Boisrobert, François Metel De

, of the French academy, to the establishment whereof he contributed greatly, abbot of Chatilly-sur-Seine, was born at Caen in 1592, and died in 1662. He was remarkably brilliant in conversation, but with his natural and borrowed powers, often repeating scraps from many of the tales of Boccace, of Beroald, and especially the “Moyen de parvenir” of the Jatter. His imagination, fostered early by the writings of all the facetious authors, furnished him with the means of amusing and of exciting laughter. Citois, first physician to the cardinal de Richelieu, used to say to that minister, when he was indisposed, “Monseigneur, all our drugs are of no avail, unless you mix with them a dram of Boisrobert.” The cardinal for a long time was never happy without his company and jokes, and employed him as his buffoon. When Boisrobert fell into disgrace with the cardinal, he had recourse to Citois, who put at the bottom of his paper to the cardinal, as if it had been a prescription, Recipe Boisrobert. This jest had its effect, | by causing him to be recalled. Boisrobert published, 1. Divers poems; the first part 1647, 4to, and the second 1659, 8vo. 2. Letters in the collection of Faret; 8vo. 3. Tragedies, comedies, and tales, which bear the name of his brother Antoine le Metel, sieur d’Ouville. 4. “Histoire Indienne d‘Anaxandre et d’Orasie;1629, 8vo. 5. “Nouvelles heroiques,1627, 8vo. His theatrical pieces, applauded by cardinal Richelieu and by some of his flatterers, are now totally forgot. All his friends, indeed, were not flatterers, if the following anecdote may be relied on. Boisrobert, among his other follies, was a gamester, and on one occasion lost ten thousand crowns to the duke de Roquelaure, who loved money, and insisted upon being paid. Boisrobert sold all he had, which amounted to four thousand crowns, which one of his friends carried to the duke, telling him, he must forgive the rest, and that Boisrobert, in return, would compose a panegyrical ode upon him, which would certainly be a bad one. “Now,” added this friend, “when it is known that your grace has rewarded a paltry piece with six thousand crowns, every one will applaud your generosity, and will be anxious to know what you would have given for a good poem.” It is most to his honour, however, that he contributed to the establishment of the French academy, and always employed his interest with cardinal Richelieu in behalf of men of merit. 1

1 Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Biog. Gallica, vol. 1. Baillet Jugemens de Sarans.