Bacon, Shakspere, and
THE present consideration of
the Bacon--Shakspere--Rosicrucian controversy is undertaken not for the vain
purpose of digging up dead men's bones but rather in the hope that a critical
analysis will aid in the rediscovery of that knowledge lost to the world since
the oracles were silenced. It was W. F. C. Wigston who called the Bard of Avon
"phantom Captain Shakespeare, the Rosicrucian mask." This constitutes one of
the most significant statements relating to the Bacon-Shakspere controversy.
It is quite evident that
William Shakspere could not, unaided, have produced the immortal writings
bearing his name. He did not possess the necessary literary culture, for the
town of Stratford where he was reared contained no school capable of imparting
the higher forms of learning reflected in the writings ascribed to him. His
parents were illiterate, and in his early life he evinced a total disregard
for study. There are in existence but six known examples of Shakspere's
handwriting. All are signatures, and three of them are in his will. The
scrawling, uncertain method of their execution stamps Shakspere as unfamiliar
with the use of a pen, and it is obvious either that he copied a signature
prepared for him or that his hand was guided while he wrote. No autograph
manuscripts of the "Shakespearian" plays or sonnets have been discovered, nor
is there even a tradition concerning them other than the fantastic and
impossible statement appearing in the foreword of the Great Folio.
A well-stocked library would be
an essential part of the equipment of an author whose literary productions
demonstrate him to be familiar with the literature of all ages, yet there is
no record that Shakspere ever possessed a library, nor does he make any
mention of books in his will. Commenting on the known illiteracy of
Shakspere's daughter Judith, who at twenty-seven could only make her mark,
Ignatius Donnelly declares it to be unbelievable that William Shakspere if he
wrote the plays bearing his name would have permitted his own daughter to
reach womanhood and marry without being able to read one line of the writings
that made her father wealthy and locally famous.
The query also has been raised,
"Where did William Shakspere secure his knowledge of modern French, Italian,
Spanish, and Danish, to say nothing of classical Latin and Greek?" For, in
spite of the rare discrimination with which Latin is used by the author of the
Shakespearian plays, Ben Jonson, who knew Shakspere intimately, declared that
the Stratford actor understood "small Latin and less Greek"! Is it not also
more than strange that no record exists of William Shakspere's having ever
played a leading rôle in the famous dramas he is supposed to have written or
in others produced by the company of which he was a member? True, he may have
owned a small interest in the Globe Theatre or Blackfriars, but apparently the
height of his thespian achievements was the Ghost in Hamlet!
In spite of his admitted
avarice, Shakspere seemingly made no effort during his lifetime to control or
secure remuneration from the plays bearing his name, many of which were first
published anonymously. As far as can be ascertained, none of his heirs were
involved in any manner whatsoever in the printing of the First Folio
after his death, nor did they benefit financially therefrom. Had he been their
author, Shakspere's manuscripts and unpublished plays would certainly have
constituted his most valued possessions, yet his will--while making special
disposition of his second-best bed and his "broad silver gilt bowl" neither
mentions nor intimates that he possessed any literary productions whatsoever.
While the Folios and Quartos
usually are signed "William Shakespeare," all the known autographs of the
Stratford actor read "William Shakspere." Does this change in spelling contain
any significance heretofore generally overlooked? Furthermore, if the
publishers of the First Shakespearian Folio revered their fellow actor
as much as their claims in that volume would indicate, why did they, as if in
ironical allusion to a hoax which they were perpetrating, place an evident
caricature of him on the title page?
Certain absurdities also in
Shakspere's private life are irreconcilable. While supposedly at the zenith of
his literary career, he was actually engaged in buying malt, presumably for a
brewing business! Also picture the immortal Shakspere--the reputed author of
The Merchant of Venice--as a moneylender! Yet among those against whom
Shakspere brought action to collect petty sums was a fellow townsman--one
Philip Rogers--whom he sued for an unpaid loan of two shillings, or about
forty-eight cents! In short, there is nothing known in the life of Shakspere
that would justify the literary excellence imputed to him.
The philosophic ideals
promulgated throughout the Shakespearian plays distinctly demonstrate their
author to have been thoroughly familiar with certain doctrines and tenets
peculiar to Rosicrucianism; in fact the profundity of the Shakespearian
productions stamps their creator as one of the illuminati of the ages. Most of
those seeking a solution for the Bacon-Shakspere controversy have been
intellectualists. Notwithstanding their scholarly attainments, they have
overlooked the important part played by transcendentalism in the philosophic
achievements of the ages. The mysteries of superphysics are inexplicable to
the materialist, whose training does not equip him to estimate the extent of
their ramifications and complexities. Yet who but a Platonist, a Qabbalist, or
a Pythagorean could have written The Tempest, Macbeth, Hamlet,
or The Tragedy of Cymbeline? Who but one deeply versed in Paracelsian
lore could have conceived, A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Father of modern science,
HEADPIECE SHOWING LIGHT AND SHADED A's.
From Shakespeare's King
Richard The Second, Quarto of 1597.
The ornamental headpiece shown
above has long been considered a Baconian or Rosicrucian signature. The light
and the dark A's appear in several volumes published by emissaries of
the Rosicrucians. If the above figure be compared with that from the
Alciati Emblemata on the following pages, the cryptic use of the two A's
will be further demonstrated.
THE TITLE PAGE OF BURTON'S ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY.
From Burton's Anatomy of
Baconian experts declare
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy to be in reality Francis Bacon's scrapbook in
which he gathered strange and rare bits of knowledge during the many years of
eventful life. This title page has long been supposed to contain a cryptic
message. The key to this cipher is the pointing figure of the maniac in the
lower right-hand corner of the design. According to Mrs. Elizabeth Wells
Gallup, the celestial globe at which the maniac is pointing is a cryptic
symbol of Sir Francis Bacon. The planetary signs which appear in the clouds
opposite the marginal figures 4, 5;, 6, and 7 signify the planetary
configurations, which produce the forms of mania depicted. The seated man,
with his head resting upon his hand. is declared by Baconian enthusiasts to
represent Sir Francis Bacon.
of modern law, editor of the
modem Bible, patron of modem democracy, and one of the founders of modern
Freemasonry, Sir Francis Bacon was a man of many aims and purposes. He was a
Rosicrucian, some have intimated the Rosicrucian. If not actually the
Illustrious Father C.R.C. referred to in the Rosicrucian manifestoes, he was
certainly a high initiate of the Rosicrucian Order, and it is his activities
in connection with this secret body that are of prime importance to students
of symbolism, philosophy, and literature.
Scores of volumes have been
written to establish Sir Francis Bacon as the real author of the plays and
sonnets popularly ascribed to William Shakspere. An impartial consideration of
these documents cannot but convince the open-minded of the verisimilitude of
the Baconian theory. In fact those enthusiasts who for years have struggled to
identify Sir Francis Bacon as the true "Bard of Avon" might long since have
won their case had they emphasized its most important angle, namely, that Sir
Francis Bacon, the Rosicrucian initiate, wrote into the Shakespearian plays
the secret teachings of the Fraternity of R.C. and the true rituals of the
Freemasonic Order, of which order it may yet be discovered that he was the
actual founder. A sentimental world, however, dislikes to give up a
traditional hero, either to solve a controversy or to right a wrong.
Nevertheless, if it can be proved that by raveling out the riddle there can be
discovered information of practical value to mankind, then the best minds of
the world will cooperate in the enterprise. The Bacon-Shakspere controversy,
as its most able advocates realize, involves the most profound aspects of
science, religion, and ethics; he who solves its mystery may yet find therein
the key to the supposedly lost wisdom of antiquity.
It was in recognition of
Bacon's intellectual accomplishments that King James turned over to him the
translators' manuscripts of what is now known as the King James Bible for the
presumable purpose of checking, editing, and revising them. The documents
remained in his hands for nearly a year, but no information is to be had
concerning what occurred in that time. Regarding this work, William T. Smedley
writes: " It will eventually be proved that the whole scheme of the Authorised
Version of the Bible was Francis Bacon's." (See The Mystery of Francis
Bacon.) The first edition of the King James Bible contains a cryptic
Baconian headpiece. Did Bacon cryptographically conceal in the Authorized
Bible that which he dared not literally reveal in the text--the secret
Rosicrucian key to mystic and Masonic Christianity?
Sir Francis Bacon
unquestionably possessed the range of general and philosophical knowledge
necessary to write the Shakespearian plays and sonnets, for it is usually
conceded that he was a composer, lawyer, and linguist. His chaplain, Doctor
William Rawley, and Ben Jonson both attest his philosophic and poetic
accomplishments. The former pays Bacon this remarkable tribute: "I have been
enduced to think that if there were a beame of knowledge derived from God upon
any man in these modern times, it was upon him. For though he was a great
reader of books; yet he had not his knowledge from books but from some grounds
and notions from within himself. " (See Introduction to the Resuscitado.)
Sir Francis Bacon, being not
only an able barrister but also a polished courtier, also possessed that
intimate knowledge of parliamentary law and the etiquette of the royal court
revealed in the Shakespearian plays which could scarcely have been acquired by
a man in the humble station of the Stratford actor. Lord Verulam furthermore
visited many of the foreign countries forming the background for the plays and
was therefore in a position to create the authentic local atmosphere contained
therein, but there is no record of William Shakspere's ever having traveled
outside of England.
The magnificent library amassed
by Sir Francis Bacon contained the very volumes necessary to supply the
quotations and anecdotes incorporated into the Shakespearian plays. Many of
the plays, in fact, were taken from plots in earlier writings of which there
was no English translation at that time. Because of his scholastic
acquirements, Lord Verulam could have read the original books; it is most
unlikely that William Shakspere could have done so.
Abundant cryptographic proof
exists that Bacon was concerned in the production of the Shakespearian plays.
Sir Francis Bacon's cipher number was 33. In the First Part of King Henry
the Fourth, the word "Francis" appears 33 times upon one page. To attain
this end, obviously awkward sentences were required, as: "Anon Francis? No
Francis, but tomorrow Francis: or Francis, on Thursday: or indeed Francis when
thou wilt. But Francis."
Throughout the Shakespearian
Folios and Quartos occur scores of acrostic signatures. The
simplest form of the acrostic is that whereby a name--in these instances
Bacon's--was hidden in the first few letters of lines. In The Tempest,
Act I, Scene 2, appears a striking example of the Baconian acrostic:
"Begun to tell me what I am,
And left me to a bootelesse Inquisition,
Concluding, stay: not yet.
The first letters of the first
and second lines together with the first three letters of the third line form
the word BACon. Similar acrostics appear frequently in Bacon's
The tenor of the Shakespearian
dramas politically is in harmony with the recognized viewpoints of Sir Francis
Bacon, whose enemies are frequently caricatured in the plays. Likewise their
religious, philosophic, and educational undercurrents all reflect his personal
opinions. Not only do these marked similarities of style and terminology exist
in Bacon's writings and the Shakespearian plays, but there are also certain
historical and philosophical inaccuracies common to both, such as identical
misquotations from Aristotle.
"Evidently realizing that
futurity would unveil his full genius, Lord Verulam in his will bequeathed his
soul to God above by the oblations of his Savior, his body to be buried
obscurely, his name and memory to men's charitable speeches, to foreign
nations, to succeeding ages, and to his own countrymen after some time had
elapsed. That portion appearing in italics Bacon deleted from his will,
apparently fearing that he had said too much.
That Sir Francis Bacon's
subterfuge was known to a limited few during his lifetime is quite evident.
Accordingly, stray hints regarding the true author of the Shakespearian plays
may be found in many seventeenth century volumes. On page 33 (Bacon's cipher
number) of the 1609 edition of Robert Cawdry's Treasurie or Storehouse
A BACONIAN SIGNATURE.
From Alciati Emblemata.
The curious volume from which
this figure is taken was published in Paris in r618. The attention of the
Baconian student is immediately attracted by the form of the hog in the
foreground. Bacon often used this animal as a play upon his own name,
especially because the name Bacon was derived from he word beech and
the nut of this tree was used to fatten hogs. The two pillars in the
background have considerable Masonic interest. The two A's nearly in the
center of the picture--one light and one shaded--are alone almost conclusive
proof of Baconian influence. The most convincing evidence, however, is the
fact that 17 is the numerical equivalent of the letters of the Latin farm of
Bacon's name (F. Baco) and there are 17 letters in the three words appearing
in the illustration.
FRANCIS BACON, BARON VERULAM, VISCOUNT ST. ALBANS.
From Bacon's Advancement of
Lord Bacon was born in 1561 and
history records his death in 1626. There are records in existence, however,
which would indicate the probability that his funeral was a mock funeral and
that, leaving England, he lived for many years under another name in Germany,
there faithfully serving the secret society to the promulgation of whose
doctrines he had consecrate his life. Little doubt seems to exist in the minds
of impartial investigators that Lord Bacon was the legitimate son of Queen
Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester.
of Similes appears the
following significant allusion: "Like as men would laugh at a poore man, if
having precious garments lent him to act and play the part of some honourable
personage upon a stage, when the play were at an ende he should keepe them as
his owne, and bragge up and downe in them."
Repeated references to the word
hog and the presence of cryptographic statements on page 33 of various
contemporary writings demonstrate that the keys to Bacon's ciphers were his
own name, words playing upon it, or its numerical equivalent. Notable examples
are the famous statement of Mistress Quickly in The Merry Wives of Windsor:
"Hang-hog is latten for Bacon, I warrant you"; the title pages of The
Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia and Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene;
and the emblems appearing in the works of Alciatus and Wither. Furthermore,
the word honorificabilitudinitatibus appearing in the fifth act of
Love's Labour's Lost is a Rosicrucian signature, as its numerical equivalent
Again, on the title page of the
first edition of Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Father Time is
depicted bringing a female figure out of the darkness of a cave. Around the
device is a Latin inscription: "In time the secret truth shall be revealed."
The catchwords and printer's devices appearing in volumes published especially
during the first half of the seventeenth century were designed, arranged, and
in some cases mutilated according to a definite plan.
It is evident also that the
mispaginations in the Shakespearian Folios and other volumes are keys
to Baconian ciphers, for re-editions--often from new type and by different
printers--contain the same mistakes. For example, the First and
Second Folios of Shakespeare are printed from entirely different type and
by different printers nine years apart, but in both editions page 153 of the
Comedies is numbered 151, and pages 249 and 250 are numbered 250 and
251 respectively. Also in the 1640 edition of Bacon's The Advancement and
Proficience of Learning, pages 353 and 354 are numbered 351 and 352
respectively, and in the 1641 edition of Du Bartas' Divine Weeks pages
346 to 350 inclusive are entirely missing, while page 450 is numbered 442. The
frequency with which pages ending in numbers 50, 51, 52,53, and 54 are
involved will he noted.
The requirements of Lord
Verulam's biliteral cipher are fully met in scores of volumes printed between
1590 and 1650 and in some printed at other times. An examination of the verses
by L. Digges, dedicated to the memory of the deceased "Authour Maister W.
Shakespeare," reveals the use of two fonts of type for both capital and small
letters, the differences being most marked in the capital T's, N's,
and A's, (Seethe First Folio.) The cipher has been deleted from
The presence of hidden material
in the text is often indicated by needless involvement of words. On the
sixteenth unnumbered page of the 1641 edition of Du Bartas' Divine Weeks
is a boar surmounting a pyramidal text. The text is meaningless jargon,
evidently inserted for cryptographic reasons and marked with Bacon's
signature--the hog. The year following publication of the First Folio
of Shakespeare's plays in 1623, there was printed in "Lunæburg" a remarkable
volume on cryptography, avowedly by Gustavus Selenus. It is considered
extremely probable that this volume constitutes the cryptographic key to the
Great Shakespearian Folio.
Peculiar symbolical head- and
tail-pieces also mark the presence of cryptograms. While such ornaments are
found in many early printed books, certain emblems are peculiar to volumes
containing Baconian Rosicrucian ciphers. The light and dark shaded A is
an interesting example. Bearing in mind the frequent recurrence in Baconian
symbolism of the light and dark shaded A and the hog, the following
statement by Bacon in his Interpretation of Nature is highly
significant: "If the sow with her snout should happen to imprint the letter A
upon the ground, wouldst thou therefore imagine that she could write out a
whole tragedy as one letter?"
The Rosicrucians and other
secret societies of the seventeenth century used watermarks as mediums for the
conveyance of cryptographic references, and books presumably containing
Baconian ciphers are usually printed upon paper bearing Rosicrucian or Masonic
watermarks; often there are several symbols in one book, such as the Rose
Cross, urns, bunches of grapes, and others.
At hand is a document which may
prove a remarkable key to a cipher beginning in The Tragedy of Cymbeline.
So far as known it has never been published and is applicable only to the 1623
Folio of the Shakespearian plays. The cipher is a line-and-word count
involving punctuation, especially the long and short exclamation points and
the straight and slanting interrogation points. This code was discovered by
Henry William Bearse in 1900, and after it has been thoroughly checked its
exact nature will be made public.
No reasonable doubt remains
that the Masonic Order is the direct outgrowth of the secret societies of the
Middle Ages, nor can it be denied that Freemasonry is permeated by the
symbolism and mysticism of the ancient and mediæval worlds. Sir Francis Bacon
knew the true secret of Masonic origin and there is reason to suspect that he
concealed this knowledge in cipher and cryptogram. Bacon is not to be regarded
solely as a man but rather as the focal point between an invisible institution
and a world which was never able to distinguish between the messenger and the
message which he promulgated. This secret society, having rediscovered the
lost wisdom of the ages and fearing that the knowledge might be lost again,
perpetuated it in two ways: (1) by an organization (Freemasonry)
A CRYPTIC HEADPIECE.
From Ralegh's History of the
Many documents influenced by
Baconian philosophy--or intended m conceal Baconian or Rosicrucian
cryptograms--use certain conventional designs at the beginning and end of
chapters, which reveal to the initiated the presence of concealed information.
The above ornamental has long been accepted as of the presence of Baconian
influence and is to be found only in a certain number of rare volumes, all of
which contain Baconian cryptograms. These cipher messages were placed in the
books either by Bacon himself or by contemporaneous and subsequent authors
belonging to the same secret society which Bacon served with his remarkable
knowledge of ciphers and enigmas. Variants of this headpiece adorn the Great
Shakespearian Folio (1623); Bacon's Novum Organum (1620); the St. James Bible
(1611); Spencer's Faerie Queene (1611); and Sir Walter Ralegh's History of the
World (1614) (See American Baconiana.)
THE DROESHOUT PORTRAIT OF SHAKESPEARE.
From Shakespeare's Great
Folio of 1623.
There are no authentic
portraits of Shakspere in existence. The dissimilarities the Droeshout,
Chandos, Janssen, Hunt, Ashbourne, Soest, and Dunford portraits prove
conclusively that the artists were unaware of Shakspere's actual features. An
examination of the Droeshout portrait discloses several peculiarities.
Baconian enthusiasts are convinced that the face is only a caricature,
possibly the death mask of Francis Bacon. A comparison of the Droeshout
Shakspere with portraits and engravings of Francis Bacon demonstrates the
identity of the structure of the two faces, the difference in expression being
caused by lines of shading. Not also the peculiar line running from the ear
down to the chin. Does this line subtly signify that the face itself a mask,
ending at the ear? Notice also that the head is not connected with the body,
but is resting on the collar. Most strange of all is the coat: one-half is on
backwards. In drawing the jacket, the artist has made the left arm correctly,
but the right arm has the back of the shoulder to the front. Frank Woodward
has noted that there are 157 letters on the title page. This is a Rosicrucian
signature of first importance. The date, 1623, Plus the two letters "ON" from
the word "LONDON," gives the cryptic signature of Francis Bacon, by a simple
numerical cipher. By merely exchanging the 26 letters of the alphabet for
numbers, 1 became A, 6 becomes F, 2 becomes B, and 3 becomes C, giving AFBC.
To this is added the ON from LONDON, resulting in AFBCON, which rearranged
forms F. BACON.
to the initiates of which it
revealed its wisdom in the form of symbols; (2) by embodying its arcana in the
literature of the day by means of cunningly contrived ciphers and enigmas.
Evidence points to the
existence of a group of wise and illustrious Fratres who assumed the
responsibility of publishing and preserving for future generations the
choicest of the secret books of the ancients, together with certain other
documents which they themselves had prepared. That future members of their
fraternity might not only identify these volumes bur also immediately note the
significant passages, words, chapters, or sections therein, they created a
symbolic alphabet of hieroglyphic designs. By means of a certain key and
order, the discerning few were thus enabled to find that wisdom by which a man
is "raised" to an illumined life.
The tremendous import of the
Baconian mystery is daily becoming more apparent. Sir Francis Bacon was a link
in that great chain of minds which has perpetuated the secret doctrine of
antiquity from its beginning. This secret doctrine is concealed in his cryptic
writings. The search for this divine wisdom is the only legitimate motive for
the effort to decode his cryptograms.
Masonic research might discover
much of value if it would turn its attention to certain volumes published
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which bear the stamp and signet
of that secret society whose members first established modern Freemasonry but
themselves remained as an intangible group controlling and directing the
activities of the outer body. The unknown history and lost rituals of
Freemasonry may be rediscovered in the symbolism and cryptograms of the Middle
Ages. Freemasonry is the bright and glorious son of a mysterious and
hidden father. It cannot trace its parentage because that origin is obscured
by the veil of the superphysical and the mystical. The Great Folio of
1623 is a veritable treasure house of Masonic lore and symbolism, and the time
is at hand when that Great Work should be accorded the consideration which is
Though Christianity shattered
the material organization of the pagan Mysteries, it could not destroy the
knowledge of supernatural power which the pagans possessed. Therefore it is
known that the Mysteries of Greece and Egypt were secretly perpetuated through
the early centuries of the church, and later, by being clothed in the
symbolism of Christianity, were accepted as elements of that faith. Sir
Francis Bacon was one of those who had been entrusted with the perpetuation
and dissemination of s the arcana of the superphysical originally in the
possession of the pagan hierophants, and to attain that end either formulated
the Fraternity of R.C. or was admitted into an organization already existing
under that name and became one of its principal representatives.
For some reason not apparent to
the uninitiated there has been a continued and consistent effort to prevent
the unraveling of the Baconian skein. Whatever the power may be which
continually blocks the efforts of investigators, it is as unremitting now as
it was immediately following Bacon's death, and those attempting to solve the
enigma still feel the weight of its resentment.
A misunderstanding world has
ever persecuted those who understood the secret workings of Nature, seeking in
every conceivable manner to exterminate the custodians of this divine wisdom.
Sir Francis Bacon's political prestige was finally undermined and Sir Walter
Ralegh met a shameful fate because their transcendental knowledge was
The forging of Shakspere's
handwriting; the foisting of fraudulent portraits and death masks upon a
gullible public; the fabrication of spurious biographies; the mutilation of
books and documents; the destruction or rendering illegible of tablets and
inscriptions containing cryptographic messages, have all compounded the
difficulties attendant upon the solution of the Bacon-Shakspere-Rosicrucian
riddle. The Ireland forgeries deceived experts for years.
According to material
available, the supreme council of the Fraternity of R.C. was composed of a
certain number of individuals who had died what is known as the "philosophic
death." When the time came for an initiate to enter upon his labors for the
Order, he conveniently "died" under somewhat mysterious circumstances. In
reality he changed his name and place of residence, and a box of rocks or a
body secured for the purpose was buried in his stead. It is believed that this
happened in the case of Sir Francis Bacon who, like all servants of the
Mysteries, renounced all personal credit and permitted others to be considered
as the authors of the documents which he wrote or inspired.
The cryptic writings of Francis
Bacon constitute one of the most powerful tangible elements in the mysteries
of transcendentalism and symbolic philosophy. Apparently many years must yet
pass before an uncomprehending world will appreciate the transcending genius
of that mysterious man who wrote the Novum Organum, who sailed his
little ship far out into the unexplored sea of learning through the Pillars of
Hercules, and whose ideals for a new civilization are magnificently expressed
in the Utopian dream of The New Atlantis. Was Sir Francis Bacon a
second Prometheus? Did his great love for the people of the world and his pity
for their ignorance cause him to bring the divine fire from heaven concealed
within the contents of a printed page?
In all probability, the keys to
the Baconian riddle will be found in classical mythology. He who understands
the secret of the Seven-Rayed God will comprehend the method employed by Bacon
to accomplish his monumental labor. Aliases were assumed by him in accordance
with the attributes and order of the members of the planetary system. One of
the least known--but most important--keys to the Baconian enigma is the Third,
or 1637, Edition, published in Paris, of Les Images ou Tableaux de platte
peinture des deux Philostrates sophistes grecs et les statues de Callistrate,
by Blaise de Vigenere. The title page of this volume--which, as the name of
the author when properly deciphered indicates, was written by or under the
direction of Bacon or his secret society--is one mass of important Masonic or
Rosicrucian symbols. On page 486 appears a plate entitled "Hercules Furieux,"
showing a gigantic figure shaking a spear, the ground before him strewn with
curious emblems. In his curious work, Das Bild des Speershüttlers die
Lösung des Shakespeare-Rätsels, Alfred Freund attempts to explain the
Baconian symbolism in the Philostrates. Bacon he reveals as the
philosophical Hercules, whom time will establish as the true "Spear-Shaker"
TITLE PAGE OF THE FAMOUS FIRST EDITION OF SIR WALTER RALEGH'S HISTORY OF THE
From Ralegh's History of the
What was the mysterious knowledge which
Sir Walter Ralegh possessed and which was declared to be detrimental to the
British government? Why was he executed when the charges against him could not
be proved? Was he a member of me of those feared and hated secret societies
which nearly overthrew political and religious Europe during the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries? Was Sir Walter Ralegh an important factor in the Bacon-Shakspere-Rosicrucian-Masonic
enigma? By those seeking the keys to this great controversy, he seems to have
been almost entirely overlooked. His contemporaries are unanimous in their
praise of his remarkable intellect, and he has long been considered me of
Britain's most brilliant sons.
Sir Walter Ralegh--soldier, courtier,
statesman, writer, poet, philosopher, and explorer--was a scintillating figure
at the court of Queen Elizabeth. Upon this same man, King James--after the
death of Elizabeth--heaped every indignity within his power. The cowardly
James, who shuddered at the mention of weapons and cried like a child when he
was crossed, was insanely jealous of the brilliant courtier. Ralegh's enemies,
Playing upon the king's weakness, did not cease their relentless persecution
until Ralegh had been hanged and his decapitated, quartered, and disemboweled
body lay at their feet.
The title page reproduced above was used
by Ralegh's political foes as a powerful weapon against him. They convinced
James I that the face of the central figure upholding the globe was a
caricature of his own, and the enraged king ordered every copy of the
engraving destroyed. But a few copies escaped the royal wrath; consequently
the plate is extremely rare. The engraving is a mass Rosicrucian and Masonic
symbols, and the figures on the columns in all probability conceal a
cryptogram. More significant still is the fact that the page facing this plate
is a headpiece identical with that used in the 1623 Folio of "Shakespeare" and
also in Bacon's Novum Organum.
Cryptogram as a factor in Symbolic Philosophy