Nivelle De La Chaussee, Peter Claude

, a French academician and dramatic writer, was born at Paris in 1692. Being the nephew of a farmer-general, he might have acquired opulence, by so valuable a connection, but he preferred the study of polite literature. His first work was a criticism on the fables of La Motte, who was his friend, but who never objected to any liberties of that kind which his friends might take with him. When La Motte advanced his famous paradox on the in utility of versification in tragedy, &c. Nivelle joined la Faye as one of his opponents, and published an “Epitre a Clio,1733, 12mo, which was much admired, and in which he has taken considerable freedoms with La Motte. As a dramatic writer, Nivelle brought into fashion what the French call the comedies larmoy antes, or comedies in which there are more scenes of tenderness than of wit and humour. Of these his “Prejuge a la mode” “Ecole des Amis,” and “Melanide,” are still much admired in France as are his “Ecole des Meres,” and “La Gbuvernante,” although not received at first so favourably. He wrote many other dramatic pieces, with moderate success, which with his other works, were published at Paris, in 1762, 5 vols. 12mo. La Harpe ranks him among the authors who have done honour to the French theatre. He died May 14, 1754, in the sixty-second year of his age. 2


Biog. Univ. art. Chaussée.—Dict. Hist.—D’Alembert’s Eloges.