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I composed for my own amusement the following exercises,
in the first part of which the key-phrase is in English, in the
second in Latin. As I did not see (by the number for May)
that any of your correspondents had availed himself of your
offer, I take the liberty to send the enclosed, on which, if you
should think it worth your while, you can exercise your in
genuity.

I am, yours respectfully,

S. D. L.

No. i

" Cauhiif aud ftd sdftirf ithot tacd wdde rdchfdr tiu
fuaefshffheo fdoudf hetiusafhie tuis ied herhchriai fi
aeiftdu wn sdaef it iuhfheo hiidohwid fi aen deodsf ths
tiu itis hf iaf iuhoheaiin rdffhedr; aer ftd auf it ftif
f doudfin oissiehoafheo hefdiihodeod taf wdde odeduaiin
fdusdr ounsfiouastn. Saen fsdohdf it fdoudf iuhfheo
idud weiie fi ftd aeohdeff; fisdfhsdf a fiacdf tdar iaf
ftacdr aer ftd ouiie iuhffde isie ihft fisd herdihwid
oiiiuheo tiihr, atfdu ithot ftd tahu wdheo sdushffdr fi

67



Cryptography

ouii aoahe, hetiusafhie oiiir wd fuaefshffdr ihft ihffid
raeodu ftaf rhfoicdun iiiir defid iefhi ftd aswiiafiun
dshffid fatdin udaotdr hff rdffheafhie. Ounsfiouastn
tiidcdu siud suisduin dswuaodf ftifd sirdf it iuhfheo
ithot aud uderdudr idohwid iein wn sdaef it fisd de-
siaeafiun wdn ithot sawdf weiie ftd udai fhoehthoafhie
it ftd ohstduf dssiindr fi hff siffdffiu."

No. 2

" Ofoiioiiaso ortsiii sov eodisoioe afduiostifoi ft iftvi
si tri oistoiv oiniafetsorit ifeov rsri afotiiiiv ridiiot irio
riwio eovit atrotfetsoria aioriti iitri tf oitovin tri aeti-
f ei ioreitit sov usttoi oioittstif o dfti afdooitior trso ifeov
tri dfit otftfeov softriedi ft oistoiv oriofiforiti suitteii
viireiiitif oi ft tri iarf oisiti iiti trir uet otiiiotiv uitfti rid
io tri eoviieeiiiv rfasueostr ft rii dftrit tfoeei."

In the solution of the first of these ciphers we had
little more than ordinary trouble. The second proved
to be exceedingly difficult, and it was only by calling
every faculty into play that we could read it at all.
The first runs thus:

" Various are the methods which have been devised
for transmitting secret information from one individ
ual to another by means of writing, illegible to any
except him for whom it was originally destined; and
the art of thus secretly communicating intelligence has
been generally termed " cryptography." Many species

68



Cryptography

of secret writing were known to the ancients. Some
times a slave's head was shaved and the crown written
upon with some indelible coloring fluid; after which,
the hair being permitted to grow again, information
could be transmitted with little danger that discovery
would ensue until the ambulatory epistle safely
reached its destination. Cryptography, however pure,
properly embraces those modes of writing which are
rendered legible only by means of some explanatory
key which makes known the real signification of the
ciphers employed to its possessor."

The key-phrase of this cryptograph is, " A word to
the wise is sufficient."

The second is thus translated :

" Nonsensical phrases and unmeaning combinations
of words, as the learned lexicographer would have
confessed himself, when hidden under cryptographic
ciphers, serve to perpdex the curious enquirer, and
baffle penetration more completely than would the
most profound apothegms of learned philosophers.
Abstruse disquisitions of the scholiasts were they but
presented before him in the undisguised vocabulary of
his mother tongue "

The last sentence here as will be seen is broken off
short. The spelling we have strictly adhered to. "D,"
by mistake, has been put for " 1 " in " perplex."

69



Cryptography

The key-phrase is, Suaviter in modo, farther in re,
In the ordinary cryptograph, as will be seen in refer
ence to most of those we have specified above, the
artificial alphabet agreed upon by the correspondents
is employed, letter for letter, in place of the usual or
natural one. For example, two parties wish to com
municate secretly. It is arranged before parting that

) shall stand for a



(


tt


it


it


b





tt


it


ti


c


*





tt


ft


d


.





it


tt


e


1


tt


tt


it


f


;


ft


tt


ti


g


:


tt


tt


it


h


?


tt


it


t


i or j


!


"


tt


it


k


&


tt


it


tt


1


o


"


tt


it


m





tt


tt


tt


n


t


it


tt


tt


o


I


it


tt


tt


P


1


ti


tf


tt


q


JT


tt


tt


ft


r


]


tt


tt


it


s


C


tt


tt


it


t





ft


tt


tt


u or v


$


tt


tt


it


w


i


tt


tt


tt


X


\


it


it


it


y



70



Cryptography

Now, the following note is to be communicated :
" We must see you immediately upon a matter of
great importance. Plots have been discovered, and
the conspirators are in our hands. Hasten! "

These words would be written thus :



. )E Fotttt^l!)' .t&tC3:). (..'*?] t



This certainly has an intricate appearance, and
would prove a most difficult cipher to any one not con
versant with cryptography. But it will be observed that
" a," for example, is never represented by any other
character than ), " b " never by any other character
than (, and so on. Thus by the discovery, accidental or
otherwise, of any one letter, the party intercepting the
epistle would gain a permanent and decided advantage*
and could apply his knowledge to all the instances in
which the character in question was employed through
out the cipher.

In the cryptographs, on the other hand, which have
been sent us by our correspondent at Stonington, and
which are identical in conformation with the cipher re
solved by Berryer, no such permanent advantage is to
be obtained.

Let us refer to the second of these puzzles. Its key-
phrase runs thus :



Cryptography

Suaviter in mode, fortiter in re,
Let us now place the alphabet beneath the phrase,



letter beneath letter:



ui a v i t e

blc d e f g


r iin m oldlo f loir
h il j k llmln olplq


We here see that


a stands for


d " " E


e " " g, u, and


f <i




i " " e, i, s, and\




m " " ]




n " " j and




o " " 1, n, and




r " " h,q,v, and




s " "




t " " f, r, and




u " "




v



t|i|t|e|rl i In] rie
rlsltlulvlwlxlylz



In this manner " n " stands for two letters, and " e,"
" o," and " t " for three each, while " i " and " r " rep
resent each as many as four. Thirteen characters are
made to perform the operations of the whole alphabet.
The result of such a key-phrase upon the cipher is to give
it the appearance of a mere medley of the letters, " e,"
" o," " t," " r," and " i," the latter character greatly
predominating through the accident of being employed
for letters, which, themselves, are inordinately preva
lent in most languages we mean " e " and " i."

72



Cryptography

A letter thus written being intercepted, and the key-
phrase unknown, the individual who should attempt to
decipher it may be imagined guessing, or otherwise at
tempting to convince himself, that a certain character
(" i," for example), represented the letter " e." Look
ing throughout the cryptograph for confirmation of
this idea he would meet with nothing but a negation
of it. He would see the character in situations where
it could not possibly represent " e." He might, for in
stance, be puzzled by four " i's" forming of themselves
a single word, without the intervention of any other
character, in which case, of course, they could not be
all " e's." It will be seen that the word " wise " might
be thus constructed. We say this may be seen now, by
us, in possession of the key-phrase, but the question
will no doubt occur, how, without the key-phrase, and
without cognizance of any single letter in the cipher,
it would be possible for the intercepter of such a crypto
graph to make anything of such a word as " iiii " ?

But again. A key-phrase might easily be con
structed in which one character would represent seven,
eight, or ten letters. Let us then imagine the word
" iiiiiiiiii " presenting itself in a cryptograph to an in
dividual without the proper key-phrase, or, if this be
a supposition somewhat too perplexing, let us suppose
it occurring to the person for whom the cipher is de
signed and who has the key-phrase. What is he to
do with such a word as " iiiiiiiiii " ? In any of the

73



Cryptography

ordinary books upon algebra will be found a very con
cise formula (we have not the necessary type for its
insertion here) for ascertaining the number of arrange
ments in which m letters may be placed, taken n at a
time. But no doubt there are none of our readers
ignorant of the innumerable combinations which may
be made from these ten " i's." Yet, unless it occur
otherwise by accident, the correspondent receiving the
cipher would have to write down all these combina
tions before attaining the word intended, and even
when he had written them he would be inexpressibly
perplexed in selecting the word designed from the vast
number of other words arising in the course of the
permutation.

To obviate, therefore, the exceeding difficulty of de
ciphering this species of cryptograph on the part of the
possessors of the key-phrase, and to confine the deep
intricacy of the puzzle to those for whom the cipher
was not designed, it becomes necessary that some
order should be agreed upon by the parties correspond
ing, some order in reference to which those charac
ters are to be read which represent more than one
letter, and this order must be held in view by the
writer of the cryptograph. It may be agreed, for ex
ample, that the first time an " i " occurs in the cipher
it is to be understood as representing the character
which stands against the first " i " in the key-phrase ;
that the second time an " i " occurs it must be sup-

74



Cryptography

posed to represent that letter which stands opposed to
the second " i " in the key-phrase, etc., etc. Thus the
location of each cipherical letter must be considered in
connection with the character itself in order to de
termine its exact signification.

We say that some preconcerted order of this kind is
necessary lest the cipher prove too intricate a lock to
yield even to its true key. But it will be evident, upon
inspection, that our correspondent at Stonington has
inflicted upon us a cryptograph in which no order has
been preserved, in which many characters respectively
stand, at absolute random, for many others. If, there
fore, in regard to the gauntlet we threw down in April,
he should be half-inclined to accuse us of braggadocio,
he will yet admit that we have more than acted up to
our boast. If what we then said was not said suavlter
in modot what we now do is at least done fortiter
in re.

In these cursory observations we have by no means
attempted to exhaust the subject of cryptography.
With such object in view a folio might be required.
We have, indeed, mentioned only a few of the ordinary
modes of cipher. Even two thousand years ago
JEneas Tacticus detailed twenty distinct methods, and
modern ingenuity has added much to the science. Our
design has been chiefly suggestive, and perhaps we
have already bored the readers of the magazine. To
those who desire further information upon this topic

75



Cryptography

we may say that there are extant treatises by Trith-
emius, Cap. Porta, Vigenere, and P. Nice*ron. The
works of the two latter may be found, we believe, in
the library of the Harvard University. If, however,
there should be sought in these disquisitions, or in any,
rules for the solution of cipher, the seeker will be dis
appointed. Beyond some hints in regard to the gen
eral structure of language, and some minute exercises
in their practical application, he will find nothing upon
record which he does not in his own intellect possess.




76




A Chapter on Autography



BY





NDER this head, some years ago, there ap
peared in the Southern Literary Messenger
an article which attracted very general
attention, not less from the nature of its subject than
from the peculiar manner in which it was handled.
The editor introduces his readers to a certain Mr.
Joseph Miller, who, it is hinted, is not merely a descen
dant of the illustrious Joe of jest-book notoriety, but
is that identical individual in proper person. Upon
this point, however, an air of uncertainty is thrown by
means of an equivoque, maintained throughout the

77



A Chapter on Autography

paper, in respect to Mr. Miller's middle name. This
equivoque is put into the mouth of Mr. M. himself.
He gives his name, in the first instance, as Joseph A.
Miller, but in the course of conversation shifts it to
Joseph B., then to Joseph C., and so on through the
whole alphabet, until he concludes by desiring a copy
of the magazine to be sent to his address as Joseph Z.
Miller, Esquire.

The object of his visit to the editor is to place in
his hands the autographs of certain distinguished
American literati, To these persons he had written
rigmarole letters on various topics, and in all cases
had been successful in eliciting a reply. The re
plies only (which it is scarcely necessary to say are all
fictitious) are given in the magazine with a genuine
autograph facsimile appended, and are either bur
lesques of the supposed writer's usual style, or ren
dered otherwise absurd by reference to the nonsensical
questions imagined to have been propounded by Mr.
Miller. The autographs thus given are twenty-six in
all, corresponding to the twenty-six variations in the
initial letter of the hoaxer's middle name.

With the public this article took amazingly well, and
many of our principal papers were at the expense of
reprinting it with the wood-cut autographs. Even
those whose names had been introduced, and whose
style had been burlesqued, took the joke, generally
speaking, in good part. Some of them were at a loss

78



A Chapter on Autography

what to make of the matter. Dr. W. E. Channing, of
Boston, was at some trouble, it is said, in calling to
mind whether he had or had not actually written to
some Mr. Joseph Miller the letter attributed to him in
the article. This letter was nothing more than what

follows :

BOSTON, .

Dear Sir, No such person as Philip Philpot has ever been
in my employ as a coachman, or otherwise. The name is
an odd one, and not likely to be forgotten. The man must
have reference to some other Doctor Channing. It would
be as well to question him closely.

Respectfully yours,

W. E. CHANNING.
To Joseph X. Miller, Esq.

The precise and brief sententiousness of the divine
is here, it will be seen, very truly adopted or " hit off."

In one instance only was the jeu d'esprit taken in
serious dudgeon. Colonel Stone and the Messenger
had not been upon the best of terms. Some one of the
Colonel's little brochures had been severely treated by
that journal, which declared that the work would have
been far more properly published among the quack
advertisements in a spare corner of the Commercial
The Colonel had retaliated by wholesale vituperation
of the Messenger, This being the state of affairs, it
was not to be wondered at that the following epistle
was not quietly received on the part of him to whom
it was attributed :

79



A Chapter on Autography



NEW YORK,



Dear Sir, I am exceedingly and excessively sorry that
it is out of my power to comply with your rational and
reasonable request. The subject you mention is one with
which I am utterly unacquainted. Moreover, it is one
about which I know very little.

Respectfully,

W. L. STONE.
Joseph V. Miller, Esq.

These tautologies and anti-climaxes were too much
for the Colonel, and we are ashamed to say that he
committed himself by publishing in the Commercial
an indignant denial of ever having indited such an
epistle.

The principal feature of this autograph article, al
though perhaps the least interesting, was that of the
editorial comment upon the supposed MSS., regarding
them as indicative of character. In these comments
the design was never more than semi-serious. At
times, too, the writer was evidently led into error or
injustice through the desire of being pungent, not un-
frequently sacrificing truth for the sake of a boo.*
mot In this manner qualities were often attributed
to individuals, which were not so much indicated by
their handwriting as suggested by the spleen of the
commentator. But that a strong analaogy does gen
erally and naturally exist between every man's chirog-
raphy and character will be denied by none but the

80



A Chapter on Autography

unreflecting. It is not our purpose, however, to enter
into the philosophy of this subject, either in this por
tion of the present paper or in the abstract. What we
may have to say will be introduced elsewhere, and in
connection with particular MSS. The practical appli
cation of the theory will thus go hand in hand with the
theory itself.

Our design is threefold: In the first place, seriously
to illustrate our position that the mental features are
indicated (with certain exceptions) by the handwrit
ing; secondly, to indulge in a little literary gossip;
and, thirdly, to furnish our readers with a more accu
rate and at the same time a more general collection of
the autographs of our literati than is to be found else
where. Of the first portion of this design we have
already spoken. The second speaks for itself. Of the
third it is only necessary to say that we are confident
of its interest for all lovers of literature. Next to the
person of a distinguished man of letters, we desire to
see his portrait; next to his portrait, his autograph.
In the latter, especially, there is something which
seems to bring him before us in his true idiosyncrasy
in his character of scribe. The feeling which prompts
to the collection of autographs is a natural and ra
tional one. But complete, or even extensive collec
tions are beyond the reach of those who themselves
do not dabble in the waters of literature. The writer
of this article has had opportunities in this way

81



A Chapter on Autography

enjoyed by few. The MSS. now lying before him are
a motley mass indeed. Here are letters, or other com
positions, from every individual in America who has
the slightest pretensions to literary celebrity. From
these we propose to select the most eminent names,
as to give all would be a work of supererogation. Un
questionably, among those whose claims we are forced
to postpone, are several whose high merit might justly
demand a different treatment ; but the rule applicable
in a case like this seems to be that of celebrity rather
than that of true worth. It will be understood that,
in the necessity of selection which circumstances im
pose upon us, we confine ourselves to the most noted
among the living literati of the country. The article
above alluded to embraced, as we have already stated,
only twenty-six names, and was not occupied exclu
sively either with living persons, or, properly speaking,
with literary ones. In fact, the whole paper seemed
to acknowledge no law beyond that of whim. Our
present essay will be found to include one hundred
autographs. We have thought it unnecessary to pre
serve any particular order in their arrangement.




Professor Charles Anthon, of Columbia College,
New York, is well known as the most erudite of our
classical scholars; and, although still a young man,

82



A Chapter on Autography

there are few, if any, even in Europe, who surpass him
in his peculiar path of knowledge. In England his
supremacy has been tacitly acknowledged by the im
mediate republication of his editions of Caesar, Sallust,
and Cicero, with other works, and their adoption as
text-books at Oxford and Cambridge. His amplifica
tion of Lempriere did him high honor, but of late has
been entirely superseded by a Classical Dictionary of
his own, a work most remarkable for the extent and
comprehensiveness of its details, as well as for its his
torical, chronological, mythological, and philological
accuracy. It has at once completely overshadowed
everything of its kind. It follows, as a matter of
course, that Mr. Anthon has many little enemies among
the inditers of merely big books. He has not been
unassailed, yet has assuredly remained uninjured in
the estimation of all those whose opinion he would be
likely to value. We do not mean to say that he is
altogether without faults, but a certain antique John-
sonism of style is perhaps one of his worst. He was
mainly instrumental (with Professor Henry and Dr.
Hawks) in setting on foot the New York Review, a
journal of which he is the most efficient literary sup
port, and whose most erudite papers have always been
furnished by his pen.

The chirography of Professor Anthon is the most
regularly beautiful of any in our collection. We see
the most scrupulous precision, finish, and neatness

83



A Chapter on Autography

about every portion of it in the formation of indi
vidual letters, as well as in the tout'ensemble. The
perfect symmetry of the MS. gives it, to a casual
glance, the appearance of Italic print. The lines are
quite straight, and at exactly equal distances, yet are
written without black rules or other artificial aid. There
is not the slightest superfluity in the way of flourish or
otherwise, with the exception of the twirl in the C of
the signature. Yet the whole is rather neat and grace
ful than forcible. Of four letters now lying before us,
one is written on pink, one on a faint blue, one on
green, and one on yellow paper all of the finest qual
ity. The seal is of green wax, with an impression of
the head of Caesar.

It is in the chirography of such men as Professor
Anthon that we look with certainty for indication of
character. The life of a scholar is mostly undisturbed
by those adventitious events which distort the natural
disposition of the man of the world, preventing his
real nature from manifesting itself in his MS. The
lawyer, who, pressed for time, is often forced to em
body a world of heterogeneous memoranda on scraps
of paper, with the stumps of all varieties of pen, will
soon find the fair characters of his boyhood degen
erate into hieroglyphics which would puzzle Dr. Wallis
or Champollion; and from chirography so disturbed
it is nearly impossible to decide anything. In a simi
lar manner men who pass through many striking vicis-

84



A Chapter on Autography

situdes of life acquire in each change of circumstance
a temporary inflection of the handwriting, the whole
resulting, after many years, in unformed or variable
MS. scarcely to be recognized by themselves from one
day to the other. In the case of literary men gener
ally, we may expect some decisive token of the mental
influence upon the MS., and in the instance of the
classical devotee we may look with especial certainty
for such token. We see, accordingly, in Professor
Anthon's autography each and all the known idiosyn
crasies of his taste and intellect. We recognize at
once the scrupulous precision and finish of his scholar
ship and of his style, the love of elegance which
prompts him to surround himself in his private study
with gems of sculptural art and beautifully bound vol
umes, all arranged with elaborate attention to form,
and in the very pedantry of neatness. We perceive,
too, the disdain of superfluous embellishment which
distinguishes his compilations, and which gives to their
exterior appearance so marked an air of Quakerism.
We must not forget to observe that the " want of
force " is a want as perceptible in the whole character
of the man as in that of the MS.




The MS. of Mr. Irving has little about it indicative
of his genius. Certainly, no one could suspect from

85



A Chapter on Autography

it any nice finish in the writer's compositions ; nor is
this nice finish to be found. The letters now before
us vary remarkably in appearance ; and those of late
date are not nearly so well written as the more an
tique. Mr. Irving has travelled much, has seen many
vicissitudes, and has been so thoroughly satiated with
fame as to grow slovenly in the performance of his
literary tasks. This slovenliness has affected his hand
writing. But even from his earlier MSS. there is little
to be gleaned, except the ideas of simplicity and pre
cision. It must be admitted, however, that this fact,
in itself, is characteristic of the literary manner, which,
however excellent, has no prominent or very remark
able features.




For the last six or seven years few men have occu
pied a more desirable position among us than Mr.
Benjamin. As the editor of the American Monthly


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