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(IX.) HISTORY - Success - And The Beginning Of Failure

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Author Topic: (IX.) HISTORY - Success - And The Beginning Of Failure  (Read 580 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 08:35:55 pm »

There has been much speculation as to the amount of work Dee did for Elizabeth, not only as astrologer but (as some biographers have proposed) as secret agent; amusingly, he signed his reports to her with a symbol that was meant to represent a pair of eyes, but looks suspiciously like 007.

There is no doubt of the value of his work as a navigator, advising Elizabethan adventurers and explorers. And there is plenty of evidence that he taught astrology, among other things (chemistry, for instance). Among his pupils was Sir Philip Sidney, whose attitude to the subject comes out in one of his sonnets:

Though dusty wits dare scorn astrology,

And fools can think those lamps of purest light

Whose numbers, ways, greatness, eternity,

Promising wonders, wonder do invite

To have for no cause birthright in the sky

But for to spangle the black weeds of night;

Or for some brawl, which in that chamber hie,

They should still dance to please a gazer's sight;

For me, I do Nature unidle know,

And know great causes, great effects procure:

And know those bodies high reign on the low ...

Dee's analysis of Sidney's character through his horoscope (drawn up when Sidney was 16 or so) is interesting, underlining great promise in rhetoric, dialectic, natural philosophy, grammar and ethics, and describing him as a promising young man 'intended by nature for the study of the mathematicals, and by birth for learning celestial philosophy'.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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