The fable of “The Doctor and the Goose,” by Charles Chauvin Boisclair Deléry, D.M.P. Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Charles Chauvin Boisclair Deléry, D.M.P. – doctor of medicine of Paris, was perhaps the prototypical representative of Creole physicians, practising medicine in Louisiana in the 1800s, who were regarded as being equally proficient with pen, pills or pistols. This paper presents accounts of Deléry’s yellow fever debate with Jean-Charles Faget, D.M.P., and their near duel, and his famous duel with Joseph Rouanet. Because of the personal and professional need to maintain honor, Rouanet may have challenged Deléry to a duel, not only because of vociferous disagreements between them over blood transfusion safety and efficacy, but due to Deléry’s humiliation of Rouanet in his fable, “the Doctor and the Goose.” We recovered the poem, transcribed and translated it, and discuss it as a device of witty rhetorical persuasion—a technique of the time used to belittle one’s learned opponents. Fortunately, Deléry was not as equally proficient with pens and pistols, as both he and Rouanet survived the duel.

publication date

  • March 2, 2020