PONSARD, FnANcois (1814-1867), French dramatist, was born at Vienne in Dauphine on the 1st June 1814. He was bred a lawyer, and his first performance in litera-ture was a translation of Manfred (1837). But the first important, and indeed the most important, event of his life was the representation of his play Lucrece at the Theatre Francais on the 1st April 1843. This date is a kind of epoch in literary and dramatic history, because it has been supposed to mark a reaction against the romantic style of Dumas and Hugo. In reality, however, Ponsard was only a romantic of a somewhat tamer genius than those who had gone before him. It so happened that the tastes and capacities of the most popular actress of the day, Rachel, suited his style of drama, and this contributed greatly to his own popularity. He followed up Increce with Agmes de Meranie (1846), Charlotte Corday (1850), and others. Ponsard accepted the empire, though with no very great enthusiasm, and received the post of librarian to the senate, which, however, he soon resigned, fighting a bloodless duel with a journalist on the subject. L' Honneur et L' Argent, one of his most successful plays, was acted in 1853, and lie became an Academician in 1855. For some years he did little, but in 1866 he obtained great success with Le Lion, Amoureus. He died a year later at Paris in July 1867, soon after his nomination to the commander-ship of the Legion of Honour. IIis widow was pensioned. Ponsard is no doubt in some ways a remarkable dramatist. Unlike most men who have achieved considerable success on the stage, he did not overwrite himself, and most of his plays hold a certain steady level of literary and dramatic ability. But, as has been said, his popularity is in the main due to the fact that he found an actress ready to hand for his pieces, and that his appearance coincided with a certain public weariness of the grander but also more extravagant and unequal style of 1830.