He could never have entertained the idea of going to live in Wales, but no doubt it was policy to accept all offers. Herbert was an old friend and neighbour. His daughter Mary and Arthur had played at a childish marriage years before. They seem to have been playfellows still, after the Dees' long absence, for in this June an accident happened to Arthur "at Mr. Herbert's, about sun setting." He was "wounded in his hed by his wanton throwing of a brik-bat upright, and not well avoyding the fall of it again. The half-brick weighed 2 1/2 lb." On May 3 of the following year, Arthur aged thirteen, became a Westminster scholar. "Wensday at ten of the clock Arthur was put to Westminster Schole, under Mr. Grant and Mr. Camden." He came back home in two or three weeks, perhaps only for a few days, and Dee in returning him to lessons wrote a characteristic letter to his friend, William Camden, the antiquary. It shows how carefully the father had studied the child's health, abilities, and the quick temper, inherited from his mother. There is a tender touch in that mother's forethought to furnish the boy with means towards a special cleanliness which the provision for ablutions at Westminster did not contemplate. The "little chest with lock and key" for the firstborn son to take to school is always a family event of magnitude.
"22 May 1592.
"Worshipfull Sir. I have here returned your scholer unto your jurisdiction, beseching you to shew your charitable affection towards him: he had more and in better order then he will recover speedily. Of your great skyll and faithfull industrie in your function, it is most certayne to your great credit and merit. Of the wonderfull Diversitie of Childrens Dispositions, much you can say by experience: but of myne (this Arthure) I am to request you to conceyve at my hands, that he is of an exceding great and hauty mynd naturally, ready to revendge rashly. The naturall inclination is to me evydent: as who hath [Sol] in horoscopo, and [Mars] in corde Leonis. Dictum sapienti sat esto: for vera curatura you may alter this naturall courage to true fortitude and not to frayle rash fancyes: Socrates did overcome by grace Divine and his industrie, his untowardness, signified by the Art physiognomicall - you know the historie. This spirituall grammaticall concords of good manners I have great care that all my imps may be instructed in, to the more apt and skilfull serving of our Creator. Syr, my wife hath delivered unto him some more apparayle and furniture in a little chest with lock and key, yea, and with some towales to wype his face on after the morning and other washings of hands and face: willing him to buy him a stone basen and a pott, or a potter, to have allways clene and wholsom water in for his use.
"The boy liketh abundance of meate well: but very bashfully he sayd that there proportion of Drinke is somewhat to[o] little. I pray you by discretion listen to the voyce and opinion of the rest of the counsells within him, for now & in the summer seasons, the proportion of Drink naturally doth increase above winters appetite thereof.
"Thus I am bold to cumber your wurship with these my speedy ragged lynes. And therein I beseche you of one thing more, that his writing, both of roman and secretary hand decay not, but rather be amended: for a fayre writing is often tymes a good grace to matter very simple.
"Wherefore know that today they have at the right Wurshipfull Mr. Deans [Dr. Nowell's] very honorable guests, and that this night it is intended that they will sup and lodge all night at Fullham. God bless your wurship and prosper you in all & ever your true and faithful wellwisher.
"To the Worshipfull my singular friende Mr. Camden these
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