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The Shakespeare/Bacon Controversy Arthur M. Young BROADSIDE EDITIONS TM
The Shakespeare/Bacon Controversy Arthur M. Young BROADSIDE EDITIONS TM




Arthur M. Young

The Shakespeare/Bacon Controversy Arthur M. Young BROADSIDE EDITIONS TM


The Shakespeare/Bacon Controversy Arthur M. Young BROADSIDE EDITIONS TM


:" -:;· Liter aru




, · , : , :" -:;· Liter aru ■ I :tll mg ot human nature,

mg ot human nature, the au- thor was well educated and familiar with the subtleties of court life. Therefore, from what little is known of William Shakespeare, it is difficult to conclude he could have written the work. At the sam~ time, ca~eful t;xamination of the life of Francis Bacon supports a hundred year old theory that Bacon was true author of Shakespeare-something vehemently denied by academic scholars. However, for the con- cerned individual, the question is not who was Shakespeare, but who was Francis Bacon? Once this is addressed, Bacon's authorship of Shake- speare is quite plausible and the entire body of his work becomes 'a gate to the esoteric' that illuminates ancient mystery and broadens modern consciousness.

A graduate of Princeton University, Arthur M. Young, developer and designer of the Bell heli- copter, is the author of The Reflexive Universe, and The Geometry of Meaning, and founder of the Institute for the Study of Consciousness in Berkeley, California.


ISBN #0-931191-05-X




Arthur M. Young





Copyright © 1987 by Arthur M. Young All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any informational storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper or broadcast.

Published by Robert Briggs Associates Box 9 Mill Valley, California 94942

Designed by Mark Ong First Broadside Edition 1987

ISBN 0-931191-05-X

•., ---------------

EDITORS NOTE: The following interview was derived from extensive discussions conducted by Faustin Bray at the Institute for the Study of Consciousness in Berkeley, California in March of 1983.

Faustin Bray: Of course, we've all heard that there is a Shakespeare/ Bacon controversy-about who and what happened around the plays that Shakespeare wrote. What can you tell us? Arthur Young: The authorship of the plays that were attributed to Shakespeare is generally referred to as the Bacon/Shakespeare contro- versy or the Shakespeare/Bacon controversy. What have you heard about it? FB: Various inklings, you know, rumor that a controversy exists. AY: What's your instinctive reaction to it? FB: I feel sometimes that it's just sort of academics' sour grapes. Somebody says, oh, Shakespeare couldn't have written all of those works. But lately, I've become more interested. Can you give some insight into what's going on here? AY: Well, the Shakespeare plays are the most monumental piece of writing-I was going to say in all English literature-but I think it is safe to say it's the most magnificent creation of work in any language. Excepting, perhaps, the Bible. Yet there is a great mystery around the man Shakespeare, very few facts are known. It's known that there was such a person who lived at Stratford, and who was a wool merchant, also an actor and, at a certain point in his life, he got enough money to purchase some land. That's about all that's known about Shake- speare. FB: Where have you searched out your-

to purchase some land. That's about all that's known about Shake- speare. FB: Where have you



AY: Of course from my own study and from books, from people. I haven't gone to England to research this but many people have. There are no manuscripts of the plays; the only thing they have in writing are signatures to deeds, and even these have been questioned. They are thought to have been written by clerks rather than Shakespeare, so he may not have been able to write. But that's only part of the problem. The thing that most people react violently against is a comparison of style of- FB: -of what? AY: The work of Bacon and Shakespeare. FB: Oh, I see, but what I want to know is why is it that you were even interested in the idea that there was a controversy? Isn't it a long way away from the development of helicopters and paradigms? How did you get there from here? AY: Well, ever since I read Shakespeare I have been puzzled that a person could write so easily about court life and kings, queens and all the intricacies of the court, and what the various dukes or personages said. It's obvious that it had to be someone who had direct access to that world. Of course Bacon was very close to Elizabeth. As a high chancellor- and he had various other titles-he was intimate with the court life. FB: So that's how Bacon gets into the picture. AY: I think that's one reason. There are a whole lot of ways we can go about this, but the Bacon theory started with a woman named Delia Bacon, no relation. She was an American and a student of Bacon's known writings in which he described the four idols. The idol of the cave. The idol of the stage. The idol of the marketplace. And the idol of the tribe. Bacon also said in his writings that it would be a good idea to have plays to represent these abstract ideas so it occurred to Delia Bacon to apply this to the plays of Shakespeare. The idol of the cave she identified with MacBeth because the idol of the cave has to do with superstitions. You remember how MacBeth consulted the witches and got into trouble because of this supersti- tion. The idol of the theater is typified by Othello, because the theater is the outward shell and Iago catches Othello by the circumstantial evidence, like dropping the handkerchief and various things which make him suspect Desdemona of being unfaithful. In other words, his whole complaint against Desdemona, which led him to murder her, was circumstantial and based on jealousy provoked by the idol of the tribe, a purely theatrical show. I think the most interesting representa- tion is the idol of the marketplace by which he deals with the common




or rational mind-the idol of the intellect, as we call it. Delia Bacon thought this applied to Hamlet. Remember Hamlet hears the ghost tell about his father's death, and he treats this in the scientific manner. He says we must have a test to find out if this is true. So he has the play within the play to catch the conscience of the king. But in making this test, it lets the cat out of the bag and gives the king knowledge that Hamlet knows. Of course that leads to trouble. He doesn't find out. The king finds out about his knowing. This is like the observer disturbing what's observed; it's the fallacy of trying to scientifically prove that things come from within. FB: Then, tell me, if Shakespeare was a wool merchant, and an actor on the side, or an actor at that time, then where would he get this kind of information? And wouldn't somebody have thought toques- tion this a long time ago? AY: This is one reason for the popularity of the Bacon theory, a number of people have thought about it, including people like Mark Twain. I think it was Mark Twain who said-but it's typical-"! can't reconcile Shakespeare with the work accomplished by the writer of the plays." There has been a great deal of scholarship gone into both sides of this issue. One of the things that has convinced me the most is that those who believe in Shakespeare don't seem to have the same kind of knowledge of facts and the depth of perception. They're mostly denying Bacon because-well-most people don't think so, therefore it isn't true. Shakespearians are very defensive, often very superficial in their treatment of what is put out by Baconians. For example, here at UC Berkeley, Wadsworth wrote a book The Poacher from Stratford, critiquing the Baconians. And there must be a least a dozen or so examples of different theories and ciphers. Wadsworth takes more time to deal with the ones that are obviously phony, and treats the ones that should be treated seriously almost not at all. Now you can get freaks in any subject. In the Library of Congress I found a book about the sonnets, you know it's always been a mystery who was the dark lady of the sonnets. FB: Right. AY: Well, this book attributes the dark lady to alcohol, and it turned out the writer of this was alcoholic. Now if I were to pick this as a sample of Shakespeariana, I could make a fool of them. FB: Yes. AY: So if you pick the right examples you can always make a fool of any issue.





FB: Yes, so, now give us an idea of why Bacon is the favorite creator. AY: As I said about Delia Bacon, she was the first to identify him as the author on the basis of this similarity between the idols of different kinds and the plays. She went over and tried to convince Carlyle of this but Carlylewould have none of it. However, it did start the ball rolling. There were some earlier references too, but they are quite obscure. The Delia Bacon work came somewhere in the middle of the 19th Century. Then came this fabulous Ignatious Donnelly. He was quite a character. He wrote a book about Atlantis that was very popular, and he was a Congressman from Montana. He wrote this enormous book, some 900 pages, on a cipher he allegedly worked out from the plays of Shakespeare. I don't know whether or not to get into that. We could get to it later. Subsequent to that there was a Doctor Owen in Rochester, New York, who on his rounds went over in his mind all of the Shakespeare works. He'd memorized the whole of Shakespeare. Then someone told him he had memorized a modern edition and suggested he should go

to the folio, the first complete edition of the plays. So he went back and did it all over again from the folio. And during the course of his




he got the impression that there was a cipher in it. And a

line 'begin in the middle' struck him. So he counted the middle page of the folio but it wasn't right. And then he counted the middle word, and it wasn't right. Then he started in the middle, because it's divided in three sections-I think it's comedies, histories and tragedies-and he began in the middle, that is to say with the histories, King John, and found this line saying, "Thus leaning on my elbow I begin." So he took that as the beginning and from there he took off and wrote about six books of cipher that he worked out from the folio, and from other things. I'll get to that later. I'm coming at this in a rather-well I'm doing it historically now. Anyway, the cipher began with instructions to the decipherer. It said to take all the works of Shakespeare and the works of Peele, Marlow, Green, Spencer and Burton-authors whose names Bacon often used-and put them on an enormous canvas belt so that it could be wound up this way and that way in order to search for different passages. Let me get back to that later. In any case he wrote what I think is the most important cipher in the whole field. He had as an assistant, a woman named Elizabeth Wells Gallup who read in the published works of Bacon a chapter on ciphers in which Bacon described his biliteral cipher. It refers to use of letters with two






different fonts, two different shapes, or two sets of letters. It was in the folio that Gallup discovered that the italicized letters in the text

contained the biliteral cipher. And in deciphering the biliteral cipher

Gallup found instructions for the word cipher, the one that Owen did. When she took this to Owen he was furious. He didn't want any more confusion going on. He fired her. FB: Oh, no! AY: And poor Elizabeth- FB: -after she did all that? AY: Right. Well, she went right ahead and did more of the word cipher herself and a lot of biliteral cipher which was excellent stuff. The two of these make up the two major ciphers and were the ones that most impressed me. Both of them are of excellent literary quality, and that's how I judge things. Rather than facts. If a thing really hits you below the belt and you really feel moved by it, it must be written by someone who knew what they were doing. It wasn't just made up. I think it was around 1934 that my mother told me about what she knew of the Bacon theory. A friend of hers, a Mr. Atkinson, had been in touch with a group in Boston who were quite interested in the problem around 1910 or 1915. There was an interested literary circle there. But, you see, this is the problem. There has been almost no organized study of the thing. I mean there are people like myself who are interested, and there are other people who have found what they think are ciphers. One of them is Walter Arensburg who had the very good collection of paintings in Hollywood, California. They even- tually went to the Philadelphia Museum. But Arensburg himself had found a very strange cipher. In order to do it, you had to first decipher all of Dante and then you could get clues to go on. As I say, there are a number of other ciphers, but the word cipher found by Gallup and the One Dr. Owen found are the two that I would like to talk about. (As a matter of fact, if you're not careful this can open up a whole new can of worms because it appears from the cipher that Bacon was not Bacon. So not only is Shakespeare not the author, but Bacon is not Bacon. But let's not get into that now.) FB: I'm interested in this cipher question. What is the point of a cipher? What is being said, and what goes on there? AY: In this day and age we're too far away from it, but in Bacon's time all the communications were by writing and these communica- tions had to do with court issues and they were generally in ciphers, otherwise someone could find out what was going on.




FB: Secrets. AY: For instance, Mary, Queen of Scots, in prison in Scotland was communicating with the French king about conquering England and displacing Elizabeth. Well, it was essential to Elizabeth to find out about this and she had people deciphering these messages. Of course it ultimately led to Mary, Queen of Scots, being beheaded. You see, big issues hinged on ciphers. And Bacon himself was an expert at it, as his own chapter tells in his Novum Organum. There's a long chapter on ciphers. FB: What was his position in the court? AY: He was very close to the queen, a Lord High Chancellor, a Chief Justice, so on. Of course there was rivalry with other factions. This was going on both underhanded and overhanded and the cipher thing was part of the picture. FB: Secret communications. AY: Right. FB: Well, who do you suppose was being communicated with. I mean what would the work of Shakespeare have to do with this? AY: Why should there be a cipher? FB: Yes. AY: What was brought out by Owen's word ciphers was that there were a number of other plays-not published-which you could get by deciphering Shakespeare. FB: So they were plays within plays. AY: Right. The cipher plays were to tell the true history of the times. Take for example the one about the tragedy of Essex. Essex tried to usurp the throne, had a sort of rebellion, ultimately was tried and sent to death. Now that whole story has never been known. What is very curious here is that the Earl of Essex, a mere earl, should attempt to take over the throne. There is nothing in English history that would allow that. They don't allow just anyone to come along; there had to be a valid title. But it turns out in this cipher play that Essex was the son of the queen and she, having advertised herself as the virgin queen, was planning to arrange a marriage with Philip of Spain. She kept up this business of being a virgin until she couldn't go back on it. As a matter of fact, letters have been found in the archives of the Spanish court from the Spanish ambassador in England telling Philip that Elizabeth had had two sons. This is historical fact. So there are different ways of getting at this.




But I was talking about what one can read in the ciphers. There is another cipher play about Mary, Queen of Scots. In that there was a lot that went on to get her beheaded. Elizabeth didn't actually sign the ultimate document, someone forged her signature, but it went through anyway. This was all brought out in the cipher play. Another one was about Henry VIII. Now, there is a play of Shakespeare's called Henry VIII, but it doesn't tell the gory details that this other does. The cipher play is called Ann Boleyn. It tells much that isn't in Henry VIII. What impresses me the most is that with the knowledge of the cipher plays you can explain the irregularities, or incongruities, in the Shakespeare plays, of which there are many. For example the cipher tells you that in order to write a cipher play- remember we had this enormous canvas-well, you look for things that are similar. One of the similarities is maskers coming to a party or to a ball. In Henry VIII the maskers come in disguised as Russians, but it turns out that it is Henry, the king. This is in the cipher play Ann Boleyn, and I think in the regular play Henry VIII. The point is that there are maskers at a party and if you remember Romeo and Juliet, there are also maskers at a party. FB: Right, for intrigue. AY: But you have those two plays with maskers. And in it Romeo asked, "who is that fair lady." This is before he meets Juliet. In Henry VIII, Henry asked the chancellor, "who is that fair lady." Then there is a lot of dodging- "a woman if you saw her in the light," -things like that. He finally gets the answer, "it's Sir Thomas Boleyn's daughter." Then says Henry to the chancellor, "I were a fool to take you out and not to kiss you." That's the end of scene. And that's a discrepancy! They just leave it out of modern editions. But that's a hint to the decipherer to go to the other play and join on the conversation he has with Juliet. When he says, "I were a fool to take you out and not to kiss you," Juliet replies, "my lips, though several, are not common." A wonderful byplay of conversation which is obtained by joining these two plays. All of these passages fit together like stones cut for a particular building. It's things like that, and I could mention more, but they become very convincing when you see they are built into the plays and make it possible to join these sections together to make another play that makes sense.




I've thought of another one. You remember the scene with Romeo, they start to go home and Capulet says, "More torches here. Gentle-

men I have a trifling foolish banquet served in the next chamber." But if you went to a party and there was a banquet, you would think they

would go to the banquet, but they all go

something. They leave. Now in the play Macbeth, there is the same line when Fleance escapes. You remember, Macduff is ambushed and killed. And Fleance escapes, and they are asking for "more torches here." They repeat this line. And the next scene is the banquet where they sit down and Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, who he had killed. So you see there was enough to keep me busy. I worked over the years trying to figure the cipher out. Mind you, I haven't been doing original ciphers, but just following the play that was deciphered by Elizabeth Wells Gallup-in her book, The Tragical History of Anne Boleyn-gives an index and shows where passages came from. With Gallup's book you can look at a passage, find the connecting words and the key words. The connecting words tell you how the passages join together. The key words tell you that this passage goes into this play, and so forth. FB: Why are there so many plays to begin with? There are so many. AY: That was the thing that first impressed me. Whoever wrote all these plays about English history must have had very strong motiva-

to some other party or

tion to want to thoroughly cover the field. If he were just writing to get money, he would have picked subjects more at random. He wouldn't

have tried to make a consistent history

English history. And when you consider the plays of other authors, Marlowe, Peele, Green, you have all the kings of England. FB: Now what kind of a style would you say is throughout? Whose style is it? You're saying that Bacon wrote and we don't know that Shakespeare wrote at all, so do these plays fit Bacon's style? AY: The difference in style is one thing that worries most people. They immediately think of Bacon as a rather pedantic writer and philosopher, whereas Shakespeare is a playwright. Then again, Spenser has a totally different style. He's another one of the authors that's included. There is no question that their styles are different, although some are similar. Marlowe is so similar that many au- thorities say Marlowe wrote part of Shakespeare or Shakespeare wrote parts of Marlowe. FB: Do you think there could be more than one author?

a series of plays on


' I

used different key words for these secret plays-cipher plays-the key would indicate which author to go to next. The one indicating "go to Bacon" was "pedant." Perhaps he was trying to be pedantic in his published works, so no wonder people see a difference in the styles. But if you read Bacon carefully, you find a lot of poetry in it. Read the essay on gardens, or others like that. It's exquisite poetry. I mean it is prose style, but it's written really by a poet. FB: Now, the cipher then, chooses different authors' works. I didn't understand that the first time around. AY: It takes pieces from here, pieces from there, puts them together. Now the illustration I gave of torches and the banquet was putting Romeo and Juliet together with Macbeth. But you might have to go to some other author to continue. A particularly hot passage might take you to somewhere in Burton. Without a concordance, and there is no concordance with Burton, you can imagine what trouble it is to find it. FB: Almost impossible. AY: I mean even to trace out what somebody else has done. I did find a concordance for Spenser, and there was a concordance for Marlowe in the Library of Congress, but I couldn't find it anywhere else. But there is nothing for Burton, so you're on your own. The Anatomy of Melancholy is full of every kind of junk you can imagine. It's a fantastic book but hidden away are these spicy passages that Bacon couldn't fit anywhere else. FB: Well, that sheds a whole lot of light on it. AY: But no one knows who Burton is. That's another big problem. FB: How have all these people gotten lost? They seem to be so prominant. AY: They were never found! You see, there were books published by them, everyone assumed that they were written by so and so, and then they didn't try to find who so and so was. FB: What was the question about Burton? He just never appeared as a real person? AY: The book first appeared under the authorship of Timothy Bright. I've forgotten the ins and outs of it, but it was eventually published as Burton. FB: The Anatomy of Melancholy. AY: The Anatomy of Melancholy. I'm almost tempted to read a little something from it. Well, since we're speaking of different styles of different authors, I'm going to read something. Who would you think wrote this?



.,_,,~-- s------------

When I go musing all alone Thinking of diverse things foreknown When I build castles in the air Void of sorrow and void of fear Pleasing myself with fantasm sweet Methinks the time runs very fleet. All my joys to this are folly Not so sweet as melancholy.

When I lie waking all alone Recounting what I have ill done My thoughts on me then tyrannize Fear and sorrow me surprise Whether I tarry still or go Methinks the time goes very slow All my griefs to this are jolly None so sad as melancholy.

FB: Would you say that's a typical piece? AY: I'm not saying it's typical, but couldn't you imagine that it was written by the author, Shakespeare? FB: Oh, there's a bit of that, yes. AY: But that's in The Anatomy of Melancholy. FB: It seems the right time; the style seems of the time. AY: Well, it would have to be of the time if the book is of the time. The point is that similar things can be found elsewhere. For instance, if you found out that Spenser wrote a sort of economic analysis of Ireland FB: Spenser? AY: Spenser-it would have no connection with a fairy knight riding on his charger, and so on. It's much more in the keeping with Bacon's philosophical writings. And so on down the line. FB: You can't judge by style. AY: But let me get further into this question of what's it all for? The cipher plays I'm referring to. And the heavy responsibility, whoever the author was, felt to write up the story of England, you see. And not only write up the story of England but, as becomes apparent in the cipher, to create an art of literature. Now Bacon, I can tell you this much, went as a very young man right out of Cambridge-he graduated at 15-and he was sent to France under the tutelage of Ameas Paulet. There he dipped into the French court life where they were going full tilt on culture with art, music, everything. Whereas England was relatively primitive at that time. And he was not only inspired to create

art, music, everything. Whereas England was relatively primitive at that time. And he was not only





a culture out of the nobility to be found in the French Court-

manners and all-part of the project was to create a literature. again, we have a motivation behind these remarkable plays. But I s

haven't told you the whole story. The trouble is what I haven't told Y

is who Bacon is or was.

FB: Do we really know? AY: Yes, he was presumably the son of Nicholas Bacon, who \\ a• chancellor, and his mother was Anne Bacon, a handmaiden oi t queen. Yet when you read the cipher story, the first thing he tells \O as soon as he's given you the rules, is how he discovered his m1

parentage. He explains in the cipher that while he was at court, and l was often there, with Elizabeth and the ladies in waiting, there was sort of commotion or some going on and Elizabeth demanded t know what it was. And Cecil, who is the bad guy, if you will, said th, one of the ladies in waiting said that Elizabeth was not a \'irgir Elizabeth lost her temper and went after this lady in waiting- knocked her down and jumped on her face, and was practically killin her, when Francis intervened and threw himself across the lady i waiting so Elizabeth couldn't


that was chivalrous


then Elizabeth lighted onto Francis and blurted out thi

thing about her bastard son. The court possibly knew about this, bu Francis didn't. He was very deeply disturbed. When he went back re his foster mother he asked her to tell him the truth and the whole ston. She then told how Elizabeth had given birth and that she herself had had a stillborn baby about the same time. So there was an exchange and she became his mother. This explained a lot to Bacon because Elizabeth had often visited the Bacons and was very careful about the education of Francis, and so forth.

FB: Who was the father? AY: The father was Leicester, but that comes later. At any rate.

Elizabeth subsequently dispatched Bacon to France with Sir Ameas Paulet and he was there for several years. That's where he encountered the high culture of the French court. You get a taste of this in Loi·e ·s Labor Lost,the play about the French court. Marvelous, high-speed conversations going on there. That was one of the earliest plays. FB: Then that's really a good reason to suspect that Bacon is the person behind the Shakespeare plays since Shakespeare never went to France. AY: Right. Well of course the plays are in Italy, Denmark, all kinds

of places and there is enormous knowledge of law, for one thing, that·s




very impressive. Several lawyers who have picked this up are very much in favor of

very impressive. Several lawyers who have picked this up are very much in favor of the Bacon theory because of the knowledge of law displayed in the plays. Still, there are many other ways of showing the similarity of authorship between Bacon and Shakespeare. One is the similarity of expressions. There is a whole book full of quotations about this. Of course critics say you can always find some similarities, but one of the key factors supporting the comparisons is that the same errors are found in both authors. I've forgotten the exact lines but there is something about Aristotle saying that old men make philosophers while young men are for action. This is misquoted in both Shake- speare and Bacon. Even more interesting to me was the symbolism in emblem books and title pages. In those times a lot of communication was done with emblems, or pictures that had symbolic meaning. The reason was so that the outsider wouldn't know what was being talked about. Emblems and ciphers referred to matters that the government or secret brotherhood needed to keep confidential. And not just emblems either, but sketches and little pictures that are to be found in books, and there are a great many of these. This is treated beautifully in a

book, The Greatest of Literary Problems, by James Phinney Baxter. I

have that here. We should talk about that. Baxter covers the whole subject very thoroughly except that he doesn't go into the cipher in detail. He only mentions them. he shows pictures of the emblems . .\1aybe I could-describe them verbally. FB: Good. AY: One of the examples I like and show to my friends is the first complete edition of Spenser. This was published soon after Elizabeth's

death. The frontispiece of the book has beautiful engravings curlicu- :ng: around and, on the top, is a gentleman and a lady. Between them is .1 boar. The boar, with a band around its neck, is being given to the b.:k who is obviously Elizabeth because she wears a crown. To bear that out. behind her is the lion of England, and behind the gentleman

is the bear, which is the Leicester family crest. FB: So Elizabeth-the boar- AY: Yes. the boar, or Bacon. Then down below is another picture of

a boar smelling a bush. This I think is beautiful. I show it to may

friends and ask them what they see. Finally the say, well I see a bush. "hat kind oi bush is it? It comes out slowly: it's a rosebush. But what - ,r rose: It's a white rose. Do you get it? ll: Well-

it? It comes out slowly: it's a rosebush. But what - ,r rose: It's a white




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AY: As if that wasn't enough, there is a sign on the rosebush saying "spiro non tibe." I do not breathe for you-I do not acknowledge you. This is of course about the War of the Roses. The red rose and the

white rose. The Tudors were the white rose, and the bush doesn't recognize the boar-or Bacon. FB: That's amazing. AY: Isn't that remarkable? FB: Really. AY: This is the frontispiece of the first complete Spenser. Since Elizabeth was dead Bacon could let out the secret. There are lots of these emblems and pictures, but I think I'd better confine myself to the cipher plays and why they are important and why Bacon put them in cipher. FB: Can't we have a little more gossip about Francis Bacon and his mother? AY: I should do it justice, because Bacon wasn't a bastard. He was very careful to show that. They were married in the Tower. FB: Elizabeth and Leicester? AY: Elizabeth and Leicester. That's when the affair occurred. Because they were both confined in the Tower. I don't know whether you've seen the Elizabeth series on television. Well Mary puts her in the Tower. Her sister, Mary, was Catholic, and Elizabeth was Protes- tant. This was a rivalry between the two heirs of Henry VIII. But it was more than rivalry. It was the whole clash between Protestants and Catholics, and Elizabeth almost lost her life because Mary didn't want any Protestant goings-on. Elizabeth had to promise to be confirmed in the Catholic church. She had to do this to save her life. In any case, she was in the Tower for quite a period, and during that time Leicester was there too. They fell in love and were married. Yet when she was crowned queen, she did not want to acknowledge that marriage because she was flirting with the idea of a political marriage with Philip of Spain. I mentioned that. And naturally she had to be a virgin. So she was the virgin queen, and she stuck to it throughout. I do have this Baxter book. It's right here in the shelf behind me, and I want to show you another frontispiece that carries a cipher in the pictures. It might be more fun, since you've never seen it before, to ask you what do you see? I'll read the text: This is Gustavis Selleni's Cryptomenytices and Cryptographia. It's a book on ciphers pub- lished in Holland in 1624, which was one year after the folio of Shakespeare's plays. Some of the decorations had been sent over to




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Holland from England. They are the same as the ones in the folio. But what I'm asking you to look at are the pictures on the frontispiece. FB: Well, we see a boatload of people. It looks like they're leaving some place that's burning. AY: Right, and what are those things burning? It's at night. FB: Well, yes. It looks like a village, maybe a church. Is that a church steeple that's falling over there? AY: Well, I just took his word that they're beacons. FB: Oh, beacons-well, that would be it. Oh, beacons! Okay, so beacons are falling over, but who are these people leaving, in the boat? AY: That I don't know. FB: Okay, well now. Here, on the left, is a fellow passing some- thing-it looks like a man of more humble position than he. AY: Right, what's he holding? FB: It looks like he's holding his hat and a spear. And he's receiving-maybe-either a book or a letter. AY: Right. And then here he is again



walking away, with his spear.

AY: Right, and the bird? FB: And the bird is flying away with the letter. Now where do you suppose they're going? And there's the town in the background. AY: You recognize the man from other pictures? FB: He looks like Bacon, actually. AY: Yes, that's the way he's always depicted, with his hat. How about the other man with his spear? FB: Now the other man doesn't look like anybody I recognize. AY: What is he wearing? FB: Short shoes, I mean, he doesn't have boots. AY: Those are buskins, or boots, which are supposed to be typical of the actors of the times. FB: Oh. I see, so he's handing Shakespeare the whole bag! Right? AY: And that's supposed to be the bird of immortality or something carrying off the secret.

FB: And then, somebody is racing off, it looks like Shakespeare, or somebody in those boots. AY: Right, the same buskins. FB: It looks like he's blowing a horn. AY: Right, but what do you see there?

FB: Uh, he's got stirrups and


what's on the stirrup?




FB: Well, oh, spurs, right? So he's going-he's being spurred onward? AY: Well I suppose it alludes to: shack spur. But you see, it's made clear there's something you wouldn't normally see. FB: Right. AY: And what do we have at the bottom? FB: This looks like somebody is putting something on somebody else's head, and he's also tied to him in some way. Let's see. This one is writing-this one is at a desk writing. And the other man is taking his hat off. He looks very Baconian. He's got those clothes. AY: Yes, but these are the clothes of this man. At any rate notice these drawers. How many drawers are there? FB: Eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. AY: I thought it was seven. FB: Well, I can see one right there. AY: But it's half hidden. FB: Alright. AY: Those are the seven names under which he is writing, and this is the writing. And he's holding a symbol, the cap of maintenance. In other words, this one owes his living to this one. FB: So we are now thinking that Bacon is the author of all seven! AY: Yes. FB: I didn't understand that. AY: I said Spenser, Marlowe, Burton- FB: Yes but not that directly. AY: Well, certainly Bacon's the author of Bacon and Shakespeare, and then we went into Spenser and the others. FB: Yes. And you say Bacon was the author of all of them? AY: Bacon wrote all of it. And to me this was an introduction, a reason for looking at the others. I doubt if many people have read Peele and Green. Each of them has about four or five plays, and that's all. What happened was that Bacon started on Peele and Green and it became impossible to continue because they drank themselves to death, or something. I think one of them was murdered. FB: Oh, they died, therefore he had to stop. AY: And then Marlowe was killed in a brawl in a tavern and he had four plays attributed to him, but Bacon wanted to put out more, so he had to find a new name. And Shakespeare came after those, Peele, Green and Marlowe. So what have you got? You've got Peele, Green and Marlow, Spenser, Burton, Shakespeare and Bacon. That's the seven.









FB: Okay, that's why there are seven drawers. AY: Right. FB: Well that's convenient.

AY: And for the cipher, each one has a key word. One of the scenes I ·· 1



Pedant are conversing. But the name Pedant is stuck in all of a sudden ,, \ because he has a different name in the rest of the play. FB: Ah, ha. AY: Now this is a clue that you need to decipher. I think the passage in part of the hidden play called The Mousetrap, which hasn't been deciphered. This play reveals how Bacon got these different people to agree to the use of their names. FB: But how could they keep that secret? AY: They might not have known what was going on. They were just paid for the use of their names, but the plays were not necessarily out there or popular. Some were published later, and of course half the Shakespeare plays were published after Shakespeare's death. Perhaps I should say a third. I'm trying to remember the exact figure, but the folio came out with 39 plays, and at least a third of them had never been seen before.

like very much in As You Like It, in Shakespeare, is where Moth and

Now another interesting think

I'm just 'thinking of other

angles, but some of them were not in the older part of the Bacon theory because they've come up just recently. Frances Yates has a wonderful book about Cymbeline, The Tempest and Winter's Tale-the three last plays of Shakespeare-and their importance in English history. She thinks that the author wrote them in order to heal the breach between the Catholics and the Protestants, because they all deal with a split that had been created in the previous generation, some kind of banishment or something. Then the children of the opposing factions came together in the Winter's Tale. They had been separated for twenty years. Then the daughter, having been taken care of by a shepherd is found and marries the son of the other. Healing the split. In The Tempest, of course, Prospero is banished to this island but his daughter marries the son of the duke that banished him. Cymbeline is somewhat similar. FB: So it's all brought together. AY: Now Frances Yates says these plays were performed for the heirs of James. James succeeded Elizabeth and when his son and daughter were to be married, or plans were made for their mar- riages-I think one was to be married to the King of Bavaria-the plays were influential. Yates thinks they were written to put the idea in


' -II

the heads of the children in order to heal the religious breach that had split Europe in half. She dismisses the Bacon authorship theory, yet it was Bacon who was the tutor of these two children. How would Shakespeare, who is off in the country someplace, be trying to influence the children? FB: Right. So why do you think she dismisses Bacon? AY: Perhaps she had to pay her respects to contemporary consen- sus. This subject has always been very unpopular with academia. If she maintained that Bacon wrote the plays, she would be sunk before she started. Maybe she's sincere in not believing it, but I just don't see why, when you get them that close together, you can't see that two and two is four. FB: Do you think that academia will eventually recognize this? AY: It's a good question and raises the old question about the esoteric, or hidden knowledge. Really the reason it's hidden is because

people can't see it, even if it's in front of their nose. I'm having to rub my nose into it all the time because I can point out things that are clearly wrong with science, but the points are just passed over. If you had a tendency to paranoia you could say it was intended. But I believe it's unintentional-an unintentional stupidity that prevails which excludes anything that threatens the established. It's partly that things build into myths and no one wants to shatter myth. And

the myth of Shakespeare is very powerful

industry built around it. As I was saying, the esoteric is hidden not by any contrivance on the part of the people who know, but because the people who don't know just won't bear it. FB: So, we'll just have to see whether the world is ready, and when it is, just become aware of it. AY: It will stay alive, because these books have been published and the ciphers are in them, and it can't be killed unless you burnt all the folios and everything else. There are hundreds of them. FB: Have there been any good debates? AY: One of the difficulties is that the debates are usually so uneven. For instance, I told you about the biliteral ciphers. They're printed in the italics, that is to say the letters in italics are of two different kinds. The differences are very subtle, and I'm willing to admit that it might not be possible to detect them but Gallup did! But what I'm now talking about is the Shakespeareans. Well, Sidney Lee, who is a very well known Shakespearean-he had more copies of the folio than anyone else-said he'd looked through his folio and could find no

well there's a whole



of the folio than anyone else-said he'd looked through his folio and could find no well


such admixture of italic and roman type as would account for a cipher. But there never was an admixture of roman and italic type. The cipher's all in the italic portion of the text. So he missed the point, he didn't even hear the message. That's the kind of answer the Shake- speareans give. FB: Right. AY: Now I mentioned Wadsworth, here in Berkeley, who had gone :nrough the different cipher theories, different Baconian advocates, 1nd spent so much time on the nuts with so very little time on the sc:rious inquiry, so as to discredit the whole subject. FB: We see that kind of defence in academia. It's not surprising. Do ·.\e have any other examples? AY: Yes, I wanted to read a piece from The Tragical History of Robert, Earl of Essex. First, let me explain why this really was a :, 1gedy. Essex was Bacon's younger brother, and as I said, Essex led a ~tbellion to try to take over the throne. He was arrested and tried and --.: Queen forced Bacon to conduct the trial. Now there was no : _:' rion of his guilt. He had raised an armed force against the throne, .: - .: :hc:re was no way out for Bacon. He had advised Essex not to do :- ,_ This is all described in the cipher plays. Bacon had pleaded with :--:: Queen and so forth, but Elizabeth forced him to conduct the trial. ~-e play, The Tragical History of Our Late Brother, Earl of Essex, is :~ ~:\ tragic. In the introduction, you get pieces of Hamlet, Macbeth 2:-ci passages from other plays put together and you see the whole , :,-,n before it was cut up and used in different plays. Now it may seem ·: ~.rnge to you to hear these lines in this different context, but with a ·:: .,nd reading you can see that they really fit together. Before we go, . -:-. going to chance it and read a part of the prologue:

-:- ;Jeep, perchance to dream; aye, there's th' rub,

= -~ m that sleep of death, what dreams may come,

·:c--:en we have shuffl'd off this mortal coil,



gi\·e us pause. To die, to sleep, to dream


~ore: and by a sleep, to say we end

-:--, hec1rt-ache, and the thousand natural shocks -:- -.2: tlesh is heir to, is a consumation ~ c·. •:.irh· to be wish'd. For in our graves,


:~:~ liie's fitful fever, one sleeps well.


• : ::-etter to be with the dead, whom we our peace

-:- .:2m have sent to peace, than eat our meals in fear >_: ,Jeep in the affliction of terrible dreams -_ 2: ,hake us nightly. 0 the torture of the mind


in fear >_: ,Jeep in the affliction of terrible dreams -_ 2: ,hake us nightly. 0




That doth lie in restless exstasie, the subject Of its watch, dread murder and doleful death! Blood hath been shed ere now, i' th' olden time Ere human statute purg'd the general weal:

Aye, and since too, murders have been perform'd Too terrible for the ear, The time has been, That when the brains were out and man would die, And there an end: But now they rise again With twenty mortal murders at their crowns, And push us from our stools. Then as present fears Are less than horrible imaginings, To die, to sleep, to dream, to wake no more, And tenderly to lie deep in our graves Under the prettiest daisied-plot that our good friends Can find, may drive us yet to render up This hopeless life, which drawn on with torture, We have liv'd from day to day, through fear That the straight narrow path to death, was damn'd To be, or not to be, then, that's the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the poor man's contumely, The pangs of dispris'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardles bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have, Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is siclied o'er, with a pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard their currents turn away, And lose the name of action. But for our conscience then, we'ld rear our hand And play the Roman fool and die on our own sword:

We, with three inches of this obedient steel, No better than the earth ourselves could make. 0 what a sleep were this, if 'twere perpetual!








I tr ► t But here's a prohibition so divine Against self-slaughter, in the Holy Scripture,

But here's a prohibition so divine Against self-slaughter, in the Holy Scripture, It cravens our weak hand and doth return The word obedient to the scabbard.

For to be clapp'd in hell, with strange and several noises

Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains,

And more diversity of sounds all horrible, Makes us irresolute: why do we yield To this suggestion, whose so horrid image Doth unfix our hair, and make our seated heart Knock at our ribs against the use of nature? Because, 0 my dear lord, our offense is rank:

It smells to heaven: it hath the primal curse upon 't, A brother's murder. And sir, to our grief, Though our compell'd sins stand more for number Than accompt, we look upon him nightly; But in this Cipher we will free ourselves. Here we can smile, and murder while we smile, And wet our cheeks with artificial tears, And frame our face to all occasions. We'll drown more sailors than the mermaids shall, We'll slay more gazers than the Basilisk, We'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could, And like a Synan take another Troy; We will add colours to the cameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set murtherous Machievill to school. Pronouncing still, like players on the stage, We will unmask as strange abuse in this, As ever offer' d foul play in the state. Our song hath not been play'd on ivory harp With silver string, thy senses to allure, But noble verse and tragic scene, and act, We have employed here. Thus we recount And with bubbling tears and much ado Rehearse these tragedies.





BACON, DEILA; Bacon, The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare, 1857 BACON, Sm FRANCIS; The Tragical Historie of our Late Brother Robert,Earl of Essex, deciphered from the works of Sir Francis Bacon by Orville W. Owen, M.D., Howard Publishing Co., Detroit, Gay & Bird, London, 1895. BAXTER,JAMES PHINNEY; The Greatest of Literary Problems, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1915. (Note: this work, with an excellent 28 page bibliography, was reprinted in 1971 by AMS Press, New York. CLEMENS, SAMUELL.; Is Shakespeare Dead? 1909. Reprinted by R. West, POB 6404, Philadelphia, 19145. DONNELLY, IGNATIUS; The Great Cryptogram, R.S. Peale, Chicago, 1888. Reprinted by AMS Press, New York. LAWRENCE, Srn EDWIN DURNING; Bacon is Shakespeare, New York 1910. OGBURN, CHARLTON; The Mysterious William Shakespeare, Dodd, Mead & Com- pany, New York, 1984. OWEN, ORVILLE W.; Sir Francis Bacon's Cipher Story, Howard Publishing Co., Detroit, Gay & Bird, London, 1894. WADSWORTH, FRANK W.; The Poacher from Stratford, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1958. YATES, FRANCES A.; Shakespeare's Last Plays, Metheun, Inc., New York, 1975.


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