- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
409

(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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when on presenting Miss Hall to her ambassador,
I saw Lord Dufferin screw in his monocle and
stare speechless at Miss Hall’s sternum. Luckily
Lord Dufferin was not an Irishman for nothing.
All he did was to take me aside with a roar of
laughter and make me promise to keep Miss
Hall out of the sight of his Austrian colleague.
Miss Hall told me as we drove home that it had
been the proudest day of her life. Lord Dufferin
had been most gracious to her, everybody had
smiled at her, she felt sure her toilette had been
a great success.

Yes, it is all very well to make fun of Miss
Hall! But I should like to know what will
become of Royalty when Miss Hall is no more
there to keep a diary of their doings, to watch
them with shaking knees and bent head driving
on the Pincio and in the Villa Borghese, to pray
for them in the English church of Via Babuino?
What will become of their stars and ribbons when
mankind will have outgrown playing with toys?
Why not give them all to Miss Hall and be done
with them! There will always remain the V.C.,
we all uncover our heads to courage face to face
with death. Do you know why the V.C. is so
rare in the British Army? Because bravery in
its highest form, Napoleon’s courage de la nuit,
seldom gets the V.C. and because courage
unassisted by luck bleeds to death unrewarded.

Next after the V.C. the most coveted English
decoration is the Garter—it would be an evil day
for England if the order should ever be reversed.

“I like the Garter,” said Lord Melbourne,
“there is no damned merit about it.”

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