Sébastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort
(1741 - 1794)
The illegitimate son of a noblewoman, the playwright Sébastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort was recognized for his conversational brilliance and received at the court of Louis XVI. Disillusioned with worldly Parisian society, Chamfort, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, turned antiroyalist, became secretary of the Jacobin Club, and wrote his celebrated maxims, anecdotes, and character sketches deriding the haut monde. Appalled by the excesses of the Reign of Terror, he later joined the Moderates and was threatened with prison, eventually dying following a botched suicide attempt.