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it.” This is the generosity which makes Hume's impatience and that of his mischievous advisers in Paris appear petty. Rousseau had behaved quite as ill to Mr. Davenport as he had done to Hume, and had received at least equal services from him. The good man at

? once sent a servant to Spalding in search of his unhappy guest, but Rousseau had again disappeared. The parson of the parish had passed several hours of each day in his company, and had found him cheerful and good-humoured. He had had a blue coat made for himself, and had written a long letter to the lord chancellor, praying him to appoint a guard, at Rousseau's own expense, to escort him in safety out of the kingdom where enemies were plotting against his life. He was next heard of at Dover (May 18), whence he wrote a letter to General Conway, setting forth his delusion in full form.4 He is the victim of a plot; the conspirators will not allow him to leave the island, lest he should divulge in other countries the outrages to which he has been subjected here; he perceives the sinister manoeuvres that will arrest him if he attempts to put his foot on board ship. But he warns them that his tragical disappearance cannot take place without creating inquiry. Still if General Conway will only let him go, he gives his word of honour that he will not publish a line of the memoirs he has written, nor ever divulge the wrongs which he has suffered in England. "I see my last hour approaching,” he concluded; “I am determined, if necessary, to advance to meet it, and to perish or be free; there is no longer any other alternative.On the same evening on which he wrote this letter (about May 20-22), the forlorn creature took boat and landed at Calais, where he seems at once to have recovered his composure and a right mind.

1 Davenport to Hume; Burton, 367-371.

2 J. J. R. to Davenport, Dec. 22, 1766, and April 30, 1767. Corr., v. 66, 152. 3 Burton, 369, 375.

* Corr., v. 153.



BEFORE leaving England, Rousseau had received more than one long and rambling letter from a man who was as unlike the rest of mankind as he was unlike them himself. This was the Marquis of Mirabeau (1715-89), the violent, tyrannical, pedantic, humoristic sire of a more famous son. Perhaps we might say

that Mirabeau and Rousseau were the two most singular originals then known to men, and Mirabeau's originality was in some respects the more salient of the two. There is less of the conventional tone of the eighteenth century Frenchman in him than in any other conspicuous man of the time, though like mány other headstrong and despotic souls he picked up the current notions of philanthropy and human brotherhood. He really was by very force of temperament that rebel against the narrowness, trimness, and moral formalism of the time which Rousseau only claimed and attempted to be, with the secondary degree of success that follows vehemence without native strength. Mirabeau was a sort of Swift, who had strangely taken up the trade of friendship for


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man and adopted the phrases of perfectibility ; while Rousseau on the other hand was meant for a Fénelon, save that he became possessed of unclean devils.

Mirabeau, like Jean Jacques himself, was so impressed by the marked tenor of contemporary feeling, its prudential didactics, its formulistic sociality, that his native insurgency only found vent in private life, while in public he played pedagogue to the human

Friend of Quesnai and orthodox economist as he was, he delighted in Rousseau's books : "I know no morality that goes deeper than yours; it strikes like a thunderbolt, and advances with the steady assurance of truth, for you are always true, according to your notions for the moment.” He wrote to tell him so, but he told him at the same time at great length, and with a caustic humour and incoherency less academic than Rabelaisian, that he had behaved absurdly in his quarrel with Hume. There is nothing more quaint than the appearance of a few of the sacramental phrases of the sect of the economists, floating in the midst of a copious stream of egoistic whimsicalities. He concludes with a diverting enumeration of all his country seats and demesnes, with their respective advantages and disadvantages, and prays Rousseau to take up his residence in whichever of them may please him best.

Immediately on landing at Calais Rousseau informed Mirabeau, and Mirabeau lost no time in conveying him stealthily, for the warrant of the parlia

Streckeisen, ii. 315-328.




ment of Paris was still in force, to a house at Fleury. But the Friend of Men, to use his own account of himself, "bore letters as a plum-tree bears plums," and wrote to his guest with strange humoristic volubility and droll imperturbable temper, as one who knew his Jean Jacques. He exhorts him in many sheets to harden himself against excessive sensibility, to be less pusillanimous, to take society more lightly, as his own light estimate of its worth should lead him to do. “No doubt its outside is a shifting surfacepicture, nay even ridiculous, if you will; but if the irregular and ceaseless flight of butterflies wearies you in your walk, it is your own fault for looking continuously at what was only made to adorn and vary the

But how many social virtues, how much gentleness and considerateness, how many benevolent actions, remain at the bottom of it all."Enormous manifestoes of the doctrine of perfectibility were not in the least degree either soothing or interesting to Rousseau, and the thrusts of shrewd candour at his expense might touch his fancy on a single occasion, but not oftener. Two humorists are seldom successful in amusing one another. Besides, Mirabeau insisted that Jean Jacques should read this or that of his books. Rousseau answered that he would try, but warned him of the folly of it.

" I do not engage always to follow what you say, because it has always been painful to me to think, and fatiguing to follow the thoughts of other people, and at present I cannot

1 Streckeisen, ii. 337.


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