Dee replied that he had found so much halting and untruth in Kelly's reports of actions when he was not present, that he would believe nothing save what by better trial he found to be true. But at last his resistance seemed to be overridden, and in the chill of the early morning he went to bed, heavy at heart in spite of his delusion. His poor wife was lying awake, wondering what turn their ill-starred fortunes were next to take.

"`Jane,' I said, `I can see that there is no other remedy, but as hath been said of our cross-matching, so it must needs be done.'"

Poor Mrs. Dee, shocked and horrified, fell a-weeping and trembling for a full quarter of an hour, then burst into a fury of anger. At last she implored her husband never to leave her. "I trust," said she, "that though I give myselfe thus to be used, that God will turn me into a stone before he would suffer me in my obedience to receive any shame or inconvenience." She would eat neither fish nor flesh, she vowed, until this action, so contrary to the wholesome law of God, and so different from former actions, which had often comforted her; was confirmed. Both the indignant women demanded a repetition of the action.

In obedience to Raphael's counsel, a solemn pact or covenant was humbly drawn up by Dee on the 21st, and signed by these four strange partners in delusion. It promised blind obedience, with secrecy upon pain of death to any of the four. It deprecated all intention of impurity and guilt. Its subscribers promise to captivate and tread under foot all human timorous doubting that the true original power and authority of sins releasing or discharging is from the Creator. True Christian charity spiritual, perfect friendship and matrimonial liberty between the four is vowed, and they beseech that this "last mystical admonishment" be not imputed to them for rashness, presumption, or wanton lust.

Dee's hand is unmistakable in the document. He regarded the new development apparently only as a symbol of further spiritual union, and a means of obtaining a closer entrance into the secrets of all knowledge. It was no matter to him, he says, if the women were imperfectly obedient. "If it offend not God, it offended not mee, and I pray God it did not offend him."

Kelly drew up a paper the day after Dee's, washing his hands of the whole matter, protesting that he did not believe so damnable a doctrine would be commanded, recounting his warnings to his worshipful Master Dee, and so on. On May 6 Dee spread his covenant, a document of the most truly devout character, before the holy south table in the chapel of the castle, with many prayers for divine guidance. The next day Kelly obtained the paper, cut it in pieces and destroyed it, made away with one of the crystals (which was found again under Mrs. Dee's pillow), and threatened to depart elsewhere with John Carpio. Coldness and jealousy fell between the pair.

So ended the whole extraordinary episode of the Talbot-Kelly spiritualistic revelations. Madimi appeared for the last time on May 23. Then the Liber Mysteriorum is closed. For twenty years there are no more records of angels' visits. And the few pages that remain are written in a halting hand in Dee's stricken old age, when he was seldom visited by his unseen friends, badly though he needed their comfort. No other medium like Kelly was ever found. One can only wonder whether, after so rude an awakening, even Dee would have implicitly trusted anyone again. These five years with the skryer had filled him to the brim with a consciousness of some power beyond his wit to control, a power amazing in its ingenuity to torture him. He had asked Madimi piteously if he should suffer any more of these pangs. He knew now that he would. Yet, in spite of all, these marvellous doings had brought him hours of exquisite happiness, moments when he had seemed lost in the unity of the combined wisdom of the ages, which to him meant - God.

Previous page Table of Contents Ch. 15