Petit, John Lewis

, a celebrated surgeon, was born at Paris, March 13, 1674. From his childhood he displayed uncommon acuteness, and received his first instructions in anatomy from M. de Littre, a celebrated anatomist, who resided in his father’s house. Under this master he made such rapid progress, that he had scarcely attained the age of twelve, when M. de Littre found that he might be intrusted with the care of his anatomical theatre. He afterwards studied surgery under Castel and Mareschal, and was admitted master in 1700. In the course of no long time he became the first practitioner in Paris, and was “consulted in all cases of importance; and there were few operations of difficulty and delicacy which he did not superintend, or actually perform; and his hand and his counsels were alike successful. Such a reputation soon extended throughout Europe. In 1726 he was sent for by the king of Poland, and again in 1734 by Don Ferdinand, afterwards king of Spain: he re-established the health of both these princes, who endeavoured to retain him near their persons with the offer of great rewards, but could not overcome his attachment to his native place. Among his professional honours was that of member of the academy of ^ciences, director of the academy of surgery, censor and royal professor at the schools, and fellow of the royal society of London. He died at Paris, April 20, 1750, aged 76, regretted as much for his private virtues as his public services. He communicated many memoirs to the academy of sciences, and several to the academy of surgery, which were printed in their first volume. His only separate publication was his” Traite des Maladies des Os,“printed at Paris in 1705, in 12mo, and frequently reprinted, with additions. An edition in 1758, in two volumes, 12mo, was | published by M. Ant. Louis, with an historical and critical essay respecting it subjoined; and his pupil, M. Leslie, published his posthumous works in 1774, with the title of” Traite des Maladies Chirurgicales et des Operations qui leur conviennent," in three vols. 8vo, with many plates of chirurgical instruments. His treatise on the bones involved him in several controversies; but the only chagrin which he felt arose from finding Winslow, who, as censor royal, had approved the work, retract his approbation, in a letter inserted in the Journal des Savans for May 1725. 1

1 Eloy, —Dict. Hist. de Medicine. Rett’s Cyclopædia.