Cosme, John De St.

, whose family name was Ba­Seillac, was a monk of the order of the Fetiillans, in Paris, and born in 1703. He was educated to the practice of surgery; but at his father’s death, which happened when he was young, he retired from the world, and became a monk, yet went on improving himself in the art to which he had been bred, and gave his assistance to all who applied without any reward. He had bestowed his principal attention on lithotomy, and the instrument with which he performed the operation he called lithotome cachc^ a hollow tube, in which was concealed a knife, with which he cut through the prostate gland, into the bladder. His care was to make the wound sufficiently large, to enable him to extract the stone easily, and without bruising the parts. To this, it is probable, his success, which was far superior | to any of his rivals, must be attributed. The fame he acquired drew upon him the envy of the surgeons of Paris so far, that they applied to the king to interdict his practising. Not succeeding in this attempt, Mons. Le Cat published “Lettre au sujet du Lithotome Cache*, &c. contre F. Cosme Dissert.1749. Cosme’s dissertation, describing, the operation, had been published the preceding year, in the “Journal des Savans.” This produced an answer from De Cosme, under the title of “Recueil des pieces imporiantes sur ['operation da la Taille,Paris, 1751; in which he acknowledges some failures, and that he had lost one patient by haemorrhage; but challenges his adversaries to produce lists of successful cases equal to his. In 1779, he published “Nouvelle methode d’extraire la Pierre,Paris, 12mo. After having for some time been director of the hospital of Bayeux, he established an hospital in the Feuillans, where he practised gratis. It is thought that in the course of his life he had performed the operation for the stone above a thousand times. He diedJuly 28, 1781, most particularly lamented by the poor, towards whom he was equally compassionate and charitable. When any father of a family offered him money, he used to say, “Keep it;. I must not injure your children” and often, instead of accepting a fee from the opulent, he would recommend some poor object to be relieved by them. 1


Dict. Hist.Rers’s Cyclopædia.