On MURAT'S Summons to Sir J. STUART to surrender
SICILY, in order to spare the Effusion of Blood.
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXX (October, 1810), p. 646
Says Murat to Stuart, "Of blood I'm so tender,
I beg, without fighting, your force you'll surrender."
Says the Hero of Maida to Murat—"Excuse me;
And much your fine feelings amaze and amuse me;
Here determin'd we stand, you may come when you will,
Every drop in our veins we are ready to spill!
Aside mutter'd Murat, "Parbleu! when I sent,
'T was my own blood to spare and not yours, that I meant."
1. Sir John Stuart won a major victory over the French at Maida in Southern Italy on July 4, 1806. He landed 4,500 men near Maida cutting off the southernmost French division from the rest of the army seeking to occupy the Kingdom of Naples. The French were forced to abandon their position and their plans to invade Sicily. The British then reinforced the island of Sicily which they held against the French. In 1810, Joachin Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law, who had been made King of Naples, attempted unsuccessfully to take the island from the British.