Imatges de pÓgina
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the intervals of Madini's visits; older and more serious-
minded spiritual maidens have issued the command. But
Dee is sorely perplexed, and confides his distress to the
cheery little confidant who again stands, at Kelly's call, in
the Show-stone. She, too, is somewhat oppressed with tasks
of her own; she is learning Greek, Arabic, and the Syrian
tongue, and she can sympathise with the tasks of her good
• Master Dee,' and for him she entreats her mother's help:
• Mother, I pray you, let him have one to write his book,'
and her mother promises assistance, whereby his heart is
eased, and Kelly beheld the mother of Madini 'flying away
as a fire,' while Madini, prostrate on her face, prays
vehemently. Yet soon she sets praying aside and resumes
her former manner of speech, childish, querulous, merry, or
perverse, according to the mood of the moment, yet not
without sudden flashes of angelic passion, upbraiding Kelly
• '
Speak, man,' she cries. What dost thou hunt after ?

Dost thou love God? Wilt thou say thou hast faith?

Show it me by thy love. Thou hast not love, thou hast • hate. Dost thou love silver and gold? One is a thief, the

other a murderer, Wilt thou seek honour? So did Cain.' Such rebukes of his own avarice and violence Kelly puts into her mouth, and she cast out of him fifteen evil spirits,

and there came a thing like a wind and pluckt them by « the feet away.'

A little later Madini comes on a mission of consolation. Edward Kelly had seen a terrible vision. Jane Dee, his master's wife, then absent, lay dead without a burning house. Upon the walls of that house shadows 'went up and down kindling them with torches.' John Dee is in sore anguish at the portent, but Madini, 'a little

wench all in white,' reassures him. Jane Dee is safe, and no flame has scorched the walls of her dwelling place, and Dee's fears are allayed. Next time Madini appears she is, as she herself observes, ' a little grown. The child in her gown of red and green is become a “handsome maiden robed * in white.' She has left her picture books behind. Soon she stands besprent with blood, and fire kindles around

her,' sinister auguries of what shall befall when the days of her spiritual play-time are fully over.

Madini is but one of many phantoms that cross and recross the stage. To Kelly's sight visions swarm-great plains of withered herbs and burned grasses; beams of fire lighting upon rotten trees; waters rise, spreading them

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selves afar like vast seas; solitary forms, at 'great glad• some shining of the sun,' come from behind the veil which is within the stone. And again, the forms seem to put * the air over them and to enter the cloud of invisibility.' Dancing spirits in pied coats, recalling the Piper of Hamelin, come with a refrain of laughter:

"There is a God-let us be merry ;

There is a heaven---let us be merry.' It is an endless phantasmagoria that lies hidden within the golden curtains of the crystal. Fables there are there written of mystic numbers-numbers of reason and form, 'not as merchants count them'—and angelic calls, whereby spirits are led into obedience to man. There are allegories -m

-mystery-plays-enacted, signifying one knows not what. They are irrelevant as dreams, as dreams they are at once vivid and confused. Distinctly ontlined shapes meet and tangle and are transformed in them, shifting places like the sharply defined patterns in a kaleidoscope. And still Kelly sees on, and still Master John Dee writes in his book the visions Kelly has seen.

Sometimes almost we seem to be reading a page of the Pilgrim's Progress.' A traveller-woman stands, yellowhaired, in the crystal :

Kelly : “I never saw this woman before.” 'She: “It may be you have seen me, but my apparel may alter

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my fashion.”

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She :


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(Kelly : “She scems to go in a great path before her very speedily.”)

Dee : "I pray you, whither make you such a speedy journey ?” 'She: “I am going home, I have been from home this seven-night.”

Dee : “God grant you to make speed to your home, and all we to the home where the highest may be well pleased.

So, so, you talk too wisely for me. (Kelly: “Now cometh a goodly tall aged man, all in black. . ..

.... He saith to her thus.") Old man :

“Whither go you, maid ? Methinks I should have known you before ? ” She : "If

me before

you may the easier know me now." After such fashion the dialogue continues, the scene changing like the shifting landscape of a panorama. Then a gateway comes into view, and in the stonework of the gate, as in the carving of John Inglesant's crystal vision, is the image of a running greyhound. Here the wanderer enters, but will not tarry. She cometh forth and goeth

• ' along a great way like a common highway ... the light

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of the air about her seemeth somewhat dark, like evening or twilight. . . . Her name being interpreted is Finis.'

To modern representatives of Spiritualist doctrine these and other similar passages hold significances we, of the laity without the pale, are doubtless slow to apprehend. What visual and natural phenomena may underlie and have given rise to the legends of the crystal-gazer; what truths the fables that have clustered round him contain and perpetuate, is for experimental science to determine. The legend of the crystal arises in the mist of bygone ages; its end is yet to tell. For, deconsecrated from all its older associations of mystic symbolism, divorced from archangelic protections, degraded into the prosaic glass medium 'used ' for the purposes of concentration mental and physical' by the 'percipient, who desires to visualise the subliminal ' pictures' dormant in the mind,* the crystal is still amongst us with its many and various manifestations, credited or discredited according to the faith of the enquirer.

But apart from the question of its value as a medium of spiritual or mental knowledge, Mr. Wright supplies a key to the general drift of Edward Kelly's visions and a motive for those futile journeyings whicb, at the command of the divine revelations--as interpreted by Kelly-John Dee obediently undertook. Kelly was a man of unbounded

a ambition with an infatuation for political intrigue. The extraordinary career of John Beccold, the tailor of Leyden, who for a whole year--1534-35—had maintained the pomps and splendours of an Eastern despot, was still fresh in men's minds, and may well have fired the brains of other baseborn adventurers with hopes of equal and more stable successes ; and there is evidence to show that some such scheme of a universal monarchy was prompting Kelly's imagination. In John Dee, a man of established fame, he sought an unconscious agent by whose means to forward his own plans of aggrandisement, while in the Polish prince, Albert A Laskie, who when Kelly first entered Dee's service was Queen Elizabeth's guest and Dee's disciple, Kelly saw another tool ready to his hand.

It was thus that, according to Kelly's declarations, A Laskie was elected by angelic choice as the supreme head of the spiritual monarchy about to be established by angelic foreshowings. In accordance, too, with angelic ordinance, Master John Dee and Jane his wife, accompanied by his children and the members of his household, Edward and Joan Kelly being of the number, with A Laskie, departed from England to seek their fortunes abroad. But arrived in A Laskie's dominions, Kelly discovered the prince ill qualified to carry out the divine predictions; and Dr. Dee is bidden forth with to seek the court of Rudolph II., the patron of Tycho Brahe. But the Emperor, although graciously disposed towards the English philosopher, had no disposition to become a blind devotee of Kelly's revelations, and once more the political angel shifts his choice, and King Stephen of Poland is appointed in Rudolph's stead, Stephen, too, proved incredulous or reprobate, and after some five years had passed, with inany vicissitudes of royal favour and royal disfavour, of poverty and of plenty, of promise and disappointment, it would seem that Kelly, abandoning his universal monarchy, and relinquishing his primary ambitions, turned his thoughts to more lucrative schemes, and set himself to the quest of the Philosopher's Stone, practising that secret alchemy by which base metal could be converted into gold. To this epoch probably we should assign the episode reported by Lilly-a tale, he says, much circulated amongst the merchants of some German town where Dee then lodged :--

* Reports of S.P.R.

'An old friar,' so runs his fable, one day knocked at the door of Doctor Dee's house. Dee peeped down the stairs. “Kelly,” said he, “tell the old man I am not at home.” Kelly did so. The Friar said, "I will take another time to wait upon him.” Some few days after he came again. Dee ordered Kelly to deny him again. He did so; at which the Friar was very angry. “Tell thy master I came to speak with him and to do him good, because he is a great scholar and famous. But now tell him to put forth a book; it is called “Monas Hierogliphicas.' He understands it not. I wrote it myself; I came to instruct him therein, ard in some other more profound things. Do thou, Kelly, come with me, and I will make thee more famous than thy master Dee." Kelly thereupon retired from Dee, and of the Friar had the elixir or the perfect method of its making. The poor Friar lived a very short while aster; whether made away by Kelly, the merchant who related this did not certainly know," adds Lilly significantly.

Meanwhile, and indeed from the very first days of their ill-assorted partnership, the personal relations between the skryer and his master had taxed Dee's patience to the uttermost. No sooner had Kelly made himself necessary for the ministration of the Show-stone--and truly, few other seërs could excel the wonders he reports as manifest to hịg


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sight--than he asserted a brutal ascendency over the old man, threatening at every difference or dispute to quit his office, a menace which held Dee ever subject to his rule. A spiritual creature on my right shoulder saith come

away.' (This dialogue is inscribed amongst Dee's records.) . So said one to Saul, when they would have drowned him

had I not stayed him by force,' Dee made answer. They told me,' was Kelly's retort, that if I tarried I should

be hanged.' Then he brings a new plea for departure. He goes so far as to asperse the character of the angelic visitants and “fears for his soul's health if he have any

more dealings with them,' and Deepawns his own soul • that they are the emissaries of God.' 'O Madini, cried the gentle old scholar after one such contest, shall I have any more of these grievous pangs ?'

Before, however, Kelly finally abandoned the profession of skryer for the more profitable trade of alchemy--a craft, we learn, Kelly's sister was practising with success in Worcester-he had yet to perpetrate one master stroke of villany. The accomplished scholar of Elizabeth's court was to play his part in a domestic tragedy worthy to rank with the most sombre plots of Elizabethan dramatists.

The April of 1587 had come. The little band of wanderers had exchanged perforce the patronage of kings and emperors for that of Count Rosenberg, an initiate in spiritual mysteries. In the old castle of Trebon in Bohemia were domiciled as guests John Dee and Jane, his wife, his firstborn, Arthur (afterwards physician to Charles I.), Katherine, his daughter, aged six, without whom her father could not • live,' Roland, Michael, and Theodore, a three-months' old baby, Marie, Jane Dee's woman, and John, a page. With them, in rooms adjoining Dr. Dee's apartments, abode Edward Kelly and Joan, his childless and unloved wife. I 'cannot abide my wife, I love her not; nay, I abhor her,' so Kelly vehemently proclaimed his hatred, and for once the ring of truth attaches to his utterance. Alas for Joan Kelly! Alas, too, we take it, for Jane Dee!

That spring Master John Dee seems to have resigned himself to Kelly's long-threatened departure. With many prayers he had dedicated Arthur Dee, then nine years old, to the ministry of the Show-stone. All unconsciously in the marginal notes and commentaries of his diary, Dee, with scattered touches, sets his own tragedy in its old-world framework. The picture of the old Bohemian castle rises before us in curious completeness. The very goodly

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