§734 Development of firearms aggravating wars and revolutions (17th – 20th centuries): III-44.

III-44 (§734):

When the animal domestic to men,
After great pains and leaps shall succeed in speaking,
The rod with lightning shall be so malefic,
As territories taken and overturned in air.

(Quand l'animal à l'homme domestique,
Apres grands peines & sauts viendra parler,
Le foudre à vierge sera si malefique,
De terre prinse & suspendue en l'air.

NOTES: Many interpreters (Le Pelletier, 1867, I, p.133; Larmor, 1925, p.175; Ward, 1940, p.130; Lamont, 1942, p.89; Ionescu, 1976, p.715; Luni, 1998, p.167) follow Motret (Essai d’explication de deux quatrains de Nostradamus, Paris, 1806) who broke through the invincible wall, upon which this quatrain was projecting a scene hardly understandable in history according to the literal context of the text: « When the Beast familiar to Mankind, After great labour, and leaping shall come to speak, The Lightning shall be so hurtful to a Virgin, That she shall be taken from the Earth, and suspended in the Air.» (Garancières, 1672, p.65).

Motret’s great merit was his disclosure of the meaning embedded in the French word chien (a dog), which he induced from the phrase: the animal domestic to men, and which can sometimes mean chien de fusil (a dog of gun, i.e. cock or hammer of firearms in English) (Motret, 1806, p.45-46). This type of gunlock is called a flint-lock succeeding in the 17th century a match-lock and a wheel-lock of the 16th century and thereafter in the 19th century succeeded by a modernest percussion-lock (id. p.45-48; EH, VII, p.431-432).

« The gun (fusil) that made take a new face to the artillery and a flint-lock of a gun (chien de fusil) are of the same date.» (Motret, id., p.48); « FUSIL (GUN). Signifies properly “a piece of steel with which one strikes a flint in order to make thence eject sparks”, whence “the piece of steel covering the pan of old-style firearms and against which comes to strike the flint of the system”, then “a portable firearm”. Vulgar Latin *focīlis (petra ‘stone’ is understood), derived from focus ‘fire’, properly “that which produces fire”.» 
(Bloch & Wartburg).

Speaking: = Automatized reiterative firing like a human speaker’s articulation. In fact, a single ‘noise (bruit)’, as Motret wants to explain as to the firing of a gun, can’t be called speaking in its proper sense. The quatrain I-64 (§689) has a similar expression: And brute beasts shall be heard to speak: “At last bombardment brought the siege to an end. The Prussians launched enormous shells, larger than any that had yet been known, into the town, on to the monuments which are the pride of civilisation, on to the hospitals, on to the schools where sometimes the dead bodies of five or six children would be found. They fell, not on the ramparts, but in Paris. All through the night these huge masses of metal, whose fall meant death and destruction, were heard whizzing through the air. But the whole town only became the more enthusiastic, everyone was eager to fight, and not an angry word was heard, unless anyone spoke of surrender.” (HH, XIII, p.165).

Le foudre à vierge (literally the lightning at or in a rod, i.e. the rod with lightning): = An image of a gun (un fusil), the rod being identified with the barrel. The French word vierge, properly meaning a virgin, may be understood here as verge (a rod), vierge and verge being in Latin virgō and virga respectively, and they seem to be of the same root: « virga, ae, f. [perhaps from same root as virgō] a twig, sprout, switch; a rod, switch for flogging; a staff, walking-stick; a magic wand.» (Smith-Lockwood).

De: The preposition of manner: e.g. « d’un pas vif, with a quick step.» (Dubois).

Terre prinse & suspendue en l'air (territories taken and overturned in the air): = Territories conquered and territories upset in the air (revolutionized).

Automatic Firearms in the Wartime:
1° « 1862. The first machine gun with manual crank Gatling, employed by the Union in the American Civil War.» (Asimov, 1996, p.253).

2° « 1883. The totally automatized machine gun Maxim invented in England, employed in Africa and Asia in favour of the European preponderance over the natives.» (id., p.280-281).

3° « 1911. The Lewis gun, the most effective light machine gun in the World War I and more than a hundred thousand ones manufactured for the Allies.» (MaruzenED, p.494).

4° « 1930’s. The Bren light machine gun, employed as standard equipments of almost all the Allies in the World War II.» (id., p.495).

5°« 1930’s. The Stengun, of very low cost and more than two million ones produced for the World War II.» (id.).

6° « The Browning FN pistol, widely employed as British standard equipments of automatic handgun in the World War II.» (id.).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2017. 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 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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