(feat. quatrains I 13 and I 14)

Can the U.S.A. be found in the Centuries?

Apart from the close-calls of ‘Americh’ (see the Nostradamus Quatrain X 66  A SENSE OF NEW WORLD IMBALANCE) ‘Armorica’ (see the section ARMORIQ ARMONIQUE in the Article SOME NAMES AND NOUNS IN NOSTRADAMUS) and perhaps ‘Morique’ (see the section Financial Failure, Part 2 ***** Nostradamus Quatrain III 9 in the Article BY WHAT STRANGE FACTOR IS NOSTRADAMUS STILL BEING READ? or the post for 7 November 2016 at ) both the writings of Michel deNostredame and the Bible are bereft of the country name America or the proper noun Amerigo or even direct reference to the mysterious 2001 attack on New York that is still changing the world.

(but see the Article NINE ELEVEN (VIIII 11) REVISITED: RUNNING FROM THE TRUTH and the Nostradamus Quatrains I 91 and VI 11 and V 65 : 191 IS THE REAL 911)

Yet I can feel an American presence in quatrains I 13 which is very likely, I feel, about the independence struggle for the original States of America, and I 14 the first line of which could replace the library title AFRO-AMERICAN BLUES, FOLK BALLADS, FIELD HOLLERS, WORK SONGS AND SPIRITUALS in any good music collection.

An aside, the latter quatrain is about Afro-American slavery and the sharecropping that followed it yet we should remember that slavery had existed wherever ships raided coastal hamlets and also as spoils of war, as mentioned variously around this website including the Nostradamus Quatrains VIIII (IX) 43 and III 1 WAR BOATS

Here are my analyses of the quatrains I 13 and I 14 in sequence:

I 13

Les exilez pare ire, haine intestine,
Feront au Roy grand conjuration:
Secret mettront ennemis par la mine,
Et ses vieux siens contre aux sédition.

Line 1, OF ‘pare ire’ or OF ‘paraire’?

OF ‘pare’ is either to parry or to adorn. It has the secondary meaning to justify or protect oneself. (The large ‘parare’ word-group also includes ‘reparer’ with its sub-meaning to repair to a place.)

OF ‘ire’ meant anger/divine discontent or it may extend to confliction, the inner feeling of one who is deeply disturbed by an intermingling of anger and self-dismay, dissatisfactions, sufferings and sorrows.

In OF a ‘paraire’ was a Justice Official who managed prosecutions.

Line 2, OF ‘haine’ is a hatred or an aversion to something. OF ‘intestine/intestin’ is guts, as in ‘I hate your guts’, or simply the inside, the interior, the internal.

Line 3, the feminine OF substantive ‘mine’ has two distinct meanings, physical allure/facial aspect and mineral ore contained in or under the earth or else its containing cave or underground gallery. It also has a metaphorical meaning of source and might have had an alchemical connection also.

 Line 4, OF ‘ses’ could be OF ‘sien/son’, his, or ‘satis/sez’, satisfaction, satiation, superabundance, glut, or is possibly a derivative of OF ‘savoir/sapere’, to know, to have or acquire knowledge, to be able to do, to be informed, have a skillset from experience, have prudence, sagacity, wisdom  from within.

OF ‘siens’ as ‘sien’ means his, what belongs to him. But we have a final ‘s’ to consider which suggests ‘owned by his relatives’ or perhaps a mistaken ‘ses gens’, his people.

OF ‘aux’ would work equally well or even better here if it were ‘eux’, them.

OF ‘sédition’ is open resistance against established authority. OF ‘sediteurs’ were the dissidents in a revolt, traitors,  violent excessive wrongdoers (“sediteurs, traittes,
malfaiteurs”, 1433, ‘Condamnat. de W. Datin’).

I have seen a mistaken version that had OF ‘sédit’ instead of OF ‘sédition’. Well, OF ‘se’, ‘si’, ‘cy’ or ‘sed’ was a conjunction meaning in the case that or supposing that and OF ‘édit’ could mean an edict. But, no, it has to be ‘sédition’ to provide the rhyme for ‘conjuration’.

Those who dwell away from their land are clothed with wrath, internalized as hatred,

Causing them to rise against the King:

They put their enemies under the ground by stealth,

And so their own ancestral kith and kin come against them for their treachery.

It seems that Nostredame was a royalist as he expressed regret over his vision of a future revolutionary era that would dispatch, dismiss or demote the rank of king or queen in the world. Whilst the quatrain I 13 could be argued to apply to more than one revolution, I feel that the strongest contender is the American Patriots struggle for independence from the British King.

Ongoing tensions, perhaps revealed in Line 3, between the Patriot militias and British soldiery then broke out as battles when the King’s men advanced on the colonial military stores at Lexington and Concord in 1775. (As it happens, the letters of the placename Lexington are available from within the words of the first three Lines and Concord from the Second Couplet.)

The main conflicts of the 8-year war were between the Armée Continentale (Second Couplet) and the Redcoats (in the First Couplet – Manteaux Rouges is available also from the last three Lines of the quatrain).

The War became international when France (lettered into Line 2) and Espagnol (lettered into the First Couplet) and Néerlandais (likewise, Second Couplet) allied themselves with the American Patriots.

Other players in the American Revolutionary War were the Loyalistes (First Couplet – letters ‘z’ and ‘s’ were interchangeable in OF) and the Amérindiens (Second Couplet).

The War ended with the signing of the Traité de Paris (Second Couplet) in 1783 followed by the unique Constitution des États-Unis (Second Couplet) with its historic opening words, We the People … (OF Nous le Peuple is available from the First Couplet once we allow duplication of the letter p’, as was normal in Medieval anagrams. Likewise OF Nous les Gents once we allow ‘z’ for ‘s’, as above).


De gent esclave chansons, chant & requestes,
Captifs par Princes & Seigneur aux prisons:
A l’avenir par idiots sans testes,
Seront reus par divines oraisons.

Songs, chants and petitions from enslaved people,

Captives imprisoned through (the greed of) Princes and Lords:

In times to come by headless idiots,

They will be held up as guilty through divine prayers.

Line 1 accurately describes the Afro-American slaves who had a rich and wide musical vocabulary of distinction that included blues, ballads, unique work chants and heartfelt, rhythmically stirring yet pious petitions to their Christian God such as Lord Have Mercy On Me.

The Southern States had experienced a harsh yet responsible form of slavery whereas its successor, sharecropping – renting land, seeds and tools annually for more than any one renter could afford to repay in a year – put the black ex-slaves into debt slavery without the Southern slaveowning obligations to house, feed and provide medical attention for them from the cradle to the grave.

The key to any progress was to find a strong-built marriage partner and rear children, the more the better for working the land. The curious upshot was that a woman with working children became a highly desired commodity and men would bid against each other for them. This effectively devalued the male position and industrialized Chicago was but a rail or river ride away. Bright Lights, Big City.

There home-deserting men could go it alone, find paid employment and a cheap room with amenities, go drinking at clubs with other men in the evenings and electrify their lives and their music which they could not do in their One Room Country Shack.

Down home another man would surely take up their plough. Naturally, every one of these folk had a sad story lurking in their hearts which would emerge unexpectedly in the face of that forced joy that poor people forever exhibit – and they called that bitter patch The Blues.

Music had been the one way a crippled or blind slave could work their keep whilst the social music for dances or church meetings was possibly the strongest way first generation African-American slaves could maintain links with their original cultures.

Although their names were Anglicized and their native tongues strictly forbidden etc. the enhanced racial talent for music enchanted all listeners and certain cadences and assimilated African rhythms, some subtle, survived what was a deliberate cultural destruction by their legal owners.

“Although the blacks were slaves they came from an area where the culture at least was the equal of their European masters and they brought tremendous sophistication.”
from Appalachian Journey by Alan Lomax, Channel Four 1991, recording the influence on white music by close proximity to black musicians.

In New Orleans it was Jazz that took a hold, started because black funeral musicians would weave their notes around one main player, who had secured the gig and knew every tune’s notation, and who had called them in to try and make the unrehearsed band sound somehow organized by improvising around him which they did in a near-conversational manner. Starting with dirges then leading solemn marches through the streets they would break tempo suddenly to signal some happier dancing and clapping.

By the early Twentieth Century the Black Music of the USA was more or less distinct from the musics of the African Continent and from those belonging to the much higher numbers of slaves sold to the Caribbean Isles and South America. The discerning ear can pick up a minor South East Asian influence as well in the pentatonic/natural minor notes scaled. Visiting Hawaiian show musicians were to popularize slide action on the guitar, cheap to achieve, which untutored black street musicians would then take to exciting and even exquisite heights.

In the late Nineteenth Century, M.Hohner invented the single-row diatonic harmonica designed specifically for blowing oom-pah-pah Germanic music. The American Negroes sucked on a different keynote rather than blowing the intended key and the typical trio of chords and all of the individual notes needed for completing the Blues Scale emerged. Naturally this was replayed over and over and those inspired repetitions across twelve or sixteen bars was to form the basis of so much Western music of today.

Country Blues begat City Blues begat Rhythm-and-Blues begat Rock-and-Roll and then they both begat serious Blues Rock and Folk Blues minstrels and adulated Electric Guitar Heroes, averse to jewellery, whilst the city streets have carved out House and Hip-Hop with their rapscallion DJs, heavy on inhumanly precise drumbeats and bling a’plenty.

Line 2, OF ‘captif’ is, here, a substantive for prisoner with the subordinate meaning of ignorant. OF ‘Seigneur’ had a range of meanings based in feudalism including the immediate superior of a vassal and the man to whom fealty was due. Specifically it identified the legal possessor of a piece of land. Generally it could substitute for master, sir or lord. To me this seems close enough to describing the masters of the enslaved people and the landlords of the subsequent sharecroppers. But it could also be used for a Prince or a Sovereign, one of high rank or a male personage of social importance. As a marker of comparative rank it could trickle around to leading figures attending law courts, councils or parliaments. It was regularly used ecclesiastically and in that metalinguistic environment it would be used as a gender-emphatic title for the Great God Almighty.

(Astrologically it was the dominant planet at a given place and time in the Zodiac.)

Some historic Princes and Seigneurs:

Dahomey was a West African state famous for winning wars. The slavers knew it as the Slave Coast, a major source of new slaves. The rulers had built up and sustained a great army. The Lords of War took large numbers of prisoners convenient to sell-on as slaves. This provided most of the King of Dahomey’s income in the form of a primitive export tax.

In 1518 Charles V of Spain issued the first royal assent to a foreigner to supply thousands of slaves a year to the Spanish Indies. An official report of that year revealed that of the one million natives in colonized Cuba most had been worked to death. Settlers moved over to African slave labour chronicling that one African could do the work of four Cubans. (Yet the African slave populations all over the Americas showed a steady decline over the centuries for reasons that are not clear yet violent death aboard ship or on land must play some part in it.)

English Admiral Sir John Hawkins was so important that when he eventually died the Royal Navy fell into decline. He was also a merchant navigator, a privateer, a shipbuilder and a slave trader. When he first tried the Triangular Trade, much diagram’d by school history textbooks, he turned a profit from every angle. This prompted Queen Elizabeth to invest in his second voyage, a complete turnaround as she had previously warned that Heaven would strike Hawkins for taking part in such inhumane treatments. In fact, she pardoned and elevated him, which in England triggered a rush into the slave trade.

The Treaty of Utrecht, as mentioned at the close of the Article The War of the Spanish Succession as a Word Game Part 2, outlined the Terms of Trade for slave suppliers and King Louis XIV of France enacted a ‘code noir’ detailing all forseeable matters concerning slavery (overturned by the French Revolutionaries but then restored by Napoleon Bonaparte, it seems).

As well as pushy personages there were industries built around or profiting from slavery or similar including King Coal, King Cotton and the sugar plantations introduced to the Americas by the Spanish to increase colonial profitability and supported heavily by the Dutch. These replaced tobacco and extended even to Hawaii.

Line 3, OF ‘testes/têtes’ means heads or leaders. (OF ‘tetes’ meant molasses.)

Line 4, OF ‘reus’ meant the accused or else the one who is guilty (with a sub-meaning, ‘the result at the close of all argument’).

Line by line,

Line 1 is the governing line of the quatrain identifying Afro-Americans taken in slavery who demonstrated their influential gifts and cultural contributions to music eventually creating jazz, the only new artform to sweep the globe, and the most influential musical popularisms (leading directly to the white Elvis Presley phenomenon in the US with his fabulous 168 ‘precious-metal music industry awards’).

Line 2. The prison here is slavery itself in all its aspects. High-placed men and women of all shades profited by it.

Line 3. Headless or leaderless? The literal translation headless idiots has been taken to be a reference to those guillotined during the French Revolution. Whilst it is true that the high class which benefited from French slavery came to a sticky end, Nostredame himself did not support proletariat rule which is perhaps another clue as to who were the headless or leaderless idiots.

Line 4. Is it they or the Princes and Seigneurs who will be held guilty through divine prayers? Possibly not. Michel was an astrologer and believed that God imbued the planets with influential qualities that they beamed down upon Earth from their astral positions, like monks at prayer, creating recognizable cycles to use in forecasting the energies that must come to play upon us in the future. These influences could be his idea of divine prayers.

If ‘divines oraisons’ intended to convey our orations to the Divine, then we can note that Christianity is a magnet and a lodestone to the enslaved stoic with its guarantee that the next life will gloriously outclass this stupidly unfair and man-misruled Earthly existence.

Meanwhile keep singing and dancing, brothers and sisters, and roll-on the Fourth of July!