He received letters from England on August 27, which were dated April 15 and 16. His brother-in-law, Nicholas Fromond, told him that Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Sled, and his bookseller had used him very ill. Doubtless he was expecting some money from the sale of his books. Mrs. Dee was much upset at her brother's defections, and poor Dee was worried all round, for, as he writes in the margin of his diary, "Satan is very busy with E.K. about this time." Kelly seems to have been making friends with young Simon Hageck, son of "our host," as Dee calls him. To furnish his own study he has bought a clock of Mrs. Hageck for five ducats, which was so good a bargain that she requested "a quart of wine" (probably a quarter hogshead) thrown in. She herself does not seem to have benefited much by the largess, for Kelly and Laski's man Alexander proceeded to get drunk on it, and fell to fighting and quarrelling. Dee, who had stayed writing in his study instead of going to supper, was warned by the city watchman to keep better peace in his house. Looking from his window to account for the caution, he saw Laski's man sitting on a great stone, and called him to come in. When he had heard the tale he went off to Hageck's to "understand the very truth," and there found Kelly lying in a drunken sleep on a form. This was a relief. He was better pleased to think that angry words had been spoken "when wine, not wit, had rule," and persuaded Laski's man to stay in his lodgings that night instead of raging forth into the street. Already a scandal had been made which he foresaw would do him much harm. Next morning Kelly hada madder fit than ever.
"Much ado. Emerich and his brother (Thomas Kelly) and I had to stop or hold him from going on Alexander with his weapon. At length we let him go, in his doublet and hose without a cap or haton his head, and into the street he hasted with his brother's rapier drawn, and challenged Alexander to fight. But Alexander said `Nolo, Domine Kelleie, Nolo.' Hereupon E.K. took up a stone and threw after him as after a dog, and so came into the house again in a most furious rage for that he might not fight with Alexander. The rage and fury was so great in words and gestures as might plainly prove that the wicked enemy sought either E.K. his own destroying of himself, or of me, or of his brother. This may suffice to notifie the mighty temptation and vehement workingo f the subtle spiritual enemy, Satan, wherewith God suffered E.K. to be tempted and almost overcome: to my great grief, discomfort, and most great discredit, if it should come to the Emperor's understanding. I was in great doubt how God would take this offence, and devised with myself how I might with honesty be cleared from the shame and danger that might arise if these two should fight. At the least, it would cross all good hope here with the Emperor for a time, till God redressed it."
By this time Dee had become skilled and tactful in dealing with his turbulent skryer, and he soon brought him to quietness by yielding to his humour and saying little. At mid-day came Dee's messenger from Cracow, bringing letters from and tidings by word of mouth of his dear wife Jane, "to my great comfort." Much he was in need of comfort, and when a letter from the Emperor arrived the same day, desiring to see him, Kelly's enormities began to assume less desperate proportions.
Dee started at once to the Castle, the Palace of Prague, and waited in the guard-chamber, sending Emericus to the Lord Chamberlain, Octavius Spinola, to announce his coming.
"Spinola came to me very courteously and led me by the skirt of the gown, through the dining chamber to the Privie chamber, where the Emperor sat at a table, with a great chest and standish of silver before him, and my Monad and Letters by him."
Rudolph thanked Dee politely for the book (which was dedicated
to his father), adding that it was "too hard for his capacity"
to understand; but he encouraged the English philosopher to say
on all that was in his mind. Dee recounted his life history at
some length, and told how for forty years he had sought, without
finding, true wisdom in books and men; how God had sent him His
Light, Uriel, who for two years and a half, with other spirits,
had taught him, had finished his books for him, and had brought
hima stone of more value than any earthly kingdom. This angelic
friend had given him a message to deliver to Rudolph. He was to
bid him forsake his sins and turn to the Lord. Dee was to show
him the Holy Vision.
|Previous page||Table of Contents||Next page|