LOUIS NICOLAS DAVOUT (1770-1823) Autograph letter signed to his wife Aimée Leclerc. SKIERNIBWICE, 19 February [1808} with date stamp of 4 March 1808.
2 pp. 1 /2 in-4, address on back, remnant of red wax seal with shield bearing his initials on marshal’s batons, red postmark «N° 43. GRANDE-ARMÉE»; tears to the address leaf due to opening without affecting the text. «THE LONG JOURNEY FROM POLAND...» «... I WISH THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH SO THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU, IN THE EVENT THAT OUR STAY HERE SHOULD BE PROLONGED..., [TO] UNDERTAKE IN APRIL THE LONG VOYAGE TO POLAND. I will send you... an intelligent guide (it will be Desessart [Marshal Davout’s brother, General Nicolas-Marin LECLERC DES ESSARTS, chief of staff of the Friant division in the 3rd corps of the Grand Army]) and who will be pleasant to you... The news of the first tooth of our second [Napoleone Davout, born the previous year] and of the ease with which she broke through it gave me great pleasure. I hope that our Joséphine [the Marshal’s eldest daughter, born in 1804] will not mind. I feel this way when I am told of her good health, and it is not disturbed by the reports I receive of her inclination to jealousy of her little sister, convinced that this will have no effect and that when the age of reason arrives, she will have only a great deal of attachment to Léone. Although the soldiers on whose existence you ask for information no longer belong to the corps, I will write and take all the necessary steps to obtain them. I didn’t know Mr Henry was so poor. I don’t know what he can spend it on. When he is not at my table, he eats with his general, which happens when I am not in Warsaw because of course when I am there Beaupré [Marshal Davout’s maternal uncle, General Jean-Charles MUSQUINET DE BEAUPRÉ, attached to the staff of the 3rd Corps of the Grand Army] has no other table than mine. Beaupré will remain a little longer to complete his treatment, then he will come to join me with his aide-de-camp; I will take cognizance of his affairs and prevent him from doing foolish things. FOR SOME DAYS NOW IT HAS BEEN QUITE COLD, BUT AS I AM NOT COLD, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE WHO NOTICE AND COMPLAIN. I send a thousand caresses to my little ones and a thousand thousand kisses to their excellent and good mother. All yours for life, your good Louis Davout».