Dee had long been on neighbourly terms with Sir Francis and Lady Walsingham. If any cause existed for supposing both Burleigh's and Walsingham's attitude toward him was changed, it may have been that the Lord Treasurer, the great finanacier of the time, resented his constant applications for a salary from the exchequer, while Walsingham, with his intimate knowledge of foreign affairs, perhaps misdoubted this intimacy between Dee and the scheming Polish Prince. Curiously enough, it was through this very intimacy with Laski that both Burleigh and Walsingham came later to regard the alchemists in the light of a valuable national asset.
Madimi replied -
"The Lord Treasurer and he are joyned together, and they hate thee. I heard them when they both said, thou wouldst go mad shortly. Whatever they can do against thee, assure thyself of. They will shortly lay a bait for thee, but eschew them."
D. - "Lord have mercy upon me, what bait, I beseech you, and by whom?"
M. - "They have determined to search thy house, but they stay untill the Duke be gone."
D. - "What would they search it for?"
M. - "They hate the Duke, both, unto death."
Then with a sharp caution to Kelly to deal uprightly with Dee, and a protestation from him of his "faithful mind" to his master, she goes on to reveal the suspicions attached to Laski: -
M. - "Look unto the kind of people about the Duke in the manner of their diligence."
D. - "What mean you by that? His own people? Or who?"
M. - "The espies."
D. - "Which be those?"
M. - "All. There is not one true."
D. - "You mean the Englishmen."
M. - "You are very grosse if you understand not my sayings."
D. - "Lord! what is thy counsel to prevent all?"
M. - "The speech is general. The wicked shall not prevail."
D. - "But will they enter to search my house or no?"
M. - "Immediately after the Duke his going, they will."
D. - "To what intent? What do they hope to find?"
M. - "They suspect the Duke is inwardly a traitor."
Dee replies with sincerity, "They can by no means charge me, no not so much as with a traitorous thought."
M. - "Though thy thoughts be good, they cannot comprehend the doings of the wicked. In summe, they hate thee. Trust them not. They shall go about shortly to offer thee friendship. But be thou a worm in a heap of straw."
D. - "I pray you expound that parable."
M. - "A heap of straw being never so great, is no weight upon a worm. Notwithstanding every straw hindereth the worm's passage. See them and be not seen of them; dost thou understand it?"
It now seemed certain that Dee and his skryer were to embark their
fortunes with Laski. Dee begs for particular instructions when
they had better take ship, what shall be done with all the furniture
prepared and standing in the chamber of practice? Is it best for
the Pole to resort hither oft, or to stay quiet at his house in
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