- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
407

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XXVI. Miss Hall

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came up to her and told her to move on at once
with the dogs—it was H.I.H. the Empress of
Austria and her sister Countess Trani! How
could the doctor have been so cruel not to have
told her in the summer? Only by a mere
accident did she know much later that a week
after the lady’s visit to San Michele the doctor
had received a letter from the Austrian Embassy
in Rome with an offer to buy San Michele and
that the would-be purchaser was no less a person
than the Empress of Austria. Luckily the
doctor had declined the offer, it would indeed be
a pity if he should sell a place like San Michele
with such unique opportunities for seeing
Royalties! Had she not last summer for weeks been
watching at a respectful distance a granddaughter
of her own beloved Queen Victoria, painting in
the pergola! Had not a cousin of the Tsar
himself been living there for a whole month!
Had she not had the honour to stand behind the
kitchen door to see the Empress Eugénie pass
before her at an arm’s length the first time she
came to San Michele. Had she not heard with
her own ears H.I.H. say to the doctor that she
had never seen a more striking likeness to the
great Napoleon than the head of Augustus the
doctor had dug up in his garden! Had she not
several years later heard the commanding voice
of the Kaiser himself lecturing to his suite on
the various antiquities and works of art as they
passed along accompanied by the doctor who
hardly opened his mouth! Close to where she
stood hidden behind the cypresses, H.I.H. had
pointed to a female torso half covered by the ivy

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