AN UNNUMBERED QUATRAIN PUBLISHED BETWEEN 1569 AND 1669
Google has a 1669 Pierre Promé edition entitled “Les vrayes centuries et prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus” that claims to be a revised, reprinted version of a 1558 edition at Avignon and a 1558 edition at Lyons plus others and that extends to 141 quatrain Presages “tirez de cevx faits par Mr Nostradamus és années 1555 & suivantes” (tracing from those made by Mr Nostradamus here’s for 1555 and the following years) and the Century XI quatrains 71 and 79 only (whereas the ‘Sacred Texts’ transcription has by way of comparison Century XI as sixains I to 58 plus 71 and 79 as quatrains) and Century XII (4 to 71 not inclusive) plus 58 ‘Autres Predictions de Nostradamus’ in sixains:
And here is the National Library of France’s online offering of the same: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k70545r/f8.image
‘Sacred Texts’ is at http://www.sacred-texts.com/nos/mrg/nosmrg11.htm
After ‘FIN’ of Les Propheties/the Centuries in the 1669 Pierre Promé comes ‘Adjousté depuis l’impression de 1568’ and an extensive collection of add-ons starting with an unnumbered quatrain that seems to refer forward to the year 1660:
Quand le fourchu sera soustenu de deux paux,
Avec six demy cors, & six ciseaux ouverts:
Le tres-puissant Seigneur, heritirer des crapaux,
Alors subjuguera, sous foy tout l’univers.
When the fork is upheld by two poles, (M)
With six semi-circular horns (6 x C), and six open scissors (6 x X):
The very-powerful Lord, inheritor from the toads,
Will then rise over all the faith in the world. OR
Then all the world will of a moment be placed under the faith. OR
Then will he dominate and the entirety under him (in all faith/I swear it).
Line 1, OF ‘fourchu/fourche’ meant fork or else to be partial and unjust. In heraldry ‘fourché’ applies to a cross or else the tail of a lion. (Out of interest, and swerving wildly, some varieties of fork have appeared upon heraldic bearings including the common shake-fork and the eel-spear fork – were these combined in the name Shakespeare?)
OF ‘paux’ means palisades or poles. (In heraldry it is a strip crossing the vertical which divides the shield or oval of a coat-of-arms.)
Line 2, OF ‘demy’ would be a foreshortening of OF ‘demi-cercle’ or semi-circle or crescent.
OF ‘cors’ is a calling instrument such as a trumpet/cornet made from an animal’s horn or tusk – or the letter ‘c’. It can also mean a corner or a bout.
OF ‘ciseau’ is a flat tool with a sharp end used for working hard materials. A joined pair gives us the word for scissors –or the letter ‘x’.
Line 3, OF ‘heritirer/heritier’ is one due to inherit, an heir, or the inheritor or even the heritage/kingdom itself.
OF ‘crapaux’ appears to be the plural of ‘crapaud’, the marsh toad.
These creatures have reams of fanciful nonsense written about them. They inhabit fictions featuring spell-casting recipes. Together with frogs they were used as heraldic adornments/symbols but infrequently. (More often in today’s ‘faux armoiries’).
Jean Crapaud was once a jokey name for a prototypical Frenchman (or one from Jersey).
The heraldic fleur-de-lis has created controversy concerning its origins including that it was originally taken to represent animals and especially toads or else bees (according to Napoleon) although this seems bizarre. (However a battle-ready lily might have had only a rough outline when struck on a war shield by a martial metalworker, causing confusion in the ranks.) It has been the accepted royal badge of France since Louis VII in the Twelfth Century but also was taken up in England as a badge of royalty during the time of the Stuarts – which includes of course 1660, the year of Restoration of Charles II, James II’s older brother.
Louis XIV did not become the real king of France until 1661 when the Seigneur Cardinal Mazarin of France, a very powerful personage indeed, died in March having restored France. He was of Italian descent.
Today’s family name ‘Crapo’ does have French and Italian branches while ‘Crepeau’ seems to be mainly French Canadian.
OF ‘Seigneur’ was a man of high-standing or rank or the King (or God). There was an analogous astrological meaning – the planet dominant over a given time and place in the Zodiac.
Line 4, OF ‘subjuguera/subjuguer’ is to subjugate, to win by force, to secure by dominance.
Heraldry can always be a possible key to Nostradamus and its symbolism is not only bestiary-based but also grew from Hermetic and Christian roots. A heraldic thread seems to run through this quatrain and chimes with the phrase “heritirer des crapaux” although frogs and toads were not well-known in French heraldry and quite rare in English heraldry also.
The ‘very poweful Lord’ could even be the exiled James II of England, protected by Louis XIV (whose army he had served in during the Civil War) made Duke of Normandy (a title for displaced Anglo-French royals) who with his retainers may have sported the fleur-de-lys occasionally provoking the distant viewer to mock him a little because his power then was nebulous at best – and yet he was the rightful King of England as much as any alive.
A shared thought
Michel and his wife famously bought shares in a grand canal scheme from M. Craponne and they lived in Salon de Craux. Is ‘crapaux’ a composition of two proper nouns, making this empowered lord one of the inheritors of the shares/the canal? Perhaps, though proper nouns were not so stable in Nostredame’s time as to ensure that portmanteau being widely useful, for example Sallon de craulx was an alternative placename and Sir Walter Raleigh so-known signed himself as Rawleigh.
A fatalistic thought
The faiths of the material world are based on unknowables such as the human condition after death. Once he is dead the faiths do not overarch the man but the dead man is risen over the plural faiths as he surely knows some of whatever there may be to know and they merely believe that they know. Taking Line 4 as meaning ‘Will then rise over all the faiths in the world’ , was this a roundabout way of saying that the subject of the quatrains will die in 1660?
Although those who foretell the future have a common ethic or convention that they never disclose a future time of death – and this may be an old tradition – Nostredame seems to have done that during the course of his Horoscope for Prince Rudolph II. (Rudolph’s and Maximilian s years of death were indicated – both wrongly, as it happens. Perhaps he gave out under imperial duress and knowingly ‘miscalculated’ to preseve the faticidal tradition.)
A final thought
The Restoration of the British King in 1660 led to the arrest of John Thurloe.
(‘John’ may be found among the letters of the Second Couplet and ‘Thurloe’ among the jumbled letters of the First Couplet, ‘le fourchu sera soustenu’ to be exact.)
He features in the Victor Hugo faction ‘Oliver Cromwell’. He successfully sidelined hisself during the Civil War but his regicidal relative Isaac Ewer was signatory to the King’s death warrant.
(The name Isaac Ewer is distinguishable among the letters from Line 2 should the ampersand ‘&’ be taken to represent the letter ‘w’ in this selection. There was almost no use of ‘w’ in OF – please see “the 7T’s” at the HOME page)
As well as being, like Cromwell, something of a political maverick Thurloe also considered himself independent of all religions. In the same way that Cromwell always did by conduct resemble a monarch, the masterly Thurloe as Secretary of State for the Commonwealth resembled his mini-monarch.
As head of British Intelligence in 1653 Thurloe had established a spy network at home and abroad and a code-breaking department, all to the benefit of Cromwell’s Protectorate. His networkers included academics, rebels, serious criminals he had snatched from the gallows, penniless aristocrats, foreign shipping contractors and all sorts. Large sums changed hands. He broke apart the Sealed Knot society but his secret service was infiltrated in turn by royalists who uncovered assassination plots against future King Charles II who was biding his time abroad.
In May 1655 he ‘moved on’ and became Postmaster General in which position he had the secret service covertly intercept public mails, leading to prosecutions of individuals by Cromwell’s government. He had held Ely but now represented Cambridge University in Parliament. As men of secret powers often do he became arbitrary in his decision-making and was deposed from office only to be re-appointed Secretary of State on February 27th 1660. But on May 15th 1660, with the Restoration of the Monarchy under full swing, he was arrested on a capital charge of high treason. In June he was released, most probably as a lifelong informant for the new government.
(The word ‘informateur’ is available from the letters of the First Couplet and from the Middle Couplet should we take the ampersand ‘&’ to represent the letter ‘f’ and also from the Second Couplet should we allow the letter ‘m’ to be borrowed from the First Couplet. Medieval anagrams were like that! I was drawn to OF ‘informateur’ before I learnt that it meant both an informer and an instructor. Thurloe was indeed a closeted espionage advisor to King Charles II.)
Line 4 is quite difficult to interpret-translate. Its particles are ‘of a sudden’, ‘subjugation’, ‘all of everything’ and ‘faith beneath’ or ‘junior to faith’ or else ‘in all faith’ whilst incorporating the powerful Lord of Line 3 who was handed-down rather than struggled for his grand office. The sheer colourfulness of the Cavaliers and the Anglican High Church had been brought to nought by men who would deface statuary and demand a dourness of appearance and manner for the narrow mindful world about them. The symbol of the toad is at times evil but most times it is just lowly and dull. It has been used comparatively to represent the lower classes or others without much social influence, those at the bottom of the slope. Michel Nostredame was a confirmed monarchist. The Cavaliers had represented the divine right of kings which elsewhere Michel has equated with the power of religion, the two being necessary to stabilize Medieval society so he thought. The Roundheads represented Puritan Parliamentarian Republicans who sought political seniority over the faiths and the monarchy, inter alia, by representative assembly.
Like all Number 2’s in big organizations, John Thurloe had despatched the workload and exercised the great power of the Number 1 on his behalf and yet he had never fought for Cromwell’s victorious Roundheads who had handed him that high position, nor for the defeated Royalists who eventually saw the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
I guess this must be the restoration of Charles II in England OR a ‘miscalculation’ for the death of Mazarin/ascendance by Louis XIV in 1661 with ‘crapaud’ suggesting the horns that crown a toad’s head and ‘heritirer des crapaux’ the Crown itself.
(Also see the Articles NOSTRADAMUS AND THE NINE YEARS WAR OF THE GRAND ALLIANCE and ‘ADDENDUM TO ‘EDITIONS OF THE CENTURIES’)
NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD (c) 2015