In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirtieth
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
As I write this I fear a great cloud has come over my friends in Paris. Word has come to me of a great disturbance across the channel.
I was up late last night preparing my manuscript for Romeo and Juliet and guiding the actors in their stage positions. Our stage is nicely laid out, but it is mainly set for an audience that has little understanding of literature. They come to our plays for the escape, not the mental enhancement. I smile to myself as I write this, because they get it anyway.
I have learned well from the Masters who have come before me when it comes to speaking to those of little or no education, or little or no understanding of the higher order of things.
The Order of the Rosy Cross is founded upon the belief that all men are created equal, but some are just a bit further along than others in their spiritual maturity. This is not a form of elitism, but a simple truth. Haven't you ever pondered why one man or woman can be so extremely gifted or talented, while others are so little? Why one person has more luck than another or less?
The Great Wheel of Life turns the same for all of us, but we each have different roles to play upon it at different times. And all because the Source of all Creation wants us to learn how to become like It, without our free will being taken away.
New streams of souls are emitted into Creation on a continuous basis to help us learn our lessons. There must always be those of an elevated nature and those of a lesser, so we can all learn the checks and balances of being a true spiritual being and an entire human being in the true sense of the word.
I am sorry if I digress, but I rarely get to speak of these things, and so in my journal I can let go of much that I must withhold so that my work, and that of my brothers of the Light, can be spread throughout the Realms of Man.
As I said the word has come of a great disaster. I fear the worst for my friends across the channel. I was sleeping overnight as I often do when we have these late night rehearsals here in what is euphemistically called the Queen's Room, but which in actuality is just a basement room. A basement room free of dirt, perhaps, but damp feeling and bleak at times, depending on the time of day and my own mood.
I keep it humbly decorated with pictures of my dear Anne, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. And that is all I need to remind me of what is important in my world. I also have posters of my more immediate plays stretched upon the walls, to remind me of what I have accomplished, and how much more yet I have to do before my part of the Plan is completed her on this
I rubbed my eyes, for I had been writing long after I had dismissed my backstage crew, the props builder, the painters, the cue assistants and the actors themselves. We had worked into the Witching Hour, when most fears the darkest of things to happen. I laugh at those thoughts and apprehensions, as the only witches I know of are simple folk with orientations towards nature which are based on an organic and appreciative consideration of man's relationship to the planet. They dress simply, worship a God of love, and eat foods which are given freely by the planet. They do not eat meat and they believe in the commonality of all men.
The Brothers as I shall now term those I work with in the Rosicrucians, do not scorn them, nor any of the other myriad cults that have arisen over time. We are not concerned with those who are seeking the truth, but rather those who are still so lost in the darkness that the Light is something they cannot even begin to comprehend.
I keep a copy of the Saint James Bible, which is illuminated by a dear friend of mine, Michael, whom some call DaVinci. He and I correspond frequently through carrier pigeons that fly between our countries as couriers of information. We do not trust the newer electric wires that telegraph brief bursts of noise to communicate with, because they can be interrupted and worse yet, they can be intercepted. The knowledge we share can not fall into the hands of the uninitiated. Not because it will betray us, but because it will confuse them. We do not want to stir the sleeping elephants, so to speak, for they might rampage and destroy the good we've managed to do so far in the background.
We are widespread and persistent in our vision of a world where peace shall reign in the breasts of all men and women, but we are also wise enough to know that it might not come in our lifetime, or in the next. Patience is a virtue we must wear as plainly as a nun in her robes and chastity belt, though I deplore the use of that dreaded instrument for the harm it brings those dear children of God.
My hands tremble at the vision which the Captain of my wagons has brought to me. He was just at the Loire, which is our main channel of delivery from London to Paris. The boatmen there were all aghast at what had happened. They claim many boats were overwhelmed by this tremendous wave of water that burst to life shortly after a great mushroom cloud appeared over Paris near the once proud Eiffel Tower.
I say once. Because it is no more. It is a broken, melted clump of metal.
No one knows whereof the great destruction came about, but we have to believe it was not man made, for what man could deliver such evil against his fellow beings? And yet, after having witnessed personally the wars of our own Mother Country against the Germans more than once, I have to believe, willingly or not, that it is possible.
The Captain rushed into my basement room, not knocking as was his usual won't. He doffed his sailor's cap, his eyes wide with fear. His hands trembled so greatly I feared for his life. I rushed to him and helped him to sit on a plush bench I kept for my wife and children when they visited. He sat down heavily, his brow sweating and his eyes wet with tears.
"Oh, William, it was terrible. Terrible!"
I nodded, knowing he wasn't ready to speak more of his terror yet. I went to a cabinet next to my desk and brought out a flask of fresh, sparkling water I always kept there for such moments as needed. I poured him a healthy glass, then put it between his trembling fingers, helping him to hold it, for he was shaking that badly.
He took a long sip, almost vanquishing the crystal depths of the liquid in one draw, then he lowered it to his lap and I let go and sat behind my desk again. I cupped my chin in my hands and awaited his story.
It didn't take long to deliver.
"It was this way, William, we were but thirty miles from port when we saw these horrible flashes of light shooting across Paris towards the Eiffel Tower. It was if the gods in heaven were warring for power over the gay city, igniting it in flames and smoke."
He drank the rest of his water, then leaned back, putting a hand over his eyes, as if to block out the horror of that vision.
He went on. "We heard cannon fire and explosions. So whatever was going on that we could not see, it was enough to demand the British Navy to respond. And respond they did! It was terrible, the might of the warships and their cannons, then we saw something wondrous high in the sky. Something terrible and frightening and a great bolt of light struck forth from it."
He froze, unable to say more. I hurriedly got up, threw open a closet next to my desk and got out a warm blanket and cast it across his shoulders, then another over his lap. He nodded in gratitude, then went on as I stood next to him, offering him the strength of my presence as courage for his next words.
"Like the fist of God, it was so bright and powerful. It struck something close to the Eiffel Tower with so much power that the entire world lit up like the sun for a brief moment. I was fortunate enough to shut my eyes a moment before that happened, but even through my eyelids I could see the brightness."
He began to weep horribly. "Half my crew are now struck blind by the explosion of light. Half! What kind of madness has come upon our beloved world?" He cried out in misery.
I went to my open door and hollered up the stairs to my Stage Manger. "Rob, come here immediately!"
I heard the trampling of boots, and Rob, my Stage Manger, a Scottish man of thick red hair and beard with a chest like a bear and a growl like a lion, which made him perfect for keeping my troupe and help in line, stomped into the room. "Is something wrong, sir?"
I pointed to the Captain. "This man needs a place to sleep and a good meal."
"I shall see to it." Rob told me, then he helped the Captain to his feet and leaning against the strong body of my Stage Manager, they wound their way from view. I waited to make sure they ascended the stairs safely, then I went back to my desk.
I immediately began writing a note to my friends Jules and Wells. We had agreed to communcicate by pigeon as well. I finished the note as rapidly as my quill and ink would allow, dusted the ink to dry it, then rolled the paper up, closed it with a silk ribbon, then went up the stairs. I crossed the back stage, nodding to the carpenters readying the stage for our next production, the painters working on the curtains and the few cast members who were zealously working on lines in preparation for this evening's preview performance.
No actor likes having rotten vegetables and fruit tossed at them, and mine as good as they were, if they failed, were often times assailed by the commoners who stood in the lower area and most inexpensive seating.
I found the stairs to the top floors and went to the very top, where I kept my pigeons. I opened the shutter to the attic floor, allowing more light in for the birds, for though caged at night for their protection, I allowed them to roam free during the day to stretch their wings and come and go as they pleased.
One of my helpers had forgotten to open the shutters and free my little friends. I went to their cages and opened them. Many of them gave me sweet little pecks of recognition, but many others hurled themselves into the air to escape on their wings to the blue skies of the afternoon. One remained behind, Sarah, my favorite. She was waiting for the treat she knew I was certain to carry.
I plucked out the piece of cracker I always kept in my right jacket pocket and held it out. She took it and eagerly began eating it. As she did I gathered a small leather strap and began wrapping my message to her right leg. She adjusted her stance as I did so that she could keep eating and then when she finished, I held her up on the palm of my right hand and went to the window.
"To Jules, my dear Sarah!"
Sarah gave me a cooing sound, then shot into the air and arrowed off towards France.