The old man penned on a slip of paper some notes to aid his failing memory when next he should see his instructor. In two days, on July 11, he was able to put the questions.
What country shall he go to?
The answer is, where he will. "Thou hast been a great traveller, and it is referred to thy own choice," subject to divine approval. Dee suggets Germany, and receives consent.
Whom shall he take with him besides John Pontoys? What about his daughter Katherine, and the young man, Patrick Saunders?
The answer is very emphatic. It shows how dependent the old man had become upon this elder daughter of his old age. "John Dee, thou of thyself dost best know that without thy daughter, thou canst not be without her."
Certainly he could not part from Katherine, even with Pontoys as his "speciall comfort and aid," and the "honest and well-disposed young man," Saunders, who had been sent on purpose to go with him.
What about books and appurtenances? Is Mr. Bardolf to go? What shall Arthur do in his intended travel? "Shall I ever return to England, and shall I keep a title to enjoy my house when I do return?" Will the King grant a licence, or will it not be another disappointment, like so many that have gone before?
It is all a vain and illusory and impossible chimera. The only journey left for the old man to take was the one to "that undiscovered bourne from whence no traveller returns." Still, the wonderful visions perhaps brought him ecstatic hours. His brain was yet strong and clear, less worn out than his body, but like all old people, he lived over again and loved to dwell upon the past. A few days later he sat talking after dinner to Bartholomew "of divers my doings with Mr. Kelly." He had forgotten little of these dazzling experiences, and perhaps to while away the time he read his precious diaries over and over again. But of later events his memory was failing: "I asked Bartholomew if he had ever seen my jewel that was brought since it was set in gold [this had been done more than twenty years before], and he thought that he had not seen it." Surely tactful politeness on Bartholomew's part. "Whereupon I went speedily to my chest, unlocked it, and took it out, and undid the case and set the stone in his due manner."
Soon Raphael appeared in the stone, and Dee heard his voice, promising that the powder (i.e., Kelly's powder) which he was keeping - "the which thou dost make account of as no better but dust" - should be turned to its right use.
Is it possible that the old belief in the golden secret had at last been killed? The powder was now but dust, as the old man would soon become, and as all his fixed dreams of projection had ever been.
The last entry in the spiritualistic diary was made on September
7, 1607, but whether Dee was at Mortlake or in London cannot be
said. Pontoys had arrived. He was anxious to know if he would
be thought fit to serve Dee in Bartholomew's absence. Also he
earnestly desired to know his guardian angel, and he would fain
hear also "the end of the Polish troubles."
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