Behind the frontman

The ‘illiterate oaf ‘ of essay writing                                                    back to Sinful Art




      Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more 
man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it     
out.  For as for the first wrong, it doth out offend the
law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law
out of office.  Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is
but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he
is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon.  And    
Solomon, I am sure, saith, 
It is the glory of a man to
pass by an offence.  That which is past is gone, and   
irrevocable; and  wise  men  have  enough  to do with   
things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle
with themselves, that labor in past matters.  There
is  no  man  doth  a  wrong  for  the  wrong’s  sake;  but
thereby  to  purchase  himself  profit,  or  pleasure,  or
honor, or the like.  Therefore why should I be angry
for loving himself better than me?

This essay goes on to cover fourty-five lines. But this paper is about signatures, rather than philosophy. And when it comes to that, this randomly picked test sample is a treasure trove. Which is quite remarkable, because the 1907 Houghton Mifflin edition of Bacon’s essays is not exactly a faithful copy of the 1625 original. Its signatures could therefore easily be dismissed as chance hits, if it was not for the fact that there is evidence of intelligent design by editor Clark Sutherland Northup (1872 – 1952). And this design includes a sequence that is almost by definition a matter of change, and of the printer’s workshop. The one of capitals heading a line :

line                1                 8                  24
initial            R                S                   S

Regardless the cypher, these capitals results in blanks on both Bacon and the predicted co-author. The total of line numbers however, produces a totally unexpected hit on ‘Bacon’. As mentioned, this is almost by definition a chanc hit. Unless the sequence of italic capitals is taken into account :

line                8                31                 35
initial             I                 Y                   S

Blanks again, whatever the cypher. And a hit again on the total of line numbers : 74. Which in simple cypher happens to correspond with ‘William’. The very signature that the this new theory on authorship predicts for the 1625 original. What about that for ‘totally unexpected’? And the corresponding ‘Shakespeare’ is in the total of these italic and ‘meaningless’ initial capitals : 53 + 50.

Line eight contributes to both the ‘Bacon’ and ‘William’ signature. And, judged by the capitals from that line, Northup seems to have deployed simple cypher for the message ‘Bacon is William Shakespeare’.

You may look in awe at the words enclosed by the ‘is’, but chance has pulled off better tricks. And in order to prove intelligent design, the stray capitals has to be examined as well. In this edition distributed like this :

                                          italics                           italics
line                            8         I     15            29      34    S        41                       42
capital                 S         I            I              F            J            C      P           H       T      F
value                   18       9            9             6            9            3      15           8      19      6
score                   18      27          36           42          51          54     69         77      96    102          

Apart from a subtotal that may stand for ‘Francis B’ no signatures at all. Not even in the line numbers. This while these capitals are name initials and ‘I’s. Capitals therefore that Bacon himself prescribes as obligate. But even the four sections divided by the italics produce blanks only. Which is rather low when it comes to the inevitable chance hit. But the closing section produces exactly half the score : 51 divided over two adjacent lines as ‘S’ and ‘Bacon’. The score’s first half opens with ‘18’ as well. This time actually spelled out as ‘S’. Lacking the means, however, to divide the sequence at that point, nothing can be made of this observation. This despite the fact that Bacon’s ‘33’-signature is constructed from three ‘I’s (which, as 111, is a Bacon-signature in itself) and an ‘F’ on a line that by its number signs for Shakespeare as the difference between 74 and 103. The blank is therefore loaded with suggestion, and it is closely linked to the blank in another sequence of initials. The one of capitals heading a sentence. Which is the one that Bacon with certainty combined to a sequence himself :

                   italics                                                                    italics
Pag 15               I                     Page 15   Page 16                       Y      S                       Page 16
1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19   20
R    F     C     A    T     T    T     A    T      S      T     F      B     C      B     A     T      P      B    N
17    6     3     1    19    19   19    1    19    18    19    6       2     3      2      1     19    15      2   13
Pag 15             104                  Page 15   Page 16                        100                          Page 16
      27             I                                     125                               Y  2  S                  50
                    italics                                                                     italics

In both the 1625 original, and the 1907 copy, these capitals are marked as sentence initials by means of a double space between sentences. Which contributes to this research as a fool proof selection device on capitals of which the status is ambiguous. Like an italic heading a quotation.

As a result, this sequence can only fail by omission : if the Houghton Mifflin edition in the duplication attempt turns out to contain 21 sentence initials, this section of the paper will be reduced to a marvelous display of Dame Fortune’s abilities. And believe me, I have seen plenty a piece of solid evidence to evaporate at the correction of a single typing error.

Apart from that, this sequence is fully reliable, and it combines a blank on page 15, with ‘Francis Bacon’ in simple cypher on page 16. The blank, however, is as close a near hit on ‘Shakespeare’s simple cypher 103 as the blank on stray capitals : ‘nearly Shakespeare’ on one page, and ‘Francis Bacon’ in full on the other. The message is clear. But it is a message from Clark Sutherland Northup. Francis Bacon published the same sequence in a division over four pages : 26 + 78 + 85 + 15.

No hits. Neither overall score nor sections yield a signature. As if Clark Sutherland Northup was more of an encrypter than Bacon. The only thing that catches the eye is the F. B. on the Golden Section. After that marker the sequence seems to have some difficulty in spelling out the name ‘Bacon’ : BC – BA – TP (just overshooting 33 = Bacon = BATO)  – BN

Things would be more interesting if restricted to a division by the italics around line 33. Ignore the break that follows between lines 34 and 36, and we have a hit on ‘52’ ; simple cypher for ‘Will’. And lo and behold : the remaining 152 is a hit on ‘William’. This time in Kay cypher. But in order to rule out chance hits, the procedure has to be reversed to a similar result : ignore the central division just past the Golden Ratio, and divide on both outer italic sections. The isolated ‘B’ on line 34 is now linked to the central section :

                    27       –       127       –       50     
 –                           154                177   

The 154 is a blank, but at least a blank that refers to Shakespeare’s 154 Sonnets. It also is located exactly halfway a reverse cypher on Bacon, and the signature of Sonnet 146. And connected to this link with the Sonnets, the 177 signature spells out as : ‘William Shakespeare with FB in his heart’.

Somehow this sounds not exactly like ‘Bacon is Shakespeare’. And that is exactly what the co-author theory predicts for the original :


of revenge 


R  Euenge is a kinde of Wilde Iustice; 
which the more Mans Nature runs
to, the more ought Law to weed it
out. For as for the first Wrong, it doth
but offend the Law; but the 
Reuenge of
that wrong, putteth the Law out
of Office. Certainly, in taking 
A Man is but euen with his Enemy;
But in passing it ouer, he is Superiour:
For it is a Princes part to Pardon. And
Salomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory   
of a Man to passe by an offence. That
which is past, is gone, and Irreuoca-
ble; And wise Men haue Enough to
doe, with things present, and to come:
Therefore, they doe but trifle with
themselues, that labour in past mat-
ters. There is no man, doth a wrong, for
the wrongs sake; But therby to
purchase himselfe, Profit, or Pleasure,
or Honour, or the like. Therfore why
should I be angry with a Man, for louing
himselfe better then mee?    

This essay goes on to cover sixty-five lines. But this paper is about signatures, rather than philosophy. And when it comes to that, this randomly picked test sample is more than a treasure trove ; it is two treasure troves.

The 1625 edition of Bacon’s essays comes in two prints, that differ greatly in all four sequences of capitals. The italics, for instance, offer a choice between a sequence of 22 and a sequence of 26. And a code breaker who checks his copy of the book would find a chance hit on ‘Will Shakespeare’ in simple cypher on an ‘F’. Only if he checks both prints, this code breaker would find out that these are the ‘F’s of ‘Florence’ and ‘Friends’ respectively. And that a chance hit is therefore out of the question. But why would a seventeenth century code breaker think of checking whether his copy’s 1625 edition comes in different prints?

As far as Francis Bacon could judge, the anomaly would take many a decade to get noticed. But eventually a theory arose that predicted this very signature to be there as intentional. And if a theory predicts a discovery, it no longer is a theory once the discovery is made. It only needs duplication of the test result by independent research, to turn theory into indisputable fact. And for duplication it is sufficient to compare notes with the 1907 Houghton Mifflin edition. In which Doctor of Letters Clarke Sutherland Northup neither copies the sentence initials from one of the prints, nor generates a sequence of his own : he combines  the two prints to sign for both Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare.


of initial tampering

For ten capitals Northup follows the shorter sequence at pitch, then he switches to the other print for capitals 11 – 14. Writing in the process a clearly intentional Kay signature. To which purpose the essayist readily inserts a full stop, in order to provide for a capital ‘C’ from the italics sequence. After which exercise Northup returns to his original source, in order to duplicate the same signature in simple cypher from the remaining capitals from its sequence.

Line initials and italics combine in a similar fashion, demonstrating that an author’s grip on typesetting does not always end at the printer’s front door. And because the signatures in the line numbers of these capitals are quite similar in composition, they are not easily attributed to Dame Fortune. By which method the editor has demonstrated that any means of encryption one can think of, is one that Bacon could have deployed at will. If only Doctor of Letters Clark Sutherland Northup had shared this vital piece of information with his fellow scientists…

At least he did not destroy the evidence in the process of editing the text. Instead he worked like an archeologist who, having recorded his discoveries, reburies the site in order to preserve it for future generations. Which is something of a déjà-vu, because I described the same experience in The Art of Ralph Vaughan Williams. The same reluctance to publish revealing clues is also found in the early critics on The Turn of the Screw. Which brings us back to the omerta as described in The Art of Text Interpretation. From which follows that I have, in my inexperience, spoiled my first excavation site by leaving the secrets of the part songs exposed.

This is not a mistake to make a second time. And having reburied the site of Stratfordian revenge in my turn, I must restrict myself to the observation that Doctor Clark Sutherland Northup was no man’s fool : the encrypted record of his research tells exactly where to look, and what he found there.

of truth

A fine collection of definitely intentional Bacon and Shakespeare signatures to begin with. And plenty a clue that they were placed in this 1625 essay to share the honour. And this evidence of a writers collective deals at the instant with every single argument that pleads against Shakespeare as The Bard.

It is a matter of mixed feelings to have one’s findings duplicated even before one is born. However, the 1907 edition is less clear on parity than it should be. And could be. Which suggests that Doctor Northup may have misinterpreted parity as a Baconian claim on Shakespeare’s legacy. It is of course no help that Francis Bacon published Of Revenge as late as 1625, in the process obscuring the fact that it should be dated before April 1616.

Site reburial, by the way, is mainly intended to preserve what the archeologist did not find. And any new excavation can be trusted to produce some new evidence. A clearly intentional Marlowe signature, for instance, because this paper’s chapter From Longlist to Shortlist has Marlowe as an obligate name when checking Bacon’s letter sequences for signatures. Something Doctor Northup would not have known.


Starting from a failed falsification attempt of the Mainstream Theory, this paper reduces the longlist of One and Only Bards to the names of Shakespeare and Marlowe. Both nominees have Francis Bacon as the only plausible co-author. In the chapter Sinful Art, Bacon’s controversial signing method writes Sonnet 146 on the name of William Shakespeare. If this was the author’s intention, Bacon must have been involved as a co-author, which predicts the existence of clearly intentional Shakespeare signatures in Bacon’s essays. The chapter Behind the Frontman proves these signatures to exist, which turns theory into recorded fact : two authors wrote in close co-operation essays under the name Francis Bacon, and plays and poetry under the name William Shakespeare. But this does not rule out Christopher Marlowe. Only a comparison of style characteristics as recommended in From Longlist to Shortlist can achieve that.

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