"I thereupon thinking that E.K. would, should or best could, instruct and direct the childe in that exercise, did alwayes await that E.K. would of himself call the boy to that exercise with him; and so much the rather because he said that he was very glad now that he should have a Witness of the things shewed and declared by spiritual creatures: And that he would be more willing to do what should be so enjoyned to him to do, than if only he himself did see. But when E.K. said to me that I should exercise the child and not he, and that he would not, I thereupon appointed with myself to bring the childe to the place, and to offer him, and present him to the service of Seeing and Skrying from God and by God's assignment."
Then Dee drew up a petition to put in the child's mouth that he might be "a true and perfect seer, Hearer, Declarer and Witness of such things as might be revealed to him either immediately or mediately by the angels." Three times a day for three days he was to offer this prayer thrice over, while seated at the stone. The poor child happily beheld in the magic crystal nothing more than dots and pricks, letters and lines, and "a young man in a white leathern doublet and a grey cloke, like hans of Gloats, his cloak," of all which even his father could make little. On the fourth day came Kelly, to see how Arthur and his skrying progressed. But still the child saw nothing. Then Kelly applied himself to skry as usual. Looking from the gallery window, he had already without any crystal seen Il and Madimi, also Uriel, who justifies their words. What they command he hesitates to say. Next day he is again the percipient; the result is the same. At length, with feigned reluctance, he tells Dee of a vision of strange and subversive portent. It is so repugnant to him that he can hardly impart it. Madimi, throwing aside all her garments, mysteriously bids them participate in all things one with another. Kelly affects not to understand, but after more hesitation expounds to Dee that the sharing is to be in everything, even of their wives. All things are to be in common between them.
Dee, to whom Madimi is invisible, though he hears her voice, fiercely rebukes her: "Such words are unmeet for any godly creature to use. Are the commandments of God to be broken?" This participation, he insists to Kelly, can be meant only in a Christian and godly sense. Kelly construes the injunction very differently, but he affects a chaste horror and swears for the hundredth time that he will deal no more with the spirits.
Then Madimi, with scathing irony, addresses them both as "fools, and of little understanding." Not content to be hearers, would they be "Lords, Gods, judgers of the heavens"? She turns away. "Your own reason riseth up against my wisdom. Behold, you are free. Do that which most pleaseth you."
It is a comfort to learn that the child Arthur had all this time fallen down "in a swound." He was indeed very ill for some time afterwards, and small wonder.
Dee protested and argued with Kelly and with Madimi. He was consumed with grief and amazement that good angels could propound "so hard and unpure a doctrine." Had he not offered his very soul "as a pawn to discharge E.K. his crediting of them to the good and faithful ministers of Almighty God"? Was it not his life's work to withdraw Kelly from any kind of association with the bad spirits who had frequented him before he came to Mortlake?
Until two in the morning of this April 18, 1587, the pair sat
up arguing, talking, praying. Kelly held forth about a little
spirit, Ben, who had that day appeared to him in his laboratory
alone, and had shown him how to distil oil from spirit of wine
"over a retort in two silver dishes whelmed one upon another,
with a hole through the middle and a sponge between them, in which
the oil would remain." Ben had foretold Elizabeth's death
in July (she lived for sixteen years), the death of the King of
Spain and the Pope; in fact, a general moribundity of sovereigns.
Francis Garland was a spy sent by Burleigh to see what they were
doing; Rosenberg would be shortly poisoned; famine and bloodshed
would cover the land. Many other dire calamities would happen
if they were not conformable to the voice; chief of all, the virtue
should be taken from Kelly's precious powder; it would be rendered
unprofitable, and he would become a beggar. It was Ben, he says,
who had brought him his powder.
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