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THE EPISTLE OF NOSTRADAMUS: SECOND INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHECIES



TO THE
Most Invincible, most High,
and most Christian
King of France HENRY the Second;
Michael Nostradamus his most
obedient Servant and Subject,
wisheth
Victory and Happiness.


By reason of that singular observation, I had O most Christian and Victorious King, since my Face, who had been cloudy a great while, did present it self before your immeasurable Majesty. I have been ever since perpetually dazled, continually honouring and worshipping that day, in which I presented my self before it, as before a singular humane Majesty; now seeking after some occasion, whereby I might make appear the goodness and sincerity of my heart, and extend my acquaintance towards your most Excellent Majesty; and seeing that it was impossible for me to declare it by effects, as well because of the darkness and obscurity of my mind, as for the enlightning it did receive from the face of the greatest Monarch in the World; I was a great while before I could resolve to whom I should Dedicate these three last Centuries of my Prophecies, which make the compleat thousand, and after I had a long time considered, I have with a great temerity made my address to your Majesty, being no ways dainted by it, as the grave Author Plutarch related in the Life of Lycurgus, that seeing the offerings and gifts that were Sacrificed in the Temples of their Heathen Gods, durst not come thither no more, least the people should wonder at the costs and charges. Notwithstanding, seeing your Royal Splendour joyned with an incomparable Humanity, I have made my address to it, not as to the Kings of Persia, of whom to come near, it was forbidden, but to a most Prudent and Wise Prince I have Dedicated my Nocturnal and Prophetical Supputations, written rather by a natural instinct, and Poetical furour, then by any rules of Poetry; and most part of it written and agreeing with the Years, Months and Weeks, of the Regions, Countreys and most part of the Towns and Cities in Europe; touching also some thing of Africa, and a part of Asia, by the change of Regions that come near to those Climats, and compounded of natural faction. But some body may answer (who hath need to blow his Nose) the Rime to be as easie to be understood, as the intelligence of the sence is hard and difficult, and therfore O most humane King, most of the Prophetical Stanza's are so difficult, that there is no way to be found for the Interpretation of them; nevertheless being in hope of setting down the Towns, Cities, and Regions, wherein most of those shall happen, especially in the year 1585. and in the year 1606. beginning from this present time, which is the 14. of March 1557. and going further to the fulfilling of those things, which shall be in the beginning of the seventh Millenary, according as my Astronomical Calculation, and other Learning could reach, at which time the adversaries of Christ and of his Church shall begin to multiply; all hath been composed and calculated in days and hours of Election and well disposed, and all as accurately as was possible for me to do. And the whole Minerva libera & non invita, Calculating almost as much of the time that is come, as of that which is past, comprehending it in the present time, and what by the course of the said time shall be known to happen in all Regions punctually as it is here written, adding nothing superfluous to it, although it be said; Quod de futuris contingentibus, non est determinata omnino veritas. It is very true Sir, that by my natural instinct given me by my Progenitors, I did think I could foretel any thing; but having made an agreement between this said instinct of mine, and a long Calculation of Art, and by a great tranquility and repose of mind, emptied my Soul of all care and carefulness, I have foretold most part of these ex tripode æneo, though there be many who attribute to me some things that are no more mine, then what is nothing at all. The only Eternal God, who is the searcher of men's hearts, being pious, just, and merciful, is the true Judge of it, whom I beseech to defend me from the calumny of the wicked men, who would as willing calumniously inquire for what reason all your ancient Progenitors Kings of France have healed the disease called the Kings-evil, and some other Nations have cured the biting of venemous Beasts; others have had a certain instinct to foretell things that are to come, and of several others, too tedious to be here inserted; notwithstanding those in whom the malignancy of the wicked spirit shall not be suppressed by length of time; after my decease my work shall be in more esteem, then when I was alive; nevertheless if I should fail in the supputation of times, or could not please some, may it please your most Imperial Majesty to forgive me, protesting before God and his Saints, that I do not intend to insert any thing by writing in this present Epistle, that may be contrary to the true Catholick Faith, in conferring the Astronomical Calculation, according to my learning; for the space of times of our Fathers that have been before us, are such, submitting my self to the correction of the most Learned, that the first man Adam was before Noah, about one thousand two hundred forty two years, not computing the time according to the supputation of the Gentiles, as Varro did, but onely according to the Sacred Scriptures, and the weakness of my wit in my Astronomical Calculations. After Noah and the universal Flood about a thousand and fourscore years came Abraham, who was a supreme Astrologer, according to most mens opinion, and did first invent the Chaldæan Letters; after that came Moses, viz. some five hundred and fifteen or sixteen years after, and between the time of David and Moses have passed about 570. years. After which between the time of David and that of our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, have passed (according to some Chronographers) a thousand three hundred and fifty years. Some body may object, that this supputation is not true; because it differeth from that of Eusebius. And from the time of humane redemption, to that of the execrable seduction of the Saracens, have passed six hundred and four and twenty years, or thereabouts. From that time hitherto, it is easie to collect what times are past, if my supputation be not good among all Nations; because all hath been calculated by the course of the Coelestial bodies, joyned with motion, infused in me at certain loose hours, by the motion of my ancient Progenitors; but the injury of the time (most excellent King) requireth, that such secret events should not be manifested, but by an enigmatical Sentence, having the only sense, and one only intelligence, without having mixed with it any ambiguous or amphibological calculation, but rather under a Cloudy obscurity, through a natural infusion, coming near to the Sentence of one of the Thousand and two Prophets, that have been since the Creation of the World, according to the supputation and punical Chronick of Joel. Effundam spiritum meum super omnem, & carnem & prophetabunt filii vestri & filiæ vestræ: But such a Prophecy did proceed from the mouth of the Holy Ghost, who was the Supreme and eternal Power, which being come with that of the Coelestial bodies, hath caused some of them to foretel great and wonderful things; as for my part I challenge no such thing in this place, God forbid, I confess truly, that all cometh from God, for which I give him thanks, honour, and praise, without having mixed any thing of that divination, which proceedeth a Fato, but only of that which proceedeth à Deo & Natura, and most of it joyned with the motion and course of the Coelestial Bodies; insomuch that seeing as in a burning Glass, and through a Cloudy Vision, the great and sad events, the prodigious and calamitous accidents, that shall befall the Worshippers, first of God, and secondly, those that are Earthly propped up, with a thousand other calamitous accidents, which shall be known in the course of time; for God will take notice of the long barrenness of the great Dame, who afterwards shall conceive two principal Children: But being in danger, she that shall be added to her by the temerity of age, running a danger in the 18. and not able to go beyond the 36, shall leave behind her three females, and he shall have two that never had any of the same father, the differences between the three brothers shall be such, and then shall they be united and agreed, insomuch that the three and four parts of Europe shall quake: by the lesser in years, shall the Christian Monarchy be upheld and augmented, Sects shall rise, and presently be put down again, the Arabians shall be put back, Kingdoms shall be united, and new Laws made. Concerning the other Children; the first shall possess the furious Crowned Lions, holding their Paws upon the Escutcheons. The second, well attended, will go so deep among the Lions, that the second way shall be open, all trembling and furious going down, to get upon the Pyrenæan Mountains. The ancient Monarchy shall not be transferred, the third innundation of humane blood shall happen, and for a good while Mars shall not be in Lent. And the Daughter shall be given for the preservation of the Church, the Dominator of it falling into the Pagan Forces of the new unbelievers, she shall have two Children, one from faithfulness, and the other from unfaithfulness, for the confirmation of the Catholick Church; and the other, who to his confusion and late repentance, shall go about to ruin her. There shall be three Regions by the extreme differences of the leagues, viz. the Roman, the German, and the Spanish, who by a Military hand shall make divers Sects, forsaking the 50 and 52 degrees of altitude, and all those of remote Regions shall do homage to the Regions of Europe, and of the North of 40 Degrees Altitude, who by a vain fright shall quake, after that those of the West, South, and East shall quake because of their power, insomuch that what shall be done, cannot be undone by Warlike power. They shall be equal in Nature, but much different in Faith. After this, the barren Dame of a greater power then the second, shall be admitted by two people, by the first obstinate that had power over the others; by the second, and by the third, that shall extend his Circuit of the East of Europe, as far as the Hungarians, vanquished and overcome, and by a Maritine Sail, shall make his excursions into the Trinarrian and Adriatick Sea, by his Mirmidons, and Germany shall fall, and the Barbarian Sect shall be wholly driven from among the Latines. Then the great Empire of Antichrist shall begin in the Attila, and Xerxes to come down with an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that the coming of the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the 48 degree, shall transmigrate, driving away the abomination of the Antichrist, who made War against the Royal, who shall be the great Vicor of J.C. and against his Church, and his Kingdom, per tempus, & in occasione temporis. and before this shall precede a Solar Eclipse, the most dark and obscure that was since the Creation of the World, till the death and passion of J.C. and from him till then, and it shall be in the Month of October, when such a great Translation shall be made that every body will think that the weight of the Earth, shall have lost its natural motion, and be swallowed up in perpetual darkness. In the Spring before and after this, shall happen extraordinary changes, mutations of Kingdoms, and great Earth-quakes, with pullulation of the new Babylons miserable daughter, increased by the abomination of the first Holocaust, and shall last only 73 years and 7 Months, then from that Stock she that had been a long time barren, proceeding from the fifth Degree, who shall renew all the Christian Church, and then shall be a great Peace, Union and Concord, between one of the Children of the wandring and seperated foreheads by divers Kingdoms, and such Peace shall be made, that the Instigator and Promoter of Military function, by diversity of Religions, shall be tied to the bottom of the deep, and the Kingdom of the Rabious, who shall counterfeit the wise, shall be united. And the Countreys, Towns, Cities and Provinces, that had deserted their first ways to free themselves, captivating themselves more deeply, shall be secretly angry at their liberty and Religion lost, to turn to the right, restoring the holiness beaten down long before with their former writing; so that after the great Dog, shall come forth the biggest Mastif, who shall destroy all that was done formerly, then Churches shall be built up again as before, the Clergy shall be restored to its former state, and shall begin to Whore, and Luxuriate, and to commit a Thousand Crimes. And being near unto another desolation, when she shall be in her higher and more sublime dignity, there shall rise powers and Military hands, who shall take away from her the two Swords, and leave her only the Ensigns, from which by the means of the crookedness that draweth them, the people causing it to go straight, and not willing to submit unto them by the end opposite to the sharp hand that toucheth the Ground, they shall provoke till that a branch shall proceed from the barren, which shall deliver the people of the World from that meek and voluntary slavery, putting themselves under the protection of Mars, depriving Jupiter of all his honours and dignities, for the free City established and seated in another little Mesopotamia. And the chief Governour shall be thrust out of the middle, and set in the high place of the Air, being ignorant of the conspiracy of the Conspirators, with the second Thrasibulus, who long before did manage this thing, then shall the impurities and abominations be objected with great shame, and made manifest to the darknes of the darkened light, and shall cease towards the end of the change of his Kingdom, the chief men of the Church shall be put back from the love of God, and many of them shall apostatise from the true faith, and from the true Sects, the middlemost of which by her worshippers, be a little put into ruine; the first, wholly in all Europe, and most part of Africa undone by the third, by means of the poor in Spirit, who by madness elevated, shall through libidinous luxury, commit adultery. The people will rise and maintain it, and shall drive away those that did adhere to the Legislators, and shall seem by the Kingdoms spoiled by the Eastern men, that God the Creator hath loosed Satan from his Infernal Prison, to cause to be born the great Dog and Doham, who shall make so great and abominable a fraction in the Churches, that the Red nor the White, without Eyes and without Hands, shall not judge of it, and their power shall be taken away from them. Then shall be a greater persecution against the Church than ever was, and in the mean time shall be so great a Plague, that two parts of three in the world shall fail, insomuch that no body shall be able to know the true owners of fields and houses, and there shall happen a total desolation unto the Clergy, and the Martial men shall usurpe what shall come back from the City of the Sun, and from Molita, and the Stæchades Islands, and the Chain of the Port shall be open, which taketh its denomination from a Sea Oxe, and a new incursion shall be made through the Sea Coasts, willing to deliver the Castulan Leap from the first Mahometan taking, and the assaulting shall not altogether be in vain, and that place where the habitation of Abraham was, shall be assaulted by those, who shall have a respect for the Jovials. And the city of Achem, shall be encompassed and assaulted on all sides, by a great power of Armed men; their Sea Forces shall be weakened by the Western men, and to that Kingdom shall happen great desolation, and the great Cities shall be depopulated, and those that shall come in, shall be comprehended within the vengeance of the wrath of God, and the Sepulchre held in so great veneration, shall remain a great while open to the universal Aspect of the Heavens, Sun and Moon, and the sacred place shall be converted into a Stable for small and great Cattle, and put to profane uses. O what a calamitous affliction shall be then for women with Child, and chiefly by the principal Easterly head, being for the most part moved by the Northern and Westerly men, vanquished and put to death, beaten, and all the rest put to flight, and the Children he had by many women, put in Prison, then shall be fulfilled the Prophecy of the Kingly Prophet. Ut audiret gemitus compeditorum, ut solveret filios interemptorum, what great oppression shall be made then upon the Princes and Governors of Kingdoms, and especially of those that shall live Eastward and near the Sea, and their Languages intermixed very sociably. The Language of the Arabians and Latines by the African communication, and all the Eastern Kings shall be driven away, beaten and brought to nothing, not altogether by the means of the strength of the Kings of the North, and by the drawing near of our age, by the means of three secretly united, seeking for death by ambushes one against another. And the renewing of the Triumvirate shall last seven years, while the fame of such a sect shall be spread all the world over, and the Sacrifice of the Holy and immaculate Host shall be upheld: And then shall the Lords be two in number victorious in the North against the Eastern ones, and there shall be such a great noise and Warlike tumult, that all the East shall quake for fear of those two Brothers, not Northern Brothers. And because, Sir, by this discourse, I put all things confusedly in these predictions, as well concerning the event of them, as for the account of the time which followeth, which is not at all, or very little conformable to that I have done before, as well as by Astronomicalway, as other of the sacred Scriptures which cannot erre, I could have set down to every quatrain the time in which they shall happen, but it would not lease every body, much less the interpretation of them, till, Sir, your Majesty hath granted me full power so to do, that my Calumniators may have nothing to say against me. Nevertheless reckoning the years since the Creation of the World to the Birth of Noah have passed 1506. years, and from the Birth of Noah to the perfect building of the Ark near the universal Flood have passed 600. years, whither solary, or lunary, or mixed, for my part according to the Scriptures, I hold that they were solary. And at the end of those 600. years Noah entered into the Ark, to save himself from the Flood, which Flood was universal upon the Earth, and lasted a year and two months; and from the end of the Flood, to the birth of Abraham did pass the number of 295. years; and from the birth of Abraham to that of Isaac did pass 100. years, and from Isaac to Jacob 60. years; and from the time he went into Ægypt till he came out of it, did pass 130. years; and from the time that Jacob went into Ægypt till his posterity came out of it did pass 430. years; and from the coming out of Ægypt to the building of Salomon's Temple in the fourth year of his Reign did pass 480. years; and from the building of the Temple till Jesus Christ, according to the supputation of the Chronographers, did pass 490. years; and so by this supputation, which I have gathered out of the Holy Scriptures, the whole cometh to about 4173. years, eight Months more or less. But since the time of J.C. hitherto, I leave it because of the diversity of Opinions. And having calculated these present Prophecies according to the order of the Chain, which containeth the revolution, and all by Astronomical Doctrine, and according to my natural instinct, and after some time, and in it comprehending since the time that Saturn shall turn to come in on the 7 of the Month of April, till the 25 of August; Jupiter from the 14 of June to the 7 of October; Mars from the 27 of April till 22 of June; Venus from the 9 of April to the 22 of May; Mercury from the 3 of February till the 24 of the same; afterwards from the 1 of June till the 24 of the same; and from the 25 of September till the 16 of October, Saturn in Capricorn, Jupiter in Aquarius, Mars in Scorpio, Venus in Pisces, Mercury within a Month in Capricorn, Aquarius in Pisces, Luna in Aquarius, the Dragons head in Libra, the Tail oppposite to her sign according to a Conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury, with a quadrin Aspect of Mars to Mercury, and the head of the Dragon shall be with a Conjunction of Sol and Jupiter: the year shall be peaceful without Eclipse, and in the beginning of that year shall be a greater persecution against the Christian Church than ever was in Affrica, and it shall last till the year 1792. at which time every body will think it a renovation of Age. After that the Roman people shall begin to stand upright again, and to put away some obscure darknesses, receiving some of its former light, but not without great divisions, and continual changes. Venice after that with great strength and power shall lift up her Wings so high, that she will not be much inferiour to the strength of the old Rome, and in that time great Bizantine Sails, joyned with the Ligustiques, by the Northern help and power shall give some hinderance, whereby those of Crete shall not keep their faith, the Arches built by the ancient Martial men, will keep company together with Neptun's Waves. In the Adriatick shall be a great discord, what was united shall be parted asunder, and what was before, and is a great City, will go near to becom a house, including the Pempotan, and the Mesopotamia of Europe to 45, and others to 41, 42, and 37. And in that time, and Countrey, the Infernal power shall rise against the Chuirch of J.C. with the power of the Enemies to his Law, which shall be the second Antechrist, who shall persecute the said Church and its Vicar by the means of the power of Temporal Kings, who through their Ignorance shall be seduced by Tongues more sharp than any Sword in the hands of a mad man. The said Reign of Antichrist shall not last but till the ending of him, born by Age, and of the other in the City of Plancus, accompanied by the Elect of Modone, Fulcy by Ferrara, maintained by Adriatick Liguriens, and the proximity of the great Trinacria, and after that shall pass over the Mount Jovis. The Gallique Ogmyon followed with such a number, that even from afar off the Empire of the great Law, shall be presented to him, and then, and after shall be profusedly spilled the blood of the Innocent by the Nocent, raised on high; then by great Floods the memory of those things contained by such Instruments, shall receive an innumerable loss, as also shall learning towards the North by the Divine Will, Satan bound once more, and an universal Peace shall be among men, and the Church of J.C. shall be free from all tribulation, although the Azosrains would fain mix among it the Honey of their pestilent seduction, and this shall happen about the seventh Millinary; so that the Sanctuary of J.C. shall be more trodden down by the unbelievers that shall come from the North, the world being near to some conflagration, although by my supputations in my Prophecies, the course of the time goeth much further. In the Epistle that within the late years I have dedicated to my Son Cæsar Nostradamus, I have openly enough declared some things, without prognosticating. But here (Sir) are comprehended many great and wonderful events, which those that come after us shall see. And during the said Astrological supputation, conferred with the sacred Scripture, the persecution of the Clergy shall have its beginning from the power of Northern Kings, joyned with the Eastern ones; that persecution shall last Eleven years and a little less, at which time the chief Northern King shall fail, which years being ended, shall come in his united Southern one, who shall yet more violently persecute the Clergy by the Apostatical seduction of one that shall have absolute power over the Militant Church of God: And the Holy people of God and keeper of his Law, and all order of Religion shall be grievously persecuted and afflicted, insomuch that the blood of the true Ecclesiastical men shall float all over, and unto one of those horrid Kings this praise shall be given by his followers to have spilt more humane blood of the Innocent Clergymen, than any body can do Wine, and the aid King shall commit incredible crimes against the Church; humane blood shall run through publick streets and Churches, as water coming from an impetuous Rain, and the next Rivers shall be red with blood, and by another Sea fight the Sea shall be red, insomuch that one King shall say to another, Bellis rubuit navalibus æquor. After that in the same year, & those that follow, shall happen the most horrid Plague, caused by the precedent famine, and so great tribulations as ever did happen since the first foundation of the Christian Church, through all the Latine Regions; some marks of it remaining in some Countreys of Spain. At that time the Northern King hearing the complaint of the people of his principal title, shall raise up so great an Army, and shall go through the straights of his last Ancestors and Progenitors, that he will set up all again in their first state, and the great Vicar of the Cope, shall be restored in his former estate, but desolate and altogether forsaken, and then shall the Sancta sanctorum be destroyed by Paganism, and the old and New Testament be thrust out and burnt, after that shall Antechrist be the infernal Prince, and once more for the last all the Kingdoms of Christendom and also of the unbelievers shall quake for the space of 25 years, and there shall be more grievous Wars and Battles, and Towns, Cities, Castles and other buildings shall be burnt, desolate, and destroyed with a great effusion of Vestal blood, Married Women and Widows ravished, sucking Children dashed against the Walls of the Towns, and so many evils shall be committed by the means of the Infernal prince Satan, that almost the universal world shall be undone and desolate, and before these events many unusual Birds shall cry through the Air, Huy, Huy, and a while while after shall vanish away: And after that time shall have lasted a good while, there shall be renewed a Kingdom of Saturn and Golden Age. God the Creator shall say, hearing the affliction of his people, Satan shall be put, and tied in the bottom of the deep, and there shall begin an universal peace between God and men, and the Ecclesiastical power shall be in its greater force, and Satan shall be left bound for the space of a thousand years, and then shall be loosed again. All these Figures are justly fitted by the sacred Scripture, to the visible Coelestial things, viz. Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, and others joyned with them, as more at large may be seen in some of my Stanza's. I would have calculated it more deeply, and compared one with the other, but seeing (most excellent King) that some stand ready to censure me, I shall withdraw my Pen to its Nocturnal repose. Multa etiam O Rex potentissime præclara, & sane in brevi ventura, sed omnia in hac tua Epistola innectere non possumus, nec volumus, sed ad intelligenda quedam facta, horrida fata pauca libanda sunt, quamvis tanta sit in omnes tua amplitudo & humanitas homines, deosque pietas, ut solus amplissimo & Christianissimo regis nomine, & ad quem summa totius Religionis authoritas deferatur, dignus esse videare. But only I shall beseech you O most Merciful King, through your singular and prudent goodness, to understand rather the desire of my Heart, and the earnest desire I have to obey your most excellent Majesty, since my Eyes were so near your Royal splendor, than the greatness of my work can deserve or require.

From Selin this 27 June, 1558. Faciebat Michael Nostradamus, Salonæ Petreæ, Provincie.
 

Translation by Theophilus de Garencières, 1672





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