Moratin, Nicolas Fernandez De
MORATIN, NICOLAS FERNANDEZ DE (1737-1780), Spanish poet and dramatist, was born at Madrid in 1737. He was educated at the Jesuit College in Calatayud and afterwards studied law at the university of Valladolid. In 1772 he was called to the bar; four years afterwards he was nominated to the chair of poetry at the imperial college. He died on the nth of May 1780. A partisan of French methods, Moratin published in 1762 his Desengano al tealro espanol, a severe criticism of the national drama, particularly of the auto sacramental; and his protests were partly responsible for the prohibition of autos three years afterwards (June 1765). In 1762 he also published a play entitled La Petimelra. Neither the Petimetra nor the Lucrecia (1763), an original tragedy still more strictly in accordance with French conventions, was represented on the stage, and two subsequent tragedies, Hormesinda (1770) and Guzmdn el Bueno (1777), were played with no great success. In 1764 Moratin published a collection of pieces, chiefly lyrical, under the title of El Poeta, and in 1765 a short didactic poem on the chase (Diana 6 arte de la caza). His " epic canto " on the destruction of his ships by Cortes (Las Naves de Cortes destruidas) failed to win a prize offered by the Academy in 1777, and was published posthumously (1785). But a better idea of Moratin's talent is afforded by his anacreontic verses and by his Carta histdrica sobre el origen y progresos de las fiestas de twos en Espana.
His works are included in the Biblioteca de autores espanoles, vol. ii.