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a gentleman advanced in years, and who, as frequently happened, accomplished his burial before he consummated his marriage. This marriage did not prove happy in the end, nor do we see who but the philosophical husband is to blame for it. The lady was young, rich and noble, but not handsome; her virtue was beyond suspicion, however; and this not satisfying the Marquess, he quarrelled with her, after she had lived fifteen years in peace and comfort with him and borne him eleven children; took into his house Madame de Pailly, a fascinating young Swiss lady; lived with her openly; turned his wife out of doors; and was for fifteen years engaged in a course of litigation with her, and of cruel as well as treacherous processes against her, which made both wretched, both the subject of universal talk,-and both the objects of general blame, without profiting any human being, except Madame de Pailly, and his cunning old valet, and the lawyers, and the spiteful gossips of the Paris drawingrooms.
His chief and noble purpose in quitting the profession of arms was to lead a life of literary retirement, and to improve the condition of his rural dependents. Towards these his conduct was always perfect, sensible, just, kind; he was their real father, and they were the only children who uniformly found in him the virtues of the parental character. He first went to his chateau in Provence; but neither the distance from Paris, nor the state of the country there, suited his spirit or agreed with his taste. The reason he assigns for quitting the residence of his ancestors is abundantly characteristic of the aristocratic temperament which was his master through life, and the source of almost all his own errors and his family's misfortunes.
"On n'y pratiquait plus ce culte de respect attaché à des races antiques, dont la toute puissance est maintenant méconnue; on ne s'y prosternait plus devant les vieilles races et les gros dos de Malte; enfin la province, totalement conquise par l'écritoire, contenait plus d'animaux armés de plumes, que vingt-deux royaumes bien policés n'en devraient renfermer, espèce la plus vénimeuse et la plus épidémique pour un seigneur.'
Accordingly, he purchased the estate of Bignon, fifteen miles from Sens and Nemours, and soon after, an hotel in Paris. Then and there began the career of philosophy which he ran for half a century, and which only terminated with his life, about the beginning of the French Revolution, when he left the world with a reputation for virtue, greatly exaggerated, and for talents much below his due, at the age of seventy-five. No less than twenty-two works claim him for their author; but those which alone are now well known are L'Ami des Hommes; Theorie de l'Impôt ; Philosophie Rurale; and Education civile d'un Prince. Besides these
voluminous writings, he contributed a vast number of papers to the Journal d'Agriculture, and the Ephémérides du Citoyen, the former of which reached the bulk of thirty, and the latter of forty volumes.
It may easily be imagined how joyfully such a brother was received into the sect of the Economists, whose zealous supporter he proved, and indeed whose second chief he was acknowledged to be. To their spirit of party, or the more intense attachment which sectaries feel for each other, it is perhaps mainly owing that his faults were so lightly passed over, and his domestic prejudices shared so largely by the French public. As for any active virtues that he displayed, they are confined to his industrious propagation of the economical doctrines, and his humane enlightened government of his peasantry. He mingled, as was usual, among our neighbours, even for philosophical patricians, in the society of Paris; and, as was quite of course in the happy times of legitimate government, he was sent to prison by a Lettre de cachet, the offence being his work on taxation, which gave umbrage to the Fermiers Généraux, and cost him a short imprisonment in Vincennes fortress, and some weeks' banishment to his estate. The rest of his actions, which brought his name before the public, were his scandalous proceedings against the members of his family, and chiefly his wife and his eldest son.
The next personage in the group here unveiled to our view is, the Bailli de Mirabeau, the Marquess's brother. A more gallant, honest, amiable, and indeed sensible man, it would be hard to find in any circle or in any situation of life. Partaking of his brother's family pride, but never following him in suffering it to extinguish the better feelings of his nature; just to a degree of romantic scruple; simple, honest, and open as a child; brave to a fault, so as even to signalize himself in a country, an age, and a profession, where the highest valour was epidemical; kindly in his dispositions, so as to devote his whole time and resources to making others happy; domestic and affectionate in his habits, so as to live for his brother and his nephew, when his vow precluded his having progeny of his own; religious without intolerance; strictly chaste and pure himself, without austerity towards others; and withal a man of the most masculine understanding, the quickest, and even liveliest wit, the best literary taste-the Bailli presents to our admiration and esteem one of the most interesting characters that ever showed the very rare union of all that is most attractive with all that is most respectable. His love and respect for his brother, both for his eminent qualities, and as head of his house, is one of the strongest features in his character; but it is tempered with every feeling of tenderness towards those against whom the Marquess was most bitterly prejudiced; and it leads to constant efforts towards
disowning his brother's animosities. His proud independent spirit is shown in the treatment which all who would have encroached upon it were sure to meet at his hands, however exalted their rank or predominant their influence, and without the least thought of any remote effect which his high carriage might produce upon his most important interests. Of this we have an interesting trait in the answer he made to Madame de Pompadour, with whom a good understanding was held essential by the minister Nivernois, before he could place him at the head of the marine department, as he wished to do. He had succeeded to admiration in captivating the royal mistress at the first interview, by exhibiting the graces both of his person and his wit-when she chose to remark what a pity it was that the Mirabeaus were so wrong-headed, (que tous ces Mirabeau soient si mauvaises têtes.) 'Madame,' (was the answer at once so honourable to his spirit, so creditable to his wit, and so fatal to his views,) Madame, il est vrai que 'c'est le titre de légitimité dans cette maison. Mais les bonnes et 'froides têtes ont fait tant de sottises, et perdu tant d'états, qu'il ne 'serait peut-être pas fort imprudent d'essayer des mauvaises. Assurément, du moins, elles ne feraient pas pis.'
The sketch which the work gives of this excellent man is only too short and too meagre. The correspondence fills it up in great part; but we are left to desiderate much of his future fortunes which the letters nowhere disclose, and on which the narrative is silent. He was born in 1717, being about two years younger than his brother. In three years he was received into the Order of Malta, in which he lived and died; served from the age of twelve in the navy; was wounded and taken prisoner by the English; was made Capitaine de vaisseau at thirty-four, and governor of Guadaloupe the year after; retired to Europe for his health in 1755; and next year was seriously wounded at the siege of Port Mahon. During the rest of the war he had staff-appointments in the marine-department, and was in many dangerous engagements and bombardments. He then was recompensed for his wounds and his thirty years' service by the complete neglect of a profligate and ungrateful court, which drove him into retirement; and he went to Malta, where he remained devoted to the affairs of the Order till he obtained a Commanderie in 1766, which carried him into France, and he there devoted the rest of his honourable life to literary ease.
Of Madame du Saillant, married into the elder branch of the amiable and revered family of Lasteyrie we can say little. She
* Count Charles Lasteyrie is a younger brother of this house; he is known, respected, and beloved by all the friends of humanity.
was the eldest and most gifted of the Marquess's daughters. Her sister, Madame de Cabris, though less clever and accomplished, would in any other family have passed for a wonder; but her life and habits were profligate, and we are introduced to the acquaintance of a certain Brianson, her lover, a person of coarse manners, vulgar cunning, and dishonourable habits, whom nevertheless the Marquess thought fit to employ, partly as a spy and partly as a thief-catcher, to entrap or to seize his son. There is no part of the memoirs more painful, we might almost say disgusting, than that in which this low creature plays his part.
Of Madame de Pailly we have said but little, and little more than we have said of her appears in all this collection. It is a subject which the judicious editor cautiously avoids; and he gives in a few pages the only traces of her existence, by name, which he has found in a mass of four thousand letters, almost entirely written by the two brothers, the Marquess and the Bailli. We say by name, for her mischief-making hand is perpetually seen in all the history of the family; but the exquisite delicacy of the Bailli, and his prodigious respect and tenderness for his brother, made him shun all mention of her, and all allusion to her, except on one occasion, when he perceived her influence hard at work to produce a new quarrel between the father and the son, as soon as they had been restored to each other's society after a separation of ten years, and immediately after they had seized the opportunity of her absence from the chateau to become somewhat cordial together. Then it is that the good Bailli indites some letters full of sense, and no less honourable to his heart than to his head. We give an extract or two :
Trop de gens se mêlent de tes affaires : tu me comprendras si tu veux; que tout ce qui te paraît obscur soit éclairci par toi-même, et point d'yeux étrangers, surtout des yeux féminins; plus ces yeux-là ont d'esprit et sont aimables, plus il faut s'en métier, comme de ceux d'une belle Circé, derrière laquelle l'esprit de domination et de jalousie s'établit et s'insinue, de manière que les plus grands hommes en sont les dupes. Tu me dis, pour t'obstiner à m'envoyer ton fils et à me le laisser, le supposant rejoint à la Cigale ayant chanté tout l'été, que près de toi sainte Jalouserie, comme disait notre mère, se logerait entre le deux bellessœurs, si celle d'Aix était chez toi; tu cites pour cela le passé. Tu te méprends à ce qui fut dit alors, et tu adaptes les paroles à l'objet qu'elles n'avaient pas, et point à celui qu'il était tout simple qu'elles eussent; car quelqu'un ne voulait pas qu'il y eût de coiffes dans la maison, mon chapeau même y déplaisait. Les femmes ne savent qu'intriguer, surtout les femmes d'esprit, sorte d'animal le plus dangereux de tous; celle en qui tu as une trop forte confiance, est comme les autres, veut être la maitresse tout ce qui peut faire obstacle à cet empire, ou le partager,
VOL. LXI. NO. CXXIII.
lui est désagréable, et en est haï cordialement. Règle générale et sans exception, toute femme, dans sa position, veut gouverner absolument, et elle comme les autres; je ne saurais me rappeler mille petits traits, même vis-à-vis de moi qui, comme tu crois bien, ne m'en souciais guère; mais ce qui à moi, homme tout-à-fait libre et indépendant, ne me faisait rien, choque beaucoup les enfans; elle n'a jamais aimé aucun des tiens; bien est-il vrai que, sauf Saillanette, tout le reste ne paraissait pas trèsaimable; mais Caroline elle-même, notre douce et paisible Caroline, la femme la plus émoliente qui fut jamais, Caroline, qui n'a des yeux que pour son père, son mari et ses enfans, et qui t'est si fort attachée, tu te tromperais fort si tu croyais que l'autre l'aimât; compte que, sans me mêler trop dans les choses, je vois à peu près tout, et je laisse aller, parce que je sais qu'on ne peut pas empêcher la rivière de couler.'
One of the Marquess's follows, and a pretty cleverly written one it is:
J'ai toujours vu, ou à peu près, les défauts des gens que j'aime. Je ne vois même bien que ceux-là; mais faute d'archanges, il faut aimer des créatures imparfaites. Il ne faut pas même avoir vécu la moitié de mon âge, pour s'être persuadé de cela, sans quoi l'on se prendrait bien en aversion soi-même. Tu as grande raison de dire que les mouches incommodent plus que les éléphans; et, quand nous voulons voir une mouche par le venin, nous en faisons un éléphant de notre faciende. Je t'assure, par exemple, que la personne dont nous parlions, et sur qui tu décoches des sarcasmes tranchans et affilés par la queue, comme disait Montagne, m'a dit, plus de cinq cents fois peut-être, dans la longue suite de mes secousses, où il s'est trouvé bien des mécomptes et des faussaires; bien d'honnêtes gens s'intéressent véritablement à vous; le public même s'indignerait de vos malheurs, si vous ne les portiez vous-même; mais vous n'avez vraiment que deux cœurs à vous, le bon Bailli et moi.
The Bailli's answer is also admirable:.
Le bon bailli! le bon bailli! eh! par saint Polycarpe, monsieur le marquis et mon très-cher frère ainé, avec qui diable veux-tu que mon excellence rabâche, si ce n'est avec toi? Le bon bailli! La personne qui a dit ce mot a fait acte de fausseté; le bon Bailli le sait, et le voit depuis long-temps sans le dire; il s'est bien, dès 1750, aperçu que cette personne ne l'aimait pas, et tu l'aurais bien vu, si elle avait cru possible de te détacher de moi; depuis, j'ai cent fois vu qu'on a voué aux deux frères la haine la plus implacable; j'en ai bien ma part; Saillanette et du Saillant aussi Va, crois-moi, une étrangère qui s'introduit dans une maison y fait naître la discorde et fait mettre en mouvement toutes les passions qui suivent la discorde. Du reste, n'en parlons plus.'
In the letter which follows we have, as the Bailli justly remarks, a lamentable, but decisive, proof of the empire which this intriguing and abandoned woman held over the Marquess, now a lover of sixty-seven years of age. In order to convince his brother that this Swiss woman was not so bad as he imagined towards his