Fresny, Charles Riviere Du

, a French poet, chiefly celebrated for his dramatic writings, was born at Paris in 1648. He had a good natural taste for music, painting, sculpture, architecture, and all the fine arts. He had | also a taste for laying-out gardens, and this procured him the place of overseer of gardens to the king, which he sold for a moderate sum, as a supply to his extravagance, which was unbounded. He was valet-de-chambre to Louis XIV. and highly in favour with him; but his love of expence outwent even the bounty of his master. “There are two men,” said Louis, “whom I shall never enrich, Fresny and Bontems.” These were his two valets-dechambre, who were well matched in extravagance. At length, Fresny sold all his appointments at court, and flew from the constraint of Versailles to the liberty of Paris, where he became a writer for the stage. He is the person who is humourously represented by Le Sage in his “Diable Boiteux,” as marrying his laundress by way of paying her bill. He was twice married, and both times, it is said, in a similar way. He wrote many dramatic pieces, some of which were long established on the stage. These were, “La Reconciliation Normande, Le Double Voyage, La Coquette de Village, Le Marriage rompu, L’Esprit de Contradiction, Le Dedit.” He was also the author of cantatas, which he set to music himself; several songs, some of which were famous; a little work often reprinted, called “Les Amusements serieux et comiques,” and “Nouvelles Historiques” all enlivened by a singular and gay fancy. He died, aged seventy-six, in 1724. D’Alembert has drawn a parallel between Destouches and him as comic writers. His works were collected in 6 volumes, duodecimo. 1

1 Dict. Hist.Niceron, vol. XVII. —Moreri.