Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > Ambroise Paré > Journeys in Diverse Places
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Ambroise Paré (1510–90).  Journeys in Diverse Places.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
The Journey To Rouen. 1562
 
 
NOW, as for the capture of Rouen, they killed many of our men both before and at the attack: and the very next day after we had entered the town, I trepanned eight or nine of our men, who had been wounded with stones as they were on the breach. The air was so malignant, that many died, even of quite small wounds, so that some thought the bullets had been poisoned: and those within the town said the like of us; for though they had within the town all that was needful, yet all the same they died like those outside.  1
  The King of Navarre was wounded, some days before the attack, with a bullet in the shoulder. I visited him, and helped to dress him, with one of his own surgeons, Master Gilbert, one of the chief men of Montpellier, and others. They could not find the bullet. I searched for it very accurately, and found reason to believe it had entered at the top of the arm, by the head of the bone, and had passed into the hollow part of the bone, which was why they could not find it; and most of them said it had entered his body and was lost in it. M. le Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, who dearly loved the King of Navarre, drew me aside and asked if the wound were mortal. I told him yes, because all wounds of great joints, and especially contused wounds, were mortal, according to all those who have written about them. He asked the others what they thought of it, and chiefly Master Gilbert, who told him he had great hope his Lord the King would recover; which made the Prince very glad.  2
  Four days later, the King, and the Queen-mother, and M. le Cardinal de Bourbon, his brother, and M. le Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, and M. de Guise, and other great persons, after we had dressed the King of Navarre, wished us to hold a consultation in their presence, all the physicians and surgeons together. Each of them said what he thought, and there was not one but had good hope, they said, that he would recover. I persisted always in the contrary. M. le Prince, who loved me, drew me aside, and said I was alone against the opinion of all the others, and prayed me not to be obstinate against so many good men. I answered, When I shall see good signs of recovery, I will change my mind. Many consultations were held, and I never changed what I said, and the prognosis I had made at the first dressing, and said always the arm would fall into a gangrene, which it did, for all the care they could give to it; and he rendered his spirit to God the eighteenth day after his wound.  3
  M. le Prince, having heard of it, sent to me his surgeon, and his physician, one Lefêvre, now physician-in-ordinary to the King and Queen-mother, to say he wished to have the bullet, and we were to look for it, to see where it was. Then I was very glad, and assured them I should quickly find it; which I did in their presence, with many other gentlemen: it was just in the very middle of the bone. M. le Prince took and showed it to the King and to the Queen, who all said that my prognosis had come true. The body was laid to rest at Château Gaillard: and I returned to Paris, where I found many patients, who had been wounded on the breach at Rouen, and chiefly Italians, who were very eager I should dress them: which I did willingly. Many of them recovered: the rest died. Mon petit maistre, I think you were called to dress some, for the great number there was of them.  4
 

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