Literary Notes

1901 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
WITH regard to the "emerods" of the Phiilistines referred to in a note published in the JOURNAL of February gth, on an outbreak of epidemic disease recorded in the first book of Samuel, Dr. H. F. Parsons writes: As throwing liglht on the nature of the " emerods " may I call attention to Psalm lxxviii, v. 66 (Authorised Version), a verse which the conitext shows to have reference to the events recorded in i Saniniiel v and vi. This verse " He smote hiis encemies in the hinder parts, and(I put
more » ... parts, and(I put theill to a perpetual reproach " seems to indicate that the " emerods " wvere a 1a.l iial rather than an inguinal affection. In a recent number of the Echo M4dical du Nord, Professor Follet, of Lille, gives an account of some early attempts at antiseptic treatment of wounds which he has uneartlhed in a very unlikely quarter, the works of Brantome. Thli passa,ge occurs in the (Euvres de Brantome, Edition Elz6virienne, I878; t. vi, p. 53, and is to the following effect: Maistre Doublet, suirgeon to M. de Nemours, was at that timiie the most fashionable amonig the sturgeons of France and wrought strange cuires ill Metz, and everyone went to him although Ambroise Paie, since so renowned and held to be the first of his time wastthere. The said T)oublet wrought all his cures by mecans of similple white linen anid fine clean nvatel from the fountain or tllc well. But in addition to this lie souglht help from spells and inicantations, as mainy folk still alive wlho saw him "icaii testify. Since then I have seen Sainet Just d'Alldgre, -who also lliedclled with that kind of thinig, and I saw how lie presented hiiiiself before the late M. de Guyze wlhen lie received at Orleans the wounid of wYhichl lie died; and he staked his life that lie would cure him. But never wouild that good, religious, and virtuous prince allow him to lay a hand on Iiim, saying that lie had liefer die than to try to get well by miieains of stich devilish art aiid thereby offend God. Elsewhere (tome v, p. 175) BrantOme refers again to tlhe subject: M. Sainet Just d'Ahllgre being very skilful in such treatment of wounds by linen and water and incantations was presented to that good lord (tlhe Duke of Guyze) that lie miiiglit dress anid cure hillD for lie lhadl miade experiments on a large scale on others. But lie wouid never hcai of it, saying that these were enclhantments forbidden by God and MI. de Sainct Just, who was imay great friend, said that he would cure lifiti. a thing very worthy of note. It is evident that Doublet, although he may have believed in the efficacy of the charms of which he is said to hiave made use, was a surgeon who put his trust in cleanliness. His relatively aseptic methods of dealing withl wounds was the secret of his success. Pare was at Metz with I)oublet during the siege of that town by Charles V, and lie refers to " many a marvellous cure" wrought by his confrere. But Ambroise, unfortunately, having eyes yet saw not. He probably took no pains to do so, for he evidently regarded Doublet as a quack. This is how he speaks of him: An empirical clhirulgeon named Doublet has oftentimes wrought iiiarvellous cures applying to such wounds (namely, gunslhot woun(ls) a suippurative medicaiiment composed of iiielted lard, y'olk of egg, and turpentine, with a little saffron, and he kept this remedy a very great seCret.
doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2095.481 fatcat:7ripijqto5giplmzbrlw5jhi7q