Periers, Bonaventure Dbs

, an old French satirist, was born at Arnay-le-Duc, a small town of Burgundy, about the end of the fifteenth century. He went through his early studies with credit, and was advanced to the place of valet-de-chambre to the queen of Navarre, sister of Francis I. About this time a, considerable freedom of opinion prevailed at court, and the disputes of certain theologians had occasionally furnished subjects for ridicule. Des Periers, who was young and lively, wrote his celebrated work entitled “Cymbalum mundi,” in which the divines of the time found nothing but atheism and impiety, while others considered the satire as general and legitimate. A modern reader will perhaps discover more folly and extravagance than either impiety or wit. The work, however, was prohibited by an order of council soon after it appeared; and, according to De Bure and Brunet, but one copy is known to exist of the original edition. Des Periers did not lose his situation at court, but continued in the same favour with the queen of Navarre, and is | supposed to have written some part of the tales which were published under the name of that princess. Des Periers is said to have indulged in excesses which ruined his health, and in the paroxysm of a fever he committed suicide in 1544. His works are, I. The “Andria” of Terence, translated into French rhyme, Lyons, 1537, 8vo. 2. “Cymbalum mundi, en Fran9ais, contenant quatres dialogues poetiques, fort antiques, joyeux, et facetieux,Paris, 1537, 8vo. This, which was the first edition, he published under the name of Thomas du Clevier. It was reprinted at Lyons in 1538, 8vo, also a rare edition. In 1711, Prosper Marchand pubJished an edition in 12mo, with a long letter on the history of the work. Of this an English translation was published in 1712, 8vo. The last edition is that with notes by Falconet and Lancelot, which appeared in 1732, 12mo. 3. “Recueil desCEuvres de B. Desperiers,Lyons, 1544, 8vo. This is the only edition of his works which contains his poetry. 4. “Nouvelles recreations et joyeux devis,Lyons, 1558, 8vo, a collection of tales attributed to Des Periers, but which some think were the production of Nicolas Denisot, and James Peletier; and it is certain that there are some facts mentioned in them which did not occur until after the death of Des Periers. The reader may derive more information on this subject, if he think it interesting, from La Monnoye’s preliminary dissertation to the edition of these tales published at Amsterdam (Paris) in 1735, 3 vols. 12mo. 1


Letter by —Marchand, at above. Biog. Univerell, art. Despericri.