The New Student's Reference Work/Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de
Beaumarchais (bō'mär-shā′), Pierre Augustin Caron de, a celebrated French dramatist, was born at Paris in 1732. He became so skilled as a musician that he was appointed to teach the daughters of King Louis XV to play on the harp. He wrote, as a defense of himself against a charge of fraud and forgery, his well-known Memoirs, which is a masterpiece of French writing and gave him quite a reputation. During the American Revolution, he supplied the American army with a large quantity of arms and ammunition, for which he received the warm thanks of Congress, but not the money payment which was promised. One fourth of the debt was paid thirty-six years after Beaumarchais was dead. He was a supporter of the French Revolution, and was obliged to leave France for a time. His greatest drama is The Marriage of Figaro. The Barber of Seville was also very successful. He died at Paris in 1799.