Desmoustier, Charles Albert

, a French dramatic and miscellaneous writer, a member of the national institute, the philotechnic society, that of letters, sciences, and arts, and of the Athenaeum at Paris, was born at Villers-Coterets, March 11, 1760. After studying with assiduous application and success at the college of Lisieux, he for some years followed the profession of an advocate, which he then quitted to give up his whole time to general literature and a country life. In this retreat he wrote the greater part of his published works, and was meditating others, when death snatched him away at the age of thirty-eight, March 2, 1801. He died in the arms of his mother, to whom he was exceedingly attached, and often mentioned, with tender regard, how much her company had contributed to his happiness. Nor was he less happy in the society of some friends of his youth, whose affection he preserved to the last by his amiable disposition. He published, 1. “Lettres a Emilie sur la Mythologie,1790, 6 vols. 18mo, an agreeable and familiar system of mythology, which has gone through several editions, and which has no fault but what is common with young writers of great promise, rather too much glitter and finery. 2. Several comedies and operas, printed at different times, and all performed with great success, particularly “Le Conciliateur.” 3. “Le Siege de Cythere,” a poem, 1790. 4. “La Liberte du Cloitre,” a poem. He left several manuscripts, among which the “Cours de morale, addresse aux Femmes,” a work partly in prose, and partly in verse, read at the Lycasum, is highly praised. He had also begun a long work which was to have been entitled “Galerie du dixhuitieme Siecle,” in which the great characters that illustrated the close of the reign of Louis XIV. were to have been pourtrayed; but he had composed only some parts of this work, which were read in some of the literary societies, of which he was a member. 2


Dict. Hist. Memoirs of the National Institute, vol. IV.