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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: (urth) A new theory about Napoleon's hand
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 00:23:44 

While I hesitate to bring up this old chestnut again, I am still 
fascinated by Weer's remark about Napoleon's hand on page 2 of 
_Peace_. He remarks that he knew why Napoleon kept one hand thrust 
into his waistcoat, but whenever he told someone the reason, "the 
innocent remark invariably offended."

When we discussed this before, no one could think of a suitable 
"innocent remark" that described any of the possible reasons that 
Napoleon might have had his hand in his waistcoat that would 
invariably offend. Perhaps the remark itself wasn't what offended but 
the fact that Weer presented it as the one true explanation of why 
Napoleon had his hand in his waistcoat. I think if there was ever any 
generally agreed upon explanation of why Napoleon had his hand in his 
waistcoat, then some memory of it would have survived to the present 

So Weer is presenting an definite answer to a question asked by 
people who think it is a question no one knows the answer to. Another 
thing that might make Weer's way of answering the question offend is 
that he just doesn't seem to have had good "people skills."

I don't doubt Weer himself believed that his explanation of the 
Napoleon's hand conundrum was the correct one.

William Ansley

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