First Folio Portrait

This famous image is of a fabricated man. A double-line on the right cheek reveals the face as nothing but a mask. In Ben Jonson's introduction to the 1623 Folio, he describes "the engraver having a strife with Nature to out-doo the life, he hath hit his face." The letters on the portrait total 157, the numerological seal of the Rosicrosse Masons.

According to Alfred Dodd, "This Figure that thou here seest put, was CUT for gentle Shakespeare (as a Mask for the true Author), the engraver having a strife with Nature to do-out the life. He hath HID his face." ("Hit" = hid in old English).

"The quotation is from the Dedication verse to the "Print" by "B.I." usually believed to indicate Ben Jonson. The Capitals serve equally as well for "Baconis Inventus." They actually stood to the Rosicrosse-Mason for the "B . . . and J . . . " which guard certain secrets in a Temple of Knowledge, the total letters on the poem-page counting
287, the Rosicrosse Seal, some of the "W's" being printed as "VV" to obtain the correct count by adding two letters instead of one."

The following facts are significant:

1. The letters on the Portrait page total
157, the second Seal of the Rosicrosse.

2. There were no collars of the type shown in the print in those days.

3. It is shaped "B" to indicate "Bacon."

4. The edge of the Mask is seen on the right by an unnecessary double line.

5. The length of the face is out of all proportion to the shoulders.

6. There is no neck.

7. The "Body" is a "Tailor's Dummy" on which a Mask rests out of alignment.

8. The engraving shows an impossible Coat for the shoulder-breasts do not correspond, one being a left front-breast and the other a left front-back. They are a mute indication of two left arms and hands, that the Author writes "left-handedly" and that the reader stands behind . . . by the left side of a man whose face cannot be seen.