[BOUGEANT, Guillaume-Hyacinthe]. ~ Les Quakres françois, ou les nouveaux Trembleurs, comédie. Utrecht: Henryk Khyrks, 1732.
12mo (175 × 90 mm), pp. 66 plus wood engraved frontispiece. Woodcut device to title. A few minor flaws from heavy type impression and careless opening, slightly thumbed. Uncut in later blue wrapper. A good copy.
First edition, a satirical play on the Convulsionnaires (’les quakres françois’) and the Jansensists who were seen to have encouraged them with their belief in miracles. The tomb of the Jansenist M. de Pâris in the Paris churchyard of Saint Médard had become the location for an outbreak of popular devotion and miracleworking, with miraculous cures and speaking in tongues regularly reported. It became a cause célèbre, and the authorities were forced to close the churchyard. The episode spawned a large literature: favourable, unfavourable and satirical. Bougeant’s play is firmly in the last category and comes complete with a satirical woodcut of a contortionary dancer as ‘Instructeur des acteurs du Tombeau de M. de Paris’. ‘The most famous of the Convulsionnaires was Father Bescherand, known for his ‘sautes-de-carpe’, wild carp-like leaps performed in spite of a famously bad limp. In Les Quakres françois... Bougeant satirizes Father Bescherand as a complex plot unfolds to grace this virtuosic Convulsionary with a troupe of men and women paid to jump and leap with him... (Gotman, Choreomania: Dance and Disorder, 2018, p. 102).