Victor de Riquetti, marquis de Mirabeau
(5 October 1715, Pertuis
– 13 July 1789) was a French economist
of the Physiocratic
school. He was the father of great Honoré, Comte de Mirabeau
and is, in distinction, often referred to as the elder Mirabeau
Mirabeau was brought up very sternly by his father, and in 1728 joined the army. He took keenly to campaigning, but never rose above the rank of captain
, owing to his being unable to get leave at court to buy a regiment. In 1737 he came into the family property on his father's death, and spent some pleasant years till 1743 in literary companionship with Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues
and the poet Lefranc de Pompignan
, which might have continued had he not determined to marry not for money, but for landed estates. The lady whose property he fancied was Marie Genevieve, daughter of a M. de Vassan, a brigadier in the army, and widow of the marquis de Saulveboef, whom he married without previously seeing her on 21 April 1743.
While in garrison at Bordeaux
Mirabeau had made the acquaintance of Montesquieu
, and after retiring from the army he wrote his first work, his Testament Politique
(1747), which demanded for the prosperity of France a return of the French noblesse to their old position in the Middle Ages. This work was followed in 1750 by a book on the Utilité des états provinciaux, which was attributed to Montesquieu himself. In 1756 Mirabeau made his first appearance as a political economist by......