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Marck's departure from Paris, and, therefore, a day prior to this letter of Montmorin.
The Assembly, yielding to the wishes of the Commune de Paris, had decided that a project of law on the emigrants should be prepared by the Committee on the constitution. Chapelier, in presenting the report of the Committee, stated that the project of a law had, after serious discussion, been prepared, but that the Committee felt great hesitation in submitting it, as it violated the constitution. Mirabeau, in one of his most brilliant speeches, opposed the passing any law on the subject of emigration, which was not only unconstitutional, but in its very essence tyrannical, and concluded his first speech, for he spoke more than once on the occasion, by these words, . If you pass a law against
emigrants, I swear never to obey it.' The debate was throughout violent and tumultuous, and it was in one of the most violent explosions of opposition that he exclaimed, “Silence aux • trente voix,' and looked defiance at the bench where the Lameths, Duport, and others were seated with a small fraction of the Assembly. His personal success was great, but he did not carry his motion, and the question, on the proposition of Vernier, was adjourned, it being understood that the subject should be referred to the committees separately, and that a joint report should be prepared by commissaries selected by the committees.
The Lameths, reduced to silence in the Assembly, renewed the attack upon Mirabeau at the Jacobin Club; here again he boldly met them, and was equally successful, although his opponents were, it might be said, on their own ground, 29 Mirabeau had latterly seldom attended the sittings of the Club; and his conduct in the Assembly could not have been satisfactory to the majority of its members. He concluded his defence by the words, 'I will belong to you even till ostracism.'
These two occurrences thus brought together give us a measure of the wonderful influence which Mirabeau exercised over popular assemblies, even when those assemblies were in paroxysms of excitement, which would seem to make eloquence unavailing and reasoning impossible. It is singular that Montmorin should have supposed that Mirabeau had failed in defending himself against the attack made upon him at the Jacobin Club; he was equally mistaken as to the result of the debate on the project of the law on emigrants, which he supposed had been adopted by the Assembly.
Mirabeau's letters to La Marck (pp. 78 and 82.) contain bitter complaints against Duquesnoy, Talon, and Semonville: the former had written a foolish letter to the Jacobin Club,
Mirabeau's Speech on Mines.
which had undone all the good that Mirabeau's speech had produced; and Talon and Semonville had allowed the newspapers to take a tone favourable to La Fayette, and hostile to Mirabeau. Beaumetz, Chapelier and D'André, all supposed to belong to the committee of twelve created by his plan, had been in communication with Danton, and had proposed the destruction of the dungeon of Vincennes to gain popularity, and hesitated to oppose the law on emigrants, from the fear of losing it. Danton, Mirabeau asserts, had received 30,000 francs. There was evidently no confidence or real concert among the agents employed to carry the different parts of Mirabeau's plan into execution; he himself trusted and respected no one with whom he was acting but La Marck; and, on the other hand, the persons of whom he complains winced under his dictation, had no real consideration for him, and may have entertained doubts of his honesty.
In p. 92. there is a note of Comte de La Marck's on the subject of the legislation on mines, in which he as a proprietor was deeply interested; the principles at issue were, whether the working of mines should be conceded to individuals, proprietors of the soil, or whether the mines should be considered the absolute property of the State. Mirabeau, from conviction, adopted the first; but his motive for devoting all his energy to obtain the application of the principle, maintaining the rights of proprietors, was his friendship for La Marck. The 27th of March was the day of the final discussion; he came to La Marck at nine o'clock in the morning, so ill and weak that he fainted. On recovering he persisted, notwithstanding La Marck's remonstrances, on going to the Assembly, where he made one of his ablest speeches, abounding in accurate details, sound principles, and conclusive argument. Mirabeau returned to La Marck's at three o'clock, and on entering the room he threw himself on a sofa, saying, Your cause is gained, but I am · dead.' La Marck helped him to his carriage, and accompanied him to his house, d'où il ne sortit plus que pour être conduit au tombeau.'
The last note from Mirabeau in the Correspondence (p. 105.), is dated the 24th of March, and relates to the Regency Question. He was much alarmed at the course taken by the Abbé Sieyès on the occasion: his expressions are — Be assured that • they wish to bring us back to the elections, that is to say, to
the destruction of the hereditary principle, and to that of the monarchy. The Abbé Sieyès has never so courted and jobbed
with the Assembly as now, and his partisans are numerous. • Be sure, my dear Comte, that I do not exaggerate the danger.
Oh! inconstant! and thrice inconstant people! Two thirds of our troops are, on this question, with the Abbé Sieyès — Vale et me ama.' · We think that the perusal of the Correspondence up to this point will bear out our observations at the commencement of this Article, that the beneficial influence which Mirabeau's peculiar qualities and energy might have exerted on the progress of the Revolution may be supposed, but cannot be said to have shown itself at the time of his death; for we believe that the democratic spirit had already taken too firm hold on the lower classes, to have been subdued by what we will call moral and intellectual agencies. The brutal passions of the populace in Paris, and in other large towns, had been excited, acts of murder and violation of property had been committed with impunity, the administration of justice had been interrupted and disor. ganised, insubordination prevailed in the army, the King and Queen had been personally insulted, and while traditional and unhesitating obedience had disappeared for ever, respect for the greatly limited authority of the sovereign had not succeeded. The National Assembly, itself intimidated, was powerless for repression, and the majority of the members must have felt, that although they might, in decrees, frame a Constitution for the monarchy, practical adhesion to it depended not upon the King or the Assembly, but upon the will of a misled and turbulent populace. Against such a combination of evils there was little hope that time would be left for the development of Mirabeau's plan, which, though comprehensive in its details and definite in its object, was too complex and refined for prompt and general efficacy. His death, therefore, was probably more opportune for his reputation than hurtful to the cause which he had espoused. It is easy for Brissot to declare, that Mirabeau, if he had lived, would have killed the Revolution. On the contrary, we quite agree with the excellent remarks in the • Memoirs of Mallet du Pan,' just published: •Mirabeau died ' à propos for his fame and for the poetic satisfaction of future
generations. A few more days would, perhaps, have only * served to give him time to descend into the obscure ranks of ' the martyrs of reason and moderation, and to die defeated. • By this time, possibly, he might be no more spoken of than ' the virtuous Bailly. The great Mirabeau might be nothing ' more to us than the brilliant orator of the Constituent As
sembly, and an illustrious victim of the ingratitude of revolu' tions. As to the conditions on which he allied himself with ' the Court, and whether his political conscience went along ' with him in the transaction? These questions have at length been settled, and justice done to this eminent man; who, in
Mirabeau's False Position.
this bargain, made his services be paid for, but did not sell his opinions.
Mirabeau, licentious, prodigal, and of doubtful probity in private life, appears in this Correspondence a consistent politician, notwithstanding the apparent inconsistency of attempting to serve two masters; who, though in truth their interests were the same, did not themselves think so. From the opening of the Etats Généraux to his death he had but one purpose in view—the establishment in France of a limited monarchy. He accepted money from the Court as a salary, not as a bribe, and his position really was that of a confidential adviser of the Crown, though not an ostensible minister.
His personal ambition was honourable in its end, and such as any modern statesman might have avowed, that of being first in the councils of a sovereign who claimed no greater authority than the Constitution gave, and the welfare of the nation required. Meantime, he was quite right in foreseeing that the publication of these papers was essential to the vindication of his memory with posterity. The revelation of the nature of his secret relations with the Court would have been fatal to his character, unless it had been accompanied with a knowledge equally complete of the use he sought to make of his popularity with the people and his influence with the King. Yet, after allowing Mirabeau the full benefit of the evidence as it stands, it is impossible to reconcile the false colours, which he wore, and his underhand receipt of money, with the character and conduct of a straightforward, highminded, independent man. Many others may have been equally compromised. But there can be no security for public integrity and private honour, and no confidence between man and man, where such exceptions are admitted.
The great interest of these papers ceases with the death of Mirabeau ; and even were it otherwise, as we have already exceeded our prescribed limits, we must here bring our examination of the Correspondence'to an end, and leave the third part of the work without any detailed notice; at the same time we must observe, that the remaining letters from Comte de La Marck, from Comte Montmorin, from Monsieur Pellenc, and from Comte Mercy d'Argenteau will amply repay the trouble of perusal.
We cannot conclude without pointing out the admirable manner in which Monsieur Bacourt has performed the duty of editor. The notes which he has appended to the original letters and narratives, are so useful and complete, that readers not familiar with the history of the particular period, are relieved from the necessity of reference to contemporary writers, for explanation.
ART. VI. - The Metamorphoses of Apuleius. Translated from
the Latin by Sir GEORGE HEAD. London: 1851. ON n inquiring lately at an old book-shop for an Apuleius, we
were told by the bookseller that since the appearance of this translation, he had disposed of many copies of the original, which had long been a dead weight on his shelves. Sir George Head has recalled his author to the attention of scholars, and may, with good reason, feel flattered by this success, even if disappointed in his expectation that readers will resort to the book for the light and amusing qualities of a romance. The Metamorphoses of Apuleius are not suited to modern taste, though they well deserve notice. Cervantes probably drew from them a hint for Don Quixote's adventure with the wineskins ; Boccaccio undoubtedly had read them; and the legend of Cupid and Psyche furnished subjects for the frescos with which Raphael adorned the walls of the villa at Rome, which is now called the Farnesina. The structure of the story is like that of Gil Blas. In both the adventures of the hero form the groundwork; but in both also, more than half the book consists of stories and incidents from their own lives, told by the different personages.
This resemblance is probably due to the fact, that Apuleius, like Le Sage, worked up into his book materials provided by preceding novelists.
There existed at that time a class of literary compositions, called Milesian Tales, the character of which we are at no loss to determine from incidental notices, though no specimens are now extant. Aristides of Miletus, an author whose date is not precisely known, first composed them, and to him they owe their designation. He was followed by other writers, whose names the curious may find preserved in the Bibliotheca Scriptorum Græcorum. The only circumstance worth our observing is, that this species of literature sprang up at the point of meeting between the Grecian and Eastern worlds. Owing partly to their adoption of Persian habits, and partly also to their political insignificance, the Greeks of Asia Minor turned their attention more and sooner than the Athenians to pursuits which minister to the refinement and elegance of life. We have a curious proof of this in the impression produced in Athens at an earlier period, by the accomplishments of the ladies of Ionia. Aspasia was a native of Miletus, and not only was her house the resort of the philosophers of the day, but according to Plato, she even gave lessons in rhetoric to Pericles and Socrates. We do not suppose he is to be taken to the letter, but the story