VII 1 A SURPRISING SIGHT
1557 Lyon Du Rosne
L’Ac du thresor par Achiles deceu.
Aux procrees sceu la quadrangulaire :
Au faict Royal le comment sera sceu,
Corps veu pendu au veu du populaire.
The Ark of the treasure deceived by Achilles,
At the quadrangle known to the executors.
It will be known as the Royal deed;
The corpse seen hanging in the sight of the populace.
Line 1, OF ‘L’ac’ becomes ‘L’arc’ in the 1557 Utrech Du Rosne version and there is little else it can be (other OF ‘hac’ in ‘par hac ou par hec’, one way or another) although it might just suggest ‘ancre’, anchor. OF ‘arc’ can have the architectural meaning ‘a curved construction that is supported on two solid points at its ends’ but I’m gambling here on it having had the same meaning to Nostredame and his printers as the English ‘ark’ meaning a treasure chest.
OF ‘deceu’ means deceived. At first sight this is a misfit. A similar word, OF ‘desse’, is similar to the English-Welsh great dresser but we can also find “item pour la sale il luy faut acheter, pour la haute desse, un grant doseur, avec les tapis bankeurs” or ‘an item to acquire for the high feasts room, a large stately dining table with covered benches’ (‘Maniere de langage’, Meyer). The word may have come from OF ‘déesse’ or goddess, I think, as it could also indicate the place of honour at a feast.
Line 2, OF ‘procrees’ here probably means to create, bring into existence, produce, cause, execute, rather than animal procreation. OF ‘sceu/scev’ is unkown to me. The Utrecht edition has ‘sera sceu’ (se ceu = his own?) but Lyon possibly has ‘fera fceu’ which might sound a bit like “phew!” possibly an antique imperative-cum-oath, something like là-bas. ‘Deceu’ could then be ‘de ceu’ (celui? ceux?) possibly rendering Line 1 as “To ‘Achiles’, the treasury for himself” but I can offer OF ‘su’ from OF ‘savoir’, knowing or knowledge, as the best bet.
Nostradamus researcher Stewart Robb is convincing in attributing the action here to the agency of Louis XIII (d.1643) then only 16 years old. He had ordered the arrest, leading to a struggle and shooting, of the man who controlled the French Treasury. Whosoever pulls the purse-strings controls the realm and on receiving the news of his death during the arrest Robb notes that young Louis exclaimed “Now I’m the King!” (quite possibly with a stronger word added-in). This death was on the famous square outside the Louvre. The corpse of Maréchal d’Ancre (the foreigner Concino Concini, Marquis d’Ancre) was hung up by a parading mob that later burned it, not by any official intention of a public viewing. This fits well to Line 4.
However, two lines of thought are becoming influential over all the different interpretations of Nostradamus. One complains that the compressed/confused verses result in predictions of too great a general application. The other claims that any one predictive verse may have been aimed deliberately by Nostredame at more than one historic event. Her we may have both.
It’s not impossible, I suppose, that ‘Achiles’ could be read as some remote forerunner for acyl, derived from carboxylic acid. Well, both d’Ancre and his wife, who Robb calls a sorceress, had conspired to control France. A corrosive couple. It should be said that the charge by Robb that they squandered the wealth accumulated by Henri IV is layed by many historians at Marie de’ Medici’s door, the French regent who when Henri’s young bride had first brought the pair to France as part of her train. (The case against Marie de Medici, that she had prior knowledge of her husband Henri’s upcoming demise, remains unproven/unlikely.)
As d’Ancre always walked the same route daily we could surmise that ‘Achiles’ is his calves, the place of the snapping ‘Achille’s heel’ tendon – the one weak point of mighty Achilles – that would render most anyone helpless, Interestingly the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the Chinese I Ching predicts that since following the calves of the legs is not self-governed, i.e. habitual or thoughtless, it will bring misfortune – seems it would have been better for him to tarry. (Hexagram 31)
The Greek myths were full of sudden deaths, including the slaying of a national hero by the foreigner Achilles who was then lured into a revengeful ‘comfort-trap’ as his own unexpected end. Otherwise, ‘Achiles’ is an as yet unsolved piece of the puzzle, courtesy of Nostradamus.
NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD © 2015