Rouget de L'Isle, Claude Joseph



French engineer; born at Montaigu, Lons-le-Saulnier, Jura; is known outside of France by one composition, the Marseillaise. During the French Revolution, he was an officer in the army, and music and poetry were his chief recreations; he sang, wrote verses, and played the violin, and became quite popular at Strasburg, where he was stationed in 1790. The next year his hymn, A la Liberte, set to music by Pleyel, was sung at a festival in that city. He composed three dramas while at Strasburg, and one of these, Bayard en Bresse, was brought out at Paris the same year, 1791, but with no success. In 1792 was written the work which made him famous. It has become the national hymn of France. He was imprisoned for some time during the ascendency of Robespierre because of loyalty to the old government, but after that tyrant was deposed he re-entered the army, and composed several other patriotic chants. He wrote the libretto of Chelard's grand opera, Macbeth, and prior to that the libretto of a comic opera by Delia Maria, entitled Jacquot, ou 1'ecole des meres. Fifty French chants had appeared in 1825, and his Essays in Verse and Prose in 1796.