Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (24 January 1732 – 18 May 1799) was a French playwright, watchmaker, inventor, musician, diplomat, fugitive, spy, publisher, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American).

Born a provincial watchmaker's son, Beaumarchais rose in French society and became influential in the court of Louis XV as an inventor and music teacher. He made a number of important business and social contacts, played various roles as a diplomat and spy, and had earned a considerable fortune before a series of costly court battles jeopardized his reputation.

An early French supporter of American independence, Beaumarchais lobbied the French government on behalf of the American rebels during the American War of Independence. Beaumarchais oversaw covert aid from the French and Spanish governments to supply arms and financial assistance to the rebels in the years before France's formal entry into the war in 1778. He later struggled to recover money he had personally invested in the scheme. Beaumarchais was also a participant in the early stages of the French Revolution. He is probably best known, however, for his theatrical works, especially the three Figaro plays.

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Pierre de Beaumarchais Poems

Pierre de Beaumarchais Quotes

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at any time, madam, is all that distinguishes us from the other animals.
Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799), French dramatist. Antonio, in Le Mariage de Figaro, act 2, sc. 21 (1784).
I hasten to laugh at everything for fear of being obliged to weep at it.
Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799), French dramatist. Figaro, in Le Barbier de Séville, act 1, sc. 2 (1775). Byron expressed a similar idea in Don Juan cto. 4, st. 4: "And if I laugh at any mortal thing, 'Tis that I may not weep."

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