Thence we went and burned several villages; and the barns were all full of grain, to my very great regret. We came as far as Tournahan, where there was a large tower, whither the enemy withdrew, but we found the place empty: our men sacked it, and blew up the tower with a mine of gunpowder, which turned it upside down. After that, the camp was dispersed, and I returned to Paris. And the day after Chateau le Comte was taken, M. de Vendosme sent a gentleman under orders to the King, to report to him all that had happened, and among other things he told the King I had done very good work dressing the wounded, and had showed him eighteen bullets that I had taken out of their bodies, and there were many more that I had not been able to find or take out; and he spoke more good of me than there was by half. Then the King said he would take me into his service, and commanded M. de Goguier, his first physician, to write me down in the King’s service as one of his surgeons-in-ordinary, and I was to meet him at Rheims within ten or twelve days: which I did. And the King did me the honour to command me to live near him, and he would be a good friend to me. Then I thanked him most humbly for the honour he was pleased to do me, in appointing me to serve him.
THE JOURNEY TO METZ. 1552
The Emperor having besieged Metz with more than an hundred and twenty thousand men, and in the hardest time of winter,—it is still fresh in the minds of all—and there were five or six thousand men in the town, and among them seven princes; mm. le Duc de Guise, the King’s Lieutenant, d’Enghien, de Conde, de la Montpensier, de la Roche-sur-Yon, de Nemours, and many other gentlemen, with a number of veteran captains and officers: who often sallied out against the enemy (as I shall tell hereafter), not without heavy loss on both sides. Our wounded died almost all, and it was thought the drugs wherewith they were dressed had been poisoned. Wherefore M. de Guise, and mm. the princes, went so far as to beg the King that if it were possible I should be sent to them with a supply of drugs, and they believed their drugs were poisoned, seeing that few of their wounded escaped. My belief is that there was no poison; but the severe cutlass and arquebus wounds, and the extreme cold, were the cause why so many died. The King wrote to M. the Marshal de Saint Andre, who was his Lieutenant at Verdun, to find means to get me into Metz, whatever way was possible. Mm. the Marshal de Saint Andre, and the Marshal de Vielleville, won over an Italian captain, who promised to get me into the place, which he did (and for this he had fifteen hundred crowns). The King having heard the promise that the Italian captain had made, sent for me, and commanded me to take of his apothecary, named Daigne, so many and such drugs as I should think necessary for the wounded within the town; which I did, as much as a post-horse could carry. The King gave me messages to M. de Guise, and to the princes and the captains that were in Metz.