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 ?
- In close relation to the German progress in Mendelssohn's age, events had been progressing in France, where the Revolution did much to improve the Jewish condition, thanks largely to the influence of Mirabeau.
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.
In 1685 Honore Riqueti obtained the title of marquis de Mirabeau.
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.
Of this school, which had Lagrange for its professor of mathematics, we have an amusing account in the life of Gilbert Elliot, 1st earl of Minto, who with his brother Hugh, afterwards British minister at Berlin, there made the acquaintance of Mirabeau.
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.
With his release from Vincennes (August 1782) begins the second period of Mirabeau's life.
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.
About this time began his connexion with Mme de Nehra, the daughter of Zwier van Haren, a Dutch statesman and political writer, and a woman of a far higher type than Sophie, more educated, more refined, and more capable of appreciating Mirabeau's good points.
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.
He certainly failed to conciliate the new king Frederick William; and thus ended Mirabeau's one attempt at diplomacy.
But 1789 was at hand; the states-general was summoned; Mirabeau's period of probation was over.
From this time the record of Mirabeau's life forms the best history of the first two years of the Constituent Assembly, for at every important crisis his voice is to be heard, though his advice was not always followed.
In the first stage of the history of the statesgeneral Mirabeau's part was very great He was soon recognized as a leader, to the chagrin of Jean Joseph Mounier, because he always knew his own mind, and was prompt in emergencies.
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.
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."
Hitherto weight has been laid on the practical side of Mirabeau's political genius; his ideas with regard to the Revolution after the 5th and 6th of October must now be examined, and this can be done at length, thanks to the publication of Mirabeau's correspondence with the Comte de la Marck, a study of which is indispensable for any correct knowledge of the history of the Revolution between 1789 and 1791.
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.
The whole of this Memoire should be read to get an adequate idea of Mirabeau's genius for politics; here it must be summarized.
Such was Mirabeau's programme, from which he never diverged, but which was far too statesmanlike to be understood by the poor king, and far too positive regarding the altered condition of the monarchy to be palatable to the queen.
This scheme got noised abroad, and was ruined by a decree of the Assembly of the 7th of November 1789, that no member of the Assembly could become a minister; this decree destroyed any chance of that necessary harmony between the ministry and the majority of the representatives of the nation which existed in England, and so at once overthrew Mirabeau's hopes.
The queen utterly refused to take Mirabeau's counsel, and La Marck left Paris.
However, in April 1790 he was suddenly recalled by the comte de Mercy-Argenteau, the Austrian ambassador at Paris, and the queen's most trusted political adviser, and from this time to Mirabeau's death he became the medium of almost daily communications between the latter and the queen.
Mirabeau at first attempted again to make an alliance with Lafayette, but it was useless, for Lafayette was not a strong man himself and did not appreciate "la force" in others.
From the month of May 1790 to his death in April 1791 Mirabeau remained in close and suspected, but not actually proved, connexion with the court, and drew up many admirable state papers for it.
Before Mirabeau's influence on foreign policy is discussed, his behaviour on several important points must be noticed.
Of Mirabeau's attitude with regard to foreign affairs it is necessary to speak in more detail.
Mirabeau's exertions in this respect are not his smallest title to the name of statesman; and how great a work he did is best proved by the confusion which ensued in this department after his death.
So surely did he feel its approach that some time before the end he sent all his papers over to Sir Gilbert Elliot, who kept them under seal until claimed by Mirabeau's executors.
Dumont was a Genevese exile, and an old friend of Romilly's, who willingly prepared for him those famous addresses which Mirabeau used to make the Assembly pass by sudden bursts'of eloquent declamation; Claviere helped him in finance, and not only worked out his figures, but even wrote his financial discourses; Lamourette wrote the speeches on the civil constitution of the clergy; Reybaz not only wrote for him his famous speeches on the assignats, the organization of the national guard, and others, which Mirabeau read word for word at the tribune, but even the posthumous speech on succession to the estates of intestates, which Talleyrand read in the Assembly as the last work of his dead friend.
Yet neither the gold of the court nor another man's conviction would make Mirabeau say what he did not himself believe, or do what he did not himself think right.
S.)/n==Authorities== - The best edition of Mirabeau's works is that published by Blanchard in 1819-1822, in ten volumes, of which the first two contain his CEuvres oratoires; from this collection, however, many of his less important works and the De la monarchie prussienne are omitted.
For details of his life consult Peuchet, Mirabeau: Memoires sur sa vie litteraire et privee (1824); and the Memoires biographiques, litteraires et politiques de Mirabeau, ecrits par lui-meme, par son pere, son oncle et son fits adoptif, which was issued by his adopted son, Lucas de Montigny (8 vols., Paris, 1834-1835).
See also Etienne Dumont, Souvenirs sur Mirabeau (1832), a work which has been translated into English by Lady E.
Seymour as The Great Frenchman and the Little (xenevese (1904); Louise Colet, La Jeunesse de Mirabeau (1841); and Alfred Begis, Mirabeau, son interdiction judiciaire (1895).
The publication of the Correspondance entre Mirabeau et le comae de la Marck, by A.
de Bacourt (2 vols., 1851) marks an epoch in our exact knowledge of Mirabeau and his career; some additional letters appeared in the German edition (3 vols., Leipzig, 1851-1852).
Other published correspondence is Lettres de Mirabeau a Chamfort (1796); Lettres du comte de Mirabeau b Jacques Mauvillon (Brunswick, 1792); Lettres originates de Mirabeau, ecrites du donjon de Vincennes, 1777-178Q, published by L.
P. Manuel (4 vols., 1792); and, on the same subject, Paul Cottin, Sophie de Monnier et Mirabeau d'apres leur correspondance inedite (1903); Lettres a Julie, edited by' D.
Welschinger's La Mission secrete de Mirabeau a Berlin (Paris, 1900).
The most useful modern books are Louis and Charles de Lomenie, Les Mirabeau (5 vols., 1878 and 1889); Alfred Stern, Das Leben Mirabeaus (1889).
Reynald, Mirabeau et la constituante (1873).
Willert, Mirabeau (1898) in the "Foreign Statesman" series; C. F.
Warwick, Mirabeau and the French Revolution (1905); W.
Trowbridge, Mirabeau, the demi-god (1907); H.
von Holst, The French Revolution Tested by Mirabeau's Career (Chicago, 1894); and F.
Fling, Mirabeau and the French Revolution (London and New York, 1908).
Leloir, Mirabeau a Pontarlier (1886); Ferdinand Schwartz, Mirabeau and Marie Antoinette (Basel, 1891); and Alfred Mezieres, Vie de Mirabeau (1892).
Victor Riqueti, Marquis De Mirabeau >>
It was through her staunch defence of Mirabeau in Poitou that John got possession of his nephew's person.
Quesnay and Mirabeau had advocated a proportional tax (impot de quotite), but Turgot a distributive tax (impot de repartition).
Dumont, the learned Genevan, once the associate of Mirabeau, were all who sat down to table.
Since the death of Mirabeau no one had appeared who could strike the happy mean and enforce his will on the extremes on either side.
Desmoulins was powerfully swayed by the influence of more vigorous minds; and for some time before the death of Mirabeau, in April 1791, he had begun to be led by Danton, with whom he remained associated during the rest of his life.
The president was Condorcet, and amongst the members were the duc de la Rochefoucault, the Abbe Gregoire, Brissot, Claviere, Petion and La Fayette; Mirabeau was an active sympathizer.
The success of the issue was undoubted, and, possibly, if the assignats had been restricted, as Mirabeau at first desired, to the extent of one-half the value of the lands sold, they would not have shared the usual fate of inconvertible paper money.
In the latter year Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859) established here the Columbus Independent, a State's-Rights newspaper.
See Kersaint's own works, Le Bon Sens (1789); the Rubicon (1789); Considerations sur la force publique et l'institution des gardes nationales (1789); Lettre a Mirabeau (1791); Moyens presentes a l'Assemblee nationale pour retablir la paix et l'ordre dans les colonies; also E.
During the early years of the Revolution he issued several pamphlets against Mirabeau, who returned his ill-will with interest, calling him "the ignorant and bombastic M.
Mirabeau had approached him so early as December 1788, with a plan for the policy to be pursued by the court towards the new states general; but Montmorin, offended by Mirabeau's attacks on Necker and by his Histoire secrete de la tour de Berlin, refused to see him.
The convenience of an understanding between the two men was obvious; and they were soon on the closest terms. While Montmorin continued minister in name, Mirabeau became so in fact.
Montmorin did not dare to come to a decision without consulting his masterful friend, but on the other hand neither Mirabeau nor La Marck were under any illusions as to the broken character of the reed on which they had perforce to lean.
Mirabeau complained bitterly that Montmorin was "slack" (flasque) and a "poltroon" (gavache).
On the other hand, La Marck thought that Montmorin's feebleness was occasionally useful in restraining Mirabeau's impetuosity.
The death of Mirabeau in April 1791 was a severe blow to Montmorin, the difficulty of whose position was enormously increased after the flight of the royal family to Varennes, to which he was not privy.
de Bacourt, Correspondance entre Mirabeau et le comte de La Marck, 1789-1791 (3 vols., Paris, 1851), contains many letters of Montmorin; "Correspondence of the Comte de Moustier with the Comte de Montmorin," in the Amer.
Lord John Russell (afterwards Earl Russell), his friendly biographer, has to confess that Fox might have joined in the confession of Mirabeau: "The public cause suffers for the immoralities of my youth."
Then began the negotiations with Mirabeau, whose high estimate of the queen is well-known (e.g.
She was naturally incapable of seeing the full import of the Revolution, and merely temporised with Mirabeau.
Feeling herself helpless and almost isolated in Paris, she now relied chiefly on her friends outside France - Mercy, Count Axel Fersen, and the baron de Breteuil; and it was by their help and that of Bouille that after the death of Mirabeau, on the 8th of April 1791, the plan was arranged of escaping to Montmedy, which ended in the flight to Varennes (June 21, 1791).
See also Correspondance entre le comte de Mirabeau et le comte de la March, 1789-1791, recueillie ...
He knew Kames, Hume and Adam Smith, and corresponded with Mirabeau, " the friend of Man."
In the middle of July he was chosen as one of the committee to prepare a draft of a constitution; and in the session of the Assembly which Mirabeau termed the orgie of the abolition of privileges (4th of August) he intervened in favour of discrimination and justice.
On the 10th of October, that is, four days after the insurrection of women and the transference of the king and court to Paris, he proposed to the Assembly the confiscation of the lands of the church to the service of the nation, but on terms rather less rigorous than those in which Mirabeau (q.v.) carried the proposal into effect on the 2nd of November.
Just before his resignation he had been elected, with Mirabeau and Sieyes, a member of the department of Paris; and in that capacity did useful work for some eighteen months in seeking to support the cause of order in the turbulent capital.
Though he was often on strained terms with Mirabeau, yet his views generally coincided with those of that statesman, who is said on his death-bed (2nd of April 1791) to have communicated to him his opinions on domestic and international affairs, especially advising a close understanding with England.
Talleyrand's reputation for immorality, however, was as marked as that of Mirabeau.
He was a friend of Mirabeau, whose policy he supported and whose funeral oration he pronounced.
He worked under Mirabeau on the Courrier de Provence.
The most remarkable men in this group of disciples were the elder Mirabeau (author of L'Ami des hommes, 1756-60, and Philosophie rurale, 1763), Nicolas Baudeau (Introduction a la philosophie economique, 1771), G.
It was regarded by the followers of Quesnay as entitled to a place amongst the foremost products of human wisdom, and is named by the elder Mirabeau, in a passage quoted by Adam Smith, as one of the three great inventions which have contributed most to the stability of political societies, the other two being those of writing and of money.
Already in 1767 the book had disappeared from circulation, and no copy of it is now procurable; but the substance of it has been preserved in the Ami des hommes of Mirabeau, and the Physiocratie of Dupont de Netnours.
In May 1767 he fled to France, addressing letters to the lord chancellor and to General Conway, which can only be described as the letters of a lunatic. He was received in France by the marquis de Mirabeau (father of the great Mirabeau), of whom he soon had enough, then by the prince de Conti at Trye.
There in 1789 he and Dumont allied themselves with Mirabeau, secretly collaborating for him on the Courrier de Provence and also in preparing the speeches which Mirabeau delivered as his own.
It was mainly by his use of Claviere that Mirabeau sustained his reputation as a financier.
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