On November 23, Francis Garland and Mr. Dyer's servant, Edward Rowley, who had come back a week or two earlier, left for England. Dee sent by tham a most important letter to the Queen, also letters to Dyer, Mr. Young, and to Edmond Hilton. News from England travelled slowly, and Dee had not long since heard of the glorious defeat of the Spanish Armada of the previous May. The victorious captains, Frobisher, Drake, Hawkins, were all well known to him, and with the Admiral in chief command, Lord Howard of Effingham, he was very familiar at Court, for his wife had been Jane's early patron and friend. Patriot that Dee was, yearning to get back to England, he now wrote to the Queen a letter of congratulation (dated November 1-, 1588) upon the splendid victory of her navy. It was couched in the graceful and fantastic terms of homage of the day, and is a literary production well befitting a man of his reputation. The letter is reproduced from the original. It is printed by Ellis in Letters of Eminent Men.
He speaks in it of his proposed return, and begs for a safe conduct through all the domains of princes and potentates which lay between him and home. "Happy are they that can perceive and so obey the pleasant call of the mightie Lady Opportunitie." The answer, of course, took long to come, but he began to make his preparations slowly. He gave to Kelly the wonderful convex glass which the Queen had so often admired. A fortnight after, Kelly gave it to Rosenberg, and the Count presented it to the Emperor. Dee says the Emperor had long esteemed it, but he has not toldus when he showed it to Rudolph. He had described the mirror in his Preface to Billingsley's Euclid (see ante, p. 25).
On February 4 he also made over to Kelly "the powder, the books, the glass, and the bone, for Rosenberg, and he tereuppon gave me discharge in writing of his own hand subscribed and sealed." Rosenberg was away, and did not trouble to return to bid him good-bye. Instead he wrote to Kelly to take his leave of Dee for him, and said that he would send instructions to his man Menschik to "dispatch him," perhaps with some settlement of a financial character.
On the afternoon of February 16, 1588, Kelly rode away to Prague, taking most of the assistants with him: John Carpio, F. Garland, Simkinson. Dee never saw him again.
Three new coaches had been ordered in Budweis, and when they were ready, Dee dispatched Edmond Hilton (who had returned from England in December) to Prague to buy a dozen coach and saddle horses. Money was plentiful at this time, the practice of economy was impossible to Dee, so he set off to travel homewards in state, as became a man to whom an emperor had offered a princely salary. It was very unnecessary, even absurd, but it was characteristic of Dee and his exalted ideas, not so much of himself, as of his peculiar mission. The journey cost, as he reckoned up afterwards, more than £600. The horses - twelve young Hungarian coach horses and three Wallachees for the saddle - cost £120, and cheap they were at that. The three new coaches, with harness, saddles and bridles, cost £60; and the hiring of two or three waggons for his goods, books, furniture, vessels, etc., ran into £110. Then he had an escort of twenty-four soldiers from Diepholt to Oldenburg, as permitted by the Emperor's passport; and from Oldenburg to Bremen, the Duke of that province sent six musqueteers to protect him. It was a dangerous time to ride abroad, as he says, not long before the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. A party of eighteen horsemen had lain in wait for his caravan for five days, but a warning came through a Scot in the garrison of Oldenburg, and Robert, the Landgrave of Hesse, extended his powerful protection.
The train of coaches and waggons, with the travellers and their
baggage, left Trebona on March 11. The Castle had been their home
for a year and a half, and we can fancy Jane, at any rate, dreading
to take up once more the old wandering life. For it was to be
a year and three-quarters more before they set foot in England.
On the 18th they were in Nuremburg, where they stayed two nights;
on March 26 they reached Frankfurt-am-Main, and on April 19, five
weeks after leaving Trebona, they were in Bremen, their present
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