19th century:

§720 William I, Bismarck and Moltke (1861-1871): V-84.



An immeasurable city shall be born of the gulf,

And the offspring of the obscure and tenebrous parents:

Who shall wish to destroy the power of the reverend

Great king in Rouen and Evreux.

(Naistra du goulphre & cité immesuree,

Nay de parents obscurs & tenebreux:

Qui la puissance du grand roy reveree,

Vouldra destruire par Rouan & Evreux.)

NOTES: An immeasurable city shall be born of the gulf [of numerous small states]: Berlin made the capital of the German Empire: « The accession of William I (1861 A.D.) Meantime, on the 2nd of January, 1861, Frederick William IV died, and in October the coronation took place. The new elections, in which the newly formed party of progress for the first time came into prominence, were in favour of the opposition; after a short session the house was dissolved and a change of ministry ensued. The elections of the 6th of May, 1862, furnished another defeat to the government; the house refused the whole cost of the organisation, and the king now sent for Bismarck, who, after the close of the session, formed a new ministry…» (HH, XV, p.481). « The unification of Germany [1866-1871 A.D.] The unity of the greater part of Germany has been secured, and, by a pardonable confusion of ideas, the Imperial title has been assumed by the chief of the united nation. I need not show that such a title is in strictness inaccurate, but it would be hard to find a title more appropriate than that of Emperor for the head of a confederation of kings and other princes. The new German Empire is a fair revival of the old German Kingdom, but it must be borne in mind that it is in no sense a revival of the Holy Roman Empire. That has passed away forever. Freeman.» (HH, XV, p.496).

« So that all that great Germany which extends from the Kongs-Aa to the Alps rose up and sang the Wacht am Rhein. And it did not stop at singing. The most decisive steps followed one after the other. As early as the 12th of July Bismarck and Moltke came to Berlin and conferred with the ministers…On the 19th of July King William opened the north German diet. The speech from the throne was full of lofty patriotism, boldness, and confidence: “ If in former centuries Germany has borne in silence such violations of her rights and her honour, she did so only because in her distracted state she knew not how strong she was. To-day when the bond of spiritual and legal unity, which the wars of liberation began to twine, is ever drawing the German races more closely together; to-day when Germany's armour no longer offers a weak spot to the enemy, Germany bears within herself the will and the power to cope with new acts of French violence.» (HH, XV, p.520).

The obscure and tenebrous parents: The two distinguished Germans, one in politics and the other in army, who helped the King of Prussia become the Emperor of Germany, Bismarck and Moltke.

« Moltke, Helmuth von (1800-91), German Field-Marshal; entered the Prussian Army in 1822 and served in it for 66 years, although from 1835 to 1839 he was seconded as adviser to the Turks. Moltke became Chief of the Prussian General Staff in 1857 and, in collaboration with Bismarck and General von  Roon (1803-79, Prussian Minister of War 1859-73), completely re-organized the Prussian Army. He was responsible for the strategic planning that defeated Denmark in 1864, Austria in 1866 and France in 1870. From 1870 to 1888 he was the first Chief of the Great German General Staff.» (Palmer, p.187-188). « Great events were now at hand, for by April 1839 the time had come when some decision must be arrived at in the struggle between the Sultan and the Viceroy of Egypt. The continuous state of military preparation was a severe drain on Turkish finances, and the Turkish troops were being wasted by sickness, and were deserting freely. The Porte had 70,000 men under arms in Asia Minor, but they were split up into three main groups, whereas the Egyptian forces, which lay at that time in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, were under the single command of Ibrahim Pasha — Mehemet Ali's son. The question to be decided was whether Ibrahim would make a dash for Constantinople or turn upon Hafiz Pasha in Malatia and attack him. Moltke held that the former course was the one the enemy was more likely to adopt, and to counter it recommended that Hafiz should take up a position menacing the Egyptian commander's right flank. This move would probably have the effect of compelling Ibrahim to suspend his march to deal with the threat against his flank, and it was advisable that all the available Turkish troops should be concentrated at Biradschik, on the left bank of the Euphrates. They were then to move forward to the right bank and dig themselves in, in which position the flanks of the Turkish force would be secured by the winding course of the river. It was true that an unbridged river would then be in the Turkish rear, but Moltke looked upon this circumstance as a positive advantage, for, as he shrewdly remarked, “ a bridge would only be useful for deserters, but as matters now stand every man must hold his ground or perish.” Broadly speaking, Moltke's plan was a combination of the strategic offensive with a tactical defensive, and it promised good results, but it was wrecked by the impatience and superstition of Hafiz. While Ibrahim's army was as yet some distance off, the Mollahs induced the pasha to leave his stronghold at Biradschik, and advance to Nisib, where the flanks of his army would be completely in the air. Ibrahim, indeed, was at first inclined to play a cautious game, and showed no inclination to deal with Hafiz, but the pinpricks of several minor Turkish raids stung him into action, and on June 20 he advanced to the attack. For a moment, while his forces were temporarily divided by a manoeuvre leading up to an attack on Hafiz's left flank, there was a possibility of a Turkish victory, for a bold stroke launched by the whole Turkish force might have led to a defeat in detail of the Egyptian army. Moltke strenuously urged this step, but Hafiz was not equal to the task, and contented himself with a useless exhibition of his miserable cavalry. With this favourable opportunity let slip there remained but one course, namely, to fall back while there was yet time to the entrenched position at Biradschik, where it was impossible to be surrounded, and where the Turkish troops would have no choice but between death and glory. Moltke pointed this out with emphasis to Hafiz, but the vacillating mind of the Turkish commander could not be stiffened into soldierly resolution. Again and again Moltke reiterated his advice, but even when it was clear that Ibrahim was rapidly outflanking him on both sides, Hafiz would not move. Priestly exhortations had outweighed the advice of the professional soldier, and Moltke had to content himself with the prophecy, " By to-morrow at sundown you will know what it is to be a commander without an army." Not even the Witch of Endor had been a truer seer. Ibrahim advanced in three columns and placed himself between the Turkish camp at Nisib and their magazine at Biradschik. Moltke had by now ceased to be the official adviser of the pasha, for he had formally resigned that position when his advice had been neglected. But he was not the man to leave a commander in the lurch at a critical moment. He threw himself heart and soul into the fight, giving every assistance he could, but the Turkish soldiers, outnumbered, out-generalled and out-gunned, made but a sorry resistance. The left wing speedily retired and could on no account be induced to advance, while the reserve divisions made several attempts to get out of the line of fire, and whole battalions stood with hands uplifted, crying aloud to Allah. Finally the cavalry left their position among the reserves and advanced to the attack. But the first few shells threw them into the wildest confusion, and in their flight they dragged the terrified infantry with them in wild disarray. All was now over, and in the frightful confusion it was a case of every man for himself. Making his way through the mob Moltke met the other two Prussian officers — for another had been sent out in addition to Moltke and von Muhlbach — and they had no choice but to join in the sauve qui peut. That night they reached Aintab, and from there they pushed on, without food for themselves or their horses, to Marasch, a ride of ninety miles. Later the Prussian officers rejoined their now armyless general, and were met with the news of the death of the Sultan Mahmoud, and their own letter of recall. They rode back to the coast — shouting, like the Ten Thousand of old, " Thalatta ! Thalatta ! " at the first glimpse of the sea — and on August 3 embarked for Constantinople. Moltke' s stay at Constantinople was marked chiefly by a narrative of his adventures in Turkish — which he could now speak fluently — to his old patron Chosref, and by his successful intercession for the unfortunate Hafiz Pasha. " It was hardly his fault,” said Moltke, " if instead of giving him 80,000 men he was allowed only half that number, and the various corps were not placed under one general, as we had repeatedly advised in our despatches. Nor could the faulty arrangement of the army, formed as it was of two-thirds Kurdish troops, be set down to him — troops who were loth to remain in the service and who turned tail and fled when it came to the point." On the 9th of September 1839, Moltke and his companions embarked and steamed along the coast of the Black Sea, and up the Danube, whence he proceeded overland to Berlin, and once more resumed his position as a captain of the General Staff. (Whitton, 1921, p.35-38).

« Although Moltke's experience in the East had been associated with defeat, and although like Frederick and Peter the Great he had galloped off from his first battlefield — in his case, however, with the amplest justification — the campaign he had made was of infinite service to him. He had left the General Staff at Berlin just at the time when the wave of military reform which had burst forth after Jena had begun to subside, and when the lessons learnt in war were in danger of being forgotten in the post-Waterloo era of peace. Further, he had left it at that critical period of a soldier's life when notions acquired from arduous theoretical study alone are apt to petrify. This danger was particularly likely to affect a student like Moltke, whose higher military education had been received at the feet of the philosophical Clausewitz. Not that Clausewitz was merely a theorist of war. Far from it; his practical experience of warfare both in defeat and victory was of an extraordinarily wide range. But its very extent had led his systematic and logical mind to endeavour to construct a framework of theory on to which he could fit his wide and varied experiences of the field. With such experience behind him it was impossible for a man like Clausewitz ever to develop into a mere academic student of war. With a pupil not so favoured with reminiscences of active service the case was widely different. A staff officer reared in the school, whose great text-book was On War, would, unless such theory were seasoned with practical experience, run a very serious risk of developing into a military pedant. From the possibility of such untoward fate Moltke was saved by a rough-and-tumble campaign in a semi-civilized country, where half-trained and, in some cases, wholly unwilling soldiers were led by unpractical and unskilled commanders. It was an invaluable revelation for a Moltke to discover that the subtleties of an appreciation elaborately prepared can be wrecked in a moment by the incapacity or inexperience of the instrument for whom it is devised. That human element which can never be properly appreciated at a desk becomes startlingly apparent in action in the field, and few staff officers in preparing a tactical project could have foreseen that the niceties of their plan could be set aside by a deference to fanatical priests. Yet that was what happened at Nisib, and led to Moltke's first and only defeat. Though such a perversion of warfare was unlikely ever to occur in Western Europe, the lesson was probably not lost upon Moltke that there are conditions which limit the power of the strongest will, and that such conditions must be taken into account. The four years spent in the East, monotonous, laborious and unfortunate though they were, were thus a fine school in which to gain practical experience, and to develop the initiative and acceptance of responsibility required of a commander in the field.» (Whitton, 1921, p.38-40).

« Napoleon III could surrender his person - he was no longer a general; it was not his work to surrender the army. Another was to be entrusted with this mission. Wimpffen, with despair at his heart, was obliged to submit to it. He went over to the enemy's headquarters, to the castle of Bellevue, near Donchery. For three long hours Wimpffen struggled in vain to obtain some modification of the conditions which Moltke had fixed. This cold and inflexible calculator, who had reduced war to mathematical formulas, was as incapable of generosity as of anger. He had decided that the entire army, with arms and baggage, should be prisoners.» (HH, XIII, p.160).

« Bismarck, Otto von (1815-98, created a prince 1871), ... In September 1862, he was appointed chief minister of Prussia with the immediate task of completing army reforms despite parliamentary refusal of a grant; characteristically he solved this problem by governing without a budget. Bismarck’s policy was ruthlessly realistic and opportunist; he believed in the inevitable unification of Germany but was determined that it should be done under Prussian Junker leadership. With his Eastern frontier secure through a friendly understanding with Russia, he sought the elimination of Austria as a Germanic state and the replacement of France by Prussia as the arbiter of Europe. To achieve these ends he fought three wars; with Denmark (1864) over Schleswig-Holstein; with Austria and the other German states (1866); and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. On the proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles in January 1871 he became Imperial Chancellor and dominated European diplomacy for nineteen years.» (Palmer, p.31-32).

Remember that Moltke, a sheer calculator with contingencies in consideration, and Bismarck, a ruthless realist and opportunist, can be obscure and tenebrous for the third person who cannot grip the overview of their own whole strategical or political planning with an inevitable factor of contingencies, with which they themselves alone can deal in their most intimate perception. 

Who shall wish to destroy the power of the reverend Great king [of France]  in Rouen and Evreux: = Rouen, Evreux shall not escape the King [of Prussia] (§694, IV-100): « … while Prince Frederick Charles menaced Chanzy's front, two columns were sent in a northerly direction under the command of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, with orders to disperse the Francs-tireurs in the department of the Eure [Evreux], and prevent the Armies of the North and West from establishing communications. There was, in consequence, some fighting at Orbec and Bernay (January 21st and 22nd [1871]), and everywhere as the Duke advanced the retreating French were driven right and left in a panic. On the 26th the two columns arrived at Rouen [Rouen], and effected a junction with the forces of Goeben, fresh from the action of St. Quentin [ Rouen, Evreux shall not escape the King]…The positions to which he retired were in front of Poitiers, (where Chanzy now established his head-quarters,) south of the Loire, and west of its tributary, the Creuse…The history of the Second Army of the Loire is terminated when we add that it furnished twenty-one regiments of infantry, three battalions of chasseurs, nine regiments of cavalry, and fourteen batteries to the Army of Versailles, which crushed the Commune of Paris.» (Rich, II, p.537).


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.



19th century:

§721 The Roman Catholics persecuted in Italy and in Germany (1870-1887): V-43.



The great ruin of the ecclesiastics is not far-off.

Provence, Naples, Sicily, Sezze and Ponza:

In Germany, by the Rhine and in the region of Cologne,

Vexed to death by all those of Magonce.

(La grand ruyne des sacrés ne s'esloigne.

Provence, Naples, Sicille, seez & Ponce:

En Germanie, au Ryn & la Cologne,

Vexés à mort par tous ceulx de Magonce.)


NOTES: Provence: « This word designates Piedmont. It is with Piedmont that began “the great ruin of the ecclesiastics” which was, by her, extended over all Italy.» (Torné-Chavigny, 1870, p.47). The County of Nice in Provence is mediating between Provence and Piedmont, having been by turns Piedmontese (Sardinian) and French from 1388 till 1860 (cf. Duby, p.69, p.137; Mirot, 1980, p.227, p.271, p.276, p.431).

Provence, Naples, Sicily: The Kingdom of Italy including Sicily and Naples.

Sezze (seez): or Sezza, « a small town of the Pontifical states, 12 km west-southwest of Frosinone.» (MacCarthy).

Ponza (Ponce): The island of Ponza, « the most important of the Ponza islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea dependent on the Kingdom of Naples.» (id.). « … famous for the exiles of so many a saint in martyrdom.» (Moréri, cité Torné-Chavigny, id.).

The great ruin of the ecclesiastics is not far-off. Provence, Naples, Sicily, Sezze and Ponza: The spoliation of Rome ensuing the sufferings of the Roman ecclesiastics by the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 (cf. §669-678) is not distant from the 1870s and 1880s when the German Catholics shall be persecuted analogously.

Magonce: = Mainz (Mayence); « Mayence is named by the Latin authors Maguntia. Some derive its etymology from  the name of Magog, son of Japhet.» (Moréri, cité Torné-Chavigny, 1870, p.48). « MAYENCE, in Latin Moguntia, in German Mainz, city of the German Confederation [1863]. This city surrendered to the French, in 1799, and stayed under their power until 1814.» (Bescherelle). « Mogontiācum, a town of the Vangiones (now Mainz).» (TanakaH).

Those of Magonce: = The Protestant Prussians, « the great of Magonce (Grand de Magonce) » of the quatrain VI-40 (§722) being Otto von Bismarck, Protestant Chancellor.

The region of Cologne (la Cologne): = Prussia (in 1815 by the Congress of Wien) = the German Empire (in 1871), by synecdoche.

Vexed to death: « All those of Magonce, namely of Mainz shall vex the Catholics of Germany not literally to death.» (Torné-Chavigny, id.).

In Germany, near the Rhine and in the region of Cologne, Vexed to death by all those of Magonce: « Kulturkampf (‘Conflict of Beliefs’), a term generally used to describe the conflict between Bismarck and the Roman Catholic Church, 1871-87. Bismarck feared that the decrees of the Vatican Council [of 1870] implied that the Church was asserting a prior claim to the State on the obedience of the citizen. He was, too, considerably alarmed by the creation of the Roman Catholic Centre Party which was avowedly anti-Prussian. The Kulturkampf was worse in Prussia than in other parts of Germany. Bismarck, seeing that his opponents were flourishing under persecution, realized that his policy was inept and with the election of a new Pope (Leo XIII) in 1878 began negotiations which restored most of the Roman Catholic rights by 1887.» (Palmer, s.v.).

« Even the German bishops after some opposition at the beginning had submitted to the new dogma of papal infallibility. The great mass of priests and laymen submitted to the dogma now expressly represented by the bishops. At first Prince Bismarck had allowed this theoretical declaration of war by the papacy against the modern state to remain unnoticed. But immediately after the war Ludwig Windthorst and Peter Reichensperger formed a confessional Catholic party of sixty-three members for the Reichstag, the Centre party, in order thereby to furnish the interests of their church with such backing as they had lost by the secession of Austria from the German state community. They demanded restoration of the ecclesiastical state "freedom '' of the church and the expansion of the empire on a "federative" basis. In June, 1871, the Prussian government abolished the Catholic section of the ministry of public instruction, because it had become a church weapon against the state, and an imperial law of December, 1871, threatened with punishment every abuse of the pulpit with a view to raising agitation. Hereupon the new minister of public instruction (from January, 1872), Adalbert Falk, who, jurist and doctrinaire as he was, went much further in resistance to the aggressions of the Roman Church than was wise or necessary, introduced for Prussia a law of school inspection, and for the empire a law compelling the expulsion of the Jesuits (on the 4th of July, 1872), and finally, in 1873, the "May laws," which included the limitation of ecclesiastical vindictive jurisdiction to purely ecclesiastical matters, training of priests exclusively in German institutions, state inspection of ecclesiastical institutions, compulsory notice by ecclesiastical superiors on appointment of their inferiors to office, and a royal disciplinary court of justice for ecclesiastical concerns. Other laws transferred the pecuniary control of vacant bishoprics to royal commissioners (May, 1874) and that of parishes to a secular body representing the parish (June, 1876); that of all dioceses was placed under state supervision (July, 1876), priests at loggerheads with one another were deprived of state fees (April, 1875), and all religious foundations not devoted to healing the sick were abolished (May, 1875). The introduction of civil marriage into Prussia in 1874, and into the whole empire in 1875, was calculated to preserve the solemnisation of marriage from all abuse at the hands of the ecclesiastical power. But the hope that was entertained of separating the Catholic laymen from the clergy, and so compelling the latter to submit, was a total fiasco and the clergy, starting with the assumption that all these laws were invalid because they lacked the sanction of the church, offered the most obstinate resistance. So, at the end of 1876, seven out of twelve Prussian bishops gradually came to be dispossessed by sentence, a thousand parsonages were left vacant, and ill feeling was further increased by frequent agitation in the Kaplanspresse, which shot into rapid notoriety, agitation that was demagogical and knew no bounds, so that on the 13th of July, 1874, a fanatic in Kissingen went so far as to attempt to murder Prince Bismarck. These contests between the sovereign state and the church, which at the same time disputed with it that sovereignty, prehistoric conflicts receiving illustration anew in modern form, naturally impeded to no small degree the expansion of the empire. And yet it made vigorous progress. The French war indemnity was devoted to compensating the damage.» (HH, XV, p.534-535).

« With the internal peace and well-being of Germany, the final and the highest aim of all these enterprises, was destined to be associated that ecclesiastical peace which the Kulturkampf had interrupted for the Catholic Germans. Social as well as political considerations pointed to the attainment of such a peace. At the same time the secession of a large fraction of the liberals (since 1878) from the new policy of taxation and economic adjustment compelled Prince Bismarck to come to an understanding with the Centre, and this involved concessions to the church. Moreover, a change of front in the papacy seemed more possible under Leo XIII, who succeeded to Pius IX in 1878, than under Pius himself. Consequently Falk was replaced in July, 1879, by Puttkamer, who again, on becoming minister of the interior, was succeeded by Von Gossler. The abolition of several punitive enactments in the May laws made it now possible to restore regular incumbents in the majority of the vacant parishes; the majority of the deposed bishops were enabled to return to their dioceses; and when in 1883 Leo XIII had given his consent to the law of notice on appointment, all the still unoccupied parsonages were filled, and in 1886 the new bishops also were nominated by papal brief with the assent of the territorial prince; finally, in 1887 a series of ecclesiastical orders was admitted. Thus the obligation to give notice on appointment was adhered to, as were also the participation of laymen in the ecclesiastical control of the parish and civil marriage; the Jesuits remained banished from the territory of the empire, and the Catholic section of the ministry of public worship was not re-established. Whatever material concessions the state may have made, it had yet preserved in the main the sovereignty of its legislation and of its administration. Destructive and confusing as had been the effect of the Kulturkampf, the nation grew more and more consolidated. National holidays were made of Sedan day, the birthday of the emperor, and, more particularly since 1885, of the birthday of Prince Bismarck; everywhere rose innumerable monuments commemorating the great time of the wars of unification and their leaders — sometimes only simple stones, sometimes splendid works of art.» (HH, XV, p.538-539).


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§722 The great sculpin into the Rhine (1866-1890): VI-40.



The great of Mainz shall be deprived of his great

Dignity to put out his great thirst:

Those of Cologne shall come to pity him so much

That the great sculpin shall be thrown into the Rhine.

(Grand de Magonce pour grande soif estaindre,

Sera privé de sa grand dignité:

Ceux de Cologne si fort le viendront plaindre,

Que le grand groppe au Ryn sera getté.)


NOTES: The great of Mainz: = Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire represented by Mainz by synecdoche.

The great of Mainz shall be deprived of his great dignity [for the one ] to put out his great thirst [in satisfying it]: “ The one ” is nothing but the Emperor William II, for only he has the authority of dismissing Bismarck from Imperial Chancellery.

Those of Cologne: = The people of Germany represented by Cologne by synecdoche.

Sculpin (groppe): « Groppe, Angehörige einer Familie der Panzerwangen, keulenförmiger Fisch mit einem mit starken Stacheln besetzten Kopf: Cottidae.» (Wahrig) (Groppe, member of a family of sculpins with a strong-spined head: Cottidae.)

« sculpin, also called BULLHEAD or SEA SCORPION, any of the numerous, usually small fish of the family Cottidae (order Scorpaeniformes), found in both salt water and freshwater, principally in northern regions of the world. Sculpins are elongated, tapered fish and characterisitically have wide, heavy heads. The gill covers are armed with one or more spines, the pectoral fins are large and fanlike, and the skin is either naked or provided with small spines. The dorsal fins contain both a spiny and a soft-rayed section; these may be either separate or united.» (NEB,1988)

This is a metaphor for Bismarck, for he has a kind of physignomy like a sculpin’s head in its most characteristic impression, and he diligently militarized Germany, the German word ‘Panzer’ having the meaning of ‘armature’.

Cf: Rheingroppe: http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.php?ID=62357&what=species ; Otto von Bismarck: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/DBP_150._Geburtstag_Otto_von_Bismarck_20_Pfennig_1965.jpg?uselang=fr

Bismarck in youth: « In 1832 he entered the University of Göttingen, where he spent two years, followed by one at the University of Berlin. Instinct and tradition suggested the army as a profession, but his mother apparently desired a civil career for this passionate, self-willed and robust son; whether because she feared the life of an officer, or divined the power in her beloved Otto, is uncertain; but she had her way, and after passing the necessary examinations he entered the civil service on its judicial side, and was attached for duty at the fashionable Aix-la-Chapelle and at Berlin. One year had to be given to military service, and this he spent with the Rifles of the Guard (Garde-Jäger). Until 1839, when he lost his mother, abruptly teminated his State employment and, owing to financial difficulties of his family, took over with his brother Bernhard the management of the family properties, his life had shown little indication either of ambitions or exceptional abilities. As a university student, though not as idle as legend subsequently pictured, he had failed to find in academic studies either intellectual inspiration or practical utility. Then, as throughout his career, Bismarck revolted against discipleship or subordination of any kind. Life was the only teacher from whom he was willing to learn, and the lessons of life he hammered out for himself, and he refused to take them ready-made. He joined a famous duelling corps, the Hanoverana. Duelling, beer-drinking, and the riotous escapades of undergraduate youth, provided an outlet for his exuberant physical powers. In the punishment book of the university his name figures more than once. Friends he made in plenty, three in particular Moritz von Blanckenburg, Motley, the American historian, and Roon, twelve years his senior. Little did either guess what the latter friendship would signify for the history of Prussia. There is a story that in 1832 he made a bet with an American student that Germany would be unified in twenty years; but if he made the bet, he lost it. Forty, not twenty, years hence he could have asked from the Wilhelmstrasse for repayment. He detested and neglected his duties as a civil servant. The career of ' the animal armed with a pen ' behind closed 'windows and under the orders of domineering, exacting, or ill-bred superiors, stirred his Junker pride and independence to mutiny. At Aix-la-Chapelle, crowded with fashionable pleasure-seekers of all nations, he plunged into gambling, debt, and dissipation. For four months he broke away altogether, travelled to Wiesbaden and Switzerland, fell in love with a pretty English girl, but whether he broke with her or she with him is uncertain. The sap was running strongly upwards, and in the dawn of superb physical vigour Bismarck, like many, sought in physical satisfaction an anodyne for an incurable unrest.» (Robertson, 1919, p.52-54).

The great sculpin shall be thrown into the Rhine: This expression means that Bismarck (the great sculpin) shall retire into his home country (Friedrichruhe) which he rules as a Junker, a river [the Rhine] being one of the elements of sculpins.  

« The plain truth was that after June 1888 the conditions which had made the Bismarckian system workable and possible were suddenly reversed. Bismarck and Germany had grown accustomed to the rule of an emperor never fitted by his gifts to be a great master either of administration or of policy, who in 1871 was in his seventy-fourth year, and with every year was obliged to surrender more and more of power and control to the adviser whose genius, amazing capacity for work, and complete accord with his sovereign in the general principles of government inspired a deep confidence. Bismarck had thus syndicated in himself both the formidable powers of the Imperial Chancellorship and the still more formidable powers of the Emperor and Prussian King. The new Emperor [William II] was young, versatile, and fired by a devouring activity. Had he been a constitutional sovereign he would not have been prepared to step on to the shelf during the best years of his life. But he was not a constitutional sovereign. William II. had been born and bred in the militarist atmosphere of the Hohenzollern Court, and he had been trained in the theory, sedulously enforced since 1847 by no one more than by Bismarck himself, that the Prussian monarch personally governed, and that the Prussian Crown was not the idle ornament of a constitutional building, but the living and operative force in the mechanism of the State. ‘If a lion knew its own strength’, Wolsey remarked of the young Henry VIII., ‘hard it were to rule him.’ There were, in fact, practically no limits to what the Emperor, with the help of the Prussian Crown, could do, if he chose to exercise to its full all the latent power in the prerogative, prestige, and influence of the Imperial and Prussian Monarchy. William II. took some months to discover what an unexplored and inexhaustible heritage had fallen to him — a heritage enriched by Bismarck's efforts for a quarter of a century. Therein lay the irony of the situation. Had Bismarck been the Parliament-made minister of a constitutional sovereign, whose ministerial position rested on a national mandate expressed through a representative assembly to which he was responsible, it would have been William II., not Bismarck who must have given way. Bismarck had indeed the confidence of the nation. A plebiscite in 1890 would have retained him in office till death came. But the nation could not save him in 1890, nor could it bring him back. Once he had lost the support of the Crown he was powerless. He could not appeal to the Reichstag nor to the Federal Council, still less to the nation by a general election. He must either resign or be dismissed. He could not even advise his Imperial Majesty whom the Crown should invite to be its chief adviser in his place. And it is in the record that the man who all his life had fought against the conception of an electro-plated royalism, and against a kingship emasculated by English Liberalism, should later denounce this subservience to a personal monarchy as ' Byzantinism and Cæsar worship.'

There was also more even than this in the situation that was bitter. William II. was young. He could toil and travel as only the young can. Age has its compensations and its rewards, but not all its maturity of wisdom and experience can find a substitute for the recuperative vigour of manhood and womanhood in their prime. Bismarck could recall the felicity of the time when after a day at his desk he could swim in the moonlit waters of the Rhine [the great sculpin in the Rhine], snatch a couple of hours of sleep, and then fling himself into work again or wear out a fiery horse in the exultant freshness of youth and the joy of life. He could do it no longer. He told the Reichstag in 1889 that he was obliged severely to limit his efforts and concentrate on the important and the essential. He now fought a losing battle with the Emperor — ebbing forces on the one side against vitality on the other. For all that, he was not prepared to let go. The more his grip slackened, the more fiercely did he demand submissive obedience to his autocratic will. It is a characteristic that history can exemplify fifty times over that the strongwilled who have long held unquestioned sway may lose, as the chariot of time drives remorselessly on, everything but the strength of their will. The appetite for domination waxes precisely as the capacity to gratify it wanes. The bitterest punishment indeed that the years can bring to some men and women is the fear and the resentment of rivals in power. A new epoch had arrived in Germany which knew and reverenced Bismarck, but Bismarck neither knew nor reverenced it. William II. was a child of the new epoch. Bismarck had taught Germany to be strong and how to be strong. He had placed the Empire on the pinnacle of Continental power, and new worlds had swum into its ken. The young Imperial Germany of 1888 desired to prove that it was as strong, as great, as ambitious, and as saturated with the realism of life as the Germany that had overthrown Vienna and the Babylon of France. It was  grateful for Bismarck's achievements; Bismarck summed up for it all that was mighty in Germanism; the ends that Bismarck defined must pass with Bismarck himself; but Bismarckian methods and the Bismarckian gospel were imperishable and could not be superseded. The profoundest homage that could be paid to the master was to apply the principles and methods of Bismarckian statecraft to the problems of the future. The Bismarckian Empire that was the State, incarnating Continental Power, must be transformed into the World-Empire that incarnated World-Power. Nothing must happen in the world within or without Europe in which Germany had not the deciding voice. Bismarckianism not Bismarck was the model. In the magician's magic more than in the magician himself lay the essential secret of success. Round the Emperor collected the new Germany. Fear, jealousy, ambition, revenge — the human appetites and carnal forces that find their most nourishing environment in the court of a militarist personal monarchy added their unlovely stimulus. Bismarck had made many enemies, whose enmity was all the stronger because it had been so impotent. The Chancellor was not popular at the Federated Courts — neither at Stuttgart, Munich, Dresden, nor Karlsruhe — the soldier ‘demi-gods,’ the Clericals, the anti-Semites, the Lutheran Conservatives, the great industrials were quite ready to salute as they saw the Chancellor depart; the Liberals and Radicals and Socialists had no reason to love the Minister-President, for fate and Bismarck had killed Liberalism. The German people alone was Bismarck's most loyal ally, and the German people through its representatives had been the accomplice in the blunder by which the German people was excluded from deciding in hours of crisis who should govern in their name. In the confidential circles of the monarchy and of the official civil and military bureaucracy — the men who governed and whom Bismarck had taught to regard the Reichstag as the House of Phrases, a statutory but useless appendage to the machinery of Power — it became clear  that the iron Titan of Friedrichsruhe planned for the perpetuity of the Bismarckian autocracy. The House of Bismarck was to hold an unbroken mayoralty of the palace over, rather than under, the House of Hohenzollern. Count Herbert Bismarck, carefully trained in affairs of State, and since 1886 Foreign Secretary under the Chancellor, was obviously destined to sit in the Wilhelmstrasse in his father's chair. Herbert Bismarck had capacity and considerable powers of work. He modelled himself on his father as capable sons of great men are entitled to do. But he endeavoured to prove, not that he was a chip of the old block, but the old block itself by imitating and exaggerating with repellent fidelity all the worst defects in his father's character — his brutality, coarseness, dictatorial insolence, and unscrupulous disregard of the conventions of decent existence. His manners were insufferable and a byword. Men were prepared to endure much from the Chancellor who had genius and achieved miracles. They were not prepared to endure the intolerable from one who was not a genius and had done nothing remarkable (except be outwitted in colonial negotiations by Lords Granville and Rosebery).

During 1888 and 1889 Bismarck was very little in Berlin. Most of his time was spent at Varzin and Friedrichsruhe, and it was at his country seats that the unending visitors found the Chancellor and did their business. His absence from the capital was not wholly the result of old age. In Herbert Bismarck at the Chancery the father had a devoted representative, and the Empire could be governed on Bismarckian lines almost as easily from Friedrichsruhe as from the Wilhelmstrasse. The Chancellor, however, did not realise that under a young  Emperor, bent on probing into every department of State, and leaving an Imperial imprint upon it, the loss of touch with the personalities, the ministers and the forces of politics was a grave disadvantage. Nor did he appreciate the significance of the growing volume of criticism that found in these prolonged absences a substantial reason for a change. Thus by the autumn of 1889 the whole Bismarckian system was being challenged — and by the Emperor. For William II. had inaugurated his reign by a series of travels. He was indefatigable in visiting all parts of Germany and learned much thereby. He went to Petersburg, Vienna, London, Athens, and most remarkable of all, to Constantinople, the first European sovereign to be received as a guest by an Ottoman Sultan. And in these visits what he learned about foreign policy caused him to think and think again. Bismarck resented these continuous journeys, and expressed his resentment in remarks that travelled to the travelling sovereign. They made the Emperor more important than Bismarck, and they did not assist the peculiar methods by which Bismarckian foreign policy was maintained. The old Emperor had been told just as much as the Chancellor thought fit; the young Emperor was insisting on knowing what he thought fit — and he made discoveries, had ideas, and ' interfered.'» (Robertson, 1919, p.478-483).

« ... and the anti-Socialist law was rejected by 169 to 98 votes. All Berlin now knew that it was confronted with a real ‘ Chancellor Crisis.’ Foreign policy, however, was the main cause of the collision. The explicit reports of Russian armaments and movements of troops perturbed Vienna and the German General Staff. The Emperor was determined to convince Austria that Germany was on her side — Bismarck stubbornly resisted any steps to support Austria and thereby alienate Russia: and the Emperor accused him of suppressing information in the Foreign Office. The quarrel over home policy could have been settled, but the conflict over foreign policy cut down to fundamentals. A compromise was impossible. Bismarck's system was in issue. The general election, however, turned on the new Social and Labour policy. Bismarck declined to organise a governmental campaign; he had quarrelled both with the Emperor and his colleagues, and the results were a rout for the cartel. The Conservatives lost 36, the National Liberals, 52 seats; the Liberals gained 30, the Socialists, 24 seats. The cartel of 1887 was dissolved, although the Clerical Centre returned in undiminished strength. Bismarck now made a subtle move. Recognising that the Crown was undermining his presidential pre-eminence by uniting the ministers against him, he demanded that the Cabinet order of September 8, 1852, should be vigorously enforced. This order, requiring all ministers to submit their departmental business to the Minister-President before submitting it to the Crown, practically forbade all independent relations between the ministers and the Crown, and made the Minister-President the sole constitutional avenue of communication with the sovereign. Bismarck had always acted on it, though in the last ten years his frequent absences had required its  relaxation. But such had been his prestige that the relaxation had not involved any real diminution of his authority in all essentials of governmental action. It was different now, when Bismarck realised that the King-Emperor aimed at uniting the ministerial cabinet against its constitutional chief. To the Emperor the order was an odious restriction on his prerogative. It meant that he could only confer with his ministers by and through a Minister-President, hostile to his policy and his ideas, alike in home and foreign affairs. Accordingly he demanded that the Minister-President should advise him to rescind the order. The dispute was a forcible illustration of Bismarck’s warning to the Progressive Party in 1862: ‘ Questions of right (Rechtfragen) in the long run become questions of might (Machtfragen).’ The Emperor told Hohenlohe that February and March were for him ‘ a beastly time,' and that it had become ' a question whether the Bismarck dynasty or the Hohenzollern dynasty should rule.' For Bismarck the issues were simple, but fundamental. His whole system was challenged. As Minister-President he was to be reduced to a position of equality with colleagues placed in complete independence in their relations with himself and with the Crown; a policy in home affairs was to be carried out through the ministers of the Interior and Finance which reversed all his principles; as Chancellor he was expected to carry out a foreign policy in flat contradiction to his convictions and ideas. The close connection between home and foreign policy — the keystone of his system and his success — was to be snapped; alike in the Prussian Landtag and the Imperial Reichstag he would speak without any control over parties or any security that the votes would not be influenced by Imperial intrigues or ministerial pressure, unfavourable to himself. In the daily intercourse with the representatives of foreign governments he could no longer invite their confidence or express his own. Moltke had resigned his post as Chief of the General Staff. The new chief, Waldersee, in Bismarck's judgment was a second-rate soldier and an intriguing politician in the hands of a ‘military ring’ bent on controlling the civil authority. In a word, the Chancellor and Minister-President would have lost all his rights to co-ordinate strategy and policy. The Emperor, he told more than one confidant, ‘ now wishes to reign alone - to be his own Chancellor and Minister-President’ [to put out his great thirst [in satisfying it]]. It was impossible that Bismarck could accept after twenty-seven years of power a position that was a personal humiliation, a reversal of his policy, and a reduction to impotence. ‘ I cannot serve,’ he said, ‘ on my knees ‘ (Ich kann nicht mit Proskynesis dienen). The final touch was given on March 14. Windthorst who wished to consult the Chancellor about the forthcoming session was received ‘ in audience ’ by Bismarck. What passed between them — whether Bismarck suggested a coalition between the shattered Conservatives and the Clericals, cemented by a final repeal of the May Laws — is uncertain and matters little. ' I come,' Windthorst observed, ‘ from the political deathbed of a great man.' The next day the Emperor in person demanded an explanation of what had passed, and Bismarck was dragged from his sleep to wait upon the unexpected visitor. ‘ It was all that Bismarck could do,' the Emperor subsequently related, ' to refrain from throwing the inkpot at my head.' Bismarck was no less certain that the Emperor lost his temper even more completely than he did himself. He refused to give the information demanded. The discussions with Windthorst or other leaders of parties were personal and confidential, and could not be controlled by the Crown, not even if the Crown commanded. According to one source, Bismarck drawing himself up to his full height asserted that he had received Windthorst as a gentleman had the right to receive his friends in his own house, and then he added that ' the orders of the Sovereign stopped at the door of the Princess's drawing-room.' The phrase may be an invention, but it exactly expressed Bismarck's attitude. The memorable conversation was not one between Minister and Emperor, but between the Prussian Junker of Schönhausen, Varzin, and Friedrichsruhe, and the Elector of Brandenburg whom the Junker had made German Emperor. Repeatedly pressed, Bismarck at last submitted his resignation [The great of Mainz shall be deprived of his great dignity]. On March 20 the official Gazette announced that the Emperor had been graciously pleased to accept with profound regret the Chancellor's request to be relieved of his offices, and in return for his ‘ imperishable services ' conferred upon him the title of Duke of Lauenburg and Colonel-General, with the rank of Field-Marshal in the army. Punch, in one of the most famous of its famous cartoons which, curiously enough, delighted both Bismarck and William II., summed up the event with unerring felicity. ‘ The Pilot ' who had steered the ship through so many storms and so many shoals, ' was dropped.' The Emperor henceforward intended to be Captain and Pilot in one. Official Berlin heard the news, expected for so many months, with a sigh of profound relief: but to Germany and the German nation the Emperor's dismissal of the man who summed up German power and represented the Empire in the Councils of the world — the greatest German political figure since the Middle Ages — was received with consternation and genuine sorrow [Those of Cologne shall come to pity him so much]. The old Emperor was dead; Moltke in his ninetieth year was no longer the brain of the German army; and now Bismarck had gone, removed neither by death nor incapacitated by sickness. The German nation knew that in the political sphere there was no one in experience, strength of character, prestige, or intellect fit to tie the latchet of Bismarck's shoe. With March 20, 1890, the heroic age had indeed ended.» (Robertson, 1919, p.488-491)

The great sculpin shall be thrown into the Rhine: « For the first time Bismarck found himself at Varzin and Friedrichsruhe unemployed; yet the absolute leisure for which he had so often craved was framed in political isolation, and proved to be a curse. Had he been thirty years younger he could have flung himself, as he had often contemplated, into the duties of a great landowner, and found in Nature an outlet for his energies and an anodyne for the savage pain that ceaselessly tore his heart. To many statesmen the opportunity, before the final call comes, to remake the broken threads of intellectual interests and ambitions, or simply to sift and test in serene reflection the lessons of life matured by the golden sunshine of the ripening years, has been the boon they have valued most. For them old age, warmed by the recognition of a people's gratitude, has been a fruitful and satisfying climax. Through Leisure with Dignity the men of action have often taught their richest criticism of life. But Bismarck assuredly was not one of these. At seventy-six he could neither resume nor begin a contemplative and intellectual phase; and his ebbing physical forces denied to him the power that he demanded for the mastery of nature. To him life without power and the contest for power lost all its savour. In his love of Nature, with all its keen appreciation of beauty — the dawn on dreaming woods, the blue witchery of distant hills, sunset on lush pastures, a mighty river wave — charmed by the earnest stars — can be detected from his boyhood an unconscious craving to make the beauty his own, and to bend the power it enshrined to his insurgent will. Nature now failed him, just because he was old and Nature was young, and could yearly repeat the miracle of renewing her youth. As he drove or walked on his estates, followed by his dogs as imperious and fierce as himself. Nature seemed to cry at every turn the mocking truth that no longer could he find the healing rest or the balm that had in the past always been the prelude to a mightier toil. In one place, and one alone, — the Reichskanzlerpalais in the Wilhelmstrasse — was the power that would satisfy. His favourite Goethe had said so truly that no young man can be a master. Knowledge, judgment, experience, the secrets of the Higher Command — these were not the prerogatives of youth but of a maturity, fired in the furnace of a life passed in great affairs. Bismarck knew that life had made him a master. Yet away there in Berlin the mastery was torn from him by ingrates and incompetents, mere novices and apprentices, compared with himself. The laceration of his heart poured out the pent-up passion in the revelation of State secrets and journalist denunciation... In 1894 he had suffered in the death of his wife (November 27) the personal bereavement that completed the solitude of these years of unquenchable resentment. The princess was buried at Varzin — the home that he made for her, and which was in itself a record of the achievement in which she had played a share, fully known only to Bismarck himself. Johanna von Puttkamer had been happy in the supreme gifts of love and life to a woman — the right to be the wife and ally of the mightiest German of her and his century; and of that personal union both husband and wife could have said with truth that they had lived with distinction between the torch of marriage and the torch of death: Fiximus insignes inter utramque facem. Varzin never beheld its bereaved master again, though to this day the peasantry tell how in the glades that Bismarck planted the lonely wayfarer in the dusk has suddenly been confronted with the familiar figure, now on horseback, now on foot — erect and superhuman in mien and stature, galloping or striding with the effortless majesty of power from one beloved haunt to another — and sometimes halting to turn on the awed spectator the penetration of eyes, once seen in life, never to be forgotten. The end came on July 30, 1898, at Friedrichsruhe. Nations that have beaten out their path through toil, failure, controversy, revolution, and civil war to the golden summits of victorious ambitions frequently anticipate the verdict of posterity even in the lifetime of the leader and in all the asphyxiating and blinding atmosphere of strife. The Germany of 1890 had already placed Bismarck along with the other three greatest of German figures since the Renaissance, with Luther, Frederick the Great, and Goethe.» (Robertson, 1919, p.508-511).


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§723 The fall of Bismarck against William II (1890): V-64.



The assemblies for the rest of the great number,

Domestically and abroad his counsel revoked:

Near the Autumn Gennes, Nice of the shadow

In the countries and towns the contraband chief.


(Les assemblés par repoz du grand nombre,

Par terre & mer conseil contremandé:

Pres de l'Antomne Gennes, Nice de l'ombre

Par champs & villes le chef contrebandé.)



The assemblies for the rest [welfare] of the great number [= the working men], Domestically and abroad: « William II and the fall of Bismarck. Frederick died on the 15th of June, 1888, and his eldest son, Emperor William II (born 27th January, 1859), ascended the throne. The first year of the new reign was uneventful. He spent much time on journeys, visiting the chief courts of Europe, and he seemed to desire to preserve close friendship with other nations, especially with Russia and Great Britain. Changes were made in the higher posts of the army and civil service, and Moltke resigned the office of chief of the staff, which for thirty years he had held with such great distinction. The beginning of the year 1890 brought a decisive event. The period of the Reichstag elected in 1887 expired, and the new elections, the first for a quinquennial period, would take place. The chief matter for decision was the fate of the socialist law; this expired September 30th, 1890. The government at the end of 1889 introduced a new law, which was altered in some minor matters and which was to be permanent. The conservatives were prepared to vote for it; the radicals and Centre opposed it; the decision rested with the national liberals and they were willing to accept it on condition that the clause was omitted which allowed the state governments to exclude individuals from districts in which the state of siege had been proclaimed. The final division took place on February 25th, 1890. An amendment had been carried omitting this clause, and the national liberals therefore voted for the bill in its amended form. The conservatives were ready to vote as the government wished; if Bismarck was content with the amended bill, they would vote for it, and it would be carried; no instructions were sent to the party; they therefore voted against the bill and it was lost. The house was immediately dissolved. It was to have been expected that, as in 1878, the government would appeal to the country to return a conservative majority willing to vote for a strong law against the socialists. Instead of this, the emperor, who was much interested in social reform, published two proclamations. In one addressed to the chancellor he declared his intention, as emperor, of bettering the lot of the working classes; for this purpose he proposed to call an international congress to consider the possibility of meeting the requirements and wishes of the working men [The assemblies for the rest of the great number, abroad]; in the other, which he issued as king of Prussia, he declared that the regulation of the time and conditions of labour was the duty of the state, and the council of state was to be summoned to discuss this and kindred questions [The assemblies for the rest of the great number, Domestically]. Bismarck, who was less hopeful than the emperor and did not approve of this policy, was thereby prevented from influencing the elections as he would have wished to do [his counsel revoked]; the coalition parties, in consequence, suffered severe loss; socialists, Centre, and radicals gained numerous seats.» (HH, XV, p.543-545)

Near the Autumn Gennes [Embarrassment (Gennes = gêne = trouble) of Bismarck in his later years (aged 74 in 1890: near the Autumn)], Nice [Victory] of the shadow [the Emperor thus far under his omnipotent chancellor]: « A few days after the election Bismarck was dismissed from office. The difference of opinion between him and the emperor was not confined to social reform; beyond this was the more serious question as to whether the chancellor or the emperor was to direct the course of the government. The emperor, who, as Bismarck said, intended to be his own chancellor, required Bismarck to draw up a decree reversing a cabinet order of Frederick William IV, which gave the Prussian minister-president the right of being the sole means of communication between the other ministers and the king. This Bismarck refused to do, and he was therefore ordered to send in his resignation.» (HH, XV, p.545)

In the countries and towns the contraband chief: « Bismarck in retirement. After his retirement he resided at Friedrichsruh, near Hamburg, a house on his Lauenburg estates [In the countries and towns]. His criticisms of the government, given sometimes in conversation, sometimes in the columns of the Hamburger Nachrichten, caused an open breach between him and the emperor; and Caprivi, in a circular despatch, which was afterwards published, warned all German envoys that no real importance must be attached to what he said. A short time after his fall, Bismarck illustrated his absorbing interest in politics by a pretty parable. One of his guests at breakfast having asked him why he, the prince, had so entirely given up his passionate love for the chase, he replied: “ As to passions, they resemble the trout in my pond: one eats up the other, until there remains only one fat old trout. Thus gradually my passionate love for politics has devoured all other passions.” Just as on this occasion, and as he had done in the Hamburger Nachrichten after the issue of the Caprivi order, so Bismarck also expressed himself to the delegations which from all parts of Germany came to Friedrichsruh to do him homage. Thus, for instance, on the 14th of June, to a deputation of the united moderate parties of Düsseldorf which presented him with an address, he said that, though retired from public life after a career of forty years in office, he was not able to forego his interest in politics, to which he had sacrificed all other inclinations and connections. At the same time nothing was further from his thoughts than the wish to influence anew the march of politics. Much more bitterly did he express himself on the 22nd of July, 1890, to a correspondent of the Novoya Vremya: " They are bestowing upon me in my lifetime the honours due to the dead. They are burying me like Marlborough. They desire not merely that Marlborough should not come back, but also that he may actually die or at least remain silent for the rest of his days. I must admit that to this end they give me every assistance, and none either of my political friends or of my numerous acquaintances puts temptation in my way by his visits. They cry ‘ Halt! ’ to me, they shun me like one infected with the plague, afraid as they are to compromise themselves by visiting me; and only my wife from time to time receives visits from her acquaintances. They cannot prevent me from thinking, but they would like me not to give expression to my thoughts, and were such a thing possible, they would long ago have put a muzzle on me.''… He died on the 3lst of July, 1898.» (HH, XV, p.545-546)


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§724 The question of General Boulanger (1885-1891): I-66.



He who shall then bring the news,

A little later he shall come to repose.

Viviers, Tournon, Montferrant and Pradelles,

Hail and tempests shall make them sigh.

(Celui qui lors portera les nouvelles,

Apres un peu il viendra respirer.

Viviers, Tournon, Montferrant & Pradelles,

Gresle & tempestes les fera souspirer.)


NOTES: He who shall then bring the news: «A reaction now grew against the republican administration, and the elections of 1885 were forty-five per cent. monarchical. The alarm over this dangerous weakness put a momentary end to republican internal factions, and Grévy was re-elected president December 28th, for a second septennate. Freycinet formed a new ministry, his third, giving the portfolio of war to General Boulanger - a curious figure neither whose past nor whose future justified the remarkable prominence he acquired. His first acts were sensational in that he erased from the army list all the princes of royal families and exiled his first patron, the duke d'Aumale; he also repressed all the army officers of reactionist sympathies. The populace showered on Boulanger the favour it withdrew from the president, and he became powerful enough to unseat Freycinet, who was succeeded by Goblet. Boulanger took a spectacular position on the arrest by the Germans of a French officer named Schnaebele, and showed great energy in preparing for a war with Prussia. Goblet resigned.» (HH, XIII, p.193). 

A little later he shall come to repose: « Goblet resigned. Rouvier followed, and sent Boulanger to an army post. In 1887 scandals arose concerning the sale of Legion of Honour decorations, in which a deputy named Daniel Wilson was implicated and in which it was shown that he used the president's residence as a sort of office. This provoked an outcry before which Grévy resigned. In this critical situation, Clémenceau skilfully secured the nomination and election of an unexpected figure - Sadi Carnot, a man of unassailed reputation. These years were unexampled in France for the virulence of political passion and the acrimonious license of the press. The decoration scandal, the Boulangist movement, and the Panama affair filled this period with opprobrious accusations and counter-charges. Carnot chose Tirard for his premier; under him Wilson was sentenced to two years for fraud, and Boulanger was deprived of command for absenting himself from his post without leave [he shall come to repose].» (HH, XIII, p.193-194).

Hail and tempests shall make them [Boulanger and his followers] sigh: « Wilson appealed, and the higher courts reversed the decision against him. As he was a relative of Grévy, this provoked public suspicion, which was aggravated when Boulanger was elected a deputy by an overwhelming majority and was immediately expelled from the army. Tirard's ministry fell and Floquet succeeded, with Freycinet as minister of war. A duel ensued between Floquet and Boulanger, in which, singularly, the civilian, who was also of advanced age, wounded the doughty general in the throat. None the less, Boulangism increased rapidly and was enlarged by the royalist vote. The time was ripe for a coup d’état, but the general did not move; indeed, he denied in his speeches any ambition for dictatorship and actually withdrew to Brussels, April, 1889, when he heard that Tirard, who had been recalled as premier, was about to arrest him. He was now found guilty of high treason and the senate sentenced him to life imprisonment. He went to Jersey and lived there quietly, while Boulangism died of inanition. In July, 1890, his mistress, Mme. de Bonnemain, died, and September 30th, 1891, he blew out his own brains on her grave. This last act was consistent with his whole career, both in its strong emotionalism and in its weakness. He was a man idolised by his soldiers, whom he treated with great democracy and even tenderness; he was thrilled with a passion to revenge France on Prussia, a passion bound to be popular then in France; he was a smart soldier and on his black horse made a picturesque figure; a popular tune added to his vogue - " C’est Boulanger qu'il nous faut ''; and it might have proved a “ Ça ira ” of insurrection, but he lacked the courage - or shall we not more mercifully and justly say, he lacked the villainy ? - to lead a revolution. While he missed the glory of a Napoleon, he also escaped the bloody crimes of that despot. Boulangism having committed suicide, it suffered disgrace from the monarchic coalition, and reform went on peacefully.» (HH, XIII, p.193-195). 

Viviers, Tournon and Pradelles: These proper names of place refer, through their implication of common usages, to each phase of the career of General Boulanger as follows:

Viviers: « Viviers recalls “ Vive ! ” (Long live !) to us.» (Vignois, 1910, p.399): « At the review of July 14th [1887] in Paris, the mass welcomed the minister of war [General Ferry] with whistles and the cries: “ Long live Boulanger ! Down with Ferry ! ”» (Seignobos, 1921c, p.127). 

Tournon: « Tournon recalls “ tourner ” (to turn).» (Vignois, id.): « His first acts were sensational in that he erased from the army list all the princes of royal families and exiled his first patron, the duke d'Aumale; he also repressed all the army officers of reactionist sympathies.» (HH, XIII, p.193). 

Pradelles: « Pradelles, depending on the 13th commandment of General Boulanger, recalls “ prassô ” (to practice).» (Vignois, id.).  

Montferrant: represents Clermont-Ferrant, siege of his commandment: « The ministry, to keep him away from Paris, nominated him commander of the army in Clermont: Rochefort wrote that “ they deported him ”, to guard him “ in the mountains”.» (Seignobos, 1921c, p.127). 


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§725 Sadi Carnot elected President of the Republic of France (1887.12.3): VIII-67.



By Sadi Carnot the great discord brought to ruin,

Neither the one nor the other shall not be elected,

Carnot shall have the love and concord of the people

His minister of war being his great protection.

(PAR. CAR. NERSAF, a ruine grand discorde,

Ne l'un ne l'autre n'aura election,

Nersaf du peuple aura amour & concorde

Ferrare, Collonne grande protection.)


NOTES: PAR.: = Par (By), « a preposition.» (Vignois, 1910, p.400)

CAR. NERSAF: A vague anagram of SADI CARNOT, CAR. NERSAF being for CARNER SAF.= CARNOT SADI (cf. id.).

PAR. CAR. NERSAF, a ruine grand discorde: = Grand discorde à ruine par CAR. NERSAF (The great discord to ruin by CAR. NERSAF).

By Sadi Carnot the great discord brought to ruin, Neither the one nor the other shall not be elected, Carnot shall have the love and concord of the people: « … Grévy resigned. In this critical situation, when Freycinet and Floquet, aiming for the radical vote, are said to have had a secret agreement to restore Boulanger [the one] to power; when the monarchists were planning to vote for Ferry [the other] in the hope that his impopularity would provoke one of those mob disturbances which had so often brought back the monarchy, Clémenceau skilfully secured the nomination and election of an unexpected figure - Sadi Carnot [ CAR. NERSAF], a man of unassailed reputation, whose grandfather was the great Carnot to whom France had owed her magnificent military organisation during the revolution. Sadi Carnot, though perhaps not a great man, displayed as president of the republic the same qualities of conscientiousness, diligence, and modesty for which he had been noted in those more humble days when he built bridges at Annecy [Carnot shall have the love and concord of the people].» (HH, XIII, p.194). 

Ferrare, Collonne: = Freycinet, minister of war, Ferrare hinting Freycinet in a remote way and Collonne (= colonne, column) signifying militarily a corps of troops in files.

By Sadi Carnot the great discord being ruined, His minister of war being his great protection: « These years were unexampled in France for the virulence of political passion and the acrimonious license of the press. The decoration scandal, the Boulangist movement, and the Panama affair filled this period with opprobrious accusations and counter-charges [the great discord]. Carnot chose Tirard for his premier; under him Wilson was sentenced to two years for fraud, and Boulanger was deprived of command for absenting himself from his post without leave. Wilson appealed, and the higher courts reversed the decision against him. As he was a relative of Grévy, this provoked public suspicion, which was aggravated when Boulanger was elected a deputy by an overwhelming majority and was immediately expelled from the army. Tirard's ministry fell and Floquet succeeded, with Freycinet as minister of war [His minister of war being his great protection]. A duel ensued between Floquet and Boulanger, in which, singularly, the civilian, who was also of advanced age, wounded the doughty general in the throat. None the less, Boulangism increased rapidly and was enlarged by the royalist vote. The time was ripe for a coup d’état, but the general did not move; indeed, he denied in his speeches any ambition for dictatorship and actually withdrew to Brussels, April, 1889, when he heard that Tirard, who had been recalled as premier, was about to arrest him. He was now found guilty of high treason and the senate sentenced him to life imprisonment. He went to Jersey and lived there quietly, while Boulangism died of inanition. In July, 1890, his mistress, Mme. de Bonnemain, died, and September 30th, 1891, he blew out his own brains on her grave. This last act was consistent with his whole career, both in its strong emotionalism and in its weakness. He was a man idolised by his soldiers, whom he treated with great democracy and even tenderness; he was thrilled with a passion to revenge France on Prussia, a passion bound to be popular then in France; he was a smart soldier and on his black horse made a picturesque figure; a popular tune added to his vogue - " C’est Boulanger qu'il nous faut ''; and it might have proved a “ Ça ira ” of insurrection, but he lacked the courage - or shall we not more mercifully and justly say, he lacked the villainy ? - to lead a revolution. While he missed the glory of a Napoleon, he also escaped the bloody crimes of that despot. Boulangism having committed suicide, it suffered disgrace from the monarchic coalition, and reform went on peacefully. In 1890 Freycinet added the premiership to the war ministry [His minister of war being his great protection], and 1891 saw no change of cabinet. Conciliation with Rome was the policy of both France and the Church; and in February, 1892, Leo XIII recognised the republic in an encyclical. Freycinet resigned the premiership and Émile Loubet became premier. Now the Panama scandal came to shock all the world with the revelations of official corruption, of wholesale blackmail, and of the abuse of funds largely subscribed by the poorer masses. The trials were peacefully conducted, and while only one former minister was convicted and a sentence was passed on De Lesseps, the engineer of the Suez Canal and also of the Panama venture, the deep disgust of the public did not take the usual recourse to riotous expression [the great discord being ruined, Carnot shall have the love and concord of the people]. Loubet was followed in December, 1892, by Ribot and he later by Dupuy. Casimir-Périer, grandson of the famous statesman, succeeded for a time, to be followed again by Dupuy. June 24th, 1894, President Carnot was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist named Caserio.» (HH, XIII, p.194-195). 


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§726 President Carnot stabbed to death (1894.6.24): V-17.



By night the king passing near a tortuous throng,

One of Cypress and principal waylays:

The king having scarcely escaped the blow along the Rhone,

The conspirators are going to put him to death.

(De nuict passant le roy pres d'une Andronne,

Celuy de Cipres & principal guette:

Le roy failli la main fuict long du Rosne,

Les conjurés l'iron à mort mettre.)


NOTES: Andronne: « Romance: a tortuous road, a way that winds » (Vignois, 1910, p.428), with another sense of « Greek: ἀνδρῶν (andrōn, of men, of the people) ». Therefore, it could mean in entirety « the tortuous throng », which fully suits to the expression: “ the king passing near a tortuous way ”, namely, “ the king passing near the tortuous crowd”: « The President of the Republic Carnot stayed in Lyons to inaugurate the festivals of the exposition; passing by night in car through the crowd, he was killed with a blow of knife by an Italian anarchist… » (Seignobos, 1921c, p.179).

Cypress: « a funeral tree.» (Vignois, id.).

One of Cypress: An assassin.

Principal: An assassin as a principal.

Here is a full interpretation by Vignois (id.): « A little after nine o’clock in the evening, at the close of a banquet offered to Mr. Carnot by the city of Lyons, the presidential procession was formed to go to the gala representation of the Grand-Theatre and advanced slowly amidst the enormous crowd. Mr. Carnot was in the first vehicle. All of a sudden they saw him pale and weigh down: an individual, approaching the landau, had just struck him with a dagger. A cry sprang out of the crowd:“ The President is assassinated ! ” They rushed upon the murderer whose action had been so rapid that none hadn’t intervened. Without the energetic attitude of the police, they would have lynched him. Mr. Carnot was immediately brought back, in traversing and running along the Rhone, to the Prefecture: the liver was perforated and all of hope lost. At thirty-eight past midnight, he breathed his last.»

The conspirators are going to put him to death: « The French anarchists were only a few, but, in attacking the public powers, they played in the political life a role disproportionate to their number. The anarchist Vaillant threw from the heights of the galleries of the Chamber of Deputies a reversal bomb that caused only insignificant wounds (December 9 [1892])… Vaillant, condemned to death, was executed; the anarchists were menacing to revenge him if President Carnot would not pardon him. » (Seignobos, id., p.175-176). 


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§727 The congregation of the fathers of Assumption (1879-1900): III-61.



The great band and sect of crucifers

Shall be founded in Montpellier:

Its light company of the near river,

Which a certain law shall regard as an enemy.

(La grande bande & secte crucigere,

Se dressera en Mesopotamie:

Du proche fleuve compaignie legere,

Que telle loy tiendra pour ennemie.)


NOTES: The great band and sect of crucifers Shall be founded in Montpellier: « The Congregation of the Fathers of Assumption, founded in Montpellier by the Father d’Alzon.» (Vignois, 1910, p.448).

Mesopotamie: = The city of Montpellier, situated between the two rivers: the Lez in the east and the Mosson in the west.

Its light company [its branch] of the near river [ the city of Paris near the Seine], Which a certain law shall regard as an enemy: « The Congregation constructed its siege in Paris and created there, toward 1879, a daily political journal, soon very spread, carrying the name and the image of La Croix (The Cross). The government made search, on November 13th 1899, the premises of these religious, prelude to a judicial action in virtue of the article 291 of the penal Code, about to be abrogated, forbidding the associations of more than 20 persons. The public prosecutor having read before the audience the seized letters, in which the religious congratulated themselves on the election of several deputies, Mr. Motte protested against a proceeding that scattered the names of thirty-one deputies supposed to be elected by the Assumptionists as food to the press; the discussion made disclosed how great was the animosity that animated the majority of the members of the Chamber against The Cross. On January 24th 1900, the court of petty sessions of the Seine condemned each of the sued Fathers to a penalty of sixteen francs and pronounced the dissolution of the Congregation. The journal passed into the hand of a great industrial of Lille, Mr. Paul Féron-Vrau.»
(Vignois, id.).


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§728 - §729 Heinrich Schliemann at Troy, at Mycenae and at Tiryns, John Evans at Knossos: V-91 and IX-84.

These two quatrains seem to refer in couples to the archeological discoveries of the ancient Greek civilization by H. Schliemann (1822-1890) and A. J. Evans (1851-1941). In the first place we have a list of relevant histories:

History 1°: Elgin marbles (1801-1805).
« The embassy of Lord Elgin [1766-1841] at Constantinople... Some say that it is the English government that took the initiative of his parallel mission in Greece, with the intention of acquiring works of art and preventing France from cornering the market of antiquities. Others see there on the contrary Elgin’s personal project. In July 1801 begins the pillage of Parthenon and, more broadly, of the Acropolis; it will continue till 1805, the date when every removing and every digging is forbidden.» (Etienne, R. et F., 1990, p.67-68)

History 1°b: Elgin marbles at British Museum (1816).
« Elgin marbles... Immediately after their arrival at London, all the artists, connoisseurs and Maecenas of the city crowd to see them. The result is striking in the artistic world: « The Elgin marbles are by far superior to all the treasuries of Italy.» In Autumn 1816, the sculptures becoming properties of the British nation are transported into the British Museum. As soon as they are installed, drawings, moldings and engravings spread in England and abroad.» (Etienne, R. et F., id., p.73-75)

History 2°: The German Schliemann and the Englishman Evans.
« ... The humanities progress, too; the past steps back and grows richer. The German Schliemann discovers Troy, the Englishman Evans resurrects Crete. » (Grousset et Léonard, 1958, p.591)

History 3°: Priam’s treasury at the site of Hissarlik identified with Troy (1872-1873).
« Schliemann has a merit of pursuing a coherent plan of researches which leads him to Ithaca in 1868, then in Turkey to the site of Hissarlik in 1872-1873. He proves that it concerns probably the city of Troy, and discloses a fabulous treasury of jewels, surnamed at once Priam’s treasury or jewelry of Helen the beauty.» (Etienne, R. et F., id., p. 110)

History 4°: Preliminary travels and two leading theories of Schliemann (1864-1869).
« The lawsuit was decided in his favour in December 1863, when he finally wound up his business, to which he never returned. In the spring of 1864 Dr. Schliemann travelled to Carthage and India, and remained for several months in China and Japan. His first book, La Chine et le Japon, was written during the fifty days' voyage from Japan to America. It was published next year in Paris, where Dr. Schliemann now settled, devoting himself chiefly to the study of archaeology. He visited for the first time the classical spots which were later to become the sources of his world-wide fame in the summer of 1868. He published an account of these travels in German and French in 1869, under the title of Ithaca, the Peloponnesus, and Troy. In this book he first announced the two leading theories which guided him in his later excavations, and which led to his remarkable success. In the first place, the description of the traveller Pausanias led him to conclude that the graves of the Atreidae at Mycenae had lain inside, and not outside, the citadel wall; secondly, he placed Troy on the site of the new historic Ilion, on the hill now called Hissarlik, near the coast. The most distinguished scholars and travellers of the day, if they granted its real existence at all, held it to have stood far inland on the summit of the Balidagh, near Bunárbashi. This book and a treatise written in Greek gained at once for Schliemann his doctor's degree at Rostock. Then he went travelling again, and spent almost the whole of 1869 in the United States.» (Schuchhardt, 1891, p.6)

History 5°: Excavations of Hissarlik resulting in Trojan Antiquities (1870-1874).
« Next year he began the great work of his life, the excavation of Troy. The first sod was turned on Hissarlik in April 1870. Permission had first to be obtained from the Turkish Government, but, owing to the disturbed state of foreign affairs at that time, it was long delayed. The permission only arrived in September 1871. On the 27th of the month, Schliemann set off for the Dardanelles, with his young wife Sophia, a Greek, whom he had married two years before in Athens. When the work ceased for the winter on November 24, there was nothing to show it. Dr. Schliemann resumed the work much more thoroughly in March 1872. The excavations were carried on well into the hot summer, and only stopped on August 14. In spite of this, they had led to no satisfactory result. In the following year [1873] Dr. Schliemann with too much zeal returned to Hissarlik on February 1, and had therefore to endure six weeks of bitter cold. The wind, which at that season blows up from the Hellespont, is no less severe than in our northern climate. Through the chinks in the thin wooden shed the north wind blew so hard that, in spite of a constant fire, the water in the room was frozen. The cold was just bearable during the day, while they were busy with the excavations, " but of an evening," says Dr. Schliemann, " we had nothing to keep us warm except our enthusiasm for the great work of discovering Troy." This year, however, brought the first real success. The town walls appeared more and more distinctly. To the south-west, too, a great gate was uncovered, and quite close to it, over the foundation of the town wall, was found the famous " great treasury," consisting of countless golden ornaments and many silver and copper vessels, weapons, etc. It was about mid-day when Dr. Schliemann observed the first signs of the treasury, and during the workmen's dinner-hour he lifted and concealed the whole mass, with the assistance of his wife, whose shawl served as a basket. He thus managed to keep together the whole find, of which, by agreement, the half should have been given over to the Turkish Government. After this third campaign, Dr. Schliemann described the results of his excavations in the work Trojan Antiquities. It was published in German with an atlas of 218 maps in 1874, and a French translation by M. Rangabé appeared at the same time. The book did much to shake the deep-rooted Troy-Bunárbashi theory.» (Schuchhardt, 1891, p.6-8)

History 6°: Circle of tombs and royal funeral masks of gold at Mycenae (1874-1876).
« Passing then to Mycenae in 1874, an error in the text of Pausanias made him discover a circle of tombs in the interior of the acropolis [cf: “ the description of the traveller Pausanias led him to conclude that the graves of the Atreidae at Mycenae had lain inside, and not outside, the citadel wall.”(Schuchhardt, id.)]. He reveals to the learned society and to the general public the extraordinary treasuries of a civilization unknown till then: funeral masks of gold, cups of gold and of bronze, diadems, damascene daggers, gravestones bearing the most ancient sculptured reliefs. All is exposed and published rapidly in German and in English. These masks are made from a gold foil shaped to a figure of sculptured wood. Any equivalent to this first attempt of royal portrait is not known in the Aegean world.» ( Etienne, R. et F., id., p. 111-112)

History 6°b: « By an article of the Greek constitution, everything found in the country must remain there and become the property of the Government, so these treasures were taken to Athens. They are exhibited in the great hall of the Polytechnicon, and form one of the most interesting and imposing collections in the world. The excavations at Mycenae went on to the end of 1876. In 1877 Dr. Schliemann published the results in his book Mycenae. An English edition appeared simultaneously in London and New York, and in 1878 a French one was issued in Paris. The preface was written by Mr. Gladstone, whose keen interest in Homeric studies is well known.» (Schuchhardt, id., p.10)

History 7°: At Orchomenos (1880-1881).
« At Orchomenos, in 1880 and 1881, he excavated the so-called treasury of Minyas, a great bee-hive tomb exactly like those of Mycenae.» (Schuchhardt, id, p.12)

History 7°b: « Schliemann sets out again to Troy and excavates then at Orchomenos of Boeotia, and opens in 1884 the site of Tiryns.» ( Etienne, R. et F., id., p. 110)

History 8°: Schliemann at Tiryns which is proved of the same period as those of Troy and Mycenae whose memory has survived in Homer (1884).
« On March 1, 1882, Dr. Schliemann resumed work at Hissarlik. This time he had the co-operation of Dr. W. Dörpfeld, now chief secretary to the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, who, for several years previous to his work with Dr. Schliemann, had taken a leading part in the German excavations at Olympia. They now gained important results by uncovering several great complex buildings in the most important stratum, the second from the native rock. Dr. Schliemann and Dr. Dörpfeld at that time held that the extensive buildings with vestibules in front, and a great round hearth in the centre, were temples. Two years later [1884], however, the ground-plan of the palace at Tiryns was discovered almost intact. It had the same long central hall, with a vestibule and a great round hearth, and thus it was proved that the analogous buildings in Troy were not temples, but the chief apartments of the king's palace. The same apartment, with exactly the same ground-plan, has recently been also found at Mycenae, in the centre of the palace. Consequently, it is now perfectly certain, even if it was not so in 1882, that Dr. Schliemann has discovered the Pergamos [citadel] of Troy in the chief stratum of Hissarlik. This city, like Tiryns and Mycenae, belongs to that same great and flourishing period of Graeco-Asiatic culture which is obviously pre-Homeric. We can unhesitatingly recognise in it the Troy whose memory survived in the poems of Homer. The devout and childlike faith with which Dr. Schliemann, in spite of all ridicule, clung to an actual historic foundation for the Homeric poems and the Trojan War, has been victorious over all the acuteness and erudition expended on the opposite side.» (Schuchhardt, 1891,

History 8°b: « From March till June 1884 Dr. Schliemann worked at Tiryns. Here he made a splendid discovery, which threw light on all sides. He came on the foundations of a palace in excellent preservation, dating from the heroic age.» (Schuchhardt, id., p.14)

History 9°: Schliemann's dreams coming true.
« At the time when Dr. Schliemman began his excavations in Troy, the Homeric poems, ---then the main source of our knowledge of prehistoric Greece --- had already been subjected to keen and searching criticism by F. A. Wolf, Wilhelm Müller, and Lachmann, and the results of this criticism were known not only to specialists, but to the educated public in general. The main contention that the Iliad and the Odyssey were really a collection of songs composed at different times, and of very unequal value, and like the German Niebelungen Lied, they could be resolved to shorter lays, each celebrating the deeds of individual heroes. The most famous of these heroes, Achilles for example, like Siegfried, had, it was maintained, their ultimate origin in mythological personages, once worshipped as divine. English scholars, it is true, in the face of the Wolfian doctrine, maintained intact their peculiar Homeric orthodoxy. They remained faithful on the whole to the old catholic belief. Grote considered that the Odyssey, though not the Iliad, was originally one complete whole: he farther placed Troy exactly on the spot where Dr. Schliemann afterwards excavated it. In Germany, however, the conviction daily gained ground that it was impossible to decide how much the ancient Epos was truth and how much poetic fiction. Every influential scholar and traveller --- and among them we find Moltke, Welcker, Kiepert, and Curtius --- favoured the view that disregards the leading traits of the Homeric picture, and bids us recognise the ancient capital of the Troad in a small mountain fastness near Bunárbashi, situated at a considerable distance from the sea. This, they held, had been transformed by the imaginative descriptions of a Homer into a royal city, capital of a broad domain. The question is now decided for ever. On the hill of Hissarlik Dr. Schliemann has uncovered the ancient palaces of Troy, has laid bare its colossal fortifications, and brought to light its treasures of gold and silver. Moreover, in the country round about, his unwearying exertions have proved the accuracy of many details, which show a coincidence, astonishing even to the most credulous, between the picture unfolded in Homer and the one preserved to this day. In order to be able rightly to estimate the significance of these results, we must first take a rapid survey of what ancient tradition has handed down to us concerning Troy and the Trojan plain. Our knowledge of the " Ilios " of the Trojan War is solely derived from the Homeric poems. The Greeks of historic times themselves knew nothing beyond what these poems tell us. Their assertions about remote antiquity either have Homer for their source or are pure inventions. In Homer Troy is a wealthy capital, situated in the neighbourhood of the Hellespont, and facing the little island of Tenedos. Its horizon is bounded on the one side by Samothrake, the high snow-capped peak whence Poseidon watched the battle, on the other by wooded " many-fountained " Ida, the seat of Zeus. The Trojan princes dwelt originally farther inland on Mount Ida; later on they came down from this lofty position, and founded the present citadel "upon the plain." So wonderful are the walls and towers of this citadel, that their building was ascribed to no mortal hand but to Poseidon and Apollo. On the summit of the Acropolis were situated the palaces --- the palace of Priam, and next to it those of Hector and of Paris. There also Zeus was worshipped, and Athena and Apollo had their temples. The only exit from the city mentioned in the poems is the Skaian Gate, through which the road led to the battle-field on the plain.» (Schuchhardt, id., p.17-18)

History 9°b: « Most of the Trojan treasures are now in the " Völker Museum " at Berlin. A new book on the new excavations was promptly written and entitled Troja. It appeared, with a preface by Professor Sayce, at the end of 1884, in English and German. As no French translation of Ilios had yet appeared, this work was revised and enlarged in accordance with the new discoveries, and in this form it was published in Paris in 1885, under the title of Ilios, Ville et Pays des Troyens.» (Schuchhardt, id., p.14)

History 10°: Evans at Minos’s (1899).
« Evans traveled in Greece in 1893 and rediscovered at the antiquaries of Athens graved ancient stones originating from Crete and bearing hieroglyphic signs. It is the first revelation of the Minoan script. He decided to excavate at Knossos and payed out of his pocket for the grounds and broke up the ground in 1899. It was the extraordinary discovery of the palace of Minos.» (Etienne, R. et F., id., p. 113)

History 10°b: Evans at Minos’s (1900).
« Evans' attention was called to Cretan antiquities in 1893 by a study of jewelry belonging to the prehistoric Mycenaean civilization recently discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in excavations at Mycenae and Orchomenos. Evans began to collect the engraved seal stones. In 1894 he explored Crete in search of further seals; at this time he determined to excavate ancient Cnossus and began to negotiate for the site near Candia where walls and Mycenaean pottery had been found in 1878. The Turkish officials of the island had prevented archaeological excavation as long as they were in power, but in March 1900 (Crete had gained autonomy within the Ottoman Empire in 1898) Evans was able to begin digging.» (Collier's Encyclopedia, IX, p.467)

History 10°c: Evans at Minos’s (1900-1905-1935).
« Excavations conducted with brilliant success by Sir Arthur Evans were begun in 1900, continued annually until 1905, and pursued intermittently during the succeeding thirty years. They revealed an enormous palace covering nearly six acres of ground and surrounded by a town in which there were many large and luxurious detached houses.» (Collier's Encyclopedia, VI, p.640)

History 10°d: Evans at Minos’s (1921-1936).
« Reports of this and following archaeological diggings were promptly published and brought immediate recognition of the importance of Evans' discovery. The first volume of his chief and truly monumental work, The Palace of Minos at Knossos, appeared in 1921, the last in 1936. It is not only an account of the palace Evans excavated but an encyclopedic survey of all aspects of the Minoan civilization of Crete.» (Collier's Encyclopedia, IX, p.467-468)

History 11°: The Orthodox Greeks as Romans under the Turkish reign (15th - 18th century).
« Among the peoples whose majority is Christian in Turkey, the most important is that of the Greeks, who inhabited not only the Balkans, but also the greater part of Anatolia. The greatest number of them spoke the modern Greek. But the Ottomans called them " Romans (Rumlar) ", considering that they were Orthodox of the Byzantine Empire in truth. They understand by the appellation "Romans" above all "Orthodox Greeks". In parallel, the Greeks identified themselves with the Romans who kept their identity in the Orthodox Church. It is from the second half of the 18th century that the Greeks began to consider the ancient heretic Greeks as their immediate ancestors and to establish the origin of their identity in the Greek nationality.» (Suzuki, 1992, p.96-97)

§728 Elgin marbles; Excavations of Troy and Mycenae (1801-1936): V-91.

At the great market of the so-called liars,
By little and little Torrent and the Athenian camp:
Shall be surprised by the tiny horses,
By those of Albion Mars Leo, Sat. alone versien.

(Au grand marché qu'on dict des mensongiers,
Du bout Torrent & camp Athenien:
Seront surprins par les chevaulx legiers,
Par Albanoys Mars Leo, Sat. un versien.)

The great market of the so-called liars: The market of antiquities where they trade on a large scale and sometimes by fraud.

Du bout: A locution invented by Nostradamus signifying, probably, « by little and little, little by little ». This adverbial qualification accords with a slow and careful process of archeologic excavation in contrast with the locution « du tout » (utterly) [cf. the edition № 10].

Torrent: The key word which can be found only in these two quatrains of the Prophecies of Nostradamus except le torrent (the torrent) in the proper sense of the quatrain II-33, and seems to indicate an anagrammatic enigma derived from the composition or superposition of the characters T, o, r, r, e, n, t of Troie (Troy) and Tirynthe (Tiryns), the two archeological sites in Greece excavated in succession by Heinrich Schliemann (Histories 3°-5° and 8°-8°b).

And the Athenian camp: The Latin etymology campus of the French camp (a camp) and champ (a field) signifying « plaine (a plain), terrain plat (a plain ground); terrain d'exercise ou de bataille (a field of exercise or of combat)» (Ernout et Meillet), the phrase « and the Athenian camp » can indicate other sites in Greece than Torrent (Troy and Tiryns), such as Mycenae (History 6°), Ithaque (History 3°), Orchomenos (History 7°) and the Acropolis of Athens itself, where camped the Turkish garrison during the reign of the Sultans (cf. Etienne, R. et F., id., p.36-37) and whose antique monuments in part have been removed by Lord Elgin for London in the beginning of the 19th century (Histories 1°-1°b).

Shall be surprised by the tiny horses: The archeologic sites in Greece are excavated by teams of workers supported by tiny horses (cf. Etienne, R. et F., id., gravure in frontispiece).

By those of Albion (Par Albanoys): = By the Englishmen. Albanois in the Prophecies of Nostradamus has three distinct senses, whose one is for the light cavalry from Albania serving France, Spain or Venice, which is confused with the second for « the subordinates of the duke of Albe, General of the army of Philip II » (V-46 and IV-98), all the examples of the term Albe in the Prophecies (VI-68, VII-29 and IX-22 bis) seeming to indicate the same personage. And thirdly, all the other two examples of Albanois in the Prophecies (V-91 et VIII-94) with its cognate Albanins (VIII-40) are for the English, Albania, 'the soil of white' in English with an out-of-date sense representing Scottland and Albion, 'the white soil' in English symbolizing Great-Britain or England because of the white coasts of chalk of the Channel (cf. HH, XIX, p.292). Therefore, in this quatrain, the word Albanois is understood as the Englishmen who excavated the archeologic sites in Greece or traded the Greek antiquities, among whom are Lord Elgin and John Evans (Histories 10°-10°d).

Mars Leo, Sat. un versien: The planetary configuration of Mars in Leo and Saturn alone (un) in retrogradation (versien = verso) in Aquarius (versien = Verseau) gives us the following distinct years within the period 1555-2000: 1609, 1639, 1669, 1697, 1699, 1726, 1727, 1756, 1757, 1816, 1874, 1904, 1934, 1964 et 1991, among which the four consecutive years: 1816, 1874, 1904 and 1934 are pertinent for the theme of the quatrains in couples.

Dating according to the planetary configuration « Mars Leo, Sat. un versien »:
By « Mars Leo », one can understand that « Mars is in the sign of the Lion », « Leo » being an adjective or adverbial locution without preposition as usual (cf. A l'Entrée des Prophéties, §5) and, likewise, by « Sat. un versien » one can understand that « Saturn in retrogradation is alone in the sign of Aquarius », « Sat. un » signifying « Saturn alone » and « versien » suggesting at the same time « the sign Aquarius » and « returning » (verso in Latin signifies to return) (cf. Centurio, 1953, p.126). Therefore, to obtain the dating of this planetary configuration within the period of 1555 to 2000, it is necessary to get the convergence of the following four cumulative conditions:

1° The periods of Saturn in the sign of Aquarius (of the longitude of 300°-330°).
2° The periods of Mars in the sign of Lion (of the longitude of 120°-150°) under the condition 1°.
3° The periods of Saturn in retrogradation under the condition 2°.
4° The periods of the absence of the other planets than Saturn in the sign of Aquarius under the condition 3°. (For this we search preliminarily the periods of the presence of the other planets (Uranus, Pluto and Neptune included **) than Saturn in the sign of Aquarius under the condition 3° = The condition 4p°).

** As to the prediction of the discovery of Uranus, of Pluto and of Neptune by Nostradamus, cf. Ionescu, Nostradamus et les planètes trans-saturniennes (1983) et Guinard, Nostradamus connaissait-il les planètes trans-saturniennes ? (CN84, 2000; 2008).

According to the results of the astronomic calculations concerning the four conditions of the planets in question by means of my program (AstroArts Inc.,1993), if one marks the distinct years, it figures those of 1609, 1639, 1669, 1697, 1699, 1726, 1727, 1756, 1757, 1816, 1874, 1904, 1934, 1964 et 1991, among which the four consecutive years: 1816, 1874, 1904 et 1934 are pertinent to our subjet, for the year 1816 sees the Elgin marbles transported into the British Museum (History 1°b), and the year 1874 accords exactly with the year when Schliemann installed himself at Mycenae (Histories 6° and 6°b) after having excavated the site of Hissarlik in 1873. And the year 1874, it is also that of the publication of his principal work Trojan Antiquities in Gremany and in French (History 5°), which shook the traditional academic opinion about Troy assimilated with Bunárbashi. And moreover, the years 1904 and 1934 can serve as landmarks for the development of excavating the palace of Minos at Knossos and of their scientific analyses during a long term by Arthur John Evans, who had discovered the greatest part of the site in 1905 (History 10°c) and achieved the publication of the exhaustive and careful reports: The palace of Minos at Knossos in 4 volumes in 1936 (History 10°d). Otherwise, Crete was restored to Greece in 1908, which justifies the conception of the island as an « Athenian camp ».

P. Brind'Amour (1993, p.278) understands « Mars, Leo, Sat. un versien » as follows: « When Mars occupies the Lion and Saturn the first degree of Aquarius », which leads us exclusively to the beginning of December 1520. In fact, during the 500 years of 1501 to 2000, Saturn is found 25 times at the first degree of Aquarius, all the cases of which except that of 1520 being with Mars outside the sign of the Lion. Another next chance for his interpretation is barely the year 2167. This interpretative bias is peculiar to a classicist Brind'Amour who seeks for the supposed past data of the prophecies of Nostradamus, even if « the precedent historical events to be paralleled with » are « failing » to him.

We would adopt another alternative rather than his, if the authentic Prophet will not give us impossible dates for our future as to one of his prophetic quatrains. Then, the most probable convergence in question of the conditions given by the quatrain containing the possible astronomic data and the other historical events to be taken in consideration will offer us a most probable solution.

Otherwise, if we suppress our condition 3° and simply follow Brind'Amour’s opinion that « Versien = le Verseau accommodé pour la rime (Versien is Verseau accomodated for the rhyme) », we get the years 1609, 1639, 1669, 1697, 1699, 1726, 1727, 1756, 1757, 1816, 1874, 1904, 1934, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1991 and 1993. The conclusion remains the same.

§729 Schliemann at Troy and at Mycenae (1872-1874): IX-84.

The exposed King shall finish the hecatomb,
After having discovered its origin,
Torrent shall open the tomb of marble and lead
Of a great Roman with a sign of Medusa.

(Roy exposé parfaira Lhecatombe,
Apres avoir trouvé son origine,
Torrent ouvrir de marbre & plomb la tombe
D'un grand Romain d'enseigne Medusine.)

Having discovered its origin: Schliemann identified the site of Hissarlik in Turkey with the antique city of Troy (Histories 2°-5° et 9°).

Lhecatombe: = L’hécatombe = the hecatomb, figuring a modern archeologic excavation that resembles an antique rite of sacrificing a hundred oxen in its large scale apparently ritual and mindful.
The exposed King shall finish the hecatomb: The five funeral masks Schliemann discovered at the final stage of his excavation at Mycenae and imagined proper to kings (History 6°) and his effort to make publish and expose the results of his excavations to the entire world (Histories 5°, 6°, 6°b et 9°b) finished his lifework (Histories 4° et 9°).

A great Roman with a sign of Medusa: The great antique poet Homer (History 9°), the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire being called Romans (History 11°; cf. also Grecs (Greeks) of  §5, I-83  signifying the Ottomans in general) and an adjective locution: "with a sign of Medusa" moreover indicating that it concerns a Greek in reality by reference to a Greek mythic being "Medusa".

The tomb of marble and lead Of a great Roman: Here we understand by the term : the tomb not that of Homer historically unidentified, but the stone monuments including real tombs significative of what his epic poetry tells, in other words, the royal palaces of Hissarlik and of Tiryns proved by Schliemann with the same ground-plan of the same pre-Homeric civilization whose memory survived in Homer.

Torrent shall open the tomb: Torrend, that is, the archeologic sites of Hissarlik (Troy) and of Tiryns revealed to Schliemann the royal palaces (la tombe de marbre & plomb) with the same ground-plan as that of Mycenae, whose memory survived in the Homeric poetry (History 8°).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2010-2015. All rights reserved.


19th century:

§730 Incandescent bulbs; Hydroelectricity (1831-1913): IX-9.



When the ardent lamp of inextinguishable fire

Shall be discovered at the temple of the Vestals,

A child finds the fire, water passing through sieves:

Water of Nimes shall perish, the markets of Toulouse shall decline.


(Quand lampe ardente de feu inextinguible

Sera trouvé au temple des Vestales,

Enfant trouve feu, eau passant par trible:

Perir eau Nymes, Tholose cheoir les halles.)


NOTES: Here is a remarkable solution by Centurio (1953, p.193), with some obstacles unconquered: « When the burning lamp with the inextinguishable fire Shall be discovered in the temple of Vestals, A child shall be found to let the fire and water run through a sieve [durch ein Sieb]: The water fails in Nimes, the market falls in Toulouse. When the electric light, which does not extinguish, shall be discovered “in the temple of Vestals”, then each child can switch on the light and procure water through a pipe of supply. The last line is unclear.»

The ardent lamp of inextinguishable fire: = The incandescent bulb lit with an alternating current constantly supplied by a hydroelectric power plant.

The Vestals: A metaphor for the modern scientists and engineers serving Vesta, a divine symbol of discoveries and inventions of our electro-magnetic civilization: e.g., Generator (dynamo) by Michael Faraday and Motor by Joseph Henry in 1831; Maxwell’s equations about the electro-magnetic field by James Maxwell in 1865; Electric bulbs with carbon filaments by Thomas Edison in 1879; Induced motor for an alternating current by Nikola Tesla in 1883; Mathematical expression of alternating current circuits by Charles Steinmetz in 1893; Tungsten filaments by William Coolidge in 1909; Incandescent bulbs filled with nitrogen gas by Irving Langmuir in 1913, later Argon replacing Nitrogen (cf. Asimov, 1996, s.v.).

The temple of the Vestals: The intelligent world of those servants.

A child finds the fire: = Even a child can get the electric fire by switching on.

Trible: « * trible, s.m., crible (a sieve).» (Godefroy).

Water passing through sieves: This phrase expresses the generation of electricity in a hydroelectric power plant, sieves referring to the indispensable equipments of filtering the natural water taken from a river off foreign objects to secure water wheels of a generator. A recent news of this winter (December 2014) says that one of the sieves of the water channel of a hydroelectric power plant of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated) in Tsunan, Niigata, caused, having been blocked up by masses of snow because of failed procedures, an unexpected flood which brought about a landslide with traffic hindrance resulting in the isolation of a village.

Cf. Water Screening equipments of power plants: 

plant a [http://www.suiryoku.com/gallery/niigata/sinanoga/sinanoga.html ];

plant b [ http://www.suiryoku.com/gallery/niigata/nakatgw2/nakatgw2.html ].

Water of Nimes shall perish: Even if the famous fountain of Nimes welling up out of the ground might dry up, the electric fire shall be eternal as long as power plants can be favoured by natural rivers. « The site [of Nimes] juxtaposes the whole of carcareous hills into contact of a source with deep and fresh waters, ... » (Dupont,1956, p.3; cf. p.2 and p.41-43, too).  

The markets of Toulouse shall decline: The electrification of our daily lighting will expel from the great markets of large cities like Toulouse much of the conveniences such as oil, lamps, candles, etc.


© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.


20th century:
§896 Meteorological mechanism of snowing and raining (1945-1960): X-70.

The eye by an object shall make such an excrescence,
And so ardent that snow shall fall,
The watered field shall be decreasing,
So that the prime shall fall down to Reggio.

(L'œil par object fera telle excroissance,
Tant & ardante que tumbera la neige,
Champ arrousé viendra en decroissance,
Que le primat succumbera à Rege.)

NOTES: This seemingly awkward quatrain explains from the modern scientific point of view the meteorological mechanism of snowing and raining.

Here is a meteorological explanation in brief of snowing and raining: « Water in the atmosphere. WATER-VAPOUR is an ever-present, though minor constituent of the atmosphere. Unlike the major components oxygen and nitrogen, its concentration varies greatly in space and time; it is added to the lowest layers by evaporation from the oceans and land surfaces, and removed from the mid-troposhere by the formation of rain and snow which falls to the surface. [by P. Squires].» (Fletcher, 1962, p.1).

This most compact explanation provides us with sufficient interpretation of the greater part of the verses concerned as follows: « WATER-VAPOUR is an ever-present, though minor constituent of the atmosphere. Unlike the major components oxygen and nitrogen, its concentration varies greatly in space and time; it is added to the lowest layers by evaporation from the oceans and land surfaces [The watered field shall be decreasing], and removed from the mid-troposhere by the formation of rain and snow [ ... shall make such an excrescence ] which falls to the surface [that snow shall fall, that the prime shall fall down to Reggio ].»

Now, it remains to make explicit the phrases: The eye by an object ... and And so ardent ..., where the eye refers to the Sun, so ardent to the heat from the Sun, and an object to foreign particles in suspension in the air as indispensable substrata for the condensation of water-vapour to form snow and rain. In fact, the evaporation in question is to be caused principally by the heat from the Sun upon the Earth and there is no homogeneous condensation, i.e. the condensation without foreign particles in the concrete event of snowing and raining.

The eye (l'œil): « The eye is here the Sun, commonly considered as “the eye of God” in the Hermetic books.» (Clébert, 2003, p.1136).

By an object: « Condensation. The existence of clouds in the atmosphere is due to the fact that when moist air is expanded adiabatically its relative humidity is increased. The relative humidity may be expected to exceed saturation. And once saturation is exceeded by an almost negligible amount condensation begins. Condensation is a process which does not occur easily in a pure environment. For pure water-vapour at room temperature the vapour-pressure must be about four times its saturation value before appreciable condensation occurs. However, the atmosphere is not a pure environment but contains numerous small dust-paticles which may be neutral or electrically charged, droplets of various solutions and soluble crystals. Upon this suspended material condensation occurs easily at supersaturations ranging from a few hundreds of one per cent up to some tens of per cent.» (Fletcher, id., p.32).

« Sublimation and Freezing. As a cloud rises through the atmosphere it is cooled by its nearly adiabatic expansion and its summit temperature may often fall below the freezing-point. Just as a pure vapour when made supersaturated does not condense spontaneously until a very large supersaturation is reached, so a pure liquid will not freeze spontaneously until supercooled well below its equilibrium freezing temperature. In the case of water the supercooling required for such homogeneous freezing is in the neighbourhood of 40° C. Again, as in the case of condensation, suspended particles may act as nuclei for the freezing process and if such nuclei are present freezing may occur with only a few degrees of supercooling. Ice-forming nuclei (leaving aside the question of whether they act by sublimation or freezing) occur naturally in the atmosphere, but in comparison with condensation nuclei which exist in hundreds per cubic centimetre they are rare, and nuclei producing ice-crystals at temperatures warmer than – 20° C typically occur only in concentrations of the order of one per litre. For this reason ice-crystals do not usually occur in appreciable numbers in cloud-tops until their temperature has fallen to about – 20° C.» (Fletcher, id., p.33-34).

An excrescence: « Stability of clouds. A cloud, as formed, is an assembly of tiny droplets numbering perhaps one hundred or so per cubic centimetre and having radii of about 10 μ. This structure is remarkably stable as a rule, the droplets showing little tendency to come together or to change their sizes except by a general growth of the whole population. There are two different mechanisms by which the microstructure of a cloud may become unstable. The first mechanism involves the direct collision and coalescence of water droplets and may be important in any cloud. The second involves the interaction between water droplets and ice-crystals and is confined to those clouds whose tops penetrate above the freezing-level. Very small droplets are unable to collide with each other, no matter what their original trajectories. However, when the radius of one droplet exceeds about 18 μ, collisions with a limited range of smaller droplets become possible; for larger drops the collision efficiency increases sharply. It is thus to be expected that clouds containing negligible numbers of droplets larger than 18 μ will prove stable as far as coalescence is concerned, whilst clouds containing appreciable numbers of large droplets may develop precipitation. This critical radius lies within the range of normal large cloud drop sizes and clouds belonging to both categories exist.» (Fletcher, id., p.34-35).

Precipitaion: « When an ice-crystal exists in the presence of a large number of supercooled water droplets the situation is immediately unstable. The vapour-pressure over ice is less than that over water (by about one per cent for every degree below freezing) and as a consequence the water droplets tend to evaporate whilst the ice-crystal grows. This direct vapour transfer is most efficient at temperatures near – 15° C, where the absolute vapour-pressure difference is greatest. Growth is most rapid when the ice-crystal is small because the diffusion gradient is then very sharp; as growth continues the growth-rate decreases. Once the ice-crystal has grown appreciably larger than the water droplets, however, it begins to fall relative to them and collisions become possible. If these collisions are primarily with other ice-crystals then snowflakes form, whilst if water droplets are collected graupel (sleet) or hail may result. Once the ice-structure falls below the freezing-level melting may occur, and upon emerging from the cloud base the raindrop may be indistinguishable from one formed by coalescence. In cold weather on the other hand, or when large hailstones are involved, the precipitation may reach the ground unmelted.» (Fletcher, id., p.35).

Ardante: = Ardent (ardent) in the feminine in agreement with the precedent «excroissance», it being in reality an attribute to the eye. Here is an extravagant wordplay by Nostradamus, for « ardant » as a noun in ancient French has a meaning of « the fire of hell (feu d’enfer)» (Godefroy).

Tumber: = Tomber (to fall). « TOMBER. Often tumber in the Middle Ages and still in many speeches, following tumer: “gambader (to leap, to gambol), danser (to dance)”.» (Bloch & Wartburg).

The watered field: A field as any extensive surface in general. « Thus, tropical regions are on the whole a source-region for water-vapour, and polar regions a sink; the oceans as a whole are a source-region, and obviously the continents, or at least those part of them which drain to the oceans, must be sinks.» (Fletcher, id., p.1).

The prime: = The first precipitation; « primat [prima] m. Primate; Primacy.» (Dubois).

Succumber: = Succomber. « SUCCOMBER, from the Latin succumbere (to lay onself or fall or sink under).» (Bloch & Wartburg; Smith-Lockwood).

Rege: = Reggio as an arbitrarily mentioned place: « The identification of Rege with Reggio nell’Emilia seems to be confirmed by the two citations of Montaige who, in speaking about this city, writes in succession Rege and Regge.» (Clébert, id., p.1137).

« The study of cloud physics has been a comparatively neglected branch of meteorology, and an understanding of the relatively simple physics of the precipitation process has come very late in that particular science. The main reason for this seems to have been the difficulty of measuring, in cloud, many of the quantities involved. However, in the past ten or fifteen years [i.e., since 1945 or 1950], some of these difficulties have been overcome and a vast extension has taken place in our knowledge of the subject. [Foreword by E.G.Bowen, January 1961]» (Fletcher, id., p.v).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.

Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 219 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§949).

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