Poor Dee! His skryer was a constant anxiety to him. Like every medium since known, he would sometimes apply himself and sometimes not, was often honest and yet frequently a cheat.

Dee writes: -

"My heart did throb oftentimes this day, and I thought E.K. did intend to absent himself from me, and now upon this warning, I was confirmed, and more assured that it was so. Whereupon seeing him make such haste to ride to Islington, I asked him why he so hasted to ride thither. And I said if it were to ride to Mr. harry Lee, I would go thither also, to be acquainted with him; seeing now I had so good leisure, being eased of the book writing [through Madimi's good offices]. Then he said that one told him the other day that the Duke did but flatter him, and told him other things, both against the Duke and me. I answered for the Duke and myself, and also said that if the forty pound annuity which Mr. Lee did offer him was the chief cause of his mind feeling that way (contrary to some of his former promises to me), that then I would assure him of £50 yearly, and would do my best by following of my sute [with the Queen] to bring it to passe as soon as possibly I could, and thereupon did make him promise upon the Bible. Then E.K. again, upon the same Bible, did swear unto me constant friendship and never to forsake me: And moreover said that unless this had so faln out, he would have gone beyond the Seas, taking ship at Newcastle, within eight days next. And so we did plight our faith to one another, taking each other by the hands upon these points of brotherly and friendly fidelity during life, which Covenant I beseech God to turn to his honour, glorie and service, and the comfort of our brethren (his children) here on earth."

This reconciliation was not for long, in spite of the promised salary, and soon another scene occurred. On June 5 Dee write that from nine in the morning Kelly was "in a marvellous great disquietness of mind, fury and rage," because his brother Thomas Kelly brought him word, first, that a commission was out to attach and apprehend him as a felon for coining money; second, that his wife, whom he had left at Mistress Freeman's house at Blockley, having heard from Mr. Hussey that he was a cosener, had gone home to her mother, Mrs. Cooper, at Chipping Norton. Dee is "touched with a great pang of compassion," grieved that any Christian should use such speeches and be of so revenging a mind, even more than he is distressed that his own credit shall be endangered for embracing the company of such a disorderly person, especially if he be arreseted at Mortlake, "which will be no small grief and disgrace." But he so generously resolves to stand by his friend. Kelly, it seems, had been met coming from Islington with his scroll, book and powder, and had been threatened to "be pulled in pieces" if he brought them to Dee. A drawing in the margin of the MS. shows the book to have had a cross on the cover, one clasp, and deep metal bands across its two sides. Presumably these were some of the treasures reported to have been found at Glastonbury.

A day or two after, June 18, Kelly again simulated great fear and distress at seeing evil spirits. He protested he would skry no more, and was so excited that he brought on himself the wise rebuke from Galvah: "He that is angry cannot see well." He seems to have wished to show Laski some reprobate spirits in Dee's study, but the older man wisely kept the crystal and teh "table of communion" under his own control. It was, perhaps, partly cunning that made Kelly, although he really possessed extraordinary mediumistic powers, so sceptical. "I am Thomas Didymus," he says to the spirits. "How can ye persuade me ye are no deluders?"

Three days after this, Dee was writing letters to Adrian Gilbert, in Devonshire, when Madimi suddenly appeared to Kelly, who was seated in the green chair.

Dee said, "How is the mind of Mr. Secretary toward me? Methinketh it is alienated marvellously."

Previous page Table of Contents Next page