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chapel with its many windows, communicating with the rooms set apart for Dee's use ; the mystical table erected therein, where stood the sacred crystal in its graven circle of gold ; the New Garden' beneath the castle walls, with stairs that led downwards to it, and the little river, fringed with willows and full of small fish, which ran through the garden, and where Dee was wont willingly to walk. And near at hand another chapel, where Prince Rosenberg was accustomed to observe his own devotions. And in the castle galleries, and in the chapel, and in the gardens to Kelly's eges and Dee's faith the spirits passed continually to and fro, although to Arthur Dee, exercised daily in the skryer's office, the visions were broken and the angelic voices dumb.
Of the two women concerned in the story the diary tells little. Of Joan Kelly we know only that she was the younger by some seven years, that she was a childless wife, hated by Kelly and, it would appear, formerly befriended by Jane Dee. Jane Dee herself, thirty or thirty-two years younger than her husband, seems to have been a woman of fragile frame and delicate health. “That Jane my wife • may be recovered of her sickness' is a constantly recurring petition made by John Dee on her behalf to the angels of the stone. One brief letter written by her has kept its irrelevant place amongst the records of spiritual communications. It is so empty a inissive that its very emptiness points to some special significance it held for her husband's eyes.
Sweetheart,' she wrote from Trebon, during some temporary absence of Master Dee's, 'I commend me unto ' you, hoping in God that you are in good health as I and
iny children are. I praise God for it. I have none other ' matter to write unto you at this time. Was she too, as Kelly, playing upon the simplicity of her husband? Or was she but another victim of the same disastrous delusion? The old Bohemian castle, within whose walls the brief note was penned, holds fast and silently Jane Dee's secret.
The entries in the last pages of the diary tell, although disjointedly, as life tells its own stories, the sequel. April 17, it being a Friday, Arthur Dee at noon stood before the Show-stone in the little chapel. Kelly loitered without in the corridor. Arthur, gazing into the crystal, saw nothing. John Dee, kneeling, prayed his many prayers beside the sacred table. Still, there was neither voice nor vision. Then, from the gallery without the chapel where
he walked alone, Kelly saw a great number of spirits. Madini, the days of whose childhood were departed, and many others. They went in and out of the chapel in disordered fashion and in foul and uncomely guise.
Yet was the semblance of evil `justified and good, the voices declared to Kelly. Saturday, the 18th day of April, Kelly once again, at John Dee's desire, consented to perform the office of skryer. To his ears the spiritual message, refused to the hearing of the child, was audible. Madini stood before him and she spoke aloud. “Behold you are become • free. (Once more the tenets of the anabaptist king seem to echo in Kelly's brain.) Henceforth, so Madini decrees, they four shall use that freedom-John Dee, Edward Kelly, the wife beloved, and the wife abhorred, shall dwell together, the marriage bond of unilluminated man cancelled and annulled, Dee and Kelly 'shall hold their wives in common.'
For the space of some days even the faith of John Dee wavered. What manner of voice, he questioned, could this be ? While Kelly, crowning his imposture with well-feigned assumption of horror, pronounced it a 'doctrine of devils;' and through the night Jane Dee watched and wept and trembled. But new visions reiterated the command, step by step honour made submission to faith, and the strange tragedy moved slowly onward to its foregone conclusion. John Dee soothed his wife's fears, and she showed
herself resolved to obey the admonition. ... On Sunday the 3rd May, anno 1587, I, John Dee, Edward Kelly, • and our two wives covenanted with God and sub'scribed the same for indissoluble and inviolable unities,
charity, and friendship-keeping between us four and all * things to be between us in common, as God by sundry * means willed us to do.' This covenant accomplished, Kelly changed his purpose of departing.'
Little more is recorded in the diary of that final catastrophe. While its issues lay in suspense the Show-stone had vanished-stolen by robber angels. Now it was restored. As Kelly walked by the riverside two spirits strove by a willow tree. They spake of the stone ; it would be found beneath Jane Dee's pillow, as that day she lay ill at ease in her own chamber. And there Dee found it, whereat • Kelly wondered greatly, but I and my wife rejoiced, the old man says simply. On May 22 · Mistress Kelly received * the sacrament, and to me and my wife gave her hand in • charity,' we read in the private diary edited by Mr.
Halliwell. But in July 'Mr. Thomas Southwell did labour • with Mistress Kelly for to furder charity and friendship.' A few more vague visions, empty promises and indefinite predictions, and the entries of spiritual communications close abruptly. A lapse of twenty years intervenes before the diary reopens in 1607.
During the remaining seven years of Kelly's life they met no more, although letters passed between them, and Dee long cherished a hope of Kelly's return. The sequel of Kelly's history is soon told. After quitting Dee's service he repaired once more to the court of Rudolph, where he appears to have been knighted and retained in a species of imprisonment as Imperial alchemist. His fame is attested
* in Lord Bacon's account of a certain dinner given by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Sir Edward Dyer. Dyer, the
, favourite poet-diplomatist of Elizabeth-known best to posterity as the author of the lyric ‘My mind to ine a
kingdom is '--was godfather to John Dee's eldest child, and we find him as early as the year 1577, in company with the Earl of Leicester and Philip Sidney, a guest in Dee's house.
• Edward Dyer,' sɔ runs Lord Bacon's anecdote, "a grave and wise gentleman, did much believe in Kelly the alchemist; that he did indeed the work, and made gold; insomuch as that he went himself into Germany, where Kelly then was, to inform himself fully thereof. After his return he dined with my lord of Canterbury, where at that time was at table Dr. Browne, the physician. They fell in talk of Kelly. Sir Edward Dyer, turning to the Archbishop, said: "I do assure your grace that that I shall tell you is truth. I am an eyewitness thereof, and if I had not seen it I should not have believed it. I saw Master Kelly put of the base metal into the crucible, and after it was set a little upon the fire, and a very small quantity of the medicine put in and stirred with a stick of wood, it came forth in great proportion perfect gold, to the touch, to the hammer, to the test." Said the Bishop: “You had need take heed what you say, Sir Edward Dyer, for here is an infidel at the board.” Sir Edward Dyer said again pleasantly: "I should have looked for an infidel sooner in any place than at your grace's table' What
say you, Dr. Browne ?? (saith the Bishop). Dr. Browne answered after his blunt and huddling manner : “The gentleman hath spoken enough for me.”
* D'Israeli suggests this was the period when strange alchemical projections of pewter flagons were turned into silver, which the goldsmiths of Prague bought, and were afterwards attested by Arthur Dee to Sir T. Browne.'
* Bacon himself addressed Kelly with respect for bis 'virtues, wisedom, and learning.'
saith the Bishop, “what hath he said ?” “Marry," saith Dr. Browne, "he said he would not have believed it except he had seen it, and no more will I."
After such a report, however, it is not surprising that Elizabeth, who was no “infidel,' sent a secret emissary to recall Sir Edward Kelly to her service. Kept by Rudolph a prisoner in his own house at Prague-probably on just grounds of suspicion-Kelly was in no wise unwilling to change masters. But attempting to escape he fell from the battlements of his prison, and died from the injuries received a few days later--a death more or less corresponding to predictions of his own. The year of his death appears to be that given by Dee, 1595, although Mr. Wright dates it earlier.
John Dee survived Kelly by the space of thirteen years. He returned to England in 1589, bringing with him a newborn child, by name Madini. Elizabeth received him kindly, but henceforth Dee's fortunes declined-bis day was over. 'Sailing • against the wind's eye,' as be said of himself, poverty, sickness, and neglect dogged his steps. His genius-as D’Israeli says-was as erratic as the course of life he fell into, and though it kept great objects in view,' even James I., superstitious as he was shrewd, observed · Dee will go mad. The Wardenship of the College of Manchester was nevertheless conferred upon him, and James retained the aged scholar under his royal protection.
During those years a new skryer, Bartholomew Hinkman, seems to have taken Kelly's place. But Bartholomew lacked Kelly's genius, or, it may be, Dee lacked somewhat of his old faith, for the reports of his [Bartholomew's] untrue actions (with spirits] were burnt before me and my wife,' Dee writes in one of the entries of his private diary (1600]—a conflagration which partially accounts for the long hiatus in his records of spiritual dealings in the larger folio.
Yet, despite his ‘untruth,' when that record re-opens, Bartholomew still plays the part of angelic interpreter. John Dee is once more domiciled in his old home at Mortlake,
very poor,' as Lilly states, “and enforced many times to • sell some book or other to buy his dinner with. Thither Raphael, the Throne Angel, was, on March 24, sent to comfort him in his penury. Some fourteen pages contain the last entries of the book, but bereft of Kelly's keen imagination and ready wit, the angelic communications have lost their eloquence. Yet they are not without a
pathetic interest. The old man-Dee had reached his 79th year-must set forth on a new journey. So Raphael, by the mouth of Hinkman, declared on the July of the same year. And Dee, ever obedient to the angelic utterances, even when conveyed by the hired lips of faithless servants, questions docilely • Whither?' And who shall travel in his company? And concerning his books, what shall he do with them? Will he return from the journey, and shall he retain his title to enjoy his house at his return? What shall Arthur his son do? And what of his daughter Katherine ? And Raphael answers these and other interrogations of lesser import. Arthur has taken the silver-gilt bell-salt, and likewise other goods pertaining to his father. Dee need preserve no right of tenancy in his old home. He may go where he lists; being come to that place God will have him in, he will have little mind to return. For his daughter Katherine, thou thyself,' said Raphael, dost best • know that without her thou canst not be. Let us trust the need was not reciprocal, for on the road John Dee must travel two may not walk abreast ! On September 7, 1607, the diary ends. The following year John Dee was dead.
After some such manner lived, each according to his kind, Dr. Dee in the sixteenth century, Simon Forman at the beginning of the seventeenth century, William Lilly at its close, when, so far as England was concerned, magic as magic, with all its squalid miseries of sorcery and witchcraft, practically expired. 'La Magie Pathologique,' to revert to M. Maury's forecast of forty years ago, was alone left as the heritage of the generations to come. New interpretations have attached themselves to old phenomena, 'on a jadis brûlé pas mal de
gens qui n'étaient nullement possédés par l'Esprit du Mal; maintenant on noie sous les douches ceux qui le * sont. Nous diagnostiquons au rebours du moyen-âge,' is M. Huysmans's epitome of the new conditions of opinion. Supernaturalism-outside the province of theology--has been finally banished, and the witch, the magician, the alchemist, and the astrologer have passed to their own abiding place in the dust of dead centuries. Specialists in hypnotism, students of somnambulism and hallucination, experimenters in still unexplored realms of physical and mental science, have taken possession of the domain where necromancers conjured and diviners dreamed. Yet other wheels besides the Wheel of Fortune turn. The
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