Elsewhere and everywhere in the nation, however, people are not as reasonable as Lidové noviny. Riots have been reported in Pilsen. The “Propaganda of Truth” has distributed a speech of President Beneš through five hundred pamphlets. “The spirit triumphs over the sword.” The first pamphlet of this secret campaign described Beneš's arrival in America and his welcome by the mayor of New York City.
Whispered propaganda subsequently gathers people on Friday afternoon, this time at the Wilson Monument. Similar to the grave of the Unknown Soldier and Hus's Memorial, it is also to be adorned with flowers. If Neurath could lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier’s grave (even though he placed one simultaneously on the graves of twenty-one Czech gentlemen), perhaps he could also place a wreath at Hus’s Memorial. But what will he do about Wilson?
The people of Prague, whom the new protector would like to please, are wondering: will he lay a wreath, or will he have the monument torn down? Let‘s hope for the latter - that way the Americans will know that the Czechs bring flowers to American presidents and the Germans are trying to stop them. “We like our walks,” say the people of Prague. “One day we'll walk to the Old Town Square, then to Wilson Station, and next month to the Resistance Memorial.” But the Germans are cutting the celebrations as short as they can. Mácha’s funeral has been scheduled to take place at Vyšehrad on the first Sunday of May.
Poet! Czech Poet! Why? Simply: Poet!
Allow me to pay my respects with a eulogy. I am confident you'll like it, whatever it is; as long as it's not the official one. Though I sometimes grapple with the fear of death and funerals, and though I have more than once shed tears for dead poets, let me tell you openly that I find your funeral absurd. It's not even you. Granted, the conservator has indeed verified that the bones are unquestionably yours, as the grave has been undisturbed for a hundred and two years, and there is no doubt regarding the accuracy of the record.
Tell me yourself, is it still you? Yes and no. They have wrapped your bones in a brocade woven after the pattern of the brocade of the kings of Bohemia. I know it would flatter your vanity. But that feeling aside, would you not say it hardly matters what piece of cloth - all depends on what is impressed upon it; the image of mortal suffering, as in Veronica’s case, a tear or a sigh of love.
Is it still you?
Yes and no.
Is it still you, that bone wrapped in a royal cloth?
Yes and no.
Is it still you in the words, “A glorious funeral awaits him?”
Yes and no.
It is also said that you will be laid to rest in a grave where a young girl lay before you. Oh, the images this would have conjured up in your mind! Oh, how many thoughts and ideas. It's a pity you can't throw them in the faces of those who will lay you to rest. General Medek, who is both a general and a writer, will deliver a fine speech. He is a colleague of yours: he has written novels about the life of Czech legionnaires in Russia. Everyone wants a piece of your glory. Two years ago, you were a communist, and today, you're something else again. You represent a poet of rebellion, which you always wished to be.