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Ambroise Paré (1510–90). Journeys in Diverse Places.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Voyage of the Battle of Moncontour. 1569

DURING the battle of Moncontour, King Charles was at Plessis-les-Tours, where he heard the news of the victory. A great number of gentlemen and soldiers retreated into the town and suburbs of Tours, wounded, to be dressed and treated; and the King and the Queen-mother bade me do my duty by them, with other surgeons who were then on duty, as Pigray, du Bois, Portail, and one Siret, a surgeon of Tours, a man well versed in surgery, who was at this time surgeon to the King’s brother. And for the multitude of bad cases we had scarce any rest, nor the physicians either.

M. le Comte de Mansfeld, Governor of the Duchy of Luxembourg, Knight of the Order of the King, was severely wounded in the battle, in the left arm, with a pistol-shot which broke a great part of his elbow; and he withdrew to Borgueil near Tours. Then he sent a gentleman to the King, to beg him to send one of his surgeons, to help him of his wound. So they debated which surgeon they should send. M. le Maréchal de Montmorency told the King and the Queen that they ought to send him their chief surgeon; and urged that M. de Mansfeld had done much toward the victory.

The King said flat he would not have me go, and wished me to stop with himself. Then the Queen-mother told him I would but go and come back, and he must remember it was a foreign lord, who had come, at the command of the King of Spain, to help him. Then he let me go, provided I came back very soon. So he sent for me, and the Queen-mother with him, and bade me go and find the Lord de Mansfeld, wherever he should be, to do all I could for him to heal his wound. I went to him, with a letter from Their Majesties. When he saw it, he received me with good-will, and forthwith dismissed three or four surgeons who were dressing him; which was to my very great regret, because his wound seemed to me incurable.

Now many gentlemen had retreated to Borgueil, having been wounded: for they knew that M. de Guise was there, who also had been badly wounded with a pistol-shot through the leg, and they were sure that he would have good surgeons to dress him, and would help them, as he is kindly and very generous, and would relieve their wants. This he did with a will, both for their eating and drinking, and for what else they needed: and for my part, they had the comfort and help of my art: some died, others recovered, according to their wounds. M. le Comte Ringrave died, who was shot in the shoulder, like the King of Navarre before Rouen. M. de Bassompierre, colonel of twelve hundred horse, was wounded by a similar shot, in the same place, as M. de Mansfeld: whom I dressed, and God healed. God blessed my work so well, that in three weeks I sent them back to Paris: where I had still to make incisions in M. de Mansfeld’s arm, to remove some pieces of the bones, which were badly splintered, broken, and carious. He was healed by the grace of God, and made me a handsome present, so I was well content with him, and he with me; as he has shown me since. He wrote a letter to M. le Duc d’Ascot, how he was healed of his wound, and also M. de Bassompierre of his, and many others whom I had dressed after the battle of Moncontour; and advised him to ask the King of France to let me visit M. le Marquis d’Auret, his brother: which he did.