ORACLES OF NOSTRADAMUS - Pius VI
THE next four quatrains refer to Rome and Pope Pius VI.
Century V.--Quatrain 57. [I. 199.]
Istra 1 de mont Gaulfier 2 et Aventin,
Qui 3 par le trou advertira l'armée.
Entre deux rocs sera prins 4 le butin,
De SEXT 5 mansol 6 faillir la renommée.
When a [French] army shall go from Mont Gaulfier to the Aventine,
There will be a man advising them from under the hole.
The booty shall be seized between the two rocks,
And the glory of the sixth celibate shall wither.
This is a very curious stanza. The name of Montgolfier, the aeronaut, is visible enough in the two separate words, mont Gaulfier. M. le Pelletier calls it the grammatical figure of metaplasm; but it is not strictly so. Metaplasm is the forming of cases from a non-existent nominative. This is making two words for things non-existent to represent a proper name. But there is a still greater singularity in the employment of it here. For Nostradamus, as I understand him, makes this fictitious mountain contrast with the real Mount Aventine. He makes it stand, as I think, for one of the two rocks between which the booty is secured. The brothers
[paragraph continues] Montgolfier were paper-makers at Annonay Ardèche, and they gave their own name to their discovery, which dates June 5, 1783. Their balloons opened at the bottom to be filled, so that a man placed in them was under the hole, par le trou. I do not know at what point the Montgolfier was floated to furnish military information to the French, but I suppose on the Italian side of the Alps, so that from that rock or mountain to the Aventine rock would be the points between which the booty was seized. But the former of these Nostradamus seems to me to designate by the man's name, which lends itself to a play upon the word, rather than by a peak of the Alps. M. le Pelletier says that the two rocks refer to Peter, pierre being rock. One is Avignon, in France, and the other Rome, in Italy, and the booty was obtained by the treaty of Tolentino, under date of February 19, 1797. By this the Pope lost Avignon and Venaissin in France, Bolognia, Ferrara, and the Romagnia in Italy, and this he calls the two rocks. The balloon was first used to reconnoitre the position of the Austrians at the battle of Fleurus, June 16, 1794. Almost immediately after the treaty, the Pontiff was dragged from Italy to die at Valence: thus was fulfilled the prophecy of faillir la renommée. Interpret how you may, the mention of the name of Montgolfier so appropriately in this connection, must always stand as proof of the most solid kind that Nostradamus's foresight was miraculous.
Century V.--Quatrain 30. [I. 201.]
Tout à l'entour de la grande cité
Seront soldats logés par champs et villes:
Donner Passaut Paris Rome incité, 1
Sur le pont 2 lors sera faicte grand pille.
Compassing all round the great city
There shall be soldiers camping in the fields and towns:
A Frenchman [Paris will take] Rome excited;
There will then be perpetrated on the Pope a great pillage.
The Executive Directory, in defiance of the Constitution which formally forbade it, encamped troops around Paris, la grande cité, on September 4, 1797. This was to quell, or keep in awe, the counter revolution. A Frenchman [Paris], General Berthier, took Rome by assault, February 10, 1798. the pretext being that General Duphot had lost his life in an émeute [dans Rome incité]. Pope Pius VI. was dispossessed of his states, arrested in his palace, and subjected to general pillage.
Century VIII.--Quatrain 46. [I. 202.]
Pol 1 mensole 2 mourra trois lieües du Rosne;
Fuis 3 les deux prochains 4 tarasc 5 destrois: 6
Car Mars 7 fera le plus horrible trosne
De Coq, et d'Aigle, de France Freres trois.
The grand Celibate shall die three leagues from the Rhone;
The two dejected brothers shall fly tumult:
For war shall make a most horrible throne
For the three brothers of France by the Cock and Eagle.
The Pope, that is, shall die at Valence, a few leagues from the Rhone. The two brothers [afterwards Louis XVIII. and Charles X.], alarmed at the movement of the populace, take flight. War inflicts sad havoc on the throne of the three
brothers [Louis XVI., Louis XVIII., Charles X.] by the Orleans Cock, and Napoleonic Eagle.
Century II.--Quatrain 99. [I. 203.]
Terroir Romain qu'interpretoit Augure 1
Par gent 2 Gauloise par trop sera vexée:
Mais nation Celtique craindra l'heure,
Boreas 3 classe 4 trop loing l'avoir poussée. 5
The Roman territory that the Pope governed
The French will cruelly vex:
But that Celtic nation should fear the hour
When it has advanced its army too far to the north.
I render this in the main in accordance with M. le Pelletier; but perhaps some may think that the Pope cannot be called an augur without great violence. Interprétoit can hardly stand for spiritual government. It is also difficult to make classis into army. Classis represented the orders of the people of Rome; that divided them into bands and companies for governmental and electoral purposes, not for war. The only classis of war was the fleet, and Garencières renders it by navy, although he is entirely abroad in every other respect ill his interpretation of the quatrain. Though he forces a fulfilment upon it in the time of Henry II. of France, still, evidently Rome is meant, whatever the Augur may interpret. The Roman territory was twice trampled on by the French: first by General Berthier against Plus VI, and again by General Miollis, who in 1809 removed Pope Pius VII. The closing couplet is clearly a forecast of Napoleon's defeat in Russia. That will not be affected by the manner in which we interpret classe; but I cannot imagine
for a moment that Nostradamus would employ the Latin classis so erroneously for an army, which no Roman would ever use it for. Certamen classicum is a sea-fight, but never employed for engagements on land. The result of this minute verbal inquiry will, I think, end by establishing the more remarkably the prescience and forecast of this consummate seer. He uses the word classe in one of its late eighteenth, or early nineteenth century acceptions, for that body of young men, which is called out every year in France by, lot to serve in the army; or all those called to the colours, who are drawn for service in the same year. It is an administrative word, that sprang into use out of the conscription, and which will die out again when that fraud, passed upon the nations of Europe, has been detected and abolished; that institution which fosters war and makes its otherwise intermittent evils permanent and perpetual upon humanity. To enlarge the area of this view is to doom conscription to death and sure oblivion. Conscription is an invention of Beelzebub, when seeking his bath of blood, under the euphonic guise of a patriotic defence of the mother soil. Mourir pour la patrie is the glozing lie of Roget de l'Isle, that supplements, or drowns, the true cry of "Blood for Moloch." So we will read, for the first time now, the passage thus: But let the Celtic nation beware the hour when her conscript columns are pushed too far to the Boreal northeast. In brief, beware of Moscow. If this sixteenth century anticipation of a nineteenth century idiom be nothing, then let the Alps be called a molehill, and the hollow sea a cup. Here we close the prefiguration of the Papal torment appropriately enough; it closes with a terrible hint to its tormentor.
245:1 Istra = ira, will go, or will go forth.
245:2 Montgolfier, the inventor of ærostatics.
245:3 Qui, Latin for who, a man who.
245:4 Prins, taken.
245:5 Sext, for sextus.
245:6 Mansol, man, sol. Manens solus means celibate, or priest under vows.
246:1 Latin, incitatus, agitated.
246:2 Pont. pour Pontificat, or Pontifex.
247:1 πολὺς, grand, considerable.
247:2 Man. sol., manens solus, as before.
247:3 The ordo is, les deux prochains destrois fuiront le tarasc.
247:4 Prochain = proche parent, who partakes in a heritage.
247:5 ταραχή = tumult.
247:6 Romance, destrois, afflicted, dejected.
247:7 Mars, god of war.
248:1 Augur, for Roman priest.
248:2 Gens is Latin for nation.
248:3 Boreas is north wind, or north.
248:4 Classis, Latin, is a body of men, used here as army.
248:5 The ordo is, [où elle] aura poussé son armée trop loin vers le nord.