BERANGER, JEAN-PIERRE DE, a celebrated French poet, was h. in Paris, 10th Aug., 1780, in the home of his grandfather, a tailor in the Rue Montorgueil, to whose care he was left entirely by his father, a scheming and not over-serupulousApancier. After living some time with an aunt at Peronne, to whom lie appears to have been indebted for those republican principles which afterwards made htin so obnoxious, to succes sive French governments, B., at the age of 14, was apprenticed to a printer in that place, where he remained three years, devoting all his leisure hours to the acquire ment of knowledge. He now returned to Paris, where his father, a zealous royalist, was engaged in some questionable schemes of money-getting, which were mixed up with conspiracy. B. assisted him in his money affairs, so far as lie honorably could, and kept his political secrets; but he did not disguise his contempt for the royaliA cause, nor fail to express his opposite sympathies. The business, however, was not one to the taste of B., who was throughout the whole of his life a man of the mot sensitive honor, and he soon left it. lie had ere this begun to write, hut his poen's were not successful; and reduced almost to destitution, he. in 1E04, inclosed some of his verses to M. Lucien Bonaparte, with a letter explaining his circumstances, and with a request for assistance—the one solitary instance of solicitation (luring a long life of inde pendence, marked by the refusal of numerous offers of lucrative patronage. The appeal was not made to a (leaf ear. M. Bonaparte obtained employment for the poet, first as editor of the ilanatits cia and afterwards as a subordinate secretary in the univer sity; a post which he held for 12 years, when the government, provoked at his satire, and alarmed at his popularity, dismissed lihn. During the "hundred day's," Napoleon offered B. remunerative post of censor—a singular office for such a man. He refused it. But though lie scorned to accept favor from, or to flatter Napoleon, at a time wlicti it was alike fashimmble and profitable to do so, he was of much too noble a nature to join in the sneers and reproaches which greeted the hero on his tall. Above the fear of power, he was incapable of taking of misfortune. In 1815, B. published his lirst collection of songs, which soon attained a very wide popularity. In 1821, lie pub lished another collection, which was followed shortly after by some fugitive pieces, which subjected him to a government prosecution, a sentence of three months' imprison ment, and a tine of i00 francs. In 1825.a third collection, and in 1828, a fourth appeared,
still more withering in its sarcasm on those in power; and the penalty of B.'s outspoken ness was a fine of 10,000 fr., and nine months' confinement in La Force. The fine was soon paid by the poet's friends, and his prison became the resort of the most eminent men in the kingdom, and a very armory in which he forged those keen-piercing bolts which galled so terribly, and contributed so much to the overthrow of the Bourbons. But B. refused to profit by the new state of things he had been instrumental in bringing about. Rejecting the emoluments and honor which his friends, now in power, were anxious to bestow, he retired to live in privacy at Pussy. In 1833, he published a fifth collection of songs, when he took a formal leave of the public; and from that time until the day of his death, 24 years after, lie remained silent. In 1848, B. was elected a of the assemblee eonstituante by more than 200,000 votes; but after taking his seat, to show his appreciation of the honor conferred on him, he almost immediately resigned. He consistently rejected all the offered favors of the late emperor, as well as a graceful overture on the part of the empress, which lie owned it cost him much to refuse. B. (lied at Paris. July 17, 1857. The cost of his funeral was defrayed by the French government, and his remains were attended to the grave by the most dis tinguished men in all departments of literature. B. was as emphatically the poet of the French people as Burns was the bard of the Scottish peasantry. The same stanch and fearless independence, genuine manliness, sound common-sense, and contempt for every thing mean and hypocritical, characterized both men; and as poets, they differ in excel lence only as the sentiments of the French and Scottish people differ in- their capacity to be turned into song. "Neither friend nor enemy has as yet disclosed to its any speck on the heart, the honor, the genius, or the good sense of Wronger." Since his death, his Last Songs, written between 1831 and 1S51. have been published, and also My Biography (Paris, M. Pe•rotin; London. Jeffs). See My Biography; Memoirs of Beranger, by M. Lapointe; and Bjranger et son Temps, by Jules Junin (1866).