"Dec. 12 afternone somewhat. Mr. Ed. Keley his lamp overthrow, the spirit of wyne being spent to[o] nere, and the glas being not stayed with buks abowt it, as it was wont to be; and the same glas so flitting on one side, the spirit ws spilled out, and burnt all that was on the table where it stood, lynnen and written books - as the bok of Zacharius withthe Alkanor that I translated out of French for some by spirituall could not [?]; Rowlaschy his third boke of waters philosophicall; the boke called Angelicum opus, all in pictures of the work from the beginning to the end; the copy of the man of Budwise Conclusions for the Transmutation of metalls, and 40 leaves in 40, intitled, Extractiones Dunstani, which he himself extracted and noted out of Dunstan his boke, and the very bok of Dunstan was but cast on the bed hard by from the table."
The "very bok of Dunstan" was no doubt a copy of the manuscript Tractatus...de lapide philosophorum, which was formerly ascribed to the Saint of Glastonbury. It was the constant companion of these two alchemists, held in awe and great esteem, as we see by Dee's words above.
In his new liberation from crystal gazing, Kelly became a changed and haughty being. He was established in his own apartments, and when he felt weary his former master was now summoned imperiously to come and amuse him! He sends the old man a message by his brother Tomas, saying, "You study too much, it is too late in the day to go to Cromlaw, as you intended, he wishes you to come to pass the tyme with him at play." Dee mildly consents: "I went after dynner and payd, he and I against Mr. F. Garland and Mr. Rob., tyll supper tyme in his dyning rome, and after supper he came and the others, and we played there two or three houres and frendely departed. This was then after the great and wonderful unkindness used toward me in taking my man." A week or two later Kelly sent for Dee late in the evening to come to his laboratory over the gate, to see how he distilled sericon, "according as in time past and of late he heard of me out of Riplay. God lend his heart to all charity and vertue."
It is evident that Kelly was jealously and secretly working at his experiments apart from Dee. He had learned much alchemy from his master and his master's wonderful library inthe four years, but there was still knowledge stored in chambers of Dee's brain of which he could not pick the lock. To enter those inner recesses had been doubtless Kelly's aim when he represented the spirits as bidding them share everything with each other. But he, on his part, had no intention of sharing anything that he discovered.
The year 1588 began badly, for the child Michael, on New Year's Day,
"going childyshly with a sharp stick of eight inches long and a little wax cadell light on the top of it [evidently the child was keeping Christmastide in good old German fashion], did fall uppon the playn bords in Marie's chamber, and the sharp point of the stik entred through the lid of his left ey toward the corner next the nose, and so persed through, insomuch that great abundance of blud came out under the lid, in the very corner of the sayd ey. The hole on the outside is not bygger than a pin's hed; it was anoynted with St. John's oyle. The boy slept well. God spede the rest of the cure. The next day after, it apperid that the first towch of the stikes point was at the very myddle of the apple of the ey, and so (by God's mercy and favor) glanced tothe place where it entred; with the strength of his hed and the fire of his fulness. I may make some shew of it to the prayse of God for his mercies and protection."
|Previous page||Table of Contents||Next page|