In this post I am publishing two "overlay" solutions of pages from The Merchant of Venice and from The Merchant of Venice and Richard III. The first image is an overlay of text from pages 172 and 173 of the Comedies, pages from The Merchant of Venice. The second image is an overlay of text from page 173 of the Comedies, a page from The Merchant of Venice, and page 173 from the Histories, a page from Richard III.
These messages support the solutions shown in this post:
I have shown in previous posts that page 173 of the The Merchant of Venice and page 173 of Richard III encode "Rose Cross" messages. In a Simple cipher of the Elizabethan alphabet, the letter "R" has a value of 17 and the letter "C" has a value of 3, so 173, or 17 and 3, represents the initials R.C., or "Rose Cross."
I have demonstrated messages revealed by overlaying text in earlier posts. I believe the messages are real and were intentionally hidden in the manner shown. This method is often criticized as being too difficult for a person in the 17th century to create and discover. My response to this is that the people who placed the messages had familiarity with the layout of the folio pages, letter spacing and format, and could place the messages easily. A person at that time could also discover the messages by copying the text on translucent vellum and overlaying the pages. Translucent vellum has existed from ancient times and certainly was in production as early as the Middle Ages. To assert that the overlay method was beyond the capabilities of people of the 17th century simply ignores reality.
The messages are explained in the margins of the images and should be self-explanatory.