Fun with Baconian Ciphers
Here we begin some interesting “coincidences” with page numbering. We’ve already seen some Bacon signature candidates related to significant page numbers. The “Sir France is bee Con” signature was on page 287 of the Histories in King Lear. On page 100 of the Comedies had the number 33 very close to it.
20) In the Friedman’s book on page 178 there is a passing reference to the Baconian finding that the word “Bacon” is found on page 53 of the Comedies as well as on page 53 of the Histories. It is also shown twice in the same play of King Henry IV Part 1 on page 54. There is more in their resemblance than just the page numbers and we need to note this extra importance.
It turns out that the first of these page 53 instances of “Bacon”, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor, has a very close association to a story (an apothegm; Bacon called them “Apophthegms”) from Francis Bacon. Several Baconians have written about this and I’ve added some observations to these. During the scene on this page, about two-thirds of the way down the second column, a character named William is getting a lesson in Latin and it includes these lines:
Evans: "I pray you have remembrance (childe), Accusativo hing, hang, hog."
Mistress Quickly: "Hang-hog" is latten for Bacon, I warrant you."
The story by Francis Bacon is listed as his 36th Apothegm on page 228 in the 1671 Resuscitatio by Dr. Rawley, Bacon’s chaplain and executor. It is as follows:
“Sir Nicholas Bacon being appointed a judge for the Northern Circuit, and having brought his trials that came before him to such a pass, as the passing of sentence on malefactors, he was by one of the malefactors mightily importuned for to save his life; which, when nothing that he had said did avail, he at length desired his mercy on account of kindred. “Prithee,” said my Lord Judge, “how came that in?” “Why, if it please you, my lord, your name is Bacon, and mine is Hog, and in all ages Hog and Bacon have been so near kindred, that they are not to be separated.”. “Ay, but,” Replied judge Bacon, “you and I cannot be kindred except you be hanged; for Hog is not Bacon until it be well hanged.”
A facsimile screen capture of this passage from the original Resuscitatio will be shown in the next post.