In 1792 he was prosecuted for publishing an edition of the Lettres de Mirabeau et Sophie, but was acquitted.
On the 7th of July he took his seat in the Assembly, and on the 2nd of October both he and Mirabeau were declared by the Assembly entirely free of any complicity in the events of October.
He presented a famous report in the Constituent Assembly on the organization of the army, but is better known by his eloquent speech on the 28th of February 1791, at the Jacobin Club, against Mirabeau, whose relations with the court were beginning to be suspected, and who was a personal enemy of Lameth.
For instance, Mirabeau wrote thus to Sir Samuel Romilly: " I have never been able to read the work of Mr Gibbon without being astounded that it should ever have been written in English; or without being tempted to turn to the author and say, ` You an Englishman ?
HONORE GABRIEL RIQUETI MIRABEAU, COMTE DE (1749-1791), French statesman, was born at Bignon, near Nemours, on the 9th of March 1749.
The family of Riquet, or Riqueti, originally of the little town of Digne, won wealth as merchants at Marseilles, and in 1570 Jean Riqueti bought the château and seigniory of Mirabeau, which had belonged to the great Provencal family of Barras.
On retiring from the service he married Francoise de Castellane, and left at his death, in 1737, three sons - Victor marquis de Mirabeau, Jean Antoine, bailli de Mirabeau, and Comte Louis Alexandre de Mirabeau.
The great Mirabeau was the eldest surviving son of the marquess.
The love affairs of Mirabeau form a well-known history, owing to the celebrity of the letters to Sophie.
As to the marquess, his use of lettres de cachet is perfectly defensible on the theory of lettres de cachet, and Mirabeau, if any son, surely deserved such correction.
Mirabeau did not develop his great qualities of mind and character until his youthful excesses were over, and it was not till 1781 that these began to appear.
The affair ended by his escaping to Switzerland, where Sophie joined him; they then went to Holland, where he lived by hackwork for the booksellers; meanwhile Mirabeau had been condemned to death at Pontarlier for rapt et vol, and in May 1777 he was seized by the French police, and imprisoned by a lettre de cachet in the castle of Vincennes.
It shows, though in rather a diffuse and declamatory form, that application of wide historical knowledge, keen philosophical perception, and genuine eloquence to a practical purpose which was the great characteristic of Mirabeau, both as a political thinker and as a statesman.
Mirabeau first set to work to get the sentence of death still hanging over him reversed, and by his eloquence not only succeeded in this but got M.
The latter became particularly attached to him, and really understood his character; and it is strange that his remarks upon Mirabeau in the fragment of autobiography which he left, and Mirabeau's letters to him, should have been neglected by French writers.
Romilly was introduced to Mirabeau by Sir Francis D'Ivernois (1757-1842), and readily undertook to translate into English the Considerations sur l'ordre de Cincinnatus, which Mirabeau had written in 1785.
This luminous judgment, it must be noted, was written by a man of acknowledged purity of life, who admired Mirabeau in early life not when he was a statesman, but when he was only a struggling literary man.
The Considerations sur l'ordre de Cincinnatus which Romilly translated was the only important work Mirabeau wrote in the year 1785, and it is a good specimen of his method.
One of the functions of this official was to subsidize political pamphleteers, and Mirabeau had hoped to be so employed, but he ruined his chances by a series of writings on financial questions.
The letters just mentioned show clearly what Mirabeau did and what he saw, and equally clearly how unfit he was to be a diplomatist.
His failure to control the theorizers showed Mirabeau, after the removal of the king and the Assembly to Paris, that his eloquence would not enable him to guide the Assembly by himself, and that he must therefore try to get some support.
He also attempted to form an alliance with Lafayette, but the general was as vain and as obstinate as Mirabeau himself, and had his own theories about a new French constitution.
Mirabeau tried for a time, too, to act with Necker, and obtained the sanction of the Assembly to Necker's financial scheme, not because it was good, but because, as he said, "no other plan was before them, and something must be done."
His acquaintance with Mirabeau, begun in 1788, ripened during the following year into a friendship, which La 11/Iarck hoped to turn to the advantage of the court.
After the events of the 5th and 6th of October he consulted Mirabeau as to what measures the king ought to take, and Mirabeau, delighted at the opportunity, drew up an admirable state paper, which was presented to the king by Monsieur, afterwards Louis XVIII.
It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery "to ascertain what degree of resolution was necessary in order to place one's self in formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society."