Five or six days after arriving in Prague, on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, Dee was settled in the house of Dr. Hageck, by Bethlem in Old Prague (Altstadt), kindly lent him for his use. The house was not far from the old Rathhaus, the great clock tower of which, dated 1474, and the Council Chamber, still exist. It was also near the Carolinum or University, founded by Charles IV. in 1383, in whose hall John Huss a hundred and fifty years before had held his disputations. When Dee and his party arrived in the city Tycho Brahe was still alive, though not yet a resident in Prague. Prague was the city of alchemists. The sombre, melancholy Emporer himself relieved his more seriuos studies by experiments in alchemics and physics. A mania for collecting rare and valuable objects provided him with a still lighter pastime. He painted, read much, and worked in iron, was a good linguist, and a regular dilettante. Unmarried, and with all the weaknesses of the Habsburghs, for nearly thirty years our of his long life and far too protracted reign he was quite mad. Not many years after his reception of Dee he ceased to make any pretence of public appearance.
The excellent little study or "stove" (from "stube," German for study) in Dr. Hageck's house had been since 1518 the abode of some student of alchemy, skilful of the holy stone. The name of the alchemist, "Simon," was written up in letters of gold and silver in several places in the room. Dee's eyes also fell daily on many cabalistic hieroglyphs, as well as on drawings or carvings of birds, fishes, flowers, fruits, leaves and six vessels, all the work, he presumed, of Simon baccalaureus Pragensis. Over the door were the lines:
"Immortale Decus par gloriaque illi debentur
Cujus ab ingenio est discolor hic paries,"
and on the south wall of the study was a long quotations from some philosophical work ending with
"Ars nostra est Ludus puero cum labor mulierum. Scitote omnes filii artis hujus, quod nemo potest colligere fructus nostri Elixiris, nisi per introitum nostri lapidis Elementati, et si aliam viam quaerit, viam nunquam intrabit nec attinget. Rubigo est opus, quod sit ex solo auro, dum intraverit in suam humiditatem."
In these congenial surroundings skrying was at once resumed. Madimi (now grown into a woman) was the first visitor, and Dee hastened to inquire for his wife and child at Cracow. He notes that his first letter from her arrived on the 21st. She joined him before long. He was told to write to the Emperor Rudolph. He did so on August 17, and he relates in the epistle the favourable attention he has received from Charles V. and his brother Ferdinand, Rudolph's father, the Emperor Maximilian II., who accepted the dedication of his book Monas Hieroglyphica, and others of the imperial house. He signs the letter, "Humillimus et fidelissimus clientulus Joannes Dee."
After waiting a week he sent the letter by Laski's secretary to
the Spanish ambassador, Don Guglielmo de Sancto Clemente, who
was to present it to Rudolph. With it he also sent a copy of his
Monas. The same night he heard by Emerich Sontag, the secretary,
that the Emperor had graciously accepted the book, and within
three or four days would appoint a time for giving him an audience.
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