Murat HTML version
"And what are they?"
"Such that I could wish it were anyone but myself to announce them to your Majesty----"
"So the Emperor refuses my services! He forgets the victories of Aboukir, Eylau, and
"No, sire; but he remembers the treaty of Naples, the taking of Reggio, and the
declaration of war of the viceroy of Italy."
The beggar struck his forehead.
"Yes, yes! I daresay he thinks I deserve his reproaches, and yet it seems to me that he
ought to remember that there are two men in me-- the soldier whom he made his
brother, and the brother whom he made a king.... Yes, as brother I have treated him ill--
very ill, but as king, upon my soul, I could not have acted differently.... I had to choose
between my sword and my crown, and between a regiment and a people. Listen, Brune:
you do not know how it all happened. There was an English fleet, the guns of which
were growling in the port, there was a Neapolitan population howling in the streets. If I
had been alone, I would have passed through the fleet with one boat, through the crowd
with my sword alone, but I had a wife and children. Yet I hesitated; the idea of being
called traitor and deserter caused me to shed more tears than the loss of my throne, or
perhaps the death of those I love best, will ever wring from me.... And so he will have
nothing more to do with me? He refuses me as general, captain, private? Then what is
left for me to do?"
"Sire, your Majesty must leave France immediately."
"And if I don't obey?"
"My orders are to arrest you and deliver you up to a court-martial!"
"Old comrade, you will not do that?"
"I shall do it, praying God to strike me dead in the moment I lay hands on you!"
"That's you all over, Brune. You have been able to remain a good, loyal fellow. He did
not give you a kingdom, he did not encircle your brow with a band of iron which men call
a crown and which drives one mad; he did not place you between your conscience and
your family. So I must leave France, begin my vagabond life again, and say farewell to
Toulon, which recalls so many memories to me! See, Brune," continued Murat, leaning
on the arm of the marshal, "are not the pines yonder as fine as any at the Villa Pamfili,
the palms as imposing as any at Cairo, the mountains as grand as any range in the
Tyrol? Look to your left, is not Cape Gien something like Castellamare and Sorrento--
leaving out Vesuvius? And see, Saint- Mandrier at the farthest point of the gulf, is it not
like my rock of Capri, which Lamarque juggled away so cleverly from that idiot of a Sir