Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/126

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88
THE ELIZABETHAN PEOPLE

at in comparison of them he hath seen and read: whose names if you aske, hee claps you in the mouth with half a dozen spruce titles, never till he invented them heard of by any Christian. But this is most certaine, if he be of any sect, he is a mettle-bruing Paracelsian, having not past one or two Probatums for al deseases. But case he be called to practise, he excutheth it by great cures he hath in hand; & will not encounter an infirmity but in the declining, that his credit may be more autentical or els when by some secret intelligence hee is thoroughly instructed of the whole process of his unrecoverable extremitie, he comes gravely marching like a Judge, and gives peremptorie sentence of death; whereby he is accounted a Prophet of deepe prescience.

"But how come he to be the divells secretarie, all this long tale unrips not. In secret be it spoken he is not so great with the divell as you take it."

Possibly the strictures of Nash will seem more believeable when reinforced by the record of an actual case. Dr. John Dee,[1] born in 1527, died 1608, was one of the best known and influential astrological-alchemists who flourished during the reign of Elizabeth. He graduated from Cam-

  1. I have drawn my facts largely from Mr. Hathaway's excellent biographical sketch of the astrologer.