TABLE OF CONTENTS
§ 1 The Friedmans, Their Reputation and Their Book
§2 Press Notices
§ 3 William Stone Booth and His Books
§ 4 The Friedmans, the Stratfordians and Their Tactics
A Little Essay on Scholarship
A Little Latin Lesson
Francis Bacons Essay Of Truth
THE GREAT RESTORATION OF TRUTH
§1 Friedmans Foundation Examined
§ 2 Booths
Study of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth Century
§ 3 How Friedman Ignored Booths Instructions
§ 4 Booths Use of the Name String Cipher
§ 5 The Alternating Line String Cipher Method
§ 6 The Acrostics in the Epilogue of The Tempest
§ 7 The Acrostic in The Colours of Good and Euill, a fragment
§ 8 The Acrostic in The Phnix and the Turtle: Threnos
§ 9 A
Double Acrostic in All the Spoken Words in
All the First Lines of All the Plays in the 1623 Folio
The Acrostics in
Matthew Arnolds Merope
and Ben Jonsons
Writ in the Margents of Books
Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis
IN THE PREFACE to his book, Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon, William Stone Booth wrote:
It is ungracious to destroy a pleasing illusion, and this book is not written with that purpose. . . .
With full appreciation of Mr. Booths words, I have to be honest and state that it has been a great pleasure, even an honor, to be able to destroy an illusion that illusion in which all Stratfordians and their supporters have comfortably basked for 43 years now, that the problem of the belief that ciphers and acrostics were concealed in the plays, poems and sonnets of William Shakespeare had been permanently and irrefutably laid to rest by Elizebeth S. and William F. Friedman in their book The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined. And I must confess, and it must seem awfully obvious, that I have with great enthusiasm written this book in order to destroy that pleasing illusion, and, further, that I have enjoyed every minute of the tedious literary excavation involved.
In fact, the problem had been conclusively solved a full fifty years before the Friedmans rolled the first sheet of paper into their typewriters to write and then publish their book. But William Booths full disclosure of the solution did not jive with popular sentiment, just as Ignatius Donnellys The Great Cryptogram had been greeted by derision and obloquy about twenty years previously. The Shakespearean establishment, supported by the masses, comfortably wallowing in another pleasing illusion, the Strafordian Myth, predictably refused to accept Booths work, or even to consider it. And, of course, it got the full Stratfordian treatment of rejection and vilification. Booth wrote:
I confess that I was daunted at the outset of my work by the personal obloquy that has been heaped upon scholar and charlatan alike by the men who are content with the inferential method of writing literary history; but, reflecting that life is short and that a little obloquy does not do much harm, I decided to make known these acrostics in the hope that their discovery might lead men to approach the problems of biography in a more scientific spirit.
A vain hope, as it turned out. Stratfordians still tenaciously cling to The Myth, scared to death that the Real Solution to that problem will ultimately be resolved, and not in their favor. And, in fact, the tide is turning. More and more people, including many fine scholars, have realized and accepted The Truth.
Certainly, it is not without some trepidation that I offer the present work to the public. I shall, of course, get a great deal of negative reaction from the predictable sources. But I adopt the same determination that Booth adopted: life is short and a little obloquy does not do much harm. And certainly not, if the message in this present work results in the successful reversal of the great damage inflicted by the Friedmans on the Baconian Cause.
I have often wondered why it is that people find it impossible to accept Truth; why it is that they prefer to believe the traducements by writers like Thomas Babbington Macaulay and Elizebeth and William Friedman, to name only three, and doggedly insist on perpetuating the untruths of these and other unethical scholars. Why do they not want the Truth? Why do they not search out and study all available material in an honest search for the truth, and then produce really valid, meaningful articles and books. Why?
One of the answers is: Fear. Fear of the Truth. The fear of having to admit that they just might be wrong in their thinking. The fear of letting go of long-ingrained beliefs in favor of some belief or action that is not of their past experience. The fear that their authority may be lost; that a lifetime of work might come to nothing. They willingly perpetuate old untruths for the simple reason that they are afraid to stand alone, proud with the truth, afraid of being the target of criticism, or perhaps even the loss of professional position. As Henry David Thoreau said (quoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt), We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
This is the kind of rigid, closed mind that controls millions of people today, just as it ruled the masses in centuries past. In many ways its getting worse instead of better. But hope does, indeed, spring eternal, and I firmly believe that with the immediate dissemination of information made possible by the Internet, great strides toward Truth can be made. For this reason, this little book is given freely to be posted on the internet.
The Truth is here, free for the taking, if people will just take a little time to consider it.
The frankly shocking legerdemain of the Friedmans, who unquestionably knew exactly what they were doing, is finally, completely and irrefutably exposed, through the simple expediency of merely comparing what they wrote with what William Stone Booth wrote. The Truth is here, for all to read, for all to understand. It is this:
William Stone Booths work proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that ciphers and acrostics lay undiscovered for at least 400 years in the works of Francis Bacon, known to the world through his nom de plume, or nom de guerre if you will, as William Shake-speare, waiting for such a scholar as William Stone Booth to discover them and reveal them to the world!
I am only too painfully aware that such a charge as I have brought against two very famous cryptologists is very serious, but the undeniable fact is, its all absolutely true! Those who hold dear the memories of Col. and Mrs. Friedman, who have had not the slightest suspicion that they could ever be accused of such things, will just have to accept the truth as revealed in this book and deal with it the best way they can.
I maintain that such an exposé is absolutely essential, considering that the damage done by the Friedmans has very seriously affected two generations of the worlds population who have looked to them for truthful expert guidance in matters pertaining to the Shakespeare Authorship problem; truthful, unbiased expert guidance which they promised in the introduction to their book. They even went so far as to state that anti-Stratfordians deserved a fair hearing instead of the derision they had suffered for many years. Then they turned right around and wrote the most derisive, dishonest swill imaginable!
Let the Stratfordians and all the others, including those eager to promote their own agendas of Shakespearean authorship or of a Baconian or other cipher systems, screech and scream their rejection, but they screech and scream in vain while they should be sitting down quietly in a reflective mood to study this irrefutable Truth, saying to themselves, like Lord Polonius in Hamlet, This above all: to thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. They should be asking themselves this question: How could the Friedmans have written such a book as this? And they should answer themselves: Because they were plastering more mud on the Stratfordian dam against any further advancement of the hated and feared Truth; and because vilification and deceit are the only weapons that Stratfordians can raise against it!
There can be no possibility that these ciphers and acrostics are mistakes or natural occurrences of letters falling in just the right place in just the right way, repeatedly, many in the same patterns in the approximately 900,000 words of the 1623 Folio, and almost all of them in the Latin genitive and ablative cases, as it turns out! Of Course, it cannot be said that nothing is absolutely impossible, but the chances against such a thing happening are incalculable. The repeated identical design of many of the acrostics prove it. The repetition of the name Francisci Baconi and Francisco Bacono in the Latin genitive and ablative (genitive = possession; ablative = by, from) in the acrostic signatures proves it. The only possible answer is this: They were intentionally placed there!
I would like to say that I expect a great deal of negative response from people who cant accept the truth, who cannot cast off the blindfold of deep denial which blurs their perception.
I also expect quite a bit of positive response from people who either already know the truth, or are convinced of the truth through this little book, and who are grateful that the truth about The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined is now completely exposed and has been posted on the internet for the whole world to read.
Regardless of what harsh criticisms may greet this book, one fact remains: Friedmans deceit has been fully exposed, and must be accepted, because the proofs given by comparison of Friedmans and Booths written words cannot be denied. Aside from that, nothing else matters, i.e., my style of writing, or any unkind thing I say about the Friedmans. This book was not written as a study of the Friedmans great work as a cryptologists. Nor was it written as a scientific treatise for high-minded professors and scientists. It has been written in a hopefully easy-to-read style for everyone, especially high-school and college students, for housewives and office clerks as well as artists, writers, politicians and scientists.
I appeal to you, the reader, to open your mind.
Be sure that you are being honest with yourself, that you are not
holding fast to old prejudices or misconceptions. Let the obvious
Truth flow in, like a cooling, soothing balm. Finally, I appeal to
the British Government and to all Englishmen to rescue their immortal
son from the now well-known unfair and wrong obloquy which he has
suffered since 1620 now 380 years! I appeal to all persons
everywhere to reject the shamefully vilifying distortions and
fabrications of Thomas Babbington Macaulay and proudly to
raise Sir Francis Bacon to the position of
highest honor and esteem which is his by right.
Now is the time.
September 3, 2000
I am grateful to
for the gift of a copy of
Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon
which made it possibe for me to complete this book.
I am forever indebted to my friends
KEN AND VISAKHA KAWASAKI
Buddhist Relief Mission and Burma Relief Mission
for their generous gift of a computer
without which this book
could not have
WILLIAM STONE BOOTH
b. Gloucester, England, January 20, 1864
d. Cambridge, Mass., October 14, 1926
As this little book is also dedicated to the youth of the
I cannot write a better dedication than that written by
Mrs. Henry (Constance) Pott
in Francis Bacon And His Secret Society:
Young Schollars of the
Sons of the Morning,
I dedicate this book,
Confident that they will not disappoint the prophetic hope of
That in the New Birth of Time, his Filii
would accomplish his work, and hand down the Lamp
to the Next Ages.
I saw an injustice done and tried to remedy it. I heard falsehood taught, and was compelled to deny it. Nothing else was possible to me. I knew not how little or how much might come of the business, or whether I was fit for it; but here was the lie, full set in front of me, and there was no way round it but only over it. John Ruskin
It is my great wish to do what I can, with my limited knowledge of Elizabethan literature, to help in the work of apportioning to that man, whose intellectual ability and wonderful genius simply astound me, the early works and the proper merit due to his name. We know how pathetically in his will he left his name and memory to mens charitable speeches and the next ages. Nearly three centuries have passed, and I believe it is reserved to our present century to place the intellect and genius of Bacon in its truer fuller light. His character, too, shall be vindicated from such traducers as Macaulay and Pope, and from such repeaters of scandal as DEwes and Wilson and the Puritan Malignants generally. Rev. Walter Begley in Bacons Nova Resuscitatio, 1905, Volume I, page 9
The Friedmans, Their Reputation as Cryptologists and Their Book
ONE hardly knows where or how to begin a book such as this as this. Considering not only the nature of the work at hand but also the possible ramifications, one always wants to be gentle and never to hurt anyone, neither the deceased nor their family, many of whom must still be living; never in any way to stoop to the low level of what is now traditional Stratfordian-style vilification. However, considering how nice I have tried to be in preparing this book, I fear that the reputations that Colonel and Mrs. Friedman have enjoyed are, sadly, going to be irreparably tarnished not for their very excellent work as professional cryptolgists, for which they shall always deserve the highest praise. Of course, now, thanks to the Internet, the whole world is fortunately going to know that they stooped to the very lowest kind of intellectual dishonesty by writing and publishing a book such as "The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined" anyhow, whatever I write about the Friedmans is not nearly so bad as the traducing language with which they attacked their victims, which resulted in very serious damage to their reputations. While some of these people may have been deluded to put it bluntly it served no purpose to treat them so badly.
First, we should learn a little about Col. and
Mrs. Friedman. The following extracts from their book will
Accompanied by a photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Friedman, the following "resume" reveals their very great professional status and the high esteem in which they were deservedly held.
William and Elizebeth Friedman are distinguished American cryptologists, who have both spent many years in the service of the United States Government. Colonel Friedman, a retired Army reservist as well as a retired Civil Servant, is one of a very few people in the United States to win both Presidential decorations: the Medal for Merit and the National Security Medal. In 1956 Congress passed a special bill awarding him $100,000 in settlement of his commercial rights in certain inventions which, because of their importance in National Defence, could not be patented or marketed.
Though he had an early interest in ciphers, he began his career as an agricultural scientist. Before the First World War he was employed by Colonel George Fabyan (see within). On Fabyan's estate he met, and later married, Elizebeth Smith, who was a research assistant. With the outbreak of the war both entered Government service, and there, without a break Mr. Friedman remained for thirty-eight years. Shortly before the United States entered the Second World War he headed the U.S. Army cryptanalytic bureau that cracked the highest-level Japanese diplomatic cipher machine system, the so-called "Purple Code', which still plays such a prominent role in the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor and which during the ensuing war gave the United States not only vital diplomatic and military intelligence concerning Japanese intentions, but also similar intelligence concerning Hitler's intentions in Europe.
In 1938 Mrs. Friedman was made an honorary Doctor of Laws for her outstanding work for the United States and Canadian governments. After the Second World War she was chosen by the International Monetary Fund to establish its system of secret communications and to serve as consultant.
Cryptology has been not only the Friedmans' vocation but also their life-long hobby, and this book has occupied their leisure for several years. In a more extended form it won the Folger Shakespeare Library Literature prize in 1955.
By WILLIAM E. and ELIZEBETH S. FRIEDMAN
Proving that somebody else wrote Shakespeare has become a popular pastime. The layman listens too readily to the latest theories; the Shakespearean scholar too readily stops his ears to them, and often dismisses without examination claims that messages are hidden in works of Elizabethan literature. These claims deserve a fair hearing; and cipher systems at least can be investigated objectively. William and Elizebeth Friedman are professional cryptologists, and they have made a lifelong hobby of studying the ciphers that allegedly disprove Shakespearean authorship. As cipher experts, they have no preference for any particular author; they merely wish to examine the evidence.
In this book, intended for readers who enjoy the lucid presentation of a detailed case, the authors consider all the main systems. After explaining the rules to be followed and the tests which must be met, they apply them to each cipher system in turn.
The discussion begins with a varied catalogue of word ciphers, string ciphers, anagrams, acrostics and magic numbers. Cryptic messages are claimed to be hidden on gravestones, in old manuscripts, and in the texts of a hundred books or more; the suggested authors range from Spenser and Ben Jonson to Marlowe, the Earl of Oxford and a vast syndicate. Later chapters discuss in detail the use by Elizabeth Wells Gallup of the Biliteral Cipher, invented by Bacon and described by him in The Advancement of Learning. Mrs. Gallup's work has aroused interest and controversy for fifty years; and in 1938 it was approved by the French cipher expert, General Cartier. Readers everywhere will be interested to know the Friedmans' verdict on this and other claims based upon cryptography to the authorship of Shakespeare.
Only one comment do I have about the above. If
there was, as indicated in the last paragraph, "a more extended form"
I would love to see it, because the "more extended form" could only
be a larger collection of misrepresentations and deceit. And it seems
to me very strange that it received the Folger Shakespeare Library
Literature prize two years before it was published.
Doesn't this tell you something?
I include for your information the following excerpts from the press releases which greeted the publication of The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined. Please note that they are all from very respected publications. Read them carefully, and keep them in mind as you work you way through Part II of this book.
Following are the press opinions, or a few excerpts of the reviews that The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined received all from very respected sources. These were printed on the dust jacket of the book:
Two noted cryptographers, operating with professional wariness, vigorously re-examine the old question of who wrote Shakespeare's plays . . . the authors maintain an unruffled calm and lack of bias throughout, but they write with a wicked wit. The New Yorker
Learned, scholarly, patient, courteous, deft, ordered, beautifully written and withal absolutely devastating. The Spectator
Col. and Mrs. Friedman deserve our deepest gratitude for having struck a shrewd blow for sanity . . . a brilliant and witty performance which will delight the general readers as well as the specialist. Washington D.C. Post
Anyone who enjoys a first-class "whodunit" must enjoy this first-class "whodidundoit". He will become something of a cryptographer for the Friedmans make their professionalism delightfully easy to understand. He will enjoy some excellent jokes and sly wit. He will find in it a rare quality of intellectual honesty and careful scholarship. Economist
Well-written, clear, understandable to the non-cryptologist, sprinkled with anecdotes, frequently spiced with wit or a well-turned phrase. The authors have, for the first time, assembled virtually complete information on Baconian ciphers and discussed it with devastating throughness . . . crushing as an avalance. The New York Times
Highly entertaining. Although lethal it is humane. New Statesman
I am reserving comment on these "reviews". After you have worked your way through Part Two of this book, you will become more and more astonished that the Friedmans were able to dupe not only the venerable publishing house Cambridge University Press and their editors, but some of the best book reviewers in this country! When you have finished reading this article, and, hopefully, worked along with the complete instructions given verbatim from William Booth Stone's book, refer back to these press notices and I can almost guarantee you that you will be slapping your knee laughing. My comments are reserved until the final section of this article.
William Stone Booth And His Books
I FOUND a brief biographical sketch and the photograph here presented of William Stone Booth in the National Encyclopedia of American Biography.
BOOTH, William Stone, author, was born in Gloucester, England, Jan. 20, 1864, son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Watts) Booth. His father was an importer of fine lumber from Russia and Australia and his paternal great-grandfather, William Stone of Chatham, Chief Constructor of the British Navy, designed and built Nelson's flagship, "Victory" and other noted vessels. He was prepared for Oxford under private tutors and at the Cathedral College School in Gloucester, but ill-health prevented his entering the university. In 1885 he went to Australia in a sailing vessel to benefit his health and to further his father's lumber interests. Afterwards he traveled for three years in Brazil, Mexico, the West Indies and the United States, investigating the fibre industry, and returned in 1890 to the lumber business in London. In 1893 he came to the United States, spent a year in California, and then settled in the East. In 1894-97, he was a branch librarian of the New York public library. Thereafter Mr. Booth served as literary adviser to leading publishers, including G. P. Putnam's Sons (1897), the Macmillan Company (1898-1903), and then became a literary adviser and editor on his own account. During the World war period he labored for the Red Cross and in translating and summarizing medical treatises for the Psychopathic Hospital of Boston. As an author his favorite field was the literature and drama of the Elizaethan and Jacobean periods, especially the plays of Shakespeare and their authorship. On this subject he wrote Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon (1909), The Hidden Signatures of Francesco Colonna and Francis Bacon (1910); The Droeshout Portrait of William Shakespeare, an Experiment in Identification, (1911); Marginal Acrostics and Other Alphabetical Devices, a Catalogue (1920) and Subtle Shining Secrecies, Writ in the Margents of Books (1925). In these works he submitted new evidence and arguments on the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, but his exhaustive knowledge and judgment prevented his espousal of the opinions of the extremists on either side. In his last-named book, dedicated "To the Inquisition of Truth," he drew the conclusion that the great plays were written not by Shakespeare the Actor, but by Shake-speare the Poet, the pen-name of Francis Bacon. He also wrote A Practical Guide for Authors and Playwrights (1907), and compiled and edited On Many Seas and Wonderful Escapes of Americans, each a collection of stories based on actual experiences. He was intimately acquainted with French and Italian as well as English literature. To his life-work Mr. Booth brought a scholarly equipment of wide range, a keen and open intellect, great enthusiasm, sanity and a trenchant individuality. He was of commanding physique, a picturesque and luminous talker, an incomparable letter writer, and an investigator of unflagging patience and courage. He was married (1) Oct. 1, 1897, to Mary, daughter of Elder Truman Brewster of Montrose, Pa.; (2) Nov. 29, 1904, his first wife dying in 1901, to Leonora, daughter of Maj.-Gen. Albion P. Howe, U.S.A., of Cambridge, Mass. He was the father of two daughters, Elizabeth McPherson and Emily Booth, and of one son, Robert Howe Booth. Mr. Booth died in Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 14, 1926.
Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon was published by Houghton Mifflin Company (The Riverside Press Cambridge) in 1909. It's 606 pages are crammed with examples of acrostics in Shakespeare's works the plays, poems and sonnets. If you take the trouble to spend an hour or two learning the rules (all which the Friedmans ignored) and working through the sample acrostics you can, with practice, become quite adept at Baconian cryptography and at finding the acrostics yourself. It is, of course, impossible for me to include very many of the acrostics with solutions, but I encourage the student to find a copy of this book and make a photocopy of it. If it is not in your city's or school's library, it is possible to get it through interlibrary loan.
Another book by William Stone Booth is severely trashed by the Friedmans The Hidden Signatures of Francesco Colonna and Francis Bacon: A Comparison of their Methods. In their attempts to discredit Mr. Booth, the Friedmans resort to every kind of put down they can think of, and in the process make one of their most shocking detours around honesty.
The last of Booth's books to be hacked to pieces by the Friedmans is his Subtle Shining Secrecies. This is a very important book, and, as in the other books, Mr. Booth lays it all out for us to see. This book is really instructive, though here I have to say that in my opinion Mr. Booth allowed his enthusiasm to carry him a little off course, but he is honest enough to admit it and tells the reader to decide for himself.
This book takes its name from the fifteenth stanza of The Rape of Lucrece. I include this stanza here:
But she, that never coped with stranger eyes
Could pick no meaning from their parling looks,
Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies
Writ in the glassy margents of such books:
Nor could shee moralize his wanton sight,
More then his eies were opend to the light.
Let's briefly examine these few lines. It is obvious, or should be obvious, to everyone that the third and fourth lines are quite simply an open statement for all to read, and are, indeed, Bacon's instructions as to what to look for to open ones eyes to the light, that is, The Truth! Further, observe that, as often pointed out by Baconian scholars, the unhidden acrostics writ in the glassy margents of such books, the initial letters of the first word of every line of the acrostic, read either up or down, often repeat or parody the information to be found in the plays included in the 1623 First Folio. Read the initial letters down, including the o after the C, and the whole word Writ.
Some scholars suggest that the No, M of the last two lines suggest the Latin word "Nom" or "name". That is acceptable. For me, personally, the first four lines give us the message "Writ by Bacon". Further, I further suggest the fourth tells us that our eyes shall be "open'd to the light, if we simply follow these instructions. In his book, Subtle Shining Secrecies, William Booth Stone followed these instructions.
No one has yet explained why the poet would abruptly include a stanza that is in no way germane to the subject of the poem, the lines of which begin with such suggestive initial letters. As I see it, there is only one answer.
The Friedmans, the Stratfordians and Their Tactics
IN HIS VERY fine article, Scientific Cryptology Examined, published in Baconiana (No. 160, March, 1960, Page 43) Prof. Pierre Henrion takes the Friedmans to task for not being honest. He writes (page 43):
. . . The "Friedman" case exceeds even the "Gallup" case in complexity; for if we have before us a novel and intriguing work one in which a great deal of purely destructive and pernicious criticism is always amusingly expressed we have also, if I may say so, an extremely artful book.
Now since it is destructive without being vituperative, and is (written) in an easy and good-humored style, it presents a most interesting psychological problem. To anyone with real cryptological experience it is hard to reconcile the impartiality claimed by the authors with the skill and legerdemain by which certain danger-points have been avoided. It is these unexpected stipulations which have led me at times to suspect a "command performance". . .
The professor and I are at a divergence of opinion. I cannot see that there is any "complexity" in the "Friedman case," for on close examinination and analysis, the truth is easily revealed. And regardless of what the good professor thought or wrote, it is my opinion that this book is indeed vituperative and is not written in an easy and good-humored style. The style is nasty, derisive and insulting. But I can certainly agree that the Friedmans' book is "an extremely artful book". It is well written. They present their thesis in a very cogent manner, and it does indeed read like a great scholarly work. Such was the Friedmans' talent. In truth, this book is probably the most astonishing collection of deceit and deliberately calculated falsifications that have ever been crammed between the covers of a book! Their words are "always amusingly expressed" in one context only to make a laughing stock out of their victims. People love to laugh at "nuts", and the Friedmans took full advantage of their position to be as derisive as possible and make their victims look like "nuts." As a result, this book is amusing and entertaining only to anti-Baconians. It is galling to lovers of the truth, and an gross insult to the many fine Baconian scholars who have done such beautiful work during the last century and a half. It serves only one purpose admirably, and that is that, once exposed, it provides us with the most outstanding example of Stratfordian anti-Baconian tactics ever published!
I, too, have suspected a "command performance." I can only believe that some person or organization with a vested interest in the perpetuation of the Stratford myth commissioned the Friedmans to write this book! Of course, I have no proof of that, but that is my belief, my opinion. With their very fine reputation as cryptologists, it was someone's brilliant idea that the Friedmans' word would never be questioned; that their very reputation as cryptologists would guarantee the immediate and unquestioned acceptance of everything they wrote about ciphers in the works of Shakespeare. And, indeed, such has been the case for forty-three years!
It is incredible that the Friedmans ignored the immortality knocking at their door and chose to prostitute their gilded reputation in order coddle the perpetrators of a ridiculous myth and their vested interests! They could have, literally with almost no effort at all, proved the existence of the ciphers in the works of Shakespeare and gained that immortality
Chapter VI of the Friedmans' book, A Miscellany (Page 77), is devoted to a "full disclosure" of the rules of five of the cipher systems studied. To wit, the ciphers of Mrs. Natalie Rice Clark, Mrs. Gertrude Horsford Fiske, Joseph Martin Feely, Edward D. Johnson, and William More. They claimed that it was quite impossible for them to study and give a full analysis of all the cipher systems used by Baconians, but that five of them were most important. They then give full explanations of these five "most important" cipher systems. It is noteworthy that the three truly most important cipher systems, Ignatius Donnelly's cipher system and Bacon's system as discovered and used by William Stone Booth, were not even mentioned. They didn't even mention the Biliteral Cipher of Elizabeth Wells Gallup, the one cipher system that has gotten the most publicity and acceptance!
The five they did discuss in full I have never heard of ! This gives us a hint of the Friedmans' tactics thoroughly examine the ciphers that could easily be proved not to be ciphers, but ignore the ciphers that work, or have a possibility of working, their rules and the facts, and resort to deceit and hypocritical accusations of dishonesty while they are the ones being dishonest! when the going gets tough, and they are determined to undermine the Baconian Theory.
It is interesting to note that the really important cipher discoverers Donnelley and Booth both received an inordinate amount of space in this book, and that in their attempted refutations, the Friedmans bared all fangs, all claws and got out all their butchery tools and really went to work big time! Much to their disgrace, as it turns out!
Here is a good example of that. Referring again to Prof. Henrion's article, we read:
It is good practical politics, when you cannot denounce an hypothesis as false, to confound it with another which is more doubtful. This tactic is applied to my friend, the late Melvrau who was a much more dangerous man than myself. He is quoted in the index as a "follower of Cuningham". In the text he is presented as one of the "kindred spirits" and "imitators" of Cuningham. The poor Melvrau would hardly have been flattered, never having read a line of Cuningham! He believed only in the study of original documents. The Friedmans declare that these supposed signatures appear in books "neither written by Bacon nor by Bacon-as-Shakespeare". To me this is just another way of begging the question. The signatures exist, and since they were originally devised to give proof of authenticity (and are still considered to do so by the initiates of a certain Order) I must insist. In Melvrau's work, taken from Shakespearian plays (title-pages of Folios and Quartos: beginnings and ends of play, etc.), I note 11 groups of seals in the BACON-TUDOR-SHAKE-SPEARE category. They appear in 22 illustrations, while five others concern the preliminaries of the Folio. Let us now examine the Friedman tactics at this rather awkward pass. They cannot say that these seals are imaginary because some people know for certain (as part of the tradition of their craft) that they have actually been used, and were still used in the middle of the 20th century! So they draw a red herring across the trail by dealing at length with the inventor of a silly system, and by declaring that Melvrau is his imitator! By these means the unsuspicious reader is led to believe that the Melvrau system is equally valueless. And in case he remains too interested in these damning seals, the next move is to suggest that they do not concern the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy at all. And if the obstinate reader still persists another move is to give no references. . . .
Here's how I think they did it. First, as mentioned above, their unquestioned authority in matters cryptological was sufficient to prevent anyone doing any research to see if they really had "solved the problem" once and for all. Their word was law, and no one questioned it. Second, they were apparently very confident that since the people they were traducing were all dead and their books long out of print, they could rest peacefully in the knowledge that no one would go to the trouble to check them out. Third, I do not at all believe that they were unbiased. This claim was just a ploy to try to assure everyone that they were truly disinterested scholars, that they dispassionately had arrived at the absolute truth about the matter, and simply published the results of their study.
As you shall see, that is not true. Direct extracts from the Friedmans' book are presented right along with direct quotes from William S. Booth's book Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon so that you can see for yourself that the Friedmans quite deliberately ignored important Baconian cryptological information that is vital to the solution of the acrostics especially the one most important rule! Everything is quoted exactly. Nothing is taken out of context.
This little book is concerned only with Chapter IX , The String Cipher of William Stone Booth of The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, and while I maintain that the Friedmans' modus operandi applies to all the other sections of The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, we are here concerned only with proving absolutely and conclusively and irrefutably that the Friedmans were deliberately dishonest in their comments about William Stone Booth, and in completely rectifying the terrible injustice they did to this really fine ethical scholar.
The Friedmans are by no means the only "experts" who have resorted to the fine art of personal traducement and character assassination in a desperate attempt to counter the flood of very profound scholarly information even proofs! that have been produced by devoted Baconian scholars in their support of the Baconian theory. These scholars include great writers and poets, doctors, lawyers, judges, members of parliament, members of Congress people from every walk of life. And yet, the Stratfordian Establishment, with all its Shakespeare authorities, has made every attempt to insult Baconians and can only reply with vilification and accusations that Baconians are certifiably insane all in their vain attempts to stop the progress of the Baconian avalanche.
The Question immediately arises: Why?
The answer is quite simple. It is known to all Baconians. It is this: Stratfordians cannot counter the awesome flood of really beautiful scholarly work done by Baconian scholars. They have no answer. So, forever backed into an indefensible corner, they can only lash out with insults and accusations that Baconians are stupid nuts, certifiably insane. Even though the known facts about William Shaxpur, the actor, can be written on a postcard, they adamantly refuse to accept the true facts of the matter, preferring to perpetuate their myth by churning out innumerable 700-page "biographies" of Shakespeare that are nothing but sheer fantasy fiction. This was even admitted by the late prominent Shakespeare scholar, Dr. S. Schoenbaum in his book Shakespeare's Lives, (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991) a book that should be in every Baconian's library.
Stratfordians are very quick to point their fingers at the Baconian nuts, but professor Schoenbaum who was definitely not a Baconian reveals all about the Stratfordian nuts.
In his book, The Bacon-Shakespeare Anatomy, (New York, Russell F. Moore Company, 1945) by W. S. Melsome, M.A., M.D., tells of the rudeness shown by Sir Sidney Lee, and the impossibility of finding Baconian books in libraries:
Pick up any book written by a professor of English literature and when you come upon a Chapter where an attempt is made to show some difference of opinion between Bacon and Shakespeare you can tell at once that not one of these professors has ever read Bacon's works with attention, otherwise they would not make the blunders they do. When Sir Sidney Lee tackled the subject it seems he was forced to ask other people their opinions, which is a sure sign that he had not studied Bacon's works. He shook hands with those who agreed with him, and turned his back upon those who did not, and yet those who disagreed with him knew far more about Bacon than his friends, but unfortunately their books are not to be found in many of our great municipal libraries, not even in the London library. Ask for the works of Judge N. Holmes, Mr. W. F. C. Wigston or Mr. Edwin Reed and they cannot oblige you. What should we think of a judge who refused to hear both sides of a dispute? (New York, 1945(?), The Bacon-Shakespeare Anatomy, Russell F. More Company, page 192)
One of the very best examples of the Stratfordian tactics is presented in minute detail by Mr. Robert M. Theobald in The Ethics of Criticism (1904), a 31 page pamphlet in which is published the complete correspondence of Mr. Theobald, imminent Baconian, and Mr. Churton Collins, imminent Shakespeare scholar and of course, Stratfordian.
Mr. Collins had just published his Studies in Shakespeare, and on pages 342-4 made completely untrue statements about Mr. Theobald's book, Shakespeare Studies in Baconian Light. Mr. Theobald took great umbrage and demanded a public apology. Here is the accuser's, Mr. Theobald's, description of the situation :
.....For the accuser comes before the public or certainly before the Shakespearean section of the publicwith a damaged reputation; and the accused enjoys almost unlimited credit. The accusation is made by one who is already branded with the imputation of mania; he is crazy crank ; he is incapable of weighing evidence; he does not know what he is talking about when he presumes to pronounce an opinion on matters relating to Elizabethan literature; men of his class have been examined by experts in lunacy, and in every case a diagnosis of monomania has been arrived has been arrived at. How can the assertion of such a person obtain the least credit when leveled at a literary pundit of high repute?
There is no room here to give more details about this incredible confrontation, but it very succinctly describes typical Stratfordian nastiness, which fine Baconian scholars have had to endure for more than 150 years now.
So, in true Stratfordian style, the Friedmans do everything they can to make fools of their victims, and in the case of W.S. Booth, especially, they leave readers with the feeling that he was a charlatan hell-bent on passing off crazy and phony ideas on his unsuspecting "victims"! When they finally finish with the poor man, he has been reduced to the status of a sneaky, unprincipled charlatan!
And there are those who think this is amusing!
There is no room here for more examples of the Stratfordian Modus Operandi, but for those interested, it is a simple matter of continuing to read everything they can find about the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy. It doesn't take long to acquire a full knowledge of the Stratfordians' miserable tactics.
A LITTLE ESSAY ON SCHOLARSHIP
WHAT is scholarship? I ask and, unlike the jesting Pilate, Ill stick around around and try to give a very simple but cogent answer. In spite of the simplicity of the answer, there seems to be some confusion about it in some quarters of every profession especially those quarters in which both famous and unknown professionals deal with controversial subjects.
Dictionaries tell us that scholarship is
(1) a sum of money or its equivalent offered (as by an educational institution), a public agency, or a private organization or foundation) to enable a student to pursue his studies at a school, college, or university . . . (2) (a) the character, qualities or attainments of a scholar as a scholastic achievement . . . (b) methods, attitudes, and traditions characterizing a scholar . . . (3) the body of learning and especially of research available in a particular field. . .
Items 2a, 2b and 3 are relevant here, and they point out the qualities required of a person who would be considered a scholar. In (2) we learn that the character, qualities or attainments of this person are to be considered: is he or she upright and honest, fair in the appraisal of test results? Most important. In (3) this person's methods and attitudes are revealed as being very important. Does he or she approach the study with well-thought-out and unbiased methods, with an attitude of honesty and fairness? Ah! Honesty! Truthfulness.
That is not mentioned as a specific quality and attitude of any person who would be a scholar, and I think it is right to assume, that honesty, or truth, is a very integral part of scholarship and it doesn't take a Francis Bacon to understand it. This quality is perhaps the most important part. These qualities and attitudes, including truth, combine to give us a new and all-embracing term, and that is responsible, or ethical, scholarship. The underlying or perhaps I should say the permeating ingredient of this new term, ethical scholarship, is Truth! Truth in scholarship! And without that, the third part of the definition given above, cannot be concluded with any hope of rendering a meaningful solution, or of arriving at any unassailable conclusion.
Genuine ethical scholarship is complete, irrefutable and unfailing, because truth cannot be questioned. It cannot be put down. It cannot be altered. When completely and correctly conducted, ethical scholarship stands as solid as Gibraltar before any and all adversaries. But, sooner or later, unethical scholarship is completely discredited, and the scholar is, at best, simply corrected. But an irresponsible scholar stands the chance of being his own worst enemy, and, to his eternal shame, the source of his own professional demise.
William Stone Booth, in his preface to Some Acrostic Signatures Of Francis Bacon, wrote (Page viii):
The man who allows his inferences to crystalise into an "orthodox opinion" is on the highroad to oblivion, or is courting the ridicule of posterity. No lasting history can be built on opinion, and no scholarship which is afraid of enquiry can retain respect.
Truer words were never written. I will give you three examples, although I wish I had the space to give several, such as the case of at least one "scholar" studying the Shroud of Turin. The justly famous British politician, Thomas Babbington Macaulay, born in October, 1800, was a brilliant genius, and very much admired politician (Whig) and orator who rose to fame literally overnight for his skill as a writer. Unfortunately, he had some very bad problems. Among these faults is that from his childhood he had no respect for the opinions of others. He was the only one who knew, and he would shout down anyone who disagreed with him. Also, in his many "reviews" of books, or essays as they are called, he had no compunction whatsoever in traducing in the most severe manner anyone, living or dead, when it served his purpose, especially some very great historical English personage. In my very thorough study of Macaulay, it always seemed to me that his purpose was to put his great genius above all others, even Francis Bacon!
Sir Winston Churchill's ancestor, John, Duke of Marborough, was scurriously traduced by Macaulay in an article replete with insinuations, twisted facts and outright fabrications. The Honorable Winston Churchill, in a quiet, subtle way, published, with his introduction, John Paget's The New Examen,(Manchester (?), The Hayward Press, 1861) a collection of essays that proved Macaulay's traducing language as he raked Macaulay over the coals for his many transgressions.
William Penn, the famous founder of the State of Pennsylvania, was given the same treatment with the same kind of distorted information and outright lies. Bacon biographer William Hepworth Dixon severely took Macaulay to task for the Penn article (The History of William Penn, New Amsterdam Press, 1902). And nobody needs to be reminded of the invidious attack on Francis Bacon in his essay Lord Bacon, which, in a travesty of justice, totally destroyed the reputation of that glorious genius with unspeakable lies, a totally inaccurate and demaning character analysis, and a twisted interpretation of his whole professional life, apparently written with great glee and abandonment in totally destroying Bacon. Sadly, because of this essay, schools, after 200 years (!), still teach students that Bacon was a corrupt judge and an ungrateful friend who turned against the traitor, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex in order to try to enhance his own position in the government, all of which has been proved to be untrue by William Hepworth Dixon, who was not a Baconian, in his wonderful biography of Bacon (Personal History of Lord Bacon, London, John Marray, Albemarle Street, 1861)). It was Dixon who persuaded the British government to give access to the State Papers so that scholars woud be able to study them.
Macaulay and his sisters for whom he had an almost abnormal love much to the dismay of their father, loved to read novels, and much was their delight in discussing them. I maintain that Macaulay had a secret desire to write novels! Of course, his reputation would have been destroyed had he given in to this desire. And I have an idea that this secret desire had an unfortunate result in his final work.
Macaulay's great undoing perpetrated by himself alone was his History of England. It was his great ambition to write a history that would be "on every lady's night stand." And that's what he did. He wrote a great "historical novel"! He wrote history as he would have it and as it would suit his purpose. And, indeed, from the publication of the first volume, it was am immediate success. It is full of inventive rhetoric which is so evenly woven into his tale that it renders the whole work totally useless as history, misinformative and unreliable. Concerning this, interested persons should read Bryant's biography of Macaulay.
While he was still living, he was attacked by several writers, including John Paget, the author of The New Examen and Hepworth Dixon, the great Bacon biographer, both of whom exposed him for what he was a liar. Long after his death, his essays and the History were declared unfit for historical research. That was his reward for his unethical scholarship, earning for himself, as William Stone Booth wrote, the ridicule of posterity.
If a so-called scholar has an "agenda", and is determined to "prove" his own pre-conceptions and beliefs concerning his agenda in whatever way he can, he, then, is no scholar, no matter how educated he may be, no matter how experienced he may be. In desiring to find the true answer to any problem, literary or scientific, one undertakes a study, gathers all available information, both positive and negative, and keeps at it until he arrives at the inevitable conclusion that cannot be disproved, even though that conclusion may be at variance with any preconceptions that he may have had! This procedure is, quite simply, the procedure taught by Bacon's inductive philosophy.
This is the great problem with "scholars" who write about Francis Bacon. There are so many sources of true historical information about Francis Bacon, but the only source they unfailingly rely on is Macaulay's deliberately scurrilous and outrageously misleading essay, and thus has it been for one hundred and seventy years! These scholars make no attempt to go back beyond Macaulay, even to the very available work of seventeenth century writers, or, worse still, to the more recent works like Dixon's biography, to find out the real truth about Francis Bacon. And thus will it continue until scholars realize that they are perpetuating terrible untruths about Bacon, and start occupying their time with truly ethical scholarship.
One "Macaulay Scholar", discussing Macaulay's
Essays at length, simply mentioned his essay, Lord Bacon,
without any comment at all! This scholar was of the opinion,
expressed in so many words, that it is time to forget about
I think not!
Truth in scholarship, as in all other things, is the paramount necessity. Truth is the glue that holds it all together. And Truth will inevitably expose and dismantle the errors and the falsifications of all those "scholars" past and present who, for whatever reason, were interested only in promoting their own insupportable pre-conceptions.
To the "Young Schollars of the Universities, the aurorae filii" and all other "schollars" I say: Bend your minds to unwavering truth in any scholarly undertaking. If you have preconceptions about any subject you may be studying, simply abandon them, because without Truth, all is in vain; all is lost.
A LITTLE LATIN LESSON
IT goes without saying that most of us know little, if any, Latin. So, since we shall be dealing with some Latin-form names for the rest of this book, it will scholars, help a great deal if I set forth the very simple Latin that we will be dealing with.
The registration of Francis Bacon's birth at St. Martin's in the Fields in London gives his name as Mr Franciscus Bacon. So his use of the name "Franciscus" is not artificial. It is valid. It was a simple one step further, for literary purposes, to Latinize the name "Bacon" to "Baconus", although we never see that in print. Nouns that end with -us are nouns of the second declension, these are the declension we see of Bacon's whole name The genitive, or possessive, case, in which the "us" changes to "I" , as in Francisci Baconi and the ablative case, in which the "us" changes to "o" as in "Francisco Bacono", which changes the meaning to "by" means "by" or "from". So when we see "Francisci Baconi" it simply means that the poem or play is Francis Bacon's. When we see "Francisco Bacono" it simply means that the poem or the play is by Francis Bacon, or it issues from Francis Bacon.
This Latin usage was to be found on the title
pages of any book where the author's name was included. Francis Bacon
used it mostly in his literary works as both hidden and exposed
acrostics. That's what William Stone Booth's works are all about: the
exposition of those acrostics.
Nothing to it!
WHAT IS TRUTH? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting freewill in thinking as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labor which men take in finding out of the truth, nor again that when it is found, it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets; nor for advantage, as with the merchant, but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell; this same truth is a naked and open daylight that doth not show the masks and mummeries and triumphs of the world half so stately and daintily as candle lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl that showeth best by day, but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt that if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy the wine of evil spirits because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it, knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason; and his Sabbath work ever since is the illumination of his Spirit. First, he breathed light upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light into the face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below; but no pleasure is comparabale to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors and wanderings and mists and tempests in the vale below; so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly it is heaven upon earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business, it will be acknowledged, even by those that practice it not, that clear and round dealing is the honor of man's nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious; and therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge; saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth is as much as to say that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generation of men: it being foretold that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.
THE VINDICATION OF
WILLIAM STONE BOOTH
The Great Restoration of Truth
WE NOW COME TO THE HEART OF OUR STUDY, IN WHICH THE UNFORTUNATE modus operandi of the Friedmans is fully exposed for the world to see. I recommend that the serious student try somehow, to acquire a copy of The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, if possible, so they can read not only Chapter IX, but the whole book. Only then can the true attitude of the Friedmans be completely experienced and understood. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, so if your local used book stores don't have a copy, I would suggest having a book search to find a copy. Of, or course, your local library, or school library, just may have it.
Friedman's "Foundation" Examined
WHEN we build a building, there is no argument that the foundation must be laid on absolutely stable earth, absolutely firm, and absolutely correctly laid. There can be no shortcuts, no substitution for the real thing. Nothing can be left out. A building built on a faulty foundation laid on unstable earth will eventually fall. Perhaps an earthquake will seriously damage it, or destroy it, Or erosion may send it crashing down a mountain. So the greatest care must be taken to be sure that everything is absolutely right.
Let us think of Friedman's book as a "building". The "foundation" upon which they base their arguments was developed with great care so that it could never fall; it could never be questioned or challenged; it could never be refuted. Of this they had to be very sure.
The five basic premises upon which the "foundation" for The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined was built are, as I see it, as follows:
1. Their unquestioned knowledge of Twentieth-Century cryptology
2. Their powerful, and well-deserved reputation as undisputed masters of cryptography
3. The undeniable ignorance about cryptography of literally everyone everywhere
4. Their cocksure faith that all three of the above would guarantee a permanent place for The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined as the final and definitive refutation of any possibility of acceptable ciphers or acrostics in the works of Shakespeare.
5. The sheer guts to pull it off!
So, the first thing we have to do is inspect Friedman's foundation and see what we can find. Is it laid on stable soil, rock solid? Have any substitutions been made, or any necessary thing left out? Are there any cracks? Any termites?
Let's "inspect" the first and second premises:
William and Elizebeth Friedman ranked at the very top of the world's great cryptologists. Many years of experience including working with Mrs. Gallup earned them great respect and high authority in their field. Col. Friedman headed the cryptological team that cracked the Japanese "Purple Code" during World War II, and for many years thereafter they worked at the very summit of government security. So there is no question that they were tops in their field and deserved every bit of the great reputation they had. So that is a very good indication that this part of their foundation was firmly laid. But, sadly, when they wrote this book, they were not aware that their modus operandi was creating some serious cracks in their foundation wherein "termites" in some future time could tear it apart.
They were very well aware of and very comfortable with the fact that nobody anywhere knew anything about cryptography. And isn't that true? Whoever in the world even thinks about cryptology, let alone learn something about it. They were unwaveringly positive that no reader anywhere including not only the interested public, but, amazingly, their publisher, Cambridge University Press, its editors and book reviewers everywhere would question their conclusions Ever!
But, unfortunately, there were flaws in their thinking. There were cracks in their tactics. They knew they were leaving out important ingredients; they knew they were substituting inferior ingredients for quality ingredients. They knew it, but were absolutely sure that they would never be caught. No one would ever know!
In other words, They knew they were being dishonest. They knew they were unfairly leaving out important details; that they were twisting and ignoring facts to enhance their argument; that their rhetoric was insulting, demeaning, and deliberately designed to permanently destroy the reputations of their victims. They knew it. They had to know it!
I am the building inspector. Friedman's method, attitude and dishonesty are the cracks and termites that have now totally destroyed their work and their reputation as Shakespeare cipher authorities.
They Themselves, like Thomas Babbington Macaulay and many other "dishonest scholars", built their foundations on lies, deceit and deliberate omissions of important information that would disprove their so-called "scientific" conclusions. How could they have been honest ?Honesty would have destroyed their argument. How did they do it, you ask.
First, this most important point: they criticized, or judged, Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century cryptography by Twentieth-Century cryptographic standards! This was most important, because they could then claim that "Booth's method" was completely invalid as cryptography. This is an unfair and completely wrong procedure which any ethical scholars would never employ. In any study of any aspect of an ancient culture, the scholar must put himself into that century as much as possible. How did they think? How did they talk? How did they communicate? And the scholar must understand and this goes without saying! that any society or culture in the distant past must necessarily be considered very naïve, even backward, when compared to our twentieth-century standards and advancements and must be studied with interest, not with derision. So, of course, their argument takes on an artificial authority, with no intellectual honesty.
But they were confident that no one would ever realize the importance of this fact. Further, they took full advantage of the fact that nobody anywhere knows anything about cryptography. They could, with impunity, state that such a procedure was "absolutely worthless as cryptography", and they would be both right and wrong.
They were right that in our twentieth-century world it would, indeed, be absolutely worthless. But they were wrong to state that it was absolutely worthless as cryptography in the Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Centuries, for the very simple reason that that was all they had to work with, and some of the greatest minds had, for centuries, developed the cryptography of that time. And, what's more, it works beautifully! Friedman says it is worthless because it is too simple to hide a message well and could be deciphered too easily. Well, did Friedman think that the Japanese Purple Code was worthless as cryptography when they cracked it? And did they consider the fact that the Baconian ciphers had resisted detection for nearly 400 years, and then only when one manWilliam Stone Booth discovered them?
So now, we have analyzed Friedman's basic tactic: Rely on the awesome demands of twentieth-century cryptography to criticize and judge naïve cryptography from four centuries ago! The word unfair is not strong enough to say how wrong and misguiding this tactic is.
In these few pages you are going to learn just how nasty people can be when they set out to "prove" their agenda, to make very sure that their "scientific analysis" "proves" their personal pre-conceptions or prejudices to be right! You will learn how these world-famous cryptologists used their unparalleled knowledge of Cryptography, their very solid reputation and the ignorance of the public to pull off the greatest cryptological hoax of the century and maybe of the millennium!
Booth's Study of
Sixteenth- and Seventeenth Century
William Stone Booth, in the first chapter of his book, informs us (page 2) that
The discovery of these acrostics was the result of study in the cryptography of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, that is to say, in the cipher codes which were the tools used by ambassadors, intelligencers, and men who were directly or indirectly in the services of the governments of those days.
From various comments made by Booth, I understand that he must have had a copy of the Seventeenth- Century book by Selenus, Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae, published at Luneburg in 1624. Of this book, he says (Page 7):
On page 63 will be seen one of the simplest methods of sending a message in cipher. It is from the first printed edition of Selenus's Cryptomenytices et Cryptographicae, published at Luneburg in 1624. This book is in large part an exposition of the Steganographia of Johannis Trithemius, and of the De Furtivis Literarum Notis of J. B. Della Porta, earlier and rarer works. We read in Mr. Logan Pearsall Smith's Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton that "Wotton vainly attempted to procure by means of bribery one rare manuscript for his patron Lord Zouche, the Steganographia of Trithemius, which was the earliest treatise on cipher writing, a dangerous book to possess, and therefore much prized.
Friedman mentions this book on page 117 in their discussion of the Sixteenth-Century "String Cipher" which name, "String Cipher" they severely criticize Booth for using. So we can state emphatically that they also certainly had access to this book and could easily have studied it to learn quite a bit about the cryptography of that time. But if they had written with an understanding of the Seventeenth- Century viewpoint, they couldn't have torn Booth apart as they did. They obviously were determined to stick to their Stratfordian agenda, i.e. using the standard Stratfordian tactics of insult, humiliation and character assassination in order to make all Baconians look like fools.
Baconians can take comfort in knowing that the truth is now out. And thanks to the internet, that truth is easily instantaneously available to millions of people around the world.
How Friedman Ignored Booth's Instructions
Friedman wastes no time in getting right down to business. Right away, (on page 114) they extract portions of a paragraph from Booth's book (Chapter III, p. 21, last paragraph.), in this manner, speaking of Booth:
He describes his method in detail; here are some of the relevant
Let me illustrate what I mean by a hidden acrostic. Instead of making the acrostic so that it can be read down the initials of the first words of all the lines of a verse . . . let it be made so that . . . the interior letters of the acrostic run as they will through the verse. For instance, if you wish to write "Francis Bacon" into a piece of verse, you see to it that the initial letter of the first word of the first line is an F; and the corresponding letter at the bottom of the page is an N. Then . . . make sure that if after F you take the next initial R, and if after R you take the next initial A and so on, the last letter of the name will fall on the N which you have placed at the end of your acrostic.
The first thing we learn from the above "relevant extracts", and from §2 above, is that that they knew Booth had studied the old cryptography and that he described his method in detail. He did, indeed, describe his method in exhaustive detail. But Friedman chose to ignore it. The details would have destroyed their argument.
Now, there is nothing wrong with extracting paragraphs. There is nothing wrong with leaving out text and placing an ellipsis to indicate that there is an omission. But there is a great deal wrong if you deliberately leave out text that contains important information, or instruction, and worse still if you don't indicate any omission at all. And, of course, the extracted text must be quoted exactly as it is printed. But they used the term "relevant extracts" to hide the fact that they were omitting important information.
Friedman apparently decided that such accuracy was not all that important, and that leaving out a few informative sentences was quite all right. Such procedure suited their purposes to a T, as we say. Here's what they did.
First line of extract above should read ". . . making your acrostic" (Insignificant change.)
Third line should read: "So that the end letters only are visible, and let the interior. . ." (By "end letters Booth meant, of course, the first and the last letters of the name.)
Fourth line should read: " 'Francis Bacon' into a piece of prose or verse, . . ." (insignificant change)
Fifth line should read: ". . . and that the corresponding". (Insignificant change.)
Seventh line should read: ". . .A, and so on, reading the first line to the one hand and the next line to the other (in the manner of the primitive Greeks,. .." (This constitutes what can only be a deliberate omission of an important rule.)
Eighth line: And then, after the last word of the extract, acrostic, Booth continues: "Thus you will have allowed your name to wander where it will through the composition, as it were on a string, continuously, beginning and ending only in definite spots. This method is described in detail in my chapter on method; . . ."
Friedman is very careful to omit two very important points in the instruction given by Booth. First, on line seven they left omitted Booth's mention that the first line is read "to the one hand and the next line to the other." This was his way of saying that on the first line, or the beginning of the acrostic, the initial letters are read to the right, or to the left, and that the next line the initial letters are read in the opposite direction.
Second, on line eight, the omission of this entire sentence is revealing. Here Booth tells us that the cipher (your name) is allowed to "wander where it will through the composition, as it were on a string," etc. A little later, as you shall see, Friedman joyfully attacks Booth for using the term "string cipher" because there was a sixteenth-century "cipher" call String Cipher.
Then, immediately, comes two other extracts from Booth (Chapter IV, p. 35, third paragraph, and after the ellipsis, Chapter V, p. 49) which I quote exactly as Friedman extracted it (Page 114):
The device is simply that of a hidden acrostic, the end letters of which are visible and prominent in their position, but the inner letters of which are hidden and follow one another in their proper sequence from one visible end to the other visible end of the new acrostic. . . . The reader will observe that it does not matter how many letters may fall between the letters of a name, so long as they are not allowed to interfere with the spelling of the name itself, from point to point. . . .
But the reason why these omissions are important is this: Friedman correctly quotes Booth in the first extract above: "make sure that if after F you take the next initial R, and if after R to take the next initial A, and so on". But in the very next paragraph (Page 114), in a subtle but daring move, the word next is dropped:
That is to say, Booth permits himself to use the initial letters of words anywhere, not just at the beginnings or ends of lines. Nor does his system demand that he should take one initial letter from one word in each successive line of a series; sometimes many lines are skipped altogether. All he has to do is find a page beginning with the letter F, follow along the lines until he finds an initial letter R, then an A, and so on, until the signature is complete. Provided it ends with the last initial letter of the last line, it is a "genuine hidden acrostic". Could anything be less plausible?
And here we observe Friedman's greatest fall (so far the worst is yet to come) from responsible scholarship. As you have just seen, they ignored the most important rule the next R, the next A, etc. They wrote "an initial R, then an A and so on. However, they conclusively prove that they knew the next letter rule, and fully understood Booth's explanations, in their phony version of the cipher in the Threnos, The Phoenix and the Turtle (see Figure 4). But that was while they were deep into the deceit of their readers. You'll see what I mean.
Throughout the rest of this chapter on William Stone Booth, they never mention the word next again, and in so doing completely misinform their readers, because by now their readers have completely forgotten that the word next was used in the first extract quoted by Friedman.
Here's what Booth says in Chapter V, page 52: The italics are in the original:
It must be remembered that the string cipher-method (as I call it for convenience), which Bacon used, is not less definite in its aspect as a series of letters than is the method of the cipherer who uses such a series as, say the initial of every second word, or the initial of every fifth word. In Bacon's method, we find that he uses, say, the first F of the first line, then the next A; and so on. The next is, mathematically, precisely as definite in sequence as the second. Bacon does not use any following R, and then any following A; but he uses always the next R and the next A., etc. The result is then as certain as a stated mathematical sequence, when you remember that the sequence begins and ends on two fixed points.
It is also worth remembering that a mathematical series is no less subject to chance than the limited alphabetical sequence used by Bacon, though at first sight it seems to be so."
Thus do we learn how this very large crack in Friedman's foundation has caused their building to not only fall, but crumble, and by the time we finish this Examination, their building will be a pile of unrecognizable rubble!
Booth's Use of the Name "String Cipher"
At this point we leave the discussion of Friedman's ignoring of the next as one of the most important rules in Bacon's method, and discuss the "string cipher" method, as Booth said he called it for convenience. Friedman is thrilled to find this horrible plagiarism committed by Booth. It gives them a wonderful opportunity to slap Booth flat about something. This is a good example of how Friedman was determined to attack Booth for anything. The poor man couldn't win. No matter what he said, he was wrong; he was nuts.
A good 400 years ago there was a "string cipher" consisting of a flat board with 26, or 24 as the case may be, letters of the alphabet printed across the top, and lines drawn between the letters for the length of the board. Friedman wastes a whole page with an illustration of this board with 26 columns, each letter of the alphabet at the top and bottom of each column. The board is evenly notched on each side so that a string may be stretched straight across the board, then brought under the board and, in the next notch, stretched across the board again. So a person using this "string cipher" would simply put a colored dot on the string in the appropriate column, progressing along the string and spelling the words of a message. The string was taken loose and sent to the recipient who had an identical board. He would then stretch the string over the board, winding it down as far as necessary, and read the message by observing where the marks on the string fell under the letters at the top of the column. I can't supply this illustration, so I hope my description is clear.
Anyhow, Friedman severely criticizes Booth for using the term "String Cipher" because it was not original with Booth. It didn't matter to Friedman that this "string cipher" was more than 400 years old! They criticized Booth in this manner:
It is an old device to use an established and respectable name to sell new goods, though in most trades there is a law against it. There is no such law in cryptography. The original "string cipher" was described by August II, duke of Barunschweig-Lunenberg, who, writing in Latin under the pseudonym of "The Man in the Moon", explained it is a book called Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae (Lunenberg, 1623).
And here again we have Friedman omitting information that is important. They inform their readers that the Duke of Braunschweig-Lunenberg was writing under the name of "The Man in the Moon." Not so. He wrote this book using the name "Selenus". The use of the name "The Man in the Moon" gives the impression that the author was a nut. Further, according to Booth, this book is in large part an exposition of the Steganograhia of Johannis Trithemius, and of the De Furtivis Literarum Notis of J. B. Della Porta, earlier and rarer works.
In order to fully inform you, the full title of this book is: "Gustavi Seleni Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiæ, Libri IX. In quibus & planissima Steganographiæ à Johanne Trithemio, Abbate Spanheymensi & Herbipolensi, admirandi ingenii Viro, magicè & ænigmaticè olim conscriptæ, Enodatio traditur. Inspersis ubiquè Authoris ac Aliorum, non contemnendis inventis." An English translation of this work exists.
Booth was obviously aware of the old "String Cipher" when he called Bacon's cipher system a "String Cipher," because of the procedure in the Bacon method is best illustrated by describing it as "letters on a string"; In numbered paragraphs, he instructs us (page 36): Please note especially Paragraph (6).
(5) You will not read your acrostic into the text following its meaning as we now do, from left to right; but you will read alternately from left to right, then right to left, to the one hand on the first line, to the other hand on the next line, and so on, until you have completed your name. This affords you the facility that comes of treating your text as if it were a continuous string of letters. . . . Hence I shall always allude to this method as a "string" cipher.
(6) You may apply this string cipher to (a) initials; (b) terminals, i.e. letters beginning and ending a word; terminals of all whole words and part-words, i.e. parts divided by a hyphen; (d) all letters in the text; (e) outside letters of a page or side of a page; (f) initials outside of words of a page, or side of a page; (g) capitals.
(7) Whichever letters you choose to employ initials, terminals, all letters, capitals, outside letters or initials, the method of employing them is the same. It is this:
Having settled upon your visible ends, you follow your acrostic in the lines of the text, in alternate directions as if the letters were on a string, until it ends on the letter on which you have decided as the visible end of your acrostic.
One of Friedman's main criticisms of Booth is that there is no mathematical consistency in the selection of the letters. For instance, they complain that some of the letters are very close together, and then several lines have to be skipped to find the next letter. And they write this with the full knowledge that Booth wrote (as above) ". . . The result is then as certain as a stated mathematical sequence . . .". In the original string cipher, the letters are sometimes close, but mostly far apart, and always at irregular distances, but that is all right with Friedman.
And it is here that Friedman makes another misleading statement. They write (page 118) that
Booth simply "ploughs back and forth over the field" as he chooses. It is worth noticing, too, that the message in Wilkins' example is read off straightforwardly from left to right; the string, winding round the board, is always followed in the same direction. Booth, in contrast, make a great point of alternating the direction of reading for successive lines.
In the first place, "ploughs back and forth over the field" leaves a very wrong impression on the reader. It is inaccurate and untrue. ". . . as he pleases . . ." is outright misleading. This leaves the impression that one can just hop all over the place. To be correct, Friedman should have written:
"Booth simply follows the "string of letters", alternating direction after each line in the established direction, up or down, searching for the next required letter, all as is indicated by the rule."
In the second place, there is absolutely no reason why every cipher method should be the same, reading only left to right. It is a matter of the design of cipher procedure. The alternating line feature is Bacon's method is quite ingenious as it serves better to hide the acrostic. Friedman makes much out of this alternate reading of the lines simply because it's just one more thing they could continue to harp on.
We might also observe that Friedman is still referring to Booth as the originator of this method. He is not. As stated before, the method is Francis Bacon's. Booth did not originate it. But Friedman is very anxious that their readers should think that it is Booth's stupid invention! Friedman keeps saying that it is "absolutely worthless as cryptology," but it stands as a fact that for four hundred years nobody noticed that ciphers lurked in the works of Shakespeare. Worthless? I think not.
There is absolutely not one thing wrong with using an ancient name which best describes procedure. Friedman's criticisms of Booth on this account are ridiculous. This is only one of the many ridiculous criticisms to which Friedman resorts. In fact, there are so many of these criticisms that this book would be quite a few pagaes longer if I were to take the time and energy to comment on them. But one cannot include everything.
The Alternating Line String Cipher Method
FRIEDMAN's complaints about Booth's using the name "String Cipher" are so many, and so ridiculous that I find it necessary to answer these criticisms. They are ridiculous in the extreme, as are so many of their complaints. But this was one of their criticisms with which they tried to undermine Booth's integrity, and in which they went to great lengths to magnify as much as possible, all for the purpose of vilifying Booth.
In my comments on the very first extract taken from Booth by Friedman, you will recall that I pointed out eight omissions made by Friedman. The seventh omission was "reading the first line to the one hand and the next line to the other". In more modern, clear language, this is what Booth was saying, as I have explained before: "Reading the first line to the right or left, and then, dropping to the next line (or going up to the next line), start reading from the left, or right, as the case may be. The following illustration will make this very clear. The directional signs on either side tell you which way to read. This is called "framing". Booth uses arrows as directional signals. "greater than" and "lesser than" signs.
>When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone bewail my outcast state <
Reading (checking) the initial letters from the left end of the first line, as indicated by >, the initial letters are
Reading from the right end of the second line, as indicated by <, the initial letters are
The beauty of this left to right, right to left system is this. If we reverse the direction of the reading, the order of the letters is, of course, reversed:
> I a a b m o s
This may seem a minor point, but it is, in fact, very important. The letters, falling in a different order, affect the spelling of words and names. Also, by using the reversed directions, an entirely new cipher can be enfolded, and you will see in the study of the Epilogue from The Tempest and the Threnos from The Phoenix and the Turtle, both of which we "examine" below. In fact, by using the rules of initial letters, final letters and all letters, and taking advantage of reading to the right or to the left, multiple ciphers can be enfolded in any poem or any prose document.
So, I think we can now observe a string cipher at work. If you have studied Booth's instructions for this cipher system, (see Apendix) you will very quickly see how it works. If you haven't studied it, you may have a little difficulty understanding it. But, if you work through the ciphers as instructed, you will know what to look for in the Shakespeare works and how to decipher the acrostics. There are hundreds of them! Booth couldn't have found them all!
Signature Specimen D
The Acrostics in the Epilogue of "The Tempest"
The following text is the epilogue of The Tempest, which is "Specimen D", page 60 of Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon. I have, of necessity, typed this using modern English characters. I designed a special font for use in typesetting Elizabethan English, and it works beautifully, but, of course, it won't work on the internet because nobody else has these fonts.
Friedman uses this Epilogue in their book, so we shall use it here, because I have quite a commentary about their commentary, so it will serve both purposes to use it.
In Figure 1, observe that the first initial letter of the first line is N, and that the letters b and f are the initials of the last two lines. Note that the letters FB are Francis Bacon's initials. There are several "secrets" in this Epilogue, and I'll point them all out. I have set the acrostic letters in bold italic caps, but do work through the cipher yourself.
Starting with the initial f of the last word (free) on the last line, and checking the initial letters starting on the right, read to the left, as indicated by <, then go up to the next line and read to the right, as indicated by >, check the initial letters of the words until you come to the next r, and continue up, reading to the left, then to the right, alternately, finding the next a, ending with the o of "ore-throwne" at the end of the first line.
Now, go back down to the right end of the next-to-the-last line, and start with the b in the word "be" and read to the right, and then up to the next line, to the left looking for the next a. Continue in this fashion, and you will spell Bacono, ending with the same o at the initial of the last word, ore-throwne, on the first line. You will have spelled francisco bacono "by Francis Bacon." In this manner Bacon, or whoever invented the cipher, signed the play.
Now, I can proudly claim to have made a discovery. Start reading from the same b, but read to the left, and then up. Arriving at the initial N on the first word of the first line, you will have spelled BACON. I shall never know how eagle-eyed Booth failed to find this one! This is a great example o the flexibility of Bacon's String Cipher system, because, as you shall see, four names were enfolded in this Epilogue Francisco, Bacono, Bacon and Ben Jonson!
FRANCISCO cannot be spelled by reading in the opposite direction. It almost works, but lacks the final C before the O.
The four columns of letters on the right of the Epilogue show the initials of the words in the Epilogue. Reading up from the bottom, first column is FRANCISCO, and the second column is BACONO. Anyone having difficulty checking the initials, or finals, of the words in any prose or poetry, can print out the letters in lines, as illustrated below.
Friedman set this arrangement in their book. I have added the third and fourth columns, which will be explained later. See Figure 1.
Explanation of Figure 1: Column 1, FRANCISCO, reading from the F in the word free on the bottom, from right to left and up. (When reading from left to right, it almost works, but there is no C between the S in Strength and the final O in Ore-throwne.
Column 2, BACONO, start reading from the B of the word be, left to right and up. Letters in Bold Italic spell BACONO. Reversing the direction of reading from the B, that is, from right to left, we spell BACON, ending with the N at the beginning of the last line. Thus did Bacon get both forms of his name in this acrostic. I can't understand how Booth missed this.
Column 3, BEN JONSON. This column is o be read in both directions. First, to the right and up. If Friedman thought there was a Ben Jonson acrostic, they were wrong. There is no initial J in this Epilogue. The only J in the Epilogue is in the middle of the word "project" on the 9th line from the bottom. Of course, it is not an initial letter. All the other letters shown above the (J) in parentheses are in place, but the lack of the initial J kills that cipher. But, start rading in the opposite direction (to the left), spelling BEN IONSON, cipher works beautifully. (All explained below)
Column 4, spelling BEN IONSON, (explained below) reading from left to right and up, we find that it works until we need the second O in IONSON. It has to fall between the S in strength, and the final N. But there is no O in that position. No cipher.
Here, you can very plainly see that the Baconian cipher system works. All of the cipher signatures included in Booth's book are there. Booth very clearly, very correctly, lays it all out, and anyone whose brain cells on rattle can see that the method works, and anybody with the same unrattling brain cells and a little personal integrity must admit it!
Of course Friedman, desperate to support the Stratfordian cause, can only knock it down, pooh-pooh it, criticize it and in the process makes not only incredible false statements, but makes some very bad mistakes.
Incidentally, as an aside, you might be interested to notice that there are two additional unhidden acrostics in the Epilogue quoted above. Starting at the top, with the N, the first letter on each of the following seven lines spell NAWIOSA, or, NAVIOSA, which is Latin for shipwreck. What more could you ask for to describe The Tempest, which starts off with a horrendous shipwreck! A little further down, you will find MUSA, or muse, which was a word often used by Bacon and other Elizabethans when writing or speaking about "poesy" or theatrical plays. This is the kind of thing that starts Stratfordians to quaking in their boots, and they don't want you to know these acrostics are there. There are hundreds of unhidden acrostics in the 1623 Folio, many of them spelling FR BACON, many of them followed by the word By or Author. A few of these will be included in PART III of this book.
In the following, Friedman abandons honesty completely. Hereinafter, it's go for broke! You will notice that there is an asterisk after the first C at the top of the bacono column of letters. This refers us to a footnote, which reads:
Booth fails to explain why he uses both the I and the C in the second traverse (for francisco) and only the C (for Bacono) in the first.
To begin with, the francisco traverse is the first. The bacono traverse is the second.
Now that we've clarified that, why do you think Bacon "failed to explain why he uses both the I and the C for francisco and only the C for bacono"?
This is the best knee-slapper in the book. When you are spelling "francisco", you spell F, the next R, the next A, the next N, the next C, the next I the next S, the next C, the next O. Obviously, the C and the I are necessary to spell franCIsco. So, the letters are taken in their proper sequence, and both the C and the I are used, because when you get to that C, you are then looking for the next I. As Thomas Babbington Macaulay liked to say, any schoolboy would know that!
When you are spelling "bacono", you spell B, the next A, the next C, the next O, the next N, the next O. The Bacono name contains no I. When you arrive at the C in bacono, you are looking for the next o, so the I is passed over, disregarded, ignored. We're looking for an O, not an I. Does this suggest that Friedman really didn't understand the method? Did they not read Booth's instructions after all? If they didn't, why are they criticizing it? Or did they just not know how to spell? But I have a hunch this was one of their tactics to throw more mud in the already-confused reader's brain. I'm ashamed to admit that it even took me a few minutes to catch on! Oi vey!
Now, on with the The Great Restoration of Truth. Still commenting on the Epilogue as given above, Friedman writes (Page 121):
. . . It rather spoils the effect, however, if one notices that, starting from the same B as Booth does, one can find in a single "string" the signatures of BEN JONSON, using only initial letters, going in opposite directions on alternate lines, and ending with the N at the beginning of the first line. If one uses a variant of the method, which Booth himself sometimes employs, choosing the final instead of initial letters of words, it is possible to produce, among others, the names EDMUND SPENSER, FRANCIS DRAKE, SIR EDWARD DYER, WILLIAM STANLEY, and CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE.
Now our task is to check out the information Friedman, being anxious to follow the rules, so kindly gave us in the paragraph quoted above. We are going to search for these names, using these finals of all the words, except that Jonson's name, spelled with a J, is to be found using initial letters. This Ben Jonson signature is represented in the third column of Figure 1. The framing on each side of that column, we read from the right to the left. The fourth column to the right of the Epilogue, given above, represents Ben Johnson's name, but worked to the right and up. And we shall see exactly what effect is rather "rather spoiled."
BEN JONSON (using initial letters)
SIR EDWARD DYER
First let's review the simple rules:
(1) The first and last letters of the name are placed in a very visible position. The first or second line of the paragraph(s) or poems being searched can be considered to be in a prominent position. (Letters beginning or ending the 4th or 5th lines cannot be said to be "prominent".)
(2) The interior letters of the name can come anywhere along the string, in their proper order. always thinking "the next (letter)"
(3) We can use only the final letters (in this case), because Friedman says that by using the finals we can see that these names are to be found like Francisco Bacono was. So lets start.
The first name on the list is BEN JONSON. Consulting Figure 1, we see that, indeed, the first and last letters of the name are in prominent, visible places the first letter b at the end of the next to the last line, in the word "be". So we have our prominent b. The last letter, N is to be found at the beginning of the first line, the word "Now", in the most prominent position. I have worked this out for all the world to see, and while reading you won't have to take the time to find the letters. But DO actually check the letters as though you were deciphering the acrostic. This is good practice.
Now, as we read above, Friedman indicates that we are still using initial letters, reading back and forth in alternate directions. However, they do not give complete directions. They didn't tell us which way to read the first line, to the left or to the right, so we did both, and found that reading left to right to begin posed a serious problem.
The third column to the right of the Epilogue above, shows the results of the attempt to reveal the cipher by reading the first (bottom) line to the left, and then up, to the right, etc. This one works, but not until a little surprise is revealed, as you will read below. The fourth column is the deciphered acrostic working first to the right..
Friedman is very concerned that we follow the rules, don't you see. So, sure enough, we have the letters (reading up column three). The bracketed (J) indicates that there is no initial J. BEN ONSON. But we need a J. There is no initial J, so there is no Ben Jonson acrostic when starting to read to the right, etc. The only j in the Epilogue is in the word project on the 9th line from the bottom, and it is the "next j" after the n in ben. But it's not an initial! It's planted solidly right in the middle of the word "project". No cipher. Such a Pity.
But wait! There is a solution to the mystery. The name would never have been spelled BEN JONSON, with a J. In the Seventeenth Century, the letter J had not yet been added to the alphabet! The letter I was used instead, as in "maiestie" for majesty, and, of course "Ionson" for Johnson. That's the way it is in the 1623 Folio. But very, very few of Friedman's readers know that! But Friedman knew it, or at least I assume that they did. Obviously. Because there is, indeed an I in just exactly the right place. So that the name Ben Ionson can be complete, thus showing that there is indeed, just as Friedman says, a "Ben Ionson" signature. Even Booth never found that, not that I can discover. This is significant because Ben Ionson apparently worked his tail off on the 1623 Folio, and it is further significant that The Tempest was the last play written, and the Epilogue is at the very end of that play. So it was quite logical for both Francisco Bacono and Ben Ionson to enfold their signatures at the end of these play. In the first paragraph on page 121, Friedman states that it "now ceases to be clear why the page has to begin with an N." A weird statement, considering the fact that they discovered the Ben Ionson signature, which ends with an n, and which acrostic is read from the bottom to the top, ending on that n! Or, maybe they didn't discover the Ben Ionson signature at all. Maybe they just used the j in the middle of the word "project" thinking nobody would notice. We'll never know, unfortunately.
The Ben Ionson signature is decoded by starting on the same b that bacono started on, on the last word of the next-to-the-last line, and reading to the left, and then up and to the right. Following the fourth column, find the letters of the acrostic. It works perfectly. The correct letters are shown in Column 3.
So, that answers Friedman's confusion as to why the poem started with a capital N. Further that N does double duty as the last prominent last letters of the names BACON, which I discovered, and IONSON. As a result, here we have a quadruple cipher. Can you now see how brilliantly this system of Bacon's works? What a piece of work that man was! It's all a really simple matter of being very sure that there are no intervening letters to throw the proper letters out of place so that the final letter will properly be found at the prominent end letter. This is all explained with painstaking care in Chapter IV of Booth's book, which is reproduced in the Appendix.
The fourth column Figure 1 illustrates the attempt to get a BEN IONSON signature by reading to the right. It doesn't work. There is no O between the S and the N. This column was included for illustration of how ciphers work.
Now, we are going to search for acrostics of all five names which Friedman informs us can be found in the Epilogue. Use the chart of Final Letters below, and work out the acrostic following directions.
The first thing we should do is to check the final-letter chart (Figure 2) for letter availability. We find that there are some letters missing. There is no A, no B, no C, no J, no K, no Q, no V, no X. We don't need the Q, V, X or J, but we do need the A, B, C, K.
The first name on the list using finals is EDMUND SPENSER. So we look for first and last letters of the name in prominent places. We have two prominent Es in the very last letters on the last two line in the words be and free. Now we need an R. The only two R's are the final letter of the word "praier", fifth line from the top, neither of which cannot be considered a prominent, visible letter.
A quick look Figure 1 reveals the sad news that EDMUND SPENSER needs a P; FRANCIS DRAKE needs two A's, a C and a K; SIR EDWARD DYER needs an A; WILLIAM STANLEY needs two A's; CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE needs a C, a P and an A. So what does all that mean? Simply that there are no acrostics for these names, working from any point in any direction. Friedman said they could be found by using the finals, and, again , they were absolutely confident that nobody would check them out. There are no acrostics for these names.
More: We also discover that each of these names lacks the prominent first and last letters of the name: Edmund Spenser has no prominent last letter, R; Francis Drake has no prominent F; Sir Edward Dyer has a prominent S and what, with the exercise of charity, as Friedman says, an R that is sub-prominent on the fifth line. William Stanley has the most prominent first letter, a W, right at the beginning, but sadly no Y. Christopher Marlowe loses out, too, with no C but does have a prominent E, for all good that does.
How could two such brilliant people, cryptological geniuses, fail to check the finals of the words in the Epilogue and write such brazen untruths? Thus, once again , do we catch William and Elizabeth in a batch of unconscionable falsifications. Here again, gross deception. One gets weary pointing it out!
Of the Colours of Good and Evill, a fragment
On page 122, Friedman barges on, full steam ahead, girded for the great battle, into another falsification, this one the worse of all (so far). After a brief digression, they write:
. . . we return to Bacon, and find his name hidden equally superfluously in various works known to have been written by him. Booth does not try to explain why Bacon should conceal acrostic signatures in the text when his name was there, for all to see, on the title page.1
Please note the superior 1, which refers the reader to a footnote, as follows:
Booth's failure in this regard does not stand alone others have exhibited the same weakness.
Not so. This hackneyed question has been answered a thousand times by many Baconian scholars. Friedman's statement in this regard is another exercise in futility and dishonesty.
Following is an extract from William Stone Booth's book, Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon, which Friedman had to have right under their noses when they concocted this miserable collection of misrepresentations. Not only does Booth explain, he quotes Francis Bacon's explanation, which he (Bacon) included in his dedication of the book of Essayes to his brother, Anthony. In Chapter XV, page 582 Booth begins:
I now turn to the little volume by Francis Bacon which contains the three small books, each with an anonymous title-page, entitled, Essays, Religion Meditations, Places of perswasion and disswasion (published 1597). In his "Dedication" to "his deare Brother" Anthony, which is given in facsimile on pages 28-29, Bacon does not say in so many words that the three books had been going around anonymously in manuscript, "as they passed long agoe" from his pen; and by the phrase "retiring and withdrawing mens conceites" he may have meant simply "not printing." He does say, however, "These fragments of my conceites were going to print. To labour the staie of them had bin troublesome, and subiect to interpretation; and to let them passe had beene to adventure the wrong they mought receiue by vntrue Coppies, or by some garnishment, which it mought please any that should set them forth to bestow vpon them. Therefore I helde it best discreating to publish them my selfe as they passed long agoe from my pen."
It is a fair supposition that these essays had been anonymous in their manuscript form, though we have no direct evidence that they were. That the first printed edition is without name on its three title-pages leads one to suppose that Bacon had prepared them for anonymous publication and had inserted the signed dedication before going to press.
Be that as it may: I was curious to know if Bacon had put his mark of identification on the essays, in his usual manner, and by his usual method. There is no indication that he did so, until we come to the last essay in the first book, Essayes. Here we find that there is no word on the first page with an initial N except the world "Negociating" in the title. As the first word of the title begins with an initial O, we are on the track of a possible signature.
Booth then explains that the signature is not Bacon, which ends with an N, but Bacono, which ends with an O, and continues on to give instructions on decipherment.
But here we have undeniable proof that Friedman deliberately resorted to dishonesty. It is even more revealing when one reads the first half of the dedication:
Louing and beloued Brother, I doe nowe like some that haue an Orcharde ill neighbored, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to preuent stealing. These fragments of my conceites were going to print, To labour the staie of them had bin troublesome, and subiect to interpretation; to let them passe had beene to aduenture the wrong they mought receiue by vntrue Coppies, or by some garnishment, which it mought please any that should set them forth to bestow vpon them. Therefore I helde it best discreation to publish them my selfe as they passed long agoe from my pen, without any further disgrace, then the weaknesse of the Author. And as I did euer hold, there mought be as great a vanitie in retiring and withdrawing mens conceites (except they bee of some nature) from the world, as in obtruding them: . . .
So, it is quite evident that Bacon feared that they might be stolen and published by someone else, so it is quite understandable that he would sign them with a cipher, and they were already in the process of being published anonymously, but he decided to dedicate the book to his brother, and had trouble "stopping the press" so he could do it. At least that's the way I read it. Please note that the title-page has no signature.
Forging bravely into the fray, Friedman writes (page 122):
In the case of signature 250, Booth demonstrates that his conception of the truth is as elastic as the method he employs. The text is Bacon's Essayes, and Booth "began to read from the capital F of the word "finis" at the end of the book and read back through all the capitals used in the book; spelling out FRANCISCO BACONO." This, he tells us, is "a signature written in the simple method of which we have an analogous example by the monk Francesco Colonna". If this is not a deliberate mis-statement, it is a remarkable piece of self-deception. The Colonna acrostic is based on the consecutive initial letters of successive sections of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili; every initial letter is used, in the correct order, from start to finish, and there are no initials left over. In contrast, there are 310 capital letters in the Essayes, of which Booth selects, according to no system whatever, the fifteen necessary to make up the name "Francisco Bacono", read backwards.
Now we shall see whose truth is elastic, and who is resorting to a remarkable piece of self-deception. This is how Friedman butchers the facts concerning signature 250.
To begin with, Friedman does not explain that the Essayes are not the 58 Essays we know and love today. At the time of this publication in 1597, there were only about 10. They also do not explain that the book under discussion was really three books in one volume. Further, they do not let their readers know that Signature 250 is not in the whole book of the Essays, as such, but is to be found in an essay named "Of the Coulers of good and euill a fragment." Or, "Of the Colors of good and evil, a fragment." which appeared in the first edition of the Essayes. Still further, since Friedman is so picky about the number of capital letters, there are 312 capitals, not 310. And these 312 capitals are only in The Colors of Good and Evil, not the whole book of Essays, as Friedman would have their readers believe. In fact, Of the Colors of good and evil, a fragment, is not included in the last edition of the essays which we know today.
Now, as if all of the above were not galling enough, here's the most incredible lie: They state that Booth selects the capital letters ". . . according to no system whatever . . ." That is absolutely not true, and this is not the first time they have accused Booth in this manner. But their accusation is false. Booth selects the letters according to the hard and fast rule that Friedman ignores all the way through their polemic, that is, "start with the first letter, which must be a prominently displayed letter, then choose the Next necessary letter needed, and continuing on in this manner until the last letter, which also must be prominent, is chosen. The next letter,Hey! THE NEXT LETTER.
In this case, the last capital in the essay under study, is the F, in FINIS. at the very end. The first capital in the book is O, in Of, the first word in the title. In order to spell Francisco Bacono, it is obviously necessary to start at the end of the essay, which is perfectly acceptable.
And using capitals only is fully in keeping with the rules of the cipher. Booth wrote in numbered paragraphs (Page 36), which again, Friedman did not extract, and which I repeat:
6. You may apply this string cipher to (a) initials; (b) terminals, i.e. letters beginning and ending a word; (c) terminals of all whole words and part-words, i.e. parts divided by a hyphen; (d) all letters in the text; (e) outside letters of a page or side of a page; (f) initials outside of words of a page, or side of a page; (g) capitals.
Please note that "capitals" is the last item. This signature is deciphered in exactly the same way as all the other signatures are deciphered, starting with one prominent letter, choosing the next necessary letter, and ending with the last prominent letter. Yet, Friedman went through all of the above nonsense just in order to have something else to traduce Booth with. Just feeding their readers more mud.
The only way I can illustrate this acrostic so that you can work it out for yourself, is a long string of capital letters. Start reading from the F at the very end, reading every line from the right,choosing the next necessary letter, and you will end up on the capital O at the beginning, having spelled Francisco Bacono. The little book is printed facsimile, three pages to one page in the Booth book, or 36 pages in all.
I include Booth's comments of this, Signature 250.
The last book in this little volume of Essayes, etc., is that of The Coulers of good and euill a fragment.
Note the phrase So deale with the E-, on the last line of the first page, entitled A table of Coulers, or. (See p. 5920. In looking over the pages at the front at the end of this book for a suggestion which would guide me to an acrostic, this phrase at the foot of that page which is not numbered but which should be paged 18 (verso), So deale with the E-, looked as if it might be a memorandum to refresh the writers memory that he had cut off the capitals. I at once set out in the margin all the capitals used in the thirty-six pages.
I then began to read from the capital F of the word Finis at the end of the book and read back through all the capitals used in the book; spelling FRANCISCO BACONO, I was not altogether surprised to find that the final O of the signature was the first O of the title-page to the book.
The acrostic figure here is:
Here we have a signature written in the simple method of which we have an analogous example by the monk Francesco Colonna, mentioned on page 89.
Note that these capitals run through thirty-six pages. I must ask the readers pardon for printing them all in facsimile. It is an important example of the mental byplay of a genius.
The following chart of capital letters is made of all the capital letters in the Colours of good and Euill, a fragment. Start at the end and read every line from the right to the left, choosing the next necessary letter. Reading every line from the right to the left is the same as reading all the letters from the end, page by page, to the beginning. I have set the correct letters in bold italics, underlined, but do check it out for yourself.
OFTCCNCQMQQNQCQQQGINSBLATCCSOCSASPTA SESASPTSOAPLLTLRSMMFBMPSSMMMMSNSACLQMS QESTPABBRPPAAGGTBMSBATFNQNHEAFFWAAOTTTN SBCQTHSATSTSAOMMSAFFCFCMVFATSFEIAFKEAFKC FTWGYCTHHSAABBGTSSAEAMPADDSASCQSVASTRTR TSDAAAASASSSPOSPTPQTHFSPSBNADBTTDATWEFSE TALASAQTHSTNPLTCCQFSOACCNSTFTAETHFGITMSA STSABICADEPSDHDLTTBFDTATECTTAATSNQRRFFFF
Now, if you think the previous section is bad, wait till you read what is coming up next, because this is where Friedman threw caution to the winds (as if they ever exercised any), and go for broke in a desperate, concerted effort to inflict a coup de grace on Booth. For downright deliberate deceit, the following section reveals the Friedman masterpiece. They must have been awfully proud of themselves for pulling this one off.
The Phoenix and the Turtle: Threnos
First, in order not to interrupt the explanation of Friedman's remarks on Signature 35, we will dispose of Friedman's absurd criticism of Booth's use of "graphical figures." I extract part of the last paragraph on page 122:
Booth has a habit of showing his signatures diagrammatically in what he calls "figures". These are usually strikingly simple arrangements of the key letters, in circles, squares, crossed diagonals, or single lines. They seldom bear any relation to the actual placing of the letters in the text (compare the graceful curve in the margin opposite (Ed. note: meaning the diagonal lines of the letters to the left of the quoted poem) with the actual erratic zigzag formed by the letters italicized in the text. Usually the facsimiles of the relevant pages are shown without any markings at all, and any reader who wants to check his "readings" has to go to a considerable amount of trouble.
And, of course, being very consistent, in a note at the bottom of the page, Friedman fails to inform the reader that Booth explains the use of his figures. On Page 45, Booth informs us of the use of the "framing" of the poems with arrows, and his use of "graphic" figures:
Note. In a few places I have deemed it necessary to frame the text with a set of short pointers to alternate lines, so that the reader may follow my hand with the least possible trouble. In some cases, for the same reason, I have underlined the words or letters involved in the ciphers. It is my wish that each reader shall satisfy himself that each signature is to be found where I say that it stands; so I have not made marks on most of the facsimiles. Each reader may do this for himself
When I use "graphic" figures, I treat as straight lines all signatures which run from opposite point to point. Their actual direction is, of course, often zig-zag, but I have deemed it best to show the "line of least resistance." The same rule holds good when the acrostic starts out from a corner and "keys" itself back again to the nearest letter on the same corner of the text from whence it set out. Here the zig-zag line of the circular figure will be "graphically" shown as a plain circle from point to point.
And so, once again we see how Friedman omitted
Booth's explanations, taking Booth's comments and turning them into
ridiculous criticisms. Note that they use the word zig-zag, just as
Booth did. Of course, they read this, and in a brilliant inspiration,
seeing a chance to turn something into a negative in order to
strengthen their argument, misled their readers in a very deceitful
Continuing Friedman writes (page 122):
When circumstances demand it, Booth is not above breaking even the few simple rules he has laid down for himself. There are a number of instances in which he does not confine his use to initial letters of words; and signature 35 is a case in point. It is taken from the Threnos of The Phoenix and Turtle; Booth tells us that the signature is FRANCISCO BACONO, and that the two parts of the name come together on the O of " 'Twas not", in the middle line of the poem.
When I first read this, I was both confused and
amazed. I carefully studied their "decipherment" as given in the
illustration, a part of which Friedman copies from Booth, and which I
reset below. I was confused, and then, suddenly, I realized what
Friedman had done. This single section, along with its
illustration, constitutes the most outrageous collection of lies in
the whole chapter. I absolutely cannot understand how anyone
could stoop to such deliberate inventive deceit.
Again, continuing the extract from Friedman (Page 123):
. . . In the example given above, [this referes to our Figure 4, below.Ed ]once the operative letters are made to stand out, it is clear the O common to the two names is not an initial letter; nor are the first O of "Bacono" and the S of "Francisco". He ignores entire lines when they fail to produce the letters he wants; and he makes a special rule for this specimen alone. If one looks for the name Francisco in the reverse order of the letters, starting with the last O of "Bacono", the signature ends on the F of "faire" in the last line but one. So Booth ordains that in this case we must proceed in opposite directions for the two parts of the name; "Francisco" must be read from the bottom upwards, and "Bacono" from the top down.
This paragraph staggers the imagination. I don't know enough words to describe the deceit, the dishonesty, the incredible disregard of the true facts. In the first place, Friedman misleads their readers into believing that the decipherment given in our Figure 4 is Booth's decipherment. Absolutely not true. Booth did not give a decipherment! On page 182 he includes the poem, but he left it for his readers to decipher! This shows you just how low Friedman was willing to stoop into intellectual dishonesty.
Next, the decipherment problem is this : Heretofore, Friedman has dealt only with ciphers that use initial letters of words. And by now the reader's mind is inculcated with "initials" and "finals." And in this case they go right ahead and let the reader think that the cipher in the poem is designed to use the initial letters of the words. But that is not at all the case. It's something altogether differentsomething new.
For the third time, I repeat the extract from Booth give above when discussing signature 250. Please take special notice of item (d) in this quote, which item I italicize. Of course, Friedman was very careful not to let their readers know about this:
6. You may apply this string cipher to (a) initials; (b) terminals, i.e. letters beginning and ending a word; (c) terminals of all whole words and part-words, i.e. parts divided by a hyphen; (d) all letters in the text; (e) outside letters of a page or side of a page; (f) initials outside of words of a page, or side of a page; (g) capitals.
All the letters in the text!
So, I extract the entire section (Page 181) giving explanations on deciphering Signature 35 so that you may fully understand not only Booth's instructions, but also the enormity of Friedman's deceit. Can you imagine anyone writing what Friedman wrote while having this information right under his nose, and deliberately omitting it? And worse, not just omitting it, but deliberately changing it to suit their own purposes. Truly shocking.
Note that the initial of the first word of the first line of the "Threnos" is B, and that the initial of the first word of the last line is F, Francis Bacon's initials. Booth writes (Page 118):
Here we have the initials B.F. to guide us. . . .
Begin to read from the initial F of the word "For," at the beginning of the last line of the poem; to the right; on all the letters of all the words; upwards; spelling FRANCISCO, you will arrive at the letter O of the word "not," in the middle line of the poem; to the right; that is to say, in the reverse direction; still upwards, however; and spelling backwards ONOCAB, you will find yourself at the initial B of the first word of the first line of the "Threnos."
Here we have the signature "FRANCISCO BACONO," written consecutively as an acrostic, but to be read as a signature from the initial of the first word of the last line, and from the initial of the first word of the first line, and meeting in the middle of the poem on the same letter O.
Booth gives the graphical figure as follows, without the whole poem, using only a few words of the first and last lines, and the middle line where the two names meet. In no place does he indicate which letters are used, or the lines upon which they fall. This is left for the student, who, since this is still instructional material, presumably is doing the work himself. Note that the letters in Booth's figure are evenly spaced. Of course the cipher is worked in the usual manner, as Booth explains.
Now, as you can see, there's a great deal of difference between Booth's figures and the Friedman version.(See below, Figure 4). Friedman added the whole poem on the right. Please note carefully which letters they italicize to indicate the letters to be used in the cipher. They used their own rule: "an R, an A, an N", etc, instead of "The next R, the next A", and, in an incredible departure from all the rules, use initial and interior letter and final letters, allowing their readers to think that Booth should have used only initial letters. Note that Friedman passes over the next R, (which is in the first word) the next a (in deAd) and the next n (in vrNe), and chooses the R in "repair" for the next R after the F! They picked through the poem, choosing letters in the right order, but letters in the wrong place, and deceitfully letting the reader think that this is Booth's decipherment. This was, of course, deliberate as they were trying to prove to their readers that this is what Booth did!
Here is Friedman's version. Please study it, and try to decipher it by adhering to the rules given by Booth above
Below, I give the correct decipherment, following Booth's directions, with the letters set in bold italic capitals in order to make them easier to see. Please note that some of the letters are initials, some of them interior letters, and some of them finals. But in this case, that is valid, because Booth has instructed that ALL the letters are to be used. Also, I have framed the poem with the directional signs in order to facilitate reading the letters in the right direction. Notice that the middle line of the poem, where the two names meet, has a directional sign for both directions. This is because, as directed by Booth, and explained below, when the final O of "Francisco" is read, it is then necessary to reverse the direction of reading, first to the left, and then reversing to the right.
Now, there you have an absolutely correct presentation of the correct decipherment. Quite a big different from Friedman's, isn't it? And why is that? Because, first, Friedman misrepresented the cipher rules and simply used whatever letter they wanted to, not adhering to the rules. So, that gives us a good chance to prove that the rules, when adhered to, really work! It's beautiful!
Do you fully understand the procedure? Just in case you don't, I'll spell it out.
Following Booth's instructions to use every letter in the poem, start with the F on the first word of the last line (1). Read the letters to the right. You will find that , after the F, the next necessary letter, R, is the last letter in "FoR"; the next necessary letter, A, which is the A in "deAd". Thus the first three letters of Francisco are all on the same line.
Going up to the next line (2), and reading the letters to the left, we find no N, the next necessary letter.
Going up to the next line (3), and reading the letters from the left to the right, we find our N in the word "vrNe".
Continuing to the right, and then up to the next line (4) reading to the left, nothing.
Continuing to the next line (5), reading to the right, we find nothing.
Going up to the next line (6), reading to the left, we come to the necessary C, the initial of the word "Cannot.". Continuing to the left, and then
Going up to the next line (7), reading to the right, we find three letters, I S and C.
Continuing to the right, and up to the next line (8) and then reading to the left (ignoring the N) we come to the O in the middle of the word "nOt".
We have spelled FRANCISCO.
Now, according to Booth's instructions, we reverse the direction of reading on line 8 and read to the right from the O, which O also is used for the first O in ONOCAB, and we find the next letter, N, in the word "iNfirmitie".
Going up to the next line (9), reading to the
left; the next letter, O, in the word "pOsteritie". Continue reading
to the left and then
Going up to the next line (10), reading to the right, we find nothing.
Going up to the next line (11), reading to the left, we find nothing.
Going up to the next line (12), reading to the right, we find nothing.
Going up to the next line (13), reading to the left, we find the necessary C in the word "Cinders" then continuing reading to the left and
Going up to the next line (14), reading to the right we immediately find the next letter, A, in the word "GrAce". Reading on to the right, and then
Going up to the next and last line (15), reading to the left, we come to the last letter, the prominent first letter, B at the very beginning of the line.
So, Starting with the F, working up to the final O in FRANCISCO, then starting with that same O and reversing direction, we worked up to the final letter in BACONO, deciphering the cipher which was designed to work from the bottom to the top.
Now, the above was a very good instruction in working the ciphers in Bacon's system, except that, in most cases you will be reading only the initials of the words (most often), and occasionally the finals, and very rarely only the capital letters. Nothing to it. All you have to do is look for the prominent first and last letters of the name, Francis bacoN, Ben ionsoN, William shakespearE, or whatever, and then work on it to see if there's a cipher.
Also, in this example, Friedman grabbed a chance to stuff some more mud into their readers' brains with this obfuscation: they proudly announce a brilliant discovery, to wit, that if one tries to decipher the name "Francisco" by starting with the O at the end (which is also the last letter of "Bacono") and working backward toward the F at the beginning of the name, the cipher doesn't work! One ends up by landing on the final letter, F, in the initial letter of the word "faire". Isn't that a brilliant put down of the cipher system?
Well, no. In fact, they did us a great favor, like they did when they "discovered" the Ben Ionson signature in the Epilogue to The Tempest. They proved the validity of the cipher system because as Booth goes to great extremes to instruct his readers (pages 46 through 49), the cipher must have no intervening letters. In other words, reading in the wrong direction, the letters fall in the wrong order, and one will, inevitably, end up short of the goal. I explained this previously in §5 above. The cipher was designed to read as Booth instructed. No doubt that in deciphering this cipher, Booth had to work in both directions to find out which was correct. As all authorities tell us, decipherment is slow and difficult work. If the name "Francisco" had been intended to read from the O and on down to the bottom left corner, the poet-cryptographer would have had to change the word "not" on the fifth lines from the bottom or would have to get rid of the word "urne", because the use of the N in one of these words ruins the cipher. Further, the word "faire" on the next-to-the-last line would have had to be changed, because it comes before the necessary final letter, the prominent F. Only then would the name "Francisco" be decipherable from the central O without disturbing the correct reading starting with the F in the lower right-hand corner.
To illustrate, observing the rule next letter, searching all the letters, reading backwards to the right and down, spelling, OCSICNARF, the next letters working from the O in nOt, C in Chastitie; S in waS, I in It; C in Cannot, N in caNnot; A in brAgge; R in tRuth; F in Faire.
Searching in the opposite direction, to the left, after the O in nOt, C in Chastitie; S in chaStitie; I in chastItie; C in Cannot; N in Not; A in beAutie; R in tRuth; F in Faire.
Friedman didn't inform their readers that they had actually used the "search every letter" instruction of Booth in order to come up with this. And, of course, spelling the name backwards doesn't work anyway. It's not so designed. Friedman was trying to impress their readers with the "fact" that the cipher didn't work read from the top B to the bottom F. Of course, it doesn't. It wasn't designed that way. Truly, masters of deceit.
The poet chose to design the cipher as we have it, which is rather a brilliant design, considering that the names, read from opposite directions, meet in the middle line. We shall see another example of this same thing in the next, and most important, cipher we study, where the names meet in the middle, exactly as they do in this cipher. Again, we have been treated an excellent example of Friedman's deliberate omission of valuable instruction in the Baconian cipher system, all in order to undermine it so they could proceed with their deliberately misleading agenda, to "prove " the there are no ciphers in the works of Shakespeare.
In this section, as they have done throughout, we have seen Friedman at their worst. Unashamedly dishonest, unrepentantly hypocritical in that they accuse Booth of being dishonest while they are the ones who are being dishonest.
Now we take note of Friedman's misrepresentations in this one instance.
In this section, as they have done throughout, we have seen Friedman at their worst. Unashamedly dishonest and unrepentantly hypocritical in that they accuse Booth of being dishonest while they are the ones who are being dishonest. Now we take note of Friedmans misrepresentations in this one instance. Friedmans version of the graphical figure and the cipher solution given above are by far the most calculated fabrication in this whole chapter on William Stone Booth, and this is only one illustration of their consistent procedure throughout the whole book.
The constant criticism against the string cipher system is indicative of at least one thing: Friedman recognized it to be really quite a superior and valid system. It is literally unbreakable, unless you know the rules. Within even a short poem, several signatures can be hidden with great security, as is proved by the number of signatures in it, and further proved by the fact that they remained undetected for 400 years! If one enciphers names using initial letters, final letters, and all letters within the poem, and, conceivable, even initials and finals, working in both directions, it is not inconceivable that at least six signatures could be hidden! And, as I have stated several times, they would still be hidden if William Stone Booth hadnt come along, cracked the code, and deciphered them! This is why Friedman kept insisting that it had no cryptographical validity whatsoever. They knew that it did have cryptographical validity, especially in seventeenth-century cryptography, resented it, and had to do everything they could to convince their readers.
Friedman ends this display of deceitfulness by saying that Booths string cipher could be described as being as flexible as a rubber band, that plenty of signatures can be found on any page and that it has no cryptological validity whatsoever. We note that they give no example of the possibility of finding plenty of signatures on any page. This is a patently absurd statement. Of course, if one just looks for letters without any rules, one can spell anything one wants. But for a cipher of the type we are studying in this book, I defy anyone anywhere to find even one cipher of this type on any page of any book that is not intended to be a Bacon signature, let alone find plenty of signatures on any page. This is a favorite Friedman statement which is included only as an attempt to belittle this cipher system in their desperation to convince their readers that their arguments are valid. They absolutely are not. In the same way they claim that the name FR BACON could occur very frequently as a marginal acrostic. That statement is equally absurd. Search through any book of modern poetry and you will never find one, unless it was deliberately put there, as in the case of the Mathew Arnold poem quoted above.
Further, they said that Booth, by exercising the freedom of using his cipher as he wishes can find only 251 signatures, and that not all of them are Bacons! More mud for their readers brains. Booth did not use his cipher system as he wished. He followed Bacons rules. Always. Bacon didnt intend for all the signatures to be his. And he could find only 251 signatures? Good heavens! How many did they think he should have found? Arent 251 signatures enough to prove the argument? Isnt even one signature enough?
Acrostic In All The Spoken Words In All The First Lines
of All the Plays in the 1623 Folio
We come now to the last part of our work, and, for me, the most intriguing. Here is a cipher that, as far as I am concerned, proves the Baconian argument. And, of course, Friedman comes down hard, and, through the expediency of their usual lies, hypocrisy, insults, omissions and obfuscation misrepresent the whole thing, big time. This signature is not really completely explained in Some Acrostic Signatures, but is given in its entirety in a book published a year later, The Hidden Signatures of Francesco Colonna and Francis Bacon: A Comparison of their Methods.
Right off, Friedman goes on the offensive with their usual hatchet job by stating that Booth had to "make light" of Colonna's method. They twice accuse Booth of trying to undermine Colonna's method in order to further his own ends. This is stupid; absolutely untrue. I have a copy of that book, and I can assure you that anyone reading it will be quite aware that Booth very much admired Colonna's cipher method, and the book it was used in, namely, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. This book written and published in 1499 by Colonna, who was a monk, was supposedly in love with a nun named Polia. Personally, I think the book is an allegorical presentation of paganism, or the Old Religion, because the illustrations so indicate. These will be described later.
In order that readers might be fully apprised of the situation, and in keeping with my determination to be as complete as possible in including all material that completely refutes Friedman's disgraceful book, I here extract the entire section in which Booth describes this book and gives complete details on Colonna's cipher method, and painstakingly complete directions for deciphering the acrostic in the first lines of the plays. Further, it contains comments on the reactions of the public to his previous book, Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon. You will notice that there is not one word that could be considered to be negative concerning Colonna's book, or designed to "undermine" it, as Friedman ridiculously claims Booth does.
The remarkable thing about the acrostic in the first lines of all the plays is that it is a double acrostic delivering both Baconi Francisci and Bacono Francisco signatures, and it has to be one of the most important in all the annals of acrostics. Anyway, this is the kind of thing that can shock Stratfordians into submission, acceptance, confession and conversion, so they certainly don't want you to know about these acrostics.
This extract is lengthy, but since I want everyone interested in these things to know about this acrostic and to be able to decipher it for themselves, it is well worth the effort for me to typeset, and for you to read.
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
The first known printed edition of the Hypnerotomachi Poliphili (The Strife of Love in a Dream) was put into type by Manutius Aldus in Venice, and issued in 1499. The closing words of the book are: "Tarvisii cum decorissimis Poliae amore lorulis distineretur misellus Polphilus MCCCCLXVII Calendia Maii," and they lead us to suppose that the book was written at Treviso in 1467.
Within about fifty years of its first printed appearance the folio was twice reprinted in Italian, twice in French, and part of it in English. It was in its day, and still is, an important work. It was the kind of book that was likely to be read by cultivated Englishmen who understood macaronic Italian and Latin.
The author is said to have been over ninety years of age when he died in 1527, and, therefore, must have been born about 1433. He is said to have become a friar of the order of Saint Dominic at an early age, and to have spent the years between 1455 and 1472, teaching Rhetoric and Languages in a Dominican Convent at Treviso, and afterwards at the University of Padua. He is said to have died in the convent of San Giovanni e San Paulo in Venice. His hidden signature seems to have been known as early as 1512.
So far as I can see, there is only one typographical hint of authorship in the book, and it may be discerned by the observant at the very end of the folio, immediately preceding the errata. It is in the Epitaphium Poliae, which is so printed that the first initial of each line, and the first eight letters of the last line, may be taken as an acrostic, thus: EPITAPHIUM POLIAE
F oelix Polia, quae sepulta uiuia,
C laro marte Poliphilus quiescens
I am fecit uigilarae re spoitam.
It is not stretching the imagination to suppose that the separation of the initial of the first word of each line from the body of the word to which it belongs was intentional; and that by that typographical trick the author put a visible identifying mark on his folio. The initials areF
and if the reader will run his eye along the last line following the initial I, he will read the words Iam fecit. The complete acrostic figure isF
fecit, or F.C. Iam fecit, which as we shall discover later, stands for Franciscus Columna jam fecit.
Of course it is "quite possible" that this arrangement of the types was accidental on the part of the author, but on the theory of chances it is so improbable that such was the case that we may regard it (humanly speaking) as designed by the author for a mark of identification, and possibly as a hint to his acquaintance.
Suppose that one of the author's acquaintance were to take the hint, and being aware of the prevalence of such conventional tricks among writers of his day, were to scan the pages of the folio with care to see if the author had hidden his full name somewhere in the folio by another method. He would naturally turn to the front vestibule of the book. There he would find nothing to help him. He would then look to the salient features of the typography, and in all probability he would be struck by the beautiful woodcuts used as the large initials at the beginning of the sections of the folio. He would very soon discover that if he disregarded the large initial of the preface, and abstracted the initial of the first word of each of the first line of each section of the book in its regular order, the following sentence would stare him in the face: POLIAM FRATER FRANISCUS COLUMNA PERAMAVIT, which is the Latin for "Brother Colonna passionately loved Polia." The authorship of the folio might thus be reasonably surmised.
(NB: Booth continues to explain the Diagrams which I cannot include in this book. There is also a reproduction of the Epitaphium Poliae from the 1499 edition reproduced which also cannot be included here.)
Diagram (A), shows the first line of each section of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili laid out in two directions, so that the reader may readily see the sequence of the initials.
Diagram (B) shows the same lines placed one under the other in a cross-section, so that the reader may see the acrostic form of the trick. The initials of the left-hand ends of the lines show the acrostic.
Since Polia was a nun, and Francesco a monk, it is not difficult to imagine a good reason for a hidden signature, even in those days of loose vows. But suppose that the whole story is allegorical; there is still good reason that a monk should retire his name from a subject of that nature. It is difficult to imagine that the authorship of the work could have remained unknown for any length of time after publication. It is equally difficult to imagine that between the author and his friends and acquaintances there ever was much secrecy. The conventions would have been observed, as we have seen them observed by the author himself, in keeping his authorship from his title-page. Such reticence was, at any rate, due to his tonsure. It was merely an acknowledgment which a monk and a gentleman owed to his caste.
A pope, cardinal or other sworn celibate might maintain a mistress and her family, but the conventions were observed by calling the sons nephews, and the daughters nieces. The society of the time would have been shocked at the open acknowledgment of paternity, and the church would have been scandalized; but the conventional code of each was satisfied by a nepotic fiction, as many analogous lapses from a social code are satisfied to-day by similar fictions.
The same spirit is to be seen later in John Selden's remark that it would be ridiculous for a lord to print verses, and make them public; and Selden, by the way, was one of the two men to whom Francis Bacon wished his unpublished papers to be submitted after his death.
As the chapter or sections of Colonna's folio are not numbered, and as they do not begin on pages by themselves, but wherever the previous sections ends, the sequence of the first initials of the chapters is not noticeable as it would be if each chapter began on a clean page. Their arrangement is further obscured from the view of the casual reader by the use of three very different designs of woodcut, and by the fact that one of the designs is made in two sizes. The folio also contains many other beautiful woodcuts of all sorts and sizes, so that the initials themselves are not obtruded on the view.
Let us now compare Francesco Colonna's trick with that used by Francis Bacon in the first folio of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, which was published in 1623.
The First Folio of Mr. William Shakespeare's
Histories and Tragedies,
containing a hidden signature of Francis Bacon
The typgraphical trick by which Francis Bacon put his name to the first folio of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies has several points in common with that which was used by Francesco Colonna.
Each man used the first spoken line of each section (chapter or play) taken in its proper sequence through his folio.
Each man began his signature with the first letter of the first section of the body of the folio.
Each man ignored the prefatory matter, which consequently serves as a blind; intentionally or not.
Each man arranged a typographical hint for the suspicious reader.
Each man worked on initials of words in the first spoken lines of each section.
So far the methods of the two men follow well-worn historical precedent.
The only difference between the methods of the two acrostic-makers lies in the use of the initials of the words in the first lines of the successive sections. In Colonna's Folio, only the first initials are used. In Shakespeare's folio the letters of Bacon's name follow in their proper order, B, A, etc., extending between two fixed points, with nulls or non-significant letters interspersed between them without interfering with the spelling of the name between the fixed points.
The obvious advantage of each method lies in the fact that any man can read the signature of Francesco Colonna at sight, while the signature of Francis Bacon must be spelled to be discovered. In other words, Colonna's method was hidden but easily found when suspected, while Bacon's method was hidden so that it should be found less easily.
When found, the one signature is as easy to read as the other.
The typographical hint given in Shakespeare's folio is to be seen in the use of the initials of Francis Bacon's name; F being the initial of the last word of the first spoken line of the last play, while the B is the initial of the first word of the first spoken line of the first play.
As Colonna used the sections or chapters of his book, so has Bacon used the plays. Where there is a prologue to a play the first spoken line of the prologue is the first line of that sections of the folio.
The typographical hint is emphasized by the initials of the last two words of the first spoken line of the last play in the folio, which runs:
Note the initial b of "but" and the initial f of "frownes." in the first folio the line is printed thus:
The initial of the verb "frownes" is printed with a capital, thus, "Frownes." It was then, and is to-day, unusual to print a verb with a capital initial, except when the word came at the front end of a line, or when it followed a colon.
Hence our attention is called to the initials b (ut) F (rownes), which point to the left towards the center of the folio.
Now observe that the initials of all the words of the first spoken lines of the thirty-six plays in the folio, when taken together, form an unbroken line of initial letters, from the initial B of the word "Bote-swaine," to the initial F of the word "Frownes."
Imagine thirty-six bound plays lying in a row on your table. The first page of each play would be visible. The first line of each play taken in succession would yield a line of initials from the first word of the first line of the first play to the last word of the first line of the last play.
The way that Bacon has used these initials is both amusing and from the historian's point of view, important.
Bacon's name in Latin is Franciscus Baconus. When he used it on the title-page of a book he wrote it in the possessive case, Francisci Baconi. It may be seen so used on the title-pages of several of his books.
We can see that one end of the string of initials is the B in "Bote-swaine," and that the other end of the string is the initial F of "Frownes."
Starting from the initial B of "Bote-swaine," the reader would naturally follow his usual custom of reading to the right, which is towards the centre of the folio. But starting from the initial F in "Frownes," the reader would be at a loss unless he follow the hint given by the initials b (ut) (F) rownes, which are F.B. pointing to the left, that is to say toward the centre of the folio.
(NB: Please notice that in this cipher, which is designed to read all the first lines as though they were on one line, read to the right from the beginning, and to the left from the end, the correct way to read the 36-lines of first lines that will be found below is to read every line from the left to the right to decipher BACONI(O) and, from the bottom, read every line from the left to decipher FRANCISCI(O). We return to the extract:)
Begin to spell from the initial B of the word "Bote-swaine" to the next initial A. Then continue along the line until you come to the next initial C. Then continue until you come to the next initial O. Then on until you come to the next initial N. Then on until you come to the next initial I. You will have spelled BACONI, and you will have arrived inevitably at the initial I in the word "Iohn," in the first spoken line of Richard II.
Now go to the other end of the string of initials, and begin to spell from the initial F of the word "Frownes," to the left, that is to say towards the centre of the folio. Continue to the left until you come to the next initial R. Then on until you come to the next initial A. Then on until you come to the next initial N, and so on until you have spelled FRANCISCI. You will again inevitably arrive at the initial I of the word "Iohn," in the first spoken line of Richard II., and on which we ended the spelling of the spelling of the name BACONI.
Here we have FRANCISCI BACONI, the possessive case, of FRANCISCUS BACONUS; planned so that it can be spelled from opposite ends of the folio to a centre where it meets on the common letter I of "Iohn."
The diagram (C), shows the plan of the letters involved in the signature, and also shows how the Italianate name Francisco Bacono is planned to fall between the same end initials and to meet on either side of the same centre initial I of the word "Iohn."
This diagram (C), also shows that the two names are planned not only to be spelled from the end initials to the centre initial I, but also clear through from one end initial to the other, i.e., from the initial B to the initial F.
The publication of my book on Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon was the signal for the writing of much hasty ridicule. Several gentlemen attacked my work with spirit and at some length in the public press of this country and of Europe. Their writings, to which I refer in the footnote (Ed. note: footnote not included.) may be profitably compared with the facts, after a careful reading of the book and its sources. There is every excuse for misunderstanding. Little attention has been paid to acrostics by American and English scholars. And history repeats itself; lack of information and a mind that is parti pris gives rise to misunderstanding, then to mis-statements which are seen to be amusing, then naturally to ridicule. I wish not to belittle these gentlemen. They are all able men, one or two of whom are scholars known the world over; and I find it humiliating to be obliged to refer such men to the facts.
Two of the gentlemen* (footnote: Professor Leo Wiener of Harvard University, and Professor Frederick E. Pierce of Yale University) have made some arithmetical calculations, as elaborate as they are amusing, and based upon what each honestly enough believed to be the factors in a demonstration of the doctrine of chance as it bears on what each conceived to be an acrostic. Each gentleman used arithmetic in a different way, and each arrived at a widely differing result, but they agreed with each other in proving to themselves satisfactorily enough that the signatures to which I have called your attention ought to be there in greater numbers than I find them. With an ingenuity which is worthy of all praise, but which was unserviceable for the purpose to which it was put, the second gentleman invented a postulate which he termed an "F-block," and substituted it for an acrostic in his calculations. The reader may be interested to compare his figures with the facts.
For the acrostic which I present in this pamphlet, the following calculation may be made:
The average number of times that you will find an initial I in a given place in any book in English is 1 in 23. This can be verified by reference to the frequency of initial letters in a dictionary, or by the assortment of the initials in the fonts as they are determined by a printer's needs. The chance that you would find a capital F in a given place where it ought to be in "lower case" is, in a common phrase, almost incalculable; the word [Frownes] on which it is found is a verb at the end of a sentence.
The chance that you would find the initial B as the first letter of the first word of the first line of the first play, is about 1 in 18, which is the average shown by the contents of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. This figure may also be compared with the table of letters contained in a 36-A Font of type shown on page 167, of DeVinne's Plain Printing Types.
The chance that you would find a letter I in the required position at the meeting place of the two names is about 1 in 23 for capitals; and 1 in 26 for lower-case letters.
So the chance that you will find the B and the F, when you need them for the formation of this acrostic in any book, is at the lowest average, about:1 in 18 (B) x 23 (I) x 23 (F), or say 1 in 9, 952 books.
The chance that the other needed letters would fall in the required sequence between the ends and the centre letter may be estimated by those who care for such exercises; so also may be estimated the chances on the capital F of "Frownes." We may safely content ourselves with the chances here shown on the three letters B, I and F, in the positions where we find them.
Our conclusion can be expressed in
very few words, and can be verified by anyone.
It is simply this: He who suspects Francis Bacon to the author behind the name of the actor William Shakespeare, and also suspects that the poet has signed and concealed his own name in his folio, can easily prove the correctness of his suspicion by the simple method of spelling in the manner described in this chapter, between two given points for the selection of which we have ample warrant in history.
In a mechanical sense the trick of Francis Bacon is as precise, and as definite as that of Francesco Colonna, and as inevitable.
There you have the complete statement of William Stone Booth in his book, The Hidden signatures of Francesco Colonna and Francis Bacon, which provides the refutation of everything Booth had to say about this book, including complete directions for deciphering the acrostic, plus some interesting comment on the public reaction to his former book, Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon.
Before I make any comment about Friedman's butcher work on Booth as regards this acrostic, I include the complete acrostic as given by Booth in the book presently under consideration.
Booth includes in this book some extravagant fold-out diagrams that are too long to include here. Suffice it to say, they represent all the first lines of all the plays in one long row, with the acrostic letters prominently shown. So, in lieu of these diagrams, I include the alternate diagram as it is given in Some Acrostic Signatures, which book includes none of the information given here. That is why I have had to resort to extracting all this material from The Hidden Signatures of Francesco Colonna and Francis Bacon.
Now, in the instructions given by Booth above, he failed to include a very important part of the information, although he gives it at the beginning of Diagram D. This acrostic is very demanding in its design. One looks, as usual, for the next initial letter. But, further, there can be no initial letter that is the initial that will be next sought. In other words, B is the first letter, so nothing comes before it. The next A is the next letter looked for, but there can be no initial C which is the next letter after the A, before arriving at the A; Then, after finding the A, we look for the next C, but there can be no O before arriving at the C; then, looking for the O, there can be no initial N before arriving at O; then looking for the next N, there can be no initial I before arriving at the N; then, looking for e final I, or O as the case may be, since nothing follows, any letter can appear. I suppose it is clear enough to say that the necessary letter which follows the next letter, cannot appear. And, of course, it doesn't.
Now, please refer to Figure 6, taken from Some Acrostic Signatures, Page 523. In the chart of all the lines of the plays which appears below, I indicate the letters of both of the acrostics as they are found in the first lines of the play. Further explanation is given with the chart, Figure 6.
Figure 6 explanation : The bold capitals are for use reading the acrostic from the top for BACONI ()), and from the bottom for FRANCISCO (I). The lower-case bold letters are for reading BACONI(O) (i)ocsicnarf or francisco(i) (0) INOCAB straight through from the top or the bottom. Some of the letters are set in both Capital and lower-case, which simply means that they are used for reading in both directions. One can see that if the lower bold italic I in "Imperiall" were not there, and the lower-case bold italic, the acrostic could not be read in so many directions. This is a very rare accomplishment in acrostic design. A real lesson! Study it.
Reading the lines in Figure 6, please remember that they are to be envisioned as one long line, so to find the letters of BACONI, every line is read from the left to the right. In looking for the letters for FRANCISCI, start at the end of the "long line" and read back, reading every line from the right to the left.
As Booth explains about Diagram C above, the acrostic may also be discovered by reading straight through from the left, spelling BACONI ICSICNARF for the Latin genitive (possessive) case and BACONO OCSICNARF for the ablative (by) case. This took some brilliant enciphering work to pull off.
Also, note that both of the O's stand on each side of the central I, each one in the opposite word.
A little clarification about Bacon's name. His birth was registered at St. Martin's in the Fields as "Franciscus Bacon." So actually, his real name is Franciscus, a Latin name. But of course, he always used the English Equivalent. However, for the purposes of these acrostics, and apparently for other purposes at other times, he also Latinized the name Bacon, to become Baconus. Thus, in declining the name, Francisci Baconi is the genitive or "possessive", and Francisco Bacono is the ablative case, indicating "by".
I now pick up my spear and prepare for my final assault on Elizebeth and William Friedman.
These two people recognized no boundaries to their deceit, and brooked no pangs of conscience. Intellectual honesty was an inconvenience not to be considered. The first thing they do is accuse Booth of undermining the Colonna book, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in order to serve his own purposes. Of course, you have read Booth's comments on this book, and you know that Friedman was lying. This was just their way of inculcating a deep prejudice against Booth and the Baconian Cause.
They then launch into a description of Colonna's book, which was slanted to conform to their intentions. They make a special point of saying that the large decorative initials that begin each chapter stand out clearly. Well, of course they do. They are beautiful. Being a little redundant, I repeat Booth's paragraph describing the initials:
As the chapters or sections of Colonna's folio are not numbered, and as they do not begin on pages by themselves, but wherever the previous section ends, the sequence of the first initials of the chapters is not noticeable as it would be if each chapter began on a clean page. Their arrangement is further obscured from view of the casual reader by the use of three very different designs of woodcut, and by the fact that one of the designs is made in two sizes. The folio also contains many other beautiful woodcuts of all sorts and sizes, so that the initials themselves are not obtruded on the view.
Friedman writes (page 124):
Anyone who looks at the original text can very easily see what a distorted picture this gives. Booth, as if stricken by conscience, proceeds to qualify his own argument by remarking that "the hidden signature seems to have been known as early as 1512", that is, only thirteen years after the work first appeared. (This is all the more surprising because, in his earlier book, he has already asserted that the message was not found until "long after publication".)
Well, I made it my business to look at the original text. In fact, through interlibrary loan, I looked at all three available reproductions of this book, including the English translation of about 1626. One of the facsimiles I received was an exact duplication of the 1499 original, and the other a present-day resetting of the whole book which also included a separate section of commentary, none of which, unfortunately, I could read, of course, it being in Italian. The original book is written, according to Booth, in "macaronic" Italian. I had to look up the word "macaronic", and discovered that it means "pidgin". Pidgin Italian? I don't think so, but maybe it is. Actually the preface states in plain old common, ordinary, everyday, run of the mill Latin that it is written in the Local Tuscan dialect.
But I am here to tell you that Booth was being absolutely honest in his description of this book and his reasoning that the decorative initials, though very beautiful, would not have attracted the attention of the reader to the point that he would remember from chapter to chapter what the previous initial letter was, considering the nature of the illustrations which were sure to capture the reader's eye.
First of all, the book is absolutely beautiful, being a wonderful example of a master typograpaher's work, and illustrated with very many really beautiful woodcuts, often on every page, sometimes two or three on a page. And, just as Booth stated, the chapters do not start on a new page. They follow the end of the previous chapter on the same page, when space permits. There are indeed sometimes as many as two of these illustrations very near the large decorative initials.
Friedman stated (in the extract above) that the initials stand out clearly from the rest of the text. Well, yes, they do. But Booth didn't say they didn't. Booth said that the sequence of the initials in not noticeable, and it isn't. This is a book of several hundred pages, and the initials are all many pages apart, and there are many of these illustrations falling between the initials. And, take it from me, these illustrations would certainly command the attention of the reader, as you shall now learn.
Now, at the risk of being accused of being indelicate, I shall tell you about these illustrations. This book, being (I am sure) an allegorical exposition of the Old Religion, that is, paganism, it is chock full of pagan symbolism, grapes and wine, satyrs, animal sacrifice, and many illustration of a phallic nature such as the ancient Greek Priapus statue, including one beautiful full page illustration which would even be considered "shocking" today, and which I don't dare reproduce here. One of the illustrations shows Leda, lying back with her dress pulled up, being mounted by a swan, this being a representation of the old legend of Leda and the Swan. I am sorry not to be able to reproduce any of these really beautiful old woodcut illustrations. But if you could see this book, look at the decorative initials and the woodcuts, I know you would agree with what I say.
And I suppose the Friedmans would try to tell us (if they had been honest abut teh illustrations) that such illustrations would not be enough to distract the reader away from noticing the message spelled out by the decorative initials. But I can assure, they would.
Friedman, commenting on Booth's attempt to explain "the typographical trick by which Francis Bacon put his name to the first folio of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedie has several points in common with that which was used by Francesco Colonna." Friedman remarks (page 126)
. . . This argument relies on a groundwork of exaggeration and tactful omission.
Omission? These people have the temerity to accuse Booth of omissions? Talk about hypocrisy! And anyway, what is a "tactful omission"? Their omissions of Booth's instructions are almost total. As you have read Booth's explanation, you know that he is being very honest about the comparison between the two cipher systems, and he exaggerates nothing. This is one out of many instances where Friedman quite simply used dishonest rhetoric just in order to criticize Booth.
Friedman goes on and on with totally ridiculous complaints that Booth's system doesn't use the first initials of each play, as Colonna's uses the first initials of each chapter, or section. They complain that Booth has to skip so many letters before he finds the right one. I guess they think their readers don't know enough to guess that Colonna skips thousands of letters before putting in the right one. Friedman always complains that there is no exact number of words between the letters of Booth's system. I suppose they would be happy if there were exactly 350 words between each of the letters. In Bacon's cipher system, it is the irregular spaces between the letters that makes ciphers all the more difficult to detect. Remember, these acrostics remained hidden for about 400 years before they were discovered by Booth! And he discovered them only because he studied sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cryptology in order to do so! Further, The Colonna acrostic was discovered only a few years after the book was published! I have no doubt whatsoever that the Friedmans knew enough to discover these acrostics if they had been Baconians. So, even though they denied it, they were definitely Stratfordians.
I would say here, that if there were such a restriction as "every 10th word" or "every 25th word" to be adhered to, and that the system should require reading the words or letters all in the same direction, the beautiful freedom of Bacon's cipher system would be lost.
Friedman informs us that there are exactly 264 words in all the first lines of the plays together, and that Booth
selects the necessary fourteen as he please, according to no definite scheme whatever.
Here again we have their accusation : "According to no definitive scheme." Just as in the previous signature we studied, Booth, as always, uses the first and most important rule : Hey! THE NEXT LETTER. THE N-E-X-T L-E-T-T-E-R! And again, it seems Friedman never learned to count. There are fifteen letters, not fourteen, in FRANCISCI BACONI.
And, of course, you now have all the material necessary to check it out for yourself. Booth very carefully, very meticulously, spelled out the procedure in the long extract quoted above. The directions immediately follow the "N.B." above. Please do work it out for yourself, understand it and increase your ability as a Baconian cryptographer.
Friedman continues on for another page being insulting and, once again, resorts to hypocrisy, saying that Booth is downright dishonest by saying that this Bacon signature is as inevitable as the Colonna signature, sneering at Booth by saying that his "discovery" (in quotes) is not inevitable, and that Booth is concerned only with finding the letters he needs to create a signature, one way or the other. Again, they err. It is absolutely inevitable that the decipherer working on these acrostics will arrive at the pre-determined point if he follows the rules as laid down by Booth. And then, again, they dig out the old saw: anyone looking for signatures can find any name at all (anywhere) with all the initial letters he has at hand.
First we note that Friedman doesn't show us how, or give us some example of any these names one can find just anywhere.
Second, I am quite sure they are absolutely right, if one were as dishonest as they are, and ignore the rules. Certainly. Using no rule, one could encipher Gone With The Wind by searching initial letters, or finals, the Friedman way.
On page 128, Friedman continues to run down Booth and his other books, including Subtle Shining Secrets, another collection of marginal acrostics found in the capital letters at the beginning of lines in the 1623 Folio. I have already pointed out two of them above in the Epilogue from The Tempest. I shall end The Great Refutation by showing you a few of these, with Booth's explanations.
However we must give the Friedmans,a smiling handshake of gratitude. Not only because this refutation(The Great Restoration of Truth) is going to shock an awful lot of people into reconsidering the Baconian cause, but also for the fact that they did us another favor. They brought attention to another acrostic in a Matthew Arnold poem that I had never heard of. I present that acrostic here. It is of the "Subtle Shining Secrecies Writ in the Margents of Bookes" type. With Friedman's comments, I include it here with a commentary by Professor Pierre Henrion in the March, 1960 issue of Baconiana.
Acrostics in Matthew Arnold's "Merope"
and Ben Jonson's "On Cheveril the Lawyer"
Concerning such acrostics, Friedman comments that these acrostics rely very much on anagramming, abbreviation and "Latinization". . . . that such acrostics can be found in almost any volume of poetry, a stupid and demonstrably false statement. In the following example, they commit a really wonderful faux pas! They give this example, and it's one of the very best examples of acrostics anywhere! They didn't even consider the text of the poem! Professor Henrion's comments follow the stanza of the poem, which they present as an example of how the name BACON could just fall by chance into a marginal acrostic! This is really incredible!
Friedman writes, (Page 129) :
For instance, Matthew Arnold's Merope reveals, in six consecutive lines, a double Baconian signature, reading in opposite directions, with a minimum of anagramming:Claims ever hostile else, and set thy son
NO more an exile fed on empty hopes,
And to an unsubstantial title heir,
But prince adopted by the will of power,
And future king before this people's eyes,
CONsider him! Consider not old hates!
Booth, for all his searching, found only one or two examples as impressive as this. But we are not putting forward the claim that Bacon concealed his "signature" in the poems of Matthew Arnold; rather, it should be plain that the character of the English language is such that there is a good chance that the name BACON will appear quite fortuitously.
Here is Professor Henrion's succinct comment on this stanza quite sufficiently proves how blind Friedman was :
As an example of chance giving a double semi-acrostic, the Friedmans quote six lines of Matthew Arnold's Merope giving c,no, a,B,a,con (an almost symmetrical diptych). But was this pure chance? Here are the lines. (Here he quotes the poem, as above.)
The authors conveniently ignore the obvious "clues" in the text: an exile fed on empty hopes and future king in this people's eyes consider him, consider not old hates . . . Who is the heir to an unsubstantial title? What queenly mother fed him on empty hopes? What is that WILL of power? What mysterious tribe is "this people" whose eyes "consider" him? What are these old hates to be forgotten? Indeed, whatever solution we adopt, there are other things in those lines which make one stop suddenly to "CONsider him!" and to reflect that chance plays no part in this excellent acrostic palindrome.
Probably our authors wanted a quiet laugh at their readers, otherwise their sense of practical probability would have made them flee this double acrostic like the plague; for the possibility of this combination occurring by chance is remote indeed. Brother Matthew (or shall I say "Brother Merope?" after performing this little pas de danse, one step forward, five steps backwards as some present day dancing-masters will still understand was doing his little ritual observance, bowing low in the direction of Mecca; and it is no wonder that he was able to work such wonders, since Oxford professors of poetry are sometimes among the happy few at the top of the "star-ypointed" pyramid. Silly, if you wish, but the semi-acrostic system has been used.
Another wonderful example of an acrostic spelling Bacon's name in the Capital letters on the margin was left to us by Ben Jonson. This is extracted from the Rev. Walter Begley's Bacon's Nova Resuscitatio, VOL. II, p. 170, whose commentary follows the Epigram :
On Cheveril the Lawyer
NO Cause nor chent fat, will Cheveril leese,
But as they com on both sides he takes fees,
And pleaseth both; for whoe he melts his grease
FoR this; that wins for whom he holds his peace.
Here we may read FRA. BACON by using the capitals
at the head of each line of the epigram, and by beginning at the last
line and reading upwards. The letter O at the second place of the
last line is a null, and therefore non legitur. I hold this to
be an evident intentional cipher allusion, and cannot accept
the plea that it is mere chance or coincidence. The odds against such
an allocation of letters being unintentional are enormous; and
besides this, it is clear that a lawyer is meant, and also one who
had threatened Jonson with Star Chamber processes for libel, as we
see from the other epigram on Cheveril (LIV). Now, Bacon suits both
these requisites, and when we find his name written into the epigram
as above, it amounts to nearly a certainty that he was the man
I had not noticed this letter cryptogram when I quoted the epigram in Is It Shakespeare?, p. 92, but a contributor to Baconiana tried afterwards to get Bacons name in a rather mixed up way from the pure acrostic of the epigram and the first letters of the title On Cheveril the Lawyer, and I at once saw FRA. BACON much more clearly from the epigram alone. I hold this and the B. FRA or FRA. B. of Lucrece to be unimpeachable.
Summing up, Friedman refers throughout to
Booths system. I am sure that you by now understand
that Booth did not invent this cipher system. It was used by Francis
Bacon himself, and he was probably the originator of the
system. Booth simply discovered it by studying cryptological
techniques of the Seventeenth Century. He himself is careful to state
that this was the case.
Friedman repeats ad nauseum that Booth permits himself to use the initial letters of words anywhere. Not so! Booth teaches us to take the next necessary letter in its proper course, not from just anywhere.
One of their main complaints is that Booths method permits any amount of letters, great or small, to be between the necessary letters making up the acrostic. They are of the mind that it should be every tenth letter, or the first letter on each line, or the first letter of the second word of each line or some other unfailing mathematic procedure. This greatly complicates making the cipher, and, further, leaves it open to very easy detection. Actually, Bacons method is superior. Through the simple expedience of using only four basic rules, one can easily put a cipher into any poem or piece of prose. These four simple but inviolable rules are:
1. The first and last letters of the acrostic, or the name to be enciphered, must appear as prominent letters, usually as the first letter of the first and last lines, or the last letter of the first and the last line.
2. The designer of the acrostic decides whether initial letters of the words, the final letters, all of the letters or all the capital letters are to be used for the acrostic.
3. The next letter rule always applies. Starting with the first prominent letter of the acrostic, the decipherer always looks for the next necessary letter, and following this rule, he will inevitably arrive at the final promi- nent letter
4. The decipherer must, through trial and error, discover the designers procedure. For instance, did he intend for the acrostic to be read straight through, from beginning to end? Or was the acrostic designed as two parts, starting from the bottom and going up to the middle, and then starting again at the top and going down to the middle? Decipherment is not easy work.
In a maddening disregard of the rules of the
method, Friedman deliberately set forth to deceive the world. They
are the ones who pick and choose letters from anywhere in order to
prove that the method doesnt work. This is more
than amply proved in their treatment of the acrostic in the Epilogue
to The Tempest, and especially in their rendition of the
acrostic in the Threnos, where they not only deliberately
deceive their readers by giving the wrong information about the
acrostics, in spite of the fact that they always had Booths
book at hand, and by deliberately creating a false illustration to
prove that Booth didnt follow his own rule of using
initial letters, when, in fact, Booth, in the Threnos
acrostic, instructed the reader to use every letter in the
poem! This kind of dishonesty was Friedmans unfailing,
determined procedure, and they made the most of it, ignoring
Booths instructions throughout. When one thinks about it, one
realizes that had Friedman observed the rules as meticulously set
forth by Booth, they could not have written this Chapter in their
Friedmans other determined procedure was ridicule and insult, completely reversing the true facts about Booth. With disdainful insults, they traduce this really fine scholar and make him look like a nutty con man trying desperately through any means to convince people that what he had to say had some real value.
Indeed, one needs to read this whole book in order to understand and experience! the vicious intent of the Friedmans in writing this book. Their traducement of William Stone Booth in this manner is their constant approach throughout all 328 pages of this book, which is an insult to honest scholarship. All of their victims are traduced in the same manner, especially Ignatius Donnelly. These people displayed no intellectual honesty and no true scholarship in this book. They were simply intent on undermining the Baconian Cause, and through the use of deception and hypocrisy they succeeded for two generations!
They have now been completely exposed, and I am honored to be the one who has done it!
Subtle Shining Secrecies, Writ in the Margents of Bookes
WE turn now to Booth's last book on acrostics, Subtle Shining Secrecies. This book is a collection of many marginal acrostics found in the 1623 Folio. They crop up sometimes two or three on a page, although, of course, quite a few pages without any acrostics fall between the pages with acrostics.
In this Part III of The Vindication of William Stone Booth, I shall choose quite a few of the best acrostics, with full explanation of where they are to be found, and will include Booth's explanatory remarks.
There must be hundreds of these things throughout the Folio. I have discovered several that may not have been discovered before. At any rate, they are not included in Booth's book, and I haven't run across any of them in any other book..
The technique is very simple. Simply read the letters, whether capitals or lower-case, beginning each spoken line, and read the name, or short phrase, in any one of several languages, including Latin. for example, Here I repeat the Fifteenth Stanza of The Rape of Lucrece, from which Booth took the name Subtle, Shining Secrecies. It is in this very stanza that the young poet, Francis Bacon, was teaching his readers what to look for in his works. I have necessarily transcribed the Elizabethan English into modern English characters. Booth's explanation follows:
This is Device 3 in the book.
THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.
But she that neuer cop't with straunger eies,
Could pick no meaning from their parling lookes,
Nor read the subtle shining secrecies,
Writ in the glassie margents of such bookes,
Shee toucht no vnknown baits, nor feared nohooks,
Nor could shee moralize his wanton sight,
More then his eies were opend to the light.
Device No. 3. The Fifteenth Stanza of The Rape of Lucrece tells us that Lucrece could not read the subtole shining secrecies writ in the glassie margents of books, etc. The stanza itself offers a play in the margin in illustration of the statement by the poet. It may be approached by the B.C.N.U.S., which resembles in method the name of P.N.T.G.R.L. used by Rabelais for Pantagruel. It may also ben seen as an equivoque, in Bu.Co.Nus. Baconus. followed by NoM. or Name. The title of this collections is taken from this stanza, as it clearly shows us that William Shakespeare was informed on the marginal tricks, hooks, baits, etc.
Still other Baconian authorities think that the B Co N indicates Bacon, and that the W S indicate William Shakespeares initials, and the No M indicate the Latin word for name, everything taken together meaning B Co N uses W S as a No M, or something like that. However you look at it, this stanza from Lucrece was the beginning of the acrostics, and gave us specific instructions on how to find them!
My intention in Part III is to extract a few of the most interesting marginal acrostics from the Shakespeare plays, but the following, which is not a marginal acrostic, is one of the most amusing, based on he famous story of Sir Nicholas Bacons judgment upon a poor devil named Hog. The following is the first marginal acrostic in the 1623 Folio, being in column 1 of The Tempest. Note that is is shaped like an inverted gallows. It is Device 10, page 67.
houre, if it so hap. Cheerely good hearts: out of our way
I say. Exit
Gon. I haue great comfort from this fellow: methinks
he hath no drowning marke vpon him, his complexion
is perfect Gallowes : stand fast good Fate to his han
Ging, make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our
Owne doth little aduantage: If he be not borne to bee
Hangd, our case is miserable. Exit.Enter Boteswaine
Bote. Downe with the top-Mast: yare, lower, lower,
Bring her to Try with Maine-course. A plague
A Cry within. Enter Sebastian, Anthonio & Gonzalo.
To Column 2:
vpoN this hov
or our office:
giue ore and
DEVICE No. 10 exposes a subtle shining secrecy writ in the margent of The Tempest, at the foot of the first column and on the word unnecessarily carried over to the second column. The form of the first part of the device is in an inverted gallows, and it expresses the words hang-hog, a nod to the observant. It will be noted that by misplacing the stage directions after, instead of before, the words A plague, and by unnecessarily carrying over the word upon to the next column, the name of Bacon has been exposed on the typographical corners of the first column.
The gallows form may be connected with the story reported by Francis Bacon himself as having occurred in a law court when his father Sir Nicholas Bacon had condemned one Hogge to be hanged. The prisoner pleaded with Sir Nicholas that Hogge and Bacon were ever kindred, and that the one should not condemn the other to death. Ah, but you forget, said Sir Nicholas, that before Hogge becomes good Bacon, it must be well hanged.
The wit in the remark not only depends on the need for smoking the Hogge, but also on the Hog-Latin of the pun in suspendere meaning to hang, which when cut into its sound components gives Sus, and pendere; Sus, a pig, and Pendere, to hang. Hence Mistress Quicklys assurance that Hang-Hog is Latten (hog-latin) for Bacon, I warrant you. It is hardly necessary to point out the double entente of the text on which the gallows is to be seen. The boatswaine is intended in time to become well hanged, or in other words, to become good Bacon: as he does actually by the completion of the typographical device, which I have rubricated for the readers guidance.
The reference to Mistress Quickly is to The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 4, Scene 1. The conversation is between Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, William and Evans. Evans, at Mistress Quicklys request, is testing Williams knowledge of Latin:Mist. Pag. Sir Hugh, my husband saies my sonne pro-
fits nothing in the world at his Booke: I pray you aske
him some questions in his Accidence
Eu. Come hither William; hold vp your head; come
Mist.Pag. Com-on, Sirha; hold vp your head;an-
swere your Master, be not afraid
Eva. William, how many Numbers is in Nownes?
Qui. Truely, I thought there had bin one Number
more, because they say ods-Nownes
Eua. Peace, your tatlings. What is(Faire) William ?
Qu. Powlcats? there are fairer things then Powlcats,* * *
Eva. You are very simplicity oman: I pray you
peace. What is (Lapis) William?
Will. A Stone. Eva. And what is a Stone (William?)
Will. A peeble.
Eva. No; it is Lapis: pray you remember in your
Eva. That is a good William: what is he (William) that
does lend articles.
Will. Articles are borrowed of the Pronoune; and be
thus declined. Singulariter nominatiue hic, hac, hoc.
Eva. Nominative hig, hag, hog: pray you marke: geni-
tive: Well, what is your Accusative-case?
Will. Accusatiuo hinc.
Eva. I pray you haue your remembrance (childe) Ac-
cusativo hing, hang, hog.
Qu. Hang-hog, is latten for Bacon, I warrant you.
Eva. Leaue your prables (oman) What is the Foca
- tive case (William)
Will. O, Vocatiuo, O.
Eva. Remember William, Focatiue, is caret.
Qu. And thats a good roote.
Eva. Oman, forbeare.
DEVICE No. 33. (Merry Wives Lee. p. 71) This device is without an acrostic, so far as I can see. It is a play on William who is told to hold up his head. The head is shown by Mistress Quickly, it is written in hog-latten, base metal, or pewter, and it repeats Sir Nicholas Bacons joke recorded for us by Francis Bacon in his Apothegms
Following is Device No. 11, page 69. It is an acrostic of the gallows type, that is, it is shaped like a gallows, sometimes upright, sometimes reversed. Taken from the second column of the first page of The Tempest, there are actually two acrostics in the column. I include both, but I omit part of the column of text, for brevitys sake.12.
Did neuer medle with my thoughts.
Prof. Tis time
I should informe thee farther: Lend thy hand
And plucke my Magick garment from me: So,
Lye there my Art: wipe thou thine eyes, haue comfort,
For thou must now know farther.
Mira. You haue often
Begun to tell me what I am, but stopt
And left me to a bootelesse inquisition,
Concluding, stay: not yet.
DEVICE No. 12. (Tempest) . . . We are about to learn who is the author of the play. It is a question of personality and paternity. Prospero is the Father of Miranda, but she is to be informed farther. After this equivoque follow the acrostic DIAL, the face of the watch. The poet is winding up the watch of his wit, bye and bye it will strike. Prospero divests himself of his magic garment, his amphibalum. He lays it aside with the remark Lye there my art. He is now in his proper person. The equivoque, or pun, on farther is repeated. For thou must now know farther. At this point the watch of his wit strikes and the poet makes the acrostic device.F You see here the name of the poet, on a gallows,
This initiates the observant to his name. The watch of his wit has struck, and the play proceeds. The name part of this device has, I am gold, been published already, but without its connection to the word Dial; etc.
The mention of the name Amfibalum in Booths explanation of No. 12 above, refers to Prosperos Magic Garment, or cloak. Now this refers directly to Francis Bacon, who concealed himself behind a cloak. I here reproduce only the last of the two acrostics in this Device No. 36, the other one, further up the column, PIANA, being, according to Booth, the Italian for plain, clear, intelligible, also mild, benign. Booths comments follow the acrostic.36.
And he that might the vantage best haue tooke,
Found out the remedie: how would you be,
If he, which is the top of Iudgement, should
But iudge you, as you are? Oh, thinke on that,
And mercie then will breathe within your lips
Like man new made.
Ang. Be you content, (faire Maid)
DEVICE No. 36. (Meas. for Measure Lee. p. 85) The acrostic PIANA is Italian. It means, plain, clear, intelligible, also mild, benign. You read the preceding and following text and you will se that the word may apply to the character and action of Isabel. It may also refer to the next acrostic which is the name AnFIBAL. This is another name for StAlban, the proto-martyr of Great Britain. Its meaning came from the story of StAlban who threw his cloak over a fugitive Christian who then escaped the soldiers sent to kill him during the persecution by one of the Roman Emperors. Alban who was killed was thus sacrificed by means of an exchange of garments. The town named StAlbans from which Francis Bacon derived his title was formerly named Verulam, and was the scene of the tragedy of the amphibalum. The word Amphibalum gave the name Anfibal to the Saint. The relation to the acrostic and the obvious meaning of the text is plain. The name of the poem follows the acrostic, and is called to your attention by the bad pun on Maid, and made: thus
Ang. Be you content, (faire Maid)
Be-y----con----, f. made. The revelation of the name by the equivoque is startling in connection with the name of the saint. Bacon, F. made. Or, F. Bacon made; or fecit, or invenit.
DEVICE No. 16. (Tempest ) An acrostic containing two gallows forms, on I am, and so. I AM SOO SAD. . . . The poet appears to sigh over the human imperfection of women. (Ed. note: Only the lines of the acrostic are given here.)Did quarrell with the noblest grace she owd,
And put it to the foile. Butyou, O you,
So perfect, and so peetlesse, are created
Of euerie Creatures best,
Mir. I do not know
One of my sexe; no womans face remember,
Saue from my glasse, mine owne; Nor haue I seene
More that I may call men, then you good friend,
And my deere Father: how features are abroad
I am skillesse of; but by my modestie
The following acrostic is a direct comment on the feelings of Egeon, who, condemned to die, has been searching for his youngest son, who went to find his brother. Poor Egeon, beset by many misfortunes, and condemned to die is explaining his situation to the Duke of Ephesus. Booths comment follows the acrostic. I have not included all of the text in Booths illustration.44 - 45
I hazarded the losse of whom I loud
Five Sommers have I spent in farthest Greece,
Roming cleane through the bounds of Asia.
And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus:
Hopelesse to finde, yet loth to leaue vnsought
Or that, or any place that harbours men:
But heere must end the story of my life,
And happy were I in my timelie death,
Could all my trauells warrant me they liue.
Duke: Haplesse Egeon whom the fates haue markt
To beare the extremitie of dire mishap:
Now trust me, were it not against our Lawes,
Against my Crowne, my oath, my dignity,
Which Princes would they may not disanull
My soule should sue as aduocate for thee:
But though thou are adiudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recald
But to our honours great disparagement:
Yet will I fauour thee in what I can;
Therefore Marchant, Ile limit thee this day
To seeke thy helpe by beneficiall helpe.
DEVICE Nos. 44-45: (Comedy of Errors) The first is a name device not unknown today, of dividing a name like Robinson into O. N. Robins. This acrostic is FRA HOBAC. A thin disguise for FRA. BACHO. Moreover if the enfolded letters are observed you have the name FRAn BACon. The device turns upon the idea of wanting a baby. It is disguised by alternate direction and the use of the word My, WANT My BABY. (Ed. Note: It seems to me that Booth missed a point here. Egeon is desperate to find his youngest son, and it is he who wants his baby.)
Following are a few examples of Bacons marginal signatures as found in the 1620 Folio. The are included in Subtle Shining Secrecies, but except in one or two cases, there is no need to include Booths comments.
The following signature examples are in a form that is repeated several times in the Folio. Note the structure. I give only four illustrative examples:
In the following acrostic, the BAC reads down, and on reads back up.
Mar. By this I thinke the Diall points at fiue:
Anon Ime sure the Duke himselfe in person
Comes this way to the melancholly vale;
The place of depth, and sorrie execution, etc.Booth No. 49, -The Comedy of Errors
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson Rose,
And on old Hyems chinne and Icie crowne,
An odorous Chaplet of sweet Sommer buds
Is as in mockry set. The Spring, the Sommer,
The childing Autumne, angry Winter change
Their wonted Liueries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knowes not which is which;
And this same progeny of cuills,
Comes from our debate, from our dissention,
We are their parents and originall.-Midsommer Nights Dream
Booths comment here: Possibly there is to be taken into the device the word By. By BACon. The line: We are their parents and originall. is illuminating.
I dont know if I am the first to find this
acrostic or not. It is not in Subtle Shining Secrecies, and I
have not been able to find it anywhere else.
In several of the acrostics in the 1623 Folio, the word For, or From, precedes or follows the name Bacon. The o, in terms of ciphers and acrostics, is a null, or sort of a wild card. It can be ignored. Thus, we have the abbreviated name of Francis: Fr. in both of the words For and From. In the following case, it follows the name Bacon.
Also, note the sense of the text, referring to Bribes (capitalized).
Brutus is speaking:
But for supporting Robbers: shall we now,
Contaminate our fingers, with base Bribes?
And sell the mighty space of our large Honors
For so much trash, as may be grasped thus?-The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act IV
This last one is another of my possible discoveries, It reads from the bottom up. The text on these lines is quite telling, considering Bacons indomitable spirit. Cassius is speaking:
Nor stonie Tower, nor Walls of beaten Brasse,
Nor ayre-lesse Dungeon, nor strong Linkes of Iron,
Can be retentiue to the strength of spirit:
But Life being wearie of these worldly Barres,
neuer lacks power to dismisse it selfe.
If I know this, know all the World besides,
That part of Tyrannie that I doe beare,
I can shake off at pleasure.-The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act I
One day, fifty years ago, at the age of 20, I
discovered the Bacon/Shakespeare controversy while browsing in the
Gates Memorial Library in my hometown, Port Arthur, Texas. I found a
first-edition two-volume copy of Ignatius Donnellys The
Great Cryptogram, and was immediately entranced. I checked the
books out, took them home and, at that time, found the cryptogram
completely fascinating, but too difficult to attempt. But the first
volume of the work had a great influence on me.
Everybody seems to think that The Great Cryptogram deals solely with a cipher in the plays of Shakespeare. Not so. The first 500-page volume is one of the very best exposés of the Baconian theory anywhere. Donnelly was, in fact, one of the most convincing exponents of the Baconian theory, and this book should be read by all Baconians.
Anyway, from that time to the present, the Baconian Theory has been an endless fascination to me, but through the years I didnt do much about it except a little reading. Since my retirement in 1994, I have begun a very serious study of Baconian material and have made wonderful discoveries. Now, completely involved, I want to share some of these discoveries with everyone, especially high-school and college students. These are the people that will carry the Cause to its successful conclusion, and I want to do everything possible to help them. Indeed, it is a new lifes direction for me.
For the past several years I have been increasingly disturbed by the Stratfordian tactic of resorting to insult and vilification in order to fight off the hated Baconian Cause. They have adopted these tactics because there is no other way they can counter it.
They have completely ignored the awesome scholarship of many fine Baconian scholars, such as Americans Dr. Nathaniel Holmes and Ignatius Donnelly, and British scholars such as Alfred Dodd, M.P., Dr. W.S. Melsome, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.S., , the incomparable Rev. Walter Begley, Mrs. Henry (Constance) Pott, Harold Bayley, and oh, so many others. It is my intention to make as much of this material as possible available to the Young Schollars of the Universities of the world.
After reading Thomas Babbington Macaulays unforgivable essay, Lord Bacon, I got so upset that I made a thorough study of his life. I learned a lot, and it is what I learned that started me on my new vocation.
After that, in reading books written by Stratfordians and several of the innumerable biographies of Shakespeare, which are nothing but fantasy fiction, (as non-Baconian Prof. S. Schoenbaums book, Shakespeares Lives, informs us) the evidence of Macaulays influence was very evident. Since Macaulays day, all educators, writers of textbooks and supposedly honest scholars have looked to Macaulay as the best source of information about Francis Bacon. This is a great tragedy a terrible loss not only for England but the whole world that the outright fabrications of such a man as Macaulay should have such a lasting devastating effect on the reputation of Francis Bacon, Englands immortal son, and one of the very greatest geniuses of all time! It is now time for honest scholars to return to the material now available and to write truthful biographies of Francis Bacon, and rectify old misconceptions.
Now, please turn back to the press releases, PART I, §2 , read the press notices again, and have a good laugh. These notices are the absolute proof that Elizebeth and William Friedman duped everybody, from their publisher, Cambridge University Press, their very capable editors and to book reviewers of some of the most prestigious publications in America. They must have been very proud of themselves, and must have had many private laughs about it. As Francis Bacon wrote about lying, Their minds just didnt turn upon the poles of truth, . . . There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. . . .
And, in the matter of Shakespearean ciphers and acrostics, that is the unfortunate legacy of William F. and Elizebeth S. Friedman: :
This Appendix is a resetting of the entire Chapter IV, Method, and Chapter V, Practical Specimens of Acrostics and Structural Signatures of William Stone Booths Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon. The sample acrostics following the instructions have not been included here. Anyone desiring to study Bacons cipher system as presented by Mr. Booth will find complete instruction herein. Anyone who wants to find further evidence of the full refutation of the erroneous claims made by Elizebeth S. and William F. Friedman will find all they want to know in these two chapters.
Serious Baconians should study these chapters very carefully. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this information has been published since the first publication of the book in 1909. With so much controversy about the hidden acrostics in the works of Shakespeare, it is most important to be intelligently conversant with the subject. Of course, there are a lot of people who dont want this material published. Further, there are those who, desirous of furthering their own cipher systems, or their own authorship claimants, shall no doubt loudly denounce it. However, this book proves the existence of the enfolded signatures of Francis Bacon, as well as the fact that Mr. Booth did, indeed, discover Bacons cipher system in the works of W. Shakes-peare.
Footnotes are set immediately following the paragraph in which they fall instead of at the bottom of the page.
Unless all the acrostic signatures in the book are accidents, we must regard them as the means by which Francis Bacon, his brother, or his confidential servants placed an identifying mark upon works for which their author wished not to appear to be responsible before the world at large. The same remarks must hold for Ben Jonson, John Milton, and the rest. This supposition I use as a working hypothesis.
Where an acrostic occurs in a complimentary verse, I leave it to the common sense of the reader to determine to whom and by whom the verse was written.
The device is simply that of a hidden acrostic, the end letters of which are hidden and follow one another in their proper sequence from one visible end to the other visible end of the acrostic.
The word sequence is here used by me for the sake of convenience. The mathematician will not justify the use of the word series, for the component figures of a mathematical series must bear a definite relation to one another. In this method of Bacons, the letters of the string, between the first and last of which is placed an acrostic, need bear no definite mathematical relation to one another. Chance may govern their position. Evidence that design has been exercised is seen in the fact that by placing your pencil on the first letter of the string you can predict the position of the final letter of the acrostic.
The features of this scheme, or trick, are as follows:
(1) Having surveyed what you have written, you choose a prominent or an appropriate place to begin, and an equally prominent or appropriate place to end your acrostic.
(2)Your choice of places for beginning and ending will, as a rule, be determined by the ease with which the acrostic can be adapted to the words at the corners of the stanza, poem, column, page, or series of pages.
(3) It is often easy to change a word at the corner, or in the text, in order to fit the acrostic to the place chosen.
(4) The places naturally chosen for a signature are: the dedication, the preface, the so-called printers preface or address to a patron or the reader; the first page or the last page but one. Sometimes there is a signature both at the beginning and at the ending of a piece. Sometimes also, and this is very often the case, one half of the acrostic will run from one corner of the text and the other half from an opposite corner, and they will be made to meet in the midst of the text, on the same letter, thus, we may say, keying the cipher to the same letter.
(5) You will not read your acrostic into the text following its meaning as we now do, from left to right; but you will read alternately from left to right, then right to left, to the one hand on the first line, so the other hand on the next line, and so on, until you have completed your name. This affords you the facility that comes of treating your text as if it were a continuous string of letters. (See examples on pp. 49, 51.) Hence I shall always allude to this method as a string cipher.
(6) You may apply this string cipher to (a) initials; (b) terminals, i.e. letters beginning and ending a word; (c) terminals of all whole words and partwords, i.e. parts divided by a hyphen; (d) all letters in the text; (e) outside letters of a page or side of a page; (f) initials outside of words of a page, or side of a page; (g) capitals.
(7) Whichever letters you choose to employ, initials, terminals, all letters, capitals, outside letters or initials, the method of employing them is the same. It is this:
Having settled upon your visible ends, you follow your acrostic in the lines of the text, in alternate directions as if the letters were on a string, until it ends on the letter on which your have decided as the visible end of your acrostic.
If you are dealing with the outside letters or initials only, of a page, you naturally read in one directions only. But if you are dealing with the lines of the text, and, say, with the initials of the words, having the point of departure, you follow the lines in alternate direction as if the letters were on a string (ignoring all letters but initials). Suppose you wish to insert the name Frauncis Bacon: you begin your acrostic with an F prominent as the initial of a cornerword, and then seek the next initial R, then the next initial A, and so on until you have come to the end of your name, which must be the letter N prearranged as the visible end of your acrostic. If it will not so fall, then, if you are the cipherer, you must use your skill as an editor and so change a word here or there as to force the end of your name to fall on the letter that you have prearranged to be the visible end of your acrostic. You will be able to do this in many cases by changing the position of your R, or your O, or any one or two of the words the initials of which you find in your way.
(8) A very little practice will enable you to see with how much ease this can be done with no loss of beauty, or change of metre, or sense, in your composition.
(9) Often in making a cipher you will find it easy to begin independently from opposite ends of the acrostic and force your cipher to key itself on a given letter which may be found standing handy in the midst of the composition. For instance the Latin ablative Francisco, if spelled from one visible end, and the word Bacono, if spelled from the other, can be readily made to meet on the same letter O.
(10) I have considered an acrostic as keyed, not only when arranged as just described, but also when it begins at a monogram or letter at one corner of a block of type, stanza, page, column, etc., and ends at the monogram or letter at the other end of opposite corner; but it must be so considered also when it runs from the first letter of the first word of the last line.
(11) When dealing solely with capital letters of one font, I have considered the acrostic as keyed when it runs from end to end of the side of a page: also, when it runs from the initial of the last word of a book to the initial of the first word of the same book, as is the case with the book entitled Of the Coulers of good and euill, a fragment. Also, when it runs around the outside of a page and meets on two adjoining letters. Also, when two different acrostics lead to the same letter.
(12) You will find that some of the signatures in this book have been found where some seemingly accidental double entente in the text made the place chosen by the cipherer peculiarly appropriate. For instance, signatures will be found to key from opposite ends of a column, on the initial N of the word Name or on the O in owner. Or, immediately under the line, There to all Eternity it lives. Or, on the line next to My hand is ready to perform the Deed.
In some of these cases, as if a line might easily have been written with the purpose of giving the name a half humorously chosen place, depending on the double entente of the text.
(13) Another ingenious and very simple method, to which we have already alluded, is that of using the outside letters of a page. Still another, a variant of the foregoing, is that of using the initials of all the outside words of a page, or of a poem. A good example of this trick is seen in Ben Jonsons poem, To the memory of my beloved The Author, in the First Folio of Shakespeares Plays, a facsimile of which is shown on page 324. A remarkable example of this trick is in the address To the Great Variety of Readers, facsimiles of both of which are given on pages 312 and 321.
(14) As a working hypothesis I shall suppose that the cipherer has been governed in his choice of a place in which to insert his name (or on which to make his acrostic meet from opposite corners) by any of the following circumstances: (a) That the page is either at or near the beginning or end of the work to be signed; (b) that the accidental fall of the letters is auspicious, or can be easily made so; (c) that the word or lines carry a double entente which can be turned to account.
I shall also suppose that when the cipherer has taken advantage of an auspicious fall of the text in other than the usual places for a signature, he has marked the place by a wrong pagination or by some other such easy way to enable him to put his hand on it.
(15) Although this method might be discovered to, or by, a contemporary like Jonson, Hall, (See Part II.) or Marston, it is of such a nature that no direct charge of authorship could be made on the strength of it. The satirists might write epigrams of caustic moral or literary criticism, but they could not name their man without laying themselves open to a prosecution for libel, if the man they satirised by innuendo was powerful, and held that the reputation for the authorship of the satirised works would have injured him in his career. For the defendant to have proved that the complainant signed his name in this acrostic fashion would have necessitated some such laborious work as this of mine.
Acrostics in poetry, so we learn in the encyclopædias, are a kind of composition the lines whereof are disposed in such a manner that the initial letters make up some persons name, title, motto, or the like. The word is derived from the Greek, at one of the extremes (Latin, summus, or extremus), and a line of writing, or a verse.
There are also acrostics where the name or title is made up by the initial letters of inner words, or the last letters of the final ones; and other acrostics which go backwards, beginning with the first letter of the last verse and proceeding upwards.
In these costermonger times we have come to regard ourselves and our learned leaders as very serious persons, and to be shocked when we catch a Pundit gambolling along the bypaths of intellectual recreation. The truth is that many of us, malgré nous, are prigs, and walk through life with our heads in the clouds, stooping sometimes to earth to get a little good and to attend to some practical duty. We who have this habit of mind are wont to look askance and to cough when we find a fellow Olympian winking to himself over something that has amused him below the level of his nose.
Many of the modern encyclopædias class this clever and, in its day, useful art of acrostics, among the puerilities and the literary triflings of men who should have been employed more profitably. At some future time similar critics in similar encyclopædias may regret the time wasted by ourselves over the game of bridge, or in writing verses in difficult rimes.* What we are prone to regard as puerilities, because we do not always understand the purposes of which they served in bygone times, have fared like many activities once identified in the imagination of the Puritan with the vices of the courtly life of his time.
* . . . Rime being no necessary adjunct or true ornament of
poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the invention of
a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame metre; graced
indeed since by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away by
custom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to
express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse, than else
they would have expressed them. (Milton in his preface on the
verse in Paradise Lost. Edited by Masson, 1882.)
The use and exercise of this skill in acrostics is of great
antiquity. Cicero tells us1 that the Sibylline oracles were written
in a kind of acrostics. The Greeks cultivated the art, and so did
their intellectual successors, the Latins. The arguments of the
comedies of Plautus contain acrostics on the names of the respective
plays (Encyclopædia Britannica), and Ben Jonson himself
has used the same device in the versified argument which precedes his
own play, Volpone.2
1 Non esse autem illud carmen furentis, ,cm ipsum poema declarat, (est enim magic artis et diligentiae, quam incitationis et motus) tum vero ea quae dicitur, cum deinceps ex primis versus literis aliquid connectitur, ut in quibusdam Ennianis, [quae Ennius fecit]. Id certe magis est attenti animi, quam furentis. Atque in Sibyllinis ex primo versu cujusque sententiae primis litteris illius sententiae carmen omne praetexitur. Hoc scriptoria est, non furentis; adhibentis diligentiam, non insani. (De Divinatione, lib. II, § liv.)
2 See page 3
A rude form of acrostic is to be found in the Holy Scriptures, for instance in twelve of the Psalms, hence called the Abecedarian Psalms, the most notable being Psalm cxix. This is composed of twentytwo divisions or stanzas, corresponding to the twentytwo letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Walsh, Literary Curiosities.)
We learn from the Dictionnaire Universel (Larousse) that L acrostiche passa avec lusage de la langue latine chez les ècrivains des premiers siècles de lère chrétienne. Il fleurit au moyen âge dans les cloîtres; il occupa lesprit des poètes de la Renaissance, qui en augmentèrent à lenvi les difficultès. Aujourdhui lacrostiche est à peu près abandonné et lon traite volontiers de laborieuses niaiseries, nugae difficiles, tout ce qui ressenble à ce jeu desprit.
La Grande Encyclopèdie also says that On appelle acrostiche une poésie faite de telle sorte que les premières ou les dernières lettres de chaque vers forment, par leur réunion, un on plusieurs mots généralement des noms propres. Les premies ou dernières lettres, composant le mot ou les mots quon a pris pour sujet, sont disposées verticalement, de telle façon que le nom mis en acrostiche se lise du premier coup dil.
Mais les acrostsiches sont parfois plus compliqués; certains poètes ont augmenté en faisant répétér à la fois aux premières et aux derniès lettres des vers le mot proposé. Dautres sont allés plus loin et ont fait des acrostiches triples, quadruples, quintuples, reproduisant le mot un nombre, quelconque de fois, souvent de la façon la plus bizarre, ferticalement, horizomtalement, en diagonale, en forme de croix, etc. . . . Nos poètes du moyen âge et de la Renaissance ont laissé de nombreux accrostiches latins et français: ce sont eux surtout qui se sont évertués à faire, en ce genre infiniment secondaire, des tours de fource dune ridicule bizarrerie. A cette époque, il arriva très souvent auz poètes de se servir de lacrostsiche pour cacher loeur propre nom, ou bien encore le nom de quelque maîtresse à laquelle ils addressaient leurs vers.
V. In Middle English, v is commonly written u in the MSS., though many editors needlessly falsify the spellings of the originals to suit a supposed popular taste. Conversely, u sometimes appears as v, most often at the beginnings of words, especially in the words vs, vse, vp, vnto, vnder, and used as a prefix. The use of a v for u, and conversely, is also found in early printed books, and occurs occasionally down to rather a later date. Cotgrave ranges all F. words (i.e. French words) beginning with v and u under a common symbol V. We may also note that a very large proportion of the words which begin with v are of French or Latin origin; only vane, vat, vinewed, vixen, are English. (An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, Litt.D.)
The distinction now made by typographers and writers between U and V, I and J, was not firmly established until after Bacons day, either in capitals or in the lowercase. The capital V was often used for the capital U at that time, but the use of a capital U for a capital V was not common. The same usages of course applied to the contemporary manuscripts.
The letter y at that time, and for some time afterwards, was occasionally used in the place of the letter I in such words as tyme = time; ayre = air; lyon = lion, and in many others.
For our purpose it is not necessary to call the readers attention to other peculiarities of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century typography. Those which I have mentioned are those which concerned out work.
Wherever V or U, v or u, fall between the a and the n in the acrostic figure of Frauncis or ffrauncis, I have included them in the spelling. They may sometimes be passed over without spoiling the spelling of Francis, or ffrancis, as the name was sometimes spelled.
I have found that for acrostic purposes a line of type is treated as a line of letters, and that it is sometimes the case in verse that a word or two has been carried up to the line above, or to the line below, as for instance in the following lines:
Ant. Favours? By Ioue that thunders. What art thou,
Thid. One that but performes (Fellow?
The word which is carried over belongs to the line on which it stands typographically; and in reading for the acrostic it must be read with that line.
I have found that for acrostic purposes the abbreviated names of characters are not used in the acrostic spelling, except in very few well-defined instances to which I have called attention in their places.
I have found that for acrostic purposes the stagedirections are not used (with the few exceptions noted in their places) in the acrostic spelling; but, and this is most important, the lines of stage directions are to be followed in their proper order, although their letters do not count in the acrostic.
In reading acrostics we must remember that a line of type is to be regarded as a row of letters, regardless of their meaning. If the acrostic is to be read on the initials, the spacing of the words will give you the initials. If the acrostic is to be read on the terminals, the same convenience is derived from the spacing of the words. If the acrostic is to be read on the capitals, it would not matter if there were no spacing of words, and the same is the case if the acrostic is to be read on all the letters of all the words. If the acrostic is to be read on the first letters of the several lines, it does not matter if there is but one letter to a line. Typographically speaking, a single letter between an upper and a lower line of type is ipso facto a line of type in itself.
Throughout this book I shall take it for granted that each reader had taken the trouble to master thoroughly the foregoing features of the method. If in the following pages I have unwittingly been obscure, it will be easy to refer to this chapter.
Those who follow me with the books themselves should use the first known editions, especially in prose. In verse it is sometimes possible to read the acrostic as well in a modern as in a first edition. As a rule, however, the habit of modernising the spelling, or of carrying over a line to fit a narrow column, will prevent the reader from following the acrostic. Another reason for using first editions is that in them it was customary to use capital letters of extraordinary size in prominent places in a verse or a page. These large capitals are often used by the cipherer as marks or pointers to draw the attention of the illuminati to the hidden name of the author. Acrosticmakers called them Leaders.(See page 88.)
In one or two cases I have been unable to obtain photographs of first editions; for instance I have used Haslewoods edition (1811) of the Partheniades, which were not printed until their appearance (1788) in the second volume of the Progresses, from the Cotton MSS. I have also been obliged to content myself with Begleys transcripts of A.B.s sonnet in Englands Helicon, and of F.B.s dedication in Palladis Palatium.
It must be borne in mind that when the cipherers main object is the insertion of a cipher, the matter containing the cipher is of secondary importance. In that case the obvious meaning of a passage containing a cipher is, or may be, chosen or designed to allay suspicion; so that when the text has no apparent indication to suggest a cipher, the absence of suggestion by no means indicates the absence of a cipher. The cipherer relies safely on the fact that the reader will fix his attention on the obvious meaning of the written matter, and that he will therefore not suspect the hidden, or secondary, meaning of the arrangement of the types of which the matter is composed. The more obvious the meaning, the more easy it is to insert a cipher without arousing suspicion.
The ciphers or acrostics which I have discovered reverse the order of intention described above. In each case the acrostic is of secondary importance, and was put into the composition after it was written, and, so far as we can judge, for the purposes of identification, or for a personal satisfaction. Thus the writing was done free from all restraint and with little thought of the name that was to be inserted after its completion, or when it came to be printed.
Surprise will be expressed that a poet should take so much time to put his name to his work in such a manner. The reply to this implication is to suggest that the reader practise with his own name on a column of the first magazine which comes to his hand. He will find that it takes but three or four minutes to insert his name from one corner to another, and to modify the words without interfering with the meaning of the text. In other words, it will take about as much time as it takes to write out a cheque and sign it. He can key his cipher to the centre if he choose, by arranging it so that it runs from opposite corners to a letter in the middle of the column. This takes very little more timbale.
There is no need to suppose that the poet himself inserted all the signatures. Any one of several competent servants could have done it for him.
PRACTICAL SPECIMENS OF ACROSTICS AND STRUCTURAL
Most of the devices which now follow are acrostics, which may be plainly visible, like the specimen on page 55; or hidden, like the specimen on page 59. They may be partly hidden and partly visible, with enough of the acrostic in sight to spur the suspicious or conversant to find out the method by which the gaps may be filled in. The structural signatures in Part II are acrostics of this latter kind.
At the risk of repetition let us give the steps again.
Instead of exposing the whole name, as in the Walsingham specimen on page 54, suppose that the first and last initial letters are exposed, respectively on the upper and lower right or lefthand corners of a stanza or distinct block of prose, the rest of the letters of the name being allowed to run through the stanza and to fall on the initial letters of any word they will. Then all that a cipherer has to do is to see that the name begins, for instance, on the top lefthand corner at the bottom; he can change any intermediate word, and ensure the result by the use of the string cipher method.
Bear in mind that when you are dealing with initials, you deal with no other letters but initials. The rest are nulls, for the nonce.
Bear in mind that when you are dealing with all the letters, you are not dealing with initials only. So also in the use of terminals and capitals.
A little care will soon develop facility.
Note. In a few places I have deemed it necessary to frame the text with a set of short pointers to alternate lines, so that the reader may follow my hand with the least possible trouble. In some cases, for the same reason, I have underlined the words or letters involved in the ciphers. It is my wish that each reader shall satisfy himself that each signature is to be found where I say that it stands; so I have not made marks on most of the facsimiles. Each reader may do this for himself
When I use graphic figures, I treat as straight lines
all signatures which run from opposite point to point. Their actual
direction is, of course, often zigzag, but I have deemed it best to
show the line of least resistance. The same rule holds
good when the acrostic starts out from a corner and keys
itself back again to the nearest letter on the same corner of the
text from whence it set out. Here the zigzag line of the circular
figure will be graphically shown as a plain circle from
point to point.
Let us now look at a few ciphers of which ours in a simple variant. For instance : The hidden letters of a name may be made to fall in the text in a definite mathematical sequence, as in the prose example from Selenus, shown on page 63. This method is difficult, and not suitable for a signature such as we have in mind, because it controls the composition even more than does the Walsingham example on page 54. It would take a long stretch of text to enable the writer to make a signature with ease.
The most skilful signature that I have seen, based on this method of the early cipherers, is that of Poe, shown on page 69, in which he puts the name of Frances Sargent Osgood.
The method of inserting a message into a nonsignificant text, by a system of mathematical sequence, was common, and as many changes can be rung upon it as the cipherer chooses. They all can be easily detected, however, by a competent decipherer.
As Francis and Anthony Bacon were familiar with ciphers, they might easily have discerned the ease and secrecy which would come by discarding the mathematical sequence in favour of a sequence with limitations imposed only by the length of the text itself. As thus:
B A C O N
B C A D C P O H N
B R C A K D C N P O S H N
B A R C A K D C B N P O S H N
B B A A A R C A K D B C B N O P O S H N
Here it is evident that if you seek the next
letter in the name in its proper sequence, you will spell
Bacon in each of the above lines. Now imagine each of
these letters to be an initial of a word and see the result when the
method is applied to a piece of my own composition on page 59.
Now note what happens when a letter is allowed to stand in the wrong position:
In correct position
In wrong position
By allowing the O to follow the K we have spoiled the cipher: that is, we have prevented it from running from the visible end B to the visible end N.
Now note what happens when we remove the first C:
The cipher runs out correctly again: but it could have been rectified as easily by removing the obstructing O.
Note also that it by no means follows that the acrostic will read both forwards and backwards. To make it read both ways, forwards and backwards, it must be designed so to read.
The reader will readily see that the name could be thrown on an entirely new set of letters by the removal of the A; and that the change of a single letter might easily obliterate the name or cipher.
Here we have the letters in a string. Suppose that each letter is the initial letter of a word; then in order to keep them in a string all that was necessary was to fall back on the zigzag method of writing used by the early Greeks (already alluded to), and described by William Blair in the article on Ciphers in Reess Enclopaedia, the simplest and most meaty article on the subject that I have yet seen. The Chinese today write in the same way, but up and down; and Cicero, in a metonymical sense, uses the word Exarare, meaning to write on a tablet; i.e. to plough back and forth over the field.
This string or zigzag order will give an acrostic on initials, terminals, capitals, or all letters in the text, and running alternately with and against the sense of the text or composition, and absolutely independent of its meaning.
The following strings of letters show how a string of initials, etc., may read forwards; backwards; forwards and backwards; forwards but not backwards; backwards but not forwards; at the will of the cipherer.
(a) Forwards (to the right) and backwards (to left). Spelling NOCAB.
(b) Forwards but not backwards. Spelling NOCAB.
(c) Backwards but not forwards. Spelling NOCAB.
(aa) Forwards and backwards. Spelling BACON.
(bb) Forwards but not backwards. Spelling BACON
(cc) Backwards but not forwards. Spelling BACON.
The letters are shown as if they were strung on a string, and keyed from and at different points. (Ed. note: In the illustrations below, Booth drew dotted lines to the right, curving down to the line below, and then back to the left, etc. These are here represented in a different way, using the signs as used in Setting The Record Straight. Just follow the directional arrows, looking for the next letter.)
1. Left to right
> - F - R - A - U - N - C - I - S - B - A - C - O - N - >
2. Upper left F to lower right N.
> - F - R - A - U - - N - >
< - B - - S - - I - - G - <
> - A - C - - - O - - N - >Frauncis Bacon
3. Upper left B to lower left O.
> B - - - A - - - - C - >
< - - - - - - - O - - - - <
> - - - - - - - - - - - - >
< O - - - - - - - N - - - <Bacono
4. Lower left F up and back again to lower left N.
< B - - - - - - - - - - S <
> C - - - - - A - - I - - >
< O - N - - - - U - - C - <
> F N - - R - - - - - A - >Frauncis Bacon
5. Upper left F down and back again to upper left O.
> F - R - - - - - - A - - >
< O - - - C - - - - - N - <
> - - I - - S - - - O - - >
< - C - - A - - - - B - - <
> - - - - - - - - - - - O >
The reader will observe that it does not matter how many letters may fall between the letters of the name, so long as they are not allowed to interfere with the spelling of the name itself, from point to point.
It must be remembered that the string cipher method (as I call it for convenience), which Bacon used, is not less definite in its aspect as a series of letters than is the method of the cipherer who uses such a series, say, the initial of every second word, or the initial of every fifth word. In Bacons method, we find that he uses, say, the first F of the first line, then the next R, then the next A; and so on. The next is, mathematically, precisely as definite in sequence as the second. Bacon does not use any following R, and the any following A; but he uses always the next R and the next A, etc. The results is than as certain as a stated mathematical sequence, when you remember that the sequence begins and ends on two fixed points.
It is also worth remembering that a mathematical series is no less subject to chance than the limited alphabetical sequence used by Bacon, though at first sight it seems to be so. The one is as susceptible of being produced by design as the other. For instance; it is possible that if you were to empty on the floor a bag containing a million figures, they might by chance so remain on the floor that they would exhibit a regularly formed multiplication table up to 5 times 10. But it is not within the bounds of imagination that the same figures again thrown down, with the same lack of design, would yield the same or even nearly the same results. There is a chance that they would, however.
The curious in such matters of chance may be interested to know that William Blair, in his article on Ciphers in Reess Encyclopaedia, gives a table which was prepared by the British Admiralty to show how many transpositions may be made of an alphabet of 36 letters for signals. (Mentioned on page 47.) I reproduce here four rows of figures showing, respectively, how many times 10, 16, 24, 36, letters may be transposed.
16. 20, 922,789,888,000
The mind refuses to grasp these figures, and a mathematician alone could tell us how many chances are against two identical transpositions turning up when no design has been exercised.
To return to our specimens, let me say that I have prepared a few mathematical and other acrostic ciphers to show that a mere tyro at the work can make them in a few minutes. I have also wished to show the reader how easy it is to force even the most delicate of all common poetic forms, the Sonnet, to receive one of Bacons acrostics twenty odd years after the poem had been written, with no forethought of such treatment. Let me again remind the reader that the specimens of acrostics and structural signatures in this chapter have been given to enable him to form an idea of the long period during which such literary devices have been used. The specimens will also enable the reader to practice his hand and eye in several acrostic methods before he begins to read Part II, containing the signatures of Francis Bacon, and others, which it is the purpose of this book to set forth for the first time.
We will set out with the definition of an acrostic as it is given in Murrays A New English Dictionary A short poem (or other composition) in which the initial letters of the line, taken in order, spell a word, phrase, or sentence. Sometimes the last or middle letters of the lines, or all of them, are similarly arranged to spell words, etc., whence a distinction of single, double, or triple acrostics.
This definition is correct except in saying that an acrostic is a short poem. Witness Boccaccios lAmorosa Visione, which is a very long example.
Kenneth Patton (January 9,1929-July 20, 2002)
comments on the text can be sent to Lawrence Gerald