The Final Clews

The following five First Folio snippets are, at the surface level, standalone nonsense, elegant Elizabethan gibberish, yet they were also the very last texts included into the First Folio before it went to Press the final time. They are hiding-places for Bacon’s last public broadcast, concealed using the Biliteral Cipher of his invention.

Being the last words, he was less at risk then, and presumably was the least guarded ever in handing out the clews. Therefore, for the Cryptographer, this lightweight literary rubbish is not that of least interest within the First Folio; but instead the most.

They must be the most misunderstood and under-appreciated Blurbs in the history of English Literature.

The text of the decoded message is provided below. It is indicated whether verification has been available through our computer-aided Experiments.

(822 bytes, 222 (?) biliteral-decoded letters)

A CATALOGVE of the Seuerall Comedies, Historie, and Tragedies
contained in this Volume

The Tempest.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Measure for Measure.
The Comedy of Errours.
Much adoo about Nothing
Loves Labour lost.
Midsommer Nights Dreame.
The Merchant of Venice.
As you Like it.
The Taming of the Shrew.
All is well, that Ends well.
Twelfe-Night, or what you will.
The Winters Tale.
The Life and Death of King John.
The Life & death of Richard the second.
The First part of King Henry the fourth.
The Second part of K. Henry the fourth.
The Life of King Henry the Fift.
The First part of King Henry the Sixt.
The Second part of King Hen. the Sixt.
The Third part of King Henry the Sixt.
The Life and Death of Richard the Third
The Life of King Henry the Eight.

Secret message as decoded by Elizabeth Gallup:

Queene Elizabeth is my true mother, and I am the lawfull heire to the throne. Finde the Cypher storie my bookes containe; it tells great secrets, every one of which (if imparted openly) would forfeit my life. — F. BACON

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(1,134 bytes, 218 (?) biliteral-decoded letters)

The Workes of William Shakespeare,
           containing all his Comedies, Histories, and
      Tragedies: Truely set forth, according to their first
                        O R I G I N A L L

The Names of the Principall Actors in all these Playes.

William Shakespeare.
Richard Burbadge.
John Hemmings.
Augustine Phillips.
William Kempt.
Thomas Poope.
George Bryan.
Henry Condell.
William Slye.
Richard Cowly.
John Lowine.
Samuell Crosse.
Alexander Cooke.
Samuel Gilburne.
Robert Armin.
William Ostler.
Nathan Field.
John Underwood.
Nicholas Tooley.
William Ecclestone.
Joseph Taylor.
Robert Benfield.
Robert Goughe.
Richard Robinson.
John Shancke.
John Rice.

Secret message as decoded by Elizabeth Gallup:

As I sometimes place rules and directions in other
Ciphers, you must seeke for the others soone to aide in
— FR. OF Ve.

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(1,091 bytes, 218 (?) biliteral-decoded letters)

of the deceased Authour Maister
W. S H A K E S P E A R E.
Shake-speare, at length thy pious fellowes give
The world thy Workes : thy Workes, by which, out-live
Thy Tombe, thy name must when that stone is rent,
And Time dissolves thy Stratford Moniment,
Here we alive shall view thee still. This Booke,
When Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee looke
Fresh to all Ages: when Posteritie
Shall loath what’s new, thinke all is prodegie
That is not Shake-speares; ev’ry Line, each Verse
Here shall revive, redeeme thee from thy Herse.
Nor Fire, nor cankring Age, as Naso said,
Of his, thy wit-fraught Booke shall once invade.
Nor shall I e’re beleeve, or thinke thee dead.
(Though mist) untill our bankrout Stage be sped
(Imposible) with some new straine t’out-do
Passions of Juliet, and her Romeo ;
Or till I heare a Scene more nobly take,
Then when thy half-Sword parlying Romans spake.
Till these, till any of thy Volumes rest
Shall with more fire, more feeling be exprest,
Be sure, our Shake-speare, thou canst never dye,
But crown’d with Lawrell, live eternally.
L. Digges.

Secret message as decoded by Elizabeth Gallup:

Francis of Verulam is author of all the plays heretofore published by Marlowe, Greene, Peele, Shakespeare, and of the two-and-twenty now put out for the first time. Some are alterd to continue his history. — F. ST. A

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(401 bytes, 80 biliteral-decoded letters)

To the memorie of M.W.Shakes-speare.

WEE wondred (Shake-speare) that thou went’st so soone
From the Worlds-Stage, to the Graves-Tyring-roome.
Wee thought thee dead, but this thy printed worth,
Tels thy Spectators, that thou went’st but forth
To enter with applause. An Actors Art,
Can dye, and live, to acte a second part.
That’s but an Exit of Mortalitie;
This, a Re-entrance to a Plaudite.

J. M. (James Mabbe)

Secret message validated by Experiment Fourteen:

search for keyes the headings of the comedies francis baron of vervlam

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(1050 bytes, 210 biliteral-decoded letters)

The Prologue
In Troy there lyes the Scene: From Iles of Greece
The Princes Orgillous, their high blood chaf’d
Haue to the Port of Athens ſent their ſhippes
Fraught with the miniſters and inſtruments
Of cruell Warre: Sixty and nine that wore
Their Crownets Regall, from th’ Athenian bay
Put forth toward Phrygia, and their vow is made
To ranſacke Troy, within whoſe ſtrong emures
The rauiſh’d Helen, Menelaus Queene,
With wanton Paris sleepes, and that’s the Quarrell.
To Tenedos they come,
And the deepe-drawing Barke do there diſgorge
Their warlike frautage: now on Dardan Plaines
The freſh and yet unbruiſed Greekes do pitch
Their braue Pauillions. Priams ſix-gated City,
Dardan and Timbria, Helias, Chetas, Troien,
And Antenonidus with maſsie Staples
And correſponſiue and fulfilling Bolts
Stirre up the Sonnes of Troy.
Now Expectation tickling skittiſh ſpirits,
On one and other ſide, Troian and Greeke,
Sets all on hazard. And hither am I come,
A Prologue arm’d, but not in confidence
Of Authors pen, or Actors voyce, but ſuited
In like conditions, as our Argument,
To tell you (faire Beholders) that our Play
Leapes ore the vaunt and firſtlings of those broyles,
Beginning in the middle. ſtarting thence away,
To what may be digeſted in a Play:
Like, or finde fault, do as your pleaſures are,
Now good, or bad, ’tis but the chance of Warre.

Secret message validated by Experiment One:

francis st alban descended from the mighty heroes of troy loving and revering these noble ancestors hid in his writings homers illiads and odyssey in cipher with the aeneid of the noble virgil prince of latin poets inscribing the letters to elizabeth r.

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Page 166 of Elizabeth Gallup’s The Biliteral Cypher of Francis Bacon, where she unintentionally provides a concise one-page summary of FB’s 1623 Final Broadcast (see footnote to the page).

Notes for this page:

  • It was remarkably difficult to find plain-text of all the Preparatory Poems, so that they could be gathered together in one place here for study. Almost all reference works begin with the first Playe, the Tempest, omitting all of the above. This includes the excellent Bodleian Library facsimiles, as if to signal their disdain for their significance and quality. The text here was copied from Project Gutenberg.

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