Du Pan, James Mallet

, a political writer of much note in France and England, and a citizen of Geneva, was born in 1749, of an ancient family in Switzerland, who had been distinguished as magistrates and scholars. At the age of twenty-two he was appointed, through the interest of Voltaire, professor of belles-lettres at Cassel, and about that time he published two or three historical tracts. He was afterwards concerned with Linguet in the publication of the “Annales Politiques,” at Lausanne. In 1783 he went to Paris, where, during the three years’ sitting of the first French assembly, he published an analysis of their debates, which was read throughout all Europe, and considered as a model of discussion no less luminous than impartial. While he intrepidly attacked the various factions, he neither dissembled the faults nor the exaggerations of their adversaries. In the month of April, 1792, he left Paris on a confidential mission from the king to his brothers, and the emperor of Germany. In consequence of his quitting Paris, his estate in France, and his personal property, were confiscated; and among other losses, he had to regret that of a valuable library, and a collection of Mss. including a work of his own, nearly ready for the press, on the political state of Europe before the French revolution. Whilst resident at Brussels with the archduke Charles, in 1793, he published a work on the French revolution, which was warmly admired by Mr. Burke, as congenial with his own sentiments, and indeed by every other person not influenced by the delusions which brought about that great event. In 1794 he returned to Switzerland, which he was obliged to leave in 1798, the French, to whom he had rendered himself obnoxious by his writings, | having demanded his expulsion. The same year he came to England, where he published a well-known periodical journal called the “Mercure Britannique,” which came out once a fortnight, nearly to the time of his death. This event took place at the house of his friend count Lally Tollendal, at Richmond, May 10, 1800. His “Mercure,” and other works, although of a temporary nature, contain facts, and profound views of the leading events of his time, which will be of great importance to future historians, and during publication contributed much to enlighten the public mind. 1


Suppl. volume to Lyson’s Environs.—Gent. Mag. 1800.