One hundred years ago—in 1819—Laënnec1 published his epoch-making work on auscultation. He was then 38 years old, and seven years later he died from pulmonary tuberculosis. It has been said that he cared more for his proficiency in horseback riding than for his fame, and that he "was but a breath of air, and he thought himself a Hercules. He transposed the facts, and the vigor of his mind he placed in his muscles. Innocent failings, imperceptible blots, especially on the brilliancy of those great and exemplary lives so full of glory because they are useful."
Whatever his thoughts, if any, in regard to his fame may have been, he had no doubt in his mind as to the value of auscultation, and when he had recovered somewhat from his first breakdown, he did not hesitate, in 1822, to return to Paris from his home in Brittany, and to