The workes of that famous chirurgion Ambrose Parey translated out of Latine and compared with the French. by Th: Johnson

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Introductory notes

Ambroise Paré (1510–1590) was a celebrated French surgeon, known for his many innovations in both in general and battlefield surgery. He is also regarded as a pioneer in forensic pathology. His works were rendered into English by the botanist Thomas Johnson (c 1595-1644) under the title The workes of that famous chirurgion Ambrose Parey (London, 1634). Johnson fought for the Royalists and died following a wound sustained during the siege of Basing Castle in September, 1644. Johnson is best known for his expanded edition of Gerard’s Herbal (1633), the title page of which describes him as “citizen and apothecary of London”. The selected passages include an account of the Battle of Metz, 1552.

of that famous
Ambrose Parey
Translated out of
Latine and compared
with the French.
Th: Johnson.
Ne fallare vide, neu quae sunt partasaluti,
Vertat in exitium, non solers cum medentis.

London, Printed by Th: Cotes and R. Young Anno 1634.



[Page 14]

There is no cause that any one should thinke that varietie of humors to be caused in us, rather by the diversity of the active heate, than waxe and a flint placed at the same time, and in the same situation of climate and soile, this to melt by the heat of the Sunne, and that scarse to waxe warme. Therefore that diversitie of effects is not to be attributed to the force of the efficient cause, that is, of heate, which is one and of one kinde in all of us; but rather to the materiall cause, seeing it is composed of the conflux, or meeting together of various substances, gives the heate leave to worke, as it were out of its store, which may make and produce from the hotter part thereof Choler, and of the colder, and more rebellious Phlegme. Yet I will not deny but that more Phlegme, or Choler may be bred in one and the same body, according to the quicker, or slower provocation of the heate; yet neverthelesse it is not consequent, that the originall of Choler should be from a more acride, and of Phlegme from a more dull heat in the same man. Every one of us naturally have a simple heate, and of one kinde, which is the worker of diverse operations, not of it selfe, seeing it is alwayes the same, and like it selfe, but by the different fitnesse, pliablenesse, or resistance of the matter on which it workes. Wherefore phlegme is generated in the same moment of time, in the fire of the same part, by the efficiency of the same heate, with the rest of the bloud, of the more cold, liquide, crude, and watery portion of the Chylus. Wherby it comes to passe, that it shewes an expresse figure of a certaine rude or unperfect bloud, for which occasion nature hath made it no peculiar receptacle, but would have it to run friendly with the bloud in the same passages of the veines, that any necessitiehappening by famin, or indigency, and in defect of better nourishment, it may by a perfecter elaboration quickly assume the forme of bloud. Cold & rude nourishment make this humor to abound, principally in winter, and in those which incline to old age; by reason of the similitude which phlegme hath with that season and age. It makes a man drowsie, dull, fat, and swollen up, and hasteneth gray haires.

[Page 101]

2. CHAP. XIII. Of the Epiploon, Omentum, or Zirbus, that is the Kall.

After the conteining parts, follow the conteined, the first of which is the Epiploon, (or Kall) so called, because it as it were swims upon all the guts. The substance of it is fatty and spermaticke, the quantity of it for thicknesse is diverse in diverse men according to their temperament. The latitude of it is described by the quantity of the gutts. It is in figure like a Purse, because it is double. It is composed of veines, arteries, fat and a membrane, which sliding downe from the gibbous part of the ventricle, and the flat part of the Gut Duodenum and spleen over the Gutts, is turned backe from the lower belly to the top of the Colon. It is one as wee said covering the Gutts. It hath its cheefe connexion [Page 102] with the first Vertebra's of the loines, from which place in beasts it seemes to take a coate, as in men from the hollow part of the spleene and gibbous of the ventricle and depressed part of the Duodenum, from whence doubled it is terminated in the fore and higher part of the Collicke gut.

Which moved Galen to write that the upper part of the membrane of the Kall was annexed to the ventricle, but the lower, to the laxer part of the Collicke Gut. From the vessells of which parts it borrowes his, as also the nerves, if it have any. The temper of it in leane bodyes is cold and dry, because their Kall is without fat; but in fat bodyes it is cold and moiste by reason of the fat. The use of it is two-fold: The first is to heat and moisten the Guts, and help their concoction, although it doe it by accident, as that which through the density of the fatte hinders the cold aire from piercing in, and also forbiddes the dissipation of the internall heat. Another use is, that in want of nourishment in times of great famine, for sometimes it cherishes, and as it were by its dew preserves the innate heate both of the ventricle and the neighbouring parts, as it is written by Galen. Moreover wee must observe, that in a rupture or relaxation of the Peritonaeum the Kall falls downe into the scrotum, from whence comes that rupture wee call, Epiplocele. But in weomen that are somewhat more fat it thrusts it selfe betweene the bladder and the necke of the wombe, and by its compression hinders, that the seed comes not with full force into the wombe, and so frustrates the conception. Besides, when by a wound or some other chance, any part of it be defective, then that part of the belly which answers to it, will afterwards remaine cold and raw [...]

[Page 1149]

3. The Voyage of Castle the Compt. 1552.

A Little while after King Henry levied an Army of thirty thousand men, to goe make spoile about Hedin. The King of Navarre who was then called Monsieur de Vendosme, was chiefe of the Army, and the Kings Lieutenant. Being at S. Denis in France, staying while the companies pass'd by, he sent for me to Paris to come speak with him; being there, he prayed me, and his request was a command, that I would follow him this voyage; and I about to make my excuse told him him my wife was sicke in her bed, he made me answer, that there were Phisitions at Paris for to cure her; and that he as well left his owne, who was as well descended as mine; promising me that hee would use me well, and forthwith gave command that I should be lodged as one of his Traine. Seeing this great affection, which he had to leade me with him, I durst not to refuse him. I went and met with him at the Castale of Compt, within 3. or 4. leagues of Hedin, there where there was the Emperors Souldiers in garrison with a number of Pessants round about: hee caused them to be summond to render themselves; and they made answer they should never have them but by peeces, and let them doe their worst, and they would doe their best to defend themselves.

They put confidence in their ditches full of water, and in two houres with a great number of Bavins, and certaine empty Caskes, way was made to passe over the foote: when they must goe to the assault and were beaten with five peeces of Cannon, till a breach was made large enough to enter in, where they within received the assault very valiantly, and not without killing and hurting a great number of our people with musket shot, pikes and stones. In the end when they saw themselves constrained, they put fire to their pouder and munition, which was the cause of burning many of our people, and of theirs likewise, and they were all almost put to the edge of the sword. Notwithstanding some of our Souldiers had taken twentie or thirtie, hoping to have ransome for them. That was knowne, and ordered by the Counsell that it should be proclaimed by the Trumpet through the Campe, that all Souldiers who had any Spaniards prisoners were to kill them, upon paine to be hanged and strangled, which was done upon cold blood.

From thence we went and burnt diver Villages, whose barnes were full of all kind of graine, to my great greefe. Wee went along even to Tournaban, where there was a very great Tower where the Enemies retired, but there was no man found in it, all was pillaged, and the Tower was made to leape by a Mine, and then with Gunpouder turned topsy turvy. After that, the Campe was broken up, and I returned to Paris. I will not yet forget to write that the day after the Castle of Compt was taken, Monsieur de Vendosme sent a Gentleman to the King to make report to him of all which had pass'd, and amongst other things, told the King that I had greatly done my duty in dressing those that were wounded, and that I had shewed him eighteene Bullets which I had taken or drawne out of the hurt bodies, and that there were divers more which I could neither finde, nor draw out, and told more good of mee than there was by halfe. Then the King said hee would have mee into his service, [Page 1150] and commanded Monsieur de Goguier his chiefe Physition to write me downe as entertained one of his Chirurgions in ordinary, and that I should goe meete with him at Rheimes within ten or twelve dayes; which I did, where he did me the honour to command me that I would dwell neare him, and that he would doe me good. Then I thankt him most humbly for the honour it pleased him to doe me, in calling me to his service.


The Emperour having beseiged Mets, and in the hardest time of winter, as each one knowes of fresh memory: and that there was in the Citty five or sixe thousand men, and amongst the rest seaven Princes; that is to say, Monsieur the Duke of Guise the Kings Lieutenant, Messieurs d'Anguien, de Conde, de Montpensier, de La Roch upon Yon, Monsieur de Nemours, and divers other Gentlemen, with a number of old Captaines of warre, who often made sallies forth upon the enemies, (as wee shall speake of hereafter) which was not done without slaying many, as well on the one side as the other. For the most part all our wounded people dyed, and it was thought the medicaments wherewith they were dressed were poysoned; which caused Monsieur de Guise and other Princes to send to the King for mee, and that hee would send me with Drogues to them, for they beleeved theirs were poysoned, seeing that of their hurt people few escaped. I doe not beleeve there was any poyson, but the great stroakes of the Cutlasses, Musket shot, and the extremity of cold were the cause. The King caused one to write to Monsieur the Marshall of S. Andrew which was his Lieutenant at Verdun, that hee found some meanes to make me enter into Mets. The said Lord Marshall of S. Andrew and Monsieur the Marshall of old Ville, got an Italian Captaine, who promised them to make me enter in, which he did, and for which hee had fifteene hundred Crownes: the King having heard of the promise which the Italian Captaine had made, sent for mee and commanded me to take of his Apothecary named Daigue such, and as many Drogues as I should thinke fit for the hurt who were beseiged, which I did, as much as a posthorse could carry. The King gave me charge to speake to Monsieur de Guise and to the Princes, and Captaines who were at Mets.

Being arrived at Verdun, a few dayes after Monsieur the Marshall of S. Andrew, caused horses to be given to mee, and my man and for the Italian, who spake very good high Dutch, Spanish and Walon with his owne naturall tongu . When we were within eight or tenne Leagues of Mets, wee went not but in the night, and being neare the Campe, I saw a league and a halfe off bright fires round about the Citty, which seemed as if all the earth were on fire, and I thought wee could never passe through those fires without being discovered, and by consequent be hanged and strangled, or cut in peeces, or pay a great ransome. To speake truth, I wished my selfe at Paris, for the eminent danger which I foresaw. God guided so well our affaires that wee entred into the Citty at midnight with a certaine Token, which the Captaine had with another Captaine of the company of Monsieur de Guise: which Lord I went to, and found him in bed, who received me with great thankes, being joyfull of my comming. I did my message to him of all that the King had commanded me to say to him; I told him I had a little letter to give him, and that the next day I would not faile to deliver it him. That done he commanded mee a good lodging, and that I should be well used, and bid mee I should not faile to be the next day upon the Breach, where I should meete with all the Princes, and divers Captaines, which I did; who receaved me with great joy, who did mee the honour to imbrace me, and tell me I was very welcome, adding withall they did not feare to dye if they should chance to be hurt. Monsieur de La Roch upon Yon was the first that feasted me, and inquired of me what they sayd at the Court concerning the Citty of Mets; I told him what I thought good. Then presently he desired mee to goe see one of his Gentlemen, named Monsieur de Magnane at this present Knight of the Kings order, and Lieutenant of his Majesties Guard; who had his Leg broken by a Cannon shot. I found him in his bed, his Leg bended and crooked, without any [Page 1151] dressing upon it; because a Gentleman promised him cure, having his name, and his girdle, with certaine words. The poore Gentleman wept, and cryed with paine which he felt, not sleeping either night or day, in foure dayes: then I mock't at this imposture and false promise.

Presently I did so nimbly restore and dresse his Legge, that he was without paine and slept all night, and since (thanks be to God) was cured, and is yet at this present living, doing service to the King. The said Lord of the Roch upon Yon sent me a Tunne of wine to my lodging, and bid tell me, when it was dronken hee would send mee another. That done, Monsieur de Guise gave me a list of certaine Captaines and Lords, and commanded me to tell them what the King had given me in charge; which I did, which was to doe his commendations and a thanksgivng for the duty they had done, and did in the keeping of the Citty of Mets, and that he would acknowledge it. I was more than eight daies in acquitting my charge, because they were many; first to the Princes and others, as the Duke of Horace, the Count of Martigues, and his brother, Monsieur de Bauge, the Lords Montmorancy, and d'Anville, then Marshall of France, Monsieur de La Chapel, Bonnivet Caroug now Governour of Rohan, the Vidasme of Chartres, the Count of Lude, Monsieur de Biron now Marshall of France, Monsieur de Randan the Rochfoucaut, Boxdaille d'Etrez, the yonger, Monsieur de S. John in Dolphiny, & many others which it would bee too long to recite; and chiefely to divers Captaines who had very well done their duty in defence of their lives, and Citty.

I demanded afterwards of Monsieur de Guise, what it pleased I should doe with the Drogues which I had brought, he bid me impart them to the Chirurgions and Apothecaries, and chiefely to the poore hurt Souldiers in the Hospitall which were in great number; which I did, and can assure you, I could not doe so much as goe see them, but they sent for mee to visit and dresse them. All the beseiged Lords prayed mee carefully to sollicite above all others Monsieur de Pienne who was hurt at the breach by a stone raised by a Cannon shot in the Temple with a fracture, and depression of the bone. They told mee that presently when hee received the stroake, was foureteene dayes without speaking one word, or having any reason; there happened to him also startings somewhat like Convulsions, and had all his face swell'd and livid. Hee was trepan'd on the side of the temporll muscle upon the Os Coronale.

I drest him with other Chirurgions, and God cured him, and is at this day living, God be thanked. The Emperour caused battery to be made with forty double Cannons, where they spared no pouder night nor day. Presently when Monsieur de Guise saw the Artillery seated to make a breach, hee made the nearest houses to be pulled downe to make Ramparts, and the posts and beames were ranged, end to end, and betweene two clods of earth, beds and packs of wooll, and then other posts and beames were put againe upon them as before. Now much wood of the houses of the suburbs which had beene put to the ground (for feare least the enemie should be lodged, close covered, and that they should not helpe themselves with any wood) served well to repaire the breach. Every one was busied to carry earth to make the Ramparts night and day. Messieres the Princes, Lords and Captaines, Lieutenants, Ensignes, did all carry the basket, to give example to the Souldiers, and Cittizens to doe the like, which they did; yea both Ladies and Gentlewomen, and those which had not baskets, helpt themselves with kettles, panniers, sackes, sheets, and with what else they could to carry earth; in so much that the enemy had no sooner beaten downe the wall, but hee found behind a Rampart more strong. The wall being fallen our Souldiers cryed to those without, the Fox, the Fox, the Fox, and spake a thousand injuries one to another. Monsieur de Guise commanded upon paine of death that no man should speake to them without, for feare least there should be some Traitor who would give them intelligence what was done in the Citty; the command made, they tyed living Cats at the end of their Pikes, and put them upon the Wall and cryed with the Cats miau, miau.

Truely the Emperialists were very much vexed to have beene so long making a breach, and at so great expence, which was the breach of fourescore steps, to enter fifty men in front, where they found a Rampart more strong than the wall; they [Page 1152] fell upon the poore Catts, and shot at them with their muskets as they use to doe at birds. Our people did oftentimes make sallies by the command of Monsieur de Guise. The day before there was a great presse, to make themselves enrowled, who must make the sally chiefely of the young Nobility, led by well experimented Captaines. In so much that it was a great favour, to permit them to sally forth, and runne upon the enemy: and they sallied forth alwayes the number of one hundred, or sixescore armed men with Cutlasses, Muskets, Pistolls, Pikes, Partisans and Halberds, which went even to their trenches to awaken them. Where they presently made an alarum throughout all their Campe, and their Drummes sounded, plan, plan, ta, ti, ta, ta, ta, ti, ta, tou, touf, touf: likewise their Trumpets and Cornets, sounded, to the saddle, to the saddle, to the saddle, to horse, to horse, to horse, to the saddle, to horse. And all their souldiers cry'd Arme, arme, arme, to armes, to armes, to armes, arme, to armes, arme, to armes, like the cry after Wolves, and all divers tongues, according to their nations: and they were seene to goe out from their tents, and little lodgings, as thicke as little Bees, when their Hive is discovered; to succour their fellowes, who had their throates cut like sheepe.

The horsemen likewise came from all parts, a great gallop, patati, patata, patati, patapa, ta, ta, patata, patata, and arried well that they might not bee in the throng, where stroakes were imparted to give and receive. And when our men saw they were forced, they returned into the Citty, still fighting, and those who runne after were beaten backe with the Artillery which they had charged with flint stones, and fouresquare peeces of iron; and our souldiers who were upon the sayd wall made a volley of shot, and showred downe their bullets upon them like haile, to send them backe to their lodging, where divers remained in the place of the combate, and also our men did not all come with whole skinnes, and there still remained some for the Tythe, who were joyfull to dye in the bed of honour. And where there was a horse hurt he was flayed, and eaten by the Souldiers in steed of beefe and bacon, and it was fit I must runne, to dresse our hurt men. A few dayes after, other sallyes were made, which did much anger the enemies, because they did not let them sleepe but little in safety. Monsieur de Guise, made a warlike stratagem which was, he sent a Pesant who was none of the wisest with two paire of Letters toward the King, to whom he gave ten Crownes, and promised the King should give him an hundred, provided he gave him the letters.

In the one he sent word that the enemy made no signe of retiring himselfe, and by all force made a great breach which he hop't to defend, yea to the losing of his life, and of all those that were within, and that the enemy had so well placed his Artillery sort, that they cannot be able to enter. One of these letters was sowed in the lining of his doublet, and he was bid to take heede that he told it not to any man. And there was also another given to him; wherein the sayd Monsieur de Guise sent word to the King, that he & all the beseiged did hope well to keepe the Citty, and other matters, which I cease to speake of. They made the Pesant goe forth in the night, and presently after, he was taken by one that stood Sentinell, and carryed to the Duke of Albe, to understand what was done in the Citty, and they asked him if he had any letters, he sayd yes, and gave them one; and having seene it he was put to his oath, whether he had any other, and he swore, not; then they felt and search't him, and found that which was sowed to his doublet, and the poore messenger was hanged. The sayd letters were communicated to the Emperor, who caused his counsell to be called there, where it was resolved since they could doe nothing at the first breach, that presently the Artillery should be drawne to the place which they thought the most weake, where they made great attempts to make another breach, and dig'd and undermined the wall, and endeavoured to take the Tower of Hell, yet they durst not come to the assault.

The Duke of Albe declared to the Emperor that the souldiers dyed dayly, yet, more than the number of two hundred, and that there was but little hope to enter into the Citty, seeing the season, and the great quantity of souldiers that there were. The Emperor demanded what people they were that dyed, [Page 1153] and if that they were gentlemen of remarke or quality: answeare was made, that they were all poore souldiers; then sayd he, it makes no matter if they dye, comparing them to caterpillers and grashoppers, which eate the buddes of the earth: And if they were of any fashion, they would not bee in the campe for twelve shillings the month, and therefore no great harme if they dyed. Moreover he sayd he would nener part from before that Citty, till he had taken it by force, or famine, although he should loose all his army: by reason of the great number of Princes which were therein, with the most part of the Nobility of France. From whom hee hoped to draw double his expence, and that he would goe once againe to Paris, to visite the Parisiens, and make himselfe King of all the kingdome of France.

Monsieur de Guise with the Princes, Captaines, and Souldiers, and generally all the Cittizens of the Citty, having understood the intention of the Emperor, which was to extirpate us all, they advised of all they had to doe: And since it was not permitted to the souldiers, nor Cittizens, no nor to the Princes, nor Lords themselves to eate either fresh fish, or Venison, as likewise some Partridges, Woodcockes, Larkes, Plovers, for feare least they had gathered some pestilentiall ayre which might give us any contagion; but that they should content themselves with the ammunition fare, that is to say, with Bisquite, Beefe, poudered Cowes, Lard, and gammons of Bacon: Likewise fish, as Greenefish, Salmon, Sturgeon, Anchovies, Pilchers and Herrings, also Pease, Beanes, Rise, Garlike, Onions, Prunes, Cheese, Butter, Oyle, Salt, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmegges, and other Spiceries to put into pyes, cheefely to horseflesh, which without that would have had a very ill taste; divers Citizens having gardens in the Citty sowed therein great Raddishes, Turnippes, Carrots, and Leekes, which they kept well and full deare, against the extremity of hunger.

Now all these ammunition victualls were distributed by weight, measure, and justice, according to the quality of the person, because we knew not how long the seige would last. For having understood from the mouth of the Emperor, that he would never part from before Mets, till he had taken it by force, or famine; the victualls were lessened, for that which was wont to be distributed to three, was now shared amongst foure, and defence made they should not sell what remained after their dinner, but twas permitted to give it to the wenches that followed the Campe. And rose alwayes from table with an appetite, for feare they should be subject to take Physicke. And before we would yeeld our selves to the mercy of our enemies; had resolved to eate our Asses, Mules, Horses, Dogges, Cats, and Ratts, vea our bootes and other skinnes which we could soften and frie.

All the beseiged did generally resolve to defend themselves with all sorts of instruments of warre, that is to say, to ranke, and charge the Artillery, at the entry of the breach with bullets, stones, Cart nayles, barres, and chaines of iron. Also all kinds and differences of artificiall fire; as Boeites, Bariquadoes, Granadoes, Potts, Lances, torches, squibbes, burning faggots. Moreover scalding water, melted lead, powder of unquenched lime to blind their eyes. Also they were resolved to have made holes through, and through their houses, there to lodge musketiers, there to batter in the flanke and hasten them to goe, or else make them lye for altogether. Also there was order given to the women to unpave the streetes, and to cast them out at their windowes, billets, tables, tressles, formes, and stooles, which would have troubled their braines: moreover there was a little further, a strong Court of Guard, fild with carts and pallisadoes, pipes and hogs heads, fild with earth, for barriquadoes to serve to interlay with faulcons, faulconets, field peeces, harquibuzes, muskets, and pistolls and wilde fire, which would have broken legges and thighes, insomuch that they had beene beaten in head, in flancke, and in tayle; and where they had forced this Court of Guard, there was others at the crossing of the streets, each distant an hundred paces, who have beene as bad companions as the first, and would not have beene without making a great many Widdowes, and Orphans.

And if fortune would have beene so much against us, as to have broken our Courts of gard, there was yet seaven great Bastallions ordered in square, and triangle, to combate altogether, each one accompanied with a Prince to give them boldnesse, and encourage them to fight, even till the last gaspe, and to dye altogether. Moreover it was resolved, that each one should carry his treasure, rings, and jewells, and their household stuffe of the best, [Page 1154] to burne them in the great place, and to put them into ashes rather than the enemy should prevaile and make tropheyes of their spoyles; likewise there was people appointed to put fire to the munition, and to beate out the heads of the Wine caskes, others to put the fire in each house, to burne our enemies and us together: the Citizens had accorded it thus, rather than to see the bloody knife upon their throate, and their Wives and Daughters violated, and to be taken by force, by the cruell and inhumane Spaniards. Now we had certaine prisoners which Monsieur de Guise sent away upon their faith, to whom was secretly imparted our last resolution, wil and desperate mindes; who being arrived in their Campe, doe not deferre the publishing; which bridled the great impetuosity, and will of the souldiers to enter any more into the Citty to cut our throates, and to enrich themselves of our pillage.

The Emperor having understood this deliberation of the great warriour, the Duke of Guise, put water in his wine, and restrained his great choller and furie, saying, He could not enter into the Citty without making a great slaughter, and butchery, and spill much blood, aswell of the defendants, as of the assaillants, and that they should be dead together, and in the end could have nothing else but a few ashes, and that afterward it might be spoken of that, as of the destruction of Jerusalem already made by Titus and Vespasian.

The Emperor then having understood our last resolution, and seeing their little prevailing by their battery, and underming, and the great plague which was in his whole army, and the indisposition of the time; and the want of victualls and money, and that his souldiers forsooke him, and went away in great companies; concluded in the end to retire themselves accompanied with the Cavallery of his Vantgard, with the greatest part of his Artillery, and the Battalia; The Marquesse of Brandeborg was the last which uncampt, maintained by certaine bands of Spaniards, Bohemians, and his Germane companies, and there remained one day and a halfe after, to the great greefe of Monsieur de Guise, who caused foure peeces of Artillery to be brought out of the Citty, which he caused to be discharged at him on one side; and the other to hasten them to be gone, which he did full quickely, with all his Troopes.

He being a quarter of a league from Mets was taken with a feare least our Cavallery should fall upon him in the Rere, which caused him to put fire to his munition powder, and leave certaine peeces of Artillery and much baggage which hee could not carry because the Vantgard, and the Battalia, and great Cannons had too much broken the way. Our horsemen would by all meanes have gone out of the Citty to have fallen upon their breech. But Monsieur de Guise would never permit them, but on the contrary we should rather make plaine their way, and make them bridges of gold and silver, and let them goe, being like to a good shepheard, who will not loose one of his sheepe. See now how our wellbeloved Imperialists went away from before the Citty of Mets, which was the day after Christmas day, to the great contentment of the beseiged, and honour of Princes, Captaines and Souldiers who had endured the travells of this seige the space of two monthes.

Notwithstanding they did not all goe, there wanted twenty thousand who were dead aswell by Artillery, by the sword, as also by the plague, cold, and hunger, and for spight they could not enter into the Citty to cut our throates, and have the pillage: and also a great number of their horses dyed, of which they had eaten a great part in steed of Beefe and Bacon. They went where they had beene encamped, where they found divers dead bodyes not yet buried, and the earth all dihged like Saint Innocents Churchyard, in the time of the plague. They did likewise leave in their lodgings, pavillions and tents, divers sick people: also bullets, armes, Carts, Waggons, & other baggage with a great many of Munition loaves spoyled and rotten by the raine and snow, yet the souldiers had it not but by weight and measure; & likewise they left great provision of wood, of the remainders of the houses of the Villages which they had pluckt downe 2 or 3 miles compasse, likewise divers other houses of pleasure belonging to the Cittizens accompanied with faire gardens, grasse plotts fild with fruite trees, for without that they had beene sterv'd with cold, and had beene constrained to have rais'd the seige sooner.

The sayd Monsieur de Guise caused the dead to be buried, and dresse their sicke people: likewise the enemies left in the Abby of S. Arnoul divers of their hurt souldiers which they could not leade with them: the sayd Monsieur de Guise sent them all Victualls enough, and commanded me and other Chirurgions to goe dresse them [Page 1155] and give them medicines; which we willingly did, and thinke they would not have done the like toward others (because the Spaniard is most cruell, per idious and inhumane, & therefore enimy to all nations) which is proved by Lopez a Spaniard & Benzo of Milan & others who have written the history of America, & the West Indies, who have beene constrayned to confesse, that the cruelty, avarice, blasphemy, and wickednesse of the Spaniards, have altogether alienated the poore Indians, from the religion which the sayd Spaniards are sayd to hold. And all write they are lesse worth than the Idolatrous Indians, by the cruell usage done to the sayd Indians.

And a few dayes after we sent a Trompet to Thionville toward the enemy, that they should send backe for their wounded men in safety, which they did with Carts and Waggons, but not enough. Monsieur de Guise, caused them to have Carts and Carters, to helpe to carry them to the sayd Thionville. Our sayd Carters being returned backe, brought us word that the way was paved with dead bodyes, and that they never lead backe the halfe, for they dyed in their Carts, and the Spaniards seeing them at the point of death, before they had cast out their last gaspe, cast them out of their Carts, and buryed them in the mudde, and mire, saying they had no order to bring backe the dead. Moreover our sayd Carters sayd, they met by the way divers Carts loaden with baggage sticking in the mire, which they durst not send for backe, for feare least those of Mets should fall upon them. I will againe returne to the cause of their mortality, which was principally through honger, plague, and cold; for the snow was two foote thicke upon the earth, and they were lodged in the caves of the earth, onely covered with a little straw. Notwithstanding each souldier had his field bed, and a covering strewed with glittering starres, more bright than fine gold, and every day had white sheetes, and lodg'd at the signe of the Moone, and made good cheere when they had it, and payd their hoste so well over night, that in the morning they went away quitte, shaking their eares, and they needed no combe, to take away the doune out of their haires, either of head or beard, and found alwayes a white table cloath, losing good meales for want of Victualls. Also the greatest part of them had neither bootes, nor buskinnes, slippers, hose, or shooes, and divers had rather have none than have them, because they were alwayes in mudde, halfe way of the legge; and because they went bare leg'd, we called them the Emperors Apostles. After the Campe was wholly broaken, I distributed my patients into the hands of the Chirurgions of the Citty, to finish their cure: then I tooke leave of Monsieur de Guise, and came backe toward the King, who received me with a loving countenance, and demanded of me how I did enter into the Citty of Mets. I recounted to him, all that I had done, he caused two hundred crownes to be given me, and one hundred I had at my going out, and told me he would not leave me poore; then I thanked him most humbly of the good and the honour which he pleased to doe me.

This is a selection from the original text


basket, death, pain, poor, sick, victuals

Source text

Title: The workes of that famous chirurgion Ambrose Parey translated out of Latine and compared with the French. by Th: Johnson

Author: Ambroise Paré

Publisher: Th: Cotes and R. Young

Publication date: 1634

Original date(s) covered: 1552

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 19189 Physical description: [14], 487, [1], 5531083,[1], 10931173,[23] p. : Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 931:02 Original date(s) covered: 1552

Digital edition

Original author(s): Ambroise Paré

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Title Page
  • 2 ) image number 15 (Intro - "there is no cause ... grey hairs")
  • 3 ) image numbers 59-60 (bk 3, ch.13)
  • 4 ) image numbers 550-53 (voyage of Mets)


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > nonfiction prose > Medicine

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.