1568 Lyon Benoist Rigaud

Le faux messaige par election fainte
Courir par vrben, rompue pache arreste,
Voix acheptees, de sang chapelle tainte,
Et à vn autre l’empire contraincte.

The commonest translation of Line 1 is the superficial ‘false message through a staged election’ and it is very tempting to accept this as every other researcher may likely do as modern Fr. certainly seems to suggest this to the native English mind. (Alternatively, ‘false message blessed by election’ if we should read the final word as ‘sainte’.)

Going deeper we find that: –

Line 1, ‘faux’ can mean falsity, treachery or a simulated reality but it has three further meanings on the subject of mowing: a scythe; a land size based on one mower, one day; a fee for that area of land. The scythe is also the astrological symbol for Saturn. Further meanings for OF ‘faux’ include where the top and bottom halves of an arm or else the full body are joined and theatrically it was where the Fundament was represented as attaching to Limbo or Hell.

OF ‘messaige’ can mean a messenger (it’s synonymous with OF ‘messager’) or a messenger’s activities or else the message itself as conveyed by the messenger (or Mercury). OF ‘message’ can also mean the amount payable to the guardian of the harvest (or OF ‘messier’ which in one of its meanings is the constable or lord of the harvest).

OF ‘election’ means to choose, appoint or elect a functionary or a value. In Astrology it is a favourable period in which to do or be whatever is being enquired about.

The meaning of OF ‘fainte’ depends on whether it is used as a substantive, an adjective or a verb. Adjectivally it is synonymous with OF ‘feint’, falsity or the lack of hard enthusiasm. As a verb it is like OF ‘feindre’ to dissimulate, conceal, disguise, imagine, invent, pretend, forge. The noun ‘fainte/feinte’ was an act of deception, subterfuge, fiction or an abuse of credulity. Also a theatrical stage effect.

The most usual translation of Line 2 is akin to ‘runs through the city halting the broken pact’.

Line 2, OF ‘courir’ meant to move faster or slower taking impetus from a current or else to make or continue an attack to invade/plunder somewhere. As a substantive it could mean a spacial expansion or spread or a sink or drain. Also to impart a rule, especially to prevent heresy or disease from running its course.

OF ‘urben’ is either ‘urbain’, citified, courteous and smoothly affable, or ‘urbien’ from the Latin ‘urbius’ indicating a part of Rome like a ward or a named sector.

OF ‘rompue/rompre’ is shattering into pieces or breaking up, scattering an army, ceasing abruptly. Alternatively it means sharing an unbroken division of time.

OF ‘pache’ is a convention, custom or agreement.

OF ‘arreste/arrêter’ is to hold or halt or hinder or suspend or resist a movement of something. It can be a decision or an idea, perhaps to resolve to obstruct or arrest somebody or confiscate something or to stop in a place.

Line 3, OF ‘voix’ is basically the organs of speech, the larynx et al. Or it is a body of speech or a song or sound and the best way to put it over to the audient. The mere hint of breath being involved attracts a supernatural interpretation in OF, of course. It could suggest an identity or reputation or an opinion or other expression or an inner warning.

OF ‘acheptees/acheter’ is to buy, obtain or win something or somebody or to acquire grace and favour. Alternatively, to suffer for a crime.

OF ‘chapelle’ is either a place of worship or a small cape (synonymous with OF ‘chapette’). Here it may perhaps be both.

Line 4, OF ‘contrainte’ is any pressure exerted or else something compelled by force. OF ‘empire’ means empire (vast tracts of land under exploitation) or the rule, sway or military command of a territory or dominion.

Several words explored in all the lines above prove synonymous with an OF word of another meaning and three in the first line once had a quite unconnected meaning in Astrology, producing –

Saturn and Mercury indicate the favourable time for concealment of truth
Imparting a rule through the city quarter OR
Running their courses through that (zodiac) sector, sharing that period for suspending the customary,
A voice obtains, a chapel soaked in blood OR a small cape soaked in blood,
And the empire OR the dominion OR the power, authority, responsibility and rule weighs upon OR is forced upon another.

Even with all its stated options, this is not the sole translation framework available from the OF notes above. It depends largely upon the initial interpretation of Line 1 by the individual researcher. Mine has been made to prove a point more than from intuition. But whatever I select it will still be a stretch away from the ones most commonly found elsewhere and which, as far as I can see, are based mostly on a degree of knowledge of current French and a misplaced urgency to complete the task.

The point is that I do not claim to be a fully-fledged master-translator of OF into English and I usually write very quickly but even I can get closer than many of our illustrious pro researchers of Nostradamus by simply avoiding mental shortcuts or a lackaday assumptiveness. Also, I am not writing this website as a be-all and end-all for all time. I am merely providing support and guidance for the uncrowned great one who Michel Nostredame said would one day understand the true import of the Centuries. Seriously, if you have read this far perhaps that is you?