Pessklier, Charles Stephen

, member of the academies of Nancy, of Amiens, of Kouen, and Angers, was born at Paris on the 9th of July, 1712, of a reputable family. In his early youth his progress in his studies was rapid. His assiduous application, 'his lively genius, and mild demeanour, conciliated the esteem of his master, and gained the friendship of his juvenile companions. His taste for poetry was apparent at a very earl) period; but the designs of his parents for the advancement of his fortune would not permit him to resign himself entirely to his favourite pursuits, and he sacrificed in some degree his propensity to their wishes. He was placed tinder M. Holland, an advocate, and constantly attended to the regular discharge of business. His leisure hours were devoted to the Muse; and J.e gave up that time to poetry, which by many, at his age, is sacrificed to pleasure. In 1738 his “Ecole du Temps,” a comedy in verse, was represented with applause on the Italian theatre. Encouraged by this success, and with the approbation of M. Rolland, he produced, in the following year, at the French theatre, his “Esope au Parnasse,” a comedy in verse. The reputation of the young poet, and his character for probity, recommended him to M. Lailemand of Bety, a farmer-general, who was at that time forming a system of finance, and who felicitated himself in procuring such an assistant, and in attaching him to his interest. The occupations incident to this new department were probably the causes which prevented Pesselier from producing any other pieces for the stage. Poetry was, however, still the amusement of the time that could be spared from business. In 1748, he published his fables, and among his dramatic works appears a comedy, “La | Mascarade du Parnasse,” in verse, and in one act, which was never performed.

His attachment to poetry could not prevent him from dedicating some of the moments that could be spared from the labours of finance to the elucidation of that science. Accordingly, he published the prospectus of a work upon that subject. This publication, exhibiting in one view a perfect knowledge and extensive prospects for the improvement of that necessary resource, attracted the attention of the ministry, who established an office for promoting the plan, and placed the author at the head of it, with appointments proportioned to his talents and the importance of his labours. The views of Pesselier now extended further than the operations of finance. He undertook a treatise on the customary laws of the kingdom, of which, however, only the preliminary discourse appeared. Soon afterwards he published his “Letters on Education,” in two volumes 12mo.

Incessant application and a delicate constitution, with an extreme vivacity of spirits, probably shortened his life. His health began to decline; but he ceased not from his diligence. His attention to the business of his office was almost without remission; till, overcome by fatigue, he fell sick in November 1762, languished under his disorder for six months, and died the 24th of April, 1763. 1


Dict. Hist. in the last edition of which he is ealled Joseph.