A Farewell to Arms Book 1, Chapter 1
Frederic Henry is an American serving as a lieutenant in the Italian army in Italy during World War One. He describes the beautiful lodgings and the village Gorizia through which troops and guns are being moved. There are soldiers bearing their weapons and officers proceeding through town in automobiles. The fast car usually carries the King, Vittorio Emmanuelle, who "lived in Udine and came out this way nearly every day to see how things were going, and things went very badly." Chapter 1, pg. 4. Seven thousand soldiers die of cholera at the end of the year when the rains come. Fred observes the contrast between the scenery and its inhabitants with a certain irony that pervades his narrative.