Paul Scarron, a French author, born in Paris in 1610, died in October, 1660. He led a gay and dissolute life in his youth, but the death of his father left him penniless, and disease distorted his whole frame. He then applied himself to literature, and soon acquired such a reputation by his caricatures and humorous sketches as to be styled the "emperor of the burlesque." What he earned by his pen, together with the proceeds of a benefice granted him by his friend Lavardin, bishop of Le Mans, and a pension from the private purse of the queen, enabled him to live at ease, and his house was the favorite resort of wits and noblemen. During the war of the Fronde he was one of the opponents of Mazarin, and wrote the Mazarinade, which cost him his pension. In 1652 he married Françoise d'Au-bigné, afterward celebrated as Mme. de Main-tenon. His comedies, among which are Jode-let (1645), Don Japhet d'Arménie (1653), and L'Ecolier de Salamanque (1654), were well received; but he was indebted for his greatest success to his burlesque of Virgil, L'Énéide travestie. His best work is Le roman comique, which was translated into English by Oliver Goldsmith (2 vols., London, 1775). There have been numerous translations of all his writings, including his letters.
The best edition of his complete works is that of Bruzen de la Marti-nière (10 vols. 12mo, Paris, 1737).