Page:A Set of Six.djvu/309

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
289
IL CONDE

There is a saying of Neapolitan patriotism, intended for the information of foreigners, I presume: "See Naples and then die." Vedi Napoli e poi mori. It is a saying of excessive vanity, and everything excessive was abhorrent to the nice moderation of the poor Count. Yet, as I was seeing him off at the railway station, I thought he was behaving with singular fidelity to its conceited spirit. Vedi Napoli! . . . He had seen it! He had seen it with startling thoroughness—and now he was going to his grave. He was going to it by the train de luxe of the International Sleeping Car Company, via Trieste and Vienna. As the four long, sombre coaches pulled out of the station I raised my hat with the solemn feeling of paying the last tribute of respect to a funeral cortège. Il Conde's profile, much aged already, glided away from me in stony immobility, behind the lighted pane of glass—Vedi Napoli e poi mori!



THE END