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From Chambers', Edinburgh Journal.
AN ANECDOTE OF HIS PRIVATE LIFE.
The public life as well as the private char-, whose knowledge did not extend much beacter of Mirabeau are universally known ; but yond the names and qualities of their dogs the following anecdote has not, we believe, and horses, and in whose houses it would have been recorded in any of the biographies. The been almost in vain to seek for any other book particulars were included in the brief fur than the local almanac, containing the list of nished to M. de Galitzane, advocate-general the fairs and markets, to which they repaired in the parliament of Provence, when he was with the utmost punctuality, to loiter away retained for the defence of Madame Mirabeau their time, talk about their rural affairs, dine in her husband's protest against her. M. de abundantly, and wash down their food with Galitzane afterwards followed the Bourbons strong Auvergne wine. into exile, and returned with them in 1814 ; Count du Saillant was quite of a different and it is on his authority that the story is stamp from his neighbors. He had seen the given as fact.
world, he commanded a regiment, and at that Mirabeau had just been released from the period his château was perhaps the most civildonjon of the castle of Vincennes near Paris. ized country residence in the Limousin. PeoHe had been confined there for three years ple came from a considerable distance to visit and a half, by virtue of that most odious its hospitable owner ; and among the guests mandate, a lettre-de-cachet. His imprison- there was a curious mixture of provincial odd. ment had been of a most painful nature; and ities, clad in their quaint costumes. At that it was prolonged at the instance of his father epoch, indeed, the young Limousin noblemen, the Marquis de Mirabeau. On bis being re- when they joined their regiments, to don their conciled to his father, the confinement ter- sword and epaulettes for the first time, were minated, in the year 1780, when Mirabeau very slightly to be distinguished, either by was thirty-one years of age.
their manners or appearance, from their rusOne of his father's conditions was, that tic retainers. Mirabeau should reside for some time at a It will easily be imagined, then, that Midistance from Paris ; and it was settled that rabeau,' who was gifted with brilliant natural he should go on a visit to his brother-in-law, qualities, cultivated and polished by educaCount du Saillant, whose estate was situated tion-a man, moreover, who had seen much a few leagues from the city of Limoges, the of the world, and had been engaged in sevecapital of the Limousin. Accordingly the ral strange and perilous adventures-occucount went to Vincennes to receive Mira- pied the most conspicuous post in this beau on the day of his liberation, and they society, many of the component members pursued their journey at once with all speed. whereof seemed to have barely reached the
The arrival of Mirabeau at the ancient first degrees in the scale of civilization. His manorial château created a great sensation vigorous frame; his enormous head, augin that remote part of France. The country mented in bulk by a lofty frizzled coiffure ; gentlemen residing in the neighborhood had his huge face, indented with scars, and furoften heard him spoken of as a remarkable rowed with seams, from the effect of smallman, not only on account of his brilliant pox injudiciously treated in his childhood ; talents, but also for his violent passions; and his piercing eyes, the reflection of the tuthey hastened to the château to contemplate multuous passions at war within him; his a being who had excited their curiosity to an mouth, whose expression indicated in turn extraordinary pitch. The greater portion of irony, disdain, indignation, and benevolence ; these country squires were mere sportsmen, his dress, always carefully attended to, but
in an exaggerated style, giving him some- vance, in order to combat them, as he did what the air of a traveling charlatan decked with great force of logic and in energetic out with embroidery, large frill, and ruffles; language, and thus he gave himself lessons in short, this extraordinary looking individual in argument, caring little about his auditory, astonished the country folks even before he his sole aim being to exercise his mental inopened his mouth. · But when his sonorous genuity and to cultivate eloquence. Above voice was heard, and his imagination, heated all, he was fond of discussing religious matby some interesting subject of conversation, ters with the curé of the parish. Without imparted a high degree of energy to his elo- displaying much latitudinarianism, he disquence, some of the worthy rustic hearers puted several points of doctrine and certain felt as though they were in the presence of a pretensions of the church so acutely, that the saint, others in that of a devil; and accordo pastor could say but little in reply. This ing to their several impressions, they were astonished the Limousin gentry, who, up to tempted either to fall down at his feet, or to that time, had listened to nothing but the exorcise him by making the sign of the cross, drowsy discourses of their curés, or the serand uttering a prayer.
mons of some obscure mendicant friars, and Seated in a large antique arm-chair, with who placed implicit faith in the dogmas of his feet stretched out on the floor, Mirabeau the church. The faith of a few was shaken, often contemplated, with a smile playing on but the greater number of his hearers were his lips, those men, who seemed to belong to very much tempted to look upon the visitor the primitive ages; so simple, frank, and at as an emissary of Satan sent to the château the same time clownish, were they in their to destroy them. The curé, however, did
He listened to their conversa- not despair of eventually converting Mirations, which generally turned upon the chase, beau. the exploits of their dogs, or the excellence At this period several robberies had taken of their horses, of whose breed and qualifi- place at no great distance from the château: cations they were very proud. Mirabeau four or five farmers had been stopped shortly entered freely into their notions ; took an in- after nightfall on their return from the marterest in the success of their sporting pro- ket-towns, and robbed of their purses. Not jects; talked, too, about crops ; chestnuts, one of these persons had offered any resistof which large quantities are produced in the ance, for each preferred to make a sacrifice Limousin; live and dead stock; ameliora- rather than run the risk of a struggle in a tions in husbandry; and so forth ; and he country full of ravines, and covered with a quite won the hearts of the company by his rank vegetation very favorable to the exfamiliarity with the topics in which they ploits of brigands, who might be lying in felt the most interest, and by his good wait to massacre any individual who might nature.
resist the one detached from the band to deThis monotonous life was, however, fre- mand the traveler's money or his life. These quently wearisome to Mirabeau; and in order outrages ceased for a short time, but they to vary it, and for the sake of exercise, after soon recommenced, and the robbers remained being occupied for several hours in writing, undiscovered. he was in the habit of taking a fowling-piece, One evening, about an hour after sunset, a according to the custom of the country, and guest arrived at the château. He was one putting a book into his game-bag, he would of Count du Saillant's most intimate friends, frequently make long excursions on foot in and was on his way home from a neighborevery direction. He admired the noble ing fair. This gentleman appeared to be forests of chestnut-trees which abound in the very thoughtful, and spoke but little, which Limousin; the vast meadows, where nume- surprised everybody, inasmuch as he was rous herds of cattle of a superior breed are usually a merry companion. His gasconades reared; and the running streams by which had frequently roused Mirabeau from his that picturesque country is intersected. He reveries, and of this he was not a little proud. generally returned to the cháteau long after He had not the reputation of being particusunset, saying that night scenery was pecu- larly courageous, however, though he often liarly attractive to him.
told glowing tales about his own exploits ; It was during and after supper that those and it must be admitted that he took the conversations took place for which Mirabeau roars of laughter with which they were supplied the principal and the most interest- usually received very good-humoredly: ing materials. He possessed the knack of Count du Saillant being much surprised at provoking objections to what he might ad- 1 this sudden change in his friend's manner
took him aside after supper, and begged that “Well, then, it appeared to me that the he would accompany him to another room. robber was your brother-in-law, MIRABEAU ! When they were there alone, he tried in vain But I might be mistaken ; and, as I said befor a long time to obtain a satisfactory an- fore, fear" swer to bis anxious inquiries as to the cause “Impossible: no, it cannot be. Mirabeau of his friend's unwonted melancholy and taci- a footpad! No, no. You are mistaken, my turnity. At length the visitor said—“Nay, good friend.” nay; you would never believe it. You would "Certainly-certainly." declare that I was telling you one of my fa- “Let us not speak any more of this," said bles, as you are pleased to call them; and Count du Saillant. We will return to the perhaps this time we might fall out.” drawing-room, and I hope you will be as gay
“What do you mean?" cried Count du as usual; if not, I shall set you down as a Saillant: “this seems to be a serious affair. madman. I will so manage that our absence Am I, then, connected with your presenti- shall not be thought anything of.” And ments ?”
the gentlemen re-entered the drawing-room, “Not exactly you, but”
one a short time before the other. • What does this but mean?
The visitor succeeded in resuming his acthing to do with my wife ? Explain your customed manner ; but the count fell into a self."
gloomy reverie, in spite of all his efforts. He “Not the least in the world. Madame du could not banish from his mind the extraorSaillant is in nowise concerned in the mat. dinary story he had heard : it haunted him; ter ; but”
and at last, worn out with the most painful “ But !—but ! you tire me out with your conjectures, he again took his friend aside, buts. Are you resolved still to worry me questioned him afresh, and the result was, with your mysteries? Tell me at once what that a plan was agreed upon for solving the has occurred—what has happened to you ?” mystery. It was arranged that M. De
“Oh, nothing--nothing at all. No doubt should in the course of the evening mention I was frightened.”
casually, as it were, that he was engaged on “Frightened !--and at what? By whom? a certain day to meet a party at a friend's For God's sake, my dear friend, do not pro- house to dinner, and that he proposed comlong this painful state of uncertainty." ing afterwards to take a bed at the château,
"Do you really wish me to speak out ?" where he hoped to arrive at about nine in
“Not only so, but I demand this of you the evening. The announcement was acas an act of friendship.”
cordingly made in the course of conversa“Well, I was stopped to-night at about tion, when all the guests were present-the distance of half a league from your châ- good care being taken that it should be teau.”
heard by Mirabeau, who at the time was “Stopped! In what way? By whom ?" playing a game of chess with the curé.
Why, stopped as people are stopped by A week passed away, in the course of footpads. A gun was leveled at me; I was which a farmer was stopped and robbed of his peremptorily ordered to deliver up my purse; and at length the critical night arrived. purse; I threw it down on the ground, and Count du Saillant was upon the rack the galloped off. Do not ask me any more ques- whole evening ; and his anxiety became altions."
most unbearable when the hour for his Why not? I wish to know all. Should friend's promised arrival had passed without you know the robber again ? Did you now his having made his appearance. Neither tice his figure and general appearance ?". had Mirabeau returned from his nocturnal
“It being dark, I could not exactly dis- promenade. Presently a storm of lightning, cover : I cannot positively say. However, thunder, and heavy rain came on; in the it seems to me".
midst of it the bell at the gate of the court" What seems to you? What or whom yard rang loudly. The count rushed out of do you think
the room into the court-yard, heedless of the • I never can tell you."
contending elements; and before the groom “Speak-speak : you cannot surely wish could arrive to take his friend's horse, the to screen a malefactor from justice ?” anxious host was at his side. His guest was
• No; but if the said malefactor should in the act of dismounting. be".
Well,” said M. De “I have been “If he were my own son, I should insist stopped. It is really he. I recognized him upon your telling me.”
you saw ?”
1 Not a word more was spoken then ; but sleep: do you want to keep me chattering al as soon as the groom had led the horse to night?" the stables, M. De rapidly told the
“I insist upon an explanation of your count that, during the storm, and as he was strange conduct. You stopped Monsieur riding along, a man, who was half-concealed De on his way hither this evening: this behind a very large tree, ordered him to is the second time you have attacked that throw down his purse. At that moment a gentleman, for he recognized you as the same flash of lightning enabled him to discover a man who robbed him a week ago. You have portion of the robber's person, and M. De turned highwayman then!”
rode at him ; but the robber retreated “Would it not have been all in good time a few paces, and then leveling his gun at the to tell me this to-morrow morning ?" said horseman, cried with a powerful voice, which Mirabeau with inimitable sang-froid. “Supit was impossible to mistake, “Pass on, or posing that I did stop your friend, what of you are a dead man!” Another flash of that ?" lightning showed the whole of the robber's “That you are a wretch !" figure : it was Mirabeau, whose voice had al- “And that you are a fool, my dear Du ready betrayed him! The wayfarer, having Saillant. Do you imagine that it was for the no inclination to be shot, put spurs to his sake of his money that I stopped this poor horse, and soon reached the château. country squire ? 'I wished to put him to the
The count enjoined strict silence, and proof, and to put myself to the proof. I begged of his friend to avoid displaying any wished to ascertain what degree of resolution change in his usual demeanor when in com- was necessary in order to place one's self in pany with the other guests; he then ordered formal opposition to the most sacred laws of his valet to come again to him as soon as society: the trial was a dangerous one; but Mirabeau should return. Half an hour after- | I have made it several times. I am satisfied wards Mirabeau arrived. He was wet to the with myself—but your friend is a coward.” skin, and hastened to his own room; he told He then felt in the pocket of his waistcoat, the servant to inform the count that he could which lay on a chair by his bedside, and not join the company at the evening meal, drawing a key from it, said, “Take this key, and begged that his supper might be brought open my scrutoire, and bring me the second to his room; and he went to bed as soon as drawer on the left hand." he had supped.
The count, astounded at so much coolness, All went on as usual with the party as- and carried away by an irresistible impulse sembled below, excepting that the gentleman--for Mirabeau spoke with the greatest who had had so unpleasant an adventure on firmness—unlocked the cabinet, and brought the road appeared more gay than usual. the drawer to Mirabeau. It contained nine
When his guests had all departed, the purses ; some made of leather, others of silk ; master of the house repaired alonc to his each purse was encircled by a label on which brother-in-law's apartment. He found him was written a date—it was that of the day fast asleep, and was obliged to shake him on which the owner had been stopped and rather violently before he could rouse him. robbed; the sum contained in the purse was
“ What's the matter? Who's there? What also written down. do you want with me?” cried Mirabeau, “ You see," said Mirabeau, “that I did staring at his brother-in-law, whose eyes not wish to reap any pecuniary benefit from were flashing with rage and disgust. my proceedings. A timid person, my dear
What do I want? I want to tell you friend, could never become a highwayman; that you are a wretch !”
a soldier who fights in the ranks does not re"A fine compliment, truly !" replied Mira- quire half so much courage as a footpad. beau with the greatest coolness. “It was You are not the kind of man to understand scarcely worth while to awaken me only to me, therefore I will not attempt to make myabuse me: go away and let me sleep." self more intelligible. You would talk to me
“ Can you sleep after having committed so about honor-about religion; but these have bad an action ? Tell me—where did you never stood in the way of a well-considered pass the evening? Why did you not join us and a firm resolve. Tell me, Du Saillant, at the supper-table ?”
when you lead your regiment into the heat "I was wet through—tired—harrassed : 1 of battle, to conquer a province to which he had been overtaken by the storm. Are you | whom you call your master has no right satisfied now? Go, and let me get some whatever, do you consider that you are performing a better action than mine, in stopping dary of the law, whether it be for good or your friend on the king's highway, and de- evil
. I study the law, and I endeavor to acmanding his purse ?"
quire strength enough to combat it if it be “I obey without reasoning,” replied the bad, when the proper time shall arrive.” count.
“You wish for a convulsion then ?” cried “And I reason without obeying, when the count. obedience appears to me to be contrary to “I neither wish to bring it about nor do I reason,” rejoined Mirabeau. “I study all desire to witness it; but should it come to kinds of social positions, in order to appre- pass through the force of public opinion, I ciate them justly. I do not neglect even would second it to the full extent of my those positions or cases which are in decided power. In such a case you will hear me opposition to the established order of things; spoken of. Adieu. I shall depart to-morfor established order is merely conventional
, row; but pray leave me now, and let me and may be changed when it is generally ad-' have a little sleep.” mitted to be faulty. Such a study is a dan- Count du Saillant left the room without gerous, but it is a necessary one for him who saying another word. Very early on the wishes to gain a perfect knowledge of men following morning Mirabeau was on his way and things. You are living within the boun- I to Paris.
CATALANI.-Among the hearers of Cata- dame Catalani was not the less obliged to lani, in Paris, was the Emperor Napoleon, make her escape from France without a passwho, although destitute of any taste for music, port. She embarked secretly at Morlaix, on wished to fix the admired cantatrice in his ca- board a vessel which had been sent for the pital, partly from an ambitious desire to see exchange of prisoners, and to whose captain himself surrounded by great artists, and part- she paid £150 for his services. This interly with the view of diverting the thoughts of view with the Emperor Napoleon made so the Parisians from graver and more danger- deep an impression on Madame Catalani, that ous topics. Accordingly, he commanded her she was wont to speak of it as the most agiattendance at the Tuileries. The poor woman tating moment of her life. A few days behad never been brought before into contact fore her death, while she was sitting in her with this terrible virtuoso of war, who, at saloon, without any presentiment of her apthat time, filled all Europe with the fame of proaching end, she received a visit from an his fioriture ; she trembled from head to foot unknown lady, who declined giving her name on entering his presence. “Where are you to the servant. On being ushered into her going, Madame ?" inquired the master, with presence, the stranger bowed before her with his abrupt tone and imperial voice." To a graceful yet lowly reverence, saying, “I London, Sire.”—4 You must remain in Paris, am come to offer my homage to the most cewhere you shall be well paid, and where lebrated cantatrice of our time, as well as to your talents will be better appreciated. You the most noble of women: bless me, Madame, shall have a hundred thousand francs a-year, | I am Jenny Lind !" Madame Catalani, moved and two month's vacation : that is settled. even to tears, pressed the Swedish NightinAdieu, Madam.” And the cantatrice retired, gale to her heart. After a prolonged intermore dead than alive, without having dared view they parted, each to pursue her own apto inform her brusque interrogator that it pointed path,—the one to close her eyes, was impossible for her to break an engage with unexpected haste, upon earth, with all ment which she had formed with the Eng- its shifting hopes and fears—the other to enlish Ambassador at Portugal. If Napoleon joy fresh triumphs, the more pure and haphad been acquainted with this circumstance, py, as they are the fruit not only of her behe would undoubtedly have laid an embargo witching talent, but also of that excellence on the fair singer, whom he would have con- which wins for her in every place the heartsidered a rich Capture from his enemies. Ma- I felt homage of esteem and love.