§862 The world hegemony from France to England through the Second Hundred Years’ War (1689–1815): X-98.

X-98 (§862):

The clear splendor of a merry maiden,
Shall shine no more for a long time, shall be unwise:
Odious with merchants, middlemen & wolves,
All pell-mell, a universal monster.

(La splendeur claire à pucelle joyeuse,
Ne luyra plus long temps sera sans sel:
Avec marchans, ruffiens loups odieuse,
Tous pesle mesle monstre universel.)

NOTES: La splendeur claire à pucelle joyeuse (The clear splendor of a merry maiden): In this phrase there are two distinctive expressions that refer to the two French characters, namely the French word ‘pucelle (maiden)’, the unique example in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, to Joan of Arc, la pucelle d’Orlénans (the Maid of Orléans), and ‘the clear splendor’ to the Sun-King Louis the Great (le Roy-Soleil Louis le Grand), called “Aematien, he who is of the solar light” in the quatrains IX-38, IX-64, IX-93, X-7 and X-58. The former is designating France and the latter the French glorious times of Louis XIV.

Sel (salt): « The symbol of the wisdom » (Torné-Chavigny, 1862, p.103). In fact, of 7 usages of the term “sel (salt)” 5 are of this sort (II-21, VIII-32, IX-49, X-7 and X-98) and the remaining 2 imply foodstuffs (V-34 and VII-34).

The clear splendor of a merry maiden, Shall shine no more for a long time, shall be unwise: This expression therefore tells the decline of the hegemonic France under Louis XIV and Napoleon I: « FRANCE and England were early competitors in the American seas. Their hereditary hatred, which had existed for centuries, had been deepened and intensified by repeated collisions. Differences of religion increased their animosity. They were rivals in the Old World and rivals in the New; rivals in the East Indies and rivals in the West; rivals in Africa and rivals in Europe; rivals in politics, in commerce, and the arts; rivals in ambition for conquest and supremacy. Each sought its own aggrandisement at the expense of the other; each claimed to be superior to the other in the elements of national glory and the appliances of national strength. The gayety of the former was in contrast with the gravity and sobriety of the latter. The impetuosity of the one was the counterpart to the coolness and cautiousness of the other. Time, instead of softening, had hardened their prejudices, and for a century and a half from the date of the establishment of the first French colony at the north, the two nations, with but slight interruptions, were constantly in the attitude of opposition and defiance. England, without doubt, preceded France in the career of discovery, and the voyage of the Cabots gave to the former her claims to the regions visited by their vessels. But the interval which elapsed between the voyage of the Cabots (1497) and the earliest authenticated voyage of the French (1504) was exceedingly brief, and the two nations, if not contemporaries, were equals in the race. France succeeded, even before England, in settling a colony to the north, and the foundations of Quebec were laid before the landing of the Pilgrims and before the settlement of Boston. In consequence of this rivalry of England and France, the colonies at the north were early involved in difficulties and contentions, and these difficulties increased as the conflict of interests brought them into collision. Hence before the confederacy of 1643, apprehensions of hostilities were entertained in Massachusetts, and from that date to the union of the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts, in 1692, these apprehensions continued to disturb the people, and resulted, at length, in vigorous action on the part of the English to uproot their rivals and drive them from their possessions. If New England was the "key of America,” New France might, with equal propriety, claim to be the lock; for Canada, with the chain of freshwater lakes bordering upon its territory, opened a communication with the distant West; and the Jesuit missionaries, Marquette, Joliet, La Salle, and Hennepin, by their explorations on the Mississippi, the "Father of Waters,” brought the vast region watered by that stream and its tributaries under the dominion of the Bourbons, and backed all British America with a cordon of military posts, hovering upon the outskirts of the northern settlements with their savage allies, greatly to the alarm of the English, who were exposed to their depredations, and from whose incursions they could defend themselves only by an expenditure of money and strength which impoverished them in their weakness and imperilled their safety. Behold, then, the two nations, rivals for centuries, upon the eve of a fresh struggle upon the new field of action. The names of the "Palatinate War,” the "War of the Spanish Succession," the "War of the Austrian Succession," and the "Seven Years’ War" do not suggest American history, and many a reader, even though informed above the average, would say that these subjects have nothing American in them. Yet they are the true titles of great conflicts in which the New World was vitally concerned, though it calls them by other names. To the European historian, the colonial branches of these wars were mere reverberations in the distance, and of only the faintest importance. He dismisses them in a few lines. And the American historian is likely to return the compliment, magnify the importance of the frontier colonial skirmishes, and dismiss in a few lines the great continental wars. This in spite of the fact that peace was always made and broken at the European capitals, and the colonists were not consulted in the division of spoil. In 1688 France was the chief power in the world. Louis XIV had at that date absorbed into his own hands an absolute control never equalled, save perhaps by Napoleon. Like Napoleon, he terrorised all Europe by his projects of aggrandisement and provoked coalition after coalition against him [The clear splendor of a merry maiden]; like Napoleon, he carried his glory to the point of collapse, and at his death found a national decline noticeably under way. Louis XIV seems to have sincerely believed in that sublime egotism, the divine right of kings. He cried, "The state is myself " (L'etat, c'est moi), and proceeded to act upon the outrageous assumption that his whims and his selfish schemes were not merely the welfare of his people, but the desires and plans of an all-wise Deity. His intense Catholicism encouraged him in this bigotry and in his backward step, the renewal of the persecutions from which the Huguenots had been relieved by Henry of Navarre's Edict of Nantes in 1598. Louis had gradually succeeded in making France a great naval power, and Duquesne had defeated the combined Spanish and Dutch fleets. Now he found that William of Orange, doubly his enemy as an old warrior and as a Protestant, had been called to England by a presumptuous parliament as a substitute for the sacred and Catholic king James II, who was deposed. Three years before (1686) William had succeeded in forming the League of Augsburg against Louis, who now found that even the pope and Catholic Spain feared him still more than they feared Protestantism. Surrounded by the enemies he had accumulated, Louis decided on getting the advantage of beginning the inevitable war. For point of attack he chose not Holland, but that part of Germany called the Palatinate. It offered the feeblest resistance and suffered terrible devastation. But meanwhile this so-called "War of the Palatinate" gave William of Orange his chance to enter England, take up the sceptre, and bind Great Britain also into the League of Augsburg. As later, in the times of the Revolution and of Napoleon, France found herself encircled by enemies. Then, as later, she fought them all magnificently, though the final exhaustion of blood, money, and enthusiasm was unavoidable. France kept from four to six huge armies in the field, and a great fleet on the sea, a fleet which, under Tourville, defeated the English-Dutch fleet off Beachy Head, while Jean Bart preyed on English commerce. Louis set the fugitive James II down in Ireland, whence William drove him by his victory at the Boyne. Louis' general, Luxembourg, won a victory at Fleurus in the Netherlands, and another general, Catinat, defeated the League at Staffarda, in Italy; Louis himself took Mons and Namur by siege. But in 1692, trusting that half the English fleet would desert to James II, Louis sent Admiral Tourville into a great defeat at Cape La Hogue. This gave England the naval power again. From this moment France began to tire and to count the cost. Occasional victories could not revive her elan [Shall shine no more for a long time, shall be unwise].» (HH, XXIII, p.179-182).

Shall shine no more for a long time: « Anglo-French colonial conflicts: From the end of the 17th century England and France were confronted with each other in the colonies such as North America, India, the West Indies and Africa, which entailed the colonial wars in connection with those in the mainland of Europe lasting more than a hundred years till the fall of Napoleon (1689-1815), called the Second Hundred Years’ War.» (Maekawa and Horikoshi, 1984, p,276).

Ruffiens: = Middlemen of slaves: « RUFIAN ou RUFFIAN. Entremetteur (Procurer, pander; Middleman; Go-between).» (Petit Robert). « The convict shipments, much as they may have relieved the mother country of an overplus of vice, unloaded on the New World no more corruption than it could assimilate. In fact it may be said that the imported convicts had far less influence on the social and political life of the main body than the negroes who began at the same time to be unloaded by shipfuls on the colonies and to be treated almost exactly the same as the indentured white servants. It was by the free consent and co-operation of the colonists themselves that this still more objectionable species of population was introduced into Virginia, in August, 1619, not without enduring and disastrous effects upon the social condition of the United States. Twenty negroes, brought to Jamestown by a Dutch trading vessel, and purchased by the colonists, were held, not as indented servants for a term of years, but as slaves for life. Even so late as the first English migrations to America, there might have remained, in obscure corners of England, some few hereditary serfs attached to the soil, faint remnants of that system of villanage once universal throughout Europe, and later prevalent in Hungary and Russia. But villains in gross - slaves, that is, inherited from their parents the condition of servitude, and transferable from hand to hand had entirely disappeared from England, not by any formal legislative act, but as the joint result of private emancipations and the discouragement long given by the English courts to claims so contrary to natural right. It had come, indeed, to be an established opinion throughout western Europe that Christians could not be held as slaves - an immunity, however, not thought to extend to infidels or heathen. The practice of buying negroes on the coast of Africa, introduced by the Portuguese, had been adopted by the Spanish, English, and Dutch. There was little inducement to bring them to Europe, where hired labourers might be abundantly obtained; but in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in America, especially after the introduction of the sugar manufacture, the slave traders [ruffiens (middlemen)] found a ready market, and the cultivation of tobacco began now to open a like market in Virginia. In buying and holding negro slaves, the Virginians did not suppose themselves to be violating any law, human or divine. Whatever might be the case with the law of England, the law of Moses, in authorising the enslavement of "strangers,” seemed to give to the purchase of negro slaves an express sanction. The number of negroes in the colony, limited as it was to a few cargoes, brought at intervals by Dutch traders, was long too small to make the matter appear of much moment, and more than forty years elapsed before the colonists thought it necessary to strengthen the system of slavery by any express enactments.» (HH, XXII, p.584-585).

« Slavery appears to have been established in Maryland from its earliest colonisation; for an act of assembly describes "the people” to consist of all Christian inhabitants, "slaves only excepted." [ Up to the time of the Civil War the condition of the slave was the same in Maryland as in the other southern states. The first slaves imported into Maryland came from Bermuda (1634). The importation of the slave was encouraged, but there was too large an influx of the negro, and in 1695 a per capita tax was imposed on all slaves brought into the province. By the Treaty of Utrecht "Spain guaranteed to England the monopoly of supplying negro slaves from the Spanish-American provinces." Prior to the Revolution the negro population of Maryland was 20 per cent. that of the white. As far back as 1789 there was a strong anti-slavery sentiment in Maryland. - JAMES McSHERRY.].» (HH, XXII, p.601-602).

« An act was passed, the first statute of Virginia which attempts to give a legislative basis to the system of hereditary servitude. The Virginia assembly saw fit to adopt the rule of the civil law, so much more convenient for slaveholders, by enacting that children should be held bond or free, "according to the condition of the mother." The lawfulness of holding Africans as slaves was supposed to rest, in part at least, on the fact that they were heathen. But of the negroes brought to Virginia some had been converted and baptised, and this was the case to a still greater extent with those born in the colony. By what right were these Christians held as slaves? This question having been raised in Virginia, the assembly in 1667 came to the relief of the masters by enacting that negroes, though converted and baptised, should not thereby become free. At the same session, in remarkable deviation from the English law, it was also enacted that killing slaves by extremity of correction should not be esteemed felony, "since it cannot be presumed that prepense malice should induce any man to destroy his own estate." The prohibition against holding Indians as slaves was also relaxed as to those brought in by water, a new law having enacted “that all servants, not being Christians, imported by shipping, shall be slaves for life.” About this period, and afterwards, a considerable number of Indian slaves seem to have been imported into Virginia and New England from the West Indies and the Spanish Main.» (HH, XXIII, p.125).

(Wolves): = Troops.

Odieuse (Odious): = Odious are the colonialist countries such as Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, England and France, represented by the expression “la pucelle odieuse Avec marchans, ruffiens loups (the odious maiden with merchants, traders of slaves and troops”.

Odious with merchants, middlemen & wolves, All pell-mell, a universal monster: « Louis, after making a secret and advantageous alliance, found himself ready to accept the two treaties of Ryswick in 1697, by which, though he lost nothing but his pains, he had to restore all his conquests. While these colossal events were taking place, America was undergoing what is locally known as "King William's War" (1689-1697). The religious feuds between the French and English colonies were always bitter, and even in the times of 1776 many Americans were scandalised at taking the French as allies, preferring to risk independence rather than a heterodox combination. In King William's War, then, that bitterest of all enthusiasms, religious sectarianism, found a bloody vent. The Indians sided with the more friendly French, and the horrors of savagery were added to the evils of what we euphemistically call "civilised warfare." This conflict ended simultaneously with the continental war at the Treaty of Ryswick. By this treaty Louis XIV acknowledged William of Orange lawful king of England. Five years later William died (March 8th, 1702). The deposed James II had died seven months before. The question of succession now arose. The English, to continue Protestantism on the throne, had settled the crown on James II's second daughter, Anne. But Louis declared for the eldest son, Prince James, "the Pretender," as the English called him. The friction on this point was increased by the act of Louis in placing his own grandson, Philip of Aragon, on the Spanish throne, in spite of his previous renunciations of all claim to that crown. Thus, upon Louis' death, France and Spain would probably be united under one monarch. In 1701 Louis had declared the Ryswick treaty void. The Germans and Dutch had formed with William of England a "Grand Alliance" to curb the presumptions of the "Grand Monarch." War broke out at once, and in the midst of it the death of William emphasised the breach. This great war of eleven years' duration (1702-1713) was called "The War of the Spanish Succession." The Huguenots crippled Louis at home, and the duke of Marlborough built up fame by thunderous campaigns culminating in the Battle of Blenheim (1704), by which the French were driven out of Bavaria. Marlborough's success at Ramillies (1706) crushed French sway in the Netherlands. In 1704 the English fleet had taken Gibraltar, and in 1706 the allies took Italy. In 1708 the victory of Oudenarde and the taking of Lille by siege combined with famine to pluck down French pride. Louis asked for terms, but the allies tried to drive so hard a bargain that they woke the marvelous elasticity of the French spirit and the war raged anew; and while success was still with the allies, English politics and weariness began to weaken them. Marlborough lost favour at court and was withdrawn from command. Negotiations dragged along, and without England's aid the allies began, in 1712, to lose place after place. By 1713 all the allies, except the Austrian emperor, had signed the Treaty of Utrecht, and a year later he was coerced by defeats at French hands. By this treaty England gained her theory of succession, as well as Newfoundland, Acadia, and the Hudson Bay territory. France found herself about as she was before the war, though she squeezed out much better terms than those offered in 1706. In 1715 the Grand Monarch died, surrounded by evidences of toppling conquest, and with no nearer heir than a great-grandson. During all these complicated years the American colonies were in the throes of what they called, not the "War of the Spanish Succession,” which interested them little, but "Queen Anne's War,” because the question of the possession of the English throne by a Catholic or a Protestant monarch was of the utmost importance to them. It was also called "Governor Dudley's War,” from the activity of that man. Louis XIV was succeeded by the dissolute Louis XV, who left the government to his ministers, the first of whom, Fleury, was unwillingly dragged into many international broils. In 1740 the Austrian emperor, Charles VI, died, leaving no male issue. His daughter, Maria Theresa, being left in control of the great realm, the land-hungry nations about her looked for easy prey. The only trouble to be feared was internal wrangling. This came speedily enough in a chaos of claims and counter-claims. England wished Maria Theresa's inheritance left intact; the French saw an opportunity to dismember the Austrian power. Frederick the Great of Prussia agreed to this, but was eager for his share of the loot. He took Silesia, then signed a treaty with Maria Theresa, and joined the English in saying that the division had gone far enough. The French, under Marshal Saxe, fought desultorily against England and Germany. In 1744 the war blazed up furiously. France sent the "Young Pretender,” Charles Edward, into Scotland, where he failed miserably at Culloden. Marshal Saxe succeeded in the Netherlands, however, and defeated the English, Dutch, and Germans at Fontenoy. Success smiled on France also in Italy. But England ended her pretensions in the East Indies. At length, by 1748, the rivals were ready for the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. France and England returned each what each had taken, and Maria Theresa was firmly established. This four years' strife, known to Europe as the " War of the Austrian Succession" or the "First and Second Silesian Wars" (1740-1744, 1744-1748), is sometimes called in America " King George's War," for no particular reason except that George II was then on the English throne. In this war the colonists played a more or less independent part. The colonies organised a land force and besieged the important port of Louisburg. English troops and ships joined later, and in 1745 the fort surrendered. New England troops garrisoned the fort till the treaty of peace in 1748, when to their disgust it was restored to France. The colonists were given no share of the prize money, £600,000, from the capture of the port and shipping, and it was not until 1749 that the expenses of the troops were reimbursed. The colonists had, however, acquired two important bits of knowledge: first, that England did not seriously respect their feelings; second, that they could fight regular European soldiers as well as Indians. What Americans call the "French and Indian War" (1754-1763) was a genuine colonial struggle, with victory nodding now towards the Catholics and now towards the Protestants. The results were of final importance to American history, and continued the schooling that the colonies were to use for independence not many years later. In Europe the war did not break out till 1756. It was the time of Richelieu, and of that alliance of three empires, which the French called the "Alliance of the Three Petticoats,” from Maria Theresa of Austria, Elizabeth of Russia, and the French king's potent mistress Madame de Pompadour. Richelieu had raised a French navy, and it brilliantly defeated the English navy, whose overbearing pride of power had stung France to war, as in 1812 it drove the United States to desperation. It was the time when Frederick the Great of Prussia was humbled until his decisive stroke at Rossbach, in 1757, won him definite English support, leaving him free to fight Austria, while England, Hanover, and Brunswick assailed France. France now began to lose in all directions, and the combination of all the Bourbon monarchs of the Latin races into the "Family Compact" only involved them in the disaster. The Treaty of Paris, in 1763, ended the war and left France to the mercy of English cupidity [Shall shine no more for a long time, shall be unwise]. England's shears clipped from France in 1763 Nova Scotia, Canada, Cape Breton, the territory to the Mississippi, and many islands here and there. It was the acme of England's glory. Small wonder that such spoils should have fed presumption. The successes of the English led them to sneer at the colonists and their claims with disastrous results. Having thus sketched in the background of the series of colonial wars [Odious with merchants, middlemen & wolves, All pell-mell, a universal monster],...» (HH, XXIII, p.182-184).

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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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