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his commendations and a thanksgiving for the duty they had done and did in the keeping of the city of Mets, and that he would acknowledge it. I demanded, afterwards, of Monsieur De Guise, what pleased him I should do with the drugs which I had brought him; he bid me impart them to the surgeons and apothecaries, and, chiefly, to the poor hurt soldiers in the hospital, which were in great number; which I did, and can assure you, I could not do so much as go and see them, but they sent for me to go and dress and visit them. All the besieged lords prayed me carefully to solicit, 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 me, that presently when he received the stroke, he fell to the earth as dead, and cast blood out of his mouth, nose, and ears, vomitings, and was fourteen days without speaking oue word, or having any reason; there happened to him also, startings somewhat like convulsions, and he had all his face swelled and livid. He was trepanned on the side of the temporal muscle upon
os coronale. I drest him, with other surgeons, and God cured him, and he is at this day living, God be thanked.
“The emperor caused a battery to be made, with forty double cannons, where they spared no powder night nor day. Presently, when Monsieur De Guise saw the artillery seated to make a breach, he made the nearest houses be pulled down to make ramparts, and the posts and beams were ranged end to end, and between two clods of earth, beds and packs of wool, and then other posts were put again upon them as before. Now much wood of the houses and of the suburbs, which had been put to the ground, for fear lest the enemy should be lodged close covered, and that they should not help themselves with any wood, served well to repair the breach. Every one was busied to carry earth to make the ramparts, night and day. Messieurs the princes, lords and captains, lieutenants, ensigns, did all carry the basket, to give example to the soldiers and the citizens to do the like, which they did : yea, both ladies and gentlewomen, and those which bad not baskets, helped themselves with kettles, panniers, sacks, sheets, and with what else they could to carry earth. Insomuch that the enemy had no sooner beaten down the wall, but he found behind it a rampart more strong. The wall being fallen, our soldiers cried to those without, the Fox, the Fox, the Fox! and spake a thousand injuries to one another. Monsieur De Guise commanded upon pain of death, that no man should speak to them without, for fear lest there should be some traitor who would give them intelligence what was done in the city. The command made, they tied living cats at the end of their pikes, and put them upon the wall, and cried with the cats, miau, miau.
Truly the Imperialists were very much vexed to have been so lony making a breach, and at so great an expence, which was the breach of fourscore steps, to enter fifty men in front, where they found a rampart more strong than the wall. They fell upon the poor cats, and shot at them with their muskets as they do at birds. Our people did often make sallies by the command of Monsieur De Guise. The day before, there was a great press to make theinselves enrolled, who must make the salley, chiefly of the young nobility, led by well-experienced captains: insomuch, that it was a great favour to sally forth and run upon the enemy; and they sallied forth always the number of one hundred, or sixscore, armed men, with cutlasses, muskets, pistols, &c., who went even to their trenches to awaken them, where they presently made an alarm throughout all their camp, and their drums sounded plan, plan, ta, ti, ta, ti, ta, tou, touf, touf ; likewise their trumpets sounded, to the saddle, to the saddle, to the saddle; to horse, to horse, to horse ; to the saddle ; to horse; and all their soldiers cried, to arms, to arms, to arms; arm to arms, arm to arms, like the cry after wolves, and all divers tongues, according to their nations: and they were seen to go out from their tents and little lodgings as thick as little bees when their hive is discovered, to succour their fellows, who had their throats cut like sheep. The horsemen, likewise, came from all parts a great gallop. Patati, patata, patati, patata, ta, ta, patata,
patata, and tarried well that they might not be in the throng where strokes were imparted to give and receive ; and when our men saw they were forced, they returned into the city, still firing; and those who run after were beaten back with the artillery, which they had charged with fint stones and pieces of iron; and our soldiers, who were upon the said wall, made a volley of shot, and showered down their bullets upon them, like hail, to send them back to their lodging. Divers remained in the place of the combat; and also our men did not all come off with whole skins; and there still remained some for the the who were joyful to die in the bed of honour. And when there was a horse hurt, he was flayed, and eaten by the soldiers instead of beef and bacon; and it was fit I must run and dress our húrt men.
A few days after, other sallies were made, which did much anger the enemies, because they did not let them sleep but little in safety. Monsieur De Guise made a war-like stratagem, which was, he sent a peasant, who was none of the wisest, with two pair of letters toward the king, to whom he gave ten crowns, and promised that the king should give him an hundred, provided he gave him the letters. In the one, he sent word that the enemy made no sign of retiring himself, and by all force made a great breach, which he hoped 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 in a certain place, which he named, that with great difficulty was it kept; that they had not entered into it, seeing it was a place the most weak of all the city ; but he hoped quickly to fill it up in such sort, that they could not be able to enter. One of these letters was sewed in the lining of his doublei, and he was bid to take heed that he told. it 'not to any man. And there was also another given to him, wherein the said Monsieur De Guise sent word to the king, that he and all the besieged did hope well to keep the city, and other matters which I cease to speak of. They made the peasant go forth in the night; and, presently after, he was taken by one that stood centinel and carried to the Duke of Albe, to understand what was done in the city; and they asked him if he had any letters; he said, yes, and gave them one ; and having seen it, he
was put to his oath whether he had any other, and he swore not ; then they felt and searched him, and found that which was sewed in his doublet, and the poor messenger was hanged.
“ The said letters were communicated to the emperor, who caused his council to he called there, when it was resolved, since they could do nothing at the first breach, that, presently, the artillery should be drawn to the place which they thought the most weak, where they made great attempts to make another breach, and digged 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 soldiers died daily, more than the number of two hundred, and that there was but little hope to enter into the city, seeing the season, and the great quantity of soldiers that were there. The emperor demanded what people they were that died, and if they were gentlemen of remark or quality. Answer was made that they were all poor soldiers. Then, said he, it makes no matter if they die, comparing them to caterpillars and grasshoppers, which eat the buds of the earth ; and if they were of any fashion, they would not be in the camp for twelve shillings the month, and therefore no great harm if they died. Moreover, he said, he would never part from before the city till he had taken it by force or famine, although he should lose 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 he hoped to draw double his expence; and that he would go once again to Paris, to visit the Parisians, and make himself king of all the kingdom of France.
“ Monsieur De Guise, with the princes, captains, and soldiers, and generally all the citizens of the city, having understood the intention of the emperor, which was to extirpate us all, they advised of all they had to do; and since it was not permitted to the soldiers nor citizens, no nor. to the princes nor lords themselves, to eat either fresh fish or venison, as likewise partridges, woodcocks, larks, for fear lest they had gathered some pestilential air which might give us any contagion, but that they should content themselves with the ammunition fare, that is to say, with biscuit, beef, cows' lard, and gammons of bacon; likewise fish; also pease, beans, rice, oil, salt, pepper, ginger, nutmegs, &c. &c. to put into pies, chiefly to horse-flesh, which,
without that, would have a very ill taste. Divers citizens, having gardens in the city, sowed therein great' radishes, turnips, carrots, leeks, which they kept well, and full dear, against the extremity of hunger.
Now, all these ammunition victuals were distributed by weight, measure, and justice, according to the quality of the person, because we knew not how long the siege 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 victuals were lessened; for that which was wont to be distributed among three, was now shared amongst four, and defence made they should not sell what remained after their dinner, but 'twas permitted to give it to the wenches that followed the camp. They rose always from table with an appetite, for fear they should be subject to take physic. And be
fore we would yield ourselves to the mercy of our enemies, we had resolved to eat our asses, mules, horses, dogs, cats, and rats; yea, our boots and other skins which we could soften and fry. All the be-' sieged did resolve to defend themselves with all sorts of instruments of war, that is to say, to rank and charge the artillery at the entry of the breach with bullets, stones, cast-nails, bars, and chains of iron ; also all kinds and differences of artificial fire, as basiquadoes, granadoes, posts, lances, torches, squibs, 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 musqueteers, there to batter in the flank and hasten them to go, or else to make them lie altogether. Also, there was order given to the women to unpave the streets, and to cast out at their windows billets, tables, tressels, forms and stools, which would have troubled their brains. Moreover, there was, a little further, a strong court of guard filled with carts and pallisadoes, pipes and hogsheads, filled with earth, for barricadoes to serve to interlay with faulcons, faulconets, field-pieces, harquebusses, muskets, pistols and wild-fire, which would have broken legs and thighs, insomuch, that they had been beaten in head, in flank, and in tail ; and when they had forced this court of guard, there were others at the crossings of the streets, each distant an hundred paces,who had been as bad companions as the first, and would not have been without making a great many widows and orphans; and if fortune would have been so much against us as to have broken our courts of guard, there were seven great battalions ordered in square and triangle to combat together, each one accompanied with a prince, to give them boldness and encourage them to fight, even till the last gasp, and to die altogether. Moreover, it was resolved, that each one should carry his treasure, rings, and jewels, and their household stuff, of the best, to burn them in the great place and to put them into ashes, rather than the enemy should prevail, and make trophies of their spoils. Likewise, there were people appointed to put fire to the munition and to beat out the heads of the wine casks; others, to put the fire into each house, to burn our enemies and us together. The citizens had accorded it thus, rather than to see the bloody knife upon their throat, end their wives and daughters violated, and be taken by force by the cruel and inhuman Spaniards.
“Now we had certain prisoners whom Monsieur De Guise sent away upon their faith, to whom was secretly imparted our last resolution, will, and desperate minds, who being arrived in their camp, do not defer the publishing, which bridled the great impetuosity and will of the soldiers to enter any more into the city to cut our throats, and to enrich themselves of our pillages. The emperor having understood this deliberation of the great warriors, the Duke of Guise put water in his wine,* and restrained his great choler and fury; saying, he could not enter into the city without making a great slaughter and butchery, and spill much blood, as well of the defendants as of the assailants, and that they should be dead together, and, in the end,
* A French proverb, signifying that he cooled his passion.
could have nothing else but a few ashes, and that, afterwards, it might be spoken of, as of the destruction of Jerusalem already made by Titus and Vespasian. The emperor then having understood our last resolution, and seeing that they prevailed little by their battery and undermining, and the great plague which was in his whole army, and the indisposition of the time, and the want of victuals and money, and that his soldiers forsook him, and went away in great companies, concluded, in the end, to retire, accompanied with the cavalry of the vanguard, with the greatest part of his artillery, and the battalia. The Marquess of Brandenburg was the last which decamped, maintained by certain bands of Spaniards, Bohemians, and his German companies, and remained a day and a half after, to the great grief of Monsieur De Guise, who caused four pieces of artillery to be brought out of the city, which he caused to be discharged at him on one side and the other, to hasten them to be gone, which he did full quickly, with all his troops. He being a quarter of a league from Mets, was taken with a fear lest our cavalry should fall upon him in the rear, which caused him to put fire to his munition powder, and leave certain pieces of artillery and luggage which he could not carry. Our horsemen would, by all means, have gone out of the city to have fallen upon
their breech, but Monsieur De Guise would never permit them, but, on the contrary, would rather make plain their way, and let them go, being like a good shepherd who will not lose sight of his sheep.
“ See now, how our well-beloved imperialists went away from before the city of Mets, which was the day after Christmas-day, to the great contentment of the besieged and honour of princes, captains, and soldiers, who had endured the travels of this siege the space of two months. Notwithstanding they did not all go; there wanted twenty thousand who were dead, as well by artillery as by the sword, as also by the plague, cold and hunger, and for 'spite that they could not enter the city to cut our throats and have the pillage; and also a great number of their horses died, of which they had eaten a great part instead of beef and bacon. They went where they had been encamped, where they found divers dead bodies not yet buried, and earth all digged like St. Innocents' church-yard in the time of the plague. They did likewise leave in their lodgings and tents divers sick people ; also bullets, arms, carts, waggons, and other baggage, with a great many munition loaves, spoiled and rotten by the rain and snow, yet the soldiers had it but by weight and measure; and, likewise, they left great provision of wood, of the remainders of the houses of the villages which they had plucked down, two or three miles compass ; likewise divers other houses of pleasure belonging to the citizens, accompanied with beautiful gardens filled with fruit trees, for, without that, they had been starved with cold, and had been constrained to have raised the siege sooner. The said Monsieur de Guise caused the dead to be buried, and dressed their sick people; likewise the enemies left, in the abbey of St. Arnoul, divers of their hurt soldiers which they could not lead with them; the said Monsieur de Guise sent them all victuals enough, and commanded me and other surgeons to go and dress them and give them medicines, which we willingly did, and