- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
408

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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and told his suite that what they saw was worthy
of a place of honour in his Museum in Berlin, for
all he knew it might be an unknown
masterpiece by Phidias himself. Horror-struck Miss
Hall had heard the doctor say it was the only
fragment in San Michele that was not good. It
had been dumped upon him by a well meaning
patient who had bought it in Naples, it was
Canova at his worst. To Miss Hall’s great regret
the party had left almost immediately for the
Marina to embark on their dispatch boat Sleipner
for Naples.

A propos of the Empress of Austria I must
tell you, that Miss Hall was a K.C. of the Imperial
Order of St. Stefan. This high distinction had
been bestowed upon Miss Hall one day by me
when my conscience must have been particularly
bad, as a reward for her faithful services to me
and my dogs. Why it had been bestowed upon
myself I had never succeeded in understanding.
Miss Hall received this decoration from my
hands with bent head and tear-filled eyes. She
said she would take it with her to her grave. I
said I saw no objection, she was sure to go to
Heaven anyhow. But that she would take it
with her to the British Embassy I had not
anticipated. I had succeeded in obtaining from
kind Lord Dufferin an invitation for Miss Hall
to the reception at the Embassy in honour of
the Queen’s birthday, all the English colony in
Rome having been invited except poor Miss Hall.
Overwhelmed with joyful anticipation Miss Hall
had been invisible for several days, hard at work
with her toilette. Judge of my consternation

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