Chapter XII


"Since all men from their birth employ sense prior to intellect, and are necessarily first conversant with sensible things: some, proceeding no farther, pass through life considering these as first and last; and apprehending what is painful to be evil, what is pleasant good, they deem it sufficient to shun the one and pursue the other. Some pretending to greater reason than the rest, esteem this wisdom; like earth-bound birds, though they have wings they are unable to fly. The secret souls of others would recall them from pleasure to worthier pursuits, but they cannot soar: they choose the lower way, and strive in vain. Thirdly, thre are those - divine men - whose eyes pierce through clouds and darkness to the supernal vision, where they abide as in their own lawful country."

- Plotinus

All this time, Dee is so absolutely absorbed with his spiritual visions that we know very little about his outer existence. For three years after he left England, he neglected to enter anything in his ordinary diary, and the Liber Mysticus contains nothing of everyday affairs.

In this July, 1584, however, at Cracow, he does enter an important piece of information about his boy Rowland, the baby then about a year and a half old.

"1584. Remember that on Saturday the fourteenth day of July by the Gregorian Calendar, and the fourth day of July by the old Calendar, Rowlande my childe (who was born Anno 1583, January 28 by the old calendar) was extreamely sick about noon or mid-day, and by one of the clock was ready to give up the ghost, or rather lay for dead, and his eyes set and sunck in his head.

"I made a vow if the Lord did foresee him to be his true servant, and so would grant him life, and confirm him his health at this danger, and from this danger, I would during my life on Saturdays eat but one meal."

Although we never find this vow referred to again, there is no doubt that Dee devoutly kept his bargain. Rowland did grow up and had other remarkable escapades.

Still the journey to Prague to the Emperor Rudolph was postponed, and it was not until the first day of August that the trio set off. Dee and Kelly were ready to go sooner, but Laski had not sufficiently recovered his finances. The party had been augmented by the arrival of Kelly's brother, Thomas, and Edmond Hilton, son of Dee's old friend, Goodman Hilton, who had sometimes lent him money, and who in 1579 had requested leave for his two sons to resort to Dee's house. Thomas Kelly accompanied the Prince and his pair of crystal gazers. The women were left behind under Edmond Hilton's charge.

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