Il n'y a guère de doute qu'il n'en est pas l'auteur, puisque, à moins qu'il ait suivi récemment des cours intensifs d'anglais, aux dernières nouvelles, il avait quelques difficultés à déchiffrer un texte rédigé dans la langue de Shakespeare et donc aurait encore plus de peine à écrire quelques lignes dans cette langue. Il n'indique toutefois pas la provenance de ce texte, se contentant de remercier "François", sans indiquer si "François" en serait le rédacteur ou si c'est un texte dont "François" lui aurait signalé l'existence.BRH a écrit :Having learned from his ministers that his government was determined to poison Napoleon (its maintenance amounted to £ 400,000 a year), the future George IV decided to appropriate the remains of the great warrior; after all, if his ministers were assassins, he should have nothing to fear from their detestable morality. He then passed to Hudson Lowe the necessary oral instructions, by a chosen emissary. It was necessary to put Montholon in the confidence, in order to obtain his approval. So was done. Allowing for a near future outcome, the last favorite in court, the young painter Rubidge embarked opportunely with the family of his brother who emigrated to South Africa. Arrived at St. Helena, he refused to re-embark for the remainder of the trip and remained in St. Helena where he had plenty of time to talk with the two accomplices Lowe and Montholon and ensure their "loyalty"!
On May 5, the play was played. After the burial on May 9, all that remained was to make sure the coffins were taken from St. Helena's grave at night. The coffin was enclosed in a large box of oak and it was transferred to the Camel, a transport intended to repatriate the French exiles, to which Rubidge conveniently joined. Arriving in England, the Camel was aboard with the royal yacht that cruised in the vicinity by pure chance, according to official historians. In a few moments, during the night that followed, the heavy box was stored in the flanks of the ship of His Gracious Majesty.
The Royal Yacht relaxed a little further, while the French were allowed to land on English soil. The heavy box was hoisted on a transport of artillery banalised and conveyed to the royal residence: Royal Lodge, under development. Upon his return from Ireland, George IV hastened to his residence to contemplate the features of the unfortunate hero in his funeral. Prior to his visit, it was received by ad hoc specialists who rushed to stuff the remains. Thus, the bones, the viscera of the illustrious lying were thrown to the dogs, to the delight of His Majesty.
Exposed on a reconstituted death bed, the emperor-stuffed was doing well under a glass globe, intended to keep out flies and other harmful insects. George IV. Was particularly pleased with the work done, and was anxious to receive the generals Montholon and Lowe to enjoy with them this astonishing spectacle, while rewarding them lavishly for their guilty servility. But that did not stop there: the king made the habit of inviting his distinguished guests, namely the principal dandies of London, including the famous Brummell! It was the end of the winter of 1822. One of the dandies, Brummel perhaps, was too talkative. The ministers were not long in getting wind of the rumor and they made sure that it was unfortunately all too real !
The cabinet meets urgently under the direction of Lord Liverpool. The ministers, panicked, were constantly questioning each other. Liverpool put good order to this doglit: if the moment was serious, it was necessary to take measures. The royal act was an insult to the primacy of the ministers. It was no less necessary to react. At all costs, it was necessary to stop the scandal and prevent it from being known. What would Europe say of such infamy ? How would Louis XVIII's France react ? The best thing was first to get hold of the stuffed corpse of Napoleon to keep him out of curiosity. For that, it would be necessary to violate the interior of Royal Lodge's palace in the absence of the monarch, undertaken to carry out by sure men who would not take into account the protests of the domesticity. A competition of public force would be deployed to impose, without the troop itself know what it would be.
After having assured himself of the remains, he agreed to decide his future fate. To destroy it ? But, if someone spoke, the cure would be worse than the harm. Lord Castlereagh then proposed to secretly and provisionally bury the body at Westminster. For it would still be necessary to calm the King, whose wrath would not fail to express himself. What to do next ? Restore it to the family ? It was complicated and risky. Louis XVIII could in turn take umbrage. It was necessary to act quickly and to silence the talkative, even to eliminate the most recalcitrant. Time passing would judge later of the decision to be made ...
Thus a funeral convoy entered the abbey of Westminster on a cold March night, as London could count so much. The coffin was placed in a crypt removed from Westminster, where old objects of Catholic worship had been relegated. Finally, the figure of Buonaparte was hidden from the world !
Time passed but nothing was decided on the ultimate fate of Bonaparte's remains. They could not be brought back to St. Helena. George IV opposed it and Liverpool had the greatest difficulty in explaining to the king that his eccentric behavior was likely to provoke an international scandal that would bring a fatal blow to the honor of England. His GM seemed to realize this, but then demanded that he was no longer touched by the body without his consent; that no action be taken regarding his future destiny without his being informed and ultimately decided in concert with the Prime Minister. The king's private secretary, Colonel MacMahon, paid for this approval: his post was abolished! Lord Liverpool was happy to get away with it so cheaply. Castlereagh defended the royal prerogative and seemed to want to be appointed as Prime Minister. This embarrassment disappeared in August 1822 so as not to curb the Cabinet's initiatives.
It remained that the tomb of St. Helena was empty. It could become unfortunate in the future. Lord Bathurst was concerned. O'Meara had made it clear that the French intended to make a death mask of Cipriani the official mask of Napoleon. But such an event seemed unreliable and utterly insane ! Nevertheless, in 1825, the painter Lawrence, new darling of his Majesty, but very respectful of the ministers, was sent to scout at Antomarchi. The latter consented to present him the mask intended to illustrate the features of the Great Man. A Belgian newspaper even published the news. So it was true: O'Meara was right: the Emperor's own companions wanted to hide his true face, to give it a younger and more serene look through the features of a valet ... What a bargain!
O'Meara was therefore commissioned to win Saint Helena quietly and ensure the state of conservation of the corpse of Cipriani to see if it could be a presentable lure. This is what happened, O'Meara embarked officially to go to Calcutta, where he had to visit a member of his family living in India. During his stop at St. Helena, he was surprised to find the good condition of the corpse of Napoleon's old butler, mummified naturally by dehydration. In accordance with his secret instructions, he dressed the lackey's remains with the elements of Napoleon's uniform, which the Prussians had seized at Waterloo. The whole was installed in 4 coffins with the help of upholsterer Darling and carefully reinstalled in the tomb near the Torbett fountain. Canning had objected and wanted everything restored. He also disappeared opportunely for the safeguard of the English honor!
From now on, everything was ready to receive Frenchmen, if they thought of claiming the ashes of Napoleon ...
Later, Rubidge and Brummell paid with their lives for their propensity to talk too much, as well as other servants of George IV.
Sergeant John Young of the Saint Helena Regiment stood guard at "Bonaparte's Tomb" from 1821 to 1840. He passed on to one of his sons the story of the suspicious exhumations and later his great-grandson Director Terence Young said that his grandmother in the 1920s took him to Westminster, in a remote corner, telling him that beneath their feet was the great Napoleon. He thought she was crazy until he met Georges Reatif de la Bretonne.
Note: in bold, the elements attested on the historical level.
Ce texte est assez remarquable. On notera d'emblée qu'il n'a pas la prétention d'être un texte historique, puisque les seuls éléments "attestés au niveau historique" sont les quelques passages qui ont été mis en gras dans le texte, le reste, c'est-à-dire la plus grande partie du texte, étant donc d'une nature indéterminée. Fiction ? Hypothèse invérifiable ? Uchronie ? Ce n'est pas précisé, mais en tout cas, ce n'est pas historiquement attesté.
Toutefois, même certains passages en gras posent problème, comme la phrase suivante que je traduis pour la facilité de la lecture :
Dans le texte qui précèdent, on avait pu lire que c'était à la fin de l'hiver 1822 que "Beau" Brummel se serait montré trop bavard. Or ce même "Beau" Brummel est mort seulement 18 ans plus tard en 1840 (soit 10 ans après la mort de George IV) au Bon Sauveur de Caen où il avait été interné deux ans plus tôt par suite d'une démence due à la syphilis. S'il faut voir dans cette mort un assassinat commandité par le défunt George IV, soit les assassins étaient vraiment très forts pour faire passer leurs assassinats pour des morts "naturelles", soit ils n'arrivaient pas à honorer leurs commandes dans les délais.Later, Rubidge and Brummell paid with their lives for their propensity to talk too much, as well as other servants of George IV.
Plus tard, Rubidge et Brummel payèrent de leur vie pour leur propension à trop parler comme d'autres serviteurs (complices ?) de George IV.