were slain.

After a bloody conflict the Silesians were completely routed, and left to the Bohemians their wagons and baggage. The severity of the winter arrested the progress of the invaders, and they returned to Bohemia.

The emperor had been no inattentive spectator of what was taking place. While the different parties were vainly seeking a common basis of conciliation, he again proposed, by a deputation—which at Kuttenburg met the citizens of Prague, the Orphans, and the Taborites—that the Bohemians should accept him as king. He urged his rights to the kingdom, and seemed to be willing to make some concessions. But the Bohemians could not trust him. They replied, that Sigismund, by the effusion of blood which he had occasioned, and by his complicity in the death of Huss and Jerome, as well as in the crusades to the dishonor of the nation, had forfeited all right to the kingdom, since his whole conduct showed that he had sworn its destruction.

Procopius, who was still at Bechin, invited the ambassadors to visit him at Tabor. It is more than possible that he hoped to obtain for himself the same conditions which had been offered by the emperor to Zisca, and thus close the war with honor to himself, and restore peace and security to a desolated land. The ambassadors furnished him a safe-conduct, that he might visit Sigismund and confer with him in person. He did so, but the emperor spurned the

. terms which Procopius was disposed to offer; and the latter, irritated by such treatment, returned to Tabor “meditating vengeance.”

C1. XVII.]



The motives of Sigismund it is not difficult to surmise. Events throughout Bohemia, and especially at Prague, showed that the division between the two parties of the Bohemians was bitter and irreconcilable. Early in the year (Jan. 30, 1429) the citizens of Old and New Prague had come to an open rupture. Each party chose itself leaders, and the city was for the whole day a scene of desperate and deadly conflict. A truce for a few days was effected, which was subsequently extended till the 25th of July, when the states of the kingdom met at Prague, to effect, if possible, a general pacification. Procopius was present at the assembly. He proposed to receive Sigismund as king, provided that he, with his Hungarian subjects, would receive and follow the Holy Scripture, commune under both kinds, and grant such requests as they should see fit to make.

These terms were laid before the diet which soon met at Presburg. Procopius was at the head of the Bohemian deputation, which consisted of several nobles and Calixtines from Old Prague. For eight days the deliberations were continued, without attaining any satisfactory result. At length, after consulting with parties at Prague, it was determined to accept Sigismund as king. Deputies from the different orders were named, to go and inform Sigismund of the conclusion which had been reached. But the Orphans boldly opposed the measure. “A free people," they said, “needed no king.” This was the signal for the recommencement of hostilities. At Prague, and throughout Bohemia, the civil strife was immediately renewed.

But the refusal of Sigismund to accept the terms offered by the Bohemians, had the effect of producing à conciliatory spirit between the opposing parties. Glorying in his orthodoxy as the patron of the church, he rejected alike the articles of the Calixtines and the Taborites. It was now quite evident that the acceptance of Sigismund by the nation would be the signal for the commencement of a bitter persecution against all who refused to return to the communion of the Roman church. Under the direction and by the management of Procopius, a plan of conciliation between the opposing parties of Calixtines and Taborites was agreed upon. An enormous fine was the penalty of infringing it; and Procopius, the principal author of this compact, was elected generalissimo.

Conscious of the difficulties of his position, aware of the necessity of still inspiring his foes with terror, and sagacious enough to perceive that the best security for internal peace was the employment abroad of an army accustomed to action, Procopius resolved to seize the occasion for punishing the presumption of the Misnians, from whose attacks the Bohemians had often suffered. “It is the moment to act,” said he; “ the hour of great things has arrived."1 The words were greeted with loud acclamation. Procopins led forth his army, crossed the Elbe, and fell on Misnia, Saxony, Brandenburg, Bavaria, and Austria. Dreadful ravages marked his progress.

Churches and monasteries were destroyed. Many towns were reduced to ashes, and their defenders perished with them. Over the smoking ruins the conquerors


Guerre des Hus., i, 274.




shouted, “Behold the funeral obsequies of John Huss!"

Returning from this campaign, the Taborites distributed themselves into several bands in different places, adopting names according to their fancy. Some were known as Collectors, some as Small-Caps, some as Little Cousins, others as Wolf-bands. The winter was no sooner passed than they were ready (1439) again to unite for a new campaign. With 20,000 cavalry, 30,000 infantry, and 3,000 chariots, and with Procopius the Great and other able generals at their head, they again renewed their invasion of Misnia. Continuing their march to Dresden, they left behind them, desolated or reduced to ashes, Kolditz, Mogeln, Dablen, Godelberg, and more than a hundred towns and villages. The Elector of Brandenberg vainly attempted to arrest their progress. John of Pollentz met with no better success. Several of the neighboring princes, impelled by a common apprehension lest their own turn for invasion should at last come, prepared to offer a united resistance; but divisions of feeling and opinion paralyzed their energies, and the Bohemians were left almost unmolested. In the region of Grim, Colditz, and Altemburg, the invaders successively spread their ravages. At Leipsig the news of their approach produced great apprehension. Verden, Reichem bac, Averbach, and Olsnisch were laid in ashes. Germany took the alarm, and began to rouse itself to a sense of the necessity of measures to resist the terrible invaders. City after city had been forced to purchase immunity

* Petit chapeaus. L'Enfant,


by pecuniary bribes. The Bishop of Bamberg ransumed the place by the payment of 9,000 golden ducats. Nuremberg paid a still larger sum.

The policy of Martin V. toward the Hussites was summed


in one word—a crusade. For twelve years this had been his uniform reply, when pressed for a solution of the Bohemian question. He exhorted the emperor and kings and princes to unite, and crush out forever the dangerous heresy. To the king of Poland he sent a master of the sacred palace, Andrew of Constantinople, as his ambassador to induce him to take active measures in concert with Sigismund. He represented, in a letter which the ambassador bore with him, that prudence as well as religion required the suppression of a people whose dogmas were fatal to all government, opposed to the authority of kings, and destructive of all human legislation. They favored, he said, many dangerous errors and superstitions, denied sovereigns their tribute, and held that all property was common and all men equal. The attempt to check and subdue them had been vain hitherto, and it seemed that providence had expressly reserved the work that the king of Poland might have this left him to crown his other conquests.

The pontiff, in a second letter, renewed his application, (Jan. 13, 1430,) representing to the king that he could do “nothing more acceptable to God, more useful to the world, or glorious to himself, than to turn all his thoughts and all his strength to the extirpation of the perfidious heresy” of the Bohemians. Help, however, was not to come from this

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