Chapter XVIII


"A wise man never goes the people's way:
But, as the planets still move contrary
To the world's motion, so doth he, to opinion.
He will examine, if those accidents
Which common fame calls injuries, happen to him
Deservedly or no? Come they deservedly,
They are no wrongs then, but his punishments:
If undeservedly and he not guilty,
The doer of them, first, should blush, not he."

Jonson, The New Inn

Dee had now abandoned all hope of recovering the two Midland parsonages, the small income of which was all that lay between him and utter dependence upon charity. His thoughts were now set on the mastership of St. Cross, at Winchester, a benefice which he had already, some twenty years before, petitioned the Queen to grant. Dr. Bennett, the present master, who had then obtained it, might now, he thought, fitly be made a bishop. The Countess of Warwick secured from the Queen a promise that Dee should have it, "if it were a living fit for me." The Archbishop of Canterbury affirmed that it was most fit for Dee and Dee for it. The Lord Treasurer protested, "I will do what I can with her Majestie to pleasure you therein, Mr. Dee." Lady Warwick, faithful to his cause, repeated her request the following year, and still there was no news of Bennett attaining a mitre. Dee went to Court at Nonsuch in August, and a day or two after his return dined, at Burleigh's invitation, with the Lord Treasurer and his two sons, Sir Robert and Sir Thomas Cecil, at Mr. Maynard's, at Mortlake. Burleigh also sent him venison and invited him again to meet Lord Cobham.

All promised their influence in obtaining for him the coveted Mastership. But it was another castle in the air. His friends were extremely good to him. In May, 1591, he says:

"Sir Thomas Jones, Knight (unaxed) offered me his castell of Emlyn in Wales to dwell in so long as he had any interest in it, whose lease dureth yet twelve yeres, freely with commodities adjoining unto it; and also to have as much mow land for rent as myght pleasure me sufficiently. The 27th day he confirmed the same his offer agayn before Mr. John Harbert, Master of the Requestes, in his hall at Mortlake, which his offers I did accept of and he was glad thereof."

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