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Title: Bohemia - From the earliest times to the fall of national independence - in 1620; with a short summary of later events
Author: Maurice, C. Edmund (Charles Edmund)
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.

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Transcriber’s Note: The Czech language uses the caron character above
letters (e.g. č). This book, however, was printed with the breve
character (c̆) which has been retained.



The Story of the Nations.

BOHEMIA.



THE STORY OF THE NATIONS.


    1. =ROME.= By ARTHUR GILMAN, M.A.

    2. =THE JEWS.= By Prof. J. K. HOSMER.

    3. =GERMANY.= By Rev. S. BARING-GOULD, M.A.

    4. =CARTHAGE.= By Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH.

    5. =ALEXANDER’S EMPIRE.= By Prof. J. P. MAHAFFY.

    6. =THE MOORS IN SPAIN.= By STANLEY LANE-POOLE.

    7. =ANCIENT EGYPT.= By Prof. GEORGE RAWLINSON.

    8. =HUNGARY.= By Prof. ARMINIUS VAMBÉRY.

    9. =THE SARACENS.= By ARTHUR GILMAN, M.A.

    10. =IRELAND.= By the Hon. EMILY LAWLESS.

    11. =CHALDEA.= By ZÉNAÏDE A. RAGOZIN.

    12. =THE GOTHS.= By HENRY BRADLEY.

    13. =ASSYRIA.= By ZÉNAÏDE A. RAGOZIN.

    14. =TURKEY.= By STANLEY LANE-POOLE.

    15. =HOLLAND.= By Prof. J. E. THOROLD ROGERS.

    16. =MEDIÆVAL FRANCE.= By GUSTAVE MASSON.

    17. =PERSIA.= By S. G. W. BENJAMIN.

    18. =PHŒNICIA.= By Prof. GEO. RAWLINSON.

    19. =MEDIA.= By ZÉNAÏDE A. RAGOZIN.

    20. =THE HANSA TOWNS.= By HELEN ZIMMERN.

    21. =EARLY BRITAIN.= By Prof. ALFRED J. CHURCH.

    22. =THE BARBARY CORSAIRS.= By STANLEY LANE-POOLE.

    23. =RUSSIA.= By W. R. MORFILL, M.A.

    24. =THE JEWS UNDER THE ROMANS.= By W. D. MORRISON.

    25. =SCOTLAND.= By JOHN MACKINTOSH, LL.D.

    26. =SWITZERLAND.= By Mrs. LINA HUG and R. STEAD.

    27. =MEXICO.= By SUSAN HALE.

    28. =PORTUGAL.= By H. MORSE STEPHENS.

    29. =THE NORMANS.= By SARAH ORNE JEWETT.

    30. =THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE.= By C. W. C. OMAN.

    31. =SICILY: Phœnician, Greek and Roman.= By the late Prof. E.
    A. FREEMAN.

    32. =THE TUSCAN REPUBLICS.= By BELLA DUFFY.

    33. =POLAND.= By W. R. MORFILL, M.A.

    34. =PARTHIA.= By Prof. GEORGE RAWLINSON.

    35. =AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH.= By GREVILLE TREGARTHEN.

    36. =SPAIN.= By H. E. WATTS.

    37. =JAPAN.= By DAVID MURRAY, Ph.D.

    38. =SOUTH AFRICA.= By GEORGE M. THEAL.

    39. =VENICE.= By ALETHEA WIEL.

    40. =THE CRUSADES.= By T. A. ARCHER and C. L. KINGSFORD.

    41. =VEDIC INDIA.= By Z. A. RAGOZIN.

    42. =WEST INDIES and the SPANISH MAIN.= By JAMES RODWAY.

    43. =BOHEMIA.= By C. EDMUND MAURICE, M.A.

    44. =THE BALKANS.= By W. MILLER.

    45. =CANADA.= By Sir J. G. BOURINOT, LL.D.

    46. =BRITISH INDIA.= By R. W. FRAZER, LL.B.

    47. =MODERN FRANCE.= By ANDRÉ-LE BON.

    48. =THE FRANKS.= By LEWIS SERGEANT.

    49. =AUSTRIA.= By SIDNEY WHITMAN.

    50. =MODERN ENGLAND.= Before the Reform Bill. By JUSTIN
    MCCARTHY.

    51. =CHINA.= By Prof. R. K. DOUGLAS.

    52. =MODERN ENGLAND.= From the Reform Bill to the Present Time.
    By JUSTIN MCCARTHY.

    53. =MODERN SPAIN.= By MARTIN A. S. HUME.

    54. =MODERN ITALY.= By PIETRO ORSI.

    55. =NORWAY.= By H. H. BOYESEN.

    56. =WALES.= By O. M. EDWARDS.

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN, PATERNOSTER SQUARE, E.C.



[Illustration: SMALL RING OF PRAGUE.]



                                BOHEMIA

                    FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE
                     FALL OF NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE
                     IN 1620; WITH A SHORT SUMMARY
                            OF LATER EVENTS

                                  BY

                           C. EDMUND MAURICE

  AUTHOR OF THE “REVOLUTIONS OF 1848-9 IN ITALY, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, AND
    GERMANY,” “RICHARD DE LACY: A TALE OF THE LATER LOLLARDS,” &C.

              _Corresponding Member of the Royal Bohemian
                         Society of Sciences_

                          _SECOND IMPRESSION_

                                London

                            T. FISHER UNWIN
                          PATERNOSTER SQUARE

                  COPYRIGHT BY T. FISHER UNWIN, 1896
                         (For Great Britain).



PREFACE.


Few countries have been more strangely misunderstood by the average
Englishman than Bohemia has been. The mischievous blunder of some
fifteenth century Frenchman, who confused the gipsies who had just
arrived in France with the nation which was just then startling Europe
by its resistance to the forces of the Empire, has left a deeper mark
on the imagination of most of our countrymen than the martyrdom of
Hus or even the sufferings of our own Princess Elizabeth. The word
“Bohemian” has passed into newspaper slang; and it has been so often
quoted in its slang sense by people who ought to be more careful in
their language, that it has really hindered the study of the real
country which it misrepresents. The few who care to hear anything
more of a people so strangely slandered, have often been yet further
blinded by their readiness to accept as absolute truth the prejudices
of the German and Magyar opponents of the Bohemian national feeling.
From these sources they have derived an impression of a set of narrow
Ultramontanes, who, oddly enough, combine their religious bigotries
in favour of Roman Catholicism with a reliance on Russia in political
affairs. These prejudices ought certainly to yield to an acquaintance
with the people in their own country. A Roman Catholicism, tempered
by an enthusiasm for Hus and Z̆iz̆ka and King George, can scarcely be
a very obscurantist form of creed; and an intense feeling of national
distinctness can hardly be compatible with an anxiety to be absorbed
by the great North-eastern Empire, though undoubtedly it produces
a stronger repulsion against the equally denationalising force of
Pan-Germanism. Perhaps a careful study of the history of a country
so much misunderstood will be the best preparation for a fairer
appreciation of its present difficulties.

I have now to thank the many kind friends who have helped me in my
work. Of these the chief helper has been Professor Mourek. During
the whole of my stay at Prague I received every assistance from him
which a foreigner studying in that town could possibly require; and
since I have returned to England he has helped me most energetically
in procuring various illustrations necessary for my book. I have also
to thank Count Leo Thun (the cousin of the late Governor of Bohemia)
for many useful hints and introductions. I should also thank Mr.
Custos Borovsky, of the Rudolfinum, for the kindness with which he
supplied me with introductions during my visits to other towns in
Bohemia and Moravia. I should also thank Professor Rez̆ek for many
useful hints, especially about the difficult reign of Ferdinand I.
Professor Kalausek I have to thank for hints about the earlier period.
Professor Tomek I must thank for allowing me to use the map of Prague
which appears in my book. I must also thank Dr. Toman for the use of
the curious pictures of Z̆iz̆ka. For help in my work in other towns I
must thank Father Wurm, of Olmütz (Olomouci); Mr. Palliardi, of Znaym
(Znojem); Professor Brettholz, of Brünn (Brno); the Sub-librarian of
C̆aslau; Professor Lemminger, of Kuttenberg (Kutna Hora); Mr. Gross,
of Krumov; Father Fuc̆ik, of Prachatice; Professor Strnad, of Pilsen
(Plz̆en); Monsignore Rodler, of Budweis (Budejóvice); the Keeper of the
Archives at Wittingau (Tr̆ebon̆), and Professor Sedlac̆ek, of Tabor. I
also wish to thank Mr. C̆elakovsky, of the Town Archives of Prague, for
the suggestion about the relation of the early Utraquist rising to the
differences between Bohemian workmen and German employers (see Chap.
ix. pp. 231, 232).

The question of when and how far to use the Bohemian names of places
is one of some difficulty. My own instinct would be to use them
wherever possible. But it cannot be denied that there are cases in
which the German forms are so well known to English readers, and some
in which the Bohemian names seem so unpronounceable, that it would be
affectation to follow the strict rules of national expression. Praha,
of course, has been hopelessly Anglicized into Prague; and Olomouci,
Cheb, Brno, and Plz̆en have been as certainly Germanised into Olmütz,
Eger, Brünn, and Pilsen. Even in these cases I have on some occasions
added the Bohemian names in brackets. But it was so difficult to know
what names of Bohemian towns are generally known in England, that I
may sometimes seem to have been inconsistent in my practice. Only let
me assure my readers that my wish has been to impress on them the
distinctive character of the Bohemian language, and at the same time to
secure the recognition of any places with whose names they are already
familiar.



CONTENTS.


                                                                       PAGE
    I.

    FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF BOHEMIAN HISTORY TO THE HUNGARIAN
    INVASION                                                           1-17

    (-885.)

    Characteristics of Bohemian history--Story of Queen
    Libus̆a--Early Slavonic kingdom--The struggle with the
    Franks--Resistance to Frankish “conversions”--Boris of
    Bulgaria and Methodius--The Cyrillic language--Cyril
    and Methodius in Moravia--Career of Svatopluk--Renewed
    struggle with the Franks--Conversion of Bor̆ivoj--The
    Slavonic ritual--Opposition of Svatopluk and his
    courtiers to Methodius--The appeal to the Pope--The
    “Pilatici”--Approval of the ritual by John VIII.--Wiching’s
    fraud--Svatopluk and Arnulf--Expulsion of the
    Methodian Christians from Moravia--Death of Svatopluk--Mojmir
    and the Slavonic ritual--The Hungarian invasion.

    II.

    BOHEMIAN SAINTS AND WARRIORS IN THE TENTH CENTURY                 18-32

    (885-997.)

    Bohemian feeling about the saintly and the military
    character--Svatopluk’s struggle and fall--Separation of
    Bohemia from Moravia--Reigns of Bor̆ivoj and Vratislav--The
    heathen reaction under Drahomíra--Life, death, and
    character of St. Wenceslaus--Reign of Boleslav the Cruel--Rise
    of the Vrs̆ovici--Boleslav the Pious--Life and death
    of St. Adalbert.

    III.

    RELATIONS OF BOHEMIA TO POLAND AND TO THE EMPIRE IN THE
    ELEVENTH, TWELFTH, AND THIRTEENTH CENTURIES                       33-66

    (997-1253.)

    Effect of the Hungarian invasions on the position of
    Bohemia--The struggles between Bohemia and Poland--Romantic
    stories of Oldr̆ich and Brac̆islav--Revival of
    the Slavonic ritual--Brac̆islav’s victories in Poland--The
    scene in the Church at Gnesen--Invasion of Bohemia by
    Henry III.--The Pr̆emyslovci made hereditary Dukes--Spitihnĕv’s
    anti-German policy--Election and policy of
    Vratislav--The family opposition and its results--Relations
    with Henry IV.--The first Bohemian king--Relations with
    the Hohenstauffen--Vladislav’s policy and the opposition
    of the nobles--Frederick Barbarossa--The second King of
    Bohemia--Bohemians in Italy--Summary of Vladislav’s
    reign--New disorders--Election of Pr̆emysl--Divisions in
    the Empire and their effect on the Bohemian position--Contests
    of King and Priest--Breach between Bohemia
    and the Empire--Conquest of Austria by Bohemia--Accession
    of Ottakar II.

    IV.

    THE GROWTH OF BOHEMIAN LIFE FROM ACCESSION OF PR̆EMYSL OTTAKAR
    I. TO DEATH OF PR̆EMYSL OTTAKAR II.                              67-106

    (1198-1278.)

    Relative importance of Constitutional questions in different
    histories and at different periods--Causes of decline of
    early Bohemian liberties--Policy of Pr̆emysl Ottakar I.--The
    German settlement in Poric̆--Extension of its privileges
    to other towns--Special position of Moravia--The
    town-rights of Brünn--The Mongol invasion--Collapse of
    Europe--Pope and Emperor--King Wenceslaus I.--First
    check of the Mongols--Impulse given by these events to
    the movement for municipal liberty--Towns as a check on
    the nobles--Power of the jury--Effect of this movement
    on trade--On political capacity--Pr̆emysl Ottakar II.--His
    relations to nobles and clergy--Difficulties between towns
    and monasteries--Ottakar’s policy in that respect--His
    foreign policy--Circumstances of the annexation of Austria
    to Bohemia--The marriage with Margaret--Relations of
    Ottakar to Vienna--The struggle in and conquest of Styria--Story
    of conquest of Carinthia and Carniola--Ottakar’s
    tyranny in Styria--Ottakar’s relations with Hungary--Anarchy
    in the Empire--Refusal of Imperial Crown by
    Ottakar--Long discussions and divisions among the
    Electors--Circumstances of the election of Rudolf of
    Hapsburg--Ottakar’s protest--Pope Gregory X. and Bruno of
    Olmütz--The Council of Lyons--Rudolf’s claims on
    Ottakar’s conquests--The first war between Ottakar and
    Rudolf--Surrender of the conquered lands to
    Rudolf--Differences about the terms of peace--Rudolf’s
    difficulties between towns and archbishops--Falling off of
    Rudolf’s supporters--The conspiracy in Vienna and its
    suppression--The final war--Battle of the Marchfeld and
    death of Ottakar--Estimate of the work of Pr̆emyslovci--Causes
    of Ottakar’s fall.

    V.

    TIME OF ANARCHY IN BOHEMIA FROM DEATH OF OTTAKAR II. TO
    ACCESSION OF CHARLES IV.                                        107-129

    (1278-1346.)

    Rudolf’s moderation as a conqueror--Impossibility of his
    policy--Kunigunda and Otto of Brandenburg--Treachery
    and tyranny of Otto and his followers--The famine--Return
    of King Wenceslaus II.--Zavis̆ of Falkenstein--Marriage
    of Wenceslaus--Intrigues and death of Zavis̆--Policy
    of Wenceslaus--Death of Rudolf and new
    divisions in the Empire--Albert’s concessions and election--Relations
    of Wenceslaus to Hungary--Death of Wenceslaus
    II., and accession and murder of Wenceslaus III.--Struggles
    between Rudolf of Hapsburg and Henry of
    Carinthia for Bohemia--Election of Henry of Luxemburg
    as Emperor--Election of John as King of Bohemia--His
    prospects and promises--The Archbishop of Mainz--Henry
    of Lipa--The towns and the nobles--Audacity of Henry of
    Lipa--Return of John--Civil war in Bohemia--Practical
    victory of Henry--His intrigues against Elizabeth--John
    and the citizens of Prague--Difficulties of Elizabeth--Prosecution
    of Bishop John--Cruelty of John--Charles as
    Governor of Bohemia--Intrigues of nobles against him--Resistance
    of Charles to John--Friendliness of Pope
    Clement to John and Charles--The Slavonic ritual--Election
    of Charles as Emperor--Battle of Crecy and
    death of John.

    VI.

    REIGN OF CHARLES IV.                                            130-153

    (1346-1378.)

    Difficulties of explaining Charles’s career by his
    antecedents--Influences of his Paris experiences on him--Earlier
    attempts at “higher education” in Bohemia--Charles’s
    aims in founding his University--His plans--The “Four
    Nations”--Immediate effects of the foundation--The New
    Town of Prague--Foundation of Carlstein--The Majestas
    Carolina--Reasons for its withdrawal--Its merits and
    defects--Abolition of the fire and water tests--Appeal
    granted to the Serfs--Connection of “Charles I.” of
    Bohemia with “Charles IV.” of Germany--The Golden
    Bull--Resistance to the Emperor, and his way of meeting
    it--Concession to the House of Hapsburg--Relations of
    Charles with young Louis of Bavaria, in the Tyrol, in
    Brandenburg--His relations with Italy, Rienzi, Petrarch--Attempt
    to make the German Empire hereditary.

    VII.

    THE REFORM MOVEMENT FROM THE DIET OF 1359 TO THE RETIREMENT OF
    THE GERMANS FROM THE PRAGUE UNIVERSITY                          154-187

    (1359-1409.)

    Movements of thought in the thirteenth century--Uncertainty
    in their direction--The “Beghards” or “Picards.”--Position
    of Charles in relation to religious reform--The
    Diet of 1359--Charles’s ideas of reform--Conrad Waldhauser--The
    Bohemian language question--Milic of
    Kromĕr̆íz̆--Thomas of S̆títný--Growth of Bohemian literature,
    and opposition of the “Masters” to it--Death of
    Charles--Accession and character of Wenceslaus IV.--His
    relations with the Pope--His quarrels with the clergy--Archbishop
    Jenstein’s opposition--Death of John of
    Nepomuc and its consequences--Wenceslaus’s relations
    with the nobles--Power and policy of the Rosenbergs--Imprisonment
    of Wenceslaus by the nobles--John and
    Sigismund--Violence of Wenceslaus--Opposition of the
    Electors to him--His deposition in 1400 from the Empire--Sigismund’s
    policy in Prague--The second imprisonment
    of Wenceslaus and his escape--Matthias of Janov--Founding
    of the Bethlehem Chapel--Early career of Jan
    Hus--Relations of the English and Bohemian Reformations
    to each other--The Prague University proposals of
    1403 against Wyclif--Attitude of Hus towards Wyclif--Unique
    theological position of Hus--Zbynĕk and Hus--Wenceslaus
    and the Council of Pisa--Attitude of rival
    parties--The votes of the “Nations”--Hesitations and final
    decision of Wenceslaus--The German resistance to the
    decree--The two sides of the question--Retirement of the
    Germans from Prague.

    VIII.

    FROM THE RETIREMENT OF THE GERMANS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF
    PRAGUE TO THE DEATH OF HUS                                      188-220

    (1409-1415.)

    Injustices of Hus’s opponents in reference to the voting
    question--Election of Alexander V.--New attacks on
    heresy--Hus’s answers--Queen Sophia--The burning of
    Wyclif’s books--Wenceslaus and John XXIII.--Intervention
    of Sigismund--Pope John’s crusade--The sale of
    indulgences--Opposition of Hus--Revolt of his followers
    from him--First appearance of Jerom in Bohemian controversy--Effect
    of his interference--The treacherous
    execution of the opponents of Indulgences--Michael de
    Causis--Hus’s retirement from Prague--The “De Ecclesia”--Jakaubek
    of Kladrau--Banishment of Pálec̆ and Stanislaus--Intervention
    of Sigismund--The safe-conduct--The
    arrival at Constance--Promises of Pope John--Michael
    and Pálec̆--Imprisonment of Hus--“The Cup for the
    laity”--Hus’s letter and its perversion--Sigismund at
    Constance--Deposing Popes--Jerom at Constance--The
    Bishop of Litomys̆l and the Bohemian nobles--The trial
    of June 5th--Of June 7th--Sigismund’s anger with Hus--June
    8th--Deposition of Popes and of Kings--“Abjure”--Chlum’s
    handshake--Sigismund’s condemnation of Hus--Last
    letters and interviews--Condemnation of “the
    Cup”--The final scene at the Council--The martyrdom.

    IX.

    FROM THE DEATH OF HUS TO THE FIRST CORONATION OF SIGISMUND      221-260

    (July 6, 1415-July 28, 1420.)

    Differences between Hus and his followers--Effect of his
    death--The Interdict on Prague and its results--Attitude
    of Wenceslaus--Of Sigismund--Jerom’s trial and death--Quarrel
    with the Council about the bishopric of Olmütz--Growing
    differences among the Utraquists--Nicholaus of
    Hus--Z̆iz̆ka--Effect of their action on Wenceslaus--Election
    of Martin V.--End of Council of Constance--Scene
    between Z̆iz̆ka and Wenceslaus--The “New Town”
    of Prague--John of Z̆elív--The Defenestratio--Anger and
    death of Wenceslaus--Attitude of Sigismund--C̆enek of
    Wartenberg--Conditions offered to Sigismund by the
    Assembly--Queen Sophia--The three parties in Bohemia--Mode
    of life of the Taborites--Z̆iz̆ka’s character--The
    appeal for peace--Differences between the Calixtine
    nobles and the Calixtine citizens--Ulric of Rosenberg--First
    struggle between the nobles and the Taborites--The
    compromise--The Kuttenberg persecution--Sigismund’s
    demands--Z̆iz̆ka’s surrender of Pilsen--“No faith with
    heretics”--Sigismund’s lies--C̆enek’s double treachery--Z̆iz̆ka’s
    cruelties--The march of the Taborites to Prague--Forcible
    Reformers--Sigismund’s retreat--The First anti-Hussite
    “Crusade”--Frederick of Hohenzollern and the
    Margravate of Brandenburg--Differences in Sigismund’s
    camp--New burnings of Utraquists--The battle of Z̆iz̆kov
    Hora--More differences in the camp--The “Four Articles
    of Prague”--The discussion--The compromise--Coronation
    of Sigismund.

    X.

    FROM THE FIRST CORONATION OF SIGISMUND TO THE OPENING OF THE
    COUNCIL OF BASEL                                                261-289

    (1420-1431.)

    Demands of the Taborites--Peter Payne--John of Z̆elív--Withdrawal
    of Taborites--Differences of the Calixtines
    with Sigismund--His retirement from Prague--Nicholaus
    of Hus--Hynek of Crus̆ina--The battle of the Vys̆ehrad--Differences
    of the Bohemians from their enemies in the
    war--New divisions among the Utraquists--The siege of
    R̆íc̆an--The “vestment” controversy--Death of Nicholaus
    of Hus--Martinek Hauska and Transubstantiation--The
    Adamites--Z̆iz̆ka’s treatment of them--Capture of Kuttenberg
    and Jaromír and return of the nobles to the Utraquists--Resolution
    of the Assembly about Sigismund--New
    quarrels between nobles and citizens--The “Second
    Crusade”--The siege of Z̆atec--The “miracle”--Cruelties
    of Sigismund in Moravia--The capture of Kuttenberg--Z̆iz̆ka
    at bay--The recapture--Z̆iz̆ka’s final victory over
    Sigismund--Tyranny of John of Z̆elív in Prague--“Prince
    Korybut”--Betrayal and death of John of Z̆elív--Collapse
    of the “Third Crusade”--Z̆iz̆ka’s struggles with the nobles--His
    final victories and death--Procop the Great--The
    new war policy of the Bohemians--Pr̆zibram and Peter
    Payne--Korybut’s blunder--John Rokycana--The “Fourth
    Crusade”--Cardinal Beaufort--The siege of Mies--The
    rout of Tachov--New discussions--Demands for a Council--Death
    of Martin V.--Cesarini and the “Fifth Crusade”--The
    flight from Taus--End of the “Crusades.”

    XI.

    FROM THE OPENING OF THE COUNCIL OF BASEL TO THE FALL OF TABOR   290-322

    (1437-1452.)

    Reasons for the meeting of the Council of Basel--More
    lies of Sigismund--The peasant risings in France and
    Germany--Bohemian towns in German hands--Meeting
    of the Council--Arrival of Bohemians in Basel--Rokycana
    and Peter Payne--Policy of Cardinal Cesarini--The first
    meeting--Procop and Cesarini--Rokycana on “the Cup”--Difference
    of Rokycana from his colleagues--Peter
    Payne--The English opposition--Cesarini sows division
    among the Utraquists--End of the first stage of the discussion--Growing
    differences--Rokycana and Pr̆zibram--The
    delegates from Basel--Final struggle between the
    nobles and Procop--Battle of Lipaný and death of Procop--C̆apek
    and the Orphans--Meinhard of Neuhaus--Negotiations
    with Sigismund--The “Compacts of Basel”--Election
    of Rokycana to the Archbishopric--Restoration
    of Sigismund--His new treacheries--Flight of Rokycana--Peter
    Payne as judge--Effect of his decision--Revolt
    of Rohac--Sigismund’s retirement and death--Struggle
    between Albert of Austria and Ladislaus of Poland--Acceptance
    of Albert’s son Ladislaus as King of Bohemia--Meinhard
    and Ptac̆ek--New discussions between Calixtines
    and Taborites--Last appearance of Peter Payne--Story
    of his imprisonment and ransom--Rise of George
    of Podĕbrad--Treachery of the Basel delegate--Capture of
    Prague and death of Meinhard--George’s policy--Opposition
    and fall of Tabor.

    XII.

    FROM THE FALL OF TABOR TO THE DEATH OF GEORGE OF PODĔBRAD       323-340

    (1452-1470.)

    George’s attitude towards the young king--Entry of Ladislaus
    into Prague--His Catholic sympathies--His death--Candidates
    for the throne of Bohemia--Election of George--Significance
    of this election in European history--George’s
    moderation--His relations with Matthias of Hungary--Pius
    II. and the Turks--Resistance to George in Moravia
    and Silesia--The revolt of Breslau--The compromise--Increase
    of George’s power and influence--Pius II.’s
    change of feeling--His condemnation of the Compacts of
    Basel--Fantinus de Valle and King George--George’s
    defiance of the Pope--Frederick III. and King George--Pius
    and the revolt of Breslau--Growing opposition in
    Bohemia to the king--Death of Pius II. and election of
    Paul II.--The deferred greeting--The Bull of deposition--Zdenek
    of Sternberg--The rebellion of the nobles--Losses
    of George--Election of Matthias--The insulting
    terms of peace--George’s defiance of Pope and princes--His
    victories and death--Death of Rokycana.

    XIII.

    FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOHEMIAN BROTHERHOOD TO THE ACCESSION
    OF FERDINAND I. TO THE THRONE OF BOHEMIA                        341-373

    (1419-1526.)

    Parallels between English and Bohemian history--Likeness
    and difference between the Bohemian Brothers and
    the English “Friends”--Contrast between English and
    Bohemian traditions--Peter of Chelc̆ic--His early career--Relations
    with Rokycana--Change of Rokycana’s policy
    towards the Brothers--Gregory persecuted by Rokycana--Organisation
    of the Brotherhood--Further persecutions--Death
    of George and accession of Ladislaus II.--Denunciations
    by the “Masters” of Prague--Death of Gregory--His
    warnings to the Brothers--Growth of the Brotherhood--Lukas
    of Prague--Struggle between Lukas and Amos of
    S̆tekna--The compromise with the world--New persecutions--Bohuslav
    of Hassenstein--Amos’s denunciations--Ladislaus
    offends the Constitutionalists--The protectors
    of the Brotherhood--The examination at Prague--The
    Printing Press--Ladislaus’s appeal to Moravia, and its
    repulse--Persecution in Bohemia--Erasmus and the Brothers--Death
    of Ladislaus--Decline of freedom in Bohemia--The
    struggle between the towns and the nobles--King
    Louis--Lev of Roz̆mital and Pas̆ek of Wrat--Louis’s reforms--Luther’s
    appearance--Luther and Hus--Luther’s
    warnings to the Utraquists--Gallus Cahera--Pas̆ek’s new
    intrigues--The tyranny in Prague--Louis’s vain resistance--Lev
    of Roz̆mital and Henry of Rosenberg--The Turkish
    invasion--Louis’s vain appeal--His flight and death--Battle
    of Mohács--Election of Ferdinand I.

    XIV.

    REIGN OF FERDINAND I.                                           374-405

    (1526-1564.)

    Questions at issue in Bohemia at the time of Ferdinand’s
    accession--Ferdinand’s mistakes--The Turkish war--Ferdinand’s
    reforms in Prague--Soliman’s siege of Vienna
    and its repulse--Final fall of Pas̆ek and Cahera--Ferdinand’s
    aims--The Brothers and the Anabaptists--Conrad
    of Krajek--The Confession of the Brotherhood--John
    Augusta--Luther’s relations with the Brotherhood--His
    defence of their Confession--Ferdinand’s attacks on the
    Brotherhood--Utraquist opposition to the “Compacts”--Augusta
    with Calvin and Luther--Luther refuses to
    Germanise Bohemia--Growth of Lutheran principles in
    Bohemia--The Bohemians and the Schmalkaldic war--The
    League for Bohemian Liberty--The insurrection of 1547--Consequences
    of its failure--Renewed persecution of the
    Brotherhood--The Litomys̆l Brothers--Arrest and torture
    of Augusta--Ferdinand’s ingenious cruelty--Expulsion of
    the Brothers from Bohemia--Their settlement in Poland--Removal
    to Prussia--Their treatment in Prussia--Ferdinand’s
    difficulties with the “local” claims--The “Estates
    of the Circles”--The Komora Dvorska and its uses--Catholics
    and Utraquists--New torture of Augusta--Ferdinand’s
    appeal to Moravia and its repulse--Augusta’s
    difficulties with the “Elders”--Protestant hopes from
    Maximilian--Power of the Jesuits--New persecution of
    the Brothers--Augusta’s position--The final attempt at his
    conversion--His verbal concession to Utraquism and its
    misrepresentation--His last imprisonment and final release--Death
    of Ferdinand.

    XV.

    FROM THE DEATH OF FERDINAND I. TO THE BEGINNING OF THE
    REACTION UNDER RUDOLF II.                                       406-424

    (1564-1600.)

    Progress of despotism in Bohemia--Ferdinand’s great
    excuse--The fall of Utraquism--Character and policy of
    Maximilian--His special difficulties--National feeling of
    the Brotherhood--Blahoslav and Augusta--Lutheran desire
    for uniformity--Augusta’s defeat and death--The
    “Bohemian Confession”--The Conference of 1575--Consequences
    of its failure--Change of policy and death
    of Maximilian--Character and tendencies of Rudolf II.--Revival
    of Art and Science--Use of it by the Jesuits--Struggle
    of Jesuits with the Brothers--Difficulties of the
    Brotherhood--The expulsion of the Krajeks and its consequences--Jesuit
    successes--Resistance of Moravia--Peter
    Vok von Rosenberg--General character of the struggles.

    XVI.

    FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE REACTION TO THE DEATH OF RUDOLF II.   425-453

    (1600-1612.)

    Causes of Rudolf’s change of policy--The Turkish question--Growth
    of power of the Komora Dvorska--Rudolf’s
    insanity--Opposition of his family to him--The Edict of
    1602--of 1604--Bocksay’s insurrection--Growing opposition
    to Rudolf--Karl von Z̆erotin--His training, character,
    and policy--Rudolf removes him from office--His relations
    with Illyezhazy--His championship of Matthias--Differences
    between Rudolf and Matthias--Lichtenstein and
    Berka--The Moravian rising--Christian of Anhalt--Z̆erotin’s
    feelings about war--Alliance between Hungary,
    Moravia, and Austria against Rudolf--Wenceslaus Budovĕc--His
    struggles for religious liberty in Bohemia--His
    opposition to Matthias--The Assembly of 1608--Importance
    and originality of Budovĕc’s demands--Rudolf’s resistance--Failure
    of Matthias in Bohemia and success
    elsewhere--Lobkovic, Martinic, and Slavata--Adam of
    Sternberg--Resolution of Bohemian Protestants to resort
    to armed resistance--Bohemia and Silesia--Rudolf’s final
    resistance to the Protestants--Budovĕc’s leadership--The
    Defenders--Peter Vok of Rosenberg--Rudolf’s final concession--The
    Letter of Majesty--The Archduke Leopold--The
    peacemakers--Concession by Rudolf to Matthias--The
    Passau plot; its rise, horrors, and end--Flight of
    Leopold--Matthias crowned at Prague--Last hopes and
    death of Rudolf.

    XVII.

    FROM THE DEATH OF RUDOLF II. TO THE BATTLE OF THE WHITE HILL    454-482

    (1612-1620.)

    Matthias’s difficulties--Policy of Z̆erotin--Erasmus von
    Tschernembl--His differences with Z̆erotin--Z̆erotin and
    Khlesl--Relations of Bohemia to Moravia and Silesia--Policy
    of Khlesl--The Transylvanian question--Khlesl
    worsted by Z̆erotin--Election of Matthias as Emperor and
    its results--The nobles and the towns--Results of their
    quarrels--The provincial question again--“Hapsburgs or
    no Hapsburgs?”--New persecution--Ferdinand of Styria--Khlesl’s
    change of policy--The Troppau question--Fall
    of Z̆erotin--Election of Ferdinand as King of Bohemia--The
    renewed persecution--The Assemblies of 1618--The
    Defenestratio--The Provisional Government--Fall of
    Khlesl--Alliances on both sides--Deaths of Maximilian
    and Matthias--Silesia, Lausitz, and Moravia join the
    Bohemians--Thurn’s invasion of Austria and its end--Bethlen
    Gabor, and the rising in Hungary--Election of
    Frederick as king--Discontent of the peasantry with the
    movement--Difficulties of the Assembly--Bethlen’s successes
    and failures--Maximilian of Bavaria--The final
    invasion--Battle of the White Hill.

    XVIII.

    FROM THE BATTLE OF THE WHITE HILL TO THE PRESENT TIME           483-509

    Completeness of the overthrow of Bohemian independence
    in 1620--Execution of leaders of insurrection--Persecution
    of Protestant preachers--Triumph of the Jesuits--Their
    absolute power--Destruction of memorials of Protestant
    leaders--Loc̆ika’s protest and death--Resistance and overthrow
    of Kuttenberg--Z̆erotin and Ferdinand--Resistance
    of Z̆erotin and Sabovsky--Penal laws against Protestants--Their
    expulsion in 1627--Overthrow of constitutional and
    municipal liberty and national independence--Crushing
    out of the language--Career of Comenius--His life before
    leaving Bohemia--His allegory--He settles at Lissa--“Janua
    aurea”--The “Didactica”--Invitation to Sweden--Comenius
    and Hartlib--Success and failure in England--Milton’s
    letter to Hartlib--Comenius in Sweden--At
    Elbing--Comenius and De Geer--Disappointment at peace
    of Westphalia--Election as Bishop of Brotherhood--Effect
    of his addresses--His later labours--Results of his work--General
    stagnation in Bohemia--Accession of Maria
    Theresa and its results--Suppression of the Jesuits--Joseph’s
    Edict of Toleration--Shortcomings of his religious
    policy--Of his educational policy--His opposition to Constitutional
    liberty--His abolition of serfdom--Leopold II.--Revival
    of Bohemian Literature--Frantis̆ek Pelc̆el--Caspar
    von Sternberg--Josef Dobrovsky--Leopold II. and
    Dobrovsky--The National Museum--The Königinhof MS.--S̆afarik
    and Palacký--The Grünberg MS.--The controversy
    about these MSS.--Palacký’s History--The discovery
    of ancient peasant art--Later controversies.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                  PAGE

    SMALL RING OF PRAGUE                                _Frontispiece_

    LIBUS̆A’S BATH JUST BELOW THE VYS̆EHRAD                          9

    CYRIL AND METHODIUS, FROM THE WINDOW OF A CHURCH IN
    CAROLINEN-THAL                                                  13

    TOMB OF ST. LUDMILA                                             23

    CHURCH BUILT BY ST. ADALBERT AT PRACHATICE                      31

    RADNICE BRNE: OLD DOOR OF TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF BRÜNN           73

    JÍHLAVA (IGLAU), THE GREAT MINING CENTRE IN MORAVIA             77

    CATHEDRAL OF OLMÜTZ ON SITE OF CASTLE WHERE WENCESLAUS III.
    WAS MURDERED                                                   117

    LIKENESS TAKEN FROM CHAPEL IN CARLSTEIN                        131

    CARLSTEIN (KARLUV TYN)                                         135

    MAPS SHOWING GROWTH OF PRAGUE UNDER CHARLES IV.           138, 139

    STATUE OF CHARLES IV. NEAR HIS BRIDGE IN PRAGUE                152

    KRUMOV, ONE OF THE CHIEF SEATS OF THE ROSENBERGS               169

    VILLAGE OF HUSINEC                                             175

    HUSINEC, SHOWING COTTAGE WHERE HUS WAS BORN                    176

    JAN HUS                                                        179

    THE GREAT RING OF PRAGUE. SCENE OF MURDER OF THE OPPONENTS
    OF THE INDULGENCE                                              201

    MARKET-PLACE OF PRACHATICE, THE TOWN WHERE HUS AND Z̆IZ̆KA
    WENT TO SCHOOL                                                 228

    ENTRANCE INTO FORTIFIED PART OF TABOR                          237

    HOUSE IN TABOR WITH OLD TABORITE COMMUNION TABLE IN FRONT
    OF IT                                                          240

    FIGURE OF MINER WITH MINING LAMP AND STAFF IN CHURCH OF ST.
    BARBARA AT KUTTENBERG (KUTNA HORA)                             244

    KUTNA HORA, OFFICE WHERE THE COINS WERE STRUCK BY THE ITALIANS
    BROUGHT TO KUTNA HORA BY WENCESLAUS II.                        245

    TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF PILSEN (PLZ̆EN)                          246

    THE CASTLE OF PRAGUE                                           251

    VIEW OF PRAGUE SHOWING Z̆IZ̆KA’S HILL TO THE NORTH-EAST        256

    ROAD NEAR TABOR, SHOWING TOWN WALL                             263

    Z̆IZ̆KA ON HORSEBACK AT THE HEAD OF THE FLAIL-BEARING TABORITES
    (FROM AN OLD PICTURE COPIED IN DR. TOMAN’S PAMPHLET)           275

    OLD PICTURE OF Z̆IZ̆KA IN HEAVEN (FROM DR. TOMAN’S PAMPHLET)   281

    (CHODI) BOHEMIAN PEASANTS OF THE BAVARIAN BORDER               287

    JOHN ROKYCANA                                                  295

    ZNAYM (ZNOJEM), SCENE OF SIGISMUND’S DEATH                     313

    GEORGE OF PODĔBRAD, FIRST HERETIC KING OF BOHEMIA              327

    JOHN AUGUSTA                                                   381

    MORAVIAN WOMAN                                                 429

    HALL IN THE CASTLE OF PRAGUE FROM WHENCE MARTINIC AND SLAVATA
    WERE THROWN                                                    468

    PLACE IN FRONT OF TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF PRAGUE WHERE THE
    BOHEMIAN NOBLES WERE EXECUTED AFTER THE INSURRECTION           485

    STATUE OF ST. JOHN NEPOMUC                                     486

    CHURCH OF ST. BARBARA AT KUTNA HORA                            488

    JOHN AMOS KOMENSKY                                             492

    SLOVAK WOMAN FOUND IN PARTS OF MORAVIA AND ALSO IN HUNGARY     505

    BOHEMIAN WOMAN WITH “DOVE” HEAD DRESS AND NATIVE WORK          507



[Illustration: BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA.

T. FISHER UNWIN, PATERNOSTER SQUARE, LONDON, E.C.]



THE STORY OF BOHEMIA.



I.

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF BOHEMIAN HISTORY TO THE HUNGARIAN INVASION.

(-885.)


The history of a lost nationality is necessarily tragic and can rarely
be commonplace. In the case of Bohemia the interest is increased by
the variety of the parts which she was forced to play, each of which,
while of great value to the world, assisted in some degree to hasten
her ruin. Thus, for instance, the intense desire to maintain her own
independent life brought her into collision with neighbouring States
which were determined to crush or to absorb her; while, on the other
hand, her position as the champion of a race, of which she was but one
member, dragged her into further quarrels that were not necessarily
the result of her geographical position. And, lastly, the very desire
to maintain her national existence, and to defend the freedom of her
Slavonic kinsmen, constantly compelled her to mix in the quarrels of
that larger world with which she and they had so little sympathy; and
even to accept a share in the responsibilities of that Empire, which,
calling itself Roman, was always becoming more and more Teutonic, and
therefore more anti-Slavonic.

And in that struggle between Teuton and Slav the one thing which, from
the earliest to the latest times, has been the most prized treasure,
and the subject of the fiercest championship of the Bohemian, is his
language. Every effort for constitutional government and national
liberty has always directly connected itself with this aspiration for
the preservation, development, and general recognition of this great
right. Sigismund, in the time of his most cruel attempts to crush
out the freedom of his subjects, was denounced as “the enemy of our
language,” rather than of our nation. Hus is honoured, even by Roman
Catholic Bohemians, as the assertor and developer of their language.
It was the great crime of Joseph II. that he desired to destroy it.
If we could have talked with a Bohemian Christian of the ninth or
tenth century, we should have found his deepest feelings stirred by a
reference to the language which was then assuming its first shape; and
the same subject has the deepest interest for the Bohemian patriot of
the nineteenth century, now that his language has become one of the
most varied and expressive of modern Europe.

Nor must we forget the connection of the ecclesiastical independence
of Bohemia with her most vivid political life. From the time when the
mission of Cyril and Methodius brought to the front the question of a
Slavonic ritual, and of an ecclesiastical organisation, which was to
be separated as far as possible from Teutonic influences, to the time
when Bohemia sank before Ferdinand in the struggle between national
Protestantism and Imperial Romanism, the questions of Bohemian language
and Bohemian self-government were mixed up continually with the claim
to be guided in spiritual things by a clergy who preached and prayed in
the Slavonic language.

Even the earliest traditions show that long before the introduction
of Christianity the Bohemian ideal of national life had been totally
different from that of the surrounding nations. The poem of “The
Judgment of Libus̆a,” which seems to embody the earliest picture of
Bohemian life, is no Iliad or Niebelungen Lied, no story of robber
dens or rapes of the Sabines, but the representation of a peace-loving
nation trying to uphold traditions of communal ownership of land, and
the gentle guidance of the wisest in judicial affairs, modified by an
organised expression of popular opinion.[1]

So great an impression did the poems, in which this ideal is set forth,
produce on the Bohemian mind, that extracts from them are translated at
full length by the chronicler Cosmas, who took an active part in the
bustling politics of the eleventh century, when these ideals must have
seemed to belong to a very distant past.

According to this writer, certain people who had been scattered by
the failure of the Tower of Babel, wandered into Germany where they
found various wild beasts. One party in the course of their wanderings
found a plain lying near the mountain Rip, and between the rivers Ogra
(Eger), and Wlitawa (Moldau). This plain they called Bohemia after the
eldest of the party named Boemus. Here they founded a peaceable and
communistic settlement where they desired to make war on none but the
beasts. But, some ambitious men having introduced the evil of private
property, it became necessary to choose a judge to decide the disputes
which now unavoidably arose. So they chose as their judge their best
man named Crocco, who founded a camp. He had three daughters, of whom
the eldest was skilled in medicine, the second was a kind of religious
teacher, who instructed the people in the worship of Oreads and Dryads;
while the third, Libus̆a, was distinguished for her political wisdom
and foresight, and was supposed to be an inspired prophetess.

Libus̆a was accordingly chosen to the judicial office on her father’s
death. But Crocco’s formation of a camp seems to have stirred the
military spirit in the Bohemians; and the story which follows clearly
indicates the transition from the earlier and more peaceable stage to
the later developments of national organisation. Two powerful chiefs
are disputing for the land, which has come to them from their father.
The question is submitted to Libus̆a, as the chief judge. On the day of
the trial she appears in great state, summons before her the heads of
the different families or tribes, and submits to them her proposals for
settling this question. She declares that, according to the old custom
of their people, the land ought either to be equally divided between
the brothers, or else they ought to share it in common. The leaders of
the tribes, after collecting in some way the votes of the assembly,
decide that the land is to be held in common, basing their judgment
also on the old traditions of the nation. Thereupon the elder of the
disputants rises in anger, and declares that he ought to have retained
the land in right of primogeniture, and further that the Bohemians
ought not to submit any longer to women, who were fitter for receiving
the advances of wooers than of dictating laws to soldiers.

Then follows a scene which seems at once to fix the point of change
arrived at, and to make the circumstances more familiar for ordinary
readers by the parallel which it suggests with a familiar transition to
military kingship recorded in the Second Book of Samuel.

Libus̆a, anxious to warn her people of the full effect of the course
they are taking, sets forth to them the dangers of a military monarchy.
Beginning with a reference to the story of the petition of the frogs
to Jupiter, she reminds them that it will be more easy to choose a
chief than to remove him. “Before him your knees will tremble, and your
tongue cleave to your mouth. You will with difficulty answer, ‘Yes,
sir! yes, sir!’ He will condemn men by his nod without your judgment
being taken; he will cut off the head of one, and throw others into
prison; some of you he will make slaves, and others exactors and
torturers; others, again, he will make cooks or bakers or millers. He
will appoint you as tribunes or centurions or cultivators of his vines
and wheat, as armourers and preparers of skins. He will reduce your
sons and daughters to subjection, and will carry off the best of your
horses and mares and cattle to his palace. He will take what is best
from your fields and plains and meadows and vineyards, and turn them to
his own use.” But though the criminal folly of the change proposed is
indicated as clearly by Libus̆a as by Samuel, yet in both stories we
find by a strange contradiction the same half-mystical enthusiasm for
the person of the first king.

Libus̆a, unable to resist the popular demand that she should take a
husband and give the Bohemians a king, tells the people to go to a
certain village where they will find a man ploughing with oxen. Him
they are to greet as their king, and his posterity will rule in this
land for ever. The messengers plead that they do not know the way to
the village. Libus̆a answers that if they will follow her horse it
will guide them. They obey; and they at last arrive at the village
of Stadic, where they find Pr̆emysl ploughing. They call on him to
change his dress and mount the horse, as Queen Libus̆a and all the
people demand him as their ruler. Pr̆emysl therefore sets free his
oxen, telling them to go whence they came, and strikes his goad into
the ground. The oxen vanish from sight, and the goad puts forth leaves
and fruits. Then Pr̆emysl comes with the messengers; but he insists on
taking with him his ploughman’s boots, that his successors may be made
humble and merciful by the memory of the state from whence they sprung;
“and these boots,” says Cosmas (writing in the eleventh century), “are
preserved at Vys̆ehrad to this day in the Duke’s chamber.”

There is another legend which still more quaintly marks this transition
from mild and readily accepted rule to the era of physical force.
According to this story the maidens of Bohemia founded a city which
they called Dĕvín from Devina, “a maiden.” The young men to maintain
their independence set up an opposition town called Hrasten. The
intercourse between these rival towns seems to have been sometimes
friendly and sometimes hostile; but always apparently on equal terms as
long as Libus̆a lived. After her death, however, the men won the day,
and ever afterwards held the women under their control.

But the golden age of Queen Libus̆a is long past, when we catch sight
of the Bohemians in even the earliest period of authentic history.
First we have a dim vision of a great Slavonic Empire stretching
northwards to the Spree, and eastwards to the Carpathians; of struggles
with Avars and Huns, and, above all, with the Franks. Then suddenly,
as the dim mist clears a little, we find that the Franks have become
Christian, and the great struggle between German and Slav, hinted at
already in the poem of “Libus̆a’s Judgment,” has begun in earnest. The
centre of resistance to the German, however, is not in Bohemia, but in
the neighbouring Slavonic dukedom of Moravia; and it gathers round a
prince named Rostislav, who is encouraging both Moravians and Bohemians
to stand firm against those peculiar ideas of Christianity, which
Charles the Great and his descendants tried to thrust upon reluctant
nations by fire and sword. Some Bohemians had indeed been compelled
by Louis, the grandson of Charles the Great, to accept baptism; and
Christian Bohemia owned the authority of the German Archbishop of
Regensburg.[2]

But the Duke of Bohemia, encouraged by Rostislav, still held out
against the Carlovingian form of Christianity; the Moravians defeated
Louis in 849, and Rostislav strengthened his own position as the
champion of Slavonic independence by an alliance with the Bulgarians.
This alliance was to produce results very unexpected at the time by
Rostislav, and powerfully affecting the future of Moravia and Bohemia.
Boris, the powerful king of Bulgaria, had received at his Court a
Christian monk named Methodius, the son of a patrician of Thessalonica.
Apparently Methodius had originally been brought to the Bulgarian Court
on account of his artistic talent; but he was also a very zealous
Christian; and when Boris ordered him to paint such a picture, in
the hall of his palace, as would strike terror into all who saw it,
Methodius improved the occasion by painting a picture of the Last
Judgment. The inquiries and explanations that followed prepared the way
for the acceptance of the new faith by the king of Bulgaria and his
subjects.

[Illustration: LIBUS̆A’S BATH JUST BELOW THE VYS̆EHRAD.]

But the Greek missionaries found that the want of a written language
prevented them from giving their Slavonic converts full instruction in
the details of the Christian creed. Methodius, therefore, called in the
help of his brother Cyril, who had been occupied in the conversion of
the Chazars, a people whose country lay a little to the north of the
Bulgarian kingdom.

Cyril was a learned monk, who had been trained at the Court of
Constantinople, and was well skilled in various languages. Taking
the Greek alphabet as his basis, but altering its form, he invented
a written language for the Slavonic race, into which he translated a
liturgy, several books of the Bible, and some of the early Fathers.

The news of the conversion of the Bulgarians quickly came to the ears
of Rostislav, for the great Bulgarian kingdom touched the eastern
side of Moravia; and the recent alliance had brought the two peoples
into closer intercourse. Unwelcome as Christianity had seemed to the
Moravians, when presented to them as a demand of Frankish invaders, and
taught in an unknown tongue, its lessons came with a very different
force when urged by pious and peaceable monks, recommended by friendly
kinsmen, and expounded in a language intelligible to the converts.
Rostislav no doubt quickly perceived that the new teaching might form
a valuable link in the alliance of the Slavs against their enemies.
He appealed to the Emperor of the East to send Cyril and Methodius to
Moravia; and, when they arrived at the town of Devina, Rostislav and
his followers went out to welcome them; and after Cyril had retired
from the mission, Methodius was recognised by the Pope as Archbishop of
Moravia and Pannonia.

But troubles very soon began for the new-comers. The German party in
Moravia were resentful at the introduction into the churches of what
they considered a barbarous language; and they saw danger to their
power, both in the adoption of a ritual which was understood by the
people, and in the assertion of an episcopal authority which claimed
to be independent of the German bishops. Nor was it only by foreigners
that the influence of Cyril and Methodius was endangered; an opposition
was roused even among the Moravians themselves. Svatopluk, the nephew
and rival of Rostislav, seems to have accepted some kind of nominal
Christianity, but unaccompanied by any change of life, or even by any
great reverence for the externals of worship; and he opposed the new
apostles of the Slavs with the greatest fierceness. The opposition
of this ambitious prince no doubt arose at first from his desire to
pose as the champion of the German party, who were undermining his
uncle’s authority. According to one story he had already attempted to
poison Rostislav, and having failed in that purpose he conspired with
the Emperor Louis against him, made him prisoner, and sent him off to
the Imperial Court to be tried. Louis threw Rostislav into prison,
and put out his eyes. But Svatopluk, though he succeeded in seizing
the Dukedom, did not long retain the confidence of the Emperor or the
German party. He, in his turn, was deposed and thrown into prison.

Then the Moravians rose against the Franks, under a man named Slavomir,
who, according to one story, was a pupil of Methodius. The Emperor
thereupon set Svatopluk free, and sent him at the head of an army
to suppress the new rising. Svatopluk betrayed his soldiers to his
countrymen, destroyed the German army, and once more became Duke of
Moravia. He now felt it impossible any longer to pose as the champion
of the German party; and he had married the sister of Duke Bor̆ivoj,
of Bohemia, in order to strengthen the alliance of the Slavs against
the Franks. As a part of his new policy, he was forced, for a time, to
encourage the movement of Methodius; and it was during this period that
the archbishop or one of his followers converted and baptised Bor̆ivoj,
and induced him to found two churches in memory of St. Clement of Rome,
whose remains Cyril had discovered in his expedition to the Chazars.

There seems some difficulty in ascertaining how far the Slavonic
ritual came into general use in Bohemia at this time. It is tolerably
certain, on the one hand, that Methodius did not desire to oppose the
authority of the Bishop of Regensburg, who claimed to be primate over
the Bohemian Christians; and that bishop, like all the German prelates,
was opposed to the spread of the Slavonic ritual. On the other hand,
it is clear that, as Christianity grew in Bohemia, it connected itself
with Slavonic traditions; and we find that in less than a century from
this time the Bohemian congregations had adopted a Slavonic hymn as a
necessary part of their ritual.

But, however slow the progress of Slavonic Christianity may have been
in Bohemia, Methodius does not seem to have excited there that savage
hostility which he continued to provoke in Moravia. Svatopluk and his
courtiers were, no doubt, indignant at the higher morality preached by
Methodius; and one of the claimants of the German Empire, with whom
Svatopluk was alternately in alliance and enmity, resented extremely
the authority claimed by Methodius over Pannonia as well as Moravia.
But, in order to strengthen their position, the opponents of Methodius
took advantage of his having come from Constantinople, to attack him as
a rebel against the Pope, and a supporter of the Greek heresy of the
Single Procession.

[Illustration: CYRIL AND METHODIUS, FROM THE WINDOW OF A CHURCH IN
CAROLINEN-THAL.]

The first of these charges was singularly inconsistent with the
traditions of both the brothers, who led the mission to the Slavs.
Cyril had been partially induced to go on his mission to the Chazars
by the unfriendly relations which had arisen between him and the
Patriarch of Constantinople. While in the Chersonesus he had discovered
the bones of the Roman saint, Clement, who had died there; and he had
ever since recognised this saint as the special patron of his mission
to the Slavs. After Cyril and Methodius had established themselves in
Moravia, they had applied to Rome for sanction to their work; and when
they had been summoned to the Court of the Pope, in consequence of this
application, Cyril had been so much attracted to the place that he
had entered a Roman monastery, and had abandoned the mission, for the
future, to Methodius. Methodius, on his part, seems to have been little
inclined to resist authority, where no moral or religious principle
was concerned. So in 879 he readily accepted the summons to appear
before the Roman Synod, and easily convinced Pope John VIII. of his
willingness to obey him. Methodius was equally happy in vindicating his
orthodoxy in the matter of the Double Procession.

But when these points had been settled, there still remained the real
subjects of dispute. These were the lawfulness of the Slavonic ritual,
and the position of Methodius as Archbishop of Moravia. Svatopluk had
thrown himself with eagerness into the cause of Methodius’s opponents,
and joined in the denunciation of the Slavonic ritual, declaring that
it degraded worship by connecting it with a barbarous dialect. The
champions of the Latin ritual attempted to strengthen their cause
by referring to the inscription written by Pilate on the Cross in
Hebrew and Greek and Latin. This argument brought them the nickname of
Pilatici, or followers of Pilate, while Methodius and his disciples
appealed, in answer, to the authority of the Apostles, who, on the
Day of Pentecost, had uttered in all languages the wonderful works of
God. Pope John seems clearly to have understood that the opposition to
Methodius arose rather from prejudice of race than from ecclesiastical
principle; and he recognised this fact in the Bull which sanctioned the
Slavonic ritual. For in this document he expressly required that all
the clergy in the diocese of Moravia and Pannonia, whether Slav _or of
whatever race they might be_, should be submissive to the archbishop.
A very noteworthy modification was subjoined to this decision which
seemed to stamp a popular and democratic character on the Slavonic
movement. “If Svatopluk,” said the Pope, “and the members of his Court
desire to use the Latin ritual, they may do so still.”

An even more crushing blow to the hopes of the enemies of Methodius was
given in a second decision of the Pope. The German party had persuaded
Svatopluk to appoint a preacher named Wiching as Bishop of Nitra in
Pannonia, thereby hoping at any rate to counterbalance the authority
of Methodius. Pope John, however, decided that he would only recognise
this appointment on condition that Wiching acknowledged the archbishop
as his superior; and he expressly recommended Svatopluk to choose
his next bishop with the advice and consent of Methodius. So alarmed
were Wiching and his friends at this letter from the Pope that they
succeeded in suppressing it, before it could reach Svatopluk; and they
forged another in which the Pope was made to say that Methodius had
indeed recanted his heresy about the Double Procession; but that he
was forbidden to use the Slavonic ritual, and that Bishop Wiching was
appointed to carry out the papal decrees.

Methodius denied the genuineness of the document, and wrote to Rome for
another letter. John confirmed his former decree, and summoned Wiching
to Rome to answer for his proceedings. Wiching, however, refused to go;
and he was backed in his opposition both by Svatopluk and by Arnulf,
the claimant of the Empire, whose hold over Pannonia had been one
of the chief causes of the opposition to the episcopal authority of
Methodius.

The relations between Methodius and Svatopluk, always hostile, would
now have probably culminated in the death or exile of the archbishop,
but that a quarrel broke out between Svatopluk and Arnulf; and the
desire of Svatopluk to overthrow Arnulf’s influence in Pannonia
naturally hindered his action against Methodius. For the few remaining
years of the archbishop’s life, he was able to carry on his work,
both moral and religious, with much less opposition; but when, after
his death, his friends attempted to get his pupil Gorazd appointed
as successor in the archbishopric, Wiching succeeded in stirring up
Svatopluk against him, in renewing the alliance with Arnulf, and
finally in securing the expulsion from Moravia of the leading followers
of Methodius. But in spite of the opposition of dukes and Germans, the
Slavonic ritual held its own in Moravia, and Svatopluk’s son Mojmir
became its champion against the bishops of Salzburg.

Important, however, as the defence of the Slavonic language and
ritual was in the history of Bohemia and Moravia, the enemy against
whom it had specially served as a watchword had ceased to become the
object of uncompromising hostility. A new power had made its way into
Europe, more dangerous, for the moment, to Slavonic unity and Bohemian
independence than Frank, Saxon, or Bavarian; and the Bohemians and
Moravians were for a time compelled to forget their fears and hatred of
the Germans, in order to combine with them against a new enemy.



II.

BOHEMIAN SAINTS AND WARRIORS IN THE TENTH CENTURY.

(885-997.)


The ideal of life and character hinted at in the Libus̆in Saud affects,
in an often contradictory way, the popular judgments of the prominent
characters of Bohemian history. So strangely does this tendency
manifest itself at more than one stage of the story, that it would
almost seem as if the ordinary conceptions of national greatness, and
sometimes even of independence, were entirely obscured by the Christian
aspiration after a peaceable national life. Kings and warriors,
who had done much to extend the prestige and power of Bohemia, are
remembered mainly for their cruelty and oppression; while saints, who
may in some degree have weakened the sense of Bohemian independence,
are not merely honoured, but are even put forward as the symbols of
distinctive national life. Thus, for instance, Svatopluk, the cruel
and unscrupulous persecutor of Methodius and his followers, might,
from the ordinary nationalist point of view, have been looked upon
as the establisher of Slavonic greatness, the champion of Moravian
independence, and even the protector of Bohemia and Moravia against a
cruel and barbarous invader.

Under his rule Moravia had become the centre of a great Slavonic
alliance extending eastwards to Bulgaria and northwards to Magdeburg.
The exact relations between the dukedom of Moravia and the other States
referred to may be difficult to define; but the whole story of his
relations with Bohemia shows that Svatopluk exercised an authority
there which was, at least, equal to that maintained by the German
Emperor over many of the states subject to him; and we may fairly
assume that he held a somewhat similar position towards the other
Slavonic States which surrounded him.

Such a position, in the then condition of Europe, could not but excite
rivalry and jealousy among the neighbouring princes; and Arnulf, the
Duke of Pannonia, who had aspired to the throne of the Frankish Empire,
was particularly jealous of a man whose power, as he considered,
had been largely due to the patronage which Arnulf had granted to
him. The exact merits of the numerous quarrels between these princes
it is impossible to estimate accurately; but it is clear that, as
Svatopluk gained power, he became more and more resolved to throw off
the authority which Arnulf found difficult to assert. At last Arnulf,
having lost hope of maintaining his authority by his own force, and
perhaps suspecting that Pannonia would itself fall a prey to his rival,
resolved to call in a new ally to his assistance.

The emperors of Constantinople had followed the tradition of the
Western Empire, by playing off their barbarian invaders against one
another. And, as the Romans had used their alliance with the Goths to
drive back the hordes of Attila, so the Emperor of Constantinople had
called on the descendants of Attila’s followers to protect the decaying
empire from the inroads of the Bulgarians.

It was apparently in the latter part of the sixth century that the
Hungarians, or, as some called them, the Turks, had been driven into
Europe by the pressure of other Asiatic races. They had been hospitably
received at Constantinople, and, after various fortunes, had settled,
in the eighth century, among the Chazars. But they were never allowed
to remain long in one place; and it was in consequence of their
alliance with the Emperors of the East that they overran Transylvania,
and secured their first settlement in their future kingdom. Even here,
however, they were not allowed to remain quietly, and another tribe
succeeded in driving them out of Transylvania for a time.

It was while this contest was at its height that the new invaders
attracted the attention of Arnulf; and, in the year 892, finding
himself in a desperate plight, he persuaded the Hungarians to join
him in an invasion of Moravia. Svatopluk fought gallantly against his
enemies, and more than once repelled them from his dukedom; but, in
894, he was finally defeated by the combined forces of his opponents.
Then comes in a story which illustrates in a startling manner the
Bohemian feeling that no military successes could atone for acts of
cruelty and treachery. Although Svatopluk was undoubtedly fighting
for the independence of his country, he was seized, according to this
legend, with so extreme a fit of penitence for his crimes, that he fled
from the battle to a secret place in the mountains, where he killed his
horse, buried his sword in the ground, and lived and died a hermit.
What gives a still stranger flavour to the legend is the cause which
Cosmas assigns for the Duke’s penitence; for this cause was not his
persecution of Methodius, but his ingratitude to Arnulf.

The ruin of the Moravian dukedom speedily followed. According to one
tradition, Wiching, Svatopluk’s German bishop, was used by Arnulf
to stir up division between the sons of Svatopluk. If so, he must
undoubtedly have used his influence in favour of the younger Svatopluk,
and against Mojmir, the champion of the Slavonic ritual. But, whatever
the cause of division, the fact of the civil war is undoubted; and all
the enemies of the country took advantage of it. In 896 the Hungarians
again invaded Moravia, and this time with much greater success. The
struggle was, however, continued for a few years longer, during which
the Emperor endeavoured to assist Mojmir; but at last, in 907, Mojmir
was killed in battle, and the old dukedom of Moravia was completely
destroyed.

[Illustration: TOMB OF ST. LUDMILA.]

Although the overthrow of this powerful State broke down, for a time,
a barrier between the savage invaders and the settled governments of
Europe, it seems, strangely enough, to have produced less immediate
evil to Bohemia than to the German principalities. It is, however, easy
to understand that the protection and championship of a neighbouring
State by such a ruler as Svatopluk may have had its disadvantages, both
in checking the independence of the country protected, and in involving
it in wars in which it had little interest. Indeed, it appears as if
Bor̆ivoj and his immediate successors were too much concerned with the
internal struggles of their country, to take much immediate interest
in the apparently larger issues which were being settled in the
neighbouring States. The Bohemian struggles were mainly concerned with
the rivalry between heathens and Christians. The zeal of Bor̆ivoj for
the new faith soon irritated a large number of his subjects against
him; and, being unwilling to maintain his authority by force of arms,
he abdicated in favour of his son Spitihnĕv. In the latter we seem
to catch a glimpse of a premature champion of toleration, who, while
desiring to encourage the progress of Christianity, resented the
excessive influence of the Christian priests, and declared that he was
equally the king of his heathen and Christian subjects alike. This,
however, was a position that it was obviously impossible to maintain
at such a transitional period; and, after Spitihnĕv’s death, Bor̆ivoj,
being recalled to the throne, resolved that the propagation of his
creed should not again suffer by the laxity of his family. He therefore
put his second son, Vratislav, under the special care of Methodius;
and, after Bor̆ivoj and Methodius were both dead, Vratislav’s mother,
Ludmila, continued to influence him in favour of the new faith. But the
power of Ludmila was counteracted, especially among the nobles, by
her daughter-in-law Drahomíra, who became the centre of the heathen
opposition to Ludmila and the clergy; and she trained her son Boleslav
to follow in her footsteps. Vratislav’s other son, Václav (or, as we
call him, Wenceslaus), was protected from Drahomíra’s influence by his
grandmother Ludmila; and thus the two brothers became the champions,
the one of the Christian, and the other of the heathen party, in the
State. The Duke was so little conscious of the mischief that was
brewing that, after building the town of Bolislava in honour of his
younger son, he celebrated the occasion by building a church in that
town in honour of Cyril and Methodius; and he apparently sanctioned
that division of his territory between his sons which was carried out
after his death. No sooner, however, was Vratislav dead, than Drahomíra
commanded the Christians to close their churches; and this order was
speedily followed by a massacre; nor was Wenceslaus able to save even
his grandmother Ludmila from the vengeance of his mother. Indeed, this
favourite saint of the Bohemians seems to have had so little vigour,
as a ruler, that he could not protect even the clergy, whom he most
desired to favour, from the intimidation of Boleslav and Drahomíra.
Thus, for instance, when he invited the Bishop of Regensburg to
consecrate a new church at Prague, the bishop was so terrified by the
threats of his enemies that he dared not come. It would, indeed, be
unjust to deny that the position of a Christian Duke in the midst of
this sudden revival of heathenism was a most difficult and dangerous
one; nor is there the smallest ground to suspect Wenceslaus of
personal cowardice. On the contrary, he is represented on two occasions
as offering personal combat to an invading prince, in order to save his
country from the evils of war; and no doubt, according to his lights,
he was very willing to sacrifice himself for the good of Bohemia. Yet
one cannot but detect certain weaknesses in his career, which may well
have alarmed some of the stronger, if coarser, statesmen, who stood
near the throne; and though he distinguished himself by many acts
of benevolence and devotion, and succeeded on several occasions in
preserving peace and preventing bloodshed, yet it was not wholly by
his virtues that he excited the indignation of the party led by his
brother. The tendency to encourage those who were engaged in other
work to become priests, and his excessive reliance on the authority
of the Emperor, might well have given occasion to a more reasonable
opposition than that which expressed itself in the mere persecution of
the Christians.

Nor is it a wholly satisfactory sign that his piety, like that of
Edward the Confessor, took the form of a contempt for marriage, or,
to use the ecclesiastical phrase, of the zeal for preserving his
virginity. He was therefore probably in the right when he meditated
retiring into a Benedictine monastery; but the Pope, glad enough, no
doubt, to secure a Christian Duke on the throne of a half-converted
nation, threw great difficulties in the way of his abdication. His
mother and brother, indignant at the frustration of their hopes,
resolved on murder; and as a first step, to their purpose, they invited
Wenceslaus to be present at the baptism of the son of Boleslav. So
unexpected a concession to Christianity aroused the suspicions of
Wenceslaus; but his religion throughout seems to have had a touch of
fatalism, and he went to the feast in the full expectation of death.
While the revelry was at its height, he withdrew from the table to
worship in the church; and it was there that Boleslav found him and
murdered him, while he clung to the door of the church for safety. The
murder was followed by a general massacre of the Christian priests,
among whom is especially mentioned Podiven, the follower known to
English readers as having warmed his feet by treading in the footsteps
of his master.[3]

The German Emperor was naturally indignant at the murder of his
faithful _protégé_; and he exacted from Boleslav, as the price of
peace, the recall of the banished Christians, the renewal of the
tribute which he had just remitted to Wenceslaus, and an oath of
allegiance, such as had hitherto been paid to the Emperor only by
German princes. Boleslav was apparently induced to submit to these
severe terms, partly by his fear of the power of the Emperor, partly by
a sense of the danger which was still threatening the civilised States
of Europe, a danger which could only be faced by an alliance with
the new ruler who had arisen in Germany. For while Bor̆ivoj and his
successors had been struggling to assert their power over their heathen
subjects, the old Saxon kingdom had succeeded in producing a champion
of European freedom and civilisation.

Henry the Fowler had thrown off the effete yoke of the Franks, and
rallied the Germans under his banner; he had then routed the Hungarians
at the celebrated battle of Merseburg, and had founded towns, by which
a new order of civilisation was being introduced into Germany. His son
Otto was vigorously carrying on the struggle against the Hungarians;
and Boleslav, however much he might dislike foreign rule, saw that an
alliance with Otto was the only hope for his country. The Hungarians
were now advancing into Bohemia, and Boleslav encountered them on the
frontier and completely defeated them. He then proceeded to suppress
a robber tribe who had given much trouble to Wenceslaus, and who had
established a castle on the borders of Bohemia, from whence they had
harassed the country.

The chroniclers declare that Drahomíra was swallowed up in an
earthquake, and perhaps her death removed the chief anti-Christian
influence in the life of Boleslav; for, to whatever motives of
conviction or policy the change may have been due, it is evident that,
from this time forward, he not merely abandoned his persecution of the
Christians, but used all his power to encourage their influence. The
son whose baptism had been the occasion of the murder of Wenceslaus,
became a monk; while the second son was trained with such effect in
the principles of Christianity that he afterwards gained the name of
Boleslav the Pious. But to the father of these princes the Bohemian
chroniclers are as inexorable as they had been to Svatopluk; and,
while Wenceslaus is remembered as one of the chief national saints of
Bohemia, his brother lives in history as Boleslav the Cruel.

If the weaknesses of Wenceslaus tend to diminish our sympathies with
the movement of which he is the champion and martyr, we may perhaps
feel a more undivided interest in the next phase of the development
of Bohemian Christianity, and a more unmixed admiration for the
saint who represents that period. There were two demands made by the
Christian leaders in Bohemia which specially connected patriotism with
religion. These were the claim for a Slavonic ritual, and the attempt
to establish an independent bishopric at Prague. But, though both of
these claims sprang from the feeling of national independence, it was
only the question of the bishopric, which appealed to such champions
of Bohemia as Boleslav the Cruel. That strong and deep longing for the
protection and development of the national language, which expressed
itself, at this time, in the cry for the Methodian ritual, was not a
feeling which the mere military champions of Bohemia could understand
or recognise. The Pope seems to have been conscious of this division,
and to have availed himself of it to make more grudging concessions
to the national feeling than the merits of Boleslav the Pious, and
the memory of St. Wenceslaus might seem to have demanded. He granted,
indeed, the free election of a bishop of Prague, and sanctioned, at the
same time, the foundation of a nunnery of which Boleslav’s sister was
to be abbess; but he clogged the latter concession by the condition
that the Slavonic ritual should not be used in the new nunnery.
Perhaps it was a similar desire for compromise which led Boleslav to
recommend to his clergy and people, for the first bishop, a Saxon named
Dettmar, who, however, was noted for his knowledge of the Bohemian
language. Friendship with Saxony was doubtless attractive to the
wiser men of Bohemia, for more than one reason. It was the centre of
that resistance to the Hungarian power which they felt to be so vital
to European civilisation. It contained a large proportion of men of
Slavonic race; and Magdeburg, where Dettmar had been trained, was the
great home of such learning and culture as were then to be found in
Germany.

But the fierce heathen spirit, which had been strengthened by Boleslav
the Cruel, could not be suppressed at once either by his conversion, or
by the probably sincerer piety of his son. It is now that the strong
and cruel aristocracy of Bohemia begin to show their power both against
king and people. Even in heathen times we hear of at least one family
who claimed a sort of equality with the royal line, and who continued
during the tenth and eleventh centuries to play much the same part
as that of the Douglases in Scotland in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries. There was, however, one important difference between the
cases. With all their selfishness and unscrupulousness, the Douglases
always stood by Scotland against its external enemies, while the
Vrs̆ovici were continually betraying Bohemia to Pole or German in order
to gain their own ends. Nor were the Vrs̆ovici the only specimens of
a lawless and cruel class; and Boleslav the Pious and Bishop Dettmar
soon incurred the hatred of that class. The bishop, however, did not
long survive his appointment; and he was soon to be succeeded by a man
far more notable in Bohemian history. This man was Vojtĕch, the son of
a powerful Bohemian noble, who was as distinguished for his virtues as
for his wealth and rank. Vojtĕch, by the advice of Dettmar, had been
sent by his parents to study at Magdeburg; and on his entrance into the
clerical profession, he had received from the Archbishop of Magdeburg
his name of Adalbert. When he returned to Bohemia, he was called to
succeed Dettmar in the bishopric of Prague. He soon began to denounce
the state of morals around him. Divorce was frequent; impurity of
all kinds terribly rife; and the nobles, not content with oppression
at home, were constantly selling their unfortunate dependants into
slavery. The stern denunciations of Adalbert soon roused against him
the hatred of his own class, which was increased in bitterness by the
rivalry between his family and that of the Vrs̆ovici.

On one occasion a woman, whom he had saved from her angry husband and
sent into a nunnery, was dragged out and murdered by her husband.
Boleslav desired to repress such violence by the sword; Adalbert at
first persuaded him to abstain from bloodshed; but, when the insurgent
nobles built a fortress on the banks of the Elbe, from which they
harassed all the Christians who came that way, the king felt bound to
act; so he marched against the insurgents and signally defeated them.
Adalbert, horrified at being in any way the cause of bloodshed, fled
to Pannonia, which had now been conquered by the Hungarians.

[Illustration: CHURCH BUILT BY ST. ADALBERT AT PRAHATICE.]

Geysa, the leading chief of the Hungarians in that district, was a
hospitable and large-minded man, who welcomed strangers heartily.
Adalbert used the opportunity to teach Christianity, and many of the
Hungarians were converted. Amongst other converts was Geysa himself,
who consented to have his son Stephen christened by Adalbert. Over this
child Adalbert’s influence was evidently great; and when Stephen grew
up, he became the first Christian king of Hungary, recognised as such
both by Pope and Emperor. From the reign of St. Stephen the Hungarians
themselves reckon their beginning as a settled monarchy; and thus they
owe their change from the condition of a marauding horde to an orderly
and progressive nation, to the teaching of the Bohemian saint.

Twice Adalbert was recalled to Bohemia, and twice he again left it in
disgust. On the last occasion he took refuge with the King of Poland,
and from thence went to convert the heathen Prussians, by whom he was
killed. His body was brought back by the Poles and buried at Gnesen.
Next to the actual memory of his life, his most notable legacy to
his country is the hymn which he wrote in the native language, and
which soon became, and long remained, a kind of war-cry of Bohemian
independence.



III.

RELATIONS OF BOHEMIA TO POLAND AND TO THE EMPIRE IN THE ELEVENTH,
TWELFTH, AND THIRTEENTH CENTURIES.

(997-1253.)


The invasion of the Hungarians had changed the attitude of Bohemia,
as of other countries, towards the German Empire. The necessity of
saving themselves from the ruin which overwhelmed the dukedom of
Moravia, naturally compelled the Bohemians to recognise their former
enemies as their only sure protectors; and, as the vigorous line of
Saxon princes put new force into the German kingdom, this relation
became necessarily closer. But it was long before the German rulers
were able to realise that they could gain any help, in turn, from
the rising dukedom of Bohemia. Torn by the divisions between heathen
and Christian, distracted to an unusual degree by family quarrels,
harassed by powerful neighbours, Bohemia seemed, in the tenth and
early part of the eleventh century, more fitted to be the tool or the
prey of the Emperors than their ally. Nor was it only a weakening of
internal security which had been produced by the Magyar invasion. The
break-up of Slavonic unity, by the overthrow of Svatopluk, had caused a
confusion of races in certain districts, which made them the subject of
dispute between rival powers.

Of these mixed lands, the two in which Bohemia was most interested,
were the district of Lusatia (afterwards called the Lausitz), over
which she disputed with Saxony, and the even more variously peopled
province of Silesia, which was the great cause of controversy between
Bohemia and Poland. Of these two subjects of difference the Silesian
question was the far more pressing and important. The common feeling of
danger, produced by Hungarian invasion, had, indeed, affected Poland
as much as other European countries; but, as the raids of the invaders
grew less frequent, the sense of union, developed by that danger, grew
weaker; and when the Hungarians began to settle down as a peaceable and
Christian nation, the Poles began to abandon their defensive attitude,
and gradually to become aggressive in their turn.

Nor was the Silesian question the only cause of jealousy between Poland
and Bohemia. The town of Cracow, the former capital of Croatia, was
as much desired by both the rival nations as Silesia could be; since
it was important both for military and political purposes. Moreover
those ecclesiastical considerations, which were always influencing
the foreign politics of Bohemia, played a somewhat important part in
the struggle with Poland. The desire of the Polish Duke to secure the
burial of Adalbert at Gnesen had not been wholly due to religious
feelings. The kings and bishops of Poland wished to make Gnesen the
centre of a large diocese, in which Prague should hold a subordinate
position; and an offer of money which the Duke of Poland made to
a Bohemian monastery founded by Adalbert, was no doubt intended
as a bribe to the monks, to induce them to further these schemes
of ecclesiastical and political ambition. These enterprises were
unfortunately aided by that treacherous family, the Vrs̆ovici, who
had already played so fatal a part in their country’s history. They
seem to have again tried to carry out their treasons by stirring up
family jealousy. Young Boleslav, a nephew of Boleslav the Pious, showed
himself eager to assert his claims to the Dukedom of Bohemia. Mĕs̆ek of
Poland encouraged his kinsman’s intrigues, and, by a sudden surprise,
Cracow was seized, and Silesia was overrun by the Polish troops.

Boleslav the Pious demanded reparation for this outrage, and
circumstances soon gave him the opportunity for revenge. A Russian
chief unexpectedly invaded Poland and laid waste a great part of it.
Boleslav the Pious seized this opportunity to recover Cracow, and he
placed there a governor of sufficient vigour to hold the fortress
against all attempts of the Poles to recover it, even after they had
succeeded in making peace with Russia. Indeed the new governor would
willingly have extended the Bohemian territory by making reprisals on
Poland; but this was strictly forbidden by the Duke of Bohemia.

The death of Boleslav the Pious, and the accession to the dukedom
of his weak and profligate son, Boleslav the Third, gave a new
opportunity both to native and foreign intrigues. Indeed the Vrs̆ovici
are represented by some historians as acting in this reign rather the
part of patriotic opponents of a tyrant than of selfish intriguers for
power. It is, however, unfortunately clear that they did not abandon
their intrigues with the Polish pretender; and he was able to take
advantage of the non-payment of the soldiers in the garrison of Cracow
to stir up division in the fortress. By this means he was once more
able to surprise the garrison, and to put all the Bohemians to the
sword. Great confusion now followed; the German Emperor, Henry II.,
seized the opportunity of fishing in troubled waters, and something
like a conquest of Bohemia by Poland was for a time the result of this
struggle. The accounts, however, of the details of the struggle seem
uncertain and contradictory; and it is not until the Bohemians had in
some measure re-established their independence that we once more find
ourselves on firm ground.

Strangely enough, it is just when we have reached a point at which
modern research and early tradition seem to be in practical harmony
that we light upon a series of stories of the most romantic kind.
Oldr̆ich, the brother of Boleslav III., had been established on
the throne after the expulsion of the Poles. He seems to have been
an eccentric prince, given to somewhat unconventional explorations
of his kingdom. In one of these wanderings he came upon a handsome
peasant-girl washing clothes in a stream. He at once fell in love with
her, and soon after woo’d, won, and married her. The great ladies of
the court at first resented the arrival of the peasant-queen; but in
time the grace and courtesy of Beatrix broke down the opposition of her
jealous critics, and the birth of her son Brac̆islav was celebrated
with splendid feasts. Brac̆islav was to be the future hero and
restorer of the greatness of his country; and, as usual, the political
and military revival of Bohemia is preluded by a reawakening of the
interest in the national language.

In another of his wanderings Oldr̆ich found, in the depth of the
forest, an old hermit, to whom he confessed his sins; and he was
so much impressed by the power and saintliness of the man, that he
persuaded him to leave his solitary life, to return to the town, and
to assist the duke and other pious men in founding the monastery of
Sázava. He soon found that this hermit had in his keeping copies of
the old Slavonic services introduced into Bohemia by Methodius, which
had doubtless disappeared from the country in the recent troubles.
Encouraged by Oldr̆ich, and at a later time by his son Brac̆islav, the
national ritual was rapidly extended from Sázava to other churches.

Oldr̆ich bequeathed to his son both his zeal for the national language
and the national independence, and also the love of romantic adventure.
Even before his accession to the throne, Brac̆islav had attracted
attention as a hero of romance. He had made a sudden expedition to the
nunnery of Schweinfurt, to carry off from thence the beautiful daughter
of a German Count. The gate of the nunnery was secured by a bar; but
Brac̆islav cut through the bar with his sword, and carried off his
bride in triumph, though some of his followers were cut off and killed.
But the great purpose of his life was to recover the ground which
Bohemia had lost in her struggle with Poland. Even before his accession
to the throne, he had reconquered the greater part of the province of
Moravia, which the Poles had torn away from Bohemia; and, as soon as he
became duke, he resolved to carry his plans yet further, and to invade
Poland itself. The death of Duke Casimir of Poland, and the infancy of
his successor, facilitated this expedition. Brac̆islav retook Cracow
by storm, overran much of Silesia, and transplanted many of the Poles
to Bohemia, where he suffered them to maintain their old laws and
customs. He then marched to Gnesen, the centre of the intended scheme
for establishing the ecclesiastical supremacy of Poland over Bohemia.
The city was ill-defended, and Brac̆islav entered it in triumph.

Then followed one of those scenes which show how strangely the fiercer
elements in the Bohemian character were checked and crossed by
influences like those of St. Wenceslaus and St. Adalbert. It will be
remembered that the body of the latter saint had been buried by the
king of Poland at Gnesen, and Brac̆islav had many motives for desiring
to recover so valuable a possession. But the scene which preceded
the restoration of the national saint to the country, which had so
ill-treated him during his life, is curiously unlike the ordinary
performances of a military conqueror; and, if there are any who think
that such a mediæval legend is beneath the dignity of history, they
should remember that the historian Cosmas, who has preserved it for us,
was a man actively engaged in the ordinary political affairs of his
time.

At first the Bohemians were disposed to carry things with a high hand;
and, in spite of the warnings of the chief pastor of the town, they
tore down the altar which covered the body, in order to seize it the
more easily. For this offence they were struck dumb and blind for the
space of three hours; and on recovering their senses they consented
to submit to a three days’ fast before taking further action. On the
third day the same priest, who had warned them of the consequences of
their sacrilege, told them that he had had a vision of St. Adalbert;
and that the saint had bidden him to tell the Duke and his companions
that the Father in Heaven would give them what they asked, if they did
not repeat those evil deeds which they abjured in their baptism. On
the morning following this announcement, the Duke and his followers
entered the church and prostrated themselves before the tomb of St.
Adalbert. Then the Duke arose and addressed them as follows: “Do you
wish to amend your errors and to turn from evil works to wisdom?” To
this they answered, “We are prepared to amend whatever our fathers or
we have done wrong against this saint of God, and to cease from every
evil work.” Then the Duke, extending his hand over the sacred tomb,
addressed the crowd as follows: “Stretch out, my brothers, your hands
to God, and listen to my discourses, which I wish you to confirm your
faith in by an oath. Therefore, let this be my first and most urgent
decree; that your marriages, which you have hitherto treated as if they
were mere fornications, and like the union of brute animals, should
in future be made lawful, according to canonical rules, private and
indissoluble, so that each husband shall be content with one wife, and
each wife with one husband. But, if a wife shall despise a husband, or
a husband his wife, and if a quarrel between them shall boil over into
a separation, then I do not will that the one of them that refuses to
return to lawful union shall be made a slave according to the custom of
our land; but rather that, by the slavery of our unchangeable decree,
such persons, whoever they may be, shall be carried into Hungary; and
it shall not be permitted to them to buy their liberty, or to return to
this land, lest the contagion of one little sheep should creep into the
whole sheep-fold of Christ.” Then the pastor of the church answered:
“Let him who does otherwise be anathema.”

After further provisions for enforcing purity of life, the Duke added,
“But, if a woman shall have declared publicly that she was not loved
as an equal, but was afflicted and persecuted by her husband, let the
judgment of God be given between them; and let the one who is found
guilty pay the penalty.” Further provisions were then introduced for
punishing homicides; but with regard to murderers of fathers, brothers,
or priests, they were to be bound by hand and belly with iron, and
sent out of the kingdom, to wander, like Cain, over the whole earth.
Those, again, who set up taverns, which are the source of all crimes
and impurities, were to be anathema; and he who was caught in the act
of keeping a tavern was to be hung, and his drinks to be poured out
upon the earth, lest any one should be polluted by this execrable
draught. Further provisions then followed against holding markets
or doing servile works on Sunday, and against burial of the dead in
unconsecrated places.

After these sins had been denounced as offensive unto God, and as
the cause why St. Adalbert left his native country, all present were
called upon to assent to the changes of conduct proposed. When they
had done so the archbishop broke open the tomb, and disclosed the body
of the saint. So delicious, says Cosmas, was the smell which came out
that many seemed as if they had tasted rich food, and for three days
they needed no more; many sick were healed; yet only the Duke, the
archbishop, and the nobles were suffered to see the body. They then
prayed St. Adalbert to allow them to carry him to Prague; and the Duke
and bishop, taking the body from the tomb, wrapped it in silk, and set
out with it in a solemn procession. After the body were carried the
spoils taken from the Poles; and the Polish nobles (among whom was the
great-grandfather of Cosmas) followed the procession as prisoners,
their hands and necks being loaded with irons.

It was not to be expected that Brac̆islav’s proceedings would pass
unchallenged; and both Pope and Emperor were appealed to, to redress
the wrongs done to the Church and to Poland. Both of them answered
the appeal; but the complaints of the Pope were soon silenced by the
building of a monastery, and by the judicious distribution of money
among the cardinals. Henry III. was not so easily satisfied. He had
doubtless adopted the Imperial policy of playing off the rival kingdoms
against each other; and the Bohemian victories, won so easily, and
without his intervention, were most unwelcome. His avarice, moreover,
was roused by the news of the booty which Brac̆islav had brought back
from Poland. He therefore peremptorily demanded the surrender of the
spoil, under pain of war. Brac̆islav boldly replied that, “while the
Bohemians were willing to pay to the Emperor that tribute which they
had always paid him, they would resist to the death any attempt to lay
on them unlawful burdens.” Henry retorted that the law had a wax nose,
which a king could always bend with his iron hand.

Such an exchange of courtesies was naturally followed by war; and,
while a Saxon army marched into Bohemia on one side, the Emperor
himself speedily followed by another entrance. But the Bohemians were
ready for the invasion; and, while the imperial army were resting in a
wood, they were surprised by Brac̆islav’s soldiers and cut to pieces,
Henry only saving himself by the swiftness of his horse. The Duke of
Saxony in vain tried to make terms with the Bohemians, and was speedily
forced to retreat to his own country.

This success, indeed, was not quite so complete as it seemed at first;
for, in the following year, Henry once more invaded Bohemia, and
gained such successes that Brac̆islav was compelled to pay a higher
tribute, and to restore many towns to Poland. Nevertheless, he was able
to retain some hold even over those towns, by exacting a perpetual
tribute from them; nor was Bohemia ever again so completely at the
mercy of Poland as it had been in the previous reigns.

The divisions in the Bohemian Ducal family seemed, however, to
Brac̆islav to be as great a danger as could arise from any foreign
enemy; and he persuaded the nobles to guard against such dangers in the
future by making the crown hereditary in his family, and abandoning
the unlimited right of election. Such a law could not finally prevent
family quarrels, or defeat the designs of ambitious adventurers. But it
is worth noting, as indicating the feeling of an able ruler about the
dangers to which his country was exposed.

It will be easily understood that the conduct of Henry III. and the
Duke of Saxony had quickened once more in Bohemia that anti-German
feeling, which the struggles with the Magyars and the Poles had
for a time forced into the background. Brac̆islav had, no doubt,
been statesman enough to restrain such a feeling within due bounds;
but, when his son Spitihnĕv came to the throne, he gave far fiercer
expression to his hatred of the old enemies of Bohemia. No sooner was
he established in his power, than he issued a decree ordering all
the Germans to leave the country; nor was even his mother allowed
an exemption from this sentence. His brother Vratislav set himself
against this policy, and tried to make the province of Moravia a centre
of opposition to the king. But Spitihnĕv invaded Moravia, forced
Vratislav to fly to Hungary, and treated his wife with such cruelty
that she died from the effects. In order to make his power yet more
secure, the Duke persuaded his other brothers, Otto and Conrad, to
abandon their claims to the special districts of Moravia, which their
father had granted to them, and to come to the ducal court at Prague.

Spitihnĕv, however, like Svatopluk of Moravia and Boleslav the
Cruel, was one of those violent men who are subject to reactions as
inexplicable as their first outbursts. Under the influence of the
Bishop of Prague, he consented to be reconciled to Vratislav, and to
allow him to return to Moravia; and this concession was a prelude to
a complete change of policy. So mild, indeed, did he become, that he
gained the reputation of being a friend to the poor, a just judge, and
an encourager of religion.

It is difficult to say to which part of his reign we are to assign an
act, which seems at first sight a strange contrast with his furious
national prejudices. This was his suppression of the Slavonic ritual
in the monastery of Sázava. But the apparent inconsistency is easily
explained. The Emperors and Popes were no longer the props of each
other’s power; for Henry III. had struck out that new policy, which
aimed at the humiliation of the Papacy, and the exaltation of the
Empire at its expense. Under these circumstances, a king of Bohemia
who wished to hurl defiance at the Germans and their ruler, was
necessarily forced to rely on the support of the Pope. Now the very
bitterness of the struggle against the German Empire had crushed out
those ideas of tolerance towards national feeling which had prevailed
in the days of John VIII. The Slavonic ritual represented at once
a concession to the Greek heresy, and a substitution of a national
language for the Latin, which symbolised the power of the Papacy.
Spitihnĕv, therefore, was obliged to suppress this incitement to heresy
before he could obtain the help of the Papacy against the Emperor.

But, whatever changes might have marked the closing years of
Spitihnĕv’s reign, he could not hope at once to suppress that fierce
spirit of national hatred which he had called into prominence;
especially since it had entwined itself, in many cases, with personal
ambitions and jealousies. When, then, Vratislav succeeded to his
brother’s dukedom, he found himself in an exceptionally difficult
position. The persecution which he had suffered from his brother
naturally inclined him to a reversal of Spitihnĕv’s policy; but he
found that the rest of his family by no means shared his desire for
such a change. The most turbulent and ambitious of his brothers was
named Jaromír. He had been early persuaded to enter deacon’s orders,
in the hope of ultimately succeeding to the bishopric of Prague. Soon,
however, he wearied of a life for which he had no natural inclination;
he therefore fled to Poland, and entered the Polish army. When, then,
the Bishop of Prague died, Vratislav naturally felt that any claim
which Jaromír might have founded on former promises, was cancelled by
his desertion of his profession; and this seemed a good opportunity for
introducing the new policy of conciliation of the Germans. Vratislav,
therefore, offered the bishopric to a Saxon chaplain named Lanczo.
Though Saxon birth might have special recommendations to those who
remembered St. Adalbert’s training at Magdeburg, yet, on the other
hand, the share which the Saxons had taken in the invasions of Henry
III. had produced a deep feeling of resentment in many Bohemians.
Conrad and Otto resolved to give expression to these discontents, by
persuading Jaromír to renew his tonsure; and they resolved to support
his claim to the bishopric.

Vratislav hoped to solve the difficulty by an appeal to a General
Assembly. The Assembly met, and Vratislav in their presence presented
Lanczo with the episcopal ring and staff. For a few moments dead
silence followed this act; then, after some mutterings amongst
themselves, several nobles sprang up, and announced their intention to
support the claims of Jaromír by force of arms. The opposition was so
fierce that Vratislav yielded, and Jaromír was made Bishop of Prague.

But the ambition of the new bishop was not yet satisfied. It had been
found necessary, in a previous reign, to divide the diocese into two
parts, one Bohemian and one Moravian; and the Bishop of Olomouci
(Olmütz) was then made practically independent of the Bishop of Prague.
Jaromír now demanded that the Bishop of Olmütz should be deposed, and
his diocese absorbed in the diocese of Prague. This proposal was, of
course, opposed by Vratislav; whereupon Jaromír went secretly to
Olmütz and assaulted his rival bishop, injuring him severely. Vratislav
now felt that the time had come to appeal to the Pope against his
unruly brother. Alexander II. sent a legate to Bohemia to try the case;
but, though the Duke and the nobles received him with great honour,
Jaromír denied the authority of the Papal emissary, and refused to
resign the see at his bidding.

This, however, was not a time when the Pope could be bearded with
impunity. In 1073 Alexander died, and Hildebrand was chosen Pope, with
the title of Gregory VII. He summoned Jaromír to Rome; and, after a
short attempt at resistance, the turbulent prince submitted to that
powerful will. But even Gregory had allies with whom he could not
dispense; and Matilda of Tuscany, who was connected with the Bohemian
ducal family, chose to interest herself on Jaromír’s behalf, made
up a temporary reconciliation between the brothers, and persuaded
the Pope to restore Jaromír to the bishopric of Prague, after he had
performed some kind of penance, and had given a promise to abstain from
interference with the Bishop of Olmütz. Jaromír, therefore, returned to
Bohemia, and continued to be a thorn in the side of his brother, and of
all his order-loving countrymen.

It is obvious that neither the conduct of Jaromír nor of Gregory can
have tended to sweeten Vratislav’s feelings towards the anti-German
party; and his personal resentment and the desire for greater security
for his throne, doubtless mingled with larger considerations, to
recommend to him an important change in Bohemian policy, which was
vitally to affect the future of the country.

Ever since the death of Henry II., the Bohemian Dukes had had a new
chance for playing a part in the affairs of the German Empire. The six
German princes, to whom the Saxon Emperors had wished to limit the
right of election to the Empire, had found it impossible, or at least,
extremely difficult, to come to a satisfactory decision on occasions
when the champions of rival candidates were equally divided. So they
were forced to add the Duke of Bohemia as a seventh Elector, to secure
a better chance of a satisfactory decision, and in 1024 Duke Oldr̆ich
had actually taken part in an Imperial Election. At that time, no
doubt, the Emperors were still strong enough to dispense with allies
who were not directly and naturally connected with the Empire; but when
the struggle with the Popes began, the need for fresh support became
more evident, and the friendship of the new Elector of the Empire
became more valuable.

When, then, in 1075, Vratislav offered his help to the Emperor in the
struggle which was then becoming desperate, his alliance was gladly
welcomed. Henry IV. had just then been excommunicated by Gregory for
his opposition to the Papal claims over the German bishoprics; and he
was threatened with rebellion by some of his most powerful subjects.
Vratislav’s opportunity was therefore well chosen; and throughout the
many changes of fortune in his stormy career, Henry found his new ally
both faithful and helpful. Many victories were gained by the help
of the Bohemian soldiers; and perhaps the most noteworthy battle, as
affecting the future Bohemian history, was that at Mailberg in 1082,
when Vratislav, with the help of the Bavarians, defeated Leopold,
Margrave of Austria, who had just revolted against Henry. The Emperor
would gladly have presented the Mark of Austria to the victorious Duke;
but Vratislav wisely shrank from this extension of his dominions. Other
offers of territory by Henry were either declined by the Duke or found
incapable of execution; and at last, in 1086, the Emperor, finding no
other reward acceptable to his ally, publicly recognised Vratislav as
King of Bohemia, and released him from tribute to the Empire.

Thus Bohemia passed for the moment from a position of dependence to one
of equal alliance with the German Emperor. It might seem, indeed, when
one considers the later developments of Bohemian history, as if the
country would have been happier had it held aloof from the quarrels of
Emperors and Popes, and developed itself on narrower and more peaceful
lines. But, by the statesmen of that time, the matter must have been
seen in a very different light. The perpetual interference by Emperors,
Popes, and Kings of Poland in the internal affairs of Bohemia seemed to
have become an unavoidable evil; and the only apparent remedy was to
seize the moment when the Emperor was in difficulty, and to show him
that his despised dependant might become a necessary ally.

But the general character of Vratislav’s policy justifies us in
attributing to him higher motives than those above mentioned. He seems
to have really desired to encourage a wider development of thought
and culture in Bohemia. Both Germans and Jews were granted special
privileges to induce them to settle in Prague; and it may well be
believed that he hoped to extend this connection between Bohemia and
the European world, by concerning himself with the politics of the
Empire.

Nor did he fail to do honour to native excellence. One man in
particular stands out amongst his favourites, as a proof of Vratislav’s
sympathy with artistic power. This was Boz̆etĕch, who was distinguished
both as painter, sculptor, and architect. Such a variety of excellence
so attracted the Duke that he appointed Boz̆etĕch as Abbot of Sázava;
and by his help he once more brought back into use the often-disputed
Slavonic ritual. Pope Gregory, indeed, indignantly demanded its
suppression; but Vratislav, strong in the support of the Emperor and of
the general feeling of Bohemia, stood firm on behalf of this symbol of
national life. Unfortunately, rulers who choose their favourites for
merit rather than for birth, naturally rouse the hostility of those
courtiers, who have only the latter claim to distinction; and while
Boz̆etĕch was sternly rebuked for presumption by the Bishop of Prague,
another favourite of Vratislav’s gave offence to the heir to the
throne, and was murdered by the young prince and his followers.

This act of violence is one proof among many that Vratislav’s policy
was too vigorous for the leaders of Bohemian opinion. His successors
could not maintain Bohemia in the position in which he would have
placed her; and even the royal title fell into disuse, in consequence,
partly, of the disputes about the succession. Indeed, the chief
evidence of the progress, which Bohemia had made under Vratislav, is
to be found in the fact that the internal quarrels which followed
his reign were not able to drag the country down to the condition
into which she had previously fallen. Poland was not able to recover
her hold over Bohemia; and Henry IV. was so conscious of his debt to
Vratislav that he refused to interfere in a contest between members of
the ducal family, on the ground that such questions should be left to
the free choice of the Bohemians themselves.

In spite, then, of Vratislav’s partial success, the divisions which
followed his death could not fail to weaken Bohemia; and at last one
of the Dukes resolved upon a terrible method for suppressing internal
disorder. This duke bore the name of Svatopluk; and his career was
not wholly unlike that of his namesake in the old Moravian times. By
the help of Mutina and Boz̆ej, two of the leaders of the Vrs̆ovici,
he had deposed Duke Bor̆ivoj, and placed himself upon the throne of
Bohemia. Bor̆ivoj appealed to Polish support for the recovery of his
kingdom; and, during Svatopluk’s absence, he invaded Bohemia at the
head of a Polish army. Mutina, who had been left as one of Svatopluk’s
chief representatives, offered little resistance to the invaders, and
he was, in consequence, denounced to the Duke as having intrigued with
Bor̆ivoj. Thereupon Svatopluk resolved to destroy the whole race of
the Vrs̆ovici. He summoned all the nobles to a banquet in Breslau;
and among them came Mutina, not suspecting what was to follow. At
the close of the banquet Svatopluk suddenly turned upon Mutina, and
accused him and his family of being the authors of all the treasons
in Bohemia for many years past. Then he made a sign to an officer,
who rushed upon Mutina and cut off his head as he was trying to rise
from his seat. His sons were then seized and their eyes put out.
Then messengers were despatched all over the country, who hunted out
every member of the family of the Vrs̆ovici, and killed all whom they
could seize--men, women, and children. Some of them fled, to Poland,
and others to Hungary; and for a long time the family was unknown in
Bohemia. But this savage act of vengeance did not produce the general
results at which its author had aimed. Svatopluk himself was murdered
during an invasion of Poland by one of the exiled Vrs̆ovici; and the
succeeding reign was as much disturbed by family quarrels as any which
had preceded it.

But the real stability of Bohemia, and the substantial unity which
under-lay its divisions, were to be proved very soon, by a most
searching test. In 1125 the line of the Franconian sovereigns of
Germany ended; and Lothar, Duke of Saxony, was chosen Emperor. It will
be remembered that the Saxons had now for some time been recognised
as the most dangerous rivals of Bohemia; and, at the time of Lothar’s
accession, an opportunity seemed to offer itself for using the Imperial
power to crush out Bohemian independence. Sobeslav, the next Duke of
Bohemia, had just obtained the throne by the influence of his mother
Svatava, who had persuaded the Bohemian nobles to ignore the claims of
her eldest son, Otto. Otto at once appealed to Lothar, who asserted his
right, as Emperor, to decide the succession to the Dukedom of Bohemia.

Such a claim would have been resented at any time; but Otto had
specially offended Bohemian feeling, by consenting to hold the province
of Moravia as a fief from the Emperor, instead of a dependency of the
Duke of Bohemia. All the national feeling of independence at once burst
into flame; Sobeslav answered Lothar “that he trusted in the mercy of
God, and in the merits of the holy martyrs of Christ, St. Wenceslaus,
and St. Adalbert, that our country would not be delivered into the
hands of foreigners.” Then he went round to the monasteries imploring
Divine help; and when he finally set out on his march, the spear of
St. Wenceslaus and the banner of St. Adalbert were carried at the head
of the army. At the same time Sobeslav despatched a message to the
Emperor, reminding him that the Bohemian nobles were the sole electors
of their duke, and that the Emperor had only the right of confirming
their choice. But Otto had filled the leaders of the Saxon army with
the belief that the nobles of Bohemia were on their side; so the
Emperor and his friends declared that Sobeslav’s speech was mere raving.

Following Otto’s guidance, the Saxon army now marched through a thick
wood till they came to the pass of Chlum. Here they found themselves
wedged in between two mountains, and so blocked by the snow that they
had to dismount from their horses. While the invaders were thus cut
off from any hope of retreat, Sobeslav’s army broke in upon them from
three different sides. Surprised and unable to defend themselves, the
Saxons were cut to pieces; while many of the Bohemians were encouraged
by visions of St. Wenceslaus and St. Adalbert. So great was the victory
that, in the words of one chronicler, “there was rejoicing through all
the family of St. Wenceslaus.” Lothar admitted that he had been misled
by Otto, recognised the “judgment of God,” and presented Sobeslav with
the ducal standard.

Sobeslav, like all the wiser rulers of Bohemia, while determined to
maintain the independence of his country, was unwilling to provoke any
needless quarrel with Germany. Even with Lothar he soon entered into
friendly relations; and, after the death of the Saxon Emperor, he used
his vote as Elector of the Empire on behalf of Conrad of Hohenstauffen.
Once more the connection between Bohemia and the Empire became one
of close friendship; and Sobeslav appealed to Conrad to confirm his
nomination of his son Vladislav as successor to the throne. Evidently
fearing the divisions which might follow his death, Sobeslav further
strengthened Vladislav’s position by securing a special promise from
the nobles and knights that they would accept this prince as their
duke. The correctness of Sobeslav’s fears was soon proved by the events
which followed his death. When in 1140 the duke was known to be dying,
the nobles of Bohemia met at the Vys̆ehrad, where they consulted long
about the succession to the throne; and, though they finally decided
to accept Vladislav as their duke, he soon found that his tenure of
authority was a frail and uncertain one.

His difficulties, indeed, were much increased by the reforming zeal
of one of the most important of the statesmen on whom he had to
rely. Zdík, Bishop of Olmütz, had just returned from a pilgrimage
to Palestine, full of eager enthusiasm for establishing a new order
of things. By this “new order” he understood a revival of clerical
discipline, an increase of monasteries, and a stricter enforcement of
general purity of life. Vladislav sympathised with the bishop’s zeal;
and he had also enthusiasms of his own, which were equally difficult of
realisation. He removed corrupt magistrates, and he insisted that his
subjects should have the right to appeal to him against the decisions
of those subordinate courts which often represented rather the will of
the lords than the intentions of the law.

Such reforms, however welcome to the peasants, the townsfolk, and the
stricter clergy, were bitterly opposed by the nobles, whose power
they weakened, and whose oppressions they redressed. Therefore, in
1142, the nobles again met, to depose Vratislav from the throne, and
to choose a successor in his place. After some discussion, they fixed
upon Conrad, the Margrave of Moravia, and placed him at the head of the
insurgent forces. Vladislav soon heard of their intrigues; and, while
he entrusted the Bishop of Olmütz with the organisation of the ducal
troops, he himself sent messengers to the conspirators, reminding
them of their oaths of allegiance; and he specially appealed to his
cousin Otto, the son of the prince who had headed the Saxon invasion,
reproaching him with the fact that he had just restored him to his
father’s lands. But all these appeals were in vain; the insurgent army
advanced to “Vizoca,” where they were encountered by Vladislav. The
fight was a fierce one, and many of the leading nobles were killed;
but at last, by pretending a panic, they decoyed the ducal army into a
dangerous position, and there turned on them and routed them. Vladislav
retreated to Prague; and then, leaving his brother Theobald to defend
the city, he went to the Emperor to ask his assistance. The Emperor
remembered his debt to Sobeslav, and willingly interceded for his son;
and Conrad of Moravia was soon compelled to fly before the forces of
his Imperial namesake. Great part of the next four years was wasted in
compelling the insurgents to return to their allegiance; but at last
the Emperor succeeded in making peace between the contending parties,
and Conrad was restored to the government of Moravia.

Vladislav now became eager to resume his interrupted career of reform;
and, as a first step, he began to rebuild the monasteries which the
rebels had destroyed. Like Vratislav, however, he now felt himself
forced by the opposition which he had encountered at home to rely
more than ever on the German Emperor; and he was thus dragged into
expeditions which had little concern for Bohemia. At first, indeed,
the wars in which he engaged were not of a kind to offend the feelings
of his countrymen. The crusade, for instance, in which he followed
Conrad in 1147, was too much in accordance with the ideas of the time
to provoke any open opposition from the nobles; while his invasion of
Poland in 1149 was, doubtless, only too popular in Bohemia. But an
expedition of a far more important character, and far more closely
bound up with the Imperial power, was, a few years later, to occupy the
thoughts of Vladislav and his countrymen.

In the year 1154 the Emperor Conrad died, and the Electors of the
Empire met to choose his successor. The influence of the Duke of
Bohemia in these elections had now been completely recovered; and
Vladislav played a considerable part in securing the success of his
candidate, the son of Conrad, the celebrated Barbarossa.

But Vladislav’s enemies were on the watch to break a connection
so important to his power. Vladislav, for some reason not easy to
ascertain, refused to attend Barbarossa’s first Council at Merseburg.
This absence was at once seized upon by his rival and kinsman Oldr̆ich
to draw the Emperor’s favour away from the new duke. Fortunately,
Vladislav, though absent, was well represented by his shrewd adviser,
Daniel, Bishop of Prague; and by the bishop’s influence Oldr̆ich was
quieted for a time. Vladislav took note of this intrigue; and to
prevent its recurrence he drew closer his ties with the Emperor, and
consented to support the Emperor in a new invasion of Poland.

This connection gave Barbarossa the opportunity to interest Vladislav
in his important projects for recovering and making firmer his
position as Holy Roman Emperor. The rising of Arnold of Brescia had
drawn the Pope and the Emperor for a time into an alliance; and the
appeal of Lodi against the tyrannies of the greater Lombard towns had
given the Emperor a new excuse for establishing his rule in Italy. So
he became anxious to secure sufficient support from the princes of the
Empire; and he was ready to grant favours to those most likely to be
of service to him. In 1156 he raised the Margravate of Austria into an
independent dukedom; and in the following year he proposed to restore
to Vladislav that royal title which had gradually fallen into disuse
in Bohemia, on condition that the new King should bring his forces to
assist him in the siege of Milan.

This was the third occasion on which a royal crown had been offered to
the Dukes of Bohemia; and it was in some ways the most significant of
the three. The first offer had been made to St. Wenceslaus, and had
been based entirely on the ground of his personal qualities. The saint
had refused it as inconsistent with his character. The offer made to
Vratislav had been of a wholly different kind from the first proposal;
but the way in which the title speedily fell into disuse has led some
to doubt if Henry IV. had intended the crown to be hereditary. In the
case of Vladislav, however, there was no doubt as to the intentions
of Barbarossa. Indeed, he clearly showed that he considered the grant
of this dignity as the revival of the old Moravian kingship; and, in
order to emphasise the importance and independence of the new dignity,
he accompanied it by the grant of territory which the Bohemians had
previously claimed, but over which their rights had hitherto been
disputed. Although, therefore, the continual contests for the throne of
Bohemia, which followed the death of Vladislav, made it impossible for
the rival pretenders to make good their claim to the royal title, there
was, nevertheless, no doubt that, from this time forth, any lawfully
elected ruler of Bohemia had the right to call himself king. Yet,
splendid as this proposal was, Vladislav felt it necessary to consult
his chief adviser, Bishop Daniel of Prague, before he would give the
promise which could alone secure him the new dignity. Daniel had no
doubts in his own mind; indeed, he seems throughout to have been more
zealous for the Imperial alliance than Vladislav himself, and even to
have taken a warm interest in the details of the Italian campaign. He,
therefore, readily used his influence in favour of the proposal; and
the bargain between the Emperor and the King was accordingly struck.

Few wise and well-meaning rulers have ever done greater mischief
to their country than Vladislav accomplished by that hastily made
bargain; but nothing could be honester than his way of carrying out
the compact; and he clearly showed that he believed himself to be
acting for the good of his country. He hastened back to Bohemia, and
called a General Council of the nobles, to whom he announced the
whole transaction. Immediately fierce protests broke forth. The Duke,
without any consultation with his lawful advisers, had raised himself
to a new dignity, and had dragged the country into a foreign war. The
adviser of such unlawful acts deserved to be crucified. This threat
was obviously aimed at Bishop Daniel, but Vladislav hastened to take
the whole responsibility upon himself. “I have made this promise,” he
said, “to the Emperor, by no man’s advice, but of my own free will. I
give this answer to the honours which he has granted to me. Whosoever
intends to help me in this business, him I will provide with fitting
honour and with the money necessary for this work; but he who cares
not for it let him sit at home content with the games and the ease of
women, and secure of the peace which I will guarantee to him.”

It should be noted that, under the scornful rhetoric of this speech,
there is concealed the admission of the important constitutional
principle, that the king had no right to demand the service of his
subjects in a foreign war. In saner moods and at later periods,
Bohemians were eager to assert this great liberty. But, for the moment,
the king’s appeal acted like magic in silencing opposition and rousing
enthusiasm for the war. Songs were composed and speeches delivered in
honour of the siege of Milan; and, while the young nobility disregarded
the warnings of their elders and hastened to take up arms in the
Imperial cause, the peasants gladly left their wearisome occupations
and oppressed condition to flock to the banner of their beloved king.
The splendid services accomplished by Vladislav in that ill-fated war
strengthened his influence in the Councils of the Empire; and it is
at least pleasant to mention that, at the siege of Brescia, the King
of Bohemia used his influence with Barbarossa to soften the terms
offered to the unfortunate Brescians. His personal share in the war
was indeed cut short, partly by ill-health, partly by the necessity
of returning to Bohemia, which was disturbed by the insurrection of a
new pretender. But his son Frederick and his brother Theobald brought
new reinforcements to the camp of Barbarossa; and a large part of all
the glory that could be won in such a cause was due to the Bohemian
soldiers.

Nor was Vladislav less successful in rousing the enthusiasm of his
subjects in favour of another war, which had as little connection as
the Italian expedition had had with the welfare of Bohemia. Queen
Geysa, of Hungary, appealed to Vladislav in 1164 to help her young son
in his struggle against a pretender to the Hungarian throne. Again
Vladislav promised his help, and again the constitutional protest
against his promise produced an explanation which served to show
the deference of the king to the laws, while its complete success
proved his personal popularity in the country. This campaign gave
additional proof of the king’s military reputation; for the Emperor of
Constantinople, who had invaded Hungary on behalf of the rebels, was
eager to make a special peace with his Bohemian opponent; and when he
failed to effect this purpose, he speedily returned to his own country
and accepted the proposals of Vladislav about the terms of his peace
with Queen Geysa.

The reign of Vladislav stands out strangely in the middle of the
disorderly twelfth century. We see there a king suppressing disorder
without suppressing freedom; armed insurrection by selfish intriguers,
changing as if by magic into constitutional opposition on behalf of
most important liberties; and all these gains apparently connected with
an increase in military glory and national prestige, such as might well
dazzle even men of some sagacity and foresight.

But the glory, and, what was of far more importance, the peace of
Bohemia, were of short duration. The death of Bishop Daniel broke the
chief link between Vladislav and Barbarossa. The bishop had remained
with the Emperor during his Italian campaign; his counsels had always
been welcome, and his influence had, no doubt, been a strong force
in securing Bohemia to the Imperial cause. Nor did his death produce
a merely negative effect on the relations between Bohemia and the
Empire. It brought into play another influence which was exerted on the
opposite side.

Vladislav’s queen, Judith, favoured the party of Pope Alexander III.;
and by her advice a Saxon bishop, who had taken the Papal side, was
elected as Daniel’s successor. As the new bishop was totally ignorant
of the Bohemian language, his election weakened Vladislav’s popularity
with his people as much as his favour with the Emperor. Three years
later, the enemies of the king once more found their opportunity to
make use of these discontents against him. Vladislav, without any
consultation with the nobles, and without any notice to the Emperor,
resigned his power to his son Frederick; and the intriguers, whom he
had with such difficulty suppressed, were now easily able to rouse an
insurrection against his successor. Then followed twenty-five years of
miserable dynastic squabbles, during which Conrad of Moravia was able
to play the part of king-maker, and, by the help of the puppets whom he
placed on the throne of Bohemia, to secure a temporary independence for
the province which he governed.

At last the contest was brought to an end by the accession of King
Pr̆emysl to the throne in 1198; and he settled the question of Moravian
government by conceding the rule of that province to his brother
Vladislav. Pr̆emysl came at the right moment to recover for Bohemia the
power and influence of which the civil wars of a quarter of a century
had deprived her. Once more, as in the time of Henry IV., Germany’s
difficulty was Bohemia’s opportunity. The death of Henry VI., the
son of Barbarossa, had thrown the Empire into all the disorder which
arises from a disputed succession; and Pr̆emysl found his interest in
playing off one rival emperor against another, just as the Emperors
had previously played with the rival candidates to the Bohemian
throne. Philip and Otto soon found that their respective causes were
practically at the mercy of the Bohemian king; and, if Dubravsky has
any authority for saying that Pr̆emysl’s surname of Ottakar was a
tribute to his devotion to Otto, never, certainly, did a nickname
convey keener irony.

Nor did the election of Frederick II. diminish the power of Pr̆emysl.
His influence had considerably contributed to that election; and
Frederick’s lifelong war against popes and priests compelled him to
rely on any friend who would stand by him against those dangerous
antagonists. In his eagerness to secure Pr̆emysl’s help, the Emperor
confirmed to the Bohemian crown those German territories in Silesia
and the Lausitz, which had so long been the subject of dispute. He
also granted to Pr̆emysl the power of appointing bishops in Bohemia
without any outside interference. Pr̆emysl’s sympathies with Frederick
were further quickened by the struggles with the clergy of Bohemia in
which he found himself involved. The same difficulties which our Henry
II. had so recently experienced, in his attempts to bring the clergy
under the authority of lay tribunals, were harassing Pr̆emysl during
a large part of his reign; and his attitude in these matters provoked
against him Papal censures as stern as those which were aimed at his
Imperial ally. The contest between king and priest in Bohemia ended in
a compromise; but the substantial victory probably remained with the
king.

Pr̆emysl’s vigour tended, no doubt, to reconcile the discontented
nobles to his rule; but, in the reign of his son Wenceslaus, the
opposition again began to make head. Young Pr̆emysl Ottakar, the son
of Wenceslaus, had been appointed Margrave of Moravia; and the power
connected with this office induced the nobles to make the young prince
the centre of their intrigues. The terrible events of 1241 suppressed
faction for a time in Bohemia; for in that year the invasion of Genghis
Khan shook all the States of Europe to their centre, and gradually
forced into the background any minor cause of division. The details of
this invasion are more properly connected with the events to be dealt
with in the following chapter. Here it is enough to say that the panic
produced by this invasion enabled Wenceslaus to rally round him the
whole forces of the kingdom, and to establish the reputation of Bohemia
as the champion of European civilisation.

But there was one ruler, in whom neither fear of danger nor gratitude
for deliverance could quench his hostility to the Slavonic kingdom.
This was Frederick of Babenberg, Duke of Austria, who was otherwise
known as Frederick the Quarrelsome. Ever since the time when Vratislav
had defeated the Margrave Leopold in his rising against Henry IV., the
rulers of Austria had been doubtful friends to Bohemia; and, though
accident might sometimes have forced them into an alliance, their
ordinary attitude was that of suspicion, if not of open hostility.
Frederick the Quarrelsome was one of the bitterest in his opposition.
He invaded Moravia in the very year after the repulse of the Mongols;
and he continued the struggle till his death.

That death, however, instead of bringing peace to Wenceslaus, only
raised against him a far more formidable opponent. The Emperor
Frederick had opposed the efforts of his turbulent namesake; but, when
the Duke died without an heir, it seemed an excellent opportunity for
seizing Austria as a fief of the Empire. Wenceslaus, on the other hand,
desired to secure the dukedom for his son Vladislav; and, in spite of
Imperial opposition, he seems to have won for his son the sympathies,
of a part, at least, of the Austrian nobles.

Thus then ended abruptly that alliance between Bohemia and the Empire
which had been so useful to both parties. Neither Wenceslaus nor
Frederick lost time in their declarations of hostility to each other.
In 1247 Wenceslaus openly joined in the schemes of Innocent IV., for
deposing the Emperor, and setting up William of Holland in his place;
and Frederick revenged himself by stirring up the discontented Bohemian
nobles against their king. The struggle was a sharp one; the rebels
succeeded for a time in deposing Wenceslaus and setting up young
Ottakar in his stead; but the threats of Innocent IV. brought them
back to their allegiance; and a compromise by which young Ottakar was
confirmed in his former government of Moravia removed him from the
ranks of his father’s enemies. The death of Frederick II. once more
plunged the Empire into disorder. Wenceslaus saw his opportunity in
this confusion; and, as Vladislav was now dead, the King persuaded
young Ottakar to seize the dukedom of Austria for himself. The
Austrians accepted their new duke without any apparent reluctance;
and thus, when Wenceslaus died in 1253, Ottakar II. became king of a
Bohemia, which included not only Silesia and the Lausitz, but also the
dukedom of Austria.



IV.

THE GROWTH OF BOHEMIAN LIFE FROM ACCESSION OF PR̆EMYSL OTTAKAR I. TO
DEATH OF PR̆EMYSL OTTAKAR II.

(1198-1278.)


In the present century the development of national constitutions
has had a special interest for historians. This interest has arisen
partly from the spectacle of the unusual number of new experiments
in government which have been made in our own time; partly from the
growing sense that the history of wars and Courts has become less
important, and that the growth of law and of popular life ought to
take the place of those exploded subjects of interest. But the exact
legal position of the different component parts of a nation is not
generally easy to ascertain at an early period of its history; nor,
when it is ascertained, has the knowledge always brought us nearer to
the discovery of the really living and progressive force in the nation
at that period.

Thus, in the case of Bohemia, though we get continual hints of national
feeling and popular aspiration, these do not always centre in legally
constituted bodies, nor do they keep pace with any orderly line of
constitutional development. Assemblies seem constantly to have met, but
these were, in the main, assemblies of nobles; and the general national
feeling more often took the form of an enthusiasm for the Bohemian
language, or the reverence for a native saint, than of a demand for the
extension of the rights of any class, or for a limitation of the royal
power.

Perhaps it was a natural consequence of this popular indifference to
political progress, as compared with the zeal for the preservation of
the national language, and the religious ritual, that, by the close
of the twelfth century, we find few traces remaining of those free
institutions which seemed to connect themselves with the story of
Libus̆a. Even those securities for popular freedom, which undoubtedly
prevailed in historical times, had been, in the course of the eleventh
and twelfth centuries, corrupted into new sources of tyranny. Of these
the most important had been the Z̆upa, or local assembly. This had been
formed partly for purposes of self-defence, partly for ecclesiastical
organisation; and, though it had centred at one time in a castle, at
another in a church, yet it had originally been governed by a judge,
elected by the district.

But from the time of Boleslav the Cruel, the Dukes began to make it
their practice to grant these local judgeships to nobles who had done
them special service; and those nobles were generally allowed either to
sell their offices or to bequeath them to their heirs. The temptation
to use this position as an instrument of oppression was yet further
increased by the profit which the judges were allowed to make out of
the fines that they had inflicted. The money thus accumulated was often
used for the purchase of neighbouring lands; and thus lands formerly
held by freemen, or on the communal system, passed into the power of
the official nobles. In the meantime those nobles, who did not become
Z̆upani, were able to profit by the growing unpopularity of the local
tribunals to strengthen the power of their own feudal courts over their
dependants; while the continual wars, and the practice of selling
captives into slavery, encouraged the growth of an even more helpless
and degraded class. The coolness with which many of the grants of land
transfer workmen of various kinds as mere appendages of fields and
fishponds, is in itself a proof of the degraded position to which the
peasant class in Bohemia had been reduced; and the fact that military
service seemed one of the few means of escaping from serfdom led the
peasants to favour those wars which in the end increased their misery.

When the peculiarly disturbed state of Bohemia, which followed King
Vladislav’s retirement from power, had been for a time brought to an
end, or at least modified by the accession of Pr̆emysl Ottakar to the
throne of the kingdom, it became necessary to provide some remedy for
the miserable state of things which was destroying the country; and
above all to find a new opportunity for the development of peaceful
trade, and some power which could counteract the lawless intrigues of
the nobles. The calling into life of communities which should be out of
reach of the power both of feudalism and officialism was the natural
method of meeting these difficulties; and, in the ruin of the rest of
the country, there seemed to be two places where there still lingered
traditions that could be made available for this purpose.

Curiously enough, amid the decay of national freedom, the privileges
granted to foreigners still remained undiminished; and, stranger
still, it was from these communities that a new material for national
life was to be drawn. In the district of Poric̆, which Vratislav had
raised into a suburb of Prague, a settlement of German workmen had
been planted by that king; and to encourage them in the continuance of
their occupations, he had granted them rights of self-government, which
had survived the freedom of the Z̆upani, and the other elements of
independence which had been enjoyed by the poorer classes of Bohemia.
They had been allowed to choose their own judge without interference
from any one; and, except in the cases of the most extreme crimes,
which were dealt with by the Duke himself, they were allowed to carry
on their own affairs according to their own laws. They were never to
be compelled to go on military service, except when the actual defence
of the country required it. A Bohemian wishing to bring an action
against a German was obliged to prove his case through two German
witnesses and one Bohemian before a German judge. They were to be safe
from that compulsory intrusion into their houses by nobles who came
from a distance, which was one of the great burdens of the Bohemian
citizens; and in many other matters they were allowed to follow the
customs of their own country. The respect felt for these privileges
is sufficiently shown by the fact that, even in the time of turbulence
and disorder between the abdication of Vladislav, and the accession of
Pr̆emysl, we find a formal confirmation by Duke Sobeslav of Vratislav’s
grant to the settlers in Poric̆.

Here then Pr̆emysl could find a tradition which might justify him
in developing, without violent change, liberties of the greatest
importance to his country; and accordingly in 1213 he grants to the
citizens of Freudenthal the settlement of their town “in accordance
with that Teutonic law which has hitherto been unwonted and unused in
the lands of Bohemia and Moravia; but which, having been granted to
you first by our illustrious brother Vladislav, Margrave of Moravia,
we confirm with our royal authority.” And then, as an important hint
of coming developments, and an indication of the thoroughly national
purpose of this movement, he grants them, during the life of himself
and his brother, the tithes on the metals found within four miles from
the city, to be used for the improvement of the aforesaid city.

But, if the new development of town life took root at this time in the
western parts of Bohemia, it seems to have had a still earlier growth
in the more eastern province of Moravia. That province had always had
peculiar traditions of its own. It was a fragment of the old kingdom of
Moravia, and had been incorporated in the Bohemian dukedom, at the time
of the Hungarian invasion. It always retained a sense of its important
position; and Barbarossa himself had increased that feeling when, in
granting the royal crown to Vladislav, he spoke of the new dignity as a
revival of the old Moravian kingdom. Moreover, by some means or other,
a German element seems to have penetrated into this province; and it
is now generally believed that in Moravia, as in Bohemia, the first
traditions of municipal self-government were drawn from German sources.
Nevertheless, when in 1229 King Pr̆emysl recognised the municipal
liberties of Brünn (Brno), he evidently refers to them as connected
with local rights which had been traditional for a considerable time
in that town; and in the book of decisions of the Moravian municipal
tribunals, the Law of Brno is sometimes pitted against that Law of
Magdeburg which was generally accepted as the model of town rights.
Brünn, too, became in a peculiar manner the centre of the towns of
Moravia, and its laws became a new source of life to a great portion
of the Bohemian kingdom; and its Book of Rights, with its splendid
binding and beautiful illuminations, may still be seen in the town
council house at Brünn. So, when in 1229 Pr̆emysl Ottakar confirmed the
ancient laws of the province of Brünn, he gave a new, and probably more
attractive, impulse to the movement for civic self-government.

[Illustration: RADNICE BRNE: OLD DOOR OF TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF BRÜNN.]

These rights, however, were of gradual growth, and at the time of
Pr̆emysl’s decree they were not developed to that point which the
subsequent records of their interpretation would lead one to expect.
Thus, although we find securities against arbitrary arrest, we do not
find that definite arrangement for the production of legal witnesses
which was afterwards established; and, though the judge is no longer
allowed to decide questions alone, the check upon him seems to be
rather that of officials and nobles than of his fellow-citizens. But,
whatever defects and limitations we may find in these early provisions
for municipal liberty, the movement in its favour was soon to be
hastened by one of the most tremendous shocks which had convulsed
Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. This was nothing less than
the invasion of Genghis Khan and his Tartar hordes, which has already
been slightly alluded to in the previous chapter.

It appears that the Cumani, a still barbarous tribe, had come into
collision with the Tartars in Asia; and, either flying from Tartar
vengeance, or following a new career of conquest, the Cumani entered
Hungary. There they joined with some of their kinsmen who had formerly
settled there, and began to harass the Hungarians. The Tartars quickly
followed on their heels; and, having overrun Russia, they made their
way into Hungary, defeated King Bela, and laid waste his territory,
killing men, women, and children. From thence they swept over Poland,
and advanced into Moravia, while others attacked Bulgaria and Greece.
The terror-struck descriptions of the writers of the period seem to
combine the memories of Gothic and Hunnish invasions with the imagery
of the Apocalypse. Like so many conquerors, Genghis Khan seems to have
had a conception of a special mission to destroy imposed on him by some
invisible Power; and he and his followers were looked on, for a time,
as irresistible. He had twelve thousand men wearing breastplates of
skin, and always on horseback, and twenty or thirty horses without any
one to guide them following every rider; for the Mongol Tartars could
do nothing on foot because of their short legs and long bodies. They
were killing all except those children whom Genghis Khan was branding
on the face with his mark. Their women were said to fight on horseback;
and those who slaughtered the most were the most admired.

While Europe was panic-struck, and every man was calling on his
neighbour for help, Pope Gregory IX. and the Emperor Frederick II.
were fighting with each other for the possession of Sicily; and,
while Frederick pleaded that he could not put himself at the head of
the Imperial forces till Gregory would let him alone, the friends
and admirers of Gregory were accusing Frederick of having himself
invited in the Tartars; and some even declared that they had seen
his messengers in the Tartar army. Alone almost among the princes of
Europe, Wenceslaus of Bohemia, who had now succeeded to the throne,
seems to have preserved some nerve and sense. He called upon the Duke
of Austria, the Patriarch of Aquileia, the Duke of Carinthia, and the
Margrave of Baden to help him to gather together his forces near Olmütz
(Olomouci); and he made so determined a stand that the invasion was
rolled back upon Hungary.

Even after this defeat of the Tartars the terror of them hung for years
over Europe; but, though Bohemia itself was not yet free from danger,
Wenceslaus, as King of Bohemia, and his son Pr̆emysl Ottakar, as
Margrave of Moravia, now set themselves to redress the injuries done
by the Tartar invasion. In 1243 they began to enlarge and restore the
towns which had been destroyed by the Tartars; and in order to induce
the frightened citizens to devote themselves to this work, they found
it necessary to encourage them by the grant of further liberties.

The conception of municipal government evidently makes great strides
at this time. Accused persons are now more carefully guarded from
arbitrary sentences; and we also find the jury rising to an equality
with the judge in the decision of certain matters. More clearly,
too, do we detect the determination to put a check on the tyranny of
the nobles by the development of civic liberties. “We will,” says
Wenceslaus, in his extension of the privileges of Brünn, “and we
irrefragably decree that no baron or noble of the land shall have power
in the city of Brünn, or shall do any violence in it, or shall detain
any one, without the license and proclamation of the judge of the city;
and we will that, whoever of the citizens has servants or possessions
outside the city, shall not be summoned by the provincial judge, or
the officials of the province, but shall be judged by the judge of the
city.”

[Illustration: JÍHLAVA (IGLAU), THE GREAT MINING CENTRE IN MORAVIA.]

The power of demising property without interference from others,
freedom of marriage or non-marriage to widows and maidens, various
forms of protection against violence, facilities for holding markets,
and the removal of customs duties--such are the chief subjects dealt
with in these civic constitutions. The discovery and working of
minerals, which largely date from this time, led to new opportunities
of self-government. In the town of Iglau (Jíhlava), where miners had
been prominent in the defence of their country against the Tartars, the
powers granted to them and the neighbouring citizens were particularly
large. “We wish and command,” say Wenceslaus and Pr̆emysl Ottakar his
son, “that, whatever the jury of our city and the jury of the miners
have ordained, for the commercial good, should be inviolably observed
by all.” Even tax-collectors of the king are to consult the miners in
certain matters; while special securities are given against possible
defalcations by debtors of noble birth.

Great as was the advance which is implied in these decrees, the use
made of them by the citizens shows that they understood how to extend
their liberties still further. The benefit derived from the powers
granted to civic judges might have been neutralised by the way in which
the judgeships were still conferred by the kings on their personal
favourites; but the jurymen of Brünn claimed for themselves the power
of checking, and even overruling the judge, which must have been a far
better guarantee for the self-government of the city than any that was
directly contained in the royal decree.

“The judge,” say these administrators, “must reverence the jury as
legislators, never dictate sentences on his own authority, never arrest
any one without their knowledge, never appropriate to himself the fines
of the city, never bring back those that are driven from the city,
without the consent of the jurors; always listen to them, and arrange
all the business of his office according to their advice.”

How much the sense of equality before the law grew under this
administration may be illustrated by the following instance. A servant
has brought an action against a fellow-servant for wounding him; while
at the same time a master brings an action against the same defendant
for debt. The question arises which of these shall be heard first.
The jury decide that “since the body of a man is more precious than
money,” the defendant should answer for his violence to the man whom
he has wounded, before he answers to the master for his debt. More
bold still was the assertion of the rights of the citizens to hold the
nobles responsible to the city tribunals for lands held within the
city. And while they held their own against the nobles outside, the
popular magistrates increased their authority within the city. The
power of regulating trade, which in England was seized by the Guilds,
was, in the Moravian towns, at once taken into the hands of the civic
authorities; and thus those conflicts, which Mrs. Green has described
as prevailing in so many English towns, between the magistrates and the
leaders of the trades, never assume such prominence in the history of
Brünn and Olmütz.

Nor was it only in their immediate security for liberty and good
government that these civic rights were of advantage to Bohemia and
Moravia. Questions were forced upon the practical consideration of
the jurors, the very discussion of which formed an important element
in political education. Thus the treatment by the jurors of the
questions of the value of torture, and ordeal by battle, as methods of
discovering truth, show how experience was already preparing the way
for the overthrow of abuses, which were yet too strongly supported by
popular prejudice to be removed at once. The steady growth of these
liberties, which had received so powerful an impulse from the needs
produced by the Tartar invasion, was still further promoted by Pr̆emysl
Ottakar II., and became in his hands part of a complete scheme for
humbling the power of the nobility.

Wenceslaus, in spite of some fine qualities, had been a self-indulgent
and pleasure-seeking man; and he had, like some of his predecessors,
mortgaged many of the royal lands and castles to the nobles. This had
naturally increased their power, and had enabled them to organise those
insurrections against the king in which they had at first succeeded in
involving his son. But even while he was still Margrave of Moravia,
young Pr̆emysl Ottakar had broken loose from these influences; and
by various economies and convenient pecuniary transactions he had
succeeded in raising money enough to purchase back the lands from the
nobles, compelling them, sometimes against their will, to surrender
their mortgages. He also forced them to break down those castles which
had been great causes of disorder and weakness in the country. Nor did
he fail to strengthen his cause by alliance with the clergy.

Ever since the quarrel between Frederick II. and Wenceslaus, that
King had been a devoted champion of the Pope; and in the growing
weakness of the Empire, the Pope became more and more the one great
Power to which a rising and ambitious king could appeal. Ottakar II.
became distinguished as a friend of the Church, not only by his strong
support of the Papal power, but by his endowment and development of
the monasteries. In this, indeed, he was carrying on that revival of
Bohemian life which Wenceslaus had begun after the repulse of the
Tartars. But it was evident that these ecclesiastical exemptions must
sometimes come into collision with those civic liberties of which we
have spoken.

This contradiction was evidently felt by Ottakar; and it showed itself
in three different ways. The freedom of trade, which, under certain
limitations, was so welcome to the towns, was by no means in accordance
with the claims of the abbots. They wished that certain occupations
should be carried on under their control; and not that there should be
any exchange of the articles connected with those occupations. Thus we
find in some of the grants to the monasteries that, while the monks
and their dependants are relieved from certain forms of taxation, the
exemption is specially limited to those who are not engaged in trade.
Secondly, there was an obvious risk of a conflict of authority between
the monastic tribunals and those of the city. Thirdly, the records of
Brünn, and of its imitators, show that the growing ideas of equality
before the law did not always seem to the citizens quite consistent
with the privileges claimed by the clergy. Nor must it be supposed that
charters to monasteries and charters to towns represented, in the same
degree, the ordinary idea of human liberty. The dependants of the abbot
were as much at his mercy as those of any feudal lord; and though it
might be an advantage for them to escape from the oppressions of the
Z̆upani, it was not always certain that the abbot would be a gentler
master.

That Ottakar felt the difficulty of this conflict, and desired to
compromise between the interests of these rivals for his favour, is
strikingly illustrated by the two cases of Hradiste and Litomys̆l. In
the former case, Ottakar was particularly anxious to secure the good
will of the citizens, because he looked upon their town as a possible
bulwark against Hungarian invasion; but the neighbouring convent
of Vilegrad feared that the grant of liberties to Hradiste would
interfere with the privileges of their convent. The compromise to which
Ottakar was forced seems a considerable surrender to ecclesiastical
pretensions. The townsmen were to settle in one particular island, for
which they were to pay rent to the monastery. The monastery was to
retain all its former rights over waters, fisheries, mills, meadows,
woods, and corn-fields; and, though the town was to hold a market two
days a week, the profit of that market was to go on one day to the
king, and on another to the monastery; and, above all, the judge of the
town was to be appointed by the monastery. But in this decree there is
a provision which seems to suggest how even such a compromise might
work for freedom. The common rights in pasture held previously by the
townsmen are to be shared with the dependants of the monastery; but
the dependants of the monastery in their turn are to share their common
rights with the citizens of the town. Thus there would naturally grow
up a combination among the dependants of the monasteries, like those
unions which, in England, gave such trouble to the abbots of St. Albans
and Dunstable.

In the case of Litomys̆l the grants to the monastery and those given to
the town are so entangled that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish
between the benefits received by the respective recipients of the
royal favour; and, in this case, Ottakar seems to have cut the knot by
raising Litomys̆l to the ordinary position of a royal town, and thereby
emancipating it from the control of the monastery. Ottakar indeed had
one sure protection against any possible offence which the Church
might fear from the growth of civic liberty. Bruno, Bishop of Olmütz,
was his right-hand man in this as in other parts of his work. Himself
a German by birth, he warmly encouraged the introduction of German
town rights into the cities of Moravia; while, on the other hand, he
always succeeded, until the final catastrophe of Ottakar’s life, in
strengthening the good understanding between the Pope and the King of
Bohemia.

Thus there were now growing up in Bohemia the elements of internal
liberty, under the patronage of a king strong and wise enough to hold
his own against the nobles. Had Ottakar been content to remain King
of Bohemia alone, the effect of his reign on his country might have
been permanently beneficial. But it is now necessary to speak of that
career of conquest and aggression which raised up against him so many
enemies, and which at last put into the hands of his most dangerous
rival the weapon by which king and country were alike overthrown.

However evil were the final results of his aggressions, it must be
owned that there was a certain plausibility in the justification
offered by Ottakar for each of his conquests. To begin with the first
and most important of them, the conquest of Austria. The Babenbergers
had been undoubtedly troublesome neighbours to the Dukes of Bohemia;
and Frederick the Quarrelsome, the last of the line, had been also so
oppressive to his subjects that they had appealed to the Emperor to
choose them a new duke. On this occasion the King of Bohemia had been
one of those to whom the enforcement of the ban of the Empire had been
entrusted. When, then, on the death of Frederick the Quarrelsome, the
land seemed likely to fall into the hands of the Emperor, or to be torn
in pieces by rival claimants, Wenceslaus and Ottakar may have naturally
considered it a matter of self-defence to establish their rule, and
with it some kind of order, in the lands of so near a neighbour; and
they were further encouraged in their attempt by the approval of Pope
Innocent IV.

But the latter phases of the conquest are perhaps less excusable, and
even somewhat discreditable to Wenceslaus and his son. The Austrian
nobles, on the death of the Emperor Frederick had resolved to choose
the Margrave of Meissen as their duke, and to send representatives to
invite him to accept the ducal crown. On their way through Bohemia,
Wenceslaus invited them to a banquet, and tried to cajole them into
choosing his son as their duke. The messengers, alarmed and taken by
surprise, declared that they had no authority to accept this proposal.
Wenceslaus, thereupon, uttered such threats, that the Austrians
considered it dangerous to continue their journey; and they returned to
their country to reconsider the question.

Apart from the claim given to the Margrave of Meissen by the choice of
the nobles, there were two rival claimants to the dukedom of Austria;
Margaret the widow of the Emperor Henry VI., and daughter of Leopold
the Glorious, the most popular of all the Babenberg House; and Gertrude
a niece of Frederick the Quarrelsome, and wife of the Margrave of
Baden. Margaret was, of course, tolerably advanced in life, and had
taken a vow of virginity after the death of her husband; but Wenceslaus
and Bruno of Olmütz persuaded young Ottakar to make good his claim to
the duchy by wooing the widow. In an evil hour for herself, Margaret
consented to Ottakar’s proposal; the approval of the Pope, and possibly
some slight display of military force, completed Ottakar’s claim; and
he was accepted by some at least of the Austrian nobles as their Duke.

In Austria, as in Bohemia, Ottakar looked chiefly for his support to
the great cities. Vienna flourished under his rule; and he granted
special privileges to the neighbouring town of Neustadt. But the
hostility of the nobles still continued; and they were resolved that,
at all events, the German province of Styria should not fall into
Bohemian hands. The difficulty of Ottakar’s position on this question
lay in the fact that the most important rival claimant was Bela, King
of Hungary, who, like Ottakar, was a special favourite of the Pope;
and in the beginning of the struggle the King of Hungary succeeded
in establishing his authority in Styria. But, by the admission even
of Ottakar’s enemies, the tyranny of the Hungarians in Styria was so
great that, when Ottakar again made an attempt on the province, he was
welcomed as a deliverer; and for the time he made good his footing.

It was now necessary to get a formal sanction for these conquests; and
Ottakar chose Richard of Cornwall, from the rival claimants to the
German Empire, as the puppet most useful for this purpose. Richard was
willing enough to secure so influential a supporter; but the King of
Hungary was not so easily satisfied. In 1260, he once more poured his
forces into Styria and Austria; and he was now followed, not only by
the Hungarian troops, but by the savage Cumanians, and even, according
to one account, by the Tartars. The struggle was a fierce one; but it
ended in the complete victory of the Bohemians.

Ottakar, however, thought it necessary to secure himself against future
invasions, by a singularly questionable step. The unfortunate Margaret,
to whom, it was evident, he must very soon have become unfaithful,
was to be repudiated on the ground of her former vow of virginity, in
order that Ottakar might marry Kunigunda, the daughter of Bela, King
of Hungary. Urban IV., like many of his predecessors, was extremely
desirous to procure a good understanding between Hungary and Bohemia,
as in the union of these kingdoms he saw the best hope of security
against a future Tartar invasion; so Kunigunda was crowned Queen of
Bohemia by the Archbishop of Mainz.

But Ottakar’s conquests were not yet at an end. Ulrich, the Duke
of Carinthia and Carniola, had a very troublesome brother called
Philip, who was generally at feud with some prince or other. Amongst
his other enemies was the Patriarch of Aquileia, to whose office he
desired to succeed. Ulrich, knowing Ottakar’s influence with the
Pope and the ecclesiastics generally, tried to secure that influence
in favour of the election of Philip to the patriarchate. Ottakar
agreed, on condition that Ulrich would make him his heir in Carinthia
and Carniola. Ulrich consented to this proposal; and, by Ottakar’s
influence, the Chapter of Aquileia elected Philip Patriarch. Philip
was apparently unaware of the bargain; and he was therefore extremely
indignant, when, on Ulrich’s death, the King of Bohemia entered
Carinthia and Carniola as the lawful heir of Ulrich. This bitterness
was further increased when the Pope refused to confirm the election of
the Chapter, and Philip found himself without either patriarchate or
dukedom.

Ottakar was now the lord of all the territories which form the western
part of the present Austrian Empire, with the exception of the Tyrol.
But his hold on these conquered territories was by no means so certain
as it at first appeared. Though none of his rivals were able, at the
moment, to make good their claims against him, yet any one of them
might reckon on a formidable amount of discontent in all the conquered
provinces. For the same policy which he had pursued in Bohemia of
breaking down the power of the nobles, by destroying their castles, was
carried on in his new dominions; and, while in all of them it caused
considerable opposition, in Styria the discontent soon ripened into
rebellion.

The attitude of the Styrian nobles had, from the first, been one of
more determined hostility than Ottakar had encountered in his other
dominions; and it soon provoked him into measures which increased the
evil. One can scarcely accept as undoubted history all the charges of
cruelty made against him by the Styrian noble Ottakar von Horneck,
who was evidently in full sympathy from the first with those who
resisted the Bohemian claims. Still less can we accept as authentic the
reckless attacks of the chronicler Victor, who was a chaplain of the
House of Hapsburg. But those facts, which seem to be indisputable, are
sufficient of themselves to account for Ottakar’s failure to reduce the
province to submission. As usual in such cases, intriguers were found
to intensify the king’s suspicions by false accusations; some nobles
were thrown into prison on insufficient evidence; and when the case
broke down against them, their accuser was in turn imprisoned. Finally,
Milota, the governor appointed by Ottakar, tried to bring in Bohemian
soldiers and Bohemian settlers to maintain the authority of the king.

But, though all these elements of discontent were gradually ripening
to violent conclusions, to outward appearance Ottakar was still at the
height of his power. Old King Bela of Hungary, in dying, placed his
wife, daughter, and barons under the special protection of Ottakar;
and, when Bela’s son and successor Stephen tried to shake off the power
which his father had given to Bohemia, he found himself opposed by the
bishops and archbishops of Hungary, and by some even of the barons.
Ottakar was able to dictate peace in Hungary itself, and Stephen was
forced to renounce all claims to Styria and Carinthia.

A change, however, was shortly to occur in Europe which was to diminish
one of the chief causes of Ottakar’s success. In his, as in former
reigns, Germany’s difficulty had been Bohemia’s opportunity; and it
was Ottakar’s too ready recognition of this fact which now brought him
into collision with the wisest and most patriotic rulers in Europe,
as well as with some of the most daring intriguers. Ever since the
death of Henry VI., the son of Barbarossa, the claim to the throne of
the Holy Roman Empire had been perpetually disputed. The striking and
romantic figure of Frederick II. had indeed arrested the attention of
Europe in a marked manner; but the intense hatred felt for him by all
the Popes, his own preference of Sicily to Germany, and the complete
disorganisation produced by the Tartar invasion, had combined to
prevent him from establishing any firm rule in the Empire. Since his
death the phantom figures of William of Holland, Conrad the Fourth,
Alfonso of Castille, and Richard of Cornwall had flitted across the
stage of German politics, each contributing a certain amount of
increase to the general anarchy. In the absence of any settled central
government, the great towns of Germany had endeavoured to form leagues
for their own protection, and in the general interest of order; but
even these had a difficulty in maintaining their existence against the
pretensions of the archbishops and the robberies of the knights and
nobles.

In such a state of things the first instinct of those who desired to
restore order was to choose the strongest ruler who could be found; and
therefore it was not altogether surprising that the Imperial crown was
offered, by some at least of the German princes, to Ottakar himself.
The grounds of Ottakar’s refusal have been variously given; and it is
highly probable that both of the explanations offered were parts of the
truth. On the one hand his nobles, already jealous of his power, were
extremely unwilling that he should have a new and independent force at
his back, which would enable him still further to overawe them; while,
on the other hand, Ottakar himself saw clearly that the position of
King of Bohemia and King-maker of the Empire was a far safer and more
powerful one than the position of a Holy Roman Emperor, checked, and
often controlled, by the Electors of the Empire.

The Elector who took the most prominent part in this offer to Ottakar
had been the Archbishop of Köln; but Werner of Mainz now succeeded in
inducing the Archbishops of Köln and Trier to join him in an alliance
which was to secure the election of an Emperor who would be amenable
to their advice. Werner had been specially alarmed at the growth of
Ottakar’s power; for any development of Bohemian independence would
weaken the power of the Empire over the diocese of Prague, and would
thereby weaken also the ecclesiastical authority of Mainz. He was,
therefore, specially anxious to secure a counterbalancing power to
Ottakar’s, but a power which would at the same time be dependent on
the Electors of the Empire. The Archbishops first considered, and
then rejected, the proposal to raise to the Imperial throne the Count
Palatine of the Rhine; for they soon saw that he might be useful as an
ally, but extremely dangerous as a master. As the great hindrance to
the unity of the Empire seemed, at that time, to come from the South,
it was particularly necessary for the Archbishops to win to their
side Duke Louis of Bavaria, who was the principal rival and enemy of
Ottakar. Bavaria had recently been divided into two parts, between the
two brothers Louis and Henry; and the warm friendship of Henry for
Ottakar had strengthened the opposition of Louis. Louis, indeed, may
have himself dreamt of the Imperial crown; but neither the Archbishops,
nor the more northern Electors, were disposed to concede this dignity
to him. They had, however, a bait which was sufficiently attractive to
the Duke.

It appeared that in the year 1257, the Duke of Bavaria had taken part
in one of those confused elections to the Empire which had given an
opportunity for every kind of irregular interference. The Archbishops
now proposed to recognise this precedent as conferring on the Duke of
Bavaria the position of Elector of the Empire, and thus completing
the mystic number of seven, without the help of the King of Bohemia. A
candidate for the throne had, however, still to be found; and, as the
idea of choosing one of the more powerful princes was now definitely
abandoned, the Margrave of Brandenburg and the Duke of Saxony put
forward a kinsman of their own, named Siegfried of Anhalt.

The majority, however, of the Electors, and the most active spirits
among them, desired to strengthen their position in the South
rather than the North of Germany; and it was now that Frederick of
Hohenzollern, the Burggraf of Nürnberg, brought forward the candidate
for whom he had been secretly preparing the way. This was Count Rudolf
of Hapsburg, the owner of a castle near the Lake of Constance, who had
become known in his own neighbourhood as the protector and champion of
Bern and other growing towns. He had gained considerable reputation
for military ability; and he had evidently some of that personal power
of fascination so important to a great ruler. Fortunately for his
chances of success he had already attracted the attention of Werner of
Mainz, at the time when the Archbishop was on his journey to Rome to be
confirmed in his diocese. But, besides this important support, Rudolf
had another source of influence, the peculiar use of which was to be
a marked characteristic of his descendants. He had a large number of
marriageable daughters. One of these was promised to the Count Palatine
of the Rhine; and by marriage with another the Duke of Saxony was
persuaded to abandon the cause of Siegfried of Anhalt. By what means
the Elector of Brandenburg was won over is not quite clear; and, in
all probability, he was the least willing of the Imperial Electors to
grant his support to Rudolf. His opposition, however, cannot at this
time have been very decided; for, when the Electors held their formal
meeting, the resolution to support Rudolf was unanimous.

Thus far the intrigues appear by some mysterious means to have been
kept from the knowledge of Ottakar. But such an arrangement could not
long be hid. Henry of Bavaria must necessarily have been admitted to
the knowledge of some of these proceedings; and, although the Electors
were anxious to conciliate him, he was not yet prepared to abandon his
friendship for Ottakar. Probably, therefore, it was through his means
that Ottakar had received notice of the meeting of the final Assembly
for deciding the election; and he was able, therefore, to send a
representative to it. Apparently, however, the King of Bohemia had not
even yet realised the full extent of his enemies’ intrigues; and it
was with the greatest surprise and indignation that his representative
discovered that the meeting to which he had been summoned was merely
called to confirm an election already previously agreed upon. That
Ottakar should be indignant at this ignoring of his electoral rights
was natural enough; but the amazement and horror which the election of
Rudolf excited in his mind can only be described in his own words.

In November, 1273, he addressed to Pope Gregory X., who had then been
recently elected, his protest against the decision of the Electoral
College. Beginning with a most glowing and somewhat fulsome description
of the Papacy, he then proceeds as follows:--

“Wherefore, if the commonwealth is ever oppressed, neither reason nor
our wishes allow us to have recourse to any but you. Whence, since
the Princes of Germany who have the power of choosing the Cæsars have
agreed (we would not speak with spiteful poison, nor has detraction
a place in a royal speech) to direct their votes to a less suitable
Count, in spite of the protest of our customary messengers whom we sent
to Wrauenwrt, where the election ought to have been held; and since, to
the injury of the Empire and to our prejudice, after our appeal to the
Apostolic Chair, they have decorated him with the majesty of the sacred
diadem, we return to you as the inexhaustible fountain of justice and
piety, entreating your Holiness not to permit us to be trampled on in
our rights, which the aforesaid princes try to crush down with manifest
injuries; and that you will deign to turn your sacred mind to the
weeping state of the Empire; and that the blessed benignity of Mother
Church will take compassion on it; since that Empire, before which
the whole world has trembled, which was entrusted with all the most
excellent dignities of monarchy, has now fallen to those persons whom
obscurity hides from fame, who are deprived of power and strength, and
weighed down by the burden of poverty. Pity us! holiest Father! lest
_that_ which is so pressed down may be seen to be most unworthy; since,
if the Apostolic Chair permits it, if the world tolerates it, that so
high an exaltation should be granted to those that are low, it would be
reduced to nothing; and _that_ which the Arab has served, the Indian
has obeyed, the Italian has submitted to, the Spaniard has looked up
to, which the whole world has reverenced, should become despicable in
the eyes of all. Him whom the Senate and Roman people, whom law and
virtue, whom God Himself has established on the throne, every one will
despise as scorning the bridle of a poor man. And thus justice will
be stifled, concord will be banished, peace will perish in a reign of
crimes, injuries will flourish unpunished, neighbour will rise against
neighbour, and such calamity and misery will hang over us that all who
live will hate their life.”

Surely a more pathetic appeal was rarely addressed by a great ruler
to the head of the Christian Church. But Gregory X., though willing
like his predecessors to be on good terms with the King of Bohemia,
was probably not so ill-informed of the affairs of Europe as not to
know that many of the evils which Ottakar depicted as likely to follow
on Rudolf’s election, had already disturbed the Empire for many years
past; and he was soon to be convinced that the election of Rudolf might
be the best way of removing them. Rudolf, on his part, lost no time and
spared no pains in destroying in the Pope’s mind the only objection
which might possibly have interfered with his acceptance. While eager
to secure his recognition and coronation as Holy Roman Emperor by the
Pope, Rudolf, more than any Emperor since Henry the Fowler, desired to
be, in all essentials, merely a German King. He eagerly assured the
Pope that he had not the slightest wish to assert those claims in
Italy and Sicily which had brought Frederick II. and other emperors
into collision with the Papacy; nay, he would even defend the nominees
of the Pope in their claims on Sicily, and would in all things be the
faithful servant of the Church. But, though Gregory very soon showed
an inclination to accept the choice of the German Electors, he still
paused on the brink of so important a decision; and this pause was
ingeniously used by the ablest of Ottakar’s advisers, Bruno, Bishop of
Olmütz. Gregory, who seems to have been one of the most high-minded
Popes of the period, was sincerely desirous of restoring a better state
of things in Europe, partly as a preparation for a new expedition to
Palestine. In order to ascertain the real feeling and purposes of the
Christians of Europe, he requested various bishops to report to him
on the condition of the countries with which they were acquainted.
Whatever other results this appeal may have produced, Bruno saw in
it an admirable opportunity for furthering his master’s interests.
The growth of heresy, the maintenance of the Cumani by the King of
Hungary, the extreme poverty and misery of the clergy, the indifference
of the bulk of the people to religious services, the intrusion of
the mendicant friars into the offices of the parochial clergy and
bishops, the unwillingness of the laity to hear their sins denounced,
and the continual encroachment of lay judges on the privileges of the
clergy--all these evils are aggravated by the elevation to high places
of those who ought rather to be subjects. The only trustworthy champion
of the Christian faith is the King of Bohemia; even in the very
diocese of Prague he is the only patron who grants the presentation
of the clergy to the bishops; and on him mainly will fall the burden
of resisting a new Tartar invasion. Bruno undoubtedly stood high in
the opinion of Gregory; and, even apart from his advice, there were
obvious grounds for inquiry in the circumstances of Rudolf’s election.
A Council was therefore held at Lyons for the full investigation of
this question; an unusually large number of bishops attended it; and
it doubtless received dignity in the eyes of many by the presence of
Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura. Bruno’s protest was heard at full;
while, on the other hand, Rudolf’s readiness to meet the demands of
the Pope, and to acknowledge the rights of the clergy was pressed upon
Gregory’s attention. Anxious to treat Ottakar mildly, but conscious
that the Church and the Empire would both gain by the election of
Rudolf, Gregory decided that, though Ottakar’s claim to share in the
election was undoubtedly just, yet, as the six other Electors took
the opposite side to that which he advocated, he was in the minority,
and ought therefore to yield; and the Pope persuaded Bruno to use his
influence with his master in favour of Rudolf.

But the question, in the meantime, was assuming a new aspect. Rudolf’s
alarm at the opposition of Ottakar, and his desire to secure all the
Imperial rights, were combining with other circumstances to induce
him to put forward a claim for the restoration to the Empire of the
Duchies of Austria, Styria, Carniola, and Carinthia. Ottakar had been
unwilling to resist the pressure of the Pope and the advice of Bruno;
but he now demanded that, before doing homage to Rudolf, he should have
a clear guarantee for the possession of the lands that he had conquered.

In his determination to resist the demands of Rudolf, Ottakar seems to
have been strangely unaware of the dangers that were surrounding him.
Rudolf was, in the meantime, making allies with great sagacity. Count
Meinhard of the Tyrol had been the Count of Hapsburg’s most intimate
friend; and he was one of the many who looked with jealous eyes on
Ottakar’s possession of Carinthia. The Archbishop of Salzburg had
claimed some rights in Styria, and was besides continually harassed by
encroachments on the part of Ottakar; Henry of Bavaria had been one
of those to whom the nobles of Styria had offered their dukedom; and
though his friendship for Ottakar shows that he must have abandoned
this claim for a time, the offer of one of Rudolf’s useful daughters
finally detached him from his alliance with Bohemia.

In the meantime, the indefatigable Burggraf of Nürnberg had discovered
and fomented the discontents of the nobles of Austria and Styria; and
he announced to Ottakar that the Ban of the Empire had been proclaimed
against him. But even now Ottakar was unaware of Rudolf’s plans; he
probably despised his military ability; and he thought it sufficient
to send a small force to the defence of the Bohemian frontier, while
he gave himself up to hunting and other amusements. He was, therefore,
terribly startled when, in September, 1276, Rudolf suddenly entered
Austria. Almost at the same time Count Meinhard invaded Carinthia, and
the Styrian nobles, rising in insurrection, drove out Milota from their
country. Still Ottakar hoped to save himself by the devotion of the
towns; for six months, Vienna justified his expectations by holding
out against Rudolf’s army; and Paltram, the Burgomaster, roused the
citizens to a vigorous defence on behalf of the King, who had showed
them such favour. Ottakar, now stirred to action, marched into Austria
and occupied one side of the Danube; from whence he hoped to make an
attack on the rear of Rudolf’s army. But the Count Palatine of the
Rhine hastened to seize the fortresses which lay between him and the
German army; and it was now that Ottakar became thoroughly aware of
the defection of his nobles. Fortress after fortress surrendered to
Rudolf without a struggle; and at last the poorer men in Vienna, seeing
the continual destruction of their vineyards outside the city, called
upon Paltram to surrender. He, finding that Ottakar did not arrive,
despaired of holding out longer; though, before surrendering, he
exacted from Rudolf a promise that he would maintain the liberties of
Vienna.

As soon as Bruno of Olmütz heard of this loss, he advised Ottakar
to yield. Ottakar was most reluctant that the struggle should end
without a pitched battle; but another enemy now threatened to appear
on the scene. Ladislaus, the new king of Hungary, was smarting under
the recollection of the defeats which his predecessor had sustained;
and he prepared to invade Bohemia. This new danger seems to have
decided Ottakar to yield. He therefore publicly surrendered to Rudolf
all his claims on Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, and did
homage to him as Emperor for his kingdom of Bohemia and Moravia.
Such a settlement could not possibly be lasting. Ottakar had not yet
been defeated in any pitched battle; his wife Kunigunda is said to
have reproached him for his weakness in yielding so soon; and, in
the carrying out of the treaty which followed, numerous questions,
of doubtful interpretation, quickly came to the front. In this case,
one of Rudolf’s otherwise successful daughters proved a source of
contention rather than of unity. Guta, the daughter whom Rudolf had
offered as a bride to Ottakar’s son, had been promised large lands as
her dowry; and Ottakar maintained that, as these lands must necessarily
lie in Austria, he was not bound to evacuate those territories, but
should rather claim them as his due. Rudolf, on the other hand,
insisted that the terms of the treaty involved the evacuation of the
whole of Austria.

A question which must have touched Ottakar far more nearly was the
interpretation of the clause about the extension to the supporters of
each King of all the securities gained by the peace. The discontent
of the nobles with Ottakar’s rule had extended even to Bohemia and
Moravia; and many of the king’s native subjects had entered into
intrigues with Rudolf. Rudolf maintained that, as these men must be
considered his supporters, they were entitled to the same concessions
as the other champions of his cause. It was obvious that such grounds
of division as these, by whatever compromise they might be settled
at the moment, must leave a lasting sting behind them; and there is
no sign in the letters of either King of even such a pretence of
friendship, as the ordinary exigencies of diplomacy might seem to
require. Both Rudolf and Ottakar were, in fact, preparing for a new
struggle, and looking about for allies.

At this stage the chances seemed to be in favour of Ottakar. In the
first struggle he could rely on nothing but the military forces of his
own kingdom, and the sympathies of those citizens whom he had favoured;
while Rudolf was backed by the approval and encouragement of the great
princes of the Empire, by the sanction of the Pope, by the assistance
of the King of Hungary, and by the eager sympathy and co-operation of
the discontented subjects of Ottakar.

Now, these supporters seemed to be gradually dropping off from the
Emperor. Rudolf had by no means abandoned that championship of the
towns for which he had been so distinguished before his election to the
Imperial throne; and of all the enemies of the town life of Germany the
prince-bishops were looked upon as the most determined and dangerous.
Rudolf had therefore to choose between adherence to his old policy
and the favour of his archiepiscopal supporters. With a courage which
was doubtless united to far-sighted wisdom, he boldly defended the
municipal rights of Köln against the encroachments of its Archbishop.
That powerful Elector was thus completely alienated from Rudolf’s
cause; and he speedily succeeded in persuading his brother Archbishops
of Trier and Mainz to desert their nominee. The defection of Werner of
Mainz so alarmed Rudolf that he seemed disposed to make some sacrifice
of principle in order to conciliate him. But the concessions which
the Emperor offered were not sufficient to appease the jealousies and
suspicions of the Archbishop; and Werner now began to listen only too
readily to the advances of Ottakar.

The Margrave of Brandenburg can never have been a warm supporter of
Rudolf. He had married Ottakar’s sister; and he was united to him
also by the still closer link of military comradeship; for Ottakar
and he had fought side by side in one of those invasions of Prussia,
which were supposed to be so advantageous to the souls of the heathen
population, and which undoubtedly tended to increase the power and
territory of the Margrave of Brandenburg. Nor does the Duke of Saxony
seem to have been finally secured to the interest of Rudolf by the
marriage with his daughter. Even the Dukes of Bavaria did not feel that
they had profited as much as they had hoped to do by their support
of the Emperor; and they were not a little alarmed at his evident
intention to turn the provinces, which he had won for the Empire, into
a private possession of the House of Hapsburg. Nor was Rudolf more
fortunate when he tried to find allies abroad whose support might
compensate him for the loss of his friends at home. In vain he made
advances to our Edward I.; and an attempt to strengthen his hands by
alliances with the princes of Italy, had the sole result of exciting
the suspicions and enmity of Pope Nicholas III.

Ottakar was, of course, greatly encouraged by these secessions from
his rival; and he hoped still further to strengthen his own position
by detaching the King of Hungary from his alliance with Rudolf, and by
stirring up an insurrection in Austria. In both these efforts, however,
he was unsuccessful. The conspiracy formed by some of the Austrian
nobles, in concert with the still discontented Burgomaster of Vienna,
was detected by Rudolf before it had come to a head; and while Paltram
was forced to save himself by flight, one of the leading nobles was
seized and condemned to death.

The discovery of this conspiracy seems to have been the signal for the
new outbreak of war; and it was now apparent that Rudolf had not been
wholly weakened by the desertion of his powerful supporters. The forces
on which he could still rely were more ready to act under his command
than the great princes of the Empire would have been; and his one
independent ally probably gave him more efficient help than he could
have derived from any distant general. This was Ladislaus of Hungary,
who had been firmly secured to Rudolf’s side, partly by the gift of one
of his inexhaustible tribe of daughters, and partly by a vague promise
of extension of territory. Ottakar was apparently unaware of the
firmness of this alliance; and he entered Austria with a somewhat small
force, expecting an easy victory. One or two fortresses fell quickly
into his hands; but the sudden appearance of the King of Hungary at
the head of a large army took him completely by surprise; and, after
suffering a slight defeat, he found it convenient to retreat to some
distance.

Rudolf in the meantime had rallied round him his most determined
supporters. Chief among these was Frederick of Hohenzollern; and the
Emperor also received ready help from Count Meinhard of the Tyrol,
the Archbishop of Salzburg, and the Bishop of Basel. Besides these
supporters, he had under his command a strong force of South Germans;
while fiercest and keenest of all the soldiers in his ranks were those
who fought under the banners of the discontented Styrian nobles.

The rival armies met on the banks of the river Morava on the plain
called the Marchfeld. The battle was a fierce one. The Bishop of Basel
and Frederick of Hohenzollern broke the left wing of the Bohemian army;
while, on the other side, Ottakar, at the head of a chosen band of
knights, drove back the right wing of the Imperialists, and even struck
down the Emperor himself. But the Styrian nobles so fiercely resisted
the advance of the Bohemians, that they gave time to Rudolf to reform
his troops; while Frederick of Hohenzollern followed up his success by
attacking the reserve guard, which ought to have advanced to Ottakar’s
rescue. These reserves were headed by Milota, Ottakar’s Governor of
Styria. It is said that Milota himself had a bitter grievance against
the king, on account of an injury inflicted on his brother. Whether
this is true or not, it seems certain that, just when these troops
ought to have hastened to the support of the main army, they were
suddenly seized with a panic, and fled in confusion. The panic quickly
spread to the troops posted next to them; and the battle was hopelessly
lost. Ottakar fought with desperate courage to the last; and, whether
he died sword in hand, or whether, as others say, he was killed by the
Styrian nobles after he had surrendered, it is certain that his body
was found on the battlefield.

With him, for a time, fell the liberty and independence of Bohemia;
and, though his son bore the name of king, and even recovered for
a short period an appearance of independence, yet, politically
considered, the male line of those Bohemian native rulers, who traced
their descent to Libus̆a and Pr̆emysl, came to an end on the plain of
Marchfeld in August, 1278. Bohemian independence was, indeed, to revive
under a different form; and, nearly two centuries later, a native
Bohemian king was once more to rule at Prague; but never again was a
purely Bohemian dynasty to be established on the throne.

With all its faults, the line of the Pr̆emyslovci had produced as many
able and patriotic rulers as most royal houses can boast of. They had
steered their country through its difficult progress from Paganism
to Christianity. They had reduced the rival kingdom of Poland from
the position of a dangerous aggressor into that of a tributary State.
They had helped to roll back the tide of Hungarian conquest; they had
made themselves a powerful factor in the policy of the German Empire.
Amid the despair of Europe, they had stood almost alone against the
crushing invasion of the Tartars. And last, and most important of all,
they had begun to develop the municipal liberties of their country,
in a way which gave good promise of future prosperity. That in this
last matter they had borrowed largely from German models, only showed
their power of rising superior to a most natural national prejudice;
while, in the case of Ottakar II., his enlightened policy towards the
Jews must have often brought upon him the rebukes of those clergy on
whom he so much relied for help. He failed, because he was not content
to be king of Bohemia, but wished to be the head of a powerful State
which could dictate the policy of the Empire. Had he been satisfied to
develop the liberties of his own country in peace, he might have laid
the foundations of a State, which could even now have been playing an
independent part in the affairs of Europe.



V.

TIME OF ANARCHY IN BOHEMIA FROM DEATH OF OTTAKAR II. TO ACCESSION OF
CHARLES IV.

(1278-1346.)


If tried by the standard of ordinary conquerors, Rudolf of Hapsburg
must be admitted to have been merciful, and even generous, in his
dealings with Bohemia. Although, after the death of Ottakar, he
continued for some time to hold Moravia as a conquered province, he set
himself to restore those Moravian cities which had suffered by the war;
and he readily confirmed all the municipal liberties, which had been
granted by Ottakar and previous kings. He always treated Kunigunda as a
Queen; he secured to her, not only her own money dowry, but also that
district of Opava (in Moravia) which had been specially settled upon
her; and, as will be seen, he protected her from the cruelty of the
friends in whom she had too rashly trusted. To her son, Wenceslaus, he
was even more generous. The daughter whom he had promised in 1276 to
the son of the still powerful King of Bohemia, he was still ready to
give to the orphan of a defeated and conquered man.

As soon as the boy’s age permitted such a step, he restored him to his
father’s throne, and helped him, sometimes by wise advice and sometimes
by force of arms, to maintain his power over his subjects. Doubtless
this policy, however magnanimous, was part of a scheme of action which
tended to strengthen and increase Rudolf’s power. The towns in Moravia,
whose liberties he confirmed, he raised into free cities of the German
Empire; and he saw the wisdom of winning to his side, and holding
in friendly subjection, the young and spirited King of a kingdom
which had so often been a hindrance to schemes of Imperial policy.
Yet, allowing for these considerations, it cannot be denied that the
consistent execution of such a policy must have required a masterly
self-restraint, and a splendid coolness of judgment, not often found in
conquerors of any time.

But the feat which he had attempted was one which many circumstances
combined to make impossible; and men, of a very opposite type to
Rudolf’s, speedily frustrated his efforts for a peaceable and gradual
absorption of Bohemia in the German Empire. Queen Kunigunda had
naturally desired to make a further stand against her husband’s
conqueror; and she called to her aid the son of that Otto of
Brandenburg who had been Ottakar’s companion in arms, and afterwards
his brother-in-law. He came; and the queen had speedy cause to regret
her invitation. The struggle between Otto and Rudolf was of short
duration, and the Margrave was soon willing to accept the Emperor’s
terms of peace and one of his inexhaustible tribe of daughters.

Otto soon showed that it was not for the sake of the wife and son
of his old friend that he had come to Bohemia. Under pretence of
investigating some old charter of Ottakar’s, Otto sent German soldiers
to Prague to find out the places where Ottakar’s bailiff had kept the
royal treasure. These soldiers entered one of the chief monasteries,
and there discovered a large chest which had been used by many people
during the war as a storehouse for food, clothes, and other property.
This chest the Germans at once broke open and plundered of its
contents; and then, as if determined to offend the national feeling to
the utmost, they rushed into the chapel of St. Wenceslaus and rifled
the tomb of the saint.

These outrages were followed by a yet more daring act of violence.
Otto suddenly entered Prague by night, seized the queen and prince
in their rooms, while still half dressed, and carried them off to a
fortress, where he set German soldiers to guard them, and would permit
no Bohemian to see them. Some Bohemian nobles demanded the release of
these captives, and Otto promised to set them free; but he broke his
promise. Kunigunda, indeed, by a series of ruses, succeeded in escaping
from her imprisonment and taking refuge in her own special dominions at
Opava; but her boy remained a prisoner in Otto’s hands.

In the meantime the soldiers, who had been brought in by Otto to carry
out his tyrannical purposes, began a series of plundering expeditions
on their own account. The unfortunate peasants fled from their fields
and took refuge in the woods, leaving the lands wholly uncultivated.
Even worse calamities fell on the towns. The large-minded policy of
the two Ottakars and of Wenceslaus I. now proved a source of evil
and division. They had tried to induce Germans and Bohemians to live
together in towns, established under German municipal laws, and
often peopled in the first instance by German immigrants. But these
enlightened kings had not been able thereby to stifle race-hatred and
jealousy; and the German settlers now looked upon the wild soldiers
of Otto as their allies against the native Bohemian citizens. They
invited the leaders of the plundering parties into the towns, and with
their help expelled the Bohemians. Prague was the only city strong
enough to resist this Germanising process; and Tobias, the Bishop
of Prague, tried to rally the faithful nobles of the kingdom round
Kunigunda. This effort was a desperate one; and, even when Otto left
Bohemia for a time, his viceroy, the Bishop of Brandenburg, carried his
ruthless policy still further, plundering the clergy and treating the
remonstrances of Bishop Tobias with scorn and insolence.

At last the Bohemians were forced to call in their former conqueror
to deliver them from this cruel tyranny; and Otto soon succumbed to
the Imperial forces. He consented to summon an Assembly at Prague, at
which he appointed Bishop Tobias as chief ruler of the kingdom; and he
further issued a decree that those Germans who had entered Bohemia for
the purposes of plunder should leave the country within three days.
He again promised to release young Wenceslaus, and again broke his
promise. The German robbers, awed doubtless by the power of Rudolf,
hastened to obey the orders of their master. But the evil seed which
they had sown did not cease to produce its natural fruits.

It must be remembered that for three years the lands had been left
uncultivated; and trade, except where carried on by Germans, had been
totally paralysed. The consequence of these misfortunes was a terrible
famine. Unemployed workmen and starving peasants crowded into Prague
and enforced by violence their demands for food and clothing. Driven
out by the authorities of the city, they perished of cold in the woods;
large holes were filled with the dead bodies; family affection ceased
in the bitter struggle for life; and, when all kinds of strange food
had been tried and exhausted, mothers killed and ate their own children.

At last, in 1283, a better harvest began to restore some hope for a
return to human conditions of life. Then wild rumours and speculations
fed the rising expectation. A beautiful rainbow was the source of
bright prophecies; and a half belief began to arise in some minds that
King Ottakar was not really dead, and would return in triumph. Suddenly
a definite announcement took the place of dreams and fancies. Not
Ottakar, but his son Wenceslaus, was to return to reign in Bohemia.
Base and sordid to the last, Otto had demanded from the half-starved
Bohemians a ransom of 35,000 marks, as compensation for what he called
his care and expense in guarding the young Bohemian king, in reality
as a bribe not to break any more promises. But the sum was paid, and no
doubt willingly.

There is something inexpressibly touching in the enthusiasm which
greeted the return of the twelve-year-old king. Men, hardly recovered
from years of starvation and plague, seemed at once convinced that at
last a better time was coming; and on June 9, 1283, barons, knights,
clergy, citizens, and peasants flocked out to meet the young king,
Bishop Tobias leading the motley throng, and all singing the hymn
of St. Adalbert, the opening words of which had served Ottakar as a
war-cry at the fatal battle of the Marchfeld.

But the troubles of Bohemia were not yet at an end. The boy followed
his most natural instinct in appealing to his mother to join him
in Prague. Unfortunately, Kunigunda had in the meantime formed a
connection which proved most dangerous to the peace and order of the
country. Zavis̆ of Falkenstein belonged to a noble family of Moravia,
and he had succeeded in securing the queen’s affection during her
residence in Opava. Whether the marriage, which was recognised at a
later time, had already taken place, or whether, as some said, their
connection was one of illicit love, certain it is that it was the
affection between them, rather than the form of its expression, which
excited the indignation and jealousy of the Bohemian nobles; and Zavis̆
soon justified that indignation.

No sooner did he appear at the Court of Prague than he set himself to
oppose and drive away such patriots as Bishop Tobias, and to put his
own favourites in their place. An insurrection quickly followed; and
though Rudolf exerted himself to pacify the insurgents, he soon showed
in an unmistakable manner his own distrust of the new ruler of Bohemia.

In January, 1285, Wenceslaus, now arrived at his fourteenth year, was
married to Guta, the daughter of Rudolf. Zavis̆ was so conscious of
Rudolf’s distrust, that he did not venture to enter the town where the
marriage was solemnised. This absence, however, did not satisfy the
Emperor; and he took the extreme step of carrying back Guta with him,
after her marriage, to preserve her from the influences which prevailed
at Prague. Either encouraged by these signs of Rudolf’s feelings, or
irritated by some new insolence on the part of Zavis̆, the Bohemian
nobles raised a second insurrection; but they were again unsuccessful,
and it was not till the death of Kunigunda, in 1287, that Wenceslaus
succeeded in shaking off the power of his stepfather.

An excellent excuse for this final effort for freedom was supplied by
Rudolf, who declared that he would not restore Guta to her husband
until Zavis̆ was banished from the court. Wenceslaus was, no doubt,
glad enough to get back his wife in exchange for his stepfather; and,
when Zavis̆ intrigued with the King of Hungary and tried to entrap
Wenceslaus, the young king decoyed him back to Prague and there
imprisoned him. The friends of Zavis̆, both in Hungary and Bohemia,
attempted his rescue; but Rudolf again intervened; and after the
Hungarian invasion had been repelled, Wenceslaus was at last persuaded
by his Imperial father-in-law to put Zavis̆ to death.

The young king now devoted himself to the restoration of order. He
broke down castles, encouraged trade, extended the liberties of the
cities, and gained a high reputation for justice. He even attempted to
substitute for the vague mass of traditional custom a regular code of
written laws; but in this attempt he was defeated by the nobles, who
often showed themselves too strong for him.

The fatality which seemed to attend the best and most law-loving kings
of Bohemia dragged Wenceslaus also into the complications of Imperial
and Polish politics. In 1291 Rudolf died; and it soon became evident
how bitter was the hostility which the Hapsburg family had excited
among the princes of Germany.

Albert, the son of Rudolf, had indeed made good his power in the
dukedoms of Austria and Styria, but he had shown little sign of his
father’s vigour or ability; and the suspicion felt by the Bohemians
towards the whole house of Hapsburg was increased, in the case of
Albert, by the personal quarrels which had embittered his relations
with his brother-in-law, Wenceslaus. Rudolf, indeed, had made great
efforts to preserve the peace; but, as soon as he was dead, the quarrel
again broke out, and Wenceslaus joined with other Electors of the
Empire to choose Adolf of Nassau as Emperor, in opposition to Albert.

His success in securing this election left the King of Bohemia free
to carry on the struggle with Poland. He recovered the often-disputed
town of Cracow, and resumed that claim to the kingdom of Poland
which, in some form or other, had been traditional in Bohemia since
the time of King Vladislav. Adolf would gladly have strengthened the
allegiance of Wenceslaus by this or any other concession; but Albert
had an advantage which eventually enabled him to outbid his rival.
He still retained in his hands the towns of Eger (Cheb) and Pilsen
(Plz̆en), which his father had never surrendered to Bohemia. These
towns, from their nearness to the Bavarian frontier, might be specially
dangerous to the Bohemians if held by an enemy of their country; and
their restoration to Wenceslaus meant the practical revival of Bohemian
independence. This bribe therefore proved too strong for Wenceslaus’s
faith; he withdrew his support from Adolf, and helped to place Albert
on the throne of the Empire. In the following year the King of Poland
finally surrendered his crown to Wenceslaus; and in 1300 Albert gave
his Imperial sanction to the union of Poland with Bohemia.

There was yet another kingdom whose internal affairs had always a
dangerous attraction for the kings of Bohemia. In 1301 the direct line
of the old kings of Hungary came to an end; and a Hungarian bishop,
backed by some of the nobles, offered the crown to Wenceslaus. The
young king, though refusing the offer on his own account, was disposed
to accept it on behalf of his son; but this acceptance brought upon him
the hostility of the two greatest Powers of Europe. The Pope complained
that the election was uncanonical; because the bishop who had taken
the leading part in it was not authorised to crown the kings of
Hungary. The Emperor Albert, on his side, had already become suspicious
of the growing power of Bohemia; and, according to one chronicler, his
avarice had been excited by the fame of the silver mines at Kuttenberg
(Kutna Hora). Wenceslaus, indeed, though ready enough to hold his own
against the Emperor, was as anxious as his father had been to remain on
good terms with the Pope. He acknowledged the irregularity in the form
of his son’s election; and, at the same time, he entreated the Pope to
secure him the crown in a canonical manner. But it soon appeared that
Boniface’s complaint about the form of election was a mere pretext, and
that the Pope was really intending to grant the crown of Hungary to the
King of Naples. To this arrangement Wenceslaus would not consent; and
hence it came that in 1304 he was compelled to defend Bohemia against
the forces of the Empire, supported by the authority of the Pope. This
time, however, there was no division in the national feeling. However
unwelcome some of Wenceslaus’s schemes might be to the Bohemian nobles,
they had too recently learnt, by bitter experience, the folly of
deserting a national king for a foreign invader. The Bohemians offered
a unanimous resistance to the Imperial army, and Albert was forced to
retreat.

But the doom of the male line of the House of Pr̆emysl was, none the
less, hopelessly fixed. Wenceslaus died in the following year; and
his son, after resigning his claim to the kingdom of Hungary, gave
himself up to dissipation and profligacy. The Poles began to revolt;
and during an expedition to Cracow the last of the male line of the
Pr̆emyslovci was murdered by a traitor.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF OLMÜTZ On SITE OF CASTLE WHERE WENCESLAUS
III. WAS MURDERED.]

It seemed for the moment as if the turn of the House of Hapsburg had
once more come. During the bitter divisions in the Bohemian Assembly
which followed the death of their king, Albert succeeded in thrusting
his son Rudolf on the attention of the Electors; and the majority of
those who were present consented to elect this prince to the Bohemian
throne, and even to declare their crown hereditary in the House of
Hapsburg. But this success was only momentary, for a fierce hatred of
the Hapsburgs was deeply rooted in the Bohemians; and, by a curious
irony of fortune, the opponents of Rudolf called to their aid the
son of that Duke of Carinthia who had won his Dukedom by supporting
Rudolf’s grandfather against Ottakar II. Rudolf died after a few
months; and the majority of the next Assembly chose Henry of Carinthia
as their king.

But Albert would not yet yield; and he set up his son Frederick as
Rudolf’s successor. The fight was a fierce one; and it was soon
changed from the attempt of an Emperor to conquer a new kingdom into a
struggle of the House of Hapsburg to maintain its political existence.
The opposition to that House was due, not only to the bitter Bohemian
feeling against the German oppressor, nor yet to the jealousy felt by
the great Princes of the Empire towards successful upstarts, but also
to the hatred of those townsmen and peasants who had looked to Rudolf
as their protector, and who found in his descendants their most deadly
enemies.

In May, 1308, the Emperor Albert was murdered by his nephew; and, as
the murderer was the son of Ottakar’s daughter, he was looked upon by
the Bohemians as the avenger of his grandfather. The Electors of the
Empire were now resolved that no further chance should be given to the
House of Hapsburg; and Henry of Luxemburg was elected to the Imperial
throne. The fate of Bohemia once more followed that of the Empire;
for the new Emperor quickly saw his opportunity in the unpopularity
of both the claimants of the Bohemian crown. He secured the hand of
Elizabeth, the daughter of Wenceslaus, for his son John, and thus paved
the way for the latter’s succession to the Bohemian throne. Hence it
came about that in 1310 the Estates of Prague enthusiastically welcomed
John of Luxemburg as their king.

It even seemed, for the moment, as if this election would be the signal
for a yet more complete victory of the House of Luxemburg over that
of Hapsburg; for, at the very same time, the Austrians suddenly rose
against their Dukes, and expelled them from all but three towns of the
Duchy. But the Emperor Henry refused to encourage this insurrection;
and the Hapsburgs continued to maintain their position as Dukes of
Austria.

Few kings have ever succeeded to the rule of a foreign country
with a better hope of popularity than did John of Luxemburg. The
terrible years of anarchy had made the Bohemians desirous of a strong
government, and ready to welcome any one who seemed to have force and
vigour enough to restore order. As the rival of the hated House of
Hapsburg, and the deliverer from the incapable Henry of Carinthia, the
new king was specially acceptable; while his marriage with the daughter
of Wenceslaus might have almost cheated the enthusiastic Bohemians
into the belief that they were once more to be governed by a national
sovereign. John, too, seemed willing enough to meet these aspirations
more than half way. He not only recognised that claim, which had been
formerly asserted against Vladislav, that Bohemians should not be
called to fight outside their kingdom; but he declared that no official
should be appointed in Bohemia or Moravia who was not a native of those
countries; and, more startling still, that none but natives should be
suffered to buy lands, inheritances, fortresses, or any other rights
within the country.

But it soon became evident that, if these promises were to be kept to
the ear, they were certain to be broken to the sense. The earliest
cause of offence, was, no doubt, one which might be excused to a boy of
fourteen. By the advice of his father, John accepted the Archbishop of
Mainz as his chief counsellor, and gradually drew around him a number
of German courtiers. It appears, indeed, from trustworthy evidence,
that this German Churchman preserved better order in Bohemia than that
which prevailed in the latter part of John’s reign; yet his position
was, notwithstanding, a most difficult one, and several circumstances
combined to make it impossible.

The national feeling of independence, which had been roused to new
life by the promises of John, was unfortunately manipulated at this
period by one of those unscrupulous intriguers who sometimes drift to
the front in times of disorder. His name was Henry of Lipa; and he had
already played a part in the reign of Henry of Carinthia, in exciting
the nobles of Bohemia against the rulers of the towns.

Ever since the time of Ottakar II. the claim of the towns to a share
in the government of Bohemia was being more strongly asserted; and a
controversy which, under their native rulers, might have been settled
by peaceful means, had led, in a time of foreign tyranny, to an
outbreak of civil war. In the first phase of the struggle, the towns
had so far made good their claim that they were admitted to share in
the discussions of the Assembly which offered the crown to John; and
such a victory must have tended to prejudice men like Henry of Lipa
against the new king.

Nor was it difficult to give a national colouring to the class
selfishness of the nobles. It will be remembered that Ottakar II. had
introduced a large German element into the towns which he had founded.
This measure of wise policy had been changed into a means of cruel
oppression by Otto of Brandenburg; and, unfortunately for the cause
of the towns, Otto had been, apparently, the first ruler who summoned
their representatives to share in the deliberations of the Estates of
the Realm.

Moreover, Henry of Lipa added to his class prejudices a more personal
reason for opposing the existing government. He was attached to the
widow of the late King Rudolf, who was known to her supporters as the
Queen of Grätz; and he was resolved to make good both her claims and
his own at the expense of the peace and order of the country.

To the unscrupulous intriguers who were plotting against their power,
John and the Archbishop of Mainz were unfortunately soon to supply
some just causes of complaint. The death of the Emperor Henry seemed
to open to John a chance for claiming the Imperial throne; and, when
he found that his youth was held to disqualify him for that dignity,
he threw all his influence on to the side of Louis of Bavaria, as he
was resolved that no Hapsburg, at any rate, should again become Holy
Roman Emperor. This contest withdrew both him and the Archbishop from
Bohemia; and the German Councillors who were left to support the queen
were little able to stand against Henry of Lipa. John soon found that
his championship of the Bavarian cause was likely to involve him in a
dangerous war; and, fearing to leave a disturbed Bohemia behind him, he
hastened to satisfy his opponents by dismissing his German advisers and
taking Henry of Lipa into his counsels.

A new Hungarian war which broke out at this time enabled Henry to
increase his power, and he used it for inflicting new oppressions on
the Bohemian towns. But a bolder act of presumption at last exhausted
the patience of the Court. Henry ventured, without consulting king or
queen, to grant Agnes, the queen’s sister, in marriage to a Duke of
Silesia. This insolence at last roused John to action, and Lipa was
arrested. Before any further steps could be taken, John was once more
called to the German war; and he again left the Archbishop of Mainz
as his viceroy. Henry of Lipa once more appealed to Bohemian feeling
against the German prelate; and, though many of the better men among
the Bohemian nobility were now disposed to stand by their queen, they
were not strong enough to hold their own against these intrigues. John
was now earnestly entreated to return to Bohemia; but, when he hastened
back, at the head of his Rhenish forces, his Bohemian advisers urged
him to leave the Germans behind, and to throw himself on the support of
his faithful nobles. John rejected this advice; he re-entered Bohemia
at the head of his German troops, and proceeded to attack the lands of
those nobles who had resisted him.

A general panic now seized the Bohemians; they recalled to their minds
the tyranny of Otto of Brandenburg; and the rumour quickly spread
that John was about to use German soldiers to crush out Bohemian
independence. What had been the intrigue of a mere selfish faction, now
swelled into a national opposition; and the war raged fiercely. Henry
of Lipa, indeed, remained the ostensible leader of the insurgents; but
he had so little sympathy with real national feeling, that he called
in Frederick of Austria as his ally; and, when John offered terms to
the rebels, Henry refused them, on the ground that any treaty of peace
must also include the Austrians. At last the Emperor Louis intervened
in the struggle. John was persuaded to send away his Rhenish troops, to
renew his promise to appoint only Bohemian advisers, and once more to
give high office in the State to Henry of Lipa. To these terms the king
consented; but Queen Elizabeth, with keener insight, refused altogether
to trust this new Councillor; and Henry thereupon devoted his whole
energies to making mischief between the king and queen.

The intriguers had now discovered what manner of man they had to deal
with. Vain, profligate, and pleasure-seeking, John was easily persuaded
by the young nobles that his wife had gained too much power over him;
and, when they had once sown in his mind this suspicion, they were able
to develop an elaborate romance of imaginary plots, by which the queen
was supposed to be undermining the throne of John, and securing the
power to herself and her son. John’s selfish vanity soon drove him into
violent action. He hastened to the fortress where the queen was then
staying, and used such violent language that she fled in terror from
the place. Then he removed from her her favourite attendants, carried
off her children, and shut up his eldest son for two months in a dark
room.

The indignation which this conduct caused among the citizens of Bohemia
was much increased by the various forms of extortion which John now
proceeded to inflict both on towns and monasteries--extortions devised
solely to obtain money for the pleasures of the King and his courtiers.
John, indeed, had been as ready as any other King of Bohemia to promise
the citizens exemption from certain forms of taxation; and consequently
they now complained, not only of oppression, but also of broken faith.
Nor was it merely in the matter of taxes that the privileges of the
citizens were violated. In earlier times the nobles had claimed the
right of demanding forcible quartering in the houses of citizens for
those who were engaged on expeditions in the king’s service. This claim
naturally led to great abuses, against which Ottakar and Wenceslaus had
tried to protect their subjects. In this matter also John had promised
to carry out the policy of his predecessors. But he now encouraged even
his own kinsmen to demand this compulsory entertainment. One citizen
was seized and crucified because he would not give up his money to
these intruders; others were plundered and unjustly imprisoned.

At last the citizens of Prague drew up a formal complaint, which they
authorised six of their number to present to John. Some mischief-maker
persuaded the king that this protest was a first step to insurrection;
and his suspicions were further inflamed by the news that the queen
had recently come to Prague, and had been received with great honour.
Furious at this supposed conspiracy, the king and Henry of Lipa at once
marched against Prague. The citizens, astonished at the interpretation
which had been put upon their remonstrance, were at first disposed to
admit the king, in the hopes of an easy explanation; but some of the
nobles, who had remained faithful to the queen, were opposed to this
policy; and they offered such determined resistance, that John was
compelled to retreat from the city. A sort of truce was patched up for
a time, though John insisted that the six citizens who had drawn up the
remonstrance should be expelled from the city. Then he hurried away
to finish the war between Louis and Frederick; and Henry of Lipa was
left chief ruler of the kingdom. He soon succeeded in bringing to an
end the temporary reconciliation between John and Elizabeth; and the
queen was forced to fly to Bavaria, where she remained for some time,
in dependence on her Bavarian relations, since John would not allow any
support to be sent to her from Bohemia.

Then followed many years of oppression and disorder, during which
John only appeared in Bohemia when he wished to demand money from the
citizens, which he then hastened to spend at Paris or on the Rhine,
either in the provision of splendid tournaments, or on some of the many
wars which the princes of the Empire were waging against each other or
against the Imperial towns. John’s special attraction was to Paris,
where the court of King Charles was becoming a centre of pleasure and
excitement. It was probably his alliance with this king which gradually
separated John from the cause of Louis of Bavaria; for Charles felt
himself bound to stand by his dependant at Avignon, Pope John XXII.,
who had always been opposed to the claims of Louis.

During this time of disorder the nobles had gradually succeeded in
drawing into their power many of the royal fortresses; and, the central
authority being thus fatally weakened, robbery and violence prevailed
throughout the country. Poor Elizabeth ventured back to Prague about
1325; and she used her best efforts for the good of her country. On the
occasion of a plague, she arranged processions in which sacred relics
of great value were publicly exhibited; she endowed monasteries, and
protected them, even with a high hand, against the intrusions of the
nobles; while, for her personal consolation, she contemplated a thorn
from the Sacred Crown, which King Charles of France had sent her as a
present during some of the revels which her husband was enjoying at
Paris.

Bishop John of Prague might have given her some help in the government
of the country; but he was summoned to Avignon to be tried as a
protector of heretics, and detained there for thirteen years before
he was tried and acquitted. It was impossible, however, to expect that
either the queen or the bishop could hold their own against such men
as Henry of Lipa; and, after the death of the queen in 1330, even King
John began gradually to realise that some better provision must be made
for the government of the country. So, three years later, he consented
to send his eldest son, who had hitherto been detained at Paris, to try
his hand at the restoration of order in Bohemia.

This son had originally been named Wenceslaus, at the time when John
was still hoping to conciliate the national feeling of Bohemia; but
he had subsequently been re-named Charles, in honour of John’s model
and ally, the King of France. He was now seventeen years old; he was
welcomed by the Bohemians as the son of their beloved Elizabeth, and
his dignified and straightforward manners tended to increase the
attachment of his subjects. He speedily showed that enthusiasm for
his mother’s country which was to produce such striking results, when
once his hand was free. By judicious economy, he tried to buy back for
the Crown those castles which had been mortgaged to the nobles; and
he made progresses through his dominions, hearing the grievances of
the people and trying to redress them. This policy did not suit those
disorderly nobles who had hitherto ruled at their pleasure. They easily
succeeded in stirring up John’s suspicions against his son, as they
had previously done against his wife; and Charles was deprived of his
power and sent off to the Tyrol. Not many years elapsed, however,
before John discovered that his son would be still necessary to him,
if he wished to gain any advantage from the kingdom of Bohemia. But
Charles had now realised that his father was habitually sacrificing the
honour and freedom of the country for the sake of his own pleasures;
and in 1342 the young prince declared that he would only undertake the
government of Bohemia if John would consent to stay away from it for
two years, and would be content with the sum of five thousand marks
during that period.

The popular feeling in Bohemia was strongly in favour of Charles, as
against his father. Indeed, so hated had the latter become, that,
when he was shortly after afflicted with blindness, many Bohemians
considered that this suffering was a judgment upon him for his cruelty
and oppression. He therefore considered it advisable to accept these
terms; and Charles’s position was made still easier by the friendship
of Pope Clement VI., who, while anxious to conciliate the friendship of
John, was keenly alive to the desirability of securing to his side the
national sentiment of Bohemia. He therefore raised the Church of Prague
into an archbishopric, emancipating it entirely from the archbishopric
of Mainz; and he also conceded that often disputed demand for the use
of the Slavonic ritual in the monasteries of Bohemia.

Indeed, both John and Clement had a very special reason for desiring
to keep the popular young prince in friendly alliance with them. The
ambition, which John had once cherished on his own behalf, had now been
turned into a desire for the exaltation of his son. For different
reasons both the King and the Pope were now eager for the overthrow
of Louis of Bavaria; and they heartily agreed that Charles was the
most hopeful candidate for the Imperial throne. The other Electors
were equally ready for this change; and in July, 1346, Charles was
chosen Holy Roman Emperor. Such a step could not long fail to produce
dangerous results; but, before the opponents of the new Emperor were
prepared for action, the attention of Europe was distracted from their
quarrels by a war between England and France. John eagerly rushed to
the support of his old ally; and, in August, 1346, he died fighting at
the battle of Crecy--a death much admired by the readers of romances,
and an infinite relief to the oppressed Bohemians.



VI.

REIGN OF CHARLES IV.

(1346-1378.)


In writing the life of men who have played a great part in the affairs
of the world, it is generally possible to find some hint in the earlier
periods of their life of a preparation for the important work which has
distinguished their later years. In the case of Charles IV. this link
seems at first sight exceptionally difficult to find. He had been torn
away from his mother’s influence in his earliest childhood; treated
with exceptional harshness, at that tender age, by his father; kept
away so long from the country which he was afterwards to govern, that
when he first returned to it he had completely forgotten the Bohemian
language; suddenly thrust into a partial government of the country, at
the age of seventeen; regarded by his father and those who surrounded
him with the utmost suspicion, and snatched away from the government
when he was just beginning to get a firm hold of it. Then he was
dragged into Italian wars with which he had little sympathy, and where
men seemed to fight as much with poison as with swords; a witness of
his father’s dissolute life, and surrounded by evil companions; and,
to crown all his difficulties, when he had attained to full manhood,
but had not yet become king of Bohemia, he had been suddenly raised to
the highest dignity in Europe. Such was the preparation which Charles
had received for the government of a kingdom which required special
knowledge, special sympathies, and somewhat exclusive care.

[Illustration: Karl IV. mit der Kaiserin Anna.

LIKENESS TAKEN FROM CHAPEL IN CARLSTEIN.]

But in the fragment of autobiography which Charles has left us, he has
himself supplied the clue to at least some part of this difficulty.
That residence in Paris, and intimacy with the King of France, which
was to John merely a new opportunity for self-indulgence and luxury,
gave to Charles both that interest in the higher education of a people
which was of so much service to Bohemia, and a personal zeal for study
which doubtless saved him from many of the evils which surrounded
him. The King of France took a great fancy to his young namesake;
and, though he and most of his family were ignorant of literature, he
saw the value of it for others, and urged his chaplain to encourage
Charles in his studies. Paris was at that time the centre of learning.
It contained the most completely organised University, except that
of Bologna; and it attracted students from many parts of Europe. The
influence of the king’s chaplain doubtless developed in Charles that
reverence for the clergy and the pope which was, perhaps, more of a
real moral conviction in him than in any prince of his time. He was
also fortunate in the ease with which he acquired new languages; and
this gift enabled him to recover his power of speaking Bohemian without
losing his knowledge of German. Whence he could have derived that
intense Bohemian feeling, which showed itself in all the more important
acts of his life, sometimes even to the prejudice of his work as German
Emperor, it is very difficult to say; but, doubtless, the fervent and
practical piety, which always distinguished him, led him to cling to
such traditions as he could gather about the mother of whom he had
seen so little; and the zeal for her country, when he saw the wrongs
inflicted on it by his father, would have been quickened in him by that
hatred of injustice and oppression which was so strong an element in
his character. But, be the causes what they may, certain it is that the
first important use which he made of his double power of Bohemian king
and German emperor was to lay the foundations of a scheme for making
Prague the intellectual centre, not only of Bohemia, but of the whole
Empire.

In Bohemia, as elsewhere, book-learning had primarily been considered
as part of the training of the clergy. Under Ottakar II., indeed, an
attempt had been made to enlarge the range of studies, and perhaps to
interest in them people of other professions and races. But, after
the fall of Ottakar, Rudolf had feared anything which would attract
his Austrian subjects to Bohemia; and the Austrian students had been
ordered to leave Prague. Wenceslaus II. had tried to revive and develop
his father’s ideas; but, as it was not even then understood that a
University could be intended for all men, the nobles successfully
opposed the scheme, as an attempt to increase the power of the clergy.

Charles soon showed that, while anxious to work with the clergy in
this, as in other matters, he yet aimed at something much higher and
wider than a mere clerical school. Doctors of law, medicine, and
natural science were summoned to join in his new institution; and the
Faculties were organised, partly on the model of Paris and partly of
Bologna. The Rector, who was elected by masters and students, was
the chief judge of the University; but, in the matters which purely
related to their own art or science, the elected heads of the Faculties
were left to manage their own affairs. Important as the lectures at
the University were considered, a great deal of the instruction was
conveyed through the medium of public discussions, in some of which
all the Masters of Arts were compelled to take part. Questions of the
alterations of the Statutes were decided by a general assembly, in
which masters and students had equal votes.

But one of the most distinctive points of Charles’s scheme, and one
which produced most important effects both for good and evil, was
the division of the University into four Nations. These were called
respectively the Bohemian, Bavarian, Polish, and Saxon. The Bohemian
Nation included Hungary; the Bavarian, most of South Germany; the
Polish, Prussia and Silesia; and the Saxon, all the rest of North
Germany, with Denmark and Sweden. Each of these Nations chose one
Elector; the four Electors chose seven others; the seven chose five;
and then these five chose the Rector of the University. For special
cases, not dealt with by the general assembly, a council of eight was
appointed, containing two representatives from each Nation. How much
Charles desired to make his University a centre for the whole Empire
may be gathered from the fact that among the first eight professors
one was a Saxon, one a Westphalian, and one a Frenchman. The tendency
to welcome men of learning was characteristic of Charles’s reign; nor
was his welcome confined to teachers and writers; artists also shared
his patronage; and his reign was marked by efforts after external
splendour and stern morality which are seldom found in combination. The
most remarkable outward symbol of these divergent tendencies is the
celebrated fortress of Carlstein (Karluv Tyn, Charles’s town), which,
in its form, its decoration, and special objects, seems to combine the
memories of Charles’s work as king, as moral reformer, and as patron of
Art. Devised for the better protection of the crown jewels, and, at a
somewhat later period, of the charters of Bohemia, it also afforded a
place of retirement for periods of strict and almost ascetic devotion;
while the pictures on its walls, and the precious stones which cover
its roof, recall the memory of the encouragement which the King gave to
the Arts of his time.

[Illustration: CARLSTEIN (KARLUV TYN).]

But the attempt to combine his work as Emperor with his work as King
of Bohemia was to be the great difficulty of his career; and scarcely
had he succeeded in bringing the University into working order before
the great rush of students began to alarm the inhabitants of Prague.
Complaints were made of disorders, of the high price of provisions,
and of difficulties arising from the want of accommodation in the
city. This last objection Charles proceeded to meet by founding a new
suburb of Prague, to be united by ditch, wall, and bridge with the
old city, and to enjoy the same privileges as the rest of Prague.
This helped forward Charles’s plans for raising Prague into Imperial
importance; and the work of uniting all the different parts of the
city was undertaken on so splendid a scale that, in a time of famine,
Charles was able to solve “the problem of the unemployed,” by setting
more than a thousand men to work on the new walls. But there still
remained the disorders which had been brought about by the arrival of
German students, who distrusted the justice of Bohemian tribunals. In
order to restore peace, Charles placed the University directly under
his own authority, and allowed no appeal from the decisions of the
Rector, except to the highest court. This creation of an independent
corporation of learning was a necessary stage in the growth of the
University, and contained seeds both of good and evil, to be developed
at a later time.

In the founding of this University, Charles had aimed at the
accomplishment of two different objects; the establishment of an
intellectual centre for the Empire, and the development of a new life
in Bohemia. The second of these objects was probably the one nearest to
his heart; and it was not only by the encouragement of learning that
he hoped to promote it, but by attention to every phase of national
well-being. He, like his grandfather Wenceslaus, desired to substitute
a written code of laws for the floating mass of customs and traditions
by which Bohemia was, in great part, governed. How far Wenceslaus had
gone towards the execution of this plan cannot be ascertained; but
Charles actually drew up his code, and gave it the name of the Majestas
Carolina. If we may judge from his preface, and from the subject which
stands first in the code, the cause of oppression and disorder which
most impressed him in Bohemia was the alienation of royal lands by the
Kings. The power which special nobles had gained, through these grants,
had been often used in a most disorderly manner. The efficiency of the
central Executive had been unduly weakened; and an excuse had been
given for those continual demands for exceptional taxation, which had
so painfully marked the reign of King John. Charles therefore drew up a
careful list of the cities and lands, which, under no circumstances,
should be alienated by the King, nor should any grant of them be asked
for by others. Special arrangements were made for the registration,
in a public court, of lands sold by the nobles; lands were not to be
granted to the “dead hand”; special means of remedy were to be provided
against oppression by the King; special restrictions were to be placed
on the power of nobles over their dependants. Other provisions of
various importance were contained in this document; but the great,
and essential, point about it was, that these “Constitutions” were to
be read four times a year in Bohemia, before a full assembly of the
people, that all might know the laws by which they were governed.

[Illustration: PRAGUE (PRAHA) in 1200.]

[Illustration: PRAGUE (PRAHA) in 1388.

MAPS SHOWING GROWTH OF PRAGUE UNDER CHARLES IV.]

This provision pointed to Charles’s chief object in composing the
Code; and it was doubtless this very demand which roused to its
height the opposition of the nobles. It was not merely this or that
privilege which the King was threatening; it was the whole fabric of
feudal power, which depended much more on the separate and individual
influence of each noble on his estate, than on any decrees of a
collective Assembly; and this influence must necessarily give way
before a code of written law, set forth by the King, and accepted and
supported by the main body of the people.

Charles was no “benevolent despot,” determined to thrust upon his
people, by force, principles of government for which they were not
prepared. He yielded to the resistance of the nobles, and withdrew the
main part of the Majestas Carolina. The concession was undoubtedly a
wise one; and, however excellent were many of the changes which he had
proposed, there were parts of this remarkable document which make one
glad that they were not stereotyped in a code, nor sanctified in the
memories of Bohemians by so close a connection with their popular king.
Thus, for instance, Charles opens his code with a strong declaration
of devotion to the Catholic faith, with a prohibition to Pagans and
Saracens against settling in Bohemia, and with a promise to put down
heresy with the sword.[4] Again, the declaration of the power of lords
over their dependants is only limited by taking from the lords the
right of putting out their eyes or cutting off their hands and feet;
and though Charles, no doubt, was thinking more of these limitations
than of the power which he still left to the nobles; yet it was obvious
that such a statement in a code might be used in the very opposite
sense to that in which it was written. That is to say, the code might
have been appealed to in later times as securing to the nobles all the
powers of which it did not expressly deprive them.

But Charles had the statesmanlike instinct which tells a man when to
yield and when to stand firm. There was one reform on which he was
determined, and which he insisted on carrying out in spite of the
opposition of the nobles. This was the abolition of those supposed
tests of justice, by which accused persons were compelled to hold, or
to walk upon, burning iron, or to prove their innocence by risking
drowning. We are so apt to consider these superstitions as bound up
with old religious feelings, that we almost instinctively expect to
find this kind of abuse supported by the pious and orthodox in those
generations, and opposed chiefly by some coldly superior persons
who are untouched by the popular feeling of the time. But nothing
is clearer than that Charles was stirred to this great reform by an
intense sense of piety and reverence. Witness the words by which he
had preluded this reform in the Majestas Carolina. “For he who should
presume to tempt the omnipotence of God, and to make ridiculous His
secret judgment, by forcing his neighbour to perish by means contrary
to nature, does not deserve to enjoy the comfort of his own natural
life.” In this reform he was steadily supported by Archbishop Arnestus;
and, in spite of the opposition of the nobles, he succeeded in getting
these terrible abuses suppressed. With regard to the ordeal by battle
he was less successful. Indeed he was apparently disposed to accept
a rather curious compromise on the subject. Duelling of all kinds he
loathed as disorderly; but, in the case of charges of treason, he
permitted a prosecutor who could bring nine respectable witnesses to
support his charge, to make good his accusation by the final test of
the duel. It does not appear, however, that he succeeded in reducing
this foolish practice even within these limits.

Lastly, and perhaps best of all, he secured to the peasantry the
right of appealing to the King from the feudal courts of their lords.
Doubtless the readiness of the nobles to accept this important reform
was much increased by Charles’s willingness to do justice as against
himself. Thus, in a dispute with some nobles about the possession of
a certain castle, he consented to submit the question to two Bohemian
nobles chosen for the purpose; and he abode by the compromise which
they suggested.

In short, in his position as King of Bohemia, Charles generally
appears as one of those exceptional rulers who combine a genuine
zeal for reform with a real sense of justice, and that statesmanlike
self-restraint which teaches a man the difference between the desirable
and the possible, between the ultimate ideal and the immediately
practicable. But it is impossible to separate Charles the Emperor from
Charles the King of Bohemia. Many of his greatest reforms, such as the
establishment of the University and the assertion of the independence
of the Prague archbishopric, could not have been carried out so easily,
perhaps not at all, unless he had been able to use his authority as
Emperor to back his power as King of Bohemia, and to secure also the
sympathy and approval of the Pope. So thoroughly was the connection
of his Imperial office with his Bohemian kingship recognised by his
subjects, that it is the rarest thing to find this popular King
mentioned in the chronicles by his proper Bohemian title of Charles I.,
still less by his early name of Wenceslaus. The _Emperor_ Charles IV.
has overshadowed and absorbed Wenceslaus alias Charles I. of Bohemia;
and yet so far was he from losing thereby the sympathies of the
Bohemians, that it is they and not the Germans who cherish his memory
as that of a great and popular ruler.

The German view, indeed, is more nearly represented by the saying of
Maximilian I., “Charles was the father of Bohemia, but the stepfather
of the Holy Roman Empire.” This saying, like most epigrams that have
lived, has a mixture of truth and falsehood. Certainly one of the
morals of Charles’s career might seem to be the impossibility of
combining these two important offices in a manner which should satisfy
the just demands both of Germans and Bohemians. But though, as will
presently appear, the weaker and worse part of his policy was connected
with his position as Emperor, yet there is evident, even in his plans
for Germany, a real enthusiasm for order, good government, and, above
all, independence of that Papal power which had paralysed German
progress.

The Golden Bull, with which his name is specially connected, shows
in many respects these noble aims. The disorderly state into which
the Empire had fallen had been largely due to the uncertainty of the
Electorate. The titles which carried with them a right of voting for
the Emperor, had been so often shared by different claimants, and the
lands which originally marked these titles had been so often divided,
that few could tell who had really the right of choosing the ruler of
Europe; while the irregularity of many elections had given opportunity
for the assertion of spurious claims, like those of the Dukes of
Bavaria. Charles fixed the Electorate on a clear basis, and settled the
lands which gave the right of voting. He also sternly prohibited those
private feuds which had done such evil in Germany. Lastly, he boldly
asserted the right of the Electors to choose the Emperor, without
waiting for confirmation of their choice by the Pope. But, at the same
time, he secured for the King of Bohemia the leading position among the
Electors of the Empire; he declared his independence of the Imperial
courts; and he asserted the right of the Bohemians to choose their own
king, as soon as the House of Luxemburg was extinct.

Obviously there was here much to provoke opposition. The smaller
princes, fierce at the restriction on their rights of quarrelling,
broke into fresh disorders; the dukes of Bavaria took up arms to
reassert their suppressed electoral rights; the dukes of Austria
were indignant that their claims to the Bohemian succession, founded
on the decree passed in King Rudolf’s Assembly, were now definitely
repudiated. Charles dealt in different ways with these sets of
opponents. The turbulent rioters he forcibly suppressed, but readily
admitted to favour when repentant. From Bavaria, however, he thought it
necessary to take stronger securities. After he had defeated the Dukes
in battle, he succeeded in persuading them to sell to him lands and
cities, which he added to the kingdom of Bohemia, and thereby extended
that kingdom as far as Nürnberg. It might be plausibly urged that
Bohemia needed securities for peace against so turbulent a neighbour as
Bavaria; but it was evident, from the additions to his kingdom which
Charles carried out at a later time, that this was but part of his
scheme for securing to Bohemia that predominance in the Empire which
was hinted at in the Golden Bull. Bavaria and the smaller princes being
brought to reason, there remained still the struggle with Austria. Here
one might have expected that the long-standing feud between Bohemian
and Austrian, and between the House of Luxemburg and the House of
Hapsburg, would have made the contest deadly in its course and crushing
in its results. Strange to say, it ended in a settlement which must,
even at the time, have startled some Bohemians, though no doubt they
could never have expected that the following century would see the
claim then legalised grow into practical results. In consideration of
the peaceable abandonment by the House of Hapsburg of its immediate
claims, it was promised the succession to the throne of Bohemia as soon
as the direct lines of Charles and of his brother John should have come
to an end. In all these matters Charles had shown a genuine desire for
peace and order, which must surely deserve all recognition.

The same credit cannot be given to another phase of his policy, which
arose from his relations with Louis, the son of his former rival, the
Emperor Louis of Bavaria. The causes of this quarrel must be shortly
told. John, the brother of Charles, had married Margaretha Maultasche,
Countess of Tyrol; and he had thereby acquired her lands. Margaretha,
who seems to have been as foul in mind as she was ugly in face, made a
false charge of impotency against her husband; and, under this excuse,
she hastened to welcome the advances of young Louis, the son of the
Emperor, who helped her to drive her husband from the Tyrol.

The Emperor recognised a so-called marriage between his son and
Margaretha; and this act contributed not a little to the storm of
indignation which drove the Bavarian from the throne of the Empire and
raised Charles to his place. Charles was scarcely seated on the throne,
before he resolved to revenge his brother by a raid on the Tyrol.
The raid produced no results but bloodshed and misery; and John was
forced to console himself for the loss of his lands by the Margravate
of Moravia, and for the loss of Margaretha by marriage with a more
faithful wife.

But the quarrel between Charles and Louis was not yet at an end. On
the extinction of the line of the former Margraves of Brandenburg, the
territory had been granted to Louis by his father, and he had remained
in undisturbed possession of it for several years. Suddenly, in 1348,
a claimant came forward to the Margravate. This man declared that his
name was Waldemar; that he was son of the late Margrave of Brandenburg;
that, since 1319, he had been supposed to be dead; that his death had
been really pretended, in order to escape from a marriage, which, after
its celebration, he had found to be illegal; and lastly that, his wife
being now dead, he had come forward to claim his inheritance. The
story was sufficiently absurd; and it might have been thought that,
even if it were true, a prince who had pretended to be dead for nearly
thirty years, might, in the interest of peace, consent to pretend a
little longer. Charles’s excuse for crediting the imposture was that,
as he was too young to remember the real Waldemar, he trusted in the
evidence of the Duke of Saxony and other princes of the Empire, who,
after investigating the case, declared their belief in the genuineness
of the claim. Encouraged by this evidence, Charles only too gladly
seized the opportunity for avenging his brother. He declared war on
Louis, removed him from his Margravate, and established Waldemar in
his place. Eventually it was proved that the so-called Waldemar was
the subject and tool of the Duke of Saxony; and Charles, convinced of
the imposture, was forced to reinstate Louis in Brandenburg. But, his
attention once fixed on this province, he saw in it a new opportunity
for aggrandising his House and Kingdom; and, in restoring it to Louis,
he secured to his own son Wenceslaus the succession to the Margravate.

But, if this unfortunate episode illustrates afresh the dangers which
Charles had to encounter in combining his positions of German Emperor
and Bohemian King, there was at least one side of his policy for which
Germans, even more than Bohemians, have cause to thank him. It has
already been mentioned that in the Golden Bull Charles had asserted
the right of the Electors of the Empire to choose an Emperor without
waiting for the confirmation of the Pope. This bold proposal was
connected with that desire for a German rather than a Roman Empire,
which Rudolf of Hapsburg and other wise rulers had cherished. Charles,
as we shall see, had no desire to weaken the Papacy in spiritual
matters, and he had been willing enough to go to Rome to be formally
crowned in the sacred city; but he wished to free the German princes
from that intolerable burden of the rule over Italy which was always
involving the Emperors in useless expeditions, and at the same time to
prevent the Popes from interfering in German affairs.

In his desire to escape from the burden of Italian politics, Charles
had to resist the pressure of two advisers, each remarkable in his
special way, and each disposed to revive the memory of that expedition
to Italy, which Charles’s grandfather, Henry of Luxemburg, had so
rashly attempted. The interview between the first of these advisers
and the King must have been most impressive. It was during a temporary
coolness between Charles and Pope Clement VI., that Charles, while
staying in his palace at Prague, was informed that a merchant, who
had recently come to the city, desired to see him on urgent business.
The supposed merchant was admitted; but when called on to state his
business, replied with the startling words, that he had been sent to
Charles by a hermit, to inform him that God the Father and God the Son
had hitherto ruled the world; but that in future it would be ruled
by the Holy Spirit alone.[5] This formula was apparently familiar
to Charles, for he at once recognised the speaker as the ex-tribune
Rienzi. Rienzi, when challenged, at once admitted his identity; then
he went on to give a sketch of the rise and fall of his government in
Rome, and urged Charles to send him back to Rome as his representative.
The strain of mysticism in Rienzi’s language, coupled with the Pope’s
former warnings, alarmed the orthodox Charles, and he sent at once
for Archbishop Arnestus. A few questions from Arnestus soon involved
Rienzi in statements which savoured of heresy. The archbishop at once
arrested him, and soon after sent him to Avignon, where he was kept as
a prisoner for some time. Even from prison Rienzi appealed to Charles
for sympathy, on the ground that he was the illegitimate son of the
Emperor Henry, and therefore Charles’s uncle. Charles replied that
such a consideration would not affect his action, as we all came from
Adam; and he urged Rienzi to think of his soul, and not to listen
to the friar, whose prophecies would drag him to ruin. The end of
Rienzi’s career is well known; how, returning as Senator and Papal
representative to the city which he had formerly governed in the name
of the People, he was soon after murdered by the Romans, whom he had
tried to restore to the “Good State.”

The other adviser, who tried to involve Charles in the responsibilities
of the government of Rome, was a man of very different type. This was
the poet Petrarch, who had first been interested in Charles by the
admiration which the latter had expressed, during a visit to Avignon,
for the beautiful Laura. So good a judge of beauty must, of course,
be the poet’s ideal ruler; and Petrarch was only too eager to play
the part of Dante to the grandson of Henry of Luxemburg. His first
appeal to Charles was left unanswered; but, after the fall of Rienzi,
the poet returned to the attack, and urged upon the Emperor the duty
of coming to Rome, and administering the Holy Roman Empire from its
capital. Charles had heard much of Petrarch between the writing of
these two letters; and, admiring his graceful style, readily entered
into correspondence with him, and pointed out to him the difficulties
and dangers of the course which he advised. Petrarch did not cease to
urge his proposal, and twice he fancied that his dream was about to be
realised; once, when Charles went to Rome to be crowned by the Papal
representative, and again, at a later time, when he consented to escort
the Pope from Avignon to Rome, and even to compel the Visconti to
abandon their opposition to the Papal claims over some of the northern
towns of Italy. But the first expedition was merely intended to
strengthen his throne by the kind of prestige which the Papal approval
was still supposed to give to it; and the second visit was undertaken
in the interests of Italian order and Papal dignity. In short, though
Charles was anxious for Petrarch’s company, and would have liked him
to lecture on literature to the University of Prague, and to the young
Wenceslaus, he had no intention of following the poet’s advice in the
weighty concerns of government.

[Illustration: STATUE OF CHARLES IV. NEAR HIS BRIDGE IN PRAGUE.]

Before concluding this general sketch of Charles’s career, it is
necessary to refer to a project, the character of which may be easily
misunderstood. Even when freed from Italian influence, and united,
at least in intellectual interests, with Bohemia, the German Empire
might still be exposed to the disorders arising from the contests of
its princes, especially at the time of the election of the Emperors.
This evil Charles proposed to remove by making the Imperial crown
hereditary in the House of Luxemburg. One must not judge this scheme as
a mere piece of personal ambition. Doubtless there is always something
repugnant to our ideas of strict honesty in those frequent attempts,
during the Middle Ages, to turn an elective position to the permanent
advantage of the family of its accidental occupant. But we must
remember that there is an important difference between the purpose of
Charles IV. and other attempts which appear to have the same character.
When, for instance, Rudolf of Hapsburg used his Imperial position to
turn the Counts of Hapsburg into Dukes of Austria; when the Margrave
of Brandenburg made use of his Mastership of the Teutonic knights as a
means of uniting East Prussia with Brandenburg; or when the Savoyard
Pope Felix used his Papal power to extend the dominions of the House
of Savoy; none of these attempts could have profited any one except
the ambitious promoters of them. But, if Charles could have made the
German Empire hereditary in a House which was already powerful by its
position in Bohemia, and could at the same time have delivered it from
the terrible encumbrance of the connection with Italy, many a bitter
civil war might surely have been spared. His attempt failed; and, from
some points of view, one may say that it was well that it failed. But a
great design cannot be completely judged by its results alone.



VII.

THE REFORM MOVEMENT FROM THE DIET OF 1359 TO THE RETIREMENT OF THE
GERMANS FROM THE PRAGUE UNIVERSITY.

(1359-1409.)


Many causes had paved the way for that revolution, both of thought and
action, which marks the fourteenth century. The complete failure of the
crusades had shaken the faith of the people generally in the leadership
of those princes and nobles who had organised these expeditions.
The insurrection of “the Shepherds” in France had been one of the
first results of this feeling; while the extraordinary performances
of the Flagellants or Scourging Friars showed yet more clearly the
extravagances which the popular discontent might produce.

Nor, in the general whirl of thought and feeling, was it easy to
foresee on which side any new development of this feeling should
be classed; whether it should be condemned as a source of heresy
and a disturbance of order, or applauded as a revival of stronger
faith and stricter discipline. The Dominicans and Franciscans,
called into existence to combat heresy and to strengthen the Papal
power, were looked upon by the secular clergy as intruders on their
lawful privileges and disturbers of the peace; while the Franciscan
renunciation of property gradually led them on to the advocacy of
doctrines, which were at least as inconvenient to Popes and Cardinals
as to the secular nobles.

It is characteristic of the way in which anxiety for their temporal
possessions was colouring all the feelings of the defenders of the
Church, that, throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the
name with which its champions were most eager to brand their opponents,
as indicating the darkest shade of heresy, was the name of “Picard.”
This word was a corruption of “Beghard,” the title of a Flemish sect,
which had been distinguished for its devotion and zeal for prayer, but
which had alarmed the rulers of the world by its advocacy of community
of goods.

The confusion produced in men’s minds by the failure of the Church’s
armies to recover Palestine, was still further increased by the
retirement of the Popes to Avignon, and at a later time by that schism
in the Papacy which followed the restoration of the Papal rule in Rome;
and, along with the desire for the re-establishment of the unity of the
Church, there grew the wish for a revival of peace and purity in the
general life of Europe.

Of all the rulers of the fourteenth century Charles IV. seemed the most
likely to guide these conflicting movements into channels, which should
be at once favourable to the champions of the Papacy, and welcome to
the promoters of peace and purity.

As King of Bohemia he had inherited, through his mother’s family,
traditions of special devotion to the Church; and most of the
circumstances of his career were of a kind to encourage the hopes of
the Pope and the clergy. He had been elected to the Imperial throne,
in opposition to the most bitterly anti-papal of Emperors, Louis of
Bavaria; he had steadily opposed all the proposals which had been made
to him, to induce him to assert his Imperial authority over the Italian
cities; and he had prefaced the Majestas Carolina with an assertion of
his adherence to the Catholic faith, and a denunciation of heresy. No
doubt that clause in the Golden Bull which repudiated the necessity of
a Papal sanction to the election of an Emperor, had drawn a protest
from the Pope; but this error had surely been more than compensated
for, by the zeal which Charles had shown for the restoration of the
Pope to Rome, and for the maintenance of the Papal authority in Italy.

It must, then, have been with a shock of painful surprise that, in
1359, Pope Innocent VI. found himself suddenly opposed by this orthodox
champion of the Church. The first cause of division had been a demand
of Charles, that the Pope would repeal some decrees which hindered the
Emperor from reforming the discipline of the clergy. Innocent had been
so indignant at this demand, that he had tried to rouse the Electors
against the Emperor; but he had wholly failed in that attempt, and had
been forced to make some concessions to Charles.

The next point of difference was connected with a yet more burning
question. Innocent had demanded new tithes from the princes of the
Empire. Many of them had refused; and now, at an Assembly at Mainz,
the Papal Legate again raised the question, possibly hoping to obtain
Charles’s support. But the Emperor answered his demand by an expression
of surprise, that the Pope was so much more zealous for collecting
money than for reforming the morals of the clergy. Then, turning
suddenly to the Dean of Mainz, who was wearing a splendid silken robe
ornamented with gold, he made him exchange the magnificent dress for
the simple cloth robe which Charles himself wore; and, as he put on the
grand dress of the ecclesiastic, he appealed to the spectators to say
if he did not now look more like a knight than a dean. This practical
exhibition of clerical luxury the Emperor followed by a stern rebuke to
the bishops for not enforcing a more strict decorum of life among the
clergy; and he even threatened to tax their income for the support of
the royal exchequer.

In Germany, unfortunately, there were many nobles who were ready to
take advantage of the reforming movement to promote their own ends.
That the clergy should live more simply seemed to these nobles a
most desirable thing; and to help them to attain so satisfactory a
condition, they proceeded to plunder their houses, and lay waste their
lands. Such acts were utterly opposed to Charles’s intentions; and he
checked these outrages so sternly that the Pope was once more forced
to recognise him as his safest and strongest supporter. Perhaps this
last circumstance made it easier for Charles to carry out his plans
for reformation in Bohemia. In that kingdom, however, he worked by
different methods, and with somewhat different objects from those at
which he had aimed in his German schemes of reformation; for in Bohemia
he trusted rather to the moral effect which could be produced by great
preachers than to legislation or forcible repression.

The first of these preachers, whom the King summoned to Prague, was an
Austrian named Conrad Waldhauser, who began to come prominently forward
in 1360, the year after Charles’s attempt to reform the German clergy.
Conrad’s preachings were largely directed against the luxury of women;
but he also denounced the tyranny of the nobles and their usurious
exactions from the peasantry. His fiercest attacks, however, were aimed
against the Mendicant Orders, and specially against their simoniacal
attempts to obtain ecclesiastical offices. It was these attacks that
brought the greatest danger to the preacher; for the Franciscans were
still strong in Papal support; and Conrad was summoned before the
Legate to answer a charge of heresy. As both King and Archbishop stood
by the accused, the attempts of his enemies were defeated; and he
continued till his death in 1369 to exercise great influence in Bohemia.

But Conrad was a German, and preached, of course, in his native
language; and Charles felt that, if the reformation were really to take
hold of the people, they must be addressed in their own language. He
therefore brought forward a preacher of a rather different type from
Conrad. This was Milic of Kromĕr̆íz̆, a Moravian of rather plebeian
origin. He had early attracted Charles’s attention, and had been
already appointed to some office about the court in 1350. He had risen
steadily in the king’s favour, and had been raised in 1363 to one of
the chief posts in the Chancellery. An ascetic dislike to worldly
honours now induced him to resign all these offices, in order to become
a preacher. He at first retired to a living in a distant town; but,
finding that the beautiful garden which was attached to the pastor’s
house gave him too much pleasure, he returned to Prague, and began
to preach at the Church of St. Nicholas in the Small District, and
afterwards at St. Giles’s in the Old Town.

At first his Moravian accent excited some ridicule; but the eloquence
and moral fervour of his preaching soon brought him large audiences;
and he was at last called on to preach three times a day in different
places. His horror at the evils of the time was so great that he soon
began to prophesy the coming of Antichrist; and, at one time, when
Charles was, as he considered, falling short of his duty, Milic even
denounced the King as Antichrist. The Archbishop of Prague became
alarmed at this attack, and put Milic in prison; but Charles himself
never resented the opposition of those whom he respected; and Milic was
set free again. Like so many of the reformers of the time, he had been
greatly distressed at the retirement of the popes to Avignon; and, when
Charles was trying to persuade Pope Urban V. to return to Rome, Milic
went to Rome, and there also delivered his sermons on the coming of
Antichrist. The Roman authorities were alarmed, and Milic was again
thrown into prison; but, when the Pope actually returned to Rome, he
was again set free and sent back to Prague.

He now abandoned his preaching on Antichrist, and restricted it to the
advocacy of moral reforms. The death of Conrad Waldhauser made Milic
the undisputed leader among the preachers of Prague; and, while the
Teyn Church became the chief scene of his labours, he also prepared
discourses for a preacher in another church. His most successful work
was in reclaiming fallen women. Of these he had sometimes more than
three hundred under his charge, whom he had rescued from an evil life;
and he not only built a penitentiary for their residence, but he
persuaded the ladies of Prague to give them places in their service.
Charles nobly seconded his efforts by pulling down a notorious house of
ill-fame, and building a church on the site of it.

But Milic’s fierce denunciations of the sins of the clergy continued to
stir up enemies against him; and in 1374 Gregory XI., who had returned
to Avignon, sent a warning to the King and Archbishop, as well as
to the Bishops of Breslau, Cracow, and Olmütz against the danger of
Milic’s teaching. He went to Avignon to defend himself; but, though he
succeeded in satisfying the Pope and cardinals of his innocence, he
never returned to Bohemia; for he was seized with an illness while at
Avignon, and died there on St. Peter’s Day, 1374.

Milic had been assisted by his humble origin in gaining the sympathies
of the poor; but even more alarming to the Germans who had gathered in
Prague was Milic’s follower Thomas of S̆títný. He was descended from a
noble family, and had been one of the earliest pupils of the University
of Prague. He was thus able to give a more permanent literary reform to
the teachings of the reformers. Nor did he confine himself, as Conrad
and Milic had done, to efforts after moral improvement; for he grappled
also with those more subtle questions of theology which were coming at
that time into prominence. Master Eckhard, the founder of the Mystics,
had been appointed at one time as Vicar-General of Bohemia. He had no
doubt gained considerable influence in that country; and S̆títný’s
utterances, especially about Faith and Love, were coloured by the
teaching of the mystical school.

But the chief point of objection urged against S̆títný by his enemies
was that he wrote in Bohemian. Since the time of Otto of Brandenburg,
the German language had gained much ground in the town councils of
Bohemia; and the foundation of the Prague University had brought a rush
of German scholars to that city. The arrangements for the votings of
the Nations had secured a predominance to the German element in the
University; for not only did the Bavarian and Saxon nations represent
almost exclusively the German influence; but even in the districts from
which the Polish nation was drawn, there was a large German admixture.
Of course those students who had come from a great distance had given
a special proof of their genuine interest in learning; and they
naturally looked upon themselves as the representatives of a higher
culture than that of the ordinary townsfolk of Prague. Hence it came
that the leading doctors of the University inclined to consider German
rather than Bohemian as the suitable language for men of culture,
especially when writing on abstruse subjects; and this feeling they
were all the more anxious to assert, because, in the general stir
of thought, a native Bohemian literature was beginning to attract
attention.

Charles himself had studied the language carefully, had favoured the
revival of the Slavonic ritual, and, as already mentioned, had chosen
Milic of Kromĕr̆íz̆ in order to encourage the popular preaching of
Bohemian. Under these circumstances, satirists, poets, and historians
began to write in their native language; and the Masters of the
University felt that they would have a hard struggle before they could
denationalise Bohemia. They were therefore especially irritated when
a cultivated nobleman like S̆títný insisted on discussing the most
profound and subtle questions of theology in the Bohemian language; and
this alarm was certainly not diminished when they found that he coupled
these speculations with denunciations of the corruptions of the clergy,
the tyrannies of nobles, and even the injustices of kings. Thus, then,
a general movement for the reform of morals and the improvement of the
clergy was more and more connecting itself with the struggles between
German and Bohemian for the supremacy of their respective languages. It
is conceivable that even so bitter a controversy as this might have
been guided into more peaceable channels by a king who combined zeal
for the Church, hearty appreciation of German learning, and a real
enthusiasm for Bohemian traditions. But whether or not Charles would
have been equal to such a task, there can be little doubt that his
death in 1378, and the accession of his son Wenceslaus IV., did prepare
the way for the more violent explosion which followed.

A great name is, in any case, a very dangerous inheritance; and when
that inheritance implies an obligation on the heir to carry out a
great work begun by his predecessor, the tradition generally involves
failure and disgrace. In Wenceslaus, as in so many sons of great
rulers, some of the qualities which had secured his father’s success
were conspicuously wanting. Charles had known when to insist, and when
to abstain from insisting, on the reforms which he had most at heart.
He had known how far to go in the punishment of offences, and when to
pardon graciously; above all, he had known how to respect, and even to
utilise, the abilities of honest opponents. None of these lessons of
statesmanship could Wenceslaus ever learn; he was absolutely without
self-restraint or sense of proportion; and, consequently, though his
aims were generally those of a wise and patriotic ruler, he frequently
used the methods of a cruel tyrant.

Yet, with all these grave defects, Wenceslaus was far from being the
unscrupulous and self-indulgent monster which his enemies delighted to
paint him. In the early years of his reign his policy was wise and
enlightened, though, even then, it was marked occasionally by that
hastiness and uncertainty which belonged to his passionate temperament.
But, in the difficult position in which he was placed, every step
which he took was a dangerous one, and was certain to encounter fierce
opposition.

The first work which his Imperial position imposed on him was the
effort to restore order in the Church, by putting an end to the
divisions between the rival Popes. In this point he wisely followed the
policy of his father, and supported the claims of Pope Urban VI., who
was actually living at Rome. The assembly of German princes accepted
the decision of the Emperor; and at Prague he received the support both
of the University and the Archbishop. But a difficulty at once arose.
The Pope of Avignon was, as a matter of course, supported by the King
of France; and the old traditions of the House of Luxemburg were in
favour of friendly relations with the French kings. Greatly, therefore,
to Urban’s indignation, Wenceslaus insisted on renewing his alliance
with Charles in the next year to that in which he had recognised Urban
as pope; he also refused to support that Pope in his quarrels with the
House of Anjou for the possession of Sicily; and an even more vital
cause of difference between Urban and Wenceslaus was the determination
of the King to assert his authority over the clergy of Bohemia.

It was in these quarrels with his clergy that Wenceslaus first showed
that tendency to violent methods, which undermined his own power and
inflicted great injury on the cause of Church reformation. In 1385 he
was involved in a quarrel with the Dean of Breslau. It appeared that a
cask of beer sent to the dean by his brother had been intercepted by
the Town Council, on the ground that no foreign beer should be admitted
into the town. The dean, therefore, laid an interdict upon Breslau.
Wenceslaus came to inquire into the matter, and demanded that the
religious services should be celebrated, as long at least as he stayed
in the town. The dean refused; and thereupon Wenceslaus banished the
whole Chapter of Breslau from the town for two years, and handed over a
large part of their property to the citizens.

But the most dangerous of his clerical enemies was the Archbishop of
Prague, John of Jenstein. The Archbishop, himself of noble birth, had
had a quarrel with the Marshal of the Court about certain rights of
fishing on the Elbe; and, in asserting these rights, he had destroyed
a weir which the marshal had made. Wenceslaus took the side of his
official, and demanded that the Archbishop should make compensation.
Jenstein refused; and Wenceslaus thereupon confiscated his property.
But these acts, however arbitrary, might possibly have been forgotten,
had they not been followed by a more celebrated quarrel.

In the year 1393 the Vice Chamberlain, who was the chief judge of the
royal law-court, had put to death two priests. It is uncertain what
their offences were; but the Archbishop claimed them as under his
jurisdiction, and asserted that they should only have been tried in
his court. About the same time, the Archbishop had wished to seize
and punish certain Jews, who, after being baptised as Christians, had
relapsed into Judaism. As the Jews were under the special protection
of the King’s court, the Vice Chamberlain refused to surrender them
to the Archbishop. For these two acts of opposition to his power, the
Archbishop excommunicated the Vice Chamberlain, and denounced him as a
heretic. The King received this news with great indignation; and his
anger was still further quickened by a more personal insult. Not long
before this time, he had recommended a special favourite to a bishopric
in Pomerania; but, as the rulers of Pomerania had resisted the
appointment, Wenceslaus had been unable to establish his claim. He was
therefore resolved to endow a new bishopric in Bohemia, to which his
nominee could be appointed; and the death of the abbot of a monastery
in Prague suggested to the King the advisability of suppressing the
monastery in order to obtain funds for the endowment of his new
bishopric. The Archbishop opposed the creation of this bishopric as a
diminution of his own diocese; and he may very likely have considered
the suppression of the monastery as an act of injustice. In defiance,
therefore, of the King’s order, the Archbishop directed the monks to
proceed to the election of a new abbot, which they accordingly did.
Wenceslaus hastened back to Prague in great indignation; and the
Archbishop fled to the Castle of Raudnice. The King claimed this as
a royal castle; and he therefore considered the Archbishop’s flight
thither as conclusive proof of an organised conspiracy against the
royal authority. Finding that Jenstein would not return to Prague, the
king summoned before him the two chief officials of the archbishopric,
Puchnic, and John Nepomuc. When they persistently refused to give
any evidence against the Archbishop, Wenceslaus ordered them to be
tortured. As they continued to defy him, he had them burnt on the hand;
and, at last, fixing upon Nepomuc, either as the most defiant or the
most important of his victims, he ordered him to be bound hand and
foot, and thrown into the Moldau.

This crime was to produce even greater triumphs for the clerical party
than those which had followed the murder of Becket; and Wenceslaus
seems to have repented of it almost as soon as it was committed. He
set Puchnic free, and gave him money compensation for his sufferings;
and he recalled Jenstein to Prague. The Archbishop came; a sort of
reconciliation was patched up, but its unreality was evident from the
first. Jenstein secretly fled to Rome and demanded that the Pope should
lay an interdict on Bohemia. At the same time all the clergy appealed
to Sigismund, King of Hungary, the brother of Wenceslaus, to come to
Bohemia to avenge their wrongs. Strange to say, this second appeal was
the only one which produced a result. The new pope, Boniface IX., was
eager to obtain the support of Wenceslaus, and therefore took his part
against the Archbishop. Sigismund, on the contrary, was always ready to
plot against his brother; and he easily found allies among the Bohemian
nobility.

For, though the offences of Wenceslaus against the clergy had
attracted the most attention, his injuries to the secular nobles had
been not less keenly felt. In his desire to weaken the more powerful
members of the aristocracy, he had formed a private Council among the
small nobility and citizens; and, by their help, he had opposed and
counteracted the greater nobles. He had further offended their sense of
dignity and decorum by playing the part of Haroun Alraschid, and paying
secret visits to the houses of his various subjects, to discover any
offences which might have escaped the notice of the ordinary tribunals.
This conduct had made him so unpopular with the nobles that, even
before Sigismund’s intervention, they had formed a conspiracy against
him. The ostensible leader of this conspiracy was the king’s cousin
Jodok, the Margrave of Moravia; but perhaps its most powerful member
was Henry of Rosenberg. This nobleman, like so many of his time, was
a distinguished patron of literature and art; though his influence in
such a movement was no doubt due to the more material considerations of
his high rank, wide connections, and large territorial influence.

[Illustration: KRUMOV, ONE OF THE CHIEF SEATS OF THE ROSENBERGS.]

The Rosenbergs were the members of a very powerful group of families
called the Vítkovici, who were the practical rulers of the south and
south-east of Bohemia. There they exercised an authority which was
little short of regal. They had bodies of soldiers at their command;
they coined money and built fortresses at their pleasure. They
professed to trace their origin to the Italian family of the Orsini;
and they had played almost as important a part in the thirteenth
century as the Vrs̆ovici had played in the earlier history of Bohemia.
Of these Vítkovici the Rosenbergs were the most important branch;
and their name shows that they had to a large extent Germanised
themselves, even in the time of Ottakar. They had strengthened their
position in Bohemia by founding towns and monasteries, planting woods,
and building churches; and their fishponds became so important that
the town of Prague was mainly supplied from them. So deeply-rooted
was their power that the signs of its past greatness are visible even
at the present day, in the towns of Krumov, Tr̆ebon̆, Prachatice,
the monastery of Hohenfurt, and the castle and village of Rosenberg.
It will easily be understood that the leader of so powerful a clan
would deeply resent such attempts as those of Wenceslaus to infringe
the privileges of the nobility, and to call men of lower rank to his
Councils. Nor did the nobles rely solely on Bohemian support. Jodok of
Moravia had taken counsel with the Duke of Austria and the Margrave of
Meissen, who were always ready for any opportunity of weakening the
Bohemian kingdom. Such a combination as this would have been dangerous
even to Charles; and Wenceslaus was quite unable to stand against it.

The rebels were quickly ready for action; and in the year 1394, as
Wenceslaus was on his way to Prague, he was seized by Jodok and his
followers, and imprisoned in the Castle of Prague. The demands of the
insurgent nobles were now formulated. They insisted that Wenceslaus
should leave them in possession of all the fortresses that had been
pledged to them, and that he should appoint Jodok as his Viceroy in
Bohemia. Duke John of Görlitz, the youngest brother of Wenceslaus,
hastened to the rescue of the king; and, though Jodok succeeded in
carrying off his prisoner to Austria, John was welcomed by the
citizens of Prague, who swore to recognise him as the administrator of
the country till the King should once more be at liberty to act.

In the meantime the princes of the Empire had become indignant at the
treatment of their Emperor; and they persuaded the Duke of Austria
to set him free. Wenceslaus returned, embittered and suspicious, to
his kingdom; and his brother John soon found that the position of
liberator and peacemaker was a very difficult one. The rebel nobles
had fled to Austria, whence they made raids upon their native country;
John attempted to make peace between the king and the insurgents; but,
when Wenceslaus found that John had mistaken the extent of the powers
entrusted to him by the rebels, he accused his brother of deceiving
him, and deprived him of his vice-royalty. Many of the citizens of
Prague had become attached to John, and they remonstrated against
his deposition. Thereupon Wenceslaus deposed all the members of the
Town Council, appointed a new Council in their place, and then went
through the town, accompanied by an executioner, who cut off the heads
of the King’s leading opponents at the doors of their houses. In his
discontent with John, Wenceslaus now appealed to his brother Sigismund.
Sigismund came, and John soon after died, not without suspicion of
poison. Sigismund at once persuaded Wenceslaus to recognise him as his
heir if he should die without sons, to appoint a Council of the nobles,
and to promise not to introduce any changes in the government without
the consent of that Council.

The hollowness of the peace which followed was very quickly seen. When
Jodok came to see the king at Carlstein in the same year, Wenceslaus
was so carried away by the recollection of his cousin’s insults, that
he had him arrested and imprisoned. Then, suddenly remembering the
treaty of peace, he set him free again. But Jodok thought more of his
imprisonment than of his liberation; and, though nominally reconciled,
the King and the Margrave remained enemies throughout life.

The Bohemian quarrels had, in the meantime, given opportunity for the
intrigues of Wenceslaus’s rivals in the Empire. That jealousy which
the Electors always felt of the concentration of the Imperial power in
any one family, had been for some time directed against the House of
Luxemburg. Charles’s extension of Bohemian territory, by the addition
of German lands, had caused much suspicion and dislike. But his
combination of vigour and self-restraint, and his complete hold over
his Bohemian subjects, had prevented the intriguers from making any
head during his lifetime. Now, however, the quarrels of Wenceslaus with
his subjects had given a double opportunity to his German opponents;
for while, on the one hand, they could point to his long detention
in Bohemia as a proof of his indifference to Imperial affairs, on
the other hand, the disaffection of his Bohemian subjects supplied a
hopeful weapon for undermining his power.

His two leading enemies were Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, who
aimed at the Imperial dignity, and the Archbishop of Mainz, who had
secured his see by a promise to support the intrigues of Rupert. These
conspirators succeeded in winning to their side Pope Boniface IX. This
Pope had indeed been at first friendly to Wenceslaus; but he had been
offended by the readiness with which the King of Bohemia had listened
to the French proposals for the election of a new Pope in place of the
two rival claimants to the Holy See. Under various pretexts, the Duke
of Saxony and the Archbishops of Trier and Köln were drawn into the
conspiracy; and so, in February, 1400, the Electors met at Frankfort
and resolved to choose a new Emperor.

The most plausible grounds for this deposition were mainly of a
negative kind. Wenceslaus was charged with failing to procure a
peaceful settlement of the affairs of the Church, and with paying no
heed to those wars which were disturbing the Empire. Though Wenceslaus
might have found ample excuse for these failures, he could not
directly deny them; but the other charges were either false or grossly
exaggerated. One of them, however, must be quoted, since it has so much
bearing on the troubles which were approaching in the Bohemian kingdom.
This was a charge that he “had drowned, burnt, and otherwise murdered
and tortured reverend prelates and priests.” This accusation shows
that the murder of Nepomuc was to be represented, at the pleasure of
Wenceslaus’s enemies, either as part of a general massacre of priests,
or as the cruel execution of one specially righteous man.

It was, therefore, as the champion of Holy Church against its
oppressor, that Rupert was chosen Holy Roman Emperor. In this character
he at once marched into Bohemia and won the support of Jodok and
the discontented nobles. Again Wenceslaus was forced to make terms
with his enemies; and again Sigismund was called in and appointed
Viceroy. But Sigismund gained favour with no party. Jodok and his
friends resented the power entrusted to him; the citizens of Bohemia
complained of the heavy taxes which he laid upon them; and Wenceslaus
resisted his proposal that he should counteract the schemes of Rupert
by accompanying Sigismund to Rome, and by accepting the Imperial crown
from the Pope. Finding his plans thwarted, Sigismund suddenly seized
upon his brother, and carried him off as prisoner to Vienna. From this
imprisonment Wenceslaus succeeded in escaping in 1403; and, on his
return to Prague, he was welcomed as the liberator of Bohemia from
Sigismund.

In the meantime the reform movement had been approaching a crisis. The
teacher who, after the death of Milic, had gained most influence in
the country, was a Bohemian nobleman named Matthias of Janov. He had
not devoted himself so exclusively as Conrad and Milic had done to the
denunciation of moral abuses, but had also attacked practices like the
worship of images and saints; and he had been the first to bring before
the public the question which was afterwards to be so interesting to
Bohemians, the granting of the cup to the laity in the Holy Communion.
But though this latter fact gives Matthias a kind of historic interest,
he seems to have been in the main a source of weakness to the cause
which he defended. Never wholly disinterested in his objects, he soon
flinched from the attacks of the rulers of the Church; and in 1389 he
formally recanted his reforming doctrines.

[Illustration: VILLAGE OF HUSINEC.]

Along with the movement for ecclesiastical reform, the Bohemian
national revival had been steadily making way; and the opposition of
the German party had served to deepen the zeal of the reformers for
the encouragement of the Bohemian languages. A most important link
was formed in 1396 between the linguistic and the moral revival. In
that year a man named John of Milheim founded a chapel which was to
be entirely devoted to Bohemian preaching, in order, as its founder
expressed it, “that the Word of God should not be fettered, and that
Bohemian preachers should not be obliged to go from house to house.”
The new foundation was to be called the Bethlehem Chapel, and was to
be consecrated to the Holy Innocents. Strange to say, the first three
preachers seem to have been somewhat hesitating and uncertain in their
tendencies; and it was not till 1402 that the appointment of Jan Hus
secured to the Bethlehem Chapel a special position in the history of
Bohemia.

[Illustration: HUSINEC, SHOWING COTTAGE WHERE HUS WAS BORN.]

On July 6, 1369, Jan Hus was born at Husinec, in the south of Bohemia.
This village lies in a deep valley among pine-covered hills, and the
tiny cottage in which Hus was born still remains. As his parents were
poor, he was forced to support himself in his early days by singing in
churches; and even after he had been sent to the University he was in
such straits that he was at one time compelled to live on dry bread.
Nevertheless he made steady way in the University; two years after
taking his degree of Master of Arts, he was appointed examiner; in
1401 he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and in 1403 he was
chosen Rector of the University. He had thrown himself from the first
into the national cause; and he denounced, from his pulpit in the
Bethlehem Chapel, the expedition of the rebel nobles against Prague.
He showed great zeal in giving new literary expression to the Bohemian
language, and expunged from it the Germanisms which had crept into it.
He also persistently opposed the encroachments of the Germans in the
government of the University. At the same time he always declared that
he would prefer a good German to a bad Bohemian, even if the latter
were his brother.

It was in this same year, 1403, that the national reform movement began
to connect itself generally with questions of ritual and doctrine.
The exact point in history at which the doctrines of Wyclif gained
influence in Bohemia, is very difficult to fix. The marriage of
Anna, the sister of Wenceslaus, in 1381, to Richard II. of England,
undoubtedly produced close contact between the two countries. It is
clear, from his own statements, that Wyclif was much impressed by the
forwardness of the Bohemians in religious knowledge, and specially by
the fact that they had already translated the Bible into their native
tongue. But, although this experience much affected the work of the
English Reformer, it seems doubtful how soon he began to repay the
debt, by imparting his ideas to Bohemia. Apparently, neither Matthias
of Janov nor Thomas of S̆títný were deeply acquainted with Wyclif’s
works; and neither his condemnation in 1382 nor his death in 1385 seem
to have excited much interest in Bohemia. Yet, on the other hand, it
is evident, from the scene which is about to be described, that both
Hus and some of his followers must have given considerable attention to
Wyclif’s writings.

It was, however, the enemies of the English Reformer who first
publicly called the attention of the Bohemians to his works. A German
Silesian, named Hubner, had selected from Wyclif’s writings forty-five
propositions which he asked the University of Prague to condemn.
The period of Hus’s Rectorship seems to have come to an end before
this proposal was made; and on May 28, 1403, the new Rector of the
University convoked an assembly of the Masters of Arts, and laid
before them the propositions which Hubner had compiled. Hus at once
came forward to answer Hubner, but he based his opposition entirely on
the inaccuracy of the summaries laid before them. He referred to the
burning alive of certain adulterators of saffron, which had recently
taken place in Prague; and he declared that such a fate was better
deserved by these adulterators of books. But some of his followers went
much further. Stephen Pálec̆ threw a book of Wyclif’s on the table,
declaring that he was willing to defend it against all attacks; and
Stanislaus of Znaym (Znojem) offered to prove that none of the articles
attributed to Wyclif were heretical. This statement so offended some
of the older Masters that they at once left the room; but, in spite
of their retirement, a majority of those who remained condemned the
forty-five Articles of Wyclif, and decided that they should not be
taught in Bohemia. The influence of Wenceslaus was, for the moment,
thrown on the side of reform; and, after the death of the Archbishop of
Prague, he appointed to the see an ex-soldier named Zbynĕk Zajíc, who
had a great dislike to many of the impostures which had been encouraged
by the clergy. The new Archbishop at once sent Hus to inquire into
several fictitious miracles which had recently become notorious in the
country; and, by his help, these abuses were checked for the time.

[Illustration: JAN HUS.]

But, while Hus was zealous against every form of moral corruption, he
had by no means committed himself to those doctrines for which Wyclif
had been branded as a heretic. At the same time he had read and studied
many of the purely philosophical works of the English Reformer; and he
expressed his belief that much good was to be learned from them. With
the Englishman’s hatred of moral corruption Hus sympathised yet more
warmly; while the national character of the two movements naturally
roused a sympathy between their respective supporters. The revival of
the English language, as a literary expression of thought, had received
considerable impulse from Wyclif’s translation of the Bible; and the
use of English, rather than Latin or Norman-French, in theological
writings became one of the notes of the Lollard movement. In this
tendency Hus could not fail to observe the likeness to his own efforts
to maintain the Bohemian language against the inroads of the Germans.

All these considerations produced in Hus so strong a personal
admiration for Wyclif that he expressed a wish that his soul might be
with his. The combination of such a wish with the rejection of many of
Wyclif’s doctrines as heretical, was utterly unintelligible to most of
the contemporaries of Hus. This pious expression of moral sympathy was
naturally connected by many with the attacks which Stanislaus of Znojem
was at the same time making on the doctrine of Transubstantiation; and,
consequently, the rashness of Hus’s followers, coupled with his own
expressions of personal feeling, caused him to be branded as a heretic,
with regard to doctrines about which he held the orthodox belief.

But the opposition to the reform movement could not long be confined
to the masters of the University of Prague. In 1405 Pope Innocent
VII. became alarmed at the progress of heresy, and issued a Bull
against the doctrines of Wyclif. In deference to this denunciation,
Wenceslaus ordered an inquiry into these doctrines; and Archbishop
Zbynĕk became even more excited on the subject. On May 14, 1408, even
the Bohemian nation in the University consented to hold a meeting for
the examination of Wyclif’s books; but they could only be induced to
come to the harmless conclusion that the Articles of Wyclif should not
be taught in any heretical sense, and that his Dialogus and Trialogus
should not be studied by members of the University before they had
taken their degree. Such a decision could not satisfy the Archbishop;
and, in June, 1408, he issued a new decree forbidding the clergy to
preach against Transubstantiation. This decree was soon followed by a
demand that all who possessed copies of Wyclif’s books should surrender
them to the Archbishop; and the majority of the University obeyed this
command, only five students refusing.

Hus had openly expressed his dislike of some of the prosecutions, by
which the Archbishop attempted to enforce some of his prohibitions;
and such a protest from so prominent a reformer could not be allowed
to pass unnoticed at such a crisis. So, early in 1408, the clergy of
Prague presented to the archbishop certain articles against Hus. Most
of these are concerned with his denunciations of the pecuniary greed of
the clergy; but they also include a reference to his wish that his soul
might be with Wyclif. For the moment, indeed, these complaints produced
little result; for just at this time Archbishop Zajíc himself announced
that, after inquiry, he could find no heresy in Bohemia. Moreover, it
was unavoidable that this smaller controversy should be lost sight
of, for a time, in the apparently larger issue of the reunion of
Christendom under one Pope.

The division of the Papacy between Rome and Avignon had begun to cause
such a scandal in the Church that a new Council was held necessary for
the restoration of order and unity. Wenceslaus saw in the meeting of
this Council an opportunity for recovering the position of which he had
been deprived. He had never admitted the legality of his deposition
from the Imperial throne; and, since only a part of the Electors had
sanctioned that step, he had plausible grounds for disputing its
validity. When, then, the Council of Pisa proposed to deal with the
Papal Schism, Wenceslaus consented to send ambassadors to that Council,
on condition that they should be recognised as the representatives of
the Holy Roman Emperor. To secure the consent of the Council to this
proposal, Wenceslaus readily accepted the decision of that body, that,
as a preparatory step to the Unity of the Church, the two rival Popes
should be required to resign; and he forbade his subjects to recognise
the authority of either Gregory XII. or his rival till the Council
should have decided on their claims. This demand at once produced a new
line of division between the contending parties in the Bohemian Church.
Hus and his friends had welcomed the Council of Pisa, as a possible
means of accomplishing the reforms which they desired; and they
made no difficulty about approving the deposition of the two Popes.
The Archbishop, however, and the great body of the Bohemian clergy,
maintained that they were bound by their allegiance to Gregory XII.;
and in this view the three foreign “Nations” in the University eagerly
supported them.

This division of opinion at once brought to a head that desire for
reasserting their national independence which the Bohemians had so
long cherished. The dislike of being swamped in their own capital by
foreigners had been steadily growing in the minds of the Bohemians.
This feeling had been at first expressed in complaints about the
rise of prices and the overcrowding of the city; but it had gained a
much greater intensity when the native population realised that the
supremacy of their language in their own country was at stake. The
resistance of the Germans to the demands of Wenceslaus enabled the
Reformers to join their movement for national independence with the
assertion of the royal authority; and, as a means of accomplishing both
these ends, they proposed that the Bohemian Nation should in future
have three votes in the election of University officials, while each
of the three foreign “Nations” should be still limited to one vote.
Wenceslaus had already made some concessions to the national party
in the University; and they naturally thought that he would at once
approve of a concession which would tend to strengthen his hands in his
struggle against Gregory XII.

To their great surprise, however, they at first met with a rebuff.
Wenceslaus was desirous of recovering his position as Emperor; and for
that he needed German support. He also wished to appear as the orthodox
champion of the Church; and a recent event had brought home to him the
danger into which the Bohemian Reformers were running, in this respect.
Stephen Pálec̆ and Stanislaus of Znojem had been sent as commissioners
to the Council of Pisa; on their way thither they had been arrested
at Bologna and imprisoned as heretics. This so alarmed the king, that
when the Bohemian Deputation waited on him at Kutna Hora, he not only
rejected their proposals, but sharply rebuked Hus and his friends for
bringing discredit on the nation by tainting them with heresy.

Consistency of purpose, however, was never one of the virtues
of Wenceslaus. A Bohemian nobleman of the name of Lobkovic had
considerable influence with the king; and he was a strong champion of
Hus and his party. He pointed out to Wenceslaus that those who proposed
this reform at the University were the supporters of the king’s policy
in the Council of Pisa. Queen Sophia, with whom Hus had already become
a favourite, no doubt used her influence in the same direction. The
king was convinced that his interests were, for the time, on the
side of the Reformers; and, in January, 1409, he issued the desired
decree which granted three votes to the Bohemian Nation in University
elections.

But the powerful German party did not yield without a struggle. They
pleaded that their oaths as Masters of Arts bound them to maintain the
settlement made by Charles IV.; and they pointed out that that Emperor
had intended to make his University the centre of all the learning
of the Empire. Finally they suggested that, if the Bohemian Nation
objected to be swamped by them, it ought to separate from them and have
a council, tribunal, and elections of its own.

Of these arguments, the first may be fairly dismissed as one of those
pieces of ill-tempered rhetoric which are usually thrust forward on
such occasions. If an oath to maintain the laws of an association
implies an opposition to any possible change in those laws, there
can be few corporations in the world which are not deeply tainted
with perjury. But the second argument, which appealed to the wishes
and intentions of Charles IV., had undoubtedly some plausibility,
especially when one considers that the University was only sixty years
old. An answer to this objection could, however, be easily found by
the Bohemians. Though Charles IV. had no doubt desired to make the
University the centre of the Empire, other words of his could be quoted
to show that he had also intended that his Foundation should secure
special advantages to the Bohemians.

The explanation was, that Charles’s idea, however grand, was
self-contradictory; and, while inconsistent schemes may work very
well, as long as all who are interested in them wish them to do so,
they must fall to pieces at once if they are administered by two
antagonistic parties with directly opposite ideals about the welfare of
the institution. Charles had undoubtedly wished, as the Germans said,
to make Prague an intellectual centre for Europe; he had also desired,
as the Bohemians said, to call out the national life and encourage the
national literature of Bohemia. It now appeared that these two objects
were incompatible; and the question was, which must yield to the other.
Charles IV. was a great statesman; but, as in the case of so many great
men, the effect which he ultimately produced was precisely the contrary
of that which he desired. He had wished to found a University, which
should gratify the feelings both of Bohemians and Germans, and be a
centre of unity and peace to the Empire. He had, instead, given an
impulse to life, movement, and struggle, which was to overthrow many
abuses which he condemned, but also to drag down in their fall much
which he desired to maintain.

Finding that their arguments were of no avail, the Germans devoted
themselves to more practical forms of obstruction. They insisted on
disregarding the decree of the King and on voting in the old fashion
at the next election of the Examiners. The Bohemians resisted this
attempt; and the consequence was that no examination took place. A
similar dispute arose about the election of the Deans of Faculties; and
a similar result followed. It was obvious that the continuance of this
struggle must end in the destruction of the work of the University.
Moreover, whatever doubts Wenceslaus might have on other subjects, he
was quite clear about the duty of enforcing his own decrees. So, on
May 9, 1409, he summoned an extraordinary meeting of the University,
at which he appointed a new Rector and a new Dean of Arts on his own
authority. The Germans, finding further resistance hopeless, resolved
to abandon the struggle; and, on May 16th, several thousand German
students left Prague for ever.



VIII.

FROM THE RETIREMENT OF THE GERMANS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF PRAGUE TO THE
DEATH OF HUS.

(1409-1415.)


The overthrow of German supremacy in the Bohemian University has been
considered by both sides to mark a great crisis in the history of
Bohemia. The national character, which had been stamped at so early a
time on the reforming movement, now became more visible to the world
at large, and at the same time more exclusive and defiant. Nor was
its effect on the life and death of Hus less notable. When he became
recognised as the most complete embodiment of the principles of the
Bohemian Reformation, his German enemies naturally fixed upon him as
the chief actor in this important stage of the movement; and wild
charges of violence and intimidation towards the Germans helped to
increase the hostility which had been roused by the suspicion of heresy.

Nevertheless, it seems clear enough that, though Hus ultimately
rejoiced in the change produced by the German secession, he had yet
taken but a secondary and hesitating part in producing the change
itself. On returning from Kuttenberg (Kutna Hora), after Wenceslaus’s
first rejection of this proposal, Hus, disappointed and anxious, was
seized with illness; and, while worn with suffering, he asked a friend
whether, after all, the change was a just one. This appeal has been
quoted by a modern writer as a proof of the duplicity of Hus; and the
same antagonist has scornfully contrasted this anxious hesitation with
the exulting approval of the change which Hus proclaimed at a later
time.

To those who try to weigh both sides of a question, it may not seem
so difficult to understand that Hus may have heartily desired, and
exulted in, the victory of the reforming party and the freedom of the
Bohemians from German domination, and yet may have hesitated in his
own mind, especially in sickness, about the justice of the particular
step which brought things to a crisis. The point which rather seems to
distinguish him from other men in the matter was the candour with which
he confessed those previous doubts at a place and in a time when such a
confession was certain to be used against him.

But if the charge of duplicity against Hus is founded mainly on
ignorance of human nature, the accusation of violence which was
brought against the Bohemian reformers may have been partially due to
a confusion between two contests which were taking place at the same
time, and in which the same parties were to some extent involved.
For, while the Germans and Bohemians were struggling for supremacy
in the University of Prague, Wenceslaus was devoting his energies to
the punishment of the Archbishop and clergy for their championship of
Gregory XII. In this, as in every other case, Wenceslaus soon damaged
his cause by his utter want of self-restraint. Mobs were let loose
upon the clergy, many acts of violence were committed, and a general
sense of insecurity prevailed. Zbynĕk, who had plenty of that bull-dog
courage which one might expect from an ex-soldier, replied to the
king’s violence by putting Prague under an interdict. How the king
might have met this defiance one may guess from his previous conduct;
but the Archbishop and his clergy were saved from the fate of Nepomuc
by a sudden change of circumstances.

The Council of Pisa had agreed to depose the two existing claimants
of the Papacy; and, after some discussion, they chose a new Pope,
under the name of Alexander V. At first, of course, this Pope was not
very favourably inclined to an Archbishop who had steadily opposed
his election; but, when Zbynĕk accepted his authority, and showed
his appreciation of him by sending him rich gifts, Alexander became
alarmed at the spread of heresy in Bohemia, and granted a commission
for inquiry into the writings of Wyclif, and a permission to Zbynĕk to
remove those writings from the eyes of the faithful.

This commission gave a new opportunity to the enemies of Hus; and
they presented a petition against him to the Archbishop, in which
they charged him with sixteen acts of heresy and disorder. Some of
these charges had already been put forward on former occasions, others
alleged against him heresies which he repudiated; but there are four
accusations at least that are specially worth noting, both for their
own character, and on account of the answers made to them by Hus. The
fourth charge was that in a conversation, which took place at the time
of the drowning of John Nepomuc and the arrest of the Dean of Prague,
Hus had spoken lightly of these acts, and had condemned the proposal to
put Prague under an Interdict on account of them. Hus replied to this
charge by quoting his actual words. “If,” said he, “he himself, or any
other, had been killed or imprisoned, that was no reason why men should
cease to give praise to God throughout the kingdom of Bohemia.” The
fifth clause he answered by one of those distinctions which seemed to
his enemies so dishonest. Hus was accused of saying that anti-Christ
had fixed a foot in the Roman Church, which it was difficult to move.
To this charge Hus answered that he had never said this of the Roman
_Church_, because he considered that that Church consisted of all those
who held the faith preached by St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome; but
that he did maintain that anti-Christ had set his foot very firmly in
the Roman _Court_ (Curia). Thirdly, he objected to two of the charges
against him on the ground that they implied his use of words which had
no equivalent in the Bohemian language, and which, therefore, he could
not have used in the Bethlehem Chapel. Lastly, in answer to the charge
of having stirred up ill-will between Bohemian and German, he denied
that he had done this, unless either German or Bohemian had taken
unjust occasion from his words; and he reiterated his statement that he
loved a good German better than a bad Bohemian.

It was evident that these articles were intended to identify still
more closely the struggle of the Archbishop and clergy against secular
intrusion and heretical doctrine with the struggles of the Germans for
supremacy in Bohemia. But if, by so doing, Zbynĕk secured a stronger
following in the outside world, and bound to his cause those Germans
who had remained in Bohemia, he irritated against him still more
strongly the feeling of the Bohemian nobles and of a large number of
the citizens of Prague; and he even alienated from him many of the
inferior clergy.

Another powerful influence, which was specially exerted at this time
in favour of Hus, was that of the Queen Sophia. She had been greatly
impressed by the preacher, and had taken him as her chief adviser, some
say her confessor; and, though it may be true of Wenceslaus that he
hated Zbynĕk more than he loved Hus, the reverse is true of his wife.
Yet in spite of all this force of opposition, Zbynĕk showed very little
sign of yielding. He consented, indeed, to postpone any final act until
the Margrave of Moravia could be consulted. But, whether Jodok delayed
beyond the time proposed, or whether the Archbishop simply grew tired
of waiting, he resolved, on June 10, 1410, publicly to burn two hundred
of Wyclif’s books; and accordingly they were burnt in great state, in
the court of the archiepiscopal palace, the bells of the churches
being tolled during the performance.

As if to mark the man against whom this proceeding was specially
aimed, the Archbishop followed it up by commanding the closing of all
private chapels, a command understood by everybody to be intended
especially against the chapel in which Hus preached. Hus and his
friends indignantly appealed to the Pope against these proceedings; and
they did not fail to point out that many of the works which were burnt
were not theological at all, but simply dealt with abstract philosophy.
Indeed, the traditions of learning and culture, which the German
scholars had hoped to secure to their side, in their first struggle
against the Bohemian language, were now appealed to by the opposite
party with much more force. Zbynĕk was ridiculed in satirical songs
for having burnt books which he had never read; and the University of
Bologna, when consulted by the Pope, denounced the burning of the books
as an insult to the University of Oxford. Zbynĕk, indeed, would have
fought to the last; but Pope Alexander was shaken by the opposition
which these proceedings had called forth, and he checked the inquiry
into Wyclif’s books, and continued to delay matters, till the decision
was taken out of his hands by death.

Both parties made haste to approach the new Pope, John XXIII.; and he
demanded that Hus should come to Rome. The danger of the way made a
good excuse for refusal; and John, having received rich presents from
Zbynĕk, consented to excommunicate Hus for contumacy. This, however,
did not affect Wenceslaus’s attitude; for, irritated by Zbynĕk’s
opposition, and impressed by the queen’s partiality for Hus, the king
had become a zealous champion of the Reformers. He demanded that Zbynĕk
should compensate those whose books he had burnt; and, on his refusal,
he confiscated his property for the benefit of the owners of the books.
At the same time the king and his friends wrote to the Pope to assure
him that he had been ill-informed about the circumstances of the case.
The Pope being thus politely set on one side, and riot and disorder
continuing, there seemed an opportunity for some outsider to step in.

This opportunity was eagerly seized by Sigismund. He had never formally
resigned that administrative power which Wenceslaus had granted to
him in his time of emergency; and, though he had nominally supported
Wenceslaus against Rupert in his claim to the Imperial crown, he was
now intriguing to succeed the latter and to set aside his brother.
Wenceslaus, on his part, was willing enough to listen to proposals
for peace when they did not come from a clerical source; and Zbynĕk
consented to accept the arbitration proposed. But, when the arbitrators
demanded that the archbishop should write to the Pope to ask him to
repeal the excommunication of Hus, Zbynĕk refused to submit to this
decision; and he went to Presburg to appeal personally to Sigismund.
There, however, he fell ill and died; and, in a few months, the
controversy had assumed quite another form.

It will be remembered that the Council of Pisa had professed to put an
end to the disunion in the Church by deposing the two claimants of the
Papacy, and electing Alexander V. in their place. But, though Alexander
V., and his successor, John XXIII., had probably been accepted by a
majority of the authorities of the Church, the deposed Popes still, at
times, put forward claims which could easily be taken advantage of by
those who wished to stir up division in the Church. Ladislaus, the king
of Naples, who had a grudge against John, took up the cause of Gregory
XII. Therefore, in December, 1411, John proclaimed a crusade against
the King of Naples, and promised plenary indulgence to all who would
support this expedition, either in purse or person.

The commissioners for promoting this war arrived in Prague in 1412;
and they soon set to work, not merely to preach the crusade, but to
organise a regular system for the sale of the indulgences. Some attempt
to start this trade had been begun in 1393, but it does not seem to
have been then carried on on so extensive a scale. _Now_ the Legate
farmed out the right of selling these indulgences to other priests,
granting them preferment in the Church, and receiving from them a
commission on what they raised. As respectable clergymen would not
often undertake such an office, the trade fell into the hands of men of
disreputable lives, who were thus brought prominently to the front. Hus
had objected, from the first, to the attempt to involve the Bohemians
in a war which he considered unchristian; and, when to the proposal for
the crusade was added the organisation of the sale of indulgences, he
determined to raise the question in an assembly of the University.

But he now found that some, who had been hitherto his followers, were
prepared to resist and oppose him. Stanislaus of Znojem and Stephen
Pálec̆ had been released from their imprisonment at Bologna, at the
request of Wenceslaus; and since their return to Prague they had
gradually drifted into the ranks of the opponents of reform. Stanislaus
had been the first to show this change. The charge of heresy on which
he had been arrested had been based on a pamphlet dealing with Wyclif’s
doctrines. He pleaded that the apparent Wyclifite tendency of the
pamphlet was due to its incompleteness; and, when ordered to finish it,
he did so in a sense hostile to the doctrines of Wyclif.

It will be remembered that, though Hus had repudiated many of the
doctrines of the English Reformer, he had yet opposed the general
condemnation of his works, and had spoken warmly of his character.
Therefore Stanislaus’ attack upon Wyclif paved the way for an open
opposition to Hus. Pálec̆, indeed, had remained on the side of his old
leader during the struggle with Zbynĕk, but the opposition to the Papal
Bull drove him also into the orthodox ranks. The cry of cowardice has
been raised against him by the friends of Hus, and seems, indeed, to
have been sanctioned by Hus himself. But, unscrupulous and malignant as
Pálec̆ afterwards showed himself, it may be doubted whether the charge
of cowardice was, in this instance, a just one. It must be remembered
that in his previous opposition to Popes, Hus had protected himself by
the well-recognised formula that the Pope had been misinformed on the
condition of affairs in Bohemia. On this occasion the question at issue
was not so much one of information about special facts as of clear
moral principles; and the issue of the Bull took away all possibility
of throwing the blame of the Pope’s action on misleading advisers.
Moreover, the opposition of Hus was no longer covered by the authority
of the King. Wenceslaus, having once committed himself to opposition
to Gregory, was not disposed to inquire too curiously into the
methods which were used to suppress the fallen Pope. He had therefore
sanctioned John’s Bull, and thereby approved the crusade. It may well,
therefore, have been that Pálec̆, though willing to resist the ordinary
current of clerical opinion, might yet doubt the lawfulness and
propriety of setting himself against his spiritual and temporal rulers.
At any rate, when Hus brought before the Masters of the University his
proposal to denounce the crusade and its methods, Pálec̆ and Stanislaus
headed the opposition to their former leader, and won the majority of
the Masters to their side.

But Hus was not to be silenced. He continued to preach and write
against the sale of indulgences; and he proposed to hold a discussion
on the Papal Bull in the Carolinum, a college founded for the clergy
by Charles IV. He was now compelled into a position which seems to
anticipate the more advanced Reformers of the following century; for
when the new Archbishop, Albik, called on him to obey the Apostolic
commands, he answered that the Apostolic commands were those contained
in the teaching of Christ and His Apostles; that, so far as the Pope’s
commands agreed with them, he would obey them gladly; but that, if
they did not agree with them, he would not obey them, if the fire were
kindled in his presence.

Hus was now at issue with old friends, with the leaders of learning,
and with the rulers of Church and State. It was therefore with
special satisfaction that he must have hailed a new supporter who
came to his aid at this crisis. This was a young Bohemian nobleman,
named Hieronymus, or Jerom. He has often been credited with the
first introduction of Wyclif’s works into Bohemia, though some
historians have thrown doubt on this claim. Whether it were so or
not, he certainly now formed a link between the reforming leaders
and the fashionable world, which did not previously exist. His easy
circumstances and noble birth gave him entrance to the Court circles of
Europe; and his attractive manners, splendid dress, and love of display
gained him fame and popularity. Moreover, he had found great delight
in exciting discussions on doubtful points of theology in the various
Universities which he had visited. He began these discussions at
Heidelberg, apparently against the wish of the University authorities.
He had visited Oxford, whither a reputation for heresy had preceded
him; and he had specially provoked the opposition of Gerson, the
Chancellor of the Paris University, by the controversies which he had
inaugurated in that famous centre of learning. He now plunged boldly
into the dispute about the sale of indulgences. His brilliant and
polished oratory threw into shade for the time the simpler eloquence
of Hus. He was followed home, on one occasion, by a large crowd of
students; and the reforming movement began to attract the sympathies of
the younger nobles.

But it soon became evident that the new converts would bring more zeal
than dignity to the camp of the reformers. The forms of ridicule of the
clerical party indulged in by these fiery spirits can scarcely have
been welcome to the soberer reformers who had been first drawn to the
teaching of Hus. Thus, for instance, a procession was organised, which
marched through the streets of Prague, and in which the chief figure
was a student, who was dressed as a woman of ill-fame, wearing round
her neck an imitation of the Papal Bulls. Such demonstrations as these,
when accompanied by satirical songs, naturally led to disorder and
riot. Wenceslaus, who was divided in feeling between his friendliness
to Hus and his desire to enforce his own decrees, tried in vain to
effect a compromise between the contending parties, and, finding
reconciliation or even partial restraint impossible, he forbad the
reformers to offer any further opposition to the sale of indulgences.

This decree at once called out the sterner and nobler side of the
reforming spirit. In spite of the king’s prohibition, three young
men came to the church where the champions of the indulgences were
preaching, and made a public protest against the preacher’s words. The
intruders were promptly secured by the officials of the town council,
and were at once taken to the Great Ring. A large crowd gathered to
see what was intended, and Hus came forward to remind the councillors
that he was the first promoter of the opposition to the indulgences,
and that they ought therefore to punish him before they punished
these young men. The Councillors gave an answer which seemed to imply
that the prisoners should not be injured; but no sooner had the crowd
dispersed than the youths were taken into a side street and summarily
executed.

Great excitement followed this treachery; and numbers of people paraded
the streets declaring their readiness to die for the truth. Hus, from
his pulpit, praised the young men who had been executed, and exhorted
his hearers to stand by the truth.

Another opponent now came forward to give new impulse to the attacks
on Hus. This was a German priest of questionable antecedents, called
Michael de Causis. He drew up a list of articles against the reformer,
which revived, more definitely, the charge of sympathising with
Wyclif’s doctrine, both as to the Sacraments, and the interference
of secular authorities with the property of the clergy. With these
charges Michael now combined the accusation of stirring up the people
against the bishops, and making ill-feeling in the University. Pope
John, already indignant at the opposition to his Bull, was roused by
these charges to more decided action. He excommunicated Hus, and laid
an Interdict on Prague. Several Germans tried to give practical force
to this sentence by rushing armed into the Bethlehem chapel, and
attempting to kill Hus; but his friends rallied round him, and the
assassins were forced to retire.

[Illustration: THE GREAT RING OF PRAGUE. SCENE OF MURDER OF THE
OPPONENTS OF THE INDULGENCE.]

During all this time Wenceslaus seems to have shown towards Hus a
forbearance such as he hardly ever exhibited towards others who crossed
his path. Doubtless one must trace in this conduct the influence of
the queen; but, to whatever cause it was due, it did not fail to
affect the feelings of Hus. He was shocked at the amount of disorder
and bitterness prevailing in Prague; and he was grieved to think that
he was, to some extent, the cause of it. The desire for peace and
concession which these considerations produced was naturally quickened
by personal gratitude to the King; and he now consented to leave
Prague for a time, and to retire to Austi, where he remained under the
protection of a powerful noble.

It was during this retirement that he composed the book “De Ecclesia,”
which was to cost him so dear. In this he declared, more distinctly
than before, his disbelief in the necessity of the Pope and Cardinals
as a part of the constitution of the Church, and his belief in the
essential equality of all Orders of the clergy. But his retirement
from Prague brought no cessation to the fierceness of the controversy.
Jakaubek of Kladrau, who now took the lead among the friends of Hus,
demanded a reformation of the lives of the clergy, and declared that
no peace could be made till these were amended. Wenceslaus once more
stepped in as peacemaker. He appointed a commission of four, to which
the representatives of the opposite parties were to present their
different statements for consideration and arbitration. Stanislaus and
his friends drew up an address, in which they spoke of the Church,
“whose head is the Pope, and whose body is the Cardinals.” For this
Jakaubek and his friends proposed to substitute the words, “whose head
is Jesus Christ our Saviour, and His representative is the Pope.” When,
however, the opposite parties came before the arbitrators, Stanislaus,
Pálec̆, and their friends refused to submit to the order of discussion
suggested by the commissioners; whereupon Wenceslaus cut short the
proceedings by banishing from Bohemia Stanislaus, Pálec̆, and two of
their friends, as disturbers of the peace.

In the meantime Hus had been vexed with scruples of conscience, as
to whether he had violated his duty in consenting to leave Prague,
and to abandon his pulpit at the order of the King; and, after vainly
endeavouring to satisfy himself by a comparison of quotations from St.
Augustine and others, he at last came back to Prague, though he could
not at once make up his mind so far to defy the king as to return to
his pulpit in the Bethlehem Chapel. While he was in this hesitating
state, the crisis arrived which was to solve his difficulties for him,
and give him the longed-for opportunity of vindicating his teaching
before the world, without directly defying the King of Bohemia.

In August, 1414, Sigismund once more arrived in Prague. He had
contrived, on the death of Count Rupert, to get himself elected Holy
Roman Emperor, but had afterwards reconciled Wenceslaus to this
arrangement, by promising to recognise the latter as Emperor, during
his life, if Wenceslaus would allow him to retain the name of King of
the Romans, which implied heirship to the Empire. This promise seems
to have been very ill-kept; but probably Wenceslaus was too busy with
his Bohemian troubles to care to enforce a claim which had formerly
proved so irksome to him. At the period at which we have arrived, he
was contented to leave both the dignity and power to his brother.

Circumstances now afforded a splendid opening for the display of both.
The quarrel between John and Ladislaus, after being patched up by a
temporary peace, had broken out again so fiercely that John had been
forced to fly from Rome, and to take refuge in Bologna. From thence he
appealed to Sigismund to call a new Council for the settlement of the
troubles of the Church, and the final suppression of the schism in the
papacy; and he consented that it should be held in the free, Imperial
town of Constance. Hus also saw his opportunity in this Council, and
he appealed to Sigismund to secure him a public hearing before it.
Sigismund readily consented, and promised also to give a safe-conduct
for the purpose. Before starting, however, Hus secured from the new
Archbishop, Conrad, and from the chief Inquisitor in Bohemia, letters
declaring their belief in his orthodoxy. He then put himself under the
special care of John of Chlum and Wenceslaus of Duba, and, under their
escort, he started from Prague, without waiting for the arrival of the
safe-conduct. To judge by some expressions in his letter to Sigismund,
and still more by a letter which he left at Prague, to be opened by
a friend in case of his death, Hus had already a gloomy anticipation
of the fate which awaited him. But his spirits rose as the journey
continued; for everywhere he met with kindness and hospitality, even
from the Germans, and at Nürnberg he was chosen to preach before the
nobles and clergy. So, with raised hopes, on the 3rd of November, 1414,
he arrived at the town of Constance.

He and his friends were somewhat startled to find that the inn at which
he lodged was close to that already occupied by the Pope, who had so
recently excommunicated him. John of Chlum and Henry of Lac̆embok
decided that the best course would be to go at once to the Pope, and
tell him that Hus had arrived, under the promise of safe-conduct from
the Emperor. The Pope answered that he had no desire to hinder Hus in
any way; that he had no wish to do him any violence; and that Hus might
remain safe in Constance, even if he had killed the Pope’s own brother.
The arrival, two days later, of a messenger from Sigismund bearing the
safe-conduct must have further confirmed Hus’s sense of security; and,
so safe did his friends suppose him, that a rumour even spread among
some of them that he was to preach before the Council.

But, in the meantime, there had arrived in Constance two enemies far
more deadly to Hus than Pope or King. These were Michael de Causis,
the German priest, and Stephen Pálec̆, his former friend and recent
opponent, who had so lately been banished from Prague as a disturber
of the peace. They agreed to draw up extracts, chiefly compiled from
Hus’s book “De Ecclesia,” some of them tolerably accurate, others
perverting his meaning. These Pálec̆ carried about among the Cardinals,
bishops, and friars, and he stirred them up to take action against
Hus. At last, on the 28th of November, while Hus was at dinner, there
arrived at his house two bishops, the burgomaster of Constance, and
a German gentleman. Not knowing Hus by sight, they first applied to
John of Chlum for an opportunity of speaking with Hus, on behalf of
the Cardinals. Chlum seems at once to have suspected treachery, and
he told them that Hus had come to Constance to speak publicly before
the Emperor and Council, and that he was under the protection of the
Emperor’s safe-conduct. The bishops answered that they had come in
the interests of peace and to prevent disorder. Then Hus, rising from
table, came to them, and said that, though he had come to speak to the
whole Council and not to the Cardinals only, yet, if the Cardinals
desired it, he would come to see them.

When he was brought to the palace, the Cardinals told him that they had
been informed that he taught many errors. He answered that he would
sooner die than teach errors, and he would amend any if they were shown
to him. Then the Cardinals went away for a time, leaving him under the
guard of soldiers. Still, they seem to have hesitated, and, in order
to obtain clearer proof, they sent a monk to try to entrap him into
confession of heresy. But, when this failed, Stephen Pálec̆ and Michael
de Causis urged them to arrest him. One point, which they strongly
pressed in proof of his heresy, was the practice which Jakaubek of
Kladrau had introduced since the departure of Hus, of administration
of the Communion in both kinds to the laity. Then they raised against
him the charge which he had so often denied, of a sympathy with
Wyclif’s opposition to the doctrine of Transubstantiation. They revived
the old grievances of the Germans in the matter of the University
votes, and then charged him with having incited to the plunder of the
clergy, and of having stood alone in the support of the doctrines of
Wyclif against both Germans and Bohemians. The Cardinals then sent a
messenger to Chlum, who had accompanied Hus to the palace, and told him
that he might leave Hus and return home. Chlum hastened to the Pope,
reminded him of his former promise, and insisted again on Sigismund’s
safe-conduct. Pope John answered that he had not ordered the arrest of
Hus, but that he could not resist the Cardinals.

Hus, in the meantime, had been hurried off to a Dominican convent,
in a suburb of Constance, and was there thrown into a damp prison.
Chlum was not, however, to be silenced; and he put up bills on the
great church at Constance, denouncing the Pope and Cardinals for their
breach of faith. Then he appealed to the Bohemian nobles who had come
to the Council; and they and the leading Polish nobles also prepared
a protest against the treatment of Hus, to be presented to Sigismund
on his arrival. In the meantime, the treatment of Hus showed a mixture
of cruelty and cunning on the part of his opponents. While, on the one
hand, the prison in which he was confined was so damp as to produce
fever, he was yet allowed to communicate freely with his friends; and
two of the letters which he wrote from prison had some influence on his
fate. In one of these he defended the practice, which Jakaubek was now
introducing, of Communion in both kinds. In the other he declared that,
even if he were condemned by false witnesses, his friends were not to
believe that he had forsaken the truth. This latter letter seems to
have fallen into the hands of Pálec̆, or some other enemy; and it was
at once perverted into the statement that, if he revoked and recanted
anything at Constance, he would still continue to hold and teach it
notwithstanding.

While these intrigues of the enemies of Hus were being reduced into a
literary form, Sigismund at last arrived at Constance. Most English
readers will remember the scene, as Carlyle has given it, of his
splendid appearance on his entrance into the Council, of his pompous
address about the need of suppressing the schism in the Church, and
of his rebuke to the man who ventured to correct his Latin--“Rex sum
Romanus et super grammaticam.”

The question of Hus’s imprisonment was brought before him by the
Bohemian and Polish nobles; and he at first protested, with much
indignation, against the violation of his safe-conduct. But the
necessity of dealing with the question of the Papacy compelled him,
for a time, to abandon further inquiry into the Bohemian heresies; for
the representatives of the Popes arrived soon after at the Council.
At first the discussion was confined to the consideration of the
disorders produced by the multiplication of claimants to the Papal
throne; and a demand was made for the simultaneous resignation of
all the rivals, in order that the ground might be cleared for a new
election. But it soon became evident that the case against John XXIII.
was based on very different grounds from the opposition to his rivals;
and fearing the consequences which might ensue, he fled from Constance.
The Duke of Austria, willing enough to hamper a Council presided over
by a member of the House of Luxemburg, lent his aid to this scheme, and
John escaped to Freyburg. He was, however, seized and brought back; and
he was soon after degraded from the Papacy, on account of his horrible
crimes.

His attempted escape gave a new opportunity to the enemies of Hus. If,
they said, one prisoner of the Council could escape, why not another?
Hus was too lightly guarded at the convent; and he must be put under
safer charge. Therefore, on the night of March 24th, a guard of a
hundred and seventy armed men carried him off to a fortress, outside
the city, belonging to the Bishop of Constance; and there he was
chained night and day. Again his friends indignantly protested; but
Sigismund was now evidently falling under hostile influences. He had
been offended already with Hus for having come to the Council without
waiting for the safe-conduct; and he was persuaded that the fact that
Hus possessed that safe-conduct had been in some way suppressed.
Indignant at this rumour, Sigismund, on the 8th of April, by the advice
of the Council, revoked all the letters of safe-conduct which he had
granted. At last, on April 17th, commissioners were appointed to
report on Hus’s case.

It appears to have been about this time that Jerom also arrived at
the Council. His career, since the struggle against the indulgences
had been very unsatisfactory. He had first gone to Presburg to preach
before Sigismund, and had there been imprisoned. Escaping from prison,
he had made his way to Vienna; but had again been arrested there, and
had consented to submit to an examination by an Austrian bishop. Set
free on parole, he had broken his word and fled back to Bohemia, from
whence he addressed a taunting letter to the bishop. It was, therefore,
under the shadow of some discredit that he came to Constance, and
offered to answer any charges of heresy which might be brought against
him. At the same time he demanded a safe-conduct from Sigismund; and,
not being able to obtain it, he fled from Constance, to which he was
forcibly brought back by the officers of the Duke of Bavaria. He was
then imprisoned, and kept heavily ironed for nearly a year.

Hus accused him of having disregarded the advice of his friends;
and though it is not clear, whether this refers to his coming to
the Council, or to his conduct when there, it is certain that his
appearance must have made Hus’s position more difficult.

At last, on May 14, 1415, the nobles of Bohemia and Poland were able
to make their protest before the Council against the treatment of Hus.
They also indignantly complained of the insults and slanders which
were being circulated against the Bohemian nation, as if they were
profaners of the Sacrament, and guilty of all sorts of indecencies in
its celebration. The Bishop of Litomys̆l rose in answer to this to say
that he was the author of these reports; and that this desecration of
the Sacrament was the natural consequence of granting the cup to the
laity. Another bishop answered their reference to Hus’s safe-conduct
by saying that Hus only obtained it after his imprisonment. To this
the Bohemian lords retorted that John of Chlum had himself shown the
safe-conduct to the Pope before the arrest of Hus. They defended his
non-appearance at Rome in answer to the summons of the Pope; and they
produced the testimony of the University of Prague to his orthodoxy.
Then, after reiterating their denial of the charges made by the
Bishop of Litomys̆l, they wound up with a rather amusing outburst of
aristocratic feeling. The Bishop of Litomys̆l had demanded their names,
that he might know to whom he had to give answer. They had fancied that
their names were tolerably well known to him; but, for their part, they
were perfectly willing to give not only their own names, but those of
their ancestors. On a later occasion they produced the certificate
which the Bohemian Inquisitor had given to Hus.

At last, after repeated appeals, Hus was granted an audience on June
5th. But no sooner did he try to answer the various charges brought
against him, then all the Council howled at him, and, after demanding
that he should give a simple answer (Yes! or No!), were proceeding to
condemn him on the evidence of the falsified letter to his friends.
Fortunately Oldr̆ich and Peter Mladenovich, who had accompanied Hus
to Constance, heard the noise of the riot, and hastened to inform
John of Chlum and Wenceslaus of Duba. They went at once to Sigismund,
who was not present at the Council; and he sent the Count Palatine
and Frederick of Hohenzollern to order the Councillors to hear Hus
patiently. After some further disorder, the audience was adjourned to
the 7th of June.

At the next meeting many new points were raised against Hus, both of
doctrine and conduct. He defended his resistance to the condemnation
of Wyclif’s books, on the ground that he had been called on to say
that every proposition of Wyclif’s was either heretical, scandalous,
or erroneous. At the same time he admitted that he had wished his soul
to be with Wyclif, on account of Wyclif’s pure life. When charged with
having appealed to Christ when condemned by the Pope, he declared
that to be a most just and efficacious appeal, a statement which was
received with laughter by his judges. At the same time he indignantly
denied having encouraged his followers to smite with the material
sword. Lastly, while maintaining the justice of the decision about the
Bohemian votes, he denied the extraordinary charge of Pálec̆ that he
had driven out the Germans.

But he was, unfortunately, doomed to irritate against him on every
occasion the intense vanity of Sigismund. One great object of his
enemies was to deprive him of any benefit accruing to him from his
safe-conduct; and they caught eagerly at an expression of his that
he had come, freely and voluntarily, to the Council. Provoked at the
constant distortions of his language, he broke out with a boast, which,
however true, was most ill-judged. If, he said, he had not wished to
come to the Council, neither King nor Emperor could have compelled
him; for there were many friends who would have hidden him in their
houses, so that neither Wenceslaus nor Sigismund could have found him.
When a murmur arose at this, John of Chlum stepped forward and said
that, though he was but a poor gentlemen in his own country, he, for
one, would have guarded Hus for a year, whoever liked or disliked it;
and that there were many others who would have protected him in strong
castles. This belittling of his power roused Sigismund’s anger. He
exclaimed that he had sent Hus his safe-conduct before he left Prague;
and that he had provided the noblemen for his escort; and he now
advised Hus to submit himself completely to the Council. Hus at once
answered, in his more ordinary tone, that he thanked Sigismund for the
safe-conduct; and, for his part, he would be glad to be corrected by
the Council if he were shown to be wrong.

On June 8th, he was examined more in detail on thirty-nine Articles
gathered from his writings. Some of these dealt with the subtle
questions of Predestination; but others were concerned with his
assertions in the “De Ecclesia” that a visible head was not necessary
to the Church; and that a Pope in mortal sin ceases to be a true Pope.
Hus was able, with great force, to appeal to the action of the Council
itself in justification of these doctrines. If a Pope in mortal sin
did not cease to be a true Pope, by what right had they deposed John
XXIII.? If the visible Head was necessary to the Church, who was the
Head _then_, when all the Popes had either resigned or been deposed?
Such arguments were probably too forcible to be convincing.

But again, by some strange fatality, Hus was further to irritate
against him the suspicion and anger of the Holy Roman Emperor. “Not
only,” said Hus, “did a Pope cease to be a true Pope if in mortal
sin, but the case of the deposition of Saul by Samuel showed that a
King might be treated in a similar way.” Sigismund was sitting at a
window in a back part of the room when this utterance was made; but the
Cardinals eagerly called him forward and made Hus repeat his statement.
Nor was this the only offence which he was doomed to commit against
the Emperor on that fatal day. When the examination had concluded,
the chief Cardinal asked Hus whether he would submit entirely to the
Council, or if he wished to defend any of the Articles alleged against
him. But when Hus demanded an opportunity for further discussion, the
Cardinal answered that the Council insisted on his abjuration and
revocation of the Articles alleged against him, and his promise not to
preach them any more. To this Hus answered, that he could not revoke
and abjure opinions which he had never held, mentioning as an instance
the denial of Transubstantiation. As for the opinions which he had set
forth, he would retract them when they had been refuted. Sigismund
endeavoured to convince him that he could abjure Articles which he had
never held; whereupon Hus ventured to dispute the Emperor’s use of the
word “abjurare.” This further denial of the power of the Roman Emperor
over the Latin language roused to a still higher pitch the irritation
of Sigismund “Super Grammaticam;” and he told Hus that, unless he would
abjure and revoke all the errors alleged against him, the Council must
deal with him according to its laws.

Upon this a fat and richly dressed priest, who was sitting in the
window, cried out that they should not allow him to recant, since he
would not keep his word; and again he quoted the falsified version of
Hus’s letter. Then Pálec̆ and Michael de Causis pressed upon him a
number of charges, some new and some old, mixing up actual writings
and doings of Hus with doctrines which he had repudiated; and, after
this had continued for some time, the Council decided to send him back
to prison, to see if a period of delay would induce him to revoke his
heresies.

For the moment Hus seemed to be crushed by the noise and bitterness of
his enemies. He was leaving the Council with the sense that the world
was entirely against him, when, as he drew near to the door, John of
Chlum pressed through the crowd and shook him warmly by the hand. The
memory of that handshake seems to have lingered to the last in the mind
of Hus. Other friends, too, were still faithful to him; and, after he
had left the Council, several of them pressed to the window of the
convent where the Council was being held, to hear what should follow.

Sigismund was now thoroughly inflamed against Hus. He had belittled
the protection which Sigismund had offered him, and had declared that
his friends could protect him against the Emperor; he had quoted a
Scriptural instance of the deposition of kings; and, above all, he
had disputed Sigismund’s authority over the Latin language. Such a
man could not be suffered to live; and the Emperor now declared that
he delivered him over to the Council to be burnt, if they so pleased;
adding further, that no recantation was to be trusted. He also implied
that the death of Jerom must follow that of Hus.

Hus now saw that his fate was sealed; and one observes in his letters
to his friends the tone of a man who is preparing for death. He was
particularly anxious, lest the more ignorant of his followers should
suffer for doctrines which they had not understood, and which they had
merely adopted from a sense of personal devotion to their teacher. So
he wrote to one of these followers, that, if he should be attacked for
his adherence to Hus, he should answer his accusers by saying, “I hope
that the Master was a good Christian, but I have not understood or read
through the things which he taught in the schools.” The thought of the
corruptions of the clergy still weighed upon his mind; and he advised
his nephews rather to learn some manual work than to become priests;
lest, if they assumed the spiritual office, they should not maintain it
as it deserved.

In the meantime, the Council, with singular maladroitness, had singled
out for special condemnation the granting of the Cup to the laity;
and thus, at one stroke, they changed the doctrine of a few obscure
men into the war-cry of an indignant nation. This decree called the
attention to Hus to this matter, which, till then, he had not deeply
considered; and he wrote to his successor at the Bethlehem Chapel
that he ought not to oppose the granting of the Cup to the laity,
since there was nothing but custom against it; and that, if he opposed
Jakaubek, there would be a division amongst the faithful.

But, while Hus was thus interesting himself in the affairs of his
countrymen, the Council were not suffering him to rest in peace. One
of the few priests who had shown themselves friendly to Hus at the
Council wrote to him urging sophistical arguments in favour of a form
of recantation; and Pálec̆ paid him several visits, to worry him into
confessions of heresy. Yet, bitterly as he felt the persecutions of his
former follower, that same self-distrust and earnest desire for justice
which he had shown in the question of the three votes, and again on his
retirement from Prague, appeared, even more remarkably, in this last
interview. He entreated his enemy to pardon him for having charged him
with deliberate falsehood on the occasion of Pálec̆’s first attacks
in the Council. The savage apostate was moved even to tears for the
moment, though his pity was of short duration.

At last, on July 5th, Wenceslaus of Duba and John of Chlum were sent
to the prison to demand Hus’s final answer. But these messengers had
been ill-chosen as exponents of the sophistries of Sigismund and the
Cardinals. John of Chlum addressed the prisoner as follows: “Master
John, we are laymen and cannot advise you. Therefore, see if there is
anything in the things which they object to you, in which you feel you
are to blame. If so, do not fear to be instructed and to revoke it;
but, if you do not feel yourself guilty in your conscience in these
things, then by no means act against your conscience, nor lie in the
sight of God, but rather continue till the death in the truth which
you have acknowledged.” Then Hus answered, “Lord John! know, that if
I knew that I had written or preached anything contrary to the law or
to our Holy Mother the Church, God is my witness that I would humbly
revoke it. But I always desired that they should show me better and
more probable Scriptures than those that I had taught; and, if they
are shown me, I will most readily recant.” A bishop, who had come with
the Bohemian nobles, now introduced the sophistical platitude which is
common on such occasions--“Do you wish,” he said, “to be wiser than the
whole Council?” “I do not wish,” answered Hus, “to be wiser than the
whole Council; but I ask you to give me the least of the Council who
can inform me by better and more efficacious Scriptures; and I am ready
to revoke what I said.”

On the following day he was brought forth to receive his final
condemnation. The articles on which he was to be condemned were read
out against him, though he continued to protest against the manner
in which his words had been perverted. To his horror, he found that
they had added to the charges against him a new article, in which
he was accused of saying that he was a fourth person of the Deity.
He demanded the name of the author of this slander; but the Council
refused to tell him. Then, as a climax to his offences, they quoted
his appeal to Christ as against the Pope. At that he cried out “O Lord
God! do this Council condemn Thy law and Thy acts as an error? because
Thou, when oppressed by Thy enemies, didst commit Thy cause to Thy God
and Father, and gavest us thereby an example to appeal to Thee as the
justest Judge, humbly demanding Thy help.” Then for the last time he
recapitulated the circumstances under which he had come to the Council.
When he referred to the safe-conduct, he fixed his eye upon Sigismund;
and the Emperor was observed to blush. This blush is worth mentioning
as the only sign of grace in that mean and treacherous career. But,
of course, neither appeal nor blush could avail Hus anything; and his
statement was almost immediately followed by his condemnation to the
stake.

Then he knelt down and said, “Lord Jesus Christ, pardon all my enemies
for Thy great mercy; Thou knowest that they have falsely accused me,
that they have produced false witnesses, and that they have produced
false articles against me; pardon them for Thy mercy.” This prayer
was received with shouts of laughter. Then they stripped him of his
priestly dress, and put on him a crown which declared him to be an
Heresiarch. This was followed by a proclamation committing his soul to
the devil, to which he answered, “And I commit it to my blessed Lord
Jesus Christ.”

He had now quite recovered his composure; and, on his way to the
stake, he smiled when he saw the place where his books were being
burnt; and he smiled again when the paper crown fell off his head and
he saw the three demons which had been painted on it. When they put a
heavy chain round his neck to fasten him to the stake, he exclaimed,
“The Lord Jesus my Redeemer was bound with a heavier chain for me.”
Even after the faggots had been piled round him, the officials came to
him, asking him to recant. He answered by repudiating the false charges
that had been made against him, and declared that he had only preached
the truth of the gospel and the holy Doctors. Then, as they lit the
fire round him, he cried out, “Christ, Son of the living God, have
mercy on me;” but, as he added the words, “Who wast born of the Virgin
Mary,” a flame struck him on the mouth, and he died praying.

    N.B.--For the two stories which are most generally quoted
    about Hus, I can find no sufficient authority. The beautiful
    tradition of his comment on the woman who brought the faggot
    to burn him, seems to belong to a much later date; while the
    earliest authority, which I have discovered, for the prophecy
    about the goose and the swan, is Martin Luther himself. But
    both the stories are eminently characteristic; and they deserve
    to live as legend, if not as authentic history.



IX.

FROM THE DEATH OF HUS TO THE FIRST CORONATION OF SIGISMUND.

(July 6, 1415-July 28, 1420.)


Few great teachers are ever well represented by their immediate
followers and disciples; but hardly any have been distinguished from
their followers by so many and such important differences as those
which separated John Hus from the men who are known by his name. First
of all there was the gulf which separates the man who rejoices to die
for his faith from those who delight in killing on its behalf. But
that difference between teacher and follower, though much more vital,
is, perhaps, also more common than the barrier of doctrinal difference
which separated Hus from those who claimed to represent him. The very
practice, which supplied the war-cry of the coming struggle, was
one which Hus had merely approved with a friendly tolerance, never
advocated with any special enthusiasm; and that difference of feeling
is characteristic of the whole relations between Hus and his followers.
On the one hand the constitutional reforms of the Church, hinted at in
the “De Ecclesia,” would certainly have been rejected by the Calixtine
party; while, on the other hand, the doctrines and practices of the
Taborites would have been opposed by Hus himself. It will therefore be
more convenient, in describing the following struggle, to speak of the
Reformers by their doctrinal name of “Utraquists,” rather than by the
personal but misleading title of “Hussite.”

But, if the spirit of the living Hus could scarcely be said to rest
upon those who called themselves by his name, undoubtedly the death
of Hus was recognised, on both sides, as the essential cause of the
wars which followed. Men might wrangle about this or that doctrine or
practice; but the murder of a Bohemian, in a place to which he had been
sent under the special protection of the King and the nobles, was a
point which could never be forgiven or forgotten against Sigismund or
the Council of Constance; especially when this murder was connected
with an attempt to brand as heretics the whole Bohemian nation. This
feeling breathes through the fiery letter of the nobles of Bohemia,
which was sent to the Council on the 2nd of September, 1415. They
accused the Councillors of having condemned Hus on false evidence; and
they declared him to be a good Catholic. They give the lie to all to
dare to assert that there is heresy in Bohemia or Moravia, except only
to the Emperor Sigismund, who, they _hope_, is innocent in the matter;
and they declare that they will defend the law of Christ and His
preachers, even to the shedding of blood.

While the nobles threw down their gauntlet to the Council in this
formal manner, the main body of the people showed their feeling by
fierce riots against the monks. Churches and monasteries were burnt;
many monks were driven from Prague, and some priests were killed in
the riots. The Archbishop of Prague determined to stand by his Order;
and he too fixed on the Communion in both kinds as the dividing line
between the two parties. Finding that he could neither prohibit this
practice nor obtain compensation for the injuries done to the clergy,
he laid Prague under an Interdict.

This Interdict became a new source of division. The Utraquists utterly
disregarded it, and exposed themselves to the charge of rebellion
against the Church. The Catholics, on the other hand, scrupulously
recognised the archbishop’s decree, and therefore felt bound to
celebrate their services only in the Vys̆ehrad, which was outside the
prohibited area. The Catholic visits to that fortress were compared by
the Utraquists to the more celebrated pilgrimages to Mecca; and hence
the name of Mahometan was added to the other terms of abuse, which were
being so freely scattered by the rival theologians.

The attitude of Wenceslaus was wavering and uncertain. He had, indeed,
been disposed to accept the Council’s condemnation of the granting
of the Cup to the laity; but he had used his best influence to save
Hus, and he had resented his execution, as another proof of that
faithlessness of Sigismund, of which he had already had such painful
experience. He refused, however, to join the League which the nobles
had formed to defend the liberties of Bohemia, partly, perhaps, because
they connected it with a defence of the practice just condemned by the
Council; and he even consented to support an Opposition League formed
by the Catholic nobles in defence of the Church.

Sigismund, on his part, began to entertain hopes that he might contrive
to sow division between these rival parties; and, feeling that his
share in the death of Hus was the point which prevented his success in
these intrigues, he wrote to the Bohemian nobles assuring them that
he deeply regretted that death, that he had done his best to prevent
it, and that, if Hus had only consented to come under the Emperor’s
protection to Constance, instead of starting alone from Prague, all
would have been well; but he added that he could not have saved Hus at
the last, without breaking up the Council altogether. Whether these
falsehoods deceived any one may be doubted. At any rate they did not
accomplish Sigismund’s immediate purpose; for, when the Bishop of
Litomys̆l arrived, with authority from the Council to suppress heresy
in Bohemia, he received no encouragement either from king or from
nobles, and, when he attempted violence, he was driven out by force.

Indeed, whatever terms the nobles of Bohemia might have thought right
to make with Sigismund, as the heir to the Bohemian throne, they could
not, with any credit to themselves, come to terms at this time with
the Council of Constance. In the same letter in which the nobles
had condemned the burning of Hus, they had also complained of the
imprisonment of Jerom; and with Jerom it was clear that the Council
were determined to proceed to extremities. Worn with starvation and
chains, the unfortunate prisoner at last yielded to his persecutors;
and, while his countrymen were protesting against his imprisonment, he
had consented to recant his errors, and to acknowledge the justice of
the death of Hus. The Italian cardinals now desired to set him free;
but the German and Bohemian members of the Council, backed by the
Chancellor of the University of Paris, insisted that this recantation
was not to be trusted, and that Jerom should be further examined as
to his doctrines. Michael de Causis and Stephen Pálec̆ fastened with
relentless eagerness on their second victim, and, by so doing, they
saved his honour and reputation, and gave him an opportunity of showing
his better side.

In May, 1416, he was granted a new hearing before the Council; and,
after having been for some time pestered with questions, he was at
last allowed to speak for himself. His long oration, filled with
classical allusions, greatly impressed the Italian scholar, Poggio
Bracciolini, who was present on this occasion. But it will scarcely
strike modern readers as so edifying as the simpler utterances of Hus.
The conclusion, however, was more worthy of the occasion. It contained
a manly and straightforward eulogy on Hus, an expression of his deep
regret at the weakness which had led him to recant, and a declaration
of his adherence to the teaching both of Hus and of Wyclif. Then, on
May 14, 1416, he was led out to be burnt, and went singing to the stake.

If this execution had not been sufficient to prevent a reconciliation
between the Bohemians and the Council of Constance, another event of
the same period would certainly have deepened the division between
them. The Bishop of Olmütz died about this time, and Wenceslaus
nominated a new bishop in his stead. The Council, however, intervened;
and they not only rejected Wenceslaus’s nominee, but they demanded that
he should accept instead that Bishop of Litomys̆l whom he had just
driven out of the country as a disturber of the peace, and who was
so deeply hated for his prominent share in the condemnation of Hus.
Wenceslaus of course refused, and thereby widened the gulf between
himself and the orthodox Catholics.

Unfortunately, however, the effect of this consolidation of national
feeling was speedily weakened by the divisions which had begun to show
themselves in the Utraquist party. Teachers were coming to the front
who demanded far more sweeping reforms than those which Jakaubek of
Kladrau and the other friends of Hus were at all disposed to approve;
and they wished to enforce these reforms by the extremest violence. As
these reforms were aimed, not only at abuses in the Church, but also
at the influence of the wealthy men in the State, the Reformers soon
roused against them the fears and anger of the well-to-do citizens of
Prague. Nor were these alarms likely to be modified when it became
evident that two men, at least, of important position and remarkable
ability, were disposed to place themselves at the head of the reforming
movement.

The leader who first attracted the attention of the crowd and the fears
of the King was Nicholaus of Hus, the Guardian of the Fortress of Hus,
and the proprietor of the village of Husinec. He had been a favourite
with the King, and was reputed, even by his enemies, to be a man of
great ability and insight. He now gathered together such great crowds
of people for prayer and preaching that Wenceslaus began to suspect him
of aiming at the throne. But the more pacific abilities of Nicholaus
were soon to be thrown into the shade by his fiercer and more brilliant
ally, John Z̆iz̆ka of Troc̆nov.

Though Z̆iz̆ka, like Nicholaus, had been a favourite at Court, he
had already once offended the king by a daring act of independence.
Influenced, no doubt, by Sigismund and his friends, Wenceslaus had at
one time supported the Order of Teutonic Knights in their struggle
against the King of Poland. The anti-German feeling in Bohemia was
already running high, even at that time; and sympathy with their
Slavonic kinsmen induced many Bohemian officers to hasten to the
support of the Poles, in opposition to the wish of the King. In this
semi-rebellious movement Z̆iz̆ka had taken a prominent part; but he
had, since then, been pardoned and received back into favour. His
independent spirit, however, was ill-suited to a Court life, and he
was not long in giving new offence to Wenceslaus.

[Illustration: MARKET-PLACE OF PRACHATICE, THE TOWN WHERE HUS AND
Z̆IZ̆KA WENT TO SCHOOL.]

Tradition gives an early date to the first signs of sympathy between
Z̆iz̆ka and Hus. Within a walk of the village of Husinec stands the old
town of Prachatice, where the ruins are still shown of the school in
which Z̆iz̆ka and Hus are said to have studied together. However this
may be, there can be no doubt that it was very soon after the death of
Hus that Z̆iz̆ka began to assume that position of leadership among the
extremer Utraquists, which ultimately gained him such fame both among
friends and enemies. This section of Reformers had already discovered
that they did not receive that sympathy from the citizens of Prague
which they believed to be their due. Many of them were compelled to
leave the city; and they gathered together on a mountain near Austi,
to which they gave the name of Tabor, and to which their supporters
gradually flocked from all parts of the kingdom. These gatherings so
alarmed Wenceslaus that they even weakened his hostility to the Council
of Constance; and not only the followers of Nicholaus and Z̆iz̆ka,
but even some of the more moderate Utraquists became objects of his
suspicion.

This change of feeling naturally increased the hopes of Sigismund,
and he became even more sanguine of success, and more bitter against
the followers of Hus, when the Council of Constance elected, under
the name of Pope Martin V., that Cardinal Colonna, who had urged upon
John XXIII. the first proposal for the condemnation of Hus. Under
the influence of this new Pope, all the schemes of reform, which the
Council had once thought of considering, were sacrificed to the one
aim of the suppression of heresy; and in April, 1418, the Pope secured
himself a freer hand by dissolving the Council of Constance.

Urged, then, by pressure from Emperor and Pope, and by his own fear of
Utraquistic excesses, Wenceslaus banished one of the Reformers from
Prague, and recalled the Catholic clergy, who had been expelled from
the city. He discovered, indeed, that Utraquism had taken so deep a
root in Prague that it would be necessary to grant at least three
churches to its preachers. But this concession did not satisfy the more
zealous champions of the cause; and the favour shown by the King to the
Catholics provoked riots among the Reformers. Then Wenceslaus demanded
that the citizens should all give up their arms to him.

Z̆iz̆ka now saw that the controversy with the Catholics must sooner
or later end in war; and he was determined that his followers should
not be unprovided for such a struggle. He therefore resolved to obey
the royal summons, but in a peculiar manner of his own. He gathered
together his followers, led them into the presence of the King, and
assured him that they were ready to stand by him, with life and
property, against his enemies. The unfortunate Wenceslaus felt bound to
thank Z̆iz̆ka and his followers for this loyal declaration; but Z̆iz̆ka
knew well enough that he had thereby forfeited the royal favour. He
therefore quickly retired from Court, and joined Nicholaus of Hus in
organising their followers on Mount Tabor. The alarm of Wenceslaus
was naturally increased by these proceedings; and he began to meet
the opposition by deposing the Town Councillors in the different
divisions of Prague, and thrusting in their opponents. This was a more
arbitrary act of power than he had yet resorted to in this struggle;
and it naturally hastened on the violent crisis which had long been
approaching.

The quarter in which the outbreak finally took place had a peculiar
character of its own, which some historians believe to have affected
the character of the coming struggle. It will be remembered that
Charles IV. had done much, not merely to develop the intellectual
greatness of Prague, but also to increase its physical size. A
completely new suburb had been added during that reign, which was
known as the New Town of Prague. This division of the city was
governed by its own Council, and rapidly assumed a peculiar character.
Charles’s policy attracted many Germans to the city; and, while the
more prominent struggle between the rival “Nations” of the University
had been growing in intensity, it is believed by some that an equally
bitter feeling had been springing up among those Bohemian workmen who
had fallen under the rule of German employers of labour. The historians
who hold this view maintain that the workmen, who desired to escape
from this domination, fled from the older parts of Prague, and found
new possibilities of life and of organisation in the New Town. Whether
this migration can be clearly proved or no, it is certain that, both
at this and later crises, there appears a more democratic and, in some
respects, a more national spirit in the movements which had their rise
in the New Town, than in those of other parts of the city.

It was then, in the church of St. Stephen, in the New Town, that on
the 30th of July, 1419, a fiery preacher named John of Seelau (Zelív)
delivered a sermon in the presence of an excited crowd of the followers
of Z̆iz̆ka. After being worked up by pictures of the coming judgment,
these fiery reformers marched in procession through the streets. As
they passed the Council House, some insult appears to have been offered
them by those who were looking out of the windows; whereupon the
infuriated Utraquists rushed upstairs into the council chamber, and
hurled the newly-elected Councillors from the window, the crowd below
receiving the falling men on the points of their spikes. Then Z̆iz̆ka
and his friends proceeded to seize the town into their hands, elected
four captains for each district, and appointed Councillors in the place
of those who had been killed.

Wenceslaus was furious at this news, and vowed that he would
exterminate all Wyclifites and Hussites. Many of his advisers, however,
were still in sympathy with the principle of Utraquism; and they
persuaded the King to come to terms with the rioters, and to confirm
the election of the new Councillors. The excitement of the controversy
and the humiliation of this confession were too much for the strength
of Wenceslaus. He was seized with a fever; and, in August, 1419, ended
at last his long and tragic reign.

The concessions into which Wenceslaus had been persuaded by his queen
and his nobles, produced less effect on the minds of the citizens of
Prague than the violent threats which had preceded them; and, at the
time of his death, the feeling against him was so fierce that his
friends did not venture to give him a public funeral, but buried him
secretly by night. A still plainer evidence of this feeling was shown
in the renewal of the riots against the monks. Altars, organs, and
images of saints were destroyed; and many of the monks were driven out
of the city.

Several of the nobles who had been hitherto inclined to the Utraquist
cause, were so much alarmed at these excesses that they called upon
Sigismund, as next heir to the throne, to hasten to Bohemia, to restore
order. The messengers found him preparing to start on an expedition
against the Turks; and his German and Hungarian councillors persuaded
him to delay his visit to Bohemia, until he could enter it at the head
of a victorious army. He therefore appointed Wenceslaus’s widow Sophia
as regent in his place; and he chose a council to assist her, of which
the most prominent member was C̆enĕk of Wartenberg.

C̆enĕk was one of those men who will always receive more condemnation
and less pity than are their due. He was evidently a man of some
attractive qualities, and, originally at least, of excellent
intentions. He had taken the lead in the protest against the execution
of Hus; and, if he had shown himself somewhat too tolerant towards
the early excesses of Z̆iz̆ka and his friends, he had at least helped
to preserve Wenceslaus from being driven by those acts into the arms
of Sigismund. But to steer the kingdom through the dangers with which
it was threatened by the fierce intolerance of Sigismund on the one
hand, and of Z̆iz̆ka on the other, required stronger nerve and clearer
purpose than C̆enĕk possessed; and thus his continual changes of party
were effected in a manner which have left a deep stain on his memory.

When the Bohemian Assembly first met to consider the position of
affairs, it seemed as if the moderate Utraquists would be able
to carry the day; for a resolution was passed that the Estates
would only consent to the coronation of Sigismund on the following
conditions: First, that he would permit the Communion in both kinds
to be celebrated in all the churches, and would try to procure the
sanction of the Pope to this practice. Secondly, that he would place
no clergy in temporal authority. Thirdly, that he would not permit the
publication of any Papal Bulls until they had received the approval of
the King’s Council. Fourthly, that he would not appoint any foreigners
to either temporal or spiritual offices, nor set German magistrates
over towns where Bohemians dwelt. Lastly, that the proceedings of the
law-courts should be conducted in the Bohemian language. These were the
principal demands of the nobles; but the citizens of Prague, who were
daily gaining greater influence in the councils of the State, added
certain conditions of their own. These were that Sigismund should grant
an amnesty for the recent disturbances; that he should not permit the
establishment in Prague of any more houses of ill-fame; and that he
should permit the reading of at least the Gospel and Epistle in the
Bohemian language. Such a programme might seem to unite for the moment
all sections of Bohemians who desired peace and independence for their
country; but, when Sigismund replied by putting aside the whole of
these demands, and declaring that he would only promise to govern as
his father had governed before him, the situation was entirely changed.

Strange as it sounds, in speaking of so turbulent a country, it is
none the less true that, till this time, there had been no instance
of a combined national resistance in Bohemia to a King who was the
sole lawful claimant of the throne. There had been plenty of instances
of setting up rival members of the royal family against each other;
attempts by discontented nobles to call in a foreign King or Emperor
to their help; and even something like a provincial insurrection of
Moravia against Bohemia; but that the National Assembly of Bohemia
should formally commit itself to an attempt to exclude from the
country the lawful heir to the throne, who was at once the only living
representative of the House of Luxemburg, and the ruler of the Holy
Roman Empire--this was a step so unprecedented that it may well have
caused hesitation in those who were called upon to take it.

Doubtless this difficulty might have been avoided if Sophia could have
ventured on more independent action. But the Queen, though she had
exercised so useful an influence over her husband during his lifetime,
seems, after his death, to have fallen completely into the background,
and to have taken her cue from Sigismund, or from his principal
advisers.

The result, then, of the deliberations of the Bohemian Assembly was
that the nation was broken up into three parties. These were as
follows: (1) The Catholic Party, which was in favour of complete
submission to Sigismund. (2) The Moderate Utraquist Party which would
have accepted him if he would have granted some amount of religious
liberty. (3) The Extreme Reforming Party, which thoroughly distrusted
Sigismund, and desired to throw off his authority. The first of these
parties found its supporters chiefly in Moravia, and particularly in
the German-speaking districts of that province. By a strange irony
of fortune, its leader was that Wenceslaus of Duba who had stood so
gallantly by Hus at the Council of Constance. But though he, and one or
two others of the party, may have cherished some national aspirations,
they were, as a body, too much out of sympathy with the keen Slavonic
feeling of the country to be reckoned as a Bohemian party at all. The
second party, which gradually acquired the name of Calixtines, from the
importance which they attached to the custom of granting the Cup to the
laity, were really composed of two very different elements. Many of the
great nobles, while theoretically zealous for the Cup, were far more
anxious to maintain that position in the country which largely depended
on the favour of the king; while, on the other hand, learned preachers
like Jakaubek of Kladrau were as zealous for the reforms which they
desired as many of the extremer Utraquists could be, and would have
risked and sacrificed as much to secure them.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE INTO FORTIFIED PART OF TABOR.]

But, though men like Jakaubek of Kladrau had an important part to play
in the coming struggle, it was from the third Bohemian party that there
were to be drawn the most determined fighters, and the most impressive
figures, in the struggle of Bohemia against the German Emperor. This
party had been founded by those fiery spirits who had been banished
from Prague by Wenceslaus; and they derived their name of Taborite
from the mountain which they had made their chief place of refuge
after their expulsion from Prague. So great was the enthusiasm which
they caused that, when Wenceslaus forbade any further visits to Tabor
under penalty of death and confiscation of goods, large numbers of
the peasantry willingly sacrificed all their possessions, and risked
the chance of death, to unite themselves with this chosen band. A
community so formed naturally developed very remarkable qualities; and
a stern Puritanical gloom, combined with the Puritanical nobleness
of aspiration, rapidly showed itself among them. Rich and poor
shared their food with each other; no strife or theft was permitted;
intoxicating liquors were excluded from the mountain; and not only was
gambling forbidden to the elders, but even the children were deprived
of their games. Such is the account given of the Taborites by a
somewhat hostile chronicler, who thus proceeds to describe their manner
of passing the day:

“Having then completed the moderate refreshment of the body, the
priests rise with the people to give thanks to God. They march round
the Mount of Tabor, bearing the venerable Eucharist--the virgins
preceding the Sacrament, and the men and women in their squadrons
following, all shouting and singing psalms as seems convenient. When
this procession is finished, they exchange farewells with their clergy,
not bending to the right or left lest they should trample on the wheat;
and so they come to the place whence they started.” These people,
already prepared for religious enthusiasm by the stern discipline of
such a life as this, were kindled yet further by fiery sermons, founded
chiefly on the visions of the Apocalypse, in which prophecies were
delivered of the speedy coming of Christ, and the reign of the Saints,
which was to be hastened by the putting to death of the enemies of
Christ. They were told that they were to bathe and sanctify their hands
in the blood of their enemies; and that, while they were to imitate the
zeal and indignation of their Master, this was not the time to imitate
His gentleness. All human learning, said the fiercer of the preachers,
was to be treated with contempt; and the taking of degrees at the
University was a vanity.

Nor was it only the training, which they had received from their
preachers, that prepared the Taborites for the part which they were
to play in the coming struggle. Z̆iz̆ka was eminently fitted to be
the hero of a revolutionary party. To a fiery sincerity, and a steady
devotion to that high ideal of life which was implied in the Taborite
creed, he united a genius for leadership and organisation which the
greatest generals might have envied; a statesmanlike instinct for
seizing the right moment and the right course of action; and a savage
ferocity which none of his opponents could surpass.

[Illustration: HOUSE IN TABOR WITH OLD TABORITE COMMUNION TABLE IN
FRONT OF IT.]

But, though this fiery band, and their uncompromising leader, were to
give the tone to the struggle which was fast approaching, one passing
hint was given, before the outbreak of the war, of the presence among
the Bohemians of gentler spirits who would gain a hearing at a later
and more appropriate time. One or more of those Taborites, who had not
imbibed that contempt for learning which had been inculcated by their
wilder preachers, applied to the Masters of the Prague University, to
know whether war on behalf of religion was not forbidden by the command
to Peter to put up his sword into his sheath. Jakaubek answered, on
behalf of his colleagues, that, though a war for the propagation of the
Faith was undoubtedly forbidden to Christians, yet a defensive war for
the protection of the Faith was certainly lawful.

This question, as has been already suggested, has more importance as
a prophecy of future religious developments than as a characteristic
utterance of the period. But the answer has a more immediate
significance, as indicating a policy which was to separate the learned
professors of the University from the more aristocratic section of
the Calixtines. This difference has already been referred to above;
but it requires to be emphasized and developed. In the case of C̆enek
of Wartenberg the difference seems to have been partly due to a sense
of loyalty to the House of Luxemburg, and to a shrinking from some of
the violences in which the Taborites indulged. But C̆enek’s prominent
position in his party was not due solely to his personal qualities
or even to his personal rank. It was also largely derived from the
guardianship which he possessed over the lands of Rosenberg; and this
position must also be considered as colouring the character of his
policy.

Ulric von Rosenberg, like his guardian C̆enek, played a somewhat
questionable and uncertain part in the coming struggle. But the times
and circumstances of his changes of position lead one to attribute to
him somewhat different motives of action from those which influenced
his guardian. He seems to have begun his career as a decided Utraquist;
but his subsequent oppressions of his Utraquist dependents show a
bitterer change of feeling than can be laid to the charge of C̆enek;
while his special opposition to Z̆iz̆ka seems to mark the real ground
of his questionable policy. In mere doctrine he may have had some
sympathy with the reforming movement; but he was soon alarmed by the
democratic character of the Taborite party and of its leader; and the
great power which had been so long wielded by the Rosenbergs, was
thrown, in the main, into the defence of aristocratic privileges and
feudal rights. For the moment, however, the nobles could put forward
the excuse that they were supporting the claims of a Queen, who was
not stained with the blood of Hus, nor committed to an anti-national
policy; and, it was on her behalf that C̆enek now organised a standing
army, and seized into his hands several important fortresses.

Z̆iz̆ka, on his part, felt that no time was to be lost in saving the
cause for which he desired to struggle. So, at the head of a band of
his drilled peasants, he suddenly marched upon the fortress of the
Vys̆ehrad, drove out the royalist garrison, and put his own men in
their place. Then, on the 10th of November, the Taborites set out in
various bands, from the three or four towns which were occupied by
their party; and they marched to Prague, to hold a great meeting
there. The main body met at the town of Zinkov, where they organised
their forces before proceeding on their march. But three hundred men
had started alone from Austi, apparently ill-armed and ill-prepared for
attack. This detached body was met on its way by one of the royalist
nobles; and on the first attack he put to flight the men of Austi with
much slaughter.

The fugitives escaped to Knin, at which point the main body of their
friends had now arrived. Baron von Sternberg, the general of the
royalists, marched thither to meet the advancing Taborites, and
probably hoped to obtain an easy victory. But the sturdy peasants
repelled his attack with such vigour that the royalists were forced to
retreat; and on the 4th of November, 1419, the Taborites entered Prague
without further opposition. The royalist party were at once called to
arms; while, on the other side, Nicholaus of Hus and Z̆iz̆ka marched
into the Small Division of Prague, and, after a fierce struggle, seized
upon the great fortress, which still overlooks the town. The Queen fled
from Prague under the protection of Ulric of Rosenberg. C̆enek in the
meantime gathered new forces on her behalf, and persuaded several towns
to declare for the royalist cause.

[Illustration: FIGURE OF MINER WITH MINING LAMP AND STAFF IN CHURCH OF
ST. BARBARA AT KUTTENBERG (KUTNA HORA).]

[Illustration: KUTNA HORA, OFFICE WHERE THE COINS WERE STRUCK BY THE
ITALIANS BROUGHT TO KUTNA HORA BY WENCESLAUS II.]

Each party was now conscious of the strength of its opponents; and,
under such circumstances, those moderate citizens of Prague who
combined a zeal for freedom with a desire for peace, were able to
hold the balance between the contending parties. So a compromise was
effected, by which the queen and the nobles were pledged to protect
religious liberty and especially Communion in both kinds; while the
citizens, on their part, consented to restore the fortress of Vys̆ehrad
to the Queen, and to abstain from any injuries to churches or images.
Z̆iz̆ka, however, distrusted the Queen’s party, and was discontented
with these terms. So he withdrew with most of his troops to his chief
fortress of Pilsen (Plz̆en).

[Illustration: TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF PILSEN (PLZEN).]

Although the recovery of the Vys̆ehrad was an important gain to the
royalist cause, the great centre of the extreme Catholic feeling was
the town of Kutna Hora. That town, from its importance as a mining
centre, and from the special favour shown to it by the kings, had
become a kind of rival to Prague; and in a time of civil war such
rivalry naturally ripened into active hostility of the fiercest
description. In spite of the occasional fierceness of such outbursts
as that which had produced the slaughter of the Councillors of the
New Town, there had been, till now, little organised cruelty in the
contest between the two parties. Now, however, whether actuated by
municipal rivalry or religious hostility, the men of Kutna Hora began
to inaugurate a system of persecution which was to produce terrible
reprisals. They seized upon all the Utraquists whom they could find,
and even paid other towns so much a head to send them victims. Some
of these they buried alive in pits; some they burnt, and some they
beheaded; so that in a short time more than sixteen hundred had been
put to death.

In the meantime Sigismund had returned from Hungary to Moravia; and in
Christmas, 1419, he and Queen Sophia held a meeting at Brünn (Brno).
The citizens of Prague sent a deputation to this assembly to entreat
for terms of peace. Sigismund ordered them at once to pull down all the
chains which they had placed across the streets; to destroy all their
new fortifications; and to bring back the Catholic priests who had been
driven out. The citizens were so anxious to avoid a collision with
Sigismund that they consented to these terms; and they destroyed their
fortifications amid the jeers of the Catholics and Germans.

Z̆iz̆ka now fully realised the impossibility of any compromise, and
he prepared for a desperate struggle. His first intention had been to
make the town of Pilsen the centre of his operations. From that town he
had succeeded in driving out all the Catholics; and its fortifications
were so strong that he hoped to make it good against all comers. But
the growing strength of the fortress of Tabor led him to change his
opinion; and he decided to withdraw from Pilsen, and to concentrate
the whole force of his followers on the mountain from which they
took their name. According to one account, the divisions in Pilsen
itself were the main cause of this decision. Certainly some special
explanation is needed of a step which proved, in one way, so disastrous
to the reforming cause; for, during all the victories gained by the
Utraquists, they were never able to recover this important fortress
again.

It was not, however, unconditionally that Z̆iz̆ka consented to abandon
this position. He stipulated that he should be allowed to depart
freely to Tabor, and that the granting of the Cup to the laity should
be permitted in Pilsen. Wenceslaus of Duba, as leader of the Catholic
forces, consented to the terms which Z̆iz̆ka proposed. Unfortunately,
however, the doctrine that faith should not be kept with heretics had
already taken deep root amongst the opponents of the Utraquists. While
Z̆iz̆ka was still on his way from Pilsen to Tabor, he was attacked by
Peter of Sternberg, at the head of a royalist force. Unprepared for
this attack, and very inferior in the number of his forces, Z̆iz̆ka at
first retreated before his enemies; but, finding himself compelled to
fight, he took up his position on the bank of a fish-pond near the town
of Sudomír. There, for the first time, he adopted the plan which became
a special characteristic of his battles. He entrenched himself behind
his baggage-waggons, over which his men fired at the advancing foe. The
struggle was a fierce one; but at last the royalists were compelled to
retreat, and Z̆iz̆ka went on in safety to Tabor.

But though much of the success of the Utraquist wars was due to the
energy of Z̆iz̆ka and his followers, the leading citizens of Prague
had also a very important influence on the struggle; and Sigismund’s
actions soon roused in them that desperate courage which had seemed
for a moment to forsake them. The nickname of Sigismund, “Super
Grammaticam,” has been fixed on this Emperor by Carlyle; but an even
more distinctive name would have been Sigismund “Super Veritatem.” Many
other rulers have told lies in their time of emergency; but surely no
one ever took so much pains to write himself down a liar as Sigismund
did at every stage of his career. It will be remembered that he had
written most urgently to the Bohemians, to express his regret for the
death of Hus, and to assure them that he had done all he could to
prevent it. Yet, as soon as Pope Martin had published his Bull, urging
a crusade against the Hussites, Sigismund seized upon a merchant of
Prague named Krasa, and publicly burnt him in Breslau, on the express
ground that he had disapproved of the burning of Hus and Jerom.

C̆enek of Wartenberg, who had been entrusted by Sigismund with the
care of the fortress of Prague, now declared that he could no longer
serve the king. At nearly every stage in the career of this unfortunate
nobleman, his change of opinion, however excusable in itself, was
stained by some act of treachery. On this occasion he invited the
subordinate governors of the castle to dinner, and seized that
opportunity for arresting and imprisoning them. Having thus mastered
the castle, he placed it under the care of the citizens of Prague.
He then arrested seventy-six of the clergy, and drove several of the
opposing citizens from the town.

But C̆enek was never long of one mind; and he soon began to despair
of the struggle on which he had entered. On the one hand the Catholic
defenders of the Vys̆ehrad held out successfully against his attacks;
and at the same time he seems to have been sincerely shocked at the
outrages committed by the Taborites. In the early outbursts, though
there had been much plundering and some bloodshed, there had been
little deliberate cruelty. Now, however, Z̆iz̆ka began to imitate only
too closely the cruelties of the Kuttenberger; for finding a number of
monks in a castle which he had stormed, he burnt them alive after the
victory was over. When this cruelty was followed by the destruction of
many churches and monasteries, C̆enek began to shrink from the cause
which he had defended, and to urge the citizens of Prague to come to
terms with Sigismund. Finding, however, that he was unable to persuade
them to take this course, he resolved secretly to betray the castle to
Sigismund, on the understanding that the Communion in both kinds should
be permitted on C̆enek’s own estates. Sigismund apparently consented
to this arrangement; and C̆enek secretly admitted into the castle four
thousand of the royalist soldiers, of whom many were Germans. Furious
at this treachery, the citizens made so fierce an attack upon the
castle that C̆enek was panic-struck and fled secretly to Sigismund.
But the attack was made without organisation or arrangement and the
citizens were repelled.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF PRAGUE.]

Several noblemen had followed C̆enek in his desertion of the national
cause; and at last the citizens decided to send a new embassy to
Sigismund, under the protection of Wenceslaus of Duba. Sigismund’s
hope and indignation had alike been raised by the recent events; and
he demanded that the citizens should surrender all their arms to the
defenders of the Vys̆ehrad. On receiving this demand, the Town Council
of Prague sent defiance to the king, and resolved to fight till the
last.

Both parties now prepared for action; and, while Sigismund was issuing
an appeal to all citizens and princes to come to help him against
his rebellious subjects, Z̆iz̆ka and Nicholaus of Hus were preparing
to march to Prague at the head of their Taborite forces. Many of the
workmen and peasants were now beginning to stir themselves for the
national cause; and, before Sigismund could secure the help of the
Electors of the Empire, he was to have a slight taste of the dangers
which he was about to encounter. The Kutna Hora miners had roused much
opposition by their cruelties on behalf of the royalist cause; and the
charcoal burners, who had hitherto been dependent upon them, had now
revolted against them. After vainly attempting to pacify their new
opponents, the Kuttenberger appealed to Sigismund, and he sent them a
detachment of the royal troops. The charcoal burners met the soldiers
with stones and arrows; and, cheered on by a Taborite priest, they
drove back the royalists in confusion to the mountains. The priest,
however, was wounded; and the charcoal burners then retreated.

In the meantime Z̆iz̆ka and his forces were on their march. Their
importance was now recognised by their opponents; and Wenceslaus of
Duba attempted to intercept them. Z̆iz̆ka encountered the royalists
near Porc̆ic, signally defeated them, and entered Prague in triumph on
the 20th of May, 1420.

The powerful help of the new-comers was doubtless welcomed by the
citizens of Prague; but they speedily discovered that differences
of habit and feeling were likely to produce as many difficulties in
the relations of the two parties to each other, as had already been
produced by differences of doctrine. Both sections of the Utraquist
Party had desired to introduce a purer life and simpler habits; and
in many cases they had taken steps to enforce them. But the Taborite
ideal, and still more the Taborite methods of realising it, differed
considerably from those of the comfortable and orderly citizens of
Prague. The latter, it appeared, indulged in delicately trimmed beards
and moustachios; their wives wore trains, which seemed to the Taborites
unduly long; and the hair of the younger ladies fell in long and
curiously made plaits on their shoulders. The sturdy peasant reformers
resolved summarily to correct these evils; so they seized the citizens
in the streets, and compulsorily shaved them, cut off the trains of
their wives’ dresses, and even shortened the locks of the girls. The
citizens naturally objected to such strong methods of reform; and
the Taborite captains cut short these proceedings by sending their
followers to dig trenches for the defence of the town.

But the value of the new defenders was soon proved; for a force of
royalist troops on their way to the castle at Prague, were completely
cut to pieces by a sally of the Taborites; and when Sigismund at last
advanced against the city, the approach of this fierce peasant army,
wielding the spiked flails which were generally their only weapon,
struck him with such fear that he at once abandoned the siege of
Prague, and devoted himself to more easy enterprises. Nor were the
nobles of Bohemia more fortunate in their efforts. Ulric of Rosenberg,
who had followed C̆enek in his desertion of the popular cause, was
driven back from Tabor by Nicholaus of Hus, and confined himself for a
time to imprisoning and starving the Utraquist priests whom he found on
his lands.

In the meantime, the appeal of the Pope and the Emperor for a crusade
against the Utraquists was producing its effect. Not only from Germany,
but from various parts of Hungary, Spain, France, England, and Holland,
and in some cases even from Poland, trained warriors came to join
Sigismund’s army.

Prominent amongst the German princes was Frederick of Hohenzollern. He
had been secured to Sigismund’s cause by a transaction which roused new
bitterness in Bohemia against the Emperor. It may be remembered that
Charles IV. had added Brandenburg to the Bohemian kingdom. Thomas of
S̆títný, and other stern moralists, had objected to this acquisition,
considering it as a mere act of personal aggrandisement, and of no
real benefit to the kingdom. But, in the history of every country,
there have been additions of territory which, however questionable in
their origin, have afterwards roused on their behalf a strong national
feeling. Nor must it be forgotten that the circumstances, under which
Sigismund surrendered this territory, certainly justified considerable
indignation on the part of the Bohemians. In 1415, four years before
he was actually King of Bohemia, without any consultation with
Wenceslaus or the Bohemian Assembly, Sigismund handed over Brandenburg
to Frederick of Hohenzollern, whose ancestor had so actively assisted
Rudolf in the conquest of Bohemia.

It soon appeared that the national feeling against Germans in general,
and the Hohenzollerns in particular, was not limited to the Utraquists,
but was shared even by those Bohemian nobles who followed Sigismund in
battle. So intense was this hatred that the Bohemians and their allies
had to be quartered in different parts of the field; and doubtless this
disagreement was one cause of the strange delay in the operations of
the army which followed their arrival before Prague. Two weeks were
spent by the captains of the host in raids upon the neighbouring towns,
whence they brought in Utraquist priests whom they burnt in the camp.
One occasion is specially noted by the chronicler, in which three old
men and four boys were brought in, in company with their priest. These
prisoners, after having been struck and insulted for some time, were
ordered to abjure the practice of Communion in both kinds, and when
they refused, were burnt. During all this time Z̆iz̆ka was working at
the fortifications of a hill which overlooks the town, and from which
he hoped to conduct the defence.

[Illustration: VIEW OF PRAGUE SHOWING Z̆IZ̆KA’S HILL TO THE NORTH-EAST.]

At last, on the 14th of July, the invading army grew weary of its
delays, and prepared for a general attack on various parts of the city.
In this plan the invaders were to be aided by the garrisons which
occupied respectively the fortress of the Vys̆ehrad and the castle
of Prague. The battle began by an attempt to storm the hill which
Z̆iz̆ka had fortified. This attack was undertaken by the Margrave
of Meissen, the hereditary enemy of the Bohemians. As his soldiers
charged up the hill they were encountered, not only by Z̆iz̆ka’s
forces, but also by private citizens, and even by women. The stones
hurled by these defenders produced such effect that the first attack
was repelled. But the Germans quickly returned to the charge; nor
could the desperate courage of the defenders wholly prevent their
advance. One of the Germans seized on a woman who was defending the
hill; but she vowed that she would not yield to anti-Christ, and
she was killed in defending herself. Still the invaders pressed on.
Z̆iz̆ka was himself wounded and struck down, and was with difficulty
rescued by the flails of his followers. The Germans had almost reached
the top of the hill, when suddenly the gate of the city, which stood
nearest to the hill on the other side, was thrown open, and a priest
came out bearing the Sacrament, and followed by fifty archers, and
some more of the flail-bearing peasants. At the same moment all the
bells in the city were set ringing; and, with a great shout, echoed
from within the walls, the new-comers rushed up the hill to meet the
advancing enemy. Immediately the invaders were seized with a panic and
fled; three hundred of them were killed in the descent, and others
dangerously wounded. Sigismund’s forces retreated to their tents, and
the citizens of Prague hastened to their churches to return thanks for
their victory. The scene of this battle was called by some Bojiste (the
battlefield) in consequence of the great slaughter of the Germans;
others called it the Hill of the Cup; but the name which has driven out
every other is that which connects it with the general of the day; and
it is still known as Z̆iz̆kov Hora--the hill of Z̆iz̆ka.

It might have seemed that such a victory, however startling, would
scarcely have ended a war, begun with so great preparation, and engaged
in by so formidable an army. But the bitter feeling between the German
and Bohemian Royalists had now risen to such a height as to make common
action impossible. On the one hand, the Germans furiously accused the
Bohemians of having betrayed them in the battle; and, in revenge for
this supposed treachery, they attacked and burnt some of the houses in
the outlying villages, and threw the women and children into the fire.
The Bohemians, on the other hand, were more and more disposed to make
peace with their countrymen; and it will be remembered that some of the
nobles had already shown an inclination to Utraquism. As for Sigismund,
his first and main thought was to secure the crown of Bohemia to
himself with the smallest amount of trouble.

Under these circumstances the Bohemian part of the army willingly
entered into negotiations with the defenders of the city; and the
latter proposed, for Sigismund’s acceptance, four Articles of Peace,
which were to become very famous in the following years. The first
of these was the free preaching of the Word of God; the second, the
granting of the Cup to the laity; the third, the removal of the clergy
from rule in secular affairs, and their restriction to the apostolic
mode of life; the fourth was the public suppression of deadly sins.
Sigismund consented to discussion on these points between the Utraquist
preachers and the Catholic priests, who had followed his army. The
leading orator on the Utraquist side was John Pr̆zibram, a man who was
to play a conspicuous part in the coming controversies.

Strangely enough, it was found that the Catholic clergy were willing
to make many concessions in the discussion. But the Conference broke
down on a point which may be called the main issue of the Later
Reformation--the question, namely, whether, in cases of doubt, the
deciding authority should be the Church or the Scriptures. Perhaps few
could have expected that the clerical disputants would have come to an
agreement; and the Bohemian Royalists did not seem to have been shaken
by this result in their desire for peace. Indeed, such readiness did
they show to accept the Four Articles, that the citizens of Prague
considered their cause secure, and consented to elect Sigismund as
their King. So on July 28, 1420, Sigismund, having given a general
promise to govern better, was solemnly crowned at Prague; and two days
later the great army of Crusaders returned, cursing the King as a
breaker of his word and a favourer of heretics.



X.

FROM THE FIRST CORONATION OF SIGISMUND TO THE OPENING OF COUNCIL OF
BASEL.

(1420-1431.)


In spite of the dramatic circumstances of Sigismund’s coronation at
Prague, any hopes of peace or reconciliation, which the citizens may
have entertained, at the moment, were speedily to be frustrated, partly
by the bitter divisions in the Utraquist camp, partly by the incurably
untrustworthy character of the king whom they had chosen. The former
difficulty was the one which first forced itself on public attention.
The Taborites had taken the leading part in the victory which had
just been won; and they resolved that their will should be felt in
the settlement which was to follow it. Furious at the recent burning
of their friends before the very eyes of the citizens, they demanded
that these murders should be revenged by the burning of the prisoners
who had been taken in the battle; and the rulers of the city yielded
to their wishes. Elated by this success, the Taborites insisted that
twelve new Articles should be added to the four which had been already
set forth by the Calixtines. Most of these new proposals were in the
direction of more vigorous provisions for punishing self-indulgence and
immorality. But the bitter national feeling manifests itself in the
demand for the complete establishment of the law of God, in the place
of those pagan and _Teutonic_ laws, which do not agree with the laws
of God. Further, all the revenues of the priests were to be seized for
the public good; usury was to be suppressed; all enemies of the truth
to be expelled; all heretical monasteries and all unnecessary churches,
altars, and ornaments to be destroyed.

The discussion of these proposals was marked by the first public
appearance in Bohemia of a man who was to play a remarkable part in the
coming struggle. This was Peter Payne, an English Master of Arts, who
had been forced to fly from Oxford on account of his sympathy with the
doctrines of Wyclif. He had been welcomed by the scholars of Prague,
and had been admitted to a Master’s Degree at their University also.
Although his doctrinal Protestantism had led him to conclusions far
beyond those adopted by any Bohemian party, yet his English sense of
justice and love of compromise often marked him out as a go-between and
moderator in the controversies of his adopted countrymen. He now came
forward to suggest the senses in which the Articles of the Taborites
might be accepted, without injury to either party. But, although the
Calixtines were anxious to find a method of reconciliation with the
Taborites, the latter were guided on this occasion by much fiercer
spirits than Peter Payne.

[Illustration]

The chief of these extreme advisers was John of Z̆elív, who had so
excited the Utraquists, on the occasion of that first riot, when the
Councillors of the New Town were thrown out of the windows. He now
demanded the deposition of those Councillors of the Old Town who were
opposed to the Taborite doctrines. This point, too, was conceded; yet,
for some reason, not clearly ascertainable, the Taborites were still
dissatisfied, and on August 22nd they left Prague.

But the second hindrance to the establishment of peace in Bohemia was
to have an even more marked effect in hastening on the new war. It
was not only the Taborites who distrusted their new ruler; Sigismund
soon provoked against him many of those who had been most desirous for
peace. One of the first points which roused their opposition, was his
demand that the ornaments of the churches and the royal treasure should
be used for the payment of the foreign soldiers, who had just been
employed in the invasion of Bohemia. He also began to renew the old and
evil policy of pledging the monasteries and the royal castles to the
nobles. Lastly, although he had encouraged the citizens to hope that he
would sanction the Four Articles, he still declined to give them any
formal approval, or even to make arrangements for a discussion upon
them; nor would he give the citizens any security against the attacks
of those fierce Catholics who still held the fortresses of Prague
and Vys̆ehrad. These divisions of opinions were obviously too vital
to permit of any friendly understanding between the two parties. So
Sigismund soon after left Prague; and the suspicions between king and
people rapidly ripened to a violent solution of their differences.

Sigismund had now adopted, to the full, the principle that no faith
was to be kept with heretics; and, while he assured the Praguer of his
desire for peace, he was appealing to the Pope and the electors to join
a second crusade for the suppression of the heretics. The citizens
first fully realised the treacherous character of Sigismund’s policy
when they began to renew their attacks on the Vys̆ehrad. The possession
of this fortress by the Catholics was a continual danger to the city;
yet, when the Utraquists sent their next deputation to Sigismund, to
entreat its acceptance of the Four Articles, he demanded that, even
before the Articles should be discussed, the citizens of Prague should
abandon their siege of the Vys̆ehrad. This demand received a still more
startling interpretation a short time after, when the Town Council
intercepted a letter from the king to the defenders of the fortress,
urging them to make a sudden attack on the city, which he would second
from another point.

With some difficulty the citizens now persuaded Nicholaus of Hus to
bring a force of the Taborites to their help. The king had secretly
arranged to send ships down the Moldau to the defence of the Vys̆ehrad;
and the citizens had put chains across the island which lies below the
fortress, so as to hinder the ships from passing. Nicholaus was set
to guard this island; but not even the sense of a common danger could
stifle the differences between the Calixtine leaders and the captains
of the Taborites. The Royalists, in their fear of starvation, offered
to surrender the Vys̆ehrad, if the king did not relieve them within a
certain time. This proposal the citizens were willing to accept; but
Nicholaus was so indignant at the terms granted to the garrison, that
he abandoned the island and retired into the city. A nobleman, named
Hynek of Crus̆ina, now undertook the defence of the city; and when
Sigismund again arrived before it, he found it fortified against him.

Again, the division in his camp between the native nobles and his
Hungarian and German followers speedily showed itself. Some Moravian
barons advised him to abandon the attack, and frankly owned that they
feared the flails of the rustics. Sigismund, whose sympathies were
becoming more and more alienated from his countrymen, taunted the
Moravians with cowardice and treachery. They thereupon sprang from
their horses and declared that they were ready to go where the king
would never be. Sigismund then ordered them to occupy a dangerous
and marshy position on the low land in front of the city, while the
Hungarians were to charge from a higher point. This double attack was
at first successful, for the Utraquists fled in some confusion. But
Hynek rallied their forces, telling them that the Lord would deliver
their enemies into their hands. He and Nicholaus of Hus rushed forward
gallantly with the others; and once more the fear of the flails of the
rustics caused a panic among the Catholics. About five hundred of the
Royalists were either killed or wounded, and the rout was complete.
Then the men of Vys̆ehrad consented to surrender. But though their
captors succeeded in conveying them safely into Prague, they could not
save the church organs and images in the fortress from being destroyed
by the crowd.

The war now raged fiercely on both sides; but while, in matters of
physical cruelty, the Bohemians were as reckless as their opponents,
on two important points there was a marked difference between the
conduct of the rival armies. In the first place, the stern morality
of the Utraquist leaders prevented any of those outrages on women
in which the Hungarian soldiers freely indulged; and, secondly, the
doctrine that no faith should be kept with heretics produced an utter
unscrupulousness on the Imperialist side, in the observance of terms
of truce or surrender, which cannot certainly be alleged, in the same
degree, against the Bohemian leaders.

Yet, in the middle of their desperate struggle for national existence
against German and Hungarian, the Calixtines and Taborites could not be
induced to suspend their internal quarrels. Z̆iz̆ka, indeed, desired at
first to adopt a more conciliatory policy than was customary with his
colleagues; and he persuaded the Taborites to act with the citizens of
Prague in offering the crown of Bohemia to the King of Poland. But even
he soon felt compelled to adopt a more aggressive line of action; for
the Calixtines had been so alarmed at the power of John of Z̆elív, that
they had prohibited the further introduction of novelties in doctrine,
and had deposed those Councillors of the Old Town who had been
elected under the influence of John. Z̆iz̆ka was so alarmed at these
proceedings, that he abandoned a siege which he was conducting in a
distant part of Bohemia, and marched against the fortress of R̆íc̆an,
which was in the near neighbourhood of Prague.

This fortress had long been a danger to the citizens; but they were
perfectly well aware that Z̆iz̆ka’s present motive for marching against
it was a desire to control the deliberations of the Town Councillors.
Hynek of Crus̆ina was so indignant at Z̆iz̆ka’s conduct that he threw
up the captaincy of Prague, and not long after adopted the cause of
Sigismund. Z̆iz̆ka had his usual good success in the siege; but there
is at least a doubt whether his proceedings were marked by his usual
good faith. The Calixtine leaders had promised to spare the lives of
the defenders of the fortress if they would surrender; yet, after the
surrender was completed, Z̆iz̆ka burnt alive nine of the priests whom
he found in the garrison. But neither the undoubted cruelty nor the
possible treachery of this proceeding could prevent Z̆iz̆ka’s victory
from producing the desired effect on the Calixtines; and they now
consented to admit the Taborites to a free discussion of the points of
difference between them and their rivals.

This discussion had at least one advantage. It showed clearly what
was the point which the Taborites looked upon as the vital difference
between themselves and the Calixtines. For, when the Masters of
the Prague University brought forward a long list of subjects of
controversy, one of the Taborite leaders complained that they had not
come there to discuss all those points; but that they simply wished
for a decision on the question whether they should or should not wear
special vestments at the performance of the Mass. Jakaubek of Kladrau
consented to limit the discussion to this one point; and, although no
resolution was arrived at, the Taborites clearly saw that the majority
in Prague were against them. The fierce spirit of fanaticism, which had
already led the Taborites into such excesses, now roused them to fury
against the Calixtines; and in one town, at least, they proclaimed that
any priest who was found wearing a special dress at the celebration of
the Mass, should be burned alive in his vestments.

But this dangerous division between the thinking and the fighting
forces of the Utraquist party was checked by two events which were both
of considerable importance in the history of the movement. The first of
these was the death of Nicholaus of Hus, who was thrown from his horse
as he was leaving Prague. This death naturally threw more power into
the hands of Z̆iz̆ka; and he had always felt, much more strongly than
Nicholaus, the necessity of maintaining the alliance with the Calixtine
rulers of Prague. The other event, which drew the more moderate men of
the two parties together, was the outbreak of a new division in the
ranks of the Taborites themselves.

That a body, with the origin, constitution, and mode of life which have
been already described, should develop new and unexpected phases of
thought, might have been guessed from the beginning of the movement;
but that the particular doctrine now broached should have caused
division among any section of the Utraquists must sound very strange
to modern ears. In any revolt against excessive priestly power, one
would have expected that such a doctrine as Transubstantiation would
have been the first to be attacked. Yet, while both Calixtines and
Taborites were fiercely denouncing the civil power of the clergy, while
they were attacking every outward badge which seemed to separate the
clergy from the laity, they had yet shrunk with horror from any attack
on the doctrine of Transubstantiation. When, then, Martinek Hauska, a
leading Taborite preacher, began to denounce this doctrine, he roused
the fiercest opposition among his Taborite colleagues; and two of their
more learned members wrote, in February, 1421, to Jakaubek of Kladrau
and John Pr̆zibram, to consult them about the best means for opposing
this heresy. The answer to that question was only too easily given;
for, while each party disagreed with every other on the definition
of heresy, there was a striking unanimity about the right method of
dealing with it when defined. So, while the Calixtines burnt one of
the preachers of the new doctrine in Prague, the Taborites, doubtless
finding them too numerous for such treatment, forcibly expelled them
from Tabor.

Deserted and repudiated by all their neighbours, these unfortunate
exiles wandered about in the woods, till their destitute condition,
acting on their already excited fancy, drove them into a state of
partial insanity. They plucked off their clothes, and declared that
they would return to the state of innocence. That men in such a
condition would fall into acts of impurity seems highly probable; but
it would surely be unjust to believe all the rumours circulated against
people who had no opportunity of stating their own case. The main
fact, however, of their living habitually without clothes seems to be
generally admitted; it was that peculiarity which gained them their
name of Adamites; and it was on that ground that Z̆iz̆ka seized and
burnt fifty of them. They entered the fire smiling, declaring that they
would reign that day with Christ in heaven.

While these events were weakening the opposition between the Calixtines
and the main body of the Taborites, other causes were securing still
more positive advantages to the moderate party in Prague. In April,
1421, Kutna Hora at last fell into the hands of the joint armies of
the Taborites and Calixtines; and this victory was speedily followed
by the capture of the town of Jaromír. Then C̆enĕk of Wartenberg,
Ulric of Rosenberg, Hynek of Crus̆ina, and other noblemen who had
revolted to Sigismund, came back to the Utraquist camp. John of Z̆elív
seems to have been the guide and adviser of the Utraquist forces in
this campaign, and he compelled C̆enĕk to make public confession of
his wickedness in having betrayed the castle of Prague to the king.
When this concession had been made, the nobles returned to Prague,
and regained for a time some of their old power. That power was
strengthened by the speedy capture of the castle of Prague, which up to
this time had held out against the citizens; and the acceptance by the
nobles of the Four Articles seemed to complete the reunion of parties.

On July 1, 1421, a great Assembly was held of nobles, knights, and
citizens, at which the question was discussed whether they should
once more recognise Sigismund as their king. The Moravian nobles
were opposed to his deposition, while the stricter Utraquists were
equally strong against recalling him; and the Estates at last came to a
curious compromise, which was expressed in the following words: “That
they will not have Sigismund for their king unless it is the will of
God, and unless the famous Masters of Prague, the Bohemian lords, the
communities of the Taborites, the knights, soldiers, towns, and other
Bohemian communities, give their consent thereto.”

Then a Council of Representatives from all classes of the community was
chosen to manage the affairs of State while the throne was vacant. And,
if there had been anything of hesitation and compromise in the form
of their decree, there was no sign of such feeling in their answer to
the envoys whom Sigismund had sent to assert his claim to the throne.
They drew up a long list of their reasons for rejecting him as king.
The first grounds of complaint were the deaths of Hus, Jerom, and
Krasa, and the encouragement which Sigismund had given to the Crusaders
against Bohemia. They then dwelt on his surrender of Brandenburg
without the consent of the Assembly; and they wound up their indictment
by denouncing his rejection of the Four Articles. Sigismund answered
this attack by again repudiating any sanction on his part to the
deaths of Hus and Jerom; by declaring himself perfectly ready to
hear discussions on the Four Articles; and, finally, by taunting the
Utraquists with their burning of priests and churches.

But, although a want of confidence in Sigismund might bind together
for a time the various sections of the Utraquist party; yet, on the
other hand, the intense distrust which the treachery of C̆enĕk and
the other nobles had caused, could not be removed by this superficial
appearance of reconciliation. John of Z̆elív, though he had admitted
the nobles to a kind of absolution, was foremost in mistrusting the
repentance which had been accompanied with so much humiliation. A
sudden invasion of Bohemia by the Silesians produced a new cause of
distrust; for the nobles were suspected of having been very remiss in
their resistance of the invaders. This brought to a head the suspicions
which had originally been grounded on points of doctrinal difference;
and the sterner members of the Utraquist clergy declared that they
had no adequate security for the genuineness of the conversion of the
nobles. John of Z̆elív followed up this attack by demanding the removal
of all the clergy who adhered to the old ritual, and who would not
sing in Bohemian. The Town Councils consented to the change, and John
succeeded in thrusting into the vacant preacherships some supporters
even of those doctrines which had been condemned by both sections of
the Utraquist party.

But the fear of foreign invasion was once more to drive into the
background for a time the internal divisions of the Utraquist party.
The fiery energy of Martin V. had roused the electors of the Empire
from the panic into which they had been thrown by the failure of the
first crusade; and the Margrave of Meissen, the fiercest of the enemies
of Bohemia, had begun a new invasion on his own responsibility.
Z̆iz̆ka had been recently wounded in his only sound eye; but, at the
rumour of the new attack, he at once hurried out to battle, and the
men of Meissen fled before him. The rumours of the divisions between
the nobles and the citizens had, however, encouraged the Meissener to
renew their attack; and a few successes on their part induced Frederick
of Hohenzollern to organise a second crusade among the princes of the
Empire. The Bohemian peasants fled before the advance of the new army
and took refuge in the town of Z̆atec. So in September, 1421, an army
of two thousand Imperialists marched against Z̆atec, and the terrified
citizens began to despair of resistance.

But their anxieties and dangers came to an unexpected end. As the
watchers were gazing one day from the city walls on the camp of the
enemy, their attention was caught by a sudden glow of fire. The flame
rapidly spread through the camp, and all the tents of the enemy were
consumed. To the astonished eyes of the watchers it seemed as if a
miracle had been worked on their behalf; but the real explanation,
though wonderful enough, was not connected with those interferences
with the order of nature to which conventional phraseology has confined
the name of miracle. The fact was that the Electors of the German
Empire had heard that the terrible Z̆iz̆ka was approaching; and so the
great army of the second crusade had burnt their tents and retreated
without striking a blow.

[Illustration: Z̆IZ̆KA ON HORSEBACK AT THE HEAD OF THE FLAIL-BEARING
TABORITES.

(_From an old picture copied in Dr. Toman’s pamphlet._)]

Sigismund had been absent in Hungary during this struggle, but he now
advanced at the head of a Hungarian army to Brünn (Brno), committing
every kind of barbarity on the way. It will be remembered that he had
recently announced that he had never objected to a discussion of the
Four Articles. He now summoned all the Moravian nobles before him, and
threatened to put them to death unless they would abjure all those
Articles. Apparently the nobles were not made of the same stuff as the
sturdy preachers of Tabor and Prague; for, with two exceptions, all the
Utraquist nobles of Moravia consented to abandon their creed and accept
that of Sigismund.

Doubtless encouraged by this success, Sigismund marched to Kutna Hora
at the head of an army of about eight thousand men. Z̆iz̆ka advanced
to the relief of the town, and the townsmen themselves made a gallant
defence; but some traitor opened one of the gates to the Imperial
soldiers, and the massacre which followed on their entry made so deep
an impression on the imagination of the Bohemians, that in later ages
it was compared to the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. Z̆iz̆ka’s forces
were now completely surrounded; and, on the 22nd of December, 1421,
he found himself at the mercy of his opponents in a bitter winter and
without any possibility of obtaining food. Sigismund now thought his
victory secure; but he little knew with whom he had to deal. In spite
of cold and hunger, Z̆iz̆ka kept his troops firm and patient till
midnight. Then, having observed the weakest point in the royal army, he
made a sudden and unexpected dash, broke through the Royalist lines,
and was soon raising new forces and new provisions in the country. The
Hungarians now scattered themselves about, plundering and ravishing
in the neighbouring villages, when, suddenly, in January, 1422, a
party of the plunderers were startled in an outlying village by the
appearance of Z̆iz̆ka at the head of a new army. Sigismund was once
more panic-struck. He ordered the town of Kutna Hora to be set on fire;
fastened the councillors to his carriage, and fled as fast as he could
go to the town of Deutschbrod (Nemecky Brod). Z̆iz̆ka, in spite of the
hard frost, followed with all his horses and baggage-waggons; and he so
completely routed Sigismund that twelve thousand of the Hungarian army
were killed, and the King never again entered Bohemia during Z̆iz̆ka’s
life.

But, in the meantime, the divisions in Prague were reaching their
height. John the Priest (as John of Z̆elív was now called) had, on
October 19th, struck a popular _coup d’état_. He had persuaded the
people to depose the nobles from office, and to choose one man as
captain of the city, with four others for each division of the town.
The new Councillors, who were appointed under this arrangement,
proceeded to summon to Prague a certain John Sadlo, who had been a
zealous Utraquist, but who happened to have incurred the suspicion of
the new rulers of the town. He was promised a safe-conduct; but, on
arriving in Prague, he was seized and summarily executed. The moderate
men of Prague now felt that a stand must be made; and they called a
meeting at which Jakaubek of Kladrau and Peter Payne drew up certain
Articles for the government of the clergy. Four directors were to be
chosen to regulate the appointment to every church in Prague, and
to prevent the introduction of novelties in ritual, unless publicly
justified from Scripture. John was urged by his followers to resist
this proposal; but he seems to have felt it better to give way, and
to accept the three colleagues, who were combined with him in the
administration.

But, however much such an arrangement might satisfy the champions
of Utraquist orthodoxy, it could not restore the sense of order and
stability which had been shaken by John’s overbearing proceedings,
and especially by the murder of Sadlo. C̆enĕk of Wartenberg and other
nobles again fled to Sigismund; and, although the citizens of Prague
and the Masters of the University were far from being disposed to that
course, they felt that the security to be obtained by the presence of
a King would be their best guarantee against the encroachments of the
extreme party. The King of Poland had rejected the offer of the crown;
but the Duke of Lithuania seemed more ready to listen to the advances
of the Bohemians. Apparently, however, his sympathies arose rather
from a general Slavonic feeling, and a personal dislike of Sigismund,
than from any doctrinal sympathies with the Utraquists. He had been
a comparatively recent convert to Christianity; and he had all the
consequent zeal for orthodoxy. The Calixtines assured him that they
had no desire for separation from the Romish Church, and that they did
not admit the charge of heresy. In the hope, therefore, of defeating
Sigismund, and of bringing back the Bohemians to the Catholic Church,
Witold of Lithuania consented that his nephew, Sigismund Korybut,
should be sent to represent him in Bohemia.

Prince Korybut, however, insisted that, before he would enter Prague,
Priest John should be deposed from his power. Those nobles who had
remained faithful to the national cause were specially eager to carry
out this understanding. They deposed all the Councillors both in the
Old and New Town; and they arranged that each quarter should choose new
Councillors for a year, of whom none should be priests or Masters of
Arts. At the same time Has̆ek of Waldstein was chosen chief captain of
the town. But the terror which John had excited among the nobles and
richer citizens could not be removed by these arrangements. So on March
8th two councillors were sent to John, to ask him to come to the Town
Council to consult with them. When he came, they asked his advice about
the plan of campaign, and seemed to listen respectfully. Then they went
on to urge him to make peace between the rival parties, before they
went to battle. John answered that, if they desired peace, they must
not take away houses from those to whom the Community had given them,
nor must they depose faithful servants such as the late Captain of the
town. Then, whilst they were still speaking, the burgomaster gave a
sign; and the soldiers rushed in and seized Priest John and several of
his friends, took them into an outer hall, and executed them. As soon
as the people of the town heard the news, they rose in fury, broke into
the Council House, seized and beheaded the leading Councillors, and
compelled Has̆ek of Waldstein to fly for his life.

But it seemed as if the death of John had really deprived the extreme
party in Prague of their chances of final success; for, when in May,
1422, Korybut arrived in Prague, he was able, with apparently little
trouble, to remove the Councillors of the extreme party, and to restore
the Calixtines.

For a time Korybut seemed to give new strength and coherence to the
Utraquist movement; but his reign was not of long duration. Martin
V. had been extremely alarmed at the sympathies shown in Poland and
Lithuania for the Utraquist cause; and by his orders the Polish clergy
persuaded King Ladislaus to organise a new expedition against the
Utraquists, while they induced Witold of Lithuania to recall Prince
Korybut. But, though the summons for a third crusade was sent out to
Poles, Lithuanians, Swedes, and Norwegians, yet the Pope soon found
that it was easier to cajole kings than to convert peoples. Not only
did the Poles and Ruthenians refuse to serve in the crusade; but, in
spite of Ladislaus’s rebukes, they hastened to take up arms for the
Bohemians; and so the third crusade collapsed even more ignominiously
than the former ones.

[Illustration: OLD PICTURE OF Z̆IZ̆KA IN HEAVEN.

(_From Dr. Toman’s pamphlet._)]

The fear of a foreign invasion being thus removed, the nobles resolved
on a final struggle for power with the Taborites. Z̆iz̆ka had
reluctantly consented to recognise Korybut as king; but the recall
of the latter broke this link between the nobles and the Taborite
leader. He had resented the treacherous murder of John of Z̆elív; and
he had special causes of his own for distrusting the leading nobles.
He himself belonged to that Order of Knights, or gentry, which was
in continual rivalry with the greater nobility; while his intense
religious zeal, and his scorn of caste, had drawn him close to the
fiery peasants of Mount Tabor, and increased his contempt for the
vacillations and treacheries of C̆enek of Wartenberg and Ulric of
Rosenberg. The struggle which now followed was a fierce and bloody one;
but it ended in the complete victory of Z̆iz̆ka, and the consent of the
nobles to return to the popular cause. They were the more willing to
come to terms as the King had just mortally offended Bohemian feeling
by granting the province of Moravia to Albert, Duke of Austria, and had
recognised him as his heir in Bohemia. Korybut had now escaped from his
uncle and returned to Bohemia; and, though he was no longer recognised
as their legal ruler, he was welcomed as an ally and a captain in their
wars, and he marched with the united Utraquist army into Moravia, to
deliver it from Albert of Austria. Z̆iz̆ka, though now completely
blind, also led his forces into Moravia.

But in October, 1424, he was seized with a sudden illness and died. His
death naturally created a great sensation; and it is a proof of the
substantial success of his work that the changes which were expected
to take place, in consequence of his death, were much greater than
any that actually occurred. A section, indeed, of his more immediate
personal followers did form themselves into a separate party under
the name of the “Orphans”; but though, like Z̆iz̆ka, they were more
moderate in their doctrines than the rest of the Taborites, they
continued, for all practical purposes, to act with the latter; nor did
Sigismund find that the terror, which the name of Hussite had inspired,
had at all diminished. A married priest named Procop rapidly rose to
the position which Z̆iz̆ka had held; and so far was he from slackening
the zeal of his followers that he soon introduced a more aggressive
element into the warfare. Tired of remaining so long on the defensive,
he resolved that the Germans and Hungarians should feel something of
the misery which they had inflicted on Bohemia; and he began a series
of invasions of Austria, Bavaria, and Hungary, which considerably added
to the terrors which had been produced by Z̆iz̆ka.

Curiously enough, the changes in the Calixtine party became more
noticeable at this time than among those who seemed more likely to
be affected by Z̆iz̆ka’s death. Jakaubek fell at this time into the
background, and John Pr̆zibram came more to the front. Pr̆zibram was
one of those bitter theologians who delight to dwell on the negative
side of their doctrines, rather than on those that tend to unity and
positive faith. He had been willing enough to maintain the cause of
the Four Articles of Prague against the Catholic priests; but, now
that the Catholic cause seemed lost in Prague, he began to express so
offensively and insultingly his opposition to the Taborites, that he
disgusted the more moderate men of his own party; and on Christmas Day,
1426, he demanded, in a further discussion, that the Hussites should
specially condemn the doctrines of Wyclif.

This proposal produced a definite change in the position of Peter
Payne. Although his doctrinal convictions were probably well known,
yet, in the interests of peace and order, he had hitherto been willing
to co-operate with the Calixtines in checking the excesses of the
Taborites. But the attack on his distinguished countryman, to whose
writings he probably looked for guidance more than to those of Hus,
was too much for his personal and patriotic sympathies, and he eagerly
took up the cause of Wyclif. The decision of the meeting, however,
was against the English reformer; and Korybut, who shared his uncle’s
dislike to the heretical position into which the Hussites had been
forced, seized upon this resolution as a sign of their desire to
return to union with the Church. So he sent messengers to Pope Martin
to assure him that this decision represented the real feeling of the
country.

But this unfortunate step, instead of producing reunion with Rome,
only called out new divisions in the Utraquist party. John Rokycana,
the preacher at the Teyn Church, heard of these negotiations; and,
though a strict and zealous Calixtine, he was a warm patriot, and by
no means disposed to put either his faith or his nation at the feet
of either Emperor or Pope. So in April, 1427, he preached an alarmist
sermon warning the people that their interests were being betrayed.
The people sprang to arms; Korybut was imprisoned; and Pr̆zibram and
several of his allies were banished from Prague. But, to prove that
the movement had a national rather than a doctrinal purpose, Rokycana
and his friends passed a resolution in favour of at least a modified
form of Transubstantiation. Thus Peter Payne was compelled to take his
part with the Taborites, while a new division was formed among the
Calixtines themselves.

But in the meantime the aggressive policy of Procop had roused Martin
V. to new energy; and since Germans, Hungarians, and Poles had each in
turn failed him, he entrusted the management of a fourth crusade to
an Englishman. This was the celebrated Cardinal Beaufort, who was now
appointed legate for Bohemia, Hungary, and Germany, and under whose
auspices a special Hussite tax was raised throughout the Empire. The
Margrave of Brandenburg and the Archbishop of Trier took the leading
part in the command of the army; and in July, 1427, the new crusaders
entered Bohemia and began the siege of Kladrau. While they were almost
hoping to capture the town, Procop suddenly advanced against them at
the head of the united Utraquist army. Immediately the strange panic,
which had become traditional at the approach of the Utraquists, seized
upon the enemy; and they fled to the town of Tachov, which was at that
time in their hands. Here Beaufort met them, reproached them with their
cowardice, and persuaded them to prepare for battle. But no sooner did
Procop’s army again appear in sight than the panic once more returned.
Beaufort, enraged, seized the banner of the Empire and tore it to
pieces in their presence. But the sense of fear was too strong, even
for soldierly dignity; and at last the indignant Cardinal was swept
away in the flight. Several new victories followed, though Pilsen
(Plz̆en) still held out against the Utraquist armies. Beaufort demanded
that a new anti-Hussite tax should be raised, and at the same time sent
a command to the men of Pilsen that they should abstain from a proposed
discussion with the Hussites on points of doctrine. The discussion
took place notwithstanding; and Rokycana and Peter Payne were appointed
to represent the Utraquist party.

The Cardinal might have spared his fears; for the result of the
discussion was to widen the gulf, not between the Catholics and the
Utraquists, but between the Calixtines and the Taborites. This led
to other discussions between the two Utraquist parties, of so fierce
a kind that it seemed as if their enemies might almost succeed in
profiting by their divisions. But those enemies were now becoming
thoroughly exhausted. The raids of Procop had brought home to Germans
and Hungarians the danger of provoking the Bohemians too far; while
among many of the German citizens the question was beginning to be
asked, whether a cause which enabled untrained peasants to strike
terror into the best armies of Europe was not perhaps the cause of
God. Under these circumstances the cry for a Church Council to settle
these matters by discussion, rather than by force of arms, was becoming
general, and, much as the Pope loathed such an idea, he found the
ground cut from under his feet by the desertion of his most sturdy
supporter. The war between France and England had suddenly received
a new turn by the appearance of Joan of Arc; and Cardinal Beaufort’s
anxiety for the success of his country decided him on the desperate
step of employing the money and men whom he had raised to fight against
Bohemia in the war against France. Alarmed as the Pope and his friends
were at this sudden desertion, they hoped for a time that the wonderful
Maid might herself take up their cause against the heretics. But
when this hope was cut short by her defeat and imprisonment, the cry
for a Council became again strong, and Martin was even told that, if
he sincerely desired to put down the Hussites, he would prove it by
granting the discussion.

[Illustration: CHODI BOHEMIAN PEASANTS OF THE BAVARIAN BORDER.]

The fiery Pope, however, was determined to make one last appeal to
arms; and this time he chose an Italian cardinal, Giuliano Cesarini,
to organise a crusade. Before the crusade could start, Martin V.
died; but Cesarini was as determined as the Pope had been on leading
the expedition to its triumph. The Margrave of Brandenburg was again
appointed commander, though the suspicions which his previous flight
had caused were so great, that the Cardinal and the Electors insisted
on checking his power by a Council of Nine. Sigismund declared his
approval of the crusade, and then wrote to Prague to assure the
citizens of his desire for peace.

In the meantime Procop had rallied his forces and advanced to the
borders of Bavaria; but they waited so long for the enemy that their
food began to fail, and some of the troops dropped off to forage for
supplies. The Germans, encouraged by this laxity, once more advanced to
the town of Tachov. The Cardinal desired them to storm the town; but
the generals decided to delay the attack; and the townsmen succeeded
in so well fortifying the town that the German army abandoned the
siege, and finally retreated to Taus (Domaz̆lic̆e). In the meantime
the Bohemians had collected their forces, and on Aug. 14, 1431,
they advanced towards Domaz̆lic̆e, singing one of their favourite
hymns, “Kdoz̆ jste Boz̆i bojovnici”--“Ye who are the soldiers of the
Lord.” The Cardinal went up the hill to consult the Duke of Saxony
about the arrangements of the battle, when suddenly he observed a
strange confusion, and heard loud cries in the camp of the Margrave
of Brandenburg. Soon after, Frederick himself came hastily to him, to
tell him that his army was in full flight and could not be checked.
The panic quickly spread; and this time it was so complete, that even
the waggons and firearms were left behind; while among the spoil the
Bohemians had the satisfaction of finding, not only the coat and
crucifix of Cardinal Cesarini, but even the Papal Bull sanctioning the
crusade against Bohemia. So ended the fifth and last attempt to crush
out the Hussite heresy by force; and it was now to be tried whether
the Doctors of the Church could succeed in convincing the heretics who
could not be conquered by the sword.



XI.

FROM THE OPENING OF THE COUNCIL OF BASEL TO THE FALL OF TABOR.

(1437-1452.)


The Council of Basel seemed to many to be the natural result of the
Council of Constance. The conception of a constitutional check on
the power of the Popes, and of a better provision for the orderly
government of the Church, was an idea which had become familiar to
the leading theologians of Europe during the bitter ecclesiastical
divisions of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. And it must be
remembered that, however unsatisfactory the results of the Council of
Constance may seem to us, the dignity of its members and the apparent
vigour of its action left a very different impression on the minds of
many of its contemporaries. It had succeeded in deposing and electing
Popes; it had burnt the heretics whom it had condemned; it had found
princes ready to enforce its decrees by fire and sword. And if that
last exercise of its power had ended in failure and disgrace, it might
be plausibly urged that the greater part of the war which it had
initiated had been carried on after the dissolution of the Council
itself; and it was held therefore by many that the summoning of a
similar Council would revive an influence in Europe more capable than
the Pope’s of crushing out heresy and restoring power to the Church.
It was just this consciousness of the popular expectation from the new
Council which strengthened the opposition of Martin V. to the demand
for its convocation. He may, no doubt, have honestly believed that his
personal initiative was more likely to produce the desired effect on
the crusaders than the necessarily divided counsels of a large body of
princes and clergy. But at the same time he was very anxious that the
experiment should not be tried of setting up so dangerous a rival to
the Papal authority.

For the time, however, the feeling of the orthodox world seemed, with
few exceptions, to be overwhelmingly opposed to his; and, even before
his death, the Council of Basel had already begun its deliberations.
But, from an early stage in the preparations for the Council, a very
different conception had been put forward of the purposes for which
it might be used. The Utraquists had from the first maintained that
they had not had a fair hearing before the Council of Constance; and
their early victories had roused a hope that some less partial tribunal
might give them that opportunity of discussion of which they had been
defrauded. In the dispute after the battle of the Z̆iz̆ka Hill, they
had had a taste of those delights of argument for which they hungered;
and the later victories of Z̆iz̆ka had induced Ulric of Rosenberg to
demand, and Sigismund to promise, that even the Taborites should have
their share in such a discussion.

In 1427 even Frederick of Brandenburg and Cardinal Beaufort had
actually prepared the way for a meeting which was to afford
opportunities for doctrinal discussion; and, though Pope Martin was
able at that time to prohibit the proposed conference, the Utraquists
did not lose sight of the prospect then held out to them. But, though
this conception of the more pacific purpose to which a Council might be
turned, naturally induced the Utraquists to listen with some interest
and hope to the arrangements for the meeting at Basel, that hope was
strongly mixed with fear and suspicion. To them, at least, the memories
of Constance brought nothing but bitterness and loathing; and the
evident hostility of those who were calling for the Council, led them
to doubt whether their experiences of Basel would be likely to be any
more satisfactory than the unforgotten wrongs of Constance. But, above
all other causes of discontent, was their ever-deepening distrust of
the promises of Sigismund; and at no time had that distrust been more
fully justified.

New promises for a fair hearing were despatched by him almost
simultaneously with preparations for a new war; and concessions of
the most hopeful kind were continually explained away. Even the great
overthrow of the last crusade did not bring to an end the fierce desire
of Sigismund to re-establish his power by force of arms; and the Duke
of Bavaria and the Count Palatine of the Rhine were eager to second
his efforts in a cause which most men now recognised as hopeless.

But the growing desire for peace was now increased by a terrible fear.
The rulers of Europe remembered that desire to throw off the power
of their predecessors, which had shown itself among the peasantry of
Europe after the failure of the crusades in the thirteenth century;
and which had been renewed after the overthrow of the French nobles
by the English invaders of the fourteenth. This same feeling was now
again apparent; and this time the hopes which accompanied it were
evidently based on more reasonable grounds. That the Saracen generals
should defeat the armies of Louis IX., or that the English nobles
should overthrow the French at Crecy and Poictiers, might be convincing
arguments of the weakness of the defeated parties; but they did not
necessarily prove that those who yielded to such opponents, would
succumb to the attacks of an untrained peasantry. Now, however, for
twelve years past, the peasantry of Bohemia, armed mainly with their
thrashing flails, had repeatedly put to flight the greatest armies of
Europe, and overawed their own nobility. Surely such an example might
give to the peasants of Germany and France some hope that a time was
coming in which they too might be the equals of their oppressors!
In the South of France the French peasantry rose in large numbers,
demanding that the nobles should, for the future, be content to earn
their bread by the sweat of their brow, and declaring that two priests
were all that were required for the spiritual needs of the country. In
Dauphiné collections were made on behalf of the Bohemians; while in the
Rhine district three thousand peasants near Bonn and Speier declared
their determination to overthrow the power of the clergy and nobles.
Under these circumstances, there was a general cry that, if the Council
did not come to terms with the Hussites, the peasant insurrection would
spread throughout Europe.

Nor, on the other hand, were there wanting strong reasons why the
Bohemians, on their side, should be eager for a peaceable settlement.
On them had fallen the main misery of the war; and it is a curious fact
that, in spite of their brilliant successes on the battlefield, much
of their country was still in the hands of the enemy. Not only was the
greater part of Moravia held down by Albert of Austria, but, in Bohemia
itself, the strong fortress of Carlstein, and the important towns of
Budweis (Budejóvice), Pilsen (Plz̆en), and Eger (Cheb), still held out
against the Utraquists. Moreover, the discontent with the power which
Procop had gained by his victories, was working among the more moderate
section of the Utraquists in favour of a settlement in which learned
men should have more power than soldiers.

Under these circumstances, an understanding was at last brought about;
and, in January, 1433, the representatives of the Bohemians arrived in
Basel. There seem to have been some five, or possibly six, Utraquists
who had been chosen to represent their party; but the burden of the
discussion, at any rate, fell upon four people, who were each entrusted
with the defence of one of the Articles of Prague. The most important
of these champions, and the one who was to gain most credit by the
discussion, was, beyond all question, John Rokycana. He had been
steadily advancing in reputation, both as a learned disputant and as a
moderate and judicious leader. The teacher from whom he had derived his
strongest convictions was Jakaubek of Kladrau; and he had, as it were,
inherited from him a special devotion to the practice of Communion in
both kinds. Rokycana, like Hus, had had great struggles with poverty
in acquiring his early education; and, though his doctrines naturally
connected him with the Calixtine section of the Utraquists, his obscure
origin, combined with his strong will and individuality of character,
often brought him out of sympathy with the aristocratic patrons of the
movement.

[Illustration: JOHN ROKYCANA.]

His first public action had been an attempt to make terms between the
citizens of Prague and Z̆iz̆ka, in the last year of Z̆iz̆ka’s struggle
with the nobles, and he induced the latter to abandon an attack upon
the city. His next prominent appearance had been of a less pacific
kind; for it was connected with his vehement opposition to the attempt
of Prince Korybut to make terms with Sigismund. Though, however, on
that occasion, Rokycana had been the chief promoter of the arrest of
Korybut, Pr̆zibram, and other champions of compromise; yet he had
steadily exerted himself to prevent bloodshed in the collision between
the two parties; and he had afterwards encouraged arrangements for the
bringing back of the Calixtine priests who had been expelled during the
struggles. Since the death of Jakaubek, Rokycana seems to have divided
the leadership of the Utraquist clergy of Prague with the Englishman,
Peter Payne.

Payne, as has been already pointed out, belonged, in doctrine, to
the extremer section of the Utraquists; but by his moderate policy
he had often been drawn into sympathy with the Calixtines. Since the
death of Z̆iz̆ka, he seems to have been frequently identified with
that party of Orphans who claimed to represent, more exactly than the
other Taborites, the policy of their leader. This choice of colleagues
contributed still further to distinguish Payne from the main body of
those who agreed with his doctrines; and lastly, the peculiarity of his
position was increased by that reputation for learning which was always
an object of suspicion to the peasant soldiers of Tabor.

The other two Utraquist delegates at the Council of Basel were entirely
representative of the Taborite party. One was Nicholaus of Pilgram
(Pelhr̆imov), the “Bishop,” as he was called, of the Taborites; and
the other was Procop the Great, the successor of Z̆iz̆ka on the
battlefield. Procop, though less cruel than Z̆iz̆ka, had a more
exclusive faith in physical force; and he was less interested in
questions of statesmanship, or details of doctrine; but, as the most
successful general in the religious wars, he could not be passed over
in the election of representatives.

On January 4, 1433, the Bohemian delegates entered Basel, accompanied
by a troop of three hundred horsemen. A great crowd came out to
meet them; and the windows were full of people of all ages and both
sexes, who gazed with astonishment on the strange dresses of their
visitors; while those who were determined to assist their eyes by their
imagination, discovered that these terrible heretics had repulsive
faces and cruel eyes. To most of the spectators the chief object of
interest was the famous general, Procop; and all strained their eyes to
get a glimpse of the man whose very name had become so great a terror
to the armies of the Empire.

Foremost among those who hastened to welcome the strangers was Cardinal
Julian Cesarini; and it must be owned that few men ever had a more
difficult part to play, or played it with more consummate tact and
success. It required some courage to claim the position of impartial
arbitrator, where one of the parties to the cause was a body of men
against whom he had recently proclaimed a destructive crusade; nor
could it be altogether gratifying to him to face in discussion men
who had won their right to a hearing by putting him to an ignominious
flight. Added to these considerations, was the further difficulty that,
while he heartily desired the success of the Council, he took part in
its proceedings as the representative of a Pope who had denounced it,
and who wished to dissolve it. But the Cardinal was unusually well
supplied with that graceful tact and ready wit which so distinguishes
his countrymen. He resigned the formal presidency of the Council in
deference to the Pope’s opposition; yet he not only remained in the
city, but even managed by timely interventions to gain as much control
over the proceedings of the Council as if he were still its official
chief. With regard to the Bohemian delegates, he evidently set before
himself, from the first, two objects, both of which he, in some
measure, accomplished. He was determined that the Council should pass
off peaceably, and that the Bohemians should have no cause to complain
that they had failed to obtain a fair hearing; but he was equally
resolved that, if concessions should be made to the heretics, those
concessions should be, indirectly, a means of weakening the Utraquist
cause. With the keen eye of a diplomatist, he at once noted the points
of division between his opponents, and the best means of making use of
them. Friendly as was his bearing towards all the representatives of
the Bohemians, the one whom he singled out for peculiar attention and
flattery was Procop; and the determination which he showed to bring
him and his friends to the front betrays a purpose which it is not
difficult to understand.

On January 10, 1433, the Council gathered in the Dominican cloister at
Basel, to receive their new guests. To most of the orthodox Councillors
it must have seemed a most humiliating moment when those, whom they
had hoped to exterminate as heretics, were admitted to argue on equal
terms, in defence of the orthodoxy of their doctrines. But Cesarini was
equal to the occasion; he welcomed the Bohemians as at last returning
to the bosom of their mother Church; and, while promising them a fair
hearing, managed to emphasise the principle that the authority of
Councils and of Fathers of the Church must be accepted as guides in the
settlement of points of faith.

Rokycana answered by admitting that the Councils and Fathers would have
their due weight with his friends; but he maintained, at the same time,
that the Council of Constance had condemned their doctrines without
a hearing. On their part, they were prepared to confirm all their
doctrines by reference to the Gospels and the other sacred writings;
they came to prove their innocence in the presence of the whole Church;
and they asked that they should have a fair hearing before laymen as
well as clergymen. The Utraquists were then asked what points they
wished to discuss in which they differed from the practice of the
Romish Church. They answered by enumerating the Four Prague Articles.

Cesarini now saw his opportunity, and he at once asked the Utraquist
representatives if there were not other doctrines which had been
specially put forth by them; for instance, he had heard it said
that they believed the Mendicant Orders to have been founded by the
devil. Procop immediately sprang up, and exclaimed that that was
perfectly true; for, since these Orders were not founded by Moses,
the Patriarchs, or the Prophets, nor yet by Christ, they must have
been founded by the devil. This extraordinary argument was naturally
received with laughter in the Council; but Cesarini insisted on
treating it as serious, and met it by an elaborate refutation.

On the 16th of January, Rokycana opened his speech in defence of the
granting of the Cup to the laity. While grounding his argument largely
on the custom of the primitive Church, he yet fortified it by reference
to decisions of Councils; and he asked whether any Council, before
that of Constance, had ever condemned the practice as heretical.

His speech produced a deep impression, even on his opponents; but the
effect was somewhat weakened when, a few days later, Nicholaus, the
Bishop of Pilgram (Pelhr̆imov), opened the discussion on the second
Prague Article, namely, the punishment by the Church of offences
against morality. He quickly passed into attacks on the priesthood for
the neglect of their duties, and became so fierce that he caused a
disturbance in the Assembly; so that Rokycana afterwards rebuked his
colleague for his intemperate language.

A less prominent delegate, Oldr̆ich of Znojem, was entrusted with the
defence of the doctrine of the free preaching of the Word; and the
Fourth Article, on the civil dominion of the clergy, was treated by
Peter Payne. Payne had always impressed his opponents with the subtlety
of his arguments; but he must somewhat have embarrassed his colleagues
by a defence of the doctrines of Wyclif; and, particularly by that
claim of the English Reformer that the temporal lords might, in some
circumstances, take away the property of the clergy. It was, however,
among his own countrymen that Payne’s appearance excited the most
irritation; and several of them sprang up to attack him, not only as
a condemned heretic, but as a traitor to King Henry VI. The hubbub at
last became so great that he was forced to end his argument by handing
in a written paper. Then followed the champions of orthodoxy; and very
bitter was the feeling provoked by the attacks of John of Ragusa
upon the Bohemian nation, as a whole. Cesarini exerted himself to
restore order; but he again insisted that the Bohemians should express
their opinions, not only on the Four Articles of Prague, but on the
Twenty-four Articles of the Taborites, which involved a modified denial
of Transubstantiation, and the rejection of many doctrines and rites
accepted by the main body of the Utraquists.

The division of opinion, called out by this demand of the Cardinal,
tended to weaken the order and decorum of the proceedings, and yet
further increased the disturbance; and the orthodox critics of the
debates began to demand how it was that the Council had failed as yet
to convert the heretics, and to suggest that it would be better to
resort to the former method of the sword. The delegates themselves
gradually grew tired of the discussion, and desired to return to
Bohemia. Even those Councillors who were most anxious for the success
of the Council felt that the bitterness, which had arisen, prevented
the hope of any useful conclusion in Basel; so, by way of compromise,
it was at last decided that Rokycana and his colleagues should return
to Prague; but that delegates from the Council should be sent to
continue the conference in that city. Thus ended the first stage of the
discussion; and, while Rokycana returned to influence affairs in the
capital, Procop hastened back to renew the often-attempted siege of
Pilsen.

It now became clear that the divisions, which had been so carefully
fostered between the Calixtines and the Taborites, were ready to break
out into a dangerous flame. On the one hand, Meinhard of Neuhaus, one
of the few nobles who had remained partially faithful to the Utraquist
cause, called together a meeting of his supporters, and urged them to
shake off the yoke of Procop, and to choose a captain from the ranks
of the poorer nobility, who should carry on the government with the
help of a Council. On the other hand, Lupus, a priest of the Taborites,
stirred up the inhabitants of the New Town against Rokycana and his
friends, and exhorted them to refuse submission to the newly-elected
Captain. Nor did the arrival of the ambassadors from Basel tend to
lessen this bitterness; for though they held out hopes of concessions
to the Calixtines, they fanned the flame of division between them and
the Taborites; and, about the time of their return to Basel, friendly
messengers came to Pilsen to urge the Catholics to stand firm, as their
victory was approaching.

Indeed, so successfully had the work of division been done, that the
ambassadors had found the means of discrediting Rokycana himself with
many of the Calixtines, and of bringing to the front the old party of
Pr̆zibram, which had been out of favour ever since the time of Prince
Korybut. The wedge which they used to make this split was sufficiently
ingenious. They proposed that the Communion in both kinds should be
allowed to those who wished it; but that the Communion in one kind
should be left, in those churches where it was preferred. To modern
thinkers, no doubt, such a compromise would seem the ideal settlement;
but to those who had been struggling, for so many years, against the
invaders who were trying to crush out these practices, it seemed as
if such a concession would only sow the seeds of fresh bitterness.
Such a compromise, said Rokycana, Wenceslaus IV. had attempted; and
the attempt had ended in a bitter fight, in which one party had
expelled the other. There was much force in Rokycana’s arguments; but
it was easy to represent him as an opponent of reasonable liberty,
and (a charge which was more telling at that moment) as a hinderer of
peaceable union.

But, in the meantime, the siege of Pilsen was making such progress that
the Catholics and moderate Utraquists began to fear that the victory,
which seemed almost within their grasp, might be taken from them after
all; and Sigismund wrote to Ulric of Rosenberg that the Taborites were
actually preparing to send a special embassy of their own to Basel;
and that, unless the Calixtines would go to Pilsen, to hinder the
progress of Procop, the Council of Basel would after all be compelled
to make concessions to the extreme party. While things were in this
state, Procop suddenly received news in his camp that the bitterness
between the two parties in Prague had at last led to a final outbreak.
The Taborites of the New Town had resolved to resist the authority
of the newly elected Captain, and had fortified their division of
Prague against him; whereupon Meinhard of Neuhaus had suddenly stormed
the New Town and put the Taborites to the sword. Thereupon Procop at
once resolved to abandon the siege of Pilsen, and to call on all the
Taborites to follow him to Prague. Meinhard rallied his forces for the
defence; and the two armies met on the 30th of May, 1434, near the town
of Lipaný.

The Taborites followed the plan, so often adopted by Z̆iz̆ka, of
fortifying their camp by an arrangement of their baggage waggons. From
behind these they threw shells into the camp of the enemy, which so
irritated the soldiers that they called on the nobles to lead them to
the attack. The nobles, however, were resolved to accomplish their
purposes by stratagem. The inferior troops were placed in the front,
with orders to give way at the first attack. The Taborites fell into
that trap; and, seeing the enemy, as they supposed, flying before them,
they left their entrenchments and pursued them. The picked troops of
the nobles then rushed forward, seized on the deserted waggons, and
attacked the Taborites in the rear. The supposed fugitives, at the same
time, turned upon their pursuers; the Taborite army, surrounded on
all sides, was cut to pieces; and Procop and the other leaders died,
fighting to the last.

The immediate results of the battle of Lipaný were of two kinds. One of
the chief objects of Meinhard of Neuhaus and his friends had been to
pave the way for negotiations with Sigismund, and this object they at
once obtained; but the conduct of the negotiations was not altogether
left to those who had been the chief promoters of division. The death
of Procop and of his immediate followers had given an opportunity to
the more moderate party of the Orphans to come to the front; and, as
C̆apek, the leading general of the Orphans, was now the most prominent
military leader among the advanced section of the Utraquists, the
change naturally led to a removal of many of the differences which had
so weakened the common cause. C̆apek carried on the policy of Z̆iz̆ka
in the matter of maintaining an alliance with those of the Calixtines
who were sincerely zealous for their country and their faith.

The man who most embodied that cause, in the eyes of the general body
of Bohemian patriots, was undoubtedly Rokycana; and thus he found
that his position had been greatly strengthened, for the time, by
the apparent victory of his opponents. While, therefore, the leaders
of the Assembly were able to organise a deputation to Sigismund,
of which Meinhard of Neuhaus was the chief leader, the terms which
the deputation offered were considerably coloured by the feeling of
Rokycana and his friends; for, on the one hand, they decided to insist
on many doctrines and rites which were condemned by the Taborites;
and on the other hand, they demanded a strict enforcement of the Four
Articles. They even proposed that no one should be received into the
city who did not communicate in both kinds; that the king should admit
no one into his Councils who did not observe the same rule; and that,
if any community was oppressed by the Emperor or his officials on
account of Utraquism, they should have the right of meeting force by
force. It was impossible to suppose that Sigismund would accept terms
of this kind, in so crude a form; but his growing eagerness to recover
his crown made him extremely willing to enter into the discussion.

He would, indeed, have been glad to base his claim on grounds
independent of the religious controversy; and he even ventured to
appeal to the Bohemians to accept him out of respect to his father’s
memory, and to remember that his grandmother was a Bohemian princess,
descended from the old ploughman king, Pr̆emysl. At the same time he
remonstrated so sharply with the delegates of Basel on the slowness
of their proceedings, and the quibbling of their arguments, that they
began to fear that he would drift away into complete opposition to
the Council. They, therefore, urged on both parties the acceptance of
an understanding which had been already put into shape in Basel. This
compromise involved the acceptance of the Four Articles, under certain
conditions; the most important of which were that the Communion in
both kinds should only be allowed to those who admitted the complete
presence of Christ in the Sacrament; and that, with regard to the
punishment of public sins, the clergy should only be permitted to deal
with the offences of their own Order.

But Rokycana complained that these and other modifications required
further explanation; and, on the other hand, the Basel delegates were
alarmed at a proposal put forward by their opponents that no Bohemian
should be summoned before any foreign tribunal, whether secular or
spiritual.

All difficulties, however, gave way before Sigismund’s inexhaustible
power of lying; for, when the delegates found that his promises and
concessions had no real meaning, they began to calculate that, if he
were restored, he must rely mainly on the Catholics and the Pr̆zibram
party, and therefore would find his interest in breaking his word to
the Utraquists, and maintaining it towards the Catholics. But, perhaps,
neither Sigismund nor the delegates of Basel were quite prepared for
the result of one concession which the King was induced to make. The
Archbishop and two suffragan bishops were, according to the proposals
of the Assembly, to be elected by representatives of all classes. A
Council of Sixteen was chosen for this purpose; and they secretly
fixed upon Rokycana as Archbishop of Prague. As soon as this election
became known, the Emperor and the representatives of Basel were deeply
offended at their choice; but Sigismund, as usual, succeeded in
evading a direct reply; and, in their zeal for union, the Bohemians
consented, for a moment, to overlook this evasion. So on the 14th of
August, 1436, Sigismund was once again formally accepted as king by the
representatives of all classes, the three towns of Königgrätz (Sadova),
Mies (Kladrau), and Kolin alone refusing to admit his claim.

It soon became evident that the King’s acceptance of the Compacts of
Basel, and of all the limitations of his power, had been nominal.
He speedily dismissed from office the most zealous Calixtines, and
encouraged the growth of Catholic ritual. With regard to Rokycana,
the King again found a means of evading any direct action. Philibert,
Bishop of Coutances, had come to Prague as one of the representatives
of the Council of Basel; and, in consideration of his rank and
position, he was allowed to perform the duties which should have been
entrusted to the Archbishop of Prague. At the same time the King made
a formal appeal to the Council of Basel to confirm Rokycana’s election;
but he advised them secretly to find excuses for delay in answering
this appeal.

Rokycana was not the man to conciliate a prince like Sigismund. He
observed with alarm the disreputable courtiers who had gathered round
the King; and he soon began to denounce the gambling, profligacy, and
drunkenness which were beginning to reappear in the city. It will be
remembered that Rokycana had, from the first, prophesied an evil result
from the compromise with the Council of Basel; and he now experienced
the truth of his own prediction. Mutual recriminations were exchanged
between Philibert and himself; each charging the other with violating
the Compacts, and enforcing their special form of ritual in a manner
contrary to the agreement.

The Praguer soon showed their indignation at the treatment which their
elected Archbishop had received; and they indignantly demanded that
their nomination should be accepted. Sigismund, however, was now being
drawn by his supporters into a complete Catholic reaction. Monasteries
and friaries were restored; and ecclesiastical property, which had
passed into other hands, was re-demanded. This was a violation, in
spirit at least, of the understanding on which Sigismund had been
allowed to return. Rokycana’s denunciations grew fiercer than before;
and Sigismund answered them by threats which induced the preacher to
believe that his life was in danger; so he at last sought safety in
flight.

If Sigismund had behaved treacherously and violently towards the
leaders of the Calixtines, he was equally faithless in his dealings
with the Taborites. The determined opposition which they had offered
to him on his first return to the kingdom, had compelled him to make
concessions in order to secure their allegiance; and he had promised
that they should be allowed the use of their own ritual, for six years,
without any disturbance; and that they should also be permitted to
choose six Councillors for the government of their town. Doubtless
the King had at once looked forward to an opportunity for breaking
these promises; but, when they first returned to Prague, it seemed
possible to weaken the Taborites by the milder process of stirring up
division between them. Soon after the battle of Lipaný, Rokycana had
submitted to Peter Payne the question whether Wyclif and Hus had ever
held the Taborite doctrines on the seven sacraments and the invocation
of saints, and other subjects of dispute. Payne delayed his answers to
these questions; and Sigismund found the matter still unsettled on his
arrival. He, therefore, peremptorily demanded that the required opinion
should at once be given. Payne, thereupon, candidly replied that he
could not discover any evidence of the acceptance of these Taborite
doctrines by Wyclif or Hus; but that, nevertheless, he (Peter Payne)
was prepared to support those doctrines. The answer was a dangerous
one; for, while it emphasised the difference between Payne and the
Calixtines, it provoked a fierce denunciation from the Taborite Bishop
of Pilgram (Pelhr̆imov), who was indignant that his party should be
deprived of the protection of two such honoured names. But, though
Sigismund might have found it more natural to accomplish the fall of
his enemies by sowing division among them, Bishop Philibert, and his
colleagues from Basel, required more peremptory measures. So Sigismund
once more broke his promises, and threatened to trample out the
Taborites with fire and sword.

These repeated acts of duplicity naturally alienated from him many
of those who had at first been disposed to support him; and when a
man named John Rohac set up a fortress on Mount Sion and denounced
the King and his policy, the Assembly of Bohemia actually refused to
vote funds for suppressing the insurgents; and they told the King
that he might march against Rohac at his own cost. Rohac, indeed, was
suppressed after a short struggle; but his example was imitated by
many nobles and citizens; and Sigismund at last left Prague in disgust
and disappointment and retired into Moravia. He seems to have had some
intention of again betaking himself to Basel, partly to hinder the
growing quarrel between the Pope and the Council, partly, no doubt,
to secure the help of both against his rebellious subjects. But, on
his way through Moravia, he was taken ill, and on the 9th of December,
1437, he died at Znojem.

The power which he had gained by his re-conquest of Bohemia, and the
fierce hatred which he had excited by his whole career, were alike
manifested by the events which immediately followed his death. The
champions of Sigismund at once proposed that his son-in-law, Albert of
Austria, should be chosen king. This, they said, had been Sigismund’s
dying wish; and they backed Albert’s claim, not only by reference to
his marriage with Sigismund’s daughter, but by the old promise of
Charles IV., that the House of Austria should succeed the House of
Luxemburg on the throne of Bohemia. But, on the other hand, the House
of Hapsburg had always been looked upon as enemies by all the most
patriotic Bohemians, and there were at least three reasons why Albert
himself should be specially unpopular in the country. He had tried
to use the power which Sigismund had entrusted to him, to drag away
Moravia from its connection with Bohemia. He had desired to Germanise
all the cities that fell into his hands; and he had taken an active
part in the war against the Utraquists. Although, therefore, the
champions of Albert succeeded in obtaining a majority in his favour in
the Bohemian Assembly, Rokycana and his followers were able to rally
round them some of the most active spirits of the nobles and many of
the knights and citizens, and to secure the election, at Tabor, of
Ladislaus, King of Poland.

Ladislaus was chosen on the ground that, if they could not get a
Bohemian prince, the Bohemians should at least secure a king from a
nation allied to them in language and race. This King accepted the
crown on behalf of his younger brother, Casimir; and a war followed
which might have been somewhat uncertain in its results, but that
Albert, who had also been chosen King of Hungary, was compelled to
hasten to that country to resist the invasion of the Turks. There, too,
he found opposition, on the ground of his strong German feeling; many
of the Hungarian nobles were disposed to revolt from him; and, worn out
with anxiety and illness, he retired to Vienna, and died there, less
than two years after his election.

[Illustration: ZNAYM (ZNOJEM), SCENE OF SIGISMUND’S DEATH.]

His death at once produced a change in the feeling of Bohemian parties.
His widow, Elizabeth, might have been unfortunate in her marriage
with a German, and not much more fortunate in being the daughter of
Sigismund; but she was, none the less, the granddaughter of Charles
IV., and, through the mother of Charles, the most direct descendant of
the old Bohemian line. The sentiment which naturally gathers round a
widowed queen seems always to have exercised an important influence in
Bohemian history, and all parties agreed to suspend their strife until
the expected heir should be born. But no sooner was it known that the
queen had been delivered of a son than the question at once arose of
who was to be his guardian. The new Emperor, Frederick III., at last
consented to accept this office; and, both as Emperor and head of the
House of Austria, he was considered the rightful protector of the young
Ladislaus.

But it was evident that neither party desired that Bohemia should be
at the mercy of the Emperor of Germany, and it was therefore necessary
to choose two Councillors to govern the kingdom during Ladislaus’
minority. Ulric of Rosenberg, who had now become the leader of the
Catholic party, decided to hold aloof, for a time, from politics;
and, consequently, Meinhard of Neuhaus, who had represented the
ultra-moderate party of the Utraquists, was chosen as the best
protector of the Catholic interests in the Council, while a nobleman
named Ptac̆ek represented the party of Rokycana.

The disorder which naturally arose in a country divided by factions,
and without a recognised king, was further increased by the revival
of those theological disputes, which had fallen, for a time, into the
background. The Taborites, whom their enemies had, no doubt, supposed
to have been crushed at the battle of Lipaný, had proved themselves
a still vigorous force in the struggle against Albert; and Ptac̆ek
became extremely jealous of their power, and desired to suppress
them. A quarrel between one of the leading Taborites and some of the
Silesians led to a Silesian invasion of Bohemia, and gave Ptac̆ek
an excuse for demanding the suppression of the Taborite League.
Rokycana for the moment intervened to make peace among the parties,
and attempted to secure a free discussion of points of difference.
At first the Taborites were unwilling to come to these discussions,
declaring that they were afraid of Ptac̆ek’s tyranny, and appealing to
Sigismund’s former promise that they should not be compelled to change
their ritual; but at last, after actual violence had been resorted
to, and the Taborite town of Vodnian had been taken by storm, both
parties consented to a meeting at Kutna Hora for a final discussion of
the points at issue. Two presidents were chosen for the conference,
Wenceslaus of Drachov, as representing the Calixtines, and Peter Payne,
as the champion of the Taborites.

Payne had recently called out an unexpected burst of enthusiasm among
his Bohemian friends. Returning, apparently, from a visit to Basel, he
had been seized at Nürnberg by a nobleman named Burian von Gutenstein,
and held as a prisoner. Burian offered to surrender him to Henry VI. of
England; but Henry feared that he might be intercepted and rescued at
Basel. That Council was now openly at war with Eugenius IV.; and, while
the Pope was summoning an opposition Council at Ferrara, the Baseler,
on their side, had declared Eugenius deposed, and had set up an
anti-pope of their own. Many of those who had most earnestly wished for
the meeting of the Council were now withdrawing their support from it;
and Henry VI., who had been one of the first to urge its convocation,
now denounced and feared it. He, therefore, advised Burian to send his
prisoner direct to the Pope at Ferrara or Florence. This Burian was
willing enough to do; but Eugenius was occupied with his contest with
the Council of Basel, and with his attempt to help the Greeks against
the Turks; and he found it difficult to deal properly with his proposed
prisoner. Under these circumstances the Taborite towns cut the knot
by offering to raise a large ransom for Payne. This was accepted by
Eugenius, and Payne was restored to the Taborites amid great enthusiasm.

Thus, in spite of his foreign origin and of the offence which he
had given by his recent decision, Payne was readily accepted by the
Taborites as their spokesman at this, their final appearance as
controversialists. Nay, so ready were they to abandon, in his favour,
some of their strongest feelings, that they actually rebuked Pr̆zibram
for disputing with Payne in the Bohemian language, since the Englishman
was unable to understand it. The questions in dispute seem mainly to
have turned upon the nature of the presence of Christ in the Sacrament;
and the controversy grew so hot that Koranda, the Taborite priest, made
the same challenge to Pr̆zibram which Hus had formerly made to the
Masters who wished to condemn Wyclif; namely, that, if convicted, he
would be willing to be burnt as a heretic, provided that his opponents
would consent to the same punishment in case of conviction. Finally,
the discussion was referred to the next Assembly of the Estates of
Bohemia, an Assembly which, under Ptac̆ek’s influence, readily decided
in favour of the Calixtines, as against the Taborites.

Ulric of Rosenberg, who had previously held aloof from the discussions
of the Assembly, now saw his opportunity in the division of his
enemies; and he hoped to use the Calixtines as allies in crushing out
their more formidable opponents. But, while this scheme was still
in a state of preparation, Ptac̆ek died, and the discussion of the
Utraquists was temporarily brought to an end by the rise of a new
leader.

This leader was a young man of twenty-four named George of Podĕbrad.
His father had been a friend and protector of Z̆iz̆ka; and his family
had been more steadily identified with the Utraquist cause than most of
the nobles of Bohemia. He was the godson of Z̆iz̆ka, had distinguished
himself in the war between Ladislaus and Albert, and had since
been made the captain of the Bunzlau (Boleslav) Circle, a specially
Protestant district. He seems to have had a singular gift of inspiring
confidence, and a diplomatic power of seizing opportunities. Although
he defended the claims of Rokycana to the archbishopric, the Taborites
were at first as zealous as the Calixtines in welcoming him as a
leader; and he adroitly contrived to bring to the front once more that
proposal for the recognition of the Compacts of Basel, which appeared
to be a bond between the different sections of the Utraquists. Nor
was it to the Utraquists alone that he at first appealed for support;
for his demand that the Emperor should surrender Ladislaus to the
Bohemians attracted the sympathies of the more patriotic Catholics. By
his help negotiations were opened with Emperor and Pope; and the death
of Eugenius IV. seemed to open a new chance for the concession by the
Papacy of some of the Utraquist demands. But, though Pope Nicholaus
might be willing, for a time, to use friendly words, the Emperor
Frederick was more uncompromising, and he absolutely refused to restore
the young king to the Bohemians.

George of Podĕbrad now decided to make himself more completely master
of the situation; and a quarrel which had recently broken out between
the Bohemians and Duke William of Saxony gave him an excuse for raising
a large force of soldiers. His work was soon simplified by the action
of his opponents. Cardinal Carvajal, coming to Prague to negotiate
about the demands of the Bohemians, expressed a desire to see a copy
of the actual Compacts of Basel; and, on getting it into his hands,
he tried to carry it away from the city. Several of the Utraquist
leaders followed him, and forced him to surrender the document; but
this attempt finally destroyed any hope which the Utraquists might have
cherished of a compromise with the Catholics. The sincere Utraquists at
once drew together; while Meinhard of Neuhaus openly took the Catholic
side. The excitement in Prague became intense, and George of Podĕbrad
seized the moment to march to the city. After a short pretence of
negotiation, he suddenly attacked the town on the 3rd of September,
1448, and captured it by assault. Rokycana was welcomed back in
triumph, and Meinhard of Neuhaus was thrown into prison, where he soon
after died.

Although George had acted as the champion of the Utraquists in their
struggle against Albert and Neuhaus, his first object in seizing
the power into his hands was to restore order in the country. For
that purpose, he wished to conciliate the Catholics, as much as the
Utraquists; and he brought into office Zdenek of Sternberg, one of the
fiercest of the Catholic party. He even succeeded in gradually drawing
the Rosenbergs to his side; though, at the same time, he always treated
Rokycana as his chief adviser, and was urgent for his recognition as
archbishop. This policy was extremely resented by the Taborites, and
they were ready to combine, even with the discontented Catholics,
against him.

When, then, in 1452, George was at last chosen Administrator of the
kingdom, he found opposition to his authority, not only in the extreme
Roman Catholic centres of Budweis (Budejóvice) and Pilsen (Plz̆en),
but also in Tabor, and other Taborite towns. George, however, had now
risen to the position of a national leader, accepted by all those
who preferred the order and unity of Bohemia to the triumph of any
particular party. Rokycana, on his side, had gained an influence among
the Utraquists, as a whole, which made the resistance of any section
of them far less formidable than it had been in former days. Moreover,
the chief interest of the country was, for the moment, centred rather
in the recovery of their king than in the decision of any theological
doctrine; and, in their desire to rescue Ladislaus from Frederick, the
Bohemians received the sympathy of the Hungarians, and even of the
Austrians.

This discontent with Frederick led to actual preparations for war on
the part of the three nations aggrieved by his action; and George, in
his capacity of Governor of Bohemia, had an excuse for raising forces
without at once declaring the purpose for which they were to be used.
When, however, his preparations were complete, in August, 1452, he
suddenly marched against Tabor. At first the Taborite priests were
disposed to rouse the citizens to their usual attitude of determined
resistance; but, as soon as George appeared before the town, the old
unconquerable spirit vanished; the citizens were seized with a panic,
and consented to recognise George as Governor. Still, it might have
seemed as if this recognition was to be merely a part of a compromise,
according to which the rights and liberties of the Taborites were
still to be recognised; but when, in pursuance of this belief, they
sent their Bishop Nicholaus and their favourite priest, Koranda, to
Prague, to discuss their points of difference with the Calixtines,
Nicholaus and Koranda were suddenly seized and imprisoned, until they
would consent to yield to Rokycana’s authority. Even this did not
kindle the old spirit of the Taborites; and, in December, 1452, the
Calixtine priests entered Tabor, and celebrated Mass with those rites
and ornaments which the Taborites had fought so hard to suppress.

The fall of Tabor marks a great crisis in the Utraquist movement; and
though there is another phase of that movement which has yet to be
recorded, the distinctive character, that had given it such life and
force, must evidently have been doomed to destruction before such an
event could have occurred. Important as was the element contributed
to the Utraquist cause by the learned scholars of the University of
Prague, they could never have produced so vivid an effect on Europe had
they not been backed by the fiery enthusiasm, the high ideals, and the
ferociously combative spirit of the flail-bearing peasants of Tabor.
It was the flails of the Taborites which made the Moravian nobles
flinch from the battle of Vys̆ehrad; it was they who had scared every
army which came against them, from the time of the first battle of the
Z̆iz̆ka Hill to the day when Cardinal Cesarini fled in panic from the
country which he had been so certain of conquering. The zeal of the
Taborites for purity and simplicity of life had supplied an impulse
which no theological doctrine could of itself contribute; while their
intolerance of priestly forms, and their belief in the superiority of
the Congregation of the Faithful to the decrees of any learned society,
had given that democratic colouring to the movement which has made
their traditions such a lasting force in Bohemia, even to the present
day. At the same time their turbulent savagery and fierce intolerance
made it necessary that, at some time or other, they should be absorbed
in a broader and more orderly organisation. The Independents had now
found their Cromwell; and to him they were obliged to sacrifice much of
the liberties for which they had originally fought.



XII.

FROM THE FALL OF TABOR TO THE DEATH OF GEORGE OF PODĔBRAD.

(1452-1470.)


The parallel suggested at the end of the last chapter between Cromwell
and George of Podĕbrad must, like all such parallels, be taken with
very considerable modifications; and it was perhaps not one of the
least points of difference between these two rulers that George’s first
object, after the establishment of his power, was to bring back the
King, who was still detained by the Emperor of Germany. As a concession
to one of the complaining nations, and very likely with the hope
of exciting jealousy between them, Frederick had brought the young
Ladislaus to Vienna; but, if this step conciliated the Austrians, it
does not appear to have excited any opposition on their part to the
return of Ladislaus to Bohemia. Nor were the Catholic nobles able to
make use of his restoration for weakening the power of George; they
could not even prevent the Utraquists of the Assembly from resolving
that Ladislaus should be asked, before his coronation, to accept the
Compacts of Basel.

The feelings of the boy king were evidently somewhat painfully divided.
The education which Frederick had given him had produced in him a
great zeal for the Catholic cause; but the zeal was modified, and
somewhat counteracted, by his deeply rooted conviction that it was
to George of Podĕbrad alone that he owed the possibility of becoming
King of Bohemia. Both these feelings were made manifest on his arrival
in Prague. When Rokycana came out at the head of the clergy to
welcome the young king, Ladislaus turned away and would hardly notice
the Archbishop, until George induced him to thank Rokycana for his
address. But, when the procession reached the Catholic College, the
king sprang from his horse and did special reverence to those clergy
who had been restored to their livings on the occasion of Sigismund’s
coronation. The struggle between Ladislaus and his strong-willed
viceroy was of short duration. George was resolved not to yield on
the question of Rokycana’s position; and the young king left Prague
in great indignation. He did not, indeed, at once abandon his efforts
for effecting a reconciliation between the Pope and the Bohemians, at
the expense of the popular Archbishop; but, on his second visit to
Prague in 1457, he found both George and Rokycana still obstinate in
their resistance; and the poor boy’s efforts at the settlement of the
difficulties of the Church were cut short by illness and death. On his
deathbed he again renewed to George his admission that he owed the
crown to his influence; and he entreated him to govern the dependent
provinces justly, and to secure that those, who had followed the young
King from Austria to Bohemia, should be allowed to return peaceably to
their own country.

The death of Ladislaus extinguished the last claim to direct descent
from the old Bohemian kings; and the consequence was that a larger
number of candidates than usual came forward to claim the Bohemian
crown. Charles VII., King of France, based his pretensions to the
throne on the ground that, had Ladislaus lived, he would have been
married to Charles’s daughter. The Duke of Saxony pleaded that he had
actually married the sister of Ladislaus. The Dukes of Austria tried
to revive the recollection of the promise of Charles IV.; while the
King of Poland appealed to the fact of his former election, which had
fallen into abeyance after the birth of Ladislaus. Of these candidates,
the King of France and the Duke of Saxony seem to have been by far the
most pressing and sanguine in their candidature; and both of them paid
court to George; while both of them hoped, by securing a dependency of
Bohemia, to get a footing in the kingdom before their actual election.
The King of France declared his intention of taking Luxemburg under his
special protection, while William of Saxony appealed to the desire of
some of the Silesians to choose him as their ruler.

But both these candidates had reckoned their chances without knowing
the wishes of the two most important men in Bohemia. George was
determined that Silesia should never be separated from the Bohemian
crown; and he had equally little wish that any foreigner should again
become king of Bohemia. Rokycana, on his part, was not less determined
that no one but George should be the King. In addressing the Bohemian
Assembly in March, 1459, the Archbishop boldly grounded his appeal for
George not only on his Bohemian birth, the purity of his life, and his
proved power to defend them against their enemies, but also on his
devotion to the Utraquist cause. Openly as this claim was put forward,
it does not seem to have alienated the Roman Catholic nobles. George’s
conciliatory policy towards the Catholics, and his personal friendship
for some of their leaders, readily induced them to acquiesce in an
election which would secure a strong national king to Bohemia. Yet
from the very first Rokycana succeeded in giving a Utraquist colouring
to the decision. While the envoys of Duke William of Saxony were
eagerly expecting the election of their master, their meditations were
interrupted by a simultaneous burst of ringing from all the churches
in Prague; George speedily issued from the Town Council House with the
sword of honour borne before him; and he was led across the square
to the Teyn Church, where, after a general singing of the Te Deum,
Rokycana called on the people to thank God for giving them a king who
would stand by their faith.

[Illustration: GEORGE OF PODĔBRAD, FIRST HERETIC KING OF BOHEMIA.]

Thus the election of George of Podĕbrad to the throne of Bohemia marks
the accession of the first heretic king in the history of Europe.
Doubtless the name of heretic had been freely thrown at Henry IV. by
Hildebrand, at Barbarossa by Alexander III., and at Frederick II. and
Louis of Bavaria by every Pope who came in contact with them; but
every one knew that that name was a mere term of abuse, of no more
special significance than “knave” or “ruffian”; and that the real
point at issue in those quarrels was the question of the exercise of
some form of secular authority. George of Podĕbrad, on the other hand,
was deliberately recommended to the Assembly of Bohemia, on account
of his championship of a purely ecclesiastical practice, which had
been condemned by one Council of the Church, and by one Pope at least;
and, although a later Council might have partially and hesitatingly
sanctioned the practice, that Council had itself perished in an odour
of heresy and resistance to Papal authority.

Yet, strange to say, it was not till about four years after George’s
election that the Pope and the leaders of the Church recognised the
full significance of the event which had taken place. This delay was
due to various causes. In the first place, George, who was evidently
conscious of the difficulties of his position, and anxious to maintain
his character of national king, had begun his reign by making
concessions to the Catholics. Remembering that Rokycana had never been
formally recognised as Archbishop by any ecclesiastical authority, he
looked about for some more legally appointed bishop, to consecrate him
as king. In this matter he was assisted by one whom he had good reason
to look to as his friend.

Immediately on the death of Ladislaus, the Hungarians had decided
to choose, as their king, Matthias, the son of their great general
Huniades. He had been opposed to the rule of Ladislaus, and had even
raised insurrection against him. In one of the battles which followed,
Matthias had been taken prisoner by George, and brought to Prague. On
the announcement, however, of the Hungarian election, George at once
set his prisoner free, and sent him back to Hungary as King. George
now in turn appealed to Matthias to send him over two bishops to crown
him King of Bohemia. Matthias readily consented; and George promised
at his coronation to suppress heresy. A more satisfactory concession
to Roman Catholic feeling was the new arrangement for the government
of the diocese of Prague. The Dean of Prague had claimed to administer
the diocese, on account of the heresies of Rokycana. The Archbishop,
naturally enough, protested; and George settled the matter by granting
the Dean authority over the Catholic priests, while Rokycana was to
retain his authority over the Utraquists.

But apart from these concessions to Catholic feeling, the position and
policy of the Pope tended more than anything else to delay, for a time,
the collision between him and the heretic king. In the very same year
in which George was chosen King of Bohemia, Æneas Silvius Piccolomini
was elected Pope of Rome under the title of Pius II. He had been a
zealous champion of the Council of Basel, and had vainly tried to make
peace between it and Eugenius IV. He was therefore not prepared at
once to condemn a practice which the Council of Basel had, at least
conditionally, sanctioned. Moreover, there was another reason, which
operated still more strongly to induce him to make friends with the
King of Bohemia. For several years past, the most zealous Catholics
of Europe had been turning their attention away from the divisions
in their own Church, to watch with terror the advance of the Turks in
Europe; and, since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the sense of the
relative insignificance of every other question, in comparison with
the expulsion of the Mahometan invaders, had been growing in the minds
of all true champions of Christendom. If, then, Pius II. could succeed
in winning to this cause the strong championship of the new King, he
might well wink, for a time, at a few little heresies in doctrine and
practice.

But, unfortunately, there were other grounds of opposition to George
which were not so easily put aside as mere suspicions of heresy might
be. William of Saxony was determined to make good his claim on Silesia;
and he was able to appeal to that sentiment of provincial independence
which had been growing during the previous century. Neither Z̆iz̆ka
nor Procop had ever been able thoroughly to establish the power of
the Bohemians over Moravia and Silesia; but the accession of a ruler,
who seemed to be acceptable to all parties in Bohemia, was likely to
strengthen the central power at the expense of local aspirations. The
Silesians and Moravians complained that neither of their Assemblies had
been consulted in the election of George; and the towns of Moravia,
always jealous of the power of Prague, and containing a strong
admixture of German and Catholic elements, were eager to resist the
centralising power of the heretic king. Albert of Austria was able to
give them little assistance; and one after another the great cities
of Moravia were reduced to obedience. Znaym (Znojem) was the first
to open its gates to George. Brünn (Brno), more strongly fortified,
was at first disposed to resist; but it soon yielded to the threat of
a siege; and Olmütz speedily followed its example. In Iglau (Jíhlava)
the Catholic reaction had risen to a greater height than in any of the
other towns of Moravia; and the leaders of the party had deposed the
Town Council and appointed one of their own; but, on being convinced
that George intended no persecution of the Catholics, Jíhlava also
surrendered to the king.

The resistance in Silesia was of a more determined kind. Broken up
as it was into little Dukedoms, containing a strong German element,
and often influenced by its near neighbourhood to Saxony, Silesia had
probably at no time felt that strong sympathy with the Bohemians which
still existed in Moravia, in spite of the apparent triumph of the
Catholic reaction. But the strongest opposition in Silesia came, not
from the provincial dukes, but from the town of Breslau. The Bishop
of Breslau seems to have been a more zealous Catholic than most of
his neighbours; while the citizens had continual causes of rivalry
with Prague, both on account of trade differences and of exceptional
municipal privileges. Breslau, therefore, held out against George, long
after the rest of Silesia had practically submitted to him. The Pope,
still hoping to secure the help of George against the Turks, tried to
persuade the Breslauer to submit to the King, and answered to their
complaints of George’s heresy that it was for the Pope, and not for
the town of Breslau, to decide that question. At last, in 1460 George
succeeded in bringing the Breslauer to terms; but not till he had
promised them considerable ecclesiastical and municipal privileges, and
had allowed them to defer their homage to him for three years.

Bohemia, however, was not the sole obstacle to the union of Christendom
against the Turks. The Emperors of Germany had been growing steadily
weaker during the last century; and many princes had wearied of
Frederick III.’s government, and were looking about for a strong ruler
who might put down the divisions of the Empire, before leading them
against the Turks. Under these circumstances many considered that
George of Bohemia would be the right man for the place. In Hungary,
too, Matthias had found great difficulty in holding his own against
the nobles; and there again, though much against his will, George was
looked upon as a possible substitute for the unpopular king. In his own
country he seemed to be gaining steadily in power. He had restored,
to a great extent, the influence of the towns which had been decaying
during the Hussite wars, and he gathered round him, not only the most
eminent men in Bohemia, but also the most distinguished foreigners from
Germany and Italy.

But, in the meantime, Pius II. was becoming alarmed at the power of
this king. He had hoped that George would have come to Rome to declare
himself a true son of the Church. He found that no progress was being
made in the anti-Turkish crusade; and he heard, with alarm, that the
Archbishop of Mainz and other German ecclesiastics were preparing to
demand the fulfilment of that decree of the Council of Constance,
according to which a new Council was to be summoned every ten years.
These suspicions of the Pope were much encouraged by one of his
advisers, Fantinus de Valle, who tried to convince him that heresy
had recently gained new life, and that there was a special revival of
the teaching of Wyclif. At last in January, 1462, George consented to
send an embassy to Rome, stating the terms on which he would make the
necessary submission to the Pope. This submission was to be given,
practically, on the recognition by Pius of the Compacts of Basel.
The Pope was, in the first place, indignant that George should send
representatives instead of coming himself to Rome; and he was perhaps
not more favourably disposed to the deputation, that Koranda, the
Taborite preacher, was one of the members of it; for Koranda dwelt
with considerable enthusiasm on the victories of the Taborites in the
Utraquist wars, and maintained that they had acted by the grace of God,
and by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

At last on March 31st the Pope, in a large assembly, declared that
the Communion in both kinds, having been condemned by the Council of
Constance, and at one time by the Council of Basel, must be considered
as a disorderly and heretical arrangement; that the Compacts had been
only a temporary provision; and he now declared them at an end. The
Bohemian ambassadors, accompanied by Fantinus de Valle, returned to
Prague to report the news to the Assembly. When they had delivered
their report, George declared that the Pope had no right to take
away what the Council of Basel had conceded, and what Eugenius
had indirectly sanctioned. If any Pope, he said, may undo what his
predecessors have done, what security is there for justice? Then,
referring to the charge that he had violated his coronation oath in
not suppressing heresy, he ordered the oath to be read publicly. Then
he proceeded to say that, in declaring he would suppress heretical
wickedness, he had never meant that he would suppress Utraquism, since,
said he, “it is founded in the Gospel of Christ, according to the
institution of the primitive Church, and has been conceded to us as a
privilege of our virtue and devotion, by the Council of Basel. And as
to swearing to oppose the practice, no indeed! But know for certain
that, since we were born in that Communion, since we were nurtured in
it, and since, by God’s help, we have been raised to the royal dignity
in it, so we promise to guard and defend it, and to live and die for
it; and our wife and children, and all who do any thing for the love
of us, ought to live and die in the defence of the Compacts; nor do we
believe that there is any other way of salvation for our souls than the
Communion in both kinds, according to the institution of our Saviour.”
Then he turned to the nobles who stood about him, and asked them for
their decision on the question.

But it was no longer possible to maintain the former unity in the face
of this declaration; and while the Utraquist nobles promised readily
to stand by the King, Sternberg declared, on behalf of the Catholics,
that, while they were willing to support the King in all that concerned
the honour of his kingdom, they had not been consulted about the
acceptance of the Compacts, and that George must not look to them to
defend them. The next day Fantinus de Valle was admitted to speak on
behalf of the Pope. He at once announced the revocation of the Compacts
by Pius, and the deposition from the clerical office of all who gave
the cup to the laity. Finally he wound up his speech by fiercely
threatening George with deposition from his throne, if he did not obey
the Pope. George thereupon turned to the lords, who stood round him,
and said, “Noble lords, you chose me as your king and protector; and
since you have the power of choosing a lord to protect you, you ought
to work with him.” He then burst out into a fierce denunciation of
the Roman see, declaring that it was a seat of pestilence; and on the
following day Fantinus was seized and imprisoned.

The declaration of hostility seemed now sufficiently clear on both
sides; but again new considerations delayed the final outburst. The
Emperor Frederick had just been engaged in a war with his brother
Albert about some claims in the Archduchy of Austria. Albert succeeded
in defeating the Emperor, and imprisoning him at Vienna; but George
hastened to Vienna, rescued the Emperor, and restored him to the
throne. Frederick was full of gratitude; and, while confirming all
the liberties of Bohemia, he persuaded the Pope to abstain from
excommunicating George. Pius, still bent on the Turkish war, and
knowing probably that Frederick would find some sympathy for an
anti-Papal policy, consented to a curious compromise. He would not
issue a formal Bull of anathema against George; but he sent messengers
to the citizens of Breslau, releasing them from the treaty which they
had recently made, and encouraging them to rebel. At the same time he
tried to stir up discontent among the nobles. Many of these had already
become alarmed at the growing power of their king. Although he had
strictly recognised the Constitutional rights of the Assembly, yet the
expedition to Vienna had given an opportunity for reasserting one of
the privileges about which the Bohemian nobles were most sensitive;
namely, the power of refusing to follow the King when he made war
outside the country. The opposition to this expedition was speedily
followed by fiercer attacks; and the lords now accused George of
illegal taxation, of interference with the coinage, and of manipulating
the land register, so as to reduce to feudal submission those who were
legally independent. With regard to most of the nobles, however, there
seemed an unwillingness at first to push things to an extremity; but a
Moravian named Hynek of Lichtenberg, who had long cherished a personal
jealousy against the king, broke out into open insurrection, and set on
fire some of the towns in Moravia. Hoping to secure the Pope’s sympathy
in this rebellion, Hynek sent to Rome for advice as to the course that
he should pursue; but, before Pius could commit himself to a distinct
answer to this question, he was taken ill, and died in August, 1464.

George was well pleased to hear that a Venetian Cardinal had been
elected Pope. But Paul II., though at first apparently friendly to
George, was irritated at some delay in the formal congratulation on his
accession which was due to him from the King of Bohemia. Hynek soon
succeeded in getting a ready hearing from those Cardinals who were most
opposed to George; and, in spite of the protest of the Bishop of Olmütz
and of many leading people in Moravia, Paul was induced to command
George to withdraw his forces from the siege of Hynek’s castle. George
remonstrated with the Pope; but the previous irritation was revived
by the rumour that George had refused to send ambassadors for fear of
their being ill-treated at Rome. The continued attempts on Hynek’s
castle, and the renewal of the siege of Breslau, were treated as acts
of contumacy; and at last, on August 6, 1465, Paul issued a Bull
deposing George from the throne, and authorising the legate to punish
all who should still adhere to him.

In the meantime the growing bitterness of the Catholic nobles had
been increased by a personal quarrel between George and Zdenek of
Sternberg. Although George had been forced to rely upon this nobleman
in his attempts to conciliate the Catholics, he soon found that
Zdenek’s character was not deserving of confidence; and he was forced
to refuse him a wardship, for which he applied, on the ground that he
had abused his trust on a former occasion. This reproach roused Zdenek
to still further opposition; and he induced the lords to found a League
in defence of the Pope. The immediate object of Paul and the rebel
lords was to find a king for Bohemia; and they fixed on Matthias of
Hungary, who, though he owed much friendship and help to George, was
easily attracted by the hope of a new kingdom. Many of the important
towns of Bohemia fell away from the King, and joined the lords against
him. The four great towns of Moravia formed a special League for the
defence of the Catholic faith. Pilsen and Budweis, always inclined
to the Catholic cause, speedily joined this League; and the town of
Görlitz, the centre of a special district in Silesia, was hard pressed,
on account of its loyalty to the king. George was so eager for peace
that he consented to a meeting with the rebels at Prague, at which he
defended himself from the various charges brought against him by the
nobles; and he produced some of the charters from Carlstein to prove
the legality of his actions. Sternberg refused to believe George’s
assertion that he had shown them all the charters which concerned their
rights; and he demanded that Carlstein and its contents should be
handed over to himself and his friends, and that the charters should be
submitted to the Emperor for confirmation. George indignantly refused
these proposals, which apparently went beyond the wishes of many of
the lords; but the Pope frightened the rebels into new opposition, by
another Bull which placed Bohemia under an interdict.

George now appealed from the Pope to a new Council, and called on
Casimir of Poland to intercede between him and Paul. Casimir willingly
undertook this negotiation, to which some victories of George seemed to
give a hope of success; but the attempt at compromise completely broke
down; and the Poles joined the anti-Utraquist alliance. Rosenberg,
who had stood by the King for some time, now went over to Sternberg;
and, when George advanced to besiege Olmütz, his own soldiers deserted
his banner. George was now compelled to retreat to Prague in April,
1469; and the Legate supposed him to be so completely crushed that he
offered him the following terms of peace. He was to return, with all
his servants, to the Catholic faith; to give up all Articles which the
Church condemned; to restore all ecclesiastical property; to recognise
Matthias as his son and successor, and allow him to appoint the
Archbishop and the heads of all the churches in Prague; and, finally,
to give up to the Legate the _arch-heretic_ Rokycana.

Not many even of George’s enemies could have expected him to accept
these terms; and the consequence of their proposal was an exchange of
fierce defiances between the two parties, ending in a formal election
of Matthias as king of Bohemia, by the rebel nobles. But the heretic
King was not so easily to be beaten. On January 1, 1470, he sent a
letter to the princes of the German Empire, which reads more like the
manifesto of a conqueror than the appeal of a defeated and deposed
king. He set forth in bitter language the treatment which he had
received from the Pope; and he warned the princes that unless they
would support him in this crisis, he would break off all connection
between Bohemia and the Empire, and stand alone.

In the meantime his enemies had begun to be divided among themselves.
The six towns, of which Görlitz was the centre, had been forced to
yield for a time to the Catholic League and had been placed under the
rule of Sternberg’s son. They had soon found him so oppressive that
they revolted against him and drove him out; and when Zdenek appealed
to Matthias, Matthias treated his complaints with contempt. Rosenberg
and Gutenstein returned to their allegiance to George; and many of the
towns of Silesia and Moravia began to cry out against the government of
the League. Seizing this opportunity, George once more invaded Moravia,
and gained victory after victory over Matthias.

The King of Hungary tried to redeem his cause by making an inroad
into Bohemia; but the cruelties of the Hungarian soldiers led the
common people to rise against Matthias’s army; and the Poles seemed
once more friendlily disposed to their old allies. The Bohemian lords
gradually drifted back to George; and the complaints of the Interdict
were so loud in the country that the Cardinals began to consider the
advisability of suspending it. But, before the victory of the Bohemians
could be secured, the struggle was cut short by the death of King
George, preceded, only a few weeks earlier, by the death of his friend
and supporter, Archbishop Rokycana.



XIII.

FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOHEMIAN BROTHERHOOD TO THE ACCESSION OF
FERDINAND I. TO THE THROWN OF BOHEMIA.

(1419-1526.)


Reference has already been made in the previous chapters to a possible
historical parallel between the Bohemian struggle of the fifteenth
century and the English revolution of the seventeenth; but the most
startling point of that parallel has still to be mentioned. Whatever
likenesses or differences there may be between the Calixtines and the
Presbyterians, the Taborites and the Independents, or between George
of Podĕbrad and Oliver Cromwell, there can, at least, be no doubt that
George Fox and his followers found their prototypes in Bohemia in the
fifteenth century; and that the treatment which the Bohemian Quakers
received from the Utraquists, exactly foreshadowed the persecution of
the English Society of Friends by their Puritan countrymen.

Yet even here we must note, by anticipation, an important difference
between the Bohemian and the English story. It is perfectly possible
to give an intelligent and connected account of the English history of
the seventeenth century, without making more than a casual reference to
the Quaker movement. For, important as the life of George Fox would be
in a general sketch of European philanthropy, it can scarcely be said
to form a necessary link between any two periods of English history.
On the other hand, it is impossible to give a clear impression of the
Bohemian history of the sixteenth century without calling considerable
attention to the work and influence of the Bohemian Brotherhood.

One reason for this difference is that the movement for peace, and all
the ideas that gather round such a movement, were more in harmony with
the traditions of Bohemia than with those of England. This statement
may sound startling and paradoxical, when it follows so closely on the
account of the Utraquist wars. They, more than any other event, have
brought Bohemia into prominence in European history; and it was chiefly
as fighters that the Bohemians were known to the surrounding nations at
the beginning of the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, early traditions,
whether legendary or historical, never entirely lose their influence on
the character of a nation.

The gentle figure of Libus̆a presiding over a peaceable community is a
marked contrast to the figures of King Arthur and his Knights of the
Round Table; and the essentially combative character of St. George
suggests directly opposite ideas of saintship to those represented by
St. Wenceslaus and St. Adalbert. Nor, when the stream of religious
tradition divides into the two branches of Catholic and Protestant,
does the contrast cease between the English and Bohemian models. The
legendary picture of St. John Nepomuc is more gentle and suffering
than even the historical facts would justify, and it offers a strange
contrast to all the traditions that gather round the name of Becket;
while the loving and hesitating character of Jan Hus is almost equally
unlike the sternly defiant figure of Wyclif.

There is, however, another reason for the difference exercised on their
respective countries by the Bohemian and the English Society. While the
stern idealism of the Quakers hindered them from directly influencing
the ordinary course of public life, the more accommodating character
of the Bohemian Brothers enabled them to affect the general policy
of their country by sacrificing something of their perfection as a
Christian community. This point of difference will become more clearly
evident as the story proceeds; it will now be sufficient to have called
attention to the fact that, on both these grounds, the followers
of Peter of Chelc̆ic are more closely connected with the course of
Bohemian history than the followers of George Fox with the history of
England.

Peter of Chelc̆ic, like George Fox, was a shoemaker by trade; but he
educated himself carefully, both in the Latin language and in the
history of his country. He does not seem ever to have wandered far from
the little village of Chelc̆ic, in the Prachin district; though the
narrowness of his geographical outlook did not hinder him from plunging
tolerably early into the important controversies with which his life
was concerned. It was he who in 1419 propounded to the Masters of the
Prague University his doubts on the lawfulness of religious wars. He
was not satisfied with the answer which he received; and the weakness
which he detected in Jakaubek’s arguments doubtless strengthened him in
his previous convictions.

He gradually adopted all those doctrines which we specially associate
with the name of George Fox. He rejected all rank and property for
Christians; declared that the conversion of Constantine was the ruin of
the Church; condemned oaths in law courts, and advocated the passive
endurance of injuries.

He soon began to attract attention; and when Peter Payne was driven
out of Prague, after the restoration of Sigismund, he took refuge at
Chelc̆ic with his namesake. Apparently a dislike of the new teaching
began, a little later, to show itself amongst the Utraquists; for
in 1443 we find that Peter was summoned before an Assembly at Kutna
Hora to answer for his doctrines. Nothing seems to have come of this
examination, for Peter was soon after allowed to publish his first
book; and others speedily followed, in which he attacked the Pope and
the clergy.

Just at this time Rokycana was engaged in a controversy with the
Franciscan Capistran; and, as he had completely triumphed over the
Taborites, he felt ready to sympathise with a new ally against Rome. He
even recommended the writings of Peter to many of his hearers in the
Teyn Church; and Peter was suffered to found a community which took
the name of the Chelc̆ic Brothers. Many of those who were desiring to
lead a purer and more self-denying life drew near to the Brotherhood;
and the protection and encouragement of Rokycana gave the Society for a
time the means of easy development.

But after the coronation of George of Podĕbrad, Rokycana’s feeling
towards the Brothers underwent a rapid change. His increase of power
made him more determined to assert that power at all hazards. Had the
Brothers, indeed, been contented to settle under the priests whom
the Archbishop chose for them, Rokycana might still have suffered
them to remain unmolested; but he was irritated by their desire to
form a separate community of their own, independent of all other
ecclesiastical organisations. While this controversy was still in its
early stage, Peter died, and his nephew Gregory succeeded to the chief
position in the society. The new movement had now begun to include men
of all classes, although the nobles were expected to give up their rank
if they actually joined the Brotherhood.

But a more trying time was coming. In 1461, Gregory came to Prague and
held a meeting of his friends in the New Town. This was the time when
Fantinus de Valle was beginning to excite the suspicions of the Pope
against the Bohemian heresies; and, urged on doubtless by Rokycana,
the King ordered the arrest of the organisers of this meeting on the
charge of being engaged in a conspiracy. The attempts to convict
them of political intrigue entirely broke down; and they were then
denounced as heretics, because of their denial of the doctrine of
Transubstantiation. Under pressure of torture, some of them recanted,
but Gregory remained firm. He reminded Rokycana of his recommendation
of the works of Peter of Chelc̆ic, and he complained of the
Archbishop’s inconsistency in now denouncing them. Rokycana, however,
persisted in the course on which he had entered, and he refused to
allow the Brothers any of the sacraments of the Church. The Brothers
now fled to the hills of Reichenau, and resolved to form a stronger
organisation for carrying on their work.

With the curious inconsistency which naturally attaches to such
movements, they showed a great desire to connect themselves, in
tradition if not in organisation, with the older churches; and they
chose as their chief president a regularly ordained priest, named
Michael. They elected a small council to support him in his management
of the Brotherhood; and then they chose their priests by lot, and
requested them to rebaptise all the Brotherhood. Although, too, they
rejected Episcopacy as a separate dignity, they practically entrusted
to Michael the special duties of a bishop. They now became known as
“Jednota Bratrska,” or the Unity of Brothers; and they speedily began
to attract attention from those who were out of sympathy with the
existing churches. These were not confined to pure-minded and earnest
men like themselves, but included wild sects like the Adamites, whom
the Brotherhood were obliged to repel from their body.

In the meantime Rokycana’s fury increased. He stirred up both King
and People against the Brotherhood, and persuaded the Assembly to
pass a decree ordering the suppression or compulsory conversion of
the Brothers. Again Gregory protested, and Rokycana now answered that
no new Church could be founded without a special revelation from
Heaven. But when the Brothers offered to explain the nature of their
revelation, they were answered by imprisonment, torture, and in some
cases by burning. They were now compelled to meet in woods, ditches,
and clefts of the rock to carry on their religious services; yet they
still stood firm, and Gregory and a woman named Katerina succeeded in
keeping up methods of communication between them in various parts of
Bohemia and Moravia.

The deaths of King George and of Rokycana released them for a time from
persecution. The new King showed himself more kindly towards them. This
King was Ladislaus, the son of the King of Poland. He had been chosen
King of Bohemia, in spite of the resistance of Matthias. He was only
sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he seems to have speedily
left on people around him the impression of a youth of mild and weak
temperament. He released the Brothers who were still in prison, and
they renewed their propaganda.

But their troubles were not yet at an end. Joanna, the widow of King
George, fiercely demanded their suppression; and when they asked for
a free discussion on the points at issue, the Masters of the Prague
University informed them that they might come to Prague to state their
doctrines, and then submit to be convinced of their errors by the
Masters. This was precisely what the Council of Basel had proposed
to the Utraquists themselves, a proposal which they had scornfully
rejected; and the inconsistent character of the claim made by the
Utraquist leaders seems forcibly to have impressed, not only their
Catholic enemies, but even some of their supporters.

Therefore, under the pressure of public opinion, the Masters of
the Prague University consented, in 1473, to a discussion with the
Brothers. Strangely enough, the points which the Masters proposed for
discussion did not refer to the distinctive doctrines of Peter of
Chelc̆ic, but were rather concerned with the meaning of the sacrament
of the Lord’s Supper, and the right means of obtaining salvation. The
Brotherhood denied the doctrine of the Real Presence, and maintained
that salvation was only to be found in a virtuous life; they were
consequently denounced by the Masters of Prague, and very little real
discussion took place. The Masters soon after issued a letter, in which
they declared that the Brothers were the chief enemies of the Church;
and they further complained of them for choosing workmen for the office
of priests.

It was during this phase of the controversy that Gregory died. He had
combined remarkable courage with an unselfish devotion to the cause of
the Brotherhood. He had willingly resigned the first place in favour
of the priest Michael; but he had, none the less, stamped his special
convictions on the minds of certain members of the Brotherhood; and,
for a time, on the constitution of the whole society. He warned the
Brothers very strongly against the dangerous influence of learned
scholars, declaring that such people were given to subtle intrigues,
inconsistent with simplicity of life. At the same time he gave
enormous power into the hands of the Bishop of the Church. He was to
have the right of changing at will the members of the Council who acted
with him; and no Brother was to be allowed to publish any book without
the sanction of the Bishop and this Council of his nominees. More
general questions of faith and doctrine were to be decided by synods of
the Brotherhood.

Though Gregory’s immediate successor in the Brotherhood was a man
of like feelings with himself, neither he nor any one else could
ultimately maintain so strict an organisation in its original form. It
has, indeed, already been hinted that the Bohemian Brotherhood, unlike
their English successors, came, after a short time, into friendly
contact with the outer world; and they suffered in simplicity, while
they gained in influence.

They had now spread over a hundred and eighty square miles of
territory; and though they still for a time maintained the exclusion
of worldly rank and worldly power from their body, they did not object
to accept the protection of friendly nobles, who remained outside
their body. Of these the most prominent and sympathetic was Kostka of
Postupic, whose father had endeavoured to protect the Brothers against
King George, and whose great-grandfather had fought for Z̆iz̆ka.
Through his influence many nobles were induced to modify that attitude
of hostility which the democratic tendencies of the Brotherhood
had naturally produced in them. But this connection could not fail
in time to produce a corresponding change in the feelings of the
Brothers themselves; and some of them began, before long, to propose a
modification of the stern principles which Gregory had enforced. Might
not oaths be used on certain occasions? Say, for instance, to free
a Brother from unjust charges in a law-court? And might not worldly
offices be held, if they were administered in a right spirit? These
questions of practice, together with others of pure doctrine, began
gradually to excite divisions in the Brotherhood; and, though it was
some time before the more moderate creed could gain much ground, it
soon found a powerful and eloquent supporter, who knew how to make it
acceptable.

About the year 1480, Lukas of Prague, a young and learned theologian,
was admitted into the Brotherhood. He had studied the old classics
and the Fathers of the Church; and he was strongly in favour of a
relaxation of those stern simplicities on which Gregory had insisted.
He also desired to give greater prominence to the doctrine of
Justification by Faith, as distinguished from that exclusive advocacy
of good life which had hitherto been the mark of the Brotherhood. Under
the influence of Lukas, it was resolved in 1490 that the heads of the
congregations should be allowed to relax the severity of the rules, on
certain occasions, in regard both to questions of luxury and to the
appeals to the secular power.

Amos of S̆tekna strongly denounced this compromise, and declared that
the devil of worldliness had entered as thoroughly into the Brotherhood
as he had entered into the Church in the time of Constantine and
Sylvester. Mathias of Kunvald, the successor of Gregory in the
leadership of the Brotherhood, sympathised with the sterner party; and,
by his influence, the relaxing decrees were repealed.

A project was then started for sending expeditions to various parts of
the world, in order to find out where the simplicity of faith was still
maintained. Nothing, however, seems to have resulted from these visits;
and the party of Lukas continued to gain ground. Mathias was unable to
hold his own against the pressure of the new Reformers; so at last he
resigned his judgeship in despair, and consented to the abolition of
the Small Council. Thereupon Amos of S̆tekna and his followers revolted
from the Brotherhood, and founded a new sect which was called, after
its founder, the Amosites. At the same time the old society became
generally known as the Bunzlau Brothers, after the town of Jungbunzlau
(Mláda Boleslav) which was now their chief centre.

Two results followed from this separation; first, an intensity of
bitterness between the old Society and the seceders, greater than that
between the Utraquists and the Brothers; and, secondly, the adoption
of new modifications and compromises by those who adhered to the old
Society. All compromises have a certain want of logic about them; and
compromises between the Church and the World on such questions as war
and peace, simplicity and luxury, equality and distinctions of rank,
must necessarily produce results which, while painful and pathetic to
those who realise the state of mind of their framers, will strike an
unsympathising world as grotesque and even ludicrous.

Under the new arrangements, the members of the Brotherhood were allowed
to wear dress in proportion to their rank, if they did not become
luxurious; but silk and embroidery were still strictly forbidden. The
compromise about war was still stranger. If a Brother considered that
the war which his king had made was a just one, he should not refuse to
take part in it if the lot fell upon him; but he was to try, whenever
possible, to find a substitute, or to get some office about the Court
which would excuse him from military duty, or to find some service in
connection with the army which did not involve fighting; but if he
could not find any such means of escape, then let him fight in God’s
name; but let him not fight for idle fame, and let him draw the sword
with reluctance.

Some of the other modifications of principle seem more in accordance
with ordinary conceptions of life. Trade might now be practised, but
usury was to be avoided. Beer might be sold, if pure; but it was only
to be sold in a public manner to travellers. Oaths, again, might be
taken by witnesses if they were convinced of the justice of the cause
in which they appeared.

But though such relaxations permitted the extension of membership
to those who had hitherto been excluded from the Brotherhood, the
bonds of the Society were drawn closer than ever round those members
who had entered it. Strict arrangements were made for the visitation
of the Brothers by their clergy, and for inquiry into the morals of
each family; more rigid limitations than before were placed on the
acquirement of property by the clergy themselves, while the appeals to
worldly law-courts were more carefully guarded against by the provision
of Courts of Appeal within the Brotherhood. Lastly, the exclusive
position of the Brotherhood was strengthened by a most startling
provision; if a husband or wife joined the Brotherhood without the
sympathy of their partner, and were afterwards interfered with by him
or her in matters of faith, the brother or sister so hampered might
claim a divorce, and make a new marriage. Thus, then, the Brotherhood
seemed to be strengthened and consolidated, both by the facilities of
admission to those who had been repelled by its sterner rules, and by
the stricter organisation which separated the enlarged Society more
distinctly from the outer world.

But an additional source of strength was soon to be provided by the
renewal of persecution. This persecution was due to three causes.
Soon after the changes above mentioned, Lukas and some of the other
Brothers had made an expedition to Italy to investigate the condition
of the Waldensian Communities. It was the time of the struggle between
Alexander VI. and Savonarola, and some of the Bohemian missionaries
were actually present in Florence at the burning of the great
Dominican. They returned to Bohemia, offended at the laxity of many of
the Bohemian Communities, and more embittered than before against a
Catholic Church which was ruled by Alexander Borgia. Alexander, on his
side, had been roused by his struggle against Florence to a fervid zeal
for the suppression of heresy, and his attention had evidently been
called to these strange visitors to Italy. So in 1500 he despatched
inquisitors to Moravia with orders to burn all heretical books, and
especially those of Peter of Chelc̆ic. So effectively was this part
of the work performed, that of the book which Peter had specially
written against the Pope, only one copy is to be found at this day. The
inquisitor, indeed, found it easier to burn books than to convert the
Brothers, but his efforts in that direction were soon supported by men
of a very different type.

The first of these was Bohuslav Hassenstein of Lobkovic, a learned and
cultivated scholar, who had gained some reputation as a poet. He had
quarrelled with Pope Alexander, in consequence of the Pope’s refusal to
confirm him in the bishopric of Olmütz; and he was at first disposed
to look rather to King Ladislaus than to any ecclesiastical authority
for the restoration of unity and order in the Church. He seems indeed
to have had some genuine zeal for moral reform; for he denounced
the luxury and pride of the nobility; the gluttony, drunkenness,
and debauchery of all classes; and the general decline of art and
literature. For all these evils he suggested the one remedy--that
Ladislaus should restore religious unity to the Church. But, like
every earnest man who came in contact with this unfortunate king,
Hassenstein began by admiring his gentleness, and ended by despising
his weakness and incapacity. Since the death of Matthias, Ladislaus
had been elected King of Hungary; and, if he had been unable to govern
Bohemia effectively from Prague, he was still less able to govern it
from Presburg. Hassenstein, in despair, turned to his clerical brethren
for help; and they resolved to promote religious unity by a friendly
compromise with the Utraquists, which was to be a preparation for a
joint persecution of the Brotherhood.

But a third enemy of the Brothers proved more efficacious than Borgia
or Hassenstein in stirring up the embers of persecution. Amos of
S̆tekna had heard with renewed indignation of the later modification
of their creed introduced by the Brothers after his secession; and
he had particularly resented the compromises with regard to war, and
the completer recognition of the civil power. He, therefore, wrote to
Ladislaus that the Brothers were now taking up the position of the
old Taborites. The suggestion was the one best fitted to alarm such a
man. “What!” exclaimed the king, “are they going to imitate Z̆iz̆ka?”
(Z̆iz̆kovati), and he at once rushed into action with all the irritable
energy of a weak nature.

Orders were now sent out to all those towns and country districts which
were directly dependent upon the King, directing them to suppress the
meetings of the Brothers, to arrest all their teachers, and to send
them to Prague, where they would either be forced to recant, or else be
burnt alive; and these measures were to be followed by the expulsion of
the rest of the Brotherhood from Bohemia. Many wholesale arrests were
made; and one nobleman burnt some of the Brothers whom he found on his
estate.

But these summary proceedings of the King roused against him the
constitutional feelings both of the nobility and of the representatives
of the towns. They disputed his right to act in so arbitrary a manner,
even in the districts dependent upon him; and they feared that he would
soon exert the same power in the independent towns and on the estates
of the nobles.

Apart from these general objections, there were three noblemen, at
least, who were disposed to extend their protection to the Brothers;
and it was on their estates that the largest number of the Brothers
were to be found. Different motives actuated the nobles who took
this course. Kostka, who has been already referred to, sympathised
personally with the teaching of the Brotherhood; Schellenberg wished to
spare them, because his wife was a member of their society; Pernstein
was entirely indifferent to all theological disputes, and therefore saw
no reason for the persecution. But all the three were united in the
determination to assert their feudal rights for the protection of their
dependants; and they insisted that, if any Brothers were summoned to
Prague from their estates, they should be secured complete protection
and a fair hearing.

When, however, the Brothers arrived in Prague, they found that the
Committee of the Masters of Arts intended to administer a rebuke,
without hearing the defence of the accused parties. Against this
injustice the Brothers protested; and at last the nobles and citizens
succeeded in persuading the Masters to withdraw, before the accused
persons were introduced. When, then, the Brothers appeared to answer
the charges against them, they found themselves in the presence
only of the nobles and citizens, who informed them that their mere
appearance in Prague was all that was required of them, and that they
might now go home again. This result was considered to be, in the
main, a victory for the Brothers. But some of them were more indignant
at the time which had been wasted than pleased at their escape from
condemnation; and Lukas and his friends followed up this visit by an
energetic war of pamphlets.

A new weapon, it must be remembered, was now at the service of all
promoters of new teaching. The invention of printing had quickly spread
to Bohemia; and, in 1468, the fourth printing-press ever established
in Europe had begun to work at Pilsen. The Brothers quickly saw the
advantage of the new discovery; and, in 1500, they established a
printing-press at Mláda Boleslav. More than one lady of rank joined
the Brotherhood; and at least one Catholic noble found the new creed
rapidly spreading among his dependants.

Ladislaus now recognised the mistake which he had made in ignoring the
constitutional methods of procedure. He therefore resolved to appeal to
the regular Assemblies for support in his war against heresy; and he
believed that he would find his best chance in Moravia. The Moravian
Assembly, unlike the Bohemian, admitted the clergy to a special
representation as a fourth estate; the Bishop of Olmütz had been active
in the propaganda against the Brotherhood; and the great power which
the Germans and Catholics had obtained in Moravia during the wars,
seemed to point to an easy victory in the Moravian Assembly.

But again the King had miscalculated. The victories of the Germans and
Catholics had excited against them a bitterness, both national and
religious, far more intense than was to be found in other parts of the
kingdom. The cruelties of Sigismund, the Germanising zeal of Albert of
Austria, and the many injustices of Sternberg and the Catholic League,
had consolidated against them a mass of Moravian feeling, which, if
unable to secure victories on the battlefield, was eminently calculated
to give strength to an opposition in the Assembly. To the Bohemians of
the western province the Catholics and Germans were enemies, whom they
had met on equal terms and often thoroughly routed; to the Moravians
they were victorious tyrants, whose rule was to be thrown off at the
first opportunity.

When, then, the Catholics demanded that the Assembly should unite
in suppressing the “Picard” heresy, they were startled to find that
the Utraquists made common cause with the Brothers in opposing this
motion, and that they actually chose as their spokesman a member of the
Brotherhood named John of Z̆erotin. This nobleman demanded that the
complaints already made by the Utraquists should be attended to before
the question of supposed heresy was dealt with. The Bishop of Olmütz
taunted Z̆erotin with professing a sympathy with the Utraquists which
he did not feel; but the Opposition remained firm; and the Assembly
broke up without coming to any decision.

In Bohemia the Catholic party had an easier task. The opposition to
Ladislaus’s former proceedings had been mainly based on constitutional
grounds; and it now appeared that there was little religious sympathy
with the Brotherhood amongst the leaders of public opinion. The power
which the Utraquists had gained during the reign of King George had
drawn them into sympathy with the leading nobles; and Rokycana had
inspired them with a special dislike of the Brotherhood. The Bohemian
Assembly, therefore, consented to a decree, which ordered the burning
of the books of the Brotherhood, the suppression of their meetings, and
the punishment of their teachers. Elated by this victory, the Bishop of
Olmütz hurried back to Moravia, intending to summon the Assembly for a
second meeting, and to secure the reversal of its former decision; but
he was taken ill on his way, and died before the Assembly could meet;
nor, from that time till the fall of Bohemian independence in 1620, did
any Moravian Assembly consent to the suppression of the Brotherhood.

Nevertheless, the Catholic party found full compensation for their
failure in Moravia in a specially fierce enforcement of the law just
passed in Bohemia. Indeed, the former patrons of the Brotherhood
became so much alarmed, that even Kostka forbade the Brothers to hold
any further meetings on his estates. In spite of this opposition,
the Brothers still maintained their ground, and even extended their
preaching further; and but few of them could be persuaded, even by the
most cruel tortures, to submit to the authorities of the Church. In
1511 the Brothers hoped, for a short time, to secure the protection of
the greatest scholar of the time, Erasmus of Rotterdam. They had heard
of some private letters of his, in which he had defended them against
the attacks of their enemies; and they now prepared a Defence in Latin,
which they sent to him. He thanked them for their communication, and
expressed approval of at least part of their defence; but he declined
to publish his opinion, on the ground that it would not help them,
and might injure his work. So the persecution went on. Even Peter of
Rosenberg found himself unable to protect a Brother, in whom he was
interested, from being imprisoned and nearly starved to death. He
succeeded, indeed, in getting him released before death had actually
occurred, and he then urged him to submit to the Church; but the
Brother, though almost too exhausted to speak, steadily refused to
submit; and he was set free without further persecution. Lukas, who
was now the most prominent member of the Brotherhood, succeeded for a
long time in escaping the vigilance of his persecutors; but, in 1515,
he was treacherously seized under false pretences, brought to Prague,
and subjected to the torture. When nothing could be obtained from him
by this means, he was set free, on the understanding that he was to
appear before the Utraquist Consistory in April, 1516; but in the month
before this appearance was to take place King Ladislaus died, and the
persecution again slackened for a time.

In the meantime, the long absence of the King in Hungary, and the
growing sense of his weakness of character, had been producing other
divisions in Bohemia which gradually turned men’s minds away from
the religious controversies. The wars of the fifteenth century, like
all wars, had tended to draw the people away from their ordinary
occupations, and to make them dependent on their military leaders.
As long as the Taborite organisation lasted, its democratic spirit
provided at least some check on the oppressions of the military nobles;
and the alliance between the peasants and the Order of Knights, to
which Z̆iz̆ka had belonged, counteracted any advantages which the
nobles might have gained by their military prowess. But the fall of
Tabor had destroyed any hopes, which the peasantry and townsmen might
have had, of strengthening their position through war.

Under these circumstances the peasantry gradually fell back into the
condition from which they had been escaping in the fourteenth century.
The right of leaving their masters at their pleasure, of settling in
towns, and of becoming priests without the sanction of their landlords,
were gradually taken from them; and at last they were deprived even of
that right of appeal to the King’s Court by which Charles had protected
them against the absolute power of their lords.

But, though the peasantry were thus crushed back into a state of
serfdom, the organisation of the towns was too strong to yield at
once to the attacks of the nobles. Unfortunately, however, the lords
gained about this time a new and important ally in their struggle for
supremacy. The knights, or independent country gentlemen, who had been
such zealous rivals of the higher Order in the fifteenth century, had
lately consented to a reconciliation with their opponents; and these
two classes were thus able to combine their forces against the towns.

The new king was little able to give the weaker party any assistance
in the struggle. Ladislaus had succeeded in securing to his son Louis
the succession to the crown, and he had even had him crowned during
his lifetime. But Louis was a boy of ten; he was in the main under
Hungarian influences; and he was of course utterly unfitted to control
the fierce factions which were struggling in Bohemia.

The three chief points at issue between the Towns and the other Orders
were, firstly, the right of the Town Tribunals to summon before
them the nobles and knights in cases specially affecting the towns;
secondly, the monopoly claimed by the towns in the brewing trade;
thirdly, the right of the towns to send representatives to the Bohemian
Assembly. In 1517, indeed, a nominal settlement was effected on all
these points by the treaty of St. Wenceslaus. By that treaty the towns
surrendered their monopoly of brewing, but were secured the peaceable
possession of their other privileges. Such treaties had little effect
in a time of discord, and it was not long before a new violation of
town rights led to the outbreak of a civil war, in which the citizens
gained some victories. Both parties, however, soon began to desire
peace, and the king was called in to arbitrate between them.

When Louis arrived in Prague to inquire into the circumstances of
the contest, he found that the disturbances of the country had been
largely increased by the rise of certain self-seeking politicians,
who had made their profit out of the difficulties of the kingdom. Of
these the most powerful and unscrupulous was Lev of Roz̆mital, the
brother-in-law of King George. He had induced Ladislaus to mortgage to
him some of the royal property. By this and other means he had gained
a great control over the finances of the kingdom, and he refused to
give any account of his use of that power. He was supported in most of
his intrigues by a citizen who had recently been ennobled, and who had
taken the name of Pas̆ek of Wrat. These two men had gradually gained
complete power over the government of Prague; and, on one occasion, a
man who had opposed Lev in the Town Council had been dragged out and
beaten to death.

Fortunately, however, there were powerful influences in the country
which worked in favour of the young king. One of the Rosenbergs of
Krumov was a rival and enemy of Lev; and an equally formidable opponent
of these schemes was found in Karl, Duke of Münsterberg, and nephew of
King George. Louis’s uncle, King Sigismund of Poland readily supported
his nephew by advice and encouragement. The respectable citizens of
Prague were willing to rally round him; and, with such friends as
these, the boy could venture to act vigorously. He deposed Lev from his
office, raised a citizen named Hlavsa to the place which Pas̆ek had
formerly held on the Council, and made Karl of Münsterberg the chief
governor of the kingdom.

This change of government was intended by Louis and his nearest
advisers simply as a means of restoring order and honesty in public
affairs; but, besides that result, his action produced another effect,
of which neither the King nor his uncle Sigismund would have approved.
In choosing his new Councillors from the most respectable politicians
whom he could find, Louis had unintentionally singled out men who were
in sympathy with the movement for religious reform.

That movement had recently entered on an entirely new phase. In the
middle of the exciting political struggles in their own country, many
of the Utraquists and Bohemian Brothers had heard with the greatest
interest that a German monk had come forward to denounce that very
practice of the Sale of Indulgences which had first brought Hus into
direct collision with the Papacy; and a rapid approximation followed
between a section of the Bohemian Reformers and the new German teacher.

Luther’s attitude towards the followers of Hus is made clear enough
by his own statements. He had been induced to read the story of Hus’s
career before he had entered on his actual contest with Rome. He had
even then been impressed by the greatness of the Bohemian Reformer, but
he had thrust the book aside as likely to lead him into evil. Something
of this old feeling still hung about him in the early part of his
struggle. And, when Eck brought against him the charge of favouring the
Bohemian heresy, he had been inclined to repel it with indignation.
Yet it was that very charge which had induced him to return to the
study of Hus; and he soon began to express so earnest an admiration
for the Bohemian leader that his enemies spread the rumour that he was
himself a Bohemian, who had been educated in Prague on the writings of
Wyclif. Nay, they even went so far as to Bohemianise his name--a change
in which they doubtless took a malicious pleasure, for the Bohemian
word “Lŭtr̆e” means a scoundrel. Several letters of encouragement
from scholars and clergymen at Prague were addressed to Luther in the
earliest years of his struggle; and he declared that he would himself
have come to Bohemia had he not feared that such a visit would have
seemed like a flight from his enemies.

But he very soon began to recognise the distinction between his own
position and that of Hus. This difference he has referred to in several
of his writings; and perhaps the passage in his “Table Talk” is the one
which will be best remembered, from the vigorous metaphor by which he
illustrates his opinion: “Hus,” he said, “cut down and rooted out some
thorns, thickets, and chips from the vineyard of Christ, and chastised
the abuses and evil life of the Pope. But I, Dr. Martin Luther, have
come into an open, flat, and well-ploughed field, and have attacked and
overthrown the doctrine of the Pope.”

If this distinction between the attacks of Hus on the immorality of the
Papacy, and his own attack on its doctrines, seemed to Luther to put
the earlier Reformer in a less important position than that which he
himself occupied, he must have felt this difference still more strongly
with regard to the later Utraquistic movement. Very few of the leaders
of that movement had ever desired that complete separation from Rome
which Luther soon perceived to be an absolute necessity. They had been
driven, against their will, to combine the assertion of their national
independence with resistance to the authority of the Pope; but, when
the deaths of King George and Rokycana had removed at once the main
ground of Papal hostility to Bohemia, and the most determined asserters
of an independent national Church, the Utraquists began to show an even
painful eagerness for a reconciliation with the Papacy. They felt the
need of a priesthood which possessed the dignity and legal stability
secured by the consecration of Romanist bishops; and they not only sent
their clergy to Italy to obtain this privilege, but they even welcomed
in priests of other countries, who had been appointed to their offices
in the orthodox manner.

Luther, in his desire to win the Bohemians to his side, energetically
protested against this practice. He pointed out to them the dangers
to morality and order which they were incurring by letting in priests
of whom they knew nothing, except that they had been consecrated;
men who, in many cases, had left their country from discreditable
reasons. Finally, he appealed to them not to sacrifice that Bohemian
independence for which they had struggled so long, nor to compromise
with the representatives of those who had shed the blood of Hus and
Jerom.

Unfortunately, Luther himself fell into the very same error against
which he had so energetically warned the Bohemians. During these
negotiations he put his chief trust in a man who was totally unworthy
of his confidence. This was Gallus Cahera, the son of a butcher of
Prague, who had studied in the University and gained a Master’s degree.
He had then taken Holy Orders, and been appointed parish priest of
Litmerice. From thence he had gone to Wittenberg; and so completely
did he gain the confidence of the Reformers that, in 1523, Luther
sent him back to Prague with letters to the Utraquistic congregation,
urging them to choose him as their leader in the work of reform. He
arrived there just when Louis was accomplishing his changes in the
administration of Bohemia. In the following year the Utraquists elected
Cahera as the Administrator of their Consistory; and he proceeded to
draw up a series of Articles for their acceptance, which approached
nearer than any of their previous formularies to the Lutheran creed. A
proposal, indeed, to condemn the celibacy of the clergy was rejected
by the Assembly; but the Articles which were adopted were sufficiently
extreme to alarm the old-fashioned Utraquists; and Pas̆ek and his
friends began at once to make use of this feeling.

It must be remembered that Utraquism had always been most powerful when
it had been connected with efforts for Bohemian independence; and,
unfortunately, the national feeling of Bohemia was generally closely
connected with a hatred of all German influence. Pas̆ek had been able
to appeal to this prejudice, in resisting the appointment of Karl of
Münsterberg, who was not a Bohemian by birth; and, though the hatred of
the tyranny of Lev and Pas̆ek had been strong enough for the moment
to destroy the effect of this appeal, yet the dread of a German heresy
was easily awakened in the citizens of Prague. Louis had already called
on the Moravian Assembly to condemn the new doctrines; and that body,
which had defended the national movement of the Bohemian Brotherhood,
readily denounced the teaching of the monk of Wittenberg.

Pas̆ek soon succeeded in gaining help from an unexpected quarter.
Cahera was a weak and unprincipled man, and his opponents were easily
able to work upon his vanity. They proposed to him the splendid task of
reconciling the Utraquists to the Pope; and Cahera was so dazzled by
the prospect of the fame and dignity which such an undertaking promised
him, that he quickly drifted away from his former friends and helped
forward Pas̆ek’s intrigues. In vain did Luther remonstrate with Cahera
on this desertion of his principles. The reaction steadily went on.
Pas̆ek was re-elected to the Council; Louis, forgetful of his former
distrust, encouraged the town in its new course; Karl of Münsterberg
came over to the Catholic side; and the Assembly of Bohemia once more
appealed to the Pope to ratify the Compacts of Basel.

But Pas̆ek was not yet satisfied. He and Lev of Roz̆mital were
determined to recover the power which they had lost; and they found
that the discovery and denunciation of heretics were the easiest
means of obtaining this end. They therefore seized the opportunity of
Cahera’s change of policy to pass laws to strengthen the position of
the Administrator of the Consistory. At the same time some Lutheran
sympathisers were expelled from Prague, and a regular organisation
was formed in the Small Division to crush opposition. The Reformers
soon began to complain of the armed men who were allowed to parade
the streets. But these complaints were quoted by Pas̆ek’s friends
as evidence of an heretical plot. Suspicion was stirred up against
those reforming clergy who still remained in Prague, and at last a
tradesman named Zika appeared before the Council to denounce all those
leading councillors who were opposed to Pas̆ek. Hlavsa and his friends
were seized and thrown into prison, and Pas̆ek endeavoured to obtain
evidence against his leading opponents by putting their followers to
the torture. Lev of Roz̆mital was restored to all his former power, and
a system of terror was gradually established, under which the Brothers
and all Lutheran sympathisers were subjected to various kinds of
persecution. Karl of Münsterberg tried at first to check the progress
of this tyranny; but the intriguers had succeeded for a time in
winning to their side the king and the Hungarian bishops, and by their
influence the opposition of the governor was silenced.

A general atmosphere of suspicion now began to dominate the city and
its neighbourhood. Private avarice and vindictiveness found their
opportunity under the plea of orthodoxy. Men stopping to speak to each
other in the streets were accused of heretical conspiracies, and the
enforcement of a more rigorous form of confession put a powerful weapon
into the hands of the persecutors. Many workmen were deprived of their
means of livelihood by the espionage to which they were subjected, and
citizens coming to Prague to claim their debts were thrown into prison
on a charge of heresy.

Such a tyranny necessarily overshot its mark. Many of the nobles were
indignant at the power which Roz̆mital had gained, and he soon received
a startling proof of their hostility. Remembering the bait by which
they had drawn Cahera to their side, Pas̆ek and Roz̆mital despatched
an embassy to the king, who was then at Presburg, to persuade him to
second them in an appeal to the Pope to ratify the Compacts of Basel.
The Rosenbergs seized this opportunity for a blow at the new rulers of
Prague. They despatched a counter embassy to the king, in which they
denied Roz̆mital’s right to speak in the name of the nobles of Bohemia.

A still more impressive protest followed. Hlavsa and one of his friends
had escaped from prison, and they now appeared in Presburg to convince
the king of the injustice of their imprisonment. They showed, too, that
Roz̆mital and his friends had exceeded the powers granted to them, and
had inflicted sentences which were greater than any that the king had
permitted. Louis was impressed by these statements, and he at once
wrote to Roz̆mital, ordering him to reverse his illegal sentences, to
give Hlavsa and his friends a fair trial, and to restore order and
justice in Prague.

Karl of Münsterberg and Lev of Roz̆mital combined to defy the king’s
commands; and after vainly appealing to the Town Council of Prague to
resist this act of rebellion, the king summoned a Bohemian Assembly
to meet at the town of Kolin on the Elbe, and excluded from its
deliberations Karl, Lev, and all their supporters. He then secured the
trial and acquittal of Hlavsa and his friends, and punished Prague for
its contumacy by depriving it of its civic rights. So far, however,
were the Praguer from yielding that they now expelled from the city
the wives of the men whom they had been ordered to recall; and they
even imprisoned a citizen whom Louis had sent to Prague to recover the
property of which the Town Council had deprived him.

But, absolute as was Roz̆mital’s rule within the walls of Prague, a
curious story of the time reminds us of the formidable influences
which were counteracting his power in other parts of Bohemia. Peter of
Rosenberg had bequeathed to Roz̆mital the castle and town of Krumov;
but Peter’s nephew, Henry of Rosenberg, maintained that such an
alienation of the property was contrary to the settlements under which
it was held. Lev thereupon summoned Henry to appear before the law
court in Prague, to answer for his resistance to his uncle’s will. When
the messengers appeared at Krumov with the letters of summons, Henry of
Rosenberg at once threw them into prison. He then summoned them before
him, made them eat the letters which they had brought, gave them wine
to enable them to swallow this strange food, and then hunted them with
dogs from the gates of his castle.

Although this story shows that Roz̆mital’s power was confined within
certain local limits, yet, within those limits, he could not only
resist the remonstrances and commands of Louis, but could even hamper
in an important way his general schemes of policy. This power for evil
was shortly to receive a terrible manifestation. While the Bohemians
and Hungarians had been wrangling, the Turks had been steadily
advancing in Europe. Soliman the Great had considerably increased the
military prestige of his race; and Louis was startled, in the middle
of his domestic troubles, by the news that Belgrade had been captured
by the Turks. Then the young king appealed to the Bohemians to stand
by him and his Hungarian subjects in their resistance to this terrible
invader. The Rosenbergs and other nobles responded to this appeal; but
Roz̆mital and the Council of Prague, while ashamed to give a direct
refusal, yet succeeded in inventing all manner of delays, so as to
prevent their troops from coming in time to the king’s help. Some
of the Bohemian nobles wished to wait till their whole forces were
gathered, but the Hungarians soon grew impatient of delay, and on the
29th of August, 1526, they insisted on joining battle with the Turks
at Mohács. Louis, anticipating a certain defeat, fled from the field
before the battle began; but, in his flight, his horse fell into a
swamp, and his unfortunate life of failure was cut short at the age of
twenty.

The result of the battle was as Louis had foreseen. The Hungarians
were signally defeated, and the Turks speedily followed up their
victory by the capture of the fortress of Buda. A long series of
intrigues followed in Bohemia. The Austrian party were supported by the
Rosenbergs, and the Saxon party were led by Lev of Roz̆mital; but the
opposition of Lev was finally bought off, and the Archduke Ferdinand,
brother of the Emperor Charles, and brother-in-law of the unfortunate
Louis, was elected king of Bohemia.



XIV.

REIGN OF FERDINAND I.

(1526-1564.)


Although Ferdinand was known, and to some extent feared, as a stern
and rigid Spaniard, yet a belief in his desire for justice, and a
wish to secure any strong protector against the champions of disorder
in Bohemia, quite overbalanced any fears that might be caused by his
Catholic tendencies. Indeed, although many stipulations were made
before he was accepted as king, the fears of his subjects were far
less excited about those religious liberties for which they had so
long struggled than about questions of national independence. The
dangers which seemed most to threaten Bohemian liberty were the
possibility of Ferdinand’s election to the throne of Spain, and the
extreme probability of his election to the throne of Hungary; while the
subjects which ranked next in importance to these were the maintenance
of the right of the Assembly to elect their future King, and the
preservation of the supremacy of Bohemia over the dependent crown lands.

Never, perhaps, did the controversies at the beginning of a reign
more completely fail to foreshadow the events which should make it
memorable. Ferdinand himself was as blind to the issues before him as
were the people whom he came to rule. He thought that in the local
independence of Moravia and Silesia, which had been so much increased
by their frequent separation from Bohemia in the late wars, he would
find an admirable opportunity for strengthening his position at the
expense of the Bohemians. At first his theory appeared plausible
enough; for the Moravians and Silesians, indignant at not being
consulted in the first election of Ferdinand, were easily flattered
by his apparent tenderness for their provincial feelings; and they
consented to a concession to his wishes, which the Bohemians had
refused to make; for while the Bohemians would only recognise Ferdinand
as their freely elected King, the Moravians and Silesians consented to
admit his hereditary claim to the throne, and consequently fixed the
crown more permanently on the House of Hapsburg. But even the Bohemians
finally agreed that, if Ferdinand should find himself incapacitated by
old age or ill-health, he might commit the task of government to his
son Maximilian. Ferdinand doubtless hoped that both these concessions
would tend to consolidate the power of the House of Hapsburg, and to
strengthen his personal influence, as well as his legal claims; but
before the end of his reign he had cause to regret most bitterly the
increase of the Moravian independence, and to grudge the power which
he had conferred on a son, who seemed determined to reverse the most
important points of his father’s policy.

For the moment, however, his own thoughts and those of the country
which he governed were concentrated on the struggle in Hungary. John
Zapolya, the Voyvode of Transylvania, had begun, even before the death
of Louis, to show signs of an ambition which would carry him far beyond
the limits of his small principality; and he was strongly suspected
of having intrigued with the Turks at the battle of Mohács. After the
death of Louis, the intrigues and claims of Zapolya rapidly increased,
and he was at last crowned king of Hungary. Ferdinand, however, as
brother-in-law of Louis, was resolved to dispute Zapolya’s claim; nor
was this desire due to a mere greed of territory. The growing power
of Soliman the Great was becoming a serious danger to the peace and
liberty of Europe; and Ferdinand felt that the possession of the crown
of Hungary would enable him to protect his hereditary dominions, and,
indeed, the whole Empire, against the aggressions of the Turk. It must
be owned that, considering Zapolya’s evident inclination to intrigue
with Soliman, Ferdinand’s conception of duty was not by any means
unreasonable.

On the other hand, the feeling in Bohemia was considerably divided.
In spite of the dislike of the Turk, which was then common to all
Christian nations, the Bohemians looked with alarm on any increase in
those burdens of taxation which already weighed so heavily upon them;
and, as already hinted, they dreaded the rule of a King, who might find
it more convenient to reign at Presburg than at Prague. So strong was
this feeling, that the Bavarians, who had hoped to win the crown of
Bohemia for their Duke, now believed that they could form a Bohemian
party, which should commit itself openly to the side of Zapolya. On
the other hand, the men of Prague, who groaned under the tyranny of
Pas̆ek and Cahera, had reason for hoping that Ferdinand would come to
deliver them from their sufferings. He had already set free a friar
who had been imprisoned by Pas̆ek for denouncing his government; and
he had given the citizens good reason to believe that nothing but the
Hungarian war was preventing him from doing justice and restoring order
in Prague. Those citizens, therefore, eagerly desired his success; and
as long as the struggle was mainly between Ferdinand and Zapolya, the
victory seemed likely to fall to the Austrians.

Ferdinand returned in triumph to Prague; and, as the first step towards
the restoration of order, he deposed the Councillors, who had been
governing the city, and restored the separate jurisdictions of the Old
and New Towns. In previous times, indeed, the union of the different
quarters of the city had been looked upon as a means of securing the
liberties of Prague; but Pas̆ek and Cahera had turned this union into
so effective a means of tyranny over the freer spirits of the New
Town, that the citizens of the latter district hailed the separation
with enthusiasm; and they declared that their beloved King Charles
had returned to earth in the form of their new ruler. This exultation
was soon cut short by a new, and far more dangerous, outbreak of the
Hungarian war. Soliman, no longer relying mainly on the intrigues
of Zapolya, poured his forces anew into Hungary, reconquered all
the territory which had been lost, marched into Austria, and rapidly
approached Vienna. Even now, though they sent troops to the defence
of Vienna, the help of the Bohemians was grudgingly given, and
was hindered by their old suspicion of the power of the Germans.
Nevertheless, they joined in the war. The Viennese were roused to an
heroic resistance; and, after a fierce struggle, the Turks were driven
back from the walls of Vienna. The ships which Soliman had brought into
the Danube were destroyed; and he was compelled, for a time, to make
peace.

Ferdinand now hastened back to Prague, and found that Pas̆ek and
Cahera had recovered their power in the city. Although Hlavsa and his
friends had been allowed by Ferdinand to return from exile, Pas̆ek’s
party had succeeded in hampering their freedom and annoying them in
various ways. Knowing the King’s strong Catholic feelings, Pas̆ek had
hoped to conciliate his favour by giving a religious colouring to his
persecution; and several of the Bohemian Brothers had been singled
out for torture and burning. But Ferdinand seems to have thoroughly
understood the self-seeking character of the intriguers who were
governing Prague; and, resolving to show that he was not to be trifled
with, he banished Pas̆ek and Cahera from Prague, and pronounced the
formal acquittal of Hlavsa and his friends. Even those against whom
there was reasonable suspicion of heresy were allowed to escape by the
use of elastic formulæ; and it seemed for the moment as if a happier
and better government were really to be introduced into Bohemia.

But his Catholic training, strengthened by the circumstances of his
brother’s struggle against the German Protestants, had produced
in Ferdinand two strong aspirations, which had been enormously
strengthened by the difficulties of the Turkish wars. These were the
desire for the consolidation of the power of the Hapsburgs, by the
union of the different hereditary dominions of their House; and the
desire for union of the Church by the crushing down of the various
sects. These two objects were to be carried out side by side, and each
was to be brought into prominence as opportunity occurred. It was to
the latter object that he first desired to address himself; and certain
circumstances had at this time specially directed his attention to the
Bohemian Brotherhood.

The peasant rising in Germany had produced great dread of the teaching
of the Anabaptists; and, after the peasants had been crushed, many of
this sect had fled to Bohemia to escape persecution. The Brotherhood
had noticed that the new-comers agreed with them on the question of
the necessity of a second baptism; and Lukas and other leaders of the
Brotherhood had desired, on this ground, to negotiate further with the
Anabaptists. A closer inspection proved that no two bodies had less of
spiritual sympathy than the fiery revolutionists who followed Thomas
Münzer and the peaceable and orderly inheritors of the traditions of
Peter of Chelc̆ic. But this negotiation had called unfriendly attention
to the proceedings of the Brothers; and the alarm which it excited was
further increased by the action of one of those noblemen who had begun
to patronise the Brotherhood. This was Conrad of Krajek, the member of
a family who had defended the Brotherhood against Ladislaus. Conrad had
granted to the Brotherhood a church on his estate, which had long been
left without a pastor, and the new clergyman had removed from it the
ornaments which the Brothers considered idolatrous. Ferdinand demanded
the restoration of the ornaments, and Conrad refused to obey. The
Turkish wars hindered Ferdinand from pressing his demand at this time;
but Conrad felt his danger, and resolved to take further steps for the
protection of the Brotherhood. He saw that the German Protestants had
greatly strengthened their position by their recent publication of
the Confession of Augsburg; and it occurred to him that, if a similar
publicity were given to the doctrines of the Brotherhood, they also
might be placed in a better position in the eyes of the world.

[Illustration: JOHN AUGUSTA.]

The drawing up of this Confession brought into prominence a man whose
career was to have an important influence, both on the history of the
Brotherhood and on the policy of Ferdinand. This was John Augusta,
the son of a hatter in Prague. He had been born in 1500; and, though
without any regular learned education, he had acquired a useful
knowledge of Latin. He speedily made his mark in the Society; and in
1532 he was admitted into the smaller governing council. It was just
at this time that Conrad of Krajek had been convinced of the need of
a formal Confession of Faith for the Brotherhood; and Augusta was
appointed to undertake this work. This document was not only intended
for circulation among the immediate friends and acquaintances of the
Brotherhood; but it was also hoped that it would attract the sympathies
of the German princes, and particularly of the Margrave of Brandenburg.
There was also another ally whom Augusta was particularly anxious to
win to the side of the Brothers. Luther, as it will be remembered, had,
in the early period of his public career, made somewhat eager advances
towards the Utraquists; but, when the treachery of Gallus Cahera had
disgusted and repelled him, he had turned for sympathy to the Bohemian
Brotherhood. Lukas and other leaders had been well disposed to meet his
advances; but, on closer contact, they found three barriers apparently
insurpassable. The Brothers, like many other people, had been startled
and shocked by Luther’s doctrine of Justification by Faith _alone_.
They believed their fears of this doctrine to be justified by
personal observation; for it seemed to be leading, in many cases, to
carelessness and even immorality of life, however much it might seem to
Luther to be the assertion of a more spiritual creed against the belief
in mere dead works. Secondly, the Brotherhood came far nearer to the
Zwinglian doctrine of the Sacrament than Luther could at all approve;
and, thirdly, the same ascetic tone which induced them to shrink from
the Lutheran laxity of life, made the Brothers unwilling to accept a
married priesthood. The contention had become so sharp between Lukas
and Luther, that Luther, who showed himself the more moderate of the
two disputants, had felt it better to break off the correspondence.

Nevertheless, there were many, both in the ranks of the Brotherhood and
of the German Protestants, who desired a renewal of this intercourse;
and, as Lukas was now dead, there seemed less difficulty in beginning
a new correspondence. Augusta, therefore, went to Wittenberg, and
presented the Confession to Luther. Luther seems throughout to have
shown a generosity and breadth of sympathy towards the Brothers
which were not always characteristic of him. He readily praised a
great part of the Confession; he rejoiced in their agreement about
the main doctrines of Christianity and the rejection of many Papal
superstitions; and he declared that their mistakes about the Sacraments
and the question of Faith and Works were to be attributed partly to
differences of language, and partly to a want of clear perception
on their part of the points at issue. With regard to the married
clergy, it soon became clear that the difference between Luther and
the Brothers was not one of doctrine; but that it was due partly to
circumstances arising out of the persecution which the Brotherhood had
suffered, partly to a certain ascetic tendency which inclined them to
look upon celibacy as the higher state. Luther therefore consented
readily and warmly to recommend the study of the Confession to his
friends; and a few years later he even agreed that it should be printed
and published for them at Wittenberg.

Encouraged by Luther’s sympathy, both Krajek and Augusta thought
that the time had come for presenting their Confession of Faith to
Ferdinand himself, and asking for a milder judgment than he had at
first been disposed to pass upon them. But the temporary retirement
of Soliman from Europe had now left Ferdinand at liberty to carry out
his plans of uniformity. Although the Brotherhood had now broken off
their intercourse with the Anabaptists, yet Ferdinand still remembered
that attempt against them; and he was even more embittered by the
recollection of Krajek’s disobedience. He therefore not only refused
to consider the Confession, but early in 1535 he issued an order for
the expulsion of the Brothers from all the towns immediately dependent
on the king’s authority. The Utraquists eagerly seconded the Catholics
in this persecution; and the towns of Vodnian, Klattov, and Taus
(Domaz̆lic̆e) were the first to carry out the order. The expelled
Brothers were also summoned before the royal Court in Prague to answer
for their offences. Amongst others, two young lords of Janovic, who had
been known as patrons of the Brotherhood, were summoned to Prague, and
condemned to imprisonment in the Black Tower of the Castle. A Brother
named John Zbornik, generally known as John the Hermit, was summoned
at the same time. Conrad of Krajek, however, maintained that Zbornik
was his serf, and that the young lords of Janovic were not responsible
for him. Then Conrad was ordered to appear himself, to answer for his
interference with the law, and at the same time to produce Zbornik.
Conrad came with Zbornik, and also with a large attendance of knights
and lords; but, in spite of their protests, Zbornik was condemned
without any regular trial, and imprisoned in the Castle for three
years.

Conrad did not yet abandon the cause; and he persuaded Augusta to
draw up an additional statement of their Faith for presentation to
Ferdinand. In this copy the original Article about the Sacraments
was modified, so as not to offend the Lutherans; and Luther himself
expressed his approval of this second document. Conrad now hastened to
Vienna, to entreat for the liberation of Zbornik and the young lords of
Janovic. He dwelt much on the illegality of the proceedings connected
with their imprisonment; but Ferdinand maintained the most despotic
principles of authority, declared that he was only bound to protect the
Catholics and the Utraquists, and told Krajek that the devil had led
him to his present faith. Krajek retorted that it was Christ, and not
the devil, who had led him there; and that, if Christ was a “Picard,”
then he (Conrad) was so too. Yet, in spite of his defiant tone,
Ferdinand seems to have been impressed by Conrad’s protest; for, in the
following year, Zbornik and the young lords were released from prison.

This release, however, was rather a concession to the principle
of legality than an abandonment by Ferdinand of his plans for
ecclesiastical uniformity; and he fully hoped, by securing firmer
support amongst the Utraquists, to crush the extreme Protestant sects.
He had promised, at his coronation, to support the Compacts of Basel;
and, in May, 1537, he appealed to the Bohemian Assembly so to enforce
the Compacts as to suppress those sects who did not accept them. After
a sharp discussion, the representatives of the Brotherhood were
persuaded to withdraw from the Assembly; but it was soon found that
the attempts at union had been brought no nearer to their realisation
by this exclusion. Many of the Utraquists objected to the Compacts of
Basel, as an attempt to substitute a new document for the words of
Scripture. Others maintained that the Catholic bishops had violated the
Compacts, and that they were still eager to suppress the Utraquists.
Though, therefore, the Catholics and Utraquists agreed in hating
the Brothers, they were not able to combine their forces for their
suppression; and a new outbreak of the Turkish war still further
hindered the designs of Ferdinand.

In the meantime Augusta had been trying to strengthen the union
between the Brotherhood and the foreign Protestants. He had visited
Bucer and Calvin at Geneva, had received a kindly welcome from them,
and had accepted many of Calvin’s doctrines about Predestination. But
his greatest hope and his strongest personal sympathies were always
directed to Wittenberg; and his translation and eulogy of a pamphlet
written by Luther excited Ferdinand’s indignant attention even during
the Turkish war. Threatened with arrest and imprisonment in consequence
of this publication, Augusta fled once more to Wittenberg. There he was
again welcomed by Luther and Melancthon; and he complained to them of
the growing corruptions of the Church in Bohemia, and of the increase
of luxury, even in the Brotherhood. Finally, he implored Luther to
interfere in these matters, and to establish a new system of church
discipline in Bohemia. Some suggestion of the kind had apparently
been made by other Bohemian exiles; but Luther was far too wise to
listen to the proposal. He had been willing enough to discuss matters
of doctrine with the Brothers, and to welcome them as friends and
allies; but he had none of the national mania for Germanising other
countries; and he recognised to the full the necessity for a variety
of customs, and even for modifications in the expression of doctrine.
“Do you,” He said to Augusta and his friends, “be the Apostles of the
Bohemians; I and mine will be the Apostles of the Germans. Do you act
according to the opportunities presented to you, and so will we.”
If Joseph II., in the eighteenth century, had been half as wise as
Luther was in the sixteenth, the relations of Germans and Bohemians
to each other might even now be considerably more friendly than they
are. After this interview Augusta returned to Bohemia, and devoted
himself, for the next year or two, partly to a defence of the Brothers
against the attacks of the Utraquists, partly to an effort to restore
the Brotherhood itself to that simpler mode of life from which it was
drifting away.

In the meantime, the progress of Protestant doctrine in Germany
had produced considerable influence on many of the old-fashioned
Utraquists in Bohemia; and they now offered fresh hindrances to
Ferdinand’s efforts after uniformity. Mistopol, the Administrator of
the Utraquist Consistory, and Mitmánek, a leading preacher, had been
particularly prominent in their attacks on the Catholics; and when,
in 1543, Ferdinand once more called together the Bohemian Assembly,
he found that his offer to enforce the Compacts of Basel was met by
a reaffirmation of the Four Articles of Prague in their simplest and
extremest form. This roused him to great indignation; and he now
insisted on further restrictions, both in ritual and preaching, and
even forbade any general meeting of the Utraquists, under penalty to
person and property. He insisted, however, that the celebration of the
anniversary of the death of Hus should be maintained as one of the
ordinary observances of the Church. But Mistopol succeeded in seizing
the opportunity of this anniversary for a violent sermon against the
Catholics, which he preached in the old Bethlehem chapel of Hus. For
this defiance Mistopol was summoned before the Court of Prague; and
though his sentence was deferred for a time, Mitmánek, his chief
supporter, was banished from the country. The attempt to conciliate the
Utraquists having thus failed, Ferdinand opened negotiations with the
Pope, which were to lead to the calling of the Council of Trent. Such
was the relation of parties to each other when, in 1546, the death of
Luther removed the last hindrance to the outbreak which was to change
the conditions both of Germany and Bohemia.

The formation of the Schmalkaldic League, in 1542, had already prepared
the Protestants for collective action; and the threatening attitude
of Charles V., coupled with the proposal for a Council, which would
undoubtedly condemn Protestantism, seemed to many of the more eager
spirits to justify immediate action. The Landgrave of Hesse and John
Frederick, Elector of Saxony, determined to anticipate the attacks of
Charles; and, not many months after Luther’s death, they marched into
Bavaria and attacked the town of Ingolstadt. But, scarcely was this
step taken, when it was discovered that Charles had provided against
the attacks of his enemies, by bringing to his side one of the most
formidable of them. Moritz of Saxony had been induced, by the promise
of his cousin’s lands, to desert the cause of the Protestants, and
to secure his new possession by force of arms. Ferdinand hoped to
reconcile the Bohemians to Moritz by persuading him to renew a former
treaty of hereditary alliance between Saxony and Bohemia.

But the Protestant feeling of Bohemia was too strong to be juggled
with in this manner; and, on March 18, 1546, a League had already
been formed for the protection of the civil and religious liberties
of Bohemia. They even went so far as to appoint a Committee of Eight,
who were to manage the affairs of the kingdom, and to raise arms and
men without asking the leave of the king. When, then, John Frederick
of Saxony suddenly entered Silesia, and seized on the monastery of
Dobrilug, Ferdinand found that large numbers of the Bohemians refused
to repel this invasion of Bohemian territory; and even those who went
to the war were unwilling to fight. Though Ferdinand at once sentenced
to death the leading mutineers, he could not hinder the citizens of
Prague from further negotiations with John Frederick. From refusal to
fight they rapidly passed into more active opposition; and at last
they even enabled Caspar Pflug to raise forces for the assistance of
the Elector.

As the struggle went on, the enthusiasm of the Bohemians rose; and
on April 7, 1547, the fiercer spirits of Prague suddenly seized the
Town Council Houses and bridges into their own hands, demanded a
safe-conduct for one of the men whom Ferdinand had just condemned
for mutiny, and insisted on the imprisonment of one of Ferdinand’s
Councillors, and the recall to the Teyn Church of a preacher who had
been expelled for heresy. They even compelled many of the Catholic
leaders to give in their adherence to the League; and all seemed
ready for an actual revolution. Suddenly, while the excitement was
still at its height, the news came that John Frederick of Saxony had
been completely overthrown at the battle of Mühlberg. Instantly the
more timid of the conspirators deserted the League, and even sent
congratulations to Ferdinand on his victory. But the fiercer spirits
desired to fight it out; and, as the troops of Ferdinand and Charles
advanced upon Prague, the citizens rang the alarm bell, and the
peasants flocked in with their flails from the neighbouring villages,
and repelled the first advance of the royal forces. The Burgomasters
and leading Councillors had had no desire to resist the King; but they
were completely overborne by the fiercer citizens; and, on the 6th
of July, the anniversary of the death of Jan Hus, an appeal was sent
round to the nearest Circles, calling on all the citizens to come to
the defence of Prague. Yet, in spite of this apparent vigour, there was
little real vitality in the movement; the leaders of the League had
hoped for the help of the Saxons; and when that failed, they had had
no desire to continue the struggle. The men who had now undertaken the
defence were utterly unorganised, and without any capable leaders. The
first forces, who came in from the neighbouring districts were defeated
by the troops of Charles; and, on the 8th of July, the city consented
to submit unconditionally to Ferdinand.

The first acts of Ferdinand on the recapture of Prague were marked
by an unexpected moderation. Comparatively few of the conspirators
were put to death; the great bulk of them were let off with fines,
or the surrender of lands; and most of the liberties of Bohemia were
confirmed. But it was felt, nevertheless, that all who had sympathised
with the insurrection were in a difficult and dangerous situation;
and the Utraquists, who had begun the movement, combined with the
Catholics, who had in many cases yielded to it, to lay the whole guilt
upon the Bohemian Brotherhood.

The Bunzlau district had no doubt been conspicuous in its refusal to
send forces to the Saxon war. Three or four of the lords, who were
condemned for their share in the insurrection, had been known for their
protection of the Brothers; and some of the Elders of the Brotherhood
had ordered a day for prayer and fasting during the insurrection. It
was resolved, therefore, to seize this opportunity for crushing this
unpopular sect, and the chief suspicion was directed against John
Augusta. He had indeed protested against the insurrection from the
first, but it was proved that he had come to Prague while it was
still going on; a visit to Liegnitz in Silesia was also looked upon as
suspicious; while undoubtedly the chief charges against him were his
known influence in the Brotherhood and his connection with Wittenberg.
Even the lords who had hitherto been favourable now disowned the
accused; and the Captain of Moravia, himself a member of the Society,
told Augusta that he ought to have prevented the insurrection.

The Archduke Ferdinand was ordered to take measures for carrying out
the intended persecution; and in the following year a Commission was
appointed, which reconstituted the Town Councils in various districts,
and ordered the new Councillors to proceed rigorously against the
Brothers. The chief persecution began at Litomys̆l, where several men
were arrested for singing hymns at the funeral of a Brother. On their
refusal to abandon the Brotherhood they were imprisoned in the White
Tower of the Castle of Prague; and, when threats and entreaties were
found to be of no avail, they were taken from the tower and thrust into
a hole into which the filth from the castle discharged itself. After
some months of this treatment several of them gave way; but the others
remained firm, and were at last set free on condition of withdrawing
into Prussia.

During the early part of their imprisonment, Augusta, from his place
of concealment, continually supplied them with money and letters of
encouragement. But the organisers of the persecution were resolved, at
all hazards, to make him their prisoner; and one of the most active of
them persuaded a leader of the Brotherhood to secure him a private
interview. Augusta had been taunted by some of the prisoners with
taking too much care for his own safety, and he therefore resolved to
risk the interview. Instead of the man who had appointed it, three
others appeared, who at once arrested Augusta and his secretary Bilek,
and carried them off to the White Tower of Prague. Thence he was
speedily removed to a wine-cellar, where he was chained hand and foot.
Soon after he was placed on the rack, and his side was burnt with
boiling pitch. The Archduke Ferdinand himself doubted the legality
of these proceedings; but the King was rigorous in the enforcement
of his plans, and he wrote to his son suggesting further means of
torture. Augusta, he said, was not to be allowed a moment for rest or
sleep; and, as one means for obtaining this end, an insect was to be
fastened near him which would worry him continually; or, as another
means of causing the same misery, he might be allowed food, but never
anything to quench his thirst. But, before the letter containing these
barbarous instructions arrived, Augusta had been removed from Prague
to Kr̆ivoklát, where he seems for a time to have fallen under a more
humane gaoler.

Nor was the persecution directed solely against a few leaders of the
Society. In the same month in which Augusta was arrested, a general
Edict had been issued for the expulsion of the Brotherhood and the
arrest of their clergy. As they were ordered to leave Bohemia within
six weeks, the Brothers in Litomys̆l entreated that a longer time might
be allowed for the sake of the sick and of the women who were in
labour; and they pointed out that a similar relaxation had been granted
in the case of the Jews and Anabaptists. This concession was, however,
refused; and the unfortunate people gathered together at Rychnov to
march over the Silesian hills. But though the lords, who had formerly
posed as patrons of the Brothers, now deserted their cause and joined
in the persecution, help for the journey was, nevertheless, provided by
the richer members of the Society; and the members of the Brotherhood,
who lived in those Silesian towns through which the exiles passed,
guided them securely through the dangers of the hills; nay, even many
of the Utraquists and Catholics were so touched by their sufferings
that they joined in this assistance.

At last the procession entered Poland, and the Brothers settled for
a time in the town of Posen. But, though many of the Polish nobles
welcomed them heartily, the Bishop of Posen stirred up the King of
Poland against them, and put them to such inconveniences, that many of
the Brotherhood accepted the invitation of the Elector of Brandenburg
to settle in his newly conquered province of Prussia. Not even in
Prussia, however, were the troubles of the exiles at an end. Mitmánek,
the Utraquist preacher who had been banished by Ferdinand, excited the
suspicions of the Elector of Brandenburg against the new-comers, and
even assured him that the Confession which Augusta had taken to Luther
was not really the composition of the Brothers at all; but that, in
truth, they were Arians and Novatians. An inquiry was set on foot into
the real doctrines of the Brotherhood; and, though the decision of the
inquisitors was mainly in favour of the Brothers, yet the restrictions
placed on them by the Elector were so galling, and the pressure upon
them to accept the Confession of Augsburg was so persistent, that many
preferred to take their chance once more among their Slavonic kinsmen
of Poland, rather than to accept the nominal protection of the Elector,
when accompanied with so many practical inconveniences.

Ferdinand’s schemes, for the unification both of State and Church,
seemed now ripe for further development. With regard to the question
of civil government many difficulties had arisen during the Turkish
wars, from the claims for local privileges put forward by various towns
and districts of Bohemia. When Ferdinand had required money for the
purposes of these wars, he had been forced to consider not merely the
constitutional rights of the Assemblies of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia,
and the Lausitz, but also the peculiar privileges of the district of
Loket, the miners’ rights in Joachims Thal and Kutna Hora, and, above
all, the extremely anomalous position of the town and district of Eger
(Cheb), which had claimed, ever since the fourteenth century, to be
more nearly connected with the German Empire than with the kingdom of
Bohemia. And even more embarrassing than any of these legal privileges
were the claims of the Assemblies of the Districts or Circles. These
were perhaps the most important check, which still existed, on the
power of the king. As the nobles gradually sank into mere courtiers,
and as the towns became, in many instances specially dependent upon
the King, that Order of Knights, which had played so important a part
in the Utraquist struggles, found it more convenient to deliberate in
their own districts, where they held an independent position, rather
than in Prague, where they might be outvoted by lords and citizens,
and overruled by officers of the King. These meetings of the Circles
were gradually gaining a kind of legal authority; and, both in the
Turkish and Saxon wars, they had formed an important check on the
action of the Assembly at Prague, and had considerably hampered the
designs of Ferdinand. They had even identified their interest at that
time with the provincial claims of Moravia and Silesia; and they had
maintained that an Assembly, composed only of those Bohemians who met
at Prague, could not decide on so weighty a question as the war against
John Frederick. Ferdinand, therefore, had come to look upon these
Assemblies as his most dangerous opponents; and, though he could not at
once suppress them completely, he contrived to limit their powers and
control their actions.

But Ferdinand had a special device of his own for counteracting local
independence and increasing the royal power. This was the creation of
a Chamber of Finance, called in German “Hof-Kammer,” and in Bohemian
“Komora Dvorska.” This institution was primarily introduced to meet
the difficulties of the King’s private income. During the reigns of
Ladislaus and Louis the royal lands had been heavily burdened with
debts; and Ferdinand’s relations with the lords, to whom these estates
had been mortgaged, had made it difficult for him to ascertain the
exact state of the royal finances. The duty of the new Court was to
inquire into the condition of the king’s Bohemian lands, and to base
upon this inquiry an annual statement of his needs. This statement was
to be followed by a demand from the various Assemblies of the exact
amount required. When this central Chamber of Finance was supplemented
by other chambers of a similar kind in the different districts of
Bohemia, it was clear that an organisation had been formed which might
bring considerable increase to the King’s power. The inquiry into the
condition of his finances would be accompanied by questions about the
inclination of each Assembly to concede the money required; and thus
questions of taxation would be to a large extent settled before they
had been submitted to the lawful authority. Such a scheme, however,
could only come gradually into operation; and it was during the reigns
of Ferdinand’s successors that the significance of the Hof-Kammer began
to be realised. In the meantime the King did not forget to provide a
more immediate security for the stability of the House of Hapsburg;
and, in 1549, the Bohemian Assembly was persuaded to accept Maximilian
as the future King of Bohemia.

But the union of the Church was as much a part of Ferdinand’s scheme
as the centralisation of the royal power; and Ferdinand supposed that
since the Catholics and Utraquists had united in persecuting the
Brotherhood, they would have no objection to accept the same bishop
as their spiritual ruler. But again he was mistaken. The Utraquists
were as determined as ever to assert their independence; and they
resented extremely the attempt to bring them under the rule of the
Catholic bishop. Indeed, so strong was the opposition which was roused
by this proposal, that many of the Utraquists began to repent of their
persecution of the Brotherhood, and even to show signs of sympathy with
them.

Ferdinand at once sprang to the conclusion that a new plot was on foot;
and, with a suspiciousness little short of insane, he assumed that
Augusta must be at the bottom of it. The torturers were sent down to
the prison at Kr̆ivoklát; and both Augusta and his secretary were again
stretched upon the rack. But, when no conspiracy was discovered by this
method, Ferdinand had to look elsewhere for the source of opposition to
his wishes; and it was now for the first time that he became conscious
of a weak point in his plans, which till then he had strangely
overlooked.

It will be remembered that, when Ladislaus was trying to coerce the
Brotherhood, he had failed to obtain from the Moravian Estates that
assent to his wishes which the Bohemians had been willing to grant.
The consequence was that, while Ferdinand had been so successful in
expelling the Brotherhood from his western province, the members of
that society had still met undisturbed in the province of Moravia. A
special circumstance had induced Ferdinand, for the time, to overlook
this evasion of his commands. Wenceslaus of Ludanic, the Captain of
Moravia, had been a member of the Brotherhood; but he had strongly
opposed the revolt of 1547, had prevented the Moravians from joining in
it, and had even rebuked Augusta for not opposing it more actively.
Doubtless the loyalty of so influential a Brother had had for a short
time its effect on Ferdinand. But the growing opposition which he
encountered amongst the Utraquists, and his increasing fears of the
Brotherhood, now led him to abandon this policy of compromise. He
called together the Moravian Assembly at Brünn (Brno); and he ordered
them, and especially their Captain, to take steps for the immediate
suppression of the Brotherhood.

Ludanic answered by entreating Ferdinand not to put down those who had
attained to the knowledge of the purified Gospel; and he assured the
King that Moravia would sooner perish in fire and ashes than submit
to violence in this matter. He then appealed to the members of the
Assembly; and the main body of them confirmed his words in a loud
voice. Ferdinand then asked if any, there present, were ready to obey
him. Only seven members of the Assembly responded to this appeal--five
of them lords and two knights. Then Ludanic once more rose, and read to
Ferdinand the oath which the King had taken, as Margrave of Moravia, to
defend the liberties of that province. Ferdinand indignantly answered
that he had kept his oath, and intended to keep it; upon which Ludanic
explained that he had not accused the King of having _yet_ broken his
oath; but that he had read it to him as a reminder for future use.
Unable to accomplish his ends, Ferdinand was at last obliged to dismiss
the Assembly, and to retire to his house. But, when he looked from his
window a little later, he saw the members of the Assembly carrying
Ludanic home in triumph. Thus, while crushed out in the province of
Bohemia, the Bohemian Brotherhood grew and flourished in Moravia.

About this time, the Brothers were enabled to renew their
correspondence with Augusta, by the help of one of his gaolers whom
they had succeeded in bribing. Unfortunately, this correspondence did
not strengthen the friendly relations between the prisoner and the
Elders of the Society. Always of a rather imperious disposition, and
now embittered by his sufferings, Augusta attempted to assert his
authority in a way which the Elders often resented. Indeed, they had
begun to think that the exclusion of Augusta from the outer world
disqualified him for his office as Elder of the Brotherhood. They
consented indeed, in deference to his earnest appeals, to retain
him a little longer in his former dignity; and at one time there
seemed a hope that this painful dispute might end in the release
of the imprisoned Brother, and his return to his former life. The
second treachery of Moritz of Saxony had overthrown the hopes of the
Imperialists; the treaty of Passau had raised anew the Protestant
expectations of religious liberty; and in 1552 the Catholic and
Protestant leaders of the Moravian Assembly united in such an earnest
appeal for mercy to Ferdinand, that he consented to consider the
question of the release of his Protestant prisoners.

But once more the tide turned against the unfortunate Augusta. In
February, 1553, his correspondence with the Brotherhood was suddenly
discovered. Again Ferdinand was seized with an attack of his
conspiracy-mania; Augusta and Bilek were once more hurried off to
Prague, and chained together in the White Tower. When no treasonable
sense could by any means be extorted from their letters, they were
allowed to return to their prison in Kr̆ivoklát; but all further
correspondence with the outer world was forbidden; and the Elders of
the Brotherhood, having heard that Augusta had been put to death,
elected a new Elder in his place.

Nevertheless, the hopes which had been raised by the treaty of Passau
were considerably strengthened at this time, by the rumour, which was
rapidly gaining ground, that Maximilian, the future king of Bohemia,
was opposed to the policy of his father. Ernest of Krajek, a member of
that family which had already offered such opposition to Ladislaus and
Ferdinand, eagerly welcomed back the Brothers to their old quarters
at Mláda Boleslav; and at the same time he despatched a messenger to
Vienna, to make sure of the sympathies of Maximilian. This messenger
was John Blahoslav, a writer and artist, who was afterwards to attain
some celebrity as an historian of the Brotherhood. When he arrived at
Vienna he found Maximilian in active sympathy with the Lutherans; and
he received much encouragement for the Brotherhood from the preacher
who had most influence with the prince.

On the other hand, however, Blahoslav soon discovered that a new power
had sprung up in Europe, more dangerous to the hopes of the Protestants
than any kings or generals. This was the Order of the Jesuits, who
had recently settled in Vienna, and who had gained great influence
over the mind of Ferdinand. That powerful body had soon directed their
attention to Bohemia; and, a few years after Blahoslav’s visit to
Vienna, they secured a settlement in Prague. Even before that time, the
persecution of the Brotherhood had again been renewed. The death of
Ernest of Krajek gave Ferdinand an opportunity for venting his hatred
on the sons of his late opponent; and they were forced, after a vain
opposition, to close those meeting-houses of the Brotherhood which
their father had re-opened. Blahoslav and other influential Brothers
were once more forced to hide themselves; and many Protestants, who had
been favourable to them, were gradually persuaded to desert their cause.

Unfortunately, it was during this period of persecution that the
relations between Augusta and the Brotherhood became once more severely
strained. He had succeeded in finding another messenger, through whom
he re-opened the correspondence with his colleagues; and he sent the
Elders some Commentaries which he had just written upon the Gospels.
These he begged them to use as part of the teaching of the Brotherhood.
The Elders answered that they had no time properly to examine the
book; and the bitterness caused by this ungracious answer was further
increased by their subsequent publication of the book in a somewhat
altered form. In addition to these causes of disagreement, Augusta now
heard, for the first time, of his deposition from the office of Elder;
and, when he remonstrated with the Brotherhood on the subject, they
refused to reconsider their decision.

Whether Ferdinand heard of this controversy or not, something prompted
him at this time to renew his efforts for the conversion of Augusta;
and he offered to release him on condition of his joining either the
Catholics or the Utraquists. To the first of these proposals Augusta
returned an unhesitating refusal; to the suggestion of a reunion with
the Utraquists he gave at first a more evasive answer. When, indeed,
he was asked for a more definite statement, he drew up a declaration
of his firm adherence to the Brotherhood; but an unexpected event
prevented him from sending off this declaration, and brought about
a change in his position, which was ultimately to produce the most
painful results.

Phillippina, the beautiful wife of the Archduke Ferdinand, was anxious
to act as a moderating influence in the counsels of the family. She
visited Augusta in prison, and expressed a wish to serve him. He
eagerly asked that he and Bilek might be allowed to spend Easter with
their friends; and he mentioned that they had been now about twelve
years in prison, and that he had not seen Bilek for eight years.
Phillippina succeeded in persuading King Ferdinand to yield to this
proposal; and both she and her husband hoped that, by this means, they
might pave the way for Augusta’s conversion to the Catholic Faith.
With this view, after his Easter visit was over, he was sent to a
Jesuit convent in Prague. There, while well treated in other respects,
he was not allowed to see any one but the chiefs of the Order; and
they carried on daily theological arguments with him. Their first
propositions they managed to state in so colourless a form, that
he was forced to agree to them; but, when they raised the question
of the possibility of error in the Church, they found that they and
their intended disciple were hopelessly at variance. Finding that the
Catholics had failed, the Utraquists now summoned him before their
Consistory, and tried to persuade him to join their organisation. At
first he absolutely resisted their attempts; but he consented at last
to use expressions, which were afterwards strangely perverted by some
of his opponents. He admitted that “he belonged to the Utraquistic
Bohemian Church, and that he agreed with them in all those essential
doctrines which they had derived from Scripture.” These expressions
were, very likely, a greater concession to the Utraquists than he
would have made at a previous time; but it is abundantly clear, from
his subsequent action, that he did not intend his words to imply the
abandonment of any doctrine which he had formerly held. Nor did the
authorities so consider them; for, though Bilek was shortly afterwards
set free, Augusta was sent back to his prison at Kr̆ivoklát.

But the Elders of the Brotherhood chose to treat these utterances
as a complete abandonment of their cause; and they wrote a fierce
and taunting letter to Augusta, in which they accused him of first
attempting to exercise Papal power over the Brotherhood, and then
abandoning them in order to obtain his release. Even this injustice
did not drive Augusta to abandon his convictions. When, two years
later, he was again required to make submission to the Utraquists, he
refused to admit that he had held any heretical doctrines; nor would
he accept the Utraquistic view of the Sacraments; and, in 1563, he
explicitly declared that he believed the teaching of the Brotherhood to
be nearer to Holy Scripture than that of either the Lutherans or the
Utraquists. But the release, which he would not obtain by concession,
was shortly to be granted to him gratuitously. In the year following
this declaration, Ferdinand felt that his end was approaching; and, as
if seized with remorse for his injustice, he consented to set Augusta
free, without any further conditions. A few months later the king
died; and the accession of Maximilian produced a further change in the
fortunes of Bohemia.



XV.

FROM THE DEATH OF FERDINAND I. TO THE BEGINNING OF THE REACTION UNDER
RUDOLF II.

(1564-1600.)


In describing a struggle between two rival powers in a State, it is
extremely difficult to give a correct impression of the exact balance
of success on either side at a particular crisis in the controversy;
and this difficulty is enormously increased when the struggle is
concerned partly with the question of spiritual (and therefore mainly
individual) liberty; and partly with the growth of those more material
forms of centralisation which check constitutional freedom and local
self-government. When we hear of Ferdinand yielding on his deathbed
to the prisoner whom he had been trying for so many years to crush
into obedience, we feel that the victory lies, in the main, with those
spiritual forces which were working against ecclesiastical uniformity.
Nor does the resistance of the Moravian Estates seem less important as
a victory of constitutional freedom, than the firmness of Augusta as a
security for spiritual independence.

But the real importance of such episodes as these lies in the contrast
which they offer to the main tendencies of Bohemian history during
the sixteenth century; and the proof which they consequently give of
the survival of forces which seem elsewhere to be crushed out. For
centralisation was, after all, steadily growing in the dominions of
Ferdinand; and national life, however it might struggle for existence,
was being sapped by arbitrary power.

Nor must we forget that there was one moral consideration which worked
on the side of Ferdinand. The terrible danger to which Europe was
exposed by the Turkish invader was not really removed until the latter
part of the seventeenth century; and even Vienna itself was to be once
more endangered, before the barbarian could be induced to settle down
peaceably beside his neighbours, and confine himself to the oppression
of his Christian subjects. When, therefore, Ferdinand found that the
local assemblies of the different provinces grudged him their help in
this important struggle, and that even at Prague he had difficulty
in obtaining both money and soldiers, it was not unnatural that he
should feel a growing indifference to liberties which seemed to him so
dangerous to the peace and order of Europe.

So when in 1555 he had summoned representatives from all his dominions
to meet at Vienna, to devise a common scheme of action against the
Turk, he must have bitterly resented the absence of the Bohemians, who
refused to attend an Assembly where they might be swamped by Germans
and Hungarians. An even more fatal point of opposition between the
National desire for peace and independence, and the Imperial scheme
for the defence of Europe, was found in the question of military
organisation. The old privilege of the Bohemians, to refuse their
services for foreign wars, was continually insisted on by them in
opposition to Ferdinand; and he was almost unavoidably compelled to
raise armies which should be independent of national sentiment, and to
garrison the frontier towns of Moravia with soldiers drawn from all
parts of his dominions.

Nor, while he was so successful in his schemes of State centralisation,
was Ferdinand wholly worsted in his struggle for ecclesiastical unity.
One victory at least he gained; and by a curious irony of fortune,
he won it by granting a concession which had once been most ardently
desired by the Bohemian leaders, but which had now, by change of
circumstances, become worse than useless. Just at the close of the
Council of Trent, he succeeded in obtaining from the Pope a formal
concession to the Bohemians of their right to grant the Cup to the
laity. Thus the old watchword of the Hussite wars, separated from
all that had given it life and force, now became a step towards
the absorption of the Utraquists by the Catholics. When once this
concession was granted, Ferdinand insisted that the Utraquists could no
longer refuse to accept the authority of the Roman Catholic Archbishop.
From this time forward, Utraquism ceases to be a force in Bohemian
history. Their separate Consistory was indeed revived by Maximilian;
and from time to time the members of it continued to assert themselves
in the religious controversies of the day; but every such effort
tended more and more plainly to show that the champions of the old
faith were but the impotent and unworthy representatives of traditions
of former greatness. With the death of Ferdinand, all these questions
enter on a new phase. The strength and weakness of the late king’s
ideals were to be put to new tests during the reign of his son.

Maximilian is one of those men who seem to the careful student of
history all the more pathetic, because their failures are not of that
striking and dramatic kind which at once excite the sympathy of the
observer; but are rather gathered from a careful comparison of the
objects aimed at with those actually accomplished. Hampered by the
continual distrust and the domineering influence of his father, half
inclined to the extremer doctrines of Protestantism, and yet never
able to shake off the recollection that he was the heir of a Catholic
tradition; angry with the Jesuits for their intriguing interference
with his affairs, and no less angry with the Protestants for those
divisions which prevented a completely artistic settlement of the
ecclesiastical question; anxious to recognise the local and other
liberties of his Bohemian subjects, but conscious of the difficulties
which those liberties placed in the way of the struggle against the
Turk, Maximilian was continually drifting backwards and forwards in a
way which tended to weaken the system of government which his father
had tried to establish, without substituting anything freer or more
national in its place.

Nor must we forget that Maximilian had to deal with the same
insoluble problem for which Charles IV. had only provided a temporary
solution. Ferdinand had reigned for nearly thirty years as King of
Bohemia, before he had been forced to assume the burden of the German
Empire. Maximilian had to take up both these responsibilities at
the same time; and, apart from the enormous intellectual and moral
difference between Maximilian of Austria and Charles of Luxemburg, the
problem with which the later Emperor had to deal was infinitely more
complicated than any which presented itself to the statesmen of the
fourteenth century. The difference between Protestant and Catholic
was in itself enough to introduce years of division and war into the
Empire; but that element of confusion was now trebly increased by the
new sects into which Lutheranism had been divided, and by the still
keener political divisions between the Lutherans and Calvinists. In
Bohemia, again, the same difficulties presented themselves in an even
more complicated form; for, while many of the Bohemian Reformers had
identified their cause with that of the Lutherans, the old feeling
of national distinction was driving many into opposition to the
aggressive character of the German movement, and compelling them to
seek for a new religious centre which should be neither Papal nor
German. As the Utraquists could no longer supply such a centre, the
championship of Bohemian feeling rapidly passed to the leaders of
the Bohemian Brotherhood. The great defender of the national and
distinctive position of the Brotherhood, against the encroachments of
the Lutherans, was that Blahoslav who had already become prominent
as a negotiator with foreign Protestants, and who was ultimately to
become the historian of the Brotherhood. He had already vindicated
the specially Bohemian character of the Brotherhood against a critic
who had tried to identify them with the Franco-Italian sect of the
Waldenses; and so keen had Blahoslav and his friends been in the
assertion of their national position, that they had been willing
sometimes to speak of themselves as “the remains of the Taborites,”
choosing rather to identify their cause with a Bohemian sect so
different from them both in spirit and doctrine, than with a French or
Italian community, however like them in every respect but race.

When, then, the Lutherans demanded that the Bohemian Brothers should
accept the Augsburg Confession, and practically consent to absorption
in the Lutheran body, Blahoslav and his friends resolved to offer a
steady resistance to this proposal. Unfortunately, Blahoslav was forced
to encounter, in this controversy, the most distinguished member of his
own community. John Augusta, after his release from prison, had been
welcomed back to his friends by the main body of the Brotherhood; but
he soon found that the power which he desired to exercise over them
was still resisted and resented. He proposed that, instead of the free
exercise of preaching in the Brotherhood, certain definite parts of the
gospel should be chosen for exposition each Sunday in the year; and he
himself drew up a plan on which these discourses should be founded.
Some of the Brothers objected that the doctrines suggested in his book
were not altogether those held by the Brothers; while, no doubt, a
still larger number resented the restrictions which such an arrangement
would impose on the preachers. Irritated at the general opposition
offered to his proposals, Augusta came to the conclusion that the
Brotherhood was in a radically unsatisfactory condition; and he threw
himself into the movement for union with the Lutherans, as a means of
reform. So bitter was the opposition which he roused by this conduct,
that he became entirely separated from the rest of the Brotherhood;
and, when he died in 1572, his death passed almost unnoticed by those
for whom he had done and suffered so much.

In the meantime Maximilian was endeavouring to take up a neutral
position in this controversy. Personally in sympathy with the Brothers,
but afraid of offending Catholics and Lutherans, he continually assured
all parties that he was unable to assent to any legal sanction for
religious liberty, since he had bound himself to oppose novelties; but
that, if they would only settle their differences between themselves,
nobody would interfere with the performance of their religion. Even
this statement was more definite and consistent than his actual
practice; for, when the Catholic or Utraquist priests applied to him
for powers to suppress novelties or heresies, he assented to their
proposals, though, when either Brothers or Lutherans complained to him,
he assured them of his personal sympathy for them, and his desire to
leave them untouched.

His great hope for the solution of these difficulties seems to have
lain in some scheme of union among Protestants. If only the Lutheran
sects, Bohemian Brothers, and Calvinists would give up their quarrels
with one another, religious toleration would become such an easy
affair. He therefore sympathised particularly with the new proposal,
which was gradually shaping itself in the discussions between the
Lutherans and the Brothers. This was a plan for a new Bohemian creed,
to be drawn up at a combined meeting of the various sects. The Brothers
looked upon this movement with great suspicion. They saw in it an
attempt of the Lutherans to secure the acceptance of the Augsburg
Confession by indirect means; and they noted their persistent attempts
to exclude the Brothers from those Assemblies where ecclesiastical
questions were discussed. Nevertheless, when Maximilian, on his return
to Bohemia in 1575, consented to preside at the Assembly in which this
new creed was to be proposed, the Brothers were willing to take part in
the discussion. Doctor Crato, Maximilian’s physician, secretly urged
the Brothers to stand firm, assuring them that the Emperor was really
in sympathy with them. Encouraged by this hint, they not only resisted
a motion for the acceptance of the Augsburg Confession, but they even
objected to the appointment of a committee for the preparation of
formulæ which were to unite all parties.

The committee was, nevertheless, appointed, and its actions soon
justified the fears of the Brothers. In the introduction to the
proposed creed, the committee pronounced an anathema against a number
of heretics, and, amongst others, against all Calvinists. Now many of
the Brothers had embraced Calvinistic doctrines; and their friendship
with the champions of those doctrines had been strengthened by motives,
both of personal resentment and of moral sympathy. The treatment of
the exiled Brothers by the Lutherans of Prussia had repelled the
Brotherhood generally from the creed of their unfriendly hosts; while
the strict moral discipline maintained in the Calvinistic University of
Heidelberg was more attractive to the followers of Peter of Chelc̆ic
than the growing laxity of Wittenberg. They therefore offered a
successful opposition to that sweeping condemnation of Calvinism to
which the Lutherans desired to commit them. But this was, after all,
but a minor point in the objections of the Brothers to the proposed
creed. Apart from every detail, the proposal to surrender their own
Confession in favour of any new form of words whatsoever, was wholly
inconsistent with the position which they desired to maintain. They
therefore offered such steady resistance to the proposed Confession,
that they at last induced the Lutherans to consent to a petition to
the King and the Assembly asking them to recognise each sect as a
separate organisation. This result, however, was not reached till the
controversy had become so fierce that the rival theologians came to
blows in the streets.

Maximilian was heartily disgusted with the whole proceeding. He saw his
hope of union among the Bohemian Protestants annihilated. He felt that
he had injured his position with the Catholics by the concessions which
he had already made; and he was further irritated that the Assembly
should waste its time in these theological discussions, when he was
wanting it to consider the acceptance of his son Rudolf as the future
king of Bohemia, and to vote money for the Turkish war. He laid the
chief blame of these failures upon the Brothers, who had resisted the
new Confession, and on the towns, which had always made difficulties
about the Turkish vote; and he sent down orders to the governors to
suppress the meetings of the Brotherhood, and to forbid the towns to
introduce any novelties. He even went so far as to order prosecutions
of various Brothers for having attended meetings forbidden by the law;
but, before these prosecutions could be carried out, this new policy
was suddenly cut short by the death of Maximilian in 1576.

Few kings had more thoroughly disappointed the expectations formed of
them than Maximilian II. had done; but, in a different way, his son
Rudolf was to disappoint the hopes of the Catholics as completely as
his father had done those of the Protestants. Brought up in Spain, and
believed to be a strict Catholic in convictions, shy and repellent in
manner, he seemed exactly the man to revive the reactionary policy of
his grandfather. But in Rudolf, as in the majority of men, temperament
and taste had a greater influence over his actions than either
religious or political convictions. The same feelings which made him
so repellent in general intercourse, led him also to shrink from the
burdens of public life; and his fondness for art and science led him in
the earlier part of his reign to leave politics to men of more active
character. The interest, therefore, of this part of Rudolf’s reign, so
far as his own influence is concerned, centres rather in the revival of
literature and art, than in political or religious controversy. This
revival was of a varied character, for it included not only poetry and
history, but every kind of art and science. Carving, statuary, and
mosaic work were brought to great perfection: while the presence of
Tycho Brahe at Court shows the interest which Rudolf always maintained
in astronomical science. The preference of the new Emperor for Prague
as a place of residence naturally attracted all this brilliant company
to the Bohemian Court; and it seemed as if, in this respect, the age of
Charles IV. were to return.

At the same time, it should be noted that this revival, though
generally connected with the name of Rudolf, had been already growing
since the accession of Ferdinand. The greater security for life and
property, which was gradually introduced by the House of Austria,
had given more opportunity for quiet study than had been possible in
the turbulent Bohemia of the fifteenth century; while the greater
intercourse with foreign countries, which the renewed connection with
the Empire had produced, naturally attracted a large number of foreign
celebrities to the Court of Prague.

The reign of Ferdinand had been marked by the works of two most
picturesque though untrustworthy historians--Wenceslaus Hajek of
Libocany, and Dubravsky, better known as Dubravius, the Bishop of
Olmütz; while Matthæus Collinus of Choterina called out an interest
in the study of the great Greek and Latin authors, who had till then
been rather neglected. The interest felt by Maximilian and Rudolf in
the revival of poetry was much keener than that of Ferdinand; though
they both, doubtless, stunted more than one poetical intellect by the
absurd practice of turning poets into nobles, and crowning them as
Court Laureates. A more curious result of this revival, considering the
origin and sympathies of the ruling House, was the steady development
of the Bohemian language during this period. Dictionaries and other
scientific works were produced; and Daniel Adam, who was Professor of
History at Prague in the time of Maximilian, was said to have done
much to bring the language to great perfection. Nor did Maximilian and
Rudolf fail to encourage scientific discovery. Thaddæus Hajek, who had
studied, not only at Prague, but also at Vienna and Bologna, actually
discovered a new star in 1572; and he showed himself so far in advance
of his age, that he used his learning to expose and ridicule the
astrological speculations which were then so popular.

It might be expected, perhaps, that all this stirring of thought and
life would be favourable to the revival of civic and religious liberty;
and some of the men who were eminent in the literature and art of the
time did take an active part in the struggles at the beginning of the
seventeenth century. But a power had arisen in Bohemia, which continued
steadily to gain ground during the reign of Rudolf, that could turn
even literature and art into the cause of opposition to reform. This
was the Order of the Jesuits, which, since the time of Ferdinand, had
been steadily gaining ground in Bohemia. They eagerly seized upon
the literary and artistic revival, and made use of it for their own
purposes. George Bartold Pontanus, one of the poets who were crowned
by Rudolf, fell into the hands of the Jesuits, and became one of their
most eloquent preachers. William of Rosenberg, who was a great patron
of the Order, founded an institution for poor scholars, which must have
greatly forwarded the Catholic reaction. Even students of languages,
and men engaged in foreign discoveries, were made use of by the Order.
Moreover their great power then, as ever, was through the education of
children. Many of these came from the poorest ranks, and were educated
gratuitously by the Jesuits; and, through them, an influence was
prepared which it was very difficult to resist. But the Jesuits were
intended by Ignatius Loyola to be, before everything, a fighting body;
and, as they looked round on the forces opposed to them in Bohemia,
they speedily marked the Bohemian Brotherhood as the foemen most worthy
of their steel.

The Utraquists, as already mentioned, had been reduced almost to
impotence in the time of Ferdinand. The Lutherans, divided among
themselves, weak in organisation, and without any hold on the feeling
of Bohemia, were almost equally an object of contempt to the Jesuits;
but in the Brotherhood they saw a power of organisation, a capacity for
intense self-devotion, and great educational faculties, which made them
dangerous rivals even to the followers of Loyola. Just at this time the
Brothers had taken a step which, while infinitely to their own credit,
had yet raised up against them enemies whom the Jesuits could easily
call in as their allies. The Brotherhood, as already hinted, had found,
even more than most religious communities, a perpetual difficulty in
solving that painful problem of the proper relation of the Church to
the World; for, while they would never consent to drift tamely into the
conventional morality of a comfortable and generally accepted Church,
they were yet continually forced to make concessions to the prejudices
of the world around them, which endangered the spiritual life of their
community. Their concessions in the matter of war had, as we have seen,
driven from their ranks some of the stricter members of the Society at
a very early stage of their history; and a difficulty which was an even
greater vexation to the minds of the Brothers, was the relation between
the Community and the nobles.

The original conception of the Brotherhood, as a Society of equals
working in the main with their hands for their livelihood, had never
been wholly lost sight of; and the clergy were still expected to
support themselves largely by their own handiwork. But the necessity
for protection against the continual outbursts of persecution from
other sects had compelled the Brothers to accept the patronage of
certain lords who were inclined to their doctrines. The most zealous
of these noblemen desired a closer union with the Brotherhood than
the position of outside patron could give them; and yet they were by
no means willing to make that surrender of their rank and position
which the rules of the Brotherhood required. The Brothers had not
seen their way to exclude these aristocratic members from an entrance
into the Community; and the difficulties of the position naturally
increased, when the son or grandson of some zealous nobleman accepted
the hereditary connection with the Brotherhood without any of the moral
enthusiasm which had led his ancestor to join it. The opposition which
the plebeian preachers of the Brotherhood encountered in their attempts
to exercise a spiritual control over these aristocratic followers
was of course specially great in a century when even champions of
religious liberty claimed the right to dictate their creed to their
tenants and dependants. Serfdom, it cannot too often be remembered, had
gained a new footing in Bohemia at the close of the fifteenth century;
and Krajek, in his championship of so eminent a Brother as Augusta,
had insisted much on his right, as a feudal landlord, to protect
his dependant against the King. In such a condition of society, it
ought not to surprise us that the leaders of the Brotherhood may have
sometimes seemed to wink at offences in the nobles which they condemned
severely in their more plebeian members.

But there was a recuperative force in this Community which showed
itself continually at critical moments, and, in 1578, the Bohemian
nobility were startled by the news that the Brothers had expelled from
their Society, for acts of immorality, two members of that very family
of Krajek who had been the steadiest patrons of the Brotherhood. A
fierce outburst of indignation and scorn followed; and the Bohemian
nobles asked how “Chlapi” (serfs), like the leaders of the Brotherhood,
could venture to deal thus with the members of a noble family? Nor was
it only the protest of the nobles which showed how far the ideal of
the Brothers transcended that of the rest of the Community. A Lutheran
congregation at once invited one of the expelled Brothers to join their
body, and urged upon him that such a step would be a fit revenge on the
ungrateful Brotherhood.

The Jesuits saw their opportunity in the sudden unpopularity of the
Brotherhood; and they pressed upon several of the nobles to expel these
revolutionary heretics from their estates. The Chancellor, Vratislav of
Pernstein, was one of those to whom the Jesuits made special advances;
and they were able to influence him not only through his prejudices
as a nobleman, but through his affection as a husband. Pernstein,
like so many of the Bohemian nobles since their country had passed
under the rule of the Hapsburgs, had married a Spanish lady; and these
wives were, as a rule, zealous champions and obedient pupils of the
Jesuits. Frau von Pernstein had a special influence, not only over her
husband, but over many of the younger Bohemian women; and, with her
help, the Jesuits succeeded in making many converts, even in that town
of Litomys̆l where Augusta had once had so much influence. Both there
and on other parts of the estate Pernstein now proceeded to close the
meeting-houses of the Brothers, and he opened a Jesuit college on the
site of their former labours. Adam of Neuhaus and William of Rosenberg
carried out the same policy on their estates, and many other nobles
followed their example. The Bishop of Olmütz, Stanislaus Pavlavsky, now
hoped to rouse Rudolf to give active assistance to this movement. At
the bishop’s request, the Emperor issued an order that no book should
be sold in Moravia without Pavlavsky’s special permission; and, in
order to secure the practical working of this prohibition, he decreed
that not more than two printing-presses should be allowed at Olmütz.

At the same time a blow was aimed at the Brotherhood in a still more
important part of their work. Ezrom Rüdiger, a leading Brother, had
opened a school at Ivanc̆ic̆e, which had gained so high a reputation
that men of other denominations sent their children to be taught by
Rüdiger, and the managers of a rival Lutheran school in the city of
Velké Mezir̆íc̆í attempted to decoy Rüdiger away by the offering of
a higher salary. Of course these bribes had failed of their effect,
and a decree had been obtained by the Jesuits for the closing of both
these schools. This order, however, had been disregarded; and Rüdiger
had gained further reputation by defending the Brotherhood against the
attacks of the leader of another sect. This controversy, however, gave
a handle to the Bishop of Olmütz, and he denounced both Rüdiger and his
opponent to Rudolf as disturbers of the peace. A warrant was sent down
for the arrest of Rüdiger, and about the same time Herr von Pernstein
imprisoned two of the Brothers on his own Moravian estates.

But now, as in the time of Ferdinand, attempts at persecution, which
had succeeded in Bohemia, broke down before the opposition of the
Moravian Estates. At the meeting of the Moravian Assembly, the Bishop
of Olmütz was so roughly treated by his colleagues, that he left
Brünn before the meeting was over. The two clergy on the Pernstein
lands were released. Rüdiger, who had taken refuge with Frederick of
Z̆erotin, was allowed to submit his case to the Moravian Estates; and
the Assembly not only disregarded the Edict about the books and the
printing, but passed a vote of censure on those who had made attacks
on the Brotherhood. This and other failures soon persuaded the leaders
of the Catholic reaction that they had little hope of support from
the Emperor; and the Jesuits were forced to carry on their struggles
through the help of individual noblemen.

But, in 1592, even this form of propagandism encountered an unexpected
obstacle. In that year William of Rosenberg died, and his nephew,
Peter Vok von Rosenberg, succeeded to the estates. He had gained some
distinction as a soldier under Ferdinand and Maximilian; but soon after
Maximilian’s death he had married Caterina of Ludanic, a member of the
family of that Wenceslaus of Ludanic who had defended the rights of the
Brotherhood and the liberties of Moravia against Ferdinand. Under her
influence Peter Vok rapidly drifted to Calvinism; and in 1582 he had
formally joined the Brotherhood. On coming into his estates he soon
gave signs of his change of creed; and, as a first step, he so harassed
the Jesuits of the college which his uncle had founded at Krumov, that
they left that town and fled to Neuhaus. About the same time, George
of Lobkovic, another champion of the Jesuits, was deprived of his
office by Rudolf for fraudulent use of his power; and, his estates
being forfeited to the Crown, Rudolf handed them over to a man whom he
supposed to be a zealous Catholic, but who soon proved to be a friend
and favourer of the Lutherans. Thus, then, a general struggle was going
on throughout Bohemia, which, from the apparent indifference of the
Emperor, was tending more and more to loosen the bonds of the central
government, and was in many cases leading to open acts of violence
and disorder. But, just as the sixteenth century was closing on this
condition of things, a series of events occurred which roused the
Emperor from his lethargy, and produced a complete change in the course
of Bohemian history.



XVI.

FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE REACTION TO THE DEATH OF RUDOLF II.

(1600-1612.)


However indifferent Rudolf might have seemed to his duties as King
of Bohemia, he was as anxious as most of his predecessors had been
to maintain his ground in Hungary both against Turks and rebels. And
during the closing years of the sixteenth century he had gained new
hopes of success in the struggle, from the submission which was at
last offered to him by the Prince of Transylvania. Unfortunately,
however, for Rudolf, the cruelty of his general, Basta, produced such
disorders in the newly conquered province, that the Transylvanians
rose against the Emperor, joined themselves to the discontented nobles
of Hungary, and once more called in the Turks, who gained several
victories over the Imperial forces. Rudolf, like his predecessors, had
been irritated at the opposition which had been offered by the various
Assemblies of the Bohemian kingdom to his continual demands for money
for the Turkish war; and this opposition had been greatly increased
by his attempt to extend the powers of that Hof-Kammer which had been
instituted by Ferdinand. That body, no longer contented with inquiring
into the debts and credits of the king, now wished to pry into the
incomes of his subjects, and even to make its own arrangements for the
collecting of taxes. These encroachments were naturally resented by the
Bohemians; and the continual friction thus produced roused Rudolf to
more energetic action.

Nor were the differences with his subjects and the danger from the Turk
the only causes of this apparent change of disposition in the sluggish
Emperor. The Austrian Archdukes had noticed the growing disorders in
Bohemia, as well as the neglect by Rudolf of the affairs of the Empire;
and, on further inquiries, they found evidence that much of this
neglect was due to the strange state of mind into which the Emperor
was falling. That shy and melancholy disposition which had led him,
in the early part of his reign, to withdraw so much from public life,
was now ripening into a condition of morbid suspicion which had in
it a strong taint of insanity. It is a curious sign of the extent to
which superstition affected even great minds in the sixteenth century,
that this tendency in Rudolf was largely encouraged by a prophecy
of the great Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe. The recent murder of
Henry III. of France by the monk, Jacques Clément, had impressed the
imagination both of the Emperor and the astronomer; and the latter had
prophesied that the same fate which had overtaken the French king also
awaited Rudolf. This prophecy had increased the Emperor’s tendency
to morbid suspicion, and had led him still further to withdraw from
the public gaze. The Archdukes now inclined to believe that the only
hope for good government was in the removal of Rudolf from power, and
the substitution of his brother Matthias on the thrones of Bohemia
and Hungary and Austria. Rudolf resented this proposal with all the
fierceness of a half crazy man; and this interference of his brothers,
combined with the advance of the Turks into Hungary, determined him to
adopt a new policy.

Both in Hungary and Bohemia he saw, or believed, that the Protestants
were the main cause of the opposition to his power. He knew that in the
kingdom of Bohemia they had continually resisted his decrees; and he
believed them to be the prime movers of the Hungarian insurrections.
Therefore, in 1602, he suddenly revived the old decree of Ladislaus
which commanded the suppression of all sects in Bohemia. In pursuance
of this decree, the chief meeting-house of the Bohemian Brotherhood in
Mláda Boleslav was closed; and Cardinal Dietrichstein began a regular
persecution of the Protestants.

In 1604 the same policy was extended to Hungary; and when the
Hungarians endeavoured to protest, Rudolf issued a decree that all who
tried to bring forward religious grievances in the Hungarian Assembly
should be treated as disorderly persons. Thereupon the Hungarians
rose in insurrection, and chose as their leader Stephen Bocksay, a
Transylvanian nobleman. Rudolf’s inability to provide payment for his
troops soon produced a mutiny among them; Bocksay succeeded, not only
in conquering Transylvania, but in overrunning Hungary, and at last
entering Moravia. Bocksay had hoped to persuade the Moravian Estates to
join him in defending the cause of civil and religious liberty. This
the Moravians were unwilling to do, as they hoped to come to terms
with Rudolf. But the unpopularity of Cardinal Dietrichstein, and the
cruelties of Rudolf’s German troops, gradually weakened the sympathies
of the Moravians for their king; and in the general state of misery
and confusion which followed, two movements began to be developed for
the counteraction of Rudolf’s policy--movements widely different in
character and methods, but both intended to promote the cause of civil
and religious liberty--and each of them finding its ablest and most
earnest supporter in a member of the Bohemian Brotherhood.

Of these the first to ripen into action was the movement which had
its centre in Moravia, and its best and ablest champion in Charles
of Z̆erotin. The life of this nobleman was a striking illustration
of that effort after compromise, which has already been spoken of
as so characteristic of the Brotherhood--an effort which makes it
so interesting to the student of human nature, and which enabled it
to gain so great an influence in the history of its country; though
it produced a somewhat disappointing effect, if one looks to the
Brotherhood for the highest embodiment of Christian life.

[Illustration: MORAVIAN WOMAN.]

The Z̆erotin family had long been established in Moravia, and had had
many claims to distinction, especially on the battlefield. They had
eagerly adopted the cause of Hus, and boasted that, since that time,
they had never had a Roman Catholic in their family. They had accepted
the principles of the Brotherhood, so far as they were consistent
with noble rank and the military profession; and John of Z̆erotin,
the father of Charles, had played as prominent a part in Moravia,
in the character of protector of the poorer Brothers, as Conrad of
Krajek had played in Bohemia. He had fallen under the influence of
Blahoslav, and had imbibed something of his zeal for learning and his
keenly patriotic feelings. Charles had been sent, as a boy, to study
at Strasburg, Basel, and Geneva; and his interest in the foreign
Protestant communities had led him to desire that they should unite to
resist the encroachments of Rome and Spain. He submitted strictly to
the rules of the Brotherhood in the choice of a wife, not venturing
to ask in marriage the lady whom he had chosen, till he had consulted
the bishop and other leading members of the Brotherhood. In his zeal
for resistance to the power of Spain, he assisted Henry of Navarre in
his war against the Catholic League. But his disgust at the profligacy
of Henry’s court ripened into absolute disapproval of the cause,
when Henry was received back into the Catholic Church. Soon after
this event Z̆erotin took service under the Archduke Matthias in the
war against the Turks; and thus he gained the favour of Rudolf, and
obtained an appointment in the Land Court of Moravia. Here he soon
found that Cardinal Dietrichstein and Ladislaus of Berka were making
great efforts to strengthen the power of the Jesuits in Moravia, and
to weaken the influence of the Protestants. Just at the time when
Charles of Z̆erotin began to devote himself to the local government of
Moravia, Charles of Lichtenstein, a member of an old Protestant family
of Moravia, was converted to the Catholic faith; and soon after this
Dietrichstein was chosen Bishop of Olmütz.

It will be remembered that the last Bishop had made ineffectual
attempts to suppress the freedom of the press, and to crush out
Protestantism. But Dietrichstein was so far from being warned by this
failure that he speedily set himself to restore a clause in the oath
administered to the officials in the Land Court, which recognised as
necessary the worship of the Virgin and the Saints. Z̆erotin soon
became recognised as the opponent of the new Bishop; and once again
comes to the front the ever-reviving question of the Bohemian language.
Dietrichstein had been brought up in Spain, and spoke Spanish by
preference; and though he could on occasion speak German, he had very
little knowledge of Bohemian. Z̆erotin declared that if Dietrichstein
was to be allowed to take his seat in the Land Court of Moravia, he
must speak the language of that country; and the Cardinal in vain
attempted to overrule this decision, and to obtain a hearing in German.

This struggle took place at the time when Rudolf was gradually
resolving on a more oppressive policy; and Dietrichstein succeeded
in bringing against Z̆erotin charges of treason, which induced the
Emperor to summon him to Prague. His support of Henry IV., whom
Rudolf considered his enemy; his sympathy with the Count Palatine
of the Rhine, who was already suspected of aiming at the Bohemian
crown; and his refusal, in deference to the religious principles of
the Brotherhood, to drink the Emperor’s health at a banquet, were
all brought forward by Dietrichstein in proof of the charge; and the
evident sympathy of the Moravian Estates for Z̆erotin was not likely to
make him more welcome to the Emperor. When, indeed, Z̆erotin was tried
for these offences in 1601, he was acquitted on all the charges against
him; but when Rudolf revived the enactment of Ladislaus against the
sects, Z̆erotin was deprived of his office.

He now, for a time, retired from public life, and devoted himself to
the study of theology and the education of young noblemen. But his
study of Calvinism, and his continual correspondence with those who
still maintained their interest in politics, prepared him for a return
to public life. At the time of the invasion of Bocksay, Z̆erotin’s
sympathies had been somewhat divided. He was, of course, zealous for
religious freedom; and he had a warm personal friendship for Stephen
Illyezhazy, a leading Hungarian Protestant, who had great influence
in Bocksay’s councils; but, on the other hand, he must have strongly
disliked the Turkish alliance; and he had a great personal loyalty to
the House of Hapsburg.

Under these circumstances, the hopes of Z̆erotin were more and more
directed to the proposal for putting forward Matthias in the place of
Rudolf. This arrangement would secure the crown of Bohemia to the House
of Hapsburg, and would gain for the oppressed Protestants a leader
who might protect them at once against Rudolf and against the Turk.
Z̆erotin’s Hungarian friend, Illyezhazy, was willing to accept this
policy; and even Lichtenstein, though a Catholic, consented to act
with the Protestant leaders in their championship of the candidature
of Matthias. As Rudolf still resisted any proposal for compromise, the
Archdukes decided to give power to Matthias to act as their chief in
Hungary and elsewhere; and he succeeded in making peace with Bocksay,
by granting to the Hungarians full religious freedom and the election
of their own Palatine. Rudolf, however, though he had been compelled
to recognise Matthias as his general in Hungary, refused to consent
to the terms of peace; and the miseries of Moravia were increased by
the cruelties of the troops sent to protect them, by the difficulties
which Dietrichstein and Berka threw in the way of order, and by
the unwillingness of Rudolf to take any decided action of a useful
character.

At last, therefore, in December, 1607, a meeting took place at
Z̆erotin’s castle in Rosice, to which he invited, not only his Moravian
friends, but also the Hungarian Illyezhazy, and the leader of the
Protestants in Upper Austria, George Erasmus von Tschernembl. They
resolved to insist on the enforcement of the terms of peace in Hungary;
and they demanded that the princes of the Empire should compel Rudolf
to confirm the concessions of Matthias. Rudolf became alarmed, and
prepared to suppress the movement by force of arms. Ladislaus von Berka
persuaded the forces of General Tilly to come secretly into Moravia
and concentrate themselves near Brünn (Brno). On March 7, 1608, the
Land Court of Moravia held its sittings; and, on the night before its
meetings, Tilly’s troops were secretly introduced into the town. The
champions of Moravian liberty were, however, on the watch; and, when
the Land Court assembled, Carl von Lichtenstein suddenly entered it,
at the head of sixty armed men, informed Berka of the introduction
of the foreign soldiers, and demanded that, before they proceeded to
further business, the Moravian nobles should take into consideration
the defence of their country. Berka declared that there was no danger,
and demanded that they should proceed to the ordinary business of the
court; whereupon Lichtenstein and his friends denounced Berka as a
traitor, drove him from the court, and sent fifty of the young nobles
to guard the streets against the foreign troops.

But the old rivalry between the nobles and the towns suddenly showed
itself at this crisis. The Town Council of Brünn refused to support the
lords in their action; and, when the lords adjourned to Ivanc̆ic̆e,
the leading Moravian towns refused to send representatives to their
discussions. Rudolf now summoned to Brünn the regular Assembly of the
Moravian Estates; but he forbade them to consider any propositions,
except those which should be laid before them by the royal
Commissioners. Z̆erotin, however, protested so strongly against this
limitation, that the commissioners left Brünn without being able to get
their propositions considered.

Z̆erotin now looked about for further allies in the struggle, and
thereby became aware of the very different schemes which were being
formed against the power of Rudolf. The Brotherhood had already shown
an inclination to an alliance with the German Calvinistic princes,
and particularly with the Elector Palatine of the Rhine; and they had
excited some alarm, in 1577, by consenting to send representatives to
a meeting of the Calvinists at Heidelberg. Z̆erotin had maintained
a personal friendship with the Elector Palatine; but the policy of
that Court was now being largely guided and controlled by a prince of
another house, whose zeal for religious liberty was mixed with motives
of a very different character. This was Christian, Prince of Anhalt,
the most prominent and active of the Calvinistic leaders of Germany,
whose restless personal ambition seemed almost to overshadow his zeal
for Protestantism; and who might be considered one of the chief causes
of the ruin of Bohemian independence and the miseries of the Thirty
Years War. His great aim was to overthrow the House of Hapsburg; and
he would have been willing, for that purpose, to absorb Bohemia and
Hungary in the German Empire. Z̆erotin, though at first willing to
negotiate with Christian as the leader of the German Protestants, soon
found that his aims and those of that prince were totally opposed. For
the present, however, everything was subordinated to the determination
of the champions of constitutional liberty to combine against Rudolf.

The meeting took place at Ivanc̆ic̆e, in spite of the opposition of the
Emperor and Berka. Berka was deprived of his captaincy; a provisional
government was established; and Charles of Lichtenstein was called upon
to act as provisional Dictator. In proposing Lichtenstein, Z̆erotin was
actuated partly by political, partly by religious, considerations. As
a statesman, Z̆erotin felt that it was necessary to win the support of
men of all creeds, by putting the question of orderly constitutional
government before the question of religious liberty; and he therefore
preferred the choice of a Roman Catholic leader. But this political
instinct was strengthened by a religious scruple, which showed the
strong hold that the doctrine of the Brotherhood still maintained over
Z̆erotin. He was still convinced that war in defence of his country or
of constitutional government might be justified; but, as a follower
of Peter of Chelc̆ic̆, he could not admit that it was lawful to stain
the cause of religious liberty by the shedding of blood. This scruple,
however, did not diminish his sense of the necessity of vigorous
action. The leaders of the meeting at Ivanc̆ic̆e resisted Rudolf’s
attempts to disperse them, commanded Tilly to leave the country, and
succeeded in rousing such a feeling among the Moravians of the poorer
towns, that the Town Councils were overborne; and, with the exception
of Olmütz, all the towns declared themselves on the constitutional
side. Finally, the Assembly sent an invitation to Matthias, to ask him
to undertake the government; and they hastened to Znojem to greet him
on his arrival.

But, although Z̆erotin had succeeded in effecting an alliance between
Moravia, Hungary, and Austria, he had not yet succeeded in winning
to his side the leaders of the Bohemian Assembly; and it was in his
attempts to form this union that he was encountered by the opposition
of another member of the Brotherhood, who followed a tradition
somewhat different from Z̆erotin’s. This was Wenceslaus Budovĕc of
Budova, a leader among the Knights in the Assembly. He, like Z̆erotin,
had studied much in foreign countries, and had gained such favour
with Rudolf, that he had obtained a place on his Council. He soon
became prominent in the Assembly; and, on the issue of Rudolf’s new
decree against the Protestants, he led the opposition to it in the
Assembly. He was unwilling, however, to proceed to any extreme measures
at first; and he even consented to vote the tax demanded by Rudolf,
without making the repeal of the decree a condition precedent to the
vote. He pointed out that, since the setting aside of the Compacts of
Basel, there was no further pretence for saying that the Utraquists
were the only non-Catholics who were entitled to toleration. He dwelt
on the services done by the Brotherhood in the Turkish war; and he
succeeded in carrying a petition for the repeal of the decree; but
before the petition could be presented, Rudolf dissolved the Assembly,
and summoned Budovĕc before him. Budovĕc maintained that he had only
exercised his lawful privilege as a Bohemian knight; and Rudolf thought
it better to dismiss him for a time.

Budovĕc now entered into friendly relations with Z̆erotin; but, when
the latter urged him to support the candidature of Matthias, Budovĕc
maintained that it was more advisable to appeal again to Rudolf. His
reasons may be easily imagined. Matthias, like Rudolf, was a Roman
Catholic; and his chief adviser was Khlesl, Bishop of Vienna, who was
by no means inclined to measures of toleration. It was true that
Matthias had granted liberties to the Protestants of Hungary; but it
was by no means certain that, if he were suffered to dictate his terms
to Bohemia and Moravia at the point of the sword, backed by the whole
support of his family, he might _then_ grant equal liberties to _them_.
Budovĕc therefore preferred to see what the Protestants could gain
from Rudolf when under the fear of Matthias’s advance, rather than
to trust to what Matthias would do if he came as a conqueror. When,
then, Matthias, at the head of a Moravian, Austrian, and Hungarian
army, marched into Bohemia, Budovĕc and his friends declared their
willingness to stand by Rudolf.

When, on May 19, 1608, Rudolf, for the first time for many years, met
the Assembly of Bohemia, Budovĕc at once demanded that, as Rudolf had
already made concessions to the Protestants of Hungary, he should
now grant the liberties required by the Protestants of Bohemia. The
Bohemian Confession of 1575 was to be recognised. Defenders were to be
chosen to protect the interests of the Protestants. Offices were to be
granted in equal proportion to Protestants and Catholics. No foreigners
were to be allowed to manage Bohemian affairs. And, above all, no
one _of any rank_ was to be interfered with in matters of religious
liberty. The importance of this last clause is not perhaps easy to
realise in our time; for, in fact, this is one of the very first
assertions of the rights of _all_ men to religious liberty. Although
it is probable that expressions may have been often used which, if
logically interpreted, would have involved principles of the most
complete spiritual independence, yet both in Germany and Bohemia the
maxim “Cujus regio ejus religio,” had always been accepted as the legal
and natural rule in religious affairs.

In Bohemia, as already mentioned, the condition of the peasantry had
become more dependent during the 16th century; and, in 1585, the
Estates had distinctly forbidden servants to leave their masters for
the purpose of entering trades, unless with the written permission of
those masters. The struggle described above, in the earlier years of
Rudolf’s reign, had been mainly a struggle between landed proprietors;
and even a lady, who professed allegiance to the Brotherhood, had so
far misunderstood their doctrines as to drive a Utraquist preacher
from her estates, and to compel her peasantry to attend the sermons of
a member of the Brotherhood. The principle, therefore, which Budovĕc
asserted, was emphatically a new one; and he connected it, as will be
seen, with appeals to the national feeling of Bohemia.

Besides the revival of the old and often repeated claim for the
exclusion of foreigners from Bohemian offices, the petitioners
emphasised their national position by a reference to the memories of
their last national king. They demanded that the sword and crown which
had been taken from the statue of King George, in the Teyn Church,
should at once be restored to it. On this point alone Rudolf yielded.
To the other demands he refused to give an immediate answer. Yet even
this failure could not at once induce the Bohemian Estates to abandon
the cause of Rudolf for that of a prince who was invading Bohemia at
the head of a Hungarian army. This feeling was shared by the peasantry
of Bohemia; and several collisions took place between them and the
soldiers of Matthias.

But, though Matthias could not succeed in the conquest of Bohemia,
Rudolf, on his part, was unable to defend or recover the rest of
his hereditary dominions; nor is it probable that Budovĕc and his
friends were at all prepared to engage in a war against their
fellow-Protestants in Moravia, Hungary, and Austria. Rudolf, therefore,
after vainly attempting a compromise, consented to renounce Hungary and
Austria in favour of Matthias, and to allow him to administer Moravia
during his lifetime. Matthias thereupon evacuated Bohemia; but Rudolf’s
resistance was not yet at an end. He resented bitterly both the loss
of his territories and the demands of the Bohemian Protestants; and,
as he was not yet able to take any steps to recover his lost lands, he
proceeded to turn his bitterness against Budovĕc and his allies.

In this course he was encouraged by three councillors, who were to play
a memorable part in the history of Bohemia--the Chancellor Lobkovic
and the ministers Slavata and Martinic. The first proposal of the
Emperor was not merely to reject the petition of the Protestants, but
to treat their agreement to stand by each other as a conspiracy; and
he demanded that the document which contained the agreement should be
handed to him to be destroyed. The Protestants chose a Committee of
Twelve to remonstrate with Rudolf on this demand; and at the head of
that committee they placed a man who was to become only too well known
in Bohemian history, Count Matthias of Thurn. They waited on the King
with the document for which he had asked, but told him that they had
only produced it that he might know the names of his faithful subjects.
Rudolf seems, for the moment, to have been impressed with this protest,
and consented not to destroy the petition.

Budovĕc, however, and his friends were determined on using their
opportunity to the utmost; and they were all the more eager in their
pressure, because they found that the official leader of the Assembly,
Adam of Sternberg, was entirely out of sympathy with their efforts,
and that he was continually endeavouring, on the one hand, to make
divisions between the Utraquists, the Lutherans, and the Brotherhood;
while, on the other hand, he represented the Assembly to the Emperor
as really willing to accept as satisfactory the offers which they in
reality repudiated. The difficulties, which might have arisen from
this latter part of Sternberg’s policy, were obviated by the attitude
of uncompromising resistance which was taken up by Lobkovic, Slavata,
and Martinic. At last, on the advice of these councillors, Rudolf
decided to dissolve the Assembly. Then Budovĕc saw that the time for
constitutional agitation was nearly over; and on April 1, 1609, he
gathered his friends together, and gave notice to the chief Burggraf of
Prague that they were resolved to use force to resist all injustice.

Although they were now obviously compelled to accept, in some respects,
that leadership of Matthias which they had previously opposed, the
Bohemian Protestants were not yet prepared to rely wholly on the King
of Hungary. The Estates of Silesia and Lausitz, though largely in
sympathy with the Protestant movement, had agreed with the Bohemians,
in the previous year, in refusing to repudiate Rudolf. The Silesians
were now ready to follow the Bohemians in their more determined policy;
and the Bohemians, on their part, were disposed to strengthen this
alliance, by granting to Silesia that position of independent equality
which they had hitherto refused. A league was therefore formed between
the Bohemian and Silesian Assemblies, of such a kind as might have been
agreed upon between two independent Powers; and the Silesians were
ready enough to co-operate under these circumstances.

But it was not only on their immediate neighbours that the Bohemians
relied. They appealed also to the Protestant princes of Germany, both
Lutheran and Calvinistic; and from them, too, they received encouraging
answers. It was now evident that both sides were within a measurable
distance of war; but it was also clear that Rudolf might still have
a chance of preventing the insurrection from actually breaking out,
by dividing the forces of his opponents, and depriving the movement
of any legal centre. For greater security, the Assembly were now
meeting in the Council House of the New Town of Prague; and Rudolf,
therefore, ordered the Councillors of that part of the town to exclude
the Assembly from their hall. The Town Council pleaded that they had
given their promise, and were obliged to abide by it; but the Estates
offered to meet even in the Castle itself, if a room were provided for
them; and when Rudolf refused their proposal, they gathered in the open
place between All Saints’ Church and the cathedral. There Rudolf came
to them, and rebuked them for continuing to meet. They answered by
requesting him to summon a General Assembly, which should represent not
only Bohemia, but all its dependent provinces. After some hesitation,
Rudolf consented to this proposal; but, as he persisted in forbidding
the Estates to hold any meetings in the interval, they returned to
their former position in the Council House of the New Town.

Adam von Sternberg had now been practically thrust aside by the
Assembly; and Budovĕc was recognised not only as their actual but also
as their official leader. He impressed on the movement that zealously
religious character which the Brotherhood always endeavoured to
maintain. He always opened the proceedings with prayer, and sternly
repressed all immorality or disorder among the followers of the nobles,
who were now flocking into the town. The Assembly felt that the use
of physical force could not be much longer avoided; they attended the
meetings ready armed; and on one occasion, when an attack from the
king’s forces was expected, even the workmen hastened into the square
and brandished their tools for the fray.

In the meantime the appeals of the Assembly for foreign help had been
producing their effect. Matthias, indeed, seemed for a time unwilling
to press his victories further, and declined to interfere between
Rudolf and the Estates; but the German princes were so zealous in their
appeals to the Emperor to make concessions, that he seemed at last
disposed to set aside the opinion of his more fiery Councillors, and
he summoned a General Assembly for the 25th of May, 1609. No sooner,
however, did the Assembly meet, than Lobkovic recovered his former
influence over the Emperor; and Rudolf began to hope that he might make
divisions between the Catholics and Protestants. On the other hand, the
demands of the Protestants appear to have grown more extreme at this
time; for they not only required the free profession of their creed and
the right to build churches, but they also insisted that the University
of Prague and the Utraquist Consistory should be placed under the
control of the Estates.

This last demand excited more interest than the fallen condition of
Utraquism might have led one to expect. But traditions of former
greatness have an incalculable influence; and many of the Protestants
believed that the failure of Utraquism had been due as much to the
control which the king exercised over the Consistory as to any
internal weakness. Therefore the Assembly’s demand for control over
the Consistory excited considerable sympathy among all classes of
Protestants. Rudolf, while unwilling to surrender his power in this
matter, was yet willing to propose a compromise, to the effect that the
Consistory should be managed by a special tribunal composed half of
Protestants and half of Catholics. As, however, he no doubt intended
that these should be appointed by himself, the Assembly considered
this answer as a complete rejection of their proposal; and on June
22, 1609, the Estates resolved, on the motion of Count Thurn, to make
arrangements for the arming of the whole population. Their indignation
was still further roused by the oppression inflicted on the Protestants
of Braunau by the abbot of that town; and the resolution for universal
arming was soon followed by the election of thirty Defenders for
carrying on the struggle.

It is a curious proof of the aristocratic influences which still
prevailed in the Assembly, that Peter Vok of Rosenberg was the first
Defender chosen. He had been the only prominent Bohemian who had
sympathised with Matthias’s invasion of Bohemia; and, though he had not
supported him by force of arms, he had supplied money to his troops.
Apart also from this difference of policy, Rosenberg must have been
a distasteful ally to the stricter Protestants, on account of his
profligate life. Other names of powerful families also appear in the
list, and at the same time Count Thurn was made general of the forces.

The Protestants now withdrew from their attendance at the Assembly;
Count Thurn quickly gathered five hundred men together in three days;
the alliance with the Silesians was formally confirmed; and application
was made to Christian of Anhalt for further help.

Rudolf, alarmed at these proceedings, was yet further startled by
the news that Matthias had just granted to the Austrian Assembly
all its demands for religious freedom. Moreover he found that
the Roman Catholic part of the Assembly, which had at first been
disposed to resist Budovĕc, were now ready to make terms with the
Protestants. He therefore declared his willingness to accept the
proposals of the Assembly on three conditions: (1) That they would
substitute “Utraquist” for “Evangelical” in their description of the
Protestants; (2) that they would accept the present concessions as a
provisional arrangement, until the general peace could be made with the
Protestants; and (3) that they would abandon the proposal for universal
arming. Budovĕc answered by accepting the two first conditions; but
he declared that the Defenders could not consent, at present, to lay
down their arms without special authority from the Estates, and special
sanction from the Silesians. Even this refusal Rudolf was obliged to
accept; and on the 9th of July he signed the Letter of Majesty which
practically decreed the points demanded by the Protestants. For the
moment it seemed as if the victory of religious freedom was complete;
for while, on the one hand, the power of the Estates was extended over
the University and the Consistory, and was still supported by an armed
force, on the other hand the concession of religious liberty was no
longer confined to communities or privileged classes, but extended to
every man and woman in the Bohemian kingdom.

Nevertheless, the apparent peace was a very hollow one. Christian of
Anhalt, arriving in Prague very shortly after this decision, was
at first somewhat startled to find the matter settled without his
intervention; but he soon discovered that neither Rudolf nor the
Assembly were satisfied. Budovĕc and his friends were eager to follow
up their victory by securing the removal of Lobkovic from the councils
of Rudolf, while they wished to guard themselves against future
attacks by an amnesty for any offences committed during the struggle.
Rudolf, on his part, while conceding the amnesty, tried hard to throw
difficulties in the way of the complete equality between Protestants
and Catholics; and he further hoped to stir up division between the
different sections of the Protestants. Had Rudolf been left to himself,
these intrigues might have proved the mere fitful caprices of a weak
mind, and might have been followed by equally startling concessions.
But he had now fallen into the hands of a much more daring and
unscrupulous adviser than any who had hitherto swayed his counsels.

This was his young kinsman, the Archduke Leopold, who had stood
by him when the rest of the family had demanded his submission to
Matthias, and who now flattered him with the hopes of recovering his
power in Bohemia. Leopold seems, from first to last, to have been as
self-seeking in his objects as he was unscrupulous in his methods. His
first wish was to secure for himself that province of Jülich which was
the subject of so much controversy between several of the Protestant
princes, and which Leopold had been allowed by Rudolf to occupy in
the Emperor’s name. Soon, however, he discovered that his hopes of
Jülich would be frustrated even by Powers to whom he had looked for
support; and, from that time, he fixed his hopes on the succession to
the Bohemian crown. Rudolf, while listening to the violent proposals of
Leopold, was anxious to secure, if possible, the recovery of the lands
which Matthias had conquered; and for that recovery he expected help
from the discontented Austrian Protestants and from some of the princes
of the Empire. He therefore summoned a Convention of princes to Prague,
and distinctly demanded the restoration to him of Austria, Hungary, and
Moravia.

The times were terribly critical. The occupation of Donauwörth by the
Elector of Bavaria, the controversy about the succession to Jülich, the
formation of the Protestant Union by Christian of Anhalt, and of the
Catholic League by Maximilian of Bavaria, all seemed to point to an
approaching war in the Empire; while the military preparations which
Henry IV. was making in France foreshadowed a European character for
any conflict that might take place. Under these circumstances, however,
the wiser statesmen in the Empire were anxious to minimise the evil as
far as possible, and to make efforts for the preservation of peace.

Foremost among the peacemakers was the Archbishop of Köln; but
unfortunately he was too much in advance of his age to produce the
results which a more commonplace politician might have accomplished.
He proposed a scheme of universal disarmament, and he suggested
the reference of the Jülich controversy to the arbitration of the
Universities. These proposals were cut short by a new outbreak of
war between some of the claimants to the Jülich estate; while the
assassination of Henry IV. once more raised the hopes of Rudolf and his
friends, and made them disinclined to concession. But others besides
the Archbishop of Köln desired to reconcile Rudolf to Matthias; and in
spite of evasions and resistances, Rudolf was forced, in September,
1610, to recognise his brother as holding under him the lands of
Hungary, Moravia, and Austria.

This concession was, if possible, even less honest in intention than
the confirmation of the Letter of Majesty had been; for the coldness
with which he had been treated by the princes of the Empire had made
Rudolf even more inclined than before to throw himself into the
dangerous plans of the Archduke Leopold. Even while the Convention of
Princes was sitting and the negotiations with Matthias were proceeding,
Leopold was raising troops in the Bavarian district of Passau, and by
the time that the agreement was concluded this force had grown to a
considerable size. Peter Vok of Rosenberg had called attention to the
danger incurred by his town of Krumov through the neighbourhood of
these soldiers; and the Bohemian Assembly demanded that, since peace
had now been made, this force should be disbanded. Rudolf pleaded that
he could not yet dismiss them, because he had no money for the payment
of their wages; and he proposed that, to secure them better quarters,
they should be sent to Krumov and Budweis (Budejóvice). The Bohemian
Assembly indignantly protested against the introduction of foreign
troops into their country, and they refused to vote any money for their
support.

Rudolf thereupon appealed to the Duke of Brunswick to advance him
money; and the Duke succeeded in getting various promises which soon
amounted to the sum required. When he arrived at Passau, he found that
Leopold and several of the other commanders had left for Prague; that
Colonel Ramée, who was in command, would not listen to proposals of
delay; and that the paymaster of the forces was being hindered from
receiving the money which had been raised for the troops. At last,
when the soldiers had been worked up to a state of frenzy by the
non-fulfilment of the promises of payment, Ramée suddenly led them
into Upper Austria, where they committed every kind of cruelty on the
defenceless inhabitants. Rudolf had cherished the wild hope that the
discontent of the Austrian Protestants with Matthias would make them
willing to revolt from him; but he soon found that, whatever might
be their disagreements with their present ruler, they at any rate
preferred him to Rudolf. So, after failing to obtain any success in
Austria, Leopold suddenly changed his plans; and in February, 1611,
the Bohemian Assembly were startled by the news that the Passau forces
had entered Bohemia, had seized Krumov, and had soon after captured
Budejóvice and Tabor. A little later came the news that Ramée was on
his march to Prague.

Leopold offered to go out to meet the troops, and to order them to
return to Krumov; but on February 13th he suddenly reappeared before
Prague at the head of the very forces that he had pretended to disband.
Two days later they broke into the Small Division of the town; and,
though gallantly resisted by Count Thurn at the head of both soldiers
and citizens, Leopold succeeded in mastering that division of the
city. But in the Old and New Town the citizens rallied and drove back
the Passauer. The old fierce spirit now awoke in Prague; and, as soon
as Leopold and his forces had been expelled from the Old Town, the
citizens attacked and destroyed several of the monasteries; and the
troops of the Assembly with difficulty succeeded in saving the Jesuit
College from a similar fate. Leopold now marched against the Castle,
and, after a short parley, persuaded the troops to surrender. A herald
was next despatched to the Karlsbrücke to demand that the Old Town
should receive a Passau garrison. Count Thurn and two of the other
generals were wounded, and prisoners in the hands of the enemy; and
Budovĕc had been sent into Moravia shortly before the advance of the
Passauer. But though deprived of their leaders, both military and
spiritual, the Praguer still held out against the enemy. The Imperial
herald was dismissed with scorn; and when Ramée threatened to fire upon
the town, several workmen announced that, at the first shot, every
Catholic in the city should be put to death. Rudolf himself became
shocked at the cruelties which had been committed, and refused to
allow Ramée to set the town on fire. The peasantry flocked in from the
surrounding districts to help in the defence; while they cut off and
killed all the supporters of the Passauer whom they could find in the
outskirts of the town. Budovĕc returned from Moravia at this crisis,
and encouraged the Praguer by promises of fresh help, and it soon
became known that Matthias was on his march to Prague.

Leopold, as cowardly as he was cruel, now proposed to desert the cause
of Rudolf, and offered his services to Matthias. The latter, however,
would have nothing to say to him; and Ramée, in his turn becoming
alarmed, tried to make sure of his spoil by sending it in waggons
out of the city. The Praguer, however, succeeded in intercepting
these waggons, and in arresting, at the same time, one of Leopold’s
intriguers. The prisoner at once confessed the whole plot; and Ramée,
fearing the results of the discovery, secretly marched away from the
city. In order to persuade his troops to go the more readily, he
produced a portion of their long withheld pay. This suddenly revealed
to them the base intrigue of which they had been at once the victims
and the tools; and they called upon their colonel to lead them back to
Prague, to execute vengeance on Leopold. Leopold however, succeeded in
escaping secretly from the city, and went to Budejóvice, where he still
hoped to make a stand; but when the Pope himself wrote to tell him that
he had injured and disgraced the Catholic cause, the miserable creature
felt the helplessness of his position, and tried to convince the Pope
that he had been in no way responsible for the march of the Passauer.

In the meantime, Matthias was welcomed as a deliverer. On April 12,
1611, the Bohemian Assembly once more met; and, after some wrangling
between the Estates of the different provinces, about the language to
be used and the methods to be followed, they deposed Rudolf from the
throne of Bohemia; and on May 22nd he himself consented to free his
subjects from their allegiance, and to allow Matthias to be crowned in
his place. Even now the unfortunate Emperor still hoped to redeem his
position by fresh intrigues; and he seems actually to have entertained
the idea of appealing to Christian of Anhalt, and the Protestants,
against Matthias; but ill health, misfortunes, and growing old age
interfered to cut short any further plots; and his miserable life at
last ended in January, 1612.



XVII.

FROM THE DEATH OF RUDOLF II. TO THE BATTLE OF THE WHITE HILL.

(1612-1620.)


Although Matthias seemed now to be securely seated on the throne of
Bohemia, he was quite aware that his difficulties were by no means at
an end. He had been put forward, originally, as the candidate rather of
his family than of the Bohemian people; and his necessary concessions
to popular feeling, in the matter of civil and religious liberty, had
often roused the opposition of his kinsmen.

The difficulties of his position had been somewhat mitigated during
his first triumphs in Moravia by the judicious statesmanship,
administrative ability, and personal popularity of Z̆erotin. On the
one hand he had persuaded his friends to keep in the background their
extremer demands for religious liberty; and on the other hand he had
contrived, by ingenious exercises of administrative power, to strain
the actual concessions of the new ruler to such an extent that they
proved a better check on the tyranny of nobles and priests than the
(verbally) larger concessions of Rudolf’s Letter of Majesty. Illyezhazy
and the Hungarian Protestants had consented to follow the lead of
Z̆erotin in these matters; but in Austria Matthias had already had
a foretaste of the embarrassments which were to be increased by his
conquest of Bohemia.

Tschernembl, who led the Protestants of Upper Austria, was by no means
disposed to be content with half measures, either in civil or religious
liberty. He was a strong Calvinist; and while he had none of Z̆erotin’s
scruples about religious wars, he was also far more indifferent than
the Moravian noble to kings in general, and to the House of Hapsburg
in particular. Under his leadership the Protestants of Upper Austria
demanded the fullest securities for their liberties, before they would
accept Matthias as their Duke; and they seized on a castle in Linz,
as a pledge for future concessions. In Lower Austria the Protestants
were, at this time, less numerous or less determined; for when, in
September, 1608, Matthias summoned representatives of both the Austrian
provinces to meet at Vienna, he found himself able to resist and defeat
the demands of the Protestants. Upon this, Tschernembl and his friends
at once left the city, and took up their quarters at Horn, from which
step they became known as the “Horner.” This policy of Tschernembl’s
produced some coolness between him and Z̆erotin; Tschernembl was in
consequence thrown into closer relations with the German Protestants;
so when, in November, 1608, Peter Vok von Rosenberg invited Christian
of Anhalt to meet Z̆erotin and Tschernembl at Tr̆ebon̆, the Austrian
consented to come, but the Moravian refused.

Z̆erotin, however, while anxious to hinder violent opposition to
Matthias, had no wish to hinder the growth of Austrian liberty nor to
break the link between the Austrian and Bohemian Protestants; so he
strongly urged Matthias to concede the demands of Tschernembl and his
friends, in a peaceable manner. This advice was the more important
because Tschernembl was inclined, in a moment of irritation, to listen
to advances from Rudolf; but he soon discovered the folly of that
course, and at the same time he began to lose faith in the promises
of Christian of Anhalt. Thus Z̆erotin was able once more to bring his
king and his friend together; and in March, 1609, Matthias granted much
wider liberties to the Austrian Protestants than he had yet conceded in
Moravia.

But this triumph of Z̆erotin’s policy brought on him the fierce
hostility of Bishop Khlesl, who even refused to give the Sacrament
to Matthias and his councillors, on the occasion of the festival of
reconciliation between the Duke of Austria and his subjects. Nor was
Z̆erotin contented with Matthias’s own action; for the latter began
to show signs, at that time, of an inclination to treat with Rudolph;
and a proposal of the Moravian Assembly to disband some of its forces
just before the outbreak of the Passau rising, was in vain resisted
by Z̆erotin. When, then, Matthias finally succeeded in winning the
crown of Bohemia, he found himself surrounded by Councillors who were
bitterly opposed to each other, and who had each their own reasons for
distrusting their King.

Nor were Matthias’s difficulties confined to those larger questions
of civil and religious liberty which affected the whole kingdom.
The reunion of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia under one king, at
once reawakened controversies which had, for some time, fallen into
the background. Silesia was by no means disposed to abandon that
position of equal alliance with Bohemia which had been granted in the
hour of danger; and Moravia did not desire to exchange the complete
independence which she had gained by separation, for the subordinate
condition in which the Bohemians wished to place her. Concessions
therefore had to be made to the local feeling of the dependent
provinces--concessions which might conceivably have worked well in a
time of complete peace, but which, in a time of continual disorder and
mutual suspicion, led necessarily to further difficulties.

But Khlesl saw that these local divisions, though they might at first
sight seem to embarrass Matthias, could yet be made, by judicious
management, to promote those schemes for the increase of the royal
power which the ambitious bishop had been always devising. It was in
Hungary that he specially hoped to lay the foundations of a firmer
despotism; and the method by which he hoped to accomplish it was a war
for the conquest and annexation of Transylvania. For this purpose he
stirred up the Transylvanians against their Prince, and then backed
the insurgents by an invasion of their territory. The suspicions of
the Hungarian Protestants were, however, quickly aroused; and Matthias
was deserted by his troops. Then he appealed to Moravia for help, on
the ground of the dangers to which their province would be exposed
by a Turkish invasion, and the consequent need of consolidating the
Hungarian power for their protection.

Here again Khlesl was, for the time, defeated by Z̆erotin, who opposed
the war on the ground that no Hungarian Assembly had sanctioned it;
but when Z̆erotin followed up this victory by attempting to revive
his scheme for a common Assembly of all Matthias’s subjects, he was
successfully opposed by the Bohemians, who declined any close union
with Austria or Hungary.

But if, for the time, Khlesl’s hopes for strengthening Matthias, by
the divisions among his subjects, had been scarcely realised to the
full, he soon found a new encouragement in the increased power and
dignity which the King of Bohemia gained by his election to the throne
of the Holy Roman Empire. Z̆erotin, indeed, had himself supported
Matthias’s candidature in order to exclude a more dangerous claimant;
but, nevertheless, the election was felt to be a distinct gain to the
Catholic and despotic party; and Khlesl took advantage of it to renew
his attacks on the Protestants. In these attacks he was backed by
Dietrichstein, the Bishop of Olmütz, who hoped that Matthias would help
him to increase his power over the clergy and their dependants.

But again Z̆erotin succeeded in resisting the clerical encroachments
in Moravia; and his opposition so impressed the Archduke Maximilian
that he used his influence with Matthias to obtain concessions to the
Protestants. Matthias, however, soon found that no concessions would
induce the Moravian Estates to sanction the Hungarian war; and even an
appeal to the Presburg Assembly had no better success.

Imperial authority having thus failed, Matthias once more fell back
on his old attempt to sow division among his subjects. This time,
however, he appealed not to provincial jealousies, but to the old class
rivalries between citizen and noble. He had, no doubt, heard how his
original conquest of Moravia had been hindered by the opposition of
the city burgomasters to the decision of the nobles; and he therefore
hoped that, now that the nobles were his most dangerous enemies, the
municipal authorities might be induced to rally round him. He was
further strengthened in this belief by the recollection that his
aristocratic supporters had been willing to abandon on behalf of the
towns those religious liberties which they had claimed to exercise on
their own estates.

This time he hit the mark. The Town Councils of Brünn and Olmütz
readily responded to his appeal to support him against his rebellious
nobles; and they even denounced to the King those citizens who had
complained of the exclusion of Protestants from the government of the
towns. Matthias encouraged these appeals, and disregarded the protest
of Z̆erotin, who maintained that the towns could only approach the King
through the Captain of Moravia.

Having secured this weapon, Matthias determined to use it to the
uttermost. Hitherto, the houses of the nobles had been free from any
interference, in the matter of religious worship; and citizens, who
had been excluded from Protestant services elsewhere, had been allowed
to attend them when celebrated in a nobleman’s house. Now, however,
Matthias not only took away this liberty, but summoned to Vienna some
of the citizens who attended these services.

Yet no threats nor tyrannies could induce the Estates to sanction
the Transylvanian war; and Matthias’s insistence on this expedition
only roused the suspicion of the German Princes, and once more drew
Christian of Anhalt into alliance with the Protestants of Bohemia,
Austria, and Hungary.

Had Matthias been a shrewder politician, he would have abstained from
giving artificial stimulus to the local jealousies of his subjects, and
would have suffered them to grow into importance of their own accord.
It soon appeared that, whatever reaction might be exerted by the
king’s mischief-making policy, the rivalry between Moravia and Bohemia
was still an important force in national politics. It is not easy to
estimate the exact force of all the considerations which influenced
the leaders of the rival provinces. The name of liberty, for instance,
could be appealed to, with some sincerity, on either side of the
controversy. Z̆erotin, for his part, was thoroughly convinced that a
centralised administration at Prague would hinder the free play of the
local institutions of Moravia, and would also weaken the possibilities
of that independent alliance between Austria, Bohemia, Silesia,
Moravia, and Hungary, which seemed to him the best protection for the
Protestants against the encroachments of the Catholic party.

On the other hand, the Bohemians could justly maintain that Rudolf’s
Letter of Majesty gave them, and all who united with them, wider
liberties than any which were secured by the laws of Moravia; and,
curiously enough, the most dependent classes of Moravia had been
deprived by their separation from Bohemia of a right of appeal to a
court at Prague which still gave them some slight protection against
the power of their lords.

But, important as all these questions were, they were gradually driven
into the background by one of more immediate interest to the rival
leaders. Z̆erotin had, as already mentioned, a special feeling of
loyalty to the House of Hapsburg, which was not shared in the same
degree by the leaders of the Bohemian Protestants. So Budovĕc and his
friends were rapidly arriving at the conclusion that the best security
for their liberties was to be found, not in the substitution of one
Hapsburg for another, but in the deposition of the whole family in
favour of some king who had a real respect for religious liberty. To
such a step Z̆erotin could not consent; and it was no doubt because he
was aware of this difference, that Matthias now began to recognise the
Bohemian leaders as his chief enemies, and to devote himself to the
special oppression of their province.

In 1613, the freedom of the press was suspended in Bohemia, and a
censorship was re-established. A Jesuit preacher denounced the Letter
of Majesty, declaring that it had never been formally sanctioned by
Rudolf. The Archbishop of Prague began to close Protestant churches and
to turn out Protestant priests. But a still more ominous hint of the
bitterness of the approaching struggle was to be found in the character
of the man whom the Archdukes now chose as the representative of their
family in the controversy. The conciliatory policy of the Archduke
Maximilian seemed a hopeless failure. Matthias, in the opinion of his
kinsmen, was becoming as incapable as Rudolf had been. They therefore
resolved to choose from their family a man of strong and determined
character, who would be willing if necessary to take the most extreme
measures for enforcing their policy.

This champion of the family reaction was found in Ferdinand, Duke of
Styria. He had been trained by the Jesuits in a fierce enthusiasm for
the Catholic faith. He had carried out a ruthless policy in Styria
against the Protestant preachers; and he had there compelled both
citizens and peasants to attend the Catholic services. He had already
been proposed by the extremer Catholics as a candidate for the Imperial
throne; and it was to hinder his election that Z̆erotin supported the
election of Matthias. Matthias, indeed, was now weary of his position,
and he was particularly glad that Ferdinand should take his place in
facing the hostility of the Moravian Assembly; but a new, and perhaps
unexpected, opponent came forward at the next meeting of that Assembly,
to resist the policy of the Emperor and his champion. Bishop Khlesl had
never been popular with the main body of the House of Hapsburg. They
considered that his personal influence over Matthias tended to separate
the policy of that prince from the general schemes of the House. The
Bishop therefore understood that the rise of Ferdinand to power would
be the prelude to his own fall. His recent elevation to the rank of
Cardinal encouraged him to venture on a more independent policy; and,
with the help of Z̆erotin, he succeeded in defeating another proposal
for a grant in aid of the Transylvanian war.

But Matthias’s old policy of ruling by dividing was at last to obtain
an unexpected and signal success. It will be remembered that Silesia,
like Moravia, had secured, after Matthias’s coronation in Prague, a
much more independent position than had been conceded to it in earlier
days; and it was one result of the new position of these provinces,
that they were now able and eager to contend against each other, like
independent kingdoms, for the possession of territory which might have
been previously accepted by them as a part of their common Kingdom of
Bohemia. The land specially in dispute was the district of Troppau,
which appears to have had some separate Assembly of its own, but
which some of the dukes of Silesia considered to be closely connected
with their province. The Moravians, on the other hand, believed that
Troppau more properly belonged to them; and, as they were more ready to
recognise the rights of the Troppau Assembly, it seems probable that
the popular feeling in that district would incline to the Moravian
side. But Matthias, remembering that Moravia had successfully opposed
his military projects, eagerly advocated the cause of Silesia; and,
while securing to that province a more complete independence of the
Bohemian Chancellor, he declared at the same time that the ruler of
Troppau must be a prince of Silesia. To weaken the Moravians still
further, by sowing division in their own ranks, he chose Karl von
Lichtenstein as Duke of Troppau and Prince of Silesia. The bitter
quarrel which followed this decision had an important effect on the
future of the country; for Charles of Z̆erotin was thereby convinced
that his hope for a peaceful league between the three provinces had
become a vain dream; and, in February, 1615, he resigned his Captaincy
of Moravia, and was succeeded by a member of the Catholic party.

While this increasing separation between the differing provinces was
bringing further weakness to the Protestant cause, the Archdukes were
being driven forward to an extremer Catholic policy. The new attitude
of Khlesl had irritated against him even the moderate Maximilian, and
had decided the Archdukes to demand the deposition of Khlesl’s patron
and pupil, first from the Bohemian, and afterwards from the Imperial,
throne; and the substitution of Ferdinand for him in both those
dignities.

It is difficult to understand how it was that, in June, 1617, the
Catholic party seem to have gained a power in Bohemia greater than they
possessed either in the previous or the following year; though no doubt
the surprise at Matthias’s decision, and the absence of any possible
successor, had placed the Estates in a position of great difficulty.
At any rate, so it was, that Count Thurn and Colonna von Fels were
the only members of the Assembly who ventured to oppose Ferdinand’s
election; while the majority not only raised no objection, but even
abandoned that right of free election on which they had insisted in the
time of Ferdinand I.; and they “accepted” their new sovereign as the
necessary heir to the kingdom. Some little remnant of spirit, however,
was shown in the demand that Ferdinand should confirm the privileges
of the Estates before he was crowned; and, after consulting with his
Jesuit advisers, he gave his approval, even to Rudolf’s Letter of
Majesty.

But no sooner was Ferdinand seated on the throne, than he proceeded to
violate the principle, if not the letter, of the promises which he had
just made. He directed the judges of his chief tribunal to preside at
the meetings of the Church Congregations in Prague; to inquire into all
their accounts, and to allow no decision to be passed by them which
the judges had not approved. Further they were to examine all the
institutions connected with each church; to find out if they carried
out the purposes of their founders and, if not, to compel them to do
so. This decree was intended as a step towards the restoration to the
Catholics of all the churches which had passed into Utraquist hands. At
the same time, the Archbishop of Prague, who had already demanded the
closing of a Protestant church at Hroby, now insisted that that church
should be pulled down. Sometimes, as in the case of the monastery
of Braunau, the encroachments of the Catholics were defended on the
ground of some peculiar interpretation of Rudolf’s Letter of Majesty;
but it was evident that the attacks on the Protestants would not long
be limited by any legal pretences. The Defenders of the Protestants,
who had been chosen during the struggle against Rudolf, still retained
their offices; and they now summoned a Protestant Assembly to meet in
Prague on March 5, 1618. The towns, however, would not venture to send
representatives to this Assembly; and the nobles who did come decided
to defer action until the Estates of all the Crown Lands could meet on
the 21st of May.

The Royalist Party resolved to counteract this movement by every
means in their power. They tried hard to separate the towns still
further from the nobles; and they hoped to draw the representatives
of the old Utraquists away from the other Protestants. The attempt
to influence the towns had some partial success; but nevertheless
six of them (including Kutna Hora and Mláda Boleslav) consented to
send representatives to the new Assembly. The attempt to separate
the Utraquists from their fellow Protestants was a complete failure,
for all the parish clergy of Prague consented to announce from their
pulpits the meeting of the Assembly.

It was now clear that a violent crisis was unavoidable; and no sooner
did the Assembly meet in the Carolinum than two officials of the
Emperor entered the building, and announced that Matthias forbad them
to continue their discussions. The Protestants were seriously alarmed;
and Count Thurn demanded that, as they had been summoned to the Castle
to meet the representatives of the Emperor, they should be allowed to
wear arms on that occasion. The official representative of Matthias
consented to this proposal; and on May 22nd Count Thurn had a special
meeting with Budovĕc, Colonna von Fels, and a few others, at which
they resolved on their plan of action. A rumour rapidly spread that
the Protestants were planning some violent attack; and one of the
officials fled secretly to Vienna.

On May 23rd the Estates gathered in the great Hall of Assembly at the
Castle; and, as soon as the letter of the Emperor had been read, the
Protestants read their letter of protest against his prohibition of
their meeting. Then they demanded to know who had advised the Emperor
to threaten the Estates. Adam of Sternberg, who was now chief Burggraf
of Prague, refused to answer this question, on the ground that Privy
Councillors were not bound to reveal the advice which they had given
to the Emperor. Count Thurn replied that the Estates would not leave
that place till they had received an answer to their question. Then a
number of charges were fiercely poured out against the advisers of the
Emperor; and Martinic and Slavata were reminded of their resistance
to the Assembly of 1609, and especially of their refusal to sign the
Letter of Majesty. One of Count Thurn’s followers denounced them as
enemies of the commonwealth; and this charge was received with shouts
of applause by the other members of the Estates. Sternberg entreated
the Assembly to be calm; but he was urged to retire from the Hall,
and was at last forced out of it, with one of the other officials.
Then William of Lobkovic suddenly seized upon Martinic, and, after a
fierce struggle, flung him from the window down into the castle ditch,
which was twenty-eight ells below; and Thurn threw Slavata after him.
Their secretary, Fabricius, protested, and was in his turn thrown out
of the window. Wonderful to say, none of the three were killed; and
only Fabricius seems to have been seriously injured. They succeeded
in taking refuge in the house of the Chancellor; and afterwards they
escaped secretly from the city.

[Illustration: HALL IN THE CASTLE OF PRAGUE FROM WHENCE MARTINIC AND
SLAVATA WERE THROWN.]

A provisional government was at once formed of thirty Defenders.
Wenceslaus of Ruppa, who had taken a leading part in this plot, was
chosen President, and Count Thurn was once more appointed General
of the Bohemian forces. The towns now gathered courage to join
the movement; and only Budweis (Budejóvice), Pilsen (Plz̆en), and
Krumov remained on the side of the Emperor. Matthias would even now
have wished to conciliate his opponents; and, on the 6th of June,
a messenger arrived in Prague announcing the Emperor’s willingness
once more to confirm the Letter of Majesty. But this message was
speedily followed by a letter from Ferdinand, announcing that he would
only observe the Letter of Majesty in the same way that he had done
hitherto; and he further threatened punishment against all who would
not keep the peace. The Assembly saw the significance of this letter,
and continued their preparations for war.

Ferdinand was now eager for action; but he found that Matthias still
hindered his proceedings. This opposition the Archdukes attributed
to the influence of Khlesl; and Maximilian was entrusted with the
office of suppressing the Cardinal. For this purpose he paid a visit
of apparent friendliness to Khlesl; but, when the cardinal returned
the call, he found himself suddenly seized by Maximilian’s servants,
stripped of his Cardinal’s robe, forced into a carriage, and driven off
to Innsbrück, where he was kept a prisoner till the end of the Bohemian
struggle.

But there were still other advisers, who claimed to be heard against
the war. Both in Hungary and Upper Austria, the Estates, though
unwilling to take active part with the Bohemians, urged Matthias to
take peaceable measures for the restoring of order in Bohemia. In the
Moravian Assembly, a resolution in favour of a similar policy was
carried by Z̆erotin’s influence; though many of his colleagues would
have preferred to give more active support to the Bohemians. The
Protestant princes of Germany, however, and particularly the Elector
Palatine, were eager for forcible resistance to Matthias; and a son
of the Margrave of Brandenburg, who was also a prince of Silesia,
persuaded his Silesian colleagues to assist the Bohemians. It was
evident that war could no longer be avoided, and Matthias despatched
Count Bucquoi to Bohemia. Count Mansfeld and the Elector Palatine had
already sent troops to assist the Protestants; and Bucquoi was so
thoroughly defeated at Lomnice, near Budejóvice, that he urged Matthias
to make peace. The hopes of the Bohemians were further encouraged by
Count Mansfeld’s capture of Pilsen; and Count Thurn resolved to invade
Austria, and to attack Ferdinand at his headquarters. Now, however,
there arose new difficulties. Tschernembl, indeed, tried to rouse the
Austrians in defence of the Protestant cause; but he found only a very
partial support; while an attempt to persuade the Moravians to assist
the Bohemian invasion was defeated by the influence of Z̆erotin, who
bitterly denounced Thurn and Ruppa for making a religious movement
the cover for their political intrigues. These rebuffs impressed on
the Bohemians the necessity of strengthening their alliances with the
German Protestants; and Ruppa sent a message to the Elector Palatine,
to invite him to become king of Bohemia. Frederick V. was unwilling to
accept this proposal. He understood that the Duke of Savoy was likely
to dispute his claim to the Bohemian throne; and he also believed
that his father-in-law, James I. of England, would object to his
acceptance of that dignity. He did not, however, directly refuse; and
the necessity for decisive action was still further shown by two deaths
which took place about this time; that of the Archduke Maximilian, the
one conciliatory member of the House of Hapsburg, and that of the
Emperor Matthias a few months later.

Ferdinand was now face to face with his enemies, without any check
upon his purposes. The alarm among the Protestants was all the greater
for these events. The Silesian Assembly joined with their princes
in support of Bohemia; Lausitz followed their lead; in spite of the
resistance of Z̆erotin, many of the Moravian nobles also joined the
cause; and the citizens of Jíhlava welcomed Count Thurn into their
town. Carl von Lichtenstein, who was generally on the winning side,
joined the Protestants in their support of the Bohemians; two attempts
on the part of colonels to carry off their troops to Ferdinand met with
complete failure; and at last Z̆erotin was put under arrest in his own
house, and a provisional government was proclaimed in Moravia, and
entrusted with power to co-operate with the Bohemians. The hopes of the
Austrian Protestants were roused by this new phase of the movement; and
Tschernembl at last persuaded the Estates of Upper Austria to declare
in favour of the insurgents.

Thurn’s opportunity now seemed to have come; in May, 1619, he
entered Austria, defeated some of Ferdinand’s forces, and marched to
Vienna. But Ferdinand remained undaunted. He summoned before him the
representatives of the Lower Austrian Estates, appealed to their sense
of patriotism, and tried to persuade them to resist the Bohemians. He
had been arguing in vain for some time, when suddenly the scene was
changed by the entrance into the Hall of four cornets of horse, who had
been secretly summoned by Ferdinand. The resistance of the Protestants
was suddenly paralysed; and, when Thurn appeared before Vienna the next
day, he found the citizens so unwilling to help him that he was forced
to abandon the siege, and hastened back to defend Bohemia. There the
contest had continued with various fortune; but it is believed that
Bucquoi might soon have carried the day, had not a new ally appeared on
the Bohemian side.

Bethlen Gabor, the new Prince of Transylvania, saw from the first
that the success of Ferdinand would naturally lead to those renewed
invasions of Transylvania which had played so important a part in
the policy both of Rudolf and Matthias. The Hungarian Assembly had
been at first unwilling to co-operate with the Bohemians; but, during
his expedition to Vienna, Count Thurn had made the acquaintance of
a leading Hungarian Protestant, whom he had roused to sympathy with
the Bohemian cause. When this leader returned to Hungary, he soon
convinced his friends that the cause of Protestantism was bound up with
the effort for Bohemian independence; and, when Bethlen Gabor openly
declared war on Ferdinand, large districts of Hungary rose on his
behalf, and he speedily found himself in occupation of Presburg.

This encouraging news reached the Bohemians just as they were
entering on one of the most important stages of their movement. The
representatives of all the Bohemian provinces had met at Prague, and,
after a declaration in favour of the Protestant cause, had formally
deposed Ferdinand from the throne of Bohemia. Three candidates for
the throne now offered themselves--the Duke of Savoy, the Elector of
Saxony, and the Elector Palatine of the Rhine. But the first of the
three had very much cooled in his friendship towards the Bohemian
cause, since he had found that neither France nor England would support
his claim to the crown. The Elector of Saxony, though popular with a
small minority of Bohemians, had never been a zealous supporter of
their liberties; and he was suspected of being a tyrannical ruler
in his own dominions. So, on the 26th of August, 1619, the Elector
Palatine of the Rhine was chosen King of Bohemia.

But, during the discussions of the Assembly, a sign had been given
which might have warned the leaders of the insurrection of one fatal
weakness in their position. The unfortunate peasantry, pressed down
by the burdens of serfdom, greatly feared the additional evils of
war. They had hoped that the concession of spiritual freedom, which
Budovĕc had won for them, would have been followed by the grant of
other liberties, more directly improving their material position; and
they were proportionately bitter with their favourite leader, whom
they accused of deserting them from motives of selfish ambition. They
now assured the Estates that they could not hope for a blessing on a
movement which ignored the wrongs of the peasantry. The charge against
Budovĕc seems to have been wholly unjust. He was now past seventy; and,
though his name was still useful to the leaders of the insurrection,
his influence on their policy was extremely small. Had it been
otherwise, the Council might have taken a different view of this vital
question. As it was, the wrongs of the serfs were again ignored; and
not only did the Protestant leaders lose thereby a popular basis for
their movement, but they soon provoked against them a most dangerous
opposition. When the peasantry found that the mercenary troops which
the Protestants employed were as dangerous to natives as to foreigners,
they began to think that Ferdinand was preferable to Frederick; and
peasant risings hindered the progress of the Protestant army.

Frederick, of course, knew nothing as yet of this cause of weakness in
his new position. Nevertheless, it was with a hesitating mind that he
had listened to the proposal of the Bohemian Assembly. He had wished
to wait until he could have secured the approval of his father-in-law,
King James of England; and he knew already that he had to encounter the
opposition of France. A still more dangerous omen for his future career
had been given only two days after this election. The Electors of the
Empire on the 28th of August had chosen Ferdinand Emperor of Germany;
and on that occasion the Elector Palatine had been the only one who
voted in the minority.

But two powerful counsellors urged Frederick on to his fate--his wife
Elizabeth, and Christian of Anhalt. The latter promised him the support
of the Protestant Union; but, though that support was most welcome,
it was believed in Bohemia that his wife’s opinion had more weight
on Frederick’s final decision. Therefore, on September 28, 1619,
he resolved on accepting the crown, without waiting further for the
opinion of his father-in-law. The victories of Bethlen Gabor doubtless
encouraged Frederick in his dangerous course; and the enthusiasm with
which he was received in Prague must have raised his hopes still
further. His queen, indeed, though publicly thanked for her influence
on his decision, soon became unpopular from her English dress and ways,
and her ignorance of the Bohemian language; but this unpopularity does
not seem to have affected her husband’s position.

A more serious difficulty was the inability of the Assembly to raise
money for the payment of the troops; an evil which drove the soldiers
to mutiny and robbery, and eventually caused the rising of the peasants
against them. These evils the Bohemian Government attempted to meet,
partly by debasement of the coinage, and partly by borrowing money from
foreign powers; but the great hope of the Bohemians still lay in the
support of Bethlen Gabor.

About three weeks after the coronation of Frederick, Bethlen had
invaded Austria, and was on his march to Vienna. The Austrians were
again panic-struck; and when the peasantry discovered that they
suffered as much from the forces of Ferdinand as from the Hungarian
army, they refused to bestir themselves on the side of the Emperor.
Suddenly, however, the news arrived that a Roman Catholic nobleman,
who had been defeated by Bethlen in the earlier part of the struggle,
had now returned to Hungary at the head of a Polish force, and had
gained a signal victory over some of Bethlen’s supporters. Bethlen
thereupon hastened back to Hungary, and Ferdinand hoped to get rid of
this formidable opponent on moderate terms. But this hope speedily
disappeared. Bethlen’s return to the scene of action at once restored
success to his supporters. In January, 1620, the Hungarian Assembly
formally deposed Ferdinand, and declared Bethlen Prince of Hungary;
nor could even the acceptance of this election by his deposed rival
detach Bethlen from the Bohemian cause; and he refused to make terms
with Ferdinand until the latter had abandoned his claim on Bohemia.
This encouraged the Bohemians yet further in their resistance; and
the Austrian Protestants also showed considerable zeal in their
cause. Tschernembl even came to Prague and took an active part in
the organisation of the war; but he saw plainly that the oppressed
condition of the peasantry prevented the struggle from assuming that
popular character which alone could make it successful. He therefore
strongly urged upon his colleagues the abolition of serfdom, as a
means of securing the sympathy of the peasantry. But it was one of
the weaknesses of the movement that the Bohemian nobles were hampered
throughout by their class prejudices; and Tschernembl’s proposals were
rejected.

About the same time Ferdinand strengthened his cause by the complete
union of his forces with those of the Catholic League. Maximilian of
Bavaria, the founder of that League, had cherished for some time his
hereditary suspicion and dislike to the House of Austria; and he had
been even mentioned as a rival when Ferdinand was first proposed as
Emperor. But the increase of the power of the Protestants gradually
brought the Catholic rivals together; and towards the end of July,
Maximilian had already consented to assist in suppressing an Austrian
rising. Now, in September, he entered Bohemia; and his general, Tilly,
became the chief person in the Imperialist army. This seems to have
been the turning-point in the war. Christian of Anhalt, who had joined
the Bohemian forces, was compelled to retreat to Moravia; while one of
Ferdinand’s generals was despatched to Presburg to prevent Bethlen from
marching to the assistance of the Bohemians. One of the ablest generals
on the Bohemian side was Count Mansfeld, a lawless soldier of fortune.
He, unable to pay his troops, had taken to plundering the Bohemian
peasantry; and, finding that Frederick and Anhalt were both opposed
to this method of warfare, he consented to accept a bribe from the
Imperialists, which kept him quiet during their advance to Prague. This
at once led Maximilian to hope for a speedy conquest; and, abandoning
the siege of Pilsen, Bucquoi and Tilly at once marched forward to
Prague.

Anhalt, who had been defending Pilsen, hastened to Rakonic, a town
about thirty miles west of Prague, in order to cut off the advance
of the Imperialists. But, in spite of his energy, the Imperialist
forces came upon the Bohemians at Rakonic before they expected them,
and utterly routed them. Frederick at once lost heart, and sent off
a messenger to Elizabeth to tell her to fly from Prague, as all was
lost. But the Queen seems to have inherited something of the courage,
as well as of the beauty, of her unfortunate grandmother, Mary Queen
of Scots; and she indignantly refused to accept this advice. Anhalt
in the meantime had succeeded in rallying his forces, and holding the
Imperialists in check before Rakonic. But on the 3rd of November,
Maximilian received a new supply of provisions; and, encouraged by
this refreshment, the Imperial army once more broke up their camp, and
continued their march to Prague. Anhalt again attempted to anticipate
their march; and, on the night of the 7th of November, he reached the
White Hill, about an hour’s journey from Prague.

Some of the Hungarian forces, whom Bethlen had previously despatched to
the aid of the Bohemians, remained at the village of Rusin, at the foot
of the hill; but they were there attacked and driven into flight by the
cavalry of the Imperialists, neither their German nor their Bohemian
allies attempting to rescue them. Again the wretched King of Bohemia
was seized with a panic; and this time he actually fled from the army,
and did not stop till he reached Prague. Bucquoi desired to leave the
enemy unattacked, and to advance straight to Prague; but Tilly did not
think it safe to leave Anhalt’s army in the rear; and, while they were
still discussing the point, Dr. Angelini, a chaplain of Maximilian’s,
exhorted them to fight, as God would protect them. This at once decided
the Generals; and, as Bucquoi was wounded, Tiefenbach took his place at
the head of his forces. The first opening of the battle was favourable
to the Bohemians. Count Thurn repelled an attack of the Imperialist
cavalry, and Anhalt followed up this success by advancing in his
turn. But Tilly came to the rescue, drove back Anhalt’s forces, and
stormed the fortifications which had just been erected. Then a complete
panic seized the Protestant army; the soldiers fled in confusion, and
many were drowned in the Moldau in their endeavour to escape from the
Imperialists. Anhalt did his best to rally the fugitives; but he soon
found that further resistance was hopeless. Tschernembl, indeed, still
wished to defend Prague, and even to organise a new attack; but the
rest of the Council decided to open negotiations with Ferdinand. It
was resolved, however, that the Queen and her child should at once be
sent away into safety; and Frederick went to make arrangements for
this purpose. But, with the departure of his wife, the wretched King
had lost all remains of hope; and, no sooner had he despatched her on
her journey, than he suddenly mounted his horse and galloped off after
her, followed by Ruppa and other members of the Provisional Government.
Count Thurn’s son endeavoured, indeed, to rally his forces once more
for the defence of the Karlsbrücke; but the soldiers were too terrified
to fight; the Imperialist army entered the town with little resistance;
and on November 23rd Ferdinand received, at Vienna, a chest containing
the charters of all the Bohemian privileges.

Of the causes of this final collapse of Bohemian independence there
are three which stand out with special vividness: the first connected
solely with the events of the insurrection; the second, with the
condition of Bohemia ever since the fall of Tabor; the third, with
a fatal weakness that had reappeared continually through the greater
part of Bohemian history. The first was the character of the leaders
who undertook to guide this movement. With the exception of Budovĕc and
Tschernembl there seem to be none of those heroic figures at the helm
of affairs which are indispensable for a struggle for independence;
and, of these two exceptions, Budovĕc had been speedily thrust into the
background by his more ambitious colleagues, and Tschernembl’s advice
was disregarded in most vital points. Of the rest, Ruppa seems to have
been cowardly and colourless; Count Thurn, rash and unscrupulous to the
last degree; Christian of Anhalt, an ambitious self-seeker; Mansfeld,
a mere soldier of fortune, with rather less principle than Dugald
Dalgetty; and as for the Elector Palatine, the story has shown how
deficient he was in every kingly quality.

The second cause of weakness was the fatally aristocratic character of
the movement. The rejection of the petitions of the serfs was in only
too faithful harmony with the course of Bohemian history since the fall
of Tabor. The Brotherhood alone had witnessed for wider sympathies
and a higher conception of humanity and religion; but, as we have
seen, even the Brotherhood had often found it difficult to resist the
encroachment of aristocratic principles on its own organisation. The
cry for freedom for a class could not animate a nation to resist the
enthusiasm of sincere bigots like Ferdinand of Austria and Maximilian
of Bavaria, nor the military ability of Tilly.

The third error, which hastened the ruin of Bohemia, was the
connection which the Bohemian leaders had formed with the alien policy
and the unsympathetic schemes of the German intriguers.

From the time when Vratislav received his crown from Henry IV., to
the time when Budovĕc and Thurn called Christian of Anhalt into their
counsels, this seems to have been the fatal mistake running through
the history of Bohemia. Doubtless both Vratislav and Vladislav meant
well by their country, and they secured it a more brilliant position
for a time; but they involved that country in many wars and disputes
which hindered its progress, and which often encouraged unpatriotic
intrigues. Doubtless, too, Wenceslaus and Ottakar promoted the trade
and, for a time, even the freedom of Bohemia, by the introduction of
German laws and German settlers into their towns; but this innovation,
intended by them as a development of good government in Bohemia, was
easily perverted by Otto of Brandenburg into a means of new tyranny.
Still more unquestionably well-meant was the attempt of Charles IV.
to combine the greatness of the German Empire with the growth of
culture and learning in Bohemia; but, as unquestionably, it ended in
failure, and its benefit chiefly consisted in the preparation that it
afforded for the purely Bohemian movement which rose from its ruins.
Hus in the fourteenth century, Peter of Chelc̆ic and his followers
in the fifteenth and sixteenth, were the people through whom Bohemia
was really able to develop a distinctive life, and thereby to do most
essential service to the other nations of Europe; and we shall see,
from the fragments of national history which still remain to be told,
that it is through such representatives as these that Bohemia, even
after the loss of its political independence, could still do some work,
which other countries may be the better for studying.



XVIII.

FROM THE BATTLE OF THE WHITE HILL TO THE PRESENT TIME.


Few crises in the history of a country are so dramatically complete, or
mark so clear a division between past and future, as the Battle of the
White Hill. Though Mansfeld still held out for a time in some towns of
Bohemia, and though the victories of Gustavus Adolphus in 1631 led to
a temporary return of the Protestants, such partial checks could not
hinder the establishment of a stifling despotism, nor remove its traces
when established. That Ferdinand II. desired only to crush rebellion,
and to restore the orthodox Roman Catholic faith, may be true enough;
but he soon found that civil and religious liberty were bound up
together, and that a centralised despotism at Vienna was the only means
of securing that outward appearance of orthodoxy which is all that the
most energetic despot can produce. The first part of his efforts was no
doubt naturally directed to the punishment of the insurgents. On the
21st of June, 1621, twenty-seven of the leaders of the insurrection
were executed in the Great Ring of Prague, the noblest and best of
them being old Wenceslaus of Budova; and many trials, confiscations,
and fines followed, the last of them taking place in 1626.

But Ferdinand soon abandoned the pretext of repressing insurrection,
and proceeded to the great work of restoring Catholic orthodoxy. At
first his hostility was almost confined to the Protestant preachers,
and his positive schemes were mainly directed to the exaltation of
the Jesuits. Several preachers had been tortured and killed by the
soldiers in the first heat of victory, and, in 1621, the great bulk
of the Protestant clergy of Prague were ordered to sell their goods
and to migrate to Saxony. Promises had, indeed, been made to the
Elector of Saxony that the Lutherans should be gently dealt with.
Moderate terms had been offered to the Utraquists, and Tabor had
only surrendered on condition of its liberties being secured. But
all these promises were swept aside by the eagerness of the Jesuits
to recover their lost ground. They had been expelled and persecuted
during the insurrection, and now their turn was come. Gradually all
schools, books, and newspapers were placed under their care. The old
liberties of Charles IV.’s University were crushed out, and at last the
University itself was absorbed in a Jesuit college in which the name of
Ferdinand was to be connected with that of Charles. The censorship of
the press was to be enforced by the careful limitation of the number of
printing-presses, and by the most rigorous inquiries into faith. Nor
was the danger left unmarked which might arise from the reverence paid
to the Protestant heroes of the past. The statues of Hus were either
destroyed or turned into statues of John Nepomuc; Z̆iz̆ka’s dust was
dug up from his grave at C̆aslau, and the figure above it was broken to
pieces; a memorial of Rokycana shared the same fate; while the statue
of King George protecting the Cup was removed from the Teyn Church, and
a figure of the Virgin substituted for it.

[Illustration: PLACE IN FRONT OF TOWN COUNCIL HOUSE OF PRAGUE WHERE THE
BOHEMIAN NOBLES WERE EXECUTED AFTER THE INSURRECTION.]

[Illustration: STATUE OF ST. JOHN NEPOMUC.]

But it must not be supposed that no resistance was offered to this
scheme of persecution. Loc̆ika, the preacher at the Teyn Church,
persisted, even in 1622, in administering the Cup to the laity. He was
rebuked for this proceeding; but he appealed to his congregation to
stand by him, and he repeated the offence on the following Sunday.
Then soldiers came into the church to seize him; he escaped by a back
door, and a thousand men gathered to defend his house. In spite of this
defence, however, the soldiers broke into the house and carried Loc̆ika
to prison, where he soon after died.

More notable still, in its consequences to Bohemia, was the resistance
of Kutna Hora. Even Ferdinand’s champions and followers had warned
him that the mining industry was of vital importance to the welfare
of Bohemia, and that it could only be maintained by respecting those
powers of self-government which had been granted for so many centuries
to the miners. But Ferdinand cared little for the material prosperity
of Bohemia. Ever since Z̆iz̆ka had rescued it from Sigismund, Kutna
Hora had remained enthusiastically Protestant; and it now offered
special resistance to the attempt to Catholicise Bohemia. Ferdinand
resolved at all hazards to crush this opposition. In defiance of the
special liberties of the town he quartered soldiers upon it; and, when
even this did not crush its spirit, he sent the Jesuits to celebrate
Mass at the church of St. Barbara. Forcible expulsion seemed at last
the only hope for conversion, and, by the end of 1626, no Protestant
was left in Kutna Hora. Two hundred and eight out of five hundred and
ninety houses were deserted, and the mining industry was ruined in its
chief centre.

[Illustration: CHURCH OF ST. BARBARA AT KUTNA HORA.]

But there was one Protestant whose claims to consideration even
Ferdinand could not deny. Charles of Z̆erotin had stood faithfully
by the king at the height of the insurrection, and he had sacrificed
position, and suffered imprisonment, in his cause. Ferdinand had
promised to respect his convictions, and not to interfere with the
Protestants who resided on his estate. Z̆erotin, therefore, was
naturally indignant when he found the Commissioners of Cardinal
Dietrichstein carrying out, on his lands, their schemes for the
suppression of Protestant worship. He hastened to Vienna and warmly
remonstrated with the Emperor on his breach of faith. Ferdinand
admitted the promises which he had given, and the services which he
had received from Z̆erotin; but he said that the Pope was his master
in matters of conscience, and the Pope had forbidden him to keep his
promises. Z̆erotin was not satisfied with this answer. He hastened back
to his own estate, and found that the Commissioners had just closed
a Protestant church and sealed up the doors. Z̆erotin indignantly
tore off the seal, re-opened the church, and took under his special
protection several of the preachers who had fled from other districts.
A Bohemian nobleman named George Sabovsky followed Z̆erotin’s example;
and thus, both in Bohemia and Moravia, Protestantism was still kept
alive in certain small districts.

Ferdinand now saw that it was not only the preachers whom he had to
fear; and that to attack the clergy and destroy the privileges of
towns, while he spared the nobles, was an extremely inadequate policy.
He therefore now issued decrees, which were partly aimed against the
landed proprietors, partly against Protestants of every class. In 1624
Protestants were forbidden to register their lands in that Land Court
which alone secured them a good title to their estates; their children
might not inherit the lands of their fathers unless they deserted
their fathers’ faith; and marriages between Protestants and Catholics
were to be no longer recognised. Even these remedies failed. Z̆erotin
still openly defied the royal Commissioners; and at last, in 1627,
all Protestants were ordered to sell their estates and to leave the
country, under pain of severe punishments.

But, before this climax had been reached, Ferdinand had discovered how
hopelessly entangled with each other were the principles of civil and
of religious liberty. He had wished merely to Catholicise Bohemia; in
order to effect this, he now found that he must crush out its national
feeling and its constitutional liberties. The towns had resisted him,
therefore the towns must be deprived of their charters. The Land
Court might evade the decisions against Protestant registration;
the decisions of the Land Court must in future be overruled by the
king. The Estates might make Protestant laws, and refuse to vote
necessary taxes for his wars; their power must therefore be practically
suppressed; the king must be allowed to re-model the Constitution,
to appoint officials, to raise forces, and to levy taxes, without
interference from any other authority. Nay, might not Prague rise,
again, against his authority? Therefore the king must carry off the
Bohemian crown to Vienna, and govern Bohemia by the advice of Austrian
councillors. Even in that most tender point, his language, the Bohemian
was to receive severe wounds. Ferdinand, indeed, had talked only of
equalising the German and Bohemian languages in the practice of the law
courts; but, as German officials and judges gradually took the place
of Bohemians, and as a German aristocracy rapidly rose on the ruins of
the exiled Bohemian nobles, this equalisation steadily developed into
the exaltation of German at the expense of Bohemian, while, in the
University and the schools, both these living languages gave way before
the Latin of the Jesuits. The study of history and physical science
almost died out. Trade steadily decayed, and the population of the
country diminished.

It is obvious that, in such a period as this, the real history of
Bohemia should be rather studied in the lives of its exiles, than in
the dreary records of its home life. Fortunately, one can find among
these exiles a man who is trebly interesting to the historian; first,
as embodying the highest ideal then possible to a Bohemian; secondly,
as linking together, in a remarkable manner, the earlier and later
stages of the Bohemian Brotherhood; thirdly, as one of the founders of
the modern methods of education. John Amos Komensky (better known by
his Latin name of Comenius) was born at Nivnice in Moravia in 1592. His
father and mother died early, and the guardians, to whose care he was
left, are said to have neglected their charge. However, he was sent
to the school of the Brotherhood at Prerov, where he soon developed a
great love of learning; and, at the age of thirty-two, he was appointed
by Charles of Z̆erotin to the headship of the school in which he had
formerly studied. He soon became impressed with the unsatisfactory
character of the accepted methods of teaching Latin; and he suggested
an easier and simpler plan. From Prerov he was removed to Fulnec, the
oldest Moravian settlement of the Brotherhood; but, before he could
carry his reforms any further, he was interrupted in his work by
the Bohemian insurrection. In 1621 a Spanish army burnt Fulnec; and
all Comenius’s books and manuscripts were destroyed. In the time of
persecution he, like other preachers of the Brotherhood, took refuge
with Charles of Z̆erotin. The sufferings and uncertainties of his life
naturally turned his attention to theological and moral problems, and
his first important book took the form of an allegory. In this he
describes a journey through scenes of vanity and confusion, ending
in the return to the inner life, and the realisation of a stronger
sympathy with the poor and suffering.

[Illustration: JOHN AMOS KOMENSKY.]

But the final expulsion of the Protestants from Bohemia brought
Comenius back to the real work of his life. He and other members of the
Brotherhood now formed a kind of colony at Lissa in Poland. In that
town he resumed his profession of schoolmaster, and he once more became
vividly conscious of the defects in existing methods of education. In
1631 he published the book which embodies his strongest convictions on
these matters--“Janua aurea reserrata quatuor linguarum.” In this book
he points out that “boys are being stuffed with the names of things
without the things.” The boy learns to recite by heart a thousand
words; if he does not know how to apply them to things, of what use
will all this provision of words be? Moreover, the books chosen are
too restricted in their character; and, however excellent in quality,
they do not deal with nearly all the subjects which a boy should learn.
Comenius therefore proposes to arrange sentences in four languages
(Latin, German, French, and Italian). These sentences deal with a
large variety of subjects, ranging from the creation of the world to
the mechanical arts and the practice of the law-courts; and they are
followed by a vocabulary of the most necessary words. Comenius, indeed,
very generously admitted that the Jesuits had made a useful beginning
in this matter of the vocabulary; but he did not consider that their
vocabulary was complete enough for his purpose.

In a later book called the “Didactica,” he further explained his
principles. The intellect, he urged, should be developed before mere
language is taught. Language should be learnt from authors, rather
than from grammatical rules. Things should be taught before organisms;
examples before rules. Pictures should be largely used to bring out the
meaning of the teacher; and children should not be forced to commit
to memory what they do not understand. The first teaching should be
given in the vernacular; the Latin equivalents should be learnt later.
“Nature,” said Comenius, “cannot be forced, but must be led willingly.
All the senses must be called into play by the lesson; and the later
lessons should be the natural development of the earlier ones. Whatever
is to be known should be taught. Whatever is taught should be taught as
a present thing of definite use.”

Comenius had now gained a high reputation in the Brotherhood; and he
was chosen to write the history of its trials and sufferings. At the
same time his educational works had attracted attention outside his
own circle, and Gustavus Adolphus invited him to Sweden, to reform the
schools in that country. This invitation Comenius at first refused;
but, ten years later, when his books were in a more advanced condition,
he accepted a proposal, of a somewhat similar kind, from another
country.

Samuel Hartlib, a merchant of London, had been much interested in the
works of Comenius; and, in his desire to reform English education,
he invited the Bohemian to come over to London. Hartlib had shown
great liberality to the Bohemian exiles; and Comenius had already
been interested in several English books. Moreover, one of his own
books had been written at Hartlib’s suggestion, and published, at
Hartlib’s own expense, in London. Comenius, therefore, decided to
accept this invitation, and he arrived in London in the critical year
1641. The Long Parliament readily responded to Hartlib’s proposals;
and they voted money for the founding of three colleges, in which the
principles of Comenius might at once be applied. One of these was to
be at the Savoy, one at Chelsea, and one at Winchester. Unfortunately,
the Irish insurrection turned the attention of Parliament away from
these matters; and the rapid succession of events, which culminated
in the civil war, convinced the Bohemian that there was no further
possibility, at that time, for the development of his purposes in
England.

But, though Comenius left our country in some disappointment, it must
be remembered that he left one very eminent disciple behind him.
Four years later, when the hopes of the Puritans had gained further
strength, Hartlib appealed to Milton to second him in the promotion of
his schemes. Milton turned, somewhat unwillingly, from the composition
of the Areopagitica to the discussion of Hartlib’s plans; but he was
impressed by his friend’s enthusiasm; and it is evidently of Comenius
that he speaks so warmly in his letter. He there describes him as “a
person sent hither by some good Providence from a far country, to be
the occasion and incitement of great good to this Island.” Though,
therefore, the poet had not time “to search out what many modern Januas
and Didactics, more than ever I shall read, have projected,” he yet
consented in this letter to express his sympathy with the plans of
Comenius and Hartlib. The following words, perhaps, best sum up his
teaching. “If, after some preparatory grounds of speech, by their
certain forms got into memory, children were led to the praxis thereof,
in some chosen short book lessened thoroughly to them, they might then
learn the substance of good things and arts in due order, which would
bring the whole language quickly into their power.”

In the meantime, Comenius, eager for those spheres of work, had
accepted a second invitation to Sweden, this time from a Swedish
nobleman named De Geer. The famous Chancellor, Oxenstierna, readily
welcomed the Bohemian to Sweden; though, at the same time, he
complained that previous educational reformers had pointed out faults
without suggesting remedies. When Comenius produced his schemes, the
Chancellor subjected them to a searching criticism; and, finding that
Comenius was ready to meet his objections, he consented to place the
reform of Swedish education under his guidance. Comenius, however,
ultimately chose the Prussian town of Elbing as the centre of his
experiments; probably because he was there nearer to the settlements
of the Brotherhood, and could intervene at times to mitigate their
quarrels or intercede for their rights.

The relation of literary patron to protected man of genius has never
been an easy or a happy one; and Comenius often found that De Geer
complained of the slowness of his work, and, still more, perhaps,
of that wide range of sympathies which often distracted him from the
interests to which his patron desired him to confine himself. Once De
Geer even withdrew his support, for a time, from the needy Bohemian;
and Comenius must have felt this desertion the more keenly, because his
applications for money had been far oftener made on behalf of others
than for his own needs. But a bitterer blow awaited him in 1648. He had
hoped that the enthusiasm of Gustavus Adolphus for the Protestant Cause
had been shared by his Councillors, and by his countrymen generally;
and that they would insist on the restoration of the Protestant
Bohemians to their country, before the final conclusion of the peace.
It was, therefore, a terrible shock to find that Oxenstierna cared
more for the possession of Pomerania than for the liberties of German
or Bohemian Protestants; and Comenius bitterly reproached the Swedish
Chancellor with his desertion of the cause of the exiles.

But this year of disappointment brought one consolation. Comenius was
elected Chief Bishop of the Bohemian Brotherhood; and his exhortations
and encouragements seemed for a time to put new life into the Society.
More noteworthy still is the effect which these addresses produced in
the following century; for it was they that decided Count Zinzendorf
to welcome the Brethren to Herrnhut, and to inaugurate that later
period of their career during which they have been known by the name
of “Moravians.” It is interesting, too, to find that Comenius was
actuated by that Slavonic feeling which was always so powerful in
Bohemia; and that he conceived the idea of translating the Bible
into Turkish, so that, by turning the Sultan to the true faith,
he might secure an easier life for those Slavs who were suffering
under the Mahommedan tyranny. His educational labours were also
carried on with some effect in Poland and Hungary; and it should be
specially remembered that the German Real-Schule is as much due to the
inspiration of Comenius as the Universities of Leipzic and Wittenberg
are to the model provided for them, and the scholars trained in the
University of Prague.

But, though the career of Comenius shows that there were still
Bohemians who tried to keep alive the intellectual and moral life of
their nation, such instances are but rare interruptions to the dreary
record of stifling tyranny which stretched over the last years during
which the male line of the Hapsburgs governed Bohemia. Doubtless,
occasionally, energetic students, like the Jesuits, Balbin and Pes̆ina,
give hopes of an ultimate revival of interest in the national history;
sometimes an insurrection of the peasantry, like that of 1680, seems to
hint that tyranny may become intolerable at last. Joseph I., indeed,
is credited with a desire for reform; but at any rate there is no sign
of a realisation of his ideas; and it is only when the male Hapsburgs
make way for the one female ruler of their race that a day of better
things seems just about to dawn. Even that dawn was very slow in
breaking. Some encouragement was given to culture by Maria Theresa,
and a literary society was founded; but it soon became apparent that
even literary discussions involved an awkward revival of the past;
and the censors again interfered to check intellectual progress. The
Empress-Queen relaxed the feudal oppression of the peasantry; but
only enough was granted to excite, without satisfying, the desire for
liberty. One step, however, was gained during this reign, which cleared
the ground for future progress. Popes and kings at last realised
that that great Order, before which they had bowed, might become as
dangerous to them as to the people whom they governed; and, in 1773,
Clement XIV. dissolved the Society of Jesus. This dissolution struck a
blow at that monopoly of education which had stunted the intellectual
life of Bohemia, and it prepared the way for the changes of the
following reign.

In 1780, Joseph II. of Germany, the first king of the House of
Lorraine, succeeded his mother as ruler of all the dominions of
the House of Austria. He at once signalised his accession to power
by an Edict of Toleration, which allowed all Protestants to return
to Bohemia, and to settle there freely. But, with all his zeal
for enlightenment, Joseph was hampered by those old traditions of
uniformity which he had received from his mother’s family. He soon
found that Protestants could not be all rolled together in compact
bundles and kept quiet there. Not only the Bohemian Brothers, but a
number of very strange sects, would come in under the new Edict. Some
of these did not even profess Christianity; and Joseph was yet more
irritated to find that men who had special convictions sometimes wished
to express them in ways of which their neighbours disapproved. The
Protestants were therefore called upon to accept either the Augsburg
Confession or the Calvinistic Formulæ; and, when he at last realised
that there was a growing body in the country who refused to accept
any definite Christian creed, Joseph’s feelings of toleration gave
way. Children were torn from their parents to be educated in sounder
principles, and the parents were banished to Transylvania.

A blot, that created even more general indignation in Bohemia, stained
Joseph’s schemes of educational reform. Here, too, he wished to remove
restrictions and to extend knowledge; but here again the Hapsburg
instinct was too strong for eighteenth-century enlightenment. The
Latin of the Jesuits was, indeed, to be deposed from its supremacy.
Printing-presses were to be established. Studies previously rejected
were to be encouraged. But the tyranny of Latin only made way for the
tyranny of German. _That_ was to be the one recognised language of
education; and Bohemian was to yield to it even more completely than it
had yielded to the language of an older civilisation.

Nor had Parliaments or municipalities any chance of life. No laws
were to be passed by the Bohemian Estates without the sanction of an
Austrian Board; the censorship of Bohemian books was to be conducted
from Vienna; a brand-new municipal code was to check the free play of
the old Town Rights. Only in one matter was freedom to be unhampered in
its progress, and untainted by any of those inconsistent arrangements
which took back with one hand what the other hand had given. The
power of the lord over the serf was to be completely broken; and the
freed peasants might move as they pleased from place to place, and
might choose whatever trade or study they desired, unhampered by the
authority of their former masters.

But the opposition to the denationalising plans of Joseph, which
assumed so violent a form in Hungary and the Netherlands, encouraged
the Bohemians also to protest in a milder fashion; and, when Leopold
succeeded Joseph as King of Bohemia, he was forced to reconsider his
brother’s policy, to convoke the Bohemian Assembly once more, and to
make concessions to the national feeling in the matter of language.
For, in spite of all repressions and discouragements, that feeling
had never ceased to have its influence in Bohemia; and it was well
illustrated by three men of very different type, who had begun their
efforts in the discouraging times of repression, and who lived on into
more hopeful days.

Of these the eldest was Frantis̆ek Pelc̆el, who was born at Rychnov
(Reichenau) in 1735. He was a man of obscure birth, and he was intended
by his parents for the medical profession. But he did not like this
occupation; so he went to Prague to study in the High School, where he
partly supported himself by teaching the children of rich citizens.
Finding, however, that logic was better taught at Králové Dvůr
(Königinhof), he went there to study; but, while he was there, the
school was placed more completely under Jesuit control. The strange
mixture of repulsion and attraction which that wonderful Society seems
generally to excite in its pupils, had its influence over Pelc̆el; and
the attraction proving, for the time, the stronger feeling, he was
inclined to give himself to theology; but the Seven Years War cut short
his studies, and he left Bohemia for Vienna.

It was on his return to Prague that he fell in with the second of the
men who were to be the great promoters of the new movement. This was
Count Caspar of Sternberg, the son of an officer who had served under
Maria Theresa. He, like Pelc̆el, had been attracted to the study of
theology; but his audacious speculations had startled the professors
at the German College in Rome, and the Jesuits had produced on him a
purely repellent effect. After the dissolution of the German College,
Sternberg had returned to Prague, and had given himself to the study of
art. He soon took notice of Pelc̆el, and entrusted to him the education
of his children. This turned Pelc̆el from his theological speculations;
but it was not till his transfer to the family of another nobleman that
he devoted himself wholly to the study and writing of history. His life
of Charles IV. and his short history of Bohemia may be wanting in the
wide views and deeper insight of later historians; but the evidence of
enormous industry and hearty interest in the subject make a distinct
mark in the progress of national feeling.

The most remarkable of the leaders of the movement, and the one who
seems to be the most looked back to by the historians of the present
day, was Josef Dobrovsky. He, too, was intended by his Jesuit teachers
for a theological career; and it was only the suppression of that
Order which turned him for a time to the study of the language. He did
not, however, abandon theology. In 1778 he brought out a commentary on
Bohemian literature; and in 1779 he began to edit a journal in which
contemporary Bohemian literature was noticed and criticised. Curiously
enough, his conclusions about Bohemian history were rather opposed to
those of modern national historians. He threw doubts on the existence
of the common Slavonic language; and he rather discredited the extent
of the influence of Cyril and Methodius, as compared with that of the
Roman Church. But for the Bohemian language he was keenly zealous, and
when, in 1790, Leopold appeared at a meeting of the Bohemian Society
of Sciences, Dobrovsky appealed to him to protect his countrymen in
the use of their mother-tongue. The Emperor was so much impressed by
this appeal, that he sent six thousand gulden to the society, for
the promotion of journeys for inquiry into the Bohemian history and
language. Dobrovsky was chosen to travel in Sweden and Russia, both
for the recovery of lost manuscripts and for the collection of further
information about Slavonic literature.

In the meantime, Count Caspar von Sternberg had been forced to abandon
official life, and had begun to devote himself more exclusively to
the promotion of art, literature, and science. The Emperor Francis
showed himself almost as friendly as Leopold had been to the revival
of Bohemian literature and art; and, in 1818, he assented to the
foundation of the National Museum at Prague for the collection of all
kinds of literary, artistic, and scientific antiquities of Bohemia. The
foundation of this museum was almost contemporaneous with events which
excited, to the highest pitch, the champions of Bohemian language and
literature.

A man named Hanka, in hunting for some ecclesiastical documents in the
vault of the church of Králové Dvůr, found an old chest in the wall,
in which church ornaments were kept. Hidden behind this were some
curious old manuscripts, which, on examination, proved to be Bohemian
songs of a comparatively early date. They were at once despatched to
Prague, and were handed over by Count Sternberg to two men who were now
gaining much reputation. These were Josef S̆afarik, a Slovak from that
district of Hungary where a dialect of the Bohemian language is usually
spoken, and Frantis̆ek Palacký, the son of a Calvinist minister, who
had been marked out for an important post in the new museum. They
examined the manuscript, and, after long consideration, pronounced it
genuine. This discovery seemed to open a new world of life and thought
to the champions of national literature. Most of the songs, it was
true, dealt mainly with battles; but the power of expression seemed to
indicate a condition of culture in the ninth or tenth century which
led the Bohemians to believe in an early development of national life,
uninfluenced by Teutonic intruders.

[Illustration: SLOVAK WOMAN FOUND IN PARTS OF MORAVIA AND ALSO IN
HUNGARY.]

Count Sternberg now issued an appeal to the possessors of all
antiquities, whether literary, artistic, or scientific, to send them
to the National Museum. One of the first answers to this appeal was
an anonymous letter, in which the writer announced that he had
discovered another Bohemian manuscript in a certain castle; but that
he feared to give his name or call public attention to the place, as
the owner of the castle was a German “Michel”[6] who would destroy any
Bohemian manuscript if he found it. The writer, therefore, forwarded
the manuscript secretly, without waiting for the lord’s permission.
The manuscript was found to be the poem of the Libus̆in Saud described
in the first chapter of this history; and the writer, on inquiry,
was discovered to be Kovar, the bailiff of Count Colloredo-Mansfeld.
The manuscript, it appeared, had been discovered in a vault of the
Castle of Zelená hora (Grünberg), in Nepomuc, where the bailiff had
been examining a number of business papers. This manuscript was also
examined, and was pronounced by Palacký and S̆afarik to be of earlier
date than the Königinhof manuscript.

These discoveries, however, were not suffered to pass unchallenged.
At first, indeed, the controversy seemed likely to be conducted on
scientific principles. The chief opponent of their authenticity was
the zealous patriot Dobrovsky; and he disputed their claim to historic
worth on philological grounds. But soon the controversy passed out
of the serene air of scientific discussion. The eager enthusiasm
with which most Bohemian patriots had hailed the discovery of the
manuscripts, aroused an equally eager desire on the part of the enemies
of their language to dispute the authenticity of these discoveries; and
savage German critics accused Hanka and Kovar of forgery, and denounced
as absurd the suggestion of any possible Bohemian civilisation which
had not come from Germany. The writings of S̆afarik on the various
Slavonic languages kept the discussion alive; and the appearance, in
1836, of the early volumes of Palacký’s history roused still angrier
attacks.

[Illustration: BOHEMIAN WOMAN WITH “DOVE” HEAD-DRESS AND NATIVE WORK.]

Even before this literary revival had taken place, discoveries had
been made which seemed to point to an early culture even amongst the
Bohemian peasantry. Bronzes and earthenware ornaments had been dug up,
the antiquity of which was proved by the heathen symbols marked upon
them; and it was noticed that these devices corresponded to the designs
which were produced in later ages by the peasantry in Bohemia and
Moravia. This curious fact gave a new impulse to investigation, and
numerous specimens of the peasant art were collected. The beauty of
colouring and design in this work is the more striking because it was
not learnt in any school, but is the fruit of native genius. About the
same time a similar interest was roused in the music produced by the
peasantry, and the songs and dances of the peasants have been embodied
in the operas of S̆metana.

The revolution of 1848 naturally brought to a head the struggle between
the Germans and Bohemians: and the demand then made for the further
protection of the Bohemian language was strengthened at a later stage
by the meeting of the Slavonic Congress, which was to protect the Slavs
against the threatened encroachment of the Frankfort Parliament.[7] The
unfortunate rising of June, 1848, led to the downfall of the newly-born
liberty of Bohemia; but, when German and Magyar revolutions were alike
crushed, questions of race-division naturally ceased for a time to be
interesting to those who had suffered a common loss of liberty. The
idea of a federative union of the Austrian dominions was, however, kept
steadily before the public by Palacký; and the old fear of sinking to
an equality with other races gradually roused the Germans to renewed
action. In 1858 the controversy about the manuscripts of Králové Dvůr
and Zelená hora was renewed in all its fierceness; and when, after the
Austrian collapse in 1859, the talk about Constitutional government
once more began, it was soon found that the new liberties were not to
produce equality of race. The wars of 1866 and 1870 gave a new impulse
to the German claim for supremacy in Austria; and so the struggle has
gone on with varying fortune, but ever circling round the central point
of language and literature.

THE END.



FOOTNOTES


[1] The following account of the legend of Libus̆a is taken partly from
the translation of the Libus̆in Saud by Mr. A. H. Wratislaw, partly
from the version of the story given by Cosmas. I have not the least
desire to enter here into the burning question of the authenticity of
the original poem. I have heard every degree and variety of opinion on
that subject, even from patriotic Bohemians. But the only two points
that concern me here are, first, that Cosmas must have had before him
some old legend containing a version of the story, not unlike that
edited and translated by Mr. Wratislaw; secondly, that Cosmas accepted
this story as embodying his conception of the beginnings of Bohemian
history. No one, as far as I know, disputes the genuineness of Cosmas’s
history; into the sources of his information it is not necessary to go.

[2] A new word in the Bohemian language fitly marks this period. This
word is _Kostel_, which is obviously formed from the German _Castell_,
and ultimately from _Castellum_; but which was used to signify church,
since the military Christianity introduced by the Franks was marked by
the use of castles as churches.

[3] In the English carol the story has evidently been adapted to modern
feeling; for the saint’s barefoot walk to the church has been changed
into a mission of practical benevolence.

[4] Since writing the above I have found a curious confirmation of
my opinion of the danger of this utterance in one of the decrees of
Ferdinand II., issued at the time when he was practically destroying
the foundation of Charles IV. He appeals to the memory of Charles as
a justification of his proceedings, on the ground that he was only
restoring that unity of the Catholic religion, of which Charles was so
ardent a champion.

[5] These words are curiously like those of a later popular ruler of
Rome--“Mankind has worshipped in the name of the Father and the Son.
Give place to the religion of the Spirit.”--_From the Pope to the
Council._--GIUSEPPE MAZZINI.

[6] “Michel” is an embodiment of certain ideas about the typical
German, much as the name “John Bull” embodies certain conceptions about
the average Englishman.

[7] I have treated this part of the subject in full in my account of
the Bohemian Revolution in the “Revolutions of 1848 and 1849.”



INDEX.


  A

  Adalbert, his early career, 30;
    his influence as Bishop of Prague, 30;
    his flight from Prague, 31;
    his conversion of the Hungarians, 31;
    circumstances of his death, 32;
    restoration of his body to Prague, 39-41;
    appealed to at Battle of Chlum, 53;
    popularity of his hymn, 32, 112

  Adamites, 270, 271

  Adam, Daniel, historian, 417

  Adolf of Nassau, Wenceslaus’s relations with, 114, 115

  Albert, son of Rudolf of Hapsburg, his quarrels with Wenceslaus, 114;
    elected Emperor, 115;
    sanctions union of Poland with Bohemia, 115;
    defeated by Wenceslaus II., 116;
    tries to secure Bohemia for his sons, 117, 118;
    Bohemian feeling about his death, 118

  Albert in the time of Sigismund (_see_ Austria, Albert of)

  Albik, Archbishop, his demands from Hus, 197, 198

  Alexander II., 47

  Alexander V., Pope, his relations with Zajíc, 190, 193;
    checks inquiry into Wyclif’s books, 193

  Alexander VI., Pope, his treatment of the Brotherhood, 353, 354

  Amos of S̆tekna opposes changes in the Brotherhood, 350, 351;
    denounces the Brotherhood to Ladislaus, 355

  Anabaptists, their relations with the Brotherhood, 379

  Angelini, chaplain to Maximilian of Bavaria, 478

  Anhalt, Siegfried of, 92

  Anhalt, Christian of (_see_ Christian)

  Anna, sister of Wenceslaus IV., effect of her marriage with Richard
        II., 177

  Arnestus, Bishop, his support of Charles IV.’s reforms, 142;
    his treatment of Rienzi, 150

  Arnulf, his claims on Pannonia, 16;
    his candidature for the Empire, 19;
    his struggles with Svatopluk, 19;
    calls in the Hungarians to his help, 19, 20;
    stirs up civil war in Moravia, 21

  Art, encouragement of, by Vratislav, 50;
    by Charles IV., 134-6;
    by Rudolf II., 416, 417

  Art of peasantry, 507, 508

  Assembly, Bohemian, in time of Libus̆a, 5;
    in time of Vladislav, 59, 60;
    character of, in early times, 67, 68;
    elects Henry of Carinthia, 118;
    in time of John, 119, 120, 125, 126;
    resists Charles IV., 140, 141;
    superseded by Wenceslaus’s Council, 168;
    imposes conditions on Sigismund, 234, 235;
    rejects him as king, 272;
    attitude of, to George, 326;
    debates of, in 1537, 385, 386;
    in 1575, 413, 414;
    in 1608, 438, 439, 453;
    suppression of, by Ferdinand II., 490;
    revival of, by Leopold II., 501
    (_see_ also Nobles, Council)

  Assembly, Moravian, 330, 375, 399;
    Silesian, 330, 375

  Augusta, John, his early career, 380;
    draws up Confession, 380, 384;
    his relations to Luther, 383;
    visits Bucer and Calvin, 386, 387;
    rebuked by Ludanic, 392;
    kidnapped and imprisoned, 393;
    his cruel treatment, 393, 398, 401;
    his relations to the Jesuits, 403, 404;
    his quarrels with the Elders, 400, 402, 404;
    his final release, 405;
    his later differences with the Brotherhood, 411, 412

  Austi, rout of Taborites at, 243

  Austria, first struggle of, with Bohemia, 49;
    Margravate of, raised into a Dukedom, 58;
    end of Babenberg line in, 65;
    claim on, of Frederick II., 65, 66;
    conquered by Ottakar II., 66, 84, 85;
    secured to him by marriage, 85;
    conquered by Rudolf, 99;
    relations of Charles to, 145, 146;
    Protestantism in, relations of, with Matthias (_see_ Protestants
          and Tschernembl)

  Austria, Duke of, joins conspiracy against Wenceslaus IV., 170;
    allied with John XXIII., 209

  Austria, Albert of, made ruler of Moravia, 282;
    chosen King of Bohemia, 311, 312;
    struggles of, 312-14

  Austria, Upper, attitude of, towards Bohemian rising, 469, 471

  Austria, Lower, invaded by Thurn, 471, 472
    (_see_ also Hapsburg, Rudolf, &c.)

  Avars, struggles of, with the Slavs, 7

  Avignon, 126, 155


  B

  Babenberg, house of, 84
    (_see_ Frederick, Leopold)

  Balbin, Jesuit historian, 498

  Basel, Bishop of, supports Rudolf against Ottakar, 104

  Basel, Council of, reasons for its summons, 290-4;
    discussions at, 297-302

  Basel, Compacts of, 307, 309, 318, 319, 323, 333, 368, 385, 386

  Battles of Chlum, 53;
    Crecy, 129;
    Domaz̆lic̆e, 288, 289;
    Knin, 243;
    Kutna Hora, 277;
    Lipaný, 305;
    Lomnice, 470;
    Mailberg, 49;
    Marchfeld, 105;
    Merseburg, 27;
    Mohács, 372;
    Mühlberg, 390;
    Nemecky Brod, 277;
    Porc̆ic, 253;
    Rakonic, 477;
    R̆ic̆an, 268;
    Sudomír, 248, 249;
    Tachov, 285;
    Vys̆ehrad, 266, 267;
    White Hill, 478, 479;
    Z̆izkov Hora, 257, 258

  Bavaria, relations of, with Charles IV., 145-7;
    resistance of, to Ferdinand, 377

  Bavaria, Duke Louis of, his opposition to Ottakar, 91;
    claim of electoral rights by, 91, 92

  Bavaria, Duke Henry of, his friendship for Ottakar, 91;
    goes over to Rudolf, 98
    (_see_ also Louis, Emperor; Maximilian)

  Beaufort, Cardinal, leads fourth crusade, 285-8, 292

  Bela, King of Hungary, defeated by the Tartars, 74;
    Ottakar’s rivalry with, 86;
    gives his daughter to Ottakar, 87

  Berka, Ladislaus of, 430, 434, 435

  Bethlen Gabor, his rising in Transylvania, 472;
    invades Austria, 475;
    declared Prince of Hungary, 476;
    his steady opposition to Ferdinand, 476

  Bilek, his relations with Augusta, 393, 401, 403, 404

  Blahoslav, his importance in Brotherhood, 401;
    his controversy with Augusta, 411

  Bocksay, Stephen, his insurrection, 427, 428

  Bohemia, peculiarities of its history, 1-4;
    zeal for national language in, 2;
    early settlements in, 4;
    forced into Christian baptism by Franks, 8;
    Christianised by Methodius, 12;
    Slavonic ritual introduced into, 12;
    national estimate of patriotism and heroism, 18, 19;
    effect on, of fall of Dukedom of Moravia, 21;
    struggles between Christians and heathens in, 22-32;
    relations of, to German Empire in tenth century, 33;
    to Saxony and Poland in same period, 34, 35;
    first king of, 49;
    uncertainty of royal title in, 51;
    effect on, of Vladislav’s policy, 59, 62;
    peculiarities of constitutional history of, 67, 68;
    how strengthened by German weakness, 89, 90;
    effect on, of Battle Of Marchfeld, 105, 106;
    privileges secured to, by John, 119, 120;
    feeling of Charles IV. to, 132, 137, 146;
    new life developed in, by Charles, 137;
    position in Empire claimed for, 146;
    extension of territory of, 145, 148;
    attitude of, towards its kings, 235;
    traditions of, contrasted with English, 341-3;
    Luther’s feeling towards, 364, 365;
    decline of liberty in, in sixteenth century, 361, 362;
    attitude of, towards Ferdinand II., 374, 375;
    final struggle in, 467-82;
    sufferings of, in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 483-91

  Bohemia, language of, encouraged by Charles IV., 162;
    developed by Thomas of S̆títný, 162;
    despised by German scholars, 161, 162;
    connected with Reformation movement, 162, 163, 175-6;
    growth of, under Hapsburgs, 417;
    repressed by Jesuits, 491;
    discouraged by Joseph II., 500;
    later revival of, 501-9

  Bohemia, “Nation” of, in Prague University (_see_ Nations, University)

  Boleslav the Cruel, trained by Drahomíra, 24;
    persecutes Christians, 24;
    murders Wenceslaus, 26;
    submits to Emperor, 26;
    makes alliance with Otto, 27;
    resists Hungarians, 27;
    changes his policy, 27;
    estimate of him by Bohemian chroniclers, 27, 28;
    his treatment of the Z̆upa, 68, 69

  Boleslav the Pious, concessions made to him by Pope, 28;
    his relations with St. Adalbert, 30-32;
    his policy in Poland, 29, 30, 35

  Boleslav III., his profligacy and downfall, 35, 36

  Boleslav of Poland, his aggressions and intrigues, 35

  Boniface IX., Pope, his relations with Wenceslaus IV., 167, 173

  Boris of Bulgaria, his conversion, 8, 9

  Bor̆ivoj, of Bohemia, his conversion, 12;
    his zeal for the faith, 22

  Bor̆ivoj, later Duke, deposed by Vrs̆ovici, 51

  Boz̆etĕch, his artistic fame, 50;
    his revival of Slavonic ritual, 50

  Boz̆ej, one of the Vrs̆ovici, 51

  Bracciolini, Poggio, 225

  Brac̆islav, his romantic career, 37, 38;
    his restoration of St. Adalbert, 38-41;
    his struggle with the Emperor, 42, 43

  Brandenburg, Margrave of (_see_ Otto)

  Brandenburg, Margravate of, joined to Bohemia, 148;
    given to Hohenzollern, 255;
    relations of, with Brotherhood, 395
    (_see_ also Hohenzollern)

  Braunau, persecution in, 445, 465

  Breslau in time of Wenceslaus IV., 165;
    in time of George, 331, 332, 336, 337

  Brno (_see_ Brünn)

  Brotherhood, Bohemian, compared with English Quakers, 341-3;
    first foundation of, 344, 345;
    Rokycana’s relation to, 345-7;
    relations of, to nobles, 349;
    modifications of their doctrines, 351-3;
    persecution of, by Ladislaus, 355-60;
    sympathy for, in Moravia, 358, 359;
    different motives of its protectors, 356;
    relations of, with Anabaptists, 379;
    with Conrad of Krajek, 380-2;
    Confession proposed for, 380;
    relations of, with Luther, 382-4;
    first persecution of, by Ferdinand, 384;
    treatment of, after capture of Prague, 391-4;
    treatment of, in Poland and Russia, 394, 395;
    in Moravia, 399, 400;
    their desire for national position, 410, 411;
    resistance to proposal for common Confession, 411-14;
    Maximilian’s attitude towards, 401, 412, 415;
    their struggle with Jesuits, 418-24;
    their bold rebuke of nobles, 419-21;
    later stages of, 491-7
    (_see_ also Michael, Amos, Gregory, Augusta, Blahoslav, Comenius,
          Z̆erotin, Budovĕc)

  Brunswick, Duke of, his relations to Rudolf II., 450

  Brünn, liberties of, 72, 76-9;
    attitude towards George, 331, 338;
    towards Rudolf II., 434;
    stands by Matthias, 459

  Bruno, Bishop of Olmütz, his assistance to Ottakar, 83;
    his appeal to Gregory, 96, 97;
    advises Ottakar to submit to Rudolf, 99

  Bucer, Augusta’s visit to, 386, 387

  Bucquoi, his invasion of Bohemia, 470;
    his final campaign, 477-9

  Budejóvice, 294, 320, 449, 468, 452

  Budovĕc, Wenceslaus of Budova, his policy, 437;
    his relations with Rudolf, 437-43;
    with Z̆erotin, 437;
    asserts a special principle, 439;
    prepares for rebellion, 445;
    encourages Prague against Leopold, 452;
    opposes House of Hapsburg, 461;
    suspicions of peasantry against him, 473;
    his character, 480;
    his death, 484

  Budweis (_see_ Budejóvice)

  Bulgaria, conversion of (_see_ Boris)

  Burian of Gutenstein, 316, 340


  C

  Cahera, Gallus, 367, 368, 377

  Calixtines, their difference from Hus, 222;
    divers elements of their party, 236, 237;
    relation with Taborites, 253, 254, 265, 268, 269, 271;
    effect of Z̆iz̆ka’s death on, 283;
    relations of P. Payne to, 283, 284;
    divisions among, 284, 306

  Calvin, Augusta’s visit to, 386

  Calvinists, sympathy of Brothers with, 414, 435

  C̆apek, 305, 306

  Catholics of Bohemia recognize interdict, 223;
    relations of with Wenceslaus, 224;
    formation of as a separate party, 236;
    first debate with Utraquists, 259;
    led by Meinhard, 319;
    King George’s treatment of, 326-9, 331;
    their combinations with Utraquists, 391, 400, 408;
    their final victory, 483-5

  Carinthia, 87, 89, 97
    (_see_ also Henry of)

  Carlstein, 135, 294

  Carniola, 87, 89, 97

  Carvajal, Cardinal, 318, 319

  Casimir, King of Poland, 312;
    later King, 338

  C̆enek of Wartenberg, his character and position, 233, 234;
    grounds of difference from Utraquists, 241;
    his double treachery, 249-51;
    returns to Utraquists, 271;
    final desertion of Utraquists, 278

  Cesarini, Cardinal, organizes fourth crusade, 288, 289;
    position of, at Basel, 298-302

  Charles V., King of France, his alliance with John, 126, 127, 129;
    his influence on Charles of Bohemia, 131, 132;
    alliance with Wenceslaus, 164

  Charles VII., King of France, claims Bohemian throne, 325

  Charles I. of Bohemia, IV. of Germany, his name, 127;
    popularity of early rule, 127;
    relations with his father, 127-31;
    chosen Holy Roman Emperor, 129;
    early training, 130-2;
    influence of Paris on, 132;
    founds University of Prague, 133-7;
    builds new town, 136;
    proposes Majestas Carolina, 137-41;
    withdraws it, 140;
    his reforms of the laws, 142, 143;
    relations with German Empire, 143-6;
    his Golden Bull, 144, 145;
    his relations with Bavaria and Austria, 145, 146;
    resistance to Pope, 148, 156, 157;
    relations with Rienzi, 149, 150;
    with Petrarch, 150, 151;
    desire for hereditary German Empire, 152, 153;
    fitness for guiding reform movement, 155, 156;
    censures luxury of clergy, 157;
    promotes moral reform, 158-60;
    effect of his death, 163;
    contrasted with Wenceslaus IV., 163;
    incompatibility of his different objects, 186;
    results of his work, 186

  Charles V., Emperor of Germany, 388-91

  Charles of Münsterberg (_see_ Münsterberg)

  Chazars, 9

  Chelc̆ic, Peter of, his early career, 343, 344;
    his doctrines, 344;
    Rokycana’s attitude towards, 344, 345;
    founds Brotherhood, 345;
    his books burnt, 354

  Christianity as understood by the Franks, 8;
    introduced into Bulgaria, 8;
    into Moravia, 10;
    into Bohemia, 12

  Christian of Anhalt, his character and aims, 435, 480;
    disappointment at Letter of Majesty, 447;
    forms Protestant Union, 448;
    his relations with Peter Vok, 455;
    with Frederick, 474;
    his share in final campaign, 478, 479

  Circles, Assemblies in, 395, 396

  Clement VI., Pope, 128, 129

  Clement, Saint, 12

  Clement XIV., Pope, suppresses Jesuits, 499

  Clergy, attitude towards, of Pr̆emysl Ottakar I., 63, 64;
    of Pr̆emysl Ottakar II., 80, 81, 83, 87, 96;
    of Wenceslaus II., 116, 133;
    of Charles IV., 133, 157, 158;
    their quarrels with Wenceslaus IV. (_see_ Wenceslaus)

  Collinus, Matthæus, 416

  Colonna von Fels, 464

  Comenius, his career, 491-8

  Confession of Augsburg, 380

  Confession of the Brotherhood, 380-4

  Confession, Bohemian, of 1575, 413, 438

  Conrad, Archbishop, 204

  Conrad of Hohenstauffen, 54

  Conrad of Moravia, 55, 56

  Conrad Waldhauser, 158

  Constantinople (_see_ Emperor)

  Constance, Council of, 204-20, 225, 226, 229, 230

  Cornwall, Richard of, 86, 89

  Cosmas (historian), 3, 7, 21, 39, 41

  Council of Church, demands for, 290-2
    (_see_ Lyons, Pisa, Constance, Basel)

  Council of Nobles (_see_ Assembly)

  Cracow, 34, 35, 38

  Crato, Dr., 413

  Crocco, 4

  Crusades, effect of failure in thirteenth century, 154

  Crusades against Bohemia, first, 252, 254;
    second, 274;
    third, 280;
    fourth, 285;
    fifth, 288, 289

  Cumani, 74, 96

  Cyril, 10, 14


  D

  Daniel, Bishop of Prague, his advice to Vladislav, 59;
    opposition of nobles to, 60;
    interest of, in Italian campaign, 61

  De Geer, relations of, with Comenius, 496, 497

  Dettmar, first Bishop of Prague, 29

  Devin, 7, 10

  Dietrichstein, his persecution of Protestants, 431

  Dobrilug, attack on, by Saxons, 389

  Dobrovsky, Josef, his services to Bohemia, 502, 503;
    his view of Bohemian MS., 506

  Domaz̆lic̆e, flight of Crusaders from, 288, 289;
    persecution of Brothers in, 384

  Drahomíra, her influence with Bohemian nobles, 24;
    her persecution of Christians, 24;
    death, 27

  Dubravsky, his history, 416


  E

  Eckhard, Master, 161

  Eger, river of, 4

  Eger, city of (Cheb), restored by Albert, 115;
    resists Utraquists, 294;
    its exceptional position, 395

  Eibenschütz (_see_ Ivanc̆ice)

  Elbing, Comenius at, 496

  Elizabeth, daughter of Wenceslaus II., 119, 123, 125, 126, 127

  Elizabeth, daughter of Sigismund, 314

  Elizabeth, wife of Frederick V., her advice, 474;
    her unpopularity, 475;
    her courage, 477, 478;
    her flight, 479

  Emperor, Frankish, struggles of, against Slavs (_see_ Louis);
    relations of, to subjects, 19

  Emperor of Constantinople, treatment of barbarians, 19, 20

  Emperor, German, relations of, with Bohemia in tenth century, 33;
    in thirteenth century, 68, 89

  Empire, Holy Roman, effect of its weakness, 89-90;
    German character of, 95, 96;
    Charles IV., feeling to, 143, 145, 153

  Eugenius IV., Pope, 298, 311, 316


  F

  Fabricius thrown out of window, 467, 468

  Fantinus de Valle, his relations to George, 333, 335

  Ferdinand I. chosen King of Bohemia, 373;
    circumstances of his election, 374, 375;
    his invasion of Hungary, 376;
    suppression of Pas̆ek’s tyranny, 377, 378;
    his desire for union in Church and State, 379;
    first persecutions of Brotherhood by, 384-6, 391-4, 399-405;
    attitude of, towards Utraquists, 385, 386;
    suppression of Prague rising, 390, 391;
    creation of Hof-Kammer, 396, 397;
    attempt to unite Utraquists and Catholics, 397, 398, 408;
    resistance of Moravia to, 399;
    death, 405;
    general aspects of his policy, 406-9

  Ferdinand II., his first persecution of Protestants, 462;
    defeated by Matthias as candidate for Empire, 462;
    chosen King of Bohemia, 464;
    excites resistance to his rule, 465;
    chosen Emperor, 474;
    suppresses resistance in Vienna, 471, 472;
    conquers Bohemia, 476-480;
    his tyrannical reign, 483-491

  Ferrara, Council at, 316

  Fox, George, compared with Peter of Chelc̆ic, 341, 343

  Franks, struggles of, with the Slavs, 7-8

  Frederick, Barbarossa, his relations with Vladislav, 57-9, 62, 63

  Frederick II., his relations with Pr̆emysl Ottakar I., 63, 64;
    his resistance to Frederick the Quarrelsome, 65, 66;
    his quarrel with Wenceslaus I., 66;
    effect of his death, 66;
    his attitude during Tartar invasion, 75

  Frederick the Quarrelsome, his quarrels with Bohemia and the Empire,
        65, 84

  Frederick of Hapsburg, son of Albert, tries to become King of Bohemia,
        118

  Frederick, Duke of Austria, alliance with Henry of Lipa, 123

  Frederick III., Emperor of Germany, becomes guardian to Ladislaus, 314,
        318, 320;
    his relations with George of Podĕbrad, 320, 323, 335

  Frederick V., Winter King, sends troops to Bohemia, 470;
    chosen King, 473;
    causes of his acceptance, 474-5;
    reception in Prague, 475;
    his sudden panic, 477;
    final flight, 479;
    effect of his character on Bohemian movement, 480

  Freudenthal, grant of Teutonic liberties to, 71


  G

  Genghis Khan, his invasion of Europe, 74-75;
    his repulse by Wenceslaus, 75

  George of Podĕbrad, his origin and early career, 317-21;
    his capture of Prague, 319;
    his capture of Tabor, 320-1;
    his friendship for Rokycana, 319;
    compared with Cromwell, 322-3;
    brings back King Ladislaus, 323-4;
    his influence over him, 324-5;
    circumstances of his election to the crown, 325-7;
    his attitude towards Catholics and Utraquists, 329-31;
    Pius II.’s treatment of, 329-37;
    rescues Frederick III., 335;
    offends Paul II., 336-7;
    excommunicated, 337-8;
    his struggle against the nobles, 337-40;
    defies Pope and Emperor, 339;
    circumstances of his death, 340;
    petition about his statue, 439;
    destruction of his statue, 486

  Germans, first struggles of, with Slavs, 7-9;
    oppose introduction of Slavonic language, 10-16;
    regain independence under Henry the Fowler, 27;
    relations of, to Bohemia in tenth century, 33;
    cruelties of, under Otto of Brandenburg, 110;
    feelings of, about Charles IV., 144;
    their scorn of Bohemian language, 161-2;
    their struggle about the three votes, 183-8;
    language of, exalted above Bohemian by Joseph II., 500;
    contest of, in nineteenth century with Bohemian language, 506-8;
    (_see_ also Towns, Poric̆, &c.)

  Gerson, Chancellor of Paris University, 198, 225

  Geysa, King of Hungary, converted by Adalbert, 32

  Geysa, Queen of Hungary, defended by Vladislav, 61

  Gnesen, in Poland, reasons of its importance, 32, 35, 38, 39

  Gorazd, successor to Methodius, 16

  Görlitz, its relations with King George, 338, 339

  Gregory VII., Pope (_see_ Hildebrand)

  Gregory IX., Pope, effect of his quarrel with Frederick II., 75

  Gregory X., Pope, Ottakar’s appeal to, 93-5;
    his final decision, 97

  Gregory XI., Pope, accuses Milic of heresy, 160

  Gregory XII., Pope, relations of Bohemian clergy to, 183, 190

  Gregory, nephew of Peter of Chelc̆ic, organises Brotherhood, 345-6;
    remonstrates with Rokycana, 347;
    steadiness in time of persecution, 348

  Gross-Meseristch (_see_ Velké Mezir̆íc̆í)

  Grünberg (_see_ Zelená Hora)

  Gustavus Adolphus, effect of his victories, 483;
    his relations with Comenius, 494

  Guta, daughter of Rudolf of Hapsburg, circumstances of her betrothal,
         100, 108;
    of her marriage, 113


  H

  Hajek, Wenceslaus, historian, 416

  Hajek, Thaddæus, astronomer, 417

  Hanka, his discoveries, 504

  Hapsburg (_see_ Rudolf, Albert, Ferdinand, &c.)

  Hapsburg, House of, unpopularity of, in Germany, 114;
    in Bohemia, 114, 118, 119;
    recovers its ground for a time, 117;
    overthrow of, by House of Luxemburg, 119;
    concessions to by Charles IV., 146;
    attempts to unite dominions of, 407;
    attitude of, towards Rudolf II., 426, 427;
    attempts to overthrow, 461;
    Z̆erotin’s loyalty to, 461, 469, 487;
    character of their rule, 416, 498;
    end of male line of, 498, 499

  Hartlib, relations of, with Comenius, 494

  Hassenstein (Bohuslav), 354, 355

  Hauska (Martinek), 270

  Heidelberg (_see_ University)

  Henry IV. of France, his relations to Z̆erotin, 430;
    effect of his death, 449

  Henry the Fowler, resistance of, to the Hungarians, 27

  Henry II. intrigues against Bohemia, 36

  Henry III., his struggle with Brac̆islav, 42, 43

  Henry IV., his friendship for Vratislav, 48;
    makes him King of Bohemia, 49

  Henry VI. of England, his relations to P. Payne, 301, 302

  Henry of Carinthia chosen King of Bohemia, 118;
    dislike of, in Bohemia, 119

  Henry of Luxemburg, chosen Emperor, 118;
    moderation towards the Hapsburgs, 119;
    secures Bohemian wife for his son, 119;
    Rienzi’s relation to, 150

  Henry of Lipa, his character and policy, 120, 121;
    his rebellion against John, 122, 123;
    his power in the kingdom, 123, 125;
    his intrigues against Queen Elizabeth, 125

  Henry of Rosenberg in fourteenth century, importance of his position, 168

  Henry of Rosenberg in fifteenth century, resistance of, to Lev of
        Roz̆mital, 371;
    supports Ferdinand, 372

  Hieronymus (_see_ Jerom)

  Hildebrand, relations of, with Jaromír, 47;
    with Henry IV., 48;
    his opposition to Slavonic ritual, 50

  Hlavsa, his opposition to Pas̆ek, 363;
    his imprisonment and release, 369, 370, 378

  Hohenzollern, Frederick of, his relations with Rudolf, 92, 98, 104

  Hohenzollern, Frederick of, in time of Sigismund, becomes Elector of
          Brandenburg, 255;
    his share in the crusades against Bohemia, 255, 274, 285, 288, 289

  Hof-Kammer, institution of, 397;
    growth of its power, 426

  Horneck, Ottakar von, his attacks on King Ottakar, 88

  Horn, Protestant settlement at, 455

  Hradiste, Ottakar’s treatment of, 82

  Hrasten, the male town, 7

  Hroby, treatment of Protestants at, 465

  Hubner, his denunciations of Wyclif, 178

  Hungary, relations of, with Ottakar II., 86, 87, 89, 99, 103, 104;
    end of the old royal line, 115;
    claim of Wenceslaus on, 116;
    Ferdinand’s wars in, 376-8;
    Rudolf’s oppressions of, 427, 428;
    grant of freedom to, 433
    (_see_ also Bethlen Gabor)

  Hungarians, their invasion of Europe, 17;
    their overthrow of Svatopluk, 20, 21;
    resistance to them by Henry the Fowler, 27;
    by Boleslav, 27;
    their conversion by Adalbert, 32;
    effect of their invasion on position of Bohemia, 33;
    share of, in battle of Vys̆ehrad, 266, 267;
    cruelties in war, 267, 276;
    defeated at Mohács, 372
    (_see_ also Tartars, Matthias)

  Huns’ struggles with Slavs, 7

  Hus, Jan, assertor of Bohemian language, 2;
    his birth and early career, 176, 177;
    his services to Bohemian language, 177;
    his opposition to attacks on Wyclif, 178, 181, 212;
    his admiration for Wyclif, 180;
    appealed against, to Zajíc, 182;
    rebuked by Wenceslaus, 184;
    illness of, 188;
    unjust charges against, 189, 206, 208, 212, 218, 219;
    appeals to Pope against Zajíc, 193;
    summoned to Rome, 193, 194;
    excommunicated, 193;
    protected by Wenceslaus, 223;
    denounces crusade against Naples, 195, 196;
    denounces sale of indulgences, 196, 197, 199, 200;
    change in his position, 197;
    retires from Prague, 202;
    writes his book, “De Ecclesia,” 202, 203;
    safe conduct of, 204, 207, 209, 211, 219;
    his arrest and imprisonment, 206-8;
    his letters to his friends, 205, 208, 216;
    his attitude towards Communion in both kinds, 208, 217, 221;
    examination of, by Council, 211-18;
    circumstances of his death, 218-22;
    legends about, note to 220;
    difference of from his followers, 221, 222;
    effect of his death, 222;
    his position in Bohemian history, 2;
    destruction of his statues, 486

  Hynek of Lichtenberg, his rebellion against George, 336, 337

  Hynek of Crus̆ina, his defence of Prague, 266;
    his quarrel with Z̆iz̆ka, 268;
    returns to Utraquists, 271


  I

  Iglau (_see_ Jíhlava)

  Illyezhazy, relations of, to Z̆erotin, 432, 433, 455

  Innocent IV. encourages Ottakar’s conquest of Austria, 66, 84

  Innocent VI. opposed by Charles IV., 156, 157

  Innocent VII. denounces Wyclif, 181

  Italy, Vladislav’s share in invasion of, 59-61;
    Charles IV.’s feeling towards, 148-151

  Ivanc̆ic̆e (Eibenschütz), school at, 422;
    meeting of nobles at, 434, 435


  J

  James I. of England, 474

  Jakaubek of Kladrau demands reformation of clergy, 202, 203;
    preaches granting of Cup to laity, 208;
    his answer about religious wars, 241;
    his share in discussion with Taborites, 269;
    attitude towards heresy, 270;
    draws up articles for government of clergy, 274;
    retires before Pr̆zibram, 283

  Janovic, lords of, their treatment by Ferdinand, 384, 385

  Jaromír, his relations with Vratislav, 45-7

  Jerom, first appearance in Reformation, 198, 199;
    his imprisonment at Constance, 210;
    Hus’s feeling about him, 210;
    his persecution and recantation, 225;
    his final hearing and death, 225, 226

  Jenstein, John of, Archbishop of Prague, his relations with king, 165-67;
    Pope, 167

  Jesuits, rise of, in Bohemia, 402;
    their relations to Augusta, 403, 404;
    their attitude towards Art, 418;
    their struggles with brotherhood, 418-24;
    their influence over Ferdinand II., 462, 465;
    triumph of, under Ferdinand, 484, 491;
    influence of, on their pupils, 501, 502;
    dissolution of, in eighteenth century, 499

  Jews, policy of Ottakar to, 106;
    treatment of, by Jenstein, 166

  Jíhlava, liberties of, 78;
    resistance of, to George, 331, 338;
    taken by Thurn, 471

  Joachims Thal, peculiar privileges of, 395

  Joan of Arc, 286, 287

  Jodok of Moravia, cousin of Wenceslaus IV., 170, 172

  John of Z̆elív, his fiery sermon, 232;
    his demands after Z̆iz̆kov Hora battle, 264;
    his relations with the nobles, 271;
    his final tyranny, 273;
    circumstances of his death, 277-9

  John of Chlum, his protection of Hus, 204;
    his appeal to the Pope, 205;
    his attitude at the Council, 213, 215;
    his last advice to Hus, 217, 218

  John VIII., Pope, approves of Methodius, 15;
    sanctions Slavonic ritual, 15;
    rebukes Wiching, 16

  John of Luxemburg, his marriage, 119;
    his election to Bohemian throne, 119;
    confirms national privileges, 119, 120;
    trusts to German counsellors, 120, 122;
    defends Louis of Bavaria, 121, 122;
    fights against Bohemian rebels, 123;
    his tyranny and profligacy, 123-7;
    friendship for Charles of France, 126, 127;
    suspicions of his son, 127;
    circumstances of his death, 129

  John, brother of Charles IV., 146, 147

  John XXII., Pope, 126

  John XXIII., excommunicates Hus, 193;
    proclaims crusade against Naples, 195;
    organises sale of indulgences, 195, 196;
    his flight from Rome, 204;
    his promise to Hus, 205;
    his apology for Hus’s arrest, 207;
    his crimes, flight, and deposition, 209

  John, Bishop of Prague, his trial for heresy, 126, 127

  John of Ragusa, his attacks on Utraquists, 302

  John, Duke of Görlitz, helps Wenceslaus, 170, 171;
    circumstances of his death, 171

  John of Milheim founds Bethlehem chapel, 175

  Joseph I., his desire for reform, 498

  Joseph II., double character of his reforms, 499-500;
    his emancipation of peasantry, 500, 501

  Judith, Brac̆islav’s Queen, her marriage, 37;
    her banishment, 43

  Judith, Vladislav’s Queen, 62

  Jury, growth of, in Bohemia in thirteenth century, 78-80


  K

  Khlesl, Bishop, his influence on Matthias, 437, 438;
    his opposition to Z̆erotin, 456;
    distrusted by Hapsburgs, 462;
    circumstances of his fall, 469

  Kladrau, 308
    (_see_ also Jakaubek)

  Klostergrad (_see_ Hroby)

  Klattov, 384

  Knights, Order of, Z̆iz̆ka’s relation to, 280-1;
    their alliance with peasants in Hussite war, 361;
    combine with nobles against towns, 362;
    their independent position, 395-6

  Kolin, 308

  Köln, city, rights of, defended by Rudolf, 101

  Köln, Archbishop of, his friendship for Ottakar II., 90;
    goes over to Rudolf, 91;
    turns against Rudolf, 101

  Köln, Archbishop of, in time of Rudolf II., his ideas of war, 448, 449

  Komensky (_see_ Comenius)

  Königinhof (_see_ Králové Dvůr)

  Koranda, his challenge to Pr̆zibram, 317;
    compelled to submit to Rokycana, 321;
    his embassy to Pope, 333

  Korybut, 278, 280, 282

  Kostka, of Postupic, 349, 356, 359

  Kostel, first use of, in Bohemia, 8

  Kovar, his discoveries, 505, 506

  Krajek, Conrad of, zeal for Brotherhood, 380-4

  Krajek, Ernst of, 401, 402

  Krajek, Members of House of, 419-21

  Králové Dvůr (Königinhof), school at, 501;
    MSS. found at, 504-6

  Krasa, burning of, 249

  Kr̆ivoklāt (Pürglitz), 393, 398, 404

  Krumau (_see_ Krumov)

  Krumov, influence of Rosenbergs in, 170;
    Jesuit College at, 421, 423;
    seized by Leopold, 450;
    supports Ferdinand II., 468

  Kunigunda, daughter of Bela, 86;
    marries Ottakar II., 87;
    reproaches him with yielding to Rudolf, 100;
    calls in Otto, 108;
    kidnapped, 109;
    her second marriage and its results, 112

  Kutna Hora, its silver mines, 116, 246;
    meeting between Hus and Wenceslaus at, 184;
    cruelties at, 246, 247;
    conflicts between miners and charcoal burners at, 252, 253;
    captured by Utraquists, 271;
    Sigismund’s massacre at, 276;
    rescued by Z̆iz̆ka, 277;
    Utraquist debate at, 315-17;
    Peter of Chelc̆ic summoned to, 344;
    resistance of, to Ferdinand II., 487


  L

  Ladislaus, King of Hungary, invades Bohemia, 99;
    invades Austria on behalf of Rudolf, 103

  Ladislaus, King of Naples, his struggle with John XXIII., 195

  Ladislaus, King of Poland, his struggle against Albert of Austria, 312-14

  Ladislaus I., son of Albert, accepted as King of Bohemia, 314;
    dispute as to his guardian, 315-18, 320;
    circumstances of his reign, 323-5

  Ladislaus II., his relations with the Brotherhood, 347, 355, 357-9

  Lanczo, 46

  Land Court of Moravia, importance of, 431, 434

  Land Court of Bohemia, Ferdinand’s treatment of, 489, 490

  Latin language, triumph of, 491;
    Comenius’s reforms in, 491-3
    (_see_ also “Slavonic ritual”)

  Lausitz, dispute between Bohemia and Saxony, 34;
    secured to Bohemia by Ferdinand II., 64

  Laws, Charles’s code of (_see_ also Charles IV., Z̆upa, Towns)

  Leopold, Archduke, his character and policy, 447-8;
    his Passau insurrection and its results, 449-52

  Leopold, Margrave of Austria, defeated at Mailberg, 49, 65

  Leopold II., Emperor of Germany, his reforms, 501;
    his attitude to Bohemian language, 503

  Lev of Roz̆mital, his first rise and fall, 363;
    his later tyranny, 369;
    defied by Rosenberg, 371;
    his resistance to Louis, 372;
    bribed by Ferdinand, 373

  Libus̆a, story of, 4-7;
    re-discovery of MS. about, 505

  Lichtenstein, Carl von, his conversion, 431;
    relations of, with Z̆erotin, 435, 436;
    with Berka, 434;
    made Duke of Troppau, 463, 464;
    approves Bohemian rising, 471

  Lissa, Comenius at, 493

  Lithuania, Duke of, his relations with Bohemia, 278

  Litomys̆l, in time of Ottakar II., 82, 83;
    persecution at, of Brotherhood, 392;
    Jesuit influence in, 421

  Litomys̆l, Bishop of, his treatment of Hus, 211;
    opposed by Bohemian nobles, 211, 224;
    his attempt to suppress heresy, 224;
    his rejection as Bishop of Olmütz, 226

  Lobkovic, friend of Hus, defends Bohemian claims, 184

  Lobkovic, Chancellor of Rudolf II., his policy, 440, 444

  Lobkovic, William of, throws Martinic out of window, 467

  Loc̆ika, his treatment by Ferdinand II., 486, 487

  Loket, privileges of, 395

  Lothar, Duke of Saxony, elected Emperor, 52;
    his struggle with Bohemia, 53, 54

  Louis, grandson of Charles the Great, his struggles with the Bohemians, 8

  Louis, of Bavaria, 121, 122, 125, 126, 129, 146, 147

  Louis, son of above, 146-8

  Louis, son of Ladislaus, weakness of his position, 362;
    his reforms, 363;
    relations of to Lutherans, 364, 369;
    to Pas̆ek, 369, 371, 372;
    circumstances of his death, 372

  Ludmila, her influence on Wenceslaus, 22;
    murdered by Drahomíra, 24

  Ludanic, Wenceslaus of, 398-400

  Luther, his feelings towards Hus, 364, 365;
    his warnings to Utraquists, 366;
    his relations with Gallus Cahera, 366-8;
    with Bohemian Brotherhood, 382-4;
    his friendship for Augusta, 383;
    his final advice to him, 387

  Lutherans, their treatment of exiled Brothers, 394, 395;
    rivalry of Brotherhood with, 412, 414, 421, 441

  Lukas of Prague modifies doctrine of Brotherhood, 350, 351;
    controversy of Luther with, 382;
    arrest and imprisonment, 360

  Lupus, 303

  Luxemburg, House of, rivalry with Hapsburgs, 118, 119;
    jealousy felt towards, 172;
    _see_ also Henry, John, Charles, Sigismund

  Lyons, Council of, 97


  M

  Magdeburg, limit of old Slavonic State, 19;
    centre of German culture, 29;
    Adalbert’s connection with, 30;
    Municipal laws of, 72

  Mainz, Archbishop Werner of, his relations with Rudolf and Ottakar, 91,
        92, 102;
    Archbishop of, in John’s time, 120-2

  Mansfeld, Count of, his relations to Bohemia, 477, 480, 483

  Margaret of Babenberg, her relations with Ottakar, 85, 86

  Margaretha Maultasche, her relations with John and Louis, 146, 147

  Maria Theresa, her effect in Bohemia, 498, 499

  Martin V., his election as Pope, 229;
    his dissolution of Council, 230;
    his crusades against Bohemia, 249, 274, 280, 285, 288;
    his death, 288

  Martinic, 440, 441, 467

  Matthias, King of Hungary, his relations with George, 328, 329, 332,
        337-40;
    with Ladislaus II., 347

  Matthias of Kunvald, his attitude to Brotherhood, 350, 351

  Matthias of Hapsburg, his relations with Rudolf, 427, 432, 433, 438, 449,
        453;
    his difficulties in Bohemia, 454-9;
    his Hungarian policy, 457, 459;
    elected Emperor, 458;
    his town policy, 459, 460;
    his attitude to Silesia, 463, 464;
    his resignation of crown, 464

  Matthias of Janov, his career, 174, 175

  Matthias of Thurn (_see_ Thurn)

  Maximilian I., Emperor of Germany, his epigram on Charles, 144

  Maximilian II., Emperor of Germany, Ferdinand’s relations with, 375;
    his favour to Lutherans, 401;
    his early policy, 409;
    his change, 415

  Maximilian, Archduke, his relation with Matthias, 458;
    with Khlesl, 469

  Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, forms Catholic league, 448;
    his relations with Ferdinand, 476-8

  Meinhard of Tyrol, 98, 104

  Meinhard of Neuhaus, his struggle with Procop, 303-5;
    relations of, with Sigismund, 305, 306;
    with George, 319;
    his death, 319

  Meissen, Margrave of, his claims to Austria, 84, 85

  Meissen, later Margrave, conspires against Wenceslaus, 170

  Meissen, in Utraquist wars, share of in invasions of Bohemia, 257, 273,
       274

  Mĕs̆ek of Poland, 35

  Methodius converts Bulgarians, 9;
    co-operates with Cyril, 9, 10;
    made Archbishop, 10;
    his relations with Svatopluk, 12-16;
    with Vratislav, 22

  Michael de Causis, his attacks on Hus, 200, 205, 215;
    on Jerom, 225

  Michael, Bishop of Brotherhood, 346

  Milheim, John of, 175, 176

  Milic of Kromĕr̆íz̆, his character and career, 159, 160

  Milton, John, influenced by Comenius, 495, 496

  Milota, Governor of Styria, 88, 104, 105

  Mines, importance of in Bohemia, 78

  Miners, self-government of, 78;
    how destroyed, 487

  Mistopol, his resistance to Ferdinand, 388

  Mitmánek, his banishment, 388;
    his injury to Brothers, 394

  Mláda Boleslav, Brotherhood centred at, 351;
    resists Ferdinand, 466

  Mladenovich, Peter and Ulrich, their zeal for Hus, 212

  Mojmir, son of Svatopluk, 17, 21

  Moldau, 4

  Monasteries, relations of, with towns, 81-3;
    burning of, by Utraquists, 223, 233, 250

  Monks banished from Prague, 233;
    burnt by Z̆iz̆ka, 250, 268

  Moravia, early Dukedom of, struggles with Frankish Empire, 8, 9;
    final fall of, 21;
    old kingship of revived, 59

  Moravia, province of, conquered by Poland, 38;
    relations of, to Vladislav, 55, 56;
    municipal liberties of, 72, 76, 79;
    treatment of by Rudolf, 107, 108;
    Catholic element in, 236;
    given to Albert of Austria, 282;
    resistance of to King George, 330, 331, 338;
    resistance of to Ladislaus, 358, 359;
    to Ferdinand I., 375;
    to Rudolph II., 428-36;
    desire of for local independence, 457, 460;
    quarrel with Silesia, 463;
    attitude in final rising, 470, 471

  Moritz, of Saxony (_see_ Saxony)

  Münsterberg, Karl of, 363, 369, 370

  Mutina, of the Vrs̆ovici, his intrigues and death, 51, 52


  N

  Nations in the University of Prague, 134;
    struggles with Germany and Bohemia, 161, 162, 178, 179, 183-88

  Neuhaus, Adam of, 321

  Nepomuc, John of, murder of, 167, 173, 191;
    statue of, 486

  Nicholaus of Pelhr̆imov, 297, 301, 310, 321

  Nicholaus of Hus, his character and influence, 227;
    helps to found Tabor, 231;
    leads Taborite armies with Z̆iz̆ka, 243;
    defeats Ulric of Rosenberg, 254;
    his quarrels with Praguers, 265, 266;
    his share in battle of Vys̆ehrad, 266, 267;
    effect of his death, 269

  Nobles, power of in Bohemia from tenth to thirteenth centuries, 29, 30,
       36, 46, 55, 59, 60, 64;
    how checked by rise of municipal liberties, 76, 79, 80;
    resistance of to Vladislav, 55, 59;
    checked by Ottakar II., 80;
    resistance of to Wenceslaus II., 114-133;
    their struggle with the towns, 120, 121;
    their relations with Henry of Lipa, 121, 125;
    resistance of to Charles IV., 140, 141;
    their protest against Hus’s imprisonment, 207, 208;
    their charges against Council of Constance, 222;
    their attitude towards Utraquist movement, 236, 237, 242;
    differences of with Sigismund’s German followers, 255;
    desire for compromise with men of Prague, 259;
    their final struggle with Z̆iz̆ka, 280-2;
    their attitude towards the Brotherhood, 349, 351, 418-21 (_see_ also
          Knights, Towns)

  Nobles of Styria, resistance of to Ottakar II., 88, 98, 104

  Nobles of Germany, their attacks on the clergy, 157, 158

  Nobles of Moravia, their share in battle of Vys̆ehrad, 266;
    opposed to deposition of Sigismund, 272;
    compelled to recant Utraquism, 276

  Nobles of Poland, their protest against Hus’s imprisonment, 207, 210

  Nürnberg, Burggraf of (_see_ Hohenzollern)


  O

  Ogra (_see_ Eger)

  Oldr̆ich, his marriage, 37;
    his revival of Slavonic ritual, 37;
    first Bohemian Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, 48

  Oldr̆ich, rival of Vladislav, 57

  Oldr̆ich of Znojem, 301

  Olmütz, Tartars defeated near, 75;
    relations of with George, 331, 338;
    its support of Rudolf, 446;
    supports Matthias, 459

  Olomouci (_see_ Olmütz)

  Opava, its connection with Kunigunda, 107, 109, 112

  Ordeal by battle, 80, 142

  Ordeal by fire, 142

  Orphans, 282, 283

  Ottakar II., his claim on the nobles, 80;
    his development of town life, 78-81;
    his friendship for the Pope, 81, 83, 84;
    his attitude to monasteries, 81, 82;
    marriage, 85;
    his conquest of Styria, 85, 86;
    acquires Carinthia and Carniola, 87;
    his treatment of Styrian nobles, 88;
    his feeling to German Empire, 89;
    refuses Imperial crown, 90;
    intrigued against by Archbishop, 91-3;
    protests against Rudolf’s election, 93-5;
    his reliance on the towns, 99;
    his struggle with Rudolf, 99-105;
    his rumoured return, 111;
    attempts to improve education, 133

  Otto, son of Henry the Fowler, 27

  Otto, brother of Sobeslav, 53

  Otto Margrave of Brandenburg, his treachery and tyranny, 108-12;
    summons representatives of towns, 121

  Oxenstierna, 496, 497


  P

  Palacký, Frantis̆ek, his treatment of the Bohemian MS., 504, 506;
    effect of his history, 506;
    his political ideas, 508

  Pálec̆, Stephen, defends Wyclif, 178;
    arrested, 184;
    supports indulgences, 197;
    banished, 203;
    opposes Hus, 203, 206, 208, 215, 217;
    persecutes Jerom, 225

  Paltram, burgomaster of Vienna, 99, 103

  Pannonia, Methodius made archbishop of, 10;
    Wiching, bishop of, 15;
    claims of Arnulf over, 16

  Papacy, relations of, with German Empire, 48, 49, 58, 62, 63, 64, 95;
    attitude of Vratislav towards, 48, 50;
    of Ottakar II. to, 81, 86, 93-95;
    divisions in, 182, 183, 190, 204, 208, 209, 213, 214

  Paris, attractions of, to John, 126;
    to Charles IV., 131, 132
    (_see_ also University)

  Passau, treaty of, 400;
    the plot of, 449-52

  Paul II., 336-8

  Pavlavsky, Stanislaus, Bishop of Olmütz, 421, 422

  Payne, Peter, his connection with Bohemia, 262;
    relations with Taborites and Calixtines, 262, 297;
    draws up articles, 277;
    defends Wyclif, 284;
    takes lead in Utraquist controversy, 297;
    relations with Orphans, 297;
    speech at Basel, 301;
    called on to decide a question of doctrine, 310;
    imprisoned and released, 315, 316;
    final appearance, 316, 317;
    takes refuge with Peter of Chelc̆ic, 344

  Pas̆ek of Wrat, rise to power, 363;
    tyranny, 368-73;
    his overthrow, 378

  Peasantry of Bohemia, zeal for King Vladislav, 60;
    gradual loss of freedom, 68-70;
    cruelties to, of Otto of Brandenburg, 109, 110;
    Charles’s concessions to, 142, 143;
    effect on, of Hussite wars, 361, 362;
    attitude of, to insurrection, 473, 474, 476;
    their rising in 1680, 498;
    relieved by Maria Theresa, 499;
    emancipated by Joseph II., 500, 501;
    artistic power of, 507, 508

  Peasantry of France and Germany, risings of in the thirteenth century,
        154;
    risings of in the fifteenth century, 293, 294

  Pelc̆el, Frantis̆ek, his career, 501, 502

  Pernstein, protector of Brotherhood, 356;
    (Vratislav) friend to Jesuits, 421

  Pes̆ina, Jesuit historian, 498

  Peter of Rosenberg, his relations with George, 340;
    tries to protect Brotherhood, 360;
    his will, 371

  Peter Vok, of Rosenberg, joins Brotherhood, 423;
    chosen “Defender,” 445;
    his advances to Christian, 455

  Petrarch, his relations to Charles IV., 150, 151

  Philibert, Bishop of Coutances, 308, 311

  Philip, Emperor of Germany, relations to Pr̆emysl Ottakar I., 63

  Philip of Carinthia, treatment of, by Pr̆emysl Ottakar II., 87

  “Picard,” meaning of, 155

  Pilatici, 15

  Pilsen, restored by Albert, 115;
    Z̆iz̆ka’s relations with, 247, 248;
    scene of religious discussion, 285;
    siege of, by Procop, 302, 303;
    resistance of, to George, 320;
    printing press established at, 357;
    supports Ferdinand II., 468;
    seized and held by Mansfeld, 477, 483

  Pisa, Council of, 182, 183, 190

  Pius II., Pope, his relations with George, 329, 330, 332-6

  Poetry, growth of, in Bohemia in the sixteenth century, 416, 417

  Poles, attitude of, to third crusade, 280

  Poland, relations of with Bohemia, 29, 32, 34-8, 43, 115, 117;
    Z̆iz̆ka’s sympathy with, 227;
    settlement in, of Brotherhood, 394

  Poland, King of, refuses Bohemian crown, 278 (_see_ also Mes̆ek,
        Brac̆islav, Sigismund, Gnesen, &c.)

  Pontanus, Jesuit poet, 418

  Poric̆, settlement of German workmen in, 70, 71

  Prachatice, influence of Rosenbergs in, 170;
    Hus and Z̆iz̆ka at school at, 229

  Prague, independent bishopric claimed for, 28, 128;
    famine in, 111;
    treatment of, by Otto, 109-12;
    opposition of, to John, 125;
    preachers of (see Milic, Conrad, Hus);
    overcrowding of, 136;
    Charles’s ideal for, 136, 137;
    abandoned by Germans, 187;
    laid under interdict, 223;
    relations of, to Sigismund, 234, 235, 247;
    character of its Utraquism, 237, 238;
    sieges of, 243, 255-60, 266, 390, 451;
    tyranny of Lev in, 363, 369, 371, 372;
    national museum of, 503, 504

  Prague, Bishops of (_see_ Daniel, Arnestus, Zajíc, Jenstein, Rokycana)

  Prague, Castle of, Wenceslaus IV. imprisoned in, 170;
    betrayed by C̆enek, 250;
    resists citizens, 252;
    captured by Utraquists, 271;
    imprisonment in, of Janovic, 384;
    of Augusta, 393

  Prague, new town of, foundation of, 136;
    its peculiar character, 231;
    first rising in, 232;
    separation of from old town, 377;
    centre of Budovĕc’s movement, 442, 443

  Prague, University of (_see_ University)

  Prague, Four Articles of, 259, 265, 272, 276, 283, 300-2, 307, 388

  Pr̆emysl, first King of Bohemia, 6, 7

  Pr̆emysl Ottakar I., his relations with Empire, 63;
    with Frederick II. of Germany, 63, 64;
    with clergy, 64;
    with the towns, 71, 72

  Pr̆emysl Ottakar II., his career as Margrave, 64;
    his conquest of Austria, 65, 66;
    his accession (_see_ Ottakar II.)

  Pr̆emyslovc̆i, sketch of their career, 105, 106

  Prerov, 491

  Press, censorship of, 461, 484, 499, 500

  Press (printing, invention of) (_see_ Pilsen)

  Procop, his victories, 282, 283, 285-89;
    his character, 297;
    appearance of, at Basel, 297-300;
    struggle of, with nobles, 302, 303;
    defeat and death, 304, 305

  Protestants, Maximilian II.’s relations with, 401, 409, 413;
    prevented by Dietrichstein, 431;
    attitude of, in Austria, 433, 455, 456, 469, 471, 476;
    rising of, in Bohemia, 467-69;
    mistakes of their movement, 479-82;
    persecution of, by Ferdinand II., 483-90;
    Joseph II.’s treatment of, 499, 500

  Prussia, annexation of, by Elector of Brandenburg, 153

  Pr̆zibram, his first appearance, 259;
    his advice about heresy, 270;
    his attack on Wyclif, 283, 284;
    his banishment from Prague, 284;
    revival of his power, 303, 308;
    his final debate, 317

  Ptac̆ek, his oppressions, 315

  Puchnic, treatment of, by Wenceslaus, 167


  R

  Ramée, Col., 450, 452

  Raudnice, Castle of, 166

  Reformation, causes of, in the fourteenth century, 154-56

  Regensburg, German Archbishopric of, 8;
    its relations to Methodius, 12

  Regensburg, Bishop of, relations with St. Wenceslaus, 24

  Rhine, Count Palatine of, suggested as candidate for Emperor, 91;
    joins alliance against Ottakar, 92, 93;
    helps in his first defeat, 99

  Rhine, Rupert, Count Palatine of, 172-74

  Rhine, Frederick IV., Count Palatine of, his relations with Z̆erotin, 445

  Rhine, Frederick V., Count Palatine of (_see_ Frederick, Winter King)

  Richard of Cornwall, 86, 89

  Rienzi (_see_ Charles IV.)

  Rohac, rebellion of, 311

  Rokycana rouses people against Korybut, 284;
    defends transubstantiation, 288;
    leads Utraquists in controversy, 296, 297;
    his speech at Basel, 300, 301;
    opposed by Taborites, 303;
    difference of, from Pr̆zibram, 306, 308;
    chosen Archbishop, 308;
    opposes Sigismund, 309;
    secures free discussion between Calixtines and Taborites, 315;
    asserts his authority over Taborites, 321;
    friendship with George, 319;
    disliked by Ladislaus, 324;
    secures George’s election, 326;
    George’s compromise about, 329;
    his surrender demanded, 339;
    his death, 340;
    his favour towards Peter of Chelc̆ic, 344, 345;
    subsequent persecution of Brotherhood, 345-47;
    destruction of his statue, 486

  Roman Catholics (_see_ Catholics)

  Rosenberg, importance of their family, 168-70 (_see_ Henry, Ulric,
        William, Peter, and Peter Vok)

  Rosice, meeting at, 433

  Rostislav resists Frankish conversion, 8;
    allied with Bulgarians, 8;
    welcomes Cyril and Methodius, 10;
    deposed and blinded, 11

  Rüdiger, Ezrom, 422, 423

  Rudolf I., his character and position, 92;
    his election as Emperor, 92;
    his relations with Ottakar, 94, 95, 100-5;
    his position as conqueror, 107, 108;
    his treatment of Kunigunda, 107;
    of Wenceslaus, 108, 110;
    his relations with the Pope, 97, 98;
    his allies, 99, 102, 104;
    his town policy, 92, 101, 102;
    his relations with Austria, 97, 103;
    effect of his death, 114;
    his fear of Bohemian learning, 133

  Rudolf, son of Albert, 117, 118;
    position of his widow, 121

  Rudolf II., Emperor of Germany, his encouragement of art, 415-18;
    his early policy, 415, 418, 421, 424;
    causes of his change, 425-27;
    his struggle with Moravia (_see_ Moravia and Z̆erotin);
    his struggles with Protestants of Bohemia, 437-46;
    his letter of Majesty, 446;
    his final struggles and fall, 447-53

  Ruppa, Wenceslaus of, President of Provisional Government, 468, 470,
        479, 480

  Rychnov (Reichenau), 394, 501


  S

  Sabovsky, 489

  Sadlo, murder of, 277, 278

  Sadova, 308

  S̆afarik, Josef, 504, 506

  Salzburg, bishops of, 17

  Salzburg, Archbishop of, 98

  Saxony, relations of Bohemia with, 29;
    quarrels with Bohemia in the tenth century, 34;
    its support of Henry III.’s invasion, 42

  Saxony, Duke of, supports Siegfried of Anhalt, 92;
    marries daughter of Rudolf, 93

  Saxony, William of, his quarrel with Bohemia, 318;
    his claim to throne of Bohemia, 325, 326, 330

  Saxony, John Frederick of, his struggle with Ferdinand, 389, 390

  Saxony, Moritz of, effect of his action on Bohemia, 389, 400

  Sázava, Monastery of, 37, 50;
    in eleventh and twelfth centuries, 69

  Serfdom, growth of, in fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 361;
    petition against, 473, 476;
    Joseph’s abolition of, 500, 501

  Sigismund, enemy of the language, 2;
    joins nobles, 167, 168;
    persuades Wenceslaus to make him his heir, 271;
    imprisons Wenceslaus, 174;
    offers to arbitrate, 194;
    election to the Empire, 203, 204;
    grants safe-conduct to Hus, 204;
    his first appearance at Constance, 208;
    his changes about Hus, 208, 209, 213, 214, 216;
    revokes safe-conduct, 209;
    rebukes Council of Constance, 212;
    attitude of nobles towards, 222;
    statement about Hus’s death, 224;
    his Turkish war, 233;
    conditions proposed to, by Assembly, 234, 235;
    attitude towards, of various parties, 236;
    demands on citizens of Prague, 247;
    his frequent lying, 249;
    his burning of Krasa, 249;
    appeals for first crusade, 252;
    sends help to Kutna Hora, 252, 253;
    flies before Taborites, 254;
    accepts terms of Praguers, 259;
    first coronation, 260, 261;
    intrigues, 265;
    renewed attacks on Prague, 266;
    answer to Assembly in 1421, 272;
    treatment of Moravian nobles, 266;
    his battles at Kutna Hora, 276, 277;
    eagerness for war with Bohemia, 292;
    restored to the crown, 308;
    quarrel with Rokycana, 309;
    disgusts all parties, 310, 311;
    rebellion against him, 311;
    his death, 311

  Sigismund, King of Poland, 363

  Silesia, disputed about in tenth century, 34;
    secured to Bohemia, 64;
    invasion of Bohemia by, 273, 315;
    claimed by Duke of Saxony, 325;
    resists King George, 331, 332;
    concessions of, to Ferdinand, 375;
    relations of, with Bohemia in Rudolf’s time, 442, 446;
    after succession of Matthias, 457;
    rivalry of, with Moravia, 463, 464;
    supports Bohemia against Ferdinand, 471

  Slavata, 440, 441, 467

  Slavery in Bohemia, 30, 69

  Slavomir, 11

  Slavonic feeling, 1, 2

  Slavonic ritual, its introduction, 10;
    German opposition to, 12-16;
    strong feeling for, in Bohemia, 3;
    Papal opposition to, 28;
    its revival, 37;
    suppressed by Spitihnĕv, 45;
    revived by Vratislav, 50;
    by Clement VI., 128

  S̆metana, 508

  Sobeslav, his struggle with Lothar, 53;
    votes for Conrad, 54;
    secures succession to Vladislav, 54

  Sobeslav, later Duke, confirms grant to Poric̆, 71

  Soliman the Great, capture of Belgrade, 372;
    victory at Mohács, 372;
    siege of Vienna, 377, 378

  Sophia, friendship for Hus, 184, 192, 202;
    appointed Regent, 233;
    her dependence on Sigismund, 235, 236;
    supported by C̆enek, 242;
    protected by Ulrich, 243;
    holds meeting at Brünn, 247

  Spitihnĕv, son of Bor̆ivoj, 22

  Spitihnĕv, son of Brac̆islav, persecutes Germans, 43, 44;
    changes policy, 44;
    suppresses Slavonic ritual, 45

  Stanislaus of Znojem, defends Wyclif, 178;
    denounces transubstantiation, 180;
    arrested, 184;
    turns against Wyclif and Hus, 196, 197;
    banished, 203

  Stephen, St., 32

  Stephen, son of Bela, 89

  Sternberg, Peter von, 248

  Sternberg, Caspar von, 502, 504

  Sternberg, Zdenek, 319, 334, 337-40

  Sternberg, Adam of, 441, 443, 467

  S̆títný, Thomas of, 161, 162, 255

  Styria, conquest of, by Ottakar, 86;
    rebellion in, 88, 98, 105;
    Ferdinand’s government of, 462

  Svatava, 53

  Svatopluk of Moravia, his intrigues, 11;
    becomes duke, 11;
    his relations with Methodius, 12-16;
    opposes Slavonic ritual, 12-14;
    patronage of Wiching, 15;
    struggle with Arnulf, 16;
    estimate of, by Bohemian historians, 18, 21;
    services to Moravia, 18;
    struggle with Hungary, 20;
    overthrow and death, 21;
    legend about, 21

  Svatopluk of Bohemia, his massacre of Vrs̆ovici, 51, 52


  T

  Taborites, differences of, from Hus, 222;
    their character and organisation, 238, 239;
    their first march to Prague, 242, 243;
    their rough treatment of Prague citizens, 253;
    their share in victory of Z̆iz̆ka Hora, 257, 261;
    their Twelve Articles, 261, 262;
    their savagery, 261, 267, 270;
    their distrust of Sigismund, 262-64;
    their chief point of difference from Calixtines, 269;
    their attitude about transubstantiation, 270;
    their Twenty-four Articles, 302;
    overthrown at Lipaný, 305;
    Sigismund’s treachery towards, 310;
    their revival in struggle against Albert of Austria, 312, 315;
    their last dispute with Calixtines, 315-17;
    their final overthrow, 319-21;
    feeling of Brotherhood towards, 411

  Tabor, original foundation of, 229, 231;
    made military centre by Z̆iz̆ka, 248, 249;
    capture of, by George, 320;
    seized by Leopold, 450;
    conditional surrender of, to Ferdinand, 484

  Tartars (_see_ Genghis Khan)

  Taus (_see_ Domaz̆lic̆e)

  Teyn Church, importance of, 160, 284, 486, 487

  Thurn, Matthias von, his struggle against Rudolf, 441, 445;
    against Leopold, 451;
    against Ferdinand II., 471, 472, 479;
    his character, 480

  Tilly, General, attempt on Moravian liberty, 433, 434;
    share in conquest of Bohemia, 477-9

  Tobias, Bishop of Prague, his patriotism, 110, 112

  Torture, use of, 80

  Towns of Bohemia, rise of, under Pr̆emysl Ottakar I., 71-74;
    under Wenceslaus, 76-79;
    under Pr̆emysl Ottakar II., 80-83;
    German influence in, 70-1;
    educational effect of their liberties, 79, 80;
    conflict of, with monastic privileges, 81-83;
    effect of Tartar invasion on, 86;
    quarrels in, between Germans and Bohemians, 110;
    their claim to representation in Assembly, 120, 121;
    their struggles with the nobles, 361, 362;
    Matthias’s policy towards, 459;
    treatment of, by Ferdinand II., 490;
    by Joseph II., 500

  Towns of Moravia raised into free cities, 108;
    resistance of, to George, 330, 338

  Towns of Germany, leagues of, 90
    (_see_ Rudolf of Hapsburg)

  Trade, Ottakar’s attitude towards, 81;
    Ferdinand’s destruction of, 487, 491

  Transubstantiation attacked by Stanislaus, 180;
    defended by Zajíc, 181;
    attitude of Hus towards, 180, 181, 214;
    denounced by Hauska, 270;
    defended by Taborites, 270, 271;
    opposed by Brothers, 345, 348

  Transylvania, first conquest of, by Hungarians, 20;
    Rudolf II.’s relations to, 425-28;
    Matthias’s struggles against, 457, 458, 462
    (_see_ also Bethlen Gabor)

  Tr̆ebon̆, influence on, of Rosenbergs, 170;
    Protestant meeting at, 456

  Trier, Archbishop of, 90, 102

  Troppau, dispute about, 463, 464

  Tschernembl, George Erasmus von, leads Austrian Protestants, 433;
    his attitude to Z̆erotin, 433, 455;
    to Matthias, 455, 456;
    to Ferdinand, 471;
    to the serfs, 476;
    in the final struggle, 479

  Turks, struggles with, 330, 335, 372, 376, 378, 380, 407, 415

  Tyrol, Charles’s invasion of, 146

  Tycho Brahe, his influence on Rudolf, 416, 426, 427
    (_see_ Meinhard, Margaretha)


  U

  Ulrich of Carinthia, 87

  Ulric of Rosenberg, his relation with C̆enek, 241;
    his grounds of opposition to Utraquists, 242;
    his defeat, 254;
    returns to Utraquists, 271;
    again joins Sigismund, 278;
    sows division, 291, 317

  Ulric of Znojem (_see_ Oldr̆ich)

  Universities, proposed arbitration by, 448, 449

  University of Prague founded by Charles, 133-34, 137;
    its treatment of Wyclif’s works, 178-181;
    attitude towards Brotherhood, 347, 348;
    claim of Protestants over, 444;
    turned into Jesuit college, 484 (_see_ also Nations, Germans)

  University of Wittenberg, moral decline of, 414 (_see_ also Augusta)

  University of Oxford, Jerom’s appearance at, 198

  University of Heidelberg, Jerom’s appearance at, 198;
    liking of Brotherhood for, 414, 435

  University of Paris, model of Prague University, 132, 133;
    Jerom’s appearance at, 198, 199

  University of Bologna, gives some hints to Prague University, 133;
    denounces burning of Wyclif’s books, 193

  Urban IV., Pope, sanctions Ottakar’s marriage with Kunigunda, 87

  Urban VI., relations of, with Wenceslaus IV., 164

  Utraquism, first hint of, 174;
    first introduction of, by Jakaubek, 208;
    denounced by Bishop of Litomys̆l, 211;
    condemnation of, by Council of Constance, 216, 217;
    denounced by Archbishop of Prague, 223;
    championship of, by King George, 333, 334;
    movement compared with Puritan, 341;
    decline of its influence, 408, 409;
    demands for by Budovĕc and his friends, 444, 446

  Utraquists, their difference from Hus, 221;
    their disregard of the interdict, 223;
    Wenceslaus’s attitude towards, 223, 224;
    first debate of with Catholics, 259;
    divisions among, 226, 227, 253, 268, 269;
    their feelings towards Council of Basel, 291-4;
    arrival of representatives at Basel, 297, 298;
    persecution of by Sigismund, 309-11;
    their relations with George, 326, 335;
    with the Brotherhood, 348, 355, 359, 384, 386, 391;
    with Luther, 364-68;
    their later attitude towards Compacts of Basel, 385, 386;
    their resistance to Ferdinand, 388-91


  V

  Václav (_see_ Wenceslaus)

  Vladislav, his accession to the throne, 55;
    his reforming zeal, 55;
    his struggle against the nobles, 56, 57, 60;
    his alliance with the German Empire, 57, 58;
    his relations with Barbarossa, 57, 61, 62;
    his exaltation to the regal title, 59

  Vladislav, son of Wenceslaus I., 65, 66

  Velké Mezir̆íc̆í, school at, 422

  Victor the Chronicler, his attacks on Ottakar II., 88

  Vienna, growth of, under Ottakar II., 85;
    capture of, by Rudolf, 99;
    conspiracy in, 103;
    besieged by Soliman, 378;
    proposed assembly at, 407;
    besieged by Thurn, 471, 472;
    growth of its power under Ferdinand, 490

  Vilegrad, convent of, 82

  Vítkovici, 168, 169

  Vodnian, 384

  Vojtĕch (_see_ Adalbert)

  Vratislav, son of Bor̆ivoj, 22-24

  Vratislav, son of Brac̆islav, reverses Spitihnĕv’s policy, 45;
    appoints Saxon bishop, 46;
    opposes his brothers, 46;
    his relation with Hildebrand, 47;
    his alliance with Henry IV., 48, 49;
    his encouragement of trade and culture, 50;
    becomes king, 49;
    revives Slavonic ritual, 50;
    resistance to his policy, 46, 50;
    his grant of liberties to Poric̆, 70

  Vrs̆ovici, their position and character, 29, 30;
    opposition to Adalbert, 30-32;
    attitude to Boleslav III., 36;
    massacre by Svatopluk, 51

  Vys̆ehrad, Pr̆emysl’s boots at, 7;
    meeting of nobles in, 54;
    Catholic pilgrimages to, 223;
    capture of by Z̆iz̆ka, 242;
    surrendered to queen, 244;
    resists C̆enek, 250;
    struggles of Utraquists about, 264-67


  W

  Waldenses, their relations with Brotherhood, 411

  Waldhauser (_see_ Conrad)

  Waldstein, Has̆ek of, 279

  Wars, religious, early protest against, 241

  Wars, Hussite, ultimate effect of, 361;
    attitude of Brotherhood to, 342, 352, 428-30

  Wenceslaus, St., influenced by Ludmila, 24;
    inability to resist heathen reaction, 24;
    good and bad points in his character, 24-26;
    desires to become a monk, 25;
    his death, 26;
    attitude of Emperor towards him, 26;
    honour done to his memory, 28;
    appealed to at the battle of Chlum, 53;
    offer of royal title to, 58;
    his tomb rifled by Germans, 109

  Wenceslaus, treaty of, in 1517, 362

  Wenceslaus I., King of Bohemia, resistance of nobles to, 64;
    resistance of, to Genghis Khan, 75;
    relations of with Austria, 65, 84;
    encouragement of town life by, 76, 78

  Wenceslaus II., treatment of, by Rudolf, 107;
    by Otto, 109, 111;
    his return to Bohemia, 112;
    marriage, 113;
    his relation with Zavis̆, 113, 114;
    his war with Poland, 115;
    relations with Albert of Austria, 114-16;
    his claims on Hungary, 115, 116;
    his resistance to the Pope, 116;
    attempts to promote education, 133

  Wenceslaus III., his character and death, 116, 117

  Wenceslaus IV. contrasted with Charles, 163;
    effects of his faults, 164-170;
    policy towards the Pope, 164, 182-84;
    towards King of France, 164;
    towards clergy, 165-67, 173, 184, 189, 190, 199, 223, 224;
    treatment of Archbishop of Prague, 165-67;
    his murder of John of Nepomuc, 167;
    his treatment of nobles, 168-70;
    made prisoner by them, 170, 171;
    his relation with his brother John, 171;
    with Sigismund, 171, 174, 194, 203, 204, 223, 224;
    opposition to him in German Empire, 172-174;
    his second imprisonment and escape, 174;
    his attitude towards Council of Pisa, 182-184;
    resistance of Germans to, 185-87;
    uncertain attitude towards Reformation, 184, 190, 192, 197, 199, 202,
          223, 224;
    sanction to increase in Bohemian votes, 185;
    enforcement of decree, 187;
    violence against supporters of Gregory XII., &c., 189, 190;
    protects Hus against John XXIII., 194;
    sanctions the Bull in favour of the crusade, 197;
    his suspicions of Nicholaus and Z̆iz̆ka, 227-29;
    his attempted compromise, 230;
    his demand for surrender of arms, 230;
    his deposition of Town Councillors, 231;
    circumstances of death, 232, 233

  Wenceslaus of Duba, his protection of Hus, 204, 212;
    his last advice to Hus, 217;
    leads Catholic party, 236;
    makes terms with Z̆iz̆ka, 248;
    heads embassy to Sigismund, 252;
    defeated at Porc̆ic, 253

  Werner (_see_ Mainz)

  Westphalia, peace of, Comenius’s discontent at, 497

  Wiching, his struggles against Methodius, 15, 16

  William of Holland, 66, 89

  William of Rosenberg, his favour to Jesuits, 418;
    his persecution of Brothers, 421;
    effect of his death, 423

  Wittenberg (_see_ Luther)

  Wittingau (_see_ Tr̆ebon̆)

  Wlitawa (_see_ Moldau)

  Wyclif, his relations with Bohemia, 177, 178;
    Hus’s feelings towards, 180, 181, 212;
    decision of Bohemian nation about, 181;
    attacks of Pr̆zibram upon, 283, 284


  Z

  Zajíc (Zbynĕk), Archbishop of Prague, 179;
    condemns Wyclif’s works, 181;
    resists Wenceslaus, 183;
    burns Wyclif’s books, 193;
    again attacked by King, 194;
    his death, 194

  Zapolya, 376

  Z̆atec, 274

  Zavis̆ of Falkenstein, his connection with Kunigunda, 112;
    final intrigues and death, 113

  Zbornik, John, 384, 385

  Zdík, Bishop of Olmütz, 55

  Zelená Hora, discoveries at, 505, 506, 508

  Z̆erotin, John of, defends Brotherhood against Ladislaus, 358

  Z̆erotin, Frederick of, protects Rüdiger, 423

  Z̆erotin, Charles of, influence on him of Brotherhood, 428-30;
    his relations with Henry of Navarre, 430;
    driven from office, 432;
    relations of, with Hungarians and Austrians, 432, 433;
    with Christian of Anhalt, 435;
    dislike of religious wars, 436;
    eagerness for alliance with Moravia, Hungary, and Austria, 436, 456,
          464;
    his able government in Moravia, 454, 455;
    his quarrel with Khlesl, 457, 458;
    his opposition to Matthias, 459, 463;
    his loyalty to House of Hapsburg, 461, 469;
    his desire for Moravian independence, 460;
    his resignation of captaincy of Moravia, 464;
    opposes Bohemian rising, 469, 471;
    his resistance to Ferdinand’s tyranny, 487-90;
    his protection of Comenius, 491, 492

  Z̆iz̆ka of Troc̆nov fights for Poles, 227;
    schoolfellow of Hus, 229;
    scene with Wenceslaus, 230;
    his share in outbreak of 1419, 231, 232;
    estimate of his character, 239, 240;
    his capture of Vys̆ehrad, 242, 243;
    of the small division of Prague, 243;
    his victory at Sudomír, 248, 249;
    burns monks alive, 250;
    defeats Wenceslaus of Duba, 253;
    his share in the battle of Z̆iz̆kov Hora, 257, 258;
    moderation towards Calixtines, 267;
    questionable conduct at R̆íc̆an, 268;
    defeats men of Meissen, 274;
    frightens away crusaders, 274;
    surrounded at Kutna Hora, 276;
    finally defeats Sigismund, 277;
    his final struggle with nobles, 280-82;
    his death and its effect, 282, 283;
    his dust dug up, 486

  Znaym (_see_ Znojem)

  Znojem, scene of Sigismund’s death, 311;
    relations of with King George, 331, 338

  Z̆upa, early importance of, 68;
    decline of, 69

THE GRESHAM PRESS, UNWIN BROTHERS, WOKING AND LONDON.





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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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