ORACLES OF NOSTRADAMUS - The National Convention
The National Convention
WE now reach a fresh division, and shall treat of the National Convention,--a period of about three years.
Century VIII.--Quatrain 17. [I. 189.]
Les bien aisés subit 1 seront desmis;
Par les trois freres le monde mis en trouble.
Cité marine saisiront ennemies;
Faim, feu, sang, peste, et de tous maux le double.
The well-to-do [members] shall be suddenly dismissed,
On account of three brothers the world shall suffer trouble.
Enemies shall take possession of the marine city;
Hunger, fire, slaughter, plague, of evils all the double.
Privilege is to be abolished suddenly. The three brothers who trouble the world are the Royal trio, Louis XVI., Louis XVIII., and Charles X. Toulon is the maritime city. We shall come upon it again, further on, in Century VII. 13, where it is treated of more fully. M. le Pelletier interprets feu as being war, and peste as standing for irreligion. As goods were all doubled to Job, so here all evils are to be doubled. On the night of August 4, 1789, feudal privilege was abolished suddenly (subit). The clergy and nobility were dispossessed of property and title. Toulon, taken by the English, is the Cité marine. It was retaken, in the name of Louis XVII., on August 23, 1793, by the French; on the
[paragraph continues] 19th of December, Marie-Antoinette and Égalité, Duc d'Orleans, being both executed during the British tenure.
Century IX.--Quatrain 17. [I. 191.]
The third become first does worse than Nero,
See how much valiant human blood it squanders!
It will rebuild the old tile kilns,
The age of gold is dead, a new dynasty, and great scandal.
This interprets itself. M. le Pelletier explains the rebuilding of the kilns as setting up the scaffolds to consume the clergy and nobility. I do not myself see the force or necessity of this. The age of gold yields to that of iron or the sword; the new dynasty (the Napoleonic) is a vast scandal, and reintroduces pomp and ceremonial at the Tuileries.
Century VIII.--Quatrain 19. [I. 192.]
They will not sustain the great but troubled Capets,
The reds will take steps to purge their number,
They will almost exterminate the family with death,
The red of reds will overwhelm the red.
This very forcibly announces the Reign of Terror to have set in. The reds will do what in them lies to crush the Capets, till they have almost annihilated the family in death; and, then the reddest reds will guillotine the reds,--the Montagnards the Girondists. Bouys does not allude to this, though one would have thought it must strike every reader as far as what is said relating to the conduct of the double-dyed reds against the moderate reds. Garencières' mistakes serve to show how impossible it was to guess at the meaning of a quatrain in the seventeenth century. He fancies this to refer to some conspiracy of red Cardinals against a Pope, to be designated the Red one.
Century VI.--Quatrain 69. [I. 193.]
La pitié grand' sera sans loing tarder,
Ceux qui dônoyent seront contraints de prendre:
Nuds, affamés, de froid, soif, soy bander,
Les monts passer commettant grand esclandre.
A sight of pity will not long delay,
The almoners will soon be forced to beg:
Hungered, athirst, naked, proscribed, and cold.
In bands they cross the Alps, a scandal to be seen.
This conveys a forcible picture of the calamitous emigration the clergy of France would undergo between 1792 and 1801. Once the clue is supplied, it leads So naturally, that one almost finds insight from it into the manner in which these representations presented themselves to Nostradamus. One feels, that he must have seen the events passing before the field of sight as visions, sometimes accompanied with uttered words; otherwise how could he get intimation of names? But, if it was thus that intuition came to him, the quatrains, that he now scattered up and down throughout the Centuries in utter disorder and disconnection, must hare
come to him in a sequence, rendering them comprehensible; more or less, indeed, in the very order probably into which the chronology of historical record enables the careful student to replace them now, as soon as they are understood by him. If this be so, a rather curious fact presents itself, in a form approaching to something like a certainty, which is this: disorder must have been the method of the book. We know that generally his practice was to write down the matter in prose, and at leisure convert this into separate quatrains rhymed; these he must afterwards have taken up in a bag or hat, and when inextricably mixed have counted them out into hundreds. I think it quite possible that he found his forecasts became too intelligible when put together in their natural order, and in the sequence of events. No doubt, with regard to those events of his own time and to be soon fulfilled, he first began to perceive the necessity for inverting or displacing the order. Consecutive and interlinking stanzas would form a kind of commentary, and throw mutual light one upon the other; so that the adoption of disorder would follow as a measure of personal security. He thought that his sayings should be dark, as becometh the words of the wise; and that it would be quite time enough, should they grow clear when fulfilled to a reader, who would take sufficient trouble to elucidate them and bring out their meaning.
Century I.--Quatrain 44. [I. 194.]
This quatrain exhibits the suppression of the Catholic
worship in France, which took place November 10, 1793. What they called the worship of the goddess of Reason was set up; and a return to Paganism is what the first line means.
For a short time there will be a return to [Ethnic] sacrifices,
And those who oppose will suffer martyrdom:
There will be no more monks, clergy, nor novices;
Honey will fetch more than wax.
The last line means that wax will be cheapened, as none will be consumed in the churches. The rest explains itself. Garencières can see the meaning of the last two lines; but the first two he considers to have been fulfilled in the time of Henry V. of France and Henry VIII. of England.
Century II.--Quatrain 8. [I. 195.]
The temples consecrated in the fashion of early Rome,
They will reject the deep foundations [of Christianity].
Returning to their first and human laws,
They will not entirely abolish all saint-worship.
This A le Pelletier explains to be a forecast of the Fête de l'Étre Suprème, which was appointed by decree of the Convention May 7, 1794, and celebrated on the 8th of June of the same year with great pomp.
Century V.--Quatrain 33. [I. 196.]
The chief citizens of the revolted city,
Who will struggle hard to recover liberty.
The men beheaded, an unhappy mixture,
Cries, howlings, at Nantes piteous to see.
This was realized at Nantes, in Britany, under the Proconsulate of De Carrier. The town had, in 1793, become the focus of the Vendean reaction against the National Convention. The men were beheaded generally, but many men and women were stripped naked. They were then tied together, a man to a woman, in couples, or pairs, which their fiendish tormentors styled "republican marriages." In this diabolic connection (infelice meslée) they were precipitated helplessly into the Loire, amidst heartrending cries and howlings. No viler crime was ever committed on this earth, nor can ever be; the infamy of man and the revengeful filth of lust can no further go. From that extraordinary coinage and coupling of words, infelice meslée, you know, or seem to know, that Nostradamus beheld the horrid spectacle in vision--
Estant assis de nuict secret estude (Century I. 1).
Those who believe this to be a recital at haphazard are of a brain-formation singularly constituted.
Century VIII.--Quatrain 88.
In Sardinia a noble King shall come,
Who will only hold the kingdom during three years.
The tricolour will annex him [the King] to itself;
He after much pains will sleep afflicted and ridiculed.
This is Charles Emmanuel IV. The Republic of the tricolour, "le drapeau tricolor," will despoil him of his continental estate; and he will withdraw to his island, ruling for three years, 1798-1802. He then abdicates to his brother, Victor Emmanuel I., and, après soin much care, will sleep [as regards governing], and, residing at Rome. sad and humiliated, will assume the Jesuit robe, and die in 1819.
238:1 Subit stands for subito, suddenly.
239:1 Tiers = third.
239:2 Vuidez = Latin, videte, see.
239:3 Que = how much.
239:4 Forneron = Latin, fornax, furnace.
239:5 A is the Latin a, privative.
239:6 Cappe, is put for Capet.
241:1 En bref, temps, understood.
241:2 Ne, again used for ni.
242:1 Sacrés, for consacrés.
242:2 Prime, Latin, prima, first.
242:3 Gofres is deep, profound.
242:4 Cultements, Latin, cultus, worship.
243:1 Tiendront fort, will struggle hard.
243:2 Detranchés, Romance for tranchés, tête understood.
243:3 Infelice, Latin, unhappy.
244:1 Le to be understood before conjoindra.
244:2 Marrit, afflicted.
244:3 Scome, Latin, scomme, gibe, taunt.