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Medicine in France in the seventeenth century was the peculiar theme of satire; probably for the same reason it is a safe mark for newspaper sarcasm to-day. The sensation mongers who dare not attack the rupture-curers, advertising quacks, patent medicine men or abortifacient mongers, openly assail medical men on the ground that it amuses the public and does not hurt medical science. Precisely the same regard for the sacred cash box prevented the French satirists from attacking the despot Louis XIV. and caused his brutal aristocracy and plutocracy to concentrate their venom on the physician. Moliere was an expert in this. He had a quasi-medical predecessor to whom he was probably much indebted. Bertrand Hardouin de St. Jacques (1598-1648) entered upon the study of medicine at the University of Montpelier. For unusually outrageous contempt of the boundaries of property, he was expelled and became first a traveling quack and then
A MEDICAL SATIRIST OF MEDICINE.. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(16):872. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430940042007