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feeling which ought ever to be the characteristic of the bar. But sometimes the resemblance was carried farther than was either safe or agreeable, and the advocate had to perform a warlike office, not in a figurative, but a literal sense. I allude to the appeal or wager of battel, whereby the sword was made the arbiter of disputes, and sanguinary duels were sanctioned by courts of law."

M. Berryer has drawn an interesting picture of one of the French advocates of the olden time in the performance of his daily duties: "We see him, dressed in his robes of black satin, set out at an early hour, on a summer morning, from one of the picturesque houses, with peaked turrets and high gable ends, which rose above the banks of the Seine in old Paris, and hurrying forward to the court, because the clock of the Holy Chapel had just struck six, at which the judges are obliged to take their seats, under pain of losing their salary for the day. He is busy thinking over the cause which he has to plead, and taxes his ingenuity to compress his speech into as brief a compass as possible; for he remembers that an ordinance of Charles VIII., issued in 1493, imposes a fine upon long-winded advocates who weary the court with their prolixity. Look at his countenance. The furred hood which covers his head, and the ample grey cloak, the collar of which hides half his face, cannot so far conceal it as to prevent you from seeing an expression of anger there, which is no doubt excited by the recollection of the arguments used by his opponent on the preceding evening. But think not that when he reaches the court and rises to reply, he will retort by any abusive language; for by another regulation of the same king, counsel are expressly forbidden to use any opprobrious words towards their antagonists. The judges are seated on their chairs; the parties are before them; and now he, whose portrait we are sketching, rises to address the court. He speaks under the solemn sanction of an oath, for he has sworn to undertake only such causes as, in his conscience, he believes to be just; he has also sworn not to spin out his pleadings by any of the tricks of his profession, but make them as concise as possible. If, in the

course of his harangue, he touches on any question which he thinks may affect the interests of the crown, he suddenly stops and gives formal notice of it to the court. Twelve o'clock strikes just after the cause is over and judgment pronounced, and the court rises. His client has been successful, and he now takes his counsel aside to settle with him the amount of his fees; and it is not without an effort that he grudgingly gives him the sum which the royal ordinance permits him to receive."

Every nation has its standard of eloquence-nay, even in different sections of the same country-the standards are different, as, for instance, in the United States-the orators of the South and West are more demonstrative than the

orators of the North. But a finished speaker would be listened to by an intelligent audience with pleasure in any country, notwithstanding the differences in the standards of oratory.

To the comparatively cold English or American audiences, the eloquence of many of the French orators would appear too declamatory in character, while a French audience would think an English or American orator lacking in warmth and animation.

It is not the author's purpose to give a history of the French bar, and the limits of the present work forbid more than a glance at some of the greatest of the modern forensic and political orators of France.

The reader is doubtless familiar with the history of the French Revolution, and knows that the Convention of the States-General, and the final organisation of the National Assembly, fixed it irretrievably. The deputies of the people, after they assembled from every quarter of France, found themselves opposed by a corrupt Court and aristocracy, and, although the nation was on the brink of ruin, they were obliged to spend months in contending for the plainest principles of civil liberty. The reformations which were demanded by the exigencies of the times might not have been carried, had it not been for Mirabeau,-the great orator of the Assembly. He hurled defiance and scorn on

the nobility and the King, from the very beginning, and inspired the Convention with his own boldness. "No matter what vacillation or fears might agitate the members, when his voice of thunder shook the hall in which they sat, every heart grew determined and resolute. With his bushy black hair standing on end, and his eyes flashing fire, he became at once the hope of the people and the terror of the aristocracy. Incoherent and unwieldy in the commencement of his speech, steady and strong when fairly under motion, he carried resistless powers in his appeals. As a huge ship in a dead calm rolls and rocks on the heavy swell, but the moment the wind fills its sails stretches proudly away, throwing the foam from its front, so he tossed irregular and blind upon the sea of thought, until caught by the breath of passion, when he moved majestically, irresistibly onward."


Slave, go tell your master that we are here by the will of the people, and that we will depart only at the point of the bayonet." These words, spoken to the emissary of Lewis by Mirabeau, sealed the fate of despotism in France.

The Constituent Assembly sat from 1789 to 1791. The overthrow of the Bastile, and triumph of the people, caused the aristocrats to fly from France in crowds. Theretofore they had constituted the chief opponents of the deputies of the people, and after their departure, there being no longer any opposition, the deputies split into two parties among themselves.

The Girondists, at first, were the Republicans, and favoured the establishment of a government founded on the principles of the republics of Greece and Rome, but a party springing up, more radical than their own, and pushing the state toward anarchy, they became Conservatives. Mirabeau, in the meantime, full of gloomy forebodings, died. The Mirabeau family was Etruscan. It retained in all its members for many generations, not alone its Latin origin, but the aristocratic pride, the talent for oratory, the rich imagination, the war-like spirit, the cultivated tastes, for which the family was famous.

Mirabeau.-Honoré Gabriel Riquette, Compte de Mirabeau, was born at Bignon, in France, on the 9th of March, 1749. He was the greatest of the French political orators. Mirabeau was one of the most extraordinary men of his age. In intellect he far surpassed all the great luminaries of that brilliant period. With all his vices, Mirabeau had many redeeming traits. A more ardent patriot than Mirabeau never lived. The love of France never ceased in his heart but with his last breath, and the good of his country was mingled even with his dying aspirations. If his life had been spared it is thought by many writers that the Revolution would have taken another direction. The following graphic sketch of his oratorical character, which will afford the reader some idea of his vehemence as a public speaker, is furnished by a distinguished French writer, author of Noted French Orators.

"Mirabeau in the tribune was the most imposing of orators; an orator so consummate, that it is harder to say what he wanted than what he possessed.

"Mirabeau had a massive and square obesity of figure, thick lips, a forehead broad, bony, prominent; arched eyebrows, an eagle eye, cheeks flat and somewhat flabby, features full of pock-holes and blotches, a voice of thunder, an enormous mass of hair, and the face of a lion.

"His manner as an orator is that of the great masters of antiquity, with an admirable energy of gesture, and a vehemence of diction which perhaps they had never reached.

"Mirabeau in his premeditated discourses was admirable. But what was he not in his extemporaneous effusions? His natural vehemence, of which he repressed the flights in his prepared speeches, broke down all barriers in his improvisations. A sort of nervous irritability gave then to his whole frame an almost preternatural animation and life. His breast dilated with an impetuous breathing. His lion face became wrinkled and contorted. His eyes shot forth flame. He roared, he stamped, he shook the fierce mass of his hair, all whitened with foam; he trod the tribune with the supreme authority of a master, and the imperial air of a king. What an interesting spectacle to behold him, momently, erect and

exalt himself under the pressure of obstacle! To see him display the pride of his commanding brow! To see him, like the ancient orator, when, with all the powers of his unchained eloquence, he was wont to sway to and fro in the forum the agitated waves of the Roman multitude! Then would he throw by the measured notes of his declamation, habitually grave and solemn. Then would escape him broken exclamations, tones of thunder, and accents of heartrending and terrible pathos. He concealed with the flesh and colour of his rhetoric the sinewy arguments of his dialectics. He transported the Assembly, because he was himself transported. And yet so extraordinary was his force-he abandoned himself to the torrent of his eloquence without wandering from his course; he mastered others by its sovereign sway, without losing for an instant his own. self-control." Throughout his strange career, Mirabeau bore with him the remembrance of an unnatural father's hate.

"I have nothing to tell you of my prodigious son," writes his father a few months after the child's birth, " except that he battles with his nurse." A year later he adds: “He is as ugly as a child of the devil." When the boy is five years old, he says: "He is as sand on which no impression remains. I have placed him in Poisson's hands, who is as devoted as a spaniel to me. Thank him much for the education he is giving the brat. Let him form him into a steady citizen, and that is all that is necessary. Possessing those qualities, he can make the pigmy race who play fine at court tremble! To-night a little monster that they say is my son is to perform a part in a play; but were he the son of our greatest comedian he could not be a more perfect buffoon, mimic, and actor. His body increases, his chattering increases, his face grows marvellously ugly, ugly as if by preference and intent, and, further, he declaims perfectly at random. He is a sickly child; if it were necessary for me to produce another, where the devil should I find a pattern of the same material? He is turbulent, yet gentle and amenable, indeed so much so that it approaches to stupid

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