A COMPLETE SYSTEM OF CRYPTOGRAPHY

BY

GUSTAVUS SELENUS

 

TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN

BY

DR. JOHN WILLIAM HENRY WALDEN.

 

Instructor of Latin

at

Harvard,

J. W., Ph. D.

With regard to the names assigned to the various processes or Modes, I have endeavored to be as literal as possible and at the same time to use expressions that should convey some meaning in English.? I have also tried to be as consistent as possible in the use of these terms, but some discrepancies may possibly still be found.? Two troublesome questions that arose were the matter of capitals and the matter of proper names.? With regard to proper names, the question was, should I keep the Latin forms or should I write the names in their original spellings?? I have here sacrificed consistency by giving in each case the form of the name that seemed to me the best known or the most generally used.? Having put so much labor and study on the book, I have a certain fondness for it, and I therefore very much hope that it will be published.? In this case, I should wish to correct the proofs and see it through the press.? The notes at present added are scattered and not of much account; a few additional explanatory notes seem in places required.? The commendatory poems prefixed to the work I have translated baldly;? these I should wish to revise if the work is printed.? An adequate index should be provided.



 

 

 

 A COMPLETE SYSTEM OF CRYPTOGRAPHY

BY

GUSTAVUS SELENUS

 



 

The Cryptomenytics and Cryptography of Gustavus Selenus in Nine Books.? Wherein is also contained a most clear Elucidation of the Steganographia, a Book at one time composed, in Magic and Enigmatic form, by Johannes Trithemius, Abbot of Spanheim and W?g, a Man of Wonderful Parts.? There being throughout introduced Devices by the Author and of Others, which merit your Attention.

CI) I)  CXXIIII.


 

 

 ????????


 

Let no one read unwilling, for such I?ve written not;

 

For him my page is written, to whom it gives delight.

 

 

 



To Ferdinand the Second,

Emperor Augustus, most Potent, most Invincible;

King of

Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia,

Croatia, Slavonia, &c.;

Archduke of Austria;

Duke of

Burgundy, Stiria, Carinthia, Carniola,

W?erg, &c.;

Count of Tyrel, &c.;

his most Clement Lord:

 

There has at length, though perhaps quite early enough, come into the world this offspring of mine, which I have, up to the present time, for a number of years back, cherished and strengthened, until, as I hope, I have brought it to the perfection of its proper form.? Now seeing it in need of some champion, lacking neither in vigor nor in power, to defend it against the attacks of Zeilus, I thought of no one more fit or more worthy than, most Invincible Emperor and Victorious Hero, your Imperial Majesty; for, as your Imperial Majesty ought most rightly, as is your Imperial Majesty able most wisely, to judge of the character of my offspring recently born and destined with the lapse of time to attain its hoped-for growth.?? And as your Imperial Majesty wishes, as is your Imperial Majesty most powerful, to undertake the care and protection thereof.? Wherefore, it does not behoove me to speak, in the presence of your Imperial Majesty, of its use, which, if anywhere, may, with certainty, in the estimation of your Imperial Majesty, be valued at its highest.? For who can compare the Roman-German Emperor, who can have more important matters whereof to treat with the greatest ones of the earth, -- himself, by Divine grace, the Greatest of all.? And these matters often require written correspondence of the most secret kind.? Now although I do not doubt that, even without this Commentary of mine, your Imperial Majesty can, through his acquaintance with the art of Steganography, effectually secure that his letters, though in a foreign land and even in the enemy?s territory, shall not, without the sanction of his Divine will, disclose to any other than those to whom they are sent the matters therein contained, still I do not for that reason think that this Book of mine will be for your Imperial Majesty without utility, since, by the variety of forms alone and the wealth of choice afforded, it may, through the subjoined table, prove to be of service.? For the rest, whether this offspring can be a credit to, or reflect glory upon, its parent, be this a question for your Imperial Majesty to decide.? Its name, to be sure, whereby the wrapper first introduces itself to your most August Majesty, is like a nut; the shell, like all things cryptographic, is open to the sight; but of the kernel, of my person, my spirit, and my most humble devotion to your Imperial Majesty, thereof he who will deliver this offspring into your Imperial Majesty?s sacred hands will give explanation.? I myself am, most truly, and shall be, one who never, to the last breath of his life, will desist from cherishing, to the extent of his power, your Imperial Majesty, and standing ever ready to render him whatever service he can, however humble.? And, indeed, how could I otherwise, a German, and knowing that, without the preservation of your Imperial Majesty?s life, my own fatherland could not stand unshaken.? This we learned full well only the other day, when a little cloud, rising from some quarter of the heaven, seemed for a while to have abstracted this Sun of day from our sight.? Now we are everywhere fostered by the care of Justice, your Imperial Majesty?s own daughter.? And Germany, hearing that to her your Imperial Majesty unites in all-propitious wedlock Peace, seems at last once more to breathe again and to rejoice in the prospect of unbounded happiness.? May your Sacred Majesty live, thrive, and hold sway, with every success and through long length of time, and continue, most mercifully, to unfold, beneath the protecting care of your most august favor, me and all my possessions.?

From the Hitzacker Museum, 25, January, 1624.

 

Your Imperial Majesty?s

Most Humble, Most Obedient,

and Most Faithful Vassal,

as long as I breathe,

Gustavus

born of Selenic lineage.


PREFACE

Gustavus Selenus

 

to the Clever Enquirer into Things Recondite.

 

I herewith put before you, kind reader, my System of Cryptography, complete, so far as I have been able to make it so, and, as I hope, perfect in all its parts.? Quite beyond my expectations is it that the matter has been brought to this point, for in the beginning I had no other thought than to make an elucidation of the Steganographia, which was published, under the cloak of magic, by Johannes Trithemius, Abbot, first of Spanheim, and afterwards of W?g.? This work, certainly a long and sufficiently involved composition, and one also which is wrapped from beginning to end in a perfect cloud of uncertainty, I still present to the reader in the Third Book, in an Elucidation which is short, clear, and unclouded by obscurities.? With regard to this subject, as being the most important part of Cryptography, or the first object of my enquiry, I shall make a few introductory remarks, requesting that you consider, what I shall say on this matter, is also for the most part said with reference to the whole art.? Now when I first turned my attention in this direction, this Elucidation cost me the most severe and persistent mental application through a number of years, as also no small expenditure of strength.? For I found myself in need of guidance in a veritable labyrinth of Daedalus, or of the Minotaur, that is, of imaginary spirits, and this fact, more than the enigmatic incantations, caused me inextricable trouble.? But all this I gladly went through, for the public behoof and the reader?s good.? For I saw that, by this work of mine, other men?s thoughts on this subject, -- thoughts, most ingenious, which this generation, which is fatally bent on producing all subjects, even the most abstruse, has presented to the public in writing, -- were also, either illustrated, or at least enriched by no slight accession.? And the reader also may now, without loss of time, which before he had to expend with practically no result, learn by himself, with only a slight amount of labor, the principle of writing hiddenly, or the method of investigating, learning, or interpreting documents so written by adversaries or enemies.? But beware of trying to find in the Steganographia of our Abbot, or of thinking that you must therein look for, more mystery, on the basis of the enigmatic signs, than is here set forth.? For I promise, by the strength of my feeble intellect, and other agencies whereby I have arrived at a thorough understanding of the inner secrets of this matter, that you will spend your labor and your oil in vain.? If you observe this caution, you will not only rightly enjoy the fruit of my toil, but you will also desist from suspecting things uncanny, that is, magical, of our Abbot.? For the rest, let no one impose upon you with the statement that, -- a charge which may possibly be brought against me, -- I in this elucidation approach a subject that is quite illicit; because, in the first place, it is with design that this art is so hidden, obscure, and involved, and because, secondly, our Abbot furthermore so severely forbade anyone, who should chance by Divine favor to receive enlightenment on the subject, to betray and disclose those Eleusimian rites; enforcing his commands most strenuously with curses, -- on the chance that his orders might perhaps not prove valid after his death or might themselves cease to exist, -- and even endeavoring, by a dire and unholy imprecation, to deter any soul from revealing secrets of this kind.? For, granting that this was the design of our author in concealing; granting that it was the design of Heraclitus, who is said always to have had on his tongue the words σκόπσον, σκόπσον, involve in shadow, make obscure:? granting that it was the design of Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers, earlier and later; granting that it was the design of the ancient jurisconsults; granting, I say, that this was their design, to prevent the contents of their writings from becoming generally known; still, it did not the less redound to the glory? of Cneus Flavius, the scribe of Appius Claudius, that he made known to the Roman people the Actions at Law, which Appius had reduced to form and kept under the seal of the most inviolable secrecy; Pomponius, in l.2, de Orig. Jur.? Again, the Emperor Justinian determined absolutely to do away with the sigla and bigla, wherewith the jurisconsults endeavored to render their study of Law a secret to all but themselves;? Constit. ad Trebon., ?? N輯u> autem; Constit. ad Senatum,? ? Eadem;? Constit. ad Magnum Senatum. ? Eadem; Constit. ad Antecessor., ? Illud:? Nov., 47.c.2.? Who does not owe a debt of gratitude to Flaxinius and the other commentators for having remarked on the cryptology or study of secrecy, noticed in the Acroamatica of the Philosopher, and also for having lifted the cloud there from and pointed out to us the light?? And no one, I think, bears aught of spite toward Neldelius because he has disclosed the Aristotelian process, and has shown not only the fact, but also the method whereby, Aristotle has, beneath the apodeictic syllogism, most artfully concealed, for every department of learning, the didascalic syllogisms.? If some one could skillfully remove for us from Plato?s Republic, which is enwrapped in the mysteries of numbers, the outer covering, and lay the work plainly before us, no one, I suppose, would find fault with what was done, as though it were done illicitly.? Now, as regards our author, you may be more than fully convinced that he is not carrying on a serious piece of business.? Take as a proof the plan of the whole treatise, which, it is certain, is composed, from beginning to end, of one long intellectual jest, which, however, is artfully hidden and, as will appear very clearly from the explanation which I have prefixed, in Bk. III.c.1, to the Steganographia, enveloped in matter that offers a pretence of seriousness.? More than this, the author even himself constructed keys, as they are called, whereby to unlock the secret of this matter, and then communicated the same, thus constructed, to the Kloster first of all; and afterwards they were communicated to others, and were by these, before being explained to me, made, though in a slovenly fashion, generally known.? With such assistance, it would not have been so very laborious a task for a skilful person to discover and understand both the Modes themselves and the principles of the Modes, if the author had only at all times been consistent with himself, and had not, as was the case, often a second time obscured in a cloud of digressions and transpositions what he had once made clear; or if the copies themselves, both manuscript and printed, had, as is not the case, agreed with the autograph.? All these difficulties, however, I have, as I have just now intimated, surmounted in the reader?s interest.? Now, further, there is no argument of any weight whereby I should be forbidden to disclose these matters.? For, if, notwithstanding the fact that there was reason to fear that Hariadenus Abenobarbus or some other pirate ? and freebooter-captain would make use of this or that stratagem of war, still Vegetius, Sextus Frontimus, Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen, and others were permitted to collect from all sources stratagems of war, and publicly set forth the same, for others to imitate, why should it be turned to my discredit that, to provide for an indispensable want, I publish, for the use of good men, things of like nature, -- for there is something in common between this matter and the war-like inventions to which I have referred; -- although some evilly-engaged persons may at some time turn the same to their own account?? Thus, as we have it in Boccacio?s Tales, Guiscarde and Ghismonda, both very clever in this direction, were able to compose love-letters in hidden wise, and thereby bring to fruition their illicit love.? On this subject we have the verses of Filippe Beroalde:?? ?What thoughts does not Love have?? A woman invents the way of deception, and herself composed the secret signs.? The letter is hidden by stealth in a reed out open, and this the fair one gives to her lover?s own hand.? Shrewd, the lover believes the reed not given for naught, and finds and scans the signs there hidden.? O?erjoyed is he, and praises the way that a woman shows, awaiting the rapture of love?s promised fruition.? Writings tell the time or place when stealthy Love can join the lovers fond in love?s embrace.?? Who would for this reason begrudge to some faithful Achates this art, whereby he might warn his friend of a threatening danger, or, if the latter were confined in prison or in any other way embarrassed, suggest to him, unbeknown to all others, some secret piece of advice?? As, even though he broke the oath whereby he had promised silence, Demetrius Polierestes, making use of some writing of this kind, or at least of a writing not entirely unlike this, conducted himself toward Mithridates; Plutarch, In Demet. Pol.? Abuse certainly ought not to raise any prejudice against correct use.? This much being clear, I also do not wish, kind reader, to abuse your leisure, -- provided I shall have impressed upon you, to some slight extent, the value of this art.? For though to some this whole subject may seem the invention of an idle man and even childish trifling, contributing neither to private nor to public utility, still, let one be as sensible in his own person as he may, if he will not or cannot understand the importance that there is, especially in war-times and at other times of stress, in this safe method of conveying a secret, he will, in his sagacity, judge that there is little sense in the art, and to himself absolutely no need thereof.? Hereof I with reason refrain from making further words, since the matter is of itself sufficiently clear.? now there will be no reason to fear this:? that, namely, by the present Elucidation, I shall myself quite destroy this value belonging to the art, or render the practice of the art useless, for the reason that, if the principle of concealment here given should come to the knowledge of my enemy or of the one from whom I wish my secrets to remain hidden, the secret could, to such person, if he were thoroughly to read this present work of mine, no longer be anything but perfectly evident.? For, granting that such may sometimes be the result, I nevertheless answer:? This was not my aim, nor could it be, -- to record and bring to light all the Modes of hidden writing, without exception; but I was engaged with the general classes only, according to the method and plan of our author; not with the idea that students of this art should stop there, but that they might, after gaining a thorough insight and understanding of these, advance, and learn to vary these general Modes by wondrous other Modes, and from those to construct at will new ones known to themselves alone.? And not only is this not a difficult thing to do, but it might easily be the case that even Trithemius himself, if he were alive, would be unable in any way to gather, from such a new and, so to speak, conventional, or arbitrarily selected Mode of secret-writing, any sense at all;? and thus it would happen that the artist would be quite put to shame by his own pupil, in his own art.? But, on the other hand, I have not allowed this Elucidation to go forth in fragmentary form, like a limb which, though most elegantly clothed, is nevertheless rent from the body.? For I have at the same time produced the whole body, and have shown the links whereby Steganography is skillfully joined to the other links of Cryptomenytics and Cryptography; and, taking advantage of the opening here offered, I have made my way into this citadel and inner sanctuary of the whole art of signifying a thing hiddenly to another, -- whether with good auspices, I leave, reader, to your judgment, on condition, however, that if your judgment prove unfavorable, I shall not be kept from defending my cause.? Certainly, if I do not meet with gratitude elsewhere, I shall nevertheless meet with it at your hands, because from the more elegant authors, whose works either have not been printed at all or, if they have been, either no longer exist in printed copies or are difficult to obtain, I have taken all the more subtle devices, which wondrously set off this art, and, introducing them throughout my work, have also enlarged their number by methods of my own.? Now, then, farewell, and look to have from my Library at an early day things, God helping, of better kind, From the Hitsacker Museum, in the year of our restored Salvation, 1624, 27 February.


 

To the Author of the System of Cryptography,

 

his most Clement Lord:

 

As, what might in dusky cloak conceals, bright Cynthia soon with torch full-flaming shows, so, too, Gustavus now, Selenus called, uncovers things that time has long in shadow held.? Great things befit great men, ?tis true.? and so can Luna see what little stars see not.? So soon Gustavus much, by subtle strength of mind, that other men, of common wit, have quite passed by.? And thus it is that he who would the art of these enjoy finds Gustavo?s work a source of fruitful lore.? As August month more grateful is than winter fire, so are thy written words, Selenus, more than all the words that others write.? Therefore, August Diana, shed thy rays throughout the earth, the light which Sol has given thee scatter wide.? Shed, too, on me the rays of burning love, and see that never of they love thou me deprive.? be to me, with Phoebus, Phoebe?s gentle light; may God and my Lord for me in love forever vie.? So, like the Sun?s obedient flower and the flower that Luna guides, for Phoebus then and Phoebe with hand and heart I?ll strive.

 

Composed,

as a mark of most Humble Devotion,

by

Matthaus von Jagow,

Lord, by right of inheritance, at Kalembergk,

at present Steward of the Selenic household

at Hitsacker, and one of the advisers of the

Author himself.


In Honor of the Author, his most Clement Lord,

to the Reader:

 

Pallas, Juno, Venus, the Graces, Gods, and Goddesses once came together before the throne of Jove, complaining that seldom could Cyllenius safely take his way, unhampered by the wiles of Mars.? Mars, from the other side, threw back the blame on those, and showed that to his own great harm this art he?d learned.? Then Jupiter, seeing that in doubtful scales the case was weighed, bade that Silenus should the strife decide.? Who soon the art of hidden writing found, whereby one free from harm could write, but solve could not at all.? The world beheld and, wondering at these riddles dark, from scholars vainly sought to find relief.? and when in all the world no soul stood forth, wise to unlock the secret art, behold:? Selenus then this succor brought, showing the form whereby to write, whereby to solve.? Now, reader, use his genius, proclaim Selenus? genius, and make with me this pious prayer to God:? May Selenus thrive and flourish, and may he live to years Historian, and the sceptre wield in Mars and art.

 

Offered,

as a mark of most Humble Devotion,

In Joy and Dutifulness,

by

Otto von Ompteda,

Lord, by right of inheritance, at

Banesen and Nottorff, an intimate

Friend of the Author.


 

On the Cryptomenytics and Cryptography

of Gustavus Selenus,

the Illustrious,

an Ode

by Georg Remus, Jurisconsult.

 

 

By the soft melody of the fashioning tongue the mind?s deep thoughts in fitting form to utter, was given us by the Universal Parent, -- to fetch from far within and by the voice to express; and then to instill in other?s minds, that so, the words, drunk in with listening ears by those at hand, again by such may be returned.? But, -- so it often happens, -- should some one of mortals chance to wish with one far off to hold converse, none will deny that with great profit once was intercourse of reed and paper found.? But many rightly make a scruple (should you understand) of committing secrets to the wax and paper.? For the bold hand may with ease break either?s seal.? Countless are they that a letter?s secret words would spy.? Hence, by the subtle strength of the vigorous mind, was found the art of arts, -- verily an art of most ingenious kind, -- which, by change of letters, numbers, figures, shows well the Mode of writing hidden thoughts.? If tablets written for a friend far off, a thousand miles away, should chance, alack!? to be unsealed by rudely bold and violent hand, vainly would it search the hidden folds thereof.? Thee, thee, Selenus, I commend and laud, that thou hast by they study brought this art to what is o?en a marvel.? Fortune favoring, thou hast done what none has done before or could do:? and none shall go beyond, I know.? Hence will posterity they praises sing, and fulfill they praises, Chief, thou, of the Cryptographic Art.

 

Sung most joyfully and most dutifully,

by Georg Remus, Jurisconsult, Member

of the Council of the Free City

of N?rg.? 1622, 15 May.

 


To the Germans;

by the Same.

 

 

Wonder, land of Teutons, wonder at this Work; of wondrous art this Book, of mighty art this Work, wherefrom I keep afar the crowd profane.? Who go with noses not well cleaned, whose brains not three times are and four times purged, I bid all such be off; depart, I bid them, straight.? It shrinks from hand plebeian, from touch of unwashed hands this Work most flat recoils.? But scholars only will it have, who can in eye-sight argue overcome, and Lynceus too.? More subtle naught, naught more laborious shall Germany for three hundred years behold, -- no falsehood this.? Selenus, live to age Historian, and farewell.

 

By the same,

On the Elucidation of Trithemius? Steganographia,

Iambic Senarii.

 

 

Who think to find beneath each stone a scorpion hid, are much deceived; most basely do they fall, and stray the whole world round; it is not so.? In the art of writing to one?s friends, -- an art deep hid, and open not to every passing soul, -- Trithemius, the artist, once instruction gave.? (Sometimes dishonest hands lay hold of letters, break the seal, and show what?s held within, to themselves no good devising, and good men disadvantaging.)? Hence among the men of common ways the empty word arose, he taught the magic art, when nothing from his teaching could be farther.? On no man should we wrong inflict.? Now on the other hand, his art was wholly worthy of applause, and always must we innocence defend.? This the sons of jurisconsults have upon their tongues.? This let Bodinus or Bovillus have.? Lo!? most vigorously defends Selenus Abbot Trithemius? innocence.

 


Madrigal

by Philip Hainhofer,

Citizen of Augusta.

 

August scion, thou shalt not be hidden in obscurity, thou, who, praised among the geniuses more fare, shalt be equal to Time, wherever the sun releases his golden locks; how shall he be hidden, how shall he be deprived of name, who tries to discover to others how art can never conceal speech.? in its secrets disclosed, Art will discover to you a secret through and through.

 

Another,

by the Same.

 

This Luna, which rises in the lap, as it were, of the Bears, spreads its light to lands more remote.? It shines and never sets, and in the Pleiades scatters its rays more brightly than where Cinthia is more accustomed to shine afar alone than in union with the Sun.


To Gustavus Selenus.

1.

On the Elucidation of the Steganographia,

a Sportive Poem.

 

While in clear light you placed the Abbot Tritheim?s art, which Tritheim had in wondrous ways concealed, the prophet smiled and to his usual arts recurred:? ?For these attempts of yours,? he said, ?thou shalt not unpunished go.?? And straightway, round about him thronging, the crowd of spirits he called, and incantations dire, intoning, hurled, -- Incantations whereby, with proper rites, the names august of Gustavo Selene, false-called, he had from out his knots extracted.? At which, forth leaping, he who first in honor is, Pamersiel, belched forth from horrid-sounding mouth grim words:? ?Hakul Gavoseti, Visodrum Xydreal Uvyn Zehnablu Progodset Rhidue Nagdeory.?? He takes the word:? ?Ha! just so! While to betray my secrets the prophet pleases, and on my offspring dishonor bring, lo! also you betray what you wished should be unknown, -- you own true name, flitting hitherto through the learned mouths of men.? Whereby I hid my secrets in shadow everywhere, behold!? on this side and one that they catch the light within.

 

[message: Augustus dux de Lunenburg, der Junger]

 

2.

On the Whole System,

A Commendatory Poem.

 

So it is, my perfect good, great fame comes hence to thee and to Selenus, and equal praise is either?s need.? But herein does Selenus thee surpass, that to his little book of stenographic forms, in every point so scholarly, and perfect in detail, wherest was Pallas three times with amazement struck, he?s brought of learning, thickly-packed, as much as ever was.

 

Done by

Matthaus Bortius, J.U.L., an intimate friend of the Author, and Burgo-master of Salswedel.


To Gustavus Selenus.

 

Most august of famous men, most discreet of famous men, most refined of famous men, who, the time that others spend on ease and play, the time that others spend on wine and love, to study and to books of wisdom dost devote, whereof so great a number have by thee been written that to hold the titles only fixed in mind is labor vast, -- though, as a living library, art wise in Greek, and French, and Spanish, and in Latin too, -- what things Greece anciently constructed, what or Gallic speech or Latin, what Italians wrote, or grave Iberians.? Hence, then, like a bee, o?er flowering fields and wide-extending vales of human and of sacred lore far-wandering, dost thou draw, with study and with labor vast, what all the world in wonder sees and cherishes, what all the world refreshes and delights.? Hail, scion of the demi-gods, hail most august of famous men, most discreet of famous men, most refined of famous men, so much the more august in all to be, through cultivation of instructed wisdom, as ?tis rare for the divinities of earth and leaders of the world to spend their time on books.

 

Melchior Breler,

Physician of the Author,

my most Clement Lord.


On the Work, worthy of Immortality,

of Gustavus Selenus,

Chief of the Steganographists.

 

Arms with arts, and arts with arms to defend, this was once Julius? valor, Julius? genius.? Let ancient fame be silent; greater goods are in this leader, -- genius and valor with piety combined.? Go, book, and to the author say:? ?Of incense nor tunny stand in dread, while sets the sun and rises.? Lucifer surpasses the common stars and the lesser lights of heaven, and you Trithemius surpass in light.? Do you not see how the Muse smiles upon and favors you, how all things are in thy praises eloquent.

 

Written at N?g,

by? Master Johann Saubert,

Deacon of St. Egidi.


On the Wonderful Cryptography

of Gustavus Selenus.

 

Who said that through all the lands, through the deep heavens, and through the tracts of water, God goes and with soul Divine each animal informs, had a mind sagacious, as well as genius.? This in thee is notably apparent, Selenus full of lore, who makest tongues that the living do resemble.? Thus does Antiquity, by new devices pushed aside, give way;? thus are all things for the Duke his greatest care.? O happy mortal, to whom from lofty heaven Jupiter has granted, so much of his mind to have.

 

In joy and dutifulness,

have I hastily composed,

Elias Ehinger.

 

 

On the Cryptographics

of Gustavus Selenus

An Epigram.

 

In such an age of faithlessness, and in such a rabble of wicked souls, in which, alas! our times abound, a wise man with reason hides the secrets of his heart, nor does he lightly chatter what he sees should be kept secret.? For it is a thing divine, for one to hide one?s affairs in silence and to impress the chaste seals on one?s lips.? But since this life would have no faithful friends, and such a life would hardly be a thing to be desired by man, there has been found the art that cryptographically reveals the secrets of the heart, -- mystic, godlike, sacred.? Since Selenus, as a likeness of the genius Divine, has this art described in method so easy and so learned, there is reason why the wise mind and the friend should alike render him thanks, -- asking for the author long length of life.

 

Written by

Master Petrus Meyderlinus,

Overseer of the Evangelical

College at Augsburg.


Gustavus Selenus.

Anagram:

Augustes es, Lun? es.

 

As I was making ready to speak at length of Cryptography, and to tell how great will become this book and the author thereof, Pataraean Apollo, pulling me by the ear, called my attention, and, reproving me, addressed me first with these words:? ?Why make you ready, poor deluded wretch, to glorify Gustavus, why Selenus, with empty praises?? Augustus is this Gustavus, and Luna this Selenus, as name and surname attest the man himself.? August men august things befit, and cultured Maro?s; from the sun alone does Luna take its light.?

 

Johannes Honthemius Ubius.

 

An Echo,

by the Same,

on the same preceding Anagram.

 

 

Is this some AUGUSTUS? ? Are we to believe that he was born of the stock of nobles?? WAS BORN.? Is this, then, a Naiad?? YOU SAY.? Why is he called LUNA?? Or will his condition be for us hence more and more clear?? POWER.? Now is this book worthy of being rolled and rerolled by you?? I HAVE UNROLLED IT.? If one should by chance deny that?? HE DROOPS.? O, of writings a kind and volume RARE!? LIGHT.? Of the sort that flashes from the orbit of the sun?? SO.? Nay, above the brightness of the stars I judge this man.? I SAY.? Such light hardly does Pheobus afford.? HE IS DULL.? Now does this book by clever art teach how to avoid the enemy?? SAFELY.? And to deceive famously?? MAGNIFICENTLY.? And to learn beforehand traps? ?TO LEARN.? For it is very easy to know by this the wiles of men.? IT IS EASY.? That is, that you may be able rightly to be on your guard against them.? TRULY.? That you may not perish unexpectedly.? THROUGH THESE.? Rare is that aid, which it is not easy to procure elsewhere.? RARE.? And which surpasses sardonyxes.? ONYXES.? There exists no book in the world, believe me, that can teach you mysteries of that kind.? BRING FORTH FOR ME.? For it tells in order what thing is to uncovered.? COVERED.? And in what way it is proper that this should be done.? TO BE DONE.? Whoever you are, then, use this Work and reread it.? AND READ IT.? And believe that a thousand arts thence appear.? USE.? Continue to use, this art of Cryptographics requires men of application.? DEMANDS.? Love, for on this condition is given to thee.? READ.? Or is it wrong that it appear!? YES, RIGHT.? And see the light?? TO THE PURPOSE.? Is it right, I say, that this book should be hidden?? USE.? Or, as the ignorant common throng may believe, will this labor be in vain?? USEFUL IS THIS LABOR.? Will it soon produce sweet fruit?? O, IT WILL PRODUCE.? Therefore, does this country rightly call the author Father?? IT LOVES.? O, what light does this LUNA open up to our souls!? ONE.? How fittingly has this man the name of AUGUSTUS!? HE HAS AN OMEN.? While the author happily enlarges, simplifies, and adorns the public interest.? ADORNS.? He advances here peace and war.? AND ART.? Do you think that this man deserves to carry away prizes worthy of his writings?? LET HIM CARRY THEM.? And deserves that the youthful god should wreath him with garlands?? PHOEBUS.? That the Pierian Muses should celebrate his praises?? CELEBRATE.? It is now enough, for it is not fair, nymph, that you should be longer wearied by my eager voice.? SILENCE.


Another Anagram.

Gustavus Selenus.

Vales gustu, sensu.

To the Lord the Author.

 

Whoever you are, -- I should believe that you are sprung from parents divine, -- you have indeed, Gustavus, an uncommon taste and sense acute; for, all common things your palate scorns, and asks only dishes fit for the tables of the gods, -- dishes that can feed the mind and satisfy the hunger which you feel for the arts and qualities good.? These are your cakes, your dainties, your feasts, and your banquets, these are your confections, for which you scorn the side of a murmena, hares, and yawning oysters, or whate?ver the epicure Apicius finds agreeable.? Wise men?s writings alone suit your palate and, that you may be able to excerpt therefrom passages that please you, you read books obtained from the very ends of the earth, and with Herculean labor you make a note of whatever you see written in unusual figures, whatever an ambiguous character conceals, whatever lies covered in shadow unseen; and soon, with ever? watchful study, you bring forth into the bright light of day whatever you have found.? Thus, to wit, by bringing fire from heaven in his fennel (by fennel the ancient poets understood sense), Prometheus formerly furnished the human race with another art, just as you yourself now bring light to mortals by this cryptographic volume.? Of a truth, Gustavus, you are strong in taste and in sense acute.

 


Another Epigram

to the Lord the Author.

 

Am I deceived, or does this anagram give me information with regard to your true name, and with regard to your condition?? The Augusti have authority far and wide, bright Luna lights the world with her rays.?

 

 

A Play on the name of the Lord the Author.

 

Under the simpler form of Silenus they concealed formerly the greatest mysteries and secrets.? Silenus was heard by the boys Mnasilus and Chromis singing songs sacred and divine.? Antiquity is believed anciently to have venerated Silenus as king, and Augustus too as demigod.? Σελγνγ called by the Greeks, and by Romans Luna, lights the world by night with her rays.? you too, Selenus, beneath the simple name of Gustavus, illuminate the whole world with your sacred writings.? Who would deny that you are Silenus and Augustus, Selenus?? Who, Selenus, would not say that you arte Luna?

 

Differently.

 

You cover and uncover things august.? Who, Selenus, would say that you are not rightly called Silenus?? Silenus surpassed Phoebus and Orpheus with song, and with song he moved oaks, rocks, and fierce wild beasts.? But you vanquish even this vanquisher, and bring help, at the discovery of which the world rejoices.


To the Lord the Author, on the Present Work:

A Tetrastich.

 

Our own secrets thou causest to lie in hiding, others? to be disclosed.? Art thou not a divinity fallen from the skies?? Art thou not Luna bright, Pandora, hand-maid of the gods?? Thou art Oedipus, thou art the Sphinx, Live, Selenus, long.


Eteostic on the Publication of this Work.

 

eDIDIt (InsIgnI Phoebe aspIrante LaborI)

DIVIna praestans arte SeLenVs OpVs.

 

Johannes Honthemius Ubius.

[message: (D+D+D=1500, L+L=100, V+V+V=15, I+I+I+I+I+I+I+I+I=9) ? (1500+100+15+9)=1624.]

 

A Varied Distich,

or Cube, wherein the Reader meets numerous times occurring, in one and the same Table, a Hexameter and a Pentameter Verse.

By the Same.

To the Lord the Author.

 

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This is:? Hidden things you search into, you hide with skill things to be hidden.? Each to do, believe me, is the work of a good artist.

 


Another Varied Distich,

wherein each Verse not only includes the year 1622, as the year, not of the Publication, but of the Composition, of Selene?s Cryptography, but is also shown to the Reader, by him to be read, numerous times, though in different Cubes.

 

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That is:? Magna SeLene probIs Das, ? LapsVs ab aXe.

 


 

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That is: O bene! tV MVLtos VIVe SeLene Dies.

 

Composed, as a Mark of most Humble Devotion, joyfully and dutifully, by the same

Johannes Honthemius Ubius.


On the Cryptographic Books of Gustavus Selenus.

 

As Daedalus, pitying the lot of the love-sick queen, had guided by a thread the uncertain steps of the leader departing from the murder of the double-formed monster, so Selenus, in laborious and learned pages, opens for anxious mortals the dark coverings of man?s thoughts, generously and much more clearly than the shining torch of might.? No longer is he Selenus, not so.? He is Phoebus.

 

 

On the Same:

Defender of Johannes Trithemius,

who was accused of Magic by reason of his Steganographia.

 

Trithemius, a man of polished parts, seemed destined to be carried to Acheron whole by many secret symbols and voices horrid.? Selenus, with great care and subtle strength of mind, uncovered his arts, which were not bad, but, rather, useful, and from dishonor rescued the name of an upright man.? Anyone, perhaps, can assist the living; but to help the dead is not the work of each and every.

 

A Play on the Praenomen of the Same.

 

August is your mind; Augustus is your name; and august line of ancestors is a glory to your name.? An august reputation is a companion of great virtue.? August remain your fates, whereof you worthy are.

 

Done, to testify to his reverence and gratitude,

by Thomas Seghet, who was kindly received by

the Author and generously treated and dismissed.


 

To Gustavus Selenus,

his most Clement Lord,

who constructed the Work on Steganography.

 

 

Let others celebrate and boast the labors of Hercules, be it sweet to me to enjoy the labor of Gustavus.? Let venerable Antiquity boast the fashioners of song, among whom Orpheus was, I think, the first, who, they say, drew his song the beasts and, wonderful!? with his Thracian lyre, stopped the rivers in their course; who, they sing, moved, with his tuneful strings, the Plutonian realm, and the grim Humenides, and Cerberus the dog.? Away with poets!? fooleries, and in their stead the real place.? Selenus produces a work more useful than those, in teaching faithfully with wondrous art such arts as surpass in usefulness the goddesses of melic song.? Whence ?tis fitting even that the poets themselves should celebrate the praises of this man and place Silenus after him.? But let no ordinary soul, -- this I advise, -- dare this to do, but the one whose locks are wreathed with laurel garlands.? Silenus himself should glorify Selenus.? The latter is a god; a place among the great to have wished is enough for me.

 

Written, as a Mark of dutiful, obedient and humble Devotion,

by Andreas Ludwig Schopper, Adviser to the Lord the Author.


CHAPTER THE FIRST.

 

Containing a General Introduction, wherein is treated the Origin and Value of this Art, together with the Earliest Writers on the Subject; as well as the Present Author?s Plan.

 

Men were too little gifted, had it been given him solely to use his intellect and to work out, however cleverly, in the solitude of his own mind, the whole scheme of human knowledge, and had he not at the same time been granted the power of speech.? ?But what bounds?, says Erycius Puteanus, in Orat., 13, De Palastr. Bon. Ment. ?are to be placed to the subtlety of the human intellect!? After that wonder of nature or of human perseverance had lost its value, every man tried then to talk without his voice.? It was not enough to express the mind?s meaning through the medium of the voice, unless those too who were at a distance and those who were to come after us were to hear what was said.? The tongue?s activity was held by men to be wholly incomplete unless assisted by the used of the pen.?? That is, by Writing.? Now this device of writing is to a degree exact, and preeminently for this reason is it, as Pierre Gregoire, Art. Mir. Bk.XVI.c.11, has remarked, that the art of writing is held in high esteem by the Hebrews.? It is also a most wonderful device.? For if the power to express the mind?s thoughts by means of articulate words, whereof the sum makes connected sense, is a wonderful and, as the same Gregoire, De Repub., Bk.XVI.c.2, says an almost divine gift, certainly to fix fast by letters and signs the sound and sense of the fleeting voice will prove to be a power far more wonderful

 


still, and one withal most useful not alone to the present age, but to future generations as well.? Furthermore, nothing could be more wonderful than the fact that out of such a very small number of letters, only twenty-three in all, so many different words in every language can be formed, - words every one of which is quite unlike every other, - and that, besides these, there is an almost infinite number of words not yet invented or heard, which anyone can construct for himself.? But the following fact would make the matter almost incredible, did we not see the thing with our own eyes, - the fact, namely, that the words, real or imaginary, formed simply from consonants separated by vowels, are so many in number.? If combinations formed from consonants alone could be uttered, as they can be written, Good Heavens!? what an extraordinary numbe of new words we could continue to make day after day!? And yet this very device of writing is not less useful than it is wonderful, as Pliny, Nat.Hist. XIII,22, has very truly said.? We know that in the use of this one thing the humanity of life, memory, and man?s immortality find their greatest support.? It serves the humanity of life, for by means of it we can converse with those who are far removed in place from us.? It is of service to memory, for, according to Cassiodorus, Variar., Bk.XI., 18, in writing is parserved the faithful record of human actions.? And finally, it contributes to immortality, since by its means we can look out for the welfare of future generations and at the same time secure a certain immortality ourselves.? But notwithstanding that the utility of writing is such as I have described,

________

(1) Hugo?s Praefatio quotes c.11 of the De Repub. thus (in part): divinum miraculum certe, ut ex XXIV notis, et interdum apud aliques nationes plaucioribus, infinita vocabula, mentes diversae, contrariae, actus omnium hominum et ipsae cogitationes possint efficacius et perfectius quam ipsa pictura repraesentari.

(2) I.e. the present alphabet lacking y (the couplets j and i, and v and u representing respectively different sounds of a single letter).

(3) The passage from furthermore to day after day is, barring a few slight verbal differences, identical with a passage in Hugo?s Praefatio.

(4) Pliny: cum chartae usu maxime humanitas vitae constet et memoria. . .qua (@sc. papyro) constat immortalitas hominum.

(5) The text reads: scritura quippe, secundum Cassiodorum Lib. 15 Varior. humanorum actum servatur fidele ministerium. Cassiodorus is clearer: humanorum actuum servana fidele testimonium. The correct reference is, as given above, Variar XI., 38.

 

35

 

there have not bee lacking men who have blushed not to proclaim writing and letters a poison and a public curse and have wished them put at as great a distance as possible from human use. So Coelius Rhodiginus, Bk. XXII, c.15 relates of Thamus,(1) Sabellicus Enneid, Vol. I, of certain nations; and Sextus Aurelius Victor,(2) of the Emperor Licinius. Also, the story of Cadmus sowing the teeth of the dead dragon points in this direction; see Desiderius Erasmus, Dial. de Pronunciat.(3) These men, however, prating thus with inconsiderate mouth the thoughts of a vicious and perverted mind, would, if they received their just dues, accomplish their desired banishment of letters to the tune of the docking of their own tongue. For, the tongue may be abused quite as much as letters, and by such inconsiderate censure (itself an actual abuse of the tongue) they have furnished the plainest proof of their own obtuseness; for they have quite overlooked the fact that letters are images of the voice itself and that voice is the image of the mind or thought. They would have acted much more to the purpose, therefore, if they had really preferred to escape the danger of the tongue,?a danger which even Rhadamanthus himself, justest of judges, would have pronounced an impending one,?surely much more to the purpose, I say, would they have acted, had they kept these distorted judgments hidden far within the recesses of their own mind and allowed them to die with themselves, instead of trying thus presumptuously, through the instrumentality of a thing of worth, human speech, to scatter the evil seed in foreign soil. But to pursue this argument further is not within my purpose. We cannot deny, however, that writing, besides being subject to abuse, has further, certain defects and imperfections. For just as it is not expedient and proper to speak all things, or to speak in the presence of all persons, or to speak to all persons, so also it is not expedient and proper to write under all circumstances. And yet there are many occasions when it is in the highest degree necessary for us to leave for those who are to come

________

(1) Rhodiginus?s account is incomplete; the story is given in full in Plato?s Phaedrus 59.

(2) De Vita et Moribus Imperatorum Romanorum, XLI. 8: infestus literis quas per inscitiam immodicam virus ac pestem publicam nominabat, praecipus forensem industriam.

(3) Vol. I. 927 c., ed. Lugdan. Batav., 1703.

 

36

 

after us (only, however, for the men of learning) the traces of occult lore; as well as other occasions when it is necessary for us to reveal without the risk of danger matters of business to distant friends. Wherefore, if some art were given us whereby we might remedy this defect or imperfection, should we not command it and embrace it with open arms? And indeed, human daring has in this matter suffered no bounds to be set up before it, but here, as elsewhere, it has steadily followed the principle plus ultra. For, letters having now been invented and their use perfected, it was at once open to all to know that which the letters symbolized. But, lo, it seeming neither of public nor of private utility that the knowledge should be thus promiscuous, a way was found whereby the bright light of letters, radiating on all sides, should be veiled in cloud, or should be obscured in the mystery of images, or should, through successive efforts at innovation in the forms of the characters, pale some slight amount. Thus, the Egyptians, who are called the inventors of letters (Tac. Ann., Bk. XI.) (1) invented, along with letters, their hieroglyphical notes; of which I shall treat in detail farther on Bk. VII.c.15. So, all the wise men of old left their sacred and occult learning in hidden writing; and, to pass by other names, Cicero, Caesar and Augustus, men of the highest excellence in war and peace, all made use of Cryptography. This is made clear in fuller detail by Giovanni Battista della Porta, De Occult. Lit Notis, Bk.I.cc.2,4, and I therefore omit consideration of the subject in this place. But these rude contrivances of a primitive age have wholly failed, as Porta, Bk.I.c.14, shows, to satisfy the refined ingenuity of modern times, and have in fact seemed quite valueless. The words of Scaliger, Exerc., 327,(2) to the effect that ?this institution is not so much an art as an imposture and a madness?, would apply quite aptly to them. And thus it has come to pass that in our times there have not been lacking men who have met with wonderful success in hiding the knowledge of facts which they have not wished to become generally known to the common throng of mankind, but which would otherwise have been made public property.

________

(1) c. 14, primi per figuras animalium Aegyptii sensus mentis effingebant-ea antiquissima monimenta memoriae humanae inpressa saxis cernuntur-et literarum semet inventores perhibent.

(2) Notarum vero ars impostura ac delirium est: indigna, quae te tantum Herculem exercent.

 

37

 

Of this class, for example, as I will show anon, Trithemius, in his work of Steganography. More than this, however: there have appeared in numbers men of the greatest learning who, by the most ingenious devices, have improved this institution with a view, especially, to its employment in the every-day relations of life, and have most successfully advanced it to the dignity of an art. Among these may be mentioned, after Trithemius: the Frenchman, @Cacaubon, de Vigen貥, de Collanges; Cardano, Porta, Walch, Schwenter; as well as Puteus, Herman Hugo and others who have touched on this subject. But no one have I found who has brought together these scattered and widely differing parts and, uniting them into one body, reduced them to something that might be called a System of the art; though Porta, and Schwenter,?who, while writing in his native tongue, follows in general the footsteps of Porta,?have employed a sort of method,?one, however, which, both in respect to form and in respect to subject-matter, leaves much to be desired. And so it will not be an unprofitable labor, but one quite worth my while, if I take upon myself this duty too and make the task my own. And our good friend Trithemius, the elucidation of whose Steganographia is my special task, need not grumble, should he find himself reduced to the ranks and stationed, not at the head of the column, but in his own proper place among the authors? most ingenious devices, together with my own. For it shall be my careful endeavor not to defraud anyone,?after the manner of a certain Frisian, of whom fuller mention will be made further on, in Bk.V.c.i,?of the fruit of his toil and of his due praise. I shall therefore in every case attach to the invention the author?s name. For the rest, in arranging the parts of this System I shall proceed as follows: First, I shall give an Introduction, wherein is contained an explanation of the definition of the subject. Secondly, I shall take up the treatment of the Principles or Mediums. Finally, I shall subjoin an Exercise-book, together with such matters as shall seem to appertain thereto.

 

38

 

CHAPTER THE SECOND.

Containing a Definition of the Term Cryptography,

and the Explanation of the same.

 

??????????? Cryptography is the art of revealing safely and without risk, by means of hidden writing, and without the knowledge of any third person, some fact, to some person to whom we wish that fact to be known.

??????????? This definition I will explain by expounding the Name, Class, End, Object and Medium.(1)

??????????? As regards the Name, this appears in a variety of forms in different authors; as, Cryptography and Cryptology, Steganology and Steganography, and Polygraphy, in Trithemius; the Art of writing by Notes and the Art of Cipher-writing, in Cardano, Scaliger (Exerc., 327), Porta and De Vigen貥; Cryptomenytics, in the writing of the brief notes to Porta; and, finally, Scotography, in Abram Colorno, the Jew of Mantua. All these terms are commonly used synonymously; but examination shows that they differ not a little from one another. For some are general, some are specific, and some combine both characteristics. For example, the Art of Writing by Notes, or Ciphers, is far too specific to embrace all branches of the art. Properly it refers simply to the use of notes as distinguished from the use of letters; see Herman Hugo, De Prim. Scrib. Orig., c.17, where he rightly blames Suetonius for calling Julius Caesar?s method of hidden writing, Writing by Notes. For writing by notes or short-hand writing is one thing, and writing by transposed letters is another. Furthermore, not every method of writing by notes concerns us here. For the art of writing by notes has two ends; one, secrecy, which belongs to our present investigation; the other, abridgement of writing, which is not one of the ends of this art, but rather constitutes an art by itself which is called Tachography. The Art of writing by Notes, therefore, to state distinctly what should be understood by the expression, is a specific term simply, and includes only a small part of the whole subject; as will appear in clearer light from what follows. The term Polygraphy, however, accurately taken, is, as indeed the name itself indicates, far more general, and embraces a broader field than is covered

________

(1) The Subject is also treated; see p. oo below.

 

39

 

by each and every method of secret writing; though Trithemius in the title of his book Polygraphia, restricts the use of the word to hidden writing in general. The terms Steganography and Steganology, as well as Scotography, are indefinite, and also too general. Cryptology, however, would seem to answer our purpose. But if we take the word in the general sense, of the theory of all that is hidden, it is too broad. If, on the other hand, we restrict its application to the voice and to writing, it is too narrow to include every branch of the art. But if even Cryptology is too narrow a term, most certainly Cryptography, which is included under Cryptology, can denote nothing more than a subdivision of the art; and this I do not deny. There remains, therefore, the word Cryptomenytics, which embraces every conceivable method of secret communication, whether it be by the voice, by writing, or by signs. Be, then, Cryptomenytics the most general term, embracing, as subdivisions in nearest line, Cryptology, which is of the voice, and Cryptography, which is of writing, and a third division which has to do with signs, and follows in order the other two divisions. This we may call Synthemology, or Semaeology, and in the future, for the sake of greater accuracy, I shall so designate it. For in the arts it is important that we have at our service accurately defined terms. Thus, although Steganography and Polygraphy are, as I have said, rather broad in their application, I shall consider them valuable terms for our study and make use of them. Be there, then, the word Steganography, and be there denoted by it that branch of our subject that deals with words, themselves non-significant, constrained to the limits of letters which are Significant, wherein is contained a secret sense. It was thus, we find, that Trithemius used the word in the two Books of his Steganographia. The term Polygraphy let us apply to that part of our subject that deals with a ready-prepared apparatus, consisting of a number of written synonyms and words, which, being collected and arranged and taken together with their alphabets which are prefixed, supply us with the most secret means of writing our hidden message. With regard to the other terms which are applied to our art, our understanding of them should be equally accurate. Schwenter, speaking of the art in a general way, calls it Eine gehavme Magische N䴵rlich Redund Schreihkunst. But not-

 

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withstanding all that has been said above, I wish it carefully noted that I use the word Cryptography in a broader sense than that just given,?in a sense that includes even that part of Synthemology which has to do with the imitation of writing, and at the same time fits, as defined, the definition prefixed to the present chapter. I do this not without a reason in the nature of my undertaking. For, my principal aim here being to set forth the subject of hidden writing and to touch only in a general way on the devices of speech, I have selected the word Cryptography, and have preferred to define this term, which embraces the principal object of my investigation; see what I shall say near the end of the following chapter.

??????????? As respects the Class, I have called Cryptography an art. The distinguished philosopher, Julius Caesar Scaliger (Exerc., 327, De Subtilitate)(1) however, though he grants that there is a sort of ingenious trifling here, holds that by no manner of means can this be called an art. In reply thereto I will simply say that, had it by any chance fallen to the lot of Scaliger to see this present System of Cryptography, such as it is, or to become acquainted with the many very ingenious devices invented in modern times for the concealment of one?s thoughts, he would never have passed such judgment as the above. As regards the fact, that he therein calls this same art an imposture and a madness and holds it to be a thing unworthy a serious man,(2) either, as I have suggested in the previous chapter, he meant the remark to refer to the still comparatively rude devices of the ancients, not yet developed and polished as they have been in modern times, or this man, as a rule soundest of the sound in his judgment, had on the present occasion his human failing. For that this art is something quite different from an imposture and a madness is shown by its End, its Material, and its Mediums; so that there is no need to dwell longer on the subject.

??????????? The objects requiring to be hidden by Cryptography have been in former times and may be again: 1st. Matters of religion. 2nd. Occult learning. 3rd. difficult undertakings and important matters of business, especially in war and at other times of stress; secrecy in these things being desirable.

________

(1) Nam Ziferarum astutia (nulla namque ratione dici potest ars) haud sane contemnenda.

(2) See n.p.@

 

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??????????? The Ultimate End is the disclosure of the secret. For if there is to be no disclosure at any time to any person, our work is vain. Now the first and most essential condition in connection with this End is that the secret should be well guarded, that the hidden meaning of the document or epistle should be, either quite unintelligible, or intelligible only after great labor, to persons other than the person for whom the secret is designed, and that thus the writer should be preserved safe and uninjured. For the discovery of such secrets is attended with the greatest danger,?often, indeed, with peril of life. Whence we may judge of the value and in fact absolute indispensableness of this art. By its neglect, many have run the risk of losing their lives, as Porta, Bk. I. c.4, recounts, and, most notable case of all, King Henry IV. of France brought upon himself, as is shown by Walch, Decad. Fab., 9.p.193, the famous defeat at Aurelius.

??????????? The Subject to whom is either the men of learning only (see, on this point, Porta, p. 22), or, in the course of business and in the ordinary social relations of life, our distant friends above all, to whom we consider it of interest to know our plans, our undertakings, and such matters as are beneficial to both them and us, or, finally, even ourselves, if we have that which we wish to guard as a secret, that we may not forget the same.

??????????? Finally, there is the Internal End, or the Medium,?the Medium, namely, by which we arrive in due form at the Remote End. The Internal End is the concealment of the secret,?not every sort of concealment, but such as is made through the instrumentality of the written letter, or, in other words, writing,?be it writing,?in the strict sense of the word or writing improperly called. The reason why no mention is here made of speech, I touched on above.(1)

??????????? Of writing properly called, the Proximate Cause is the Position of the letters. In this connection there come under consideration the Form, the Order, and the Power, while the Mode of Writing also belongs to this enquiry. The Instrument of Writing is the Stylus or Pen; the Material on which, principally

________

(1) See p. oo.

 

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paper; the Material from which, ink; the End, the Epistle; the Necessary Consequent, the Transmission. And from all these, as fundamental parts, may be constructed the methods of hidden writing, as will appear more clearly in what follows. So much for the definition. What remains to be written in regard to this Internal End, which, with respect to the Remote End, is simply a Medium, as well as those matters which pertain to writing improperly called, will all be recorded in the proper places, that is, in Bk. II.c.2, and Bk. VIII., c.8ff.

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER THE THIRD.

 

Treating of the Subjects cognate to Cryptography and the Place of Cryptography among them.

 

??????????? Most truly has it been said of Aristotle, De Anima, Bk.I.c.1,(1) that the principles of the various branches of learning depend on the science of the soul. Cicero had the same idea when, in speaking of jurisprudence, he said,(2) ?The science of the law must be deduced from human nature itself?; i.e. from man?s distinguishing characteristics. The fact that this is true leads us to some necessary discussion here, but the truth having been called to our attention by Aristotle, the discussion need be but brief.

??????????? The distinguishing characteristics of man, so far as concerns our present investigation, are in part considered with reference to the soul, and in part considered with reference to the soul and the body combined, and are reason, speech and writing.

??????????? That reason is a distinguishing characteristic is granted by all investigators of nature; in fact, it is even called the only such characteristic.

??????????? With respect to speech, however, and still more respect to writing, there is among these same investigators the deepest silence. Speech, or articulate reason, the basis of which lies wholly within the soul, while the instrument of its operation is in the body, seems to have been mentioned in this connection for the first time by Casmann@, Physiol., Bk. I. And rightly was it so mentioned, as Thomas Sagittarius, Exerc. Phys. (Exerc. 24, th. 20, lit.a), proves by good arguments. Writing also, or rather the faculty of writing, is brought under this head by Keckermann, Syst. Phys., Bk. IV.c8. And with reason, for there is a close connection between the voice and writing. For, as the spoken word is the

________

(1) (insert Greek)

(2) Leg. I, 17, natura enim iuris explicanda nobis est eaque ab hominis repetenda natura.

 

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image of the mind?s thoughts, so is writing the image of the word uttered or to be uttered by the mouth. Now although these faculties are natural faculties, they are nevertheless improved by art. So, logic amends, guides and shapes reason, and standing in no need of an external instrument (Scaliger, Exerc. 307, Sect. 23),(1) is content with thus shaping reason, without in itself having regard for speech or writing. It does not, however, wholly exclude these from its care, and most of all is this the case when thoughts are to be communicated to others. Speech, and consequently writing also, is shaped principally by grammar. Grammar, is, therefore, defined by Quintilian(2) as a fixed method of talking and writing, though those who would be more exact are loud in their assertion that the word writing is superfluous, inasmuch as writing is included in correct speaking; see the @Giessen Professors, Gramm., Bk.I.c.1, and Coelerius, Problem. Gramm., Bk.I.c.1. Furthermore, there is rhetoric, which takes for its field the shaping of both talking and writing. Grammar and rhetoric, however, do not say everything that can and should be said about writing, but they leave to the study of letters some remarks still to be made on the subject. This is abundantly shown by Herman Hugo in the course of his excellent treatise De Prima Scribendi Origine et Universa Rei Literariae Antiquitate. Thus, there may be brought to the service of writing a something further which lies outside and beyond the artistic scope of both grammar and rhetoric, and from this something there may be formed a special art. It was in this way, we find, that the poetic art was superadded to those two, grammar and rhetoric. For, when to reason and speech, in order that these might be of some use in the way of giving delight to men, there came to be joined rhythm, fictitious narratives, and representations of tragic and comic situations, then was poetry born and received into the number

________

(1) Ut ars ratiocinandi: ei namque non accidit opera exterior, sed intus secum, in se ipso, ad sese, pro semet, potest homo facere syllogismum.

(2) Inst., I.4, 1-3, primus in eo, qui scribendi loquendique adeptus erit facultatem, grammatici est locus. . .haec igitur proffessio, cum brevissime in duas partes dividatur, recte loquendi scientiam et poetarum enarrationem, plus habet in recessu quam fronte promittit. name et scribendi ratio coniuncta cum loquendi est. . .9,1, et finitae quidem sunt partes duae quas haec professio policetur, id est, ratio loquendi et enarratio auctorum. . .

 

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of the arts; see Piccolomini in the Introduction to Ad. Scient. de Nat., c.2. In exactly the same way, in the case of writing, various subsidiary forms and uses have been added whereby writing is made to be hidden, to be kept secret from the understanding of others, and to pass from hand to hand without the risk of discovery. thus is it brought about, especially when the processes referred to are not random processes, but take place with fixed method, that there comes into being a special art, whose function it is to provide us with a system of hidden writing. Now it being the case that an art of this kind, as well in the ordinary private relations of life as in the course of our public duties, in war, and at other times of greatest stress, renders us no slight service, no one, I believe, can take it amiss, if I look upon this art as a genuine art and proclaim it such, classing it among those arts which I have just enumerated;?with this concession, however, that if it dare not or ought not to advance side by side with those others, that is, with logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry, it may at least, as the handmaid of grammar and rhetoric, follow close behind. But, you will say, this institution of secret-making belongs not alone to writing, but to the voice as well, and in fact to other things also. Quite true. For, it was in this understanding of the matter that I said above, c.2, that besides Cryptography, there were Cryptology and Semaeology, and that I further assigned to these three divisions the single general term Cryptomenytics. In fact, this last term, as including other terms, should rightfully be used in the title of the present work, but I have preferred that the word Cryptography should receive this distinction, both because Cryptography is the division of the subject of which I have specially undertaken to treat, and because the practice of secret-making finds its broadest field in the intercourse of those who are separated in space from one another, between whom the means of communication is writing only, and not the voice. Although, therefore, Cryptology logically comes first, still Cryptography is the broader term and takes precedence. To Semaeology and Semaeography not much attention is given, since the treatment of these subjects follows in close secondary relation to that of Cryptology and Cryptography. The reason is, therefore, apparent, why passing by the general

 

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subject Cryptomenytic, I have taken only that special division which is the most important and have classed it along with the afore-mentioned subsidiary studies, logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry. I make no objections, however, should one wish, going beyond the limits of my present undertaking, to use either the word Cryptomenytics or the word Cryptology, provided he lose not sight of the fact that among the subsidiary studies this art which I am now about to expound has its place, and that by the side of those four this has taken its stand in line as a fifth.

 

 

 

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CHAPTER THE FOURTH

 

On the Distribution of the following Treatise

 

??????????? Having brought to an end remarks bearing on the Introduction, I must now enter straight upon the task of dealing with the Mediums or Modes of hidden writing. But that I may leave no part of the subject untouched, I shall first speak in few words, of the Modes of hidden speech; see, above, c. 2, beginning with the words, But notwithstanding all that has been said above, etc. To the Modes of hidden speech I shall in the same way append the Modes of quasi-speech expressing itself through signs, Bk.II. c.1. Having thus run through these branches of my subject, I shall, in c.2, approach the main theme of my discourse, which is hidden writing, and shall bring to light the various Mediums. To the consideration of these Mediums are devoted the remaining chapters of Bk. II., Bks. III., IV., V., VI., VII., and VIII.