1555 Lyon Bonhomme

Celuy qu’aura gouuerte de la grande cappe
Sera induict a quelque cas patrer:
Les XII. rouges viendront fouiller la nappe
Sous meurtre, meurtre se viendra perpetrer

This is about a Pope
As to the case of his pastorship, he was induced:
Twelve (deficient) cardinals came to defile the cloth
By dint of murderous intent concealed beneath the cape, his murder will come to be perpetrated.

Line 1, ‘cappe’ is Old Spanish for cape whilst ‘cap’ would be a reference to the head, in particular as the organ of direction and navigation. Both should fit to a Pope grandly. OF ‘cas’ is case, sometimes a grammatic tense, at other times a problematic person. OF ‘patrer’ is connected to pastor. OF ‘perpetrer’ refers to criminal conduct especially.

This verse, although not quite contemporaneous with Nostredame, was near enough to be recent history. The secular Pope Alexander VI was Rodrigo Borgia, remembered as the most corrupt and devouring of all popes. Nostredame is the only commentator to tell us that Borgia was encouraged on the papal path by another (Sforza of Milan?) and that it was not one of his self-indulgent enthusiasms (unless the text should mean induced by his own greed, of course). He created 12 cardinals in order to inflate his personal funds and thought little of murdering whomever he wished. He fathered the infamous Cesare and Lucretia and was generous and indulgent to his children. It seems likely he died in 1503 of a poison, possibly administered to Rodrigo accidentally by Cesare and intended by the pair of them for an unwanted prelate. Or else this Cardinal survivor had got in first. Incidentally, most all of the ‘Royals’ of Western Europe today are in some way related to Rodrigo Borgia.

Whenever Nostredame recounts a past history, it is noticeable that he seems to add from his unique insight a telling detail otherwise unrevealed, therefore somewhat unprovable and so easily denied.

Pope Alexander VI was probably one of the the best candidates for an Anti-Christ personality in Book-of-Revelation terms. He even died much as if he had ingested a liquid fire and his disfigured corpse soon emitted sulphurous fumes. Nostredame hints, as if in mitigation, that his papal power had been urged on him externally.

As it happens, Line 3 rewritten as ‘Les douze rouges viendront fouiller la nappe’ rather than the printed ‘Les XII. Rouges viendront fouiller la nappe’ will yield the letters for both Rodrigo and Sforza. (The stop after XII may suggest it to be an abbreviation.)

Should we then borrow a letter ‘c’ from the end of Line 2 this will also yield Alfonso (Sforza) and Lucrezia (Borgia) who married after the death of Alfonso’s young wife Anna d’Este which terminated the Sforza-d’Este alliance. High-level intrigues and adulteries were the hallmark of Fifteenth Century Italy.

                                              Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012