The Authorship Question And Beyond

by 

Mather Walker

 

excerpt from his book: "The Secret of the Shakespeare Plays"


For example, in Measure for Measure, which deals from the ancient knowledge aspect with the legends of the fallen angels, he (Bacon) inquires into the essential nature of God and arrived at something corresponding to the principle of symmetry, a concept quite important to contemporary theoretical physicists who, however, have no idea they have strayed into the realm of theology. In the play of Hamlet he dealt with the ancient mythology of the tilting of the earth's axis (the macrocosm) and corresponding disorder in the microcosm (man) caused by the loss of alignment with his spiritual source. Love's Labour Lost had for its ancient knowledge content of a study of The Academy, and for future knowledge, the form of studies. The Merchant of Venice dealt with the Kabbalah; Tragedy of Macbeth with Witchcraft; King Lear with Alchemy; Julius Caesar with the ritual death of the king; The Winter's Tale with the myth of Persephone; Romeo and Juliet with Astrology; Cymbeline with metempsychosis; The Two Gentlemen of Verona with Know Thyself; and so on.

 

Bacon title page from Sermones Fideles (1641)


In regards to the authorship of the Shakespeare Plays it is important to ask one question. If the author was not William Shakespeare and wished to leave a message for posterity, where is the logical location for such a message? The obvious answer is, in the First Folio on the first full page of text (from the Tempest) in the plays. If a careful examination of this portion of the text is made a message can be discerned. The message says:

 

SIT THE DIAL AT NBW, F. BACON, TOBEY:

 

          Art ignorant of what thou art.naught knowing
      T   Then Prospero,Mafter of a full poore cell,
      A   And thy no greater Father.
              Mira. More to know
      D    Did neuer medle with my thoughts.
              ProS.'Tis time
      I    I fhould informe thee farther:Lend thy hand
      A    And plucke my Magick garment from me: So,
      L    Lye there my Art:wipe thou thine eyes,haue comfort,
      THE  The direfull fpectacle of the wracke which touch'd
      T    The very vertue of compaffion in thee:
      I    I haue with fuch prouifion in mine Art
      S    So fafely ordered,that there is no foule
      N    No not fo much perdition as an hayre
      B    Betid to any creature in the veffell
      W    Which thou heardft cry, which thou faw'ft finke:Sit
      F    For thou muft now know farther.            [downe,    
             Mira. You haue often
      B    Begun to tell me what I am, but ftopt
      A    And left me to a booteleffe Inquifition,
      CON  Concluding,ftay:not yet.
             ProS. The howr's now come
      T    The very minute byds thee ope thine eare,
      OBEY Obey,and be attentiue. Canft thou remember
             A time before we came vnto this Cell?

 

Tobey or Tobie Matthew was Bacon's closest friend. Matthew was so close to Bacon that Bacon called him "another myself."Certainly, anyone familiar with the spelling of the day would not be put off by the spelling of Tobey instead of Tobie. To nail down the identity, the first letters of the lines in the passage in the second column on page two, directly to the right of the F Bacon, Tobey passage, spell out TWO ALIKE:

T To clofenes, and the bettering of my mind
w with that, which but by being fo retir'd
O Ore-priz'd all popular ratetin my falfe brother
A Awak'd an euill nature,and my truft
Like Like a good parent, did beget of him
 

 SEE THE DIAL

In their book, "The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined", William and Elizabeth Friedman provided a frequency table of how often each letter of the alphabet occurs at the beginning of each line per 1,000 lines in the First Folio. Any competent mathematician can compute the odds against the message being the result of accident. The calculation yields a probability factor far and away too great to admit of accident. The odds are approximately equal to a coin falling heads 87 times consecutively. If you imagined a million men tossing coins 10 times a minutes, 40 hours a week, such a run could only be expected to happen once in every 3,600,000,000,000 centuries, or to state it in other terms: if all the humans who ever lived upon this planet had spent all their waking moments flipping coins, the chances are that such a run would never have happened.

 

This message definitely and unequivocally establishes the authorship of the Plays, once and for all. However, this is only a beginning point. There is much more beyond. What is the additional significance of the message? What is the dial it refers to? And why does the message tell us to set the dial at NBW? Oh yes, there is much more beyond. The message is a riddle propounded to future ages of humankind.

When I first noticed this message around 25 years ago, I was curious and investigated it. I found a story behind it. Francis Bacon invented a discovery device by which new arts and sciences could be discovered by a machinery which guides the intellect as a ruler or compass guides the hand. When he sought to endow mankind with this gift Bacon's philanthropy met with ridicule and scorn. Bacon did not give up. He devised a most amazing ploy. He created models of his discovery device. At that time mankind was still captivated by the Past, believing that the Ancients, somewhere beyond the veil of fable, had achieved heights of knowledge impossible for a degenerate latter age. Bacon was concerned with persuading mankind to look for its greatest achievements in the light of the future, rather than in the darkness of antiquity. So each model considered some notable aspect of ancient knowledge, showing that Bacon had something better to offer through the demonstration of the operation of his discovery device in regards to some one notable subject related and contrasted to its corresponding aspect of ancient knowledge.

 Bacon devised a curious emblem which he used as an emblematic headpiece for these works. In the First Folio one sees at the very beginning of the Folio a light "A" and a dark "A" symbolizing his candid explanation in his early work, The Masculine Birth of Time :

"Nevertheless it is important to understand how the present is like a seer with two faces, one looking toward the future, and the other towards the past. Accordingly I have decided to prepare for your instruction tables of both ages, containing not only the past course and progress of science, but also Anticipations of things to come. The nature of these tables you could not conjecture before you see them. A genuine Anticipation of them is beyond your scope, nor would you be aware of the lack of it unless it was put into your hands. It is a compliment reserved to some of the choicer spirits among you whom I hope to win thereby.But generally speaking science is to be sought from the light of nature, not from the darkness of Antiquity."

To ensure the survival of these models Bacon constructed them as masterpieces of literature. The convention of his models operated through an analogue model of the great world. He called this analogue model the "Intellectual Globe", and constructed his discovery device in such a manner that it fulfilled the function of an "intellectual compass" which guided the ship of discovery on his "Intellectual Globe." The message in The Tempest gives a key (for those who can turn it) to the operation of the device in the plays.

For example, we know Bacon said the Fourth (missing part) of his Instauration would deal with his Tables of Discovery, because in his Norvum Organum, referring to these tables, Bacon said, "the subject partly of the second, but more of the fourth part of my Instauration." We know there are four tables:

1. The Table of Presence

2. The Table of Absence in Proximity

3. The table of Variance or Degrees

4. The table of Exclusion

They will be utilized in connection with a "dial", and this dial will be a compass dial with 32 divisions, or directions. Obviously the division of matter in the plays will be correlated in some fashion with this dial, and we will want to know with what direction the dial begins, and how this correlation is affected. These are both easy to determine since we are told where NBW is, and the NBW reading is downward, indicating we should seek some division of the matter in the play beginning from the beginning of the play. If we do this, we discover the AT in the message "SIT THE DIAL AT NBW" is within the 32nd speech from the beginning of the play, and if we begin at North (the logical beginning point for a compass dial), the 32nd direction around the compass dial is NBW.

 

What we are looking for is the beginning and termination of each table, and the termination of all four tables because at that point the analysis and induction process will beginagain. The tables having been completed the process of the "First Vintage" as Bacon called it, would then begin. The simplest arrangement would be to have each table cover exactly 32 speeches. This would allow for all the variations in the dial of perogative natures, and would make it easy to follow the beginning and termination of each table. If this were so NBW would naturally indicate the last speech in the first table, and we should expect to have some indication of the end of all four of the tables. That is, the tables would proceed through 32 x 4, or 128 divisions, and following the 128th speech the process would begin again with the "First Vintage".

  If the play is examined carefully, one sees this is exactly what Bacon has done. The 129th speech is as follows:

S Some God O' the island, sitting on a bank,

V VVeeping againe the King my Fathers wracke,

T This Musick crept by me upon the waters,

A Allaying both their fury, and my passion

V VVith it's sweet ayre: thence I have follow'd it

O Or it hath drawn me rather; but 'tis gone.

N No, it begins againe.

In Elizabethan times W's were often composed of two V's, and U's and V's were interchangeable. The message is NOVATUS (latin: it begins again) and is also repeated in the text of the speech. So Bacon has given clear verification for the arrangement of the tables.

Another point which should be noted is that the tables of presence and absence are opposites. Thus one notes the tumult and violent activity of the first set of 32 speeches is abruptly replaced by the quiet serenity of Prospero's cell in the second set of 32 speeches. The location is putatively in the Mediterranean Sea, (the old world of antiquity) although some allusions suggest Bermuda, i.e. the New World of future knowledge. Within the context of the Baconian imagery of the Sailing Ship of Discovery arriving at the island whereon one finds the Magus,

symbol of the supreme pinnacle of human knowledge, it is not difficult to understand the drift of the symbolism.

In The Tempest Bacon deals with knowledge. The
depository of all knowledge in antiquity was The Mysteries. In his book, "Shakespeare's Mystery Play", Colin Still has demonstrated that there is a detailed and continued allegory of the Mysteries in The Tempest. In the Mysteries, while plunged in a deep, entranced sleep, the soul of the neophyte wandered in the after world, first through hades and the lower realms of this sphere, until finally arriving at the Isles of the Blest-the Elysian Fields. At the last stage of its tenure of the After World the soul was granted a vision, just as Ferdinand was granted a vision (the masque) after he had wandered through the island and had undergone certain labors. And the knowledge received through this apocalyptic vision was the special knowledge content of the Mysteries.

On the other hand for the light "A" aspect of the play Bacon symbolized all of the categories of knowledge which he sets forth in the Advancement of Learning and also the investigation which produces the "form" of the existing state of The Advancement of Learning.

 After I had familiarized myself with the operation of the intellectual compass I read through the plays and found Bacon had made some startling discoveries with his device. For example, in Measure for Measure, which deals from the ancient knowledge aspect with the legends of the fallen angels, he inquires into the essential nature of God and arrived at something corresponding to the principle of symmetry, a concept quite important to contemporary theoretical physicists who, however, have no idea they have strayed into the realm of theology. In the play of Hamlet he dealt with the ancient mythology of the tilting of the earth's axis (the macrocosm) and corresponding disorder in the microcosm (man) caused by the loss of alignment with his spiritual source. Love's Labour Lost had for its ancient knowledge content of a study of The Academy, and for future knowledge, the form of studies. The Merchant of Venice dealt with the Kabbalah; Tragedy of Macbeth with Witchcraft; King Lear with Alchemy; Julius Caesar with the ritual death of the king; The Winter's Tale with the myth of Persephone; Romeo and Juliet with Astrology; Cymbeline with metempsychosis; The Two Gentlemen of Verona with Know Thyself; and so on.

Bacon thought it inevitable that eventually someone would tumble to his contrivance. He believed that by time this happened his works would have won such a high literary reputation that he would piggy-back acceptance of his discovery device in on the reputation of the plays. Now, after centuries during which Puck's ducdame has held sway, and not a single minion of the Establishment has even dreamed of the true nature of the Plays, new dissenters to the "authorized version" are beginning to coalesce. They have proclaimed their new Gospel for anyone who will listen:
the true author of the Shakespeare Plays is none other than that quintessential Elizabethan fop - Edward De Vere.

The situation is not without humour.

 In his calculations for a future revelation, did Bacon neglect to factor in the premise that in the country of the blind the best kept secret is light? No way. Some day the secret will out. And then, when future ages talk about the Stratfordians, and they will - will they be kind? Probably not. But take heart, all too soon the Strafordians will have been long forgotten; Roadkill on the Highway of History.

*********

 email your comments to Mr. Walker

See Mather Walker's book : The Secret of the Shakespeare Plays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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