At first sight the only thing linking these two Nostradamus Quatrains is the use of ‘dubieux’ in both and some unnecessary repetitions. But who are these mysterious dubious leaders?

 VI 13

1557 Lyon Du Rosne

Vn dubieux ne viendra loing du regne,  

La plus grand part le vouldra soustenir:

Vn capitole ne vouldra point qu’il regne,

Sa grande charge ne pourra maintenir.


A dubious or doubtful one will not come to hold power for long,

The majority shall be willing to hold him up high:

A capitol will pointedly not want that he rules,

His large load he cannot maintain. OR He will not wish to bear these great responsibilities.

There are from time to time repetitions in the Nostradamus Quatrains that we can make excuses for such as ‘grand’ and ‘grande’ but why use ‘regne’ twice in the rhyming scheme and repeat ‘vouldra’ in lines 2 and 3? Oh, well.

Line 1, OF ‘loing’ could sensibly be OF ‘long’ or OF ‘loin’ and all may convey distance or time.

Line 3. The ‘Capitole’ was the ‘fortress and temple of Jupiter in Rome’ (‘Brunet Latin Treasury’ ed Chabaille) that sat upon the ‘Capitoline’, the Seventh Hill of Rome, and ‘is not far from the Tarpeian rock’ (‘Mirabilis’) suggesting that ragged disgrace is a short walk off those giddy heights. But it could equally be the Town Hall of Toulous or the palace of the American Congress in its political capital Washington. Basically it’s a complex of buildings institutionalized by a municipality or national parliament. Still it suggests an essential Roman-ness, a quality either admired or despised today. A crosspiece over supporting pillars with capitals atop the uprights becomes a capitole – also a specially constructed platform upon a pyramidic base that supports specific performances – and the word may now have become a metaphor for, well, the democratic process. However for the two hundred years prior to the Thirteenth Century it referred instead to the Roman Curia, according to Wace, and Nostredame has referred to ‘a capitol’ not ‘the Capitol’. Did he mean the Catholic curia?

‘Point’ is pique or a blow or a dolorous condition but as ‘piquedly’ is seldom if ever seen or said in English I’ve chosen to substitute ‘pointedly’ in this present context. (Translation Note: even though a pedagogue might insist that OF ‘ne…point’ is the old-fashioned form of modern Fr. ‘ne…pas’ my translation of Line 4 holds up here. In fact ‘ne…point’, ‘ne…mie’ and ‘ne…gout’ all once existed because ‘ne’ on its own seemed under-emphatic to the point of almost positively approving and to confuse matters further the expression ‘Point trop n’en faut!’ can simply mean that there’s not too much need, really.) 

There is an OF word combination that sounds very much like ‘dubieux’. It sums up Michael Romanov and, for propriety’s sake, all the Popes must accord with ‘du pieux’, the pious one full of compassion and merciful pity or piety, which looks and sounds very much like ‘dubieux’. So, ‘dubieux’ or ‘du pieux’?

Who is this? I’ll start with two other interpreters inspirations. Mario Reading says it’s the pious abdicated Czar Mikhail I (Feodorovich Romanov) who handed his throne to his son. It happens that the letters of ‘Alexis’ are scattered about the first couplet and ‘Michael Romanov’ the second couplet. LeMesurier has suggested, I believe, the Fourteenth Century’s ‘Papa Urban’ who got ditched as mentally incompetent in favour of ‘Papa Clemente’. The jumbled-up letters of the former are in the first couplet and the latter may be found in the second. But why look backwards? The present day sees ‘Bergoglio’ (first couplet) take over the reins from ‘Ratsinger’ (second couplet) who says he simply felt too tired. Yes I know it’s usually spelt with a ‘z’ as in ‘snooze’ but ‘s’ for ‘siesta’ was virtually the same letter in Michel’s day. Good clean fun but I shall abandon the letters to think over another possibility – the sometime American President Thomas Jefferson who once said “Never did a prisoner, released from his chains, feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the shackles of power”.

Jefferson supported religious freedom and was an anti-Federalist whose political platform was to disfavour “every form of tyranny over the mind of man”. A fundamental libertarian and yet a moralist, he was a true liberal in contradistinction to a wagon-jumping social engineer. Together with Madison he wrote the formal basis for the States of America in such a way that it could legally constrain all attempts at tyrrany by the Senate, the Judiciary or the President’s Office. Of course he made enemies, especially with George Washington. He became generally rather unpopular for the embargo on American shipping that he applied toward the end of his second term. Still, I guess he lasted too long in power for this quatrain to apply. It is often said, especially in erudite discussions of Political Science and Administration, that no coolly analytical and sane personality would ever actually want the position of Big Chief.

 VI 95

 1557 Lyon Du Rosne

 Par destracteur calumnié à puis nay,

Quant istront faictz enormes & martiaulx:                              

La moindre part dubieuse à l’aisnay,                                    

Et tost au regne seront faictz partiaulx.


Calumnies by a distractor to hide the truth

OR Empoisoning by a spreader of calumny,

Out of which comes huge military events:

The least dubious part is an easy power opportunity/cock-and-bull/painfully imbecilic/ignorance (?),                          

And soon there will be unilateral deeds of partiality OR unjust divisions in the country.

Line 1, OF ‘destracteur/détracteur’ seems to be an ill-willed negotiator or ‘tracteur’ who denigrates or slanders or else that ‘distracteur’ who outs others to their disadvantage. OF ‘calumnié/calomnier’ is the resultant calumny, lie, slander or ill-esteem that is inflicted.OF ‘à puis nay’ is frequently translated/repeated as meaning ‘to the younger brother’ or cadet line. OF ‘puis’ means then, from, after, even if, there you have it. Nay is a French commune and a family name. In OE ‘nay’ usually means no, sometimes nigh, and OF often agrees. OF ‘puisnier’ means shoot or inject venom, to poison or infect someone. The separated words mean ‘then’ and ‘to deny or hide the truth’, to challenge reality. OF ‘istront/issir’ means ‘out of’ or ‘resulting in’.

 Line 3, OF ‘aisnay’ is difficult. OF ‘ais’ is to do with wooden constructions, usually planked wood from a shelf to a butcher’s block or just a stripped sapling. Here it is a substantive combination that I guess could mean a particular branch or gangway or deck, perhaps part of a capitole. Where I live in South Asia wooden poles or smoothed tree-trunks are customarily stood packed upright together in a deep hole to form the foundations for a new building. They may well have got this from the French colonials and such pillars or piers were called ‘pieux’ or ‘pex’ in OF.  The ‘pieux’ recorded for 1287 in ‘The Old French Vocabulary of Champagne’ is likely related to the wooden pew.

OF ‘ais’ appears as a particle of the old Occitan words ‘aissi’, so, and ‘aisso’, this. Occitan ‘aisina’ is about power, ease (modern Fr. ‘aisance’) and opportunity. However, the OF word ‘asne’ appears in the expression ‘coq-a-l’asne’, meaning a cock-and-bull story, or with ‘aïe’ could even mean painfully imbecilic. Printshop errors coming from ‘soundalike’ words do seem somewhat over-common in the Centuries (See the special section under 7T’s on the HOME  page) and I do not claim to be a pro-level linguist with all the answers. A miracle play ‘Science et Asnerye’ was ‘a very lively satire representing the superior chances which the followers of Asnerye— ignorance — have of obtaining benefices and posts of honour and profit as compared with those of learning’. (George Saintsbury in his ‘A Short History of French Literature’) 

Line 2 and 4, OF ‘faictz’ appears twice here which seems unreasonable for an internal rhyme. As the antique typeset ‘f’ could equally be read as ‘s’, could ‘saictz’ be a lost version of ‘sectes’ meaning ‘partisanships’? Or was the poet-prophet just having a rough creative day like the rest of us?

 Line 4, OF ‘regne’ can mean rulership otherwise the kingdom/the country/the land or an era marked by a monarch’s duration or else a person’s destiny.

Somehow these verses seem loosely linked and it is possible to read a little of Dubya’s story here. (‘Dubya’ is ‘dubieux’?) Little is ever said of how Cheney went in as Vice-President at the say-so of Bush Senior the spooked enthusiast for ‘New World Order’ who founded a sum of moneys for a huge ten-year bonds program in order to fund ‘off-balance sheet’ military and political actions outside of America. (The infamous Project Hammer – not to be confused with, and the antithesis of, a charitable building endeavour of the same name; look them up.) Nor should we confuse the distribution of missions between ‘Dubya’ and hireling Richard Cheney. Those attributed by an anonymous insider to President G.W. Bush alone were quite humane and well-meaning whilst the war-like matters of enormous world importance were reattributed to Cheney and friends. Nevertheless Bush Jr. was the national figurehead before whose presidency the people had still held faith in the exporting of American ideals and anyway there is nothing in these two quatrains that points to any particular era or ruling family and the USA is one of those countries that is never directly mentioned in the Centuries nor the Bible.

How about the Bush and Cheney advisors, appointees and accolytes? Where are they in here? Playing with jumbled letters, without any duplications whatsoever, will reveal Rumsfeld, Rice, Cooney and Perle from the first couplet and Gates, Abrams, Tenet and Bolton from the second. If we allow the letter ‘g’ to be repeated we can get Gonzales, Greenspan and England whilst a duplicate ‘m’ will supply Armitage (all second couplet) and the quatrain in whole will yield Negroponte or Porter Goss. Curiously, the first couplet has the letters of Président and the second Barry Soetoro. Just sayin’.

The theme here is about a doubtful one and a dubious one selected into office, perhaps suggesting the special arrangements for achieving the papacy or the American Presidency. The term ‘charge’ means duty and sometimes refers to a child as we have the strongest personal duty towards all children in our care. The capitole is likely the American capital, Washington DC. It could refer to the whole political class active in Washington. On the day he left the White House (‘maison blanc’ is lettered in the second couplet) President Bush Jr. – who once expressed the wish that his political career be only one chapter in a full life – made an astute remark about letting that unremittingly harsh spotlight fall on someone else treading the presidential boards and sounded almost chirpy about it.

Possibly the connection between these two quatrains is imagined or too tenuous but it does sound like Popes or Presidents or, say, one of each living through the same period. There are several candidates, of course, especially if we speak of dismantling cultures (at home and abroad) or effecting regime change by visibly or invisibly dividing countries and peoples.