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Oracles of Nostradamus, by Charles A. Ward, [1891], at

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Republic, 1848, and Napoleon III

Century IX.--Quatrain 5. [I. 261.]

Tiers 1 doigt du pied au premier semblera,
A un nouveau monarque de bas haut: 2
Qui 3 Pyse et Luques tyran occupera,
Du precedent coriger le deffaut.


The third 4 shall be a stepping-stone to the throne,
To a new monarch from low position to the top;
He will as tyrant have taken a military post in Tuscany, 5
And will seek to correct the defects of his predecessor.

THE National Assembly of 1848 shall serve as a foot to Louis Napoleon to step from private life into a conspicuous position. He had in his youth been concerned in the Revolution of Tuscany, and purposed correcting the defect of his predecessor.

This might mean that he purposed to guide France better than Louis Philippe had done, or than in four years the Republic had done, or, which is most probable from his Idées Napoléoniennes, to carry to completion the policy of

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his uncle Napoleon I. I cannot think it refers to Napoleon II., Duc de Reichstadt. The entire application of the quatrain is neither very clear nor very important.

The quatrain on Cavaignac, I think, is hardly made out satisfactorily, so I omit it.

Century VIII.--Quatrain 43. [I. 265.]

Par le decide 1 dc deux choses bastards,
Nepveu du sang 2 occupera le regne: 3
Dedans Lectoyre 4 seront les coups de dards,
Nepveu par peur pliera l'enseigne.


By the fall or ruin of two bastard things
The nephew by blood will occupy the empire;
In Lectoyre there will be deaths by arrow,
The nephew will fold up his standard for very fear.

By the overthrow of Louis Philippe and the Republic two bastard governments, Louis Napoleon will now succeed to the throne, a nephew by blood of Napoleon Bonaparte; and, what is not generally known, he was the only one of the Bonaparte family born in the Palace of the Tuileries. In battle afterwards at Lectoyre (coups de dards must be taken simply as battle) the nephew will furl his standard through fear.

Writing in 1866, M. le Pelletier particularly remarks that the epoch is left undetermined, and, as to the enigma of Lectoyre, nothing can be known till the event has transpired.

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[paragraph continues] It may then be interpreted, he thinks, in some of the idioms known to Nostradamus--Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Celtic, Languedoc, etc. He considers the standard to present a further enigma, and asks "What standard?" This difficulty I do not quite recognize. The imperial standard that is adopted by him, whatever it may be. To furl a standard is to close and shut it up, so that no one will rally to it any more. It symbolizes that the cause it represents is brought to the ground finally, and that it is no longer flying.

As to the word Lectoyre, we now know that, if it is to be interpreted at all, it will have to be found in connection with Sedan,--the noblest reminiscence connected with which is that it was the birthplace of that great soldier and greater man, Marshal Turenne. He may well be called La gloire de Sedan, whilst as appropriately may Napoleon the Little be designated as Cédant de la gloire, with that furled ensign, qu'il par peur pliera1

After much difficulty and searching I have at last come upon two old maps, printed at Amsterdam by Blaeuw; the one dated 1620 and the other 1650, styled "Les Soverainetez de Sedan." In both of these the embattled town of Sedan is given, as seated on the right bank of the river Meuse, whilst on the left bank is shown an extensive territory named Grand Torcy and Petit Torcy. In another map it is given as Torsy. These maps give no indication of the points of the compass. But from another map, indicating them, the river-bend on which the town is seated appears to run from east to west; and, if so, Torcy lies south or south-west of Sedan. In a more modern map it appears as Le Grand Torcy and is described as lying "sur la route impériale de

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[paragraph continues] Mezieres a Sedan." Evidently therefore we are entitled to place Le Torcy at Sedan. The French must determine for themselves, by their military bureau, whether the French camp was pitched in the meadows of Le Torcy; but nothing can alter the great fact, as now for the first time made plain, that the Nepveu du sang furled his standard for ever at Sedan or Lectoyre, as the oracle gives it. Now Lectoyre is the precise anagram, letter for letter, of Le Torcey, though the commoner spelling is without the second e, Le Torcy. If we are to reckon this as being a chance coincidence, my only further comment will be, that such chance as this is quite as miraculous as any miracle in the world could be.

As regards the words "nepveu du sang," there was a caricature very popular in France at the time of the candidature for the French presidency, consisting of two pictures. In one the Prince de Joinville was commending himself to the French people for election, having the young Comte de Paris by the hand, and saying, "I am the uncle of my nephew." On the other side Louis Napoleon presses his suit by pointing to a statuette of Napoleon Bonaparte and uttering the words, "I am the nephew of my uncle;" showing how characteristically nepveu du sang designates Prince Louis Napoleon. He may almost be said to have chosen it himself as a cognomen.

Century VIII.--Quatrain 44. [I. 267.]

Le procrée naturel d'Ogmion 1
De sept à neuf du chemin destorner:
A roy de longue amy et 2 au my hom 3
Doit à Navarre fort de Pau prosterner.

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I propose here to make the meaning as clear as I can without a translation.

Napoleon III. (le procrée), the natural offspring of the French Republic (Ogmion), will turn from the right road for seven or nine years before his fall. Le Pelletier interprets otherwise. He says that the war in Italy began in the seventh year of the Empire, 1869, and from that date throughout the nine following years he changed his policy. I think the line means that from seven to nine years before the end of his reign he changed his policy. That is to say, from seven years previous to the close of his reign, when Charles August Louis, Duc de Morny, died, i.e. in 1865; and even for two years previously to that, things took a different turn. De Morny no longer exercised active control, and his was the head that had guided I all along. When he died, all ran to destruction. The roi de longue and his friend my hom, Le Pelletier states to be Victor Emmanuel and Garibaldi; one of long race and one of low birth, the tallow-smelter. I think it is Frederic William, de longue vie, and Bismarck, the bi-valve man, which it becomes, if we read it as my-homme. I have a great idea that à Navarre is a misprint for le nepveu. Whether fort de Pau may mean with his health re-established by staying at Pau or not, I cannot say. But, anyhow, I think that the two last lines are to be read together, and that he is to prostrate himself to the King and his friend. Louis Napoleon's whole reign must be represented as a failure, if you read it with Le Pelletier; mine makes it a failure during the last seven to nine years. My King and friend bring about the catastrophe far below the date that his will do. My emendation to le nepveu certainly clarifies the meaning. The explanation of Pau is not quite so comprehensible as I could wish; had Ham been a variant it would have spoken for itself.

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The Quatrain 53 of Century VIII., which I have already explained as the flotilla of Napoleon Bonaparte, M. le Pelletier fixes as the ludicrous Boulogne expedition of Louis Napoleon, and the Italian campaign after he became Emperor; but I think he entirely fails in reading the symbols.

Century V.--Quatrain 8. [I. 270.]

Sera laissé feu vif, mort caché,
Dedans les globes, horrible espouvantable,
De nuict a classe 1 cité en poudre lasché,
La cité à feu, l'ennemy favourable.


Live fire, hidden death, shall be left
In bombs, a horrible and frightful thing:
By a band at night the city shall be fired with powder;
The city seems on fire, it helps though intended to destroy.

Fulminating mercury (feu vif) in bombs in terrible explosion contains death hidden. The city, Paris, will be startled with powder liberated (lasché, loosed) by assassins by night. The city will seem on fire. But the enemy (in spite of himself) will prove favourable to Napoleon. This, of course, is Orsini's attempt of January 14, 1858.

The next verse follows up the thread.

Century V.--Quatrain 9. [I. 271.]

Jusques au fond la grand arq 2 demolue 3
Par chef captif l'amy anticipé, 4
Naistra de dame front, face chevelue,
Lors par astuce duc 5 mort atrapé.

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When the peristyle is thoroughly demolished
By the chief prisoner, the friend being taken before,
A plot born of the woman, long beard and hairy face;
Then by cunning the leader caught will be executed.

The peristyle (la grand arq') of the opera shall be completely shattered. Pieri, the friend of Orsini, the chief captive, is seized beforehand by Hébert, head of the detective service, who recognized him in the crowd. The plot was conceived in the secret lodges of the Demagoguy [de Dame], whose members wear the beard and hair long. Orsini, the leader of the whole, will be surprised astutely by the confessions of Gomez at the restaurant Broggi, whither he had fled, and, being taken, will be sentenced to death.

I do not feel very confident as to this interpretation, but give it much as I find it in M. le Pelletier.

Century V.--Quatrain 10. [I. 272.]

Un 1 chef Celtique dans le conflict blessé,
Auprès de cave 2 voyant siens mort abbatre,
De sang et playes et d'ennemis pressé,
Et secours par incogneus 3 de quatre.


The Celtic chief is wounded in the strife,
Seeing death strike down his friends near the theatre,
Surrounded with blood and wounds and pressed by enemies,
He escapes the four 4 assassins, by unknown aid.

The Emperor, slightly struck in the eye by a fragment of glass, shall see his people strewn in death about the entrance of the Grand Opera. Pressed by the conspirators, four in number, he will receive unknown help; whether of

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angels or pure spirits, M. le Pelletier cannot quite say. We now know that he had still to see Sedan; but it would be curious if pure spirits had interested themselves greatly to protect the cold-blooded murderer of the Champs de Mars. and Coup d'État.

Century VI.--Quatrain 4. [I. 273.]

Le second chef du regne D'annemarc, 1
Par ceux de Frize 2 et l'Isle Britannique,
Fera despendre 3 plus de cent mille marc, 4
Vain exploicter voyage en Italique.

The second of the Napoleonic race in power will cause England and Hanover to expend 100,000 marks in fortifications and war material. Fearing invasion after the Orsini effort, he will then exploit the Italian campaign, though vainly, as he will not reap the results he looks for.

This corresponds so clearly with what happened that probably most will agree that it is a very remarkable forecast.

Century III.--Quatrain 37. [I. 274.]

Avant l'assaut l'oraison 5 prononcée,
Milan prins 6 d'Aigle par embusches deceus, 7
Muraille antique par canons enfoncée,
Par feu et sang à mercy pen receus.


Before assault a harangue is pronounced;
Lombardy is taken by the eagle, being cut off by ambuscade.
An ancient wall driven in by cannon,
Fire and blood, but little mercy shown.


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Before the declaration of war, the Emperor will pronounce (January 1, 1859), in the presence of the diplomatic corps, a threatening discourse against Austria. Lombardy (Milan, part for the whole) will be ceded by Austria at the Treaty of Zurich (October 17, 1859); Austria, an old wall, will yield to cannon, fire, and blood.

Century V.--Quatrain 20. [I. 275.]

De là 1 les Alpes grande armée passera
Un peu devant naistra monstre vapin, 2
Prodigieux et subit 3 tournera 4
Le grand Tosquan à son lieu plus propin. 5


A great army will pass beyond the Alps,
A little before a prodigious scamp will come to power;
He will drive the grand Duke of Tuscany
To his nearer home with astounding suddenness.

In 1859 Napoleon III.'s army will pass the Alps. A little before a prominent scamp will have come to the front, who will suddenly and in a most startling fashion drive the Grand Duke of Tuscany to seek refuge in Austria (son lieu le plus propin).

We have to note here that Nostradamus, whenever he emerges from the impassibility of the secret estude, it is to exhibit a profound hostility to the genius of Democracy and Revolution. There is therefore little doubt but that the powerful epithet here employed of the monstre vapin relates to the red-shirted Garibaldi.

We have now reached the point which covers the last of the Oracles of Nostradamus that commentary has yet been

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able to lay before the world with its meaning rendered transparent by the correspondence of interpretation with an event in history. The number of such correlations of occurrence with forecast falls immensely short of the number of the quatrains themselves. In fact, only about one hundred and fifty-one, out of a thousand. The rest give no scintillation as yet, but lie without sign of existence traceable, dead as a flint, till the iron stroke of Time's heel shall develop the spark. Lateat scintillula forsan. One or two Presages and two or three Sixains have been also resolved, Enough, we trust, has been opened up to show what a treasure-house it is that we have entered into, how rich in curiosity, if in nothing more. What may still lie perdu in the bulky remainder of eight hundred and fifty it is impossible to say; whether, though unidentified, they have been realized already, or are yet to bud in the future. If nothing more be ever done with Nostradamus than this book gives, still the work must for one reason or other hereafter stand out as the most wonderful book of its kind that was ever written or printed in this world. It has now to go forth and take its chance, good or evil, of notice or of neglect amongst the mass of printed matter, largely rubbish, that deluges our life. It is certainly calculated, so far as it can secure any attention whatever, to severely shock the prejudices now prevalent amongst mankind. The half-educated will find it troublesome to read, and disturbing, perhaps, to think about; whilst the scientific may even denounce it as a locust-cloud of darkness mediæval in its tendency. Undoubtedly it must have the effect that Nostradamus in his preface to his son (see p. 45) says very graphically it will have, "que possible fera retirer le front à quelques uns." Although, as he says again, the forecasts may be

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clouded, they will be understood by men of sense, and they will grow clearer as ignorance dies out (see p. 49); which should be our care now.

To all objectors I rejoin, gentlemen, investigate, please, all the points in question as searchingly as you can; find every fault in my work, and in that of the other Nostradamic commentators, that you can; expose all that is weak or illusive, wherever you find it to be so. Let us see, then, how far all the learning and acuteness you can bring to bear, coupled with whatever established prejudice, and its rancour at being disturbed in comfortable somnolency, can suggest, to overthrow what other men heretofore, and I now, have taken so much pains to bring together and give shape to. Consciously I have not set down a single word with any other desire than that the truth should prevail; and if your criticism can establish the opposite, I shall still repeat, "Let truth prevail." But I do not think you can do this: and if not, there is only one other thing, open to the learned and the wise that can be done,--that is, to rewrite their philosophies, so as to make room for the reception of this rather awkward piece of truth that has here got in the way of our old theories, and cannot be got out of the way again. To the really competent and candid reader I have nothing whatever to add beyond begging him to refer back to the closing words of my preface, as to him they will he found to contain my whole and entire message.


294:1 Tiers, pour le tiers État. The third order now claiming to govern itself.

294:2 De bas haut, for de bas en haut elevated from a low to a higher and conspicuous position.

294:3 Latin, qui, he, who.

294:4 The third estate will serve, as a toe of the foot to the first rank, a stepping-stone to place.

294:5 Lucca and Pisa stand for all Tuscany, where, in 1831, Louis Napoleon and Charles Bonaparte, his elder brother, had, with one cannon served by himself and a few Italian partisans, possessed himself of Civita-Castellana, in the Pontifical States.

295:1 Latin, decidium, a word not of classical usage, signifying ruin, or a fall.

295:2 Romance sang, family.

295:3 Latin, regnum, empire.

295:4 Lectoyre, a town in France, in the department of Gers. Garencières adopts the variant Lectoure, which he says is a town in Gascony. The word occurs again, Century VII. 12, and there he says it is a city of Guyenne. Lectora was the Latin name. It was a place of great strength, and picturesque; but, unless we can find it to be an anagram, there is nothing to connect the town in any way with the fortunes of Louis Napoleon.

296:1 The word pliera, is of course, only an archaic transposition of pleira. The line here can in no way be made to scan, being two syllables or one whole foot short. I would suggest it be read Nepveu (du sang) par peur pleira l'enseigne.

297:1 Ogmion has been explained already to be the symbol of the French Republic.

297:2 The texte-type reads et amy au.

297:3 My-hom, Le Pelletier says, is demy-homme, a man of low birth, and Roy de longue = de vieille race. I prefer to read de longue vie, and understand the King of Prussia; and my-hom I take to be the bivalve-man, or Bismarck.

299:1 Latin, classis, band; à classe, by a band [sic?]. It might be better here to render classe as "crash," κλασις, brisure. De nuict la classe, a crash by night.

299:2 Latin, arca, chest, or dam.

299:3 Latin, demolitus, demolished.

299:4 Latin, antecaptus, seized beforehand.

299:5 Latin, dux, leader.

300:1 Latin, unus, the first.

300:2 Latin, cavea, theatre.

300:3 Romance, incogneus, unknown.

300:4 The four were Orsini, Pieri, de Rudio, and Gomez.

301:1 Greek, Δαν-ἀρχή, as we had it before (v. p. 252).

301:2 Frise, Hanover.

301:3 Latin, dependere, to weigh out, spend.

301:4 M. le Pelletier calculates that the golden mark was equal to 250 grammes, or 100,000 marks = 10,000,000 francs.

301:5 Latin, oratio, harangue.

301:6 Romance, prins, pris, taken.

301:7 Latin, decisus, cut off.

302:1 Delà, for au delà.

302:2 Italian, vappa, scamp.

302:3 Latin, subito, suddenly.

302:4 Il tournera, for il fera tourner.

302:5 Latin, propinque, at hand, near.

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