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the penalties are out of proportion, barbarous, arbitrary, and uncer. tain ; denunciations and accusations often remain secret, to the prejudice of upright conduct, and the extreme danger of truth and innocence, which are thus deprived of defence: the proofs on which sen. tence is given often lie buried in an office, in which a careless or an artful clerk will make a witness swear to that which never entered his thoughts, or in which he who de poses can advance what he would never dare to affirm if the mode of proceeding were more solemn. Many of our law-proceedings, which seem framed rather to involve in guilt than to discover truth, abound with regulations which are re. pugnant to reason, and humanity.
Men are imperfect ; and hence their decrees may be unjust : but, as men only deal with men, they are obliged mutually to make allowance for their several imperfections. All that can be done to remedy these is to adopt the wisest precautions, such as a knowlege of the human heart and the suggestions of experience recommend, in order to guard against the passions, prejudices, and partialities of judges. It is for this purpose that legal forms have been invented ; the object of them is to give to innocence the safe-guard of time, which dissipates prejudices, cools the passions, exposes partiality, and brings the truth more or less to light. These forms are the best basis of our security ; and nothing can be more idle than declamation against them. The province of maintaining each individual in or restoring him to the enjoyment of his civil rights, without encroaching on those of others, requires reasonable and profound discussions ; and the more on account of the imperfection and complex nature of the laws themselves.'
The confessions of MIRABEAU in these letters prove that irregularities of life generally carry with them their own punishment. In one of them he says:
• I see that all that is most dear to me condemns me. I am con. vinced that the course which I take is the best, but I am terrified by this opposition between inward conviction and the opinion of my friends; I adhere, however, to my plan, but I experience all the heart-rend ings and agitations of mind that are imaginable Alas! it is too true, my friend, that if talents could render a man wise, I should not have committed so many follies. They are committed. It now only remains to expiate them, and to consign them to oblivion by a life which for the future shall be honourable. I shall labour indefa. tigably for that purpose : but I assure you that I have never so sincerely deplored these faults, as since I have seen how easily they are committed and with what difficulty they are repaired
While soliciting a reconciliation with his wife, he writes thus to her :
• I should little feel your valuc, if I could forget that you are unit, ed to me by indissoluble ties; and I know not what secret sentiment it is that tells me, that you are not displeased at my not forgetting it. I avow, then, and I glory in it, that you are in my eyes the most precious properly, and the only one which can in future embel
lish my life, distracted as it has been by errors and reverses. Let it excite no astonishment that I narrowly watch over that which is most dear to me, over the only source of consolation which fate and my offences have left me. Allow me no longer to remain in doubt in regard to your health. My father and uncle are equally desirous with myself to be ip formed of it. When I witness their sensibility in regard to you, and to all that respects you, and when I call to mind your love for your duty and your desire to please, I am unable to explain why all their letters remain unanswered, and I am lost in sorrow. Live happy, and believe that your happiness is the object of iny most ardent wishes, since I can only be happy through you, and by seeing you happy.'
The moral deformities of this extraordinary man were equal. led only by his vast talents. All this caressing, when con, trasted with his past behaviour, is in the highest degree mean: but what must be our detestation of his conduct, when we perceive that all these professions are hypocritical, and are made solely in order to get into his hands the fortune of his injured and insulted wife? Various other passages, of the same kind with that which is first inserted, might be selected, did not the knavery which we feel to have been the basis of all these attempts disgust us more than the ability and address displayed in them can delight. One or two more specimens, however, we shall submit to the reader:
During eight years have we lived separate. This period has given experience to my youth. I can with difficulty believe that eight years of misfortune, itself a sacred title with tender hearts, have lost me your affection. Consult it, take the advice of your best friends, those of your family, those who are attached to your self, those who have no interest to separate and embroil us, and to set us one against the other. But it is by descending within yourself, by listening to the voice of conscience, of justice, and of the generosity of your nature, that you will see all the enormity of the attempt to seyer yourself from your husband ;--the man of your choice, with whom you lived two years, to whom you have written letters were thy of yourself, and who has not seen you since he received those testimonies of your tenderness ;-- the father of your child, of that child over whom for eighteen months you shed tears. And why should you think of such a proceeding? Is it because I have debts, óf which there would be none were it not that the arrangenient of them is subject to forms requiring delay? Is it because you husband has been unfortunate, and most calumniated, or because it has pleased some to regard an accusation, against which a tribunal has decided, as a personal insult to you? Ah! I know you well ; your heart scorns the barbarous sophistry, and disavows your pen. You know that the busband whom you chose is not without generosity, elevation, and sensibility. You have yourself said a thousand times that his natural impetuoşity, cooled by age, would be succeeded by estimable qualities, which it had kept out of sight. You spoke with more eloquénce in this way than it becomes mé here to repeat. But I ought pot to forget your words on those occasions, the precious pledges of your affection and of your esteem. Deign to reflect that, if the menace which they have advised you to hold out can obtain nothing from me, your tenderness, your remonstrances, and your gentleness were rarely refused any thing by me, and never will be in future.'
The audacity and shallow sophistry of this plausible and artful epistle pred not be pointed out to those who are acquainted with the history of the profligate Comte.
In arguing the question of separation, he displays those great abilities, that deep insight into the nature of man and the structute of society, and those enlarged views on the subject of government, which astonished Europe in the speeches that were uttered in the Hall of the National Assembly. In many parts of this volume, the talents of MIRABEAU are manifested in all their vast extent; and numerous apostrophes occur that do not yield to any of those which, at a subse. quent period, raised him so high in the annals of fame as a ready and powerful orator. It has been said of him “ that he ought never to have lived at all, or to have lived longer." Having consummated the overthrow of a government, le died before he had completed the more difficult task of establishing another; to which task, most arduous as it was, ma-. ny have thought that his courage, his firmness, and his capacity, would have proved equal. If such were the case, never did a man live whose premature death the world had so much cause to lament.
Art VIII. Authentische Darstellung des Verhältnisses zwischen Enge
land und Spanien, &c. ; i. e. An Authentic Statement of the Relations between England and Spain, before and at the Rupture between those two Powers. By FREDERIC DE GENTZ. 8vo. PP. 552. St. Petersburg. 1866. Then in times of supineness or delusion, a man of talents
perseveringly opposes the torrent which, unresisted, seems to carry with it all around him, or dares to arouse his contemporaries from their lethargy or despondency to a sense of their seal interest and duty, he has a full claim to our distinction, whatever may be the success of his exertions. On this principle, independently of the natural partiality which we must feel for any one who warmly espouses the cause of our own country, it is impossible for us to withhold our esteem from Baron
A sentence of separation, which Madame de Mirabeau afterward succeeded in obtaining
GENTZ whose former labours are already known to our readers; and who, during a most important period, while the cabinets and the people of the continent were either seized by' apathy, or deceived by hired partizans, has been constantly endeavouring to disperse the mist of delusion, and to kindle the latent spark of patriotism in the breasts of his countrymen. In most of his literary productions, the Baron has shewn himself peculiarly desirous of removing those prejudices against Great Britain, which, by a.concurrence of a variety of circumstances, and through the artful industry of the French government, have spread with increasing rapidity through all those states which are more or less under the influence of France. Besides the laudable wish to vindicate truth and justice against falsehood and oppression, he probably supposed that nothing would more effectually check the influence of France, than the support of that of Great Britain ; and that by standing forwards as the champion of the latter, he could, in the most powerful manner, become the benefactor of his countrymen. If we be core rect in this conjecture, however, we must entertain great doubts of the prudence of such a proceeding, in the present state of opinion and feeling on the continent. We are convinced by attentive observation that, though the tyranny and ambition of France are secretly abhorred, yet the repeated coalitions fostered (if not entirely created) by British subsidies, and the frequently oppressive dependence on England in a commercial view, have produced a deeply rooted dislike of British politics; and that consequently it is not adviseable to remind the people that they must take part with Great Britain, in order to liberate themselves from the dominion of her rival. No writer, we are persuaded, will be able to make much impression on the public mind in Germany, who betrays any design of supporting one of the contending parties in order to arraign the other. We therefore perceive with regret, on account of our good wishes for the success of Baron G.'s exertions, that he has not kept clear of all suspicion that it is his decided intention to plead the cause of our Government in every respect; and that he has sometimes indulged in a degree of warmth of expression, which the sounduess of his arguments does not require, and which, we fear, will be very far from promoting his laudable intentions.
Indeed, when a long succession of unfortunate events and illjudged measures has yearly rendered more improbable the completion of the author's ardent and patriotic wish, and has near ly ruined a cause which he had zealously espoused, it is scarcely surprising that his mind should become gradually less moderate, and should betray that bitterness which is the usual effect of re
peated disappointments. Yet, in the present state of things in Gere many, when the minds of men have been blunted by the daie ly renewed spectacle of triumphant crimes, wearied by calamities, and dejected by fears of the future,' he who would, with any hope of success, resist the formidable enemy, but cannot oppose in every respect the same powerful means which the other employs, muse avoid even the appearance of an attempt to cope with him in the use of weapons to which the hand of political power can give much additional strength. If a conqueror, at the head of an army, descends to calumny and vie rulence in manifestoes and newspapers, the private individual, who attempts to defeat his purposes by exposing the falsehood of his assertions, ought to trust entirely to the sure effect of plain truth and moderation. We are, however, very far from insinuating that Baron G., in the work now under review, has substituted invectives for argument, or adopted the tone of a writer in the Moniteur ; it is only occasionally that his expressions have a more personal application than, we think, is conducive to the effect which he wishes to produce.
In giving this Authentic Statement of the Relations between Great Britain and Spain, to the public, its author had principally two objects in view; ist, co vindicate England against the allegations of bad faith and selfishness, which at the commencement of the war with Spain were made against her : and 2dly, to expose, in one very remarkable instance, the falsehood and vile intentions of the political articles in the French official journal. To make a fair representation of the facts that led to a rupture with Spain was highly meritorious on the continent; where, perhaps, never before prevailed so general and at first view so well founded an indignation at the conduct of the British ministry; which seized even the warmest friends of England, and which, when carefully nourished by the arts of French representation, made the treacheries of France appear the less dark by the side of the apparent faithlessness of her opponent. It is to be regretted that this statement of the real nature of the case appeared so late as the year 1806: but this delay has arisen from the difficulty of finding a publisher in Germany; for it was written in the beginning of the year 1805, but no German censor ventured to let it pass through the press, and its author disdained the idea of suffering it to steal into the world in the dark, like an anonymous libel. - The second object of this publication appears likewise highly important, when it is considered that almost all the political periodical publications of the continent have been, for a long time, under the controul of France, and copy the articles of the Moniteur, without venturing to add a single remark that