Before the end of the year, he had to leave home and undertake a sudden journey abroad at the command of the Queen's ministers. Elizabeth, in spite of an iron constitution, was ill and distracted with toothache and rheumatic pains. She had come to Richmond from Greenwich on September 25, and the next day the fine weather broke up. "The first rayn that came for many a day," says Dee, "all pasture about us was withered. Rayn in afternone like Aprile showres." A week or two after this he was summoned to Hampton Court, and had a conference of two hours with the Queen, from nine to eleven in the morning. Dr. Bayly, the Queen's physician, came to Mortlake on October 16 to consult with him, for his profound hermetic studies gave him all the prestige of a super-doctor. On the 22nd Jane (Dee still writes of her as "Jane Fromonds," probably to distinguish her from his mother, Jane Dee) went to Hampton Court. She found the Queen no better, in fact a worse fit of paint than ever occurred on the 25th, lasting from nine in the evening till after midnight. On the 28th, Leicester and Walsingham decided to send Dee abroad to consult with some foreign physician about the malady. He was given his instructions at nine o'clock on November 4th; on the 7th he reached Gravesend, and sailed from Lee onthe 9th. By three o'clock on the 14th, he was in Hamburg; in Berlin on December 6; and on the 11th at Frankfurt-upon-Oder. The entry on the 15th, "newes of Turnifer's comming, 8 o'clock, by a speciall messenger," looks as if the object of his journey was attained. There are no more details of the business.
The diary is resumed in March, 1579, with some trivial entries about his showing Mr. John Lewis and his son, the physician, how to draw aromatical oils, and a note of his cat getting a young fledgling sparrow that `had never had but one - the right - wing, naturally."
Dee's mother surrendered to him on June 15, 1579, the house and lands at Mortlake, with reversion to his wife Jane, and to his heirs and assigns after him, for ever. The document was delivered to him by a surveyor from Wimbledon (in which parish Mortlake was included) under the tree by the church. The fine for the surrender - twenty shillings - was paid to the Queen, as Lady of the Manor, on October 31.
A month later, on his fifty-second birthday, July 13, 1579, Dee's eldest son, Arthur, was born. The event was coincident with another, for that same night, at ten o'clock, Jane's father, Mr. Fromond (Dee always adds an "s" to the name), was seized with a fit and rendered speechless; he died on Tuesday, the 14th, at four in the morning. Arthur was christened at three o'clock on the 16th; Edward Dyer and "Mr. Doctor Lewis, judge of the Admiralty," were his godfathers; his godmother was one of Dee's Welsh relations, "my cosen, Mistress Blanche Parry, of the Queen's Privy Chamber." She was represented by another cousin, Mistress Aubrey, from Kew. "August 9. Jane Dee churched," is almost the next thing recorded.
Dyer was already a person in considerable favour with the Queen. He was Sidney's great friend, and after the poet's death on the field of Zutphen, was legatee of half his books. Dyer was no mean poet himself, even among his greater compeers. He is the author of those immortal verses on "Contentment," beginning "My mind to me a kingdom is," which were set to music in 1588 by William Byrd. We shall meet him again in these pages.
Dee of course knew all about Elizabeth's long flirtation with
the King of France's brother, Duc d'Alencon, and her diplomatic
holding off from the match. He notes Mr. Stafford's arrival as
an emissary from "Monsieur." The Queen kept a very tender
spot in her heart for this ugly little deformed suitor, and Dee
has a remarkable note of a call from her at Mortlake as she returned
from Walsingham's on February 11, 1583: "Her Majesty axed
me obscurely of Monsieur's state. I said he was " (dead-alive).
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