Stephen Paget.

Ambroise Paré and his times, 1510-1590 online

. (page 8 of 18)
Online LibraryStephen PagetAmbroise Paré and his times, 1510-1590 → online text (page 8 of 18)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

place when it fell. The Emperor raged furiousl}^
seeing his fleet scattered, and the " Padishah of
France " in open alliance at one and the same time
with the Infidels and with the German Protestants,
yet as King of Catholic France persecuting the Re-
formed Church in his own country. " All my life

Notes to Journeys 12^

has been given to appease the woes of the Church,
and to save the faith of Christ from the Turks. All
his life, the King of France has been siding with the
Infidels, and troubling the peace of Christendom."
He obtained the help of England and of Spain ; they
would invade France all three together. The Span-
ish troops were to enter Piedmont, and advance
upon Lyon. The Emperor and the King of Eng-
land were to meet under the walls of Paris.

The fortune of war was with France. The Span-
ish army was defeated a few miles south of Turin,
by the Due d'Enghien, at the battle of Cerisoles,
April 14, 1544, with loss of twelve thousand men, and
all their artillery and baggage. The English troops
did not get farther than Boulogne and IMontreuil,
The Emperor came within eighty miles of Paris,
capturing on his way Saint Dizier, Epernay, and
Chateau Thierry ; but the Dauphin was at Meaux,
between him and Paris. The English were no nearer
than Boulogne ; there was no help now to be got
from Spain, and the Emperor, thus isolated, was
willing to come to terms. The peace of Crespy was
signed on September 17, 1546. Boulogne was ceded
to England for a term of years, on annual payment
of a large sum of money.

According to the dates given by Pare, he was first
in Brittany, against the English ; then with the King

124 Ambroise Pare

at Landrecies ; then at Perpignan, on the Gulf of
Lyon, against the Spaniards ; then at Boulogne,
with the Due de Guise, against the English again.
But according to Le Paulmier, the journey to Perpi-
gnan came first, and the dates are as follows : Perpi-
gnan was besieged from August 26 to September 4,
1542 ; the journey to Marolles and Low Brittany w^as
in June, 1543 ; the King was at Landrecies in Octo-
ber, 1543, and went thence to Guise, the Duke's
place, on November 2. The fighting at Boulogne
was in August, 1545. Between Perpignan and Lan-
drecies, and again between Landrecies and Boulogne,
Ambroise was in Paris. His first child was baptised
July 4, 1545. His first book, the treatise on Gun-
shot Wounds, w-as published in August of that same

The journey to Perpignan was made by such rapid
posting on horseback that he was taken ill on the
way, at Lyon, with haematuria.

Perpignan is on the Gulf of Lyon. Marolles or
Maroilles was a village thirteen kilom. west of Aves-
nes. Landreneau, a fortified harbour twenty-five
kilom. from Brest. Landrecies, on the Sambre, is
described in R. L. Stevenson's Inland Voyage.

M. de Rohan : Rene, Vicomte de Rohan, Comte de
Porrhoet, de la Garnache, de Beauvoir-sur-Mer, et de
Carentan, Prince de Leon: married, in 1534, Isabella

Notes to Journeys 125

d'Albret, daughter of Jehan, King of Navarre ; was
killed at Saint Nicholas, near Nancy, November 4,
1552. The town of Rohan was not far from Fare's
birthplace. To M. de Rohan was dedicated Fare's
first book.

M. de Brissac : Charles de Coss6, Comte de Brissac,
" le beau Brissac : " became a Marshal of France, and
Governor of Ficardy. One of his daughters married
the Comte de Mansfeld, of whom we hear after the
battle of Moncontour. He was father of the de
Brissac who fought at the battle of Saint Denis. He
died of the gout, aged 57, December 31, 1563.

M. Nicole Lavernot : surgeon-in-ordinary to Henri
H. and Francois H., and in 1559 premier surgeon to
Charles IX. He died toward the end of 1561.

M. d' Etampes : Jean de Brosse, Due d'Etampes,

M. de Laval : Claude, Comte de Laval (Fare's birth-
place), sixteenth of his line ; married a daughter of
Odet de Foix ; died May 25, 1547. His widow
married Charles de Luxembourg, Vicomte de Mar-
tigues, of whom we hear again at the siege of

Monseigneur le Due de Gtiise: The great Francois,
Due de Guise, Frince de Joinville, head of the house
of the Guises ; brother of Charles, Cardinal of Lorra-
ine, and of the Due d' Aumale, and of Marie de
Lorraine, who was wife of James V. of Scotland and

126 Ambroise Pare

mother of Mary Queen of Scots. He was father of
Henri, afterward Due de Guise, and of his brother
the Cardinal, who were murdered by order of Henri
HI., December 23, 1588.

He was born at Bar-le-Duc, February 17, 1519:
assassinated by Jehan de Poltrot, Sieurde Mere, Feb-
ruary 18, 1563. He was nicknamed Balafr6, from
the scar of his wound at Boulogne. An account of
Fare's treatment of him is given in a Life of Coligny,
published in 1686. The great Coligny was at the
siege of Boulogne : being then only M. de Chatillon,
and not yet Admiral of France. So soon as he heard
of the Duke's wound, he sent his own surgeon to
him : but the surgeon dared not attempt to remove
the spear-head from the Duke's face, and came back
to Coligny, saying all the King's surgeons could do
nothing in such a case : there was no way of with-
drawing the spear-head, or of getting any hold on it :
the Duke's eye would come out if they removed the
weapon, and then everybody would say the surgeon
had done it. Finally, how was it possible to cure a
wound of which nobody had ever before heard the
like? Thus Coligny's surgeon. Nor was Par6 him-
self hopeful of success, as the spear-head was firmly
wedged among the bones of the face. More to obey
orders than with any assurance he would save the great
soldier's life, he took a pair of smith's pincers, and

Notes to Journeys 127

asked the Duke if he could bear to let him put his
foot upon the Duke's face, to get a better purchase
on the weapon. " Why not? " said he, " And would
I not rather you did me a little harm for my great
good, than forbid you to help me for fear of a pain
that will pass in a moment?" Par6 then tore out
the spear-head: the Duke said " Ah, mon Dieu "
once, and that was all. Pare himself held it marvel-
lous that he recovered.

3. The Journeys to Germany, Danvilliers,
AND Chateau le Comte. The Journey
TO Metz. 1552-1553.

Frangois I. died March 31,1 547, and was succeeded
by his son Henri II. So long as the peace of
Crespy was observed, Pare was hard at work in
Paris. His book on anatomy came out in 1550:
and that year he bought the Maison de le Vache, and
the property at Meudon. On March 10, 1552, the
second edition of the Gunshot Wounds finished print-
ing : and that very week the army, suddenly called
out, was to meet at Chalons, 38,000 strong, under the
Constable, Guise, Coligny, d' Aumale, and Saint

The power of the Emperor was at its zenith : those
who love Victor Hugo's Hertiani will remember
the magnificent description of it, spoken by the

128 Ambroise Pare

Emperor himself, as he stands alone before the tomb
of Charlemagne. He was master of Central Europe,
Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands : the Pope was on
his side: the disturbing forces of the Reformation in
Germany had been checked by his victory at Miihl-
berg, in 1545, over the German Protestants. Henri
n. saw his country in danger: he appealed for help
to the Sultan, as his father had done before him ;
gave up a scheme for the invasion of England, and
sought alliance with her ; declared war on the Pope,
named himself defender of the freedom of Germany,
and gained over to his side Maurice of Saxony; "he
gave the blood of his own Protestant subjects as the
-price of a policy which made him, almost everywhere,
the enemy of the orthodox, the friend of heretics and

In the winter of 1551, there was a conference, at
Fontainebleau, with the Protestant princes of Ger-
many, who appealed to the King for help against the
Emperor. On the second day of the conference,
the King was told what threats the Emperor had used
against him : how he was planning to seize Metz,
Strasbourg, Verdun, and other towns. The King
declared war : the army was to meet at Chalons :
he entered Toul on April 13, 1552, and Nancy the
next day. Metz, after some hesitation, opened her
gates to him four days later: Strasbourg refused

Notes to journeys 129

admittance to him, and he retired to Verdun, "well
pleased to be holding Metz, Toul, and Verdun, the
keys of France against Germany, with an army com-
manded by young, enthusiastic, and careful officers.
It was more like a triumphal progress than a real
war : the three free cities, the bishoprics of Metz,
Toul, Verdun, had been brought back to the crown
of France." By June ist, the army was on its way
to Luxembourg: where its first exploit (July 1st)
was the siege and capture of Danvilliers.

The Emperor, so soon as war was declared, made
haste to leave Germany quiet behind him ; on
August 2 he signed with the Protestant princes the
treaty of Passau ; for six months the Catholics and
the Protestants of Germany were to enjoy equal
privileges ; the questions of religion were hung up,
to be considered at a diet six months hence. Then
he advanced toward Metz with an army of sixty
thousand men.

The famous siege of Metz broke the power of the
Emperor, and prepared the world for his abdication
in 1556. The command of the town was given by
the King to Frangois de Guise, who wrote joyfully
to Diane de Poitiers, the King's mistress, who at
fifty was still young, still shaping the fate of France,
and thanked her for helping him to obtain the ever-
lasting honour of pulling the Emperor's beard. He

130 Ambroise Pare

passed through Toul, where the plague was raging,
restored its fortifications at his own cost, and reached
Metz on the 17th of August. He set to work with
furious energy, reconnoitring the country, victualHng
the town, drilling the recruits; he organised the bar-
ber-surgeons of Metz into a sort of ambulance corps,
established two hospitals, restored the fortifications,
and pulled down all the suburban buildings that
might afford a foothold to the enemy ; working with
his own hands, and taking his food among the la-
bourers. When Alva, on October 19th, came be-
neath the walls with twenty-four thousand men, he
had to reckon not with raw recruits, but with well-
trained soldiers. On October 30th, Alva began the
assault. The Emperor was at Thionville, twenty
miles to the north, ill with the gout, unable to
stand : he did not arrive till November 20th, his
face pale and haggard, his eyes sunken, his beard
turned white : he was lodged in a hut built anyhow
for him near Alva's quarters. " A fine palace," says
he, " when they bring me the keys of Metz here."

From November 20th to 26th, the attack was in-
cessant ; it is said that in one day fourteen thousand
cannon-shots were fired. The breach in the walls was
made on the 28th. But with winter came storms of
rain and heavy snow ; and frightful mortality in the
Imperial army from cold and wet, hunger and epi-

Notes to Journeys 131

demic disease. The Emperor, ill and worn out, lost
heart : " I have no men with me now ; I must say-
good-bye to my empire, and shut myself in a monas-
tery ; I shall turn friar before three years are out."
And again, when at last he was forced to raise the
siege, just before Christmas Day: "Fortune is like
the women : she prefers a young king to an old em-
peror." There ran through the town a song that one
of the French soldiers made :

" Monsieur de Guise est dedans,

Avec beaucoup de noblesse . . .

Pour conclusion, ils ont leve

De devant Metz I'artillerie,

Et tout leur camp ont fait marcher :

Qui leur est grande moquerie.

Le noble seigneur de Guise

Sur la queue leur fit aller

Grand nombre de cavalerie,

Pour les apprendre a cheminer."

Guise would hardly believe they had gone. Even
on Christmas Eve he wrote to his brother Charles,
Cardinal of Lorraine : " Don't tell me the Emperor
will move from here ; be sure that, unless he is play-
ing some very deep trick on us, so long as he is alive
he will not bear the shame of leaving this place be-
fore he has seen the end of it."

During 1552 and 1553 Park's movements were as
follows: In April, 1552, he was with the King in his

1^2 Ambroise Pare

triumphal progress through Toul and Metz ; in July
he was at Danvilliers with him. Then he got back
to Paris, but soon left home again for Chateau le
Comte, near Hesdin ; then back again, via Tournan,
to Paris ; then off again, via Verdun, to Metz. He
got into Metz at midnight, December 8th ; thus he was
an eye-witness of the last fortnight only of the siege.
He left Metz about the middle of January, 1553. '

M. Begin gives the following details of his return
from Metz. They are taken from a journal, 122 small
quarto pages, said to be in Park's own hand, shown
to M. Begin at Metz. The genuineness of this manu-
script is denied by Le Paulmier ; and up to 1885, M.
Begin had not submitted it to the test of publication.

According to this manuscript Journal des Voyages,
Pare left Metz in the company of some French offi-
cers and citizens of the town : he was on a fine bay
horse, a present from Guise himself, and his man
rode behind him with his leather valise containing
instruments, salves, and dressings. They went
slowly, taking three days to get to Verdun, where
they had to parley for admission, and show a pass
with Guise's signature. He found Verdun crowded
with fugitives, and among the wounded many cases
of hospital gangrene : supplies had run short, and
fever was raging everywhere. " The Franciscan
fathers, taking night-watch, after great courtesies

Notes to Journeys 133

prayed me with much kindness to go with them to
the highest part of the town, and there they made a
great fire to keep off the plague : whereat I was easy
and reassured. The reverend fathers gave me a
bowl of hippocras ; my man made my bed, and I
slept as it pleased God." Next day, for six hours,
he went the round of such hospitals as Verdun had
been able to set going : " where the poor patients
were lying, so that it was pitiful to see and hear
them, often having neither linen nor straw to suffice
them." Here he did a number of operations, and
was invited by the Governor of Verdun to stop with
him, but preferred the hospitality of a surgeon living
near the archers' lodgings : " a man of a good heart,
and well experienced in his calling. This honest
surgeon entertained me better than one would have
believed of a town in famine and plague. After a
night in a good bed, I took the old road, and went
straight to Rheims."

He got back to Paris about the end of January,
and began his lectures on anatomy. Th6odoric de
H^ry was not working with him now, but a younger
man, Rostaing de Binosc, a Provengal, chirurgien
jure a Paris.

M. d' Aumale : The Due d' Aumale, brother of
Francois de Guise.

134 Ambroise Pare

M. de Saint Andr^ : Jacques d' Albon, made
Marshal of France in 1547: killed at the battle of
Dreux, December 19, 1562.

M. de Vendosme : Antoine de Bourbon, Due de
Vendosme : afterward King of Navarre, by his mar-
riage with Jeanne d' Albret, Queen of Navarre, in
1548. Father of Henri IV. Born, 15 18. Died at
the siege of Rouen, 1562.

M. dti Goguier : Louis de Bourges, born at Blois
about 1482. M. D., Paris, November 15, 1506:
physician-in-ordinar)' to Louis XIL, premier physi-
cian to Frangois L and Henri H. : he devoted him-
self to obtain the liberation of Frangois L after the
battle of Pavia (1525) and was made Seigneur du
Gauguier et de Mesland, en Touraine : died Novem-
ber 19, 1556.

M. de Condd : Louis de Bourbon, Prince de
Cond6 : the great leader, with Coligny, of the Hu-
guenot army: killed at the battle of Jarnac, 1569.
Brother of the King of Navarre.

M. d' Enghien : Jean de Bourbon, Due d' Enghien,
Comte de Soissons.

M. de La Roche-sur-Yon : Charles de Bourbon,
Prince de La Roche-sur-Yon : died 1 565. Lieutenant-
General of the King's armies, 1557: Governor of
Dauphin^, 1562. He married the widow of M. de
Montejan, Pare's first master at the wars.

Notes to Journeys 135

M. de Montpensier ; Louis de Bourbon, Due de

M. de Vielleville : Frangois de Seipieaux, Seigneur
de Vielleville et de Duretal, made Marshal of France
in 1562: died November 30, 1571.

M. le due Horace : Probably this was Horace Far-
nese, Due de Castro, nephew of Pope Alexander
Farnese : we hear of him again, a few months later.

M. de Martigiies : Charles de Luxembourg,
Vicomte de Martigues : married Claude, widow of
the Comte de Laval. We hear of him again at

4. The Journey to Hesdin. 1553.

In 155 1-2, Ambroise Pare finished the second
edition, dedicated to the King, of his book on
Gunshot Wounds.

He was not long left in peace. After the retreat
from Metz (Christmas, 1552) the German army moved
westward, and in the early summer of 1553 besieged
Theroiienne, a few miles south of Boulogne. Theroii-
enne was a small place, but important by reason of
its position, lying near the Netherlands, and serving
also to keep a check on Calais, which was till 1558 in
the possession of England. In 15 13, Theroiienne
had been taken by the English, but in 1527 had been
retaken by the French : then Francois I. had fortified

136 Ambroise Par^

it, and used to compare it to a pillow, on which he
could rest his head and feel comfortable.

The news of the siege of Theroiienne reached Paris
in the middle of grand festivities. Horace Farnese,
Due de Castro, was just married to Diane d' Angou-
leme, a natural daughter of the King ; and Paris, ex-
ulting over the retreat of the Emperor from before
Metz, was given up to holiday-making. The news
was taken in a light-hearted way, though Theroiienne
was neither well garrisoned nor well provisioned.
Some troops were sent under the command of Fran-
9ois de Montmorency, son of the Constable ; but
the enemy attacked the place so furiously that on
June 20, after ten hours' assault, Montmorency sur-
rendered and was taken prisoner, and the town was
stormed, sacked, and razed to the ground. The
Emperor was at Brussels, when he heard of it :
throughout the Netherlands there was great light-
ing of bonfires, ringing of church bells, and firing of

Then Hesdin, close to Theroiienne, was served the
same way. Hesdin had already seen war: in 1521,
being then in the possession of Germany, it had been
captured for France by the Due de Bourbon.

Hesdin fell on July 17, 1553 ; and Par6 came so
near death, that his story of Hesdin is one of the
most fascinating of all the Journeys. He was at this

Notes to Journeys 137

time forty-three years old, and had followed the wars,
off and on, for sixteen years.

The following year, 1554, to avenge these losses,
Henri 11. led an army into Hainault and Flanders.
He sacked Marienbourg and Dinant, and, at the other
end of the Netherlands, attacked Renty, not far from
St. Omer, but failed to take it.

M. de Savoire: Emmanuel Philibert, "Tete de Fer,"
Due de Savoie, born at Chamb6ry, 1528 ; died, 1580 ;
served under the Emperor at Metz and Hesdin, and
won the battle of Saint Quentin, August 10, 1557.
After the peace of Cateau Cambresis, 1559, he mar-
ried Marguerite, the King's sister.

The Queen of Hungary : the Arch-Duchess Marie.

5. The Battle of Saint Quentin. The
Journey to Amiens. 1557-1558.

From 1553 to 1557, Pare was hard at work in Paris.
In 1554 he was admitted to the College of Sur-
geons, and took the degree of master of surgery ;
he was surgeon-in-ordinary to the King ; he was hard
at work on anatomy, and in good practice. He
and his wife were still childless.

In England, by the death of Edward VI. in 1553,
Mary came to the throne ; and took for her husband
Philip II. of Spain, son of the Emperor. By the
abdication of the Emperor in January, 1556, his

138 Ambrolse Pare

brother, Ferdinand of Austria, received the Imperial
title. Spain, Burgundy, and the Netherlands, went
to Philip. Following the abdication, a truce for five
years, the treaty of Vaucelles, was signed on Febru-
ary 5> 1556) by the Emperor, and by Coligny for the

The forces of war had now become centred in Italy.
Montluc held Siena for nine months against the Im-
perialist and Florentine troops ; de Brissac, in Pied-
mont, opposed Alva with good success ; Corsica and
Elba fell into the hands of France; Guise himself,
with 20,000 men, entered Rome as the friend and
ally of Pope Paul IV. against the Spaniards, passed
into the kingdom of Naples, and besieged Civitella,
but failed to take it. Philip, by his hold on Milan
and Naples, and by his English marriage, and his
power in the Netherlands, was threatening both Italy
and France. The Pope, seeing the Spaniards on all
sides of him, took the side of France, and pro-
nounced Philip excommunicate.

In 1557, Philip and Mary declared war on France;
and the battle of Saint Quentin, called also, from
the day, the battle of Saint Laurence, was fought on
the loth of August. Philip's army was 47,000 men,
of whom 9000 were English ; the Due de Savoie had
the chief command. The French army, commanded
by the Constable, Cond6, Coligny, d'Enghien, Mont-

Notes to Journeys 139

pensier, and d'Andelot, Coligny's younger brother,
was defeated. D'Enghien was killed ; the Constable,
Coligny, and Montpensier, were taken prisoners.
Cond^ and de Nevers, with the remains of the army,
made their way to La F^re ; d'Andelot escaped

Guise, furious at the bad news, rushed back from
Italy, leaving the Pope to make what terms he could
with Alva. On October 20th, Guise conferred with
the King, at Saint Germain, by what sudden blow
they could avenge themselves on Spain and Eng-
land. By New Year's Day, 155S, he was under the
walls of Calais ; in a week, he captured it ; the Eng-
lish governor. Lord Wentworth, was taken prisoner,
the English garrison was shipped off; Calais, after be-
ing for two hundred and ten years in the hands of
England, became on January 9th a town of France.
Eleven days later. Queen Mary died.

At La Fere, August, 1557, ended Park's twenty
years' service against the enemies of his country.
Henceforth he saw the wars of religion, and France
her own enemy. He was now forty-eight years old ;
no longer a vagrant barber-surgeon picking up work
and a living in the wars, but a famous surgeon, with
a lot of rich patients wanting him back in Paris.
He was longing to get away from La Fere : " il
m 'ennuyoit beaucoup la : je priay M. le Mareschal

J 40 Ambroise Pare

de me donner conge de m'en aller, et avois peur de
demeurer malade." It sounds like the French gen-
tleman of whom Hotspur fell foul :

" And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corpse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility."

But he who will read again the horrors of La F^re
will not find fault with Fare's desire to get back to
his childless home and his daily work in Paris.

La Fere : A small fortified town, 24 kilom. from
Chateau-Thierry. The ruins of a castle, XIII. cen-
tury, are still to be seen there. R. L. Stevenson has
described La Fere in his Inland Voyage.

M. le Mar^schal Bourdillon : " Non Mar^schal de
France, mais simple mareschal des camps et armies
de Roi, grade Equivalent k celui de g6n6ral de brig-
ade." — E. BEgin.

M. de Lorraine : Charles, Cardinal de Lorraine,
brother of Francois de Guise.

Donrlan : Now called Doullens : the fortifications
were demolished in 1867: the castle is still standing.

Antoine Portail : Born 1530 (?) ; came to Paris as
a member of the household of the Queen of Navarre,
and was made a master barber-surgeon in Paris;
married Jacqueline de Prime, a kinswoman of ParE.

Notes to Journeys 141

Surgeon to Henri II., Charles IX., and Henri III.;
attended Henri III. on his assassination, 1588 ; was
living in iS9S> fiv'e years after Fare's death. It was
after Portail had bled Charles IX. that the King
had, for some months, a contracted arm, which got
well under Fare's care.

6. The Journeys to Bourges and Rouen.
The Battle of Dreux. The Journey to
Havre, i 562-1 563.

Fare's life in Faris, from 1558 to 1562, was marked
by many events of importance to him and to his
home : the births of Isaac and of Catherine, his ap-
pointment as premier surgeon to the King, his
broken leg, his evidence in the case of Mile, de
Rohan, and the publication of his books on General
Anatomy, and on Wounds of the Head.

During these same years, great changes came on
France. In April, 1558, Mary Stuart, daughter of
James V. of Scotland and of Marie de Lorraine,

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryStephen PagetAmbroise Paré and his times, 1510-1590 → online text (page 8 of 18)