THESE Elucidations of the Prognostications and Conclusion of Doctor Paracelsus are given in the Strassburg edition of his works:
'The symbolical figures as above stated are 32 and will take their complete course in 42 (? 420) years.
'It is not less; the least of them (I) would require a larger book to describe than the one wherein they are all comprised.
'If all these symbolical figures were to be adequately described, with complete explanation, how much distress would there be found in them? Reedlike inconstancy, and the multitude of its associations will run into each other in such strange confusion and will happen in such an unexpected way as is hardly to be credited.
'For many things are written in an occult sense which it is not well to relate.
'Thus is the Symbol (II) compared to a Lily *;
but it should not be lilies but Toads. For a toad is the first given Magic Sign. But it is changed from a toad into a flower. For even as a toad inflates itself with poison, likewise does he inflate himself who is given to pride. It is not a garden lily but a lily growing out of thorns, that refuses to grant her fragrance to anyone.
III. 'There will be distress and violence suffered. What follows, were it understood and believed, would never give rise to much laughter. For to be forsaken by the best companions makes a man weak and dull. And furthermore if he is to be attacked that was so well cared for, and who is the child of the house, it is well to remember that there is need of time, strength, cunning and watchfulness.
'It would be well could the time be spared to describe it, not only in general terms but in particular detail; then would much distress become revealed.
IV to VIII. 'The other four symbols follow after the first mentioned, and will also demolish much, until each one in turn is fulfilled.
'They will seek much assistance from strangers, and bind one chain into another, and will erect and again let fall, break and make, and seek hither and thither where shelter from the heat may be found.
'But the eighth symbol shall gain the victory and triumph.
'For if that were not to come to pass it would be impossible that on earth there should ever again be rest or peace so long as the world endures.
'So totally will everyone act according to his will and forget why the are on earth, but only declare: thus I will, thus I do.
IX. 'Although there is need to bend a rod firmly, otherwise it returns again to the straight line, it should be borne in mind that nothing crooked can so remain, but must be allowed to return again to its straightness.
'Were this not to happen, very slowly wouldst thou be unbent, so that thou wouldst not be able to come to the length wherewith thou wouldst fain be contented.
X. 'The following symbol would do wisely to withdraw into itself, and contemplate itself, surrendering its own will, and seat itself in ashes and sackcloth.
'For what is this but Nineveh? Would to God that by prayer the prophecy may be averted, as was the prophecy of Jonah.
XI. 'To munch the paws is a meagre diet, and it is painful to freeze after sunshine.
'But what one does of one's own choice, one must one's self have.
XII. 'It is a great thing that the Virgin Mary has spoken, that He has deposed the mighty ones from the chair. Therefore let no one marvel that impossible things come to pass, for these are in the hand of God.
XIII. 'Therefore let him that is very proud humble himself, for the hungry are fed, and that which should not be is cut down.
XIV. 'Happy are the poor, they are not forsaken, and he who has no other aid than the Letter, and is bound to the Letter, how can he prevent that a hole be pierced therein?
XV. 'In the course of time it has gone on and on and it has seemed to reach well nigh the height of the Tower of Babel.
'Even as this Tower was forsaken miraculously amidst confusion of tongues, in the same wise a roof falls from above and higher than this it is impossible to build.
XVI. 'And although much is written, yet no one can triumph against the same.
XVII. 'Therefore must thou perforce be pleased to replace the stone from whence thou hast taken it.
XVIII. 'And thou must allow the winds to buffet thee about, for thou hast not built a wall against them.
XIX. 'And thy leap shall displease thee alone, and not many more.
XX. 'Who may know but only the wise man what aim is set, and how man of himself sets up what should not be?
'Since all things stand in God's hand, how can man use his strength, which is nought but a reed?
XXI. 'Hence cometh failure. Then shall he be subdued who has secretly kept many in his pay, but before this befalls the next symbol will be fulfilled.
XIII. 'For if one does not cleanse his own house how shall he cleanse that of another?
'If a man does not wisely manage that which is his own, much less can he manage that which is another's.
XXIII. 'Then the rivals shall cease to contend, for all things shall be settled in peace and concord.
XXIV. 'Therefore also alliances must be dissolved that were only made to cause discord and to accomplish the heart's desire.
XXV. 'Although God has for a long time looked on to see what man would do, and how he would apply his wisdom, yet is it directed to nothing
permanent nor certain, albeit he so persuades himself. This must cease.
XXVIII and XXX. 'Doubt not, for doubt is the foe of Faith. It must be firm as a rock and enlightened, as it was in the beginning, otherwise it is not enduring and is hurtful withal.
XXVI. 'For the Sun shall enlighten him that will be judge of himself.
XXVII and XXIX. 'And neither alliances nor chains shall there be strong enough to hinder each from being harnessed to his own plough, even as is ordained for him.
XXXI. 'And as children without cunning or guile shall they appear.
XXXII. 'This one has often brought about peace, and has thereafter brought peace to himself. But he has many times been again awakened. When he rouses himself all creatures tremble before him.
'He is that that reverses and judges as seems good to him, and he has determined to act yet 24 years until again he rests.
'To him such time is but a moment. To us he leaves the tedious length thereof.
'He does not indeed each year do away with one symbol, but simultaneously fulfils them all and
altogether as one, until all is completed and accomplished.
'Who may understand who it is that is hereby intended?
'Hence may none be named, and none be suspected, until all has come to pass. For thus it shall be.
'Whoever therefore may read this Prediction should read it bearing in mind that he inform no one. For no one is in the knowledge.
'But when a thing has been accomplished and has come to pass, everyone can afterwards understand it, but it is then no more of use.
'Many a one will think to himself that it does not concern him, and yet perchance it may do so.
'For it is usual for everyone to. wish to protect himself but no one is willing to know himself.
'They ever place the interpretation as having allusion to those against whom they feel envy, opposing God even, and he who judges shall perhaps himself be judged, and he who deems himself to be perfect and whole, may possibly be ragged and torn at the sides.
'May God give a good End.'
95:* The Royal Symbol of France was in ancient times three Toads. It is not certain when Lilies were first adopted instead, but Charles VI introduced the three Lilies that have since then been identified with the French Royal Coat of Arms. See I. Chifflé, Lilium Franciscum, 1658.--J. K.