17) A second hidden signature code in this same play - As You Like It - is found near the top of the first column on page 197 in scene 3.2. Here the characters Jaques and Orlando are engaging in a bit of banter about which one of them is a fool, and includes this piece of their conversation:
Jaq. By my troth, I was seeking for a Foole, when I found you.Orl. He is drown’d in the brooke, looke but in, and you shall see him.
Jaq. There I shal see mine owne figure.
Orl. Which I take to be either a foole, or a Cipher.
The solution here must consider that though Jacques will see his owne figure, what figure will he see? The simple count for Jaques is 69, the Kay count is 147. Neither of those fits the expected Bacon signature counts. But Jaques is also a “foole” according to Orlando. And Orlando takes the figure of Jaques to be either that of a “foole” or a Cipher. The simple count for “foole” is 50, the Kay count is 102. Neither of these make cipher sense either. But Orlando says that Jaques will see the foole or Cipher when he looks in the brooke. When Jaques looks in the brooke he sees his reflection and at that moment the “foole” or “Cipher” is seen. The “two fooles” together (himself and his reflection) add up to 100 which is the simple Cipher, and a figure, for “Francis Bacon”.
Additionally, the word “foole” as a reflection can be seen to contain the figure “100” in the reverse of “ool” or “loo” or “100”. This also has some semblance to the “Sir France is bee Con” candidate since in that passage is Lear found twice asking “Where’s my foole?”
Also, with the numerous play on similar sounding words in Shakespeare, the word “brooke” sounds similar to “book” and may be a hint that looking into, not at, the “book” of the first folio, that is, beyond surface appearances, one shall see the hidden bard. Interestingly, the “Sir France is bee Con” passage has the line “I will looke further intoo’t”.
We’ve seen that in this play of As You Like It two of the signature ciphers were related to the words “Clowne” and “Foole”. So it’s interesting that also in this play in the last scene, on page 206, second column about a third of the way down, there is Duke Senior saying:
Du.Se. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.
Defintions of a “Stalking-horse” include the following:
1. Something used to cover one's true purpose; a decoy.2. A person or thing that is used to conceal someone’s real intentions.
3. Something used to mask a purpose.
4. Something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
5. A person whose participation in a proceeding is made use of to prevent its real design from being suspected.
In cryptology this idea has been termed the “cover” text concealing a “plain” text. So Duke Senior refers to the Clowne as one who pretends to be a fool in order to “shoot his wit”. Obviously the playwright understands the concept and uses the plays often to “shoot his wit”. Is it really that much more of a stretch to consider that a great wit as this playwright is could step up this “stalking horse” concept to camouflage more than he’s been given credit for? This thought of there being a concealed “wit” in the plays is found elsewhere and will be discussed again shortly. Spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham also used this term of a stalking-horse, so it seems to have had usage in intelligence circles at the time.