Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/377

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860

DUMAS.

aadre Davy Diuuas, novelist and dnunatio writer^ was born in Paris^ July 28^ 1824^ and receiyed his education in tke College Bourbon, where he distinguished himself. He was early introduced into the society of literary men, actors, and actresses, and was conspicuous for his wit and precocity. At the age of seventeen he composed a collec- tion of poems, "Les Pech^s de Jeunesse, a work of small literary merit. He travelled with his father in Spain ancl in Africa, and on his return wrote "Les Aventures de Quatre Femmes et d'un Perroquet," published in 1846-7. He had early the sense to perceive that he could not excel as a poet, and has suc- ceeded best as a dramatic writer, by his objective instincts, and a microscopical power of delineating and ma^if ying the worst side of society in his dramas. He may be said to belong to the sensuous school of French literature. His principal work of fiction, " La Dame aux Cam^lias, became one of the best-known productions of the day. A dramatic version was played in 1852, after having been interdicted by M. L^on Faucher, and, repro- duced in Verdi's opera "La Tra- viata," created a still greater sen- sation. M. Dumas, who nas written many dramatic pieces, is considered by Uie public the greatest living dramatist of the Demi-monde. A new comedy from his pen, entitled "Les Id^s de Madame Aubray," was produced at Paris early in 1867. His " Visite de Nooes '^ was brought out at the Gymnase Dra- matique, Oct. 10, 1871, and "La Princeese Georges" at the same theatre on Dec. 2, 1871. In 1872 he published a pamphlet entitled " L'Homme-Femme, which caused a considerable sensation. It was elicited by the "Affaire Cl^men- ceau," and f^ dramatic version of it was produced at the Gymnase, Jan. 16, 1873, imder the title of " La Femme de Claude." M. Du- mas was installed as a member of

the French Academy, Feb. 11 1875. His drama "Joseph Balsa mo," based on his father's romance of " CagHostro," was represented for the first time at the Od^i Theatre, March 18, 1878. He pub- lished in 1880, " Les Femmes qw tuentet les Femmes qui volent. His comedy " La Princesse de Bag- dad," was produced at the Th^Atrc Francais, Jan. 31, 1881.

DUMAS, Jsan-Baftistx, at om time Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, Professor of Chemistr) at the Sorbonne, in the Sdiool oi Medicine, and member of the Insti< tute, was born at Alais, July 14 1800. When fourteen, M. Dumai went to Geneva to study chemistry botany, and medicine, and his firsi publication was an essay in connec tion with De Candolle, then a pro fessor in the Swiss city. Th< attention of scientific men wa^ attracted by his researches ii animal physiology, in which he wai associated with M. Provost. Ii 1823 he was appointed Teadier oi Chemistry in the Ecole Polytech nique, Paris. M. Dumas publishec a memoir on the relations existing between the specific weights ol solid bodies and their atomi< weight ; and from that time to th< present has been constantly adding to our stock of knowledge of organic chemistry. M. Dumas' theory oi substitution is one of his most im- portant works ; and his treatise ox chemistry, as applied to the arts, if another valuable offering topractica] science. His " Lemons sur la PhilO' sophie Chimique," published in 1837 are popular, and as a lecturer he ic one of the most distinguished in Paris. In May, 1849, he was elected to the National Assembly ; and the President of the Bepublic summoned him, Oct. 31, to join the administra' tion, intrusting him with the post oi Minister of Agriculture and Com- merce, where his chemical know- ledge enabled him to render public service. He originated annual meetings bearing on agriculture