GRIMM. grim, FRIEDRICH MELCHIOR, Baron von (1723-1807). A noted French journalist and member of the Envy('loprdist Circle. lie was born in Ratisbon, Germany, of poor parents, and studied at Leipzig. His first production was a tragedy, which was ridiculed at once by the audience and by the critics. Disappointed, he went to Paris as a tutor, and remained there as a reader to the Crown Prince of Saxe-Gotha. In 1749 common musical tastes won him the friend ship of J. J. Rousseau, and by him he was intro duced to the Encyclopaedist Circle. Soon after wards he became secretary to Count Friesen, nephew of Marshal Saxe, and so found an entry into the brilliant social circles of Paris, where his intelligence, wit, tact, and good manners soon made him a general favorite. He became wholly French in spirit, and was naturalized. His lit erary reputation was won by a pamphlet, Le petit prophCte de Boehmischbroda (1753), on the merits of Italian and French opera, a society question of the hour, but his fame dates from the Correspondence litteraire, philosophique et cri tique, begun in 1753, and carried on with various assistants and substitutes until 1759, in the name of Abbe Raynal, who had originated the idea, and then in Grimm's own till 1790. in 1754 Rous seau introduced Grimm to Madame d'Epinay. She soon came to prefer him to the older and intractable lover who left in his Confessions a false account of the matter that injured Grimm's reputation for several years. He served as sec retary of the Marshal d'EstrEcs during the West phalian campaign (1756-57), and was after wards Minister of Saxe-Gotha at the French Court. In 1773 he visited Saint Petersburg on a diplomatic mission. The Revolution drove him
from France, first to Gotha, then to Saint Peters burg, where he resided from 1792 to 1795, and enjoyed the favor of Catharine II., and whence he was sent as Russian Minister to Hamburg, his last public office. Grimm's Correspondance was not published till 1812. It was sent to sev eral sovereigns and to some minor German courts, and made accessible to them, through a sort of secret official organ, the ideas of the French philosophic movement, shrewdly seasoned to the liking of princes, who were induced to see in the new 'philosophy' a means of consolidating their power. Thus Grimm was able to contribute very essentially to the spread of the Encyclopaedic movement, and to prepare the wqy for introduc ing the emancipatory ideas of the French Revolu tion. And besides this, the Correspondence is a literary review and chronicle—a record of an im portant literary period of almost unique value. His collaborators, especially Diderot and Madame d'Epinay, carried on the work in his own deli cate, subtle, impartial, and profoundly skeptical spirit. The Correspondence was first published in seventeen octavo volumes (1812-14), better edited by Taschereau (15 vols., 1829-31, with a supplement of Correspondence inedite). Grimm's Memoires on his relations with the Empress Catharine have been published by the Russian Historical Society. For a critical literary appre ciation, consult: Etudes sur Grimm (Paris, 1854) ; id., Canseries) du Lundi, vol. vii. (ib., 1857-62) ; and Schi.rer, 3f elchior Grimm (ib., 1887).