Rimini, March 30, 1815
PROVIDENCE IS at last calling you to be an independent nation. From the Alps to the Straits of Sicily can be heard a single cry: "Italian independence!" By what title do foreigners deny you this primary right of every people? By what right do they lord it over your beautiful country, taking your wealth elsewhere, conscripting your children to fight and die far from the tombs of their ancestors? Was it in vain that nature created the Alps as your defense and gave you that even greater barrier provided by differences of language, customs and character? No! Away with foreign domination! You were once masters of the world, and have expiated your glory in twenty centuries of slaughter and oppression. But today you can recover that glory by breaking free from your masters.
Every people should keep to the limits assigned to them by nature, and your limits are the sea and the mountains. Do not ask for more than that, but at least drive out the foreigner who violates your territory. Eighty thousand soldiers from Naples led by their King [i.e., Murat himself] have sworn not to rest until they have liberated Italy. We call on Italians from every province to help this great design. Take up arms again and let your young men learn how to fight. Let every free man who has courage and intelligence learn to speak for Italy to every true Italian. If national energies can be fully released, that will decide if Italy will be free or else humiliated and enslaved for further centuries.
M.-H. Weil, Joachim Murat Roi de Naples, la
Dernière année de règne (Paris, 1909), vol. III,
pp. 504-5, cited in