Here are the old dreams of the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, the transmutation of metals and all the works of alchemy, for which both these travellers were adventuring their lives in a foreign land. Dee does not seem exactly dazzled by these allurements. He only begs leave to ask questions, and seeks to keep the speaker to the point. "Are they to stay there and not to go on with Laski? Where are they to spend the winter?"
"Where you will," comes the answer. "Are you so unwise as to go with him now? Let him go before, and provide for himself and the better for you. In the Summer, when it is more fair, you can follow. The weather now will be hard and the travel unfit for children. Heap not up thy wife's sorrow."
"I desire to live in quiet that my spirit may the better attend to the service of God."
"Well, you are contented?"
Dee asks again, are they to part from Laski? Will it not be prejudicial to their arrangement, they having entered into a kind of covenant with him? "Are you not content?" the visitor repeats.
Then he did impart some remarkable information to Dee, in which there was certainly a grain of telepathically conveyed truth.
"Your brother is clapped up in prison. How like you that? Your house-keeper I mean."
This evidently refers to Nicholas Fromond.
"They examine him. They say that thou hast hid divers secret things. As for thy books, thou mayst go look at them at leasure. It may be that thy house may be burnt for a remembrance of thee, too. Well, if they do, so it is. I have given thee my counsel, and desired to do thee good. The choice is thine."
There is no evidence that Fromond was imprisoned, but he was a poor protector of his brother-in-law's valuable effects. He was powerless against a mob who broke into Dee's house not long after his departure from Mortlake, made havoc of his priceless books and instruments, and wrought irreparable damage. It was not nearly two months since Dee had left Mortlake, and, moving from place to place, it was unlikely that he had heard any news from thence. No date has ever been assigned to this action of the mob. It is quite conceivable that it actually took place on this day, November 15, and that by Kelly's clairvoyant or telepathic power the news was communicated across the sea and continent to Dee.
The poor astrologer was torn with doubts and misgivings. He fell
upon his knees, uttering a piercing supplication to the "Author
of all truth and direction of such as put their trust in him."
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