Notes to Chapter IX

(1) Athenae Cantab., Vol. II, p. 501. In his article on Dee in the D.N.B. (Vol. XIV, p. 277 et seq) Cooper similarly declares Dee's account of his conferences to be "such a tissue of blasphemy and absurdity that they might suggest insanity, which howver there is no other ground to suspect" (p. 279). This represents the usual level of comment, when the conferences have not been regarded as divine or devilish; Dibdin says of the T.F.R. (Bibliomania, 1842 ed., p. 262) "Such a farrago of incongruous, visible and horrible events are no where else recorded," and Brunet (Nouvelle Big. Gen., 1855, Vol. XIII, p. 347) declares "Ce recueil d'extravagance n'est remarquable que par les inepties qu'il renferme."

(2) One example may suffice here; the enthusiastic annotations made in 1810, in his copy, by Nathaniel B. Halked, M.P., friend of Warren Hastings--where Casaubon comments "it might be deemed and termed a work of Darnesse," Halked interjects "Non Monsieur c'est un drame céleste; une ouvre des plus lumineuses, très sublime et tres instructive" (the leaves have been subsequently clipped). He finds it full of "most sublime and recondite truths, such as the editor was too prejudiced to judge or understand." He treats it as a work of prophecy, detecting frequent contemporary applications, is particularly impressed by the fact that one of Dee's spirits was called Galvah, and once said "I amthe end," for now, Halked observes, "indicating the approach of judgment, a miraculous new science, which will strip the last veil from nature's mysteries is arising called `Galvanism'." (Reported N.Q., IVth Series, 4, 1869, pp. 69-70.) Appendix B of Seccombe's Twelve Bad Men, 1894, p. 352, notes that selections from T.F.R. were printed "a few years back" in the Journal of the Psychical Research Society.

(3) Note by Ashmole, who retrieved the remainder, on his transcript of these sections Sloane MS, 3677, f. 1. D'Israeli commented acidly on the resurrection of these "mystical and almost interminable guises"; "Such is the fate of books: the world will for ever want the glorious fragments of Tacitus and Livy, but they have Dee passing entire" (Amenities of Literature, III, p. 221). The original is Sloane MS 3188. This covers the period of 22 Dec., 1581, to 23 May, 1583. Casaubon printed from Cotton MS App. XLVI which covers, with some gaps, 23 May 1583 to July 7 1607; this MS is a transcript made for Cotton from Dee's original papers (see letter of July 26, 1656 on f 151). Sloane MS 3190 is a copy of the printed T.F.R. corrected, with additions, from Dee's MS, by Shippen (vide infra n. 7, p. 438) which has been employed for all T.F.R. quotations here.

(4) For "the truth is Plato's writings are full of Prodigies, Apparitions of Souls, pains of Hell and Purgatory, Revelations of gods and the like. Wherein he is so bold that he is fair to excuse himself sometimes, and doth not desire that any man should believe him, according to the letter of his relations, but in grosse only, that somewhat was true to that effect. Indeed he hath many divine passages, yea whole treatises that can never be sufficiently admired in their kind, but too full of tales for a Phylosopher it cannot be denied. Aristotle therefore resolved upon quite a contrary way. He would medddle with nothing but what had some apparent ground in nature." It is clear where the interested affections of Casaubon himself lie. Of Aristotle he writes: "I am convinced in my judgment that so much solid reason in all Arts and Sciences never issued from mortal man (known unto us by his writings) without supernatural illumination."

(5) E.g., the letter from Benrnard, Chaplain to Archbishop of Armagh to Casaubon (Ashmole MS 1788 f 65r; contemporary copy Rawlinson MS 923D) of Nov. 14, 1658. He writes that Usher borrowed a transcript from Sir Thomas Cotton "and each night I read a great part of it to him" and he "did say that it was an excellent Booke to convince Atheists etc.; and wished it printed."

(6) Casaubon, an anglican and a royalist (for an account of him see Boyle, A General Dictionary Historical and Critical, ed. Birch, 1736, Vol. IV, pp. 155, 163) had published a work to a similar effect four years earlier, A Treatise concerning Enthusiasm, as it is an effect of nature, but is mistaken by many for either Divine Inspiration or Diabolical possession, in which six varieties (General, Divinatory, Contemplative or Philosophical, Rhetorical, Poetical and Precatory) are examined. For present difficulties see copy of a letter to Casaubon; Ashmole MS, 1788, f. 65v; "The Booke was stopt at the Presse and in question at the Council Table, if the Protector had lived it had not bin printed."

(7) E.g., the notes of Rev. Wm. Shippen (1683) who seems to have been an acquaintance of Ashmole's, on the fly leaf of his copy (now in B.M.) which he had corrected from the MSS, which largely echo Casaubon's opinions. He finds Dee "a very learned and pious man but most lamentably troubled with Hypochondriac Melancholy." "I do not see" he writes, "what any Sadducee can say when he is pressed with the truth of these Discourses.

"For to Believe all this was mere Melancholy and Enthusuasme in Dr. Dee that continued so many yeares in him, I thinke is an assertion too bold for any Man to Offer. Or to believe that either Bartholomew, or his son Arthur who did pretend to see did Abuse him I thinke is more than any one will say.

"For E.K. no doubt he was a very Rascall but whether he was always an Impostor and pretended to see that he did not, and Hear also, and so long together is very Difficult to believe." D'Israeli stigmatised Casaubon's preface as "hypochondrical" (Amenities of Literatiore, III, p. 222), but Liebniz found the whole volume of importance, saying of Casaubon's publication of the papers "[il] y a ajouté une tres belle preface Angloise qui meriterait d'être traduite autant que le livre meme" (which he says contains much of value on this famous mathematician--"Mais on y reconnoit aisement, que Monsieur Dee s'est laisée tromper par Kelloeus") (Miscellanea, 1718, No. CLXVIII, p. 521).

(8) Life of Wood, by himself. Printed in introd. to Athenae Oxon., Vol. I, p. XL.

(9) Lives of the Necromancers, p. 396.

(10) Ibid, p. 376.

(11) T.F.R., p. 28.

(12) Ch. 1, Pt. 1, fIVv; VIIv. Original Spanish by Martin Cortez.

(13) "Wherein is contained an excellent discourse of Christian Naturall philosophie concerning the fourme, knowledge and use of all things created" 1576 by Lambert Danaeus. The author's epistle is on "how to refourme the opini_s of the Philosophers by the Word of God," the translation is dedicated to Walsingham.

(14) p. 2.

(15) p. 66 et seq.

(16) Tableaux accomplis de tous les arts liberaux, 1587 (later Sig. KK--his primary division of "Theologie la doctrine de la verité" is into "vulgaire familiare" and "scholastique plus subtile, secrète et speculative").

(17) De Augmentis Scientiarum, lib. 3, cap. 2, De Theologia naturalis, Works, Vol. II, p. 331.

(18) See West, The Invisible World, a valuable survey of Elizabethan pneumatology--p. 6 et seq, on the general reference to Platonists as ancient authorities on spirits, and on Plato's doctrine of separated forms as a basis for the belief in daemonic mediations. (Neo-Platonic writings are also largely responsible for the animistic mingling of the activities of daemons and physical cosmology--the acceptance for instance, of spirits as providing the motive power for the Aristotelian spheres). The hierarchy, Spheres, Daemons, men, all regarded as mutually dependent--appears also in hermetic writings e.g., Poimander, lib. XVI in Hermetica, ed. Scott, Vol. I, p. 271.

(19) De Incantationibus, cap. X, p. 205; he reproves Plato much as Averroes does Avicenna for distorting philosophy by making concessions to the multitude and incorporating unfounded popular beliefs into his metaphysics, in contrast to the more worthy teaching of Aristotle--he is here particularly reflecting on the "Platonic daemons"--and comments "Quare nil mirum si Plato a vulgaribus et sacerdotibus exaltatus, Arist. autem repulsus et depressus."

(20) Euthydemus 237a Soc.: I was "intending to get up and go but the moment I did so, there came my wonted spiritual sign so I sat down again...."