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February 4, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(5):252-253. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450320044007

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The British Medical Journal recently stated that the manufacture of cripples to be let out as decoys for the alms of the charitable, is still said to be a flourishing industry in some parts of the Pyrenees. It would appear, remarks the same journal, that this is not one of the many inventions which make the so-called nineteenth century famous in the records of the ages, for Fabricius Hildanus, in his chapter on preternatural tumors, relates the following story: "In the year 1593 there was seen in Paris a boy of fifteen or eighteen months, the skin of whose head was so much stretched that it greatly exceeded the size of a natural hydrocephalus. The father and mother of the child carried him about from place to place as a monstrosity. As the concourse of people was great the magistrate suspected that there was some fraud in the matter and

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