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SEP 24 1926
To those helpful and appreciative Critics, George P. Goodale, Dramatic Editor of the Detroit Free Press, Walter J. Hunsaker and Clay C. Cooper, Editors of the Detroit Journal, this book is dedicated by the Decipherer, as a token of regard.
The first book of the deciphered writings of Sir Francis Bacon has had an unusual experience. It was published and sent forth without preface or word of explanation, with the desire that the public should form its own judgment upon the matter contained in it. The interest it has excited is almost without precedent. It was published without reference to the usual channels through which new books appear, and has therefore had none of the aids which these furnish. The reviews of the Press have been such as naturally spring from the haste of journalism, often entertaining and appreciative, sometimes satirical, occasionally condemning, and not infrequently expressing some doubt as to the sanity of the decipherer, or the validity of his work. On the other hand, more careful students have begun the work of true criticism, and find matter well worth their serious consideration,
Meantime the work of deciphering has gone forward. In this second book the history of the beginning of the relations of Queen Elizabeth with her favorite, Robert Dudley, afterwards Earl of Lei. cester, appears. The obvious necessity for the death of Ayme Robsart Dudley, his wife, and the manner of her murder by the agents of Leicester, is explained, as understood by Bacon.
Bacon's own history is somewhat abruptly interrupted in the present volume at the point of his, banishment by the Queen of England to the Court of France, and the history of the immediate causes of the struggle for supremacy between Elizabeth and Philip II., of Spain, and the subsequent destruction of the Spanish Armada by battle and storm, is begun.
Dissatisfaction has been felt by readers that some parts of the deciphered material are not equal in literary power, poetic thought, nor artistic construction to the known efforts of Shakespeare or Bacon. This is doubtless true, but it is true only as to those parts of the story in which the necessities for concealment were so great as to make the difficulties of the cipher serious, and artistic reconstruction impossible.
On the other hand, where the subject admits, as in descriptions and the like, new beauties are developed which are equal to any. thing that literature contains. Examples of these are the description of Queen Elizabeth, at the opening of the third letter (page 56), entire passages in the Curse, in the diplomatic language of the Jesuit embassadors of Philip II. (page 268), demanding the Queen should be united to him in marriage, or, surrender her throne to him, and the wrathful answer of the mighty Queen.