This biography was originally published in A New General Biographical Dictionary. Hugh James Rose. London, 1857. p. 163.
CHARLES RIVIERE DUFRESNY, a French dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Paris, in 1648. He was great-grandson of the peasant of Anet, known by the name of La Belle Jardinière, mistress of Henry IV. He displayed a general taste for the arts, wrote and set songs, made curious landscapes by cutting out and adapting the parts of different prints, but especially excelled in laying out gardens; a talent which procured him from Louis XIV (to whom he was a servant of the bed-chamber) the office of comptroller of the royal gardens. He had also the patent for the manufacture of looking-glasses. Such, however, was his extravagance, that he was reduced to sell all his places and privileges. After quitting the court, he went to Paris, and began to write for the stage in company with Regnard. Though he did not attain to the excellence of this writer, he composed many pieces which agreeably entertained the public. In 1710 he obtained the privilege of printing the Mercure Galant, a literary miscellany, which had been established by Danneau de Vizé, in 1672, and for a time enlivened that work by his sallies; but he sold his right in it three years afterwards to Hardouin le Fevre, only reserving to himself an annuity out of the profits. He was twice married; but, as his dispositions were far from domestic, his views in this connection were to obtain a temporary resource. He is the person who is humorously represented by Le Sage in his DIable Boiteux, as marrying his laundress, by way of paying her bill. One of his friends once observing to him, that "poverty was not a vice;" -- "It is much worse," replied Dufresny. He died at Paris, in 1724. His Théâtre Français was published at Paris, in 1731, in 6 volumes.
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