Constant letters passed between the two former fellow-workers through the year 1590, the messenger being either Thomas Kelly or Francis Garland. All manner of wild stories were current in England, and have been gathered up and repeated by every writer upon Dee and Kelly. The sober Anthony Wood relates that gold was so plentiful in Trebona before Dee left that the young Arthur played with gold quoits made by projection, while a youthful Count Rosenberg (he seems a quite fictitious person) was throwing about silver playthings procured by the like means. Burleigh had written for a specimen of their wonderful art, and it said that the Queen was actually the recipient of a warming-pan, from the copper or brass lid of which a piece had been cut, transmuted into gold, and replaced. Elias Ashmole goes further in the story to say that "without Sir Edward's touching or handling it, or melting the metal, onely warming it in the Fire, the Elixir being put thereon, it was transmuted into pure gold." He adds that he has heard froma credible person (who has seen them) that Kelly made rings of gold wire twisted twice round the finger, which he gave away, to the value of £4,000: at the marrigae of Rosenberg's servant before alluded to. Ashmole adds: "This was highly generous, but to say the truth, openly Profuse beyond the modest limits of a sober philosopher." Sir Thomas Browne says he heard from Arthur Dee, his friend, conclusive evidence of the manufacture of gold. The reader may smile at these fairy tales, but what is to be said of a staid and sober minister like Burleigh being ready to credit the truth of Kelly's exploits, whether convinced by the warming-pan, or by other means? In a long letter to Edward Dyer, in 1591, who was then acting as the Queen's agent in Germany, he urges him to use every means in his power to induce "Sir Edward Kelly to come over to his native country and honour her Majesty with the fruits of such knowledge as God has given him." Dyer had been Dee's friend for a great many years, as we know, and was Arthur's godfather, but he transferred all his attentions to Kelly as soon as that clever trickster began making gold. Dee only says he "did injure me unkindlie." Kelly and Dyer became inseparable, and Dyer wrote home to Burleigh wonderful reports of Kelly's miracles. Ignoring all that had passed, Burleigh is ready to welcome the quondam coiner, forger, or what not, with open arms back to the service of his Queen. "If his knowledge is as certain as you make it, what would you have me think could stay him from flying to the service of his own sovereign?" If he is afraid of old reports, actions, disgrace, being brought up against him (and we know Kelly's record was none of the cleanest), let him be assured that he shall have his Queen's protection "against all impediments that shall arise." Burleigh becomes almost poetical as he speaks of the patronage of "such a Princess, who never yet was stained with any breach of Promise to them that deserved her favour. If I did not know to whom I write, who has had long experience of her rare vertues,...I could use many arguments to move any man never to mistrust her." He implores Dyer to induce Kelly to come. If he does not come, it can only be because by cunning or legerdemain he has deceived them and cannot do what he promises, or else he is an unnatural disloyal man and subject. In case Kelly will not come, he asks if Dyer cannot send a very small portion of his powder to make a demonstration to the Queen's own sight. What the Treasurer would like most of all is that Kelly should "send her Majesty as a token a good round sum of money, say enough to defray the charges of the navy for this summer," for the ships of Spain were gathering courage after their defeat. "But wishers and woulders were never good householders," he ends. The Queen is at his house at Theobalds, and will be some time longer. He would not be content the time were tripled, so he "had but one corn of Sir Edward Kelly's powder." Burleigh and Kelly were also in direct correspondence. Beside urging his return, the Lord Treasurer, who seemed to consider Kelly as the storehouse of the elixir of life as well as of the philosopher's stone, begs for a prescription with the proof of manufactured gold. In a brief note of February 18, 1591, Kelly says he will shortly send the good thing desired for your health." He has received the salutations sent through Mr. Dyer, and "at his return you shall know how I thank you." This, the only original letter of Kelly's to be traced, characteristically promises what he never meant to do. Burleigh replied in May, again begging him to send "somethingof your operation to strengthen me afore next winter against my old enemy the gout." He once more strongly urges Kelly's return. How can he hesitate to bestow the gifts that God has given him rather upon his own Prince and Countrie than upon strangers?
Kelly of course did not return, but apparently wrote again, urging
powerful reasons of excuse. Burleigh's faith in him began to shake.
He sent a last imperative recall, someof which may be quoted from
the rough draft written in his own hand. It shows once more what
sort of men the great Queen had to serve her, and what a Queen
she was to serve.
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