Sedaine, Michael John

, a French dramatic writer, was born at Paris, June 4, 1719. Abandoned by his friends, he was, at the age of thirteen, obliged to quit his studies, in which he was little advanced, and to practise a trade for his subsistence. He was first a journeyman, and then a master mason* and architect; which businesses he conducted with uncommon probity. Natural inclination led him to cultivate literature, and particularly the drama, for which he wrote various small pieces and comic operas, the most popular of which were, “Le Deserteur;” and “Richard Coeur de Lion.”“All of them met with great success, and still continue to be performed, but the French critics think that his poetry is not written in the purest and most correct style, and that his pieces appear to more advantage on the stage than in the closet. He possessed, however, a quality of greater consequence to a dramatic writer the talent of producing stage effect. He was elected into the French academy, in consequence of the success of hisRichard Coeur de Lion," and was intimately connected with all the men of letters, and all the artists of his time. He died in May 1797, aged seventy-eight. 1