Images de page

But that which I shall here most insist upon is the new way, practised by Pere Jaques, a monk. About the 20th of April he cut in the Hostel-Dieu ten in less than an hour's time: the third day after, all were hearty and without pain but one.

He cuts both by the grand and little appareil; in both he boldly thrusts in a broad lancet or stiletto into the middle of the muscle of the thigh near the anus, till he joins the catheter or staff, or the stone betwixt his fingers; then he widens the incision of the bladder in proportion to the stone with a silver oval hoop; if that will not do, he thrusts in his four fingers and tears it wider; then with the duck's bill he draws it out.

I saw him cut a second time in the Hostel-Dieu; and he performed it upon nine persons in three quarters of an hour, very dexterously. He seemed to venture at all; and put me into some disorder with the cruelty of the operation; and a stouter Englishman than myself. However I visited them all in their beds, and found them more amazed than in pain.

Pere Jaques cut also his way in the other hospital La Charite, much about the same time, eleven at twice. Here Monsieur Marshal, the best of the surgeons for this operation now in Paris, harangued against him before the governors, who coldly answered, they would be determined by the event, which way was best.

Atque hac ratione Fæminis Calculi omnium facillime exciduntur; nempe scalpello intra vaginam uteri in vesicam adacto.

Of those cut in La Charite one died; and being dissected, it was found he had his bladder pierced in four or five places; also the musculus psous sadly mangled; also the left vesiculæ seminales cut.

Notwithstanding this, if this method was well executed by a skilful hand, it might be of good use to mankind.

This way of cutting for the stone, puts me in mind of what I formerly wrote and published in the Phil. Transactions, about cutting above the os pubis, in the fund of the bladder.

Also of that experiment of cutting for the stone of an alderman at Doncaster in the gluteus major, he was twice cut in the same place, and out-lived both. I saw the first stone, which was very large, and in some measure transparent, crystal like. This experiment is printed in Dr. Willes's Scarborough Spaw, fourteen years ago at least, and is a fair hint for this new method.

Since my return I had a letter from Mr. Probie, a very learned and industrious young gentlemen, who was with me to see the operation, that part relating to this matter I shall here transcribe. Indeed, I mightily longed for an account of this matter, the success of which I came away too soon to learn any thing for certain.

Paris, Aug. 2, 98.

"PERE JAQUES' reputation mightily slackens, out of forty-five that he cut at the Hostel-Dieu, but sixteen of them survive; and of nineteen in the Charite, but eleven. He has practised at the hospital at Lyons, but, it is said, with worse success than at Paris. I am sensible he has got abundance of enemies, which makes me very often question, what I may hear said of him. Dr. Fagon, the king's physician, told Dr. Tournefort, when he went to present his book to him, that he had cut seven at Versailles, and that six of them are alive, and as well as if never cut. The person that died was so distempered, that he was not expected to live, and it was thought, if he had not been cut, he had not lived so long: the surgeons have a great mind to cry down the man, though they practise his method. For Marshal has since cut after Pere Jaques' manner, only with this difference, that Marshal's cathether was cannulated. Le Rue, the second surgeon of the Charity hospital cut after the old manner, at the

same time when Marshal cut Pere Jaques' way, but had not so good success as Marshal had; for all that Marshal cut are alive and very well, whereas the other lost one or two of his number; besides, those that lived were not so soon cured, no, not by a month or six weeks." Thus far Mr. Probie.

The pox here is the great business of the town; a disease which in some measure hath contributed to the ruin of physic here, as in London. This secret service hath introduced little contemptible animals of all sorts into business, and hath given them occasion to insult families, after they had once the knowledge of these misfortunes. And it is for this reason the quacks here, as with us, do thrive vastly into great riches beyond any of the physicians, by treating privately these calamities.

It was a pleasant diversion to me to read upon the walls every where about the town, but more particularly in the Fauxbourgh of St. Germain, the quacks' bills printed in great uncial letters.


De par l'ordre du Roy.

Remede infallible & commode pour la gerison des maladies secretes sans garder la chambre.


Par permission de Roy.

Manniere tres aisee & tres sure pour guerir sans incommodite, & sans que persone en appercoive, les maladies veneriennes, &c.


Par privilege du Roy.

L'Antivenerien de medicin Indien, pour toutes les maladies veneriennes, telles quelles puissent estre, sans aucun retour, & sans garder la chambre. Il est tres commode & le plus agreable de monde.


Remede assure de Sieur de la Brune privilege du Roy, &c. sans qu'on soit contraint de garder la chambre, &c.

By these bills it is evident, there is yet a certain modesty and decorum left in the concealing this disease, even amongst the French: they would be cured secretly, and as though nothing were doing; which those wretches highly promise. But this is that handle which gives those mean people an occasion to insult their reputation, and injure them in their health for ever.

Every body here puts their helping hand, and meddles with the cure of this disease, as apothecaries, barbers, women, and monks; yet I did not find by all the inquiry I could make, that they had other remedies than we. Nay, there is something practised in the cure of this distemper in England, which they at Paris know nothing of; but this old verse forbids me to say any thing further:

Artem pudere proloqui, quam factites.

The apothecaries' shops are neat enough, if they were but as well stored with medicines; and some are very finely adorned, and have an air of greatness, as that of Monsieur Geofferie, who has been provost des merchands, in the Rue Burtebur, where the entry to the Basse Cour is a port-cochier, with vasas of copper in the niches of the windows; within are rooms adorned with huge vasas and mortars of brass, as well for sight, as for use. The drugs and compositions are kept in cabinets disposed round the room. Also laboratories backwards in great perfection and neatness. I must needs commend this gentleman for his civility towards me; and for his care in educating his

son, who came over with count Tallard, a most hopeful and learned young man; whom our society at Gresham-college, at my request, honoured with admitting him fellow, according to his deserts.

I had the opportunity of conversing with many of the physicians in this city; who all agree in the low condition and disesteem it was in, from the boundless confidence and intruding of quacks, women, and monks. Monsieur d'Achin, the late chief physician, has been ill thought on for taking money, and giving protection to these sort of cattle: but the chief physician now, Monsieur Fagon, is a man of great honour and learning, and very desirous to promote the art.

It is here as with us, some practise out of mere vanity, others to make a penny any way to get bread. The cause of all this is, I think, the great confidence people have of their own skill, an arrogance without thinking. To pass a judgment upon cures, and the good and evil practice of physic, without doubt is one of the nicest things, even to men of the faculty; but a jury, that is, the very ordinary men in England, are suffered now to undertake the question; when I may truly say, that I have ever found, no disparagement to them, the most learned men of the nation, the most mistaken in these matters; and can it be otherwise in so conjectural an art, when we ourselves scarce know, when we have done ill or well.

Another cause of the low esteem of physic here, are the sorry fees that are given to physicians: which makes that science not worth the application and study. The king indeed is very liberal, as in all things else, in his pensions to his chief physician, and gives his children good preferments.

Also Mr. Burdelot, who is also well pensioned, and lodged at Versailles, physician to the duchess of Burgundy, a learned man; he is perfectly well skilled in the history of physic; and we may shortly (as he told me) expect from him, another supplement to Vauder Linden, of many thousand volumes, which have escaped that catalogue, and are not accounted for.

Monsieur, and the dauphin, and all the princes of the blood, have their domestic physicians; some of whom I knew, as Monsieur Arlot, Monsieur Minot, to the prince of Conti, of my acquaintance formerly at Montpellier. The two Morins very learned men; also Monsieur Grimodet, &c.

Others have the practice of nunneries and convents, which gives them bread; others have parishes; and some such shifts they make; but all is wrong with them, and very little encouragement given to the faculty.

April 14. The prince of Conti sent his gentleman and coach at midnight to fetch me to his son, and to bring with me the late king Charles's drops to give him. This was a very hasty call. I told the messenger, I was the prince's very humble servant ; but for any drops or other medicines I had brought nothing at all with me, and had used only such as I found in their shops, for all the occasions I had to use any. I desired he would tell him, that I was ready to consult with his physicians upon his son's sickness, if he pleased to command me, but for coming upon any other account I desired to be excused; but I heard no more of the matter, and the young prince died. By this it is evident, there is as false a notion of physic in this country, as with us; and that it is here also thought a knack, more than a science or method; and little chemical toys, the bijous of quacks, are mightily in request. This heresy hath possessed the most thinking, as well as the ignorant part of mankind; and for this we are beholden to the late vain expositors of nature, who have mightily inveighed against and undervalued the ancient Greek physicians in whose works only this art is to be learnt, unless single persons could live over as many ages, as those wise men did.

Men are apt to prescribe to their physician, before he can possibly tell what he shall in his judgment think fitting to give; it is well if this was in negatives only; but they are prejudiced by the impertinence of the age, and our men, who ought to converse with the patient and his relations with prognostics only, which are the honour of physic; and not play the philosopher by fanciful and precarious interpretations of the natures of diseases and medicines, to gain a sort of credit with the ignorant: and such certainly are all those that have not studied physic thoroughly, and in earnest.


Those drops were desired of me by other persons of quality, as the princess d'Espinoy, the duchess of Boullon, Monsieur Sesac, &c. and having bethought myself how my master, the late king Charles, had communicated them to me, and shewed me very obligingly the process himself, by carrying me alone with him into his elaboratory Whitehall, while it was distilling: also Mr. Chevins another time shewed me the materials for the drops in his apartment newly brought in, in great quantity, that is, raw silk: I caused the drops to be made here. Also I put Dr. Tournefort upon making of them; which he did in perfection, by distilling the finest raw silk he could get. For my part I was surprised at the experiment often repeated, having never tried it before. One pound of raw silk yielded an incredible quantity of volatile salt, and in proportion the finest spirit I ever tasted; and that which recommends it is, that it is when rectified, of a far more pleasant smell, than that which comes from sal ammoniac or hartshorne; and the salt refined and cohobated with any well scented chemical oil, makes the king's salt, as it is used to be called. This my lord ambassador gave me leave to present in his name; and the doctor now supplies those which want. Silk, indeed is nothing else, but a dry jelly from the insect kind, and therefore very cordial and stomachic no doubt. The Arabians were wise, and knowing in the materia medica, to have put it in their Alkermes.

This must be said for the honour of this king, that he has ever given great encouragements for useful discoveries in all kinds, and particularly in physic. It is well known he bought the secret of the jesuit's powder, and made it public; as he lately did that of the hypococana.

To conclude, it was my good fortune here to have a bundle of original papers of Sir Theodore Mayerne, and his friends, who corresponded with him, presented me by the Reverend Dr. Wickar, Dean of Winchester, who marrying his kinswoman found them amongst other writings of law matters. I have not yet had the leisure to peruse them, but those who know the worth of that great man, will desire they may be made public; which if they are, they shall come forth entire, and not disguised, as some of his other papers have been, to the great detriment of physic; and I think it is the first example of this nature, that posthumous papers were ever abbreviated, and made what they never were before, an entire and full publication.





IT is a question whether modern history has any thing more curious to offer to the attention of the politician, than the progress and rivalship of the French and English empires, from the ministry of Colbert to the revolution in France. In the course of those 130 years, both have figured with a degree of splendour that has attracted the admiration of mankind.

In proportion to the power, the wealth, and the resources of these nations, is the interest which the world in general takes in the maxims of political economy by which they have been governed. To examine how far the system of that economy has influenced agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and public felicity, is certainly an inquiry of no slight importance; and so many books have been composed on the theory of these that the public can hardly think that time miscmployed which attempts to give the practice.

The survey which I made, some years past, of the agriculture of England and Ire. land (the minutes of which I published under the title of Tours) was such a step towards understanding the state of our husbandry as I shall not presume to characterise ; there are but few of the European nations that do not read these Tours in their own language; and notwithstanding all their faults and deficiencies, it has been often regretted, that no similar description of France could be resorted to either by the farmer or, politician. Indeed it could not but be lamented, that this vast kingdom, which has so much figured in history, were like to remain another century unknown, with respect to those circumstances that are the objects of my inquiries. An hundred and thirty years have passed, including one of the most active and conspicuous reigns upon record, in which the French power and resources, though much overstrained, were formidable to Europe. How far were that power and those resources founded on the permanent basis of an enlightened agriculture? how far on the more insecure support of manufactures and commerce? how far have wealth and power and exterior splendour, from whatever cause they may have arisen, reflected back upon the people the prosperity they implied? very curious inquiries; yet resolved insufficiently by those whose political reveries are spun by their fire-sides, or caught flying as they are whirled through Europe in postchaises. A man who is not practically acquainted with agriculture, knows not how to make those inquiries; he scarcely knows how to discriminate the circumstances productive of misery, from those which generate the felicity of a people; an assertion that will not appear paradoxical, to those who have attended closely to these subjects. At the same time, the mere agriculturist, who makes such journies, sees little or nothing of the connection between the practice in the fields, and the resources of the empire; of combinations that take place between operations apparently unimportant, and the general interest of the state; combinations so curious, as to convert, in some cases, well cultivated fields into scenes of misery, and accuracy of husbandry into the parent of national weakness. These are subjects that never will be understood from the speculations of


A a

« PrécédentContinuer »