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malarial fever and not at all of poison ? " This last question must be answered in the affirmative, for the case of Don Carlos became historic in modern medical research, since it illustrates the now generally accepted hypothesis that in neurotic cases there almost invariably follows in the train of malarial or other severe fevers, frequent abnormal nervous or mental manifestations, and that these are governed not by the laws of the disease but by the neurotic inheritance of the patient; by the terrain, in other words, upon which the fever operates. Or, stated in medical terms, “ The law of neurosis, in the case of post-infections of those predisposed by heredity to psychopathic conditions, is that the form of postinfection is a function, not of the nature of the infection, but of the heredity of the subject.” This law is far-reaching for historical pathology, since it means that a neurotic subject, of determined psychopathic ancestry, under normal conditions irritable, eccentric, lacking in self-control, impulsive, and precipitate in his actions, if attacked by a severe illness, like typhoid, malarial fever, grippe or pneumonia, would be quite likely to develop some of the characteristic stigmata of degeneracy: Fixed ideas, obsessions, maniacal delusions, or some one of the various phobias. These might produce changes in his character apparently quite new, and otherwise quite inexplicable."

It is desirable to keep this law or hypothesis clearly in mind in considering the personality of King Louis XI of France, the next example.

In interpreting his actions, biographers of Louis XI have taken little account of these statements, cited by Brachet, made by the King's contemporaries concerning his health. “He was often sick.” (N. Gilles, Fol. CXX, V.) “His maladies were indeed great and grievous to him." (Commines, Éd. Dupont, II, 270.) “He was tormented almost to death by several different and pitiable maladies.” (Oliver de la Marche, Memoires, Éd. Beaune et d'Arbaumont, 1883-88, I, p. 180.) “Before his death he was

Brachet, Path. Ment., Introd., XIII. 11 Brachet calls it one of the most precious conquests of the modern clinic in the realm of prognostic. Path. Ment., pp. 291-292, where he cites the conclusive demonstration of this law by Tessier, in his Leçons cliniques sur la grippe.

Ueber den Einfluss acuter Krankenheiten auf die Entstehung von Geisteskrankheiten, von Dr. Emil Kraepelin, Archiv für Psychiatrie, XI,




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troubled with several maladies, for the purpose of healing which the physicians who had charge of the King's health had recourse to terrible and marvellous medicines." (Jean de Roye, Chron. Scand., Éd. B. de Mandrot, II, p. 138.) So far from being negligible, however, the state of the King's health must form the basis of scientific inquiry. Indeed, incidents in the life of Louis XI, irritable," impulsive, and in many ways eccentric, furnish concrete illustrations of a class of questions which the political historian is at a loss to answer, but which are more or less readily and satisfactorily solved in the light of historical pathology. For example: (1) Does it have any historical significance that Louis, always concerned about his health, should send gifts, as he did, to a certain shrine in order that prayers might be offered there that it might please God to send him the quartain fever? (2) How account for the fact that the same Louis, whose reign was replete with cruelty," who kept Cardinal Balue in a small wooden cage for 11 years, thus removing him, as he remarked, from the temptations of the world, could be so tender-hearted as to have a sick dog or a

18".... When he came home at night he was often weary and generally in a violent passion with some of his courtiers or huntsmen.” Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 81.

* “ He did many odd things, which made some believe his senses were impaired.” Commines, II, p. 43. “In short, he behaved after so strange a manner that he was more formidable than he had ever been before.” II, p. 58.

** Raynal, Hist. du Berry, III, 132. Brachet, Introd., LXXX.

14 " The king had ordered several cruel prisons to be made; some were cages of iron and some of wood, but all were covered with iron plates, both within and without, with terrible locks, about 8 feet wide and 7 feet high. .... He also ordered heavy and terrible fetters to be made in Germany, and particularly, a certain ring for the feet which was extremely hard to be opened, and fitted like an iron collar, with a thick weighty chain and a great globe of iron at the end, most unreasonably heavy." Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 75. Thomas Basin says that the days are not long enough to cite individual instances of where, without show of justice, many persons were drowned and otherwise made away with, or wasted away in the filth of the King's dungeons. “Dies me deficiet, si casus singulos referre velim eorum quos vel in aquarum gurgitibus, vel aliis poenarum generibus, quamvis insontes, variis modis perire fecit, vel squalore carcerum macerari et constringi nullo juris et justitiae ordine observato.” Basin, Historiarum a Ludovico XI, Lib. VII, p. 173. Elsewhere he compares the King's cruelty to that of the Emperor Domitian. Hist. Lud., VII, 168.


rabbit carefully transported for miles in a royal two-horse chariot ? (3) Or, what changed the avaricious close-fisted ruler, who always wore old clothes by preference and looked like a scarecrow," into a lavish spendthrift, who dressed in velvets and furs,“ paid many times the value of the things he bought, and gave away money and fine clothes without even being asked? (4) Or, what led the king, who struck down his enemies with a ruthless hand and who terrorized friend and foe alike by his masterful dealings," to become so apprehensive that he dismissed even the servants of his household for fear some of them might diminish or take from him his royal power." (5) Or, how account for the fact that the affable, approachable Louis, who went everywhere and saw everyone, changed into a recluse, defended in his castle from the approach of anyone from the outside by engines of war, archers, and caltrops



17 He dressed so abominably that once he was cursed as an impostor, and was hooted and followed by a mob through the streets of a village where he was not known and had claimed to be the King. “.... Accidit ut, eo transeunte per suburbanum oppidi, quidam eum interrogaret quando rex venire deberet; nulla enim, neque facie, neque apparatu, neque vestium ornatu vel splendore, plus quam famulus aliquis et vilis conditionis dignitatis indicia ostentabat. Cui cum rex ipse responderet quod ipsemet rex esset, statim idem qui interrogabat, movens cachinnum, in eum maledictum jecit, respondens sermone vulgari: Vous estes voz fièvres quartainesi' et cum sociis suis, qui una ad videndum regem confluxerant, eum ostenderet, dicens eis : Videte istum garcionem, qui regem se esse dixit,' quotquot illud audientes erant, similis probri maledictum in eum cumulabant, sibi, tanquam ridiculo alicui ganeoni, per totius suburbani spatium illudentes et post cum acclamantes.” Basin, Hist. Ludovici XI, Lib. VII, pp. 167-168 (Soc. de l'histoire de France).

... His clothes were richer now and more magnificent than they had ever been before; his gowns were all of crimson satin, lined with rich marten's furs, of which he gave away several without being requested, for no person durst ask a favor of him, or scarce speak to him of anything." Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 56.

10 " His subjects trembled before him; whatever he commanded was instantly executed without the slightest difficulty or hesitation." Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 66.

He was afraid of nothing so much as the loss of his regal authority." Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 38. .... For he was grown marvellously jealous of all his courtiers, and afraid they would either depose him or deprive him of some part of his authority.” Ibid., II, p. 42. He was “ Afraid of his own children and relatives, and changed every day those very servants whom he had brought up and advanced, yet he durst not trust any of them.” Ibid., II, p. 78.

18 66

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scattered along the roads,” and who would not be seen even through a window? (6) Louis, personally brave, who went into the very lair of his enemy at Péronne to beard him, what changed him into a cringing coward who fawned at the feet of an illiterate hermit and begged him to save his life, and who was so obsessed by the fear of dying that he forbade his courtiers to mention even the name of death ? 23

Incidents like these are to be found in the life history of more than one of the medieval monarchs. Not generally regarded as possessing any definite historical value, they have been set down, as a rule, as interesting peculiarities only. Viewed from the standpoint of historical pathology, however, every evidence of eccentricity, it must be repeated, as well as every malady of the King has a definite scientific value.

The reign of Louis XI serves so well to illustrate further these general principles that an interpretation of his pathological history will be profitable. In the discussion which follows the writer keeps very close to the argument and citations found in Brachet's Pathologie Mentale des Rois de France."

The King's health throughout is the theme. Let us take for examination first the statements of two contemporary writers, Robert Gaguin and Jean Le Roye, about a seemingly trifling incident:

(i) Returned to Tours, he thought to lighten the burden of sickness by music. Wherefore he commanded that players of musical instruments of


* Commines, ed. Scobel, II, p. 76.
* Commines, II, p. 56.
* Ibid., II, p. 72.

** Dr. Brachet began in 1880 the labor of collecting material for his monumental work on the mental pathology of the Kings of France. By 1896 he had so much material, principally from manuscript sources, that he decided to publish privately what he had collected, with some brief explanations. This he did in four volumes, one being notes and comments, the other three made up of extracts from the sources. Unfortunately these were never made available to the public, and are not yet. His regrettable death prevented the completion in ordered form of his life work; but that the labor of so many years might not be lost to the world of scholarship, his widow, Mme. Anna Brachet, née Korff, arranged the notes and manuscripts as she found them, and in 1903 published the remarkable treasure-house of data for the study of historical pathology, which is known under the title of Pathologie Mentale des Rois de France-a scientific examination of the mental pathology of all the ascendants of Louis XI as far back as Hugh Capet.

all kinds should be summoned, of whom 120 were got together. Among these were certain shepherds, who for many days, not far from the bedchamber of the king, played softly for the sake of comforting him, and in order that he might not fall asleep, which would make him worse. He commanded to come to Tours, besides, this class of people, another quite different kind-anchorites and hermits, holy men and women, to whom he commanded that they pray God continually that, health restored to the King, he might continue to live. So eager was Louis to live longer.as

(ii) At this time the King summoned a great number of players upon low and sweet instruments, whom he lodged at Saint Cosime near Tours, where they assembled to the number of 120; among them were several shepherds from Poitou, who often played before the King, but they did not see him, in order that he might enjoy there these instruments and while away the time and to prevent him from falling asleep. And, on the other hand, he assembled a great number of devout men and women and holy persons such as hermits and saints to pray God without ceasing that He would grant that the King should not die and that He would permit him still to live. 38

These two accounts, except for the statements that the instruments were low and sweet, and that the King kept out of sight, are alike. They are all that we have from the chroniclers about the incident. Commines, the King's official biographer, for reasons of his own, does not speak of the shepherds, and mentions only one hermit.

23 “Turonum reversus, excogitavit a musica valitudinis levamen quaerere. Quamobrem accersiri mandat omnis generi musici instrumenti lusores quos centum et viginti convenisse constat. Inter quos assuerunt ovium pastores: qui multos dies non procul a regis cubiculo continenter modulabantur, ejus consolandi causa, et ne somno, quo gravabatur, succumberet. Jussit, præter hoc hominum genus, alterum longe diversum ad se convenire. Solitarii et qui eremum incolebant homines—fæminæ quoque spectatæ religionis Turonum convenerunt, quibis negocium mandatum est: Deum indesinenter orare: ut regi salute restituta maneret ipse diu superstes. Jam appetens diutissime vivendi fuit Ludovicus.” Robert Gaguin, Ann. 1482, f. 281, ed. 1560. Brachet, p. xviii.

20 " Dudit temps, le roy fist venir grant nombre et grant quantité de joueurs de bas et doulx instruments qu'il fist loger à Saint Cosme près Tours, où illec ilz se assemblerent jusques au nombre de six vingtz; entre lesquelz y vint pluseurs bergiers du pays de Poictou, qui souvent jouerent devant le logis du roy, mais ilz ne le veoyent pas, affin que ausdiz instrumens le roy y prensist plaisir et passe temps et pour le garder de dormir. Et d’ung autre costé, y fist aussy venir grant nombre de bigotz, bigottes et gens de devocion comme hermites et sainctes creatures pour sans cesser prier à Dieu qu'il permist qu'il ne mourust point et qu'il le laissant encores vivre." Journal de Jean de Roye, ou Chron. Scandaleuse, Éd. de B. de Mandrot, II, 122, Ann. 1482. Brachet, XVIII.

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