§724

19th century:

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

 

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). 

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© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2015. All rights reserved.

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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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