group opposite them were chiefly Knights of Malta and knights of a German order. The mass of heads in the square were covered by gilt helmets and by military caps roofed with a mirror-like glaze, and the movements of the wearers caused these things to catch the sunrays, and the effect was fine to see—the square was like a garden of richly colored flowers with a multitude of blinding and flashing little suns distributed over it.
Think of it—it was by command of that Italian loafer yonder on his imperial throne in the Geneva prison that this splendid multitude was assembled there; and the kings and emperors that were entering the church from a side street were there by his will. It is so strange, so unrealizable.
At three o’clock the carriages were still streaming by in single file. At three-five a cardinal arrives with his attendants; later some bishops; then a number of archdeacons—all in striking colors that add to the show. At three-ten a procession of priests passes along, with crucifix. Another one, presently; after an interval, two more; at three-fifty another one—very long, with many crosses, gold-embroidered robes, and much white lace; also great pictured banners, at intervals, receding into the distance.
A hum of tolling bells makes itself heard, but not sharply. At three-fifty-eight a waiting interval. Presently a long procession of gentlemen in evening dress comes in sight and approaches until it is near to the square, then falls back against the wall of soldiers at the sidewalk, and the white shirt-fronts show like snowflakes and are very conspicuous where so much warm color is all about.
A waiting pause. At four-twelve the head of the funeral procession comes into view at last. First, a body of cavalry, four abreast, to widen the path. Next, a great body of lancers, in blue, with gilt helmets. Next, three six-horse mourning-coaches; outriders and coachmen in black, with cocked hats and white wigs. Next, troops in splendid uniforms, red, gold, and white, exceedingly showy.
Now the multitude uncover. The soldiers present arms; there is a low rumble of drums; the sumptuous great hearse approaches, drawn at a walk by eight black horses plumed with black bunches of nodding ostrich feathers; the coffin is borne into the church, the doors are closed.
The multitude cover their heads, and the rest of the procession moves by; first the Hungarian Guard in their indescribably brilliant and picturesque and beautiful uniform, inherited from the ages of barbaric splendor, and after them other mounted forces, a long and showy array.
Then the shining crowd in the square crumbled apart, a wrecked rainbow, and melted away in radiant streams, and in the turn of a wrist the three dirtiest and raggedest and cheefulest little slum-girls in Austria were capering about in the spacious vacancy. It was a day of contrasts [Note: Sam’s notebook contains seven pages of notes that were the basis for this reportage: NB 40 TS 33-40].
September 18 Sunday
September 19 Monday – In Kaltenleutgeben, Austria, Sam wrote to John Brisben Walker, owner of Cosmopolitan.
Sure it’s the illegant conscience you’ve got, & few there be that can afford such an expensive one. Yes, the second cheque astonished—& gratified—me. I didn’t know what it was for; I merely uttered my little prayer of humble thanks & went & cashed it. Many would have thought God sent it; but I knew by the signature it was you.
Indeed & indeed I am hoping I shall yet appear again in the Cosmopolitan.
Sam related finding an “admirable beer cellar” in a Russian Orthodox church. He also asked Walker to send him the Cosmopolitan again: “Now that I am out of debt I am proposing to revel in luxuries again” [MTP].
September 20 Tuesday – Sam’s notebook entry of Sept. 21 related a dinner tale of this evening:
Sept. 21, ’98. Last night Countess Wydenbruck-Esterhazy & Count Richard Coudenhove came to dinner,
brought further news of their friend the Counts XX (name not spellable) & son. It is now 6 or 7 days since
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.