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He had fallen into the hands of the Marquis de Caseaux-a man whose brain seemed to be made of wool-a most tedious, mystical, and unintelligible personage-but, who contrived, nevertheless, to fascinate, and, what was worse, to indoctrinate Mirabeau. He said not a syllable to Dumont and the others, of his new Apocalyptic Mentor; but only told them that he had thoroughly prepared himself. His appearance in the Tribune was like life from the dead to his auditory, who were nearly destroyed by a long succession of most execrable speeches. But who shall describe his condition, when he began to give utterance to the composition before him? He had scarcely, be it observed, cast a glance over the material which his familiar had provided for himso that, to his utter dismay, he suddenly found himself in a laby, rinth of involved reasoning, long periods, embarrassed constructions, all rendered more perplexing by a collection of the oddest words imaginable; and, this, too, without the power of extricating himself; for in the plenitude of his reliance upon his provider, he had omitted to prepare himself by meditation or research. Dumont was present, and detected the hand of the Marquis, before Mirabeau had uttered three sentences. Of the rest of the audience, the more intelligent contrived to find out that he was for the Veto; which alone was sufficient to raise loud murmurs against him. All could feel that he was doling out the most intolerable fustian, and this made the tumult nearly incontrolable. In vain did he endeavour to burst from his trammels, and be himself. In vain did he sally out into all sorts of digressions, and let off a multitude of brilliant and crackling common-places against despotism. He was compelled to come down again into the wilderness of his manuscript; and this was always a signal for the renewal of the uproar. In spite of his courage and selfpossession, which, on such occasions, never wholly deserted him, he was scarcely able to finish his discourse; and when he came down, he confessed that, as he advanced with his reading in the tribune, he felt himself covered all over with a cold sweat, and that he should certainly have thrown his manuscript away, but that he had unfortunately left himself so "heinously unprovided" with other matter, that he could not venture to do without it! But neither good nor evil ever come unmixed. He lost the good will of those who could understand him, by supporting the Absolute Veto; and, by them his obscurity was supposed to be de signed, with a view to secure himself a safe retreat into the opposite opinion, should he find it expedient to change: but, fortunately, he was quite unintelligible in the galleries: and so, they very indulgently took it for granted that he must be one of the most inflexible antagonists of the obnoxious prerogative.-And


this was the way in which great constitutional questions were disposed of in this august assembly!-As for the veto,-the people were in a state of frantic terror about it. They knew as much of what it meant, as the Irish peasantry ever knew of what is meant by emancipation. Their ignorance invested it with unspeakable horrors. They seemed to think it was a monster ready to devour every thing. They once surrounded Mirabeau's carriage, with loud supplications that he would deliver them from the veto: and such was their importunity that he was compelled to dismiss them with " a somewhat patrician politeness." However, he finally, left the veto to its own fate. He voted neither for or against it. He, once more, kept out of the way; and thus, a second time, escaped appearing on the list of traitors; and he affected to mask this cowardice under the disguise of contempt for the assembly!

It has been a matter of dispute whether, or not, Mirabeau was implicated in the atrocious events of the 5th and 6th of October; and Dumont is unable to clear up the doubt. All he can say is, that, if Mirabeau had any connection with the Duke of Orleans (to whom this insurrection has been imputed) -he never entrusted Dumont with the secret. He certainly was, at this time, a good deal with two very suspicious characters, both of whom were supposed to be agents of the Duke, The one was Camille Desmolins the Procureur General de la Lanterne who afterwards affirmed that Dumont was an emissary of Pitt, and placed about Mirabeau to lead him astray. The other was La Clos, of whom Mirabeau himself said that in point of morals no blame ought to be imputed to the man, for that he really had lost all taste for morality, and was no longer sensible of the difference between good and evil! Another suspicious circumstance was, that Mirabeau had cooked up a volume against Royalty, out of the writings of Milton, in whose works, it is true, might easily be found some of the very best ingredients for a drastic compound of Republicanism. This work accidentally fell into the hands of Dumont, who burned the whole impression, and thus, perhaps, saved his friend either from destruction or from public infamy. What was the Count's object in this compilation, Dumont is unable to conjecture, with any approach to certainty. He conceives it possible, however, that he might choose to have such a battery, in readiness to open on any great and eritical occasion-such, for instance, as the flight of the King: in which case he might discharge his grape-shot at the rear of fugitive royalty propose the Duke of Orleans for Lieutenant General of the kingdom and become his prime minister. But all this is merely surmise; and Dumont intimates that Lafayette is one of the very few persons now living who are completely in possession of

the secret of these occurrences. Indeed the whole conduct of the orator at this time is sufficiently inexplicable: or explicable only on the supposition that he was on the watch for some occasion that might minister to the honour and glory of Count Mirabeau: in a word, that he resembled the sea-gull that rides undisturbed on the boiling ocean,

"And trims his feathers, and looks round for sprats!"

Most assuredly, there was no principle of high-hinded and disinterested generosity at the bottom of his proceedings: for, in the stormy session of the assembly which followed the fête given to the military at Versailles, Mirabeau threw himself into the midst of the tumult, and thundered out, that he was prepared to denounce by name the principal actors in those sacrilegious orgies, provided that a decree should first be passed, that the person of the King alone was sacred and inviolable. This single sentence appeared to point directly at the Queen. It made the côté droite tremble: nay, the very democrats themselves turned pale at it, fearing that it might hurry them into violent and perilous extremities.

On one great occasion, indeed, he gave his full support to the ministry, and this very occasion it was that elevated him to the summit of his renown, and established him as the greatest orator, or rather as the only orator, in France. Necker was at this time almost at his wits' end. To use the language of M. Dumont, he had to keep a vast and complicated machine in motion, with a mere thread of water, which was, every moment, on the point of drying up. He was, therefore, compelled to resort to a loan, as the only expedient to save the wheels of government from stoppage: and Mirabeau engaged to be the advocate of this project. The political botchers were for modifying the plan, in order to save the honour of the Assembly, whose dignity, they said, would be compromised by the unqualified adoption of any ministerial measure. No one knew better than Mirabeau that this august body was always sure to spoil and mangle every thing on which it laid its hand. He, therefore, put forth all his powers, to persuade the Assembly to receive the project, just as it was, without one tittle of alteration. Nothing could be more splendid and magnificent than his success. He told them to their face, that the failure of the former loan was solely their work: that they had so mutilated and disfigured the plan as to render its success impossible. He described to them the national revenue as on the very point of exhaustion, and the public credit as tottering to its ruin. He then painted to them the endless calamities which must rush in through the breach of the public faith, and showed

them the gulph of bankruptcy yawning before their feet. The picture he presented to them was executed with amazing power and sublimity. It was, indeed, as Dumont observes, what might be called one of the common places of eloquence: but it was a common place, which, in his hands, expanded itself into all the grandeur of the most original conception, as it might have done in those of Cicero or Bossuet. The audience fancied they saw the frightful abyss before them; and heard the groans of the victims it was devouring.

"The triumph," says Dumont," was as complete as it was possible for it to be. Not a syllable-not a breath-was heard in reply. The Assembly was subjugated by that irresistible power which seizes on a multitude as if it were one man; and the ministerial project was received, untouched and unchanged, with the most entire confidence. From that moment Mirabeau stood alone; he had no rival; others were good speakers, he only was eloquent; and the effect was the more overpowering, because this speech was a sudden reply: it could not possibly have been prepared, it was the produce of the moment, and it proved that he was in possession of resources incomparably superior to any thing which had ever been supplied to him by his confidential auxiliaries..

A specimen of this celebrated burst of oratory is given us in a We will endeavour to convey some faint notion of it to the English reader.


"Our respect for the public faith, our horror for that word of infamy, a bankrupt nation-is already guaranteed by solemn pledges and declarations. If it were not so, I then would drag to light, without shrinking, those secret motives, (motives alas! concealed, perhaps, even from ourselves,) which now are tempting us madly to recoil from a great act of self-devotion-an act which, however, must be wholly worthless, unless it be executed without hesitation or reserve. There may be men among us, who are seduced by the fear of sacrifices, and the terror of imposts, into familiarity with the notion of a breach of the public engagements. To such men I would say,-what, then, is national bankruptcy itself? Is it not, of all imposts the most inhuman, the most iniquitous, the most disastrous? Listen, my friends, I implore you, to one word-one single word. Two ages of robbery and pillage have dug out the gulph, in which the realm of France is now on the point of being swallowed. It is ours to fill up this frightful abyss. Well then-look upon this list of the proprietors of France. Fix upon the most opulent of their number, and thus, mercifully reduce the multitude of sacrifices. Only make your choice: for surely, it needs must be, that some should suffer rather than the people should perish. Behold -here are two thousand of our Notables: the possessions of these men are, alone, sufficient to fill the chasm which is yawning before your feet. Why, then, a moment's hesitation? Seize, this instant, on your victims;


smite them down without mercy, and plunge them into the abyss. It is done and the gulph is about to close its jaws again. What! do ye start back with horror? Irresolute and faint-hearted men! do ye recoil and shudder at this needful and righteous immolation?"

This, it must be confessed, is a strain of awful and tremendous irony. Whether it would exactly do for the British parliament may, perhaps, be questioned. But we can imagine nothing better adapted to agitate and to command a Parisian Assembly.

It happened that Molè, the first actor of the théâtre François, was present at the delivery of this speech. He was deeply struck with the astonishing force of Mirabeau-with the sublimity of his voice with his power of dramatic painting: and it occurred to him that the man who could make that speech, was even worthy to be the greatest of actors! He accordingly said to Mirabeau, in a pathetic accent," Oh, Monsieur le Comte, what an incomparable discourse; and how admirable the tone in which it was pronounced. O heaven! how false have you been to your true vocation!" The man himself could not help smiling at the turn of this encomium. But Mirabeau was not only satisfied with it-he was highly flattered. And what more intoxicating compliment could be paid by an idolater of his profession?

A few days after this, it was resolved that there should be an address from the Assembly to the French people, in order to forward the measures of the ministry; and the mighty orator was employed to draw it up. As usual, he turned the matter overnot to the Marquis of Caseaux-but to the faithful and indefatigable Dumont, who completed it in three days. It was extremely well received; but its effect, he says, was very similar to that of a sermon,-it was applauded, and forgotten.

The next measure in which the Count ranged himself on the side of the crown, was the proposal for proclaiming Martial Law. The popular license was then becoming intolerable. A handful of mutineers was sufficient to make the governor of a citadel tremble. Every act of personal defence was a capital crime; and the clamours of the populace were much more formidable than the battery of an enemy. Mirabeau had long said that this dictatorship of the rabble ought to be sternly put down; and Dumont thinks that he was the very first to propose martial law. The suggestion, of course, was vehemently opposed. But it is a very remarkable, and almost an unaccountable thing, that his resistance to plebeian insolence on this occasion did not lose him a single shade of his popularity. It is scarcely possible to conceive a more signal proof of the ascendency, which his great powers had established for him over the public mind. It is á curious circumstance, that two of our own countrymen were ap

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