Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Paul Scarron

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French poet and dramatist, b. in Paris, 4 July, 1610; d. 7 October, 1660. His father was a judge and one of his uncles was Bishop of Grenoble. After graduating from the Sorbonne, he received tonsure at the age of nineteen and soon after became attached to the house of Charles de Beaumanoir, Bishop of Le Mans, whom he accompanied to Rome in 1635. A year later he was made a canon in Saint Julian's Cathedral without being in holy orders, a benefice he resigned in January, 1652, when he married Francoise d'Aubigne, later Madame de Maintenon. He was then a cripple and for the remainder of his life was confined to bed, being nursed by his young wife, whose devotion, piety, and patience were admirable. In a distorted body, he preserved the acuteness of his mind, and pursued his literary career. His comedies "Jodelet, ou le maître valet" (1645); "Les trois Dorothées" (1646); "L'héritier ridicule" (1649); "Don Japhet d'Arménie" (1652); "L'Ecolier de Salamanque" (1654); "Le gardien de soi-même" (1655); "Le marquis ridicule" (1656) contained quite a number of amusing scenes and odd characters that Molière borrowed. He achieved a lasting reputation by his burlesque productions, "Le Typhon (1644), and "Le Virgile travesti" (1648-1652), in which he displayed all the resources of his humour. The "Roman comique" (1649-1657), whose realistic presentation of customs and manners was imitated by later novelists, is not from from being a masterpiece. There is no certainty about the place where Scarron's remains were taken, but it is now believed that he was buried in the church of Saint-Gervais.

MORILLOT, Scarron et le genre burlesque (Paris, 1888); IDEM., Scarron, Etude biographique et litteraire (Paris, 1890); CHARDON, Scarron inconnu (Paris, 1904); MAGNE, Scarron et son milieu (Paris, 1905).

LOUIS N. DELAMARRE