Five days after the first meeting, Laski "came to me at Mortlake withonly two men. He cam at afternone and tarryed supper, and [till] after sone set." Near a month elapsed before his next visit, when he made a sort of royal progress down the Thames from Oxford to Mortlake.

"June 15 about 5 of the clok, cam the Polonian Prince, Lord Albert Lasky, down from Bissham, where he had lodged the night before, being returned form Oxford, whither he had gon of purpose to see the universitye, wher he was very honorably used and enterteyned. He had in his company Lord Russell, Sir Philip Sydney and other gentlemen: he was rowed by the Queene's men, he had the barge covered with the Queene's cloth, the Queene's trumpeters, etc. He cam of purpose to do me honor, for which God be praysed!"

The visit was repeated on the 19th, when the distinguished foreigner was hospitably entertained for the night. The Queen was then at Greenwich, but on July 30 she and her court proceeded in great splendour up the river to Sion House. She passed by Dee's door, and probably paused as usual for a greeting. Next morning Leicester rode over to Mortlake, and put the household in commotion by announcing that Laski and others would come to dine at Mortlake on the next day but one. These festivities were a great tax on the astrologer's means, and he confessed sincerely that he was "not able to prepare them a convenient dinner, unless I should sell some of my plate or some of my pewter for it. Whereupon her Majestie sent unto me very royally, within one hour after, forty angells of gold [£20] from Sion, whither her Majestie was now come from Greenwich." Leicester's secretary, Mr. Lloyd, was despatched post-haste with the gift, prompted, as Dee adds, "through the Erle his speech to the Queene." One imagine Leicester's somewhat peremptory suggestion and the Queen's impulsive acquiescence. In minor matters she was woman enough to relish being sometimes dictated to. The secretary also brought what was hardly less acceptable to Dee, viz., "Mr. Rawligh his letter unto me of her Majestie's good disposition unto me." Raleigh was then in great favour with the Queen.

In the intervals between these visits of the Prince, the spirits had been consulted about Laski's prospects. They had at once interested themselves in him, and Madimi, one of the most fascinating of these psychical projections, had vouchsafed some kind of genealogical information, connecting him with the Lacys and Richard, Duke of York. She was the first of the female angels who appeared to Dee, as it seemed in answer to his arguments reproving Trithemius, who had asserted that no good spirits ever took the shape of women. Madimi, who suddenly appeared on May 28, was "like a pretty girle of 7 or 9 years, attired ina gown of Sey, changeable green and red, with a train"; her hair was "rowled up before and hanging down very long behind." She came into the study and played by herself; "she seemed to go in and out behind my books;...the books semed to give place sufficiently, one heap with the other, while she passed between them." She announced that her elder sister would come presently, and corrected Dee's pronunciation fo her name. "My sister is not so short as you make her: Esemeli not Esemeli." Madimi was a very clever and accomplished little fairy. She learned Greek, Arabic, and Syrian on purpose to be useful to Dee. On June 14 Dee asked the spirit Galvah, or Finis, what she had to say about the "Polandish Lord Albertus Laski." The reply came, "Ask me these things to-morrow." But when the next day came, Kelly, the seer, "spent all that afternoon (almost) in angling, when I was very desirous to have had his company and helping hand in this action." So at the next sitting Galvah administers to Kelly a sharply pointed reproof: "You, sir, were best to hunt and fish after Verity." Dee adds that "she spake so to E.K. because he spent too much time in Fishing and Angling." Then he asked if Laski should return to Poland in August, if his relation with the Prince should bring him credit, and how should he "use himself therin to God's liking, his country's honour, and his own credit." Galvah replied oracularly: "He shall want no direction in anything he desireth." "Whom God hath armed, no man can prevaile against." Again, on June 19, Dee asked if it would be best for the Prince to take the first opportunity of going homeward.

"It shall be answered soon," replied Galvah.

"May he be present at the action?"

"Those that are of this house are not to be denied the Banquets therein."

"May I request you to cause some sensible apparition to appear to him, to comfort him and establish his minde more abundantly in the godly intent of God his service?"

"If he follow us, let him be governed by us. But whatsoever is of flesh is not of us."

"You perceive how he understandeth of the Lord Treasurer his grudge against him. And perhaps some others also are of like malicious nature. What danger may follow hereof, or encombrance?"

"The sum of his life is already appointed; one jot cannot be diminished. But he that is Almighty can augment at his pleasure. Let him rejoice in poverty, be sorry for his enemies, and do the works of justice."

Then the "cloud of invisibility" - a drop scene between the acts - came over Galvah, and she disappeared.

Previous page Table of Contents Next page