The two years soon came to an end, and a couple of days after his twenty-third birthday, young Dee left the Low Countries for Paris, where he arrived on July 20, 1550. His fame had preceded him, and within a few days, at the request of some English gentlemen and for the honour of his country, he began a course of free public lectures or readings in Euclid, "Mathematice, Physice et Pythagorice," at the College of Rheims, in Paris, a thing, he says, which had never been done before in any university in Christendom. His audience (most of them older than himself) was so large that the mathematical schools would not hold them, and many of the students were forced in their eagerness to climb up outside the windows, where, if they could not hear the lecturer, they could at least see him. He demonstrated upon every proposition, and gave dictation and exposition. A greater astonishment was created, he says, than even at his scarabaeus mounting up to the top of Trinity Hall in Cambridge. The members of the University in Paris at the time numbered over 4,000 students, who came from every part of the known world. He made many friends among the professors and graduates, friends of "all estates and professions," several of whose names he gives; among them, the learned writers and theologians of the day, Orontius, Mizaldus, Petrus Montaureus, Ranconetus (Ranconnet), Fernelius, and Francis Silvius.
The fruit of these years spent in Louvain and Paris was that Dee afterwards maintained throughout his life a lively correspondence with professors and doctors in almost every university of note upon the Continent. He names especially his correspondents in the universities of Orleans, Cologne, Heidelberg, Strasburg, Verona, Padua, Ferrara, Bologna, Urbino, Rome, and many others, whose letters lay open for the inspection of the commissioners on that later visit already alluded to.
An offer was made him to become a King's Reader in mathematics
in Paris University, with a stipend of two hundred French crowns
yearly, but he had made up his mind to return to England, and
nothing would tempt him to stay. He received other proposals,
promising enough, to enter the service of M. Babeu, M. de Rohan,
and M. de Monluc, who was starting as special ambassador to the
Great Turk, but his thoughts turned back to England, and thither,
in 1551, he bent his steps.
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