- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
203

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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between the Germans and other people. The
Latin and the Anglo-Saxon races invariably
adopt the sitting-up position for being shaved,
in Germany you are made to lie flat on your
back. It is all a matter of taste, chacun tue ses
puces à sa façon
, as they say in Paris.”

“It is a matter of habit,” explained the
Leichenbegleiter, “you cannot make a corpse
sit up, you are the first living man I have ever
shaved.”

My companion spread a clean napkin over his
packing-case and opened his provision basket.
An amalgamated scent of sausage, cheese and
sauerkraut tickled my nostrils, Waldmann woke
up instantaneously, we watched him with hungry
eyes. My joy was great when he invited me to
partake of his supper, even the sauerkraut had
lost its horror to my palate. He won my heart
when he presented a large slice of Blutwurst
to Waldmann. The effect was fulmineous and
lasted till Lübeck. When we had finished our
second bottle of Moselle my new friend and I
had few secrets left to reveal to one another.
Yes, one secret I jealously kept to myself—that
I was a doctor. Experience in many lands had
warned me that any hint of a class distinction
between my host and myself would deprive me
of my unique opportunity of seeing life from the
visual angle of a Leichenbegleiter. What little
I know of psychology I owe to a certain inborn
facility for adapting myself to the social level
of my interlocutor. When I am having supper
with a duke I feel quite at home with him and
that I am his equal. When I am having supper

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