“From the prison to the tomb is but a short step…”

“Thus, I am offered a prison for asylum! From the prison to the tomb is but a short step: a king who cannot keep his crown has only the alternative of a soldier’s death. You have arrived too late, my dear Maceroni, the dice are thrown; I’ve awaited three months, and constantly at the risk of my days, the decision of the allied powers; it is evident that I’ve been abandoned to the daggers of my enemies by these same sovereigns who once looked for my alliance. Today my resolution is taken: I am going to reconquer my kingdom. I have the most beautiful hopes for the happy success of my enterprise; but if I’m disappointed, I’ve confronted death often enough to not fear it in this decisive circumstance. My unfortunate Italian campaign did not destroy my sovereignty, recognized by all Europe. Kings make war; but in losing their kingdom they don’t lose their titles to the crown: they maintain always the right to return to the throne that they have lost, if they have the means of retrieving it. Finally, M. Maceroni, I wouldn’t know how to live subject to the laws of a despotic government; a passport for England was the only one that I would have accepted.”

-Murat to Francis Maceroni, upon receiving an offer of asylum delivered to him by Maceroni from Prince Metternich of Austria, September 28, 1815.

Source: Sur la catastrophe de l’ex-roi de Naples, Joachim Murat: Extrait des Memoires du General Colletta. French translation by Leonard Gallois, 1823, pgs 37-8. (The English translation above is mine.)

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