“Your generous conduct towards the King”

A letter from Caroline Murat to Joseph Fouché. Fouché had tried to save Murat’s life in 1815 by working behind the scenes to get him passports from Metternich to provide him safe passage to join his family in Trieste, after Murat had fled to Corsica from France (where he was being hunted during the “White Terror” that accompanied the second Bourbon Restoration). I don’t know if Caroline didn’t know about Fouché’s part until years afterwards, or if the subject was simply too hard for her to write about right away–or if she was worried about her letters being intercepted by Metternich’s agents (which they occasionally were). Regardless, five years after the death of her husband, she wrote to Fouché to thank him for having attempted to save him. It was a very timely letter; Fouché dies four months after this letter is written.

Source: Alberto Lumbroso, Muratiana: documents inédits


Caroline to the Duke of Otranto (Fouché) Frohsdorf, 20 August 1820

Monsieur Duke, for a long time I have wanted to express to you my gratitude for the good you tried to do for him whom we will mourn unceasingly. I and my children have not been unaware, that if it had depended on you, misfortune would not have overwhelmed us. Trust that we will keep the remembrance of it continuously, and that it will be sweet to us in whatever position fate places us, to remind ourselves of your generous conduct towards the King.

I am very happy that the departure of M. Gayl offers me the occasion to express to you the sentiments of attachment that unite me and my children to you and yours. I keep myself regularly informed of everything that concerns you.

I know that your wife is charming, that your children have justified all your hopes, that, in short, you are happy through your family. Remember me to your sons and your daughter; tell them that my children cannot forget the few happy moments they spent together.

I cannot give up seeing you again, and I hope to be able one day to assure you in person, that my gratitude and my attachment will never end.



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