26) Next we have some more mispaginations. This time in the Tragedies. The play Hamlet begins on page 152 and this is followed by the pages 153, 154, 155, and 156. At the bottom of the second column of page 156 the play depicts the characters Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus discussing the time and realizing that midnight has struck. The character Horatio says:
“Indeed I heard it not; then it drawes neere the season,Wherein the Spirit held his wont to walke.”
Then the next page should be 157, but it’s missing. It’s mispaged as 257. There are a couple interesting things about this. First is the obvious difference of 100 (“Francis Bacon” in the Simple count) counted between 157 and 257. Then the number 157, as already mentioned, is the Simple Cipher count of “Fra Rosiecross” whose Kay count is 287, providing some additional support for the symbolic name. The suspicion here is that the missing page 157 replaced with 257 is meant to attract attention to these numbers. Then there is the appearance on this next page of 157/257 of the Ghost or Spirit, a being usually unseen, resembling an unseen playwright possibly.
As mentioned in section 8 when discussing the concealed “wit”, this idea of a hidden entity is also hinted at in the play The Comedie of Errors. In the last scene of this play, on page 99 at the bottom of the first column where the two Dromios are finally being revealed as twins. We have:
Duke. One of these men is genius to the other:And so of these, which is the naturall man,
And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
There is the idea of an immaterial intelligence coupled with a “naturall man”. And when this entity, this “ghost” or “Spirit” appears in Hamlet, it is meant to be on page 157. This page being missing, and also seen to be a significant number related to Francis Bacon, could be a clue meant to emphasize the invisible presence of the author. It’s a repeated structural theme that looks as though the hidden bard is giving additional hints of his existence to go along with the many clues to his identity.
Following this line of thought, when we go to this page 157 that is now numbered 257 we soon see the stage direction of “Enter Ghost”. The next line is by Horatio and he says “Looke my Lord, it comes.” The command to ‘look’ along with ‘it comes’ suggested to me the possibility of a cipher. And as it happens the very next line by Hamlet has a letter count of ‘33’.
This was also found by David Ovason in his book Shakespeare’s Secret Booke, 2010. He found other instances of this number seeming to come and go with the Ghost’s visits, though he seems to connect the number more to esoteric philosophy than to a cipher signature for Bacon.