A masterpiece of Baconian cryptanalysis

Michael Buhagiar

"Shakespeare" (sic) was published in 1934, in the autumn of the great year of Baconian cryptanalytical enquiry. Yet autumn is symbolically the season of wisdom, equivalent to the time of three p.m., when Christ died on the Cross; and William Moore's landmark work, with the revelations and equally great disasters of the Golden Age behind him, indeed is a work of the highest understanding and wisdom. It is arguably the most compelling and convincing book of its genre; and this is because of Moore's own patience and application, and also the fact that he was studying the one work of the Shakespeare corpus whose superficial peculiarities positively scream to the cryptanalyst to notice them: namely, Love's Labour's Lost, with its plethora of 'nonsense' lines, of which no orthodox critic has been able to make any sense whatever. So that the declension of "Shakespeare" beneath the waves of history - it is rarely mentioned in contemporary discussions, and was dealt with by the Friedmans in their The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined (1957) in a seemingly wilfully negligent way - is all the more deplorable and puzzling.

Love's Labour's Lost first appeared in 1598 in Quarto, and then again in the First Folio of 1623. A comparison of the two versions shows numerous small alterations and some extra lines (these are all of cryptographic significance) in the latter, which was more carefully set up and printed. Yet the two are substantially the same, with the bulk of the so-called nonsense words, lines and passages preserved intact in the Folio. This alone should serve to exculpate the poor compositor, the favourite scapegoat and whipping boy of the critics; and Moore's great work is an extended defense of and paean to his expertise, as an instrument of the cipher strategy of Sir Francis Bacon. If the present piece could do something of the same for William Moore I would be well satisfied.

"Shakespeare" extends over 324 pages of demonstration and close reasoning, yet without at all considering Act IV, with its substantial quota of encryptions. My approach here will be to deal with it chapter by chapter, giving generally an overview and summary of Moore's methods and discoveries, while dwelling a little longer here and there on some of the more spectacular and rigorous examples of his work. This may be thought a somewhat unimaginative approach, but it is a fine way of giving a sense of the thoroughness and integrity of "Shakespeare" as a work of sustained scholarship.

Moore's thoroughness is indeed a crucial aspect of his work. For this was equally the sine qua non of Bacon's approach - the Qabalistic-Rosicrucian gematric techniques he employed being somewhat imprecise and non-specific in isolation, yet gathering in strength when considered in context. For example, the Cross of Rosicrucianism is composed of six squares of equal dimensions (think of it as a cube opened out and flattened on the page). Its perimeter is therefore fourteen units in extent, and 14 is also the number of the Hebrew noun ZHB, Zahab, 'gold': for gematria yokes each letter of the Hebrew, Greek and Arabic alphabets, as well as the Elizabethan and Trithemian, with which Bacon worked in Love's Labour's Lost, with a numerical value. For the Rosicrucians, then, the Cross symbolises the 'gold' of the sages, as so memorably described by Eliphas Levi: "The gold of the philosophers is, in religion, the absolute and supreme reason; in philosophy it is truth; in visible nature it is the sun, which is the emblem of the sun of truth& ; in the subterranean and mineral world it is the purest and most perfect gold." This is all perfectly valid in the religious context, but of little value in the cryptographic, for the number 14 is clearly yoked to many words, and cannot be used with any specificity in isolation. Bacon understood this perfectly; and this was his reason for cramming Love's Labour's Lost with instance upon instance of ciphers indicating his authorship of the works of Shakespeare. For with each further instance within the pages of the same play, each discernable behind words or passages that can make no sense at all other than as ciphers, then the probability of the discovered messages being associated with them by chance more closely approaches zero. Needless to say, this crucial point went unremarked by the Friedmans. It would be most interesting to see the results of a full statistical analysis of the play. Perhaps, when the true New Age dawns, and universities discover the funds and the will to pursue this ultimate prize in the humanities, then such an analysis may come to pass.

Inevitably, it will be possible to give in this forum only a small sample of the vast infrastructure of Moore's edifice. "Shakespeare" is a labour of love in itself, and it would be fascinating to learn a little more about this unknown great man, who was evidently associated with Birminghan University (UK). He begins, in the ideal way for a work of this kind, with the very simplest of the encryptions, before progressing on to more sophisticated. So, the Friedmans' decision to examine only the first ninety pages of the work is colossally unjust in itself. One can only speculate on their reasons for so doing.

Chapter 1
Act V in the Folio is headed Actus Quartus. This apparent blunder is of significance, as we shall see in a later chapter. Moore quotes in full the dialogue beginning V.i. It is worth repeating a section of it here, to give an idea of the 'nonsensicality' with which we are dealing:

Curate: Laus deo, bene intelligo.
Pedant: Bome boon for boon prescian
, a little scratcht, 'twil serve.
Enter Bragart, Boy
C. Vides ne quis venit?
P. Video, & gaudio.
P. Quari Chirra, not Sirra?
B. Men of peace well incountred.
P. Most millitarie sir salutation.
Boy They have beene at a great feast of Languages, and stolne the scraps.
Clowne O they have liv'd long on the alms-basket of words. I marvel thy M. hat not eaten thee for a word, for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: Thou art easier swallowed then a slapdragon.
Page Peace, the peale begins.
B. Mounsier, are you not lettered?
Page Yes, yes, he teaches boyes the horne-booke: What is Ab speld backward with horn on his head?
Pedant Ba, puericia with a horne added.
Page Ba most seely sheepe, with a horne: you hear his learning.
Ped Quis quis, thou Consonant?
Page The last of the five Vowels if you Repeat them, or the fift if I.
Ped I will repeat them: a e I.
Page The Sheepe, the other two concludes it o u.
B Now by the salt wave of the mediteranium, a sweet tutch, a quicke vene we of wit, snip snap, quick and home, it reioyceth my intellect, true wit.
Page Offered by a childe to an olde man: which is wit-old.
Ped What is the figure, what is the figure?
Page Hornes.
Ped Thou disputes like an Infant: goe whip thy Gigge.
Page Lend me your Horne to make one, and I will whip about your Infamie unum cita a gigge of a Cuckold's horne.

Moore makes some general points about the LLL cipher, which we will come to anon. Let us take the opportunity here to deal with the famous 'honorificabilitudinitatibus'. Sir Edwin Durning-Laurence was of course the first to point out its nature as an anagram of hi ludi, F. Baconis nati, tuiti orbi, 'These plays, F. Bacon's offspring, are preserved for the world'. To reiterate: fascinating though this may be, it is worthless in isolation as cryptographic evidence. And Bacon knew this, and knew also that it would be of the highest possible worth in the context of a work that repeated that same message over and over again ad nauseam, so that it would seem to have been conceived for the primary reason of adding Bacon's signature to the corpus of plays.

Chapter 2
Unum cita in the above dialogue is an example of the simplest kind of cipher, where a single missing vowel is supplied. Here it is 'o', to give the Italian Un uomo cita, 'Name a man'. Baby steps. Yet they can take us far.
Puericia is an Italian word one of whose meanings is 'simplicity'. So that the Pedant's answer to the Page's question can be arranged as: 'Simplicity, Ba with a horne added'. The Italian for 'horn' is corno, to give: 'Ba-corno'. The 'Consonant' so puzzlingly referred to by the pedant in his reply can only refer to this 'r', which vitiates the perfect result of 'Bacono', i.e. Bacon. So far so good.

Chapter 3
The line-famous for its impenetrability-'Bome boon for boon prescian, a little scratcht, 'twil serve' is in fact an example of a Substitutional-Transpositional cipher, using the Trithemian alphabet of twenty-two letters:


Of itself, the cipher result to follow cannot prove anything. It is the context in which it occurs that gives it validity. A high temperature can mean anything. But when combined with a productive cough, solidification of the lung, and debility of the patient, then the diagnosis of pneumonia must be made. Each further instance of a cipher within the confines of the single work of LLL, and associated with words, lines and passages which can have no meaning other than that supplied to them by the cipher, and perhaps pointed to by commentary elsewhere in the text, reduces the probability that the result can be accounted for by chance.
The steps of substitution and transposition give the result:

e.g., BACONO pro BACON
F. B*c*nu * fe

A Latin sentence is clearly implied, and it can only read: 'F. Baconus fe' Here, 'fe' is the customary abbreviation of fecit, 'made'. The 'e.g.' Implies that it must carry on from something preceding it. The missing letters justify and explain the comment 'a little scratcht, 'twil serve'. We will see a little later how those letters are supplied. The number of letters in the original sentence is twenty-three, which gives the group number-12-of the letters to be substituted, and the key number-11-or number of places those letters have to be moved to the right in the Trithemian alphabet. The sentence has therefore been 'a little scratcht' to provide the group and key numbers of its decipherment.

Chapter 4
The name 'Don Adriano de Armado' appears in Act V as 'Don Adriano de Armatho'.This chapter gives an extended analysis of this variation as a cipher. A stretch of dialogue in I.ii actually concludes with the Boy saying to Don Adriano 'To prove you a Cypher'.
The name is another example of a Substitutional-Transpositional cipher, in which the two halves 'Don Adriano' and 'de Armatho' have their own key systems. When substituted and transposed we obtain:

Master VVilliam Sh***spear* Q. Ch.

This is obviously extremely suggestive. But what of 'Q. Ch'? This is the point of the following, which occurs shortly after the mention of 'Armatho':

Curate Vides ne quis venit?
Pedant Video, & gaudio.
Braggart Chirra.
Pedant Quari Chirra, not Sirra?

This last line is asking us to query (Quari) the 'Ch' in Chirra, where the word should be the customary 'Sirra'. The 'Q. Ch' in the above is a reference to this. 'Ch' is to be queried numerically. By the well-known 'seal' system using the Elizabethan alphabet of twenty-four letters (Trithemian plus Y and W), the reverse Digit Seal of 'Ch' is 12. This is also the Simple Digit Deal of A K E E which, being substituted for 'Ch' in the above, gives:

Master VVilliam Shakespeare

The Don is therefore a portrayal of Will Shakspere (Shakespeare) of Stratford.

Chapter 5
The italicised words in the dialogue quoted above are:

Satis quod sufficit
Don Adriano de Armatho
Novi hominem tanquam te
ne intelligis domine?
Laus deo, bene intelligo
Bome boon for boon prescian
Vides ne quis venit?
Video, & gaudio
Quis quis?
unum cita

Translated and rearranged they become:

Seest thou not who comes?
I see, and rejoice.
Dost thou not understand, sir?
Praise to God! I well understand. I know the man as much as I know thee.
Name a man!
Master William Shakespeare, formerly called BACORNO.
Who? Who? Why BACORNO? Simplicity! That which sufficeth is enough: e.g., BACONO for BACON.
F. Bacon fecit

Chapter 6
Bacon also secreted within the text the keys to unlock the ciphers, so that they remain marginally less deeply hidden than the ciphers themselves. An example is the dialogue in I.ii beginning 'I have promis'd to study iij. yeres with the Duke' (Braggart) and ending 'To prove you a cipher' (Boy). The Quarto has 'to study three yeres'; while in the Folio 'three' is represented by 'iij', with its odd 'j', which in print has been edited to appear as ii7. When taken as 117, and combined as 1,11,17, and 7, this in fact gives the four key numbers required for the decipherment of 'Don Adriano de Armatho'. Whenever the name 'Don Adriano de Armado' is varied, it is of cipher significance.
The remarkable line 'Armathor ath to the side, O a most dainty man' is a Substitutional-Transpositional cipher which decodes to:

de Armatho is a cipher: 5, 11 to the r
F. Bacon

Bacon is telling us here that 5 of the letters must be moved 11 places to the right. Moore shows in detail how the alterations to the Quarto line 'Armatho ath toothen side, o a most daintie man' to give the line examined above, were introduced to improve the cipher.

The key numbers for 'Don Adriano' are found by finding the several seal values of two variations of the surname given by the King viz. Armathoes [and] Armadoes Page. The decipherment then stands as:

Don Adriano de Armatho is a Cypher.
Key items: 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 19
F. Bacon

This is reinforced by Costard's extraordinary phrase 'And his Page atother side'.

Chapter 7
Page Peace, the peale begins.
B. Mounsier, are you not lettered?
Page Yes, yes, he teaches boyes the horne-booke: What is Ab speld backward with horn on his head?
Pedant Ba, puericia with a horne added.
Page Ba most seely sheepe, with a horne: you hear his learning.
Ped Quis quis, thou Consonant?
Page The last of the five Vowels if you Repeat them, or the fift if I.
Ped I will repeat them: a e I.
Page The Sheepe, the other two concludes it o u.

We have seen in Chapter 2 how the answer to the Page's question gives the name 'Bacorno'. The 'r' could hardly be avoided, since the Italian word in question is 'corno'. In an extraordinary piece of cryptanalysis, Moore now shows how Bacon corrected this flaw, to give 'I, Fr. Bacono'. Other lines in the passage give: '"Master William Shakespeare-I, Fr Bacono"'.
The line 'Lend me your Horne to make one, and I will whip about your Infamie unum cita a gigge of a Cuckold's horne' gives by seal value analysis, astonishingly:

Lend me your BACORNO to make I, Fr. BACONO, and I will alter about your Infamie [I'm in a e. F.] and form, of a e I, a FI. I then of a Cuckold's BACORNO a man name-FR. BACONO.
Francis Bacon

Moore then speaks for us all in concluding:

He [the reader] will perhaps endeavour to find words, if words there be, that shall adequately describe the man who conceived those lines; which possess a subtlety so extraordinary that it is almost incredible.

Chapter 8
Boy Then I am sure you know how much the gross summe of deus-ace amounts to.
Braggart It doth amount to one more then two.
Boy Which the base vulgar call three.
Braggart True.
Boy Why sir is this such a peece of study? Now here's three studied, ere you'll thrice wink, & how easie it is to put yeres to the word three, and study three yeeres in two words, the dancing horse will tell you.

By a complex seal analysis, the following extraordinary result is obtained:

"Mr. W. Shakespeare"

I, F. Bacon F. Baco F. Bacono F. Baconus
I, Fr. Bacon Fr. Baco Fr. Bacono Fr. Baconus
I, Fra. Bacon Fra. Baco Fra. Bacono Fra. Baconus
I, Fran. Bacon Fran. Baco Fran. Bacono Fran. Baconus
I, Franc. Bacon Franc. Baco Franc. Bacono Franc. Baconus
I, Francis Bacon Francis Baco Francesco Bacono Francescus Baconus
I, F. Bacon rosa F. Baco rosa F. Bacono rosa F. Baconus rosa
I, Fr. Bacon rosa Fr. Baco rosa Fr. Bacono rosa Fr. Baconus rosa
I, Fra. Bacon rosa Fra. Baco rosa Fra. Bacono rosa Fra. Baconus rosa
I, Fran. Bacon rosa Fran. Baco rosa Fran. Bacono rosa Fran. Baconus rosa
I, Franc. Bacon rosa Franc. Baco rosa Franc. Bacono rosa Franc. Baconus rosa
I, Francis Bacon rosa Francis Baco rosa Francesco Bacono rosa Francescus Baconus rosa


Here 'rosa' refers to the Rosicrucian phrase sub rosa, meaning 'in secret'. A similar result obtains for the phrases 'but it is vara fine' and 'For euerie one pursents three' in the following, from V.ii:

Berowne Welcome pure wit, thou part'st a faire fray.
Clowne O Lord sir, they would kno,
Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no.
B. What, are there but three?
C. No sir, but it is vara fine,
For euerie one pursents three.

Chapter 9
The Pedant is severely critical of the Braggart's (Don Adriano's) speech. He gives the following litany of errors:

1. speake dout fine, say doubt
2. abhominable, call abominable
3. pronounce debt, not det
4. neighbour vocatur nebour
5. clepeth a halfe, haufe
6. clepeth a Calf, Caufe
7. neigh abreuiated ne

When subjected to seal value analysis, these all give a result similar to the above in Chapter 8.

Chapter 10
In the dialogue from V.i quoted above, the Pedant uses seven Latin words which are misspelled in the text. Bacon later has him say the following, which draws attention to the 'errors', and indicates to the decipherer how they should be prepared for analysis:

Pedant Oh I smell false Latine, dunghel for unguem.

These then are the groups to be subjected to seal value analysis:

1. Quari for Quare?
2. ortagriphie for orthographie?
3. inteligis for intelligis?
4. quid for quod?
5. gaudio for gaudeo?
6. puericia for pueritia?
7. hominum for hominem?

These all give a result identical to the grid (lower) portion of the example in Ch.8 above, yet differing in the header, which forms the remarkable sequence: 'W. Shakespeare', 'Will Shakespeare', 'William Shakespeare', 'Mr. W. Shakespeare', 'Mr. Will Shakespeare', Mr. William Shakespeare', and 'Master William Shakespeare'.

Chapter 11
Analysis of the Constable's 'Signeor Arme, Arme commends you' in I,i, and Costard's 'Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio' in IV.iii (why do they say the names-more variants of Don Adriano de Armado-twice, if not to serve the cipher?) yields a grid and header similar to that found in the examples above.

Jacquenetta says in IV.ii: 'Good Master Parson be so good as reade mee this letter, it was given me by Costard, and sent me from Don Armatho&' This is yet another variant of the name. But why does she say 'from', when she later states that it was from Berowne? It can only to be to serve the cipher. 'Don Armatho' yields an incomplete grid-an insufficiency which is rectified by the addition of the word 'from'.

Yet another variant-'Don Adriana de Armatho'-is given in IV.i, and this too yields a full grid: an outcome made possible by Bacon's substitution of 'a' for 'o' in 'Adriano' which lacks, as it stands, a full complement of the necessary seal values. Moore as always demonstrates in detail the mechanism of this emendation.

Chapter 12
Here is another piece of 'nonsensical' dialogue, from III.i:

Page A wonder Master, here's a Costard broken in a shin.
Armado Some enigma, some riddle, come, thy Lenuoy begin.
Clowne No egma, no riddle, no lenuoy, no salue, in thee male sir.

Exhaustive analysis of 'no egma, ' no riddle', no lenuoy', and 'no salue', yields complete grids for all.

Chapter 13
-In which more complete grids are demonstrated.

Chapter 14
Let us examine these lines from III.i:

Armado Sirra Costard, I will enfranchise thee.
Clowne O, marrie me to one Francis, I smell some Lenuoy, some Goose in this.

Here 'O' bears its customary Elizabethan esoteric meaning of 'cipher'. Most editors amend 'Francis' to 'Frances', yet there is no such character in the play. The words should be arranged thus:

CIPHER, marrie me to one.

The cipher is asking us to join 'Francis' to 'one' to form 'Francis-one'. Seal value analyses of 'Lenuoy' and 'Goose' provide the key values for the decipherment of 'Francis-one'. This is a Substitutional-Transpositional cipher, the first round of analysis of which gives:

VV. S**k*****re-F. Bacon incog***o. Q. c.

We remember that 'Q' means in this context 'query'; and 'querying' of the seal values of the letter 'c' provides the missing letters of the above, to give:

VV. Shakespeare-F. Bacon incognito.

Further, analyses of 'I smell some Lenuoy' and 'some goose in this' yield complete grids.

Chapter XV
In III.i the Boy uses the odd word 'Concolinel'. The Braggart gives us some help in the following lines:

Braggart Sweete Ayer, go tendernesse of years: take this Key, give enlargement to the swaine, bring him festinantly hither&

Seal value analysis of the word 'Key' gives us the key numbers required for the decipherment of 'Concolinel', to yield:

I, CL : O : Francesco Bacono L.

Replacing 'C' and 'L' by their Roman numerical values, 'I' by its Reverse Digit Seal of 16, and 'O' by its Simple Digit Seal of 14, and proceeding then by seal value analysis, we obtain:

    'Master Wm. Shakespeare'    
I, Francis Bacon Francis Baco   Francesco Bacono Franciscus Baconus
I, Francis Bacon rosa Francis Baco rosa   Francesco Bacono rosa
Franciscus Baconus rosa

A deficiency in the sue of the word 'Key' as an aid to the decipherer is that it is perfectly appropriate in its literal context, and so likely to be overlooked. Bacon therefore, for the Folio version, decided to insert a further help. At the head of this dialogue, the Quarto reads: 'Enter Braggart and his Boy'. However, the Folio reads 'Enter Broggart and Boy'; and analysis of 'Broggart' gives the same key numbers as above.

William Moore's remarks at this point are worth repeating:

'Looked upon as a whole-"Concolinel" and its Ciphers within a Cipher; the use of "Key" for providing the essential decipherment data, and the subsequent introduction of "Broggart" for the same purpose-this cryptographic achievement is worthy of special notice. We do not wish to institute comparisons between one example and another of Francis Bacon's astounding efforts, nor to maintain that any particular Cipher is better than the rest, for they all bear the impress of his wonderful mind; but we may venture to say that, on its general merits, "Concolinel" is one of the cleverest pieces of cryptographic work Francis Bacon ever accomplished'.

Finally, the words 'Sweet Ayer', which immediately follow 'Concolinel', give precisely the same result, albeit it is a simpler cipher. This was Bacon's way of affirming the solution of the more complex cipher above.

Chapter 16
Costard the clown is an ideal vehicle for the nonsense words in Love's Labour's Lost. It may be objected that these words serve this function, and not that of any postulated cipher. However, this is contradicted by the internal evidence. For example, in V.ii he refers to Pompey as 'Pompion': consistently with his role, you might think. Yet in the same stretch of dialogue he refers to him correctly as 'Pompey'. When analyzing the name, Bacon found 'Pompey' to lack the set of numbers for a complete Shakespearean Seal. 'Pompion', on the other hand, does contain those numbers, and in addition, the numbers for several Baconian Seals. The creation of a complete grid required the addition of extra words; and the analysis of the phrase 'Pompion the great sir' indeed provides the ideal result.

In III.i Costard says: 'What's the price of this yncle? i. d. no&' Analysis of 'this yncle i. d. no' (which, as a cipher, the previous four words indicate) yields a complete grid.

Chapter 17
Moore demonstrates five more instances of grids, each complete with a Shakespearean Seal and a full set of Baconian Seals. Included is the phrase 'Quartus for Quintus', to give an explanation for the title 'Actus Quartus' at the head of Act V.

Chapter 18
There are no less than eleven complete grids secreted in the stretch of dialogue in V.ii that begins with the Queen's 'Well bandied both, a set of Wit well played.'

Chapter 19
Moore examines the concluding lines of the play: 'The Words of Mercurie/are harsh after the songes of Apollo'. There appeared in 1641 an important treatise on cryptography, which includes inter alia a discussion of Bacon's biliteral cipher. The title page does not bear the author's name, but the dedication and the address 'To The Reader' are both subscribed 'I.W.'. This is usually taken to stand for the cleric John Wilkins, and the book was reprinted in his collected mathematical and philosophical works some years later. However, doubt has been expressed as to whether he was in truth the author. Its title is Mercury, or the Secret and Swift Messenger. And so here we have a treatise on cryptography which is linked explicitly to Mercury, messenger of the Gods, and mediator between the lower and upper worlds. In one of the commendatory poems which follow the title page, by Sir Francis Kinaston, Mercury is referred to as the god who taught men hieroglyphics, and how to unfold 'hidden Characters'. Bacon is expressing, in these final two lines of the play (Quarto version-they are followed in the Folio by the single line 'You that way; we this way'), his opinion of the words he was compelled to introduce in his role as cryptographer-the numerous mutilated words such as 'ortagriphie', 'nebour', and 'pursents'-and verbal monstrosities such as 'Armatho ath toothen side', which must have jarred on his Apollonian ear.

Chapter 20
The Quarto title of the play is 'Love's Labor's lost', the Folio title 'Love's Labor's lost': acronymically, LLl for both. Why exactly is it not 'Love's Labour is lost?' First let us examine this stanza of alliterative verse given by Holofernes in IV.ii:

If Sore be sore, then ell to Sore,
    makes fiftie sores O sorell:
Of one sore I an hundred make
    by adding but one more L.

Every line is in the third person except the last, where 'I' appears. We remember from the decipherment of the word 'Concolinel' that the significance of the letters 'C' and 'L' lies in their Roman numerical values, and that 100 is the Simple Seal value of 'Francis Bacon'. This is the point of 'I an hundred make', where Bacon is speaking through Holofernes. The verse indicates that 'L' is 50, and 'LL' 100'. This is also the meaning of the title, which divides into LL and L (small letter). 100 is also the Simple Digit Seal Value of 'Master Wm. Shakespeare', while 50 is the Simple Seal of 'Rosa'. Hence the title the play encrypts the message: 'Master Wm. Shakespeare-Francis Bacon in secret'.

Finally, the title itself bears absolutely no relation to the play, which ends in happy marriages. Its significance lies in the colossal labour Bacon must have expended to check the numerical seal values of his cipher words. It was a 'labour of love' which was 'lost' beneath the literal surface of the play. Moore does not mention Sufism, and only briefly Rosicrucianism, but love is absolutely central to both of them, and so the play's title has a very deep resonance indeed.


The story of the Sufi influence on Sir Francis Bacon remains to be told. Mather Walker in his articles on the sirbacon.org site, and Idries Shah have both given tantalising glimpses of it. Let us approach the close of this piece with a passage from Shah's The Sufis (Anchor, 1971, pp. 203-4). Gematria and hidden meanings are central to Sufi literature; and the following passage could almost have been written, mutatis mutandis, by William Moore in "Shakespeare": so germane are Bacon's cryptographic techniques to the Sufi precedents. The word 'China' in Sufi literature is a code word for mind concentration, a prerequisite for proper psychic development:

CHINA. In Persian CHYN (letters Che, Ya, Nun). Equivalent numbers: 3, 10, 50. Before translating numbers, the Persian letter Che (CH) is first exchanged for its nearest equivalent in the Abjad scheme, which is J. The three sums totaled: 3 + 10 + 50 = 63. Separated into tens and units: 60 + 3. These numbers retranslated into letters: 60 = SIN; 3 = JIM. The word we now have to determine is a combination of S and J. SJ (pronounced SaJJ) means "to plaster or coat, as with clay". Reverse the order of the letters (a permissible change, one of very few allowed by the rules) and we have the word JS. The word is pronounced JaSS. This means "to inquire after a thing; to scrutinize (hidden things); to ascertain (news)." This is the root of the word for "espionage", and hence the Sufi is called the Spy of the Heart. To the Sufi the scrutinization for the purpose of ascertaining hidden things is an equivalent, poetically speaking, with the motive for concentrating the mind.


It comes a something of a surprise to the reader to find, at the completion of his seemingly exhaustive analysis, that Moore has barely scratched the surface of Act IV. There remains a quantity of 'nonsense' lines with which he failed to engage, undoubtedly because of their close similarity in nature those he has already examined. He simply did not need them to make his point. And so here is an opportunity for a research Masters at least, if only a candidate could be found. For Bacon's time has not yet arrived. When it does, a new wave of seekers will thunder irresistibly into shore to shatter the feeble tumbledowns of Stratfordian orthodoxy, and reveal, Mercury-like, the secrets of the deeper sands beneath. Come the day.