Hedelin, Francis

, at first an advocate, afterwards an ecclesiastic, and abbé of Auhignac and Meimac, was born at Paris in 1604. Cardinal Richelieu, whose nephew he educated, bestowed on him his two abbeys, and the protection of that minister gave him consequence both as a man of the world and as an author. He figured by turns as a grammarian, a classical scholar, a poet, an antiquary, a preacher, and a writer of romances; but he was most known by his book entitled “Pratique du Theatre,” and by the quarrels in which his haughty and presumptuous temper engaged him, with some of the most eminent authors of his time. The great Corneille was one of these, whose disgust first arose from the entire omission of his name in the celebrated book above mentioned. He was also embroiled, on different accounts, with madame Scuderi, Menage, and Richelet. The warmth of his temper exceeded rhat of his imagination, which was considerable; and yet he lived at court a good deal in the style of a philosopher, rising early to his studies, soliciting no favours, and associating chiefly with a few friends, as unambitious as himself, he describes himself as of a slender constitution, not capable of taking much exercise, or even of applying very intensely to study, without suffering from it in his health; yet not attached to any kind of play. “It is,” ays he, “too fatiguing for the feebleness of my body, or too indolent for the activity of my mind.” The abbé | d’Aubignac lived to the age of seventy-two, and died at xnours in 1676. His works are, 1. “Pratique du Theatre,Amsterdam, 1717, two vols. 8vo; also in a 4to edition published at Paris; a book of considerable learning, but little calculated to inspire or form a genius. 2. “Zenobie,” a tragedy, in prose, composed according to the rules laid down in his “Pratique,” and a complete proof of the total inefficacy of rules to produce an interesting drama, being the most dull and fatiguing performance that was ever represented. The prince of Condé said, on the subject of this tragedy, “We give great credit to the abbé d’Aubignac for having so exactly followed the rules of Aristotle, but owe no thanks to the rules of Aristotle for having made the abbé produce so vile a tragedy.” He wrote a few other other tragedies also, which are worse, if possible, than Zenobia. 3. “Macaride; or the Queen of the Fortunate Islands,” a novel, Paris, 1666, 2 vok 8vo. 4. “Conseils d’Ariste à Celimene, 12mo. 5.” Histoire da terns, ou Relation du Royaume de Coqueterie,“12mo, 6.Terence justifié,“inserted in some editions of hisPratique.“7.” Apologie de Spectacles," a work of no value. A curious book on satyrs, brutes, and monsters, has been attributed to him; but, though the author’s name was Hedelin, he does not appear to have been the same. 1


Chaufepie.Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Nieeron, vol. IV. and X.