Today some Christians and the Vatican in particular are aware of certain coming changes signalling something akin to End Time and are making big preparations at the highest levels: co-ordinating disparate limbs of the Church and perhaps even putting inquisition back into a place of readiness. Of course, they are their own authority on this, i.e. they cannot boast of divine authority without producing contemporary miracles and nor can anyone else.
Nostredame does not speculate over, say, who the Two Witnesses in Revelation may be or the coming of the new tribe of Joseph. Michel’s own End Time cast is perhaps different from our socio-political religious expectations.
I 96 THIS IS HIM
1555 Lyon Bonhomme
Celui qu’aura la charge de destruire
Temples, & sectes, changés par fantasie,
Plus aux rochiers qu’aux viva^s viendra nuire
Par langue ornée d’oreilles ressaisies.
This is him who will bear the onus to remove
Those religious edifices – and their congregations – shaped by indulgent imaginings,
He shall come to harm stones more than a living soul
By a style of language that calms the hungry ears.
Harm comes to those rocks more than to the living
With ears recaptivated by ornaments of language.
Line 3, OF ‘rochiers’ could mean stones or the family Rochier or else the family rock-fish. It usually meant rocks or boulders but could go down to foam, froth or sea spittle. The text places rocks and living things in juxtaposition. (Incidentally the Christian Bible has quotes that refer to God’s ability to raise people out of stones, such as in Matthew 3.9.)
Interpretation of this line seems a little less full by the OF verb being placed in the singular. In the plural we could even foresee more people being chastened/awakened than the proverbial pebbles on the beach. Whatever, the powerful thrust of this quatrain I 96 is in the First Couplet with further identifying details occupying the Second Couplet.
Line 4, ‘ressaisies’ has various possible interpretations including a Modern Fr. meaning, recaptured. OF ‘ressaisies’ is either derived from OF resasier’ to satisfy or OF ‘rassasier’ meaning to calm hunger, literally or figuratively (i.e. those ears that desire to know Truth) or it is from OF ‘ressaisir’ to recover possession of oneself. The OF print abbreviation ‘viva^s’ (shown in the original Bonhomme edition by a dash over the final vowel) is most probably ‘vivants’, a living person or persons but might be ‘vivats’ (‘viva’, the exclamation ‘living!’) which is an alternative to ‘bravo!’ although I could not make this fit too well.
Here are the candidates; the first in Nostredame’s past or present, the second in his future and the third who will be towards End Time.
1. From a doctrinal Catholic point of view: The HRE Charles V was an extremely punitive devotee of papism who ruled over an extensive area of Europe and theAmericas and yet forever ate alone because of a genetic malformation of the lower face, an engorged jawbone. Possibly his jawbone cracked and this sounded loudly in his ear (which could even produce tinnitus). He paid obsessive attention to overthrowing the Protestant Netherlands as well as holding-off his sworn rival, the King of France, from seizing the Italian states. Perhaps the condition of preoccupation overbids the claims of auricula distress (or tinnitus) on one’s mental attention. This interpretation depends on the modern translation of ‘Par langue ornée d’oreilles ressaisies’ being ‘By language adorned with ears recaptured’.
2. From a doctrinal Protestant point of view: England’s Oliver Cromwell was anti-monarchy, puritanical and so anti-iconoclastic that he ordered all stone sacred ornamentations in churches to be defaced, by law. Somehow he developed a fancy of hisself as a king despite the very rule of parliament that he had created (but later dissolved). He was eventually addressed as Your Highness but as the ‘Lord Protector’ had already signed-off as ‘Oliver P’ even before that.
3. From the non-religious, non-doctrinal and self-delivered spiritual point of view:
This is him. Know him by what he will do and how he can do it as if by words alone.
(See also the Article ADDENDUM TO I 96 THIS IS HIM: BOOKENDS)
Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012