Monday, November 9, 2015

A CIPHER OF OnE: Oxford/Shakespeare

© By E.L. Miller, 11/2015

[Abstract: this article argues that in various Sonnets (136, 135, 134), “Shakespeare” peculiarly refers to himself, in a secret identity, as the “One,” or “None,” and also to himself as someone who passes by, secretly, in a “number” which makes him “nothing.”

It is amazing that we should find another such case, employing the same peculiar conceits or tropes as those used in above said Sonnets. The “other case” is that also of a “secret” poet, and we find his same peculiar poetic cipher handiwork in a book of poems commemorating the passing of Sir Phillip Sidney.

The unnamed “secrete” poet gives two poems using the same peculiar tropes as Shakespeare, they are: “An Epitaph upon the right Honourable sir Phillip Sidney knight: Lord gouernor of Flushing” and also “Another of the same.” “Another of the same” utilizes most obviously the same peculiar cipher method as Shakespeare’s Sonnets.]


Recently I found an old article of mine from January of 2002 wherein I announced I had discovered the existence of two new “Shakespeare” poems by an unknown poet. The two poems were epitaphs for Phillip Sidney which I first noticed in 1999—at the very time I was full-time engaged in original Shakespeare research. The said two poems were published in Spenser’s memorial to Sidney, Astrophel, 1595. Sidney’s death, it should be recalled, was many years earlier, in 1586.

Now, within the last week, on turning my attention back to the above matter, I started going over the material very carefully. In a flash, I immediately found another poem where our author uses the same peculiar cipher to reveal his true identity—the same “Identity device” as he uses in “Shakespeare’s Sonnets.”

Can this possibly be true? First, let us turn to my earlier discovery of 2002, that is to say—the earlier discovery of the cipher in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, then the same cipher formulae will be revealed, used by the “secrete” poet who wrote the two epitaphs for Sidney, which we will deal with, featured in Spenser’s Astrophel.

The “Shakespeare” ID Cipher = E.O. = O. E.

OnE Will Never Equal EO
But EO Can Hide In ONE

Turning, once again, to study the “Will” sonnets, as I had so many times before, this time to ensure myself I was not the one getting some details confused [in a dispute with a scholar friend]. My eye lite on Sonnet 136 first, and, on reading it again, I immediately had the amazing sensation I had just solved a riddle—a riddle that I did not previously know existed in the sonnet. But, on solving it, proof of the existence of the riddle appeared to assert itself. Below is the sonnet, just as published [i.e., obviously in electronic form] in 1609, with errors and all—for a simpler view I also adopted “The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Edition of The Sonnets of William Shakespeare].


IF thy soule check thee that I come so neere,
Sweare to thy blind soule that I was thy Will,
And will thy soule knowes is admitted there,
Thus farre for loue, my loue-sute sweet fullfill.
Will, will fulfill the treasure of thy loue,
I fill it full with wils, and my will one,
In things of great receit with ease we prooue.
Among a number one is reckon'd none.
Then in the number let me pass vntold,
Though in thy stores account I one must be,
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold,
That nothing me, a some-thing sweet to thee.
Make but my name thy loue, and loue that still,
And then thou louest me for my name is Will.

I had never really understood the poem before, it seemed to me now as I finished reading it again. The poem beseeches that the beloved swear to the poet that he, as her one-time lover, was once her “Will.” If she does so, he tells her, she will fulfill his “love-suit” request. Indeed, he appears to say that by admitting he was her Will, she will fulfill her own love’s treasure. The poem then seems to turn, almost with a bitter thrust, to assert that if she admits he, as “Will” is her love—his love, as “Will,” will be “one” among other “Wills,” no doubt, of her other willful treasure.

Textual Note: As to the original printing of Sonnet 136 above, there ought to be a period after the sixth line, but there isn’t. The new thought (“In things of great receipt”) is a reflection on what came before, and a derived lesson in logic, so to speak. Indeed, quite precisely it is also a lesson in the science of the day, contained in lines 7,8:

In things of great receipt with ease we prove,
Among a number one is counted none.

The ingenious conceit, corrected, by changing the period at the end of prove, notes the science of Shakespeare’s day, in mathematics, there was NOT considered to be any number “one.”
Indeed, I see in the Shakespeare Concordance that our poet apparently quite liked the conceit, quoted in red above, as he uses it (i.e., number “one” being the same as “none”) some four times or more in his plays—but never in the sense of anything so bizarre as having anything to do with logical word-play involving anyone’s identity, secret or otherwise—let alone his own! 

In any case, as to the original text of Sonnet 136 quoted above, there needs no period after “prove” as the original text had it. A comma is what is needed, with the continuing thought that in mathematics the number “one” is not counted among the numbers (or as he says is counted “none,” i.e., is not counted, i.e., n-one, or “not-one”). The error of having a period where it should not be, if not corrected, to a comma, can completely destroy the hidden meaning of the text.

                       The Riddling Lines

The riddle now asserts itself, the answer to which is given as the “name” of “Will”—which is where the poem begins. The riddle is in line number 9-10, the lines:

Then in the number let me pass untold,
Though in thy stores account I one must be.

That is the riddling statement, what does it mean—this awkward phrase, “I one must be” “I must be one” and other variants?            

                     The Subject Is the Poet’s Identity

Certainly, no one can seriously doubt that the subject has to do with the identity of the poet, the author of the poem. He obviously is “one” of the “Wills” of Sonnet 136, but one of the unknown ones—he is in fact, amongst them, “the One.” Which, we will learn, is also the name “the None”.

By specifically speaking of himself as being “the one” who wishes to “pass untold,” or unknown, he is merely stating that it is his True Identity which is passing by “untold.” It needs be borne in mind, that the author’s “counterfeit” name, “Will,” is well-known and repeatedly used in the text above, even absurdly so. This is because it was an obvious alias that he uses the name “Wil” or “Will” ad naseum. [“Me thinks my lady protests too much”] The poet’s “something sweet to thee” can refer to her “nothing” or her “will”—which, as the poet is at pains to tell us, is the same in any case.

                        Passing By Untold in Number One

But the important question here is, what does the phrase mean, “Then in the number let me pass untold” ? What number? What is the author talking about? Why, clearly, and repeatedly he states that the number is “ONE.” That is the only “number” referred to throughout. But how can it be his name, his number, which, we are told can “pass untold” within and yet in her memory still be “one,” which is counted “NONE”?

The poet continues, “Make but my name thy love, and love that still. . .” But the only name the poet has given the reader is the name “One” which is “None” or “nothing” or “Will.” If she loves him for “one”—which is “none”—then she will love him, because, he says, “for my name is Will.”

We cannot pass without noting that the sixth line also emphasizes the fact that “Will” and “One” are equivalent names as he equates “himself” and “one” with himself (“I, fill it full with wills, and my will one. . .”).

One can read “I” as a Roman numeral “one,” a personal pronoun, or an exclamation “aye,” What can any of this mean? What can be “I,” “One” “Will” and his name which passes by “untold” in “nothing,” or “None”? 

It is hardly to be imagined that we are not dealing with a puzzle or a cipher—or a madman!

                        The Riddle Answer

The answer is simple, OnE, or O.E. or, EO, the same turned round—which was the convention for a “gentleman writer” concealing his name, turning his initials around. If E.O. did not have an N to hide himself, his name would be spotted on first focus, EO. With the “N” he disguises his real name in “OnE”, and, when needed (n)one which is “nothing” which is himself. He is nobody, and nothing, and none—he even has to hide his name!

I would also note here, Lord Oxford’s first appearance in print as a published poet was under the “name” E.O., only that, nothing more. His was the only initials given amongst all the contributors, and his E.O appeared on the front page, in its first publication in 1576, and again, as E.O., on a memorial edition, one year before Sir Phillip Sidney died, in 1586. E.O.’s initials were no doubt famous amongst the literate public in 1586—and still famous when Sidney’s book, Astrophel was published. But more of that below, as we turn to our second example.

Of course it is a fact, in many of the Shakespeare Sonnets there is the existence of the poet’s friend, called “Will.” This “friend” (or another one just like him) is referred to as his “other self,” his “next self.” But we need not bother with that now. In any case, Lord Oxford, was called “Willy” amongst his poet friend, and even those who weren’t so friendly.

Another Sonnet 134 plays on the “Will” friend, as his “other mine.” In Sonnet 135 we have more of the same throughout the sonnet, with the following couplet ending:

Let no vnkinde, no faire beseechers kill,
Thinke all but one, and me in that one Will.

The repetition of the “one” will, and “one Will” theme, gives grounds, I believe, that we were correct in perceiving and solving the riddle; the solution to the riddle insists that he (the poet) is “the one” in the will (and me in that one Will.”). 

The “One will of mine,” is the OE, hiding in “that OnE Will.” This, as in the last line: “Thinke all but one, and me in that one Will.”

                      Additional Corroborations: 11/5/2015

Returning to the second part of Sonnet 136, we see, with partially normalized spelling:

In things of great receit with ease we prooue.
Among a number one is reckon'd none.
Then in the number let me pass vntold,
Though in thy stores account I one must be,
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold,
That nothing me, a some-thing sweet to thee.
Make but my name thy loue, and loue that still,
And then thou louest me for my name is Will.

And again, we point out the heart of the poet’s conceit:

In things of great receipt with ease we prove
Among a number one is reckon’d none.

Again, we get Shakespeare’s conceit about there being no such thing as a number “one” and it is considered “none.” But here we are concerned with the code to the poet’s name and the fact he felt he needed to keep his identity secret, and at the same time reveal it, by whatever conceit or cryptographic devise.

Then in thy stores account I one must be,
For nothing hold me, so it please thee hold,
that nothing me, a some-thing sweet to thee.

I have bolded the “I one” but we also have “I must be one”. Our poet is “One”.

In Sonnet 135, he refers, right after the line about the name and play on the name “Will,” to “One will of mine” again.

So thou being rich in Will adde to thy Will,
One will of mine to make thy large Will more.

Clearly he is saying his name is “Will” and that she should “adde” to her Will, “One will of mine.” For that other “One” of his own wills, enlarges his “Will” the more—meant, no doubt, with double/treble entendres. Indeed, Shakespeare presses the point, yet again, only a line away and he gives the conclusion:

“Think all but one, and me in that one Will”

 Can we be any clearer? Again, he insists One is not part of All, One is None! And that’s why he hides there. On parallels, we shall soon learn in the “other” poet with the same code, that he is ever kept from being with both, with Heart and Ease, at last—together. For as we shall see he is confined forever and “Must spend” his “euer dying daies in never ending grief.” [underline added]

And it will never be that he and Harts Ease, will ever meet in One, because they are on parallels and will never meet in ONE—can never be known.  

“Another of the same”
A Cipher of One &
Proof A Cipher Was Intended

Below is a line arrangement this writer has never seen printed or attempted before, and it is designed, by myself, for illustrative purposes—soon to be apparent—proof that a cipher was intended by its author, but I do not think this was ever known before—that the arrangement of lines, if done as shown below, will reveal an exactitude in statement and fact quite remarkable. What follows is the second Epitaph, named as below. Without counting the letters and breaking the lines as I have done, it would never be known that when the author speaks of “equal line” and “equal breath” that is exactly what he has created—lines of verse of equal lines (as shown in the chart below).

Another of the Same:

“Epitaph On the Death of Sir Philip Sidney”

Silence augmenteth grief,
writing increaseth rage,
stalled are my thoughts,
which lov’d and lost,
the wonder of our age:
yet quickened now with fire,
though dead with frost ere now.
Enraged I write, I know not what:
dead, quick, I know not how

Hard-hearted minds relent,
and Rigor’s tears abound,
and Envy strangely rues his end,
in whom no fault she found;
Knowledge her light hath lost,
Valor hath slain her knight.
Sidney is dead, dead is my friend,
Dead is the world’s delight.

And after some traditional fare of funeral praise, which ends with our writer traditionally speaking of the departed as one whom “Death slew not him, but he made death the ladder his ladder to the skies.”

Then the rest of the poem continues, which is personal and truly heart-felt. This may be in no small measure because the “secret” poet author gets to speak of himself again. The poem continues with the following new stanza:

 Now sink of sorrow I,
who live, the more the wrong;
who wishing death, whom death denies,
whose thread is all too long,
who tied to wretched life,
who looks for no relief,
must spend my ever dying days,
In never ending grief.

Harts ease and OnE ly I,
like parallels run on,
whose equal length,
keep equal breadth,
and never meet in OnE. . .

[Note: above, I have spaced “Harts ease and OnE ly I, Like parallels run on” instead of as it is “Harts ease and onely I,” to show this word play is intended, as I prove below by a count of the letters. Also, I would note that the letters “O” and “E” are “equal length” and “equal breadth” so are the names EDWARD DEVERE AND EDWARD OXFORD—Indeed, below the reader will see even the letters are the same count!]

Relation of the Parties: Oxford & Sidney

Now, with the very next verse below, we have an explanation of why he has inserted a cipher in the Epitaph of his great friend, the Great Poet of England, as, of course, he well knows. He continued by saying he feels at liberty to do so because he did not wrong him, he did not wrong Phillip. And because he did not wrong him, his “sorrows cell” shall not run out of content, but will “leak” through, “for liking him so well.” 

yet for not wronging him,
my thoughts,
my sorrow’s cell,
shall not run out—
though leak they will,
for liking him so well.

Apparently, we are being told that these secrets of his, and the only secrets we know, so far, is he is keeping his name secret, and that he envied Sidney, and because of that he never gave him his due, and even withheld his love from him. One would fully imagine, the man is insane, or he was a close personal friend or associate of Philip Sidney, one of the most famous of all men of his day. And, of this most-notable-man-of-his-day our poet has to admit he withheld love from Sidney because of envy. One would think the man thought he was a superior, dispensing or not dispensing “love” and/or proper praise to a subordinate. And, that is exactly the reality!

And, maintaining, the writers blunt confessions of how unimportant Sidney was to him, he tells us below that he must say farewell to his “wanted waiting dreams” and says farewell to his “sometime enjoyed joy,” not all the time joy note. Sidney’s dream are “eclipsed” and  

Farewell to you my hopes
my wanted waiting dreams,
farewell sometime enjoyed joy,
eclipsed are thy dreams,
farewell self pleasing thoughts,
which quietness brings forth,
and farewell friendship’s sacred league,
uniting minds of worth,
and farewell merry hart,
the gift of guiltless minds,
and all sports, which, for lives restores,
variety assigns.
Let all that sweet is void;
In me no mirth may dwell,
Phillip, the cause of all this woe,
My life’s content, farewell.

Now rime, the son of rage,
which are no kin to skill,
and endless grief, which deads my life,
yet knows not how to kill.
Go seek that hapless tomb,
which if ye hap to find,
salute the stones, that keep the limbs,
that held so good a mind.


The cryptographic devise for the solution to the authorship of the poem above is quickly found in in the construction:

Harts ease and onely I, 18 words
like parallels run on,     18 words
whose equall length,     17 words EDWARD DEVERE
Keep equall breadth,     17 words EDWARD OXFORD
and never meet in one,  17 words EO or OE – never ONE or ENO

17 is one less than 18, the two sums will never meet, they will “never meet.” There is one letter, too many, in ONE, that letter is “n”. “N stands between the “o “and the “e” and NEVER EVER meets

“Hearts-ease” Is EO’s Name

In closing here, “Heartsease” we note is the name of a flower, which Lord Oxford used for his own sobriquet in his In Prison Pent poems. What does the thought mean? So a Harts ease (or “hearts-ease”) and OnE-ly himself, his “I” statement which, he says, runs on, “like parallels.” Indeed, I used it in my play Lord Oxford Trilogy, and put into LO’s mouth these words, which are a quotation from the actual poem in In Prison Pent:

Lord Oxford:

When Venus saw desire must die,
Whom high disdain
Had justly slain
For killing Truth with scornful eye;
The Earth she leaves, and gets her to the sky.
Her golden hair she tears,
Black weeds of woe she wears;
For help unto her father doth she cry,
Who bides her stay apace,
And hope for better grace.
To save his life she hath no skill,
Whom should she pray,
What do or say,
But weep for wanting of her will?
Meantime, Desire that tane his last farewell;
And in a meadow fair,
To which the nymphs repair,
His breathless corpse is laid with worms to dwell;
So glory doth decay,
When death takes life away.
The morning star had chased the night
The Queen of Love
Look’d from above
To see the grave of her delight;
And as with heedful eye she view’d the place,
She spied a flower unknown,
That on his grave had grown,
Instead of learnéd verse his tomb to grace.
If you the name require,
Hearts-ease from dead Desire.

[The italic exists in the original, as we see it explicitly say that “Heart-ease” or “Harts ease” is the name of a person, the poet himself!]

How can it be said that “Harts ease” and “only I” are “like parallels” which run on—“of equal length,”—it must be noted, (i.e., “keep equal breadth.”) and moreover, these two things, “never meet in one.” We have answered those questions above.

The author has created a cipher, of that I think there can be little doubt. We must recall, that this author, who is writing an Epitaph to one of the greatest, most beloved of all English poets remarkably is using the occasion, not only to speak of himself (the occasion is always for the departed) but to plant into his Epitaph cipher revelations of who he was!

 Most everything else he writes about, which concerns him most, it may in fairness be said, is himself. In any case, an obvious interpretation arises—by context, whomever wrote the poem—we know the writer could not resist revealing his “secret” identity, otherwise, what’s the purpose?

                       Suppression of Love, Suppression of Envy

And in the first Epitaph, by the same hand, we learn that his “friendly care” was, indeed, “obscured in secret brest” and confesses that he even suppressed love for his friend, because of his envy for him. “And love that envy in thy life supprest””

And I, that in thy time and living state,
Did onely praise thy vertues in my thought. . .

And he rather sadly passes on to the fact that for him, now,

Envy her sting, and spite hath left her gall,
Malice her selfe, a mourning garment wears. . .


As said, the two Epitaphs by a “secrete” poet appeared in Edmund Spenser’s commemorative publication celebrating the passing of Sir Phillip Sidney in 1586. The publication was entitled Astrophel and it was published in 1595. Presumably, the epitaphs were written at the time of his death, not 9 years later. In 1585, one year before the death of Sidney, there was a reissue of a very popular book of poetry, first published in 1576, A Paradyce of Dainty Devises. Lord Oxford name’s again appeared on the cover. I said his name but I should have said his initials—the only author in the entire book to have only initials for a name, E.O. The reason for this is that he even when the book first came out, he was a high lord, being then 26 years old (though the book was in incubation for some 10 years before being published. E.O. would then have been 15-16 years old.  

               Note on Corruption of the Record:

The Oxford edition below we find in another stanza of Another of the Same:

"Harts ease and only I, like parallels run on,
Whose equal length, keep equall bredth, and never meet in one
Note: in the original there is a comma after bredth, but not a capital for “and” to begin a new line; unless the line is broken, as I have done in my new layout of the poem, supra, it cannot “keep equall bredth” and its own statement is rendered false if the text is altered—as has been done!

Additional corruptions: Concordances, on-line, and printed, which have suppressed the spelling on “onely” to modern “only” without the “e”—destroying codes in Shakespeare.   


Above, Spenser Poetical Works, Edited with Critical Notes, by J.C. Smith and E. De Selincourt, Oxford University press, London. New York, 1912 edition.