“A very sincere and tender advocate”

A letter from Pauline Bonaparte to Joachim Murat

Paris, 28 January 1809

I received your letter yesterday, my dear brother, they reach me late, because we always send them to Princess Élisa. You have no idea, my dear little brother*, how much pleasure your letters give me and how much I love you.

I saw yesterday, at the moment when I received your letter, His Majesty who had the kindness to come see me, I read him the passage and told him how attached to him you were, he seemed sensitive to it. Believe, my dear little brother, that you will always have in me a very sincere and tender advocate. 

My health is good, I am fattened, I’m going to all the circles and on Tuesdays I give a ball to the Emperor. 

I would much desire, my dear little brother, to have your portrait in miniature and that of all your little children. You know that I love them as if they were mine. I am having mine done which I will send you, if it resembles. 

I ask you to send me some fans, painted on vellum, that are made in Naples, I will have such pleasure carrying them coming from you. 

Farewell, my dear brother, give me your news as often as possible. The Emperor is very fattened and doing quite well, he is in a very good humor.

Farewell, believe always in the tenderness of your affectionate sister.


Source: Lettres et Documents Pour Servir à l’Histoire de Joachim Murat, Vol. VI.

**Pauline and Élisa Bonaparte both routinely refer to Murat as their “petit frère” in their correspondence with him, even though he is 13 years older than Pauline and 10 years older than Élisa. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s married to their petite soeur or if it’s simply an affectionate habit.

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