Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/127

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89
LIFE IN THE CAPITAL

bridge, where he took both the B.A. and M.A. degrees. He early showed genius as a mathematician, and planned a reformation of the calendar that received the government's serious consideration. He was always held in high favour by the Queen, who visited him in order to see spirits in his crystal globe at Mortlake, a relic now preserved in the British Museum. He had been imprisoned by Queen Mary on the charge of enchantment with malicious intent. He calculated an auspicious day for the coronation of her successor. It was he who was called in to counteract the bad effects of the waxen image of Elizabeth picked up in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1577. The next year he was required to charm away pains in the teeth of the Queen. Subsequently, on the appearance of a comet in the heavens, Dr. Dee was sent for to explain its portentous significance.

Up to this point there is nothing to show that Dee should be associated with Forman among the abusers rather than the true but mistaken disciples of an absurd science. Whether he should be ever so classed it is now hard to say; but his proceedings have a doubtful look from the time of his association with Edward Kelly. This man was a knave to the inmost marrow. He had had his ears clipt for coining counterfeit money. He became Dr. Dee's "seer," that is, he saw the spirits