Chapter IX


"Friends are everywhere to him that behave himself well, and a prophet is not esteemed in his country."

- Robert Burton

There is a hiatus in the Liber Mysteriorum after this tempestuous scene with Kelly. We can, however, slightly fill it up from Dee's other diary. It seems as if the skryer went away, leaving behind at Mortlake the poor slighted wife, who must have joined him there, for Dee notes on July 7 payment of wages to a servant he dismissed, "in the presens of Goodman Hilton and Mistress Kelly in my study."

On the 30th, as we have seen, the Queen came in grand procession, heralded with music and song, down the river to Sion. The next day, Leicester's secretary brought letters and gifts. On August I, John Halton, a London minister, called; also a Worcestershire man, "a wicked spy came to my howse, whom I used as an honest man, and found nothing wrong, as I thought. He was sent to E.K."

This entry is characteristic of the philosopher who, in spite of all his learning, was, as regards men, of so confiding and innocent a nature that he ended by being infinitely more deceived by another Worcestershire man - Kelly, for whom he entertained to the last a most faithful friendship.

Then we come on a very entertaining remark in the diary: "Aug. 18. A great tempest of wynde at midnight. Maxima era E. K. cum uxore ejus." Kelly had returned, and his wife was treated to another of his outbreaks, by comparison with which the gale outside was slight.

This is the last entry in the diary before Dee's departure for Poland with Laski.

The Prince proposed to take the whole party from Mortlake back with him to the Continent. He was reputed to be deeply in debt, and seems to have entertained wild hopes that they, aided by the spirits, would provide him with gold, and secure to him the crown of Poland. Kelly foresaw an easy and luxurious life, plenty of change and variety suited to his restless, impetuous nature. He hadn ot as yet been out of England. There were very obvious reasons that he should quit the country now if he would escape a prison. Dee had been a great traveller, as we know, and these were not the attractions to a man of his years. He went in obedience to a supposed call, in the hope of furthering his own knowledge and the Prince's good. The notion of providing for himself and his family lay doubtless at the back of his mind also, but he had all a genius's disregard for thrift and economy, and though very precise and practical about small details, as his diary proves, his mind refused to contemplate these larger considerations of ways and means.

He disposed of the house at Mortlake to his brother-in-law, Nicholas Fromond, but in such a loose and casual way that before his return he found himself compelled to make a new agreement with him. He took no steps about appointing a receiver of the rents of his two livings, and when he came back the whole six years were owing, nor did he ever obtain the money. He says he intended at the most to be absent one year and eight months. It was more than six years before he again set foot in England.

So, unprepared, he left Mortlake about three in the afternoon of Saturday, September 21, 1583. He met the Prince by appointment on the river, and travelled up after dark to London. A certain secrecy was observed about the journey. laski, as we have seen, was under some suspicion of Walsingham and Burleigh, whose business it had become to learn news from every Court in Europe. He was suspected of plots against the King of Poland.

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