“I am sad, when I should be happy…”

I’ve neglected this blog for far longer than I meant to. Time to get back in the swing of things, with a translated letter from Murat to his daughter Letitia, written during the Russian campaign, on August 11, 1812. From Quarante lettres de Joachim Murat à sa fille Laetitia. I’ve rendered it in the same all-lowercase style as Murat’s original.

my dear letitia, i’ve received your letter from the 29th of june; it is full of tenderness and reproaches, all this is equally agreeable to me, however you do me a great wrong because i write you often, that is to say as many times as i can. madame de roquemont gives me great pleasure in telling me of your good health and especially of your application to your lessons and to making you the master of yourself. louise also works, she grows, she becomes beautiful, all this would make me so happy if i was in the midst of you, but i am in the midst of villainous people, and don’t know when i will be able to see you again. mama writes me that you grow more beautiful every day, i thought that an impossible thing, but you efface, it is said, the radiance of the things with which you are adorned, such is your own at the same time, this is perfect. what joy you will prepare for me upon my return. how happy i will be to find myself with mama, with my lovely and tender family! do not think of these moments, they have to mature…. farewell, amiable child, think of your papa. tell yourselves, all together: “if papa suffers, it is for me, if he exposes his life, it is still for me, if he makes wishes, it is still for me.” yes, my good letitia. it is for you that i brave so many dangers, that i bear so many fatigues and deprivations. farewell, i am sad, when i should be happy. because i have received letters from mama, from achille, and from letitia. i embrace you. embrace your brothers and louise.

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