PAU NAY LORON is famously regarded as a phonetic device in Nostradamus. Human imperfections of thought render this a recognisable though flakey simulation of the Italianate given name ‘Napoleon’. But it doesn’t stop there:

The battle order of the Waterloo Campaign (16th June to 19th June, 1815) by which the “outlaw” Napoleon had sought to fragment the Seventh Coalition, was the Battle of Quatre Bas, the Battle of Ligny and the Battle of Waterloo.

PAU       =   Emperor Napoleon
NAY       =   Marshall Ney
LORON  =   le Comte d’Erlon or else l’Oranje

Marshall Ney and le Comte d’Erlon were men who had risen high, Ney being one of the first batch of Marshalls ever appointed by Bonaparte and d’Erlon having started as a Revolutionary corporal without any other title.

Ney led the attack on Quatre Bas crossroads (to command the road to Ligny where Bonaparte had planned an attack on Blucher’s concentrated Prussian force) but was somewhat late. Ney was driven back and it was too late for Wellington to send help to Ligny.

There Napoleon ordered General d’Erlon to the rear of the Prussians and watched him moving position but d’Erlon suddenly changed direction. He had received an order from Ney, his superior officer as yet unenlightened on Napoleon’s overarching strategy, to join him in the fighting at Quatre Bas. Napoleon would no longer triumph totally at Ligny as the Prussian flanks were able to hold their ground. Napoleon’s forces had split into two wings, with Ney as the intended ‘commander of the left wing’, but they were now quite separate.

Four causes of the defeat at Waterloo are usually quoted: the evening arrival, in force, of Blucher’s Prussians that broke Napoleon’s right flank;  the martial awareness and firmness of the British infantry; weather-softened ground and turgid offensive movements, pushing morning into afternoon; and the massive initial formation, too deep for the first great attack to penetrate. But there are others. Waterloo was an easily imbalanced conflict. Without support, Ney’s men took the cavalry charge against the Anglo-Dutch cannon which, despite his exertions, they had failed to spike. Doubtless if d’Erlon’s Corps had engaged in either the Battle of Quatre Bas or Battle of Ligny instead of marching up and down all day due to the fatefully conflicting orders then the whole Campaign could have switched outcomes.

Sloppily Napoleon, Ney and d’Erlon by mishandling basic line management (it’s a typical error of a Head Office to forget to tell branches exactly why they are sending an important instruction and its the same with branch managements counteracting it independently without checking first with Head Office) threw Napoleon’s planned tactics right out of kilter and this contrasted badly with the particularly efficient Prussians who maintained open communication channels with Wellington and were always where they were meant to be, on time and prepared.

A joint-contender for LORON could be the Prince of Orange. Quatre Bas crossroads had been lost by the wounded Prince William, although he had successfully repelled Ney’s attacks at first. (There was a previous Guillaume d’Orange in European History who was celebrated by ‘geste trouveres’ in connection with the repulsion of the Spanish Saracen incursion up the Rhone river in the Eighth Century.)

The County of Orange near the County of Avignon is a small region of long-standing and abiding historical interest. If there is a ready wit to PAU NAY LORON then it is in the teasing nature of it.  LORON could be l’Orange and PAU is a town on the river Pau. But what then of NAY?

There are plural possible meanings for any two out of three of these collectively sonorous nouns PAU NAY LORON but not for the linking-up of all three. Comte d’Erlon is the most feasible by iterating ‘Erlon’ as ‘Leron’ but l’Oranje is more satisfying sonically yet less likely in this Napoleonic context.

A further phonetic contender for LORON might also be Law de Lauriston who was once a fellow cadet of Napoleon’s and became his aide-de-campe. But that was years before Waterloo. Loron is both a given name like Lauren and a surname, both are found in the U.S. today, and appears valued sonically by plural ethnic groups around the world that have this as their tribal name. It is also the name of one out of many local languages recorded in use at the Cote d’Ivoire. A French connection.

At this distance in time, Nostredame seems as quirkily ‘off’ with some sonic connections as he is with a few displaced anagrams. However, PAU is very close to ‘po’ in Napoleon and NAY is very clearly Ney who was, in theory if not in reality, the Joint Commander with Napoleon at Waterloo. There is also the quite separate geographical approach to understanding LORON.

Nostredamus was – and still remains – obscure yet uncanny.

(Also see the Nostradamus Quatrain VIII 1 in the Article STORED UP IN THE NORTH WIND: DELUGE DAYS AND EARTHQUAKE HOURS )

                                             Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012