Chapter XV


"If all you boast of your great art be true,
Sure willing poverty lives most in you."

- Ben Jonson, Epigram to Alchymists.

Dee now resumed diligently his writing in the other diary, which becomes a strange medly of daily afairs small and great. He sent Francis Garland to England with another letter to Walsingham, dated June 17, begging him to continue his opinion of Dee's fidelity towards Her Majesty and the realm. It would be useless as yet to render any account of commodity to them or their country reaped by this peregrination, "but I trust more will be glad of our coming home than were sorry of our going abroad." He has not heard from Mr. Justice Young since May twelvemonth, but hopes his pitiful case of the books and other injuries endured have, by Walsingham's favour, had some redress. There is no news of importance but the Polish King's election, "the mysteries whereof, by the time this bearer reaches England, will be known to you." "Remember me to your good lady and to your daughter Lady Sidney." Money was now plentiful enough, and on September 1 Dee covenanted with John Basset (who had arrived at Trebona on August 20) "to teach the children the Latin tong, and I do give him seven ducats by the quarter, and the term to begyne this day; and so I gave him presently seven ducketts of Hungary in gold, before my wife. God spede his work." Arthur, who was just over eight, was gettingon with his "grammar"; Katherine was six. Thus was another element introduced into the oddly assorted household, and on September 4 Dee writes: "Basset his hurly burly with T. Kelly." Payments to Basset were entered regularly each quarter until August following, when the tutor, whose real name seems to have been Edward Whitlock, went off to Budweis on pretence of buying "cullors" - perhaps for painting, and never returned.

Various visitors came to Trebona, among them Pucci, bringing Christian Francke, the author of some books written against the Jesuits. Roseberg returned to Trebona, and finding a constraint existing n the relations of the household, set himself to reconcile them. "July 19th. a certayn kind of recommendation between our wives. Next day som relenting of E.K., also by my Lord's entrety." Rosenberg came and went frequently, so did his wife. Lord Biberstein, a friend of theirs, came to make Dee's acquaintance.

Alchemical experiments were being prosecuted with vigour. It was Dee's turn to make something prized, even if it were not gold. "Sept. 28th. I delivered to Mr. Ed. Kelly (ernestly requiring it as his part) the half of all the animall which was made. It is to weigh 20 ounces; he wayed it himself in my chamber. He bought his weights purposely for it. My Lord had spoken to me before for some, but Mr. Kelly had not spoken." Secrecy being necessary, he is evidently using a word of hidden meaning.

Kelly was constantly riding to Prague, and in October, while he was away, "John Carpio [who had joined them at Trebona] did begyn to make furnaces over the gate. He used of my rownd bricks, and for the yern pot was contented now to use the lesser bricks, 60 to make a furnace." Experiments on a large scale were about to be begun, and when Kelly returned a week later, terribilis expostulatio, etc., is the entry under his name. Edmond Hilton returned from England, and a month later Francis Garland, bringing letters from Edward Dyer. He brought also letters from Court advising their return home. People in the neighbourhood were beginning to talk about the strange doings of the foreigners in the Castle, and the Captain Critzin of the Guard disdained to come to a wedding supper inthe Rathhaus because Dee and Kelly were to be present. The household grew larger and larger. Thomas Kelly was married in June. In December, "Mr. John Carpio went towards Prague to marry the maiden he had trubbled; for the Emperor's Majestie, by my Lord Rosenberg's means, had so ordered the matter." He was absent till February 16, and in April brought his wife. Dee turned back to his books of tables, figures and symbols. "The 30 and 31 day I began to frame myself toward the practice of the Heptagonos of my 4th boke. God prosper my purpose." Kelly, on the other hand, was absorbed in alchemical studies. Perhaps the secret he had once professed to have captured had again eluded him.

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