Forty letters to Letitia–Part Four (XXXI-XL)

Part One can be found here.

Part Two can be found here.

Part Three can be found here.

SourceQuarante lettres de Joachim Murat à sa fille Laetitia. Revue Napoléonienne, Vol 2, July 1908, pages 1-11. [The letters are published in two parts; both parts are available digitally on HathiTrust.org.]

(All letters are rendered in all-lowercase as Murat wrote them.)

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Letter XXXI

29 August at 9 in the evening [1813]

my good letitia, i received your letter and i will wear with pleasure the belt that you are embroidering for me. the emperor won two great victories yesterday and today*. i was happy enough to contribute to them. farewell, i am doing well, embrace the queen and louise for me.

your good father,

J.N.

p.s. give mme de roquement best wishes on my behalf.

*The Battle of Dresden (26-27 August 1813)

***

Letter XXXII

Dresden, 3 September 1813

my dear letitia, i received your letters, i wrote from munic [sic] to you and achille. your letters always give me a new pleasure and contribute not a little to sweetening the torments that i experience far from the queen and my good and very dear children. write me more often; i await the belt, i will wear it with pleasure. i hope that peace will return me soon to my family. and louise, what is she doing? i will respond to her letter. tell her that i love her. embrace mama, your brothers and louise. i embrace you with all my heart. tell mme de roquement that i received her letters. all yours.

J. Napoléon

***

Letter XXXIII

Grossenhayn, 19 September 1813

my dear letitia, i received your letter for the day of my fête. the wishes you make for my happiness will always be dear to me, and i am persuaded that these wishes are those you make every day. heaven will fulfill them, they come from a heart so tender, so beautiful, how innocent it is, such wishes are never rejected by heaven. i’m sending you a little service of porcelain from saxony. i hope that it will please you, although it isn’t very beautiful. it has been a long time since that i’ve been separated from my children, since i left my beautiful letitia; when will i see them again? when may i enjoy their embraces? when will a good peace restore me to the bosom of my family to leave them no more? soon i hope. how is mama doing? take good care of her. speak often to her of me and my tenderness. how grown up i am going to find you! it will no longer be necessary to think of treating you as in the past like a child, but as a great lady. it will cost me a lot. i had so much pleasure in playing with her [sic]. farewell, my friend, love your father who will always cherish you very tenderly. i embrace you with all my heart. best wishes to mme de roquement.

J. Napoléon

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Letter XXXIV

Dresden, 28 September 1813

my dear letitia, i received your last letter. it is kind of you to write me often, to speak to me of the queen’s health, of her love for me, of the desire she has for my forthcoming return. how sweet it is for my heart to think that my children make during our separation wishes for my good fortune, for my conservation and for peace, and that they seek to render themselves worthy of the kindnesses of the queen and to profit for the lessons of their governesses. how happy mme de roquement has made me by informing me that my letitia becomes better every day and that she no longer has moments of temper, who by making her own unhappiness would end by making that of the queen, mine and that of all the persons who surround her. –it is with a good heart that i praise you. farewell, my daughter, embrace louise for me, i am not writing her by this courier. –farewell, my friend, i love you tenderly and i embrace you the same. 

your good father,

J. Napoléon

[p.s.] we are no longer fighting.

***

Letter XXXV

Naples, 1 January 1814

my dear letitia, please charge yourself with remitting to madame de roquement and to the ladies picerno and fernier these souvenirs on my behalf: they will have more value offered by you and they will recall to these ladies my gratitude and yours for all the care that they have given you since your childhood. i embrace you as i love you.

your good father

J. Napoléon

***

Letter XXXVI

Rome, 28 January 1814

my dear letitia, i received your letter. it is as charming as you. i was very touched by your exactitude in giving me your news, and that of the queen. know that absence cannot weaken my tenderness and that i love you very tenderly. –i was touched by the welcome of the romans. they have been excellent to me. farewell, my beautiful friend, my dear letitia; love me always and believe in the tenderness of your father, who loves you very tenderly. i am going to leave for bologna. i embrace you with all my heart as well as my louise. 

your good father,

J. Napoléon

***

Letter XXXVII

Bologna, 6 February 1814

my dear letitia, your letter that i just received has given me great pleasure. i would have been happy at the joy the queen must have felt at hearing you play the piano. i would have been as she was at your progress. –it is to be hoped that aforthcoming peace will soon put me in a position to hear you and will reunite me to my amiable and very dear family to leave them no more. i’m sending mama some beautiful crepe dresses. i hope that she will you some, there are some charming colors which will suit you marvelously. we are suffering from a great cold here. i hope that it will not last long. the theater of bologna isn’t worth that of naples, they do not dance so well here, they do not sing as pleasantly. i know that the queen is suffering, take good care of her, tell her to be without worry about my position, i can bear everything.

farewell, my friend, embrace my good louise for me. i love you with all my heart. 

your affectionate father,

J. Napoléon

***

Letter XXXVIII

Modena, 8 March 1814

my dear letitia. i received your letter; i received another one several days ago by which you recommended to me the brother of mme costa; i will consider it. i am very happy every time i receive your letters. write me often, i need to know that my children love me, may they repeat it to me often. so you either think that i will still be a long time absent or you are close to being as big as mama since you inform me that you will be so upon my return. may it happen very quickly, this return! never have i desired more to see the queen and my children again. –farewell, my beautiful letitia, i love you and i embrace you very tenderly, as well as louise.

your good papa

J.N.

[p.s.] you didn’t give me news of mme de roquemont, i am upset to know she is ill.

***

Letter XXXIX

[March 1814]

my dear letitia, i received your letter from the 25th. i was very unhappy to have been deprived of your kisses the day of my fête*; this unhappiness will last as long as my absence because each day i would have the joy of embracing my children. –i would have wanted to send you my gift, as well as to louise, but i have found nothing here, and i hope that the queen will have given you one for me on my behalf. the beginning of spring announces itself, the weather is beautiful and i hope that it the same in naples and that you are profiting from it to go run around and lose a little of your chubbiness. i am told that you have grown a lot more, and mme de roquemont is very pleased with your progress. it is said that you have taken up your voice and that you play the guitar marvelously. –how happy i will be the day when i will be able to hear you! we are not fighting at the moment; how long will it last? how much i desire peace! no, never have i desired so much to find myself in the midst of my good children. farewell, i embrace you with all my heart. tell mme de roquemont that i have learned with pleasure of the reestablishment of her health.

your good father

J.N.

*Joachim (and Caroline’s) birthday is 25 March.

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Letter XL

Bologna, 21 April 1814

my dear letitia, i received your letter, i am always happy when i receive your news, when you repeat to me that you love me and that my children await my return with impatience. i hope that it will be forthcoming. i am going to send you some beautiful straw hats. you saw duport dance*, were you content with him? did he amuse you? was the ballet beautiful? how is mama doing? i fear that her health is not very good. tell louise that i will write her to thank her for the beautiful handkerchief that she sent me. farewell, my kind and dear friend, write me more often and believe always in the tenderness of your good papa. 

J.N.

*Louis Duport (1781-1853) was a famous French ballet master, who briefly headed a theater in Naples. 

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