Garnier, Robert

, a French tragic poet, was born at Ferte" Bernard in the province of Maine, in 1534. He was designed for the law, which he studied some time at Toulouse; but afterwards quitted it for poetry, in which he succeeded so well, that he was deemed by his contemporaries not inferior to Sophocles or Euripides. Thuanus says, that Ronsard himself placed nobody above Gamier in this respect: what Ronsard says, however, is no more than that he greatly improved the French drama.

Par toi, Gamier, la scene des Francois,

Se change en or, qui n’etoit que de bois.

But although his tragedies were read with great pleasure by all sorts of persons, and held in the highest estimation, when they had no better to read, upon the introduction of a more refined taste, they gradually fell into disesteem, and now only serve to shew, that France, like other nations, has been capable of admiring very indifferent poets. Besides tragedies, he wrote songs, elegies, epistles, eclogues, &c. of no better stamp. He died in 1590, after having obtained several considerable posts. Seneca the tragedian, was Garnier’s model, which single circumstance may easily give the learned reader an idea of his taste and manner. His dramatic works were printed collectively at Lyons, in one vol. 12mo, 1597, and reprinted at Paris in 1607. 2


Moreri. —Niceron, vol. XX VI II. —Dict. Hist.