THE CASTLE OF TREBONA
"Welcome the sour cup of prosperity!
Affliction may one day smile again: and until then,
Sit down, sorrow."
- Shakespeare, Love's Labour Lost
Tribau, or Wittingau, the Trebona or our story, is a small village lying in the beautiful undulating scenery of the Ludnitz, a small tributary of the river Moldau. It is a few miles from Neuhaus and Weseli, not many from the town of Budweis, on the Upper Moldau, in Southern Bohemia.
In 1586 it consisted of little beside the castle, a Rathhaus, quarters for a small garrison, and a cluster of dwellings where Dee tells a fire broke out on Whit Sunday, 1585, and destroyed several houses. The castle was oneof Rosenberg's many residences in Bohemia, and apparently a favourite one. the Viceroy was now just over fifty (he was born on March 10, 1535); he married about this time, and his wife constantly accompanied him on his visits to Trebona. They had also another castle at Neuhaus, beside a residence with beautiful gardens bordering the Moldau opposite Prague. They were frequently on the wing, flitting from Krumau to Vienna and from Vienna back to Prague. He welcomed the English travellers himself at Trebona, assigned them their rooms, and promised them all that heart could desire.
The actions, which had long been interrupted, were now resumed in "a goodly chapel next my chamber," where all the "appurtenances" were set up, with the "angelicall stone" in its frame of gold upon the table. Rosenberg had been already admitted to the sittings, in obedience to directions received on October 14. When the communications were made in English, Dee translated them into Latin for his benefit. But experiments with Kelly's powder were now all-engrossing, and even the spirits pass for a time into the background. Kelly went off to Prague for three weeks and was followed by Rosenberg. Dee remained with his wife and children; after their hardships, poverty, dangerous and wandering life, poor Jane must have been thankful for so luxurious a shelter. Visitors for Dee constantly arrived. Among them was Dr. Victor Reinhold, the astronomer. Pucci also came for a fortnight.
In December Dee received a very flattering invitation from the Emperor of Russia (Feodor Ivanowich) to go and take up his residence at Moscow in the Court. Dee's fame as a learned astrologer and mathematician had spread to Russia; still more was his reputation as an alchemist bruited abroad: perhaps he was already credited with having actually made gold by projection or transmutation.
The first intimation of the Emperor's wish was conveyed by Thomas
Simkinson, an Englishman, of Hull, commissioned by Edward Garland
to go to Brunswick or Cassel, or wherever Dee might be found,
and beg him to remain there until Garland could come from Russia.
He might tell Dee that the Emperor, having certain knowledge of
his learning and wisdom, is marvellous desirous for him to come
to his country, and had given Garland a sealed letter of invitation,
promising a sum of £2,000 yearly and free diet from the royal
kitchen if he will come. His charges of removing shall be paid,
and he shall travel royally with 500 hourses to convey him through
the land. If he thinks the salary offered too little, Garland,
when he arrives, will assure him that if he asks as much more,
he shall have it. The "Lord Protector," too, Prince
Boris, took Garland in his arms on his departure and promised
1,000 roubles from his own purse beside the Emperor's allowance.
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