―I see Monsieur Roche and the witnesses coming down the street now, Master. I
shall bring him into the study momentarily.‖
Nostradamus had written 942 prophecies of future events. All that was missing
were the final 58 verses, which would be his crowning achievement. Unfortunately, the
58 verses were still back in Agen, the town in Southern France where he had married his
first wife. Nostradamus‘ new publisher was waiting on the final 58. Nostradamus hated
publishers. Du Rosne, his first publisher in Lyon, had published the first few centuries.
Du Rosne‘s version had so many typesetting errors one could hardly read it. His second
publisher, Benoist Regaud of Lyon, was lazy. Even though he had been given several
hundred of the quatrains five years ago, Nostradamus had not seen a single edition
printed. At this rate, Nostradamus would die before he saw his entire masterpiece
printed. By switching to a third publisher, he hoped to get the entire 1,000 in print.
Nostradamus looked at the letter lying on the night stand beside his desk and thought
of its implications. The letter, delivered by a small eleven year-old boy yesterday, was
written by Joseph Justus Scaliger, the son of Nostradamus‘ late mentor and former friend,
Julius Caesar Scaliger. The letter was dated May 1, 1566, and read:
Dear Monsieur Nostradamus:
I have reviewed your most recent correspondence from last fall. As I have told you
several times before, I do not have your poetry. I have no idea what these “58 verses”
are to which you constantly refer. I personally collected my father‟s effects for the estate
when he died, and I can assure you that I did not see any of your poetry. I wish I could
help you, Michel, but alas, I cannot. Perhaps you can create some new verses? I have
heard you have been a most prolific writer in recent years.
I know that you and my father were once the closest of friends. It is a shame that you
had a falling out. On his death bed eight years ago, he was still filled with vitriol for you,
Michel. I do not know what your offense was, as the whole matter occurred when I was
just an infant. Whatever it was, however, my father never forgave you, even in his last
breath. Just before he died, he wrote you a letter. I have not sent it before now because
it is filled with anger, and, as a gentleman, I did not want to cause you further insult.
However, in your most recent correspondence, you beseeched me to please give you
anything of any description which my father may have left you. So, with some reluctance,
I attach my father‟s last letter to you, written some eight years ago. I cannot imagine
what comfort it would give you, but I send it anyway because of the urgency of your
The lad who brought me your last letter from April 5 of this year stated that you are
in ill health. I am sorry about your condition, and I wish you a healthy recovery.
Michel, you must understand that as a man of science and letters myself, my business
is most pressing, and I will not have another opportunity to write you again regarding
your poetry. I trust that you may now be in peace. May God be with you.