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warm zeal for truth, a conscientious and sober structed by the Mirabeaus and their pedigreespirit which shrink from one-sided statements makers in the seventeenth century. The very and hasty conclusions. It is impossible in read- name of Riquetti is comparatively modern. As ing the book not to feel a confidence in and re- late as the year 1570, when they bought the castle 'gard for the writer. When he delivers a judg- and estate of Mirabeau, they figure in official ment, we may feel satisfied that he has good documents as Riquet, a name of vulgar prevareasons to support it, and the calm and mea- lence in Provence, and a familiar diminutive of sured tone in which his opinions are expressed Henry. The question is unimportant enough. renders them all the more acceptable to thought- Such a remarkable family as the Mirabeaus can ful readers. But it would be a mistake to sup- easily dispense with the adventitious ornament of pose that this wise moderation is purchased at exalted lineage, even if it were genuine, as in this any cost of animation and directness of remark. case it is not. But M. de Loménie was quite M. de Loménie is far removed from viewiness. justified in devoting so much time and trouble His chaste and well-bred style is such as one to the destruction of a baseless legend, which might expect (though one does not always get it) has given occasion to much weak moralizing on from a member of the French Academy. The the ancestry of great men. book is a credit to the author and his country; In these volumes we have portraits more or and its exceptional merit increases the regret that less complete of six persons, either Mirabeaus or its assured fame will never gladden the heart of connected with the Mirabeaus by marriage, four the sincere student who toiled over it so long. men and two women: (1) Jean Antoine, the
The two volumes now published are only a famous col d'argent, his three sons; (2) the Marportion of the work planned by M. de Loménie. quis of Mirabeau, the Friend of Man; (3) the We are promised two more volumes, which will Bailli ; (4) Louis Alexandre; (5) Françoise de be devoted exclusively to the life of Gabriel Ho- Castellane, the mother of the Marquis; (6) Manoré Mirabeau, the famous orator and leader of rie-Geneviève de Vassan, mother of the Orator, the popular party at the commencement of the all in their way noteworthy people, and two at Revolution. The volumes now before us deal least of striking originality. In the ample matewith his ancestors and family generally—with the rials at his command (he had the whole of the “Riquetti kindred,” about whom Mr. Carlyle dis- rich collection of Mirabeau papers in the possescoursed with such humoristic force and gusto sion of the late M. Lucas de Montigny confided more than forty years ago. Mr. Carlyle's striking to him), M. de Loménie has found abundant article was avowedly founded on the “Memoirs” means to give us a gallery of full-length portraits published by M. Lucas de Montigny, the well- evidently lifelike and veracious. In such degree known “fils adoptif." One of the objects of and form as our space allows, we shall attempt M. de Loménie's book is to supplement and cor- to reproduce an outline of some of these family rect the numerous deficiencies and even inaccu- pictures. racies of those “ Memoirs," into which the filial It seems to be generally assumed that the inzeal of their author had perhaps excusably led terest attaching to the Mirabeau family is derived him. For instance, the high antiquity and nobility from the famous tribune, who terminated his of the Mirabeau family, on which so much stress short and rather scandalous career in a dazzling has been laid, turn out to be an illusion assisted blaze of glory and public lamentation in 1791. by no little fabrication. The great demagogue In him the “wild blood” of the Riquettis is supof the Revolution was not only proud of his posed to have culminated in a final explosion of pedigree, but careless of truth when he spoke of originality and genius. He is emphatically the its purity and distinction : “There has never Mirabeau. His ancestors collateral and direct been but one mésalliance in our family, and that are only interesting as they lead up to him. Unwas with the Medicis.” This stalwart piece of less I am much mistaken, this current opinion boasting the orator ascribes to his father ; but will be considerably reversed by these volumes. there is reason to suppose it is all his own. The The world is doubtless already prepared to confact really is, that the Mirabeaus emerge visibly cede a high place to the old Marquis, the “crabin history for the first time with any clearness bed Friend of Man,” whose“ nodosity "and “unonly toward the end of the sixteenth century, and wedgeableness” have been sung by Mr. Carlyle then not as ancient nobles but as merchants of in characteristic fashion. But his brother the Marseilles. The pretended Italian extraction also Bailli, and his father Jean Antoine, are even more of the Riquettis, originally Arrighetti of Flor- striking and fascinating figures, with a fund of ence, cast out of it in some Guelph-Ghibelline modified force and self-contained nobility of naquarrel such as were common then and there in ture, to which the more popular and famous the year 1267" (Carlyle), is now as good as members of the family can lay no pretension. proved to be a not very creditable myth, con- M. de Loménie is clearly right in claiming for the
Bailli the preëminence over all his kindred, as of saving the large sum of a hundred thousand
the finest moral product that ever came out of crowns which his brother-in-law had invested for that impetuous race.” A finer nature than that him without his authority in Mississippi stock. of the Bailli, lofty, disinterested, strong, and sim- He would not part with his now valueless couple, yet full of native flavor, would not easily pons. “Somebody at last,” he said, " will have be found in biography; a really good man who to pay in hard cash, and I should be the original only lacked opportunity to be a great one, as we cause of his loss." He was getting old, he had shall show presently. But his and the Marquis's a rising family, and it was all his savings which father, Jean Antoine, is hardly inferior, though in thus disappeared. M. de Loménie is disposed to a somewhat different order of gifts. Mr. Car- doubt, as it seems to us with good reason, the lyle with his quick eye for character has already rude and ungracious speech he is said to have marked him : “ Haughtier, juster, more choleric made to Louis XIV. when introduced by the Duc man need not be sought for.” He has hitherto de Vendôme with words of strong eulogy on his been known by a life of him, supposed to be services. “Yes, Sire,” replied Mirabeau, accordwritten by his famous grandson, the orator, which ing to the story, " and, if, leaving active service, M. de Loménie now discovers to be a diluted and I had come up to court and bribed some catin, I emasculated transcript of a much fuller and rich- might have had my promotion and fewer wounds er original by his son the Marquis. Those who to-day.” “I ought to have known you better," prefer the picturesque and nervous prose of the said Vendôme afterward. For the future I will elder Mirabeau to the smooth and clear but com- present you to the enemy, and never to the King." paratively tame style of his son will regret that M. de Loménie questions this anecdote on the M. de Loménie has not seen fit to publish this ground that the Marquis says that his father alinteresting piece in extenso,
ways had a great veneration for Louis XIV., and As regards the subject of the memoir, the that such a speech does not seem compatible famous Silverstock himself, it is difficult to feel even with common respect, which is very true. that he is quite an historical character. There But we think that a stronger argument against is a suspicious flavor of legend in the accounts its authenticity may be found in the fact that the we have of him. He is killed, or as good as reign of catins at Versailles had long been over killed, at the battle of Cassano; he receives when Silverstock Mirabeau was presented there twenty-seven wounds in one hour; he has his covered with wounds. It was over even before jugular vein cut in two, and yet he gets quite he entered the army in 1684. Under the semiwell again. He treats everybody, from the King monastic rule of the austere Maintenon and the downward, with a rough independence of speech converted Louis, such expressions would not only which, under Louis XIV., is a moral phenome- have been insolent, but absurdly out of place. non nearly as marvelous as his surviving mortal There is less reason to doubt the characteristic wounds is a physical one. It now appears that story of his behavior to one of Louvois's armyhis biographer, the Marquis, knew little of his inspectors, who insisted on reporting him absent father personally, that he left home as a child, from a review, when he was only a little late on and only returned to it twice on short visits; and the ground. The major of the regiment urged that his narrative was chiefly founded on the re- extenuating circumstances for his junior, but the ports and anecdotes current in the army and the inspector was inflexible.“ Monsieur,” said Miraprovincial society in which his father had moved. beau, “ I am then truly absent in your opinion?” Still there is such dramatic propriety about the · Yes, monsieur.” “In that case, this no doubt character, though odd and eccentric it is so con- passes in my absence"; and immediately rains a ceivable and lifelike, that we can not doubt that shower of cuts with his riding-whip on the inthere was a large basis of fact on which the nar- spector, leaving him in some difficulty of reconrative rested. It is a pity that we have not more ciling fact and theory. authentic records of such a fearless, upright, no- M. de Loménie quotes several details from the ble-hearted man, who in many ways presents a Marquis's account of his father, which are omitfiner type of character than any of the Mira- ted in the weaker version made by his son the beaus, his son the Bailli alone excepted. All his orator. This rather touching narrative of the high-handed ways and choleric speeches, for in- last days of the old soldier is omitted by his stance, appear of little moment compared to his grandson : magnanimous conduct on the collapse of Law's
My furlough (says the Marquis] was on the point Mississippi Scheme.
An ordonnance of mon- of expiring, and, though I could have obtained furstrous iniquity had been issued, making the worth- ther leave, he insisted on my departure, and I was less paper of the bankrupt scheme legal tender thus prevented from doing my duty by him up to the for the payment of debts. The brave Silverstock last. But I did not think he was nearly so ill as he sternly refused to avail himself of such a means He soon began to refuse nourishment, and re
plied always to all entreaties to that effect : “All my and warmest affections, free from greedy appelife long, when I have said No, it has meant no." tite of every kind, free of vanity, of ambition (a In other respects his latter end was passed in great little too free of the last), and regardless of everycalm and serenity, chatting and even laughing with thing but his duty and his own austere sense of his confessor, a devout and gentle priest, whom he rectitude. He was besides a most voluminous loved much.
writer, though he published nothing. M. de Referring to an early stage of his decline, the Loménie fills more than half a page with the
mere titles of the memoirs and observations Marquis says:
which he addressed to official persons on all A certain select company assembled pretty regu- kinds of subjects relating to public affairs, espelarly in his house to pass the evenings with him, and cially those which concerned his own branch of these parties were really a high school of honor, elo- them, the naval service. More characteristic still quence, dignity, and historical reminiscences. He is his private correspondence with his brother, was not gifted with the happy genius that excels in the Marquis, who shares with him the honor calling forth the qualities of others, which is as pre- that it reflects on both. cious as it is rare. His taste would have inclined to a noble and well-seasoned humor, but, as that sort of Among the four thousand letters they exchanged wit easily becomes bitter, an excess to which his (says M. de Loménie) there are hardly ten in which, family was prone, his principles kept him from it. in spite very often of the most urgent personal mat. For the rest, his health was latterly so precarious ters, we do not meet with long discussions of general that he could not trust himself in a facetious vein, questions fitted to interest superior minds. Every and he preferred discourse which was grave and no- moment the two correspondents drop their private ble, in which no grace of diction or warmth of elo- affairs, to enlarge on religion, politics, the governquence was wanting. Moreover, excepting his sight, ment, the finances, history, the problem of good and which was so diminished that he could scarce find evil, progress, liberty, aristocracy, democracy, the his way about, although no defect appeared in his state of society, the dangers which threaten it, the eyes, he lived up to the end complete in all his facul- reforms which might save it, the question whether it ties; his visage was not changed ; his apparel, which
can be saved, the future in store. Then dissertaon another would have seemed common, was sump- tions, often warm and eloquent, frequently fill ten or tuous on him. No man ever had a finer presence, twelve folio pages.—(Vol. i., p. 188.) or affected it less. He was so nice in the matter of M. de Loménie remarks, and his quotations cleanliness that, even in the country and alone on abundantly prove the assertion, that the Bailli coming in from a walk, he always changed his wig had, equally with his brother, the odd, pictubefore entering the apartment. Why attempt to paint a man, except with the object of giving a life- resque, yet powerful style which excited Mr. Car
lyle's admiration; but he thinks that the Bailli, like picture? The smallest traits are important in a fine subject.
who never wrote with a view to publication, has
the advantage-he is less stilted and pedantic. It is like passing from the twilight of legend In any case it must be confessed that we have to the broad daylight of historical fact, to turn here a very interesting and rare type of man, a from Mirabeau of the silver collar to the Bailli, man whose width of culture even a Goethe might his second son. From the abundant letters of envy. First, the hard training of a sea-life, then his which are still preserved (something like two the governorship of Guadaloupe, later the comthousand in number, out of which M. de Lomé- mand of the Coast Guard during the Seven nie makes copious extracts) it is possible to ob- Years' war; and through all this active career, a tain a direct glimpse of a truly human face, as literary taste which had familiarized him with the comely and tender as it is strong and honest. best French and Latin authors, and a speculative The Bailli had talents and knowledge, especially turn which leads him to discuss and shows him the great talent of ruling men and winning their to have had settled and well-grounded opinions love at the same time, and extraordinary knowl- on all sorts of topics—political, financial, historiedge, considering the hard and roving sea-life he cal—often not at all connected with his profesled during his best years. But his distinction sion. Here was a man leading a life similar to lies in the union of these masculine qualities with that of our Hawkes and Boscawens, and possia more than womanly sweetness and gentleness bly as a professional sea-king he was not their of nature, a lofty probity which seems never to equal, though even this is by no means certain, give a thought to self-interest, and a delicacy of as he was never intrusted with the command of moral sense quite admirable. M. de Loménie a great fleet in which he might have shown his compares him to Molière's Misanthrope, and says capacity as an admiral; but, for culture and huhe was an Alceste of real life, which seems to manity, they can not suffer a comparison with us to be hardly doing him justice. He was a him. A man of highest courtesy and noblest chivalrous, heroic, modest man, of sterling worth presence, a scholar and a gentleman in the full
est sense of the words, and a brave mariner of his profession in all seriousness, and is no wise the true sea-breed withal, the Bailli Mirabeau is inclined to mince matters with the English. He a fine specimen of the rich endowment of that detests them most cordially, and although he old French race which had done so much to mar, does not reciprocate the crudity of Nelson's but far more to make, our modern civilization. maxim, that one “should hate a Frenchman as
The Bailli's career as a sea-captain was labo- one does the devil," he quietly says, “I have rious, but not distinguished. The fault was none accustomed myself to regard the English as the of his. We know what interest was capable of enemies of the human race, and especially of in the old times in the way of bringing a man France." Yet he has a sort of grudging adforward, and of giving him a chance of showing miration for us in some respects, and especially his quality, even in the English navy. And the approves the constitution of our Admiralty, in English navy was justice itself compared to the which old sailors who knew their business diFrench, in all matters of promotion and readi- rected naval matters. He was for a short time ness to give " the tools to him who could handle prisoner in England, in 1747, but was not so them.” The brave Bailli never was intrusted much impressed as, with his aristocratic tastes, with more than with the command of sorry little might have been expected. The nobles, he frigates; poor peddling work, such as made Nel- thinks, are too much dependent on the common son stamp and rage in the early days of his career. people. Military virtue is not sufficiently esVery interesting is it to see him out of health and teemed, and money too much so, and he shrewdwithout a ship, promptly volunteering to take ly opines, as early as 1754, that the American part in the expedition against Minorca, or to post colonies will be lost to the mother-country in a off to Toulon, eager for service in any form, but few years, which was seeing a good twenty years only to be refused after all. By dint of impor- ahead. tunity, however, he succeeded at the last moment But it is during his government of Guadain getting a post as second in command, on loupe that the higher nature of the man comes board the Orpheus, a ship of sixty-four guns. It out in its full luster, his firmness, justice, and was one of the vessels most hotly engaged in the mercy, his tenderness for others, his severity to battle of Port Mahon, and a letter of the Bailli to himself, his almost Quixotic scorn for gain and his brother, the Marquis, is of especial interest to even legitimate self-interest. The vice and corus, not only as giving a good picture of a zealous ruption of colonial society, poisoned as it was by officer, but as showing that, in the candid opinion the deadly sin of negro slavery, offered an ample of a perfectly impartial and competent witness, but not a pleasant field for the display of the the unfortunate Admiral Byng was not quite up Bailli's austere virtue. Like all worthy to comto the mark of sea-valor, and that the indigna- mand, he receives the responsibility of ruling men tion against him in England was not wholly un- with inward anxiety and humble heart-searching. justified:
When he made his official entry into the island,
and a great crowd assembled to see and scruON BOARD THE ORPHEUS, May 21, 1756. We had yesterday, dear brother, an engagement
tinize the Governor, and escort him to the church, of two hours and a half duration, which would have where the Apostolic Prefect harangued him on lasted longer if it had pleased the English. Thanks his duties, he was dismayed. “My prayer to God to the Lord, I have come out of it safe and sound. was to preserve me from injustice, and to give I am the more thankful, inasmuch as during half an
me the firmness to repress it. I prayed fervently, hour there was a prodigious storm of grape and can- and hope I was heard." In another letter he ister. All the officers have escaped like myself, says: “I am becoming devout, which must seem but the men have suffered a good deal. The enemy to you an odd notion. But do not understand has suffered even more. They had the advantage of the word in its ordinary sense. I have no taste the wind, and it only lay with the English to make nor talent for mysticism more than usual, but I it much hotter for us, as our admiral gave them every feel I never prayed to God with fervor before. encouragement. Our vanguard, to which this ship I do so out of fear of doing harm, and that fear belongs, was the most engaged. But it may with is so strong that I hope sincerely to be preserved truth be said that the English have very feebly sup- from it.” ported before our men-of-war the pride and insolence they have shown before our merchantmen.
The first thing that strikes and shocks him On the whole it was an even game, and as they had is the frightful moral degradation of the white the wind they could have made the affair more seria population, arising from the influence of slavery.
I say even, as they had only one line-of-battle. Labor being held in contempt as a badge of ship more than ourselves.-(Vol. i., p. 225.)
servitude, the vilest white man thinks more of
himself than a peer of France. Idleness and The old salt comes out in full flavor in this debauchery fill up the time of the colonists. letter. The good Bailli, for all his culture, takes “To make sugar, to flog niggers, to beget bas
tards, and to get drunk—these are the occupa- all kinds of books, which he is always beseeching tions of the creoles.” Their depravity was such his brother to supply him with, and also to plan that it blinded them to their own interest, and a complete code of colonial law, illustrated with even French ships refused to come to the island notes of his own. He reckons that in six years' on account of the roguery and bad faith of the time, if health and sight endure, he will know inhabitants. Murder was of daily occurrence, more about the naval policy of France than any and a black man's life was valued no higher than one who has yet directed it. This was, howa dog's. Here was an opportunity for a supreme ever, looking a little too far ahead. For the ruler to show his mettle. And the Bailli seems good Bailli had crotchets which made a man to have laid about him with a zeal and sternness ill-fitted for official life in those days. One of which would rejoice Mr. Carlyle. “The rogues, his crotchets was not to suffer dishonesty in any and there are plenty here,” he says, “tremble, one if he could help it, not even in a superior. and honest folks rejoice; the poor know that As might be supposed, the rogues whom he had justice will be done them without distinction of made to tremble were not without friends in the persons. The door of their Governor, they say, world, and before long he began to receive hints is open to them at all hours, and all the colony from his brother that in influential circles at Veris aware that not one of my servants would dare sailles it was considered that he had “too much to prevent the least and poorest negro from com- zeal.” Too much zeal here being interpreted ing to me and telling his story.”
meant too great antipathy to rogues. It was It was an addition to the Governor's difficul- taken especially ill at headquarters that he ties that he was known to be poor, and that his showed no disposition to be on civil terms with salary was small. He consequently could keep a nameless official of high rank, to whom he was little or no state, and could not contribute to the partly subordinate, and who wished much to festivities of the place. But he would receive no enjoy his (the Bailli's) friendship. The latter presents, and refused not only all illicit gain, but replies that he strongly suspects the nameless such perquisites as were considered quite honor- official of being a rogue; he has yet no proof able. “No monk of La Trappe ever led a harder positive of misconduct, but, if he ever meets with life than I do. Dispensing justice from morning any, he declares he will unmask it. The Marto night, writing, signing, working-such is my quis, for all his “nodosity,” feels that one must existence.” He says he knows he will be con- not quarrel with one's bread-and-butter at this sidered a fool for his pains, and owns that that rate, and sends off an appealing letter to implore hurts his vanity a little, but reflection will help his brother to be a little more reasonable, a little him to bear it.
more politic. “I beseech you, dear brother, Slavery he emphatically condemns, not only grease your axles a little, or we shall certainly on the ground of humanity, about which of course be upset. In God's name don't be so fierce; there is no question, but as economically injuri- you will always have morgue enough not to be ous. Thirty-five thousand whites do not pro- a time-server.” This is quite enough, as M. de duce in fertile Guadaloupe what two thousand Loménie says, to kindle Alceste into a white heat would do without slavery. He adds, with pro- of scornful indignation. “Do I want to be told phetic regret, that he deplores the introduction that ministers can ruin a man whatever his merof negroes into Louisiana, and anticipates no it? I do not think so much of my abilities as good result from the measure. In fact, though they do, perhaps, and regard the loss of my forthe question of emancipation of the slaves never tune and promotion as the easiest thing in the seems to have occurred to him, he has all the world, and indifferent to the state; but luckily it sentiments of a throughgoing abolitionist, includ- is indifferent to me also, and I shall return to the ing the customary over-estimate of the qualities position of younger son in Provence without the of the negro. “I look upon those people as in slightest repining, rather than submit to anyevery respect like ourselves, excepting in color. thing which would cause me inward humiliaAnd I even doubt whether slavery does not tion.” And he was as good as his word; he make us worse than they are.” The justice of made a determined enemy of the peculator, as the last remark can not be denied. Legree is he afterward proved, and found advancement in many degrees inferior to Uncle Tom, but the the service barred by his influence. brain of the white man is superior to that of the “The frank true love of these two brothers negro nevertheless.
is the fairest feature in Mirabeaudom," says Mr. It might be supposed that the Bailli had Carlyle, and he had very imperfect materials on enough on his hands in restraining his white which to found this correct judgment, compared subjects from robbery and murder, and protect- with what we have now. Through fifty years ing the black population from too gross ill-treat- of most varied fortunes, through acute differences ment. But he manages to find time for reading of opinion, and family quarrels of the most vio