ORACLES OF NOSTRADAMUS - Louis XVIII and Louis Philippe
Louis XVIII and Louis Philippe
WE now come to the Restoration of Louis XVIII.
Presage 38. [I. 235.]
This is a very crabbed quatrain.
The King is saluted victor and dominator,
The oath falsified: The King makes himself known again:
Grandson of Louis XIV. becomes King,
Is called back by the proud people humiliated to tears.
Louis XVIII. is proclaimed King, May 3, 1814, but the people take up Napoleon from Elba, March 1, 1815, thus breaking faith. Louis XVIII. (Le Royal) is again recognized, July 8, 1815; the grandson of Louis XIV. (sang Æmathien), a name conferred by Nostradamus on Louis
[paragraph continues] XIV., who assumed the emblem of the Sun, Æmathien being son of Aurora, who opens the gates of the morning sun. This grandson becomes now undisputed King, the humiliated French nation recalling him with tears.
Century X.--Quatrain 16. [I. 236.]
Happy in the kingdom of France, happy in life,
Free from blood, violent death and angry rapine,
He will have a flattering name, and be an object of desire:
A King retired, with too much faith in the kitchen.
Here we are to take Louis XVIII. as restored to the throne of France: his life passes happily, without violent experiences of blood, death, rage, or rapine. The flattering name was given to him of Desiré that is prophetically hinted in the words "il sera mis en envie." He will not devote sufficient attention to his public duties, so that he may be described as desrobé, retired or retained at home; and he will be too much addicted to enjoyments of the table,--trop defoye en cuisine. The gastronomy was proverbial; the obesity consequent upon it made him grow inert, so that he gradually let the affairs of State drift without giving them due attention.
Century III.--Quatrain 96. [I. 238.]
A prince of Fossano shall have his throat cut
By the keeper of his hounds and greyhounds:
The attempt will be made by those of the Tarpeian rock,
Saturn being in Leo on 13th February.
Fossana is put, by synecdoche, for Sardinia. A prince, therefore, of Sardinia shall be stabbed by the Keeper of the Kennel, instigated by Republicans, when Saturn is in opposition to the sign of the Lion, on February 13, 1820. M. le Pelletier, who seems somewhat learned in the houses of the stars, says that Saturn was in opposition to, and not in conjunction with, Leo on this occasion. But Nostradamus leaves it open. The Tarpeian rock is figuratively employed to signify the Mountain, or the demagogues and the Republicans generally. The Mons Tarpeius was first named from murder, and was for ages a scene of murder. Tarpeia, who betrayed the Capitol to the Sabines, was crushed by their shields at the gate, and her father, Spurius Tarpeius, was thrown over the battlements by order of Romulus. Children ill-formed at birth were flung from its heights. It was better known as Capitolinus, so called (caput Toli) from the head of Tolus, found there when digging foundations for the Temple of Jupiter: thus the place of the skull, a Golgotha from the beginning of Rome. Later on criminals were sentenced to be thrown from it. Many of these deadly associations were, no doubt, present to the mind of Nostradamus, and made this mountain of death seem to him fit to foreshadow the death that should emanate from the French
mountain. To dwell upon this is of physiological interest, as showing how very closely the natures of the poet and the prophet overlap each other; so that, as in the rainbow colours, there is no line to be drawn as to where one begins or another ends:--they may be seen, but not severed.
The Duc de Berri was the son of Marie Therèse of Savoy, married to the Comte d'Artois, she being the daughter of Victor-Amédée III., King of Sardinia. This Sardinian was to have ruled France, and, with but one intervening, to have followed the Corsican in the occupation of the throne. Louvel, the murderer, stabbed him coming from the opera, and wore the King's livery at the moment of the attempt. The forecast is again wonderful in prefiguring every particular short of the names of the two individuals. The nationalities are given, the calling of Louvel, and the day of the month. If all this be Chance, some hare-brained few would prefer it to what they know of Certainty.
Century V.--Quatrain 4. [I. 240.]
The great mastiff chased from the city
Will be afflicted by the strange alliance:
When the stag is driven to the fields,
The wolf and bear will commence to mistrust each other.
The Duc de Bordeaux is the great mastiff, dethroned August 9, 1830, by Louis Philippe, in the dog-days, when the star Sirius is in opposition. Le Grand Chien burning in
the horizon is a synonym for the gros mastin; the city, of course, is Paris. Charles X., who was fond of the chase, is turned from the great huntsman to the stag. The wolf is Louis Philippe, a name which lends itself to Lou. P. The bear represents, according to M. le Pelletier, la Montagne, in the assembly, because bears make their lair in the highest situations. We need not insist on this resemblance or characteristic pointed out by Le Pelletier.
There are six quatrains devoted by Le Pelletier to the Duc de Bordeaux,--the Henri Cinq that was never to be,--that Royal Prince whom all the Princes should see to be heaven-descended. But as we, who are not royal, have seen that nothing came of him; and that, being now dead, nothing can come of him, we shall pass over the six quatrains in silence. The quatrains of Nostradamus lend themselves most kindly to elucidation once you find the clue, but they most persistently refuse to have a meaning read into them from without.
M. le Pelletier has elaborated the meaning of the six quatrains, about Louis Philippe with so much ingenious learning that we must give the whole of them, and let the reader take them at his own valuation.
Century VI.--Quatrain 84.
He who will cause that the lame cannot reign in Paris, 1
He will effect so much in his seductive way
That from the short to long he will attain,
Who has brought to bear his deception against the King.
The meaning of this is that Louis Philippe d'Orléans will cause the Duc de Bordeaux to be unable to hold the reins of government in Paris. The anagrammatic substitution of Sparte for Paris is doubly ingenious, inasmuch as Lycurgus at Sparta established a double kingship so-called. Of course the office could not be that of king at all, but there was the name if not the fact, and that suffices for this prince of dexterous analogists, Nostradamus. Louis Philippe will achieve this by the byeways of seduction, and will usurp successfully his nephew's throne (araigner), putting himself in opposition, says Le Pelletier, to his lawful King. Faire sa perspective he renders opposition. I do not think this is the meaning of the phrase. There is an extract from Fontenelle (I cannot refer to it in his works at present), in which he speaks of a perspective that will make an emperor or a beggar out of the same figure, according to the point of view from which you regard it. That is an optical illusion. Descartes, in his "L'Homme," mentions the pictures placed at the end of corridors to cheat the eye agreeably, and adds, "L'exemple des tableaux de perspective montre combien il est facile de s'y tromper." And then there were those perspectives that Holbein and his contemporaries used to introduce into their pictures, of a skull, or death's head, so painted that you could not quite tell what it was till you reached the right point of view, when it would suddenly contract and draw its elongated self together to a true skull
by a process the reverse of foreshortening. By the words sa perspective, I conceive that Nostradamus meant that Louis Philippe brought his deception to bear against the King.
Century V.--Quatrain 69. [I. 250.]
Plus ne sera le Grand en faux sommeil,
L'inquietude viendra prendre repos:
Dresser phalange 1 d'or, azur, et vermeil,
Subjuger Afrique, la ronger jusques os.
Le Grand will pretend no longer a false sleep;
His disquietude will now lull itself in security,
Arrange his army under gold, blue, and red,
Subjugate Africa, gnawing it to the very bone.
Louis Philippe, now King, and so become le Grand, says M. le Pelletier (though, as applied to the individual, it looks quite like a misnomer), will now unmask his designs, and take his repose in security. He will adopt the tricolour of the Revolution and complete the conquest of Algeria; Pelissier roasting the refugees in caves, to the very bone. Everything but the word Grand justifies the interpretation to a nicety.
Century I.--Quatrain 39. [I. 251.]
When France shall be dominated by three parties,
The last of the family shall be strangled at night in bed,
For having lent too much to the fair Capet.
Put to death because a paper and packet were not read.
When France is dominated by three alternately (Orleanists, Republicans, Bonapartists), the Prince de Bourbon, Condé, last of his race, shall be strangled, at night in his bed, for desiring to follow in the suite of the Duc de Bordeaux. A new will, duly sealed up, in favor of the Bourbon, but not read, is the cause of his death. The "not read" means, not read by the Duc de Bordeaux, in whose favour it was drawn. The Baronne de Feuchères, whose interests were allied to those of Louis Philippe, defeated this by the murder. M. le Pelletier acquits Louis Philippe of complicity in the crime, but he remarks that the interest of the baronne
was incidentally that of the King. Her crime was incited by the desire to do away with the new will, by which she would be a heavy loser. It is curious that Garencières considers this quatrain to have been fulfilled in Philip II. of Spain, who had his own son, Don Carlos, strangled in bed. The coincidence of the name Philip is singular, but the remaining two lines he does not attempt to interpret.
Century VIII.--Quatrain 42. [I. 253.]
By cupidity and abuse of power, force, and violence,
The chief of Orleans will come to vex his own;
Near St. Memire resistance will be made;
Dead in his palace he will ever after sleep.
Avarice was always the fault of Louis Philippe. By extortion and abuse he raised resistance at Saint Meri; in and near the church he forced the republicans to submission, dort leans a play upon the name, never again showed energy, but slept a sleep as of death in his palace (dans sa tente). The insurrection that was quelled took place on June 5 and 6, 1832.
Century IX.--Quatrain 89. [I. 254.]
Seven years will Philip's fortune prosper well;
He will defeat every effort of the Arabs;
In his embarrassed middle period all goes against the grain,
Young Ogmion will overwhelm his fort.
Fortune will favour Louis Philippe for the first seven years. He will repress the Arabs. But in the middle of his reign the Eastern question will spring up, and cover him with disgrace (this culminated July 15, 1840). For the next seven years all will go against the grain, and the new Republic (jeune Ogmion) will overturn his throne and his Bastille; the Paris he thought he had so strongly fortified.
Garencières again introduces Philip II. of Spain, and there seems to exist some analogy between these two kings. The Spaniard also was prosperous for some seven years, and in the person of his brother, Don Juan of Austria, beat the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. Garencières reads Barbares for Arabs. Later on he had to put his son to death, and was opposed by young Ogmion; the King, Henri Quatre, of France and Navarre.
Century V.--Quatrain 92. [I. 255.]
Après le siege tenu dix-sept ans,
Cinq changeront en tel revolu terme:
Puis sera l'un esleu de mesme temps,
Qui les Romains ne sera trop conforme.
After the throne has been held for seventeen years,
Five shall change when that term has run out:
Then, at the same time, one shall be elected,
Who will not be very conformable to the wishes of the Romanists.
After the reign of Louis Philippe, during seventeen years, five of his sons lost the throne with himself; and with much manœuvring have never been able to reapproach it. They were the Comte de Paris, representative of Chartres, Duc de Nemours, Joinville, Montpensier, and Due d'Aumale. The election that followed was that of Louis Napoleon, whose mixed, or no policy, suited neither the Revolutionary party nor the Roman Catholics. There is nothing here but the seventeen years to connect this with Louis Philippe. For the five who changed with the revolt would be six if Louis Philippe himself were counted, and he certainly ought to be. The concluding two lines are very vague, and may or may not belong to Louis Napoleon. I merely cite it, as one of the ingenuities of M. le Pelletier.
There are three prophecies cited relating to the Due de Chartres, which seem fairly well interpreted; and very wonderful they would be if they stood alone or related to any one whose fate was of any importance in the opening scroll of history. All the little interest of Louis Philippe is centred in himself, and therefore I omit the three quatrains relating to his son, not because they are not curious, if rightly interpreted of the son, but that, even supposing them to be so, the Due de Chartres is a person and a character not deserving of serious mention in history. The gossip of a barber's shop in Nostradamus's own day would be even more interesting to any rational investigator of human affairs.
283:1 Latin, victor, conqueror.
283:2 Latin, Imperator.
283:3 Latin, factum, action, act.
283:4 Congnu = connu, known.
283:5 Sang, son or grandson.
283:6 Mathien, Æmathien.
283:7 Latinism, factus, made, become.
283:8 Latin, superator, rule, dominator.
283:9 Latin, gens, nation.
283:10 Humble = humiliated, perhaps humblée.
283:11 Latin, per, by reason of.
283:12 The order is, "venu à cause des pleurs de la superbe nation humiliée."
284:1 The original text is corrupt here, but this yields the best sense.
284:2 Desrobé, withdrawn, or shut up.
284:3 Fossano is the alternative reading, a town in the Sardinian States.
284:4 Keeper of the hounds and greyhounds.
285:1 Latin, patratus, done, committed.
285:2 The Tarpeian rock at Rome.
285:3 Latin, Leo, the astronomical sign of the Lion.
286:1 Dechassé = chassé, chased away.
286:2 Estrange has again the meaning of foreign, or out of the family.
286:3 The order is après avoir chassé le cerf aux champs.
286:4 Donront = donneront.
287:1 Celuy qu'en = Celuy qui fera qu'en.
287:2 Latin, Claudus, lame. This Le Pelletier has before endeavoured, with surprising dexterity, to show to be the Due de Bordeaux.
287:3 This whole line is difficult. Araigner, in the Romance language, is said to mean to plead and gain a cause against another. The court and long we had before, in Century VIII., 57, applied to Napoleon, as rising from a soldier to the long-robed Emperor; here he had to refer to Talma to teach him how to carry it. Now, again, it means the rise from a mere dignitary to Kingship.
287:4 Latin, qui.
288:1 Sparte = Paris. The letters te may be considered as one letter, the v being mute. It will then convert, according to the rule of the anagram.
289:1 Phalange, flag, standard, writes M. le Pelletier. As far as I can discover anything, this statement appears to be entirely erroneous. The word "phalanx," as connected with matters military, always signifies a body of men in military order. It may in the plural even stand indefinitely for armies. In the singular it is very confusing. It may stand for a party of twenty-eight men or eight thousand (Potter's "Antiquities," ii. 56). Danet says six thousand men. Gibbon introduces one of his constantly recurring slovenly phrases about it,--absurd in fact, but philosophic in form. He is comparing the legion with the phalanx (i. 22), and tells us, "It was soon discovered by reflection, as well as by the event," that it could not contend with the legion. It is obvious here, that if it had been discovered by reflection it would never have been tried by the event. This somewhat justifies the sarcasm of Porson, that schoolboys ought to be set to translate Gibbon into English. As a pleasing variety, Smith sets the number when complete at about sixteen thousand men. One feels inclined to say that these classical guides are conveying us to that ditch, which is never far to seek, when the blind are leading the blind. Martinius, in his curious "Lex. Phil.," cites Pliny to show that the Africans first fought the Egyptians fustibus, with staves, which they called phalanges in the plural, or phalanx in the singular, so that it is an African word. ו ף?L?G, in Hebrew phalag, is a staff. Also there is a spider called phalangion; and as the pikes of the first five ranks in a phalanx were interlaced, they were somewhat like a web of staves. Many may regard all this as extremely useless; perhaps they will concede that it is curious; if so, I shall consider it to be useful. I have long found that whatever is very curious is useful. It sets the mind agreeably in movement, and often throws a new light on things that previously had no interest and seemed obscure. At any rate, we have now established that phalange is not to be rendered standard, but troops, army.
290:1 Latin, supremus, the last.
290:2 The order is, "Quand l'Empire sera exanclé par trois subrogés."
290:3 Latin, subrogatus, substituted; read subrogés.
290:4 Exancillatus, subdued to, under the yoke of.
290:5 Latin, charta, paper
290:6 Romance, ne leu, not read.
291:1 Sainct Memire is the anagram of S'Meri. To make this pass, M. le Pelletier drops one m and one e.
291:2 Tante is to be read tente.
291:3 Leans is an old word for là dedans.
291:4 Latin, perplexus, troubled.
291:5 Rebors = rebours; à rebours is against the grain.
291:6 Ognion is Ogmius, the Celtic Mercury or Gallic Hercules. It has p. 292 figured in 1792, 1848, and again after the German war, 872. At the two first periods they put the figure of this Hercules on their five franc pieces, with that idle exergue, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. This vocable, Ogmion, is equivalent to Oignon, onion, or bulbous root of the lily. If there could be any doubt at all about this, Nostradamus has taken care to remove it, calling it le grand mercure d'Hercule fleur de lys, in Century X. 79.