Then, another noticed that the dialogue involved a lesson in Latin, and there’s an emphasis on the word ‘horne’. Then there followed a question and answer of:
Peda. What is the figure? What is the figure?Page. Hornes
The word 'figure' is normally considered a reference to a figure of speech or of rhetoric. But, naturally, it could also be a subtle reference to a figure of arithmetic.
So it looked like the correct response could be ‘cornu’ which is the Latin equivalent of ‘horn’. Then the Ba with a ‘horn’ added becomes ‘Bacornu’ which, of course, resembles ‘Bacon’. But I was a bit more curious because of the question “What is the figure”, which should indicate a numeral. It turns out that the simple count for ‘cornu’ is ‘67’, the simple cipher for ‘Francis’. This provides for the full name of ‘Francis Bacornu’. The reference to “Thou consonant” (a dismissive sobriquet) may indicate a null letter which would be the letter ‘r’. Coincidentally, that line of “What is Ab speld backward with the horn on his head?” is on line 33 of the page, counting all lines with text. The first analysis of this passage seems to have come from Edwin Durning-Lawrence in his Bacon is Shake-Speare, 1910.
An argument against this speculation is that the Page used the plural of Horne and that therefore the Latin equivalent would need to be ‘cornua’ which would have a count of 68. I don’t see that as a necessity and the ‘cornu’ answer seems to provide a reasonable explanation for the riddle. Maybe the plural of ‘hornes’ meant the plural of ‘67’ which would mean there was more than one embedded cipher.
It happens I was also interested in the emphasis on the Vowels and the strange ‘wit’ about them which isn’t clear. We note that the vowels ‘a e I’ were separated in the dialogue from the final two of ‘o u’. It turns out that ‘a e I’ sum to ‘15’ in the simple count and reduce further to a sum of ‘6’. Then the vowels ‘o u’ sum to ‘34’ and reduce to ‘7’, providing another clever embedding of ‘67’, and also answering what the “figure” is. Further, with the letter ‘I’ capitalized, unlike the other vowels, it can suggest the phrase “I, Francis”. And with the letter count of the second line, which equals 33, we find “I, Francis Bacon”.
Another pairing of 33 and 67 can be found on page 158 in A Midsommer Nights Dreame. It’s a weaker variant so I’m not going to give this its own number. In column two, paragraph two, is a passage spoken by Theseus. Here we might see ‘33’ represented by “three and three”. There is also the word ‘anon’ with its Kay value of ‘67’. The passage also has 67 spoken words. However the ambiguity comes in with its three italicized words as well as the hyphenated ‘over-beare’.