§830 General de Gaulle visits the liberated South-West of France (1944.9.14-18): X-41.

X-41 (§830):

In the provinces of Caussade and Charlas.
Not far from the bottom of the valley
Music of a French liberated city to the sound of lutes,
A grand cat and his company surrounded by cymbals.

(En la frontiere de Caussade & de Charlus.
Non guieres loing du fons de la vallee
De ville Franche musicque à son de luths,
Environnez comboulz & grand myttee.)

NOTES: Frontière: = « pays frontière, marche (a frontier country, a march).» (Daele).

Caussade & Charlus: The region of Caussade (Tarn-et Garonne) and Charlas (Haute-Garonne) representing Vichy France newly occupied by the Nazis since November 1942. 

Guieres: = Guère; cf. gueres (III-65 and IV-12), guerres (II-38), guiere (VII-35).

Loing: In the sense of temporal distance.

Le fons: = Le fond (the bottom, the depth); « Fons. v. Fond (See Fond); Fond. Mettre à fons, en fons. Couler à fond (To sink, to send to the bottom). Au fons de l’yver. En plein hiver (In the middle of winter). De fons en racine. Complètement (Completely). Au plus fond. Au lieu le plus lointain (At the remotest place).» (Huguet). 

Le fons de la vallee: = The disastrous situation of France, even of Vichy France under the Nazi preponderance: « As a whole, France, provided with a government theoretically autonomous, have been treated as badly as the countries subject to the direct administration of the Germans.» (Kaspi, 1980, p.526); « In his memoirs, de Gaulle described France in 1944 as a nation ‘ruined, decimated, torn apart’. There were still 75,000 Nazi soldiers holding out in bastions scattered through the north and west of the country. More than two million French people were held in Germany as prisoners of war or under the Vichy scheme as labourers... » (Fenby, 2011, p.263). 

Non guieres loing du fons de la vallee: Not far from the bottom of the valley, i.e. immediately after the Liberation of France in August 1944; « ... le pays émergeant du fond de l’abîme (the country emerging from the bottom of the abyss) ... » (De Gaulle, 1959, p.1).

Ville Franche
: = A liberated city of France near Caussade and Charlas, i.e. Toulouse, one of the destinations of General de Gaulle’s provincial journey in mid-September 1944.
Musicque: = Musique (music). Cf. §139, X-28: musicque.

Comboulz: = Cymbales (cymbals) (Clébert, 2003, p.1105).

Environnez comboulz
: = Environnez [de] comboulz, the preposition ‘de’ being elliptic for prophetic embroilment.

Myttee: = « mitte (mītem = doux (mild)). mitte pelue (a hairy mild animal) = chat (a cat).» (Daele).

Grand myttee: = General Charles de Gaulle resembling a huge cat of a certain kind (cf. Argyle, 1980, p.166 his photograph; Fenby, 2011, between pp.466-467 the last of his photographs; De Gaulle, 1967, his photograph on the front cover.)

& grand myttee
: In addition to ‘grand myttee’, the plural form of ‘environnez’ and the conjunction ‘&’ do hint another implicit subject, which is to be recognized as ‘his company’ from the context; « The news that reached us from a vast majority of the departments gave evidence of tremendous confusion there. The local authorities had all the more difficulty mastering the situation since the forces at their command were desperately inadequate... I decided to make immediate visits to the most sensitive points to give the national governmental machine a start in the right direction. A two-months’ series of trips was to put me in contact with the provinces, while in the intervals I directed the government’s work in Paris. On September 14 [,1944], accompanied by André Diethelm, Minister of War, I landed at the Bron airfield [Lyons], still littered with the scrap of its demolished hangars. Ten days before, the city of Lyons had been liberated by the French First Army and the Americans. I was now making every effort toward recovery, though the problem was arduous... The next day... I left Lyons convinced that the government, provided it truly governed, would here surmount all obstacles, and that order would prevail since the state was reappearing at the nation’s head. At Marseilles, however, the atmosphere was ominous. I arrived the morning of the fifteenth, accompanied by three ministersDiethelm, Jacquinot [M. of the Navy], and Billoux [M. of Public Health]... During the afternoon, a quick flight took me to Toulon... On September 16, I was in Toulouse, a city considerably disturbed... On the morning of the seventeenth, with calculated formality, I passed all military elements in review...» (De Gaulle, 1967, p.677-683); « To assert his authority and re-establish the control of Paris over the fragmented country, de Gaulle embarked on a tour of major provincial cities in mid-September 1944. In uniform, with a Cross of Lorraine pin on his tunic, he alarmed his staff by his lack of concern for security arrangements and his readiness to leave the official cortège to wade through crowds. When a prefect commented on the danger he was running, the General replied: ‘To avoid assassination attempts, a little authority is enough. And to get this authority – which I am not sure you possess – it is enough to exhibit it.’» (Fenby, 2011, p.269). 

Environnez comboulz & grand myttee
: = [Sa compagnie] & grand myttee environnez [de] comboulz (A grand cat and his company surrounded by cymbals).

Music of a French liberated city to the sound of lutes, A grand cat and his company surrounded by cymbals: This expression describes figuratively the enthusiastic welcome of the liberated populace of Toulouse to de Gaulle visiting them immediately after the Liberation: « LIBERATION OF FRANCE September 11, 1944-May 8, 1945. The end of the liberation of France. In the South-West, where the Allied armies have not advanced, the liberation is the fact of the FFI [les Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (the French Forces of the Interior), (which is integrated in the French Army of de Gaulle on 8 June and its commandments are dissolved by decree on 19 September 1944)] who occupy little by little the cities and install there the authorities issuing from the Resistance [le Comité français de libération nationale (CFLN, the French Committee of national liberation under the presidency of General de Gaulle) incorporates the responsible of the internal Resistance on 6 November 1943], like in Toulouse since August 20 [1944]. In the North and the East, the Allied offensive goes on... It is more difficult to beat the Germans on the Atlantic coast. The siege of Royan lasts seven months, until 20th of April 1945. The German garrisons who hold Lorient, Saint-Nazaire and La Rochelle capitulate only on 9 May 1945, next day of the armistice.» (Kaspi, 1980, p.452-453); « September 14-18, 1944. The first journey of General de Gaulle in province. General de Gaulle begins a series of journeys in province. The first of these leads him to Lyons, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Orléans. His objective is to take measurements of the problems that arise on a local scale, to establish necessary contacts, and above all, in making use of his authority and his influence upon the masses, to preach the national unity and to restore rapidly the power of the state. As to the resistants, not all of them disposed to abandon the responsibilities they have obtained to the Liberation, de Gaulle proves himself charmer or hard by turns, in order to persuade them to leave the power to the agents of the State. The resistant Serge Ravanel reports in the following terms the visit of de Gaulle to Toulouse, a city liberated by the FFI: “ On 16 September 1944, General de Gaulle, Head of the Government, makes a visit to us on the occasion of his tour in the South-West. We waited him in an enthusiasm and full of confidence. I still remember the cloud of confettis thrown from the roofs bordering the street of Alsace-Lorraine as he went by and the dense and happy crowd in the Place of Capitol...” » (Kaspi, id., p.454-455).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2019. 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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