So I had affronted the Emperor himself! This, then, was the explanation of Von Sanders' boorish behaviour. Fortunately, my position was an impregnable one. I had not arranged the seating precedence at this dinner; I had sent the list of my guests to the Marquis Pallavicini, the Austrian Ambassador and dean of the diplomatic corps, and the greatest authority in Constantinople on such delicate points as this. The Marquis had returned the list, marking in red ink against each name the order of precedence—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. I still possess this document as it came from the Austrian Embassy, and General Von Sanders' name appears with the numerals "13" against it. I must admit, however, that "the 13th chair" did bring him pretty well to the foot of the table.
I explained the situation to Von Mutius and asked M. Panfili, conseiller of the Austrian Embassy, who was a guest at the dinner, to come up and make everything clear to the outraged German diplomat. As the Austrians and Germans were allies, it was quite apparent that the slight, if slight there had been, was unintentional. Panfili said that he had been puzzled over the question of Von Sanders's position, and had submitted the question to the Marquis. The outcome was that the Austrian Ambassador had himself fixed Von Sanders' rank at number 13. But the German Embassy did not let the matter rest there, for afterward Wangenheim called on Pallavicini, and discussed the matter with considerable liveliness.
"If Liman von Sanders represents the Kaiser, whom do you represent?" Pallavicini asked Wangenheim. The argument was a good one, as the ambassador is always regarded as the alter ego of his sovereign.