Chapter XIII


"Now, Epicure,
Heighten thyself, talk to her all in gold,
Rain her as many showers as Jove did drips
Unto his Danaid, shew the gold a miser
Compared with Mammon. What! the stone will do't.
She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold."

- Jonson, The Alchemist

On February 27, 1585, Dee and Kelly, with Thomas Kelly, rode with great secrecy to Limburg, six miles from Prague, in obedience to Madimi, who however told them on arriving that Rudolph know of their departure. Dee suspected Laski's man, Sontag, of treachery. Michael appeared to them there, and instructed Dee to name his new-born child Michael. The infant was baptised by the Court chaplain in Prague Cathedral (which is dedicated to the very unpopular Saint Vitus) on March 18, the Spanish ambassador being godfather and the Lady Dietrichstein, wife of the Emperor's major-domo, godmother.

Kelly was still murmuring under the mystical dealings of the angels. "Let them give me somewhat profitable to my body, or some wisdom to my mind's behoof, and then I will believe in them," he says. Then he protests he will confess all to the priest, and if the holy father does not allow their doings or counsel to be genuine, neither will he.

The remarkable answer that Dee gives again shows us how in advance he was of his times in matters spiritual as well as scientific. "The authority of good angels or messengers from God is greater," says he, "than the authority of the Pope, or priests."

So the weeks went on. Kelly postponed the day of taking the sacrament. At Easter will be a fit time. He will wait till then. He is tired of skrying: "I pray you to deal with another. Here is John, a boy in the house. You may use him." Thus, for the third time, a boy is suggested.

It is a curious piece of psychology, or crystallomancy, that Kelly, who possessed the mediumistic powers, was always so reluctant to use them, while Dee, who as Madimi told him, had clearer sight than his skryer, was entirely unable to open up communication with the unseen.

Money was scarcer than ever. "My wife being in great perplexity, requested E.K. and me that the annexed petition might be propounded to God and his good angels, to give answer or counsel in the cause." Jane's petition set out simply that they had no provision for meat and drink for their family, that it "would discredit the actions wherewith they are vowed and linked unto the heavenly majesty" to lay the ornaments of their house or coverings of their bodies in pawn to the Jews, and that the city was full of malicious slanders. Aid and direction are implored how or by whom they are to be aided and relieved. The spirits, while reminding her grandiloquently that she is only a woman, full of infirmities, frail in soul, and not fit to enter the synagogue, yet favourably listen, and bid her be faithful and obedient as she is yoked, promising that she and her children shall be cared for. Meanwhile her husband is to gird himself together and hasten to see Laski and King Stephan.

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