AA And Laid-Back Boys

Advancement of Learning

The Sixth Book.


  I The Partition of the Art of Tradition into the Doctrine of the Organ of Speech. The Doctrine of the method of Speech; And the Doctrine of the Illustration of Speech. ... II. A Second Partition of Grammar, into Literarie; and Philosophicall. III. An Aggregation of Poesie, referring to Measure, unto the Knowledge of Speech. An Aggregation of the Knowledge of Cyphers to the Knowledge of Writing.   
CERTAINLY any man may assume the liberty (Excellent King) if he be so humourd, to jest and laugh at himselfe, or his owne Projects. Who then knowes whether this worke of ours be not perchance a Transcript out of an Ancient Booke found amongst the Books of that famous Library of S. Victor, a Catalogue whereof M. Fra. Rabelais hath collected? For there a Book is found entitled FORMICARIUM ARTIVM; wee have indeed accumulated a litle heape of small Dust; and laid up many Graines of Arts and Sciences therein, whereto Ants may creepe, and there repose a while, and so betake themselves to new labours. Nay the wisest of Kings sends the slothful, of what ranke or qualitie soever, unto the Ants; and those we define to be slothfull, whose only care is to live upon the maine stock, but not to improve it by sowing the Ground of Sciences over againe, and reaping a new Harvest. ...

    III But the measure of words hath brought us forth an immense body of Art, namely Poesie; not in respect of the matter (of which we have spoken before) but in respect of stile and the forme of words, as Metre or Verse; touching which the Art is very small and briefe, but the accesse of examples large and infinite. ...

      § Wherefore let us come to CYPHARS. Their kinds are many as, Cyphars simple; Cyphars intermixt with Nulloes, or non-significant Characters; Cyphers of double Letters under one Character; Wheele-Cyphars; Kay-Cyphars; Cyphars of words; Others. But the virtues of them whereby they are to be preferr'd are Three; That they be ready, and not laborious to write; That they be sure, and lie not open to Deciphering; And lastly, if it be possible, that they may be managed without suspition. For if Letters Missive fall into their hands, that have some command and authority over those that write; or over those to whom they were written; though the Cypher it selfe bee sure and impossible to be decypher'd, yet the matter is liable to examination and question; unless the Cypher be such, as may be voide of all suspition, or may elude all examination. As for the shifting off examination, there is ready prepared a new and profitable invention to this purpose; which, seeing it is easily procured, to what end should we report it, as Deficient. The invention is this: That you have two sorts of Alphabets, one of true letters, the other of Non-significants; and that you likewise fould up two Letters; one which may carrie the secret, another such as is probable the Writer might send yet without perill. Now if the Messenger be strictly examined concerning the Cypher, let him present the Alphabet of Non-significants for true Letters, but the Alphabet of true Letters for Non-significants: by this Art the examiner falling upon the exterior Letter, and finding it probable, shall suspect nothing of the interior Letter. But that jealousies may be taken away, we will annexe an other invention, which, in truth, we devised in our youth, when we were at Paris: and is a thing that yet seemeth to us not worthy to be lost. It containeth the highest degree of Cypher, which is to signifie omnia per omnia, yet so as the writing infolding, may beare a quintuple proportion to the writing infolded; no other condition or restriction whatsoever is required. It shall be performed thus: First let all the Letters of the Alphabet, by transposition, be resolved into two Letters onely; for the transposition of two Letters by five placeings will be sufficient for 32. Differences, much more for 24. which is the number of the Alphabet. The example of such an Alphabet is on this wise.

An Example of a Bi-literarie Alphabet.

A (Aaaaa) ... Z 

    Neither is it a small matter these Cypher-Characters have, and may performe: For by this Art a way is opened, whereby a man may expresse and signifie the intentions of his minde, at any distance of place, by objects which may be presented to the eye, and accommodated to the eare: provided those objects be capable of a twofold difference onely; as by Bells, by Trumpets, by Lights and Torches, by the report of Muskets, and any instruments of like nature. But to pursue our enterprise, when you addresse your selfe to write, resolve your inward-infolded Letter into this Bi-literarie Alphabet. Say the interior Letter be


Example of Solution.

F. (Aabab.) V. 
(baabb.) G. (aabba.) E (aabaa.)

    Together with this, you must have ready at hand a Biformed Alphabet, which may represent all the Letters of the Common Alphabet, as well Capitall Letters as the Smaller Characters in a double forme, as may fit every mans occasion.

An Example of a Bi-formed Alphabet.

a. b. (A. 'A') 
... a. b. (z. 'z'.)

    Now to the interiour letter, which is Biliterate, you shall fit a biformed exteriour letter, which shall answer the other, letter for letter, and afterwards set it downe. Let the exteriour example be,

Manere te volo, donec venero.

An Example of Accommodation.

F V G E   a 
abab.b aa b b.aa b ba.aa baa.  Manere te volo donec venero

    We have annext likewise a more ample example of the cypher of writing omnia per omnia: An interiour letter, which to expresse, we have made choice of a Spartan letter sent once in a Scytale or round cypher'd staffe.

Perditue Res. Mindarus cecidit. Milites esuriunt. Negue hinc nos 
extricare, negue hic diutius manere possumus.

    An exteriour letter, taken out of the first Epistle of Cicero, wherein a Spartan Letter is involved.

omni officio...

    The knowledge of Cyphering, hath drawne on with it a knowledge relative unto it, which is the knowledge of Discyphering, or of Discreting Cyphers, though a man were utterly ignorant of the Alphabet of the Cypher, and the Capitulations of secrecy past between the Parties. Certainly it is an Art which requires great paines and a good witt and is (as the other was) consecrate to the Counsels of Princes: yet notwithstanding by diligent prevision it may be made unprofitable, though, as things are, it be of great use. For if good and faithfull Cyphers were invented & practised, many of them would delude and forestall all the Cunning of the Decypherer, which yet are very apt and easie to be read or written: but the rawnesse and unskilfulnesse of Secretaries, and Clarks in the Courts of Princes, is such, that many times the greatest matters are Committed to futile and weake Cyphers. But it may be, that in the enumeration, and, as it were, taxation of Arts, some may thinke that we goe about to make a great Muster-rowle of Sciences, that the multiplication of them may be more admired; when their number perchance may be displayed, but their forces in so short a Treatise can hardly be tried. But for our parts wee doe faithfully pursue our purpose, and in making this Globe of Sciences, we would not omitt the lesser and remoter Ilands. Neither have we (in our opinion) touched these Arts perfunctorily, though cursorily; but with a piercing stile extracted the marrow and pith of them out of a masse of matter. The judgement hereof we referre to those who are most able to judge of these Arts. For seeing it is the fashion of many who would be thought to know much, that every where making ostentation of words and outward termes of Arts, they become a wonder to the ignorant, but a derision to those that are Masters of those Arts: we hope that our Labours shall have a contrarie successe, which is, that they may arrest the judgment of every one who is best vers'd in every particular Art; and be undervalued by the rest. As for those Arts which may seeme to bee of inferior ranke and order, if any man thinke wee attribute too much unto them; Let him looke about him and hee shall see that there bee many of speciall note and great account in their owne Countrie, who when they come to the chiefe City or feat of the Estate, are but of mean ranke and scarcely regarded: so it is no marvaile if these sleighter Arts, placed by the Principall and supreme Sciences, seeme pettie things; yet to those that have chosen to spend their labours and studies in them, they seeme great and excellent matters. And thus much of the Organ of Speech.
[@ Bacon, 257-71]