia, the marquisate
of Moravia, and other provinces, the false opinions--savouring of
heresy and division of the Church--once brought forward by the
condemned heresiarch, John Wycliffe, have been fully circulated,
particularly with regard to the sacrament of the altar."[36] The letter
continues to declare that in future no sermons shall be preached except
in "cathedrals, collegiate churches, parish churches, and churches
belonging to monasteries." This was directly aimed at Hus, whose
Bethlehem chapel fell under none of the categories mentioned above.
The letter or decree ended by instructing the Archbishop to appoint
four doctors of theology and two doctors of canon law, under whose
advice he was to proceed against those who spread the heretical tenets
referred to. The Archbishop was to oblige all such persons to recant
their erroneous opinions, and to deliver up for destruction all MSS. of
the works of Wycliffe which they might possess. Should they refuse to
do this the Archbishop was not only to deprive them of all benefices
that might be in their hands, but he was also to invoke the aid of the
"secular arm" against them.

The papal decree, for reasons that are not known, only reached Prague
in March of the following year, and was made public on the 18th of that
month. Hus appealed to Pope Alexander, and again somewhat later to
his successor, John XXIII., but both appeals remained without result.
While awaiting the papal decision, Hus had, in company with some of his
adherents, delivered up about two hundred volumes containing writings
of Wycliffe; they declared that if it were proved that these writings
contained matter contrary to the doctrine of the Church, they were
prepared publicly to recant such errors.

Archbishop Zbyněk had, meanwhile, after consulting the doctors of
theology and canon law, issued a decree forbidding all preaching
except in the places specified by the papal command; at the same time
he ordered that all the copies of Wycliffe's works that had been
made over to the ecclesiastical authorities should be immediately
burnt. It is probable that the decision of the Archbishop, which he
published at a meeting of the synod of the archdiocese on June 16, was
known before that day. On the same day, the 16th of June, the members
of the university already protested against the intended burning of
Wycliffe's works. They maintained that sufficient time had not elapsed
since the writings of Wycliffe had been delivered over, and that it
was impossible that a thorough examination of the theological tenets
contained in them should already have taken place. They also stated
that many of these writings had no connection with questions of dogma,
but dealt with logic, philosophy, natural history, and similar matters.
However, neither Hus's appeal to the Pope nor the declaration of the
university, nor the appeal to King Wenceslas, in which that learned
body begged that the burning of the books be at least deferred, was
of any avail. On July 16 two hundred books containing writings of
Wycliffe, some--as the contemporary chronicler tells us--beautifully
bound, were solemnly burnt in the courtyard of the archiepiscopal
palace, in the presence of the Archbishop, the members of the chapter,
and many other priests. This measure was followed two days later by the
solemn sentence of excommunication pronounced by the Archbishop against
Hus and his adherents.

The burning of Wycliffe's works met with almost general disapproval
in Prague. A chronicler, writing probably shortly after these events,
tells us: "Instantly a great sedition and discord began. Some said that
many other books besides those of Wycliffe had been burnt; therefore
the people began to riot; the courtiers of the king were incensed
against the canons and priests; many opprobrious songs against the
Archbishop were sung in the streets."[37]

The rioting in Prague became so serious, that Wenceslas, who had
been absent, returned hastily to his capital, and while ordering
that the owners of the books of Wycliffe that had been burnt should
be compensated, he forbade, under penalty of death, the singing of
opprobrious songs, which had been one of the causes of the riots.
Hus and his adherents were still confident that the Pope would, in
consequence of their appeal, cancel the decree of the Archbishop. In
the meantime they determined to defend publicly the orthodoxy of some
of Wycliffe's works which the Archbishop had condemned. In the then
usual manner a meeting of the university was convoked, before which
Hus, on July 28, defended the orthodoxy of Wycliffe's treatise, _De_
_increata, benedicta et venerabili Trinitate_. On the following days
some of his adherents, before the same forum, defended other works
of Wycliffe.[38] Hus also continued, in spite of the Archbishop's
prohibition, to preach at the Bethlehem chapel, and his services were
more crowded than ever. When Hus read to his audience a letter he had
received from Richard Wyche,[39] an English adherent of Wycliffe, and
in the name of the Church of Christ in Bohemia saluted the Church of
Christ in England, more than ten thousand people are stated to have
been present at the sermon.

The papal see had meanwhile entirely identified itself with Archbishop
Zbyněk. Without entering into details regarding the character of John
XXIII.--it cannot be condemned more severely than was afterwards done
by the Council of Constance--it is not surprising that the declared
enemy of simony and of the corruption of the clergy found little
sympathy with him. Cardinal Colonna, whom Pope John had authorised to
give judgment on the Bohemian affairs, rejected the appeal of Hus and
his followers to the papal court. That court at the same time expressed
its entire approval of the conduct of the Archbishop, and enjoined
on him to take immediate proceedings against Hus with the aid of the
"secular arm". At the same time sentence of excommunication was passed
on Hus, and the city of Prague was declared to be under interdict.

Though such attempts were obviously hopeless, endeavours were still
made to mitigate the irritation of the papal court against Hus. King
Wenceslas and his consort, as well as several of the most prominent
Bohemian nobles, addressed strong remonstrances to Pope John and the
Roman court, complaining of what they considered his exaggerated
severity against Hus. Queen Sophia's letters were couched in very
energetic language. She wrote: "An order contrary to Scripture,
agitating the people and disturbing the order of our kingdom, has been
published on the suggestion of those who are opposed to the preaching
of the gospel. In consequence of this the preaching of the gospel has,
except in monasteries and parish churches, been prohibited by the
Archbishop of Prague, even in chapels that have been sanctioned by the
apostolic see, under penalty of excommunication. Your Holiness well
knows that the preaching of the Word of God should not be confined
to certain places, but that, on the contrary, it should be allowed
in hamlets, streets, houses--in fact everywhere according to the
requirements of the people." The queen proceeds to request the Pope to
withdraw his prohibition, and ends by stating: "We will not endure that
the preaching of the Word of the Lord in our castles and cities should
suffer such hindrance."[40] This interesting letter was undoubtedly
written specially in the interest of the Bethlehem chapel, at which the
queen was one of the most assiduous worshippers. These letters remained
without result, and negotiations which took place on the initiative
of King Wenceslas were also fruitless, though the Archbishop in the
last months of his life seems to have been himself in favour of a
compromise. A court of arbitration, composed principally of Bohemian
nobles, met by wish of the king, but the desired reconciliation between
Hus and the Archbishop was soon found to be impossible.

Archbishop Zbyněk died in September 1411, and was in the following
month succeeded by Albert of Uničov, a Moravian who had formerly been
court physician to King Wenceslas. Uničov is described to us as a man
of conciliatory character, and this appears all the more probable from
the fact that he was in great favour with King Wenceslas. The king had
always wished that the Bohemians should settle their differences among
themselves, and as far as possible without foreign intervention. This
had indeed been the basis on which the recent negotiations had been

But neither the Archbishop nor any one else could at this moment have
arrested the march of events that were rapidly approaching a crisis. A
comparatively unimportant event dispelled the last hopes of those who
still hoped for an agreement.

King Ladislas of Naples still recognised Gregory XII. as Pope, and had
therefore incurred the bitter enmity of Pope John XXIII. The latter
decided on undertaking a crusade against the King of Naples, and
caused a decree to be read in all churches promising all those who
should contribute to the expenses of the intended expedition the same
remission of sins that had been formerly granted to those who fought
against the infidels in Palestine.

In May 1412, Wenceslas Tiem, Dean of Passau, arrived at Prague, and
immediately began to collect money for the intended crusade. This
caused great irritation among the population of Prague, then almost
entirely favourable to Hus and his doctrines. Hus and his followers had
already previously frequently denounced the system of indulgences, and
they now renewed their attacks with increased vigour. A very stormy
meeting of the members of the university took place on June 7, though
the theological faculty had forbidden all bachelors of theology to
attack the papal decree. Hus in an eloquent speech sharply attacked
the practice of granting indulgences in the manner then usual at
Rome. Of the contents of this speech we can form a certain judgment
from a pamphlet on the same subject which Hus published about this
time and which has been preserved. He emphatically maintained that
priests had the right of remitting sins to those only who showed signs
of repentance and penitence, but not merely on receipt of a sum of
money. Hus's teaching was here very similar to that of Wycliffe, and
his opposition to the crusade against the King of Naples recalls that
of Wycliffe against the Flemish crusade of Henry Spencer, Bishop of

Meanwhile the Theological Faculty of Prague again condemned as
heretical the forty-five articles drawn from Wycliffe's works, now
adding six more which were attributed to Hus; it was stated that
they had been extracted from his speech against indulgences (on June
7) and from his pamphlet on the same subject. About the same time a
considerable portion of the clergy of Prague forwarded to Pope John a
written complaint against Hus. The author was a German, one Michael
of Deutschbrod, also known as Michael de Causis, one of the most
steadfast opponents of Hus and of Church reform. In this document Hus
was accused of railing (_oblatrare_) against the clergy and against the
papal indulgences, and also of having "by means of his writings spread
his pestilential opinions through various districts of the kingdom
of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and the marquisate of Moravia."[41] The
consequence of these denunciations was a papal decree pronouncing the
"aggravation" of the excommunication of Hus which had already been
proclaimed by Cardinal Colonna in the previous year. Several of the
former adherents of Hus, such as Stanislas of Znaym and Stephen Paleč,
now abandoned his cause, and the latter afterwards became one of his
most dangerous opponents at the Council of Constance.

The greatest part of the population of Prague, however, continued to be
devoted to Hus, and the continued preaching in favour of indulgences
caused disturbances in the city, particularly after three young men who
had interrupted these sermons had been decapitated. Further rioting
seemed certain, and it was probably the fear that his person might
be made a pretext for disorders that induced Hus willingly to accept
King Wenceslas' suggestion that he should leave Prague for a short
time. The king promised, during his absence, to endeavour to reconcile
him with the ecclesiastical authorities. After publishing an "Appeal
from the sentence of the Roman pontiff to the supreme judge Jesus
Christ,"[42] Hus left Prague at the end of the year 1412. He first
retired to Kozi Hrádek, a castle belonging to one of his adherents,
John of Austi, situated near the spot where the town of Tabor was soon
to arise. Afterwards Hus spent some time at the castle of Krakovec,
which belonged to Lord Henry of Lažan, one of the courtiers of King
Wenceslas, and a zealous adherent of Hus. In contradiction to the papal
prohibition, Hus continued to preach, and large crowds assembled to
listen to his sermons, which he often preached in the fields. He also
remained in constant communication with his congregation at Prague,
to whom he paid two short visits during his exile. He addressed to
them several letters, which, next to those written while in prison
at Constance, are the most valuable of all the letters of Hus that
have been preserved. He did not limit his literary activity to these
letters. Some of his most important works indeed now appeared in rapid
succession. His most important Latin work, the treatise _De Ecclesia_,
the principal cause of his condemnation at Constance, was written about
this time. Of his Bohemian works the _Výklad_ (Expositions) had been
finished in November 1412, before he left Prague; but other important
Bohemian works, such as the one entitled _The Daughter_ (_Dcerka_),
_or of the Knowledge of True Salvation_, and the treatise on "the
traffic in holy things" (_Svatokupectoi_) date from this period of

Wenceslas had meanwhile attempted to redeem his promise to Hus. On
the king's suggestion, a diocesan synod met at Prague in 1413, which
attempted to re-establish unity among the Bohemian clergy. On this
attempt failing, Wenceslas appointed a committee consisting of four
ecclesiastics, who were to hear the views both of Hus's representatives
and of his opponents. This attempt also failed, as was indeed
inevitable, in consequence of the total divergence of the opinions of
the disputants. Two of the opponents of Hus, Paleč and Stanislas of
Znaym, even refused to appear before the committee after its second
meeting, and were therefore banished from Bohemia by the indignant
king, who still entertained the hope of restoring religious unity in
his country.

It was, however, before a far larger forum that the case between the
enemies and the partisans of Church reform was now to be brought. In
consequence of the intolerable condition of the Western Church, which,
since the Council of Pisa, possessed three rival pontiffs, the demand
was raised on all sides that a General Council be summoned for the
purpose of ending the schism. The influence of Sigismund, king of the
Romans and king of Hungary, brother of Wenceslas of Bohemia, finally
induced the reluctant Pope, John XXIII., to consent to the meeting of
the Council; and it was decided that its members should assemble at
Constance on November 1, 1414. The assembly was, as already mentioned,
convoked for the purpose of ending the schism, but the fact that the
discord in the Church of Bohemia had now become widely known in Europe
naturally drew the attention of the Council also to the views of Hus
and his adherents. King Sigismund suggested that Hus should attend the
Council, and there develop his views, and at the same time vindicate
the orthodoxy of the Bohemian nation, on which he as well as his
brother Wenceslas laid great stress. Before Hus set out on his journey,
King Sigismund offered him a letter of safe-conduct, which allowed
him, according to the words of Professor Tomek, "to come unmolested to
Constance, there have free audience, and return unharmed, should he not
submit to the authority of the Council." It is not necessary to discuss
here the various opinions as to the exact meaning of the letter of
safe-conduct; the statement of Dr. Tomek, the greatest living authority
with regard to Hus, may be considered as decisive. That the letter was
not merely a guarantee that Hus should reach Constance in safety, is
proved by the fact that he only received it after he had arrived there;
still less can the remarks of Hus himself, who in his letters before
leaving Bohemia expressed forebodings of coming doom, he used as an
argument to prove that the letter of safe-conduct had little value. Hus
was well aware that no official injunctions could ensure him against
possible violence on the part of such fanatical enemies as Michael de
Causis; nor could the possibility that the thesis "that no faith should
be kept with heretics," might be used against him escape the sagacity
of Hus.

Such apprehensions did not induce Hus to waver even for an instant in
his decision to attend the Council; he felt assured that, whatever
might subsequently be his fate, he would be allowed freely to expound
his views before the assembled Council. After having addressed a
letter of farewell to his pupil Martin, and another--one of the most
precious that has been preserved--to his Bohemian friends, Hus, on
October 11, 1414, started from the castle of Krakovec directly for
Constance. In his company were the Bohemian noblemen Wenceslas of Duba,
John of Chlum, and Henry of Lacenbok, who were instructed to assure
his safety during his journey. Among Hus's companions also was Peter
of Mladenovič, private secretary to Lord John of Chlum, who left a
valuable record of Hus's last journey, his trial and death. Hus and his
companions arrived at Constance on November 3, and he at first occupied
lodgings in the house of a widow named Fida; the house, situated in the
street now known as the Husgasse, near the Schnetzthor, is still shown
to travellers. Hus confined himself to his room to avoid publicity, and
also to prepare the speech he intended to deliver before the Council.

He was not, however, allowed to remain at liberty long. On the 28th of
November he was arrested by order of Pope John XXIII., and at first
confined for a few days under strict guard in the house of a canon
of Constance. Thence he was conducted to a monastery of Dominican
friars situated on an island in the Rhine, and confined in a dark and
gloomy dungeon in immediate vicinity to a sewer. He remained here
from December 6 to March 24, 1415. Endeavours were made to justify
the arrestation of Hus by the totally unfounded assertion that he had
attempted to escape from Constance in disguise. Even the writers most
hostile to Hus now admit that there was no truth in this rumour.

As might have been expected from the nature of his prison, Hus
became seriously ill, and was for some time in danger of his life.
His Bohemian friends had meanwhile protested energetically against
his imprisonment, but their attempts to rescue him from his dungeon
remained without result. It was hoped that Sigismund, who arrived at
Constance on Christmas Day (1414), would interfere in favour of Hus,
but though he at first expressed some indignation, this led to no
consequences. From the beginning of January of the following year,
Sigismund granted the Council full liberty of decision with regard to
Hus's fate. It is, indeed, more than probable that during the last
months of Hus's trial the king was in favour of his execution, hoping
that this event would intimidate the Bohemians.

The Pope had meanwhile appointed a committee, consisting of three
bishops, for the purpose of undertaking a preliminary examination of
the teaching of Hus. The commissioners examined numerous witnesses,
all of whom were ordered to take their oaths in the presence of Hus.
Thus, on one of the days when his illness was at its worst, fifteen
witnesses were consecutively introduced into his prison. Hus demanded
that a legal adviser should be allowed him, but this was refused him
on the plea that it was illegal that any one should afford aid to a
heretic. It may be noted that the condemnation of Hus had been decided
on long before his three days' trial in June 1415, perhaps even, as
some writers have conjectured, as early as in the previous November,
when he was arrested. As soon as Hus had somewhat recovered, the act of
accusation--mainly the work of Paleč and Michael de Causis--was brought
to his knowledge. The accusation, consisting of forty-two articles,
was principally founded on statements contained in the Latin treatise
_De Ecclesia_; the last articles only dealt with statements extracted
from other works of Hus. According to Mladenovič, the authors of
the accusation "had chosen their quotations from the treatise (_De
Ecclesia_), falsely and unfairly abbreviating some in the beginning,
some in the middle, and some at the end, and inventing matter that was
not contained in the book." Hus immediately published his defence,
proving that he had taken many of the passages in his works that were
attacked from the writings of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Bishop
Grossetête of Lincoln, and other writers of unimpeached orthodoxy; he
also complained that the quotations from his book were incorrect.

New material for accusations against Hus had been meanwhile brought
forward. After his departure from Prague, one of his pupils (Magister
Jacobellus of Mies[43]) had defended the necessity of communion in
the two kinds, afterwards the distinctive doctrine of the Hussites.
The followers of Hus at Prague appealed to him, but he confined
himself to declaring in his letters that communion in the two kinds
was permissible. When, however, the Council of Constance had, on
June 15--after the last day of Hus's trial and a few days before his
death--entirely forbidden communion in the two kinds to laymen, Hus
went somewhat farther. He declared the prohibition of communion in
the two kinds to be in direct contradiction to the Gospel,[44] and
advised those among his friends who were uncertain with regard to the
new teaching of Jacobellus, no longer to oppose it, as unity among the
Bohemians was necessary in view of the dangers that, as Hus foresaw,
would shortly menace the country.

The Council of Constance had in March 1415 deposed Pope John XXIII.,
and the authority of the commissioners whom he had appointed to judge
Hus ceased, while the decree of imprisonment issued by the Pope also
became invalid. Sigismund, to whom the guardians of Hus applied for
orders, contented himself with handing the prisoner over to the custody
of the Bishop of Constance, by whose order he was now imprisoned in the
castle of Gottlieben, not far from Constance. He remained there from
March 24 to June 5, and was held in yet severer custody than in the
Dominican convent. His feet were fettered with chains, and at night
his hands were also fastened to the wall by a chain. All intercourse
with his friends was forbidden, and we have therefore no letters from
Hus written at Gottlieben, while he had been allowed to write when in
confinement in the Dominican monastery.

Having passed judgment on the Pope, the Council now devoted its
attention to questions of dogma. On May 5 the forty-five articles of
Wycliffe, that have been so often mentioned, were again condemned at
a plenary meeting of the Council. This may be said to have decided
the fate of Hus, for the identity of many opinions advanced in his
treatise _De Ecclesia_ with Wycliffe's views was known to all. No
agreement whatever was, indeed, possible between Hus and the members
of the Council; for while Hus maintained that he had been summoned to
the Council for the purpose of freely expounding his views, the Council
now held even more decidedly than at first that their mission as far
as Hus was concerned was limited to hearing his recantation of all the
opinions that had rightly or wrongly been attributed to him, and then
deciding what punishment he should receive.

It is probably mainly due to the energetic remonstrances of the
Bohemian nobles who were present at the Council that Hus was at least
allowed to appear before that assembly. His prison was again changed,
and he was now conducted to a Franciscan monastery at Constance, where
he spent the last weeks of his life. On June 5 he appeared for the
first time before the Council. "When Hus attempted to speak he was
interrupted, and when he was silent the cry arose, 'He has admitted his
guilt.'"[45] As Hus afterwards wrote: "They almost all screamed at me,
as did the Jews against Christ.... Many exclaimed, 'He must be burnt;'
among them I heard the voice of Michael de Causis."

This meeting of the Council did not last long. The more moderate
prelates, no doubt, realised how injurious to their own cause such
violence was. At the second and third hearing of Hus (on June 7 and
8) the proceedings of the Council had a more orderly character. The
questions with regard to the heretical opinions contained in the
treatise _De Ecclesia_ and to Hus's views on communion--on which
subject an English prelate declared his doctrine was in conformity
with that of the Church--were again thoroughly discussed. The whole
proceedings can, however, scarcely be termed a trial, and the
conviction of the Bohemian reformer was a foregone conclusion.

Four weeks, however, contrary to the expectations of Hus, passed from
the date of his last trial to the day of his execution. Repeated
attempts were made to induce him to recant, and several members of the
Council visited him in prison for this purpose. On one occasion, as Hus
writes, "Michael de Causis, poor man, accompanied the representatives
of the Council, and while I was with them, said to my guardians, 'By
the grace of God we shall soon burn this heretic, and I have spent many
florins for this purpose.' Be it known to you that in writing this I
do not desire vengeance of him; that I leave to God. Indeed, I pray
earnestly for him."

All attempts to obtain a recantation from Hus having failed, there
was now no reason for further delay. On July 6, Hus was brought for
the last time before the Council. The various accusations against
him, some founded entirely on falsehoods, were then read out to him,
and he was informed of his sentence. It was decreed that his books,
both Latin and Bohemian, should be destroyed, and Hus, as "a manifest
heretic," delivered to the secular authorities for punishment. After
the ignominious ceremonies of degradation and deconsecration had been
performed, Hus was immediately handed over to the authorities of the
free town of Constance to receive the customary punishment of heresy.
The horrible form of death applied by Nero to the early Christians,
when his Palatine gardens were lighted with live torches, had unhappily
in the Christian world been adopted as the recognised punishment of
those whose religious views differed from those held by the majority of
the community to which they belonged. Hus was therefore immediately led
forth to the stake by the soldiers of the municipality of Constance.

The execution of Hus is an event of such world-wide importance that it
is not surprising that legends concerning his last moment, founded on
no contemporary evidence, soon sprang up. Such are the words, "O sancta
simplicitas," attributed to Hus when he saw an old woman collecting
fagots for his stake, and his pretended prophecy of the advent of a
successor (Luther).

A short extract from the work of Mladenovič, which contains a minute
description of the last moments and the death of Hus, may be of
interest. Mladenovič writes: "When he (Hus) had arrived at the place of
torture, he began on bent knees, with his arms extended and his eyes
lifted to heaven, to recite psalms with great fervour, particularly
'Have mercy upon me, O God,' and 'In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.'
He repeated the verse 'Into Thine hand I commit my spirit,' and it
was noticed by those standing near that he prayed joyfully and with
a beautiful countenance. The place of torture was among gardens in a
certain field on the road which leads from Constance to the castle of
Gottlieben. Some of the laymen who were present said, 'We do not know
what he has formerly said or done, but we now see and hear that he
prays and speaks holy words.' ... Rising from his prayers by order of
the lictor (_i.e._ soldier or town official), he said with a loud and
intelligible voice, so that he could be heard by his (followers), 'Lord
Jesus Christ, I will bear patiently and humbly this horrible, shameful,
and cruel death for the sake of Thy Gospel and of the preaching of
Thy Word.'... When a rusty chain was placed round his neck, he said,
smiling to the lictors, 'Our Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, was bound
with a harder and heavier chain, and I, a poor wretch, do not fear to
be bound with this chain for His sake.'... When the lictors lighted
the pile, the magister first sang with a loud voice, 'Christ, Son of
the living God, have mercy on me,' and then again, 'Christ, Son of the
living God, have mercy on me.' When he began again, now singing, 'Who
art born from the Virgin Mary,' the wind blew the flames in his face,
and still silently praying and moving his lips and head he expired in
the Lord. The space of time when he had become silent, but still moved
before dying, was that required to recite rapidly two or at the utmost
three Paternosters."

       *       *       *       *       *

The works of Hus, both Latin and Bohemian, are very numerous, and in
recent times they have again attracted considerable notice. Still a
complete modern edition of the works of Hus has not yet appeared, and
the bibliography of the existent writings of the Bohemian reformer--for
many of his works have entirely perished--is still very deficient. A
complete edition of the existing Latin works of Hus was published in
Nüremberg in 1558, but it omits several works that Hus is known to have
written, and includes works by Matthew of Janov and others. The various
Bohemian works were also frequently printed both at Nüremberg and in
Bohemia itself up to the beginning of the seventeenth century. I shall
first mention the Latin works of Hus, but devote greater space to his
Bohemian writings. This is not only in accordance with the general plan
of this book, but also justified by the fact that the Latin writings of
Hus have less interest, and particularly less originality, than those
written in his own language. This applies even to the great treatise
_De Ecclesia_, which, however, cannot be passed over, as it had so
decisive an influence on the fate of Hus.

The earliest Latin works of Hus are in complete conformity with the
teaching of the Roman Church. Such a work is the treatise _De omni
Sanguine Christi Glorificata_, written during the time when Hus enjoyed
the favour of the Archbishop, and probably by his order. Hus had been
sent with two other priests to investigate so-called miracles which,
as was stated, had been performed by a relic containing the blood of
Christ, which was exhibited at Wilsnack, a small town on the Elbe. In
his treatise Hus asserted that it was impossible that the blood of
Jesus Christ should be materially contained in any one spot. It was, he
said, only to be found in Holy Communion.

Somewhat later--about the year 1410--the tone of Hus's writings
changes. He no longer writes as an unconditional adherent of the Church
of Rome, and the influence of Wycliffe's ideas gradually becomes
evident. Hus's writings, still mainly Latin, are numerous at this
period; they deal with then current theological controversies, and it
would be of little interest to enumerate their titles. One of these
treatises, addressed to a countryman of Wycliffe, entitled _De Libris
Hæreticorum Legendis; Replica contra Anglicum Joannem Stokes_, deals
almost entirely with Wycliffe's doctrine. John Stokes, a licentiate of
law, was a member of an English embassy which was sent to Bohemia by
King Henry IV. It was rumoured at Prague that Stokes had during his
stay there stated that Wycliffe was in England considered a heretic.
Hus immediately challenged the Englishman to a public disputation
before the university in the then customary manner. On the refusal
of Stokes to attend the meeting, Hus yet delivered his speech in
defence of Wycliffe before the university, and afterwards founded his
pamphlet principally on the contents of the speech. Many of the minor
Latin writings of Hus are indeed based on speeches delivered before
the university, and even in his larger Bohemian writings he has often
introduced large portions of his sermons.

Of Hus's Latin works, as already mentioned, the treatise _De Ecclesia_
requires particular notice. The work, written when Hus was exiled
from Prague, and probably finished in the year 1413, is to a great
extent a transcript of Wycliffe's work on the same subject, and
has therefore little literary interest. But neither the events of
the life of Hus nor the ideas expounded in his Bohemian works are
intelligible without some knowledge of the treatise _De Ecclesia_. The
Roman Catholic hierarchy, far more powerful and far less dependent
on public opinion in the fifteenth century than in the present day,
could not but see that--independently of all dogmatic differences
of opinion--the acceptation of views such as those contained in the
treatise _De Ecclesia_ must necessarily produce a fundamental change in
the organisation of the Church.

The keynote of the treatise _De Ecclesia_[46] is Hus's peculiar
doctrine with regard to predestination. He divides all men
into two classes, those who are--either conditionally or
unconditionally--predestined (_predestinati_) to eternal bliss, and
those who are "foreknown" (_presciti_) to damnation. The mass of the
_predestinati_ form the true Holy Catholic Church,[47] but the Church
as at present constituted includes the _presciti_ as well as the
_predestinati_. Of the true Church, Christ is the only Head. As man He
is "Head of the Church within it" (_caput intrinsecum_), as God He is
"its Head without it" (_caput extrinsecum_). Christ is the true Roman
Pontiff, the High Priest, and the Bishop of Souls. The Apostles did not
call themselves "Holy Father" or "Head of the Church," but servant
of God and servant of the Church. A change came with the "donation of
Constantine" (that singular fiction which played so large a part in
the theological controversies of the Middle Ages). Since that time
the Pope has considered himself as head (_capitaneus_) of the Church
and Christ's vicar upon earth. It is, however, according to Hus, not
certain that the Pope is Christ's successor in this world. He is then
only Christ's representative and the successor of St. Peter, and the
cardinals are only then the successors of the Apostles when they follow
the examples of faith, modesty, and love which the former gave. Many
Popes and cardinals have not done this, and, indeed, many saintly men
who never were Popes were truer successors of the Apostles than, for
instance, the present Pope (John XXIII.). St. Augustine did more for
the welfare of the Church than many Popes, and studied its doctrines
more profoundly than any cardinal from the first to the last. If
Pope and cardinals give their attention to worldly affairs, if they
scandalise the faithful by their ambition and avarice, then they are
successors not of Christ, not of Peter, not of the Apostles, but of
Satan, of Antichrist, of Judas Iscariot. Returning to his former point,
it is not certain, Hus continues, that the Pope is really the head of
the Church; he cannot even be sure that he is not _prescitus_; and
therefore no member of the true Church at all. St. Peter erred even
after he had been called by Christ. Pope Leo was a heretic, and Pope
Gregory was but recently condemned by the Council of Pisa. It is a
popular fallacy to imagine that a Pope is necessary to rule the Church.
We must be thankful to God that He gave us His only Son to rule over
the Church, and He would be able to direct it even if there were no
temporal Pope, or if a woman occupied the papal throne.[48] As with the
Pope and the cardinals, so with the prelates and the clergy generally.
There is a double clergy, that of Christ and that of Antichrist. The
former live according to the law of God, the latter seek only worldly
advantage. Not every priest is a saint, but every saint is a priest.
Faithful Christians are therefore great in the Church of God, but
worldly prelates are among its lowest members, and may indeed, should
they be _presciti_, not be members of the Church at all.

The Latin letters of Hus will be mentioned later in connection with
those written in Bohemian.

Of greater literary interest than the Latin works of Hus are those
written in his own language. The latter are written in a more
independent and popular manner, and it is on them that his value as
a writer depends. That Hus was a strong Bohemian patriot is, I hope,
evident even from this short sketch of his life. Almost his first
sermon referred to the oppression of his countrymen by the Germans,
and no one more energetically aided the Bohemians in their endeavours
to secure the control over the national university. Yet Hus was by
no means a national fanatic or a hater of Germans, as has been so
often stated. It is sufficient to refer to his often-quoted words:
"If I knew a foreigner of any country who loved God more and strove
for the good more than my own brother, I would love him more than
my brother. Therefore good English priests are dearer to me than
faint-hearted Bohemian ones, and a good German is dearer to me than a
bad brother."[49]

Hus, like all Bohemian patriots, entertained a warm affection for the
national language. One of his earliest writings deals with the correct
spelling of the Bohemian language, and the diacritical signs still
used in Bohemian are mainly an invention of Hus. He was also strongly
opposed to the introduction of foreign words into the language, and
refers to this subject frequently in his "Exposition of the Ten
Commandments." In that work he sharply attacks the citizens of Prague
who interspersed their Bohemian speech with numerous German words, and
compares them to the "Jews who had married wives of Ashdod, and whose
children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod."

Hus's merits as regards the development of his language are also very
great. That language had indeed already, principally by Štitný, been
raised to a level that rendered it available for the exposition of
theological and philosophical matters. But the style of Hus contrasts
favourably with that of his predecessors by its greater facility
and simplicity. This may partly be attributed to the fact that Hus,
particularly during the time of his exile from Prague, associated much
with the humbler classes of the people, who, knowing no language but
their own, naturally spoke it very purely and without interpolations
from other languages. This spoken language was adopted by Hus for his
writings. He indeed himself writes at the end of the _Postilla_, "That
he who will read (my writings) may understand my Bohemian, let him know
that I have written as I usually speak."

As already stated, the bibliography of Hus is as yet very uncertain,
and it is not easy to fix the exact dates of his works. It may,
however, be generally stated that his earliest Bohemian writings were
composed in the years from 1406 to 1410, that his most important works
in that language date from the last years of his life (1412-1415),
and that the period of his exile from Prague was that of his greatest
literary activity.

The earliest important Bohemian works of Hus are a series of
Expositions (_Výklad_) dealing consecutively of Faith, the Ten
Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer. Each Exposition is followed by a
shorter, more condensed treatise dealing with the same subject as the
longer one that precedes. Of these Expositions the first one, dealing
of Faith, has most interest. It consists of a continuous comment on
the different articles of the Apostle's creed. Hus writes: "We believe
that the twelve Apostles, immediately after Christ's ascension to
heaven, composed this creed. And as there were then twelve Apostles,
besides Paul and Barnabas, who were called after the ascension of
Jesus, thus, according to general opinion, each article was expounded
by one particular Apostle. But be it known to you, that the learned do
not agree as to what particular article each Apostle expounded." Hus
then proceeds to attribute to each Apostle the exposition and defence
of one of the articles, obviously following the method then usual at
the theological disputations at universities in which he so frequently
took part. In Chapter XVIII. the defence of the tenth article, which
refers to the Holy Catholic Church, is attributed to St. Simon. It is
interesting as containing some of the very distinctive ideas of Hus. He
writes: "Every Christian must believe in the Holy Catholic Church. The
reason is, that every Christian must love Christ, who is the husband of
that Church, and that Church is Christ's spouse.... And as no one will
honour his mother if he has no knowledge of her, therefore it is very
necessary to know the Holy Church through faith, for ignorance of the
Church causes many errors among the people. Therefore be it known to
you that the first Bohemian who translated the Greek word _ecclesia_
misunderstood that word; therefore he foolishly rendered it by the word
'church' or 'chapel,' as if he believed that the bride of Christ was a
church made of stone or a chapel made of wood. But had he translated
the word _ecclesia_ by 'congregation,' then so many would not have
erred. Others, again, err, saying that the Pope is the Holy Church;
others, that it is the Cardinals with the Pope; while others, again,
say all priests together, and yet others (say) all Christians together,
constitute the Church.

"Therefore be it known to you that all men from Adam to the last man
form one congregation, which God has divided into two; one division
has been chosen (for salvation) from eternity, the other from eternity
has been rejected, and it is known to God only which (division) each
man belongs to. The first division is the universal community of
saints, the second is the universal community of the damned. There can
be no higher Church, according to God's will, than the first-named
(community). It contains all the good, and the other all the evil,
and yet these two (divisions) constitute one community, one assembly,
just as sheep and goats form one herd, although the sheep are always
in a way divided from the goats, and these from them. Therefore though
_ecclesia_ sometimes signifies a church of wood or stone, sometimes the
Pope with the Cardinals, sometimes the priesthood generally, sometimes
the whole community of Christians--as the Church of Prague may signify
all Bohemians or a community only of good Christians--yet the Holy
Catholic Church is the community of all those who have been chosen;
that Church is called the bride of Christ, of whom it is written in the
verses of Solomon, 'I am His bride, He has adorned me with a crown.'"

The other Expositions are inferior to the one just mentioned, both
as regards their interest and the style in which they are written.
The Exposition of the Ten Commandments is in its teaching generally
in conformity with the Roman Church; only in occasional passages are
the opinions peculiar to Hus evident. After dealing generally of the
commandment "Thou shalt not kill," Hus discusses in a separate chapter
its application to members of the clergy. It must be remembered that
Hus's time was an age of warlike pontiffs and of bishops who commanded
armies. Incidentally this chapter throws strong light on Hus's very
elevated and ideal view of the duties of the priestly order. It is to
this, no doubt, that his strong animadversions on the behaviour of
some members of that order (for which he has been severely censured by
hostile writers) should be largely attributed. The Chapter (XLVIII.)
begins thus: "As in our times bishops and priests wage war, it is good
for us to know whether it is fit that they should go to war and thus
kill their fellow-creatures. It appears fit to some, firstly, from
this reason, that the priests of the old law fought bravely according
to God's commandment; why then should not the priests of the new law
fight, who have to defend their faith as the others did, and a much
higher one? Secondly (you say), the Pope goes to war, and gives the
other bishops power to go to war, and to speak against this is heresy;
and who speaks thus will become a heretic if he obstinately persists
in it. Thirdly, St. Peter the Apostle fought bodily, when on Maundy
Tuesday, being already a priest, he cut off the ear of Malchus. The
fourth reason is that the priests, and specially the Pope, have two
swords, the spiritual and the temporal one; so also had the Apostles
when they said to Christ, 'Lord, behold here are two swords. And He
said unto them, It is enough.'[50] The fifth reason is this: many
priests are strong, and that strength were given them in vain, could
they not use it for fighting; why, therefore, should they not fight?
The sixth reason is: if bishops did not fight with temporal arms,
the Church would be in an evil state; for laymen would lay hands on
priests, rob them and beat them; who would then wish to be a priest?

"But our Saviour Jesus, King and Bishop at the same time, is the best
mirror in which we should seek for wisdom; for every action of His is a
lesson for us, as St. Augustine has said."

Hus then proceeds to refute the arguments enumerated above, depending
mainly on the example of Christ. The passage, written with singular
lucidity and penetration, is unfortunately too long for quotation.
Here, as in many places, Hus speaks strongly of the pride and arrogance
of the clergy.

At the end of the chapter Hus addresses a warning to the clergy.
Should they persist in their pride, "you will," he writes, "be judged
and condemned, and your prayer will be as a sin. Your days will be
short, and another will take your place. O priest, give up your pride,
be meek like Jesus, and you will be glorified like He (was)! Suffer
insult, robbery, abuse, blows. Be ready to die for Christ, and give up
warfare, which is a very uncertain path to salvation."

The treatise entitled _Dcerka_ (Daughter), also known as the treatise
"on the true road to salvation," dates from about the same time as
the Expositions. It was addressed to some pious ladies who lived in
common in a house near the Bethlehem chapel, and to whom Hus also wrote
a letter, which has been preserved. The treatise has been called the
Daughter, from the fact that each of the ten chapters begins with the
words, "Listen, daughter, and see, and incline thine ear." In a short
preface Hus very clearly explains the purpose of the book. He writes:
"Listen, daughter, who hast promised Christ (to retain) virginity.
Listen, daughter, and incline your ear, and know that I wish you to
know yourself, knowing in whose similitude you were created; secondly
(I wish) you to know your conscience; thirdly, the wretchedness of this
world; fourthly, the temptations of our earthly existence; fifthly, the
three enemies (the body, the world, and the devil); the sixth point on
which I insist is that you should truly do penance; the seventh, that
you should value the dignity of your soul; the eighth, that you should
assiduously look to the coming judgment; the ninth, that you should
value the eternal life; the tenth, that you should love our Lord God
more than anything." Hus then deals with each of these points in one of
the ten chapters of the book.

Somewhat later than the Expositions, and the Daughter, Hus published
his celebrated treatise, _O Savtokupectví_, on "traffic in holy
things," or simony, which he completed on September 2, 1413. This
valuable book is written in a manner similar to that of the works
mentioned above, but the polemical tendency is here yet more evident,
for Hus is here treating of the great plague-spot of his time. The
constant note of just indignation renders the book very striking, and
it would--as Mr. Wratislaw has truly remarked--well bear translation
as a whole. I shall, from want of space, be unable to give more than
one quotation. In Chapter IV. Hus deals with the question, Can a Pope
be guilty of simony? He writes: "Let us see if it is possible for a
Pope to be a simoniac. Some say it is impossible, for he is the lord
of the whole world, who is entitled to take what he wishes and do what
he wishes. Therefore is he the most holy father whom sin cannot touch?
Now, you must know that many Popes were heretics, and generally bad,
and they were deprived of the papal dignity. Therefore be not in doubt
that the Pope can be a simoniac. And if some one maintain that he
cannot commit simony or any deadly sin, then he must desire to raise
him higher than St. Peter or the other Apostles. And to the argument
that he (the Pope) is the lord of the whole world, who may take what he
will and do what he will, I will answer that there is but one Lord of
the whole world who cannot sin, and whose right it is to rule and do as
He will, and that Lord is the Almighty God. And further, if, according
to the argument, it is said that the Pope is the most holy father, whom
sin cannot touch, I deny this; for one only is our most Holy Father,
the Lord God, whom sin cannot touch."

After maintaining that it is possible for a Pope to be a simoniac,
Hus continues thus: "Let us see in what manner he (the Pope) can be a
simoniac. He can be so, firstly, if he desires the papal dignity for
the sake of riches and of worldly advantage. No rank in Christendom,
indeed, is nearer to a fall. For if he (the Pope) does not follow
Christ and Peter in his way of life more than others (do), then he
should be called not a successor, but an adversary of the Apostles.
Therefore every one who strives for this dignity for the advantage
of his person or for worldly honours is infected with simony. The
second manner of committing simony consists in the various regulations
which he (the Pope) issues for his bodily advantage and contrary to
God's law, perhaps not openly, but they are regulations that may lead
to something contrary to God's law. And is it not contrary to God's
regulations that the Pope should decree that his cooks, porters,
equerries, footmen, should have first claim on the most important
benefices, even in lands of which they do not know the language? And
again, that no one can announce anything (in church) if he has not paid
down money, and whatever similar arrangements may be made. The third
manner in which a Pope can commit simony consists in appointing bishops
or rectors for the sake of money; and that case has been made quite
clear to us recently, when many thousands of florins were paid down for
the Archbishopric of Prague."[51]

At the end of the same chapter Hus refers to the question of
indulgences, which from his time to that of Martin Luther was ever
before the Christian world. He writes: "With regard to the giving
indulgences for money, St. Peter has sufficiently shown that they are
worthless when he refused to give for money to Simon the power to
lay his hands on people, so that they might receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost; no, the Apostles laid their hands on the people, not for
money, but gratuitously for their salvation; obeying the words of their
Saviour, who said, 'Freely ye have received, freely give.' And thus
they worthily received the Holy Ghost, for the Apostles were worthy
bishops, and the people who truly believed truly repented their sins."

The last of the great works of Hus, and also the last one which I
shall mention, is the _Postilla_, which Hus finished about the month
of September 1413. It may be considered more popular in manner than
his other Bohemian works, and, written so shortly before his death, it
was long revered as the testament, or the "last will," of the great
Bohemian divine. The book consists of expositions, or, as perhaps they
should rather be called, sermons, explaining the evangel of each Sunday
in the year. The Bible being then very scarce in Bohemia, the text from
the Bible which is referred to precedes in every case the exposition
or reading (Čteniė), as Hus himself worded it. The indignation against
the corruption of the Roman Church, which becomes more accentuated in
each successive work of Hus, finds here its strongest expression. "The
evil priests," he writes, "do not tell the people that Christ said,
'If you do not repent your sins you will all perish.' They have so
obscured the truth, which is Christ, that preachers mention the Pope
more than Christ, and they praise and defend the institution of papacy
more than the law of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore are His faithful
sons oppressed in the lands; for in Bohemia, in Moravia, in Meissen, in
England, and elsewhere there is much suffering, as I know. They murder,
torture, and curse faithful priests, and it is useless to appeal to
Rome; there indeed is the summit of the wickedness of Antichrist, that
is, pride, lewdness, avarice, and simony; thus has simony and avarice
poured from Rome into Bohemia."

Of more general interest than any other work of Hus are the collections
of his Latin and Bohemian letters, and they are perhaps his only
writings that will appeal strongly to modern readers. They also, more
clearly than any other work, bring out the real individuality of the
great Bohemian reformer. His sincere and unostentatious piety, his
sometimes almost childlike simplicity, his very touching humility, the
warm friendship of which he assures his friends, the unconditional
forgiveness which he extends to his enemies, all these appear very
clearly in these letters, in which Hus never writes _ex cathedra_. I
nowhere more regret that limited space will oblige me to restrict my
quotations. The letters of Hus that have been preserved extend from
July 1408 to within a few days of his death. Those written while in
exile from Prague and those from prison at Constance have the greatest
value. Of the earlier letters a Latin one, addressed to "Master Richard
the Englishman," dating from the year 1410, deserves notice. Though
it is usually stated that the family name of Hus's correspondent was
"Fitz," it appears very probable that the person addressed was Richard
Wyche, a chaplain who was about this time accused of being a Lollard,
and who was--according to Foxe--burnt for the same cause in 1439.
Richard Wyche had sent a letter to Hus and the Bohemians, admonishing
them to remain steadfast in the faith. In his answer Hus writes:
"Preaching before nearly ten thousand people, I said, 'See, beloved
brethren, what interest in your salvation faithful preachers in foreign
countries take, they who are ready to shed out their whole heart, if
only they can preserve us in the law of Christ,' and I added, 'Our most
beloved brother Richard, the associate of Master John Wycliffe in his
evangelical work, has written you such a comforting letter, that even
had I no other written assurance, I should be ready to risk my life
for Christ's Gospel, and I will do so with the help of our Lord Jesus
Christ!' The faithful of Christ were so inflamed by this letter that
they begged me to translate it into the language of our country.

"I do not know what further I should write to your reverence. I am
not able to instruct those who are far more learned than I; by what
words can one who is weaker comfort those who are stronger soldiers of
Christ? What, then, shall I say? You have taken all words of Christian
instruction from my mouth. It only remains for me to beg of you help by
means of prayer, and to render thanks for all the good which, through
your labours and by the help of Jesus Christ, Bohemia has received from
blessed (_benedicta_) England."

Hus's letters from exile, as already mentioned, were very numerous.
During his absence the adherents of the papal party endeavoured to
suppress the religious services in the Bethlehem Chapel, and some
Germans had even made an attempt to destroy the chapel. In a Bohemian
letter addressed to the citizens of Prague Hus refers to this matter:
"God be with you, dear sirs and masters," he writes. "I beg of you
firstly to consider this matter before God, to whom great wrong is
done; for they wish to suppress His holy word, to destroy a chapel
that is useful for [the teaching of] the word of God, and thus to
frustrate the salvation of the people; secondly, consider the insult
to your land, your nation, or race. In the third place, only consider
the shame and wrong which undeservedly is done to yourselves. Fourthly,
consider and endure cheerfully that the devil rages against you and
Antichrist snarls at you, for he will not harm you if you are lovers
of God's truth. Indeed he has raged against me for many years, and
yet I trust to God he has not harmed a hair on my head; rather has my
happiness and content increased." The letter ends with these words:
"Therefore, considering these things, and placing truth and the praise
of God foremost and living worthily in charity, let us resist the lie
of Antichrist to the end; for we have with us as a helper our Almighty
Saviour, whom no one can vanquish, and who will not desert us as long
as we do not desert Him; He will then give us the eternal reward... I
have written this down for you, as I cannot well come to you, so that
the priests who endeavour to stop the religious services may not harm
your minds."

Many letters written by Hus at Constance have been preserved; some date
from the time when he was still at liberty, others from the period
when he was imprisoned in the Dominican monastery, and afterwards in
that of the Franciscans. During his stay at Gottlieben he was, as
already mentioned, entirely prohibited from writing. In the first
of the letters written from the dungeon in the Dominican monastery
addressed to the citizens of Prague, and dated January 19, 1415, Hus
refers to the severe illness which had befallen him in consequence of
the unhealthy condition of his prison. The letter, which is written
in Bohemian, begins thus: "May the Lord God be with you that you may
persevere in your resistance to evil, to the devil, to the world, and
to the flesh.

"Beloved brethren, I write to you while sitting in prison, but I am
not ashamed, for I suffer hopefully for the sake of the Lord God who
has graciously visited me with a severe illness and has again restored
me to health, and who has permitted that those should become my bitter
enemies to whom I have done much good and whom I have sincerely
loved.[52] I beg of you to pray for me to the Lord God, that He may
deign to be with me; for it is on Him and on your prayers that I rely
to remain unto death in His grace. If the Lord deigns now to call me
to Him, may His holy will be fulfilled; and if He deigns to return me
to you, then also be His holy will fulfilled! Verily I am now much in
want of help; but I know that God will submit me to no misfortune or
temptation except such as are for my own and for your benefit, so that
having been tried and found steadfast we may obtain a great reward...
I have no one to advise me except our merciful Lord Jesus, who said
to His faithful: I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your
adversaries shall not be able to resist. Dearly beloved, remember that
I have worked with you with great devotion, and that I am anxious for
your salvation even now when I am in prison and suffering grievous

Want of space obliges me to quote but from one other letter of Hus,
written in prison, though they all well deserve to be better known.
This is the letter written on June 10th, two days after his trial
before the Council had ended. Hus was then in expectation of immediate
death, though, as already stated, attempts were still made to obtain
his recantation, and his execution only took place on July 6th. The
letter, also written in Bohemian, is addressed "To the whole Bohemian
nation." Hus writes: "Faithful in God, men and women, rich and poor,
I beg and entreat you to love the Lord God, praise His word, hear it
gladly, and live according to it. Cling, I beg you, to the divine
truth, which I have preached to you according to God's law. I also beg
that if any one has heard either in my sermons or privately anything
contrary to God's truth, or if I have written anything such--which,
I trust to God, is not the case--he should not retain it. I further
beg, then, if any one has seen levity in me in word or deed he should
not retain it; but let him pray to God for me that God may forgive
me. I beg you to love, praise, and honour those priests who lead a
moral life, those in particular who strive for God's word. I beg you
to beware of crafty people, particularly of unworthy priests, of whom
our Saviour has said they are clothed like sheep, but are invariably
greedy wolves. I beg the nobles to treat the poor people kindly
and rule them justly. I beg the burghers to conduct their business
honestly. I beg the artisans to perform their labours conscientiously.
I beg the servants to serve their master and mistress faithfully. I
beg the teachers to live honestly, to instruct their pupils carefully,
to love God above all; for the sake of His glory and the good of the
community, not from avarice and worldly ambition should they teach. I
beg the students and other scholars to obey and follow their masters
in everything that is good, and to study diligently for the praise of
God, for their own salvation, and for that of others."

Hus then mentions by name the Bohemian and Polish noblemen present at
the Council who had afforded him aid, and expresses his thanks to them.
He then refers to his sovereign, King Wenceslas, and more particularly
to Queen Sophia, who had always aided the cause of Hus, as far as
it had been in her power. He then continues: "I write this while in
fetters, expecting my sentence of death to-morrow, full of hope in God,
resolved not to recede from the divine truth nor to recant errors which
false witnesses have invented and attributed to me. How God has acted
towards me, how He is with me during all my troubles, that you will
only know when, by the grace of God, we shall meet again in heaven." It
is touching to notice that the imminent vicinity of death by no means
lessened Hus's interest in his beloved Bethlehem Chapel. Towards the
end of the letter from which I have already quoted he writes: "I beg
all of you, particularly you men of Prague, to be careful of Bethlehem
as long as the Lord God will permit that God's word be preached there.
The devil has been much incensed against that spot, and he has stirred
up parsons and canons against it, well knowing that that spot is
hostile to his kingdom. I trust in God that he will graciously deign to
preserve that spot, and that he will obtain there greater advantages by
means of others than was possible through so feeble a person as I am."

From the time of Hus to the present day it has constantly been
attempted to define his doctrine, and to trace the origin of the
opinions that are peculiar to him. According to one theory, the
teaching of Hus did not aim at a reform of the Church in the manner
of the later Church reformers, but was rather an endeavour to return
to the Eastern Church, from which Bohemia first received the Christian
doctrine. In the seventeenth century Paul Stransky[53] wrote that
even after the Latin rites had been generally accepted in Bohemia,
"humble people and the populace, contented with the former religious
institutions of their land, tenaciously adhered to the rites of
the Greek Church." The same theory has in the present century been
maintained by Eugene Novikov, Hilferding, and other Russian writers.
The patient and thorough investigation of this matter by modern
Bohemian historians, particularly by Palacký, Dr. Kalousek, and Dr.
Goll, has, however, proved to a certainty that all reminiscences of the
Eastern Church had in Bohemia died out before the time of Hus.

It would be natural to attribute Hus's peculiar views principally
to the influence of the writers of his own country who immediately
preceded him and who have been noticed in the last chapter. It is
therefore surprising to note that Milič, Štitný, and Matthew of Janov
are scarcely noticed in the works of Hus that have been preserved. It
has, however, been conjectured that further references to them may have
been contained in the lost works of Hus. In sharp contrast with this
independence of the writings of his countrymen is the strong influence
of Wycliffe on the ideas and writings of Hus, which the recent
publication of many of Wycliffe's works has rendered yet more evident.
It is certain that the works of Hus, specially those written in Latin,
contain lengthy extracts from Wycliffe's writings, and that many of
the leading ideas of Hus can be traced to the same source. This fact
has been strongly brought forward by Professor Loserth, who has quoted
in parallel columns passages from Hus's treatise, _De Ecclesia_,
and passages from Wycliffe's treatise of the same name, which are
identical. In a lesser degree Loserth has found this dependence on
Wycliffe also in other works of Hus. The German professor, however,
deals principally with the Latin works of Hus, whereas his Bohemian
writings--though the influence of Wycliffe can here also be traced--are
far more independent and original. It must also be remembered that in
the fifteenth and even the sixteenth century the modern ideas with
regard to literary property were unknown. Many writers, particularly on
theology, incorporated with their works whole pages from the writings
of their predecessors, and this without any acknowledgment. It would
also be incorrect to imagine that Hus followed Wycliffe blindly. He
indeed writes: "I hold those true doctrines which Master John Wycliffe,
professor of holy theology, held, not because he said these things,
but because the Holy Scripture says them." On the important question
of transubstantiation Hus, differing herein from Wycliffe, upheld the
teaching of the Church of Rome. It must further be considered that
in many cases ideas common to Hus and to the English reformer can be
traced far farther back. This matter has been fully expounded by the
recent foreign and Bohemian writers on Hus. It will here be sufficient
briefly to state that the disapproval of the enormous riches, of the
arrogance and avarice of the higher members of the Roman clergy--so
constantly expressed by Hus--can be traced back as far as to the
German Emperor Frederick II. After Pope Innocent IV. had pronounced
the Emperor's deposition in 1245 at the Council of Lyon, Frederick
in a circular addressed to all princes declared "that it had always
been his intention to reduce the ecclesiastics, particularly those of
highest rank, to that state and condition in which they had been at the
time of the primitive Church, that is, leading an apostolical life and
imitating the humility of Christ."

In the following century Marsiglio of Padua in his celebrated work,
_Defensor Fidei_, wrote strongly against the interference of the clergy
in temporal matters. He already maintained that the Church consisted
of the whole community of Christian men, be they ecclesiastics or
laymen. The Pope, according to Marsiglio, can claim no right of supreme
judgment in temporal matters, even over the clergy, and the "power of
the keys" does not entitle him to place a man under civil disabilities
by means of excommunication. Somewhat later, in his _Dialogues_,
William of Ockham expressed similar opinions, though he did not go as
far as Marsiglio.

If we endeavour briefly to define the ideas of Hus as far as they
differ from the tenets of the Church of Rome--for on most points he was
entirely in accord with that Church--we may state that his two leading
ideas, closely connected with one another, are his theory of "Christ's
law" and his conception of the "true Church." According to Hus the
law of Christ, or "God's law"--an expression that afterwards became
a watchword of the Hussites--is contained in the writings of the Old
and New Testament, which contain all God's commands to man. The second
fundamental principle of Hus is his conception of the true Church,
which, according to him, consists of the totality of the elect. It is
doubtful whether this theory was in direct opposition to the doctrine
of the Church of Rome, in the development which it had reached in
the fifteenth century. Long before his rupture with the Church, Hus,
speaking before the archiepiscopal synod, had defined the "Ecclesia" as
"Prædestinatorum Universitas." The head of this Church, according to
Hus, is Christ, not the Pope, whose predecessors held no higher rank
than other bishops.

It remains to cast a glance on the individuality and character of Hus.
He has always been judged in a most opposite manner, according to the
religious opinions of those who wrote about him. As Schiller has said
of another very different, great Bohemian, it can be said of Hus too:--

    "_Von der Parteien Gunst und Hass verwirrt_
    _Schwankt sein Characterbild in der Geschichte._"

I must rely on what I have already written, but principally on my
extracts from the works of Hus, to bear witness for the sincere piety,
the enthusiasm for the law of God, the patriotism, the humility and the
sincerity of Hus. That he was faultless, I do not attempt to prove,
and no one would have resented such an attempt more than the great
Bohemian, who, in one of his last letters, begged those who might have
heard that he had committed some offence against God's law, not to
follow his example, but to pray God to forgive him. It is certain that
Hus was imprudent when, by high-coloured descriptions of the misdeeds
of their priests, he incensed the ignorant and excitable population of
Prague. Neither can it be denied that--no doubt influenced by his firm
belief that he was speaking in the name of Christ, not in his own--Hus
sometimes showed traces of the self-willed obstinacy which the enemies
of Bohemia have ever declared to be characteristic of its inhabitants.

Such slight blemishes, visible indeed to the modern writer, were not
unnaturally ignored by the enthusiastic followers of Hus. To them he
was "The Martyr," and the National Church of Bohemia, up to the time of
its suppression in the seventeenth century, continued to celebrate the
6th of July, the anniversary of the death of Hus.

If, neglecting for a moment the minutiæ of mediæval theological
controversy, we consider as a martyr that man who willingly sacrifices
his individual life for what he firmly believes to be the good of
humanity at large, who "takes the world's life on him and his own lays
down," then assuredly there is no truer martyr in the world's annals
than John of Husinec.

The name of Jerome of Prague was, particularly among older writers,
so closely connected with that of Hus, that it would appear incorrect
altogether to omit mentioning his name. He had by no means the great
influence on the development of Hussitism in Bohemia--in which
country he appeared but occasionally and for short periods--which
was attributed to him before the studies of the present century had
rendered the past history of Bohemia clearer. What influence he
obtained was through his eloquence, not through his pen, so that his
place in a history of Bohemian literature is a very modest one. One
letter still preserved has been, on doubtful evidence, attributed to
Jerome. It is more pleasing, at any rate, to doubt its authenticity.
It is supposed to have been written after he had recanted his former
opinions. In this letter (dated August 12, 1415), addressed to Lord
Lacek of Kravář, Jerome states that "the dead man (_i.e._ Hus) wrote
many false and hurtful things."


[28] This has ceased to be true since the appearance of Dr. Flajšhans's
_Mistr Jan Hus_.

[29] According to Dr. Flajšhans it may be considered as certain that
Hus was born later, between 1373 and 1375.

[30] Letter to the "disciple Martin," dated October 10th, 1414, printed
in _Documenta Mag. Joannis Hus Vitam Doctrinam, Causam Illustrantia_.
I have based this summary account of the career of Hus mainly on this
important collection of documents, published by Palacký in 1869.

[31] This sermon was probably not preached at "Bethlehem," but at the
Church of St. Michael at Prague; for the events referred to occurred in
1401, while Hus was only appointed preacher at "Bethlehem" in 1402. He
may, however, have preached there occasionally before that date.

[32] Palacký, _Documenta_, &c.

[33] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[34] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[35] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[36] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[37] _Stařr Letopisove Cešti_ (Ancient Bohemian Chronicles). See
Chapter IV.

[38] Palacký, _Documenta_, gives the names of the speakers and the list
of the works they defended.

[39] See later, page 131.

[40] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[41] Palacký, _Documenta_.

[42] Printed in Palacký, _Documenta_.

[43] See Chapter IV.

[44] The passage which Hus had in view is in the Gospel of St. Matthew,
chap. xxvi. vers. 26-28.

[45] Mladenovič in Palacký, _Documenta_.

[46] I have borrowed this summary of the contents of the treatise _De
Ecclesia_ from my _Bohemia: an Historical Sketch_.

[47] See later, page 125.

[48] An allusion to the story of Pope Joan.

[49] _Výklad_, _i.e._ "Exposition of the Ten Commandments," chap. xliii.

[50] St. Luke xxii. 38.

[51] This refers to the allegation that Albík of Uničov, the successor
of Archbishop Zbyněk, had paid a large sum for his investiture with the
Archbishopric of Prague.

[52] This refers to Stephen Paleč and other former adherents of Hus who
had deserted the cause of Church reform.

[53] See Chapter VI.



The death, or, as his adherents considered it, the murder of Hus was
followed by prolonged bloody wars, during which Bohemia, for a time,
successfully repelled the forces of a large part of Europe. Such a
period was naturally not fruitful of literary production. The writers
deal almost exclusively with theology, and are, with a few very
noteworthy exceptions, of secondary importance. This applies specially
to the very numerous theological tracts or pamphlets, the names of
which Jungmann has, in his great History of Bohemian Literature,
rescued from oblivion.

The adherents of Hus divided into two parties very shortly after the
death of their great leader. The more moderate party, which always
endeavoured to obtain a reconciliation with Rome, and some of the
members of which only differed from that Church in their views as to
the ceremony of communion, became known as the Calixtines, or as the
"Praguers," from the fact that the town, and specially the university
of Prague, was their centre. The more advanced Hussites received
the name of Taborites, as the town of that name soon became their
stronghold. There were minor differences of opinion in both camps.
Some of the Calixtines or Utraquists, as they were also called, were
prepared to accept the entire teaching of Rome if only the right of
receiving communion in the two kinds were granted to them. Other
Utraquists, who maintained that they alone had preserved the teaching
of Hus in its purity, differed from the Church of Rome on other points
also, as had been the case with Hus himself.

Among the Taborites also a more moderate party, led by Zižka, and known
after his death as the "Orphans," disagreed with yet more advanced
Church reformers. Finally, it should be mentioned that the intense
religious excitement, and the widely spread belief in the approaching
millennium, led to the formation of yet more advanced religious sects,
against some of which even the Taborites had no hesitation in employing
the "secular arm."

All these parties found exponents of their views, but it will here
be possible to mention only very few of the very many theological
controversialists of this time. The principal champion of the moderate
Utraquists was Magister John of Přibram, who is stated to have been a
pupil of Matthew of Janov. His polemical works are all directed against
the Taborites, and even against the more advanced members of his own
party. His constant adversary was the English Hussite, Peter Payne,
known to the Bohemians as "Magister Engliš." Přibram endeavoured,
not very successfully, to prove that the teaching of Hus was quite
independent of that of "the foreigner Wycliffe," and availed himself of
the national prejudices of the Bohemians for the purpose of alienating
them from the teaching of the English reformer and his pupil, Peter
Payne. The most important work of Přibram bears the name _Of the great
Torment of the Holy Church_, and was long attributed to Milič of
Kremsier. One of his most noteworthy books also is his _Lives of
the Priests of Tabor_, written, like the first-mentioned book, in
Bohemian. Přibram here violently attacks Nicolas of Pelhřimov, the
"false and monstrous bishop of the Taborites," as he calls him. Other
minor Bohemian works of Přibram, as well as some written in Latin, have
been preserved. He died in 1448.

To the moderate faction of the Calixtine party belonged also Peter of
Mladenovič, who has already been mentioned as one of the companions of
Hus on his fatal journey to Constance. He wrote a Latin work entitled
_Relatio de Magistri Joannis Hus causa_, which has been edited by
Palacký, and contains a full account of Hus's journey to Constance, his
imprisonment, and his death. This work--from which I have quoted in
the last chapter--was very precious to the Hussites. Up to the time of
the suppression of the National Church of Bohemia in the seventeenth
century, it was customary in the Utraquist Church services to read a
portion of the narrative of Mladenovič instead of the evangel on July
6, the anniversary of the "martyrdom" of Hus. Mladenovič also wrote a
shorter Bohemian account of the sufferings of Hus. He died in 1451 as
administrator of the consistory of the Utraquist Church.

Of the more advanced writers of the Calixtine or Utraquist Church,
Magister Jacobellus of Mies (or Střibro) is the most prominent. He
became, immediately after the death of Hus, the leader of that party
which adhered most closely to his teaching. He had already, during
the captivity of his master, maintained the necessity of communion
in two kinds, a doctrine which Hus had sanctioned in one of his
letters.[54] Like most Bohemian divines of his time, Jacobellus wrote
a Latin _Postilla_, as well as numerous other polemical treatises,
both Latin and Bohemian. Some Bohemian hymns written by him have also
been preserved, Jacobellus is, however, most worthy of notice as
being the principal author of the celebrated _Articles of Prague_,
that played so important a part in Bohemian history. After this event
we find little mention of Jacobellus, and he died in retirement in
1429. Closely connected with Jacobellus is his friend the Englishman,
Peter Payne,[55] whose name has already been mentioned. I have here
no space to sketch out his adventurous career. He was obliged to fly
from England, no doubt as being an adherent of Wycliffe, and settled
in Bohemia, obtaining, in 1417, the degree of Master of Arts at the
University of Prague. He belonged, like Jacobellus, to the more
advanced Utraquists; and when the ideas of Přibram gained ground in
that Church, even joined the Taborites. Peter Payne was also one of
the Bohemian envoys at the Council of Basel, where he was occasionally
in violent conflict with his countrymen, the English bishops. Though
living so long in Bohemia, Magister Engliš appears never to have
thoroughly mastered the language of the country. It is at least certain
that when challenged by Magister Přibram to a public theological
disputation in that language, Peter was obliged to decline. Some
religious treatises, written in Latin, in which Payne defends the
teaching of Wycliffe, have been preserved. He appears toward the end of
his life to have cast his lot entirely with the men of Tabor, and was
still living in that town in 1452.

Among the members of the advanced Calixtine party, which was led by
Jacobellus, and afterwards by Archbishop Rokycan, we must mention
Vavřinec (Laurence) of Březova, who, though principally known as a
historian, was as devoted to theological studies as almost all his
contemporaries. His _Chronicon_, written in Latin, is perhaps the
most valuable contemporary record of the Hussite wars. The book
unfortunately ends abruptly with the year 1421, perhaps in consequence
of the death of the author, of whom, however, little is known. The
Bohemian writings of Březova are inferior in interest to his Latin
work. He wrote in his own language a "book expounding dreams," at the
request of King Wenceslas IV., at whose court he probably held an
appointment, and a _Chronicle of the World_. He is also the author of a
Bohemian translation of the _Travels of Sir John Mandeville_.

The leader of the more advanced Utraquists, after the death of
Jacobellus, was Magister John of Rokycan, the first and last Calixtine
Archbishop of Prague. The long and eventful life of Rokycan--born in
1397, he died in 1471--belongs to Bohemian history. It will here be
sufficient to mention his writings. Rokycan was undoubtedly a very
voluminous writer, though probably the great majority of his works have
been destroyed. Those still in existence are principally theological
writings of a controversial character. His most important work is his
_Postilla_, written in Bohemian, which strongly recalls Hus's work of
the same name, though, both as regards profundity of thought and style,
Rokycan's work is far inferior to that of his master.

The priests and other members of the Taborite community were probably
not inferior in literary activity to the adherents of the Utraquist
Church. Unfortunately, after the battle of Lipan (in 1434), and the
capture of the city of Tabor by King Georg (in 1452), almost all
these works were destroyed. The customs and constitution of that
strange military-religious community, that in many ways recalls the
later Puritans, will therefore probably never be exactly known. We
gather indeed some information from the writings of the enemies of the
Taborites, such as Ænæas Sylvius. His account of his visit to the city
of Tabor is very interesting. It appears particularly to have surprised
the Italian humanist how general in the town the knowledge of the Bible
was. "The Italian priests," he writes, "should be ashamed, they of whom
it is doubtful whether they have even once read the New Testament;
among the Taborites you would hardly find a poor woman who could not
answer any question referring to the Old or to the New Testament." With
regard to the doctrines of the Taborites, we are also obliged to rely
mainly on the statements of their enemies, particularly of Magister
Přibram, who has already been mentioned.

The leader of the Taborite party was Nicholas of Pelhřimov (Pilgram),
surnamed "Biskupec," the only bishop of the short-lived community
of Tabor. Little is known both of his life and of his writings. He
was, like most Bohemian divines of his time, engaged in incessant
theological controversies. Chelčicky's _Reply to Nicholas_ has been
preserved, but the letter of Nicholas in answer to which it was written
is no longer in existence; a polemical work of Nicholas addressed to
Rokycan has also been lost. The principal work of Biskupec, however,
his Latin _Chronicon Continens causam sacerdotum Taboriensium_, has
been preserved, and was edited and published by Professor Höfler in
the present century. It is interesting as being the only existent
definition of the doctrines of the Taborites written by a member of the

I follow the example of Jungmann and Jireček, as well as of the most
recent writers on Bohemian literature, in including among the writers
of the Taborite party the celebrated Bohemian warrior John Zižka of
Trocnov, born about the year 1378. It has already been mentioned that
Zižka was the head of the more moderate division of the Taborists,
which after his death assumed the name of the "Orphans." Zižka's
writings consist indeed only of the curious work entitled _The
Regulations of War_ (Řád vojenský), four letters, and a war-song or
hymn, but they are among the most precious relics in the Bohemian
language. They give a thorough insight into the real nature and
character of the hero of the Hussite wars, who has so often been
compared to Oliver Cromwell. The _Řád vojenský_ is no mere collection
of military regulations; besides establishing the rule of an iron
discipline, it also enforces religious practices, and repeatedly
proclaims--in a manner very unusual in the fifteenth century--the
absolute equality of the different classes of men who composed the
Hussite armies. It is perhaps only after reading these regulations that
the victories of the Hussites over immensely superior forces become

Of Zižka's letters, the most noteworthy is the celebrated _Letter to
the Allies of Domažlice_. The citizens of Domažlice (Tauss) had been
attacked by the Germans, and applied to their Hussite comrades for aid.
Zižka wrote to them: "Dear Brothers in God!--I beg you for the sake
of the Lord God to remain in the fear of God as His most beloved sons,
and not to complain if He chastises you. Remembering the founder of
our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, you will defend yourselves bravely
against the wrongs which these Germans endeavour to inflict on you. You
will thus follow the example of the ancient Bohemians, who, valiantly
using their lances, defended both God's cause and their own. And we,
dear brethren, seeking the law of God and the good of the commonwealth,
will do everything possible, that every one of our men who is able to
wield a club or even to hurl a stone should march to your aid. And
therefore, dear brethren, be it known to you that we are collecting
our men from all parts of the country against these enemies of God and
devastators of the Bohemian land. Therefore instruct your priests,
that they may when preaching rouse the people against the armies of
Antichrist. Let it also be proclaimed in the marketplace that all able
men, young or old, must be ready at any moment. And we, God willing,
shall be shortly with you. Have bread, beer, fodder for the horses
ready, as well as all weapons of war. For indeed it is time (to march),
not only against the internal enemies, but also against the foreigners.
Remember your first campaign, when you fought bravely, humble men
against the great, few against many, unclothed against men in armour.
For the arm of God has not been shortened! Therefore trust in God and
be ready. May the Lord God grant you strength!"

Very similar to the _Regulations of War_ and to the letters of Zižka
are the sentiments contained in the well-known Taborite war-song,
_All ye Warriors of God_, which has often been called the Bohemian
_Marseillaise_ of the fifteenth century. Want of space obliges me to
quote only some of the first and the last lines of this spirited song,
which, according to the most recent researches, is undoubtedly a work
of Zižka:--

    _"All ye warriors of God,_
    _Fighters for His law,_
    _Pray to God for help,_
    _And trust in Him,_
    _With Him victory ever will be yours._

    _Fear not those, the Lord hath said,_
    _Who would your body harm._
    _For love of your fellow-creatures_
    _He has ordered you to die;_
    _Therefore strengthen manfully your hearts._

    _Christ will recompense your sorrows,_
    _Hundredfold repay you,_
    _Who for Him doth lose his life_
    _Will win eternal bliss;_
    _Happy he who dies for the truth._

           *       *       *       *       *

    _Therefore manfully cry out:_
    _'At them! rush at them!'_
    _Wield bravely your arms;_
    _Pray to your Lord God;_
    _Strike and kill! spare none!"_

The eventful life of Zižka belongs to Bohemian history, but it may
yet not be out of place to mention here that his life and career have
constantly been systematically misrepresented by writers hostile to
his faith; and particularly outside of Bohemia scarcely any other
writings referring to Zižka were known. He thus passed down from one
generation of writers to another as a ferocious and bloodthirsty robber
and fanatic. The real Zižka was, as repeatedly mentioned, the leader of
the moderate Taborites, and the contemporary writers mention several
cases when Zižka reproved the barbarity of his soldiers. It is none
the less impossible to acquit him altogether from the accusation of
cruelty, but it is certain that his conduct in this respect was far
more humane than that of his adversaries, the so-called crusaders, who
several times invaded Bohemia and openly proclaimed their intention "to
let no heretic live." The account of the death of Zižka, according to
which he died blaspheming, and ordered that his body should be flayed,
his skin used as a drum, and his body thrown to the wild beasts--first
mentioned by Ænæas Sylvius, and since repeated by countless
writers--is also totally devoid of truth. It may be of interest to
quote the account of Zižka's death given by one of the contemporary
chroniclers.[56] It runs thus: "Here (at Přibislav) brother Zižka was
seized by a deadly attack of the plague. He gave his last charge to his
faithful Bohemians, (saying,) that, fearing their beloved God, they
should firmly and faithfully defend God's law in view of His reward in
eternity. And then brother Zižka recommended his soul to God, and died
on the Wednesday before the day of St. Gallus" (October 11, 1424). Even
had we no historical evidence to the point, this tranquil death would
appear a fitting end for the great Bohemian general. He who had so
often fought what he firmly considered God's battle, assuredly did not
dread entering into God's peace.

It has already been stated that besides the two great divisions of the
Hussites, minor religious sects sprung up in Bohemia in consequence
of the general religious exaltation which prevailed in the country,
particularly in the earlier part of the fifteenth century. These
sects went far beyond the teaching of the Calixtines, and even of
the Taborites. They were frequently influenced by chiliastic ideas,
which not unnaturally lead to socialism. Of such fanatics the one who
attracted most attention was the priest Martin Huska, also known under
the name of "Loquis." He obtained a considerable following among the
people of Bohemia, who called him "the Lion of Daniel" and "the Angel
of God's Legion." His influence soon became prejudicial to the strict
military discipline which Zižka maintained at Tabor. He was arrested by
order of that general, and, after he had repeatedly broken his promise
to discontinue his preaching, was burnt on August 21, 1421. It is
stated that Huska was the author of numerous theological treatises, but
none of them have been preserved. The little we know of his opinions is
derived from the writings of Přibram, who frequently quotes his works.

I shall next refer to one of the most independent and original of
Bohemian writers, PETER CHELČICKY. Though only recently well known in
Bohemia, and still almost unknown elsewhere, Chelčicky is well worthy
of a far more extensive study than limited space will here permit me
to devote to him. Though a contemporary of the theologians whom I have
mentioned in this chapter, and on terms of acquaintance with some of
them, Chelčicky everywhere impresses us as an independent thinker. As
Professor Jagič has recently written in his Russian preface to the
Petersburg edition of the _Net of Faith_, it is difficult to calculate
how great would have been the influence of Chelčicky's works had they
been written in English, German, or French instead of in Bohemian.
Chelčicky may be described as a socialist, but his socialism was rather
that of the primitive Church or of Count Tolstoy--to whom Chelčicky
has often been compared--than that of the modern disturbers of public
order. Horror of bloodshed and of all violence is indeed one of the
distinctive tenets of Chelčicky, and absolute obedience to all, even
the most unjust authorities, is enjoined by him. Chelčicky's ideal
is the communism of the primitive Church such as he imagined it. The
source of all evil is the "donation of Constantine."[57] When the
Church was then for the first time enriched, an angel, Chelčicky tells
us, spoke the words: "To-day has poison been infused into the Church
of Christ." This mystical conception of the primitive Church is the
foundation of most of Chelčicky's tenets. As the primitive Christians
had no part in the government of the Roman empire, therefore no true
Christian can hold any office of state. He may, indeed must obey, but
he should not command. In the primitive Church, according to Chelčicky,
all were equal. Therefore the "bands," that is, the temporal and
ecclesiastical grades and ranks among men, are hateful "to the meek and
poor Lord Jesus." In his intense hatred of all temporal and spiritual
authority, Chelčicky sometimes appears to expound very modern ideas,
but we must always remember that we are reading the words of a writer
of the fifteenth century and of a fervent Christian.

Very characteristic of Chelčicky is his hatred of bloodshed. While the
magisters of the Calixtine Church had, after a prolonged discussion,
decided that war in self-defence was permissible, and even a duty for
those who held the true doctrine, Chelčicky maintained the absolute
sinfulness of war under whatever circumstances. In his _Reply to
Rokycan_ he writes: "Has Christ repealed His command--'Thou shall not
kill'? If Christ has not revoked that order, then it must still be
obeyed both at Prague and at Tabor." Chelčicky was, therefore, entirely
out of sympathy with his countrymen during the momentous period (from
1420 to 1434) when their great victories attracted the attention of
all Europe. It is a natural consequence that even at a period of
general national enthusiasm, Chelčicky--similar in this respect to the
socialists of all times--shows an almost complete absence of pride in
his distinctive nationality.

A result of Chelčicky's intense hatred of all social privileges and
distinctions was his repeated quaint jibes against the nobility and
the clergy, and his pronounced affection for the humble life of the
peasantry, another of the many traits in Chelčicky in which he appears
similar to Tolstoy. Though the uncontested fact that he was able to
spend a considerable time at Prague at his own expense proves that
Chelčicky was not entirely without means, and it is probable that he
was a small landowner, yet he always speaks of himself as a peasant.
Thus, in his _Reply to Rokycan_ he writes: "If, therefore, I, the
peasant, strike out blindly with my club, your reverence must not be

Chelčicky has nowhere attempted to expound his views on the
constitution of Church and State systematically. In the _Sít Víry_
("Net of Faith "), undoubtedly his masterpiece, we find the nearest
approach to such an attempt. The sum of his teaching--as I have
written elsewhere--constitutes an attempt to establish a theory of
religious nihilism, substituting for all secular and ecclesiastical
authority the ill-defined "will of God."

The details of the life of Chelčicky are still obscure, though
the recent researches of Bohemian writers, specially of Professor
Goll--to whose Bohemian and German works I wish here to acknowledge my
indebtedness--have established a certain number of facts as certain.
It would perhaps be unnecessary again to mention that the foolish tale
that Chelčicky was a cobbler is devoid of truth, had not this statement
found its way into an English work dealing with Bohemia that has
appeared within the last few years. Peter Chelčicky was born at Chelčic
near Vodnan, in Southern Bohemia, towards the end of the fourteenth
century, probably as the son of a small landowner. He proceeded to
Prague early in life, and remained there for a considerable time
occupied with studies principally of a theological character. It is,
however, certain that he never took orders, as was formerly supposed,
and that he did not pursue his studies at the university. He was indeed
debarred from doing so by insufficient knowledge of the Latin language.
As he has himself told us, he acquired but a very slight knowledge of
that language during his stay at Prague. He had, however, read portions
of the works of Wycliffe, to whom he refers frequently, and who is
probably the "Magister Protiva" who is often quoted by Chelčicky.

He, however, as he himself tells us, acquired most of his knowledge
of the opinions of Wycliffe and other theologians from his frequent
conversations with numerous Bohemian priests. It is specially recorded
that he had frequent intercourse with the priests of the Bethlehem
Chapel, that stronghold of the Bohemian Church reformers. Neither
the date of Chelčicky's arrival at Prague nor that of his departure
is certain. It is very probable that he was in that city during the
last years of the life of Hus, and a passage in one of his writings
renders it probable that he was personally acquainted with the great
Bohemian reformer. Chelčicky was in Prague during the stormy years
1419 and 1420, and the terrible scenes that he then witnessed no
doubt intensified his horror of bloodshed. He probably left Prague
not long after the bloody battle of the Vyšehrad (November 1, 1420),
and spent the rest of his life on his farm at Chelčic. Though living
in retirement, Chelčicky continued to take part in the numerous
theological controversies of his time, and it also appears that towards
the end of his life some of his followers formed a small community
known as the "Brothers of Chelčic," of which he became the head.
Chelčicky died about the year 1460.

There is sufficient contemporary evidence to prove that Chelčicky was
a voluminous writer, but many of his works have been lost, and up to
the beginning of the present century they had all fallen into almost
complete oblivion. The strongly democratic character of these writings,
and the bitter invectives against the aristocracy and clergy which
they contain, rendered them specially obnoxious during the period of
reaction that followed the battle of the White Mountain. It is indeed
only within the last ten or twelve years that some of Chelčicky's works
have been edited, and much further work is required before we can
thoroughly appreciate his position in Bohemian literature.

We possess four larger works of Chelčicky, the _Reply to Nicholas
of Pelhřimov_, the _Postilla_, the _Net of Faith_, and the _Reply to
Rokycan_ which, according to Dr. Goll, than whom there can be no higher
authority on this subject, were probably written in the order in which
I have enumerated them. Many minor works of Chelčicky are also still in
existence, and may be considered as connected with one of the larger
works, some part of which is in them treated in a more detailed manner.
The _Net of Faith_ (_Sít Víry_) is superior both as regards style and
lucidity to the rest of Chelčicky's works, and I will therefore devote
to it more space than to the author's other writings.

The _Reply to Nicholas_ (of Pelhřimov), bishop of the Taborites,
who has already been mentioned in this work, is probably the first
important writing of Chelčicky, and dates from about the year 1424.
Peter has himself told us how it came to be written. When Bishop
Nicholas was passing through Vodnan, he sent a messenger to the
neighbouring village of Chelčic inviting the peasant-theologian to
meet him. When Peter arrived, he found the bishop sitting on the dyke
of a fishpond, and Nicholas asked him what the people thought of
their (_i.e._ the Taborites) doctrine with regard to the sacrament
of communion. Chelčicky replied that some approved of it, but others
blamed it. The bishop then said that their teaching was in accordance
with that of the Bible. This meeting was followed by several others,
and a correspondence between Chelčicky and Nicholas sprung up.
Chelčicky, in one of his letters which has not been preserved, appears
to have written very sharply to the bishop, as in the existent
_Reply to Nicholas_ he refers to the fact that he had offended his
correspondent. The subject of the _Reply_, as probably of the whole
correspondence, is the one that then absorbed all public interest in
Bohemia: the correct definition of the real presence of Christ in the
sacrament of communion. Chelčicky maintains the real presence of Christ
in the sacrament, and lays stress on the fact that Wycliffe, whose
immense influence on the religious views of the Bohemians is everywhere
noticeable, held the same doctrine. He sharply attacks the view of the
Taborite priests, which was similar to that afterwards adopted by the

Though all dates concerning Chelčicky are very uncertain, it is
probable that he ceased writing for some time after the appearance
of his first treatise. He felt, as already stated, no joy in the
victories of his countrymen, and therefore probably remained silent
till comparative quiet returned to Bohemia. When this result was
obtained in consequence of the battle of Lipan and the agreement
between the Bohemians and the Council of Basel known as the "compact,"
Chelčicky again began writing. His first considerable work after the
_Reply to Nicholas_ is his _Postilla_, written probably between 1434
and 1436. The _Postilla_, though the largest, is far from being the
most interesting work of Chelčicky. The _Postilla_, a commentary on
the gospel of each Sunday in the year, was a very favourite form of
literary expression among the Bohemian theologians. Besides the Latin
_Postilla_ of Waldhauser, those of Hus and Rokycan--both written in
Bohemian--have already been mentioned, and many others, the work
of minor writers, are still in existence. The leading ideas of
Chelčicky, his absolute objection to bloodshed, his detestation of all
distinctions of rank and class, his contempt for the luxury of the
rich, and love of a lowly life, these and other similar views are
repeatedly--Chelčicky was indeed ever prone to repetition--expounded in
this as in his other works.

It will, however, give a far truer insight into the ideas of Chelčicky
if we dwell more lengthily on his masterpiece, the _Sít Víry_, or
"Net of Faith," where these views are far more clearly expounded than
elsewhere. This book, which has only recently become widely known,
is one of the most valuable that have been written in the Bohemian
language. The democratic character of the Slav race is noticeable in
almost every line of this book, and Chelčicky's very scanty knowledge
of Latin, often disadvantageous to him when he attempted theological
definitions, here is the cause of the independence and originality
which characterise his work. Chelčicky's descriptions of the habits
and manners of the different classes of Bohemians in his time, though
sometimes coarse, are often quaint, and occasionally very witty. The
practice acquired by his earlier writings had also greatly improved his
style, and he writes here with a facility that we do not find in his
other works. The subject of the _Net of Faith_ is a passage from the
Bible[58]--which the author quotes at the beginning of his work--which
tells us how Simon, by order of Jesus, cast out his net and the net
broke. As Simon Peter's net then broke in consequence of the multitude
of fishes, thus since the donation of Constantine, "damned persons,
heretics and offenders," have entered the net of faith, which has been
pierced by "the two whales," the Pope and the Emperor, the embodiments
of spiritual and secular authority. The _Net of Faith_ consists of two
parts, the contents of which are thus described by the author of the
preface to the first printed edition [1521]:--"The first part," he
writes, "explains whence and how such fearful corruption entered the
Holy Church, and also states that he who would dig out its true ground
and foundation, which is Jesus, must first remove much rubbish, which
has been brought into the Church by man; and then only will you find
its true foundation."

"The second part of the book explains how 'bands'[59] addicted to
various and manifold learning and unchristian religious practices
sprung up and mightily increased; and all these bands form a great
obstacle to the true knowledge of the creed of our Lord Jesus, for they
have clothed themselves with the spirit of haughtiness, and are thus as
adverse as possible to the humble and poor Lord Jesus."

The first part of the work, as stated above, deals with the corruption
into which Christianity had fallen, and at the same time formulates
Chelčicky's ideal Christianity more clearly than the writer has done
elsewhere. In chapter xi. Chelčicky writes of the primitive Church:
"Therefore, if we consider these early Christians, we will see that
they were sufficiently guided in their faith by the Apostles according
to the law of Christ; for that law in itself is useful for the purpose
of directing God's people to salvation; for only by means of the
direction given by that law can God's people be led to that true
innocence which God loves in them; they should infallibly seek Him
with their whole heart, and preserve truth and affection towards all
people, friends or enemies; they should wish or do evil to no one; and
if such things are done to them, they should suffer without revenge,
returning evil for evil neither to the good nor to the evil; for such
and similar matters does the law of Christ enjoin. And those who will
not be bound by such injunctions cannot be justified before God.
Therefore is it impossible that worldly people, who love the world and
wish to live for the world, should submit themselves to this law, for
they would have to give up the world if they wished to fulfil this law.
Thus, indeed, the first godly assemblies progressed in Christ's law:
abandoning totally the errors of the heathens, the incredulity of the
Jews, and all the vanities of this world, they ... rapidly progressed
without any of the rights of citizens, and without the rule of a high
priest, guided only by the law of Christ."

"But later, when these twofold laws, those of the State and those of
the Pope, were established, then immediately the state of Christianity
was diminished and it declined. And those who write chronicles reflect
on this, and we see it with our eyes that these two laws produce the
most harmful disturbances and death of faith and of God's law.... I
therefore ask, Is the law of God sufficient without worldly laws to
guide and direct us in the path of truly Christian religion? Then,
though with trembling, I say, It is so, for Christ's law was sufficient
to guide Christ's manhood (_i.e._ Christ as a man), as well as all His
disciples, without the interference of any worldly institutions."

The subversive character of these theories, which lead to the
assertion that the necessity of secular authority is only founded
on the wickedness of humanity, and that the ideal state should be
ruled by Christ alone, did not escape Chelčicky. In the last chapter
of the first part of the "Net" he writes: "From these things (_i.e._
statements) some one might say that I insult the (worldly) power. Let
him say nothing of the sort, though he may wish (to do so); for I do
not insult it (_i.e._ power), but honour it, as is seemly, and I say
that it is good when God uses it well, and through it carries out what
He considers good. But the evil which men do and wish to carry out
through it (worldly power), that I blame before the people.... God is
Lord of the world, and could rule and restrain it without that power
if He wished to do so; therefore if we maintain that He wishes to rule
the world by means of temporal authority, and that those men rule the
world as officials of the Lord God, then those who have power over the
world can restrain and command it easily if they ordain that which they
see is good for the world." It is evident that this passage is evasive,
and contains no answer to the questions to which the former quotation
naturally gives rise.

The second part of the _Net of Faith_ has as a second heading the
words, "Of the bands, and of each of them separately;" but it must not
be confused with Chelčicky's lost work, _Of the Bands in Bohemia_.
Chelčicky deals first, and deals very severely, with the "band" of
the nobles. His animosity against those who bear arms is sometimes
very quaintly expressed. He writes: "All the value of noble birth is
founded on an unjust invention of the heathens, who obtained coats of
arms from emperors or kings in reward of some deed of prowess. And
some buy these coats of arms for the sake of their vanity, such as a
gate,[60] a head of a wolf or of a dog, a ladder, or half a horse, or
a trumpet, or a knife, or a pork sausage, or something of that sort.
In such coats of arms lies the value and dignity of noble birth. And
this nobility has the same glory as the arms from which they derive the
value of their nobility. But if money did not fall to them as well as
noble birth, hunger would soon make them ready to abandon their coats
of arms and seize the plough!... Therefore he who can prove that he is
well born, and has (in his arms) a ladder or half a horse, receives
letters (_i.e._ patents of nobility) declaring that he is better born
than Abel, the second son of Adam, and he obtains such consideration
that he is always considered as being good; should he even commit the
worst actions, his coat of arms does not permit that he should be bad."

These attacks on the nobility continue during three chapters. The
following passage contains a curious description of the dress worn
by the nobles of Bohemia in the fifteenth century. Chelčicky writes:
"The men wear copes reaching to the ground, or they wear a short round
jacket and a hood which reaches down to the saddle of their horse, and
with it a monk's cowl and a neckerchief, or a short cloak, and with it
long hair reaching down to their shoulders, and on it a small rough hat
like a cone; they look out from under it as from a dovecot, for verily
they do not know what monsters they make of themselves. The abominable
women also deck themselves out with so many petticoats that they can
hardly drag themselves along in them, and with fanciful toilets and
graces that are not graceful. Their head-dress is broad and high, and
ends in a horn. Thus do they walk about like the celebrated courtesans
of the Pope, to the surprise and offence of the whole world. And all
this is in consequence of their noble birth, which reeks of injustice.
Therefore can the true faith never be insulted by heathens or by Jews
as it is by this race (the nobles), who found their claims on their
coats of arms, and who have unjustly entered into the realm of the
faithful. And they are odious in particular to the crucified Jesus;
for their proud ways are contrary to the shame which He endured on the
cross; they who, acting in everything in a manner contrary to Him for
the purpose of worldly glory, yet wish to sit at table with Him and
share the gain of His suffering. Therefore from all these causes they
are displeasing to God, and harmful and burdensome to men. For the
toiling community bears a heavy burden in the nobles; for they devour
the poor, and everything good that is found in the land, that they
grasp and devour, and greatly do they harm the whole people."

It must not be thought that Chelčicky's democratic views were opposed
to the privileges of the nobility only. The special rights enjoyed
by the citizens of some Bohemian towns, the privileged position of
the clergy, even the intellectual superiority of the masters of
the university, all were equally odious to the fanatical leveller
Chelčicky. Of the citizens he writes thus: "I shall now speak of the
knavery of the citizens, who are the strength of Antichrist, adverse
to Christ, an evil rabble, who are full of boldness in committing bad
actions, and help one another in vigorously combating truth and in
cunningly suppressing it by means of hypocrisy; they speak well of it
(= truth) yet they are guests at the assemblies of evil people, and
of the shameless knaves who follow the path of Judas. Therefore have
these knavish townsmen too grievously torn the net of faith when they
resisted the faith; they with their special town-privileges, which
are similar to the government of the heathens and founded on the same
principle; they are similar to the bands who have coronets and crests,
and in many matters they draw at the yoke (that is, act) together. Too
much, indeed, has the knavery of the townsmen increased, too strong are
the worldly institutions, and too great is the power of Antichrist; for
through them (the townsmen) he is prosperous in his war against Christ.
Therefore faith, like a net, could not contain these many knaveries and
remain intact; they have torn it open by their opposition to Christ's
truth; only the lying and dead phantom of faith have they left, and the
false name of Christianity."

Somewhat later Chelčicky develops his views on the foundation of
cities. It has been conjectured that he derived these views from
the Waldenses; but the influence of the Waldenses on the Hussite
movement, and on Chelčicky and the Bohemian Brethren in particular,
is a question on which the principal Bohemian authorities disagree.
A similar theory as to the origin of cities can also be traced to
Wycliffe, who is perhaps the "Magister Protiva" whom Chelčicky quotes.
In any case, the theory of an original communism, which was destroyed
by the murderer Cain, is very characteristic of Chelčicky. He writes:
"Magister Protiva, dealing with the foundation of cities, spoke thus:
Cain, after the murder of his brother, built a town, the foundation of
which was the cause that he acquired goods by means of robbery and
violence. Thus was he enabled to enjoy the fruits of his thievery, and
by the invention of landmarks he changed the former simplicity of men's
lives, of their weights and measures, into craftiness or cunning, and
he introduced corruption. He first laid down landmarks, and he first
fortified towns with walls; and being afraid of those whom he and his
band had offended and robbed, he assembled his followers in his towns."

Chelčicky then deals with the clergy. He is particularly severe on the
mendicant friars, of whom, he writes thus: "It is thus as regards the
poverty of the monks: If it were true poverty it would be blessed,
but their poverty is insatiable and endures no want; therefore has
it only the name of poverty. Although they may not have many good
treasures, yet they can gather together so much that they can live in
abundance just as he who possesses treasures. Thus (such a monk) is
called poor though he is free from all the privations which poverty
causes. Many citizens indeed would accept this sort of poverty if they
could--relying on the regulations that permit constant begging--gather
together so much money that they could have a more abundant fare than
their neighbours, even should the latter earn much money by usury.
And if a poor monk obtains such abundance for his dinner-table that
he disdains beef and delicious peas with fat bacon, but wags his tail
when he sees game, birds or other delicacies that are better than
peas, then he has got himself a good livelihood by his begging; and he
and his companions the other monks have made a better business out of
begging than some squire who has a plough and two fields, or even a
large farm. Far indeed is such a mendicant friar from poverty; as he is
always begging, he would not scorn it should some one offer him gold;
the covetous monk would stick it into his bag, buy himself value (that
is, an annuity), give up the obligation of begging and rather become a
lord, winning from God with a trump."

After passing judgment on the priesthood, Chelčicky proceeds to
criticise the men of learning, or rather the theologians, for in his
time, particularly in Bohemia, scarcely any other learning was known.
He writes: "As regards the bands of masters of colleges, they are among
Christians, those of whom, one would think, that they were as a light
of the world, and that the faith of Christ had in them its strongest
pledge; (this) in consequence of their sure faculty of judgment and of
their virtues, and also (would one hope) that in time of persecution
the faithful people would find support among them. When, in time of
persecution, the frivolous run away, they who are stronger in faith
should take the weight on themselves; for one would think that they
only studied science so zealously--and gave it to be understood that
they do so for the sake of faith--because they wished to defend the
faith against heretics, and against the other enemies of the Christian
truth. But these their speeches which they boastfully deliver are not
true, and they have given no proof (of their zeal) during the present
time of persecution. I know of no one whom, with all their learning,
they have assisted. That is a living proof. As to Hus, he had the
faith in himself. Had he not been granted special strength by God, the
learning of the colleges, all of them that there are in the Romish
Church, would have stifled the faith in him; for all these colleges
flocked together to Constance against him. But dear God gave him so
much holy learning, that the Antichristian spirit of all those ravens
did not possess sufficient learning to extinguish in him the true
faith.... What the principal Antichrist's popes, cardinals, bishops,
abbots, the bands of monks and parsons, could not obtain for their own
advantage, and for the benefit of their dishonest cause, adverse to
Christ, that the masters of colleges have succeeded in obtaining. Thus
these college-men, as if they grieved for their father Antichrist, and
for the shame that befell him when truth was proclaimed, have employed
all their learning at two councils, which lasted several years, one at
Constance and the other at Basel, for the purpose of skilfully laying
snares against the truth; and for this have they sought the aid of
worldly power, that they might carry through that which their learning
had discovered, and on which they had deliberated, and thus prove
the truth of their teaching, and they had already won over to their
side[61] the entire might of the empire, so that having pronounced the
truth heretical and condemned it, they might destroy it by means of the
imperial power. But God, who observes the thoughts and counsels of the
wicked, did not allow them to obtain that which in their deliberations
they had aimed at, and for which they had employed their learning."

I will give a last quotation from the _Net of Faith_, illustrating
Chelčicky's views as to the manner in which the Church first became
possessed of worldly goods. It will be noticed how naively he here
refers to the grievances of the Bohemian peasants of his time,
and without hesitation speaks of them as existing at the time of
Constantine. "The emperor," Chelčicky writes, "having made a lord
of the Pope by means of the gift of a royal estate, and having
given him the honour of royal glory, ordered that everywhere in his
dominions churches should be built, and fields with ploughs attached
to them. Then the apostles of Antichrist, having settled down in these
churches, and being clever and thrifty men, amply enlarged the gift
of Constantine; besides their (church) farms, they obtained lordly
donations, woods, fishponds, taxes on the people, rich tithes; they
taxed all religious functions and their services, and for the purpose
of obtaining money they introduced the ringing of bells, and in all the
land near their church they sell (religious rites) at the burial of the

I have dealt somewhat more fully with the _Net of Faith_, as being
Chelčicky's most valuable and most characteristic work. It will
therefore be sufficient to notice but briefly his remaining writings,
particularly as there is a marked decline in the interest of what he
composed after the year 1340, when the _Net of Faith_ appeared. Of
the four books which--following Dr. Goll--I have called Chelčicky's
principal works, it only remains to notice his _Reply to Rokycan_,
which is generally considered the most important of his polemical
writings. While Rokycan, the Utraquist archbishop, was in exile from
Prague, he met Chelčicky, and a conversation between them began
concerning "the men who are called priests, and the slight advantage
they have conferred on men." The conversation was followed by a
correspondence of which only this treatise has been preserved. It is a
lengthy diatribe against the "band" of the ecclesiastics, and attacks
not only the Roman clergy, but also the priests of the Bohemian
National (Utraquist) Church, whom Rokycan, now returned from exile, was
endeavouring to organise hierarchically.

As already mentioned, many minor works of Chelčicky have become known,
some quite recently. Of these, the most important are the _Exposition
of the Passion according to St. John_ and the treatise _On the Beast
and its Image_. They are commentaries, the former on the last chapter
of the Gospel, the latter on the Revelation of St. John, a saint
whose particular influence on Chelčicky is often noticeable. Of other
minor works, the treatise _On the Body of Christ_ and that _On the
Foundation of Worldly Laws_ are most worthy of notice.

Though he cannot be considered its founder, Chelčicky's influence
contributed greatly to the formation of the society of the "Bohemian
Brethren," I have, however, preferred to deal with the "Unity," as it
was called, in the next chapter, when I shall consecutively deal with
its theological writers from the founders of the association down to

       *       *       *       *       *

In other than theological works the period of the Hussite wars is
very poor. Of historians, Lawrence of Březov and Mladenovič have
already been mentioned. It remains to notice a series of chroniclers,
whose writings I have already quoted, and who are known as the Staři
Letopisove Cešti, or "ancient Bohemian chroniclers." These writings,
the work of different authors, many of whom were probably eye-witnesses
of the events which they describe, form a chronological account,
written in the national language, of the occurrences in Bohemia from
1378 to 1526. The most interesting part of these chronicles refers
to the period of the Hussite wars, and to Zižka's campaigns in
particular. A considerable portion of the graphic account of Zižka's
campaign in Hungary and his retreat from that country has been
translated into French by Professor Léger in his _Nouvelles Études
Slaves_. "Written by a Xenophon," the learned Professor truly says,
"in good Greek of Athens, it would no doubt have become classic." The
account of the campaign is unfortunately not adapted to quotation
on a small scale. One legal work also belongs to this period, _The
Book of Law_ of Ctibor Cimburg of Tovačov, generally known as _Kniha
Tovačovská_, or the Book of Tovačov. The same writer has left an
allegorical dialogue entitled _Truth's Quarrel with Falsehood_.

The period of the Hussite wars produced but few poetical works, and
these, with the exception of Zižka's beautiful war-song, have little
value. They consist mainly of coarse invectives exchanged between the
Romanists and the Utraquists. Far more songs written by the friends of
Rome than by their adversaries have been preserved. This is, however,
probably a consequence of the fact that for a long period every
Bohemian work written in a sense hostile to Rome was sought out and
destroyed. A curious Romanist song is the one that has the words, "Woe
to you, Hus," as a refrain. I will quote the last strophe, in which the
writer thus addresses the Hussites:--

    _"You are wanton like bulls,_
    _Cows, mice, Moors;_
    _Murder, robbery, unchristian craft,_
    _These form your religion:_
    _Woe to you, Hus!"_

A curious satire on two monks who had fled from their monastery to
join the Hussites, entitled _The Painted Monks_, is also written
from the Roman standpoint. A few ballads describing warlike events of
the period have also been preserved. The best is that which describes
the battle of Aussig (Usti) in 1426. It is evidently the work of an
enthusiastic Hussite.


[54] See Chapter III. p. 112.

[55] Mr. James Baker has written an interesting monograph on Peter
Payne, entitled, _A Forgotten Great Englishman_.

[56] _Stari Letopisove Češti_ ("Ancient Bohemian Chronicles"); see

[57] The fable of the "donation of Constantine" and its fatal
consequences is met with constantly in mediæval literature. Dante
alludes to it in the _Inferno_ (Canto xix. v. 115-118)--

    "Ahi Constantin di quanto mal fu matre
    Non la tua conversion ma quella dote
    Che da te prese il primo ricco patre."

[58] Gospel of St. Luke, chap. iv. ver. 4-6.

[59] The Bohemian word _rota_ is not easy to interpret. It can
be translated by "bands" or "classes," but it has an invidious
signification which the English word "classes" does not render. The
word is frequently used by Chelčicky with reference to the aristocracy
and higher clergy. Chelčicky wrote a separate treatise, _O rotách
Cěských_ but it has not been preserved.

[60] Some of the objects enumerated above really formed part of the
coats of arms of Bohemian noble families.

[61] In this passage Chelčicky's style, as is frequently the case, is
rather involved. His meaning is that, in distinction from all other
ecclesiastics, the doctors of theology had been successful in obtaining
the aid of the temporal power for the purpose of suppressing the views
which they had declared heretical.



The comparative tranquillity in Bohemia which was the consequence of
the battle of Lipan (1434), and of the agreement between the Bohemians
and the Church of Rome which is known as the "compact," naturally had
a favourable influence on the intellectual development of the country.
The period which, beginning with the last years of the fifteenth
century, ends with the downfall of Bohemia in 1620, is the one in which
the Bohemian language obtained its greatest extension. I shall again
refer to this point at the beginning of Chapter VI.

Two events of the greatest importance to the development of Bohemian
literature occurred in the latter half of the fifteenth century. The
one is the growth of the humanist movement in Bohemia; the other is
the foundation of the sect of the "Bohemian Brethren." Utterly opposed
to one another as the views of the humanists and the Bohemian Brethren
were, the two currents of thought were not quite without reciprocal
influence. Some of the best writers of the "Unity," as the association
of the Bohemian Brethren was generally called, such as Blahoslav and
the translators of the Bible of Kralice, show proof of thorough study
of the Bohemian writings of the humanists. On the other hand, even such
an extreme "ultramontane" as the humanist Bohnslav of Lobkovic does not
display such absolute and abject submission to the Church of Rome as
we find in Southern Europe. Lobkovic admits, to a certain extent, the
corruption of the Church of Rome, on which his countrymen laid so great
stress, and his language when referring to Pope Alexander VI. is very

Though, in consequence of the Hussite wars, the humanist movement was
late in reaching Bohemia, it had there a considerable influence, though
of a rather indirect nature. No great original work can be attributed
to the Bohemian humanists, and when they used their native language it
was generally for the purpose of translations, by which, it is true,
they greatly enriched and developed it.

In no country had the humanist great sympathy with the national
language. In Bohemia the early humanists, whose representative man is
Bohuslav of Lobkovic, positively detested it. Lobkovic's often-quoted
epigram on Gregory Gelenius,[62] who had translated some of his Latin
verses into Bohemian, clearly expresses his feeling on the matter. He
wrote: "Into the national language has some one translated my verses.
Now the people read them, the lords and nobles. But I am indignant at
this work of the two-legged donkey,[63] and I commend his wit and his
muse to perdition."

If the early humanists had little sympathy for Bohemia, the national
or Utraquist party felt the strongest distrust of the "new learning."
A movement that originated in Italy, the site of the Papal power, to
which Bohemia refused allegiance, and reached the country through
Germany, the ever-hostile neighbour-land, could not appeal to the
Bohemians. It must, however, be remarked that the undoubted feeling
of antipathy which existed between Lobkovic, Slechta, and other early
humanists on one, and the mass of the Bohemian people on the other
side, did not include many well-known humanists who adhered to the then
predominant Utraquist Church of Bohemia, and did much, at least by
means of translations, to improve the language of their country.

Among the early strictly "ultramontane" Bohemian humanists, the most
prominent personage is BOHUSLAV HASIŠTEIN OF LOBKOVIC. Born about the
year 1460, he was educated in the doctrine of the Utraquist Church,
to which his father, a firm adherent of King Georg, had belonged. It
is not quite certain when he was formally received into the Roman
Church, but this no doubt happened during his stay in Italy. At a very
early age he proceeded to the University of Bologna, where he pursued
his studies for some time, and no doubt also became acquainted with
the teachers of the humanist learning, of which Bologna was then a
stronghold. Henceforth Bohnslav is for his whole lifetime a humanist,
with all the qualities and defects which belonged to that state of life.

Towards the end of the year 1482, Bohuslav returned to Bohemia, and
here, at an exceptionally early age, obtained the dignity of provost of
the Vyšehrad at Prague. Humanism had by this time spread in Bohemia,
and he became the centre of a small society which devoted itself
entirely to the study of the classic languages. Of this small group the
shining light, of course after Bohuslav himself, was Victorin Cornelius
ze Všehrd, the friend and afterwards the detested enemy of Bohuslav.
One of the minor lights of this _cénacle_ has described the position
of the two leading Bohemian humanists in the following Latin verses:--

    _"Primus Boleslaus, Cornelius altera Lux est_
    _Sidera nos alii, sed sine luce sumus."_

In the year 1490 Lobkovic undertook an extensive voyage to
Palestine and Egypt. On his return to Europe, Lobkovic, who, as
his correspondence very clearly proves, was by no means devoid of
political ambition, attempted to play a more important part in the
affairs of his country. For this purpose mainly Lobkovic aspired to
the important bishopric of Olmütz in Moravia, and he was unanimously
chosen by the chapter, which, according to very ancient regulations,
had the right of election. Unfortunately about this time Alexander VI.
was chosen as Pope, and he immediately appointed to the see of Olmütz
the Cardinal of Monreale, a relation of the Borgia family. Even the
strongest partisans of the papal cause were incensed at this decision,
which intrusted the bishopric of Olmütz to an Italian, ignorant of
the Bohemian, and even of the better-known German language, at a
moment when the influence of the Bohemian Brethren was very strong in
Moravia. A letter of remonstrance was, in the name of the principal
Moravian nobles, addressed to Pope Alexander. This remonstrance,
couched in rather strong language, was probably the work of Lobkovic,
and has been printed by Professor Joseph Truhlář in his recently
published collection of the Latin letters of Bohnslav of Lobkovic.
This letter had no result, and Lobkovic appears never to have forgiven
Pope Alexander. We possess several Latin epigrams written by him on
that pontiff, in which Lobkovic has followed Juvenal and Martial so
faithfully that I must refrain from quotation. Even after the death of
Alexander, Lobkovic in his _Farragines_ published an epigram stating
that even the guardian of hell had declined to admit Pope Borgia, as he
might corrupt the other inmates of the infernal regions!

That Lobkovic, however, remained a stanch adherent of the Church of
Rome is proved by an occurrence that took place somewhat later, and
caused great excitement among the small group of Bohemian humanists.
It is very characteristic of the times. Some citizens of Prague,
who belonged to the most moderate faction of the Utraquist party,
had, in 1493, presented an address to the Roman pontiff. With little
political foresight, Lobkovic, thoroughly believing that the separation
of Bohemia from the Roman Church had now at least come to an end,
wrote an enthusiastic letter to John of Domoslav, a writer in the
law-courts of Prague, and one of his very numerous correspondents. In
this letter, written in his best Latinity, Lobkovic rejoiced over the
final suppression of heresy, and enclosed a prayer in verse in which
he invoked the aid of Providence for the purpose of the restoration of
Bohemia to Catholicism. What followed is not very clear, but it seems
that Domoslav showed Lobkovic's poem to Victorin Cornelius ze Všehrd,
who had that year been appointed to high office in the law-courts of
Prague, and was his official superior. Všehrd, a fervent Utraquist,
was indignant at the suggestion of a reunion with Rome, and, as a true
humanist, he also immediately composed a Latin poem, parodying that of
Lobkovic. The poem ended with the words:--

    _"Boemicis sanguis si quid tibi restal aviti_
    _Roboris, indigno subtrahe colla jugo!_
    _Qui domini tanto servasti jussa superni_
    _Tempore, papalibus contaminari cave!"_

This parody Všehrd communicated to Domoslav, who--it is difficult
to understand from what motive, unless it was sheer love of
mischief-making--immediately forwarded it to Lobkovic.

The indignation of Lobkovic was very great, and he expressed it in
a lengthy very Ciceronian letter to Domoslav, which is contained in
Professor Truhlář's collection of the letters of Lobkovic. He regrets
that Domoslav should have sent to him "the blasphemies of one who, with
sacrilegious mouth, raves against the Church of Christ."[64] Lobkovic
then proceeds to compare his former friend to Dathan and Abiram,
Wycliffe, Arius, and the Emperor Julian. After a long and tedious
polemical discourse, Lobkovic very characteristically ends his letter
by stating that the heretic, besides his other misdeeds, had "placed a
tribrachys in the fifth place of his first verse;" a lengthy list of
similar errors follows, and concludes with the remark that Všehrd had,
at the end of the last line of his poem, used the second syllable of
the word "papalibus"--in the passage I have quoted--as long, contrary
to what he had done in an earlier passage of the poem.

In his later years Lobkovic spent most of his time at his castle of
Hassištein, and does not seem to have continued his attempt to obtain
political influence. He collected a large library at his castle, and
devoted his time to study and to the company of the humanist friends
who visited him at Hassištein. He died there in 1512.

As Lobkovic wrote only in Latin, a writer on Bohemian literature can
deal with his works very briefly. The fact that a Bohemian noble of
high rank wrote in a sense favourable to Rome at a time when almost
the whole of his country was opposed to that Church, has caused
Lobkovic to receive much exaggerated praise from writers whose literary
judgment was guided by their political and religious sympathies. His
works, both in prose and in poetry, are numerous, but have little
value. Even in the best of his elegies he is far inferior to his
contemporary Sannazaro. The Latinity of his letters is certainly very
good, and he ranks very high among the humanists in this respect;
but the elaborate style hardly dissimulates poverty of thought and
narrow-minded prejudice. His letter or harangue to King Vladislav,
written 1497, is in itself sufficient to convict Lobkovic of incapacity
as a politician. The purpose of the letter was to entreat the king to
re-establish the Roman Catholic archbishopric of Prague, but Lobkovic
proceeds to beg the king to extirpate heresy in Bohemia entirely. He
quotes, as examples for the king, Charles the Great, who forcibly
converted the heathen Saxons, and Ferdinand of Arragon, "who alone
among kings emulates you in virtue," by whose agency Baetica, the
noblest province of Spain, was restored to our Christian fold. It
is, of course, a matter of opinion whether the forcible reconversion
of Bohemia to the Roman Church, such as actually took place in the
seventeenth century, was desirable or not; but it requires but a very
slight knowledge of Bohemian history to realise that such an attempt at
the time of the reign of Vladislav was doomed to most certain failure.
It is, however, possible that the letter was intended merely to be a
rhetorical exercise.

The influence of Lobkovic on the development of Bohemian literature
was undoubtedly harmful. The outspoken contempt for the national
language expressed by so renowned a humanist could not but discourage
its cultivation by others. Lobkovic, in his strange identification of
Bohemian writings with what he considered heretical opinions, is an
undoubted forerunner of the Jesuit book-destroyers of the seventeenth
century. A recent critic writes: "These Latin works of Bohemian
humanists appear as a vast sepulchre, bearing the epitaph: 'Here, under
an elaborate Latin monument, true Slav hearts lie buried.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Though he can scarcely be considered as a humanist, John of Lobkovic
should be mentioned in connection with his brother Bohnslav. Differing
in most things from his brother, with whom, in consequence of questions
of succession, he was for some time on bad terms, he used the Bohemian
language for his two works which we possess. He wrote a curious
work entitled _Knowledge and Instruction for my son Jaroslav, as
to what he should do and what omit_. The book, written in 1504,
was afterwards printed under the less unwieldy title of the _True_
_Bohemian Mentor_. It enjoyed great popularity in Bohemia, and a copy
of this book was a frequent gift of fathers to their sons.

As a proof of the noble spirit in which the book is written, I shall
quote a portion of the chapter entitled "On subject people (_i.e._
serfs), and how you should behave towards them." John of Lobkovic
writes: "Be gracious to your subjects, if you wish that the Lord God
should be gracious to you. For if you forgive them their offences, then
will the Lord God forgive you your offences. For we say in the Lord's
Prayer, 'Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass
against us.' Thus we ourselves, when we sing the Lord's prayer, submit
to this, saying, 'Forgive us as we forgive.' And thus if we do not
forgive their offences to those who have offended us, our own sins will
not be forgiven to us by God.

"Hear cheerfully every one, rich or poor, on his request, and either
help him to justice or order those whose business it is to do so. By
this you will obtain the love of the people and their prayers to God
for your long life and happiness in everything.

"If some poor man of yours (subject or serf) has committed some not
very great offence against you, forgive him once and twice; even if
he offends a third time, be merciful. Only if it is a serious matter,
justly meriting the penalty of death, then act towards him as is
fit.... Give just judgment on your subjects and every one on whom you
sit in judgment, for that is God's command.

"When sitting in judgment, pay no regard to the person if he be rich or
poor, or to favour or disfavour, or to presents, which blind the judge
and disgrace justice. Deliver judgment impartially to every one, this
one or that."

Lobkovic's advice as to the treatment of serfs is very interesting, as
having been written only a few years after the Diet of Bohemia had in
1487 established serfdom, which was contrary to the original customs
of Bohemia. It is certain that the rule of the Bohemian nobles over
the peasantry belonging to the same race was very mild, and that the
condition of the peasantry became far worse when, after the battle
of the White Mountain, the landowner was almost always a foreigner,
generally a German. John of Lobkovic is also to be mentioned as a
traveller. In 1493 he undertook a journey to Palestine by way of
Venice, Dalmatia, and Greece, of which he has left us a description
entitled _A Pilgrimage to the Grave of God_.

Of Bohemian humanists the most important one next to Bohnslav of
Lobkovic is VICTORIN CORNELIUS ZE VŠEHRD, born at Chrudim in 1460.
His friendship with Bohnslav of Lobkovic, which was ended by a bitter
religious dispute, has already been mentioned. Všehrd for some time
held an important office at the law-courts of Prague, which he lost
in 1497, it is said through the influence of Bohnslav of Lobkovic.
Všehrd was one of the most learned lawyers of his time, and he has
left us a legal work in Bohemian entitled _Ten Books on the Rights
of the Bohemian Land_, which has great historical value. After his
rupture with Bohnslav Lobkovic, Všehrd seems to have abandoned his
exclusive devotion to Latin. Belonging to the National Utraquist
Church, he was devoid of the dislike to the national language which
up to the beginning of the seventeenth century was general among the
adherents of the Roman Church. He, however, attempted no original work,
but endeavoured to aid the development of the Bohemian language by
enriching it with translations from foreign authors. He has himself
explained his purpose in the preface to his translation of St. John
Chrysostom's work _On the Amendment of the Fallen_. He writes: "I have
gladly translated (this book) for this reason also, that I hope thus
to extend, to ennoble, to increase our language; for it is not so
narrow and unpolished as it seems to some. Its abundance and richness
can be seen by this, that whatever can be expressed in Greek or in
Latin can be so in Bohemian also.... May others compose new books
written in Latin and--pouring water into the sea--extend the use of
the Roman language. I wish, by translating the books and works of
really good men into Bohemian, rather to enrichen the poor than that,
flattering the rich with bad and unwelcome presents, I should be
despised and insulted. I could indeed write Latin as well as others who
are my equals; but knowing that I am a Bohemian, I will indeed learn
Latin, but write and speak in Bohemian." Besides the above-mentioned
translation, Všehrd also translated into Bohemian several works of
St. Cyprian. It must be mentioned that when translating from the
Greek, Všehrd used Latin versions. With the exception of Pisecký, the
knowledge of Greek which the Bohemian humanists possessed was not very
extensive. Všehrd did not confine himself to humanistic studies, but
continued to practise as a lawyer up to his death in 1520.

Among other Bohemian humanists, Gregory Hrubý z Jeleni and his
son Sigismund--both are better known under the Latinised name of
"Gelenius"--deserve special notice. Gregory Gelenius, born about the
year 1450, was one of the most industrious translators of classical
works into the Bohemian language, and as such has deserved well of the
language of his country. The works of Cicero particularly appealed to
him, and he not only translated several of them into Bohemian, but also
published an _Admonition to the Citizens of Prague_, which is an
adaptation of Cicero's speech _Pro Lege Manilia_. Gelenius did not
limit his translations to the classical writers. He translated several
of the Latin works of Petrarch, the _Encomium Moriæ_ of Erasmus,
whose fame in Bohemia was very great, and some of the Latin poems of
Bohnslav of Lobkovic. I have already alluded to the indignation with
which Bohnslav received this attempt to translate his verses into his
national language, which he so greatly despised. Gregory Gelenius died
in 1514.

Gregory's son, SIGISMUND GELENIUS, was perhaps the most learned of
the Bohemian humanists. Born in 1497, he travelled in Italy when very
young, and during a stay at Venice acquired a thorough knowledge
of Greek. He also seems to have been acquainted with the Semitic
languages. Sigismund endeavoured, but unsuccessfully, to obtain a
professorship of Greek at the University of Prague. Disappointed by his
failure, he left Bohemia, and, on the suggestion of Erasmus, proceeded
to Basel, where he was employed by the publisher John Frobenius, who
was then preparing a series of editions of classical authors. Sigismund
Gelenius is one of the greatest philologians of the sixteenth century,
and obtained special notice as editor and annotator of the works of
Ammianus Marcellinus, Pliny, and Livy. He spent his whole life at
Basel, and refused repeated invitations to return to his country. The
celebrated Bohemian Brother, Blahoslav, who visited him at Basel in
1550, has recorded that he still "spoke Bohemian very well." Sigismund
Gelenius died at Basel in 1554.

In connection with the two Geleniuses I shall mention Wenceslas Hladič,
or PISECKÝ, as he called himself, from the town Pisek, where he was
born in 1482. He studied at the University of Prague, and there took
his degrees as Bachelor and as Master of Arts. He afterwards travelled
in Italy, having been chosen by Gregory Gelenius as tutor or companion
to his son Sigismund, who was to pursue his studies there. Pisecký and
his pupil proceeded to Padua, and from there to Bologna. Bologna was
then a centre for the numerous Greek refugees who had after the fall
of Constantinople left their country. As a true Bohemian of his time,
Pisecký, while in Italy, engaged in a theological controversy with a
monk at Bologna on the subject of communion in two kinds. The Latin
treatise which he published on this subject was afterwards translated
into Bohemian by Gregory Gelenius. Wenceslas Pisecký was indeed not
influenced in his religious opinions by his stay in Italy, and always
remained faithful to the Utraquist Church. In one of his letters
he complains that his country is little known in foreign lands--a
complaint that a Bohemian of the present is unfortunately still
entitled to echo--and writes bitterly of Ænæas Sylvius, whose book on
Bohemia was then and long afterwards considered the standard authority
on the subject. He writes: "Ænæas Sylvius, who was ignorant of the laws
of historical writing as they have been transmitted to us by the Greek
writers, deals in the manner of a gladiator (gladiatorio prorsus animo)
with the Bohemians."

The most important result of Pisecký's Greek studies was a Bohemian
translation of Isocrates's oration to Demonikos, which his protector,
Gregory Gelenius, published in 1512, a year after the premature death
of Pisecký, who died suddenly at Venice from the plague, or, according
to other accounts, from poison. Pisecký's version, in which for the
first time a Greek work was translated directly into Bohemian, still
has great value, and has by a recent critic been described as a model
of Bohemian diction. As a proof of the importance that was attached to
the translation, we may quote the very simple Bohemian "Epitaph" which
Gregory Gelenius prefixed to the work of Pisecký. It runs as follows:--

    _"The town of Pisek was my birthplace;_
    _The University of Prague gave me learning;_
    _The Italian land taught me Greek._
    _Therefore have I left a memorial behind me,_
    _Isocrates translated into Bohemian speech._
    _More work I cannot undertake, for I am dead._
    _Good Bohemian, be thankful that I accomplished this,_
    _Now that my earthly life is ended."_

Another very distinguished Bohemian humanist was JOHN ŠLECHTA, who was
afterwards ennobled and received the title "ze Všehrd". He must not,
however, be confused with Viktorin Cornelius ze Všehrd, who has already
been mentioned. Born in 1446, Šlechta was like Bohnslav of Lobkovic,
with whom he was on terms of friendship, and many of the early Bohemian
humanists, a fervent adherent of the Church of Rome. Like Lobkovic,
also, he had a strong dislike to the language and to the religion of
his country. Like most humanists, he was a great letter-writer, and
many of his letters, some of which are in his own language, have been

A curious proof of the intense dislike which some, though by no means
all, Bohemian humanists felt for the peculiar religious views which
attracted the attention of foreigners to their country can be found in
the correspondence of Šlechta with Erasmus of Rotterdam. Šlechta, in a
letter referring to the "Bohemian Brethren," informed his correspondent
that "an emissary of 'Pikardus'[65] had infected first Zižka's army
and then all Bohemia with pestiferous doctrines of sin; thence the
'Bohemian Brethren' proceeded to recognise communion in the two kinds,
and to choose as bishops and priests rude laymen who had no culture,
were married, and had children."

The answer of Erasmus is very characteristic; he regrets that the
Bohemians do not conform to the universal custom as regards communion,
but he openly states that he does not understand why Christ's original
regulations on this subject have been changed. As to the choosing
of their own bishops and priests, this does not, to Erasmus, appear
contrary to the early regulations (consuetudo veterum).

The most ambitious work of Šlechta was, no doubt, his _Microcosmus_.
The book, which was written in Latin, has been lost, and we can
therefore only judge of it from the preface that is still existent,
and from the numerous references to it that can be found in the
correspondence of Šlechta and his friends. Šlechta appears to have
forwarded copies of his book to many of his friends, wishing to obtain
their opinion as to its contents. In his preface Šlechta declares
that he intended dealing with the relations of the body to the soul
according to Plato's works, of which, by means of a Latin translation,
he appears to have had some knowledge.

Another Bohemian humanist who, by means of translations into his
native language, has deserved well of his country, is Nicolas Konáč,
or Finitor, according to the Latinised version of his name. Bohemian
writers on the literature of their country devote much space to
notices of the numerous translations made by Finitor, but it will here
be sufficient to mention that the most important of these Bohemian
translations was that of Ænæas Sylvius's work on Bohemia. Late in life
Finitor wrote, in Bohemian, an allegorical work of mystic tendency that
enjoyed great celebrity in its time. The work, that only appeared
after the death of Konáč in 1546, is entitled _The Book of Lamentation
and Complaint of Justice, the Queen and Mistress of all Virtues_.

It would be easy to continue this enumeration of Bohemian humanists.
Though these translators devoted themselves rather too much to the
works of the fathers of the Church and to contemporary writers such
as Erasmus and Sebastian Brand, and too little to the real classics,
yet their work greatly contributed to the improvement and development
of the Bohemian language. The study of ancient literature, which was
undoubtedly furthered by their work, had a refining and elevating
influence on some of the men who, in the last years of Bohemian
independence, played a prominent part in the politics of their country.
I shall return to this point in the next chapter.

Writing for readers who are not Bohemians, it will be sufficient to
mention but two other Bohemian humanists, the two Veleslavins. They
enjoyed great celebrity, and it became customary to call the period in
which they flourished--the last years of the sixteenth and the first of
the seventeenth century--"the age of Veleslavin."

Adam Daniel Veleslavin, born in 1545, studied at the University of
Prague, and took his degrees there. He afterwards for some time
lectured on history at that university, but after his marriage in
1576 to the daughter of the celebrated printer and publisher, George
Melantrich, he became a partner in the business of his father-in-law.
In this capacity he greatly furthered the development of Bohemian
literature, and it is due to him that many books in that language
were printed. Thoroughly acquainted with the art of writing his own
language, he thoroughly supervised all the books that issued from
his press, and, as Dr. Jireček writes, there is not one of them that
doesn't show traces of having been corrected by him. He was occupied
with lexicographic works in his own language, and with translations
from other languages. Of his many works we may mention his _Politia
Historica_, a translation, or rather adaptation, of the vast German
work of Lauterbeck, which is entitled _Das Regentenbuch_, and his
translation of the work of Ænæas Sylvius on Bohemia, which, in spite of
its hostility to their country, greatly interested the Bohemians. The
preface to this edition, Veleslavin's own work, contains an interesting
account of the early historians of Bohemia.

Of his mainly philological works, Veleslavin's _Silva Quadrilinguis_
and his _Nomenclator Quadrilinguis_ are the most important; both
contain alphabetic vocabularies of the Bohemian, Latin, Greek, and
German languages. The works issued from the Veleslavin press are so
numerous that it seems certain that he had many collaborators in his
critical work. Bernard of Hodijov and William Ostrovecký are specially
mentioned as having acted as "sub-editors" to the works published by
Veleslavin. Though he appears to have by no means been a man of genius,
the influence of Veleslavin on Bohemian literature was very great, and
it was an undoubted loss to the country that he died prematurely in

The son of Adam Daniel, ADAM SAMUEL VELESLAVIN was born in 1592,
only seven years before the death of his father. In his youth he was
involved in the domestic quarrels and civil war which troubled Bohemia
in the years 1618 to 1620. He was an enthusiastic adherent of the
"Nationalist" party, to use a modern expression, and was obliged to
fly from Bohemia after the fatal battle of the White Mountain. We
have no record of him from the time that his exile began. His fortune
was confiscated by the triumphant Catholics, and his printing-presses,
which he had inherited from his father, were made over to the Jesuits.
He had up to the downfall of Bohemian independence continued the
editorial labours of his father, and had completed the publishing of
several works begun by him. He also published in 1613 an edition of
the Bible dedicated to the "defenders," that is, the leaders of the
Protestant movement.

In connection with the humanists, who also wrote much Latin verse, we
now turn to the Bohemian poetry of this period. But even the "golden
age" of Bohemian literature, as the sixteenth and the first years
of the seventeenth century have often been called, produced little
valuable poetry. It is indeed only in the earliest times and again in
the present century that Bohemia has been distinguished through its
poetry. The sixteenth and seventeenth century produced indeed a certain
amount of satirical poetry, but it requires no further notice.

The only writer of this period who composed a large amount of Bohemian
poetry was SIMON LOMNICKÝ of Budeč, born in 1552, who was much praised
as a poet by his contemporaries. Though most of his poetical writings,
particularly his more ambitious efforts, are devoid of true poetic
feeling, yet, as being the one poet of that time who wrote in the
national language, his place is marked in an account of Bohemian
literature. He enjoyed, as already mentioned, great celebrity, and was
often described as "the poet of the Bohemian land," "Poeta Cechicus,"
or the "founder of Bohemian song." More interesting than his larger
works are his shorter songs, _vers d'occasion_ as they may be called,
which he sent to his patrons, the Bohemian nobles. In Bohemia, as in
Italy and in other countries, it was then the fashion that important
domestic events, such as marriages or deaths, which occurred in
noble families should be celebrated in verse, and many poets, of
whom Lomnický was one, obtained rich gifts from their patrons in
remuneration of verses of this description.

Lomnický is also interesting as being the type of a very numerous
class of Bohemians--particularly of the middle class--during the last
years of independence. Many Bohemians shared Lomnický's sensual and
material view of life, and his inability to feel any genuine political
or religious enthusiasms. This fact indeed convicts as utter idealists,
and therefore unpractical politicians, men such as Harrant and Budova,
who believed that their countrymen were prepared to sacrifice their
lives for a Church similar to that of Geneva, and for a constitution
similar to that of Venice. Though perhaps only Lomnický welcomed in
1619 Frederick of the Palatinate, and celebrated in 1621 the "just
punishment" of his adherents, yet the feeling of indifference to
everything beyond personal, mainly material, advantages which Lomnický
so cynically displayed, was shared by many Bohemians at the moment when
they were confronted with the most decisive crisis in their history.

Lomnický is a voluminous writer, and, as already mentioned, found it
advantageous to be so. Besides the numerous gifts which he received
from the noble patrons to whom he dedicated his works, he was also
ennobled by Rudolph II. in recognition of his poetical works. Of
his larger works, one of the earliest is his _Advice to a Young
Landowner_ (or farmer), which has always been the most popular of
Lomnický's writings, and has in recent times, since the revival of
Bohemian literature, been twice reprinted. The book is devoid of
poetic merit, but is curious as a study of the social life of Bohemia.
In the preface Lomnický has explained the purpose of the book, which
is personified, and thus addresses the reader: "God be with you,
gentle reader--And you in particular, young farmer.--I am again
sent out to you--If you will take me to yourself--We will converse
together--Rhyme together in Bohemian.--You will, I am sure, say that
I am right--And occasionally even smile at my remarks--Through me you
will learn--What is beseeming for your household--You will not require
much patience--For I have but little to say--For only to a moderate
extent--And having regard to brevity--Will I teach you husbandry--You
may imagine what I leave unsaid." The reader of this singular book will
sometimes regret that Lomnický did not leave more things unsaid.

Lomnický begins his book by moralising on the inequalities of fortune.
He writes in the first chapter of his book: "It is a well-known
thing in the world--Both in winter and in summer--Both when buying
and when selling--That no one always possesses happiness--With one
man everything succeeds--With another everything goes amiss--In
every sort of trade--One has gain, the other loss.... Thus too with
agriculture--As with every other description of work--One is successful
in everything--With another everything is failure--One man has a
virtuous wife--Faithful, bashful, loving--Another marries so slatternly
a drab--That all food becomes nauseous to him--One has obedient
servants--Requiring but little correction--Another may scold as much
as he likes--Nothing will be better--His house will be hell--They (=the
servants) will take no notice of him--Perhaps even laugh at him.--In
your own children too--You can see how different they are--Some give
pleasure--Others cause but grief." This quotation is sufficient to
prove that Lomnický extended his reflections far beyond the domain of
agriculture. His book contains chapters "on wisdom," "on enemies," "on
ill-conducted old women," "on female servants and their punishment,"
"on conjugal fidelity," "on dress," and on many other matters as little
connected with his subject.

Somewhat later Lomnický published his _Cupid's Arrow_ (_Kupidova
Střela_), a poem which contributed greatly to his fame among his
contemporaries. Though the book was not, as has been frequently stated,
dedicated to Rudolph II., but to Lord William of Rosenberg, it found
great favour with the King of Bohemia, and probably induced that prince
to confer on Lomnický the rank of a noble, which he had long desired.
In this book also Lomnický poses as a moralist, and inveighs against
the vices of his age. Bohemian authors, perhaps the only ones who
have seriously criticised Lomnický's writings, have generally, and
perhaps rightly, doubted whether his virtuous indignation was sincere.
Lomnický, indeed, in this very book, confesses that he was a "lover of
sweet Venus," and all his works--not even the _Advice to a Landowner_
excepted--show a predilection for _risqué_ subjects and situations.
Similar in tendency to the _Arrow_ is Lomnický's book entitled _Dance,
a short treatise on dancing, considered as an exaggerated exertion
of the luxurious body_, which was dedicated to his most prominent
patron, Lord Peter of Rosenberg. A considerable number of religious
poems from the pen of Lomnický have also been preserved, mostly in
MS. only. They are written from the Roman Catholic standpoint, which
the author generally recognised, though he seems at the time of the
coronation of Frederick of the Palatinate to have developed a sudden
zeal for communion in the two kinds.

I have already mentioned that in my opinion the minor works of Lomnický
possess far greater value than his more extensive works. Of such poems
the song in celebration of the marriage of Joachim Ulrick, Lord of
Hradec, and the recently printed _Epithalamium_ on the marriage of
William, Lord Stavata of Chlum, to the noble Lady Lucy of Hradec, have
great interest. The last-named song contains a good deal of coarse wit,
and offensive allusions to members of the Bohemian nobility who were
present at the wedding. The recent editor of this curious poem remarks,
that on this occasion the only remuneration which Lomnický deserved
from his noble patrons was a sound thrashing! It must not, however,
be forgotten that Lomnický held somewhat the position of a licensed
buffoon in the houses of the great Bohemian nobles.

Very different from this and similar writings of Lomnický is the
burial-song which he wrote on the occasion of the death of his
principal patron, Lord Peter Vok of Rosenberg,[66] in 1611, and which,
it is said, he recited when walking in the funeral procession. It
is characteristic of the enigmatic nature of Rosenberg that, though
perhaps not generally popular, he should yet have inspired with a
sincere feeling of affection not only men such as Březan, but even so
thoroughly egotistical and unprincipled a time-server as Lomnický.
Yet no one who reads this poem in its entirety can doubt that here,
at least, Lomnický is thoroughly sincere. The poem loses greatly
by quotation; yet I shall translate a few lines from a song that
undoubtedly shows us Lomnický at his best. It begins thus:--

    "_There was once in this Bohemian land a noble lord well known to
        all the people,_
    _Whose glory was great, whose name, Peter Vok of Rosenberg, was
        everywhere celebrated...._
    _He was as a shining light to this country, for which the race of
        Rosenberg will no longer shine._[67]
    _The father of the fatherland is dead! No more, Bohemians, will
        you be able to lay on him the burden of power._
    _Already is he buried in the monastery of Vyssi Brod, which his
        ancestors erected and founded._
    _At that monastery many noble lords assembled; much grief had
        they at this funeral._
    _On Candlemas Day was he sorrowfully buried;_
    _Let every one record the day_
    _When death deprived us of this glorious lord; a great loss have
        we felt, a great grief has God inflicted on us._
    _When seventy-two years of age he finished his earthly course,
        left this world._
    _Born at Krumlov, he died at Trebon; suddenly struck by illness,
        he saw the day of death._
    _In worthy old age he left this world; departed from earthly
        misery to eternal fame._"

Somewhat later, Lomnický, addressing the other mourners, writes:--

    "_I, the founder of song, lament for him together with you, for
        my love drives me (to do so),_
    _Saying; 'My benefactor, too deeply for me do you sleep; but
        thou, the friend of the poor, knowest thy (heavenly) reward?_
    _That I may yet serve his memory, I have written this short
        simple song._
    _Weeping has moistened my pen, more tears have I shed than any
        one who before me sang and wailed._
    _Bend your heads downward, dear friends; sprinkle with your tears
        the much-beloved rose._[68]
    _Pray faithfully for it to the Heavenly God, that it may blossom
        and grow for ever in His paradise._"

At the end of his poem Lomnický reflects on the shortness of human
life, and alludes to the curious tradition, that appears then to
have been prevalent in Bohemia, that the extinction of the house
of Rosenberg would be the prelude to great troubles and changes in
Bohemia. Lomnický writes:--

    "_Our lifetime here becomes shorter; it perishes like a flower;
        we must betake ourselves hence into that other world._
    _Little time will pass till they carry us from our house; like a
        little leaf we fall from the tree._
    _But you, O Bohemian land, be careful of your fate, for all the
        words of Christ will be fulfilled;_
    _Many wonders happen; the people murder one another; foul
        pestilences arise everywhere._
    _Frequently very noble lords leave us; the able and leading men
    _Thus this noble who lies on the bier, let him be an example to
        us; for we must remember_
    _That there is a prophecy that when this family is extinct there
        will be no peace in the Bohemian kingdom;_
    _Indeed, that after the departure of this most glorious rose,
        things will go from bad to worse._[69]
    _Let no one be surprised that I dare to write thus, for this
        disorderly world cannot exist long._
    _We also must all die, must go to the distant land, taste death._
    _Nothing remains but to prepare for it; however much a man may
        cry he must pay his penalty._
    _Let us then do penance, lead a virtuous life, if we wish to be
        with God._
    _Death and misery cannot harm us, for it (_i.e. _death) brings us
        from death to (eternal) life._
    _O Jesu Christ! Thou who art our highest Lord, when we die deign
        to be with us;_
    _Receive our spirit in Thy most holy hand. Deliver us from Satan;
        do not let us go to torment;_
    _Rather deign to allow us to behold Thee with our eyes, and to
        meet Lord Peter again in heaven._"

I have already alluded to Lomnický's political rhymes, which deserve
some notice, though their poetic merit is slight. Lomnický's rhythms
have at least the merit that they lose little by translation. When
Frederick of the Palatinate arrived in Bohemia in 1619, Lomnický, with
his usual facility, immediately began singing the praise of the new
sovereign. His verses for a time obtained great popularity at Prague,
and--what was probably of greater importance to the needy poet--he
received a considerable remuneration from the treasury of the king.
Some of these verses have been preserved in the vast historical work
of Skála ze Zhoře.[70] On the arrival of Frederick, Lomnický welcomed
him with these words: "O King Frederick--We entreat thee with all our
might--Drive the enemies from our land--Do not let them rob us any
more.--May God give you His blessing--And grant you a happy reign--And
also a glorious victory--Over those who are our enemies--Then may we
have true freedom.--Receive in the two kinds--The body and the blood
of our Lord Jesus.--Do thou effect this O King Frederick!--Confound
the rebellious ones (_i.e._ the Austrian party)--Then ever more and
more--Shall we praise you according to God--Celebrate your dignity."

Several other poems in the same sense, and dating from about the same
time--the end of the year 1619--have been preserved. The battle of the
White Mountain, in the following year, produced an immediate change in
the views of the unscrupulous time-server Lomnický. He celebrated the
executions at Prague on June 21st, 1621, in a ballad, of which I shall
quote a few lines. The song begins thus:--

    "_An evil beginning almost always has an evil end:_
    _He that writes this song knows that this is no lie._
    _Ill began the Calvinists, ill ended the Estates,_
    _Rebels all._
    _Yes, they roused up the whole world from vain pride, from wickedness;_
    _They conspired together against his Highness_ (i.e. _Ferdinand_).
    _Having a king, their lord, already lawfully chosen_
    _And crowned,_
    _They yet chose another for themselves, one of their band,_[71]
    _Who was of the Calvinist faith, of that blind community;_
    _They wanted to have superiority in everything, to be lords and
    _To insult the others._"

After this not very veracious account of the origin of the Bohemian
troubles, Lomnický refers to the details of the executions. He writes:--

    "_Every one received punishment according to his offence._
    _He also did not remain without torment who had sinned with his
    _And, as the right demands, who had committed greater offence_
    _Had severer punishment._
    _Some were exiled for ever from the country;_
    _Others in prison still hope for mercy;_
    _Others, again, have been whipped: it is the fault of the rebels_
    _That this happens._
    _O most mournful spectacle! many were amazed,_
    _Many a heart fainted, many shook from horror,_
    _For there is no record that there ever occurred before_
    _So great woe._
    _Twelve heads were placed on the bridge-gate,_
    _That it might be proclaimed to every corner of the world_
    _Who were the rebels, the wretched "directors,_"[73]
    _The cause of all evil._
    _The remains of those who were quartered were placed at the
        crossways in the streets;_
    _The hands of some were chopped off, having those fingers_
    _Which had sworn falsely, which had been raised_
    _To promise faith._"

The song ends thus:--

    "_O Jesus, we pray to Thee, listen to our voices._
    _Grant to us that we may shortly behold our beloved sovereign
        (Ferdinand II.)._
    _And, rejoicing with him, together praise and honour you,_
    _Glorify you for ever._
    _This story will be the wonder of the whole world,_
    _And wherever the news reaches it will displease the evil-minded,_
    _For no one before ever heard or read in the chronicles_
    _That the devil's pride was so greatly humiliated._
    _Many, many people then perished in a short time;_
    _Their day was ended, they came to the term of their life._
    _O God! from a similar evil end_
    _Deign to preserve us all._"

Though severely reprimanded, Lomnický himself escaped punishment,
perhaps in consequence of his speedy recantation. The quaint tale that
Lomnický was summoned to the presence of Ferdinand, reminded of the
benefits that he had received from Rudolph, the sovereign's ancestor,
that he had returned an impertinent answer, and that Ferdinand had
then ordered him to be immediately whipped in his presence, has no
historical foundation. Lomnický's last years were spent in great
poverty. His former patrons, the great Bohemian nobles, were either
dead or were penniless exiles in distant countries. The new Austrian
authorities, whom he now pestered with demands for pecuniary aid, took
little notice of Lomnický. The year of his death is uncertain, but was
probably not later than the year 1623.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foundation of the community--or "Unity," as it was generally
called--of the Bohemian Brethren is of the greatest importance for
Bohemian literature as well as for Bohemian history. It can be
generally stated that, with a few exceptions, all the men who, during
the last years of Bohemian independence, were most prominent in
literature and in politics belonged to the "Unity." It is true that
this is partly due to the fact that the community soon mitigated its
original extreme severity, abandoned the views, derived from Chelčicky,
that all participation in public life and all "worldly wisdom" is
forbidden to the true Christian. It thus became possible that great
nobles, politicians, and men of learning should join the community.
The foundation of the Bohemian Unity, the consecration of the earliest
priests, and the exact tenets of the first members of the community,
are still very obscure, and even Dr. Goll, the recognised authority on
this subject, declares that many points are doubtful.

The foundation of the Unity was undoubtedly an outcome of the great
religious convulsion in Bohemia that was caused by the death of Hus.
The intellectual originators, though not the actual founders, of the
Unity were Chelčicky and Rokycan. It is difficult to do full justice
to Rokycan. His energy and courage were indefatigable, and had it been
possible to found in Bohemia a Church agreeing mainly with the doctrine
of Rome, but not recognising the papal authority and retaining its
independence with regard to certain points of ritual, Rokycan alone
could perhaps have achieved this object. It was a necessary consequence
of Rokycan's difficult position--he was Archbishop-elect of Prague,
but never recognised by the Papal See--that his teaching somewhat
differed at times in accordance with the state of public affairs. When
an agreement with Rome seemed possible, his eloquent sermons dwelt
rather on the points in which the Utraquists agreed with Rome. When, as
always happened when the negotiations with Rome had lasted some time,
the Papal See declared itself resolutely opposed to all the demands
of Bohemia, Rokycan preached strongly against the tenets of Rome, and
particularly against the avarice and immorality of the Roman clergy. It
is a peculiarity of the Bohemian Church reformers that, from the days
of Hus to the time of the complete suppression of religious liberty,
they always laid great stress on this point.

During the reign of King Ladislas Posthumus (1439-1457), who, in
consequence of his early education, was hostile to the Utraquist creed,
then professed by the great majority of the Bohemians, the preaching
of Rokycan, whom the king viewed with marked disfavour, was of a very
advanced character. Following directly in the footsteps of Hus, Rokycan
in his sermons strongly denounced the corruption of the times and laid
particular stress upon the worthlessness of the Roman clergy. Many
of his remarks on this subject have been recorded by the writers of
the Unity. "A stag with golden antlers on the bridge of Prague," he
declared, "was not so great a rarity as a good priest." These sermons
made a great impression on the vast audiences to whom they were
delivered; for the almost exclusive interest in religious matters was
then characteristic of most educated Bohemians. Among the listeners who
were most impressed by Rokycan's fiery eloquence was a young man known
to us by the name of "Brother Gregory," who was destined to become
the founder of the Unity. Even after the careful researches of recent
years, Gregory's life is still surrounded by mystery. It is stated that
he was a nephew of Archbishop Rokycan, and also--what renders that
statement at least improbable--that he belonged to a noble though poor
family. His family name, according to some accounts, was Krejči, which
in Bohemian signifies "tailor." It is, however, more probable that
he received that name because, after the foundation of the Unity, he
sometimes practised the trade of a tailor. The strict rules established
by Gregory himself obliged the priests of the Unity to live in poverty
and by the work of their hands. In his earlier years Gregory appears to
have lived at a Utraquist monastery at Prague, that had been founded by
Magister Přibram. It is, however, certain that he had not been ordained
as a priest.

Gregory, accompanied by some friends, visited the Archbishop,
and sought his advice on religious matters, and specially on the
subject of unworthy priests. To understand the importance of this
constantly-recurring subject, it must be remembered that Hus,
Chelčicky, and other Bohemian reformers denied all ecclesiastical
powers to unworthy priests, whom they considered as "not the clergy
of Christ, but of Antichrist." The Archbishop's answer appears
surprising, even if we consider that the ever-varying relations
between the Pope and the Church of Bohemia were then at their worst.
He advised his visitors to study the works of Chelčicky and to visit
him. Gregory followed this advice, and travelled to Chelčic, where he
visited Chelčicky shortly before his death. There is no doubt that
the aged theologian's opinions greatly influenced Gregory, and some
of Chelčicky's adherents were no doubt among the first members of the

The relations between Gregory and Rokycan did not long continue
friendly. After the death of King Ladislas, George of Podebrad was
elected King of Bohemia. The new king endeavoured, at the beginning
of his reign, to obtain a reconciliation with Rome. He was ready
to conform to the Roman doctrine if that Church recognised Rokycan
as Archbishop of Prague, permitted communion in the two kinds, and
accepted that part of the "Articles of Prague" which enjoined poverty
on the Bohemian clergy and opposed their notorious immorality. While
these negotiations were proceeding, Rokycan advised Gregory and his
friends to leave Prague and to retire to a more secluded spot. He had
obtained permission from King George, who owned the estates of Litic
and Senftenberg in Eastern Bohemia, to allow Gregory and his friends
to settle in the secluded village of Kunwald, near the small town of
Senftenberg. It has been stated by many historians, including Palacký,
that Rokycan had suggested this emigration to Gregory, wishing to be
rid of allies who had now become unwelcome. Dr. Goll has recently
expressed his doubts as to this conjecture. It is certain that no
immediate and complete rupture between Gregory and Rokycan took place.
Gregory arrived at Kunwald towards the end of the year 1457, and was
soon joined by many enthusiasts, who desired to lead a simple life,
according to the customs of the primitive Christians. Among the early
disciples of Gregory was Michael, the parish priest of Senftenberg, and
another priest named Matthew. After the death of Chelčicky, some of the
"Brothers of Chelčic"[74] also joined the community of Kunwald, as did
some of the remaining Taborites, and probably, though this point is
doubtful, some Austrian Waldenses also.

The new community soon became obnoxious to the Government of King
George, and the "first persecution," as it is termed in the writings of
the Unity, began in 1460. Some of the fanatics, known at that period
all over Europe as the "Pickharts" or "Beghards," had about that time
joined the community of Kunwald, and drew on it the indignation of
the Bohemian authorities. In 1461 Gregory returned for a short time
to Prague. It has been suggested that he did this in opposition to a
promise made to Rokycan; but of this there is no sufficient proof.
At Prague Gregory held secret meetings of his adherents, among whom
were a considerable number of students of the university. Gregory
received notice--perhaps from Rokycan himself--that these gatherings
were being watched. He therefore, at a meeting on March 15th, begged
all present to disperse immediately. Some did so, but others declared
that they were doing no wrong; and when Gregory drew their attention
to the fact that they were risking imprisonment, and even torture,
they answered, "Well, we will have torture for breakfast, and the
funeral pile for dinner." The Government officials shortly afterwards
arrested the remaining members of the assembly, and several underwent
the torture of the rack. Not all displayed fortitude; several, as a
member of the Unity, writing shortly after these events took place,
quaintly expresses it, "having breakfasted, did not wait for dinner."
Those who dreaded further punishment were obliged to pronounce a solemn
recantation in the presence of Rokycan.

Whether Gregory himself underwent torture is uncertain, though most of
the writers of the Unity, from Brother Lucas to Brother Jaffet, state
it is a fact. Brother Jaffet[75] tells us that Gregory "was tied to
a post, placed on the rack, and burnt. Weakened by long fasting, he
then fainted, and no longer felt pain; only when he had been released
he felt his side, and understood what had been done to him." Rokycan
visited Gregory in prison, and, to use Brother Jaffet's words, condoled
with him with the "compassion of a crocodile." Seeing the traces of his
sufferings, he exclaimed, "Dear Gregory, how I pity you. Remember that
I always told you if you pursued your endeavours you would suffer and
it would fare badly with you."

Dr. Goll has recently expressed doubts whether torture was inflicted
on Brother Gregory, though he admits that his followers were tortured.
There is, however, no doubt that the tradition of the sufferings of
Brother Gregory, the founder of the Unity, can be traced back to the
earliest records of the community. It is, therefore, difficult to
believe that the traditional account is a mere fiction. Of modern
writers Palacký and Jireček maintain the truth of the ancient record
of the Unity. What is, however, certain is that Rokycan's part in
these events has been misrepresented. Political reasons at that moment
rendered it advisable for King George to appear as the enemy of the
extreme antagonists of Rome. Rokycan's influence on the king was then
very slight, but such as it was, it induced George after a time to
liberate Brother Gregory from prison.

Difficulties had meanwhile arisen in the small community, of which
first Kunwald and then the neighbouring small town of Reichenau
(Rychnov) on the Kněžna was the centre. Gregory was indeed the
intellectual leader as well as the founder of the community, but the
priests Michael and Martin seem, probably in consequence of their
having been ordained as priests, to have claimed a certain superiority
over the other brethren. To obviate these difficulties, Gregory
resorted to what must then have appeared a most venturesome step. He
decided that his followers should, in accordance with the example of
the Apostles, elect priests from among their number. The doctrine
of the necessity of the apostolic derivation of the clergy was then
held even by sects that were strongly opposed to Rome. This is no
doubt the reason why, according to most accounts, the new priests
were subsequently consecrated by a Waldensian priest or bishop. It
must be added that the part played by the Waldensian in the first
ordination of the clergy of the Unity becomes much more prominent in
the works of later writers than it was in those of contemporaries. Dr.
Lechler has recently expressed doubts as to whether the intervention
of a Waldensian at the first ordination that took place in the Unity
is a historical fact. Such an intervention appears to him to be in
contradiction with the previous decision of the brethren to elect
priests on the strength of divine inspiration. It must, however, be
noticed that in Brother Gregory's account of the ceremony, written
in Bohemian, and therefore perhaps unknown to Dr. Lechler, who was a
German, the Waldensian priest is already mentioned. The point, like
many others connected with the origin of the Unity, will perhaps
never be settled. It has given rise to an extensive controversial

A meeting of the brethren of the Unity took place at Lhotka, a small
village near Reichenau, in 1467. I will quote a portion of Gregory's
account of the proceedings to which I have just referred. Gregory's
Bohemian is very rugged and lends itself but little to translation.
Following the example of Dr. Goll, who has translated a large part of
the account contained in Gregory's _Fourth Letter to Rokycan_ into
German, I give a nearly literal translation. It would be easy to smooth
down Gregory's style, but at the risk of not conveying the exact
meaning. He writes: "Among us some doubt and irresolution sprung up.
We therefore conformed in everything to the Acts of the Apostles and
the example of the first saints, wishing to act in everything in the
name of God both in word and deed. Therefore, trusting to His promises
contained in the words, 'Whatsoever you will ask of the Father in
My name, He will grant you,' and again, 'Whenever two or three are
gathered together,' and so forth, we deliberated as to whether God
wished that we should separate entirely from the jurisdiction of the
Pope and of his priesthood, and secondly, whether God wished that we
should establish a separate organisation on the model of the Primitive
Church. We further deliberated as to what persons should arbitrate in
disputes and have such authority that all should maintain peace and
submit to their verdict. And further, who should serve and who obtain
the first places and possess the power of office, according to the
words, 'To you I give the keys,' and again, 'Whom you forgive their

"And we, many of us from Bohemia and other lands, decided to pray
to God, should He then wish it (_i.e._ that they should establish a
separate organisation), that He might give us a sign, according to the
example of the Apostles when they chose a twelfth. And we ordered all
brothers in the different districts to pray and fast in view of this.
Then we assembled in numbers and prayed to the Lord God that He might
give us a sign whether He then wished this or not. And it so happened
that He did wish it, and we had the faith that it was God's will that
it should happen thus.... And when the day came, many of us again
assembled from Bohemia and Moravia, and we prayed to God with the same
confidence as before, and we chose nine men, of whom three, or two,
or one were to be it (_i.e._ the head of the new Church). But if God
had not wished it that year, then no one would have been chosen. We
should have remained without priests till God, in consequence of our
prayers and of our faith, had shown us that He wished it, and also what
persons should be chosen. But as we had abandoned the priests who
derive their power from the papal office, firmly believing that God did
not desire that we should heed them in regard to our obedience (=obey
them), therefore we firmly believed that God would grant us what we
prayed for. And the Lord did so, because of our faith and our prayers,
and ordained that it (the choice) should fall on all three.[77] And God
thus manifested His wisdom and power to us in such a manner that we
all felt clearly that God had visited us, and had done great things to
confirm us in the faith. More than sixty brethren were assembled, and
with full confidence and joy we received the Holy Ghost, and thanked
God that He had visited us at the end of days and done His work.

"We then conversed together on the confirmation of their priestly
office (_i.e._ that of the three who had been chosen as priests), how
it could be done in the most seemly manner and without offence to
the people; though we believed without doubt that they were already
ordained and confirmed by our Lord Christ, as God had shown us. But we
wished to appear righteous, not only before God, but also as far as
possible before all men. Therefore we sought it (_i.e._ confirmation)
from one (priest) whom we had received from the Romans, and from
another who belonged to the Waldenses, who spring from the primitive
Church, a man of whom we were confident that he was in the state of
grace. And we took these two for the ordination of the three. If God
wishes it so, we said, let Him show it. And we prayed to God that He
might, should He desire this confirmation by the Waldensian, give such
grace to that elder that he might do it from love and in true faith.

"And God gave it (grace) to him, that he did it in true faith; and,
encouraging us, he spoke good words and praised God, saying, 'God has
done this for the benefit of our salvation.' And then he confirmed
these three in their priestly office by laying his hands on them and
by prayers, according to the example of the primitive Church and the
instructions of the Apostles. And as regards Jesus's having from on
high pointed out the three that were chosen, and the one of them who
was to have highest rank, he to whom it had been disclosed (perhaps
Gregory himself) said, 'Believe firmly that this is so.'"

Though the later members of the Unity studied the art of literary
composition, and indeed attained mastership in it, this was not the
case with Brother Gregory. His writing shows that he was entirely
absorbed in his endeavour to place his religious views before his
former friend and present antagonist, Rokycan, to whom the letter is
addressed. It has been very difficult to render Gregory's words clearly
without entirely altering his manner of writing. The passage quoted
above, and indeed the whole _Fourth Letter to Rokycan_, is, however,
worthy of notice. It is the only account by an eye-witness of the
meeting at Lhotka, which marks the beginning of the Unity, and was
written by Brother Gregory in 1468, only a year after the assembly.

The consequence of the meeting at Lhotka was a renewed persecution
of the members of the Unity. Rokycan published a very severe edict
against them, for their attempt to establish an independent clergy was
as obnoxious to the Utraquist as to the Roman priests. Brother Gregory
lived for seven years after the assembly at Lhotka, and as he is stated
to have been over fifty when the community of Kunwald was founded in
1457, he must have attained a considerable age. His entire energy and
activity were to the last devoted to the Unity. Its constitution, which
conferred the principal power on the so-called smaller[78] council,
at whose head was a president ("ordinator"), often, though not in the
fifteenth century, called "bishop," is the work of Gregory. Though in
every respect the leading spirit of the Unity, Gregory never aspired to
be the recognised leader of his Church. That rank was from the time of
the meeting of Lhotka assumed by the priest Matthew, who at the time
of that meeting was a young man of the age of twenty-five. Whether
the fact that Matthew had been ordained as a priest by the Church
of Rome was not one of the causes of his election, cannot perhaps
now be ascertained. The remarks of Gregory, quoted above, seem to be
in opposition to this view. Matthew was on terms of friendship with
Brother Gregory, and accepted his guidance on all matters of doctrine
and discipline. He is described as a man of weak character, and the
discord that broke out among the brethren after the death of Gregory
seems to confirm this view.

The small town of Brandeis on the Adler,[79] situated in the
picturesque valley of the Orlice or Adler, was one of the early centres
of the community of the brethren, and it was here that Brother Gregory
spent the greater part of his last years. He continued, however,
to the end of his life to pay frequent visits to other communities
of the brethren. Brother Gregory died at Brandeis on August 12,
1474, and was buried, "like the prophets of the Old Testament, in a
rock-grave near the bank of the Orlice, that is, opposite the castle."
Gregory, the patriarch of the Unity, as he called himself in his
later years, was certainly one of its greatest men. He combined the
most fervent religious enthusiasm with the talents of a clear-headed
and indefatigable organiser; and though changes took place in the
institutions of the Unity after his death, yet on the whole the
structure erected by Gregory continued to exist till the time when
the battle of the White Mountain destroyed all communities that were
opposed to Rome.

Dr. Goll, who has given a masterly sketch of the career of Gregory,
thus describes him:[80] "Gregory had created for himself the ideal
image of a true Christian, an abstemious, kindly, patient, gracious,
merciful, economical, pure, humble-minded, peaceful, worthy, zealous,
yielding, compliant man, qualified and ready to do all good works.
But this model was not for Gregory a model only. He believed that
Christians can come near to the model, nay, even attain it. 'We believe
this,' he writes in the _Fourth Letter to Rokycan_, 'that he who has
God's true and living faith has the power also to mortify the evil in
himself and to act righteously; his faith by means of love will induce
him to do what is pleasing to God, good actions and such as are useful
to his fellow-creatures.... Though by nature hasty and irritable, a
true Christian must be abstemious, meek, and silent. A model for this
model is found in our Saviour Himself. He suffered for us and gave
us an example in His acts, accomplishing the work that His Father had
laid upon Him. A true Christian must take on himself those burdens
which were Christ's also; he must endure adverse things and injuries
affecting his estate, his honour, and his life quietly, considering
that it must be thus.'"

After reading Dr. Goll's definition of the doctrine of Brother Gregory
it is scarcely necessary to state that theological controversy plays a
very small part in Gregory's writings. The imitation of Christ was the
purpose of his life and is the leading motive of his writings. Readers
of the portions of the _Fourth Letter to Rokycan_ which I have already
quoted will have noticed how little importance Gregory himself appears
to attach to the confirmation of the priests; it was sufficient for
him firmly to believe that the choice had been made in accordance with
God's own command.

The literary remains of Gregory, all written in Bohemian, are
considerable. There are seven so-called _Letters to Rokycan_, which,
though they were all undoubtedly sent to the Archbishop, were yet
intended for a wider circle of readers. Two of these letters, the
fourth, from which I have quoted extensively, and the sixth, were
afterwards republished by Gregory in an enlarged form, the former under
the title of _The Sufferings of the Brethren under King George_, the
latter under that of _The Answer of the Ancient Brethren_. We have
letters also addressed to other people. The form of a letter was then
a very favourite one for expounding theological views. Other writings
of Gregory are _The Book on Good and Evil Priests_, _On the Holy_
_Church_, and _On the Narrow Path_. A treatise, evidently dating from
the first days of the Unity, and entitled _How People should Behave
with regard to the Roman Church_, is also generally attributed to
Gregory. Recent research renders it probable that it is not his work.

It is, of course, out of place to give here an historical account of
the development of the Unity, though such a work would have great
interest. The brethren were, however, such indefatigable writers that
it is necessary frequently to refer to the history of the community.

Discord broke out among the brethren, who had already become numerous,
shortly after the death of Gregory, probably about the year 1480.
Matthew, who had been the nominal head of the community during
Gregory's lifetime, appears to have been a well-meaning man of weak
character, who became helpless after the loss of his sagacious adviser.
Several different causes of discord are mentioned as appearing at about
the same time. A theological controversy as to the means of salvation
was indeed settled by means of a compromise proposed at one of the
numerous meetings of the brethren by Brother Prokop, noticeable also
as one of the theological writers of the Unity. Shortly afterwards,
however, discussions as to "worldly power" led to a rupture. Gregory
had, on the whole, held the opinions of Chelčicky,[81] according to
which no true Christian should take part in the government of the
State, nor should he take oaths or possess worldly goods. Gregory also
shared Chelčicky's dislike to towns, "the foundations of Cain." These
views had been strictly carried out during the first years of the
Unity. The new members had, on joining the community, been obliged to
despoil themselves of all worldly possessions and conform to the other
doctrines of Chelčicky mentioned above.

In the last years of the fifteenth century men of higher rank, townsmen
and nobles, of whom Kostka of Postupic was the first, began to join
the community. It now became more difficult to maintain the early
regulations in their entire severity. Some of the brethren complained
that they incurred persecution on the part of their fellow-citizens
because they had refused to hold municipal offices or to appear as
witnesses in the law-courts. Two parties soon formed themselves in
the Unity. One, known as the "large party," was in favour of somewhat
relaxing the rigour of the original regulations; this was evidently
necessary if the community was to expand and to acquire the protection
of some of the nobles, without which it could hardly have continued to
exist long in Bohemia. The other party, known as the "small party,"
adhered strictly to the original regulations. Many attempts at a
reconciliation were made, and frequent meetings of the elders of the
Unity took place for this purpose, generally at Reichenau on the
Kněžna, or at Brandeis on the Orlice. A last effort of reconciliation
was made in 1496, when numerous members of both parties met at Chlumec.
Here, as at the previous conferences, both parties maintained their
previous views, and the discussion only proved that the standpoints
were entirely different and an agreement impossible. Though even after
this attempts at mediation were made, the "small party," led by Brother
Amos, now seceded from the main body of the community, and after a few
years it entirely disappears. The "large party," on the other hand,
freed from the original exaggerated regulations, obtained great and
deserved fame in Bohemia; it became the cradle of almost all those
who, in the last century of Bohemian independence, were prominent as
statesmen or authors.

Among the early writers of the "large party," PROKOP OF NEUHAUS or
Jindřichuv Hradec deserves mention, though his fame has been obscured
by the greater name of his successor, Brother Lucas, who finally
secured the victory of the "large party." Prokop appears to have been
one of the original members of the community of Kunwald. When the
controversy as to the means of salvation sprung up among the brethren,
Prokop, as already mentioned, succeeded in inducing the contending
parties to accept a compromise. When the discussion whether the
brethren were entitled to possess worldly property and to hold state
offices began, Prokop expressed views which, though they were not
quite in accordance with either party, really prove him an adherent
of the "large party." It was on this subject that Prokop wrote his
_Explanation of the Fifth Chapter of St. Matthew_. He here writes
that, "though difficult, it is admissible that nobles and mighty men
should be received into the Unity and be considered members of it,
if they avoid deadly sins, for which poor men also go to hell, and
if in all important matters they conform to Christianity and lead a
Christian life." Prokop continues to state "that, speaking generally,
the brethren may exercise the duties of town-councillors and of other
offices, and that they may appeal to the temporal power for aid; for
this is for the general good."

It will be seen by this quotation that Prokop generally agreed with
the views of the "large party," though he sometimes differed from
Brother Lucas, with whom he was indeed several times engaged in
controversies. Prokop was the principal orator of the "large party" at
the meetings at Reichenau in 1494 and at Chlumec in 1496. He was then,
as Blahoslav tells us, "the foremost man of the Unity." Prokop spent
the greatest part of his life at Brandeis, and died there in 1507.
He has left a considerable number of works, all written in Bohemian.
Besides the _Explanation of the Fifth Chapter of St. Matthew_, which
has already been mentioned, he wrote _Five Letters to Brother Lucas
on his (Lucas's) work entitled 'The Bark,'_ and the _Book against_

Better known than Prokop is Brother Lucas, the foremost representative
of the "large party" during its struggle; he is yet more noteworthy
as the man who after its victory reorganised the Unity, and, to a
certain extent, altered its institutions in a more enlightened and
liberal manner. The works of Lucas, all written in Bohemian, are
numerous; he is indeed, next to Komenský, the most voluminous writer
of the Unity. Lucas, generally known as LUCAS OF PRAGUE, was born
about the year 1460. He was greatly impressed by the writings of the
early members of the Unity, and, together with his friend the young
nobleman Lawrence of Krasonický, he joined the community about the
year 1482. He soon attained a prominent position among the brethren,
and in 1490 was already a member of the "smaller council." When the
differences of the Unity between the "large" and the "small" party
arose, Lucas declared himself energetically in favour of the former,
and was indeed one of its representatives at several assemblies. The
discord among the brethren, and the religious uncertainty which was
one of its results, seems to have rendered yet stronger the desire
for a return to the primitive Church, which, sometimes more obvious,
sometimes scarcely perceptible, can yet be traced in the writings of
all Bohemian reformers. Some of the brethren maintained that in distant
Eastern lands Christians yet existed who had retained the purity of the
primitive Church, both as regards doctrine and the conduct of life. The
Unity decided to send out several brethren, who were to discover these
communities which entirely conformed with the primitive Church. Lucas,
with two companions, started for this purpose for Constantinople,
where they separated. Lucas himself appears to have visited Mount
Athos and the communities of the Bulgarians, and of the Bohomils in
Bosnia. Fertile writer though he was, Lucas has unfortunately left us
no account of his travels, for which we could well have spared one or
two of his sixty-eight theological works. The first of these works,
entitled _The Bark_, was written shortly after his return from his
journey. As already mentioned, it involved him in a controversy with
Brother Prokop.

After the assembly of Chlumec and the final victory of the more
enlightened party among the brethren, it was resolved to reorganise the
community, and to model their institutions to a certain extent on those
of the Waldenses. The exact relations between the two communities will
perhaps never be known, particularly as the history of the Waldenses
or Vaudois is itself very obscure. It is, however, certain that the
brethren were fully conscious of an affinity between themselves and the
older community. Lucas was intrusted with the mission of visiting the
Waldensian communities, and started for Italy and Savoy accompanied
by Brother Tuma of Landskron, known as "Němec" (or the German). Among
the places they visited was Florence, where they were present at the
death of Savonarola (May 23, 1498). Of this journey also Lucas has left
us no account. On his return to Bohemia, Brother Lucas obtained a yet
more important position in his community. After the death of Matthew
an assembly of the brethren which met at Reichenau in 1500 decided
to elect several bishops. Lucas was one of those chosen, and appears
to have exercised greater influence than his colleagues. The Roman
Catholic monk Wolfgang, with whom Lucas engaged in one of his many
theological controversies, indeed describes him as "the anti-pope."

During the persecution which again befell the Unity at the beginning
of the sixteenth century Lucas displayed admirable courage and
energy. Rightly believing that ignorance was the cause of many of the
attacks on the brethren, he was indefatigable in expounding their
real teaching. He wrote an appeal to the king and a letter to the
people of Bohemia, protesting against the judgment of those who had
declared that the brethren were "worse than Jews and heathens, indeed
equal to devils," Lucas also appealed to Erasmus of Rotterdam against
the ignorant misjudgment which resulted in so much suffering for
the brethren. He despatched two members of the community to Erasmus
as bearers of a written "confession" or "apology" of the Unity.
Erasmus, with characteristic prudence, declined to be entangled in the

About the year 1514 the attitude of the Bohemian officials became
less hostile to the Unity. Contemporary records give no reason for
this change; but Blahoslav's statement that "the king investigated
the doctrine of the Unity and decided in its favour" is most
improbable. The influence of some powerful noblemen who had joined
the brethren probably secured for the Unity what was really only
the tacit toleration of its existence. The fiction that only the
Utraquist Church, which was the "State Church," and the Roman creed
were recognised in Bohemia was maintained up to a far later date.
The last years of the eventful life of Lucas were influenced by the
appearance of Luther. Luther's teaching soon became known in Bohemia,
and was welcomed by the people of that country. They felt as if their
isolation, which had long weighed on them, was ended when even the
Germans, the mortal enemies of Utraquism, communicated in the two
kinds. The more advanced Utraquists specially sympathised with German
Protestantism, and it did not for a moment seem impossible that Bohemia
should adopt the teaching of Luther. The brethren, and Brother Lucas
in particular, however, declared that they should always maintain
their own community distinct from both the German Protestants and the
Bohemian Utraquists. They have often been praised for this, but it is
very probable that by joining the German Protestants the Bohemians
would have obtained powerful allies when, at the beginning of the
seventeenth century, the Jesuit reaction attacked their country. The
isolation in which the Bohemian brethren, and to a lesser extent the
Bohemian Utraquists, continued, alone accounts for the incredible
apathy with which the German Protestants viewed the suppression of
Protestantism in Bohemia. At the negotiations which preceded the Treaty
of Westphalia, the Swedish envoys alone made an ineffective appeal in
favour of the Unity and the other non-Roman inhabitants of Bohemia.

In a treatise published in 1522 Lucas attacked Luther's teaching on
several points, but on receiving a conciliatory answer from the great
German reformer he decided on entering into negotiations with him. He
sent a member of the Unity, Brother Roh[82] or Horn, to Wittenberg
with copies of several of his works. Luther does not seem to have had
a very clear idea of the identity of the community which wished to
enter into relations with him, for he addressed his answer to "his dear
nobles and friends the brethren called Waldenses living in Bohemia and
Moravia." The contents of the letter appear to have displeased Lucas,
who wrote several treatises for the purpose of "strengthening" the
brethren against the teaching of Luther. Lucas, indeed, somewhat later
sent a second messenger to Wittenberg, but the disagreement continued,
and subsequently a complete rupture took place. To the end of his
life Lucas continued to labour at the reorganisation of the Unity.
One of his latest and most important works was his _Zpráva Kněžka_
("Instruction for the Clergy of the Unity"), published in 1526; he died
two years later.

It has already been mentioned that Brother Lucas was a voluminous
writer. Dr. Jireček in his biography published in 1875 enumerates
sixty-eight works of Lucas, some of which, it is true, are known only
by repute and have not been preserved. Since the appearance of Dr.
Jireček's book, Dr. Goll has discovered works of Lucas that are not
included in his list. Among the works of Brother Lucas known now
only by name but enumerated in Dr. Jireček's list is an "Answer to
the ten articles of Master Jerome Dungesham[83] of Oxford, (written)
against the apology of the Brethren published in 1514." The first work
of Lucas, was as already mentioned, his _Barka_ or "Bark." This work
too was believed to be lost, but within the last years Dr. Goll has
discovered a MS. which contains this once celebrated work of Lucas.
The allegorical name of the book is thus explained by the author. He
tells us that in the first part of his work the bark signifies the
Unity, and that it is his purpose to explain out of what planks it is
constructed, what are its requirements, who is its captain and guide,
and what is the destination of its course. In this first part of the
work the captain is Jesus Christ. The second division of the book deals
with "The Bark of Antichrist," with the foolish and misguided people
who occupy it, and with the weighty reasons for flying from that bark,
the course of which leads to perdition. Like so many Bohemian works of
this period, the "Bark" treats mainly of Antichrist. It is interesting
as being very similar, and in parts identical, with one of the ancient
books of the Waldenses. It undoubtedly throws some light on the obscure
question of the relations between the Bohemian brethren and the older

Of the many other works of Lucas I shall be able to notice even briefly
but very few. The two _Professions of the Faith of the Unity_,
addressed to King Vladislav, and similar documents addressed to Erasmus
and Luther, have been already mentioned. Very curious is Lucas's work
entitled _The Revival of the Holy Church, and the reasons which
render it certain that such a revival has taken place in the shape
of the Unity_. Lucas draws a curious mystic parallel between the life
of Christ and the development of the Unity. He also refers to the
simplicity of the primitive Church, and to the gradual increase of the
power of the Bishops of Rome. In distinction from his predecessors,
Lucas no longer believes in the "donation of Constantine." He only
tells us that Constantine placed the Bishop of Rome before all other
bishops. "Constantine," Lucas tells us, "seated Sylvester on a white
horse. This appeared wonderful to the people, and in their Latin or
Italian speech they exclaimed, 'Pape! Pape!'[84] that is, 'What a
great, great wonder!'" Only Charles the Great, Lucas tells us, added
temporal power to the ecclesiastical supremacy. It is particularly
noticeable that in this book also Lucas does not allude to his travels,
though on several occasions it would have been natural to do so. It is
almost certain that this silence is intentional. Dr. Goll has, with
great sagacity, suggested its cause. The brethren now believed that
the true primitive Church had been revived in their own community, and
did not wish to recall the fact that they had formerly sought for it

The polemical works of Lucas are very numerous, and are directed
indifferently against all those who did not accept the doctrine of
the Unity as expounded by him. His controversies with Luther have
already been mentioned. A work of Lucas's is directed against Zwingli,
whose teaching had also penetrated into Bohemia. He also engaged in
a theological controversy with "Wolfgang, the barefooted friar."
Wolfgang, one of the earlier champions of the Church of Rome, played
a curious part in the great theological controversy that absorbed
almost the whole intellectual activity of Bohemia during two centuries.
I shall again refer to him. Another controversial book of Lucas's
directed against Brother Kalenec, a member of the "small party" in the
Unity, is interesting as containing the author's opinion on Chelčicky,
whose memory was naturally very popular with the smaller and more
retrograde fraction of the Unity. Lucas writes: "You take refuge with
Peter of Chelčic, and recommend to others his books, such as the _Net
of Faith_. I, who have read and copied out many of his books before I
joined the brethren, will say that in many matters he thought wrongly,
and in a manner contrary to Scripture, and that he wrote obscurely and
without moderation. I have also heard from those brethren that were
with him much that was not praiseworthy, particularly that he was very
irritable and vindictive. Thus, having fallen out with a priest, he
would not forgive him till his death; so that priest himself told me.
And he (Chelčicky) unjustly defamed the Taborite priests, particularly
as regards their teaching on the sacrament."

A year before his death, Brother Lucas again returned to his favourite
subject, the identification of the Unity with the primitive Church, in
his treatise _On the Origin of the Unity_. Dealing with the manner
in which the consciousness of the corruption of the Church reached
Bohemia, Lucas writes: "The movement began through the Waldenses in
England, where Wycliffe was the king's chaplain, but only read mass.
And a Waldensian with whom he was acquainted said to him that he only
fulfilled half the duty of his office, because he did not preach; and
he proved this from Scripture.... Then of those who at that time
(in England) suffered much adversity and martyrdom, some went to
other countries, and particularly to Dresden, and thence some of them
afterwards proceeded to Bohemia," Though unhistorical, this account is
curious as containing what was probably a very old tradition. Lucas
here, as was frequently the case with Bohemian writers of his time,
describes as "Waldenses" all early opponents of the Church of Rome.

Brother Lucas was certainly one of the greatest men of the Unity,
probably the greatest theologian whom the community produced. It was
principally through the reorganisation of the community, that is his
work, that the brethren were able to play a considerable part in
Bohemian history. It is, however, an exaggeration to consider Lucas as
a "second founder" of the Unity. The main lines of Brother Gregory's
great structure remained. Of Lucas as an author, Brother Blahoslav[85]
writes as follows: "Brother Lucas wrote a great many books, but he
was not a very good Bohemian (writer); he imitated Latin more than is
befitting, and his knowledge of German was also harmful to him, for
his family came from a place where much German was spoken. 'In summe
Latinismos et Germanismos plurrimos admittere solebat.'[86] Therefore,
and also for another reason,[87] his works appeared to many not clear
and displeasing."

In connection with Lucas I shall briefly refer to his associate
Krasonický. Krasonický was, like Lucas, an adherent of the "large
party." He appears to have been a fertile writer, but many of his
works are known only by name. Among those that have been preserved is
a treatise addressed to Brother Amos, the leader of the "small party."
Another work of Krasonický, recently discovered by Dr. Goll in the
town-library of Görlitz, is addressed to Cahera, then administrator
of the Utraquist consistory. Its subject is the sacrament, a question
on which so large a part of the theological controversy of the period
revolved. Krasonický's treatise, however, goes far beyond the immediate
limits of his subject. Of the foundation of the Unity he gives an
account that is far more detailed than that of Brother Gregory, from
which I have quoted, though it does not contain many facts that are
found in the writings of yet later writers. Krasonický also refers to
the then all-important question of apostolic succession, the existence
of which he altogether denies. Even should it yet exist, he writes,
it certainly cannot be found within the Church of Rome. Like Brother
Lucas, Krasonický maintains that St. Peter never visited Rome. When
referring to those who had borne witness to the corruption of the Roman
Church, he mentions "Dr. Jerome Savonarola." He writes of him: "The
works that he composed, his letters to the emperor and others, prove
what his opinions were. Half the city mourned over him when the Pope
first caused him to be tortured, then publicly proclaimed what torture
had forced him to confess, and at last caused him on the public square
of Florence to be first hanged on a cross with two companions, and then
to be burnt." Dr. Goll is, no doubt, right in conjecturing that this
accurate account of the death of Savonarola is derived from Brother
Lucas, who was an eye-witness of that event. Other existent theological
works of this period are ascribed both to Krasonický and to Prokop,
who has already been mentioned. Blahoslav describes Krasonický as "a
sensible and learned man, a friend of ancient simplicity." Even in
Blahoslav's days many of Krasonický's works had already been lost.

Of the writers of the "small party" it will be sufficient to mention
Brother Amos, its first leader. He is known to have written three
theological treatises, one of which has been partly preserved in a work
of Brother Lucas, written for the purpose of refuting it. Amos, like
Krasonický and the majority of the writers of the Unity, wrote only in

The life of Bishop AUGUSTA (born 1500, died 1572) belongs, like that
of Archbishop Rokycan, rather to the political history of Bohemia than
to literature. Though his fame as a preacher is far greater than as
a writer, he was the author of a large number of theological works.
Born in humble circumstances--his father was a hatter--and not having
received a very extensive education, Augusta's talents, and yet more
his indomitable energy and determination, soon brought him to the fore.
Born a member of the Utraquist Church, he joined the Unity at the age
of twenty-four. He was prepared for his clerical duties by Brother
Lucas, and in 1532 became one of the elders--or bishops, as they were
often called--to whom the entire government of the Unity was intrusted.
His influence soon became predominant among the brethren. While Brother
Lucas and Augusta's younger contemporary, Blahoslav, wished above
all to preserve the separate character of the Unity, Augusta was in
favour of a close alliance, if not of a union, with Luther and the
German Protestants. Augusta, for this purpose, twice visited the great
German reformer at Wittenberg, and also had, in 1546, an interview
with the Protestant Elector of Saxony. In the following year war
broke out in Germany between the Emperor Charles V. and the German
Protestants, whose leaders were the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave
of Hesse.[88] After the defeat of the Protestants at the battle of
Mühlberg, Charles's brother, Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, dealt severely
with their Bohemian sympathisers. Augusta was arrested and imprisoned
for a long time in the castle of Pürglitz or Křivoklat. His companion,
the young priest Bilek, has left us a very interesting account of
Augusta's prison life.[89]

During the whole term of his imprisonment, which only ended in 1564,
Augusta maintained his claim to the leadership of the Unity. When
the only other bishop died, the brethren, who had established secret
communications with him, asked if they should elect new bishops, but
Augusta refused his consent. After his liberation he resumed his
rule over the community, residing first at Brandeis-on-the-Adler,
afterwards at Jungbunzlau. The obstinacy and tenacity, not to say
narrow-mindedness, which is ever characteristic of Augusta, involved
him in incessant controversies during the last years of his life. It is
perhaps to his opponents that should be traced the rather unfavourable
account of his last years, according to which he "found great pleasure
in expensive clothes and furs, as well as in select dishes, handsome
carriages, and generally in an ostentatious manner of living."

Like so many members of the Unity, Augusta was a voluminous writer,
but some of his works have been lost, and many of the others have
remained in MS. Of one of them, the _Sumovnik_ (Summary), Blahoslav,
who had seen the MS., writes: "As that book, the _Summary_, has already
come into the hands of many pious and sensible people, it will, if
it sees the light, cause the members of the Unity and others also to
jump up from terror. The book is indeed remarkable, great, and no
doubt for many of great value; and I do not doubt that this manner of
writing Bohemian and the style of writing will also please many. And
some of the young, no doubt, will be found whom not only these many
unheard-of things, but also the new words and phrases will please, and
they will with pleasure wish to use them. But as I write my judgment
on this book, also _non ut theologus sed ut grammaticus_,[90] that
is to say, (I write) not of the contents of the book, _quod non est
hujus loci_,[90] but only of the form of language _de genere sermonis
de verbis et phrasibus_."[90] The continuation of Blahoslav's
commentary on the "_Sumovnik_" is rather disappointing. It consists
merely of critical remarks on the diction and style of Augusta. With
the exception of the remark that heretics who love impious speeches
generally also write in a monstrous style, we are told nothing of
the "unheard-of things" contained in the book. It must, however, be
remembered that Bohemian theologians of the sixteenth century--to whom
every one who differed from their opinions was "Antichrist"--were very
much given to expressions of horror and terror in their writings. Of
Augusta's other works, his _Profession of creed sent in the name of
the whole Unity to his Majesty at Augsburg_, his _Dispute of Brother
Augusta with the Calixtine (Utraquist) Clergy_, and more particularly
his collection of hymns, enjoyed for a time great popularity. The hymns
of Augusta, in particular, were widely used by the brethren up to the
time of the dissolution of the Unity. Blahoslav, the only literary
critic of this period, gives his opinion of Augusta in these words:
"Brother John Augusta," he writes, "was a remarkable and great man,
who wrote many books as well as hymns. All that he wrote before he was
imprisoned was written in good Bohemian; phrases _excultæ_, _verba
selecta_; _delectabatur admodum archaismis_, _tamen decenter_. _In
summa totum genus dicendi fuit floridum atque excultum_. _Valebat
ingenio et memoria_, _ac diligenter legebat bonos authores_ in our
Bohemian language. _Fluebat igitur sua vis copiosius et exultans_,
though he sometimes wished to be too _lepidus et asiaticus_.... In
his sermons he seemed somewhat coarse though fervent. _Ardebant omnia_,
words, pronunciation, and gesticulation. _Referrebat zelo illo magna_
_ex parte Lutherum_. When, twenty-six years ago, I heard Augusta, and
shortly afterwards Luther, it appeared to me that I had never heard
two such enthusiastic preachers, nor two who in every way so greatly
resembled one another."

A somewhat younger contemporary of Augusta was Brother Blahoslav,
whom I have just quoted, and who, like him, also became one of the
bishops of the Unity. His writings differ somewhat from those of the
brethren I have mentioned above. The influence of humanism, absent
from their works, is distinctly noticeable in Blahoslav. He also wrote
on theology--what Bohemian writer of that period did not?--but it is
evident that other studies were far more to his taste. He tells us,
indeed, in the last chapter of his _Grammar_, that, in consequence
of the state of his health, "writing on more serious, and ever on
theological matters, was beyond his strength;" but there is no doubt
that this statement should be considered as apologetic. Many of the
brethren probably thought that their bishops should devote themselves
exclusively to theological studies. From the same reason, also,
Blahoslav mentions, in justification of his philological studies,
that the Unity had intrusted him with the task of translating the New
Testament into Bohemian.

BLAHOSLAV was born at Přerov (Prerau) in Moravia, then one of the
centres of the Unity, in 1523. In early youth he studied at the
school which the brethren had established there. He then travelled
to complete his studies; visited Wittenberg--where he heard Luther
preach--Königsberg, and Basel. On his return to his country, he
was first employed as teacher at the school which the brethren had
established at Prostějov. He here had as a pupil John of Žerotin,
member of a family that always supported the Unity, the father of
Charles of Žerotin,[91] who was famous during the last years of
Bohemian independence. The authorities of the Unity afterwards sent
Blahoslav to Jung Bunzlau (or Mladá Boleslav) in Bohemia, where he was
employed in arranging the archives of the community. He here began the
composition of the great historical work that was in his own time his
principal claim to literary fame, but which has perhaps irreparably
been lost.

In the year 1557 Blahoslav became an elder or member of the smaller
council of the Unity, and somewhat later on he was chosen as one of the
bishops, when Eibenschütz (Ivančice) in Moravia became his habitual
residence. Like all the bishops of the brethren, he, however, spent
much of his time in travel, visiting the scattered communities. He soon
became one of the foremost members of the Unity, and in consequence
of his enlightened and conciliatory nature was often employed as a
negotiator. In 1555 and on several subsequent occasions he visited
Vienna, where Archduke Maximilian, afterwards the Emperor Maximilian
II., who had by the Estates already been recognised as heir to the
Bohemian throne, then resided. The mediator between Blahoslav and
the Archduke was the Lutheran preacher Pfauser,[92] who for a time
had great influence over Maximilian. The ability of Blahoslav on
several occasions protected the Unity from the dangers to which, as
a community not recognised by Bohemian law, it always was exposed.
When Augusta returned from prison, differences of opinion between the
two bishops arose, of which we have no exact account. It is, however,
certain that Blahoslav disapproved of Augusta's sympathy with the
German Protestants, particularly Luther and Melanchthon. Blahoslav's
intense devotion to his own language no doubt rendered him hostile
to everything that tended to increase German influence in Bohemia.
Augusta, to win over to his side some of the oldest among the brethren,
in whom Chelčicky's hatred for the "band of masters of colleges" was
yet not quite extinct, expressed in his sermons great contempt for
learning and culture. In answer Blahoslav wrote his _Filipika proti
Misomusüm_ (the enemies of the Muses), which I shall presently notice.
Blahoslav, whose health had long been failing, died at Krumau in 1571,
a year before Bishop Augusta.

According to Dr. Jireček, the total sum of the works of Blahoslav
amounts to twenty-eight; many of them, however, including his most
important work, have been lost. His controversial writings on theology,
as was then usual, mostly took the form of letters. Such writings
are the letters to Brother Zachary, to Martin of Žátec (Saaz), to
the Lord Marshal Berthold of Lípa, &c. Like Augusta, Blahoslav was a
great writer of hymns, many of which are preserved in the _Kancionali_
or hymn-books of the Unity. The composition of these hymns no doubt
induced Blahoslav to write the curious treatise entitled _Music_, or,
to give the full name as prefixed to the second edition of Blahoslav's
book, "Music, that is, a small book containing the information
necessary for singers. Written in the Bohemian language on the wish of
several good friends, and first printed in the year of the Lord 1558 at
Olmütz; now carefully corrected and reprinted; rules and instructions
necessary to chanters and composers of hymns are added." In the preface
to this quaint work Blahoslav writes: "A branch of pride, and not the
least one, consists in the desire to be known to many, to be considered
witty and sensible, and to be esteemed in consequence. The desire to
obtain distinction by one's virtues and other similar things is indeed
praiseworthy. Yet it is senseless to undertake too difficult a work and
strive with much effort for an object as vain as the steam of smoke.
There are many, too, who might be compared to that Herostratus, who,
wishing to obtain great fame, burnt down the great Temple of Diana at
the risk of his life.... Those only will I mention who, in our days,
publish books in the Bohemian language, wishing thus to obtain great
fame for themselves; some who wish to help their neighbours as much
as they can, from sincere love and in a beseeming manner, I do not
allude to; on the contrary, I praise their pious undertakings and holy
labour; but many are guided and incited by that branch of pride which I
have mentioned above, which drives them to attempt that also which is
beyond their power. Thus they do what they are unfit to do, thinking
it sufficient that they have done it. But how? that they don't think
of or care. Many out of good Latin or German books make bad Bohemian
ones, serving no other purpose than that the noble Bohemian language,
already somewhat spoilt, should become yet more corrupted. This will
perhaps bring matters to that point that the Bohemians will become
unable to speak Bohemian correctly and rightly to understand their
language and its peculiarities. Thus did it happen to the Italians,
who had so amended their language that when the old Italians--that is,
the Latinists, Cicero and the others--came to them, they could not
understand them. And what happens with regard to translations from
other languages, that happens also with regard to the composition
and publication of various little songs, particularly when those who
undertake this task do so not for the purpose of stirring up others to
piety and godliness; often indeed they (the writers of verses), on the
contrary, seek and desire by means of their useless, mischievous, and
even obscene verses, which pre-occupy men's minds, either to obtain
the praise of men and worldly advantage, or even to insult and injure
their guiltless fellow-creatures. Who can doubt that such men should be
classed with the senseless Herostratus, and that they deserve derision
and contempt rather than flattering praise?

"For such godless people I should not wish to work; nor do they require
it. Nature itself entices a man to frivolities, the world gives
sufficient evil example, and Satan himself drills them and whispers in
their ears what they are to do and when. Thus that Naso, an excellent
master of the devil's works, wrote well when he said:--

    '_Est deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo_
    _Impetus hic sacrce semina mentis habet._'

Satan excited him (Ovid), and sharpened his wits to enable him to
write those insidious and penetrating _carmina_ on matters of love,
by means of which he then caught young men, just as a bird-catcher
catches titmice on a sticky lime-twig. Why, even among those of our own
language (_i.e._ nation) there were similar verses, before the devil
induced the people of our corner of the world to give way entirely to
gluttony and drunkenness. Such worldly songs, written down in musical
notes or in words in a masterly manner, we remember to have heard in
our childhood, and we wondered at them. Such people (the writers of
worldly songs) then I do not endeavour to instruct. They have their own
good teacher who incites them."

Blahoslav's views expressed in his preface are infinitely more
interesting than the contents of the little book itself. Blahoslav
deals in separate chapters with the subjects of songs, the words, the
rhythm, the "clauses," and the syllables.

The _Replika proti Misomusūm_--written, like all the existent works of
Blahoslav, with the exception of a small Latin historical treatise, in
the national language--has already been mentioned. Bishop Augusta had,
in his sermons and elsewhere, spoken contemptuously of learning, and
it was believed among the brethren that he had Blahoslav particularly
in view. The latter repelled these attacks in the treatise which I
have just named. "It is, and has been for years," he writes, "the
custom of some somewhat prominent men to quote, for the purpose of
disparaging the ancient teachers (_i.e._ the fathers of the Church),
a saying of Brother Lucas, according to which he had written nothing
which he had not found within the Unity. And they explained it thus:
that Brother Lucas had taken nothing from the ancient teachers, but
that he had learnt what the Unity possessed when he joined it, and then
wrote, &c. I also a year ago heard Brother Augusta state this. Most
certainly those who thus expound Brother Lucas did not understand, and
do not understand his words. Could but Brother Lucas hear them, what
evil thanks would he render them! Where is that saintly man, Brother
Lawrence Krasonický, that he could by word of mouth vividly explain
this to them. What he has written in his books they will not read,
because of the weakness of their intellects, and because their minds
are full of vanity.

"But as those men who could have treated this subject usefully are no
longer with us, I will write down briefly what is now on my mind.

"In the days of Brother Lucas the Unity had many enemies against whom
he had to write by order of the elders. He had to write in a fashion
that did not stir up enemies nor open the gates of the Unity to the
foe, but rather reduced to silence, and even to assent, one opponent by
this, another by that argument. That he continued obnoxious to some in
spite of his labours is known. There were also some who feared that he
would lead them back to Rome, the doctors (_i.e._ the ecclesiastics of
the Church of Rome), &c. And because of these foolish and false ideas
about him he had to make such speeches as should close the mouths of
some. Real truth did Brother Lucas speak when he said that he wrote
nothing that he did not find in the Unity. He found in it truth as
the essence (of doctrine) as to service (ritual), &c. This truth he
wrote, he adorned, he spread, explaining its various branches wisely
and to many.... Some one will perhaps say that I praise learning and
the learned. Yes, it is true that I praise both learning or knowledge
and cultivated people. But I do not praise those who use their learning
or knowledge for evil purposes. I will say, as an example, 'We praise
wine, and we praise also drinking or the use of wine, but drunkenness
and drunken people we do not praise.' Generally we do not praise the
evil use of God's good gifts. 'Abusus non tollit rem.' The sword is
good, but it can serve one to good, another to evil purposes.

"Others again may say: 'You attach too much importance to learning and
the learned.' Indeed some good men say that through learning discord
has entered into Churches, and that this might happen to the Unity
also. He would indeed attribute too much importance to learning and
knowledge who should fancy that without the 'seven arts' God's truth,
that is, the Gospel, cannot be preached, or that our salvation is
founded on this learning or knowledge. But he who would say this must
indeed be very silly."

"I, on my part, hold that those who work for the word of God require
for that purpose a special gift of God which is called eloquence, which
enables them to declaim, to teach, to admonish, to warn. The Lord
at first gave eloquence to His servants as a gift in so miraculous
a manner, that it was not necessary that they should learn. But
then wonders and miracles ceased. Henceforth, as the Spirit of God
recognised that eloquence is necessary to the Church, it is not harmful
to teach eloquence whenever and to whatever person it is possible (to
do so). Surely a man cannot wait till God miraculously throws down
eloquence to him from heaven! That would indeed be as if a peasant
neither sowed nor ploughed, but waited till manna rained down on him
from heaven."

"Do not our young men, I say, when they are taught to preach, learn
besides piety and knowledge of God's word, eloquence as well? It
is obvious to all that many of these young men, though they do not
know Latin, are more learned in their speech, and more eloquent than
some fairly learned Latinists. Still it is certain that if, besides
their other studies, they also learnt Latin and were acquainted with
dialectics and rhetoric, they would be much more intelligent, more
capable, readier for all work, and more useful."

Blahoslav here expresses the views of the more cultivated members of
the Unity, men to whom to so great an extent the literary development
of Bohemia is due. That it was necessary that Blahoslav should write
such a treatise proves, on the other hand, that the ideas of Chelčicky
and the "small party" still found adherents among the brethren.

Another work of Blahoslav that has been fortunately preserved is his
_Grammatika Česká_. Only one MS. of this work is known, and that was
only discovered by Mr. Hradil in 1857 in the library of the Theresian
College in Vienna. This book is indeed an example of the obscurity
which still covers ancient Bohemian literature, and of the possibility
that, of the many other ancient books that are known to have existed
but have been lost, some may be yet recovered. The condition of
Bohemian literature in this respect recalls rather that of ancient
literatures than that of other modern European countries. Blahoslav's
_Grammar_ has great interest in spite of its rather unattractive
name, which is not indeed quite correct. Besides a full account of
the construction of the Bohemian language based on Latin grammar,
with which Blahoslav was thoroughly acquainted, the book contains a
series of short but very pertinent critical notes on some earlier
Bohemian writers, beginning with Hus. I have already quoted Blahoslav's
criticisms on Lucas, Krasonický, and Augusta. It may be interesting
here to quote his self-criticism also. Under the heading of "The Works
of Blahoslav" he writes: "It seems to me, if some think that my opinion
on this subject is just, that no good Bohemian can blame my manner
of writing Bohemian, as shown in my version of the New Testament,
which has been twice published and printed at Ivančice. Also of the
little book called _Additions to_ (_i.e._ notes on) _Music_, or simply
_Music_. I think that, particularly in its last edition, it contains
good and also graceful Bohemian writing. Of other similar works of mine
I am silent; let the result show the truth. 'Decere nam mihi videtur ut
de metipso quam modestissime loquor, cum mihi sim bene conscius, quam
et mihi sit curta suppellex.' We know that we are all imperfect, but
yet to a different degree, some more and some less."

Posterity has on the whole confirmed Blahoslav's judgment. His
works, particularly his translation of the New Testament, are still
considered models of Bohemian writing. One cannot, however, help
regretting that he, who was so severe on "Latinisms", should have
interspersed his writings with Latin words, and sometimes with Latin
sentences, that are most disturbing and irritating to the reader.
Blahoslav seems to have inserted these patches of Latin as evidence of
his learning, in the same manner as English novelists some time ago
were given to introducing into their writings fragments of French as
evidence of their knowledge of the ways of society.

Of later writers of the Unity I may mention Brother Jaffet. He entered
the ecclesiastical service of the Unity in 1576, and afterwards became
a member of the "small council". He also was a voluminous author, but
many of his works have been lost and the others remain in MS. His most
important works were the _Voice of the Watchman_, which appeared
about the year 1600, and a work which he published in the year 1607
under the somewhat long-winded title of _The Sword of Goliath for_
_the defence of God's people against their enemies, that is, the
Description of the ... constant succession ... of true and genuine
bishops and priests within the Unity of the Brethren_. In the preface
to this work Jaffet declares that his purpose is to prove that the
brethren have always preserved the apostolic succession which they
received from the Waldenses. As a proof of this assertion, Jaffet
published a list of the ordinations which took place within the Unity
from its beginning. This list Dr. Gindely, who had thoroughly studied
the history of the Unity, declared to be spurious. Brother Jaffet died
at Horaždovic in 1614. He was one of those enemies of Rome on whom
vengeance was wrought after their death. When his burial-place, the
former Minorite monastery of Horaždovic, was in 1621 returned to the
monks of that order, the remains of Brother Jaffet and of three other
Bohemian brethren were disinterred and burnt in the churchyard.

It would be very easy to continue this account of the theologians
of the Unity. All their writings still have an intense interest for
Bohemians. Writing for other readers, I shall limit myself to the
authors already mentioned, who are indeed the most prominent and
representative members of the Unity.

It would, however, be impossible to pass in silence the name of
WENCESLAS BUDOVEC OF BUDOVA. He was a prominent leader of the Brethren,
a very striking figure in Bohemian political life, and belongs to
literature also, as the author of several Bohemian works, mostly of a
theological character. He was born in 1547 as a member of a noble but
not opulent family, and was educated in accordance with the doctrine of
the Unity. When eighteen years of age, Budova, as was then customary
for young Bohemian nobles, undertook extensive travels, visiting
Germany, the Netherlands, England, France, and Italy; that he visited
Rome also is specially recorded by his biographers. Shortly after his
return to Bohemia in 1577, he was attached to the embassy which Rudolph
II., German emperor and King of Bohemia, despatched to Constantinople.
A man of studious nature, and, like most Bohemians of his time,
intensely interested in theological research, Budova employed his spare
time--always granted amply to an able man who is member of an embassy
but not the ambassador--in endeavouring to obtain information on the
Mohammedan religion. The result of these studies was his celebrated
_Anti-Alkoran_, which I shall again refer to. It may here be mentioned
incidentally, as a proof of the bitterness of religious animosity
in Bohemia at the beginning of the seventeenth century, that Budova
was afterwards accused by the Romanists of having written a book in
praise of Mohammedanism; whereas the mere name of the book should have
been sufficient to disprove so absurd an assertion. After spending
about seven years in Turkey, Budova returned to Bohemia, and took an
important part in the political events that led to the granting of the
"Letter of Majesty" to the Bohemian Protestants[93] by Rudolph II. in
1609. He acted, indeed, not only as leader of the brethren, but of all
those who were opposed to the increasing pretensions of the Church of
Rome. The Bohemian national movement, as Dr. Gindely has remarked,
acquired through him a somewhat Puritan character. When Budova presided
over the Protestant meetings, he always called on all present to pray
before he opened the proceedings. All then fell on their knees and sang
a hymn. The signing of the "Letter of Majesty", and of the agreement
that was drawn up simultaneously,[94] is principally due to Budova.
Though the force of circumstances prevented these enactments from
entering fully into practice, and the events of 1618 and 1620 swept
away all religious liberty in Bohemia, they might, had time permitted,
have established in Bohemia a just and fair system of religious

In the events which followed the memorable Defenestration of Prague
in 1618, Budova played a less prominent part, He was, however,
chosen as one of the "directors", \[95] and was also a member of the
deputation that welcomed King Frederick at the Bohemian frontier. The
new king appointed Budova president of the Court of Appeal, and in
consequence of his former relations with Turkey he was attached as
special commissioner to the Turkish ambassador who appeared at the
court of Prague. He was present at the banquet given to the Turkish
embassy by Count Thurn, of which Slavata has left us so insidious, and
probably mendacious, an account.[96] After the battle of the White
Mountain, Budova accompanied his wife and other members of his family
to the frontier, where they were in safety. He then returned to Prague,
stating that he could not abandon the Bohemian crown that had been
intrusted to his custody. When asked why he had not fled, he spoke the
often-quoted words: "I am weary of my days. May God deign to receive
my soul, so that I may not behold the disaster which, as I know, has
overcome my country." Budova was one of the Bohemian leaders who were
decapitated on June 21, 1621, and is mentioned in Skála's account of
that tragic event.[97] He refused the assistance of both Capuchins and
Jesuits, and as no member of the Unity was allowed to assist the dying
brethren, he walked resolutely and alone to the scaffold.

Of several religious works of Budova that have been preserved, the
already-mentioned _Anti-Alkoran_ is most worthy of notice. In the
preface Budova explains how the book came to be written. The firm and
intense religious feeling of the man is noticeable in every word.
"From my earliest youth," he says, "God influenced my parents to that
purpose that they sent me out of Bohemia to distant countries that I
might acquire learning, and this happened in 1565. After having viewed
the most prominent Christian countries, and having spent some time
studying at academies, and seen the courts and governments of the
foremost potentates, kings, and princes, and also the Italian land and
Rome, I by God's grace returned to Bohemia and to my dear family in
1577. Then, however, I became very desirous of visiting the Eastern
countries--those that the Turk, that Gog and Magog, who is the chief
enemy of Christendom, has taken from the Christians, and now rules--and
of seeing what the manner of the infamous Turkish religion is, and how
the work of God continues among those Christians who live under the
Turkish yoke, as it were in a Babylonian captivity."

Budova then tells us how he became a member of the numerous embassy
that accompanied the ambassador John of Zinzendorf to Constantinople.
While most of his companions, after a short stay at Constantinople,
continued their travels to "Jerusalem, Damascus, Babylon, Arabia, and
Persia," Budova was detained there, for he had accepted the position
of _hofmistr_ (master of the ceremonies) to the ambassador. "I then,"
Budova writes, "decided to make inquiries as to what the religion,
or rather irreligion, of the Turks really was, and, as it were, to
outline and depict for others that Turkish Antichrist with his fables
and other frauds. It was of great assistance to me that I had with me
a copy of the _Alkoran_ (Koran), which in Spain had been translated
from the ancient Arabic, such as it was at the time of Mahomet, into
the Latin speech. This book was then, at the time of Luther, about the
year 1550, printed with a preface by Philip Melanchthon. I, possessing
this work, often entered into discussions, not only with the Turks,
but also with the renegades--that means those who have fallen from the
Christian faith, and of such there are here not hundreds but thousands.
The result was that they themselves were surprised, and had to laugh
at those most foolish fables (of the Koran), which are sillier than
anything that has been taught by any heathens since the beginning of
the world. Then, overcome by their consciences, they arrived at this
conclusion--that they did not believe in God and in eternal life, but
that, in accordance with Epicurus and the Sadduceans, they considered
every religion as a political institution, and favoured such religious
doctrines as were convenient to their bodily welfare, and contributed
to their glory and advantage in the world. And as at Constantinople I
saw all this with my eyes, that 'Gog and Magog', which in Bohemian can
be described as the secret building, the extraordinary edifice composed
of parts of the New and Old Testament, in which that Satan (_i.e._ the
Sultan) endeavours to hide himself with his _Alkoran_--as I talked
much on these subjects with Turks and renegades, that is, men who have
abandoned the Christian faith, therefore am I better able to write
on these subjects than those who only write what they have heard at
second-hand." The _Anti-Alkoran_ is divided into three parts. The first
consists of copious extracts from the edition of the Koran mentioned in
the preface; the second contains a refutation of the Mohammedan creed.
The third part, scarcely connected with the others, consists of nine
small treatises, which prove that the inclination to mysticism, that
proved so harmful to Komenský and many brethren, existed in Budova's
mind also, and that, like so many of his contemporaries, he was given
to the study of astrology.

Budova's letters, some of which, addressed to Peter of Rosenberg and
preserved in the archives of Wittingau (Třebon), have recently been
published, bear witness to the fervent piety so characteristic of
Budova. In a letter addressed to Lord Peter in 1611, Budova informs
his correspondent of the state of public affairs in Bohemia; he adds:
"The Poles have obtained a victory over the Muscovites, and the German
Electors will meet shortly at Nüremberg. May God deign to grant that
all these matters may, to His honour and glory, be settled in a manner
conducive to the general welfare, and above all, to concord, love, and
enduring peace; then may we in Bohemia also be able, after all these
incessant tempests, whirlwinds, and storms of the last three years, to
obtain rest, and, as it were, to recover a little. But God threatens us
with the plague, perhaps wishing to rescue us from the evil things that
are preparing and to render us more obedient to His will and counsel.
I constantly commend your Grace to God's mercy. May God's love render
your Grace and all those who through God's favour believe in the Lord
Christ day by day more able to find and expect those eternal heavenly
blessings to which with certain faith we look forward."

This short notice of Budova's literary work would be incomplete if
I omitted to mention that many of the state papers published by
the Provisional Government of 1618, and by the Government of King
Frederick--which both displayed a feverish but futile diplomatic
activity--are the work of Wenceslas of Budova.

Before referring to Komenský, the last great Bohemian writer of the
Unity, mention should be made of some fruits of the literary activity
of the brethren which were the joint works of several members of the
community. Of these, the most important is the translation of the Holy
Scriptures known as the "Bible of Kralice." From the time of Hus, when
the Bohemian people obtained free access to the Bible, parts of the
Scriptures had been frequently translated into Bohemian, and Brother
Blahoslav, as already mentioned, published the whole New Testament in
the national language. Towards the end of the sixteenth century the
authorities of the Unity decided on publishing a complete Bohemian
version of the Bible. Several clergymen of the Unity took part in the
labours necessary for this purpose, which began in 1577 and ended in
1593, when the complete version was printed and published at Kralice in
Moravia. Other editions followed in 1596 and 1613. The New Testament
was printed in these editions exactly according to Blahoslav's
already existent translation. The translation of the Old Testament
was the joint work of several divines. The Bible of Kralice endeared
itself to the Bohemian Protestants in the course of a very few years.
With Komenský's _Labyrinth of the World_, that will be mentioned
presently, it was the only book that many Protestants whom the Austrian
Government expelled from Bohemia after the battle of the White Mountain
took into exile with them. This is referred to in the well-known song
of the Bohemian exiles, in which they are made to say--

    "_Nothing have we taken with us,_
    _Everything is lost;_
    _We have but our Bible of Kralice,_
    _Our 'Labyrinth of the World.'_"

After the forcible re-establishment of the doctrine of Rome, it became
a grave offence to be found in possession of a copy of the "Bible
of Kralice". The Jesuits in particular were indefatigable in their
endeavours to discover and destroy all copies of the book. The "Bible
of Kralice" has recently been reprinted by the British Bible Society
exactly from the edition of 1613.

Another interesting record of the Unity is the collection of reports
of the proceedings at the general meetings of the community. It has
already been mentioned that these meetings were very frequent. The
numerous hymn-books ("Kancionaly", as they were called) of the brethren
also deserve notice. They contained hymns by Brothers Lucas, Augusta,
Blahoslav, and many others. The last Bohemian Kancional was published
by Komenský in 1659, when the brethren had already long been expelled
from their native land.

I have now to deal with KOMENSKÝ, who, under the Latinised name of
Comenius, is widely known beyond the limits of Bohemia. The value of
Komenský's writings has been judged very differently at different
periods. His mystic, not to say superstitious and credulous, nature
was particularly antipathetic to a French writer such as Bayle. The
latter has, therefore, in his _Dictionnaire Historique et Critique_
judged the whole work of Komenský very unfavourably, and this judgment
has often been repeated. With time opinion changed. His educational
works, though for a long time only those that are little more than
school-books were well known, began again to attract attention. In the
present century the first Bohemian edition of the _Didactica Magna_
was rediscovered, and extracts were made from the almost inaccessible
Amsterdam folio of 1657, in which alone some of his educational works
are contained. The very great merits of Komenský as an instructor of
the young are now recognised by most prominent teachers, who alone are
competent to give an opinion on this point.

Recently public opinion has perhaps veered too much in the contrary
direction. Not content with declaring, what is undeniable, that
Komenský was a learned and original writer on educational matters,
and the author of one of the most fascinating allegorical tales that
have ever been written, great importance has been attributed to his
writings on philosophy, or, as he would have called it, "Pansophy." No
one can impartially claim for Komenský high rank as a philosopher, and
it is certainly a mistake to speak of Komenský's system of philosophy.
There is no philosophical system of Komenský in the sense that there
exists a philosophical system of Spinoza. Komenský is not only, when
writing on "pansophy," constantly carried away by mystic ideas--the
idea of "light," which he interpreted in a mystic manner, seems ever
to have pursued him--but his "pansophic" works constantly encroach on
the domain of natural history. This is the more to be regretted, as
Komenský's views on natural history were very often incorrect, and the
fatal credulity which induced him to study the "prophecies" of Kotter,
Ponatovská, and Drabik here also led him to accept as true the most
absurd statements.

The life of Komenský is a very sad one, and his patience, resignation,
and unlimited trust in God must win for him the esteem of all
sympathetic readers of his many works. An exile from his country
early in life, only once the hope of a return to Bohemia appeared to
him. It was when, after the victories of Gustavus Adolphus, his Saxon
allies for a time expelled the Catholics from Bohemia. Komenský was
then already celebrated as a writer on educational topics, and he
would probably, had the task of reorganising the schools of Bohemia
been confided to him, have rendered these schools models for all
Europe. He indeed confidently expresses this idea in his writings.
But Wallenstein soon drove the Saxons out of Bohemia, and it is in
any case doubtful whether the Lutheran Saxons would have intrusted
Komenský with the mission which he so ardently desired. Fate willed it
that he was only able to make isolated attempts at establishing his
new system of education in various countries and without continuity.
The circumstances of his life were also as unfavourable as possible
to his career as a writer. Travelling from Moravia to Bohemia, thence
to Poland, Germany, England, Sweden, Hungary, Holland, ever unable to
obtain tranquillity, often in financial difficulties, twice deprived
of his library by fire, forced to write school-books when he was
planning metaphysical works that he believed to be of the greatest
value, he always undauntedly continued his vast literary undertakings.
The critic who judges Komenský from a purely literary standpoint will
probably give preference over all his other works to the thoughtful,
pessimistic, yet sometimes playful, allegorical narrative which he has
called the _Labyrinth of the World_. This opinion coincides with that
of the people of Bohemia. Since they have been free to read the works
of their ancient writers, no book is more constantly in their hands
than the _Labyrinth_.

Before noticing a few of the many works of Komenský, I shall give a
brief account of his adventurous life.[98] John Amos Komenský was
born at Ungarisch Brod in Moravia, or, according to some authorities,
in the small neighbouring town of Nivnice, in 1592. He received his
first education at Ungarisch Brod, and after the early death of his
parents visited the school of Stražnic, where Drabik--destined to
have so fatal an influence on Komenský--was also then studying.
Komenský's early impressions of the schools of the Unity were decidedly
unfavourable. He complained that the masters made no attempt to attract
the interest and attention of their pupils, overburdened their memories
by insisting on unnecessary mechanical enumerations of words and facts,
and stimulated the failing memory by the incessant and exaggerated
application of corporal punishment. In the _Labyrinth_, written in
Komenský's youth, he graphically describes his school experiences. It
is probable that these experiences first suggested to him his vast plan
of remodelling the then accepted system of education. From Stražnic
Komenský proceeded to Prerau (Přerov), then one of the centres of the
Unity. He here continued his studies in view of becoming a member of
the clergy of the community. He seems when very young already to have
resolved to adopt this career.

For the purpose of completing his studies Komenský was by the chiefs of
the Unity sent to the University of Herborn in Nassau. That university,
founded at the end of the sixteenth century by John the Elder, Count
of Nassau, was then at the height of its fame. The religious teaching
there was in accordance with the "Catechism of Heidelberg", that is to
say, mainly founded on Calvin's views. The Unity was more in sympathy
with these views than with the teaching of the Utraquist University
of Prague. The brethren, therefore, often sent their promising youths
to Herborn, though the regulation that the students dined at three
different tables, where different meals were served according to
the payment made by each student, offended their democratic views.
At Herborn Komenský became acquainted with Altsted (or Altstedius),
who, though still a young man, was already celebrated as a writer on
educational subjects. His theories had a considerable influence on
Komenský. From Herborn Komenský proceeded to Heidelberg, where he also
pursued his studies for some time. Before returning to his country he
made a somewhat extensive journey through Germany and the Netherlands.
Writing forty years later, he tells us that at this time (in 1613)
he first visited Amsterdam, "the pearl of towns, the ornament of the
Netherlands, the delight of Europe."

In 1614 Komenský returned to Moravia, and was ordained a minister of
the Unity in 1616, as soon as he had attained the necessary age. He
was first sent to the small town of Fulneck in Moravia, where he
married and spent the happiest and almost the only tranquil years of
his life. It was not his destiny to continue long undisturbed in the
pursuit of his religious duties, and of the studies to which he was
already devoted. The events of the Bohemian war cast their shadow even
over the peaceful community of Fulneck. Rumours of the events of the
war between Bohemia and Austria occasionally reached the brethren. As
Komenský wrote: "Lightning shines before it strikes, and by its light
we could see the glooming, gathering clouds of persecution," After
the battle of the White Mountain the brethren, as the most decided
opponents of Rome, were naturally the first to suffer. Detachments of
troops, generally Spaniards, who were chosen for this purpose because
of their greater bigotry and ferocity, scoured Bohemia and Moravia in
every direction, burning down the settlements of the brethren, and
killing or driving from the country the members of the communities. In
1621 a Spanish detachment attacked Fulneck and burnt down the town,
forcing the brethren to fly for their lives. The MSS. and library of
Komenský were here for the first, but unhappily not for the last time
burnt and destroyed. Komenský himself managed to escape and sought
refuge in Bohemia at Brandeis-on-the-Adler, which has already been
mentioned as one of the centres of the Unity. The little town then
belonged to Charles, Lord of Žerotin.[99] Though during his whole
life a devoted member of the Unity, Žerotin had remained faithful to
the House of Austria during the war that had just ended, and had even
been menaced by the Moravian nobles, who had adopted the cause of
Frederick of the Palatinate. In acknowledgment of his services, he
was not by the Catholics included in the general decree of exile, and
the Austrian authorities at first even overlooked the fact that many
members of Žerotin's Church, among whom was Komenský, sought refuge at
Brandeis. Komenský's intense literary activity, that had already begun
at Fulneck, continued at Brandeis. There, besides minor works, the
_Labyrinth of the World_ was written, though the book was afterwards

All Komenský's writings while at Brandeis bear witness of an intense
mental depression. Not only did he feel deeply the ruin and dispersion
of the religious community which he had just begun to serve, but he
also about this time lost his young wife, probably during the flight
from Fulneck to Brandeis. Writing of this period about ten years later
Komenský says: "God willed it that, not only through the lamentable
war, but also through the plague that spread throughout the country,
great slaughter took place. I thus lost miserably my wife and my
children, relations, connections, and kind benefactors. I suffered
anxiety on anxiety that filled my heart. But what was harder to bear
than all else was that God appeared to have abandoned our country and
Church and left us orphans, for all the churches of Bohemia and Moravia
were deprived of their faithful spiritual guides, many subjects lost
their evangelic lords, these again lost their beloved subjects,[100]
and the servants of God lost their churches."

The respite granted the brethren through the intercession of Žerotin
did not last long. Every year the persecution of all in Bohemia who
were outside the pale of the Church of Rome became severer and their
position more precarious. At a secret meeting of the brethren in 1625,
at which Komenský was present, it was decided altogether to abandon
Bohemia, and a discussion arose as to the country where the members of
the Unity should seek refuge. It was finally decided that the brethren
should separate, some proceeding to Poland, others to Hungary and
Transylvania. Poland then had a large Protestant population, and this
is still the case as regards the two other countries mentioned. Before
finally leaving Bohemia, it was decided that messengers should be sent
out in different directions to obtain information as to where the
brethren could find quarters. Komenský, with two companions, started
for Poland. In that country Count Raphael Lescynski, himself a member
of the Unity, was known as a warm friend of the brethren.

During his journey Komenský first heard of the so called prophecies of
one Christopher Kotter. Characteristically enough Komenský immediately
forgot all other preoccupations and obtained an interview with the
"prophet." Henceforth his belief in Kotter was implicit, and he
immediately decided on translating into Latin and into Bohemian the
German prophecies, which are a tissue of absurdities.[101] The fact
that a generally respected Protestant divine as Komenský had desired an
interview with Kotter of course greatly increased the man's celebrity.
Even the Elector of Brandenburg, and Frederick, ex-king of Bohemia,
requested that he should be presented to them. From Germany Komenský
continued his journey to Poland, and having, as he tells us, received
satisfactory assurances from Count Lescynski, he returned for the last
time to Bohemia towards the end of the year 1626.

He here again fell under the influence of a visionist, in whom he
thoroughly believed, and whose hallucinations he even many years
afterwards considered worthy of being recorded in print. Julian
Ponatovská, an impecunious Polish nobleman, had been received as a
member of the Unity and appointed preacher at Mladá Boleslav. When the
communities of the brethren were dispersed, Charles of Žerotin secured
Ponatovská's safety by appointing him to the office of librarian at his
castle at Naměst in Moravia. Christina, Ponatovská's daughter, appears
to have been of a highly hysterical nature, which, added to the intense
religious excitement of the times, induced her to deliver "prophecies,"
which were generally received with the greatest interest. The
pathological side of the question need not be dealt with here. It is
sufficient to state that Christina, who had recently been reading the
Revelation of St. John, declared that she had heard the voice of the
Lord, who had chosen her as intermediary for the purpose of informing
the faithful of the approaching defeat of Rome.

It was the misfortune of Komenský to be brought accidentally into
contact with the "prophetess." Christina had not joined her father in
Moravia, but remained at Branna in Bohemia, not far from Třemešna,
where Komenský was then staying. Christina suddenly became dangerously
ill at Branna, and as the minister of the Unity who resided at Třemešna
happened to be absent, Komenský was sent to Branna in his stead. He
has given a rather curious account of his visit to the prophetess.
She appeared to be in a state of ecstasy, and constantly repeated the
words "Bridegroom, bridegroom!" Somewhat later she began to communicate
her prophecies to Komenský and the other persons present. She again
prophesied that the Protestants would shortly obtain a complete victory
over Austria and the Pope. To these prophecies also Komenský gave
immediate implicit faith. Though he soon left Branna, he remained
in communication with Christina. The latter soon recovered from her
illness, but continued to prophesy; her prophecies, indeed, became even
more definite. She now announced that, through the will of her heavenly
bridegroom, Jesus, Papacy would be abolished; that the Turks would be
converted to Christianity, and that Ferdinand II. and Wallenstein would
perish by violent deaths. Wallenstein was then residing at Jičin in
Bohemia, and Christina, accompanied by a female friend, proceeded there
to acquaint him with her prophecies. The great general was not at home,
but Countess Wallenstein, who saw Christina, was greatly embarrassed,
and consulted some Jesuits on the subject of her visionary visitor.
The Jesuits advised that Christina should immediately be sent to jail;
but it was finally agreed merely to remind her of the decree that had
already banished from Bohemia all members of the Unity. Wallenstein
was, on his return home, informed of the visit of the prophetess. He
smiled, and remarked that the Emperor indeed received messages from
Rome, Constantinople, and Madrid, but that he had received one from

Christina returned to Branna, and as her father had died meanwhile,
she decided to join Komenský and his wife--he had remarried very
shortly after the death of his first wife--and a party of other exiles,
who were on the point of leaving Bohemia. They set out in January
1628; and on crossing the frontier of their country in the direction
of Silesia, "they all knelt down and prayed to God with cries and
many tears, entreating Him that He would not finally avert His mercy
from their beloved country nor allow the seed of His word to perish
within it." In February Komenský arrived at Lissa, a small town in that
part of Poland that is now known as the Prussian province of Posen.
Ponatovská for some time continued a member of Komenský's household,
and the controversy concerning the true inspiration of her prophecies
raged for a considerable time. A joint meeting of doctors and ministers
of the Unity did not settle the question, as the opinion of the
doctors was in direct opposition to that of the ecclesiastics, of whom
Komenský was one. The latter never wavered in his belief in Christina's
prophecies.[102] He maintained that it could nowhere be proved that the
Church had been deprived of the gift of prophecy. Before dismissing
Christina Ponatovská it should be stated that some time after these
events she married a young man employed at the printing-work of the
Unity at Lissa, had two sons and three daughters, and in later years
"disliked all reference to her prophecies."

It would, however, be doing Komenský bitter wrong if we supposed that
he was, while at Lissa, exclusively occupied with the prophecies of
Kotter and Ponatovská.

The period of his first residence at Lissa was, on the contrary, one
of incessant and fruitful hard work. His duties as a preacher and
schoolmaster were fulfilled with equally great conscientiousness,
and, from the few sermons that have been preserved, it appears that
in this respect also his ability was exceptional. It was also at this
time that most of Komenský's educational works were written, though
many were re-modelled later. It is therefore very difficult to fix the
chronological order of Komenský's works, and even to decide whether the
Bohemian or the Latin version of some of them is the original one. The
beginning of the "pansophic" studies also dates from this time, and the
_Physica_, Komenský's first philosophical work, was completed as early
as in 1632.

Of external events there is at this period of Komenský's life little
that requires mention. The monotonous life of the brethren was only
occasionally interrupted by the echoes of the events of the Thirty
Years' War. In 1631 the news of Gustavus Adolphus's great victory
at Breitenfeld, and in the following year that of the occupation of
Bohemia by the Saxons, reached Lissa. I have already noticed the brief
and vain hopes that Komenský founded on these events.

It is worthy of notice that even in those troublous times Komenský's
literary work soon became known. His "pansophic" studies, that appeal
so little to modern readers, then attracted almost more attention than
his really valuable educational works. Among those who appear to have
taken an early interest in Komenský's "pansophy" was Samuel Hartlib,
a learned Englishman, who was probably of German origin, "who resided
in London, and took a keen interest in everything that savoured of
intellectual progress."[103] Hartlib seems, indeed, first to have heard
of Komenský as the author of _Janua Linguarum_, an educational work
that then, and even long after, enjoyed great celebrity; but he was
principally interested in Komenský's philosophical studies. Hartlib
entered into correspondence with him, requested information on the
subject of "pansophy," and offered pecuniary assistance should Komenský
wish to visit England.

The latter seems to have received these proposals favourably, and he
forwarded to Hartlib a sketch describing all the pansophic works he
intended to write. Many of these works perished afterwards when the
town of Lissa was burnt down, and it is therefore a mere matter of
conjecture how many of them already were in existence. It is, however,
certain that Komenský at that time had already compiled a complete
table of contents of his pansophic works under the name of _Synopsis
Operis Consultatorii_.[104] Hartlib appears to have been delighted with
Komenský's communication, and, contrary to the author's wishes, he
published his pansophic sketch at Oxford in 1637.

Komenský does not seem to have resented this breach of faith. He
had perhaps already made up his mind to visit England, where the
publication of his work was likely to increase his fame. Disputes with
other ministers of the Unity, who disapproved of Komenský's visionary
opinions, had rendered residence at Lissa distasteful to him. The death
of Count Lescynski in 1637 was also a reason for leaving Lissa, though
his son and successor, Count Bohnslav Lescynski,[105] continued to
afford protection to the brethren even after he had adopted the Roman

In the year 1641 Komenský started for England, and, after a very
perilous journey, during which his vessel was once driven near to the
Norwegian coast and he was once nearly shipwrecked, he arrived in
London on September 21st of that year. The description of the perils
of the sea, which Komenský introduced into the later editions of the
_Labyrinth_, is founded on these personal experiences. Of the small
coterie that welcomed Komenský in London, Mr. Keatinge gives the
following interesting account. "Komenský," he writes, "was received
with open arms by the little band, of which Hartlib was the centre. A
man of great enthusiasm but less judgment, Hartlib knew everybody in
England who was worth knowing.... At that time in easy circumstances,
he was living in Duke's Place, Drury Lane, an address which, we may be
sure, was the centre of Komenský's London experiences. Here would have
met to discuss the intellectual and political problems of the day men
like Theodore Haak, John Durie, John Beale, John Wilkins, John Pell,
and Evelyn, who had just returned to London after a three months'
journey through Europe. Milton was living in London, and must certainly
have met and conversed with the illustrious stranger."

Komenský's impressions of England are contained in an interesting
letter which, shortly after his arrival on the 18th (old style 8th)
of October 1641, he addressed to his friends at Lissa.[106] After
describing his journey and the kind reception given to him by his
English friends, Komenský writes: "What, after having now spent nearly
a month here, I have been able to see, hear, and understand, I will
briefly report, dealing first with public affairs and then with my own.

"This nook of the earth has much that differs from other countries, and
is worthy of admiration. What interests me most are those matters which
concern the glory of God and the flourishing state of the Church and
the schools (both now and, it is to be hoped, yet more in the future).

"If I enumerate some points specially, I know it will not be
displeasing to you and to the friends of God.

"I.[107] The ardour with which the people crowd to the churches is
incredible. The town has 120 parish churches, and in all of them--of
all those which I have visited, I state this as an ascertained
fact--there is such a crowd that space is insufficient.

"II. Almost all bring a copy of the Bible with them.... Therefore the
preacher, when reading his text, twice mentions book, chapter, and
verse. If the text is short (for he often chooses a single line), he
reads it twice over also.

"III. Of the youths and men, a large number copy out the sermons word
by word with their pens. For here, thirty years ago (under King James),
they discovered an art which now even the uneducated practise, that of
'tachygraphia,' which they call stenography....

"IV. After the sermons, most fathers of families repeat the sermon
at home with the members of their household. Sometimes two or three
families meet for this purpose.

"Of books on all subjects in their own language they have an enormous
number, so that I doubt whether any country is equal to them,
particularly as regards books on theology. There are truly not more
bookstalls at Frankfurt at the time of the fair than there are here
every day. Verulamius's (Bacon's) work _De Scientiarum Augmentis_ has
also recently appeared in English.

"VI. Their thirst for the word of God is so great, that many of the
nobles, citizens also and matrons, study Greek and Hebrew to be able
more safely and more sweetly to drink from the very spring of life. Do
not think that only one or two do this; there are many, and day by day
this holy contagion spreads farther.

"VII. Some select men designated by Parliament are now working
that they may have the text of the Bible as accurate as possible,
corresponding in everything with the sources, and furnished with very
short marginal notes. Here, however, political considerations have
somewhat interfered, for they have fixed them a term of a few months
only; but I hope the time will be prolonged.

"VIII. They are vehemently debating on the reform of the schools of
the whole kingdom in a manner similar to that to which, as you know,
my wishes tend, that is, that all young people should be instructed,
none neglected, and that their instruction should be such that it lay
down the foundations of Christianity more deeply and more solidly in
the tender minds, thus afterwards rendering greater the efficacy of
religious ministration.

"IX. They are endeavouring to found a special illustrious
school--whether in London or elsewhere has not yet been settled--for
young men of noble birth, separated from all mixture with plebeians.

"X. An instruction for parents as to the provident care of their
children in infancy and their wise preparation for further culture in
accordance with my _Instruction_[108] ... had been prepared here before
I arrived...."

Paragraphs XI. and XII. have little interest, but the last part of
the letter, which deals with the political situation of England, and
reflects, no doubt, the opinions of Komenský's English friends, is
worth quoting. Paragraph XIII. begins thus: "The questions concerning
episcopal rank give much trouble here; some wish to preserve it in its
entire former dignity, others to abolish entirely both the name and the
office; others again wish to retain the episcopal name and office, but
to suppress the worldly pomp, the too great luxury and the uncalled-for
interference in temporal matters, which are too often the results
of the episcopal system. The larger part of the nobles, however,
and almost all the people, desire the complete suppression (of the
episcopal rank); so hated has the whole order of bishops become because
of the abuse of their office, and because of their endeavours to rule
men's consciences and oppose the liberty of the people. Even our own
Bishop of Lincoln (of bishops the most learned, the most cultivated,
and politically the most sagacious), who was three years ago deprived
of his office by the Archbishop, imprisoned, but then liberated by
Parliament, is beginning to be badly spoken of, and there are some who
predict evil for him. They say he will not only be deprived of his
office together with the other bishops, but also that he will again be
imprisoned. For new plots against the Parliament have been discovered,
some secret, some almost open. But I hope and believe in better things
for the good bishop. When, the other day, he invited me as well as
Duræus (Durie) and Hartlib to dine and discuss with him, he spoke most
reservedly on all these matters. He only remarked that he did not know
whether he and his colleagues should be reckoned among the dead or
among the living. Should things take a more peaceful turn, he promised
great aid to us and to ours....

"XIV. Archbishop Laud is detained in prison, with no hope of
liberation. For while Parliament is prorogued, commissioners have been
appointed who will inquire into his acts and be informed of the various
grievances against him, which Parliament had not time to hear. This
has been done. They also say that such matters have been produced that
there is no hope for his life.

"XV. The decision of the Parliament, published before its prorogation,
which decreed the removal from all churches of such 'articles of
ceremony' as altars, crosses, &c., which had been introduced by
the Archbishop, has within the last days been carried out almost
everywhere, In one of the churches here in London there was a window,
the religious and very artistic painting of which, they say, cost
£4000, that is 16,000 imperials. The ambassador of the Spanish king who
resides here offered to pay the whole of this sum if he could have the
window intact. But the somewhat exaggerated zeal of the people despised
the proffered money and broke the window, considering that it was wrong
to obtain gain by means of idolatrous objects."

Komenský's visit to England was, like so many of his undertakings, a
complete failure. He seems indeed to have realised this soon, and to
have acquired in a short time a considerable insight into the state of
affairs in England. Komenský's plan of founding a "Christian Academy
of Pansophy" was at best absurd, but it was doubly so at a moment
when England was drifting rapidly towards civil war. Quite at first,
however, Komenský appears to have believed in the feasibility of his
favourite plan, and he even meditated whether "the Savoy in London,
Winchester, outside of London, or Chelsea, very near the capital, would
be the best site for the academy." The question naturally arises,
What was the object of the academy that Komenský, Hartlib, and other
enthusiasts planned? Mr. Keatinge suggests that the academy had no
further purpose than "to organise a collection of laboratories for
physical research." This, though undoubtedly part of the plan, was
certainly not the whole plan. The academy, according to Komenský, was
to be composed of the wisest men of all countries, who, among many
other things, were to elaborate a universal language. They were to
meet in England "because of the heroic deeds of the Englishman Drake,
who by five times circumnavigating the world furnished, as it were,
a prelude to the future holy unity of all nations." Komenský's plans
are so obviously utopian that it is scarcely necessary to mention that
they came to nothing. An universal language will never be accepted, and
universal peace, or the "holy unity of all nations," as Komenský termed
it--though the events of the last few months prove that that ideal
still has believers--was certainly impossible in Komenský's time, and
probably will continue an impossibility.

Though long convinced that his fantastic plans found little favour
in England, Komenský yet remained in London up to June 1642. He here
wrote, for the benefit of Hartlib and his other English friends, his
_Via Lucis_, in which millenarian views are very noticeable.

Soon after his arrival in London, Komenský had received a letter from
Louis de Geers, a rich Dutch merchant, who had important business
connections with Sweden. He had already entered into correspondence
before, and the letter of De Geers was forwarded to Komenský from
Lissa. De Geers in his letter suggested that Komenský should proceed
to Sweden for the purpose of reorganising the schools of that country
according to his new educational theories. It is a proof how soon
he had lost his hope in English aid for his pansophic plans that in
November 1641 Komenský already conditionally accepted the offer of De
Geers. The latter had really thought of Komenský only as a man who was
already an authority on matters of education; but Komenský himself,
sanguine as ever, saw in a visit to Sweden an opportunity of expounding
his pansophic views to the Chancellor Oxenstiern, and also--a more
sensible object--of enlisting the sympathies of the Swedish statesman
for the Bohemian exiles.

In June 1642 Komenský left England, and first proceeded to Holland.
It is a proof of the great celebrity that he had already attained
that he here received yet another invitation. While travelling in
Holland, Komenský met Richard Charles Winthrop, formerly Governor
of Massachusetts, who suggested to him that he should proceed to
America and become rector of Harvard College, that had been founded
six years before. Komenský, who was bound by his agreement with the
Swedish Government, in the name of which De Geers had negotiated
with him, declined the offer. In September 1642 Komenský arrived in
Sweden, had an interview with De Geers, and afterwards at Stockholm
met the Chancellor Oxenstiern. Komenský has left a detailed and very
interesting account of the latter interview, from which want of space
unfortunately prevents my quoting. Komenský, of course, laid great
stress on his visionary views and on his "pansophic"--philosophical
one can hardly call them--writings. The great Chancellor, on the other
hand, warmly praised Komenský's educational works, and suggested, as
De Geers had already done, that he should write a series of Latin
school-books for the use of the Swedish schools. With characteristic
tact, Oxenstiern remarked that if he facilitated the study of the Latin
language, Komenský would prepare the way to further more profound
studies. As Komenský refused to remain in Sweden, it was decided that
he should settle at Elbing, in Prussia, not very far from Sweden.

Komenský spent six years (1642-1648) at Elbing, occupied partly with
the preparation of the school-books he had been commissioned to write,
partly with his favourite "pansophic" studies. His life here, as almost
everywhere, was a troubled one. The agents of the Swedish Government
urged him, in a manner that was not always delicate, to proceed with
the task he had accepted and not to waste his time on works of a
different nature. On the other hand, Hartlib, with the characteristic
inability of a rich man to understand that others have to work for
their living, bitterly reproached Komenský with having abandoned the
sublime works that had been planned in London for the purpose of
writing school-books.

In 1648, on the death of Bishop Justinus, the members of the Unity
assembled at Lissa chose Komenský as one of their bishops. He outlived
all his colleagues, and eventually became the last bishop of the
Bohemian Brethren. On receipt of the news of his election, Komenský
started for Lissa, but not until he had forwarded to Sweden some of
the school-books which he had been commissioned to write. The year
1648 brought a great blow to the members of the Unity and to the
Bohemian Protestants generally. The Treaty of Westphalia was signed
in that year, and no stipulations in favour of the Bohemian exiles
were contained in it. At the risk of prolonging the war, the Austrian
Government maintained its principle that no one who did not profess the
creed of Rome should be allowed to reside in Bohemia or Moravia; to
Silesia slight concessions were granted. All the hopes of the exiles
that they might once be able to return to their beloved Bohemia were
now destroyed for ever. Oxenstiern had to the last defended the cause
of the exiles, and did not deserve the severe reproaches that Komenský
addressed to him.

All hopes of worldly aid having vanished, Komenský relied more than
ever on the intervention of God, and on the visions and prophecies
which announced that such an intervention would shortly take place.
"If there is no aid from man," he wrote to Oxenstiern, "there will
be from God, whose aid is wont to commence when that of men ceases."
Komenský's relations with Kotter and Ponatovská prove sufficiently
that it was not now that mysticism and credulity first obscured his
generally clear brain; but it is evident that Komenský never quite
recovered from the blow inflicted by the Treaty of Westphalia, which
to his generally optimistic nature appeared unexpected. His reliance
even on the prophecies of an impudent liar and humbug such as Drabik
injured his reputation in the learned world, and threw obloquy even on
his masterly, wise, and perfectly sane educational works.

Ever restless, Komenský was not prevented, even by the responsibilities
of his new dignity, from undertaking new wanderings. It has already
been mentioned that when the members of the Unity were expelled from
Bohemia many brethren sought refuge in Hungary. They now complained
that for many years they had not seen their brother Komenský, who had
meanwhile acquired such celebrity. Komenský was already meditating a
visit to Hungary when he received a letter from George Rakoczy, prince
of Transylvania, inviting him to visit his domains, and to introduce
there the educational reforms which had rendered him celebrated.
Rakoczy then ruled not only over Transylvania, but also over a
considerable part of Northern Hungary, including the towns of Tokay and
Saros Patak; the latter of these towns was indeed a frequent residence
of the Transylvanian princes. Having obtained the consent of the other
seniors or bishops, Komenský in 1650 again set out on his travels. On
his journey he passed through Puchö, a small town in Northern Hungary,
and assisted at a meeting of the members of the Unity which took place
there. Among those present was Nicholas Drabik, a former school-fellow
of Komenský, who proposed to accompany him on his farther journey.
Drabik had already some years previously forwarded some "prophecies" to
Komenský, and the latter now fell entirely under his influence.

It is with pity and shame that I refer to Drabik's prophecies in
connection with so great and good a man as Komenský; their value was
about the same as that of the political predictions of a third-rate
writer of leading articles; the style is a vile imitation of that
of the Revelation of St. John. The leading idea is the destruction
of the House of Austria, which is described as the _bestia_ of the
Apocalypse. The nations that were to effect this downfall varied in
the predictions according to the political situation of the day.
Turkey was then almost always at war with the House of Habsburg, and
therefore always figured among these nations. At this moment Drabik
announced that he had just had a vision informing him that enemies
coming from four directions were surrounding "the beast." They were
the princes of the House of Rakoczy, "the dearest instruments of God,"
from the east; the Greeks and Servians from the south; the Poles,
Lithuanians, Russians, Tartars, and Turks from the north; the Swiss
from the west! The Hungarian crown was assured to Sigismund Rakoczy, at
whose expense Drabik was then living. Komenský, who had received former
"prophecies," ventured to remark that in them the crown of Hungary had
been assured to Sigismund's father, Prince George Rakoczy (who had
died in 1648). Drabik then "burst out into tears," and thus pacified
the kind-hearted Komenský. It may incidentally be remarked, that when
Prince Sigismund died in 1652, Drabik again calmly transferred his
prophecy, this time to that prince's brother and successor, George II.
of Transylvania. While Kotter may have believed in his visions, and
physical circumstances probably explain those of Ponatovská, Drabik was
simply an impostor, who managed not only to live at free quarters, but
also to obtain considerable sums of money as a remuneration for alleged
negotiations with Turkey. It was indeed through him that Komenský, who
was integrity personified, was at Saros Patak accused of indelicacy in
financial matters and of greediness for money. These accusations were
afterwards echoed by the divines with whom Komenský was engaged in
controversies during the last years of his life, and they also found
their way into Bayle's _Dictionnaire Historique et Critique_.

It must be sufficient to note the enormous influence Drabik acquired
over Komenský; to account for it is impossible, unless we assume that
much suffering and disappointment had weakened his intellect. This
is, however, disproved by the fact that the educational works which
Komenský continued to write nearly to the end of his life show little
trace of waning mental power. It must be taken into account, also, that
visions and prophecies found very general belief in those days. Mr.
Keatinge, in his interesting book to which I have already referred,
mentions several instances of learned Englishmen who had read the
prophecies of Drabik (or Drabicius, as he was called in England), and
fully believed in them. Bayle also writes that when, in 1683, the
news that the Turks were besieging Vienna reached Paris, the name of
the prophet Drabik was in every mouth. Drabik at last came to an evil
end. A few months (fortunately) after Komenský's death, Drabik was
arrested as a swindler and conspirator. He confessed his impostures and
was executed, though he had accepted the creed of Rome in the hope of
saving his life.

Komenský's activity as a teacher while at Saros Patak was
indefatigable. He attempted to improve and reorganise the "gymnasium"
of the town, and also wrote several new educational works during his
stay in Hungary. He encountered, however, many obstacles; the local
teachers were opposed to him, and reproached him with his intimacy
with Drabik; linguistic difficulties also arose. If Komenský yet
remained four years in Hungary, it was mainly for political purposes.
He still hoped to contribute to the formation of a Protestant League
which would drive the Austrians out of Bohemia, and thus enable the
brethren to return to their beloved country. Komenský now hoped for
aid from England, since Cromwell was famed all over the Continent as
the protector of persecuted Protestants. After the death of Sigismund
Rakoczy, Komenský actually succeeded in inducing his brother and
successor, George II., to endeavour to negotiate an alliance with
England and Sweden against Austria. When the Transylvanian embassy
started for London, it was instructed to pass by Lissa to consult with
Komenský, who had already returned to Poland. His knowledge of English
affairs would, it was thought, prove useful, and it is probable that
the state paper which the ambassadors presented to Cromwell was from
the pen of Komenský. Komenský, indeed, always seems to have continued
to communicate with his English friends. As late as in 1658, Cromwell
and Thurloe, no doubt through the intermediation of Hartlib, suggested
that the Bohemian Brethren, together with the Vaudois or Waldenses,
whom the Duke of Savoy was then persecuting, should be established
in Ireland. Lands formerly belonging to Roman Catholics were to have
been given to them, and it was thought that the Protestant element in
Ireland would thus be strengthened. Komenský, perhaps injudiciously,
declined the proposal. He stated, either in consequence of his
own conviction or because of his belief in the wretched Drabik's
prophecies, that the brethren would shortly return to their own
country, and therefore could not travel to distant lands.

In 1654 Komenský returned to Lissa, but his stay there was now short
and troubled. War between Sweden and Poland broke out in the following
year, and the victorious Swedes occupied Lissa in August 1655. The
only policy for the homeless community of the brethren evidently was
to remain neutral in these alien quarrels. Unfortunately, Komenský
employed his ever-ready pen in composing a panegyric on Charles
Gustavus, the victorious Swedish king. In the following year the town
of Lissa was retaken by the Polish army, pillaged, and burnt down.
Komenský's library and his MS. were again destroyed. The brethren,
perhaps not without reason, accused Komenský of having, through his
injudicious writings, caused the downfall of the community of Lissa, to
which the Poles had never been hostile before.

Komenský, now sixty-five years old, was again homeless, and he was
at first uncertain where he should seek refuge. He proceeded to
Hamburg, but there received an invitation to Amsterdam from Lawrence
De Geers, the son of his old patron Louis De Geers. Komenský started
for Amsterdam, and here spent the latest years of his life. His
literary activity continued to the last. He published at Amsterdam the
only complete edition of his educational works, and even wrote new
"pansophic" books. Differing on this point from his father, Lawrence De
Geers took great interest in these studies, and even in the writings
of the "prophets," in whom Komenský obstinately continued to believe.
De Geers was foolish enough to invite Drabik to Amsterdam, and it was
through his financial aid that Komenský was enabled to publish in 1657
his _Lux in Tenebris_, a book in which all the prophecies of Kotter,
Ponatovská, and Drabik were again brought before the public.

The mystic and now openly professed chiliastic views of Komenský
involved him during the last years of his life in numerous theological
controversies. Detailed accounts of them have recently been published
in Bohemian, perhaps rather because everything concerned with Komenský
is valued by his countrymen than because these controversies now
have much interest. Among Komenský's theological antagonists were
Nicholas Arnold, Daniel Zwicker, and Samuel Des Marets, a professor at
Gröningen. The last-named attacked the aged bishop of the Unity with
great violence, calling him "a fanatic, a visionary, and an enthusiast
in folio." He also accused him of obtaining large sums from the De
Geers family by means of "pansophic hope and chiliastic smoke." A
polemical essay directed against Descartes also belongs to Komenský's
last years. These years were very melancholy, though the old man,
characteristically enough, found great relief in the society of an
aged French prophetess and visionist named Antoinette Bourgignon. His
old comrades died off one by one. Of the bishops of the community,
Gertichius died in 1667, and Figulus (Komenský's son-in-law) in January
1670. In the same year, on November 15th, Komenský, the last bishop of
the Bohemian Brethren, ended his long and troubled life.

It would require a book larger than the whole of this volume to give
even a slight account of the 142 works[109] of Komenský. Such a book
would hardly have much general interest. The enormous total includes
prayer-books, lists of regulations for the Unity, mere school-books,
sermons, works on natural history that long since have become
valueless, and so on. These lists, however, which include only books
that are still in existence, do not comprise the entire fruits of the
literary activity of Komenský. Several "pansophic" works that are
enumerated in a table of contents, to which I have already referred,
are no longer in existence, and were probably destroyed when the town
of Lissa was burnt down.

While at Fulneck, Komenský was already busy writing works on grammar
as well as a Bohemian translation of the Psalms. The melancholy events
of the year 1621, when he lost his wife and his home at Fulneck and
began his many wanderings, inspired him to write several religious
books, all bearing witness to the deep depression of the author. Such
works are the _Help for the Soul_, _The Impregnable Castle, which is
the Name of the Lord_, _The Dismal Complaint of a Christian_, _The
Centre of Security_, and others. All these writings are in Bohemian,
as also is the far better known _Labyrinth_, which Komenský wrote at
Brandeis-on-the-Adler shortly after his arrival there, and dedicated
to his patron, Lord Charles of Žerotin. The _Labyrinth of the World_,
perhaps one of the best allegorical narratives that has ever been
written, professes the same pessimism, combined with a fervent belief
in the revelations of the Christian faith, which can be found in the
other works also which I have just mentioned. The _Labyrinth_ from
its first appearance obtained an immense popularity with the Bohemian
people,[110] to which I have already referred. Since the Bohemians have
again been able to read freely the records of their ancient literature,
the _Labyrinth_ has regained its former popularity, as is proved by the
numerous recently published editions.

The _Labyrinth of the World_, written in Komenský's youth, is, from a
literary point of view, undoubtedly his greatest achievement. Rarely
perhaps has the vanity of all worldly matters, the hopelessness of
men's struggles, the inevitable disappointment which is the result of
even the most successful ambition, been more clearly expounded than in
this small and unknown work. Were we not constantly reminded that we
are reading the book of a devout Christian and member of the Unity,
we should fancy that we were reading the work of a forerunner of
Schopenhauer. Komenský's _Labyrinth_, in fact, reeks with pessimism,
though his admirable religious faith and piety enabled him to give
a supernatural and consolatory ending to his book. Happiness,
unattainable here, is to be found elsewhere.

The little book is well worth being translated into English, and I hope
some day to attempt that task.[111] It will here only be possible to
give an outline of the tale and a few quotations. Komenský tells us of
the adventures of a young man who, "when arrived at that age when the
human mind begins to understand the difference between good and evil,
sees how various are men's stations and ranks, their vocations, and
the works and undertakings which occupy them." He then meditates as
to "what group of men he should join, and with what subjects he should
occupy his life." The youth then starts on his wanderings, having
accepted "Impudence" and "Falsehood" as his guides. They conduct him
to the summit of a high tower. He now beholds a city which appeared to
him "beautiful, splendid, and broad, with countless streets, squares,
houses, smaller and larger buildings, all swarming with people."
The six principal streets, his companions tell him, are inhabited
respectively by married people, tradesmen, scholars, priests, rulers,
and soldiers. To the west of the city he is shown the "Castle of
Fortune." In the middle of the city is a vast square, in the centre of
which is the residence of the "Queen of Wisdom." The pilgrim is then
shown two gates: the first, that of life, through which all must pass;
the second, that of separation. Before entering this gate, all must
draw lots and accept a career in the world in accordance with the lot
they have drawn. They arrive at the gates of separation, and then the
pilgrim, or rather Komenský, tells us: "We went downward by a dark
winding staircase, and before the door there was a wide hall full of
young people, and on the right side there sat a fierce-looking old man,
holding in his hand a large copper jar. And I saw that all those who
came from the gate of life stepped up to him, and each one put his hand
into the jar and drew from it a scrap of paper on which something was
written. Then each of them went down one of the streets, some running
and shouting from joy, while others crept along slowly, looked around
them, groaned and lamented.

"I also then came nearer, looked at some of the scraps of paper, and
noticed that one contained the word 'Rule!' another 'Serve!' another
'Command!' another 'Write!' another 'Plough!' another 'Learn!' another
'Dig!' another 'Judge!' yet another 'Fight!' and so forth. Impudence
said to me: 'Here vocations and work are distributed, and according to
this distribution every one has to fulfil his task in the world. He who
distributes the lots is called Fate, and from him in this fashion every
one who enters the world must receive his instructions.'

"Then Falsehood nudged me at my other side, thus giving me notice
that I also should stretch out my hand. I begged not to be obliged to
take any one lot directly without first examining it, nor to intrust
myself to blind fortune. But I was told that without the permission
of the Lord Regent Fate this could not be. Then stepping up to him, I
modestly brought forward my request, saying that I had arrived with the
intention of seeing everything for myself, and only then choosing what
pleased me." "He answered: 'My son, you see that others do not this,
but what is given or offered them they take. However, as you desire
this, it is well!' Then he wrote on a scrap of paper, 'Speculare,' that
is to say, 'Look round you or inquire,' gave it to me and left me."

The pilgrim and his two companions now enter the city, and proceed
first to the street of the married people. Here Komenský gives us what,
for one who was married three times, and is not known to have been
unhappy in marriage, seems an intensely gloomy and pessimistic view
of married life. He dilates on the uncertainty of choice in marriage,
on the trouble caused by children, on the disappointment felt by the
childless, on all that is unlovely in love. The pilgrim then proceeds
to the street of the tradesmen, and the many troubles, anxieties, and
disappointments to which commerce is exposed are eloquently described.
Komenský, in the later editions of the _Labyrinth_, here inserted a
curious passage referring to his own sea-voyage, from which I can only
quote a few lines. "The wind," he writes, "had meanwhile increased
so rapidly that we were tossed about in a manner that horrified our
hearts; the sea rolled round us in every direction with such gigantic
waves that our course was, as it were, up high hills and down deep
valleys, once upward and then again downward; sometimes we were shot
upwards to such heights that it seemed as if we were to reach the moon,
then again we descended as into a precipice.... This continued day and
night, and any one can imagine what anguish and fear we felt. Then I
said to myself, 'Surely these men (the sailors) must be more pious than
all other men, they who never for an hour are sure of their lives;' but
looking at them, I observed that they were all without exception eating
gluttonously, as in a tavern, drinking, playing, laughing, talking in
an obscene manner, in fact, committing every sort of evil deed and

The pilgrim next visits the scholars or learned men. Komenský, here
quite in his element, passes judgment on many _savants_ of his
time, and gives his opinion on astronomy, history, natural history,
poetry, and philosophy as they appeared to him in the writings of his
contemporaries. His erudition, judged, of course, by the standard of
his time, does not appear profound, but he sometimes, in few words,
describes epigrammatically currents of thought that had importance in
his day.

The chapters which deal with the priesthood are closely connected with
those that tell us of the pilgrim's visit to the men of learning. As
Komenský had, when describing the former, laid stress on the many
follies of philosophers and the vanity of human learning, he now
deals severely with the professed teachers of religious truth, noting
their obstinacy, their want of erudition, their constant reciprocal

The pilgrim and his companions now proceed to the street of the rulers.
Here, in accordance with the pessimistic note which characterises the
book, we are told that all earthly authority is evil, but that if
it did not exist, the condition of the world would be yet worse. We
here find interesting allusions to contemporary events, the sudden
appearance and downfall of King Frederick of Bohemia and the executions
at Prague in 1621. Komenský lays stress on the uncertainty of royal
power. He writes: "Then the royal throne (that of Ferdinand of Austria
is meant) suddenly shook, broke into bits, and fell to the ground. Then
I heard noise among the people, and looking round, I saw that they
were leading in another prince and seating him on the throne, while
they joyously exclaimed that things would now be different from what
they were. They flatter the new prince and all who can strengthen the
throne for him to sit on. I, thinking it right to act for the advantage
of the general welfare, also contributed a nail or two to strengthen
the throne; for this some praised me, while others looked at me with
disapproval. But meanwhile the other prince recovered himself, and he
and his men attacked us with cudgels, thrashing the whole crowd till
they fled, and many even lost their necks." Komenský here alludes to
some service which he had rendered to the government of King Frederick,
of which nothing is otherwise known. He no doubt sympathised with that
government and was on terms of acquaintance with administrators of the
Utraquist Consistory of Prague. One of the administrators, Cyrillus,
who assisted the president, Dicastus, at the coronation of King
Frederick, was the father of Komenský's second wife, whom he married
about the time when he wrote the _Labyrinth_.

After the rulers, the pilgrim visits the soldiers. Komenský here gives
a very lifelike description of the brutal ways of the soldiery at the
time of the Thirty Years' War. His battle-picture is also striking.
"Then suddenly," he writes, "the drums beat, the trumpet resounds,
noisy cries arise. Then, behold, all rise up, seize daggers, cutlasses,
bayonets, or whatever they have, and strike unmercifully at one another
till blood spirts out. They hack and hew at one another worse than
the most savage animals. Then in every direction the cries increased;
one could hear the tramping of horses, the clashing of armour, the
clattering of swords, the growl of the artillery, the whistle of
shots and bullets round our ears, the sound of trumpets, the crash of
drums, the cries of those who urged on the soldiers, the shouting of
the victors, the shrieking of the wounded and dying; an awful leaden
hailstorm could be seen, fearful fiery thunder and lightning could be
heard; now this, now that man's arm, head, leg, flew away; there one
fell over another; everything swam in blood! 'Almighty God!' said I,
'what is happening? Must the whole world perish?'"

The pilgrim now tells his companions that he has everywhere found
but vanity. They answer him by informing him that those who have
laboured hard eventually find their way to the castle of Fortune,
where happiness, honour, and pleasure await them. The pilgrim is now
conducted to this castle, but here also finds nothing that attracts
him. He reflects on the many cares that are the consequence of riches,
the misery that ever threatens libertines, gamblers, and gluttons, the
vanity of glory and of ancient lineage. The pilgrim's guides, uncertain
what to do with him, now lead him to the castle of the goddess of
Worldly Wisdom. They bring him before the goddess and thus accuse him:
"Most serene queen of the world," they say, "most brilliant ray of
God's light, magnificent Wisdom! The young man whom we bring before
you has had the fortune to receive from Fate (the regent of your
Majesty) the permission to view all the ranks and conditions in this
kingdom of the world.... But he always complains to us of everything;
everything displeases him; he is always striving for something that
is unattainable. Therefore we cannot satisfy his wild cravings nor
understand them, and we bring him before your serene grace, and leave
it to your prudence to decide what is to be done with him."

The queen receives the pilgrim graciously and invites him to remain
at her court. Shortly afterwards Solomon appears at the queen's court
with the intention of wedding her. He is accompanied by a large crowd
of courtiers, among whom are Socrates, Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, many
Christians and Jews. In their presence the queen receives numerous
deputations, all bringing petitions, beggars, philosophers, who are
represented by Theophrastus and Aristotle, judges, lawyers, and others.
At last the queen receives a deputation of women. They state that it
would be fair that they and men should alternately have dominion.
Some even say that they alone should rule, as their bodies are more
agile and their minds quicker than those of men. As men for so many
years have ruled women, it is, they say, time that women should take
superior rank. A few years ago, they add, a noble example of this was
given in the kingdom of England under the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
for she decreed that all men should give their right hand to women, a
worthy custom that still endured.

Solomon, who had hitherto listened attentively to the petitions and
to the queen's answers, now suddenly exclaims, "Vanity of vanities,
and everything is vanity." He then tears away the mask which the queen
wore, and she appears as a hideous hag. Yet shortly afterwards Solomon
is, by means of flattery, again won over to her side and conducted to
the street of married people, where he is unable to resist the female
attractions that offer themselves to him. Fearful calamities are
the consequence of Solomon's weakness, and the pilgrim despairingly
exclaims, "Oh, that I had never been born, never passed through the
gate of life! for after having surveyed all the vanities of the world,
nothing but darkness and horror are my part. O God, God! If thou art a
God, have mercy on wretched me!" The pilgrim, whom his companions have
meanwhile abandoned, now hears a voice from on high which exclaims,
"Return whence thou camest into the house of thy heart, and then close
the doors." The voice is that of Christ, who appears to the pilgrim
and instructs him in true religion; the teaching, needless to say, is
strictly in accordance with the doctrine of the Unity. The pilgrim is
then received into heaven, and the last chapter consists in a prayer to
Christ, ending with the Latin words, _Gloria in excelsis Deo et in
terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis_.

It is impossible to render justice to the _Labyrinth_ in a few pages,
and no book lends itself less to quotation. Komenský, who is generally
diffuse and addicted to repetition, has here given us an enormous
amount of thought and experience in a very small volume.

The great educational works of Komenský, on which his principal claim
to posthumous fame is founded, but which do not perhaps require
lengthy mention in a work that deals mainly with literature, were
principally written during the author's first prolonged stay at Lissa.
Though the order in which Komenský's educational works were written
cannot always be ascertained with certainty, there is little doubt
that one of the earliest was the _Informatorium Školy Mateřské_ (=
instruction for mother-schools).[112] It first appeared in Bohemian
in 1628. The little book deals with the earliest instruction which a
child receives from its mother. It soon obtained great popularity, and
was speedily translated into German, Latin, and English. Anticipating
Rousseau, Komenský lays great stress on the duty of mothers to nurse
their children. The _Instruction for Mother-Schools_ is still much
read in Bohemia, and some of the regulations contained in it have
been adopted for the modern "Kindergarten." Many other educational
works of Komenský appeared in rapid succession during his stay at
Lissa. The most valuable of them is the _Didactica Magna_, which,
like the _Informatorium_, was originally written and first published
in Bohemian. Komenský here establishes four degrees of education: the
mother-school, the vernacular school, the Latin school or gymnasium,
and the academy or university. The earliest education in Germany and
Austria is, except in the case of the Kindergarten, still left to the
mother's own discretion; but it is interesting to note that the three
other divisions of educational establishments suggested by Komenský are
almost exactly in accordance with the present system of education in
these countries.

It is beyond the purpose of this book to give a detailed account of
Komenský's educational theories. I must refer those who are interested
in the subject to Mr. Keatinge's excellent introduction to his recently
published English version of the _Didactica Magna_, which I have
already mentioned. The writer here gives us a concise but very clear
sketch of these theories.

One of the best known, probably formerly the best known, work of
Komenský is also of an educational character. I am referring to the
celebrated _Janua Linquarum Reserata_, which was first published
in 1631. The book was an attempt--somewhat anticipating Ollendorf's
method--of facilitating the study of Latin, and in the enlarged
editions that of other languages as well.[113] The book immediately
obtained an enormous success, and was constantly republished even up
to the beginning of the present century. Philology and the science of
languages generally have made such gigantic progress since Komenský's
time that the modern reader has the impression that the book was
immensely overrated. Komenský's peculiar system of introducing as many
different words as possible, and of avoiding as far as possible the
repetition of a word that had already been used, give the book an
appearance of artificiality and constraint. The real leading idea of
Komenský's _Janua_ is an attempt simultaneously to teach a language
and to enlarge as far as possible the extent of the pupil's ideas. I
have elsewhere translated a portion of the curious chapter _De Statu
Regio_. I shall here quote the first introductory chapter, which gives
some idea of Komenský's method. It is written in the form of a dialogue
between the reader and the author. The latter begins thus:--"Welcome,
friendly reader! If you ask me what it is to be learned, receive this
answer: It means to know the differences between things, and to be able
to name and designate all things by their right names."

The pupil answers, "Nothing more than this?"

"No, certainly nothing beyond this. He who has learned the nomenclature
of all things of Nature and Art has laid the foundation of all

"But that must surely be very difficult."

"It certainly is so if you attempt it unwillingly, and if you allow
your prejudiced imagination to frighten you. Besides, if there is
any difficulty, it will be at the beginning. Do not the shapes and
characters of letters also appear to children who first see them
singular, wonderful, and monstrous? But when they have taken some
trouble and pains, they understand that they (the letters) are but a
play and a recreation. The same applies to all things; they appear
superficially more difficult than they are. But if you not only begin
a work but also persevere, there is nothing that will not yield and
submit itself to your intellect Who wishes to do so can understand
everything.[114] Therefore, whoever you are, I order you to hope;
I forbid you to despair. See this small work (the _Janua_). Here--I
say this without boasting--I shall place the whole world before your
eyes and show you the Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and German
languages[115] as in a summary or handbook. Therefore strive to obtain
instruction. Open this book, peruse it, and learn it by heart Having
done so, you will, with the help of God, find that you understand all
arts and letters."

Many other educational works of Komenský could be enumerated; such are
_The Violet Bed of Christian Youth_, _The Garden of Letters and of
Wisdom_, &c. Komenský worked with particular energy at these works when
he, about the year 1632, hoped, as already mentioned, to be able to
return to Bohemia and reorganise the schools there. A similar motive
induced him to write the curious work entitled _Haggæus Redivivus_,
which, in spite of its Latin title, was written in Bohemian, and which
has quite recently been published for the first time. In this book
Komenský endeavoured to instruct the brethren as to the manner in which
they should reorganise their ecclesiastical institution after their
return to Bohemia, for which Komenský still hoped.

Komenský, probably soon after his arrival at Lissa, began his
philosophical, or rather "pansophic" studies; for philosophy was to
him still the handmaiden of theology, then already a rather belated
standpoint. It has already been mentioned that at Lissa he composed a
general plan and a table of contents of his future pansophic works,
to which he gave the name of _Synopsis Operis Consultatorii_.[116]
Some of these works, such as the _Panegersia_ and _Panaugia_, were
afterwards published at Amsterdam; others were destroyed by the fire
at Lissa. The first complete philosophical work of Komenský, the
_Physica_, was published during his stay at Lissa. The work has now
no interest, and is, indeed, a token of Komenský's superficiality and
credulity as regards matters of natural history. Statements concerning
this subject are by Komenský constantly proved by texts from the Bible
in a manner irritating to the modern reader.

One of the early "pansophic" works also is the _Via Lucis_, written
principally during Komenský's stay in London. The pansophic plans, such
as the foundation of a universal language and a universal academy, the
mystic use of the word light, occur in this as in all the pansophic
works. A short account of the _Via Lucis_ will be my only attempt to
elucidate the mysteries of "pansophy." Arid and unattractive as the
subject must necessarily appear to the modern intellect, no account
that altogether ignored "pansophy" could claim to give a truthful
representation of Komenský.

The writer begins his book by naming, in his mystical manner, the three
"books" (that is to say, three systems of educating humanity) which God
has established; they are instruction by means of the world, by means
of man, and by means of universal "light" (or enlightenment). Education
by means of the world has failed, as worldly wisdom, atheism, and
epicureanism, introduced by Satan, have crazed men's minds. Instruction
from man by means of laws and punishment, and the endeavours of
philosophers and founders of sects, has also resulted in failure;
all attempts to amend humanity by human means have had no result,
for they were isolated and relied on violent means. There remains a
third "school," the only successful one, which instructs by means of
the "universal light." This light, or rather enlightenment, consists
in the complete collection of God's revelations to man by means of
Scripture, which through God's power will become intelligible to all.
There is no doubt that this "universal light" will one day appear to
the whole world. Komenský quotes the Revelation of St. John in support
of this statement. He then proceeds to define this light, which is "a
brightness that flows on things, discloses and discovers them, and
through the influence of which spectators realise shapes, positions,
movements, the distances of things, and their reciprocal relations."
Light is threefold--eternal, exterior, and interior light. Besides the
eternal divine light, there is the exterior light proceeding from the
sun and the stars.[117] The interior light illuminates the mind, will,
and heart of man. The interior light passes through seven gradations,
the last of which, immediately preceding the end of the world and
to be expected shortly, is "panharmony." The state of "panharmony"
will be shortly attained, and we must prepare for it. This should be
done mainly by the foundation of a universal academy, a universal
language, and universal schools. When all this has been done, the whole
world will be "one race, one people, one house, one school of God.
The heathens will be converted. The Jews will perceive that they are
still in darkness. All lands will become subject to God and Christ.
In accordance with the Revelations and the Acts of the Apostles,
Satan will be taken prisoner and shown in triumph. The whole world
will have peace; (there will be) one truth, one heart, one path. Thus
will Christ's prophecy of 'one shepherd, one flock' be fulfilled. This
will be the true Golden Age. It will be the Sabbath of the Church, the
seventh period of the world, preceding the octave that will resound in
happy eternity."[118]

The last years of Komenský were principally occupied in collecting, and
sometimes re-writing, his works. The enormous collection of educational
books was during Komenský's stay at Amsterdam republished in Latin in
a gigantic folio volume under the name of _Opera Didactica_. The
collection included books such as the _Didactica Magna_, the _Janua_,
and the _Schola Materni Gremii_ (information for mother-schools) that
had long before been published in the Bohemian language.[119]

Other late pansophic works of Komenský were the _Lux in Tenebris_,
consisting mainly of a collection of prophecies which have already been
mentioned, and the _Unum Necessarium_, dedicated to Prince Rupert, and
published in 1668.

The writers of the Unity are, during the last century, so infinitely
superior to all others, that little space remains to mention
theologians who belonged to other communities. The early writers of
the Utraquist Church were mentioned in the last chapter, and I have in
this chapter again referred to Archbishop Rokycan. The numerous later
polemical writings of the Utraquists are infinitely inferior to the
best works of the members of the Unity, which of course are the only
ones to which I have made reference.

Of Roman Catholic theologians in Bohemia also scant mention at this
period is required. In most countries the salutary deliberations of
the Council of Trent, which so entirely reorganised and reformed the
Catholic Church, were followed by the appearance of numerous brilliant
Catholic theologians, who, both in their sermons and their writings,
energetically defended the dogmas of their Church. Such was not the
case in Bohemia. It was the sword, not the pen, that was destined to
reconquer that country for the Church of Rome. Of Catholic writers
we may mention Paul Židek, a Jew by birth; Henry Institoris, who was
intrusted by Pope Alexander VI. with the task of recovering Bohemia for
the Church of Rome, and wrote polemical works against Chelčicky and
the brethren; and the barefooted monk, John of Vodnan, a voluminous
writer, who has already been mentioned as an antagonist of Chelčicky.
The works of Vodnan are an extraordinary tissue of absurdities written
with an almost inconceivable degree of self-confidence. He maintains
theories such as that of the immaculate conception of the Virgin (then
by no means a dogma of the Roman Church), by arguments and in a tone
that are equally unworthy of the dignity of the subject. His books teem
with the most absurdly superstitious anecdotes. The Pope, he tells us,
is always accompanied by two special angels, one who advises him on all
occasions, and one who informs him of all occurrences. A more dignified
defender of the Church of Rome was the Jesuit Wenceslas Sturm (born
1533, died 1601), who has left a considerable number of theological
works, mostly of a polemical character.


[62] See later.

[63] "Irascor facto bipedis vehementer aselli."

[64] "Blasphemias cuiusdam in ecclesiam Dei ore sacrilego debacchantis."

[65] This imaginary personage was supposed to have been the founder
of the sect of Pickhards or Beghards, a vague designation which was
applied to many mediæval heretics, but more particularly to the

[66] See Chapter VI.

[67] Lord Peter was the last of the illustrious family of Rosenberg.

[68] The red rose was the device of the lords of Rosenberg.

[69] Rosenberg died in 1611. The Bohemian uprising against the House of
Habsburg began in 1618, and the battle of the White Mountain--the term
of Bohemian independence--was fought in 1620.

[70] See Chapter VI.

[71] In Bohemian _rota_ (see note, p. 161).

[72] Probably an allusion to the celebrated Doctor Jessenius, rector
of the University of Prague, whom the Bohemians employed in their
negotiations with Hungary, and who was famed for his eloquence.
His tongue was cut out before he was decapitated, and his body was
quartered after death.

[73] This was the name given to the members of the Provisional
Government formed at Prague in 1618 after the Defenestration.

[74] See Chapter IV. p. 157.

[75] _Historie o puvodu Jednoty_ ("History of the Origin of the
Unity"), quoted by Jireček.

[76] Of English works on this subject, I may mention the "Extract
of the Letter of the late Bishop Jablonsky to his Excellency C.
Zinzendorf: As touching the succession of Episcopal Consecration;
the Bohemian Brethren have got their Ordination from the Waldenses
about the year 1467, and have kept the same carefully and without
interruption." Printed in _Acta Fratrum Unitatis in Anglia_, 1749, as
Appendix VII.

[77] That the choice was made by the drawing of lots, which is here
only hinted at, is more fully explained in the later accounts of
Brother Jaffet and Komenský; they tell us that the brethren chose nine
of their number, and then intrusted a boy who was unaware of their
intentions with twelve slips of paper; of these, nine were blank and
three contained the word "Jest." The nine chosen men then drew the
slips of paper, and all those containing the word "Jest" were drawn;
this was considered as signifying that God wished the Unity to have
three spiritual chiefs.

[78] In Bohemian _úzky_, literally "narrow."

[79] In Eastern Bohemia, between the towns of Wildenschwert and

[80] In the Journal of the Bohemian Museum (_Časopis Musea Království_
_Českého_) for 1886.

[81] See Chapter IV.

[82] The Bohemian word _roh_ signifies "horn" in German and English.

[83] I quote the name as given by Dr. Jireček.

[84] This passage recalls Dante's "Pape Satan! Pape Satan Aleppe!"
(_Inferno_, Canto VII.).

[85] See later.

[86] The Latin passage is written in that language in Blahoslav's
(Bohemian) work, which I quote. The Latin spelling is also that of

[87] This, no doubt, refers to some theological difference between
Lucas and Blahoslav.

[88] See Chapter VI.

[89] See Chapter VI.

[90] The passages quoted in Latin are in that language in Blahoslav's
Bohemian book. I shall continue quoting Blahoslav's writings as he
published them, without further mention of the fact. The constant use
of Latin words and phrases is a particularity of Blahoslav.

[91] See Chapter VI.

[92] See my _Bohemia, an Historical Sketch_, p. 270.

[93] Following the Bohemian writers, I thus describe jointly the
Lutherans, Utraquists, and Bohemian Brethren, who were united in their
opposition to Rome.

[94] See my _Bohemia, an Historical Sketch_, p. 299 _et seq._

[95] See Note 1, p. 200.

[96] See Chapter VI.

[97] See Chapter VI.

[98] Those who wish to study the life of Komenský in greater detail
should read Mr. Keatinge's biographical and historical introduction
to his recently published English version of the _Didactica Magna_.
The biography of Komenský is founded on the best German and Latin
authorities. It is only occasionally that mistakes occur, as when it is
stated (on page 1 of the introduction) that the Unity "took a position
midway between the Utraquists and the Roman Catholics." The Utraquists
were, on the contrary, nearest to Rome, and some of them were indeed
prepared to accept all its teaching if the right to receive communion
_sub utraque_, in the two kinds, were granted them. The Brethren were
of all Bohemian reformers most antagonistic to the Church of Rome, and
refused to recognise all institutions which, according to their views,
had not existed in the primitive Church.

[99] See Chapter VI.

[100] Komenský alludes to the confiscation of the estates of the nobles
who belonged to the Unity. The peasants on their estates were generally
of their faith, and were treated more mildly than on other estates.
Komenský therefore uses the word "subject" (_oddaný_) instead of "serf."

[101] See my _Bohemia, an Historical Sketch_, pp. 397 and 398. Want of
space prevents my repeating the short account of Kotter's "prophecies"
given there.

[102] As late as in 1657 Komenský, in his _Lux in Tenebris_,
republished the prophecies of Kotter, Ponatovská, and Drabik, The
last-named disreputable prophet will be mentioned later.

[103] Mr. Keatinge: _The Great Didactic._ Mr. Keatinge's preface
contains much interesting information concerning Hartlib and his

[104] This table of contents can be found in my _Bohemia, an
Historical Sketch_, p. 403.

[105] Bohnslav Lescynski was the grandfather of Stanislas Lescynski,
for some time King of Poland.

[106] Published in Mr. Patera's _Korrespondence Komenského_.

[107] I have retained Komenský's plan of dividing his letter into
numbered paragraphs, but want of space has obliged me to abridge
the letter considerably, and I have omitted altogether one or two
paragraphs of little interest.

[108] See later, p, 286.

[109] According to Dr. Kvacsala's calculation. Dr. Zoubek only
enumerates 137 books. The difference is caused by the uncertainty
whether certain rewritten books, sometimes republished in a different
name, should be counted twice. Mr. Keatinge's book contains a list of
127 books of Komenský.

[110] See p. 248.

[111] My translation of the _Labyrinth of the World_ was published by
Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein in 1901. The book now forms part of Messrs.
Dent's "Temple Classics."

[112] The book has recently again been translated into English
(probably from the German version) by Mr. W. Monroe, under the name
of the _School of Infancy_. The book contains a "bibliography of
Comenian literature," from which one would fancy that Bohemian works
were purposely excluded, if two books written in that language,
published respectively at Omaha and Racine, U.S., did not figure in the

[113] The first edition of the book was Latin and Bohemian. Anglo-Latin
versions are numerous, the last having been published at Oxford in
1800. There are also French, Greek, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, and
Hungarian editions of the _Janua_, as well as some that, besides the
Latin version, are printed in several modern languages.

[114] In the Latin version of the _Janua_ this reads as follows:--"Qui
cupit capit omnia," a rather contestable statement, that is very
characteristic of Komenský.

[115] I quote from the Elzevir edition of 1611, edited by Duez, which
is written in the languages mentioned above. The passage, of course,
varied in each edition according to the languages in which it was

[116] See note 2, p. 261.

[117] Though nothing would have appeared more revolting to the pious
Komenský, his ideas here somewhat recall the twofold sun of the Emperor

[118] I have written with more detail on Komenský's "pansophy" in my
_Bohemia, an Historical Research_. Further study of Komenský's works on
pansophy has not given me a higher opinion of their value.

[119] It may interest some readers to know the complete table of
contents of the enormous volume, which is divided into four parts:--


1. De primis occasionibus ... relatio. 2. Didactica Magna. 3. Schola
materni gremii. 4. Scholæ vernaculæ delineatio. 5. Janua Latinæ linguæ,
primum edita. 6. Vestibulum. 7. Proplasma templi Latinatis. 8. De
sermonis Lat. studio dissertatio. 9. Prodromus pansophiæ. 10. Variorum
de eo censuræ. 11. Pansophicorum conatuum dilucidatio.


1. De novis ... occasionibus. 2. Methodus linguarum novissima. 3. L. L.
vestibulum. 4. L. L. Janua nova. 5. Lexicon Januale Latino-Germanicum.
6. Grammatica Latino-vernacula. 7. De atrio relatio. 8. Quædam de his
doctorum judiciis, novæque disquisitiones.


1. De vocatione in Hungariam relatio. 2. Scholæ pansophicæ delineatio.
3. De Pans. studii obicibus. 4. De ingeniorum cultura. 5. De libris.
6. De schola Triclassi. 7. Erudit schol. pars I. Vestibulum. 8. Erudit
schol. pars II. Janua. 9. Erudit schol. pars III. Atrium. 10. Fortius
redivivus. 11. Præcepta morum. 12. Leges bene ordinatæ scholæ. 13.
Schola Ludus. 14. Laborum schol. coronis.


1. Vita gyrus. 2. Vestibuli auctuarium. 3. Pro Latinate Januæ apologia.
4. Ventilabrum sapientiæ. 5. E. labyrinthis scholasticis exitus.
6. Latium redivivum. 7. Typographæum vivum. 8. Paradisus ecclesiæ
reductus. 9. Traditio lampadis. 10. Paralipomena didactica.



The period subsequent to the Hussite wars was very favourable to
the development of the Bohemian language, and especially to that of
historical studies. The stirring events of the times directed general
interest to the great political and religious struggle; for these words
are nearly synonymous when we deal with the century that preceded the
battle of the White Mountain (1620), with which the aspirations of the
Bohemians for ecclesiastical as well as for political independence
ended for a time. The constant references to the Divinity, the prayers
and hymns which are inserted in historical works of a mainly secular
character, prove that in Bohemia political and religious controversies
were at that period even more closely connected than in other countries.

Other causes also contributed to the increase of intellectual activity
which we find in Bohemia at the beginning of the sixteenth century. I
have already referred to the "humanist" movement, which, in consequence
of the religious isolation of Bohemia, reached that country late, but
for a time had the greatest influence on the intellectual development
of the land. I have also already alluded to the foundation and
beginnings of the community of the Bohemian Brethren, which greatly
influenced the literary as well as the political condition of Bohemia.
The brethren from the first attached great importance to the study
of history, and they had established archives at Senftenberg, and
afterwards at Leitomischl. A school of writers on history sprung
up among them whose works--judging by the scanty remains that have
reached us--possessed both great value and great beauty of style. The
greater part of these works has been lost long ago. The brethren who
constituted the most advanced fraction of the party which desired
Church reform were naturally most hated and dreaded by the Jesuits,
to whom the return of Bohemia to the Roman Church must principally be
attributed. The writings of the brethren were thus specially marked
out for destruction. Among the historical works that are probably
irretrievably lost is that which was, according to all accounts, the
most valuable, Blahoslav's _History of the Unity_. Yet even the
existent works of members of the brotherhood, such as Bilek, Blahoslav,
Březan, Žerotin, to speak of historians only, sufficiently vouch for
the high degree of culture which the brethren had attained. They
attached great importance to the grammar of their language, and many of
their works were, as already recorded, models of Bohemian style.

The political condition of the country also then favoured the
development of the national language, which was during this period--and
during this period only--almost exclusively used by historians. During
the reigns of the kings of the House of Luxemburg the Bohemian language
had to a great extent lost ground. King John was known to dislike the
Bohemian language, and though this dislike was by no means shared by
his son Charles, yet even the foundation of the University of Prague
(though that university afterwards became a national one) was not at
first favourable to the development of the Bohemian language. It was at
first principally frequented by foreigners, and German and Latin were
almost exclusively used there.

Of the contemporary chroniclers of the Hussite war many still wrote in
Latin. Yet the Hussite movement undoubtedly favoured the development of
the Bohemian language, if it was only by the isolation from the rest
of the Western world which the religious separation produced. A great
impetus was also given to the cultivation of the national language by
the circumstance that a few years before the beginning of the sixteenth
century (in 1495) the Bohemian law courts decided to carry on their
proceedings in the national language. The law courts of Silesia and
Moravia had already previously substituted Bohemian for the Latin
language, which they had previously used. Of yet greater importance was
the fact that Bohemian at this period became the language exclusively
used at the "diets" or meetings of the three "Estates" of Bohemia. In
the minds of many Bohemians the preservation of the national language
was closely connected with the conservation of their political and
ecclesiastical independence. As late as in 1615, only five years before
the final collapse of Bohemia, the Diet decided that all those who
became naturalised Bohemians should be bound to instruct and educate
their children in the language of the country. It may be noticed
that this fervent devotion to the national language, which has often
astonished foreigners, is a marked feature also in the revival of
Bohemian literature and in the present nationalist movement.

Among the most recent writers on Bohemian history it has become the
fashion to depreciate the social and intellectual condition of Bohemia
in the years that preceded the battle of the White Mountain; they
perhaps endeavour thus to attenuate the sentimental feeling of regret
for the great defeat which a few Bohemians still cherish. That the
political results of the battle of the White Mountain, which consisted
in the establishment of an absolute but orderly government; were
advantageous to Bohemia, and, indeed, saved the country from anarchy,
is certain. Yet it is no less certain that nobles and citizens, such as
Peter of Rosenberg, Charles of Žerotin, Budovec of Budova (mentioned in
the last chapter), Harant of Polžic, Bartoš Pisář, Sixt of Ottersdorf,
Skála ze Zhoře (who all belong to the sixteenth or the beginning of the
seventeenth century), were intellectually vastly superior to the men of
similar rank and position who lived a century later, after many years
of absolutist government.

It is noteworthy that among the historians of the period with which
I am dealing, the majority are men who themselves played a part
in the political life of their time. The Bohemians of this period
were--partly, though by no means exclusively, through the influence
of "humanism,"--penetrated with a blind, almost superstitious, love
of learning for its own sake. They seem always to have aspired to the
"tall mountain citied to the top, crowded with culture." This, indeed,
applies not only to the humanists, literary men, or translators of
classical works, but also to many of the practical and matter-of-fact
politicians of the time. Witness Peter of Rosenberg, who died deploring
"that he had not sufficiently cultivated the study of literature;"
or Harant of Polžic, whose constant show of classical erudition is
striking, if sometimes tedious, and who, even when in immediate peril
of life, could not refrain from a classical allusion.

The two earliest historians who belong to this period both sprang
from the class or "estate," as it was called, of the citizens; they
both held important municipal offices at Prague, and they have both
described short but momentous episodes in Bohemian history, in which
they had played a conspicuous part.

BARTOŠ PISÁŘ (Bartholomew the writer), author of the _Chronicles of
Prague_,[120] may be considered one of the most valuable Bohemian
historians. Bartholomew obtained the by-name by which he is known
because he had, though a linen-draper by trade, frequently sought
employment of a literary character. We are, indeed, told that he
neglected his business for his literary pursuits, and that whilst
his wife was selling linen in the marketplace, Bartholomew spent a
large part of his time in transcribing ancient manuscripts. He held a
municipal appointment at Prague for some time, and documents are still
existent which were copied out by Bartholomew.

It is certainly a proof of the extension of education and of the
intellectual activity of the time, that Bartoš, a tradesman, should
have undertaken, and successfully undertaken, to write an important
historical work. Bartholomew's chronicle deals indeed with a very
limited subject, the troubles which, during the years 1524 to 1537,
occurred in Prague; they were caused by the rivalry of two ambitious
upstarts, John Pasěk and John Hlavsa. During the weak reign of King
Louis these men both strove to obtain supreme authority in the
city of Prague, which thus became the scene of great tumults and
disturbances. Though dealing with an apparently unimportant subject,
Bartholomew's book is of the greatest interest in giving a striking
picture of the town-life of Bohemia in the sixteenth century. Religious
controversy was the one engrossing interest among the citizens, and
the "Catilinarian individuals" (as a recent Bohemian writer has called
them), who contested for the government of Prague, used religion as
a pretext for their ambitious endeavours. The rivals, indeed, both
belonged to the so-called Utraquist Church, which prided itself in
being directly based on the teaching of Hus. This Church was the
Established Church of Bohemia, from the time of the Council of Basel
and the signing of the so-called "compacts" (1436), to the battle of
the White Mountain (1620).

Very characteristic of Bartholomew's manner are his accounts of the
disturbances of Prague, which formed the original motive for his
book. It is very evident to a student of Bohemian history that in
this portion of Bartholomew's work light and shade are very unequally
divided; there was really very little to choose between the two
demagogues, Pasěk and Hlavsa, whose rivalry caused the disturbances at
Prague. But Bartholomew's style is here often quaint and picturesque;
and I think I could give no better specimen of it than by translating
his portraits of the rival Cleons of Prague. Bartholomew writes:
"Concerning those two persons, John Hlavsa and Master John Pasěk, they
both appeared as two brilliant lights, not only in Prague, but also
within the 'estate' of the townsmen generally; for God had granted
to both of them an enlightened intellect, and eloquence greater than
is usual among men; yet they differed greatly with regard to their
character. Though in his manner Pasěk appeared inclined to kindliness,
yet the immense and inexorable malice of Cain ruled him, while on the,
contrary Hlavsa was guided by his peaceful and yielding nature.

"Pasěk was born at Old Knin, of poor parents; his mother had been
a huckstress; as to his father, I have been unable to ascertain
anything certain. Therefore, to avoid erring against truth, it is
often fitter to give room in my book only to the statements of men
who are trustworthy and sensible, rather than believe the assertions
of certain people. Pasěk then was a poor school-servant, and later on
a schoolmaster. Afterwards he proceeded to the University of Prague,
where he became a bachelor and master of arts. Then, ever rising in
the world, he was chosen by the citizens of the old town of Prague as
their chief town-clerk.... He was afterwards chosen as alderman, and by
his practice in the law courts also gained large possessions, and his
general fortune in the world ever increased; for God is able to raise
a needy school-servant to high rank, as is said in God's Scripture in
the Psalms. And now, besides the coat-of-arms which he had already
received, a title, as a further honour, was bestowed on him. He thus
acquired the right of calling himself John Pasěk of Vrat, obtaining
thus a name that well befitted his individuality, for it is true that
he overturned and overthrew much.[121] He then became excessively
cruel, immoderately severe, and tormented the people intolerably and
unjustly.... Indeed, he once said openly to some people (for he was
unable to conceal his revengefulness, in which few were equal to him),
'Do not quarrel and dispute much in words with your enemy, but wait
till he is crossing a bridge; then draw away his feet from under him so
that he may fall in.' This also he said boastingly: 'I am unable to be
so good a Christian as that I could forgive my enemies what they have
done against me.'"

Of Hlavsa Bartholomew writes: "John Hlavsa was born in the town of
Střibro (Mies), of honest and orderly parents, who belonged to the
estate of the townsmen. He also, having previously been a needy
scholar, afterwards became a schoolmaster. Then, after he married, he
rose in the world, and during the reign of King Vladislav obtained
a coat-of-arms with the title of 'Liboslav.' Having an enlightened
intellect and great talents, he was elected an alderman, and soon
obtained the highest rank in that court. How much good he did for
the king and the estate of the townsmen, that is known to many in
Bohemia and elsewhere; but as to the merits of the other (Pasěk)
there is silence. Thence, in consequence of the king's taking away
his appointments from the one (Hlavsa) and giving them to the other
(Pasěk), great hatred and jealousy sprung up between them and spread
widely; for it is the result of vain worldly vanity that every one
desires honours for himself and not for others. And yet we must
truthfully admit (let who will be angry with me) that through these
discords much benefit and profit was obtained, rather from the deeds
of the one who had not obtained the degree of master[122] (Hlavsa)
than from those of the other, as I have already stated. In consequence
of the differences between these two parties arose, one called that
of Pasěk and the other that of Hlavsa, and this extended to many.
Many also took part in these dissensions, and were enraged against one
another; the consequence was a lamentable persecution of one party by
the other."

Bartholomew, like most Bohemian historians of his time, lays no claim
to impartiality, and he attacks the Utraquists of the moderate faction
almost more ferociously than the partisans of Rome. Bartholomew was
certainly "a good hater," and his portrait of Archbishop Rokycan is
distinctly unfair. He indeed gives a totally incorrect account of the
negotiations of the Bohemian Utraquists with the Eastern Church,[123]
for the purpose of discrediting Rokycan by insinuating that he had
been treated with contempt by the dignitaries of the Greek Church.
Bartholomew, as already noticed, often extends his narrative beyond its
immediate subject, and he has the taste for theological controversy
which was innate in almost all Bohemians at that time. The last part
of Bartholomew's book deals with the election of Ferdinand I. as King
of Bohemia in 1526; it has considerable historical value, and has been
largely used by the writers who have reconstructed Bohemian history in
the present century. Bartholomew died in 1535, it is not certain at
what age.

The political career of the next historian with whom I shall deal, SIXT
OF OTTERSDORF (born about the year 1500), was similar to that of Bartoš
the Writer; but Sixt appears to have taken a more prominent part in the
events which he related, and, differing herein from Bartoš, he is by
no means chary of references to his own person. Like Bartholomew, Sixt
belonged to the estate of the citizens. His talents and learning--we
are told that he studied for some time in foreign lands for the purpose
of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the Greek language--raised him
to a prominent position among the citizens of Prague. As early as in
1537 we hear of him as town-clerk of the old city of Prague, and he was
chancellor of the town in the momentous year 1546. His political career
as well as his writings prove him to have been a zealous partisan of
the ancient privileges of the Bohemian "Estates." Ferdinand I. of
Habsburg had in 1526 succeeded the weak sovereigns of the Jagellonic
dynasty as ruler of Bohemia. His constant though often occult purpose
was to strengthen the royal prerogative and to limit the power of the
Bohemian Diet or Parliament. It seemed indeed at one time probable that
Ferdinand I. would accomplish this task, which his grandson finally
successfully achieved after the battle of the White Mountain. In this
struggle between the king and the "Estates" Sixt took an active part,
and an episode of this struggle (which lasted intermittently from 1526
to 1620) is the subject of his memorable work, entitled the _History
of the Troubled Years in Bohemia, 1546 and 1547_.

To no literature is the sentence "Habent sua fata libelli" more truly
applicable than to that of Bohemia. While the writings of Bartoš and
Sixt, and indeed those of the other historians also with whom I shall
deal in this chapter, remained almost unnoticed up to the beginning
of the present century, HAJEK OF LIBOČAN'S _Bohemian Chronicles_ were
widely known and circulated from the moment that the book appeared.
Hajek's work was dedicated to Ferdinand I., and produced under the
auspices of that sovereign, who, indeed, appointed officials for the
purpose of examining the contents of the book before its appearance.

When, after the battle of the White Mountain, all independent works
of an historical character were suppressed and many were completely
destroyed, Hajek's chronicle became, and continued for nearly two
centuries, the one source of information to which the few writers on
Bohemian history went. Many of the foolish, displeasing, and untruthful
tales referring to his country, which a Bohemian so often finds in the
writings of foreign lands, can be traced to Hajek. It is in his work
that we find that account of Zižka's death which has been so often
repeated, though it is as entirely contrary to all we know of that
great warrior as it is to the reports of the contemporary chroniclers.
Hajek tells us that Zižka, when dying, ordered that his body be flayed
and then thrown to the wild beasts, and that his skin should be used
as a drum.[124] This and so many other foolish tales have greatly
contributed to the totally false interpretation of ancient Bohemian
history that is current up to the present day.

The _Hussitenkrieg_ of Theobaldus, and Lenfant in his _Histoire des
Guerres Hussites_ (George Sand's authority for her _Jean Zǐžka_ and her
_Comtesse de Rudolstadt_), both borrow extensively from Hajek. As the
works of Theobaldus and Lenfant were recognised authorities on Bohemian
history up to the end of the eighteenth century, Hajek's tales have
been repeated by many writers (for instance, Carlyle), who had probably
never heard of his name.

Since the beginning of the present century it has become possible
to study freely the documents that refer to the ancient history of
Bohemia. The result has been that the glory of the "Bohemian Livy," as
Hajek was formerly called, has been completely obscured. It has been
proved that Hajek's work is totally untrustworthy, and that he not only
copied from earlier writers without any attempt at criticism, but that
he was often intentionally mendacious, and for party purposes distorted
his account of historical events. The great Bohemian historian
Palacký's judgment on Hajek has often been quoted. Palacký wrote:
"Hajek is the most narrow-minded slyboots, the most naïve humbug, and
the apparently most innocent calumniator whom I have met in the course
of my historical studies."

It is hardly necessary to mention that at a period when the rule
"Scribitur ad narrandum, non ad probandum," was ignored by all Bohemian
historians, Hajek's work shows traces of party spirit almost on every
page. The author, who was a Romanist priest, writes as a strong
Catholic, and as a strong partisan of the Bohemian aristocracy. Among
the adherents of Rome, who were then few in number in Bohemia, and who
were Hajek's principal protectors, were found several of the greatest
Bohemian nobles. These Catholic lords were always the most decided
enemies of the Bohemian cities, while the Utraquist and Protestant
nobles--though their caste pride may have been as great--regarded the
townsmen as valuable allies in their struggle against the sovereign,
while the democratic character of the community of the "Bohemian
brethren" naturally also influenced the nobles who belonged to it.

In his preface already Hajek enters into the question of the rank and
precedence among the Bohemian estates, of course in a sense favourable
to his patrons. He writes: "Some have, for the purpose of disparaging
the estate of the nobles and that of the knights, dared to maintain
that the estate of the townsmen is the first, and dates from the
foundation of Prague. The estate of the nobles, they say, sprung up
afterwards, when they (the nobles) acted as officials, and other men
were intrusted to their rule; then, they say, many years later the
estate of the knights was created, when the king allowed them (the
knights) to bear a device on their shield because of certain deeds
and brave exploits. But both these statements are untrue." Hajek here
writes in contradiction to a Utraquist historian, Martin Kuthen, who
had stated that the origin of the Bohemian estates was that mentioned
above. Kuthen's work, which has little value and requires no further
notice, was then very much read, and it has even been said that Hajek
was instructed to write his work as a refutation of that of Kuthen.

Of Hajek's chronicle, which (as was customary in those days) begins
with the deluge, and which ends with the coronation of his patron
Ferdinand I., the earliest part is by far the most attractive. Dealing
with an almost entirely mythical period, and one in which it was nearly
impossible to introduce political and ecclesiastical controversies
(though even here Hajek occasionally does so), the author is at his
best. He borrows largely from Cosmas and from Dalimil, whose influence
even on Hajek's manner of writing can be traced in the early part of
his book. Hajek's style, indeed, always varies greatly according to the
authorities which he is using. His account of the foundation of Prague
is very curious.

But even in Hajek's accounts of semi-mythical occurrences the
insincerity and dishonesty that characterise him are often apparent.
Cosmas and Dalimil related the legends and traditions of their land
just as they had reached them from the earliest available oral or
written depositions. Hajek, on the contrary, always assumes the part
of a conscientious and systematic historian. He indeed mentions
Tacitus, Ptolemy, Strabo, Orosius, and a limited number of mediæval
writers among the authorities whom, according to his statement, he
had consulted. Hajek's object was to join together various, often
contradictory, tales, and to give them the shape of a chronologically
consistent record of the lives of the Premyslide princes. Was it for
this purpose necessary to alter traditional dates? That appeared to
Hajek a matter of no great importance!

Writing as a fervent partisan of Rome, Hajek of course judges Hus and
Jerome of Prague severely. Of the latter he tells us: "In 1400 there
arrived in Prague, coming from England, a young man who had gone there
for the purposes of study, Jerome by name, a citizen of the new town
of Prague, the son of one Albert (Vojtěch).... This Jerome had brought
books with him from England, into which he had copied out some of the
writings of 'John the Englishman,' whom they call Wycliffe. This man
had by his teaching corrupted first a town in England called 'Oksa' or
'Oksonia,' and afterwards the whole English kingdom." Of Hus, Hajek
tells us that he was originally a good and pious man, but that he came
under the influence of two Englishmen, "Jacob the Bachelor" and "Conrad
of Kandelburgk" (=Canterbury). These men used to visit (according to
Hajek!) the young masters of the university, spreading Wycliffe's
teaching and perverting many from the true faith. At last "Master
John of Husinec, Master Jerome of Prague, Jacob of England, and
Conrad of 'Kandelburgk' were like one man." This account of the origin
of the Hussite movement--totally incorrect, as so many of Hajek's
statements--yet proves that the writer was indeed the "narrow-minded
slyboots" Palacký has called him. By greatly exaggerating the English
influence on the foundation of Hussitism, and stigmatising it as a
foreign movement, Hajek, as he well knew, greatly injured the Hussites;
for the intense national feeling that has always animated the Bohemians
has produced among them an often exaggerated distrust of foreign

With all its faults, Hajek's work will always find readers. His style,
though varying according to the authorities which he is using, is
generally animated, a priceless merit in his pedantic age. An interest
also is connected with Hajek's chronicles which the author could not
have foreseen, and would not have desired. Hajek's work, sanctioned by
the Roman Church, and therefore accessible to the people, continued
to be read when every other book on the early history of Bohemia
disappeared. It is thus to a large extent through Hajek's chronicles
that the Bohemians preserved some recollection of their former
greatness. A copy of Hajek's chronicles went down from generation
to generation among the Bohemian peasantry, and was cherished as an
heirloom. As a lover would rather that evil be spoken of his love than
that her name remain unmentioned, thus the Bohemians welcomed eagerly
even hostile accounts of the deeds of Zižka, Prokop, and the other
leaders under whose guidance Bohemia had once defied all Europe.

Of Hajek's life little is known, and that little is by no means to
his credit. The year of his birth is uncertain, but we know that when
very young he left the Utraquist Church, in which he was born, became
a Roman Catholic, and took orders in that Church. We read of him as
preaching in the Church of St. Thomas at Prague in 1524, and by the aid
of some Catholic nobles he obtained in 1527 the deanery of Karlstein.
Later he obtained other ecclesiastical dignities. Of all these honours
he was subsequently deprived in consequence of an accusation of having
embezzled money belonging to the Church. It has been suggested, though
on insufficient evidence, that Hajek wrote his chronicles for the
purpose of regaining the lost favour of his patrons. In 1544 Hajek,
perhaps as a reward for his book that had appeared in 1541, obtained
the provostship of Stará Boleslav (Alt Bunzlau), but of this dignity he
was again deprived in 1549 because of various offences against canon
law. Hajek died in 1553.

Several minor historians belong to this period. I have already
mentioned Martin Kuthen. The _History of the Emperor Charles IV.,
King of Bohemia_, by Prokop Lupáč; (published in 1584), also deserves
special notice. The book is of interest to English readers, as the
author has inserted in it a considerable portion of a ballad describing
the death of King John at the battle of Crécy, which was probably
written shortly after that event.

The most prominent historians of this period were probably the members
of the community of the "Bohemian Brethren." This is, however,
unfortunately little more than a conjecture. The works of the brethren
were specially singled out for destruction during the Catholic
reaction. Mere fragments remain, and even with regard to these doubts
as to their authorship often exist. The writings of Professor Goll,
who has with admirable skill and ability reconstructed the early
history of the brotherhood, also throw incidentally much light on the
literary activity of the brethren. The greatest historian among them
was probably Brother Blahoslav, whose _Historie Bratrska_ ("History of
the Brotherhood") was greatly admired; the book is known to us only
by quotations in some contemporary works which have been preserved.
As already mentioned, Blahoslav devoted much time to the study of the
grammar of the Bohemian language, and he was celebrated for the beauty
of his style. It is, therefore, probable that in the _History of the
Brotherhood_ we have lost not only a valuable historical document, but
also a masterpiece of Bohemian prose-writing. With the exception of a
short Latin treatise on the history of the brotherhood, the writings of
Blahoslav that have been preserved are not of a historical character; I
have therefore referred to him more fully in the last chapter.

In connection with Blahoslav I shall mention a work that was formerly
often attributed to him; this is the _Captivity of John Augusta_.
Recent research has proved that this book was really written by the
young clergyman JOHN BILEK, Augusta's companion during his captivity.
It is, however, probable that the first part of the work was revised by
Blahoslav. The book deals with the imprisonment of John Augusta, bishop
of the Bohemian Brethren, who was accused of having participated in
the negotiations with the German Protestant princes, into which some
Bohemians had entered in 1546 and 1547.[125]

Bilek, Augusta's companion in captivity, has with touching simplicity
described his sufferings, the treachery of Schönaich, town-captain of
Leitomischl, the tortures which Bilek and Augusta underwent, their long
imprisonment in the castle of Pürglitz (or Křivoklat), their attempts
to communicate from their prison with their brethren who were at large,
the relief of their sufferings through the intercession of Philipina
Welser, wife of the Archduke Ferdinand, and their final liberation. The
book, written in a truly saintly spirit, never reveals the slightest
animosity against the officials who were treating Augusta and his
companion so cruelly. When narrating the tortures that were inflicted
on Augusta for the purpose of forcing him to admit the complicity of
the Brotherhood in the supposed conspiracy, Bilek simply writes: "The
officials then ordered that he (Augusta) should again be put on the
rack, because of the questions mentioned before; but it did not last
long, as he had become quite silent and swooned away. I think, had they
but continued a little longer, he would have died during the torture."

Bilek's simple account of the daily routine and the little incidents of
prison life, often recalling Silvio Pellico, is both interesting and
touching. I will give one quotation referring to the attempt of the
prisoners to establish communications with their friends outside the
prison. Bilek writes: "After they (the prisoners) had been in prison
some time, a year and a half and ten weeks, in the year 1550, God our
Lord wrought a great miracle; He opened to them in their solitude
and concealment a secret and concealed path, by means of which their
friends could visit them, receive news of them, and also convey news
to them. And this happened thus. Among the warders who guarded them,
and who had received rigid instructions how they were to guard them,
was a servant who knew them slightly, and knew also what sort of men
they were; for he had formerly been an artisan at Leitomischl. He knew
that they were enduring all this suffering, not because of any crime,
but for the sake of the religion; and he felt a certain compassion
for them. This man risked all, and permitted that they should receive
from the brethren and from their friends everything they required; and
he also undertook to forward secretly their friends' communications
to them, and their own to their friends. He began doing this in 1550,
before the Vigil of St. Paul's Confession, and continued doing so up
to the year 1553. He conveyed to them the letters and communications
of their brethren and dear friends, and he supplied them with ink,
paper, and everything that is required for writing. A few books also he
brought them and other things which they required, money and tapers;
and they accepted these things with no slight fear, principally with
regard to the servant; for he might have forfeited his life had it been
discovered that he had given us these things. As regards themselves,
they had commended their souls to God and His grace, whatever might
befall them; they knew that they were acting rightly, and had therefore
little fear for their own persons; rather did they rejoice that God had
granted these things to them, and they accepted them with gratitude and
thanksgiving, and praised their Lord God for this." The fact that so
large a part of the historical as well as of the theological writings
of the brethren has been destroyed enhances the value of Bilek's book.
The passages quoted above give a true insight into the inner life of
the Brotherhood; they give evidence of their invincible courage and
absolute reliance on God, which gave them great strength, as well as
of their exaggerated subserviency to even unjust temporal authorities,
which sometimes made them poor politicians.

Of Bilek little is known but what he himself tells us in his book. He
was a clergyman of the Brotherhood, and acted for a considerable time
as secretary to Augusta, the head of the community. He died at Napajedl
in Moravia in 1581, at the age of sixty-five. As already mentioned, his
book was formerly attributed to Blahoslav, and only recent researches
have awarded the authorship to Bilek.[126]

Very noteworthy among the historians of the Brotherhood is WENCESLAS
BŘEZAN. To him Palacký's remark, that the Bohemians cared more for
their history than for the biographies of their historians, is
particularly applicable. Neither the year of the birth nor that of the
death of Březan can be accurately ascertained; it has been conjectured
that he was born about the year 1560, and died about the year 1619.
Peter Vok, Lord of Rosenberg, the greatest of the Bohemian nobles,
and a strenuous friend and protector of the Brotherhood, appointed
Březan "archivarian, librarian, and historiographer of the House of
Rosenberg." Most of his works deal with the annals of that great House,
which for centuries figured so prominently in Bohemian history.

The writings of Březan, like those of so many other Bohemian writers,
have been only partially preserved. Besides minor works referring to
the annals and the genealogy of noble Bohemian families, Březan wrote
a large _History of the House of Rosenberg_, which is said to have
consisted of five volumes. Of this work only portions, containing the
biographies of William of Rosenberg and of his brother, Lord Peter, the
last of the Rosenbergs, have reached us. From recent researches it,
however, appears probable that the German _Rosenbergische Chronica_
of Heerman, a monk of the monastery of Wittingau (Třeboň), is an
abridged translation of the lost parts of Březan's book. In any case,
the parts of Březan's work that have been preserved in Bohemian are
sufficient to prove that the work was far more than a mere family
record, and that it is of great value for the social as well as for the
political history of Bohemia.

The two biographies convey a vivid impression of the court life (for it
can hardly be otherwise described) of the great Bohemian nobles during
the period that preceded the battle of the White Mountain. It is true
that the position of the Lords of Rosenberg, the first of the Bohemian
nobles, was a somewhat exceptional one. This appears very clearly from
the letters, published by Březan, which were interchanged between the
members of the imperial family and the Lords of Rosenberg. Of the
two biographies, that of William of Rosenberg, the less interesting
of the two brothers, is the more valuable one. William held several
important appointments under the Imperial Government, and Březan gives
a very clear outline of his official career. Very interesting are
Březan's notes, which refer to the proposed election of Lord William
to the Polish throne. He tells us that "the Lord of Rosenberg had then
many adherents among the Polish nobles, more indeed than the House of
Austria; and I do not say this to harm or disparage that illustrious
House." Březan further tells us that "the Poles, after they had thus
been mocked (by the flight of their king, Henry of Valois), searched
for a new king. Some favoured the House of Habsburg, others desired
Lord William as king, particularly as he was a descendant of the
ancient family of the Orsinis, as by his ancestry, several centuries
back, he was a Bohemian, and therefore belonged to a cognate country;
also because he was a sensible, learned, temperate, Catholic noble."
The election of Stephen Bathory to the Polish throne (1576) destroyed
William of Rosenberg's hopes.

Březan's biography of Lord Peter of Rosenberg is a very disappointing
book, if we consider that he was dealing with an intensely interesting
subject. The semi-independent position of the great Bohemian nobles,
who lived principally on their vast estates, surrounded by dependents
and servants, free from the control of a court, and to a great extent
even from the criticism of their equals, in some cases greatly
developed their individuality. To no one does this apply to a greater
extent than to Lord Peter of Rosenberg. The heir of the great family
that had supplied so many leaders to the Romanist Church, Peter
joined the community of the Bohemian Brethren, it is said through the
influence of his wife, who belonged to that Church. Whether there is
any connection between this change of creed and the scandalous stories
which Catholic writers (whose works alone were known in Bohemia during
two centuries) have circulated I do not wish to determine. They tell us
that Lord Peter established a "harem" at his castle of Wittingau, to
which the fairest women from all parts of Europe were conveyed. This is
obviously an absurd exaggeration, though it is probable that Lord Peter
had in his youth led an immoral life. With regard to the accusations of
intemperance and of cruelty to his servants, it is probable that Peter
of Rosenberg was in such matters neither better nor worse than the
other great Bohemian nobles of his time.

Where he indeed differed from many of them was in his taste for
literature and art. The Rosenbergs had at all times taken much
interest in the archives of their family, and indeed preserved them
so carefully that most of these documents are even now in a state
of perfect preservation. Palacký, who examined them in the present
century, witnesses to this, as well as to their great importance for
the history of Bohemia, in which the Lords of Rosenberg played so large
a part. Peter showed the same interest in the family archives as his
predecessors. When selling one of his castles to the Emperor Rudolph
II., he stipulated that he should retain possession of one thousand
documents which he considered of historical value. In printed works
also Lord Peter's interest was great. As early as in 1573, twenty
years before he acceded to the family estates, Peter had collected 243
printed volumes. Březan, who had charge of Lord Peter's library, and
was authorised to enlarge it, tells us that it was from this modest
beginning that the far-famed Rosenberg library sprang. Many books
were inherited from Lord William, and many purchased from monasteries
and elsewhere. The library at last became a very extensive one. The
Rosenberg library, in consequence of the events of the Thirty Years'
War, eventually found its way to Stockholm, where Březan's catalogue of
the library is also still preserved. Peter of Rosenberg is notable also
as a patron of literature, and, among others, the poet Lomnický[127]
enjoyed his protection for many years. Lomnický showed his gratitude by
writing on the death of Peter of Rosenberg perhaps his one touching
and heartfelt poem. That Peter was, like his brother, interested in
alchemy, hardly requires mention, for almost all the great Bohemian
nobles then followed the example of Rudolph, their sovereign, who
delighted in the study of alchemy.

Peter's interest in music was also very great. Even before inheriting
Wittingau from his brother William, he had established a small
orchestra at Běychin, and he afterwards devoted much time and expense
to the improvement and aggrandisement of the magnificent orchestra
which Lord William had founded at Wittingau. Březan, in his biographies
of both brothers, gives an interesting account of the cultivation of
music in Bohemia in the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth
century. Lord Peter also undoubtedly showed a considerable amount of
interest in other arts. In Březan's biography, written in chronological
order, we read under "December 19, 1598.--The Lord of Hradec sent our
sovereign lord (Lord Peter) eighteen pretty painted figures, very
poetical, and representing Venus."

In Bohemian politics Peter of Rosenberg played a very important
part, and his change of creed appeared as an event of the greatest
importance on the ever-varying stage of Bohemian political life.
Peter of Rosenberg was on terms of intimacy with Christian of Anhalt,
perhaps the greatest statesman of the seventeenth century. He acted as
Anhalt's representative in Bohemia, and was no doubt initiated into
his far-reaching plans. Anhalt, as recent research has sufficiently
proved, intended to use the dissensions between Rudolph and his brother
Matthew for the purpose of totally destroying the power of the House
of Habsburg. On these and similar subjects of the greatest interest
Březan has little or no information to give, and his biography, as
already stated, is disappointing.

The book, written in chronological order, contains accounts of Lord
Peter's travels, but here, too, a mere outline of the occurrences is
given. When mentioning Peter's journey to England, Březan merely tells
us (under February 1563) that "after Lord Peter had been received in
England with Christian kindness by her royal majesty Queen Elizabeth,
and had then been kindly and graciously dismissed, her majesty was
graciously pleased to grant him a royal decree addressed to all her
officials and to those of all the towns." Březan then gives the full
wording of this passport, if we may thus call it, in which Lord Peter
is described as "one of the chamberlains of our good brother the King
of the Romans."

Březan devotes much space to detailed accounts of the domestic
arrangements at the castle of Wittingau, and his book is a treasury for
those who would study the social condition of Bohemia at this period.
Březan's style has little grace, partly no doubt in consequence of
the chronological form which he has given to his book. The following
portrait of Lord Peter of Rosenberg is a characteristic specimen of
Březan's style: "Lord Peter's motto was 'In silentio et in spe.' It
should be mentioned that this lord, for the purpose of living wisely,
prudently, and in a way that beseems a Christian, and also that he
might constantly remember death, always had a death's head placed on a
board over the table in his apartment. He even founded an association,
the device of which was a golden death's-head of the value of eight
ducats. This badge he himself usually wore round his neck. It had on
one side the inscription, 'Memento mori,' and on the other, 'Cogita
æternitatem.' And this order he distributed among his friends, both
lords and ladies, and he ordered me to keep a special register, where
the names of these persons were entered."

"He was a nobleman of well-shaped figure, and more refined than his
brother William. His features were charming, his manners dignified
and truly princely, his speech was sensible, he was compassionate and
affable, and though he was sometimes angry, whenever he had scolded or
cursed some one he always afterwards excused himself with mild words.
He was a gay and jocose nobleman, though in his old age he gave himself
up entirely to piety, read religious books with pleasure, and listened
eagerly to the word of God. He was keen for all novelties, a lover
of all sciences and arts, and he spent large sums on them. He had a
special fancy and predilection for building, and in this resembled his
brother William. He was in the habit of standing oftener than sitting,
and of walking constantly, and so quickly that it was difficult even
for young men to keep up with him. By a bequest in his will he provided
for the maids of the woman-apartments, and freed them (from bondage),
ordering that each should receive a sum of gold as a present; and as
trustees for this bequest he appointed Albert Pauzar of Michnic and
Volesná, Henry Caslav of Podol, and Frederick Frokštejn of Naceslavic,
his servants and courtiers."

"He was a very valorous nobleman, courageous and even somewhat
venturesome; for he boldly approached wild beasts, bears, wolves,
horses, and dogs without feeling any fear. And, on the whole, I do
not know that anything was wanting in this heroic personage, except
that which he himself deplored on his death-bed, that he had not
sufficiently cultivated the study of literature."

Peter of Rosenberg died in 1611, only a few years before the momentous
events which so completely changed the destinies of his country.

It is a natural and easy transition from Peter of Rosenberg to another
great Bohemian nobleman, Charles of Žerotin, who indeed was often
politically associated with Rosenberg, particularly during the contest
between King Rudolph II. and his brother Matthew, which occurred in
the early years of the seventeenth century. Žerotin was, it is true, a
maker rather than a writer of history. On two occasions, in 1608 when
Rudolph was contending with his treacherous younger brother Matthew,
and in 1619, when Frederick of the Palatinate attempted to oust the
house of Habsburg from the Bohemian throne, Žerotin's attitude to
a great extent decided the fate of his country. Žerotin's numerous
writings may also be considered materials for history rather than
historical works. Yet no outline of Bohemian literature would be
complete were the name of Žerotin omitted.

CHARLES OF ŽEROTIN was born in 1564 at Brandeis, on the Adler, one
of the Bohemian estates of his powerful family. Like many Bohemian
noblemen of this period, Charles spent a considerable part of his youth
in foreign countries, both as a student and as a soldier. At Genoa he
fell under the influence of the Calvinist divine Theodore de Beza, but
he never (as has been stated) abandoned for Calvinism the Church of the
Bohemian Brethren, to which his family had belonged from the time that
the Brotherhood had been founded. His writings as well as his political
career prove that he was a faithful adherent of that community, of
which he was one of the most illustrious members.

In the year 1591 he took service under Henry IV. of France, whom all
Protestants then recognised as their leader. Žerotin's correspondence,
which is very extensive, is particularly interesting when he refers
to this period of his life.[128] He appears to have felt very little
sympathy for the French prince, to have distrusted him, and almost
to have foreseen his conversion to the Church of Rome. Žerotin,
whose motives were always disinterested and elevated though often
unpractical, could not have felt much sympathy for an "opportunist."

Žerotin's later life was spent almost entirely in Bohemia and Moravia,
the countries where his ancestral estates were situated. He favoured
the cause of the Archduke Matthew against King Rudolph in 1609, and in
1618 was one of the few Protestant noblemen who remained faithful to
the House of Habsburg. As reward for his fidelity, he was allowed to
remain in his country after the battle of the White Mountain, when most
Protestants had already been expelled. He was even able to afford aid
and shelter to many other members of the Brotherhood. Among these was
Komenský. He sought refuge at Brandeis, and wrote there his _Labyrinth_
_of the World_, which was dedicated to Žerotin.

The increasing persecution of all who did not belong to the Church of
Rome finally induced Žerotin to leave Bohemia and Moravia and to retire
to Breslau. It was here that he spent the last years of his life, and
he left his extensive library to that city. Žerotin was, however,
still permitted to visit occasionally his extensive estates. During
one of these visits he died at Prerov in Moravia in 1636. His body was
interred at Brandeis on the Adler, his ancestral home.

Žerotin has left voluminous writings. His correspondence, to which I
have already alluded, was very extensive. Continued, as it was, during
the whole of his life, it is, of course, of the greatest value for the
history of his time, Žerotin has also left several volumes of memoirs,
referring principally to the doings of the Diet of Moravia during
the period that he presided over that assembly. He also wrote a very
curious work entitled _Obrana_ or _Apology_, addressed to George, Lord
of Hodic. It appears that Hodic had blamed Žerotin publicly for having
temporarily retired from political life. This work, written in a pure
but eloquent manner, showing traces of profound study of the classical
writers, is a recognised masterpiece of Bohemian prose. The original
great reluctance of the members of the Brotherhood to enter the stormy
arena of political life had indeed decreased since many nobles and
other influential persons had joined their Church, but traces of this
feeling appear in Žerotin's work. He writes: "You were pleased, my
Lord of Hodic, to remark of me at the meeting of the Estates that
'I act wrongly in stifling the gifts which God has given to me.' By
these words--few and quickly spoken, yet containing much meaning--you
were pleased to attack me sharply and to deal me a severe blow; for
what else is stifling God's gift but refusing to remain in that state
in which God has placed us? And what, again, is not remaining in the
state in which God has placed us but not being as I should be? What
conclusion then can be drawn other than that if I am not as I should
be, then--though I declare that I am a lover of my country, her
true son, an own limb of her body, sharing her wounds--in fact, her
twin-brother, who was born with her and will die with her--my pride
is idle and my word worthless if my acts are not in accordance with my
sentiments. Idle indeed would it be if I could bring nothing forward
and give no proof that I am what I say that I am. Then indeed your
argument would be powerful and your words conform to truth and justice,
and I myself should then agree with them. For it is my firm conviction
that no man is good but he who by his deeds proves that he is good.

"But I--deign to excuse me--have given no cause for your judgment on
me. That my manner is somewhat different from what it was some time
ago, and that I do not labour so assiduously for the welfare of my
country as I did some time back, that is no proof that I have lost and
abandoned all my innate love and affection for it. As the sun does not
cease to be the sun when for a moment it sets in the midst of clouds,
and as a fire does not lose its heat if it does not immediately pierce
through cold tiles, and as a field also must not be considered barren
when for a time it lies fallow, and so to speak rests; so I also ought
not and should not be declared wanting in the love and care for my
country which it is my duty to have, because I do not try my skill on
every course (=take part in every political contest).

"For as prudent sailors are carried, when the sea is calm, here and
there and catch the wind in their sails, and then, when a storm arises,
and for a time drives them from their straight course, they yet remain
out at sea and guard themselves as best they can with the compass till
a more favourable wind guides them to their destined port; thus I also
avoid the present evil times and their difficulties, and conceal myself
from the storm as under a roof till more convenient times arise."

Žerotin has here in beautiful words expressed thoughts that almost
condemn him as a statesman. It is true that shortly after the
publication of the _Obrana_ he appeared more prominently on the
political scene than at any other time during the struggle between King
Rudolph and his brother Matthew; but during the far more momentous
struggle of the last years of Bohemian independence (1618-1620) Žerotin
as far as was possible chose the part of the prudent mariner, but the
port which he finally reached was exile!

Before mentioning the latest historians of this period, I must notice
a considerable number of accounts of travels, books which are closely
connected with history. The Bohemians were great travellers in those
days, and a considerable number of them have recorded their journeys
and adventures. I have already referred to John of Lobkovic when
dealing with his more celebrated brother Bohnslav,[129] and the travels
of Žerotin and Rosenberg have also been already mentioned. Of other
records of travel, it will be sufficient to mention those of Prefat,
Vratislav, and Harant of Polžic. Ulrick Prefat of Vlkanov, a citizen
of Prague, undertook in 1546 a journey to Venice and Palestine, of
which he has left us an interesting account. His descriptions of the
Holy Land are, however, inferior to those of Harant, written somewhat
later. VENCESLAS VRATISLAV of Mitrovic, born (1576) of a Roman Catholic
family, was educated by the Jesuits, and had from his earliest youth a
strong desire to visit distant lands. When not yet eighteen years of
age he obtained permission to join the staff of Baron Krekvic, whom the
Emperor Rudolph was sending as ambassador to Constantinople. He has
left us a record of his journey and imprisonment;[130] for the Turks
of that period had little regard for international law and diplomatic
privileges. Vratislav's book has a certain youthful grace and
simplicity, and he was by no means devoid of the gift of observation.

Vratislav, on his return to Bohemia, published in 1599 the description
of his travels and adventures. He afterwards, not unnaturally, took
part in several campaigns against his old enemies, the Turks. Educated
by the Jesuits and a staunch Romanist, he was, of course, on the side
of the Archduke Ferdinand during the Bohemian troubles of 1618 to 1620.

Far more interesting as an author, and far more representative of his
time than the two last-named writers, is CHRISTOPHER HARANT, Lord of
Polžic and Bezdruzic. It is therefore perhaps not amiss to study his
work and his life somewhat more in detail. Harant was born in 1564,
of an ancient knightly family of Bohemia. He received the thorough
education and literary training which was then customary with many of
the Bohemian noble families. Harant, we are told, possessed a thorough
knowledge of Greek, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, as well as, of
course, his own language. It has even been said that it was out of
patriotism that he published his celebrated book of travels in Bohemian
instead of in German, though that would, of course, have secured for
the book far more numerous readers. Harant's classical erudition was
considered extensive even at that period, when in Bohemia the almost
superstitious veneration for the great writers of Rome and Greece was
at its height. Harant's own list of his authorities includes almost
all known writers, both Greek and Latin, from Homer and Herodotus to
Statius and Claudianus. Later Latin writers, such as Gregory of Tours
and Orosius, are also quoted by Harant; his vast erudition included
even Byzantine writers such as Suidas, Zonaras, and Chalkokondylas.
More recent works, such as the writings of Guicciardini, were also well
known to Harant; he quotes even from such (now) little known works as
the French histories of Du Tillet and Bernard de Girard, and the _Res
Burgundicæ_ and _Res Austriacæ_ of Pontus Heuterus. Harant's education
was completed at the court of the Archduke Ferdinand at Innsbruck.
When referring to his passage through Innsbruck on his way to Venice,
Harant gives an interesting account of his stay at the archducal
court. The years 1591 to 1597 were spent by Harant in the service of
the Emperor Rudolph, who, in his capacity of King of Bohemia, had
demanded aid from that country in his wars against the Turks. Harant
appears greatly to have distinguished himself in these campaigns, and
we are told that Rudolph, in consideration of his services, granted
him an annuity chargeable on the Bohemian revenue. Harant's campaigns
in Hungary (a large part of which country was then under Turkish
rule) may have suggested to him the idea of visiting countries yet
farther east. He tells us in his preface to his book of travels that
he wished "to see those countries which were the scene of the holiest,
wisest, and most celebrated events mentioned in the Old and in the New
Testament ... those lands which were once an earthly paradise. These
lands," he continues, "I purposed to visit with special ardour and with
great danger for my life, and I set out with God's help." A family
bereavement--Harant's first wife died in 1597--probably confirmed him
in his decision, and he started from Pilsen in April 1598 on his long
and perilous journey, accompanied by his friend Herman Cěrnin, Lord of
Chudenic, and only one servant.

Harant's account of this journey, published as _Christopher Harant's
Journey to Venice, and thence to the Holy Land and to Egypt_,[131]
has assured to the author a not inconsiderable place in the annals
of Bohemian literature. Harant undoubtedly possessed the gift of
observation to an unusual extent, and his descriptions of the scenery
he viewed and the men he met are often very vivid. Though the book is
generally written in a grave and somewhat pedantic manner, yet some
passages show that Harant was by no means devoid of humour. The work
has, however, the fault of being somewhat long-winded, and Harant is
too fond of lengthy historical digressions, introduced for the purpose
of exhibiting his learning. This is particularly true of the part of
the book which deals with Harant's visit to Egypt. He here introduces a
lengthy treatise on the early dynasties of Egyptian rulers, which is,
of course, valueless from the point of view of modern research. Harant
was very fond, almost too fond, of quoting; yet his quotations, chosen
from many writers in various languages, are often quaint and amusing,
and remind the reader of Montaigne. On the whole, Harant's work is one
of those ancient Bohemian books that can still be read with amusement
as well as interest.

From Pilsen, Harant and his companions travelled through Tyrol to
Venice, where they stayed some time. The indefatigable Harant studied
not only the monuments, but also the constitution of Venice, which he
greatly admired. The Venetian constitution in many ways resembled that
which Harant and his party wished to establish in Bohemia, and he gives
a full account of it, "as an example for us and for our benefit," as
he writes. Harant and his friend were obliged to remain some time in
Venice before they found other pilgrims to the Holy Land, with whom
they jointly chartered a ship to Jaffa. Among these new companions
was "Lambert the Dutchman," who appears to have been a constant cause
alternately of indignation and of amusement to the other travellers.
On leaving Venice the pilgrims sailed along the coast of Dalmatia, and
by way of the Ionian Islands, Candia, and Cyprus, finally reached the
harbour of Jaffa. From here they proceeded to Jerusalem. Harant thus
describes their arrival there:--

"When we had arrived within four Bohemian miles of Jerusalem, we
noticed everywhere the industry of the Jews and former inhabitants of
the land; for they had laid out all those hills in vineyards, gardens,
and fields, though they are now deserted and overgrown with thorns,
yet the traces of the former divisions of the fields by means of low
wells and small steps still remain; we can thus know how full of cities
this land was; and on this short journey we remarked the astonishing
laziness of the present inhabitants, of whom the country now feeds
about ten to a thousand formerly. Yet the northern side of the hill has
remained tolerably fertile in vineyards, olives, figs, pomegranates,
and other fruits.

"When we were about two miles from Jerusalem the dragoman[132] from
that town came out on purpose to meet us; for our dragoman from Rama
had hurried on, leaving us behind, and had informed the guardian of
the monastery (of St. Salvador) and the other dragoman of our arrival.

"With the guardian the _vicarius_ of the monastery also appeared, and
when they came near us they greeted us in Italian and asked us many
questions; for instance, from where we came, how we had fared on our
journey, and what had happened during our travels in our own country
and the lands through which we had passed. And thus continuing our
conversation we arrived at the gates of the city of Jerusalem about
vesper-time. Our whole journey from Venice to Jerusalem had lasted
forty-four days; we had then travelled 458 Bohemian miles from Venice
and 582 from Bohemia, both by land and by sea."

Harant and his companions spent a fortnight at Jerusalem as guests of
the monks of the Monastery of St. Salvador, and he gives a detailed
account of their visits to the historical spots in the city and
neighbourhood. Harant's description of his visit to the Chapel of the
Holy Sepulchre is interesting. He writes: "When we approached these
Turks (there were eight altogether, some of whom sat on stone benches
covered with carpets, which since ancient times have been placed beside
the gates of the church), one of them came forward with the keys and
opened the locked gates of the church; then they immediately let us
into the church one by one, counting us till they had got us all in
line, then they hastily closed the gates and sealed them; there are
two gates, one next to the other, made of fine marble, on which costly
figures are carved. That gate which opens on the right into the church
is walled up, but the other one opens by halves, and in the lower half
there is a gap or window through which one can see into the court, and
from the court into the church. And having entered the church, we next
arrived before the chapel or cell in which is the grave of our Lord,
and then we all immediately knelt down piously. But Master Antonio
Donato (one of Harant's fellow-travellers) fell to the ground heavily
as soon as he entered the chapel, just as if he had fainted, and we,
seeing this, were greatly frightened, for we knew of no other cause
of his fall except his great religious ardour; but he soon recovered,
and, after he had recited some prayers, he rose together with us. The
guardian then put on his vestments ... and first led us to a cupboard
in the wall, similar to a blind window. There we saw a portion of a
pillar of stone similar to marble; to this column the holy body of
Christ was bound while he allowed himself to be scourged and cruelly
flogged in the house of Pilate. This portion of the column is three
spans in length, and the breadth is somewhat greater; it stands behind
a very thick iron trellis fastened to the wall. There is a small window
opposite, which opens with a lock, and before the pillar there always
hangs a lamp, which continually glistens and burns. At this spot we
began to sing the hymn--

    '_Eia Fratres Charissimi Christe_
    _Christi mortis mysteria_
    _Canamus_,' &c."

Of all other memorable sites in Jerusalem itself, as well as of those
at Bethlehem, Jericho, and elsewhere, Harant gives equally detailed and
accurate accounts; his book is indeed still of value for the topography
of Palestine. Harant also gives a very curious description of the city
of Jerusalem as he himself saw it. He writes: "In the town of Jerusalem
there are some streets that are vaulted over, and in some of these
shopkeepers, Christians, Jews, and Turks, in others tradesmen such as
shoemakers and weavers, and yet in others cooks have vaulted stalls,
just like the booths in the old town of Prague.... The houses in the
town are mostly tolerably solid; the greater part are without roof,
and have only terraces; others have vaulted roofs. A third part of
the houses in the town are deserted and in ruins. There are many open
spaces, and they occupy a third part of the city. Of wood there is very
little in the buildings, indeed there is less in the whole town than
in some houses at Prague; the town is therefore very safe from fires.
Its size is about that of Kuttenberg (Kutna Hora) here in the Bohemian

Harant's account of the different Christian communities, the members
of which then visited Palestine, and who had religious foundations
there, are still of the greatest interest. He enumerates, "besides
the Latin, that is to say, Roman Catholic Christians, many other
sects, Christians belonging to various nationalities, such as Greeks,
Armenians, Georgians, Syrians, Nestorians, Jacobites, Abyssinians,
Maronites, and others." In the Greeks, Harant, as a lover of classical
antiquity, naturally took far greater interest than in the adherents of
the other churches which he enumerates. Harant's chapter on the Greeks
is written with interesting and very evident enthusiasm. "The Greek
nation," he tells us, "was in former days far superior to all others in
matters of government and politics. Among them first arose lawgivers,
from whom others, took and acquired the true rules of government.
Among them (the Greeks) were wise men, 'sapientes Græciæ,' famous
all over the world, and the most learned of men in all sciences; they
first of all discovered botany and medical science; they divided time
by months and years. Arithmetic, geometry, physics, ethics, and other
kinds of philosophy they improved and advanced; they then faithfully
and carefully preserved all these things, so that they were called the
mother and origin of all literary and other free arts; and thus they
were superior to all other nations.

"Besides this, for many centuries they knew neither kingly nor
monarchical rule; they governed themselves according to their own
constitutions, some in a democratic, others in an aristocratic manner
(what the latter was I have explained in my description of Venice);
therefore all the neighbouring kings in every direction were their
mortal enemies, whom they had to encounter in many great wars."

From Palestine the travellers proceeded to Egypt, embarking at Gaza
for Damietta, then the principal seaport of Egypt. The sea-voyage was
tedious and unpleasant. Harant (from whose mind Bohemia was hardly
ever absent) described the passengers who embarked with him and his
companions as a "Senftenberg rabble."[133]

After a short stay in Egypt, Harant and his companions returned to
Venice, and thence to their own country. In 1608 he published, on the
request of his friends, the graphic description of his travels, which
fortunately has been preserved. Harant appears to have enjoyed great
favour with King Rudolph, who raised him to the rank of a noble.
Harant had hitherto belonged to the "estate" of the knights. Somewhat
later, Harant, who had been brought up as a Romanist, joined the
Utraquist or Calixtine Church, probably mainly from political motives.
Harant was a zealous partisan of the ancient Bohemian constitution and
of the national language. The Jesuits, then the most prominent leaders
of the Roman party in Bohemia, well knew that it would only be possible
to destroy the old Church of Hus and to re-establish Romanism if the
ancient constitution were suppressed, and the Bohemian language and
literature also, as far as possible, destroyed.

In the stirring events of the last years of Bohemian independence
(1618-1620) Harant played a very prominent part. He commanded the
artillery of the Bohemian army which, under Count Thurn, invaded
Austria and besieged Vienna in 1619; it is stated that he ordered
his gunners to point their cannon against the windows of the palace
(Burg) in Vienna in which the Emperor Ferdinand had taken refuge. This
probably caused Harant to be singled out as one of those Bohemian
nobles to whom the severest punishment was awarded, and in fact
sealed his fate. During the short reign of King Frederick, Harant
held high office, and when the battle of the White Mountain ended
that prince's short reign, he sought refuge in his castle of Pecka.
He was there taken prisoner by the Austrian troops in March 1621. It
is characteristic of the man that on the day when the troops arrived
he should, when, on his leaving his castle for an early walk, a gust
of wind blew off his hat, have remarked: "If I were a Roman, I should
immediately turn back and not stir a step from the house to-day."
Harant was one of the Bohemian leaders who were decapitated on June
21, 1621. I have quoted[134] Skála ze Zhoře's account of his last

Of the latest historians of this period, PAUL SKÁLA ZE ZHOŘE is
certainly the most important. Palacký has called him "not only the
most voluminous, but also the most valuable historian of Bohemia;"
he might perhaps have been considered the foremost historian of his
country before the present century, since which time that rank belongs
uncontestedly to Palacký himself. I cannot formulate my opinion of
Skála more accurately than I did some years ago, when I wrote: "Skála's
description of the turbulent scenes on the Hradčin on the day of the
defenestration, and the truly pathetic account of the last hours
and execution of the Bohemian leaders in 1621, are masterpieces of
historical writing. I may confidently say that they would do credit to
the literature of a larger and better known country than Bohemia."

Paul Skála ze Zhoře, born in 1583, belonged, like Bartoš and Sixt, to
the "estate" of the citizens or townsmen. He was educated at the then
very celebrated Protestant university of Wittenberg, and his life and
writings both prove that he was a staunch adherent of the Protestant
faith. He was for some time employed in the municipal offices of the
town of Saaz (or Žátec), and he held a Government appointment at
Prague during the Provisional Government of 1618 and the short reign
of Frederick of the Palatinate. He was an eye-witness of some of the
events of that memorable period. He left Bohemia after the battle of
the White Mountain and the flight of King Frederick, at whose court he
remained during the first years of his exile. He afterwards settled at
Freiberg in Saxony, not very far from the frontier of Bohemia, to which
country many of the exiles still hoped once more to return.

It was here that Skála undertook his great historical works. He first
wrote a _Chronology of the Church_. This book is a mere compilation of
dates, including some that are of a very fantastic character. Skála
counts 1656 years from the creation of the world to the deluge, and
1717 thence to the foundation of the first Chaldæan monarchy. This book
seems only to have been intended to be a preparation for his great
historical work, the _Historie Cirkevni_ ("History of the Church"),
a book which, in spite of its title, deals as much with political as
with ecclesiastical matters. This colossal work is preserved in MS. in
ten enormous volumes (the largest contains 1700 pages, the others but
little fewer) in the library of Count Waldstein at Dux. The part of the
book that refers to the Bohemian events of the years 1602 to 1623 has
been edited and published by Dr. Tieftrunk in two large volumes. It is,
of course, the most interesting part of the enormous work, as Skála
here writes as a contemporary, and sometimes as an eye-witness.

Skála of course writes as a staunch Protestant and an enemy of the
absolutist party. No Bohemian historian of this period, as I have
already remarked, was without a strong political and theological bias;
yet Skála tells us at the beginning of his account of the Bohemian
movement of 1618: "I have not the intention, either here or in any part
of my narrative, of writing anything whatever under the inspiration
of partiality or of good-will or ill-will towards this party or that.
Neither will I personally endorse the praise or blame which others
have expressed. I only state those various facts which I have found in
other authors' writings (printed or in manuscript) which are conform to
truth. Judgment I leave to prudent, truth-loving men, who have a more
profound knowledge of these events than I, in my exile, have been able
to obtain." These statements, written to prove Skála's impartiality,
are not entirely correct, or at least apply only to the years after
1620, when Skála, an exile from Bohemia, had to rely on the authority
of others. Of previous events he frequently writes as an eye-witness.
Thus, when referring to the removal of the altars and paintings from
the cathedral-church of St. Vitus at Prague in 1619, Skála writes:
"Though I and other officials were working in the neighbouring state
offices between one and two o'clock, we heard nothing of what was
happening in the royal church (St. Vitus); only next morning, when I
entered the church, I saw that the pictures had been removed."

Skála gives a very able account of the ancient Bohemian constitution,
of which he writes as a fervent admirer. He then states what in his
opinion was the cause of the destruction of that constitution. "The
Bohemian nation," he writes, "has indeed this peculiarity, that it can
endure neither complete tyranny nor complete liberty unfettered by
law. And as the Bohemians defended their ancient liberties with such
true zeal, they might have been happier than other nations had they
but at home maintained sincere concord among themselves. I doubt that
any one would have been able to overcome them by force of arms if they
had been bound together by the bond of patriotic mutual confidence;
but in consequence of religious differences, great discord reigned
among them, and therefore mutual distrust. One section, which conformed
to the Church of Rome, assumed the name of Catholics or communicants
in one kind. The other section, which loved to worship and serve God
according to the definitions and rules of the Holy Scripture, and not
according to the fancies of men, are called communicants under both
kinds (Utraquists), or Evangelicals or Hussites, from the name of
their teacher, that true martyr for Christ, John Hus, or 'of Husinec,'
who in his time re-established pure doctrine in the Bohemian land,
and from the darkness of Papacy raised it to light.... Many years ago
regulations, which the Bohemians obtained by the bravery with which
they defended God's truth, stipulated that nobody who did not receive
the flesh and blood of our Lord Christ in both kinds should occupy
the offices of the state and of the towns.... Thus almost all men
acknowledged the salutary doctrine that man is redeemed by his faith
in Christ and through His holy merit, and that he thus obtains eternal

But afterwards Skála says: "The Jesuits endeavoured, with all their
might, to disseminate among imprudent young men, whose confidence they
obtained by flattery, not only the teaching of the Roman school, but
also hatred against the National Church and contempt for the glorious
rights, regulations, and constitutions of the land; and thus they
strove to form them according to their own will; but yet more they
approached with flattery the highest officials and judges of the land
also, as well as some of the greatest lords; and then, when they had
inspired them with their own Jesuitical spirit, then, as if they had
been soulless bodies, possessing neither reason nor common-sense, they
ruled them according to their own will ... and they thus obtained that
all real strength and ruling power was concentrated in them (_i.e._
the Jesuits), though the name and appearance of power and political
importance was retained by the officials. Then only the Roman religion,
which had almost died out in Bohemia, seemed suddenly to bloom again
and to recover its power. On the other hand, the respect for the
royal majesty constantly decreased; the kingdom, hitherto peaceful,
became turbulent and seditious; the estates not only differed among
themselves, but were also irritated against the king their lord, when
under cover, and in the name of the royal majesty, evil and turbulent
men artfully carried out their knavish plans and endeavours; in fact,
every sort of licentiousness appeared openly and without restraint
among the people."

But of greater interest than any other part of Skála's book are the
pages that deal with the closing days of Bohemian independence. In
writing of the tragedy that opened with the defenestration in 1618,
and ended with the executions at Prague in June 1621, Skála is always
graphic and often pathetic.

I shall quote a short portion of Skála's account of the events that
mark the beginning and the close of the Bohemian movement.

In his account of the defenestration Skála writes: "... Then Joaquin,
Count Schlick, ardently and with tears in his eyes, for he was a true
and zealous follower of the religion, addressed the assembly and
violently attacked Martinic and Slavata.[135] He reminded them of the
wrongs which they had inflicted both on Utraquists individually and
on the whole Evangelical Church, and of how they had dealt with them
according to the suggestions of those malicious teachers of theirs, the
members of the sect of the Jesuits. He said that they had unlawfully
attempted to deprive the Protestants of their offices, and that they
had given proof of this when they deprived that noble Bohemian hero,
Count Thurn, of his office as burgrave of the Karlstein, which office
the Lord of Smečno (Martinic) had usurped; he had done this contrary to
the constitution of the land. For who had ever heard that in Bohemia
officials could be dismissed and offices redistributed without the
consent of the Diet and a vote of the three Estates? 'But you,' he
said, 'worthless disciples of the Jesuits, you with your followers and
little secretaries,[136] you have dared to take it on yourselves to do
this, not knowing how otherwise to harm us and to disparage our party.
But you shall learn that we are not old women'--and here he snapped his
fingers at them--'and that we shall not allow you to deceive us. For we
consider you as of rank equal to our own, but we recognise his Majesty
as our most gracious lord, and being now well satisfied with him,
we shall undertake nothing against his Majesty. As long as old men,
honest and wise, governed this kingdom, everything went well in it; but
since you, disciples of the Jesuits, have pushed yourselves forward,
the contrary has been the case. You will not be able to take from us
the privileges which God has given us and our gracious sovereign has
confirmed; we will not till we are conquered consent to this.'"

The indignation of Count Schlick and his intense excitement, which
render his speech at times incoherent, appear very clearly from Skála's
account. The various opinions of the nobles assembled in council are
very clearly and minutely set forth.

I have only space for the final passage: "Then while he (Kinsky) still
wished to continue his speech, Count Thurn quickly approached Slavata
and seized him by the hand, while Ulrick Kinsky seized Martinic--but
many nobles did not yet know what would be done with them, whether they
would be thrown into a dungeon or merely put under arrest; then they
(Thurn and Kinsky) led them right through the crowd of nobles; and only
then did every one know that they would be thrown from the windows.
They also now understood that the Estates were not jesting with them,
though in consequence of their haughtiness and obstinacy they had as
yet spoken to no one; they now began to entreat that their lives be
spared; wringing their hands and invoking the name of God, they strove
to keep their feet on the ground and begged for mercy.

"The Lord of Smečno mournfully entreated that he might be granted a
confessor; he received the short answer that he should commend his soul
to God. Slavata did not ask for a confessor, but prayed to the Lord to
be with him.

"But no mercy was granted them, and first the Lord of Smečno was
dragged to that window near which the secretaries generally worked, for
Kinsky was quicker and had more aid than Count Thurn, who had first
seized Slavata. Then they were both thrown, dressed in their cloaks
and with their rapiers and decorations, just as they had been found
in the Chancellor's office, one after the other head foremost out of
the westward window into the moat beneath the palace, which by a wall
is separated from the other deeper moat. They loudly screamed, 'Ach,
ach, ouvé,' and attempted to hold on to the window-frame, but were at
last obliged to let go, as they were struck on the hands. They were
thus punished for having been unworthy of their offices and positions,
which they had not sufficiently valued, and had indeed used to the
detriment of His Imperial Majesty and to the ruin of their country;
and this, said the Estates in their larger apology, was done according
to ancient precedents in the Bohemian kingdom and in the city of
Prague, and following the example of that which was done to Jezebel,
the tormentor of the Israelite people, and also that of the Romans
and other celebrated nations, who were in the habit of throwing from
rocks and other elevated places those who disturbed the peace of the

As already stated, the part of Skála's enormous work which is of
general interest ends with the execution of the Bohemian leaders,
which took place at Prague on June 21, 1621. Skála had fled from his
country immediately after the battle of the White Mountain, and thus
undoubtedly escaped sharing the fate of those whose last moments he has
so graphically described. He had therefore to rely on the information
from Bohemia that reached him in his exile at Freiberg. He tells
us, however, that he has "given word by word the narrative of three
clergymen who were with the prisoners to the end and prepared them for
the violent and, in the eyes of the world, dishonourable death that
awaited them." Here also I can only give a short extract from Skála's
very lengthy account. He writes: "Then the imperial executioners
appeared before the lords, saying that the hour of death had come, that
they should be ready, and that each one whose name was called should
come out (of the prison). Immediately afterwards the judges entered the
prison and called out the name of Count Schlick. With them arrived
four German priests, and when they had descended the steps, two Jesuits
stood there, one of whom was called Sudetius. He said to the Count,
'Domine Comes recordare adhuc.' But the Count answered sharply, 'Jam me
facias missum.'

"After him they called out the name of Venceslas of Budova. He took no
clergyman with him.

"Meanwhile Harant of Polžic sent for John the clergyman, asking him to
come, as it would soon be his turn.... Then Lord Harant said, sighing,
'O my dear God, through how many lands have I travelled, how many
dangers have I encountered, for how many days have I not seen bread;
once I have been buried in the sands. From all these perils God has
rescued me, and now I must die guiltless in my own dear land. Forgive
my enemies, O my dear Lord,' Then they called out his name, and he
started for that mournful stage and slaughterhouse of Antichrist.[137]

"But this is worthy of notice, that when one of these holy men
and martyrs for God's cause was called forth, then to our great
astonishment a leave-taking occurred in a pleasant manner, which
rejoiced our hearts, just as if they were preparing to go to a banquet
or some pastime. 'Now, my dear friends, may our Lord God bless you, may
He grant you the consolations of the Holy Ghost, patience and courage,
so that you may be able to prove, now also in the moment of your death,
that you have heartily and bravely defended the honour of God. I go
before you that I may first see the glory of God, the glory of our
beloved Redeemer, but I await you directly after me; already in this
hour earthly grief vanishes, and a new heartfelt and eternal gladness
begins.' The other prisoners who remained behind answered, 'May our
Lord God bless you on your way for the sake of the guiltless death of
Christ; may He send His holy angels to meet your soul. You go before
us to the glory of heaven. We also will follow you, and we are certain
because of Him in whom we have believed, Jesus Christ, that we shall
all meet again to-day and rejoice for ever with our beloved Redeemer,
the angels, and the chosen of God. '... But let us return to the
account of the last journey and the words of the dying. When leaving
the prison-room Harant said, 'In thee, my God, I have believed since my
youth; do not let me be disgraced for all ages.' Meanwhile, John the
clergyman was saying prayers till they reached the place of execution,
then Harant said, lifting his eyes heavenwards, 'Into your hands, Lord
Jesus Christ, I commend my soul.' He then took off his cloak, and
then again prayed, 'In you, O God, I have believed since my youth,
and therefore I now and ever believe and feel certain that, in memory
of the shameful death of your Son and my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, you
will deign to recompense me for this temporary disgrace by perpetual
glory; and therefore, O God, I commend my soul into Thy hands, for Thou
hast redeemed it. True God! Lord Jesus Christ! Son of the living God!
Receive my soul; I commend it to you, O Lord Jesus Christ.' And then he
was beheaded, and exchanged this wretched earthly life for a glorious
and heavenly one.

"And the executioner, who was himself a Utraquist, was careful not to
interrupt their prayers; and he always waited till each of them had
finished his devotions."

Of the last years of Skála we have little knowledge; the last documents
referring to him mention him as still living at Freiburg, and date from
the year 1640. It is probable that he died shortly after that time.

WILLIAM Count SLAVATA (born 1572, died 1652), contemporary of Skála,
was also a very voluminous writer. His life belongs to the political
history of Bohemia, and I shall here only allude briefly to it, because
of its close connection with the writings which Slavata has left.

Slavata's father belonged to the community of the Bohemian Brethren,
and he was himself educated in the doctrines of that Church. He
afterwards proceeded to Italy for the purpose of study. He there joined
the Roman Church, which obtained in him a most able and enthusiastic
adherent. With the proverbial zeal of a convert, he, almost alone among
the Bohemian nobles, refused to affix his signature to the celebrated
"letter of majesty," by which King Rudolph, in 1609, granted, in
agreement with the Estates, considerable rights and privileges to the
Protestants. When the weak and sickly King Matthew, during the last
years of his life, fell more and more under the influence of his heir,
Archduke Ferdinand of Styria, Slavata rapidly obtained high office. He
held the office of Lord Chief-Justice at the beginning of the Bohemian
troubles in 1618. On the memorable day of the defenestration, Slavata
was thrown from the windows of the Hradčin together with his colleague,
the burgrave of the Karlstein, Martinic, Lord of Smečno.

After the re-establishment of the Habsburg dynasty in Bohemia, Slavata
was rewarded for his fidelity by the victors. He held various important
offices of state under the Emperors Ferdinand II. and Ferdinand III.,
and was one of the most trusted councillors of both these sovereigns.
His literary work is an incidental and accidental episode in his
momentous career.

When accompanying the Emperor Ferdinand II. to Regensburg in
1636, a pamphlet written by his old antagonist, Count Thurn, came
into Slavata's hands. It dealt with the recent assassination of
Wallenstein,[138] but Thurn's pamphlet went far beyond the immediate
subject, and, in fact, contained a defence of the author's political
career. Slavata immediately resolved on refuting this work, written
by the originator of the defenestration. Though sixteen years had
passed since that event, and both Bohemian Protestantism and Bohemian
independence had been totally suppressed, the memory of his ignominious
exit from the windows of the Hradčin still rankled in Slavata's mind.
It should also be mentioned that several of his friends, his old
companion Martinic in particular, had previously urged him to write
memoirs of his time; he had, however, always declined to do so because
of the stress of public business.

Slavata's work, intended merely as a refutation of the statements
of Thurn (whose pamphlet he has in its entirety incorporated into
his book), became a historical work consisting of two volumes of
considerable size.[139] The book, entitled _Paměty_ or memoirs,
deals only with the events of the years 1618 and 1619. Founded, as
it undoubtedly is, on notes taken by Slavata at the time of the
stirring events which he relates, it has the greatest historical
value. Slavata was in correspondence with most of the leaders of the
"Catholic reformation," as the suppression of Protestantism in Bohemia
was officially designated. He has also transcribed many of the state
documents which in his official capacity were accessible to him. His
book is therefore valuable as a "Quellenwerk," and the historians who
have in the present century rewritten the history of Bohemia have
availed themselves largely of these memoirs. The whole system of the
"Catholic reformation" appears very clearly in Slavata's book. It
should be stated--though I run the risk of transgressing on the domain
of history--that in the question which immediately caused the Bohemian
movement the Protestants had the law on their side. The defenestration,
in fact, only precipitated a conflict that was in any case inevitable.
The only alternative would have been peaceful submission to the Church
of Rome, such as Ferdinand had obtained in his hereditary lands, Styria
and Carinthia.

It was, of course, Slavata's task to prove that the Protestants had
been the aggressors, and he devotes much ingenuity and more sophistry
to that task. I have before stated that in my opinion extensive
quotations are an absolute necessity when writing of a literature
such as that of Bohemia, where it may be assumed as a certainty that
almost all the works mentioned are entirely unknown to the reader.
This is, however, particularly difficult in the case of Slavata, whose
writings are distinctly and constantly controversial, and whose style
is entirely devoid of grace. I shall, as characteristic of Slavata,
translate a portion of his account of the banquet which the officials
of King Frederick gave to the Turkish ambassador on his arrival at
Prague. Slavata is as long-winded as most of his contemporaries, and
even a very condensed extract of his account may, I fear, appear

Slavata writes: "Some of the officers of the so-called King Frederick,
Bohemians of the Utraquist Church, gave in the evening a banquet to
the Turkish ambassador, and among them was Henry Matthew, Count Thurn.
The envoys of the Prince of Transylvania were also present, and of
others Bohuchval of Berka, master of the ceremonies; Venceslas William
of Ruppa, high chancellor; Venceslas of Budova, president of the court
of appeal; Peter Miller, vice-chancellor of the Bohemian kingdom. At
this banquet various speeches were made. There was one present who has
reported that he heard with his own ears these words that were spoken

"The Turkish ambassador, holding a glass of wine in his hand, drank
it off to the health of Berka, begging him to consider him as his
son, for both alive and dead, he said, he would be an obedient son to
him. Berka gave as answer that he did not consider himself as being
worthy that the ambassador and envoy of the great and powerful Turkish
emperor should accept him as his father, he would rather wish to be
his (the ambassador's) willing servant and menial.[140] The Turkish
ambassador accepted this, and answered further, saying that he was a
Turk by birth and would die as such; he, however, firmly and certainly
thought that those who believed in Christ will be redeemed, even though
they differed in opinion among themselves. Of the Emperor Ferdinand,
however, he did not believe that he would be redeemed, for he had been
the cause that the blood of many innocent people had been shed and of
their destruction. He therefore thought that the devil would fry him on
a spit in hell. Berka then said that he hoped the Lord God would bless
his beloved lord for this pledge; no toast had ever yet pleased him
so much as this one, and his only wish was that that should happen to
the Emperor Ferdinand, the greatest enemy of the Bohemians, which the
Turkish ambassador had said; and he added, 'Amen! Amen! Amen!'

"The same Turkish envoy then exhorted the Bohemian nobles that they
should never submit to the Emperor Ferdinand; if they were not
sufficiently strong, his emperor would send 60,000 men to their aid....
Berka further said that he knew for a certainty that the Emperor
Ferdinand would willingly give 50,000 ducats so that he might obtain
his head; but that his friends would give the troops 200,000 ducats
that they might fight Ferdinand till he was totally defeated and driven
to despair. To this the Turkish ambassador answered that he would act
wisely and justly in doing so, for Ferdinand had not held his word and
promise, just as his predecessors of the House of Austria, Rudolph
and Matthew, had not kept their promises to his Majesty, the Ottoman

"Berka then declared that the House of Austria had always been the
ruin of Bohemia, because by its false Spanish practices it had sold
the kingdom, his beloved fatherland, into perpetual servitude and made
slaves and serfs of the Bohemians. Therefore the kind Lord God would
not allow this any longer, nor permit that such tyranny and cruelty
should be practised against them; but He in His great mercy had opened
their eyes, and they had therefore taken up arms against Ferdinand
and began war against the House of Austria. And rather than succumb
to Spanish tyranny they would a thousand times rather submit to the
rule and government of the Turkish emperor, their powerful lord....
Venceslas of Budova, then president of the court of appeal, who was
attached to the Turkish ambassador as special commissioner, declared
that the lords and other members of the Estates of Bohemia belonging
to the Utraquist creed had arrived at this resolution and decision,
that they would rather be cut to pieces together with their wives
and children than submit to the rule and domination of Ferdinand, or
of any other member of the House of Austria.... Peter Miller, then
vice-chancellor of the Bohemian kingdom, said to Budova: 'My kind
lord father, we Bohemians have resolved, rather than that the Emperor
Ferdinand should be our king--and supposing that the Turkish emperor is
not able to help us sufficiently--we will seek refuge with the devil in
hell and supplicate him to help us.'

"At last Count Thurn spoke, saying that the Lord God was his witness
how truly he regretted with his whole heart that the Emperor Ferdinand
should have been spoken of in such a manner; but that Ferdinand had
been misled by listening to the counsels of the Jesuits; neither he nor
the other Bohemians were responsible for his fall; rather should he
attribute it to himself. Then Thurn ordered three small glasses of wine
and one larger glass that was empty, and said, addressing the Turkish
ambassador: 'I drink these three glasses with you, one to the health
of his Majesty the Emperor (of Turkey), one to the health of our own
most gracious King, and one to that of the Prince of Transylvania.'
And raising the three glasses he poured their contents into the large
empty glass, and then continued: 'As with wine mixed out of three
glasses it cannot be known what wine was in the first, what in the
second, and what in the third glass, and only one sort of wine appears
in this full glass, thus I begin to drink this glass full of wine in
the name of the most Holy Trinity, consisting of three persons, but one
Divinity, in the hope that these three potentates to whose health I am
drinking will be of one accord, of one heart, and of one will; so that
they may triumph over and defeat all their enemies.' Then he emptied
the full glass of wine. The Turkish ambassador answered that he had
great pleasure in emptying his glass to this toast.

"From this account and information we can understand to what evil,
heresy especially that of Calvin, leads people; yet Count Thurn in his
pamphlet attempts to prove that the Bohemians and he, their leader,
were not rebels. I do not endeavour to exaggerate the shameless
rebellion of the Bohemians of those days; for every one who has read
these lines must shudder at the speeches that were made at Count
Thurn's banquet. Nothing more shameless or wicked can be imagined; nor
is it true that his Majesty Ferdinand II. had not kept his word and

As Slavata and all his friends were then in exile, it is not very clear
to whom this highly-coloured and obviously exaggerated account of Count
Thurn's banquet should be attributed. It is possible that some traitor
may have been present who was Slavata's authority. It is, however, far
more probable that the account is founded on the report of some servant
who waited at table. In consequence of the habit of drinking freely at
banquets, which was then very prevalent in Bohemia, much political
information could be obtained by listening to the conversation at the
dinner-table. The Protestants frequently accused the Catholics of
employing servants as spies on such occasions.[141] Whatever Slavata's
authority may be, the passage describing the Bohemian leaders as
cringing in a servile fashion before the representative of the enemy of
Christianity, while displaying blind and brutal hatred of the House of
Habsburg, is a masterpiece of skilful animosity.

The composition of these memoirs seems to have inspired Slavata with a
taste for historical studies. In the last years of his life he wrote
a vast history of all the lands ruled by the House of Habsburg, from
the reign of Ferdinand I. to Slavata's own time. This book, entitled
_Historické Spisovani_ ("Historical Works"), consists of fourteen
volumes, and the earlier memoirs were incorporated with it, forming
(of course not in chronological order) volumes i. and ii. The work
includes a lengthy treatise on the long-disputed question whether the
Bohemian kingdom was an elective or a hereditary one, a question which
the battle of the White Mountain settled "by blood and iron." Slavata
here displays a considerable amount of erudition, though the arguments
founded on his accounts of the reigns of the almost entirely mythical
early Prěmyslide princes are, of course, valueless. Generally speaking,
Slavata's record of earlier events, based principally on such doubtful
authorities as Ænæas Sylvius and Hajek, do not possess the historical
value which undoubtedly belongs to his personal recollections.

Though written in Latin, Andreas ab Habernfeld's _Bellum Bohemicum_ and
Paulus Stransky's _Respublica Bojema_ should at least be mentioned,
as they belong to this period. Habernfeld, who himself took part in the
last war waged by Bohemia as an independent country, and was present at
the battle of the White Mountain, has left us a clear though prejudiced
account of the events of the years 1618 to 1620. Paulus Stransky, one
of the many Bohemian Protestants who ended their lives as exiles, has
given a short but lucid account of the ancient Bohemian constitution,
and in the same volume a short history of his country.


[120] Edited and published by Dr. Erben in 1851.

[121] It is impossible to translate this pun. Bartholomew plays on the
similarity of the name "Vrat" to the words _zvratiti_ and _převratiti_
(to overturn and to overthrow).

[122] It is impossible to paraphrase in fewer than eight words the
Bohemian word _nemistrovany_.

[123] See my _Bohemia, an Historical Sketch_, pp. 231, 232.

[124] See Chapter IV.

[125] See page 229.

[126] _The Life_ (or rather _Captivity_) _of John Augusta_ was edited
and published by Franta-Sumavsky in 1837. The work has recently been
translated into German by Dean Joseph Müller of Herrenhut.

[127] See Chapter V.

[128] Professor Léger in his _Nouvelles Études Slaves_ has translated
into French some of Žerotin's letters which refer to his French

[129] See Chapter V.

[130] This work has been translated into English by the late Rev. A. H.

[131] Edited and published by Dr. Erben in 1854 and 1855.

[132] It is not easy to recognise this word in Harant's self-coined
translation or rather adaptation, _trucelman_.

[133] A proverbial expression. Senftenberg is a small town in
North-Eastern Bohemia. I don't know how its inhabitants acquired this
invidious distinction.

[134] See pp. 343 and 344.

[135] See p. 345.

[136] In Bohemian _sekretaričky_.

[137] The Altstädter Ring, where the executions took place.

[138] It has often been asserted that Slavata, who was a personal enemy
of Wallenstein, was the cause of the estrangement between him and the
emperor, and indirectly of Wallenstein's murder.

[139] This portion of Slavata's works has been edited and published by
the late Dr. Jireček.

[140] Slavata uses the German word _Knecht_.

[141] Readers of Schiller's _Wallenstein_ will remember the scene at
the banquet at Pilsen (_Die Piccolomini_, act iv. scene 5), when the
servants are listening to the conversation of the generals.



The misery and degradation of Bohemia that were the result of the
battle of the White Mountain are beyond all description. Perhaps
no country has, in comparatively modern times, suffered as Bohemia
did at that period. Gindely, than whom no historian is less given
to exaggeration, has written: "The misery under which the land
(Bohemia) groaned can, as regards its extent and its depth, be
compared only to that which, at the time of the migration of nations
(_Völkerwanderung_), was inflicted on the inhabitants of Gaul and
Northern Italy by their Frank and Lombard conquerors." From the battle
of the White Mountain, Bohemian literature becomes, and continues for
many years, an almost complete blank.

It was at this time that the great destruction of Bohemian books, so
frequently alluded to in these pages, began, though it continued far
into the eighteenth century. Catholic priests, generally Jesuits,
accompanied by soldiers, visited the houses of the Bohemians; even
the cottages of the peasants were not exempt. As these priests were
generally unacquainted with the Bohemian language, it was thought best
to destroy all books written in that language. The famous, or rather
infamous, destroyer of Bohemian books, the Jesuit Konias, continued his
bonfires--he boasted of having burnt 60,000 Bohemian volumes--up to
the year 1760. It is, of course, only possible to attempt conjectures
as to the value of the lost works, but Bohemian writers agree in
thinking that many had considerable historical merit. Second, of
course, to non-Roman theological writings, the book-destroyers
relentlessly pursued all works of a historical character which might
suggest to the Bohemian people the contrast between their glorious past
and their present servile and miserable condition. It may be mentioned
as a proof of this, that even the historical work of Pope Pius II.
(Ænæas Sylvius) which deals with Bohemia was ordered to be destroyed.

The numerous emigrants from Bohemia continued indeed for some time,
as already mentioned, to write in the national language, and only the
death of Komenský marks the cessation of such writing. In Bohemia
itself, from the fatal year 1620 to the end of the eighteenth century,
no book appeared in the native language that is worthy of general
notice. Jungmann,[142] in his patriotic endeavour to conceal the
complete cessation of Bohemian literature, enumerates many writers of
prayer-books, collections of sermons, and calendars published at this
period. Whatever historical and philological value such writings may
have, they do not belong to literature.

The nobles and the educated classes in Bohemia at this period wrote--as
far as they wrote at all--in German or in Latin. It is curious to
note that Bohemian continued to be spoken long after it had ceased to
be written among all classes of the population. When, in 1697, Peter
the Great visited Prague, he was able to converse with the nobles in
his own language, so similar to that of Bohemia. This would have been
impossible a century later, and even at the present day more German
than Bohemian is spoken in the salons of the Bohemian nobility at

Of the scanty German and Latin works written in Bohemia during the
seventeenth and eighteenth century, a few are noticeable as having,
though indirectly, contributed to preserve the ancient national
memories which are so inseparably connected with the national language.
The earliest of these writers is the learned Jesuit BALBIN or Balbinus,
who was born in 1621, a year after the catastrophe of the White
Mountain, and died at Prague in 1688. His very numerous works, all
written in Latin, deal principally with the history of his country.
Balbin's writings are, of course, in absolute accordance with the
doctrine of Rome, and, besides, teem with legends of saints, pedigrees
of the newly-established nobility of Bohemia, and other matters that
should have insured him the favour of the ruling powers. Still Balbin
found many difficulties in his path when he attempted to publish his
works. It is hardly doing injustice to the Government officials if we
suppose that these difficulties were raised, firstly, because it was
considered desirable that the history of Bohemia should be altogether
buried in oblivion; secondly, because Balbin's writings give evidence
of a degree of fairness which necessarily displeased them. Balbin's
fairness has already been alluded to when referring to the biography of
Milič, which is contained in his _Miscellanea_. Balbin's judgment of
Komenský also shows a degree of tolerance very unusual at that time.
He writes in his _Bohemia Docta_: "He (Komenský) published very many
works, but nothing whatever that was directly aimed at the Catholic
Church. Reading his works, it has always seemed to me that he wrote
with so much reflection that he did not wish to award superiority to
any one religion, nor to condemn any."

Of Balbin's many works we may mention the _Miscellanea_, a vast
compilation into which he admitted writings of earlier authors; the
_Epitome Rerum Bohemicarum_, his most valuable work; the _Bohemia
Docta_; and a curious work in defence of the Bohemian language
entitled _Disertatio Apologetica Linguæ Slovenicæ_. The difficulties
which Balbin encountered when he attempted to publish his works have
already been alluded to. Great objections were raised, in particular,
against the _Epitome Rerum Bohemicarum_; but after long negotiations,
influential friends of Balbin induced the Emperor Leopold I. in 1677
to give his consent to the publication of the book. The _Disertatio
Apologetica_, on the other hand, was totally condemned by the Austrian
authorities, and was, indeed, only published a century after the
author's death.

Another Catholic priest whose historical labours were valuable for
his country was Tomas Pešina, who was ennobled and granted the title
of Cechorod (born 1629, died 1680). The Latin works of Pešina, who
was a friend of Balbin, treat principally of Moravia, and are still
of interest. To the eighteenth century belong the German works of
Joseph Bienenberg, which deal with the archaeology of Bohemia. In 1778
Bienenberg published his _Alterthümer in Königreiche Böhmen_, and two
years later his _History of the Town of Königgrätz_. The latter work
has a far wider interest than its name suggests. Bienenberg gives
many interesting details concerning Zižka's wars, and he prints the
celebrated "Articles of war" of the great Bohemian general.

The fact that these and other writers who sympathised with the
Bohemian people yet wrote in foreign languages, proves how deep the
national language had sunk. Become little more than an idiom used by
the peasantry in some parts of Bohemia, it was no longer available for
literature of a more elevated character.

Within the second half of the eighteenth century a change took place.
The Emperor Joseph II. was indeed a determined enemy of the Bohemian
national aspirations, and his regulations, as well as those of the
Empress Maria Teresa, excluded the Bohemian language from even the
humblest schools to a greater extent than any of their predecessors
had attempted to do. On the other hand, the enlightened mind of the
Emperor Joseph disapproved of the exaggerated system of restriction
and coercion which during the reigns of his predecessors had been
enforced on all the lands of the Habsburg empire, though it weighed
with exceptional heaviness on Bohemia. During his reign a newspaper
written in the national language was allowed to appear at Prague, a
permission that even since his reign has several times been refused by
Austrian Governments. It was also a result of the comparative freedom
granted by Joseph that there began to appear new editions of ancient
Bohemian works, and translations of foreign works into Bohemian,
which contributed greatly to regain for Bohemian the character of a
written language. These workers live in the grateful memory of their
countrymen, but it seems unnecessary to enumerate them in a book
written for non-Bohemian readers. It will be seen, however, that in the
nineteenth century also even the most prominent writers considered this
editing and translating as an important duty towards their country.
During the reign of Joseph II. the Bohemian Society of Sciences was
established. The publications of the society at first appeared in
German only--they are now printed both in German and in Bohemian--and
German only was used in its deliberations. Still, the historical
studies which the society published reminded the Bohemians of their
glorious past, and revived the feeling of pride in their country, which
had greatly decreased. It was at the end of the eighteenth century also
that a professorship of the Bohemian language was established at the
University of Vienna, and somewhat later at that of Prague.

Before referring to the group of men who in the early years of the
present century successfully effected the revival of the Bohemian
language and literature, we must notice a writer who, though an
enthusiastic student of the Bohemian language, did not believe that
that language would continue, or perhaps rather again become, one of
the languages of Europe that possess an independent literature. I refer
to Joseph Dobrovský. Born in 1753, his earliest years coincide with the
time when the decadence of the Bohemian language was most marked. His
books, mostly written in German or Latin, give evidence of a knowledge
of the science of languages that was very unusual at that period. The
early education of Dobrovský, "the patriarch of Slavic philology", as
he was called in later years, was entirely German. It was only when
studying at the "Gymnasium", first of Deutsch Brod, then of Klattau
in Bohemia, that he acquired some knowledge of the Bohemian language.
An indefatigable worker, he soon devoted his entire energies to the
study of the historical development of the Bohemian language and of
its connection with the languages of other Slav countries. When very
young Dobrovský became a member of the Society of Jesus, and after the
suppression of that order lived for a few years as a tutor in families
of the Bohemian nobility. During the later years of his life he, though
he had been ordained as a priest, led the life of an independent
scholar, living either at Prague or in the country residences of the
Bohemian nobles, where he was always a welcome guest. Palacký quotes
his own remark as to the uniformity of his life: "What interest," he
said, "can the rather monotonous life of a private person have? One
works, that is, one writes; has one's writing printed; then rests, and
then begins another work of a similar character."

Dobrovský was entirely devoid of the enthusiasm for the national
language that animated Jungmann, Kollar, Šafařik, Palacký, and the
minor writers of the first half of the present century. He was, on the
other hand, a philologist of the highest rank. Not only the Bohemians,
but all Slav races, are indebted to him for his studies on Slav
philology, a subject which at that period, when even in Russia the
national language had to a great extent given way to Latin, French, and
German, was absolutely uncultivated. Of his works we may mention the
(German) "Detailed Grammar of the Bohemian Language" (_Ausführliches_
_Lehrgebände der Böhmischen Sprache_). This work has become the
model of all Bohemian grammars that were published subsequently, as
well as of those of other Slav nationalities which have recently
attained to the dignity of possessing written languages. The book
was first published in 1809, and again in an enlarged form in 1818.
Dobrovský's "History of the Bohemian Language and its Older Literature"
(_Geschichte der Böhmischen Sprache und aeltern Literatur_) first
appeared in 1792, but subsequently so completely rewritten, that when
it was republished in 1818 it appeared almost a new work. The book has
become somewhat antiquated and incomplete, as so many Bohemian books
have been rediscovered since it appeared, but it still has considerable
value. While these and other works of Dobrovský were written in German,
he employed the Latin language for his _Institutiones Linguæ Slavicæ
Veteris_. In this, his most important work, Dobrovský, as in his
grammar, paved the way for later workers. The _Institutiones_ have been
the foundation of the work of the many important Slav philologists of
the present century.

It has already been mentioned that Dobrovský had no enthusiasm for
the Bohemian language, to the development of which he so largely
contributed. His early recollections carried him back to the time
when it was little more than an idiom used by the peasantry in the
outlying country districts of Bohemia. When, in the present century,
the movement in favour of the national language acquired greater
strength, Dobrovský never sympathised with it. When the publication
of the _Časopis Musea Království Českého_ ("Journal of the Museum of
the Kingdom of Bohemia") in Bohemian, as well as in German, was first
discussed, Dobrovský expressed the wish that the new journal should
appear in German only. It must, in justice to Dobrovský, be added
that in the last years of his life he wrote a few Bohemian essays
for the journal. They are, indeed, with a collection of letters, the
only writings in the national language which he has left. Dobrovský's
critical nature and his thorough philological training induced him to
deny from the time of its discovery the genuineness of the "MS. of
Grüneberg",[143] an opinion that is now shared by almost all Bohemian
scholars. Dobrovský expressed himself strongly on the subject He wrote:
"It (_i.e._ the MS.) is a knavery which they (the "discoverers")
committed from hatred of the Germans, and from exaggerated patriotism,
for the purpose of deceiving themselves and others."

Dobrovský died in 1829, at a time when the question whether the
Bohemian language should live or not was already decided in the
affirmative sense. He had during the last years of his life become very
unpopular among the Bohemian patriots, but events have proved that his
critical faculties sometimes guided him better than enthusiasm did
others. As a philologist of the Slav languages Dobrovský was in advance
of his time. Etymological monstrosities, such as Kollar sometimes
committed in his _Staroitalia Slavjanská_, would have been impossible
to Dobrovský.

Very different from the calm scholarly nature of Dobrovský was the
temperament of the four enthusiastic patriots to whom, with, of course,
the co-operation of minor writers, the revival of Bohemian literature
is due. I refer to Jungmann, Kollar, Safařik, and Palacký.

JOSEPH JUNGMANN was born in 1773 at Hudlice, a small village near
Beroun in Bohemia. As Hudlice was even then a thoroughly Bohemian
village, Jungmann first acquired his native language; but when sent
to school at Beroun--where, as indeed everywhere in Bohemia at that
time, the teaching was entirely German--he almost forgot Bohemian,
and soon found it far easier to express himself in German. When on
a visit to his native village an old relation playfully accused him
of "stammering" whenever he spoke Bohemian. This remark; as Jungmann
has himself told us, made a great impression on the mind of the
young student. "From that moment," he afterwards wrote, "I became a
true Bohemian, at least to my best knowledge and will." Jungmann's
life was by no means eventful, and requires little notice. He, soon
after finishing his studies, became professor at the gymnasium of
Leitmeritz, from which he was afterwards transferred to Prague. Here he
spent the greatest part of his life, and died in 1847, a year before
revolutionary events obliged so many Bohemian patriots to emerge from
their seclusion and become popular leaders.

I have already alluded to the great activity the Bohemian writers
of this period displayed as editors of the works of their ancient
literature, as well as translators from the works of more advanced
foreign literatures. The two tasks were closely connected, as the
writers could only render in Bohemian the classical works of other
countries by availing themselves of the rich verbal treasury which is
contained in the works of their own ancient authors. Jungmann himself
at the beginning of his life became known as a translator, and, in
contradiction with his later vocation, oftenest attempted translations
of poetical works. It may interest English readers to know that many of
Jungmann's translations are from the English. Of all his translations,
that of Milton's _Paradise Lost_, written in five-footed trochees,
obtained greatest celebrity. It is really a wonderful achievement, if
we consider that it was written in 1811, when the Bohemian language was
only just awakening from its winter-sleep of nearly two hundred years.
Jungmann also translated Gray's _Elegy in a Churchyard_, Goethe's
_Herman und Dorothea_, and poems by Schiller and Bürger. From the
French Jungmann translated Chateaubriand's _Atala_. It is stated that
Jungmann planned a great original poem in the national language, but
if this is true the plan was never carried out. In later years Jungmann
devoted whatever leisure his official duties left him to studies of a
scientific, and particularly of a philological character.

Great as were his merits as a translator, the last-named works
constitute his principal claim to the gratitude of his countrymen. The
earlier of the great works of Jungmann is his _History of Bohemian
Literature_. Jungmann did not follow Dobrovský's example, but wrote
in Bohemian. The book was first published in 1825, and a second
enlarged edition appeared in 1849, after the author's death. The book
is scarcely what in the present day would be called the history of a
literature; perhaps such a task was impossible at the time Jungmann
wrote. Jungmann's history contains an enumeration of all writers,
great or small, of whom writings in the Bohemian language have been
preserved. Jungmann's intense patriotism induced him to attempt to
prove that at almost all periods works on almost all subjects written
in Bohemian had existed. Every translator of even the most valueless
work, every preacher who had caused even the most worthless Bohemian
sermon to be printed, therefore finds a place in this book. Yet this
very minuteness and absence of criticism which we find in the book
render it very valuable as a collection of materials; and even now,
seventy years after its first appearance, it is indispensable to all
students of Bohemian literature. The introductions to each of the
"odděleni" (divisions) contain a valuable historical and etymological
account of the development of the Bohemian language and literature in
each of the periods into which Jungmann has divided his history.

Jungmann also wrote numerous literary articles for the Bohemian
newspapers and reviews, which gradually sprung up in spite of the
constant opposition of the Austrian Government. These articles
contributed greatly to the success of the Bohemian movement. As I have
noted elsewhere, that movement was, at its beginning, necessarily
a purely literary one. No political paper that was not directly or
indirectly under the control of the Government, then entirely German in
its views, was allowed to exist.

The second great work of Jungmann that ranks with his history of
Bohemian literature is his vast dictionary of the Bohemian and German
languages, published in five large volumes between 1835 and 1839.
Jungmann's preparatory studies, both for this work and for the History,
however, began as early as the year 1800. The work is a monument of
indomitable energy and application. A work such as that of Jungmann
would, if undertaken by a whole academy, have been most meritorious;
but Jungmann worked almost alone, aided only in the merely mechanical
part of his task by a few students of the University of Prague. His
difficulties cannot be compared with those which the compiler of a
dictionary of a more developed language encounters. A large part of
ancient Bohemian literature, that within the last fifty years has been
carefully edited and published, could then only be found in MSS. that
were often difficult of access. Jungmann's work contains words that he
only found once or twice in his sources; it was his desire to include
all, for he laboured not only for the then scanty readers who wished to
study the works of ancient Bohemian literature, but also for the modern
Bohemian writers, whose vocabulary he endeavoured to enlarge.

Even now, when Bohemian literature has obtained an almost miraculous
development, Jungmann's dictionary has not been superseded; and the
same, as regards completeness at least, can be said of his _History of
Bohemian Literature_.

The originators of the Bohemian revival, drawn together by a common
passionate love for the national language, were mostly on terms of
intimacy, and their correspondence, very voluminous, as was formerly
the custom, gives a very clear insight into the views of the writers,
and the disheartening circumstances under which they pursued their
work. Of Jungmann's letters, the most interesting are those addressed
to Kollar, who will be mentioned presently, and to Anthony Marek,
an intimate friend of Jungmann, who was one of the minor Bohemian
writers of this period. The degree of intimacy which existed among
the small band of patriots is well described in one of Jungmann's
letters to Kollar, written in February 1821: "I am writing to-day,"
he says, "to our dear Šafařik also, and to Palacký. You three form
indeed my most beloved Trinity." The general impression of Jungmann's
letters is distinctly a depressing one. The writer refers constantly
to the incessant, often very puerile, vexations which he encountered
from the Austrian authorities. Jungmann complains incessantly of the
"censors", and we shall find the same complaints later when dealing
with Palacký. Every book published in Austria had at that period to be
previously submitted to the "censure-office" for inspection. There were
two "censors" to each book, one of whom had to guard against anything
contrary to the views of the Austrian Government being printed, while
the other suppressed everything contrary to the teaching of the Church
of Rome. Kollar had sent some sonnets, that were afterwards printed
in his _Daughter of Sláva_, to Jungmann for the purpose of submitting
them to the censors. Jungmann writes in answer: "The poems confided
to me I should be glad to get published, but the censure suppresses
everything.... Those beautiful (O most beautiful) parts of your poem
which refer to Sláva I cannot even present to the censors without
much danger to the good cause" (_i.e._ the revival of the Bohemian
language). "The other part also it will hardly be possible to publish.
The other day Ziegler[144] complained that the censor had struck out
thirty sheets from his writings, even love-songs set to music. We must
touch neither Eros nor politics; such are the orders and commands of
the censure."

Jungmann's letters to Marek, written in a very familiar manner, also
give an interesting insight into the lives and thoughts of the little
group of Bohemian literary men; they show their intense devotion
to the national language, their firm belief in the solidarity of
the Slavic races, which was intensified by the Russian victories
over Napoleon, their heartfelt delight when one of the then almost
Germanised Bohemian nobles appeared to be favourable to the national
cause, their dissatisfaction with the Government of Vienna, which
always regarded them with suspicion. To the last-named subject Jungmann
refers in some of his earliest letters to Marek. Writing on May 29,
1809, he says: "On me truly falls every burden of human life. On
one hand the malice of neighbours, magistrates, school directors,
vintagers and ploughers,[145] soldiers (who give it me well[146]), and
other ruffians oppress me; on the other hand, I have little hope of
obtaining my object (which, between us, is to obtain the professorship
of physics at the University of Prague), because of the fearful number
of competitors, and also because of the injustice of the Austrian
Government, which recently transferred to Prague three professors from
Vienna, as if we Bohemians were all donkeys." ... The passage of the
Russian army through Bohemia naturally greatly interested the Slavic
enthusiasts. On September 24, 1813, Jungmann writes to Marek: "The
Russian troops march through here (Leitmeritz) constantly. To-day
120,000 (?) are expected, whose passage will cost the town 9000
florins. I diligently _govorju_ [Russian for talking] with them, and
find that there are among them very good-natured men, and that that
which is--principally by Germans--said of their stealing and robbing
is not their fault, but that of the badly organised commissariat....
On the whole, they are not worse than our own soldiers. It will not be
to the disadvantage of the Bohemians that they should become better
acquainted with the Russians. They will at least know that there are
more Slavs in the world than they fancied." On May 4, 1814, Jungmann
writes to Marek: "The Germans and half-Germans here" (at Leitmeritz)
"are very angry with the newspapers, because they always--so they
say--mention the Russians as if they were everything. This war has
been advantageous to the Slav world, and has contributed in no slight
degree to its advancement. Not in vain has Europe learned to know the
Slavs and they Europe. I think the Slav languages will become better
known than they are now. It is already certain, now that the Muses are
establishing their realm in the North. I must endeavour to obtain a few
Russian books.... Perhaps Count Waldstein[147] will be favourable to
the Bohemians, as he knows Slavic languages. God be praised there is
another nobleman who is not a German!"

When more peaceful times began, Jungmann's correspondence deals mainly
with literary matters, but he continues to uphold the principle of
solidarity or mutual intercourse (_vzájemnost Slovanská_) between
the Slavs. On January 3, 1827, Jungmann writes to Marek: "Of what
else should I write but of the subject which we both carry in our
hearts--Slavic literature. Yes, Slavic literature, I say, for I
may at least name in writing to my friend what in print we can
scarcely mention. So low have we fallen through the misdeeds of our
countrymen,[148] that we scarcely dare openly to profess that we are
Slavs.... They treat even the word 'Slav' with great suspicion at the
censure-office, and Palacký has made it a rule to mention the Slavs
as little as possible in the journal of the Museum.... How little
they love us can be seen by the fact that the censors at Vienna only
gave permission to print an ancient Bohemian chronicle on condition
that it should be printed in Latin characters and published at a high
price, that it may come into the hands of but few, and of none that
are 'unholy' (_i.e._ whom the Government distrusts).[149] ... We have
pleasanter news from the East. According to a letter of Šafařik, the
treaty of Akjerman between Russia and Turkey guarantees freedom to the
Servian nationality; so a new epoch for that nation and its literature
may begin. At four Russian universities--Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, and
Charkov--professorships of general Slavic literature will be founded,
and one at Warsaw is also in contemplation. There, then, the Bohemian
language will be heard and its best works published. The Englishman
Povring,[150] is translating Servian songs into English, and,
stimulated by Šafařik, he will also translate the MS. of Königinhof.
In England very many are learning Slavic languages, particularly
Russian. Whenever a learned Englishman acquires a taste for one Slavic
dialect, he wishes to learn a second," &c.[151] As a last quotation
from Jungmann's letters, I shall give a short extract from one written
in 1837, which is curious as referring to Count Kolovrat, one of the
founders of the Bohemian Museum, who was then one of the principal
members of the Austrian cabinet. It proves that Jungmann was by no
means hostile to the Austrian Government, except when that Government
treated its Slav subjects unjustly. Jungmann writes: "Gay,[152] the
Croatian, is at Karlsbad. The Hungarians wished to imprison him because
he published some national songs; now to their great grief he has
received permission from Vienna to establish a printing-press. Our
Kolovrat obtained this favour for him, though the Hungarian Chancellor
opposed it. This minister (Kolovrat) has acted like a true Slav. Thanks
and glory to him!"

Closely connected with Jungmann is his friend Kollar, whose name has
already been mentioned frequently in this chapter. He was the greatest
poet of the early Bohemian revival, though living Bohemian poets have
undoubtedly surpassed him. JOHN KOLLAR (1793-1852) was born at Mošovec,
in the Slav district of Northern Hungary. His parents were Protestants,
and it was decided that he should become a minister of that Church. In
1815 he proceeded to the then famous University of Jena in Germany,
for the purpose of finishing his theological studies. The University
of Jena was then one of the centres of the movement in favour of the
unity of the German race, which has since been effected by "blood and
iron". It does not seem improbable that the contact with the German
patriots laid the germ of Kollar's passionate devotion to the idea of
the unity of the Slav nations; though of course it was of a literary,
not a political union of these nations--that are separated from each
other by millions of aliens--that Kollar dreamt. It is, however,
anticipating the future if we assume that these ideas exclusively, or
even principally, occupied young Kollar while at Jena. An event during
his stay at Jena influenced his whole life, and became the origin
of the only one of his works that will live. He became passionately
attached to Mina (or Wilhelmina) Schmidt, the daughter of a Protestant
clergyman who lived in a village near Jena. How the German country girl
was by Kollar transformed into the _Daughter of Sláva_ is one of the
curiosities of literature. Kollar's suit for Mina Schmidt was for the
present unsuccessful. Frau Schmidt declared that she would never allow
her daughter to live in a "savage country," as she termed Hungary; and
it was to that country that Kollar's ecclesiastical career obliged him
to return. Kollar afterwards became minister to the Protestant Church
at Pest, and continued there up to the year 1849. He corresponded with
Mina for some time after his departure from Jena, but news--incorrect,
as it afterwards turned out--was brought from Germany announcing
Mina's death. The news proved untrue, and fifteen years after Kollar's
departure from Jena, and some years after he had raised Mina to the
Slav heaven, she became his wife. Kollar's life, like that of all the
Bohemian patriots, was a very laborious and painful one. His letters
contain constant complaints of the incessant persecutions on the
part of the Hungarian Government which his Slav sympathies brought
on him. A plot on the part of Hungarians to murder Kollar was even
discovered. Kollar several times appealed, and appealed successfully,
to the Emperor Francis I. for protection. Kollar's ideas of Slavic
solidarity also resulted mainly in disappointment. The separation of
the Slavs on the whole continued as before, and even Kollar's own
language, the Bohemian, was abandoned by Kollar's own countrymen. The
Slavs of Northern Hungary, identical in race with the Bohemians and
Moravians, had always used the Bohemian language. Šafařik, as well as
Kollar himself, both born in the Slavic districts of Hungary, wrote in
Bohemian. In the present century only the Slavs of Northern Hungary
adopted as a written language a dialect that slightly differs from
Bohemian. The result of this injudicious step, which Kollar from the
first strongly blamed, has been the almost complete absorption by the
Magyars of the isolated Slavs of Northern Hungary.

During the Hungarian revolution Kollar left Pest. Like most Slavs, his
sympathies were rather with the Austrians than with the Hungarians, who
had, indeed, constantly persecuted him. He spent some time travelling
in Germany and Italy. One of the results of his visit to the last-named
country was that deplorable work, _Staroitalia Slavjanská_ ("Slavic
Ancient Italy"). In recognition of his faithfulness to the Austrian
Government, Kollar, immediately after the suppression of the Hungarian
revolution in 1849, was awarded the professorship of Slavic archaeology
at the University of Vienna. He did not live long to enjoy the
comparative prosperity of which he was now assured. He died at Vienna
on January 24, 1852, leaving his wife and children in a state of great

Kollar's _Slávy Deera_ ("Daughter of Sláva") perhaps contributed more
than any other work to the revival of Bohemian literature. Its first
appearance was received with great enthusiasm, which continued for many
years. Some of the Bohemian patriots boasted that they knew the whole
enormous collection of sonnets by heart. The book, at first a small
collection of sonnets, gradually grew to one of the largest books
consisting entirely of sonnets which exists. The first collection was
published in 1821, and consisted principally of reminiscences of Mina
and of Jena, though Kollar's enthusiasm for the Slav race also already
finds expression here. It was impossible that so fervent a Slav should
love a German girl, but Kollar discovered that the family of Schmidt
had come to Thuringia from Lusatia, which was formerly a Slav country,
and where, indeed, a Slav dialect lingers to the present day. Mina
thus being a Slav, it was possible to celebrate her as the "Daughter
of Sláva", a goddess who personifies the Slavic race. Kollar firmly
maintained that such a goddess had existed in the heathen mythology of
the Slavs, but recent and more critical writers have expressed doubts
on the subject. At any rate, Kollar gave the name of the _Daughter_
_of Sláva_ to the second and enlarged edition of his sonnets, which
appeared in 1824. While the first collection had consisted mainly of
love songs, the national Slav motive now becomes equally prominent.
Kollar was greatly struck by the fact that large parts of Northern
Germany, including the country near Jena, where Kollar had first
loved and written, were formerly inhabited by Slavs. Constant warfare
with the Germans, which began at the time of Charles the Great, has
indeed long since destroyed all trace of these Slavs, but Kollar's
imagination recalled them to life. Though very little is known of the
Slav inhabitants of Northern Germany, there is no doubt that Kollar
has greatly idealised them. The edition of the _Daughter of Sláva_
published in 1824 consisted of three cantos. The poet, accompanied
by Milek (the Slavic god of love), who has descended from heaven to
bring him news of Mina, visits the countries that are watered by
the Saale, the Elbe, and the Danube, and the three rivers give their
names to the three cantos. Kollar and his companion everywhere search
and find traces of the former Slav inhabitants of the countries which
they visit. The edition of 1824 first contained the "fore-song"
(_předzpěv_), or introduction, written in distichs, in which Kollar
bewails the fate of the early inhabitants of Northern Germany. These
verses rank among the finest in the whole range of modern Slav poetry.
In 1832 Kollar published a third, again enlarged, collection of his
sonnets. The second canto was considerably added to, and now entitled
_The Elbe, the Rhine, and the Vltava_.[153] Two new cantos were added
under the names of _Lethe_ and _Acheron_. Kollar chose those names
to give unity to his poem, as the former cantos had also been named
after rivers. But the two new cantos are really a Slavic _Paradiso_
and _Inferno_ modelled on Dante. Kollar has here glorified and
stigmatised those whom he considered prominent friends or enemies of
the Slav race. It must be confessed that large portions of these cantos
consist in a mere enumeration of names, often of persons who have long
sunk into oblivion. Thus we find in hell a Miss Pardoe, who wrote a
long-forgotten book of travels in Hungary, in which she, it appears,
adopted the Hungarian standpoint, always hostile to the Slavs. Kollar,
in his new peregrinations, is no longer accompanied by Milek, but by
the "Daughter of Sláva," the glorified Mina Schmidt. The last sonnet of
the poem, which I shall translate, contains an appeal of the "Daughter
of Sláva" to all her countrymen, exhorting them to concord.

Though no subject could then be more original than the glorification
of the then little-known Slav races, Kollar's poem yet contains many
reminiscences of other writings. It has already been stated that the
leading idea of the two last cantos is borrowed from Dante. The pilgrim
in the earlier cantos sometimes recalls _Childe Harold_. Mina, or the
"Daughter of Sláva," is sometimes modelled on Beatrice, sometimes
on Laura. Kollar indeed never made a secret of the fact that he had
studied the poetry of Western Europe. Such study was indeed a necessity
at a time when, with the exception of the songs of the people, the
Slavs possessed no poetry. Bohemian critics agree in asserting that
the first canto of the _Slávy Deera_, written under the influence of
a passionate love for Mina, is infinitely the best. The introduction
to the poem has also been justly admired. It is interesting also as
containing a general exposition of the author's views and dreams
concerning the past and future of the Slavic race. Want of space will
oblige me to quote only a portion of the "fore-song." Kollar, viewing
the former homes of his race, exclaims: "Here before my tearful eyes
lies the land, Once the cradle, now the tomb, of my nation. Stop!
it is holy ground on which you tread. Son of the Tatra (Carpathian
mountains), raise your head towards heaven, Or rather guide your steps
towards that oak-tree Which yet defies destructive Time. But worse than
Time is man, who has placed his iron sceptre on thy neck, O Sláva;
Worse than wild war, more fearful than thunder, than fire, Is the
man who, blinded by hate, rages against his own race.[154] O ancient
times that surround me as with night! O land that art a record of all
glory and all shame! From the treacherous Elbe to the perfidious
plains near the Vistula, From the Danube to the devouring waves of
the Baltic, In all these lands the harmonious language of the brave
Slavs once resounded. Succumbing to hatred, it now has perished. And
who has committed this offence that cries to heaven for vengeance? Who
has in one nation dishonoured humanity in its entirety? Blush, envious
Germany, the neighbour of Sláva! It is thy hands that once committed
this guilty deed. No enemy has spilt so much blood--and ink, As did
the German to destroy the Slavs. He who is worthy of liberty respects
the liberty of all. He who forges irons to enslave others is himself
a slave. Be it that he fetters the language or the hands of others,
It is the same; he proves himself unable to respect the rights of
others...." Kollar then proceeds to give the idealised account of the
ancient Slav inhabitants of Germany, to which I have already referred.
He attributes to them a very advanced degree of culture, and describes
them as instructing Europe in seamanship, agriculture, and mining.
Enumerating the Slav tribes, he writes: "Whither have you vanished,
dear Slav nations, Nations that once drank the waters of Pomerania and
the Saale, Peaceful tribes of the Sorbs, descendants of the Obotrites?
And you tribes of the Ukres and Wiltes, whither have you gone? I look
far to the right, I glance to the left, But in vain does my eyes seek
Sláva in Slavic land. Tell us, O tree, growing as a temple, under
which sacrifices were once offered to the ancient gods, Where are the
nations, the princes, the towns, Who first spread civilisation in these
northern lands?"

Writing as a poet, not as a politician, Kollar believed the
Germanisation of these ancient Slav lands to be far less complete
than it actually is. He writes: "As two rivers, though their waters
have joined in one channel, yet differ in colour during a long part of
their course, thus these two nations (the Germans and Slavs), though
intermingled by the force of fierce war, yet still differ visibly in
their manner of life. But the degenerate sons of Sláva often insult
their mother, while they kiss the rod of their hateful stepmother
(Germany). They are neither Slavs nor Germans in their ways. Hybrids,
they belong half to one race, half to the other. Thus has the race of
Osman settled down in the Hellenic lands. Its horsetails are prominent
on the summit of Olympus. Thus, too, did the avaricious Europeans ruin
the two Indian worlds, giving the people indeed education, but robbing
them of their virtue, their land, their colour, and their language.
Nationality and honour with us, too, have disappeared; Nature alone
has remained unchanged. Woods, rivers, towns, and villages would not
abandon their Slav names.[155] The sound still remains, but the Slavic
spirit has fled...." The introduction ends thus: "It is shameful when
in misery to moan over our fate; he who by his deeds appeases the wrath
of Heaven acts better. Not from a tearful eye, but from a diligent
hand fresh hope will blossom. Thus even evil may yet be changed to
good. A crooked path may indeed lead men astray, but not humanity at
large. The confusion of individuals may yet serve to the advantage of
the community. Time changes everything, even past times. The errors of
centuries may yet be repaired by time."

The fame of Kollar's introduction is so great that I have translated
a considerable part of it, and I am therefore yet more limited in my
quotations from the sonnets themselves. Those of the first canto, where
the love-motive is still strong and enters into a quaint rivalry with
the author's Slav enthusiasm, are the earliest and most valuable fruits
of Kollar's muse. Čelakovský[156] was undoubtedly right in stating
that the poetic genius of Kollar left him with his younger years. In
the twelfth sonnet of the first book Kollar describes his hesitation
between the two subjects that inspired him. There is an easily
noticeable echo of Anacreon in the song. The poet writes:--

  "_I wished to sing of the thrones of the Bohemian kings, of the_
  _arrival of the brothers, of Vlasta and Libussa,[157] of Attila,
  the scourge of God, and how he taught his Huns to use the

  "_I wished to sing of the golden Carpathians, the wines of Tokay,_
  _the splendour of the moon; but when I touched the strings of my_
  _lyre, 'Mina,' and again 'Mina,' alone resounded in my ears._

  "_In simple style I wished to write of fables, flowers, kingdoms,_
  _but my pen, self-willed, traces other characters than those that
  I intended._

  "_My speech also does not obey my will, and what when in company_
  _my heart carefully conceals my rash tongue reveals._"

The singular mixture of love and national enthusiasm already noted
appears quaintly--it would be severe to say grotesquely--in another
sonnet of the first book. Kollar writes:--

  "_Once when a heavy sleep closed her weary little eyelids, I for_
  _half an hour practised kissing her as a true Slav should._

  "_My kisses were not such as Roman, Greek, or German
  describes--sensual buffooneries. They were pure, proper kisses,
  such as the customs of our Russian brothers allow._

  "_Thus then did I kiss my love: from the forehead downward to_
  _the chin, then in the shape of a cross from one little ear to the

  "_On this voyage twice I reached the little rose-garden of her
  lips, through which my soul enters into hers._"

Of the sonnets of the second canto I shall quote one in which Kollar's
enthusiasm for "Slavia," the Slav world, which he distinguishes from
the goddess "Sláva," appears most clearly. He writes:--

  "_Slavia, Slavia! Thou name of sweet sound but of bitter memory;
  hundred times divided and destroyed, but yet more honoured than

  "_From the Ural Mountains to the summit of the Carpathians, from
  the deserts near the equator to the lands of the setting sun, thy_
  _kingdom extends._

  "_Much hast thou suffered, but ever hast thou survived the evil_
  _deeds of thy enemies, the evil ingratitude also of thy sons._

  "_While others have built on soft ground, thou hast established_
  _thy throne on the ruins of many centuries._"

One of the sonnets of the third book contains a curious prophecy of the
future greatness of the Slav race. Kollar writes:--

  "_What will become of us Slavs a century hence? what of all_
  _Europe? Slavic manners, as the floods of a deluge, will extend_
  _their strength in every direction._

  "_That language, which the Germans falsely believed to be but a
  dialect fit for slaves, will be heard even under the ceilings of_
  _palaces and in the mouths of our very enemies._

  "_By means of the Slav language science will be developed. Our_
  _dress, the customs, the songs of our people will be the fashion on
  the Seine and on the Elbe._

  "_Oh! had it but been granted to me to be born at that time when
  the Slavs will rule, or might I at least then rise again from my

The recent development of the Slav races is so little known in England,
that these lines will probably appear to many readers far more absurd
than they really are. Professor Léger, who has devoted his life to the
study of Slavic history and literature, and is wondrously in touch
with the national feeling, writes of the sonnet which I have just
quoted: "These lines were written about the year 1830. Is it necessary
to state to how great an extent the predictions have been fulfilled?
The Slav language, then considered a jargon of peasants, is now the
recognised language of the courts of St. Petersburg, Belgrade, Sophia,
and Cettigne, of the parliaments and representative bodies of Prague,
Brünn, and Agram, of the universities of Russia, Bohemia, Poland, and
Illyria. ... Russian is ardently studied at Berlin, Paris, Vienna, and
Budapest. Muscovite novels invade the libraries of Paris."[158]

The two last cantos of Kollar's great poem have little literary
merit, and their always rather local interest has, as I have already
mentioned, decreased with the lapse of time. I shall, however,
translate the last sonnet of the fifth canto, which forms the
conclusion of the whole work. Mina, in heaven, addresses thus the Slavs
who are still on earth:--

  "_Oh you, brothers and sweet sisters who yet live in the world,_
  _grant me willingly your ear that I may briefly instruct you._

  "_Beware of that smooth path which the devil has interwoven with
  nets that he may entangle the souls of traitors in his deceitful_

  "_Come here and find (in heaven and hell) an example in the good
  and a warning in the evil. Learn above all to love your country._

  "_May these words resound from your summits, O Carpathians, to
  the Černa Hora (Montenegro), from the Giant Mountains to the
  Ural: 'Hell for traitors, heaven for faithful Slavs!'_"

Kollar's merit as a writer depends mainly on the "Daughter of
Sláva," though he was a copious writer of prose as well as poetry.
A small German pamphlet by Kollar entitled, _Ueber die literarische
Wechselseitigkeit zwischen den verschiedenen Stämmen und Mundarten
der Slavischen Nation_ ("On the Literary Solidarity of the various
Branches of the Slav Nation"), which appeared in 1837, caused great
sensation, and for a time acquired even political importance. In
Bohemian Kollar wrote, besides his _Slávy Deera_, an account of his
travels in Germany and Italy and several archaeological works. Of
these, the _Staroitalia Slavjanská_ ("Slavic Ancient Italy"), written
in the last year of Kollar's life, and dedicated to the Emperor Francis
Joseph, is the largest. The author endeavoured, on the slightest
evidence and by means of the most fantastical suppositions, to prove
that a large part of the population of Italy--particularly in the
north--is of Slav origin. Kollar is here constantly carried away by his
exuberant imagination, and the book has no scientific value. It is,
indeed, scarcely an exaggeration to call it a tissue of absurdities.
Kollar's recently published correspondence with Jungmann, Šafařik,
Palacký, and others has great interest.

While Kollar devoted to the revival of the Bohemian language and
literature his enthusiastic eloquence and poetic talents, Šafařik
employed for the same purpose his vast erudition and unusual ability
as a philologist. His works deal principally with the early origins of
the Slav language and race, and of the early literature of Bohemia. The
latter works were very valuable at a time when the Bohemian language
was again acquiring the dignity of a written language. Like Jungmann,
Šafařik also endeavoured to forward the advancement of his language by
means of translations from more cultivated languages, and in his youth
he also wrote poetry. But it is on his philological and archaeological
works on the Slav race that his fame is principally founded. Equal to
Dobrovský, and perhaps superior to Jungmann in erudition, some of his
writings on these subjects are still standard works.

PAUL JOSEPH ŠAFAŘIK (1795-1861), like Kollar, was a native of the Slav
district of Northern Hungary. As the son of a Protestant clergyman he
received his first education in his own country, and from his early
youth gave proof of his enthusiasm for the Slavic race, which inspired
him during his whole life. In 1815 he visited the then far-famed
University of Jena in Germany, and on his return to Hungary accepted
a situation as private tutor at Pressburg. He here became acquainted
with Palacký, and the friendship that sprang up between them continued
during the whole of their lives. In 1819 Šafařik was appointed director
of the gymnasium at Nový Sad (Neusatz), in Southern Hungary. His
life here was embittered by constant persecution on the part of the
Hungarian authorities, whose aversion to the Slav aspirations was as
great as that of the German officials in Austria.

Šafařik's writings had meanwhile attracted attention at Prague, and
some of the Bohemian patriots, though by no means opulent, subscribed
a sufficient sum to enable him to proceed to Prague. His life here
also was a wretched one. He was in constant financial distress. While
occupied with learned works of the highest importance, he was obliged
to gain his living by writing in popular journals, and he had at one
time even to accept the humiliating and invidious office of a "censor."
Writing on Slav subjects is not at the present day a very lucrative
occupation. It was yet less so at the time of Šafařik, when interest
in these matters was still more limited. Šafařik's health began to
fail in consequence of constant anxiety, but he continued his studies
on the history and language of his country and race undauntedly. A
speaker at the meeting of Bohemian scholars that in 1895 celebrated the
centenary of Šafařik's birth, rightly described him as a "martyr of
science." While the Austrian Government continued to regard Šafařik's
researches with indifference, the attention of the Prussian authorities
was attracted to his profound knowledge of Slavic philology and
archaeology, sciences that were then in their infancy. Šafařik was
offered a professorship both by the University of Breslau and that
of Berlin, but the Austrian Government, not wishing that he should
expatriate himself, now appointed him professor of Slavic philology at
the University of Prague. He, however, gave up this appointment a year
later, when he became librarian of that university. In 1848 Šafařik
made a brief appearance in the political arena. He was a member of
the Slav congress that met at Prague in that year, and a speech in
favour of the solidarity of the Slav nations which he delivered there
caused great sensation. The failure of the congress and the German
reaction,[159] which lasted from 1849 to 1859, were deeply felt by
Šafařik. He now confined his studies to the remote antiquity of the
Slav race. Every allusion to Bohemian history of later times again
became inadmissible during these years. Šafařik, whose health had long
been failing, died on June 2nd, 1861. Some time before his death his
mental faculties had been affected.

I shall only mention a few of the most important of Šafařik's
numerous writings. His many Bohemian essays on Slavic philology
and archaeology--mostly published in the Journal of the Bohemian
Museum--have indeed inestimable value for those who devote themselves
to these studies, but little interest for others. Šafařik's first work
was a small collection of Bohemian songs, written when he was only
nineteen-years of age, and entitled _Tatranská Músa s lyrou Slovanskou_
("The Carpathian Muse with Slavic Lyre"). Early works also were
several translations, of which that of the _Clouds_ of Aristophanes
and that of Schiller's _Maria Stuart_ are the most important. A
work which had already occupied Šafařik at Jena, but which he only
completed during his stay at Neusatz, was his German _Geschichte der
Slavischen Sprache und Literatur_ ("History of the Slavic Language
and Literature"). Neusatz or Nový Sad, a town in the south of Hungary,
close to the frontier of Croatia, and not far from that of the present
kingdom of Servia, was situated very favourably for the purpose of
studying the various Slav languages. In his book Šafařik, contrary to
the now generally accepted method of dividing the Slavs into three
branches, distinguishes two classes of Slav nations only, and divides
his book into two parts in accordance with this system. The first part
deals with the Old Slavic language, the Russian, Servian, Croatian
languages, and some minor dialects. The second part contains the
history of the Polish and Bohemian literatures, and notes on the now
nearly extinct dialects of the Slavs of Northern Germany, The book
became antiquated even during Šafařik's lifetime, and he planned a
new revised and enlarged edition, which was to have been published
in Bohemian. Failing health and other occupations prevented Šafařik
from carrying out this work. Even in its first state the book, which
was only reprinted after Šafařik's death, long remained the standard
authority on the little-known subject of which it treats. It is only
since Mr. Pypin and Mr. Spasovič; published in 1865 their (Russian)
_History of the Slav Literatures_ that Šafařik's work can be
considered as superseded. Another fruit of Šafařik's residence in the
South Slav countries was his _Serbische Lesekörner_, an historical and
critical analysis of the then little-known Servian language. This book
also was written in German.

During his stay at Prague, Šafařik produced his most important work,
which rendered him famous in all Slav countries. I refer to the
_Starožitnosti Slovanské_ ("Slavic Antiquity"), which was published
in 1837. The book--written in Bohemian--is an attempt to record the
history and culture of the Slavs in the earliest times. The subject,
still very obscure, was then entirely unexplored. Šafařik intended
the work to consist of two parts, but only the first, which is purely
historical, was completed. Of the second part, only some essays on
the ancient ethnography and archaeology of the Slavs were published.
The historical work, which Šafařik again divided into two parts,
deals, in the first, with the history of the Slav race from the time
of Herodotus to the fall of the West Roman empire. The second part
continues that history to the time when most Slavs were converted to
Christianity--that is to say, speaking roughly, to about the year 1000.
Šafařik's work entirely revolutionised the then current ideas on the
origin of the Slavs and their early history. The more recent writers
who, particularly in Russia, have studied these subjects, acknowledge
that Šafařik's great work has been the foundation of their researches.
One of his minor works requires notice, as it is connected with the
much discussed question of the antiquity of the MSS. of Königinhof and
Grüneberg. In 1840 Šafařik published jointly with Palacký a German
work entitled _Die ältesten Denkmäler der Böhmischen Spracke_. In
this book the two authors maintain the ancient origin, not only of the
MS. of Königinhof, but also of that of Grüneberg, in which scarcely
any Bohemian scholar now believes. Of course the question had not
then--more than fifty years ago--been so thoroughly thrashed out as is
now the case. Šafařik was an indefatigable worker. Besides his many
published works, a large number of MSS. in his handwriting dealing
with Slavic research were found. They prove that, had circumstances
been more favourable, and had his health not failed him, he might
have produced yet more works on the subjects to the study of which he
devoted his life.

The works of Jungmann, Kollar, and Šafařik will always be highly valued
by Bohemians, and indeed by all Slavs. But the career of Palacký, the
greatest of the Bohemian leaders, whom I mention last, has a far wider
interest, as have also the contents of his greatest work. Dealing
mainly with Bohemian history, it incidentally throws a great deal of
light on many questions connected with the general history of Europe up
to the year 1526. It is much to be regretted that English historians
have as yet availed themselves so little of Palacký's monumental
_History of Bohemia_.[160]

FRANCIS PALACKÝ was born in 1798 at Hodslavice in Moravia, not far
from Přerov or Prerau, an old centre of the Unity. The traditions of
the Brethren never quite died out in this part of Moravia. Palacký's
forefathers had belonged to the Unity, and the family, during the
many years of persecution, continued secretly to worship according to
its teaching. When the Emperor Joseph II., who, as regards religious
toleration, was far in advance of his age, issued a decree authorising
Protestant religious services according to the Augsburg and Helvetic
Confessions, Palacký's parents declared their adherence to the former
creed. It may be mentioned that the Bohemian Brethren have only during
the present reign again been recognised as a religious community.
The traces of the traditions of the Brethren are very noticeable in
Palacký's works, particularly in his masterly account of the career of

After obtaining the rudiments of education in local schools, Palacký
in 1812 proceeded to the Protestant lyceum at Pressburg in Hungary.
Here already Palacký gave proof of his studious nature, and his
predilection for historical research was already evident Gifted with
the Slav facility for acquiring languages, Palacký at Pressburg
obtained a thorough knowledge of the English language. We are told
that Bolingbroke's _Letters on the Study and Use of History_, Blair's
_Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres_,[161] and the historical
works of Robertson and Gibbon were among Palacký's favourite books.
Other historical works that he read with great interest were Karamsin's
_History of Russia_ and Johannes Müller's _History of the Swiss
Confederation_. After finishing his studies at Pressburg, Palacký
continued to live there for some time, and was engaged as tutor by
several noble families. It was during his stay at Pressburg that his
life-long friendship with Kollar, that has already been mentioned,
began. It was, indeed, probably mainly through Kollar's influence that
he decided to devote his life to the study of Bohemian history and
literature; he had previously thought of becoming a minister of the
Protestant Church.

Pressburg, and Hungary generally, was not then a desirable residence
for one who intended to devote himself to Slavic studies, which the
Hungarian Government regarded with marked displeasure. Palacký,
therefore, travelled to Prague, where he had the good fortune to obtain
the protection of Dobrovský, who from their earliest acquaintance
had realised the exceptional talent of the young Moravian. Through
Dobrovský's influence Palacký obtained from Francis Count Sternberg
the appointment of archivist to the family of which Count Francis was
the head. This appointment left Palacký sufficient leisure to pursue
his historical studies, and the small salary attached to it was very
welcome to Palacký. He had, indeed, while a tutor, laid by a little
money, but that could not last long, and his literary work was not
likely to afford him much pecuniary gain. One advantage which Palacký
obtained by his appointment as archivist to Count Sternberg will
surprise English readers, but his Bohemian biographers lay great stress
on it. Palacký's post secured him against all molestation on the part
of the police. The Austrian police authorities in the earlier part of
the present century were empowered to expel from any town "strangers of
no profession," and they were particularly likely to do so in the case
of a man known to be favourable to the Bohemian national movement.

In other ways, also, the modest appointment was a turning-point in
Palacký's career. Through the favour of Francis Count Sternberg, and of
his brother, Count Kaspar, president of the Bohemian Museum--which the
two brothers had, jointly with Count Kolovrat, founded in 1818--Palacký
became acquainted with many of the Bohemian nobles. He succeeded in
obtaining from many of them the then quite exceptional permission to
study the archives contained in their castles. Had it not been for the
researches which he was allowed to make in these archives--particularly
in those of Prince Schwarzenberg at Trěbon or Wittingau--Palacký would
have been unable to write his _History of Bohemia_. The impulse to
write the work, indeed, also came from the Bohemian nobles. The Diet
in 1829 conferred on him the title of "Historian of the Estates of
Bohemia;" but their legislative authority was very limited, and ten
years passed before the title conferred on Palacký was confirmed by the
authorities of Vienna.

It was on the suggestion of Palacký that it was decided that the
newly-founded society of the Bohemian Museum should publish an annual
journal, which was to contain principally studies on the history,
ethnography, literature, and mythology of Bohemia. After some
discussion as to whether the new journal should appear in Bohemian
or in German--even so learned a Slavist as Dobrovský declared that
it was impossible to publish a scientific periodical in the national
language--it was decided to publish it in both languages. The _Journal
of the Museum of the Bohemian Kingdom_ ("Casopis Musea Království
Českého") first appeared in 1827, and Palacký was its first editor. The
German edition, which, though the great Goethe wrote in its favour,
found few readers, was discontinued in 1831. The version which appeared
in the national language, on the other hand, has been continued up
to the present day. It is invaluable to those who endeavour to study
the history and literature of Bohemia, and I have used its volumes
extensively while writing this book. Mr. Morfill, one of the few
English writers on Slavic subjects who writes with thorough knowledge
and insight,[162] has truly described the volumes of the journal of the
Bohemian Museum as a "mine of Slavonic lore."

Palacký's time up to 1837 was fully occupied with the duties connected
with the editing of the new journal, with the composition of minor
historical writings, and with his studies in the Bohemian archives.
He soon, however, found that the preparations for his great history
of Bohemia which the Estates urged him to write, would necessitate
study in foreign archives also. Palacký, therefore, visited Munich
and Dresden, and in 1837 undertook a more extensive journey to Italy,
where he spent considerable time in studying the valuable documents
contained in the archives of Venice and Rome. In the latter town he
found some difficulty in obtaining access to the library and archives
of the Vatican. Count Rudolph Lützow, then Austrian ambassador at Rome,
who was himself a Bohemian, and to whom Palacký had been recommended,
succeeded, however, in obtaining for him permission to examine at least
some of the MSS. which he wished to see. Palacký has himself left us an
interesting account[163] of the difficulties he encountered on the part
of Monsignor Marini, prefect of the Vatican archives. They were caused,
it was stated, principally by alleged indiscretions committed by Ranke,
who some time previously had been allowed to study the archives of the

After Palacký's return to Bohemia, the task of continuing his great
historical work absorbed him so completely that he ceased to edit the
Journal. His quiet and studious life was, like that of other Bohemian
scholars, interrupted by the revolutionary events of the year 1848. The
movement in favour of the revival of Bohemian nationality had hitherto
been an entirely literary one, and the Bohemians very naturally chose
their most prominent writers as their political leaders. As Bohemia,
with many other non-German parts of Austria, then formed part of the
Germanic Confederation, prominent Bohemians, and among them Palacký,
were invited to take part in the proceedings of the German National
Assembly that met at Frankfort in 1848. Palacký's reply, which caused
great sensation at the time, is still worth quoting, as it became the
watchword of the Bohemian patriots. He wrote: "I am not a German,
but a Bohemian. Whatever talent I possess is at the service of my
own country. My nation is certainly a small one, but it has always
maintained its historical individuality. The rulers of Bohemia have
often been on terms of intimacy with the German princes, but the
Bohemian people has never considered itself as German." It is a proof
of the rapidity with which Palacký acquired consideration, that one
of the short-lived Austrian cabinets of 1848 (that of Pillersdorf),
wishing to obtain the support of the Bohemian nation, offered him the
post of Minister of Public Instruction. Though his national theories
prevented Palacký from taking part in the deliberations of the German
National Assembly, he was a member of the Slav Congress at Prague and
of the Austrian Parliament which in 1848 and 1849 met first at Vienna,
then at Kremsier.

The short period of liberal government in Austria ended with the year
1849. Palacký suffered, like all the Bohemian patriots, from the
German and absolutist rule, which was re-established in Bohemia in
a more aggravated manner than before.[164] A paper to which Palacký
contributed was suppressed because of an article from his pen which had
caused sensation, and the military authorities deliberated whether the
writer should be tried by court-martial.

In 1861, when a new attempt to establish constitutional government in
Austria was made, Palacký was made a life-member of the Upper Chamber
of the Parliament of Vienna. He only spoke there twice, in August
and September of the year that he had been named. The question of an
agreement with Hungary was then under discussion. Hungary claimed
almost complete independence, and Palacký rightly maintained that the
establishing new small states was contrary to the tendency to union
that then prevailed in Europe. Palacký advised the Hungarians, as well
as the Bohemians, to make considerable concessions to the Central
Government of Vienna. He seems already to have foreseen, what actually
occurred six years later, that Hungary would be granted almost complete
independence, and Bohemia considered a mere Austrian province.

Though Palacký, always favourable to the preservation of the Austrian
empire, was prepared to concede to the Central Government in Vienna
far more extensive powers than the Hungarians were, he yet claimed
for Bohemia and the Parliament of Prague a very extensive autonomy,
on lines similar, though not identical, with those of the ancient
Bohemian constitution, which perished on the day of the battle of
the White Mountain. When Palacký found that the Parliament of Vienna
was discussing matters that he considered beyond its competency, and
encroaching on the rights of the Bohemian representative body, he left
Vienna on September 30, 1861, and never again took his seat in the
Austrian Upper House. Of the Bohemian Parliament Palacký was a member
from the time that it first met in 1861. He attended its meetings
whenever the National or Bohemian party took part in its deliberations,
which they, from political reasons, often refused to do. From 1861 to
his death in 1876, Palacký was the recognised leader of the National
party in Bohemia. A detailed account of his life during that time
would be a record of the political struggles of Bohemia during those
years, and would be out of place here. The admiration and veneration
of the Bohemians for the "Otec Vlastí" (Father of the Country), as he
was called, increased with his increasing years. On April 23, 1876,
the completion of Palacký's great historical work was celebrated by
a banquet at Prague, at which the historian was present. He seems to
have felt the presentiment of approaching death, and indeed described
the speech which he delivered as his testament. The speech is so
characteristic of Palacký that I shall quote a few words from it.
"Our nation," he said, "is in great danger, surrounded, as it is, by
enemies in every direction; but I do not despair; I hope that it will
be able to vanquish them, if it has but the will to do so. It is not
enough to say 'I will'; every one must co-operate, must work, must make
what sacrifices he can for the common welfare, particularly for the
preservation of our nationality. The Bohemian nation has a brilliant
past record. The time of Hus was a glorious time. The Bohemian people
then surpassed in intellectual culture all other nations of Europe....
It is now necessary that we should educate ourselves and work in
accordance with the demands of culture and intellect. This is the only
testament that, speaking almost as a dying man, I wish to leave to my
people." Palacký's presentiment proved but too true. He died, after a
very short illness, on May 26, 1876. His funeral was the occasion of
general national mourning in Bohemia.

Though, as already mentioned, the study of history from his early youth
appealed particularly to Palacký, it was by a work of a very different
character that he first became known to the small group of men who in
the earlier half of the present century were interested in Bohemian
literature. While still studying at Pressburg, Palacký published a
translation of some of the poems of Ossian, which was enthusiastically
welcomed by his friends.

It was at Prague only that he decided on writing his _History of
Bohemia_, which made him the foremost man of his nation, and which
he has himself described as "especially the work of my whole life."
Palacký's preliminary labours in the archives of his own country and
then in those of Germany and Italy have already been noticed. Of the
immense difficulties which Palacký's historical work encountered he has
himself given an interesting account. All printed writings were then
in Austria and Bohemia under the control of the "censure-office," to
which I have already referred. The Government, there is no doubt, was
in principle opposed to the publication of a history of Bohemia founded
on the best available documents, that is to say, of a work really
deserving the name of a history. They were too ignorant to know to how
great an extent such a work would contradict the short accounts of the
past of Bohemia--written with a strongly Romanist and anti-Bohemian
tendency, and founded on Hajek's chronicle--that were then in general
use; but they somehow felt that this would be the case. "The Austrian
Government was convinced," Palacký writes, "that its past conduct as
regards Bohemia would not obtain praise from the tribunal of history.
What occurred during the Thirty Years' War and since that period in the
interior of Bohemia is still one of history's secrets; it makes the few
who have attempted slightly to lift the veil under which these events
are hidden shudder."

In 1836 the first volume of Palacký's _History of Bohemia_ appeared.
It was published in German, as were all the volumes that were issued
up to the year 1848. Henceforth the book appeared simultaneously
in German and Bohemian. When Palacký, towards the end of his life,
re-wrote his great work, the earlier parts also appeared in Bohemian.
The first volume, dealing with a period when the history of Bohemia is
more than half mythical, was treated very leniently by the censors,
who considered the fables of Prěmysl and Libussa very harmless. In the
Austria of the earlier part of this century the words "Securus licet
Ænaeam Rutulumque ferocem committas ..." were as true as in the Rome of
the emperors.

Difficulties, however, began when Palacký had reached the period of
Hus. The masterly account of the life and death of the great Bohemian,
no doubt the most brilliant part of Palacký's work, greatly displeased
the censors to whom it was submitted. The ecclesiastical censor
suggested a very plain course, namely, that Palacký's work should be
entirely suppressed. Prince Metternich, who was consulted, proposed
that Palacký should omit all "objectionable reasoning," but should be
allowed to state facts.

The correspondence between Palacký and the censors--published by
the former after the suppression of that detestable institution--is
irresistibly comic. The censors had not only, as is generally supposed,
the power of striking out passages in an author's work that displeased
them, they were also entitled to insert passages in a book that were
often in direct contradiction with the writer's views. Palacký's
description of the corruption of the Roman clergy in the fifteenth
century was suppressed, and he was ordered to attribute the rise of
the Hussite movement to the "stubbornness, inflexible obstinacy, and
dogmaticalness" of Hus. Palacký patiently consented, but he ventured
to remonstrate when objections were raised against his account of the
courageous demeanour of Hus when before the Council. He was instructed
to state that Hus had "appeared irresolute" when brought before his
judges. Palacký remarked that this statement would be in contradiction
with the passage quoted above which he had been ordered to insert The
ignorance of the censor is proved by the fact that when Palacký quoted
Poggio Bracciolini's account of the death of Jerome of Prague, he
was unaware of the existence of the well-known Italian humanist, and
requested to be informed who he was. He also expressed doubts as to the
authenticity of the letter to Lionardo Aretino in which that account is
contained, though it had then already been frequently printed, and is
quoted by numerous Protestant and Catholic writers, including Pope Pius
II, Palacký lived to see the abolition of censure, and to republish in
their original form the volumes of his History that he had been obliged
to submit to it.

Political events and the ever-increasing mass of materials, which
of course proportionately increased Palacký's labours, delayed the
progress of the History, and it was only in 1867 that the second
part of the fifth volume, which reaches to the accession of the
House of Habsburg to the Bohemian throne in 1526, was published.
Bohemian historians generally end their work with the battle of the
White Mountain in 1620, and this was no doubt Palacký's intention.
His remark, quoted above, proves that he never intended to write the
history of Bohemia during and after the Thirty Years' War. In 1861 he
had, however, already formed the decision to end his narrative with the
year 1526, and he informed the Estates of Bohemia--who contributed to
the expenses of the publication--of that intention.

During the last nine years of his life Palacký employed whatever spare
time his political engagements left him in re-writing parts of his
History in accordance with fresh materials, in completing the Bohemian
version of parts that had at first appeared in German only, and in
eliminating the passages that the censors had obliged him to insert.
This new revised edition was, as already mentioned, completed only in
the year of the author's death.

Palacký's _History of Bohemia_ is now recognised as one of the great
historical works of the nineteenth century. Though less known in
England than on the Continent, it has there also obtained the praises
of historians, such as Bishop Creighton and the late Mr. Wratislaw. It
is not easy to define the circumstances that rendered the publication
of Palacký's monumental work a political event in Bohemia, contributing
greatly to the revival of national feeling. The record of a glorious
past came as a revelation to the Bohemians, whom the German inhabitants
of Austria were, in consequence of their long supremacy, in the habit
of treating with contempt. It fortified the patriots in their belief
that their nation and its language would not perish. It is this
conviction which alone explains the intense veneration for Palacký
which all Bohemians felt, many of whom had neither the money to buy
nor the time to read his great historical work. The recently published
centenary memorial of Palacký contains many striking instances of the
devotion with which Bohemians of all classes regarded the historian
of their country. I may be permitted to quote one anecdote from the
Memorial. A young tailor's apprentice from Moravia, named Breynek,
during a visit to Prague, met Palacký in the street. Innumerable
photographs of the great historian had rendered Breynek familiar with
his features. He walked up to him, stating that he was a Moravian and
a countryman. Palacký conversed affably with him for several minutes
and then gave him his hand. This meeting became the principal event of
Breynek's life. Every date was designated as having happened "before
I met Palacký" or "after I met Palacký." He only regretted that he
had been too shy "to kiss the hand that had written the history of
his country." Palacký's History, as already noted, was published
simultaneously in German and in Bohemian; the earliest volumes indeed
at first appeared in the former language only. The book is therefore
not so inaccessible as the works of the earlier Bohemian historians,
from which I have given copious quotations. An English translation of
Palacký's history of Bohemia is, however, still a desideratum.

With the exception of a short German biography of Dobrovský, most of
Palacký's minor works are connected with his great History; some are
the results of studies preparatory to the great work; others contain
documentary evidence in support of statements made in the book; in
others again, Palacký enters into controversies with some of the
critics of his work. I shall mention some of the most important of
these works. In the year 1829 the Bohemian Society of Sciences offered
a prize for the best essay on the early historians of Bohemia. Palacký
won this prize with his first historical work, entitled _Würdigung_
_der alten Böhmischen Geschichtschreiber_. The book was written in
German, and was first published in the Journal of the Bohemian Museum,
that then appeared in German as well as in Bohemian. In 1830 it was
republished separately in an enlarged form. The book gives short and
concise sketches of the lives of the Bohemian historians from Cosmas
to Hajek. It is still of value, and indispensable to all who study
the works of these historians. Like this book, closely connected with
Palacký's principal work, is a short historical sketch entitled _Die
Vorläufer des Hussitanthums_ ("The Precursors of Hussitism"). The fate
of this little book is rather curious. In 1842 Palacký read a paper
on "The Precursors of Hus" before the Bohemian Society of Sciences.
Wishing to publish its contents, he, as in duty bound, submitted the
MS. to the censure-office. The officials there, however, entirely
declined to give their consent to the publication of the book. A copy
of the MS. came into the hands of Dr. Jordan of Leipzig, who in 1846
published it there under his own name. This was done with the consent
of Palacký, who was more desirous that the fruits of his research
should become public than that he should obtain personal recognition.
The book has since been reprinted under the name of the real author,
and still has great value. I have availed myself of its contents when
writing of the precursors of Hus In chapter ii. of this book.

It is not surprising, if we consider the previous general ignorance on
the subject of Bohemian history, that from the moment his book began
to appear Palacký became the object of violent attacks. The first
attacks proceeded from German writers, but after the publication of
the volume that deals with Hus, other Catholic writers also joined
in these attacks. The treatment which the Slavs of Northern Germany,
and sometimes those of Bohemia also have endured on the part of the
Germans, could only be defended by describing these tribes as brutal,
savage, and cruel barbarians. Palacký has certainly proved that
these descriptions, founded on vague statements of German monks or
on the mendacious Hajek, are at least grossly exaggerated. Palacký's
impartial account of the career of Hus, who had in Austria previously
been described in accordance with the words of the censor, which I
have quoted, displeased the more prejudiced Roman Catholics, Professor
Höfler, who was both a fanatical Teuton and a bigoted Roman Catholic,
was the most persistent opponent of Palacký. Palacký replied to his
criticism in his _Geschichte des Hussitanthums und Professor Höfler_
which appeared in 1868. Mainly polemical also was Palacký's small work,
_Zur Böhmischen Geschichtschreibung_, published in 1871. In this book
the author defends his historical work against the attacks of Professor
Höfler and other German critics. He gives here also an account of his
old controversies with the censure-office, from which I have quoted.

Several collections of documents are also due to the diligence of
Palacký. In 1860 he published a collection of--mostly Latin--documents
referring to the reign of King George of Poděbrad. A similar but
far more interesting collection of Latin and Bohemian documents was
published in 1869. I have in chapter iii. frequently quoted this
collection, on which, indeed, my account of the career of Hus is
principally based. The Latin documents are printed in that language
only, but Palacký has given a Latin translation of those that were
written in Bohemian. An additional collection of documents, published
in 1873, refers to the period of the Hussite wars. In the last years
of his life Palacký published in three volumes a selection of the most
important historical, political, and literary essays which he had
written in Bohemian. This is by no means a complete list of Palacký's
works. In the "question of the MS." he, as already mentioned, figured
as a defender of the authenticity of these documents.

It is to the four writers whom I have now successively referred to
that the revival of the Bohemian language and of Bohemian literature
is principally due. They were the centre of a group of writers who, if
less talented, were no less patriotic and enthusiastic. The isolated
position in which they were at first placed, surrounded by Germans or
Germanised Bohemians, and living under an absolute Government, that
always treated them with suspicion and often with positive enmity,
caused these men to draw closely together; many of them were indeed
on terms of intimate friendship. The vast amount of correspondence
that passed between them, to which I have already referred, is now
gradually being published. It is characteristic of these writers that
they rarely limited their labours to one subject, but generally wrote
both in poetry and in prose, and on the most varied subjects. Their
patriotic motive was the wish to prove that the new, or rather revived,
literature possessed works on all subjects and in every literary form.
That this sometimes led to superficiality and mediocrity cannot be

WENCESLAS HANKA (1791-1861) has already been mentioned in these pages
as the discoverer of the MS. of Königinhof, and it is as such that he
is principally known. He is, however, the author of a collection of
Bohemian songs that soon became very popular, and of several works on
Bohemian grammar and etymology. He also published numerous translations
from the German and from the Slav languages, and edited Hus's _Deerka_
and _Dalimil's Chronicle_, which were then almost unknown.

A better poet than Hanka was his contemporary Ladislav Čelakovský.
The best of his many poetical works are two collections of national
songs entitled respectively _Echoes of Russian Song_ and _Echoes of
Bohemian Song_. These books, contrary to what the title would lead one
to infer, are mainly original, though Čelakovský has made thorough use
of his knowledge of the legends and traditions of the Slav peasantry.
Another collection of poetry is entitled _The Hundred-Leaved Rose_.
As in Kollar's _Daughter of Sláva_, the love motive struggles with
the patriotic motive for supremacy in this poem--not perhaps to its
advantage. We possess prose works also of Čelakovský dealing with
the Bohemian language. That subject was ever before the minds of
the Bohemian writers of the earlier half of this century, of whom
Čelakovský is one of the most correct.

It is beyond the purpose of this book to give a complete list of the
modern "minor poets" of Bohemia. I may mention as among the best,
Macha, who imitated Byron, Jungmann's friend Marek, Halek, Koubek,
and Rubes. The last-named is the author of a song entitled _Ja jsem
Čech a kdo je vic?_ ("I am a Bohemian, and who is more?"), which
is still very popular in Bohemia. The drama has only been greatly
cultivated in Bohemia within the last twenty years, particularly since
the establishment of the large Bohemian theatre at Prague. At present
Bohemia possesses a considerable number of dramatic authors. Of older
dramatists we must first mention Joseph Tyl (1808-1856), the author of
very numerous dramatic works. In one of these Tyl introduced a song
beginning with the words _Kde je domov muj?_ ("Where is my home?").
This song rapidly became very popular, and can now almost be considered
as the national air of Bohemia. Wenceslas Klicpera (1792-1859) wrote
over fifty comedies and tragedies, and, though none of his plays are
above mediocrity, contributed considerably to the development of the
Bohemian stage, which then possessed hardly any dramatic works. Of
novelists belonging to the early period of the revival of Bohemian
literature, we should mention Mrs. Božena Němcova, who was born in 1820
and died in 1862. Her novels, which deal mainly with the simple life
of the Bohemian villagers, have obtained a well-deserved popularity.
Mrs. Němcova's masterpiece, the _Babička_ ("Grandmother"), has been
translated into English, French, Russian, German, and many other
languages. A very talented writer of historical novels was Wenceslas
Beneš Třebizky (1849-1884).

Two gifted sisters, whose work was of great assistance to the
development of Bohemian literature, also deserve mention. I refer to
the sisters Rott, who belong to a period somewhat later than Mrs.
Němcova. The elder sister assumed the pseudonym of Karolina Světla
(1830-1893), and is the author of many interesting novels, of which
_Križ u potoka_ ("The Cross by the Stream") obtained the greatest
success. Sophia Rott--afterwards Mrs. Podlipská--(1833-1897) produced
a cycle of historical novels that have great interest, though they are
not devoid of anachronisms.

Of writers on scientific subjects, one of the earliest was John Presl
(1791-1849). Presl was Professor of Natural History at the University
of Prague, and the first modern Bohemian works on this subject are
due to him. The patriots, as already mentioned, wished to prove that
all subjects could be treated in the national language. Presl is the
originator of the present system of Bohemian phraseology as regards
the subjects on which he wrote, and he has therefore well deserved the
gratitude of the Bohemian people. It is of him and of Marek that the
story is told that, when they were visiting Jungmann to discuss the
future of Bohemian literature, the latter remarked to his visitors: "It
needs only that the ceiling of this room should fall in, and there will
be an end of Bohemian literature!"

Great also are the services to the Bohemian cause of Charles Jaromir
Erben; born in 1811, he died in 1870 as archivist of the town of
Prague. Erben's works, like those of many Bohemian writers of his
time, deal with various subjects. It is really only the establishment
of the national university which has made it possible for us to have
specialists in all branches of science at the present day. Erben
published several collections of Bohemian popular poetry and various
interesting works on the folklore of his country. We have to thank
him also for an edition of selected works of Ilus, which has value
until the definitive edition of the works of the Bohemian martyr is
completed. The works of Hus, particularly those written in the Bohemian
language, were formerly almost inaccessible. Erben also edited Štitný's
books on _General Christian Matters_, Harant of Polžic's Travels, the
Chronicles of Bartoš, the writer, and many minor works. These editions
have valuable notes and biographies of the ancient writers, which I
have frequently used in the earlier parts of this work.

More limited was the range of studies of Dr. Joseph Jireček
(1825-1888). His works mostly deal with Slavic, particularly with
Bohemian literature. Jireček's _Rukovět_, or _Handbook of the History
of Bohemian Literature_, is still one of the best books dealing with
the subject. That part of the work which refers to the writers of the
so-called "unity", founded on entirely new documents, will not be
superseded for a considerable time. Dr. Jireček played a considerable
part in Bohemian and Austrian politics, and was, as Minister of Public
Instruction, a member of Count Hohenwarth's short-lived Cabinet

One of the results of the revolutionary movement of 1848 was the rapid
development of journalism in Bohemia. Its originator was Charles
Havliček (1820-1856). Endowed with an exceptional talent for satire, he
strongly attacked the unpopular Austrian rule in Bohemia. He collected
many of his political articles in the famed _Kutnohorskí Epištoly_
("Letters from Kutna Hora"). Of his satirical works, _Křest' Svatého
Vladimira_ ("The Baptism of St. Vladimir") is the most witty. During
the time of reaction that followed the revolutionary years 1848 and
1849, Havliček was exiled to Brixen in the Tirol by the Austrian
Government. We owe to this exile his _Tyrolské Elegie_ ("Tirolese
Elegies"), one of his finest works. Havliček was allowed to return to
his country shortly before his death.

As a result of the brilliant example given by Palacký, great attention
has recently been devoted to the long-neglected annals of Bohemian
history. Dealing now only with those who are deceased, I will first
mention Dr. Anton Gindely (1829-1888), whose studies were mainly
devoted to the history of Bohemia in the early part of the seventeenth
century. He did not live to complete his great work, a history of the
Thirty Years' War, but his minor studies have thrown considerable
light on little-known subjects connected with Bohemian history. Thus
the great influence of Christian of Anhalt on Bohemian politics can
be considered as almost a discovery of Gindely's. It may be said that
Gindely's speciality was his liking for the study of original sources
(the "Quellenstudium," as it is called by the Germans), and there may
have been some exaggeration in his method.

Professor Karel Tieftrunk's (1829-1897) studies of Bohemian history
deal with a rather earlier period than that chosen by Dr. Gindely. His
principal work, _Odpor stavuv cěských proti Ferdinandovi I._ ("The
Opposition of the Bohemian Estates to Ferdinand I."), is very valuable,
and is founded on the contemporary record of Sixt of Ottersdorf, as
well as on careful archival study.

Professor Wenceslas Tomek (1818-1905), during his long life of study,
enriched Bohemian literature with numerous and valuable historical
works, and he held up to his death the rank of the most prominent
historian of his country. In the last years of his life he published
his memoirs, which are somewhat disappointing. The extreme caution
which was innate in an Austrian subject of Tomek's generation, and
perhaps also the staunchly conservative views which he held after
youthful radicalism had left him, induced him to avoid, with perhaps
exaggerated caution, all mention of matters that might give offence
to the governing powers. Wenceslas Tomek was born at Králové Hradec
(Königgrätz) in 1818. His father, as he tells us, was a shoemaker,
who had some time previously established himself in that town. Though
Tomek for a time studied law, he soon devoted himself entirely to
historical work. Even in his younger and more liberal days he appears
to have been a fervent adherent of the Church of Rome; but he tells us
in his memoirs that he was severely reprimanded by the then formidable
"censure"-office for having stated in one of his earliest writings that
Socrates--a pagan!--had been an honest man. The greatest work of Tomek,
his _Dějepis města Prahy_ ("History of the Town of Prague"), perhaps
one of the greatest town-histories of the nineteenth century, which
he only began late in life, remained unfinished. It is of priceless
value because of the treasures of research that it contains, and is as
valuable to those who frequently differ from Professor Tomek's views
as to those who are always in sympathy with his opinions. A history
of the University of Prague by Tomek also remained unfinished, and
it may be considered as having been superseded by Dr. Winter's more
recent works. Tomek is also the author of a biography of John Zǐžka,
which--as indeed do all Tomek's works--gives evidence of deep and
conscientious research. That the author is not in sympathy with the
hero of his biography is a fact which, though it does not diminish the
historical value of the book, undoubtedly detracts from its artistic
worth. Zǐžka's biography remains unwritten, and the strange, totally
uncritical, and fantastic _Jean Zǐžka_ of George Sand is perhaps none
the less a truer portrait of the great Bohemian hero than Professor
Tomek's book. The other works of Tomek on Austrian and Bohemian history
are little more than school-books.

Two writers who died recently, and whose influence on the Bohemian
literature of the present day is great, are Neruda and Zeyer. As is
frequently the case with Bohemian writers, these authors cultivated
several branches of literature. Jon Neruda was born in the Prague Malá
Strana (the part of the city which is situated on the left bank of the
Vltava river) in 1834. His books, both in prose and in verse, are very
numerous. Of his poems, the _Písně Kosmické_ ("Cosmic Poems"), which
are the result of deep philosophic thought, had a great success when
they appeared in 1878. Some critics, however, assert that the book is
somewhat obscure. Of Neruda's many prose works, some of which first
appeared as _feuilletons_ in the _Narodni Listz_, the foremost Bohemian
newspaper, the best are the _Malostranské povídky_ ("Tales of the Malá
Strana"). Neruda died in 1891.

Julius Zeyer (1841-1901) was certainly one of the most prominent
writers of the period of the literary revival in Bohemia. Though he did
not begin writing in early life, he was, like most of the writers of
his time, the author of numerous works both in prose and in verse. His
first book, _Ondry Cernyšev_, a historical novel, the scene of which is
laid in Russia at the time of the Empress Catherine II., appeared in
1875. Zeyer lived a considerable time in Russia, and also frequently
visited Italy. Next to his own Bohemia, these two countries influenced
him most. In perhaps the best of his many novels, _Jan Maria Ployhar_,
the scene is laid in Italy. Of Zeyer's poetical works, the best is his
_Vyšehrad_, a cycle of epic poems which deal with the legendary period
of Libusa and Premysl. It is undoubtedly one of the most valuable
fruits of modern Bohemian poetry.[165] Zeyer also attempted, though
not very successfully, to write for the stage and he is also the author
of a biography of the Bohemian patriot, Vojta Naprstek, with whom and
with whose family he was on terms of friendship.

The last twenty years have contributed in a quite unprecedented manner
to the development of the Bohemian language and literature. The
Bohemian writers now living have added greatly to the fame of their
country, and have brought the national language to a degree of purity
and polish which it had never attained before. Many circumstances have
contributed to this result. The foundation of the Bohemian Academy of
Francis Joseph, which added to the Society of Sciences and that of the
Museum a third learned society, has been very helpful. The foundation
of a large national theatre has greatly encouraged dramatic authors,
and the fact that the national language has to a very great extent
among the middle classes, and to a lesser degree among the upper ones
also, taken the place of German, has been of immense value to the
Bohemian novelists. Those of the present day have naturally a great
superiority over their predecessors, who, when attempting to describe
Bohemian society, wrote of counts and barons, while the counts and
barons of that period in real life only spoke German.

The living Bohemian writers are so numerous that I have, though
reluctantly, omitted the names of many whose works are of value.
The study of history continues in Bohemia without interruption, as
is indeed natural in a country where the records of a splendid past
afford some solace to those who feel that their country plays but a
subordinate part in the present Austro-Hungarian empire. Of the living
historians of Bohemia, one of the most prominent is Professor Joseph
Kalousek, born at Vamberk in 1838. He showed from early youth great
talent for historical research; and his writings include, besides
larger works, a vast number of articles that have appeared in the
various Bohemian reviews and magazines. One of the most important works
of the learned professor is his _Statni Pravo_, a study of the ancient
constitution of Bohemia. The book first appeared in 1871 at the moment
when an imperial decree had assured the Bohemians that the constitution
would be restored to them. Other works of Professor Kalousek are a
treatise on the use of the chalice in Bohemia in the period previous to
Hus--a matter the importance of which only those thoroughly acquainted
with Bohemian history can gauge--and a recent book entitled _Obrana_
_Knižete Václava Svatého_ ("A Defence of Prince Wenceslas the Holy").
Dr. Kalousek, a firm adherent of the Church of Rome, here upholds the
memory of St. Wenceslas, who has been treated rather unfavourably by
Palacký and other Bohemian historians. Kalousek has also shown great
interest in the history of the Bohemian peasantry during the period of
serfdom. Many of the documents referring to this subject, published by
him in the _Archiv Česky_, which he edits, are of great value.

Among the historians of the present day I should next mention Dr.
Jaroslav Goll (born 1846). Professor Goll is one of the shining lights
of the new Bohemian University, and his historical works are very
valuable. Dr. Goll studied for a time at the German University of
Göttingen, which was then, in consequence of the presence of the great
historian Waitz, a centre of historical study in Germany. Somewhat
later Goll for a short time acted as secretary to the historian
Bancroft, then Minister of the United States in Berlin. These and
other visits to foreign countries enabled Goll to acquire a thorough
acquaintance with foreign languages. He has proved his knowledge
of French by the translation of the _Fleurs du mal_ of Baudelaire,
which he published jointly with the poet Vrchlický. Goll subsequently
devoted himself entirely to historical research. His studies, dealing
with the formerly little-known community of the Bohemian brethren,
which appeared both as separate works and in the columns of the
_Časopis Musea Českého_ ("Journal of the Bohemian Museum"), are of
great importance to the history of Bohemia. Of great and fascinating
interest also is Dr. Goll's _Čechy a Prusy_, a work which deals
with the little-known relations between Bohemia and Prussia in the
Middle Ages. Together with Professor Pekář--also a distinguished
historian--Professor Goll edits the _Česky Časopis historický_, a
review whose purpose is similar to that of the English historical

Dr. Anton Rezek (born 1853) is one of the prominent historians of
Bohemia, though political duties--he was for some time a member of the
Austrian Cabinet--and latterly ill-health, have somewhat interfered
with his historical studies. His works deal mainly with the history of
Bohemia during the earlier part of the sixteenth century--a momentous
period; for it was then, in 1526, that the permanent rule of the
house of Habsburg over Bohemia began. Many of Rezek's works have been
published in the _Časopis Musea Českého_, and some have appeared in
German also.

Dr. Joseph Truhlář has devoted himself successfully to the interesting
subject of humanism in Bohemia. The humanist movement, suspected both
as coming from Rome and as having what were believed to be pagan
tendencies, reached Bohemia late. Its principal adherent in that
country was Bohuslav of Lobkovic, whose letters Dr. Truhlář has edited
and published. He is also the author of the interesting work entitled
_Humanismus a Humaniste v Čechach za Krále Vladislava II._

Professor Sigismund Winter (born 1846) is the author of interesting
works dealing with the internal condition of Bohemia in ancient times.
His history of the University of Prague, his _Život cirkevni_, a study
of the ecclesiastical condition of Bohemia in the Hussite period, and
indeed all his writings, are indispensable to the student of Bohemian

Of younger Bohemian historians Dr. Wenceslas Flajšhans deserves
mention. He has devoted much time and talent to the study of the
life and works of Hus, of whom he has recently written an excellent
biography. Dr. Flajšhans is also the author of a history of Bohemian
literature, to which I here gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness.
Mr. Jaroslav Vlček, who, together with Mr. Hladík, edits the review
_Lumir_, has also begun a history of Bohemian literature that is of
great interest.

The study of philology has recently been greatly developed in Bohemia.
One of the greatest living Bohemian philologists is Professor Gebauer,
to whose writings it is principally due that the genuineness of the
MSS. of Zelená Hora and Králové Dvur is now generally considered
doubtful. Professor Gebauer has now begun the publication of a
historical grammar of the Bohemian language on a large scale. Only Part
I. and Part III. (consisting of two volumes) have as yet appeared.
Another of the principal opponents of the genuineness of the MSS. was
Professor Tomas Masaryk (born 1850). Besides being a philologist, Dr.
Masaryk is also a distinguished writer on philosophical subjects.

Of great value to Bohemian philology and early literature are the
labours of Mr. Adolphus Patera, formerly head librarian of the Bohemian
Museum at Prague. For many years Mr. Patera has employed his annual
holidays in searching for early Bohemian MSS., many of which, though
forgotten, still exist in the libraries of the towns and monasteries of
Bohemia and Moravia. Mr. Patera has been indefatigable in deciphering
these very ancient MSS., and has published the results of his work in
the _Časopsis Musea Království Českého_. The very interesting but
long-neglected study of Bohemian folklore has been greatly assisted
by the labours of Mr. Patera's successor, Dr. Zibrt, librarian of the
Bohemian Museum. He has published many of the results of his researches
in the periodical _Česky Lid_ ("The Bohemian People"). To render his
studies accessible to a larger number of readers, Dr. Zibrt very wisely
publishes a French edition of his periodical. Professor Mourek, who
has mainly studied philological subjects, has enriched the literature
of his country by very valuable Bohemian-English and Anglo-Bohemian
dictionaries. The learned professor is a thorough master of the
English language. Dr. Jaromir Čelakovský (born 1846), up to recently
archivist of the city of Prague, a son of the poet Čelakovský, is
the author of many valuable studies concerning the ancient judicial
and constitutional institutions of Bohemia. Dr. Augustine Sedláček
(born 1843) is the author of a monumental illustrated work entitled
_Hrady a zámky české_ ("Strongholds and Castles of Bohemia"), of which
thirteen volumes have already appeared, and which is invaluable for the
student of Bohemian history and archaeology. The prehistoric antiquity
of Bohemia has recently been the subject of erudite works by Dr. Píč
(_Starožitnost země české_, "The Antiquities of the Bohemian Land")
and Dr. Niederle (_Starožitnosti české_, "The Antiquities of Bohemia").

Novelists are at present very numerous in Bohemia and, as already
mentioned, the extension of the national language enables the authors
of the present day to write in a fashion more lifelike than was that
of their predecessors. Of the older novelists I will first mention
Wenceslas Vlček (born 1839). Of his numerous novels _Věnce vavrinovy_
("The Wreath of Laurels") is, I think rightly, considered the best.
Jacob Arbes (born 1840) is, like most Bohemian authors, a very fruitful
writer. Of his many works his _Romanetta_, a collection of short and
very striking tales, is perhaps the best. Alois Jirasek (born 1851)
has, like so many Bohemian writers devoted himself to historical
romances, which have a natural fascination for the inhabitants of
a country with a great past. In justice to Mr. Jirasek it should
be stated that in contrast from minor writers he has succeeded in
portraying in a masterly manner the period of Hus and the Taborites.
Of his historical novels, the scene of which is laid in this period,
I may mention the three volumes which Jirasek has named _Mezi proudy_
("In the Midst of the Stream"), and the book entitled _Proti Vsem_
("Against All"), a "Page from the Bohemian Epic". A novel entitled
_Psohlavci_, which treats of a later period, that in which, after the
battle of the White Mountain, the Bohemian peasants were deprived of
their last vestiges of liberty, is among Jirasek's most popular works.
Jirasek has also appeared before the public as a dramatist, and his
powerful tragedy, _Jan Zǐžka_, which has been often and brilliantly
produced at the National Theatre of Prague, appeals to me more than any
of his historical novels. The last scene of the fourth act, in which
Zǐžka addresses the faithless city of Prague, has an almost unrivalled
beauty. William Mrštik is the author of several clever novels. Of
younger writers, Wenceslas Hladík (born 1868) deserves mention. He is
the author of a considerable number of novels and dramas. Hladík has
very skilfully represented the life and scenery of Prague in a somewhat
impressionist manner. His countrymen have sometimes accused him of
imitating too closely the modern "decadent" French novelists. To me
his novels have often recalled the works of Mr. George Moore. Of Mr.
Hladík's novels the best is, I think, the recently published _Evžen
Voldan_, and of his plays I admire most _Zavrat_ ("Vertigo"), in which
the ancient subject of conjugal infidelity is treated in a brilliant
and original manner. Francis Herites (born 1851) is a fruitful writer
of novels and short sketches, and has contributed largely to many
Bohemian reviews. Of his many works I will mention one of the older
ones, entitled _Z mého herbáře_. It contains a short tale, _Kokotice_;
which is one of the most touching expressions of Bohemian national
feeling that I have ever read.

I will now refer to a group of writers whose fame--though many of them
have also written in prose--is mainly founded on their poetry. The
critics of the future will probably consider as the greatest Bohemian
poet of the day Jaroslav Vrchlický, though some now prefer Svatopluk
Čech to him. Jaroslav Vrchlický--the pseudonym of Mr. Emil Frida--was
born at Loun in Bohemia in 1853. He began writing at an early age,
and has continued doing so uninterruptedly up to the present day.
Like Victor Hugo, to whom he has been compared, and who certainly has
greatly influenced him, Vrchlický has produced an enormous number
of works. His writings, which include lyric and epic poems, dramas,
numerous translations, and a few works in prose, had in 1903 already
reached a total of 185 volumes. The principal characteristic of
Vrchlický's poetry is his mastership of the Bohemian language, which
he can almost be said to have raised to a higher level. As the late
Dr. Albert wrote, "He works on his language as Paganini or Ondřiček on
their violins." This is particularly obvious in Vrchlický's numerous
translations from the works of English, German, French, Italian,
and Spanish writers. To mention but one example, his rendering of
Browning's _Toccata of Galuppi_ is masterly. I wish, however, to
devote to Vrchlický's original work the short space that remains
to me. The poet visited Italy early in life, and soon acquired a
thorough knowledge of the language of that country. He also studied
the literatures of France and Spain. A new current of thought was a
result of these studies introduced into the Bohemian language, for the
writers of an earlier period, brought up in the Bohemian schools, which
were then almost entirely German, had been with scarcely an exception
under the influence of German literature. Of Vrchlický's early works
I will mention _Z Hlubin_ ("From the Depths"), which appeared in 1875,
_Rok na jihu_ ("A Year in the South"), which contains reminiscences
of the poet's Italian travels, and _Bodlaci z Parnasu_ ("Thorns
from Parnassus "), in which is included that truly beautiful poem,
_Krumlovská Legenda_. Vrchlický is a master of the difficult art of
the sonnet, and his _Sonety samotare_ (_i.e._ of a recluse) and _Nové_
_sonety samotare_ are among his finest works. One of the poet's latest
books, entitled _Episody_, contains some beautiful poems referring
to the period of the Hussite wars. That period, as is natural, has
inspired the greatest works of many of the greatest Bohemian writers.
Vrchlický has also obtained fame as a dramatist His _Noc na Karlštejne_
("A Night at the Karlštejn"), the scene of which is laid in the time of
Charles IV., has deservedly had great success, and figures frequently
in the repertoire of the National Theatre of Prague. Vrchlický's
_Julian Apostata_ deals with its difficult though fascinating subject
in a very striking manner. This brilliant play well bears comparison
with Ibsen's book on the same subject, and Merežkovsky's _Death of
the Gods_. Of Vrchlický's many other works his Trilogy on the Greek
tale of Hippodamia deserves mention. It is quite impossible to give
in a few words even a fairly sufficient appreciation of the work of
Vrchlický.[166] Some of the finest writings of the poet have recently
been translated into German.

Svatopluk Čech, born in 1846 at Ostředek in Bohemia, ranks with
Vrchlický as one of the greatest of modern Bohemian poets. I consider
it useless to enter into the invidious and foolish question, to which
of the two great poets the primacy should be awarded. Svatopluk Čech is
truly great as a writer of epic poems, and here he may be considered
as unrivalled by modern writers, even in larger and better known
countries than his own. His first epic poem, _Adamite_, deals with a
strange, well-known episode in Bohemian history. The _Smith of Lešetin_
(Lešetinský Kovář), portrays in an admirable manner the life of the
Bohemian peasantry. But the masterpiece of Čech is, I think, the epic
poem entitled _Václav z Michalovic_. The hero of the poem is a young
Bohemian, a son of one of the nobles who were decapitated in Prague
after the disaster of the White Mountain. Some parts of this poem,
such as the prologue and the speech to the people of Prague, which
Michalovic delivers in the Salvator Church, are of unrivalled beauty.
Criticism can obviously be founded only on individual impressions; and
I do not hesitate to state that no work of modern Bohemian literature
has impressed me as strongly as _Václav z Michalovic_. Of Čech's other
poetical works, his sad, pessimistic, and--alas--truthful _Písně
Otroka_ ("Songs of a Slave") should be mentioned. Svatopluk Čech has
also published a considerable number of prose works. His _Povidky,
Arabesky a Humoresky_, in four volumes, have had a great success.

Of minor poets I will first mention Adolph Heyduk, born in 1835 at
Richenburg in Bohemia. Of his many poetical works, _Cymbal a husle_,
a tale of the life of the Slavic inhabitants of Northern Hungary, has
the greatest value. Heyduk's _Drěvorubec_ ("The Wood-cutter"), in
which, as in many others of the poet's works, the scene is laid in
the Sumava (the so-called Bohemian woods), has also obtained great
success. J. V. Sládek (born 1845), formerly editor of the _Lumir_
review, has translated several works of Shakespeare and Byron, as well
as some of the Polish writings of Mickiewicz, into Bohemian. A talented
younger writer is J. S. Machar (born 1864). His _Tristium Vindobona_
is a very powerful work, which brilliantly describes the depression
while dwelling in Vienna, and the antipathy to that city, which appear
almost innate in a Bohemian. Recently a friend of Machar, V. A. Jung,
has published an admirable Bohemian translation of part of Byron's
_Don Juan_. It is to be hoped that the writer will complete his task.
Mrs. Kose (whose pseudonym is Tereza Dubrovská) has recently published
a clever volume of poems entitled _Písně_ (poems). Miss Hurych, who
writes under the name Marie Kalma, has produced several novels that
have had considerable success. Mr. George Karasek ze Lvovic has
recently published several works both in prose and in verse. Of these,
his drama entitled _Apollonius z Tyany_ is perhaps the best.


[142] See later.

[143] See Chapter I.

[144] A minor Bohemian writer of the period. Though Ziegler was a
professor of theology, love is the subject of some of his songs.

[145] A proverbial Bohemian expression signifying "one and all".

[146] In Bohemian, "Mi hodně mnoho dávaji." The Bohemian colloquialism
can here be literally translated by an English colloquial expression.

[147] A Bohemian nobleman who owned estates near Leitmeritz.

[148] This alludes to the now uncontested fact that countrymen and
literary rivals of Jungmann had denounced Jungmann's writings to the
Austrian Government, attributing to them a political tendency, from
which in reality they were absolutely free.

[149] The few Bohemian books that appeared in the eighteenth, and even
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, were printed in German
(Gothic) characters, and it was hoped that the Latin characters would
be unintelligible to many people of the lower classes, from whom the
censors wished to withhold the chronicle.

[150] Thus written by Jungmann. The person referred to is Sir John

[151] Writing for English readers, it is scarcely necessary to mention
that there was not in the year 1827 a wide-spread enthusiasm in
England for learning Slavic languages. Jungmann, sanguine, like all
the Bohemian patriots of his time, generalised on the strength of some
statements of English philologists whom he may have met at Prague.

[152] In Croatia, early in the present century, a national movement
sprung up similar to that of Bohemia, but its results were smaller and
less enduring. Gay, the leader of this movement, was persecuted by the
Hungarians, just as the Bohemians were by the German officials.

[153] In German "Moldau."

[154] Kollar refers to those who, though of Slav origin, identified
themselves with the Germans.

[155] This is still perfectly true. In Mecklenburg and some parts of
Prussia the names of many towns and villages are obviously of Slav
origin, as are the family names of some of the oldest families which
are derived from localities.

[156] See later.

[157] References to ancient Bohemian legends.

[158] This was written some years ago, when the enthusiasm for the
works of Tolstoy, Dostoievsky, Tourguenev, Goncharov, and others was at
its height in Paris.

[159] See my article on the "Bohemian Question," _Nineteenth Century_,
December 1898.

[160] I have dwelt with more detail on this subject in a (Bohemian)
essay on "Some references to Palacký in the Works of English Writers,"
which appeared in the _Pamatnik Palackého_ (Palacký Memorial),
published in 1898 on the occasion of the centenary of Palacký's birth.

[161] Professor Kalousek, in the interesting essay on the "Leading Idea
of Palacký's Historical Work," which he contributed to the Palacký
Memorial, has noted that the principles according to which Palacký's
_History of Bohemia_ is written are in complete accordance with
the rules established by Blair in his thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth
lecture, _On Historical Writing_.

[162] Since the above was written, Mr. Morfill has published an
admirable "Grammar of the Bohemian Language," the first ever written in
English. I can strongly recommend it to readers who wish to acquire the
Bohemian language.

[163] In his (German) work, _Zur Böhmischen Geschichischreibung_.

[164] For further particulars I must again refer my readers to my
article on "The Bohemian Question", published in the _Nineteenth
Century_, December 1898.

[165] Mrs. Malybrok-Stieler has recently translated _Vyšehrad_ into
German (Prague Rivnác, 1898).

[166] The late Dr. Albrecht, in his _Neuere Poesie aus Böhmen_ and
_Neueste Poesie aus Böhmen_, published many German translations from
Svatopluk Čech and Vrchlický. To the latter Dr. Albrecht devoted a
whole volume.


Not unnecessarily to extend this list, I have enumerated only a few
books, dealing either with Bohemian literature as a whole, or with
considerable portions of it. Bohemian books have increased rapidly
within the last few years. I have therefore left unmentioned many
valuable monographs, which are indispensable to those who wish to
acquire a more thorough knowledge of Bohemian literature than I have
been able to give in this book. Literature and history are very closely
connected in Bohemia, and many of the modern historians, such as
Palacký, Gindely, Goll, Tieftrunk, Kalousek, and Flajšhans, throw a
great deal of light also on the literature of Bohemia. Much valuable
information on Bohemian literature is also contained in the numerous
editions of ancient Bohemian writings--frequently mentioned in these
pages--which appeared in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most
of them contain valuable commentaries and biographies. Besides the
Journal of the Bohemian Museum, the yearly publications of the Bohemian
Society of Sciences and of the Bohemian Academy incidentally devote
their attention to the literature of the country. Periodicals such as
the _Česky Časopis historický_, _Lumir_, _Světozor_, _Osvěta_, and
others contain many interesting articles on Bohemian literature.

       *       *       *       *       *

ČASOPIS MUSEA KRÁLOVSTVÍ ČESKÉHO. Journal of the Museum of the Bohemian
Kingdom. Published annually since 1827.

DOBROVSKÝ (Joseph). Geschichte der Böhmischen Sprache und Literatur.
Prag, 1818.

FLAJŠHANS (Dr. Václav). Pisemnictvi České (Bohemian Literature).
Prague, 1901.

JEŘÁBEK (Dr. F. V.). Stará doba romantického básnictvi (The Ancient
Period of Romantic Poetry). Prague, 1883.

JIREČEK (Dr. Joseph). Rukovět k dejinám literatury české do Konce
XVIII. věku (Handbook of the History of Bohemian Literature up to the
End of the Eighteenth Century). Prague, 1875 and 1876.

JUNGMANN (Joseph). Historie Literatury České (History of Bohemian
Literature). Second enlarged edition. Prague, 1849.

LÉGER (Professor Louis). Le Monde Slave [1 vol.], Études Slaves [3
vols.], Russes et Slaves [2 vols.]. Professor Léger has devoted more
than thirty years to the study of the Slavic race. All the books
mentioned contain valuable essays on Bohemian literature.

LÜTZOW (Count). Ancient Bohemian Literature (New Review, February 1897).

LÜTZOW (Count). Lectures on the Historians of Bohemia; being the
Ilchester Lectures for the Year 1904.

MORFILL (W. R., M.A.). Slavonic Literature. Contains in a few pages a
concise and interesting account of the literature of Bohemia.

MURKO (Dr. Matthias). Anfänge der böhmischen Romantik. A very
interesting work. Murko, however, attempts to prove too much when he
maintains that the Bohemian patriots mainly imitated the Germans in
their desire of national development.

PALACKÝ (Franz). Würdigung der alten böhmischen Geschichtschreiber. New
edition. Prague, 1869.

PALACKÝ (Franz). Die Vorläufer des Hussitenthums. New edition. Prague,

PYPIN (a. N.) and SPASOVIČ; (V. D.). Geschichte der Slavischen
Literaturen. Written in Russian, Translated into German by Traugott
Pech. Nearly a whole volume is devoted to the history of Bohemian

ŠAFAŘIK (Paul Joseph). Geschichte der slavischen Sprache und
Literatur, New edition. Prague, 1869.

TALVIJ (Mrs. Robinson). Historical View of the Slavic Language and
its Various Dialects. This is not an original work, but an extract
From Šafařik's Book That Has Just Been Mentioned. Palacký And Šafařik
himself pointed this out many years ago.

TIEFTRUNK (Karel). Historie Literatury České (History of Bohemian
Literature). Second edition. Prague, 1880.

VLČEK (Jaroslav). Dejiny Literatury České (History of Bohemian
Literature). This work is still incomplete, and appears in short parts
at considerable intervals.

WRATISLAW (Rev. A. H.). The Native Literature of Bohemia in the
Fourteenth Century.

With the exception of Messrs. Pypin and Spasovič's work, I have quoted
the titles of these books in the language in which they were published,
adding an English translation of books published in Bohemian.


  Albert of Uničov, Archbishop of Prague, 104

  Alexander V., decree against heresy, 99

  Alexander V. recognised as Pope, 98

  Alexander VI. appoints Cardinal of Monreale to see of Olmütz, 177

    Account of, 18
    Account of festivities when Alexander entered Babylon, 23
    Extract from battle-piece, 22

  Amos, Brother, theological treatises, 228

  Andrew of Duba, author of early legal work, 51

  Arbes, Jacob, _Romanetta_, 408

  Arnold, Nicholas, antagonist of Komenský, 276

  Augusta, Bishop--
    Hymns, 231
    Sketch of career, 228
    _Summary_, 230

  Austi, John of, Hus retires to his castle, 107

  Balbin (Balbinus)--
    Account of Milič of Kremsier, 59
    _Miscellanea_ and other works, 356

  Bartoš Pisář, _Chronicles of Prague_, 299

  Bayle, judgment of Komenský, 249, 273

  Bechin, Wenceslas of, lays articles from Wycliffe's writings before
      assembly at Prague, 91

  Benedict XIII., 95

  Benes of Weitmil, Canon, incorporates Charles IV.'s notes in his
      chronicle, 49, 50

  "Bible of Kralice," 248

  Bienenberg, Joseph, _Alterthümer in Königreiche Böhmen_ and
      _History of the Town of Königgrätz_, 357

  Bilek, account of Bishop Augusta's prison life, 299, 311
    Quotation from, 312

    Account of _Summary_, 230
    _Filipika_, 233
    _Grammatika Česká_, 239
    _History of the Unity_ lost, 296, 311
    Knowledge of writings of Humanists, 175
    _Replika proti Misomusūm_ extract from, 237
    Sketch of career, 232
    Visits Sigismund Gelenius, 185

    Březan's account of social condition of, 319
    Chivalrous poetry, 17
    Clergy, 58
    Greek and Latin ritual in, 13
    Humanist movement in, 174
    Intellectual activity at beginning of sixteenth century, 295
    Invaded by troops of Margrave of Meissen, 90
    Prosperous during reign of Charles IV., 57
    Religious sects in, 143, 152

  Bohemian books burnt, 354

  Bohemian Brethren ("Unity")--
    Conferences of two parties, 216
    Cromwell's suggestion for, 274
    Decide to abandon Bohemia, 256
    Discord among, 215
    Effect on Bohemian literature, 201, 296
    "First persecution," 205
    Foundation of, 174
    Historians of, 310
    Historical archives, 296
    Institutions modelled on Waldenses', 219
    Luther's teaching affecting, 221

  Bohemian language and literature, development of, 174, 295, 354, 403, 406

  Bohemian lyric poems, 25

  Bohemian writings, character of early, 8

  Borč; directs Hanka's attention to manuscript, 2

  Bořivoj, Prince, concession of, 45

  Brand, Erasmus and Sebastian, 189

  Březan, Wenceslas, _History of House of Rosenberg_, 314

  Březova, Laurence of, 50
    _Chronicon_, record of Hussite wars, 147

  "Brothers of Chilčic," 15;
    join community of Kunwald, 205

  Brünn, account of St. Catherine's martyrdom in Church of St. Jacob, 10

  Budovec, Wenceslas, of Budova--
    _Anti-Alkoran_, 243, 244
    Letters, 247
    Sketch of, 242
    State papers, 247
    Views of, 192

  Calixtines (Utraquists), party of Hussites, 143

  "Canon of Vyšehrad," chronicle of, 46

  _Cantio Zavisonis_, extract from, 28

  _Cato_, adaptation from Latin, 41

  Čech appears in Bohemia, 32

  Čech, Svatopluk, 419

  Čechs, account of their establishment in Bohemia, 44

  Čelakovský, Ladislav, collections of national songs, 404

  Charles IV.--
    As Bohemian historian, 48
    Establishes Slavonic monks at Prague, 13
    Invites Conrad Waldhauser to Bohemia, 58

  Chatillon, Philip Gaultier (Walter)de, Latin poem of, 18

  Chelčicky, Peter, 153
    Character of writings, 157
    Influence on "Bohemian Brethren," 171
    _Net of Faith_; summary of, 166 _seqq._
    Opinion of towns, 215
    Originator of "Unity," 202
    _Postilla_, 159
    _Reply to Nicholas_, 148, 158
    _Reply to Rokycan_, quoted, 155, 170
    Socialism, 153

  Chlum, John of, accompanies Hus to Constance, 110

  _Chronicle of Dalimil._ See _Dalimil's Chronicle_

  _Chronicle of Troy_, 56
    first Bohemian work printed, 57

  _Chronicon Boemorum_--
    Continuations of, 46
    Described, 44
    Early prose Latin work, 42
    Numerous MSS. of, 46
    Quoted in _Dalimil's Chronicle_, 31

  Cimburg, Ctibor, of Tovačov, _Book of Law_, 172

  Colloredo, Count, owner of estate of Grüneberg, 6

  Colonna, Cardinal, rejects appeal of Hus, 103

  Comenius. See Komenský

  Constance, Council of, 108

  Cosmas, "the father of Bohemian history," 42
    _Chronicon Boemorum_. See that title
    On "Gospodi pomiluj ny," 8
    Sketch of his life, 42
    Tales of Crocus, Libussa, Premysl, and "war of the maidens," 45

  Cromwell's suggestion for Bohemian Brethren, 274

  Curtius, Quintus, _Alexandreis_ based on work of, 18

  _Dalimil's Chronicle_, account of, 29
    Preface quoted, 31

  _De Ecclesia_, summary of (_See_ also under Hus.)

  De Geers, Lawrence, invites Komenský to Amsterdam, 275

  De Geers, Louis, correspondence with Komenský, 268

  Des Marets, Samuel, antagonist of Komenský, 276

  Dietmar, Bishop of Prague, "Gospodi pomiluj ny" sung at his
      installation, 8

  Dobrovský, Joseph, "patriarch of Slavic philology," 359
    _Detailed Grammar of Bohemian Language_, 360
    _History of Bohemian Language and its Older Literature_, 360
    Obtains appointment of archivist for Palacký, 389
    Opinion of "MS. of Grüneberg," 361

  Drabik, influence over Komenský, 252, 271
    Prophecies, 272

  Duba, Wenceslas of, accompanies Hus to Constance, 110

  Eastern and Roman ritual, rivalry between, 13, 14

  Erasmus of Rotterdam, and apology of "Unity," 220

  Erben, Charles Jaromir, as editor and poet, 406
    Edited and published books _Of General Christian Matters_, 65

  Ernest of Pardubic, Archbishop of Prague, 36, 60, 93

  Flajšhans, Dr., history of Bohemian literature, 409

  Flaška, Smil--
    _Advice of a Father to his Son_, 36
    _Groom and the Scholar_, 40
    _New Council_, account of, 38
    Sketch of career, 36

  Francis, Provost of Prague, chronicle of, 48

  Frederick II., Emperor, circular to princes, 139

  Gebauer, Professor, writings on philology, 409

  Gelenius, Gregory, 175;
    translations of classical works into Bohemian, 184

  Gelenius, Sigismund, sketch of, 185

  George, King of Bohemia, 204

  Germany, war between Charles V, and Protestants, 229

  Gindely, Dr. Anton--
    Historical works, 408
    Opinion of Jaffet's list of ordinations, 241

  Glagolitic alphabet employed, 13

  Goethe, adaptation of _Kytice_, 2

  Goll, Professor--
    History of Bohemian Brethren, 412
    Investigations on Bohemia and Greek Church, 137
    On authorship of "Gospodi pomiluj ny," 8
    On torture inflicted on Gregory, 206

  Goll, Professor--
    Researches into life of Chelčicky, 156

  Gregory, Brother,
    founder of "Unity," 203; St. Kunwald, 205
    Controversy with Lucas of Prague, 217
    Followers, 205, 207
    _Letters to Rokycan_, extract from _Fourth_, 208
    Tortured (?), 206

  Gregory XII. recognised as Pope by Prague University, 95

  Habernfeld, Andreas ab, _Bellum Bohemicum_, 353

  Halek, minor poet, 404

  Hanka, Venceslas--
    And falsification of manuscripts, 8
    Collection of Bohemian songs, 403
    Discoverer of MS. of Königinhof, 2, 403
    Publishes _Tkadleček the Weaver_, 51

  Harant, Christopher, of Polžic--
    Classical erudition, 298
    _Journey to Venice, Holy Land, and Egypt_; extract from, 329, 333
    Sketch of career, 326 _seqq._
    Views of, 192

  Harasser, Walter, and articles from Wycliffe's writings, 91

  Hartlib, Samuel, interested in Komenský's "Pansophy," 260, 269

  Hattala, Professor, edition of _Reči Besedni_, 73, 75

  Hayek, semi-mythical tales, 32

  Henry of Baltenhagen recognises Gregory XII. as Pope, 95

  Henry of Carinthia, 29

  Heyduk, Adolphus, 408

  Hilferding on Bohemians and Greek Church, 137

  Hladík, Wenceslas, 417

  Hlavsa, John, Bartoš's account of, 302

  Hodic, George, Lord of, and Charles of Žerotin, 323

  Höfler, Professor, criticism of Palacký, 402

  Horaždovic, Minorite monastery of, 242

  Hradil discovers MS. of _Grammatika Česká_, 239

  Hübner, John, makes selections from Wycliffe's writings, 91

  Humanist movement, growth of, and development of Bohemian language, 174

  Hurych, Miss, 421

  Hus, John--
    Affection for national language, 122
    Attends Council of Constance--
      forebodings, 109
    Character, 140
    _Dcerka_, 127
    _De Ecclesia_, 111, 113;
      summary of, 119
    Expositions (_Výklad_), 123 _seqq._
    Influence of Wycliffe on, 137
    Latin and Bohemian letters, 131 _seqq._
    Letter to Richard Wyche, 131
   _O Savtokupectví_, treatise on simony, 127
    On indulgences, 105, 129
    _Postilla_, 130
    Relations with Archbishop Zbynek, 93, 94, 98
    Summary of career, 87 _seqq._
    Works, Bohemian and Latin, 57, 107, 117

  Huska, Martin ("Loquis"), sketch of, 153

  Hussite movement and development of Bohemian language, 297

  Hussite wars, 143 _seqq._
    War songs, 9

  Innocent IV. deposes Emperor Frederick II., 139

  Institoris, Henry, works against "Unity," 294

  Jacobellus of Mies--
    _Articles of Prague_, 146
    Maintained necessity of communion in two kinds, 112, 145

  Jaffet, Brother, writings of, 241

  Jagič, Professor, on influence of Chelčicky's works, 153

  Janov, Matthew of--
    Precursor of Hus, 79
    Recantation, 81
    Sketch of, 80
    Theological works, 81, 82, 83
    Writings influenced by schism, 80

  Jarloch, Abbot of Muhlhausen, chronicle of, 47

  Jerome of Prague--
    Connection with Hus, 141
    Letter to Lord Lacek of Kravář, 142

  Jirasek, Alois, 416

  Jireček, Dr.--
    Biography of Lucas of Prague, 222
    _Handbook of History of Bohemian Literature_, 406

  John, King, dislike to Bohemian language, 296

  John of Luxemburg, cosmopolitanism of, 29

  John XXII.--
    And Hus, 102
    Crusade against King Ladislas of Naples, 105
    Deposed, 113

  Joseph II. excluded Bohemian language from schools, 358

  "Joys of St. Mary," legend of, 16

  _Judas, Legend of_, 10

  Jung, V. A., translator, 421

  Jungmann, Joseph--
    History of Bohemian literature, 143, 364
    Letters to Marek, 367
    Sketch of life, 362
    Translations from English, 363

  Justinus, Bishop, Komenský succeeds, 270

  Kalousek, Josef--
    _České Statni Pravo_, 412
    Investigations on Bohemia and Greek Church, 137
    Kbel, John, lays articles from Wycliffe's writings before Assembly
      at Prague, 91

    Account of Komenský's reception in London, 262
    On prophecies of Drabik, 273

  Klicpera, Wenceslas, plays of, 405

  _Kniha starého pána z Rožmberka_, oldest prose work in Bohemia, 51

  Kollar, John--
    Correspondence with Jungmann, Safařik, and Palacký, 382
    _Daughter of Sláva_, 372;
      "fore-song" quoted, 376;
      sonnets quote, 379
    Sketch of career, 371

  Kolovrat, Count, MS. of Grüneberg sent to, 6;
      one of founders of Bohemian Museum, 370

    "Christian Academy of Pansophy," plan of founding, 267, 290
    _Didactica Magna_, 250, 287
    Educational works, 251, 260, 286
    Impressions of England, 262
    _Janua Linguarum_, 261; account of, 287
    _Labyrinth of the World_, 251, 262;
      summary of, 277 _seqq._
    Last Bishop of Bohemian Brethren, 270, 276
    _Lux in Tenebris_, 276, 293
    Pansophic works, 261, 269, 289, 293
    _Physica_, 260
    Sketch of life, 250, 252 seqq.
    _Via Lucis_, 268, 290

  Konáč, Nicolas (Finitor), _The Book of Lamentation and Complaint of
      Justice_, 189

  Konias burns Bohemian books, 354

  Königinhof, discovery of manuscript at, 2

  Kose, Mrs., 421

  Kotter, Christopher, Komenský's belief in, 256

  Koubek, minor poet, 404

  Kovár, John, declared he found manuscript of Grüneberg, 6

  Králové Dvur, Königinhof, 2

  Krasonický, works of, 227

  Križ founds Bethlehem Chapel, Prague, 88

  Krok, adventures of, 32

  Kuthen, Martin, Utraquist historian, 307

  Kutna Hora (Kuttenberg), decrees of, 97, 98

  Lacenbok, Henry of, accompanies Hus to Constance, 110

  Ladislas, King of Naples, incurs enmity of Pope John XXIII., 105

  Ladislas Posthumus, King, hostile to Utraquist creed, 202

  Latin used by writers, 42

  _Laurin_, epic poem, 25

  Lažan, Henry of, Lord, adherent of Hus, 107

  Lechler, Dr.--
    On Hus's letter to Archbishop Zbynek, 94
    On works of Janov, 83
    Opinion of lectures of John Hus, 88

  Legends. (_See_ names of various saints.)

  Léger, Professor--
    On Slav language, 381
    Translates account of Zižka's campaigns, 172

  Lenfant, _Histoire des Guerres Hussites_, 305

  Lescynski, Bohuslav, protects Bohemian Brethren, 262

  Lescynski, Count Raphael, member of "Unity", 256

  "Letter of Majesty" granted to Protestants, 243

  Libočan, Hajek of, _Bohemian Chronicles_, 304
    Account of Zižka's death, 305
    Date of commencement, 35
    Judgment of Hus and Jerome of Prague, 308

  Libussa, adventures of, 32

  Lissa occupied by Swedes

  Lobkovic, Bohuslav of, "ultramontane" Bohemian humanist--
    Influence on Bohemian literature, 180
    Letter to John of Domoslav, 178
    Relations with Victorin Cornelius ze Všehrd, 179
    Sketch of career, 176
    Works in Latin, 179

  Lobkovic, John of, _True Bohemian Mentor_, written in Bohemian,
      quoted, 181

  Lobkovic, Nicholas of, influence over Wenceslas, 97

  Lomnický, Simon, of Budeč "founder of Bohemian song," 191
    _Advice to a Young Landowner_, 192
    Ballad on executions at Prague quoted, 199
   _Cupid's Arrow_, 194
    Dirge on Peter of Rosenberg, 318; quotations from, 196, 197
    Smaller poems, 195

  Loserth, Professor, on Wycliffe's influence on Hus's writings, 138

  Lucas of Prague--
    Appeal to Erasmus, 220
    Controversies, 217, 224
    Mission to Waldenses, 219
    Relations with Luther, 221, 222
    _The Bark_, 219, 223

  Lucas of Prague--
    Witnesses death of Savonarola, 220, 227
    Works, 222

  Lupáč, Prokop, _History of Emperor Charles IV., King of Bohemia_, 310

  Luther, Martin, and Lucas of Prague, 221

  Lützow, Count Rudolph, obtains permission for Palacký to examine
      MSS. at Rome, 392

  Lvovic, George Karasek ze, 421

  Macha, imitated Byron, 404

  Machar, J. S., 421

  Manuscript of Grüneberg, 5--
    A falsification, 6
    "Judgment of Libussa," 7
    Sent to Francis, Count Kolovrat-Liebsteinsky, 6
    "The Decree of Domestic Law," 7

  Manuscript of Königinhof--
    Ballads in, 4
    Discovered in tower of church, 2
    Genuineness, 3, 5
    Locutions traced to Moravian dialect, 4
    "The Cuckoo," translation of, 5
    Translations, 2

  Manuscript of Königgrätz, 3, 9
    Legend of St. Prokop in, 12

  Manuscript of St. Vitus, 3, 9

  Manuscripts of beginning of present century, 7

  Marek, Jungmann's friend, 404

  Maria Teresa, Empress, excluded Bohemian language from schools, 358

  Marsiglio of Padua, _Defensor Fidei_, 139

  Masaryk, Professor Thomas, 415

  Michael of Deutschbrod (de Causis)--
    Complaint against Hus, 106
    Draws up accusation of Hus, 111

  Milheim, John of, founds Bethlehem Chapel, Prague, 88

  Milič of Kremsier, sketch of, 59;
    sermons in Bohemian, 60

  Mladenovič, Peter of--
    Account of Hus's journey, imprisonment and death, 116, 145
    On accusation of Hus, 112
    Record of Hus's journey, trial and death, 110

  "Monk of Sazava," chronicle of, 47

  Morfill, on Journal of Bohemian Museum, 391

  Mourek, Bohemian-English and Anglo-Bohemian dictionaries, 410

  Mrštik, William, novelist, 417

  Mühlberg, Protestants defeated at, 229

  Nassau University, 253

  Neander studies works of Janov, 82

  Němcova, Mrs. Božena, _Babička_ (Grandmother), 405

  _New Council_, beast-epic, 35;
    account of, 38

  Niederle, Dr., 416

  Novikov, Eugene, on Bohemians and Greek Church, 137

  _Ottokar and Zavis_, 35

  Ottokar II., account of reign of, 33

  Oxenstiern, Chancellor, Komenský's interview with, 269

  Palacký, Francis--
    Defends Ottokar II., 33
    Edits Journal of Bohemian Museum, 391
    Examines early Bohemian histories, 46
    Examines Rosenberg archives, 317
    _History of Bohemia_, 390, 396;
      censors and, 397
    Investigations on Greek Church and Bohemia, 137
    Latin and Bohemian documents, 402
    Minor works, 400
    Opinion of Manuscript of Königinhof, 2

  Palacký, Francis--
    Opinion of Skála ze Zhoře, 335
    Opinion of Štitný, 74
    Reply to Höfler's criticisms, 402
    Reply to invitation to German National Assembly, Frankfort, 392
    Sketch of career, 388 _seqq._
    Speech at banquet quoted, 395

  Paleč, Stephen--
    Abandons Hus, 106
    Banished by Wenceslas, 108
    Draws up accusation of Hus, 111

  Pardubic, William of, 36

  Pasěk, John, Bartoš's account of, 301

  Patera, Adolphus, searches for early Bohemian MSS., 409

  Payne, Peter, English Hussite, adversary of John of Přibram, 144
    Sketch of, 146

  Pelhřimov, Nicholas of ("Biskupec"), work of, 148

  Pešina, Tomas, Latin works treating of Moravia, 357

  Peter the Great conversing with nobles at Prague, 355

  Pfauser mediates between Maximilian and Blahoslav, 233

  Píč, Dr., 416

  "Pickharts" or "Beghards," 205

  Pisecký (Wenceslas Hladič)--
    Greek studies, 184, 186
    Sketch of career, 185

  Podlipská, Sophia, 405

  Ponatovská, Christina--
    Influence on Komenský, 79
    "Prophecies" of, 227

  Ponatovská, Julian, 257

    Account of foundation of, 45
    Wycliffe's works burned at, 101

  Prague University--
    Articles from Wycliffe's works condemned by, 91, 106
    Change in organisation, 97
    Divisions, 91, 97
    Recognises Gregory XII. as Pope, 95
    Wycliffe's writings discussed at, 91

  Prague University and development of Bohemian language, 297

  Precursors of Hus, 57

  Prefat, Ulrick, of Vlkanov, descriptions of Holy Land, 325

  Premysl, adventures of, 32

  Presl, John, account of, 405

  Přibik. (_See_ Pulkava.)

  Přibram, John of, champion of moderate Utraquists, 144
    Works, 144

  Prokop of Neuhaus (Jindřichuv Hradec), theological writer of
      "Unity," 215, 217
    Works in Bohemian, 218

  Pulkava, account of his Bohemian chronicle, 49

  Pypin and Spasovič, _History of Slav Literatures_, 386

  Queen Kunegund, 28

  Queen Sophia--
    Friendly to Hus, 98, 136
    Letter to Pope protesting against severity to Hus, 103

  "Question of the Manuscripts," 1

  Rakoczy, George, Prince of Transylvania, invites Komenský to visit
      him, 271

  Ranke studies archives of Vatican, 392

  Rezek, Anton, historical works, 413

  Rokycan, Archbishop, leader of advanced Calixtine party, 148
    Originator of "Unity," 202
    _Postilla_, 147
    Relations with Gregory, 204, 206
    Teaching of, 202

  Romanist song, "Woe to you, Hus," 172

  Rosenberg Library, Stockholm, legend of St. Catherine discovered in, 10

  Rosenberg, Lords of, Březan's history of, 314

  Rosenberg, Peter of--
    Important part in Bohemian politics, 318
    Love of literature, 298

  Rubes, popular song of, 404

  Rudolph II. grants "Letter of Majesty" to Protestants, 243

  _Rukopis Kralodvorsky._ (_See_ Manuscript of Königinhof.)

  Šafařik, Paul Joseph--
    Opinion of Manuscript of Königinhof, 2
    Sketch of career, 383
    _Starožitnosti Slovanské_ (Slavic Antiquity), 386
    Works on Slav language and race, 382, 383, 387

  St. Anselm, legend of, 17

  St. Bridget, visions of, and Štitný, 79

  St. Catherine, account of her martyrdom, 10

  St. Catherine, legends of, 10

  St. Cyrillus as author of "Gospodi pomiluj ny," 8

  St. Cyrillus introduces Greek ritual into Bohemia, 13

  St. Dorothy, legend of, 11

  St. George, legend of, 17

  St. Methodius as author of "Gospodi pomiluj ny," 8

  St. Methodius introduces Greek ritual into Bohemia, 13

  St. Prokop, legend of, 12, 47

  St. Venceslas, hymn to, 8

  St. Vitus, legend of St. Dorothy in, 11

  _Satires on Trades_, 41

  Sazava, monastery on, 13

  Sedláček, Dr. Augustine, 416

  Severus, Provost of Mélnik, _Chronicon Boemorum_ dedicated to, 44

  Sigismund, King, conduct towards Hus, 109, 111

  Sixt of Ottersdorf--
    _History of the Troubled Years in Bohemia_, 304
    Political career, 303

  Skála ze Zhoře--
    Account of executions of Prague, 342
    _Chronology of the Church_, 336;
      extracts from, 337, 339, 341
    _Historie Cirkevni_ (History of the Church), 336
    Sketch of career, 335

  Sládek, J. V., translations of English poets, 407

  Slavata, William Count--
    Account of Count Thurn's banquet to Turkish embassy, 244, 348
    _Historické Spisovani_ (Historical Works), 352
    _Paměty_, 346
    Sketch of life, 345

  Šlechta, John, "ze Všehrd"--
    _Microcosmus_, 188
    Sketch of, 187

  _Songs at Daybreak_ (Svitanicka), 25;
    translation of one, 26

  Spencer, Henry, Bishop of Norwich, Flemish crusade opposed by
      Wycliffe, 106

  Stanislaus of Znaym, abandons Hus, 106
    Banished by Wenceslas, 108

  "Staři Letopisove Cešti," ancient Bohemian chroniclers, 171

  Sternberg, Count Francis, protects Palacký, 390

  Sternberg, Count Kaspar, President of Bohemian Museum, 390

  Štitný, Thomas of--
    _Of General Christian Manners_, contents of, 65 _seqq._
    Precursor of Hus, employs native language, 42, 57, 63, 74

  Štitný, Thomas of--
    _Reči Besedni_, "Learned Entertainments," 73 _seqq._
    Sketch of career, 63

  Stransky, Paul--
    On Bohemians adhering to Greek Church, 137
    _Respublica Bojema_, 353

  Sturm, Venceslas, theological works, 294

  Světla, Karolina, novelist, 408

  Swinburne, poem on St. Dorothy, 11

  Sylvius, Ænæas (Pius II.)--
    Account of visit to Tabor, 148
    Account of Zižka's death, 152
    Work on Bohemia destroyed, 355

  Tabor City, Ænæas Sylvius' account of visit to, 148

  Taborites, advanced Hussites, 143

  _Tale of Alexander the Great_, 56

  _Tandarius and Floribella_, 25

  "Tears of Mary Magdalene," legend of, 16

  "Tears of St. Mary," legend of, 16

  _The Contest of the Body and the Soul_, 17

  _The Death of King John_, 35

  _The Garden of Roses_, 25

  _The Painted Monks_, written from Roman standpoint, 173

  Theobaldus, _Hussitenkrieg_, 305

  Theodoric, legends about, 25

  Thurloe, suggestion for Bohemian Brethren, 274

  Thurn, Count, pamphlet on assassination of Wallenstein, 346, 351

  _Tkadleček the Weaver_, account of, 51
    Lament to Misfortune quoted, 53
    Misfortune's reply, extract from, 56

  Tieftrunk, Karl, historical works, 408

  Tiem, Wenceslas, Dean of Passau, preaches crusade at Prague, 105

  Tomek, Wenceslas--
    Historical works, 408
    On letter of safe conduct given to Hus, 109

  _Travels of Sir John Mandeville_, translated into Bohemian by
      Březova, 147

  Treaty of Westphalia and Komenský, 271

  Třebizky, Benes, historical novels, 405

  _Tristram_ similar to _Morte d'Arthur_, 25

  Truhlář, Professor Joseph, collection of Latin letters of
      Bohuslav, 177;
    _Humanismus v Čechach_, 414

  _Truth_, allegorical poem, 17

  Tyl, Joseph, dramatic works, 404

  Ulrick, Prince, description of his meeting Bozena, 32

  "Unity." (_See_ Bohemian Brethren.)

  Urban, Pope, and Milič of Kremsier, 61

  "Utraquist Church," 300

  Utraquists (Calixtines) party of Hussites, 143

  Velenovic, Nicholas, Hus defends, 94

  Veleslavin, Adam Daniel, sketch of career and works, 189

  Veleslavin, Adam Samuel, sketch of career, 190

  Venceslas, Prince, descriptions of murder of, 32

  Victorin Cornelius ze Všehrd--
    Relations with Bohuslav, 176
    Sketch of, 183
    _Ten Books on the Rights of the Bohemian Land_, 183

  _Vita Caroli_ translated into Bohemian, 49

  Vlček, Jaroslav, 414

  Vlček, Wenceslas, novelist, 416

  Vodnan, John of, works of, 294

  Vratislav, Venceslas, of Mitrovic, account of travels and adventures, 326

  Vrchlický, Jaroslav (Emil Frida), dramas and other works, 418

  _Výklad na pravo zemske_, early legal work, 51

  Waldenses' influence on Hussite movement, 166

  Waldensian consecrating priest of "Unity," 207

  Waldhauser, Conrad--
    Latin _Postilla_, 159
    Sketch of, 58
    Works, 59

  Wallenstein, Christina Ponatovská prophesies his death, 258

  _Weaver._ (See _Tkadleček the Weaver_.)

  Wenceslas IV.--
    Attitude towards Popes, 95, 96, 98
    Publishes "Decrees of Kutna Hora," 97
    Struggle with Bohemian nobles, 36

  White Mountain, battle of--
    Misery of Bohemia after, 354
    Political results of, 298

  _William of Zajic_, 35

  Winter, Sigismund, 414

  Winthrop, Richard Charles, suggestions to Komenský, 268

  Wratislaw, Rev. A. H.--
    Biography of John Hus, 86
    On Hus's treatise on simony, 128
    On resemblance between _Tristram_ and _Morte d'Arthur_, 25
    On works of Janov, 83

  Wyche, Richard, letter to Hus, 102, 131;
    reply, 131

    Articles condemned, 113
    Works burned at Prague, 101
    Works quoted by Hus, 57
    Writings discussed at Prague, 91

  Zajic, Zbyněk, of Hasenburg, Archbishop of Prague--
    Excommunicates Hus and his adherents, 101
    Recognises Alexander V. as Pope, 99
    Sketch of, 92

  Zavis of Falkenstein, 28

  Zelená Hora. (_See_ Manuscript of Grüneberg.)

  Žerotin, Charles of, 254, 257
    _Obrana_ or _Apology_, extract from, 323
    Sketch of career, 321

  Žerotin, John of, pupil of Blahoslav, 232

  Zeyer, Julius, 410

  Zibrt, Dr., study of Bohemian folklore, 409

  Židek, Paul, 294

  Zittau, Peter of, chronicle, 48

  Zǐžka, John, of Trocnov, leader of moderate Taborites, 144, 149
    Accounts of his death, 152
    _Regulations of War_, Letters, 149
    Taborite war-song quoted, 151

  Zwicker, Daniel, antagonist of Komenský, 276

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