Chapter 14 (b)

Documentation

 

In "Loves Labour's lost" (v, 2, 42), Rosaline has just received a letter; the dialogue goes like this:

Qu. Who sent it? and what is it?
Ros. I would you knew
And if my face were but as faire as yours,
My Fauour were as great, be witnesse this,
Nay, I have Verses too, I thanke Berowne,
The numbers true, and were the numbring too,
I were the fairest goddesse on the ground.
I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
O he hath drawne my picture in his letter.
Qu. Any thing like?
Ros. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
Qu. Beauteous as Incke: a good conclusion.
Kat. Faire as a text B. in a Coppie Booke.
Ros. Ware pensals. How? Let me not die your debtor,
My red Dominicall, my golden letter.

In the first two lines of Rosaline's speech we may find her red dominicall, her fair text B, her golden letter:

Ciphertext is:
I V O V L D Y O V K N E V A N D I F M Y F A C E V E R E B V T A S F A I R E A

Plaintext, +4 is:

N C S C P H D S C O R I C E R H N K Q D K E G I C I Y I F C B E A K E N Y I E

* * *

On the first and second leaves of SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS appear the title-page and the dedication, as described 
previously. In these we found our instruction "FORTH.", to search the fourth line of the Caesar printout for the 
plaintext. However, the number of letters in Bacon's cipher alphabet remained in doubt; we had to try many 
experiments to establish which letters had been omitted and to verify the proper number--21.

Much trouble might have been saved if we had examined more carefully the last page of the Sonnets for some 
peculiarity.

On this page appears the final Sonnet, number 154, which looks harmless enough. Following that is the word 
"FINIS." printed in capitals three times larger than normal; still there is nothing particularly odd about that. But 
below is an unexplained difference, apparently a glaring typographical error.

At the bottom of most of these pages is the "signature" notation that guided the bookbinder in assembling the 
printed pages. These were collated with the folded sheets which were cut apart before binding. For example, one 
series printed at the bottom of every other page in the Sonnets is "F", "F2", "F3". "F4" was usually omitted as 
unnecessary in the binding process. The letters and numbers were imprinted in this manner in an ordinary size of 
type.

On the last (recto) page of the Sonnets there is also a "signature." This is the first leaf of the next quarto, the eight 
pages which include the beginning of A Lovers complaint (another poem bound in at the end.) The series should 
have been "K", "K2", "K3" set in normal size type.

But this "K" is not normal. It is printed as a "great capital," three times the size of the other signatures. And it is 
followed by another great capital, an apparently meaningless, misplaced "A". There are six normal spaces between 
the letters, as if to add more stress to this bizarre imprint.

These two preeminent letters "KA" are hardly typographical errors; they were inserted as indicators, further keys to 
Francis Bacon's cipher alphabet. And now, we having come so far, they become confirmations.

The ancient Greeks had an unique way of writing their numbers. They simply used the letters of the Greek alphabet 
(some of which resembled the Roman). Alpha, Beta and Gamma represented the figures 1, 2 and 3; this continued to 
Theta which was 9. Then they began numbering by tens and adding these preceding, alphabetical digits to them. 
Iota, Kappa and Lambda were the numbers 10, 20 and 30; these continued until Koppa represented 90. The 
hundreds went from Rho to San, 100 to 900.

Thus the number 11 would be Iota Alpha, "IA". The number 55 was Nu Epsilon, "NE".

And the signature Kappa Alpha, "KA", becomes the number 21. This 21 was put there as a pointer, a signal by a 
scholar with a Grecian vocabulary. It is the number of letters in Francis Bacon's own keyed alphabet.

* * *

Sonnet 52 begins:

So am I as the rich whose blessed key,
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure.

We have the suggestion of a "key" and a locked "treasure;" let us see if our cryptographic key fits the lock:

The ciphertext is:
S O A M I A S T H E R I C H V H O S E B L E S S E D K E Y C A N B R I N G H I M T O H I S S V E E T V P L O C K 
E D T R E A S V R E

Ciphertext reversed is:

E R V S A E R T D E K C O L P V T E E V S S I H O T M I H G N I R B N A C Y E K D E S S E L B E S O H V H C I R 
E H T S A I M A O S

Plaintext, +4:

I Y C A E I Y B H I O G S P T C B I I C A A N M S B Q N M L R N Y F R E G D I O H I A A I P F I A S M C M G N Y 
I M B A E N Q E S A

* * *

In "The First Part of Henry the Fourth" (ii, 4, 30), in the left-hand column, the name "Francis" is repeated nineteen 
times. Those favoring the authorship of Francis Bacon have often remarked upon this peculiarity.

The Prince and Poines are playing a joke upon Francis, their servant, the "puny Drawer." The Prince tells Poines to 
go into another room and begin calling for Francis; he does so and Francis enters. The Prince engages him in a 
nonsensical conversation, a sample of which is this:

Prin. Anon, Francis? No Francis, but tomorrow Francis: or Francis, on thursday: or indeed Francis when thou wilt. 
But Francis.

Poines continues to call him, and "The Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go."

Two parts of this dialogue will be shown:

Prin. . .I prythee doe thou stand in some by-roome, while I question my puny Drawer, to what end hee gave me the 
Suger and do never leave calling Francis

Ciphertext is:
S T A N D I N S O M E B Y R O O M E V H I L E I Q V E S T I O N M Y P V N Y D R A V E R T O V H A T E N D H 
E E G A V E M E T H E S V G A R A N D D O N E V E R L E A V E C A L L I N G F R A N C I S

Ciphertext reversed is:

S I C N A R F G N I L L A C E V A E L R E V E N O D D N A R A G V S E H T E M E V A G E E H D N E T A H V 
O T R E V A R D Y N V P Y M N O I T S E V Q I E L I H V E M O O R Y B E M O S N I D N A T S

Plaintext, +4 is:

A N G R E Y K L R N P P E G I C E I P Y I C I R S H H R E Y E L C A I M B I Q I C E L I I M H R I B E M C S B Y I C 
E Y H D R C T D Q R S N B A I C V N I P N M C I Q S S Y D F I Q S A R N H R E B A

The second part of the conversation includes this:

Prin. But Francis, darest thou be so valiant, as to play the coward with thy Indenture and shew it a faire paire of 
heeles, and run from it?

Ciphertext is:
B V T F R A N C I S D A R E S T T H O V B E S O V A L I A N T A S T O P L A Y T H E C O V A R D V I T H T H Y 
I N D E N T V R E A N D S H E V I T A F A I R E P A I R E O F H E E L E S A N D R V N F R O M I T

Plaintext, +4 is:

F C B K Y E R G N A H E Y I A B B M S C F I A S C E P N E R B E A B S T P E D B M I G S C E Y H C N B M B M D 
N R H I R B C Y I E R H A M I C N B E K E N Y I T E N Y I S K M I I P I A E R H Y C R K Y S Q N B

* * *

There is something puzzling about the lettering on the Shakespeare monument in Westminster Abbey, as it is shown 
on the scroll to which the Bard is pointing. The words (some of them) are taken from the speech of Prospero as it 
appears in the 1623 Folio, "The Tempest", (iv, 1, 154):

Pro. You doe looke (my son) in a mov'd sort,
As if you were dismaid : be cheerefull Sir,
Our reuels now are ended : These our actors,
(As I foretold you) were all Spirits, and
Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre,
And like the baselesse fabricke of this vision
The Clowd-capt Towres, the gorgeous Pallaces,
The solemne Temples, the great Globe it selfe,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolue,
And like this insubstantiall Pageant faded
Leave not a racke behinde : we are such stuffe
As dreames are made on ; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleepe : Sir I am vext,
Beare with my weakenesse, my old braine is troubled:
Be not disturb'd with my infirmitie,
If you be pleas'd, retire into my Cell,
And there repose, a turne or two, Ile walke
To still my beating minde.

But on the monument's scroll, to which Shakespeare's index finger points, is this abridged and garbled version of the 
above lines:

The Cloud cupt Tow'rs,
The Gorgeous Palaces,
The Solemn Temples,
The Great Globe itself,
Yea all which it Inherit,
Shall Dissolve;
And like the baseless Fabrick of a Vision
Leave not a wreck behind.

This is the present lettering. However, according to the Librarian at Westminster Abbey (and my own recent 
inspection) the characters are only painted on the monument. During a restoration they were repainted, sometime 
after a photograph was published in 1923 (Frank Woodward, Francis Bacon's Cipher Signatures, Grafton & Co., 
London). As shown there, the third word was formerly "capt", not "cupt", as is confirmed by the version shown by 
Neale & Brayley, in The History. . . of the Abbey Church of St. Peter Westminster, 1823. Otherwise it is the same.

The wording on this scroll was dictated by Alexander Pope who appears to have had the audacity to edit the great 
Bard's language. The monument was financed by public subscription, and "Lord Burlington, Pope and Dr. Mead" 
were put in charge of its design, according to Margaret Whinney (Sculpture in Britain, 1530-1830, 1964). It was 
executed by one Scheemakers, a sculptor.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was not only a poet of great renown, but he published a collection of Shakespeare's 
plays in 1725. He was also a parodist and satirist. He prescribed this wording. For example, the lettering above the 
statue's head is:

GVLIELMO SHAKESPEARE
ANNO POST MORTEM CXXIVo
AMOR PVBLICVS POSVIT

The translation is, "To William Shakespeare in the one hundred and twenty-fourth year after his death, public love 
erected this monument." The monument was completed and dedicated in 1741, 125 years after the death, but Pope 
insisted on this erroneous computation and upon the inscription on the scroll. According to Dr. H.A.W. Speckman, 
writing in American Baconiana, Vol. II No. 4, 1926:

At the erection of the statue in 1741 a storm of indignation arose over the inadequacy of this Latin inscription, which 
mentioned neither the immortal works of the bard nor had a word to say about the years of his birth and of his 
death. Dr Mead himself publicly made known that he had most strongly opposed the use of the words "AMOR 
PVBLICVS," because they were not classic Latin. Dr. Mead was one of the greatest Latinists of the time, and he also 
republished the works of Bacon. But Pope, who was the author of the inscription, resisted to the utmost any 
alteration of it, so that Dr. Mead was finally compelled to give in, and did so saying: "Omnia vincit amor et nos 
cedemus amori," or "Love conquers all, and we yield to love."

Speckman complained, and properly so, that the legend on the scroll differed from the original blank verse: "one line 
is omitted, another misplaced, and still another divided in two parts; words are omitted, or altered and the spelling 
too." And "racke" has been changed to "wreck," a complete change in meaning.

It may be surmised, by those who genuflect before any graven image of their personal god of letters, that these are 
only mistakes. They are simply errors, done by the careless erectors of this 1741 Monument, they will explain.

Surely Alexander Pope knew better than to edit and tangle the words of the Bard in this manner. Yet he did so with 
a purpose: first to attract our attention, and second to infuse into the syntax the name of the genuine author. The line 
in which "fabricke" and "vision" occur is the only one in which the original text has not been divided; it has been 
displaced downward seven lines, so as to appear next to the last on the scroll, and these two words have been newly 
capitalized.

It is manifest that Alexander Pope knew that Bacon had used one of Trithemius' cipher methods, that of implanting a 
plaintext within a ciphertext series of words, so that every other letter spelled the message. And he had to omit the 
final "e" in "fabricke" to do it!

After coupling the two together, let us read the alternate letters beginning with the first:
F A B R I C K V I S I O N

F B I K I I N

There it stands, discreetly among the muniments in Westminster for all to observe. Pope knew what he was doing, 
and he was confident that "eyes not yet created shall o'er-read" this name. (The speech of Prospero, quoted above 
from the "Tempest," is worth further examination; it contains that familiar ciphered name, and three more are to be 
found in the next twenty-three lines.)

Perhaps not to be outdone, there is another statue of Shakespeare at the British Library, in the present "King's 
Library." This was executed by Roubillac in 1758 and was commissioned by David Garrick, the famous British actor, 
for his villa at Hampton.

Does it represent the scheme of Francis Bacon's private alphabet? Garrick's statue depicts the Bard's right hand as 
having two fingers extended, his left hand one. The latter digit is extended upward and laid to his cheek, as if to 
savor some private jest. But this is merely circumstantial evidence--hardly enough to shake the faith of a true 
Bardolater.

Notwithstanding, there were a few individuals living in Garricks's time who did not presume the authorship. They 
knew.

* * *

In Shakespeare's comedy "As you like it" (iii, 2, 298), those words are printed as the "running head" at the top of each 
page, except for one. That one says, "As yoa like it." Merely a printer's error?

Ten lines down from the beginning of the same page is the word "Cipher." Between this interesting cue and the 
"typographical error" are these lines:

Iaq. The worst fault you haue, is to be in loue.
Orl. 'Tis a fault I will not change, for your best vertue: I am wearie of you.
Iaq. By my troth, I was seeking for a Foole, when I found you.
Orl. He is drown'd in the brooke, looke but in, and you shall see him.
Iaq. There I shal see mine owne figure.
Orl. Which I take to be either a foole, or a Cipher.

The ciphertext is:
T H E V O R S T F A V L T Y O V H A V E I S T O B E I N L O V E T I S A F A V L T I V I L L N O T C H A N G E F 
O R Y O V R B E S T V E R T V E I A M V E A R I E O F Y O V

The plaintext is:

B M I C S Y A B K E C P B D S C M E C I N A B S F I N R P S C I B N A E K E C P B N C N P P R S B G M E R L I K 
S Y D S C Y F I A B C I Y B C I N E Q C I E Y N I S K D S C

Alternate letters are:

M C Y B E P D C E I A S I R S I N E E P N N
P S G E L K Y S Y I B I B I E C E N S D C

* * *

In "The Rape of Lucrece," verse 24, line 207 begins:

To cipher me how fondlie did I dote:
That my posteritie sham'd with the note
Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sinne,
To wish that I their father had not been.

The last line of the verse betrays the author.

Ciphertext is:
T O V I S H T H A T I T H E I R F A T H E R H A D N O T B E E N E

Ciphertext reversed is:

E N E E B T O N D A H R E H T A F R I E H T I T A H T H S I V O T

Plaintext, +4 is:

I R I I F B S R H E M Y I M B E K Y N I M B N B E M B M A N C S B

We may remark the letters "IM" both before and after the name. Here the word "cipher" appears again directly in the 
ciphertext; we will witness many other samples in which a version of "cipher" occurs in the plaintext.

* * *

"The Rape of Lucrece" (1594) is also dedicated to the Earle of Southampton by Shakespeare. It is a long poem having 
255 stanzas; the very last line (no. 1855) is concerned with the Roman's punishment of Tarquin for the murder of 
Lucrece.

Ciphertext is:
T O T A R Q V I N S E V E R L A S T I N G B A N I S H M E N T

Ciphertext reversed is:

T N E M H S I N A B G N I T S A L R E V E S N I V Q R A T O T

Plaintext, +4 is:

B R I Q M A N R E F L R N B A E P Y I C I A R N C V Y E B S B

Alternate letters are:

R Q A R F R B E Y C A N V E S

Bacon did, before 1621, sometimes abbreviate his first name as "Fr."

* * *

What secrets lie hid amid these lines? ("The First Part of Henry the Sixth," iii, 2, 81):

And as his Father here was Conqueror;
As sure as in this late betrayed Towne,
Great Cordelions Heart was buryed;
So sure I sweare, to get the Towne, or dye.

Ciphertext is:
A N D A S H I S F A T H E R H E R E V A S C O N Q V E R O R A S S V R E A S I N T H I S L A T E B E T R A Y E 
D T O V N E G R E A T C O R D E L I O N S H E A R T V A S B V R Y E D S O S V R E I S V E A R E T O G E T T H 
E T O V N E O R D Y E

Ciphertext reversed is:

E Y D R O E N V O T E H T T E G O T E R A E V S I E R V S O S D E Y R V B S A V T R A E H S N O I L E D R O C 
T A E R G E N V O T D E Y A R T E B E T A L S I H T N I S A E R V S S A R O R E V Q N O C S A V E R E H R E H 
T A F S I H S A D N A

Plaintext, +4 is:

I D H Y S I R C S B I M B B I L S B I Y E I C A N I Y C A S A H I D Y C F A E C B Y E I M A R S N P I H Y S G B E I 
Y L I R C S B H I D E Y B I F I B E P A N M B R N A E I Y C A A E Y S Y I C V R S G A E C I Y I M Y I M B E K A N 
M A E H R E

* * *

Now and then we may find directions to help us in our task. We are searching for a cue to find Bacon's name. Reflect 
upon these lines from the "Merry Wives of Windsor" (iii, 2, 45), the 1623 edition. They do not appear in the 1602 
edition of the play:

The clocke giues me my Qu, and my assurance bids me search, there I shall finde Falstaffe: I shall be rather praisd 
for this, then mock'd, for it is as possitiue, as the earth is firme, that Falstaffe is there: I will go.

Ciphertext is:
T H E C L O C K E G I V E S M E M Y Q V A N D M Y A S S V R A N C E B I D S M E S E A R C H T H E R E I S H 
A L L F I N D E F A L S T A F F E I S H A L L B E R A T H E R P R A I S D F O R T H I S T H E N M O C K D F O R 
I T I S A S P O S S I T I V E A S T H E E A R T H I S F I R M E T H A T F A L S T A F F E I S T H E R E I V I L L G O

Plaintext, +4 is:

B M I G P S G O I L N C I A Q I Q D V C E R H Q D E A A C Y E R G I F N H A Q I A I E Y G M B M I Y I N A M E 
P P K N R H I K E P A B E K K I N A M E P P F I Y E B M I Y T Y E N A H K S Y B M N A B M I R Q S G O H K S Y 
N B N A E A T S A A N B N C I E A B M I I E Y B M N A K N Y Q I B M E B K E P A B E K K I N A B M I Y I N C N 
P P L S

For those who may nurture doubts about reversing the ciphertext or tolerating alternate letters, this example is 
faultless, as are many more which have been and shall be shown.

* * *

"Frs. is a fitting abridgement of "Francis," as it is found in "Anthony and Cleopatra" (iv, 12, 14). Two lines are:

Their wishes, do dis-Candie, melt their sweets

On blossoming Caesar:

Ciphertext is:
T H E I R V I S H E S D O D I S C A N D I E M E L T T H E I R S V E E T S O N B L O S S O M I N G C A E S A R

Ciphertext reversed is:

R A S E A C G N I M O S S O L B N O S T E E V S R I E H T T L E M E I D N A C S I D O D S E H S I V R I E H T

Plaintext, +4 is:

Y E A I E G L R N Q S A A S P F R S A B I I C A Y N I M B B P I Q I N H R E G A N H S H A I M A N C Y N I M B

* * *

In "The Taming of the Shrew," (iii, 2, 51) Biondello describes a horse upon which Petruchio is mounted:

. . besides possest with the glanders, and like to mose in the chine, troubled with the Lampasse, infected with the 
fashions, full of Windegalls, sped with Spauins, raied with the Yellowes, past cure of the Fives, starke spoyl'd with 
the Staggers, begnawne with the Bots, Waid in the backe, and shoulder-shotten . . .

Only an Elizabethan veterinarian might know the meaning of all these antique equine afflictions. We know that "the 
Bots" was an infection of maggots, while "Waid" (swaid) must refer to "swaybacked," an unnatural sagging of a 
horse's spine. But why is "Waid" both capitalized and so poorly spelled? This juxtaposition of "Bots" and "Waid" 
reminds us of the first spoken word in "The Tempest": "Boteswaine." We must examine this further:

The ciphertext is:
B E G N A V N E V I T H T H E B O T S V A I D I N T H E B A C K E A N D S H O V L D E R S H O T T E N

The plaintext +4 is:

F I L R E C R I C N B M B M I F S B A C E N H N R B M I F E G O I E R H A M S C P H I Y A M S B B I R

We must recall that, after 1621, "Fs" was Francis Bacon's signature abbreviation for his first name.

* * *

The word "counterfeit" figures prominently in such ciphers, as we shall see before long. In the following it is used 
only once, but the enciphered name appears twice in "A Midsommer nights Dreame" (iii, 2, 367):

Till ore their browes, death-counterfeiting, sleepe
With leaden legs, and Battie-wings doth creepe;
Then crush this hearbe into Lysanders eie,
Whose liquor hath this vertuous propertie,

Ciphertext is:
T I L L O R E T H E I R B R O V E S D E A T H C O V N T E R F E I T I N G S L E E P E V I T H L E A D E N L E G S 
A N D B A T T I E V I N G S D O T H C R E E P E T H E N C R V S H T H I S H E A R B E I N T O L Y S A N D E R 
S V I E V H O S E L I Q V O R H A T H T H I S V E R T V O V S P R O P E R T I E

Plaintext, +4 is:

B N P P S Y I B M I N Y F Y S C I A H I E B M G S C R B I Y K I N B N R L A P I I T I C N B M P I E H I R P I L A E 
R H F E B B N I C N R L A H S B M G Y I I T I B M I R G Y C A M B M N A M I E Y F I N R B S P D A E R H I Y A C 
N I C M S A I P N V C S Y M E B M B M N A C I Y B C S C A T Y S T I Y B N I

Plaintext reversed is:

I N B Y I T S Y T A C S C B Y I C A N M B M B E M Y S C V N P I A S M C I N C A Y I H R E A D P S B R N I F Y E 
I M A N M B M A C Y G R I M B I T I I Y G M B S H A L R N C I N B B E F H R E A L I P R I H E I P M B N C I T I I 
P A L R N B N I K Y I B R C S G M B E I H A I C S Y F Y N I M B I Y S P P N B

* * *

In Shake-speares Sonnets, verse 12 begins, "When I do count the clock that tels the time,"

Clocks have twelve hours. Perhaps some emphasis is implied by this beginning. Lines nine to twelve are revealing:

Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must goe,
Since sweets and beauties do them-selues forsake,
And die as fast as they see others grow,

The ciphertext is:
T H E N O F T H Y B E A V T Y D O I Q V E S T I O N M A K E T H A T T H O V A M O N G T H E V A S T E S O F 
T I M E M V S T G O E S I N C E S V E E T S A N D B E A V T I E S D O T H E M S E L V E S F O R S A K E A N D D 
I E A S F A S T A S T H E Y S E E O T H E R S G R O V

The ciphertext reversed is:

V O R G S R E H T O E E S Y E H T S A T S A F S A E I D D N A E K A S R O F S E V L E S M E H T O D S E I T V A 
E B D N A S T E E V S E C N I S E O G T S V M E M I T F O S E T S A V E H T G N O M A V O H T T A H T E K A 
M N O I T S E V Q I O D Y T V A E B Y H T F O N E H T

The plaintext, +4 is:

C S Y L A Y I M B S I I A D I M B A E B A E K A E I N H H R E I O E A Y S K A I C P I A Q I M B S H A I N B C E I 
F H R E A B I I C A I G R N A I S L B A C Q I Q N B K S A I B A E C I M B L R S Q E C S M B B E M B I O E Q R S N 
B A I C V N S H D B C E I F D M B K S R I M B

Alternate letters are:

C Y A I B I A I B E A K E N H E O S A C I I Q M S A N C I H E B I A G N I L A Q Q B S I A C M L S E S B E B O Q S 
B I V S D C I D B S I B

These three plaintext versions of his name appear in lines nine to twelve of sonnet 12, and include a variant, phonetic 
spelling of "cipher." Another accidental miracle?

* * *

I will cite forty-one additional examples in which a Seventeenth Century version of "cipher" appears in the plaintext 
near Bacon's enciphered name.

"So to the Lawes at large I write my name." Seven lines following begins this passage from "Loves Labour's lost" (i, 
1, 161):

Fer. I that there is, our Court you know is hanted
With a refined travailer of Spaine,
A man in all the worlds new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his braine:

Ciphertext, +4 is:
I T H A T T H E R E I S O V R C O V R T Y O V K N O V I S H A N T E D V I T H A R E F I N E D T R A V A I L E R 
O F S P A I N E A M A N I N A L L T H E V O R L D S N E V F A S H I O N P L A N T E D

Plaintext, +4 is:

N B M E B B M I Y I N A S C Y G S C Y B D S C O R S C N A M E R B I H C N B M E Y I K N R I H B Y E C E N P I 
Y S K A T E N R I E Q E R N R E P P B M I C S Y P H A R I C K E A M N S R T P E R B I H

Having given us a plain signal, in three lines the author has confided his name, labeled it, and identified it as being 
written in cipher.

* * *

In "The third Part of King Henry the Sixt" (ii, 2, 148), the "Yong Prince Edward" is questioned about his parentage by 
Warwicke and the Queen. They suggest that he may be an impostor: "But thou art neyther like thy Sire nor Damme."

And ne're was Agamemnons Brother wrong'd
By that false Woman, as this King by thee.
His Father reuel'd in the heart of France,

Ciphertext is:
A N D N E R E V A S A G A M E M N O N S B R O T H E R V R O N G D B Y T H A T F A L S E V O M A N A S T 
H I S K I N G B Y T H E E H I S F A T H E R R E V E L D I N T H E H E A R T O F F R A N C E

Plaintext is:

E R H R I Y I C E A E L E Q I Q R S R A F Y S B M I Y C Y S R L H F D B M E B K E P A I C S Q E R E A B M N A O 
N R L F D B M I I M N A K E B M I Y Y I C I P H N R B M I M I E Y B S K K Y E R G I

Plaintext, +4 reversed is:

I G R E Y K K S B Y E I M I M B R N H P I C I Y Y I M B E K A N M I I M B D F L R N O A N M B A E R E Q S C I A 
P E K B E M B D F H L R S Y C Y I M B S Y F A R S R Q I Q E L E A E C I Y I R H R E

A few lines after this (ii, 2, 156) we read:

Even then that Sun-shine brew'd a showre for him,
That washt his Fathers fortunes forth of France,

Ciphertext is:
E V E N T H E N T H A T S V N S H I N E B R E V D A S H O V R E F O R H I M T H A T V A S H T H I S F A T H 
E R S F O R T V N E S F O R T H O F F R A N C E

Ciphertext reversed is:

E C N A R F F O H T R O F S E N V T R O F S R E H T A F S I H T H S A V T A H T M I H R O F E R V O H S A D V 
E R B E N I H S N V S T A H T N E H T N E V E

Plaintext, +4 is:

I G R E Y K K S M B Y S K A I R C B Y S K A Y I M B E K A N M B M A E C B E M B Q N M Y S K I Y C S M A E H 
C I Y F I R N M A R C A B E M B R I M B R I C I

* * *

Falstaffe is defending himself from a defamation uttered by the Prince, in "The First Part of King Henry the Fourth" 
(ii, 4, 516):

Falst. . .No, my good Lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poines: but for sweete Iacke Falstaffe, kinde Iacke 
Falstaffe, true Iacke Falstaffe,

Ciphertext is:
N O M Y G O O D L O R D B A N I S H P E T O B A N I S H B A R D O L P H B A N I S H P O I N E S B V T F O R S 
V E E T E I A C K E F A L S T A F F E K I N D E I A C K F A L S T A F F E T R V E I A C K F A L S T A F F E

Plaintext, +4 is:

R S Q D L S S H P S Y H F E R N A M T I B S F E R N A M F E Y H S P T M F E R N A M T S N R I A F C B K S Y A 
C I I B I N E G O I K E P A B E K K I O N R H I N E G O K E P A B E K K I B Y C I N E G O K E P A B E K K I

* * *

In "Much Ado about Nothing" (iii, 1, 87) we read:

Vrsu. . .She cannot be so much without true iudgement,
Having so swift and excellent a wit
As she is prisde to haue, as to refuse
So rare a Gentleman as Signior Benedicke.

Ciphertext is:
S H E C A N N O T B E S O M V C H V I T H O V T T R V E I V D G M E N T H A V I N G S O S V I F T A N D E C 
E L L E N T A V I T A S S H E I S P R I S D E T O H A V E A S T O R E F V S E S O R A R E A G E N T L E M A N A 
S S I G N I O R B E N E D I C K E

Plaintext, +4 is:

A M I G E R R S B F I A S Q C G M C N B M S C B B Y C I N C H L Q I R B M E C N R L A S A C N K B E R H I G I 
P P I R B E C N B E A A M I N A T Y N A H I B S M E C I E A B S Y I K C A I A S Y E Y I E L I R B P I Q E R E A A 
N L R N S Y F I R I H N G O I

A few lines later Hero says, "Indeed he hath an excellent good name."

* * *

"There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will." So says Hamlet in Shakespeare's play of 
that name, an observation to make us thoughtful.

George Puttenham in The Arte of English Poesie (1589) wrote, "I know many notable Gentlemen in the Court that 
have written commendably, and suppressed it agayne, or else suffered it to be publisht without their owne names to 
it, as if it were a discredit for a Gentleman to seem learned, and to shew himself amorous of any learned Art." 
Hamlet continues in the same vein, in "The Tragedie of Hamlet" (v, 2, 34):

Ham. Being thus benetted round with Villaines,
Ere I could make a Prologue to my braines,
They had begun the Play. I sate me downe,
Deuis'd a new Commission, wrote it faire,
I once did hold it as our Statists doe,
A basenesse to write faire; and laboured much
How to forget that learning . . .

The ciphertext is:
I O N C E D I D H O L D I T A S O V R S T A T I S T S D O E A B A S E N E S S E T O V R I T E F A I R E A N D L A 
B O V R E D M V C H

The plaintext is:

N S R G I H N H M S P H N B E A S C Y A B E B N A B A H S I E F E A I R I A A I B S C Y N B I K E N Y I E R H P 
E F S C Y I H Q C G M

The alternate letters are:

S G H H S H B A C A E N B H I F A R A I S Y B K N I R P F C I G G

Again we find the name and this time twice following the word "SIEFEAIR," although such orthography may daze 
the modern eye. In Shakespeare's works it is ordinarily spelled as "cipher" or "cypher", but those choices were not 
dictated by any Elizabethan dictionary. At that time there were other ways to spell the word. Francis Bacon, for 
example, spelled it both as "cyphers" and "cyphars" in English, and as "cyphras" in the Latin language with which he 
was eminently familiar. And, according to the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary, these forms were also 
acceptable in the Seventeenth Century: "sipher, cyfer, cifer, ciphre, sypher, ziphre, scypher, cyphar, cyphre, ciphar, 
zifer, cypher, cipher." (Oddly enough, my very modern, phonetic computer spelling checker gives "cipher" as the 
probable intended meaning of most of these words.) At the same time, other acceptable spellings for the antonym 
were "dicipher, discypher, discipher, disipher."

Other moderns, counting on recent orthographic fashion, may object to the diverse spellings of Bacon's own name, as 
we have found it in these plaintext solutions to his ciphers. Nevertheless, Francis Bacon once wrote his brother's 
name (in a legal document preserved in the London Lambeth Library) in this way: "Anth. Bakon." Books dedicated 
to Bacon spelled his first name as "ffrauncis." His kinsmen were not particular about it either:

It is worthy of notice that the Bacon family in early times spelt their name "Becon" or "Beacon." Some of them seem 
to have written under this name, and there is a work by Thomas Becon, 1563-4 in which, on the title page of the 
second volume, his name changes from "Becon" to "Beacon." (Mrs. Henry Pott, Francis Bacon and his Secret Society, 
p. 341.)

John Florio (1591, Second Frutes) alluded to a "gammon of bakon." And, as we have seen, the Oxford English 
Dictionary gives these spellings for the period: bacoun, bakoun, bacun, bakon, baken, bacon."

The authenticated Shakespeare signatures spell the Bard's name in six different ways, a matter the Shakespearean 
philologists have chosen to disregard. According to Charles Hamilton, a manuscript expert who says he can read the 
untidy scrawls (In Search of Shakespeare, Harcourt Brace, 1985), these are the spellings:

Shackper, Shakspear, Shakspea, Shackspere, Shakspere, Shakspeare.

The man was baptized as Shaksper, gave bond for marriage as Shagspere, was married as Shaxper and buried as 
Shakspeare.

* * *

In "The third Part of King Henry the Sixt" (iii, 2, 1), the King enters and says, intriguingly, "Brother of Gloster, at S. 
Albons field. . ." Perhaps an inhabitant of St. Albans parish is holding the pen:

King. How many Children hast thou, Widow? tell me.
Clarence. I thinke he meanes to begge a Child of her.
Rich. Nay then whip me: hee'le rather giue her two.
Wid. Three, my most gracious Lord.
Rich. You shall have foure, if you'le be rul'd by him.
King. 'Twere pittie they should lose their Fathers Lands.
Wid. Be pittifull, dread Lord, and graunt it then. King. Lords giue vs leaue, Ile trye
his Widowes wit.
Rich. I, good leaue haue you, for you will have leaue,
Till Youth take leaue, and leaue you to the Crutch.

Ciphertext is:
Y O V S H A L L H A V E F O V R E I F Y O V L E B E R V L D B Y H I M T V E R E P I T T I E T H E Y S H O V L D 
L O S E T H E I R F A T H E R S L A N D S B E P I T T I F V L L D R E A D L O R D A N D G R A V N T I T T H E N 
L O R D S G I V E V S L E A V E I L E T R Y E T H I S V I D O V E S V I T I G O O D L E A V E H A V E Y O V F O R 
Y O V V I L L H A V E L E A V E T I L L Y O V T H T A K E L E A V E A N D L E A V E Y O V T O T H E C R V T C 
H

Ciphertext reversed:

H C T V R C E H T O T V O Y E V A E L D N A E V A E L E K A T H T V O Y L L I T E V A E L E V A H L L I V V 
O Y R O F V O Y E V A H E V A E L D O O G I T I V S E V O D I V S I H T E Y R T E L I E V A E L S V E V I G S D R 
O L N E H T T I T N V A R G D N A D R O L D A E R D L L V F I T T I P E B S D N A L S R E H T A F R I E H T E S 
O L D L V O H S Y E H T E I T T I P E R E V T M I H Y B D L V R E B E L V O Y F I E R V O F E V A H L L A H S V 
O Y

Plaintext, +4 is:

M G B C Y G I M B S B C S D I C E I P H R E I C E I P I O E B M B C S D P P N B I C E I P I C E M P P N C C S D Y 
S K C S D I C E M I C E I P H S S L N B N C A I C S H N C A N M B I D Y B I P N I C E I P A C I C N L A H Y S P R 
I M B B N B R C E Y L H R E H Y S P H E I Y H P P C K N B B N T I F A H R E P A Y I M B E K Y N I M B I A S P H 
P C S M A D I M B I N B B N T I Y I C B Q N M D F H P C Y I F I P C S D K N I Y C S K I C E M P P E M A C S D

Here we find a phonetic version of "decipher," followed by the familiar assertion, "I'm Bacon."

* * *

Shakespeare added over four thousand new words to our language. It should not be surprising that an "English 
Dictionarie" was published simultaneously with the Folio (The English Dictionarie of 1623,--alleged to be by Henry 
Cockeram--a facsimile, Huntington Press, New York 1930.) What, we wonder, might be the definition of the word 
"decipher"?

Decipher. To write after a strange maner that none shall read it: also to find out the meaning of a thing so written.

The author seems to have defined both "cipher" and "decipher" under the same heading. Curious.

Ciphertext is:
T O V R I T E A F T E R A S T R A N G E M A N E R

Ciphertext reversed is:

R E N A M E G N A R T S A R E T F A E T I R V O T

Plaintext, +4 is:

Y I R E Q I L R E Y B A E Y I B K E I B N Y C S B

Alternate letters are:

Y R Q L E B E I K I N C B

* * *

Here are some lines which are taken from "The most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus," in the 
anonymously published 1594 Quarto (iv, 2, 4):

Puer. My Lords, with all the humblenes I may,
I greete your Honours from Andronicus,
And pray the Romane Gods confound you both.
Demetrius. Gramarcie Louelie Lucius, whats the news.
Puer. That you are both discipherd, thats the newes,

But when the play was published in 1623, the last line was missing. In the editor's haste to purge that glaring word 
"discipherd," Puer.'s lines were mistakenly given to Demetrius, although he is made to Exit. before speaking the next 
line (1623 Folio, iv, 2, 24):

Deme. What's heere? a scrole, & written round about: Let's see.
Integer vitae scelerisque purus, non egit maury iaculis nec arcus.
Chi. O 'tis a verse in Horace, I know it well.
I read it in the Grammer long agoe.
Moore. I iust, a verse in Horace: right, you have it,

Ciphertext is:
I I V S T A V E R S E I N H O R A C E R I G H T Y O V H A V E I T

Plaintext, +4, is:

N N C A B E C I Y A I N R M S Y E G I Y N L M B D S C M E C I N B

* * *

At the beginning of Chapter 10, I quoted part of a passage from "The Comedie of Errors" (v, 1, 336). Here are those 
lines and a few more:

Duke. One of these men is genius to the other:
And so of these, which is the naturall man,
And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
S. Dromio. I sir am Dromio, command him away.
E. Dro. I sir am Dromio, pray let me stay.
S. Ant. Egeon art thou not? or else his ghost.
S. Drom. Oh my olde Master, who hath bound him heere?
Abb. Who euer bound him, I will lose his bonds,
And gaine a husband by his libertie:
Speake old Egeon, if thou bee'st the man
That hadst a wife once call'd AEmilia,
That bore thee at a burthen two faire sonnes?
Oh if thou bee'st the same Egeon, speake:
And speake vnto the same AEmilia.

Of the two Dromios, one is suspected of being an impostor; this affords a convenient moment for the author to 
discard his mask. We must choose the initial capitals of each line of dialogue:

Ciphertext is:
O A A I I E O V A S T T O A

Ciphertext reversed is:

A O T T S A V O E I I A A O

Plaintext, +4 is:

E S B B A E C S I N N E E S

Plaintext, alternate letters:

E B A C I N E

Who deciphers them? We do.

* * *

From "The two Gentlemen of Verona," (iv, 1, 50):

1. Out. And I, for such like petty crimes as these.
But to the purpose: for we cite our faults,
That they may hold excus'd our lawlesse liues;
And partly seeing you are beautifide
With goodly shape; and by your owne report,
A Linguist, and a man of such perfection,
As we doe in our quality much want.
2. Out. Indeede because you are a banish'd man,

The capitalized first letters of each line produce the ciphertext:
B T A W A A I

Plaintext is:

F B E C E E N

Ciphertext of the last line is:

I N D E E D E B E C A V S E Y O V A R E A B A N I S H D M A N

Plaintext, +4 is:

N R H I I H I F I G E C A I D S C E Y I E F E R N A M H Q E R

* * *

It has been argued that authors in the Seventeenth Century had no control over the printing of their books; some 
innocents believed that the printers were the publishers and that they dotted every "i." However, if we study the 
60th page of "The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet." we will notice that the running head for that page is unique; it 
reads:

The Tragedie of Romeoand Juliet.

Two of the words are run together and the period is typeset upside down (ii, 2, 152). Another "tricke of singularitie"?

Just under these duplicate "errors", beginning on the top line of the right-hand column, we read:

(By and by I come)
To cease thy strife, and leaue me to my griefe.
Tomorrow will I send.

Ciphertext is:
B Y A N D B Y I C O M E T O C E A S E T H Y S T R I F E A N D L E A V E M E T O M Y G R I E F E T O M O R R 
O V V I L L I S E N D

Ciphertext reversed is:

D N E S I L L I V V O R R O M O T E F E I R G Y M O T E M E V A E L D N A E F I R T S Y H T E S A E C O T E M 
O C I Y B D N A Y B

Plaintext, +4 is:

H R I A N P P N C C S Y Y S Q S B I K I N Y L D Q S B I Q I C E I P H R E I K N Y B A D M B I A E I G S B I Q S G 
N D F H R E D F

* * *

"Oh, I beseech you pardon mee, my Lord, in that."

One of the Lords so addresses Timon in "Timon of Athens" (i, 2, 216). In passing I will note that this word "beseech" 
often precedes a cipher passage.

Tim. . . Ile tell you true, Ile call to you.
All Lor. O none so welcome.
Tim. I take all, and your seuerall visitations
So kinde to heart, 'tis not enough to giue:
Me thinkes, I could deale Kingdomes to my Friends,
And nere be wearie.

Ciphertext is:
I L E T E L L Y O V T R V E I L E C A L L T O Y O V O N O N E S O V E L C O M E I T A K E A L L A N D Y O V R 
S E V E R A L L V I S I T A T I O N S S O K I N D E T O H E A R T T I S N O T E N O V G H T O G I V E M E T H I 
N K E S I C O V L D D E A L E K I N G D O M E S T O M Y F R I E N D S A N D N E R E B E V E A R I E

Plaintext, +4 is:

N P I B I P P D S C B Y C I N P I G E P P B S D S C S R S R I A S C I P G S Q I N B E O I E P P E R H D S C Y A I C I 
Y E P P C N A N B E B N S R A A S O N R H I B S M I E Y B B N A R S B I R S C L M B S L N C I Q I B M N R O I A 
N G S C P H H I E P I O N R L H S Q I A B S Q D K Y N I R H A E R H R I Y I F I C I E Y N I

Plaintext reversed is:

I N Y E I C I F I Y I R H R E A H R I N Y K D Q S B A I Q S H L R N O I P E I H H P C S G N A I O R N M B I Q I C 
N L S B M L C S R I B S R A N B B Y E I M S B I H R N O S A A R S N B E B N A N C P P E Y I C I A Y C S D H R E 
P P E I O E B N I Q S G P I C S A I R S R S C S D S B P P E G I P N I C Y B C S D P P I B I P N

* * *

This is from "The Tragedie of Anthony and Cleopatra" (i, 2, 153):

Eno. Oh sir, you had then left vnseene a wonderfull peece of worke, which not to have beene blest withall, would 
have discredited your Trauaile.

Let's see what "wonderfull piece of work" has been left unseen.

Ciphertext is:
O H S I R Y O V H A D T H E N L E F T V N S E E N E A V O N D E R F V L L P E E C E O F V O R K E V H I C H 
N O T T O H A V E B E E N E B L E S T V I T H A L L V O V L D H A V E D I S C R E D I T E D Y O V R T R A V A 
I L E

Plaintext, +4 is:

S M A N Y D S C M E H B M I R P I K B C R A I I R I E C S R H I Y K C P P T I I G I S K C S Y O I C M N G M R S B 
B S M E C I F I I R I F P I A B C N B M E P P C S C P H M E C I H N A G Y I H N B I H D S C Y B Y E C E N P I