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We think that it had been more than hinted to him by his brother-in-law that he intended to deprive him of his crown. At least, not long after Bonaparte left the wreck of the grand army in its retreat from Russia in his hands, he abandoned his post, and traveled night and day till he reached Naples. It is also said by an acquaintance of Murat, that Bonaarte at the birth of the young Duke of }. announced to the King of Naples, who had come to Paristo congratulate him, that he must lay down his crown. Murat asked to be allowed to give his reply the next morning, but no sooner was he out of the Emperor's presence than he mounted his horse and started for his kingdom. He rode night and day till he reached Naples, where he immediately set on foot preparations for the defence of his throne. Being summoned anew by a marshal of France, sent to him for that purpose, to give up his sceptre, he replied, “Go, tell your master to come and take it, and he shall find how well sixty thousand men can defend it.” Rather than come to open conflict with one of his bravest generals he abandoned the }." and let Murat occupy his throne. f this be true it accounts for the estrangementand final desertion of Napoleon by his brother-in-law. In 1814 he con... a treaty with Austria, by which he was to retain his crown on the condition he would furnish 30,000 troops for the common cause. Bonaparte could not at first credit this defection of the husband of his sister, and wrote to him twice on the subject. The truth is, we believe, Bonaparte tampered with the affection of Murat. The latter had so often yielded to him on points where the differed, and had followed him through his wondrous career with such constant devotion, that Napoleon believed he could twist him round his finger as he liked, and became utterly reckless of his feelings. But he found the intrepid soldier could be trified with too far, and came to his senses barely in time to prevent an utter estrangement. Shortly after, Napoleon abdicated, and was sent to Elba. But before the different powers of Europe had decided whether they should allow Murat to retain his throne, Europe was thrown into consternation by the announcement that Bonaparte was again on the shores of France. Joachim immediately declared in favor of his brother-in-law, and attempted to rouse Italy. But his army deserted him, and
hastening back to Naples he threw himself into the arms of his wife, exclaiming, “all is lost, Caroline, but my life, and that I have not been able to cast away.” . Finding himself betrayed on every side, he fled in disguise to Ischia. Sailing from thence to France, he landed at Cannes, and dispatched a courier to Fouché, requesting him to inform Napoleon of his arrival. Bonaparte irritated at his former defection, and still more vexed that he had precipitated things so in Italy, contrary to his express directions, sent back the simple reply, “to remain where he was until the Emperor's pleasure with regard to him was known.” This cold answer threw Murat in a tempest of passion. He railed against his brother-in-law, loading him with accusations, for whom, he said, he had lost his throne and kingdom. Wishing, however, to be nearer Paris he started for Lyons, and while changing horses at Aubagne, near Marseilles, he was told of the disastrous battle of Waterloo. o Hastening back to Toulon, he lay concealed in a house near the city, to await the result of this last overthrow of Napoleon. When he was informed of his abdication, he scarcely knew what to do. At first he wished to get to Paris, to treat personally with the allied soveriegns for his safety. Being unable to do this, he thought of flying to England, but hesitating to do this also, without a promise of protection from that government, he finally, through Fouché, obtained permission of the emperor of Austria to settle in his dominions. But while he was preparing to set out, he was told that a band of men were on the way to seize him, in order to get the 40,000 francs which the Bourbons had offered for his head; and fled with a single servant to a desolate place on the sea shore near Toulon. Thither his friends from the city secretly visited him, and informed him what were the designs respecting him. Resolving at last to proceed to Paris by sea, he engaged the captain of a vessel bound to Havre, to send a boat at night to take him off. But by some strange fatality, the seamen could not find Murat, nor he the seamen, though searching for each other half the night; and the sea beginning to rise, the boat was compelled to return to the ship without him. As the morning broke over the coast, the dejected wanderer saw the vessel, with all her sails set, standing boldly out to sea. He gazed for awhile on the lessening masts, and then fled to the woods, where he wandered about for two days, without rest or food. At length, drenched with rain, exhausted and weary, he stumbled on a miserable cabin, where he found an old woman, who kindly gave him food and shelter. He gave himself out as belongin to the garrison at Toulon, and he looke worn and haggard enough to be the commonest soldier. The white plume was gone, that had floated over so many battle fields, and the dazzling costume, that had glanced like a meteor through the cloud of war, was exchanged for the soiled garments of an outcast. Not even his good steed was left, that had borne him through so many dangers, and as that tall and majestic form stooped to enter the low door of the cabin, he felt how changeful was human fortune. The fields of his fame were far away—his throne was gone, and the wife of his bosom ignorant of the fate of her lord. While he sat at his humble fare, the owner of the cabin, a soldier belonging to the garrison of Toulon, entered, and bade him welcome. But there was something about the wanderer's face that struck him, and at length remembering to have seen those features on some French coin, he fell on his knees before him, and called him king Murat. His wife followed his example. Murat, astonished at the discovery, and then overwhelmed at the evidence of af. fection these poor, unknown people offered him, raised them to his bosom, and gave them his blessing. Forty thousand francs were no temptation to this honest soldier and his wife. Here he lay concealed, till one night the old woman saw lights approaching the cabin, and immediately ...; the cause, aroused Murat, and hastening him into the garden, thrust him into a hole, and piled him over with vine branches. She then returned to the house, and arranged the couch from which Murat had escaped, and began herself to undress for bed, as if nothing had occurred to disturb her ordinary household arrangements. In a few moments sixty gens d'armes entered, and ransacked the house and garden, passing again and again by the spot where Murat was concealed. Foiled in their search, they at length went away. But such a spirit as Murat's could not long endure this mode of existence, and he determined to put to sea. Having, through his friends at Toulon, obtained a skiff, he on the night of the 22d of August, with
only three attendants, boldly pushed his frail boat from the beach, and launched out into the broad Mediterranean, and steered for Corsica. When about thirty miles from the shore, they saw and hailed a vessel, but she passed without noticing them. The wind now began to rise, and amid the deepening gloom was heard the moaning of i. sea, as it gathers itself for the tempest. The foam crested waves leaped by, deluging the frail skiff, that struggled almost hopelessly with the perils that environed it. The haughty chieftain saw dangers gathering round him that no charge of cavalry could scatter, and he sat and looked out on the rising deep, with the same composure he so often had sat on his gallant steed, when the artillery was mowing down every thing at his side. At length the post-office-packet-vessel for Corsica was seen advancing towards them. Scarcely had Murat and his three faithful followers stepped aboard of it, before the frail skiff sunk to the bottom. It would have been better for him had it sunk sooner. He landed at Corsica in the disguise of a common soldier. The mayor of the Commune of Bastia, the port where the vessel anchored, seeing a man at his door, with a black silk bonnet over his brows, his beard neglected, and coarsely clad, was about to question him, when the man looked up, and “judge of my astonishment,” says he, “when I discovered that this was Joachim, the splendid king of Naples I uttered a cry, and fell on my knees.” Yes, this was Murat—the plume exchanged for the old silk bonnet, and the gold brocade for the coarse gaiters of a common soldier. The Corsicans received him with enthusiasm, and as he entered Ajaccio, the troops on the ramparts and the populace 1eceived him with deafening cheers. But this last shadow of his old glory consummated his ruin. It brought back to his memory the shouts that were wont to rend Naples when he returned from the army to his kingdom, loaded with honors and heralded by great deeds. In the enthusiasm of the moment, he resolved to return to Naples, and make another stand for his throne. At this critical period the passports of the emperor of Austria arrived. Murat was promised a safe passage into Austria, and an unmolested residence in any city of Bohemia, with the title of Count, if he, in return, would renounce the throne of Naples, and live in obedience to the laws. Dis
daining the conditions he would a few weeks before have gladly accepted, he madly resolved to return to Naples. With two hundred and fifty recruits and a few small vessels, he sailed for his dominions. The little fleet, beat back by adverse winds, that seemed rebuking the rash attempt, did not arrive in sight of Calabria till the sixth of October, or eight days after his embarkation. On that very night a storm scattered the vessels, and when the morning broke, Murat's bark was the only one seen ...; in for land. Two others at length joine him, but that night one of the captains deserted him, and returned with fifty of his best soldiers to Corsica. His remaining followers, seeing that this desertion rendered their cause hopeless, besought him to abandon his project and sail for Trieste, and accept the terms of Austria. He consented, and throwing the proclamations he had designed for the Neapolitans into the sea, ordered the captain to steer for the Adriatic. He refused, on the ground that he was not sufficiently provisioned for so long a voyage. He F. however, to obtain stores at izzo, but refused to go on shore without the Austrian passports, which Murat still had in his possession, to use in case of need. This irritated Murat to such a degree, that he resolved to go on shore himself, and ordering his officers to dress in full uniform, they approached Pizzo. His officers wished to land first, to feel the pulse of the people, but Murat, with his accustomed chivalric feeling, stopped them, and with the exclamation, “I must be the first on shore " sprang to land, followed by twenty-eight soldiers, and three domestics. Some few mariners cried out, “Long live King Joachim ". and Murat advanced to the principal square of the town, where the soldiers were exercising, while his followers unfurled his standard, and shouted, “Joachim for ever !” but the soldiers made no response. Had Murat been less infatuated, this would have sufficed to convince him of the hopelessness of his cause. He pressed on, however to Monte Leone, the capital of the province, but had not gone far before he found himself pursued by a large company of gems d’armes. Hoping to subdue them by his presence, he turned towards them and addressed them. The only answer he received was a volley of musketry. Forbidding his followers to return the fire, with the declaration that his landing
should not cost the blood of one of his }. he turned to flee to the shore. eaping from rock to rock and crag to crag, while the bullets whistled about him, he at length reached the beach, when, lo! the vessel that landed him, had disappeared. The infamous captain had purposely left him to perish. A fishing-boat lay on the sand, and Murat sprang against it to shove it off, but it was fast. His few followers now came up, but before the boat could be launched they were surrounded by the bloodthirsty populace. Seeing it was all over, Murat advanced towards them, and holding out his sword, said, “People of Pizzo take this sword, which has been so often drawn at the head of armies, but spare the lives of the brave men with me.” But they heeded him not, and kept up a rapid discharge of musketry; and though every bullet was aimed at Murat, not one touched him, while almost every man by his side was shot down. Being at length seized, he was hurried away to prison. Soon after, an order came from Naples to have him tried on the spot. One adjutant-general, one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, and the same number of captains and lieutenants, constituted the commission to try a King. Murat refused to appear before such a tribunal, and disdained to make any defence. During the trial he conversed in prison with his friends in a manner worthy of his great reputation. He exhibited a loftiness of o and character that surrised even his friends that had known im longest. At length, after a pause, he said: “Both in the court and camp, the national welfare has been my sole object. 1 have used the public revenues for the public service alone. I did nothing for myself, and now at my death I have no wealth but my actions. They are all my glory and my consolation.” After talking in this strain for some time, the door opened and one of the commissioners entered and read the sentence. Murat showed no agitation, but immediately sat down and calmly wrote to his wife the following letter.
“MY DEAR CARolin E—My last hour has arrived; in a few moments more I shall have ceased to live—in a few moments more you will have no husband. Never forget me; my life has been stained by no injustice. Farewell my Achille, farewell my Letitia, farewell my Lucien, farewell my Louise. , 1 leave you without kingdom or fortune, in the midst of the multitude of
my enemies. Be always united: prove yourselves superior to misfortune; remember what you are and what you have been, and God will bless you. Do not reproach my memory. Believe that my greatest suffering in my last moments is dying far from my children. Receive your father's blessing; receive my embraces and my tears. Keep always present to you the memory of your unfortunate father, JOACHIM NAPOLEON. Pizzo, 13th October, 1813.”
Having then enclosed some locks of his hair to his wife, and given his watch to his faithful valet, Amand, he walked out to the place of execution. His tall form was drawn | to its loftiest height, and that piercing blue eye that had flashed sobrightly overmore thana hundred battle fields, was now calmly turned on the soldiers who were to fire on him. Nota breath of agitation disturbed the perfect composure of his face, and when all was ready he kissed a cornelian he held in his hand, on which was cut the head of his wife, and then fixing his eyes steadily upon it, said, “Save my face, aim at my heart!” A volley of musketry answered, and Murat was no more.
He had fought two hundred battles, and exposed himself to death more frequently than any other officer in Napoleon's army. By his white plume and gorgeous costume a constant mark for the enemy's bullets, he notwithstanding always plunged into the thickest dangers, and it seems almost a miracle that he escaped death. His self-composure was wonderful, especially when we remember what a creature of impulse he was. In the most appalling dangers, under the fire of the most terrific battery, all alone amid his dead followers, while the bullets were piercing his uniform and whistling in an incessant shower around his head, he would sit on his steed and eye every discharge with the coolness of an iron statue. A lofty feeling in the hour of danger bore him above all fear, and through clouds of smoke and the roar of five hundred cannon, he would detect at a glance the weak point of the enemy, and charge like fire upon it.
As a general he failed frequently, as has been remarked, from yielding his judgment to his impulses. As a man and king he did the same thing, and hence was generous to a fault, and liberal and indulgent to his people. But his want of education in early life rendered him unfit for a statesman. Yet his impulses, had they been less strong, would not have made him the officer he was. His cavalry was the terror of Europe. Besides, in obeying his generous feelings, he performed many of those deeds of heroism—exposing his life for others, and sacrificing everything he had, to render those happy around him, which make us love his character. He was romantic even till his death, and lived in an atmosphere of his own creation. But unlike Ney, he was ashamed of his low origin, and took every method to conceal it. He loved his wife and children and country with the most devoted affections. His life was the strangest romance ever written, and his ignominious death, an everlasting blot on Ferdinand's character.
The book to which we referred at the head of this article is utterly unworthy its title. Written by a believer in “the divine right of kings,” and a scorner of plebeian blood, he can find no better name for Murat, than, “the butcher of the army.” Not deigning to describe a single battle, half the book is taken up with incidents of Murat's early life, and the other half with an account of his amorous adventures after his marriage with Caroline Bonaparte. He puts a great many silly speeches into his mouth, and describes a great many amours, for the truth of which we have his assertions alone. That the moral character of Murat could not be very correct according to our standard, is evident from the fact that his life was spent in the camp. The only way to judge of such a man, is to balance his actions, and see whether the good or evil preponderates.
But whatever his faults were, it will be a long time before the world will see such another man.
A traveLER often finds it a very nice calculation to decide whether his regrets at leaving a place which has delighted him, do not counterbalance his pleasures on reaching it. The unfavorable scale of the balance is especially weighty on quitting Florence, but Roxie beckons to him irresistibly, though Florence tugs at his skirts, till he hesitates like Hercules in the fable. His duty as a voyager at last conquers, and he “demands his passport.” On your first arrival you surrender this in exchange for a “Card of sojourn,” which announces that “the Signore during his sojourn in Tuscany is secure of the assistance of the laws (conforming himself to their disposal) and of that of the authorities.” hen you wish to leave the country you deliver up your card, and receive for it a paper stating that “the Signore wants his }.}". endorsed for Rome, and the Good Government has nothing to say against it.” Very kind of it ! . Presenting this paper at another office, you receive your passport, endorsed with permission to leave Tuscany for Rome within three days. Finally at the Papal Legation you receive a visé allowing you to enter the States of the Church. If any one of these formalities were omitted you would be stopped at the frontier, and perhaps have the honor of being es: corted back by a guard of soldiers. All these points being duly attended to, and a o: contract with a vetturino “signed, sealed, and delivered,” with some American friends I tore myself from Florence at daylight on a fine morning in November. Of the two routes to Rome, we had adopted the longer, but more interesting one, by Perugia and Terni. It wound up the lovely valley of the Arno, and if anything could so soon reconcile us to leaving Florence, it would be the delicious landscapes which resented themselves to our eyes, changing at every turn of the road, like the combinations of a kaleidoscope, all different and all beautiful. Jagged hills shot up on every side, with their rugged rocks overshadowed by the umbrella-like stone pines, and their tops crowned by tall WOL. I.-No. VI. 40
towers and ruined fortresses, while in the green hollows between them nestled the country seats of the wealthy Florentines. One of the finest views was on the approach to Incisa, which we reached just as the GRAND DUKE stopped to change horses, on his way to Florence. As he sat in his carriage, one of the crowd handed him a petition, which he put in his pocket very carefully for future consideration, and then drove off with a slight bow to the people. His equipage was but little more showy than our own, and he himself had no decoration, except a ribbon in his button hole. An expression of thoughtful amiability predominated in his countenance, and made it prepossessing in spite of his projecting Austrian lips. His hair was sprinkled with gray, but apparently less from age, than from the labors of his head for the good of his people, to whom his appearance otherwise promised a long continuance of his paternal reign.
The whole day's ride was through a gallery of landscapes painted by Claude's own teacher, Nature herself. At nightfall we reached, Rinaggio, our dining and sleeping goal. Many of our Amer. ican new villages are composed of a tavern, a blacksmith's shop, a church and a court house, but Rimaggio contained only the first two of these elements, combined in one house. . Its solitary seclusion at the foot of a hill, with no other habitation in sight, fitted it capitally for a scene of robbery and assassination. The vetturino had warned us that this was a suspicious road, and had chained down the luggage with screw and padlock. My room door was supplied with three fastenings, a lock, a bolt, and a bar—an alarming excess of precaution. After dinner, where we were waited upon by servants, whose hang-gallows looks would condemn them in any court of Judge Lynch, we retired early to our rooms. I had scarcely fallen asleep, as it then seemed to me, when I was awakened by a loud attack on my door accompanied with harsh shouts! I leaped up, and demanding who was there, found that my assailant was—a servant of the