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The Complete Celebrated Crimes by Alexander Dumas, Pere

Part 14 out of 33

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for we are not of the same religion."

The earls then called the dean, and while the queen, seated in her
little chair, was praying in a low tone, he, kneeling on the scaffold
steps, prayed aloud; and the whole assembly except the queen and her
servants prayed after him; then, in the midst of her orison, which
she said with her Agnus Dei round her neck, a crucifix in one hand,
and her book of Hours in the other, she fell from her seat on to, her
knees, praying aloud in Latin, whilst the others prayed in English,
and when the others were silent, she continued in English in her
turn, so that they could hear her, praying for the afflicted Church
of Christ, for an end to the persecution of Catholics, arid for the
happiness of her son's reign; then she said, in accents full of faith
and fervour, that she hoped to be saved by the merits of Jesus
Christ, at the foot of whose cross she was going to shed her blood.

At these words the Earl of Kent could no longer contain himself, and
without respect for the sanctity of the moment--

"Oh, madam," said he, "put Jesus Christ in your heart, and reject
all this rubbish of popish deceptions."

But she, without listening, went on, praying the saints to intercede
with God for her, and kissing the crucifix, she cried--

"Lord! Lord! receive me in Thy arms out stretched on the cross, and
forgive me all my sins!"

Thereupon,--she being again seated in the chair, the Earl of Kent
asked her if she had any confession to make; to which she replied
that, not being guilty of anything, to confess would be to give
herself, the lie.

"It is well," the earl answered; "then, madam, prepare."

The queen rose, and as the executioner approached to assist her

"Allow me, my friend," said she; I know how to do it better than you,
and am not accustomed to undress before so many spectators, nor to be
served by such valets."

And then, calling her two women, she began to unpin her coiffure, and
as Jeanne Kennedy and Elspeth Curle, while performing this last
service for their mistress, could not help weeping bitterly--

"Do not weep," she said to them in French; "for I have promised and
answered for you."

With these words, she made the sign of the cross upon the forehead of
each, kissed them, and recommended them to pray for her.

Then the queen began to undress, herself assisting, as she was wont
to do when preparing for bed, and taking the gold cross from her
neck, she wished to give it to Jeanne, saying to the executioner--

"My friend, I know that all I have upon me belongs to you; but this
is not in your way: let me bestow it, if you please, on this young
lady, and she will give you twice its value in money."

But the executioner, hardly allowing her to finish, snatched it from
her hands with--

"It is my right."

The queen was not moved much by this brutality, and went on taking
off her garments until she was simply in her petticoat.

Thus rid of all her garb, she again sat down, and Jeanne Kennedy
approaching her, took from her pocket the handkerchief of gold-
embroidered cambric which she had prepared the night before, and
bound her eyes with it; which the earls, lords; and gentlemen looked
upon with great surprise, it not being customary in England, and as
she thought that she was to be beheaded in the French way--that is to
say, seated in the chair--she held herself upright, motionless, and
with her neck stiffened to make it easier for the executioner, who,
for his part, not knowing how to proceed, was standing, without
striking, axe in hand: at last the man laid his hand on the queen's
head, and drawing her forward, made her fall on her knees: Mary then
understood what was required of her, and feeling for the block with
her hands, which were still holding her book of Hours and her
crucifix, she laid her neck on it, her hands joined beneath her chin,
that she might pray till the last moment: the executioner's assistant
drew them away, for fear they should be cut off with her head; and as
the queen was saying, "In manes teas, Domine," the executioner raised
his axe, which was simply an axe far chopping wood, and struck the
first blow, which hit too high, and piercing the skull, made the
crucifix and the book fly from the condemned's hands by its violence,
but which did not sever the head. However, stunned with the blow,
the queen made no movement, which gave the executioner time to
redouble it; but still the head did not fall, and a third stroke was
necessary to detach a shred of flesh which held it to the shoulders.

At last, when the head was quite severed, the executioner held it up
to show to the assembly, saying

"God save Queen Elizabeth!"

"So perish all Her Majesty's enemies!" responded the Dean of

"Amen," said the Earl of Kent; but he was the only one: no other
voice could respond, for all were choked with sobs.

At that moment the queen's headdress falling, disclosed her hair, cut
very short, and as white as if she had been aged seventy: as to her
face, it had so changed during her death-agony that no one would have
recognised it had he not known it was hers. The spectators cried out
aloud at this sign; for, frightful to see, the eyes were open, and
the lids went on moving as if they would still pray, and this
muscular movement lasted for more than a quarter of an hour after the
head had been cut off.

The queen's servants had rushed upon the scaffold, picking up the
book of Hours and the crucifix as relics; and Jeanne Kennedy,
remembering the little dog who had come to his mistress, looked about
for him on all sides, seeking him and calling him, but she sought and
called in vain. He had disappeared.

At that moment, as one of the executioners was untying the queen's
garters, which were of blue satin embroidered in silver, he saw the
poor little animal, which had hidden in her petticoat, and which he
was obliged to bring out by force; then, having escaped from his
hands, it took refuge between the queen's shoulders and her head,
which the executioner had laid down near the trunk. Jeanne took him
then, in spite of his howls, and carried him away, covered with
blood; for everyone had just been ordered to leave the hall.
Bourgoin and Gervais stayed behind, entreating Sir Amyas Paulet to
let them take the queen's heart, that they might carry it to France,
as they had promised her; but they were harshly refused and pushed
out of the hall, of which all the doors were closed, and there there
remained only the executioner and the corpse.

Brantome relates that something infamous took place there!


Two hours after the execution, the body and the head were taken into
the same hall in which Mary Stuart had appeared before the
commissioners, set down on a table round which the judges had sat,
and covered over with a black serge cloth; and there remained till
three o'clock in the afternoon, when Waters the doctor from Stamford
and the surgeon from Fotheringay village came to open and embalm
them--an operation which they carried out under the eyes of Amyas
Paulet and his soldiers, without any respect for the rank and sex of
the poor corpse, which was thus exposed to the view of anyone who
wanted to see it: it is true that this indignity did not fulfil its
proposed aim; for a rumour spread about that the queen had swollen
limbs and was dropsical, while, on the contrary, there was not one of
the spectators but was obliged to confess that he had never seen the
body of a young girl in the bloom of health purer and lovelier than
that of Mary Stuart, dead of a violent death after nineteen years of
suffering and captivity.

When the body was opened, the spleen was in its normal state, with
the veins a little livid only, the lungs yellowish in places, and the
brain one-sixth larger than is usual in persons of the same age and
sex; thus everything promised a long life to her whose end had just
been so cruelly hastened.

A report having been made of the above, the body was embalmed after a
fashion, put in a leaden coffin and that in another of wood, which
was left on the table till the first day of August--that is, for
nearly five months--before anyone was allowed to come near it; and
not only that, but the English having noticed that Mary Stuart's
unhappy servants, who were still detained as prisoners, went to look
at it through the keyhole, stopped that up in such a way that they
could not even gaze at the coffin enclosing the body of her whom they
had so greatly loved.

However, one hour after Mary Stuart's death, Henry Talbot, who had
been present at it, set out at full speed for London, carrying to
Elizabeth the account of her rival's death; but at the very first
lines she read, Elizabeth, true to her character, cried out in grief
and indignation, saying that her orders had been misunderstood, that
there had been too great haste, and that all this was the fault of
Davison the Secretary of State, to whom she had given the warrant to
keep till she had made up her mind, but not to send to Fotheringay.
Accordingly, Davison was sent to the Tower and condemned to pay a
fine of ten thousand pounds sterling, for having deceived the queen.
Meanwhile, amid all this grief, an embargo was laid on all vessels in
all the ports of the realm, so that the news of the death should not
reach abroad, especially France, except through skilful emissaries
who could place the execution in the least unfavourable light for
Elizabeth. At the same time the scandalous popular festivities which
had marked the announcement of the sentence again celebrated the
tidings of the execution. London was illuminated, bonfires lit, and
the enthusiasm was such that the French Embassy was broken into and
wood taken to revive the fires when they began to die down.

Crestfallen at this event, M. de Chateauneuf was still shut up at the
Embassy, when, a fortnight later, he received an invitation from
Elizabeth to visit her at the country house of the Archbishop of
Canterbury. M. de Chateauneuf went thither with the firm resolve to
say no word to her on what had happened; but as soon as she saw him,
Elizabeth, dressed in black, rose, went to him, and, overwhelming him
with kind attentions, told him that she was ready to place all the
strength of her kingdom at Henry III's disposal to help him put down
the League. Chateauneuf received all these offers with a cold and
severe expression, without saying, as he had promised himself, a
single word about the event which had put both the queen and himself
into mourning. But, taking him by the hand, she drew him aside, and
there, with deep sighs, said--

"Ah! sir, since I saw you the greatest misfortune which could befall
me has happened: I mean the death of my good sister, the Queen of
Scotland, of which I swear by God Himself, my soul and my salvation,
that I am perfectly innocent. I had signed the order, it is true;
but my counsellors have played me a trick for which I cannot calm
myself; and I swear to God that if it were not for their long service
I would have them beheaded. I have a woman's frame, sir, but in this
woman's frame beats a man's heart."

Chateauneuf bowed without a response; but his letter to Henry III and
Henry's answer prove that neither the one nor the other was the dupe
of this female Tiberius.

Meanwhile, as we have said, the unfortunate servants were prisoners,
and the poor body was in that great hall waiting for a royal
interment. Things remained thus, Elizabeth said, to give her time to
order a splendid funeral for her good sister Mary, but in reality
because the queen dared not place in juxtaposition the secret and
infamous death and the public and royal burial; then, was not time
needed for the first reports which it pleased Elizabeth to spread to
be credited before the truth should be known by the mouths of the
servants? For the queen hoped that once this careless world had made
up its mind about the death of the Queen of Scots, it would not take
any further trouble to change it. Finally, it was only when the
warders were as tired as the prisoners, that Elizabeth, having
received a report stating that the ill-embalmed body could no longer
be kept, at last ordered the funeral to take place.

Accordingly, after the 1st of August, tailors and dressmakers arrived
at Fotheringay Castle, sent by Elizabeth, with cloth and black silk
stuffs, to clothe in mourning all Mary's servants. But they refused,
not having waited for the Queen of England's bounty, but having made
their funeral garments at their own expense, immediately after their
mistress's death. The tailors and dressmakers, however, none the
less set so actively to work that on the 7th everything was finished.

Next day, at eight o'clock in the evening, a large chariot, drawn by
four horses in mourning trappings, and covered with black velvet like
the chariot, which was, besides, adorned with little streamers on
which were embroidered the arms of Scotland, those of the queen, and
the arms of Aragon, those of Darnley, stopped at the gate of
Fotheringay Castle. It was followed by the herald king, accompanied
by twenty gentlemen on horseback, with their servants and lackeys,
all dressed in mourning, who, having alighted, mounted with his whole
train into the room where the body lay, and had it brought down and
put into the chariot with all possible respect, each of the
spectators standing with bared head and in profound silence.

This visit caused a great stir among the prisoners, who debated a
while whether they ought not to implore the favour of being allowed
to follow their mistress's body, which they could not and should not
let go alone thus; but just as they were about to ask permission to
speak to the herald king, he entered the room where they were
assembled, and told them that he was charged by his mistress, the
august Queen of England, to give the Queen of Scotland the most
honourable funeral he could; that, not wishing to fail in such a high
undertaking, he had already made most of the preparations for the
ceremony, which was to take place on the 10th of August, that is to
say, two days later,--but that the leaden shell in which the body was
enclosed being very heavy, it was better to move it beforehand, and
that night, to where the grave was dug, than to await the day of the
interment itself; that thus they might be easy, this burial of the
shell being only a preparatory ceremony; but that if some of them
would like to accompany the corpse, to see what was done with it,
they were at liberty, and that those who stayed behind could follow
the funeral pageant, Elizabeth's positive desire being that all, from
first to last, should be present in the funeral procession. This
assurance calmed the unfortunate prisoners, who deputed Bourgoin,
Gervais, and six others to follow their mistress's body: these were
Andrew Melville, Stewart, Gorjon, Howard, Lauder, and Nicholas

At ten o'clock at night they set out, walking behind the chariot,
preceded by the herald, accompanied by men on foot, who carried
torches to light the way, and followed by twenty gentlemen and their
servants. In this manner, at two o'clock in the morning, they
reached Peterborough, where there is a splendid cathedral built by an
ancient Saxon king, and in which, on the left of the choir, was
already interred good Queen Catharine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII,
and where was her tomb, still decked with a canopy bearing her arms.

On arriving, they found the cathedral all hung with black, with a
dome erected in the middle of the choir, much in the way in which
'chapelles ardentes' are set up in France, except that there were no
lighted candles round it. This dome was covered with black velvet,
and overlaid with the arms of Scotland and Aragon, with streamers
like those on the chariot yet again repeated. The state coffin was
already set up under this dome: it was a bier, covered like the rest
in black velvet fringed with silver, on which was a pillow of the
same supporting a royal crown.

To the right of this dome, and in front of the burial-place of Queen
Catharine of Aragon, Mary of Scotland's sepulchre had been dug: it
was a grave of brick, arranged to be covered later with a slab or a
marble tomb, and in which was to be deposited the coffin, which the
Bishop of Peterborough, in his episcopal robes, but without his
mitre, cross, or cope, was awaiting at the door, accompanied by his
dean and several other clergy. The body was brought into the
cathedral, without chant or prayer, and was let down into the tomb
amid a profound silence. Directly it was placed there, the masons,
who had stayed their hands, set to work again, closing the grave
level with the floor, and only leaving an opening of about a foot and
a half, through which could be seen what was within, and through
which could be thrown on the coffin, as is customary at the obsequies
of kings, the broken staves of the officers and the ensigns and
banners with their arms. This nocturnal ceremony ended, Melville,
Bourgoin, and the other deputies were taken to the bishop's palace,
where the persons appointed to take part in the funeral procession
were to assemble, in number more than three hundred and fifty, all
chosen, with the exception of the servants, from among the
authorities, the nobility, and Protestant clergy.

The day following, Thursday, August the 9th, they began to hang the
banqueting halls with rich and sumptuous stuffs, and that in the
sight of Melville, Bourgoin, and the others, whom they had brought
thither, less to be present at the interment of Queen Mary than to
bear witness to the magnificence of Queen Elizabeth. But, as one may
suppose, the unhappy prisoners were indifferent to this splendour,
great and extraordinary as it was.

On Friday, August 10th, all the chosen persons assembled at the
bishop's palace: they ranged themselves in the appointed order, and
turned their steps to the cathedral, which was close by. When they
arrived there, they took the places assigned them in the choir, and
the choristers immediately began to chant a funeral service in
English and according to Protestant rites. At the first words of
this service, when he saw it was not conducted by Catholic priests,
Bourgoin left the cathedral, declaring that he would not be present
at such sacrilege, and he was followed by all Mary's servants, men
and women, except Melville and Barbe Mowbray, who thought that
whatever the tongue in which one prayed, that tongue was heard by the
Lord. This exit created great scandal; but the bishop preached none
the less.

The sermon ended, the herald king went to seek Bourgoin and his
companions, who were walking in the cloisters, and told them that the
almsgiving was about to begin, inviting them to take part in this
ceremony; but they replied that being Catholics they could not make
offerings at an altar of which they disapproved. So the herald king
returned, much put out at the harmony of the assembly being disturbed
by this dissent; but the alms-offering took place no less than the
sermon. Then, as a last attempt, he sent to them again, to tell them
that the service was quite over, and that accordingly they might
return for the royal ceremonies, which belonged only to the religion
of the dead; and this time they consented; but when they arrived, the
staves were broken, and the banners thrown into the grave through the
opening that the workmen had already closed.

Then, in the same order in which it had come, the procession returned
to the palace, where a splendid funeral repast had been prepared. By
a strange contradiction, Elizabeth, who, having punished the living
woman as a criminal, had just treated the dead woman as a queen, had
also wished that the honours of the funeral banquet should be for the
servants, so long forgotten by her. But, as one can imagine, these
ill accommodated themselves to that intention, did not seem
astonished at this luxury nor rejoiced at this good cheer, but, on
the contrary, drowned their bread and wine in tears, without
otherwise responding to the questions put to them or the honours
granted them. And as soon as the repast was ended, the poor servants
left Peterborough and took the road back to Fotheringay, where they
heard that they were free at last to withdraw whither they would.
They did not need to be told twice; for they lived in perpetual fear,
not considering their lives safe so long as they remained in England.
They therefore immediately collected all their belongings, each
taking his own, and thus went out of Fotheringay Castle on foot,
Monday, 13th August, 1587.

Bourgoin went last: having reached the farther side of the
drawbridge, he turned, and, Christian as he was, unable to forgive
Elizabeth, not for his own sufferings, but for his mistress's, he
faced about to those regicide walls, and, with hands outstretched to
them, said in a loud and threatening voice, those words of David:
"Let vengeance for the blood of Thy servants, which has been shed, O
Lord God, be acceptable in Thy sight". The old man's curse was
heard, and inflexible history is burdened with Elizabeth's

We said that the executioner's axe, in striking Mary Stuart's head,
had caused the crucifix and the book of Hours which she was holding
to fly from her hands. We also said that the two relics had been
picked up by people in her following. We are not aware of what
became of the crucifix, but the book of Hours is in the royal
library, where those curious about these kinds of historical
souvenirs can see it: two certificates inscribed on one of the blank
leaves of the volume demonstrate its authenticity. These are they:


"We the undersigned Vicar Superior of the strict observance of the
Order of Cluny, certify that this book has been entrusted to us by
order of the defunct Dom Michel Nardin, a professed religious priest
of our said observance, deceased in our college of Saint-Martial of
Avignon, March 28th, 1723, aged about eighty years, of which he has
spent about thirty among us, having lived very religiously: he was a
German by birth, and had served as an officer in the army a long

"He entered Cluny, and made his profession there, much detached from
all this world's goods and honours; he only kept, with his superior's
permission, this book, which he knew had been in use with Mary
Stuart, Queen of England and Scotland, to the end of her life.

"Before dying and being parted from his brethren, he requested that,
to be safely remitted to us, it should be sent us by mail, sealed.
Just as we have received it, we have begged M. L'abbe Bignon,
councillor of state and king's librarian, to accept this precious
relic of the piety of a Queen of England, and of a German officer of
her religion as well as of ours.

"Vicar-General Superior."


"We, Jean-Paul Bignon, king's librarian, are very happy to have an
opportunity of exhibiting our zeal, in placing the said manuscript in
His Majesty's library.

"8th July, 1724."


This manuscript, on which was fixed the last gaze of the Queen of
Scotland, is a duodecimo, written in the Gothic character and
containing Latin prayers; it is adorned with miniatures set off with
gold, representing devotional subjects, stories from sacred history,
or from the lives of saints and martyrs. Every page is encircled
with arabesques mingled with garlands of fruit and flowers, amid
which spring up grotesque figures of men and animals.

As to the binding, worn now, or perhaps even then, to the woof, it is
in black velvet, of which the flat covers are adorned in the centre
with an enamelled pansy, in a silver setting surrounded by a wreath,
to which are diagonally attached from one corner of the cover to the
other, two twisted silver-gilt knotted cords, finished by a tuft at
the two ends.


By Alexander Dumas, Pere


On the 22nd of March, 1819, about nine o'clock in the morning, a
young man, some twenty-three or twenty-four years old, wearing the
dress of a German student, which consists of a short frock-coat with
silk braiding, tight trousers, and high boots, paused upon a little
eminence that stands upon the road between Kaiserthal and Mannheim,
at about three-quarters of the distance from the former town, and
commands a view of the latter. Mannheim is seen rising calm and
smiling amid gardens which once were ramparts, and which now surround
and embrace it like a girdle of foliage and flowers. Having reached
this spot, he lifted his cap, above the peak of which were
embroidered three interlaced oak leaves in silver, and uncovering his
brow, stood bareheaded for a moment to feel the fresh air that rose
from the valley of the Neckar. At first sight his irregular features
produced a strange impression; but before long the pallor of his
face, deeply marked by smallpox, the infinite gentleness of his eyes,
and the elegant framework of his long and flowing black hair, which
grew in an admirable curve around a broad, high forehead, attracted
towards him that emotion of sad sympathy to which we yield without
inquiring its reason or dreaming of resistance. Though it was still
early, he seemed already to have come some distance, for his boots
were covered with dust; but no doubt he was nearing his destination,
for, letting his cap drop, and hooking into his belt his long pipe,
that inseparable companion of the German Borsch, he drew from his
pocket a little note-book, and wrote in it with a pencil: "Left
Wanheim at five in the morning, came in sight of Mannheim at a
quarter-past nine." Then putting his note-book back into his pocket,
he stood motionless for a moment, his lips moving as though in mental
prayer, picked up his hat, and walked on again with a firm step
towards Mannheim.

This young Student was Karl-Ludwig Sand, who was coming from Jena, by
way of Frankfort aid Darmstadt, in order to assassinate Kotzebue.

Now, as we are about to set before our readers one of those terrible
actions for the true appreciation of which the conscience is the sole
judge, they must allow us to make them fully acquainted with him whom
kings regarded as an assassin, judges as a fanatic, and the youth of
Germany as a hero. Charles Louis Sand was born on the 5th of
October, 1795, at Wonsiedel, in the Fichtel Wald; he was the
youngest son of Godfrey Christopher Sand, first president and
councillor of justice to the King of Prussia, and of Dorothea Jane
Wilheltmina Schapf, his wife. Besides two elder brothers, George,
who entered upon a commercial career at St, Gall, and Fritz, who was
an advocate in the Berlin court of appeal, he had an elder sister
named Caroline, and a younger sister called Julia.

While still in the cradle he had been attacked by smallpox of the
most malignant type. The virus having spread through all his body,
laid bare his ribs, and almost ate away his skull. For several
months he lay between life and death; but life at last gained the
upper hand. He remained weak and sickly, however, up to his seventh
year, at which time a brain fever attacked him; and again put his
life in danger. As a compensation, however, this fever, when it left
him, seemed to carry away with it all vestiges of his former illness.
From that moment his health and strength came into existence; but
during these two long illnesses his education had remained very
backward, and it was not until the age of eight that he could begin
his elementary studies; moreover, his physical sufferings having
retarded his intellectual development, he needed to work twice as
hard as others to reach the same result.

Seeing the efforts that young Sand made, even while still quite a
child, to conquer the defects of his organisation, Professor
Salfranck, a learned and distinguished man, rector of the Hof
gymnasium [college], conceived such an affection for him, that when,
at a later time, he was appointed director of the gymnasium at
Ratisbon, he could not part from his pupil, and took him with him.
In this town, and at the age of eleven years, he gave the first proof
of his courage and humanity. One day, when he was walking with some
young friends, he heard cries for help, and ran in that direction: a
little boy, eight or nine years old, had just fallen into a pond.
Sand immediately, without regarding his best clothes, of which,
however, he was very proud, sprang into the water, and, after
unheard-of efforts for a child of his age, succeeded in bringing the
drowning boy to land.

At the age of twelve or thirteen, Sand, who had become more active,
skilful, and determined than many of his elders, often amused himself
by giving battle to the lads of the town and of the neighbouring
villages. The theatre of these childish conflicts, which in their
pale innocence reflected the great battles that were at that time
steeping Germany in blood, was generally a plain extending from the
town of Wonsiedel to the mountain of St. Catherine, which had ruins
at its top, and amid the ruins a tower in excellent preservation.
Sand, who was one of the most eager fighters, seeing that his side
had several times been defeated on account of its numerical
inferiority, resolved, in order to make up for this drawback, to
fortify the tower of St. Catherine, and to retire into it at the next
battle if its issue proved unfavourable to him. He communicated this
plan to his companions, who received it with enthusiasm. A week was
spent, accordingly, in collecting all possible weapons of defence in
the tower and in repairing its doors and stairs. These preparations
were made so secretly that the army of the enemy had no knowledge of

Sunday came: the holidays were the days of battle. Whether because
the boys were ashamed of having been beaten last time, or for some
other reason, the band to which Sand belonged was even weaker than
usual. Sure, however, of a means of retreat, he accepted battle,
notwithstanding. The struggle was not a long one; the one party was
too weak in numbers to make a prolonged resistance, and began to
retire in the best order that could be maintained to St. Catherine's
tower, which was reached before much damage had been felt. Having
arrived there, some of the combatants ascended to the ramparts, and
while the others defended themselves at the foot of the wall, began
to shower stones and pebbles upon the conquerors. The latter,
surprised at the new method of defence which was now for the first
time adopted, retreated a little; the rest of the defenders took
advantage of the moment to retire into the fortress and shut the
door. Great was the astonishment an the part of the besiegers: they
had always seen that door broken down, and lo! all at once it was
presenting to them a barrier which preserved the besieged from their
blows. Three or four went off to find instruments with which to
break it down and meanwhile the rest of the attacking farce kept the
garrison blockaded.

At the end of half an hour the messengers returned not only with
levers and picks, but also with a considerable reinforcement composed
of lads from, the village to which they had been to fetch tools.

Then began the assault: Sand and his companions defended themselves
desperately; but it was soon evident that, unless help came, the
garrison would be forced to capitulate. It was proposed that they
should draw lots, and that one of the besieged should be chosen, who
in spite of the danger should leave the tower, make his way as best
he might through the enemy's army, and go to summon the other lads of
Wonsiedel, who had faint-heartedly remained at home. The tale of the
peril in which their Comrades actually were, the disgrace of a
surrender, which would fall upon all of them, would no doubt overcome
their indolence and induce them to make a diversion that would allow
the garrison to attempt sortie. This suggestion was adopted; but
instead of leaving the decision to chance, Sand proposed himself as
the messenger. As everybody knew his courage, his skill, and his
lightness of foot, the proposition was unanimously accepted, and the
new Decius prepared to execute his act of devotion. The deed was not
free from danger: there were but two means of egress, one by way of
the door, which would lead to the fugitive's falling immediately into
the hands of the enemy; the other by jumping from a rampart so high
that the enemy had not set a guard there. Sand without a moment's
hesitation went to the rampart, where, always religious, even in his
childish pleasures, he made a short prayer; then, without fear,
without hesitation, with a confidence that was almost superhuman, he
sprang to the ground: the distance was twenty-two feet. Sand flew
instantly to Wonsiedel, and reached it, although the enemy had
despatched their best runners in pursuit. Then the garrison, seeing
the success of their enterprise, took fresh courage, and united their
efforts against the besiegers, hoping everything from Sand's
eloquence, which gave him a great influence over his young
companions. And, indeed, in half an hour he was seen reappearing at
the head of some thirty boys of his own age, armed with slings and
crossbows. The besiegers, on the point of being attacked before and
behind, recognised the disadvantage of their position and retreated.
The victory remained with Sand's party, and all the honours of the
day were his.

We have related this anecdote in detail, that our readers may
understand from the character of the child what was that of the man.
Besides, we shall see him develop, always calm and superior amid
small events as amid large ones.

About the same time Sand escaped almost miraculously from two
dangers. One day a hod full of plaster fell from a scaffold and
broke at his feet. Another day the Price of Coburg, who during the
King of Prussia's stay at the baths of Alexander, was living in the
house of Sand's parents, was galloping home with four horses when he
came suddenly upon young Karl in a gateway; he could not escape
either on the right or the left, without running the risk of being
crushed between the wall and the wheels, and the coachman could not,
when going at such a pace, hold in his horses: Sand flung himself on
his face, and the carriage passed over him without his receiving so
much as a single scratch either from the horses or the wheels. From
that moment many people regarded him as predestined, and said that
the hand of God was upon him.

Meanwhile political events were developing themselves around the boy,
and their seriousness made him a man before the age of manhood.
Napoleon weighed upon Germany like another Sennacherib. Staps had
tried to play the part of Mutius Scaevola, and had died a martyr.
Sand was at Hof at that time, and was a student of the gymnasium of
which his good tutor Salfranck was the head. He learned that the man
whom he regarded as the antichrist was to come and review the troops
in that town; he left it at once and went home to his parents, who
asked him for what reason he had left the gymnasium.

"Because I could not have been in the same town with Napoleon," he
answered, "without trying to kill him, and I do not feel my hand
strong enough for that yet."

This happened in 1809; Sand was fourteen years old. Peace, which was
signed an the 15th of October, gave Germany some respite, and allowed
the young fanatic to resume his studies without being distracted by
political considerations; but in 1811 he was occupied by them again,
when he learned that the gymnasium was to be dissolved and its place
taken by a primary school. To this the rector Salfranck was
appointed as a teacher, but instead of the thousand florins which his
former appointment brought him, the new one was worth only five
hundred. Karl could not remain in a primary school where he could
not continue his education; he wrote to his mother to announce this
event and to tell her with what equanimity the old German philosopher
had borne it. Here is the answer of Sand's mother; it will serve to
show the character of the woman whose mighty heart never belied
itself in the midst of the severest suffering; the answer bears the
stamp of that German mysticism of which we have no idea in France:--

"MY DEAR KARL,--You could not have given me a more grievous piece of
news than that of the event which has just fallen upon your tutor and
father by adoption; nevertheless, terrible though it may be, do not
doubt that he will resign himself to it, in order to give to the
virtue of his pupils a great example of that submission which every
subject owes to the king wham God has set over him. Furthermore, be
well assured that in this world there is no other upright and well
calculated policy than that which grows out of the old precept,
'Honour God, be just and fear not.' And reflect also that when
injustice against the worthy becomes crying, the public voice makes
itself heard, and uplifts those who are cast down.

"But if, contrary to all probability, this did not happen,--if God
should impose this sublime probation upon the virtue of our friend,
if the world were to disown him and Providence were to became to
that, degree his debtor,--yet in that case there are, believe me,
supreme compensations: all the things and all the events that occur
around us and that act upon us are but machines set in motion by a
Higher Hand, so as to complete our education for a higher world, in
which alone we shall take our true place. Apply yourself, therefore,
my dear child, to watch over yourself unceasingly and always, so that
you may not take great and fine isolated actions for real virtue, and
may be ready every moment to do all that your duty may require of
you. Fundamentally nothing is great, you see, and nothing small,
when things are, looked at apart from one another, and it is only the
putting of things together that produces the unity of evil or of

"Moreover, God only sends the trial to the heart where He has put
strength, and the manner in which you tell me that your master has
borne the misfortune that has befallen him is a fresh proof of this
great and eternal truth. You must form yourself upon him, my dear
child, and if you are obliged to leave Hof for Bamberg you must
resign yourself to it courageously. Man has three educations: that
which he receives from his parents, that which circumstances impose
upon him, and lastly that which he gives himself; if that misfortune
should occur, pray to God that you may yourself worthily complete
that last education, the most important of all.

"I will give you as an example the life and conduct of my father, of
whom you have not heard very much, for he died before you were born,
but whose mind and likeness are reproduced in you only among all your
brothers and sisters. The disastrous fire which reduced his native
town to ashes destroyed his fortune and that of his relatives; grief
at having lost everything--for the fire broke out in the next house
to his--cost his father his life; and while his mother, who for six
years had been stretched an a bed of pain, where horrible convulsions
held her fast, supported her three little girls by the needlework
that she did in the intervals of suffering, he went as a mere clerk
into one of the leading mercantile houses of Augsburg, where his
lively and yet even temper made him welcome; there he learned a
calling, for which, however, he was not naturally adapted, and came
back to the home of his birth with a pure and stainless heart, in
order to be the support of his mother and his sisters.

"A man can do much when he wishes to do much: join your efforts to my
prayers, and leave the rest in the hands of God."

The prediction of this Puritan woman was fulfilled: a little time
afterwards rector Salfranck was appointed professor at Richembourg,
whither Sand followed him; it was there that the events of 1813 found
him. In the month of March he wrote to his mother:--

"I can scarcely, dear mother, express to you how calm and happy I
begin to feel since I am permitted to believe in the enfranchisement
of my country, of which I hear on every side as being so near at
hand,--of that country which, in my faith in God, I see beforehand
free and mighty, that country for whose happiness I would undergo the
greatest sufferings, and even death. Take strength for this crisis.
If by chance it should reach our good province, lift your eyes to the
Almighty, then carry them back to beautiful rich nature. The
goodness of God which preserved and protected so many men during the
disastrous Thirty Years' War can do and will do now what it could and
did then. As for me, I believe and hope."

Leipzig came to justify Sand's presentiments; then the year 1814
arrived, and he thought Germany free.

On the 10th of December in the same year he left Richembourg with
this certificate from his master:--

"Karl Sand belongs to the small number of those elect young men who
are distinguished at once by the gifts of the mind and the faculties
of the soul; in application and work he surpasses all his fellow-
students, and this fact explains his rapid progress in all the
philosophical and philological sciences; in mathematics only there
are still some further studies which he might pursue. The most
affectionate wishes of his teacher follow him on his departure.

"J. A. KEYN,
"Rector, and master of the first class.
"Richembourg, Sept. 15, 1814"

But it was really the parents of Sand, and in particular his mother,
who had prepared the fertile soil in which his teachers had sowed the
seeds of learning; Sand knew this well, for at the moment of setting
out for the university of Tubingen, where he was about to complete
the theological studies necessary for becoming a pastor, as he
desired to do, he wrote to them:--

"I confess that, like all my brothers and sisters, I owe to you that
beautiful and great part of my education which I have seen to be
lacking to most of those around me. Heaven alone can reward you by a
conviction of having so nobly and grandly fulfilled your parental
duties, amid many others."

After having paid a visit to his brother at St. Gall, Sand reached
Tubingen, to which he had been principally attracted by the
reputation of Eschenmayer; he spent that winter quietly, and no other
incident befell than his admission into an association of Burschen,
called the Teutonic; then came tester of 1815, and with it the
terrible news that Napoleon had landed in the Gulf of Juan.
Immediately all the youth of Germany able to bear arms gathered once
more around the banners of 1813 and 1814. Sand followed the general
example; but the action, which in others was an effect of enthusiasm,
was in him the result of calm and deliberate resolution. He wrote to
Wonsiedel on this occasion:--

"April 22, 1813

"MY DEAR PARENTS,--Until now you have found me submissive to your
parental lessons and to the advice of my excellent masters; until now
I have made efforts to render myself worthy of the education that God
has sent me through you, and have applied myself to become capable of
spreading the word of the Lord through my native land; and for this
reason I can to-day declare to you sincerely the decision that I lave
taken, assured that as tender and affectionate parents you will calm
yourselves, and as German parents and patriots you will rather praise
my resolution than seek to turn me from it.

"The country calls once more for help, and this time the call is
addressed to me, too, for now I have courage and strength. It cast
me a great in ward struggle, believe me, to abstain when in 1813 she
gave her first cry, and only the conviction held me back that
thousands of others were then fighting and conquering for Germany,
while I had to live far the peaceful calling to which I was destined.
Now it is a question of preserving our newly re-established liberty,
which in so many places has already brought in so rich a harvest.
The all-powerful and merciful Lord reserves for us this great trial,
which will certainly be the last; it is for us, therefore, to show
that we are worthy of the supreme gift which He has given us, and
capable of upholding it with strength and firmness.

"The danger of the country has never been so great as it is now, that
is why, among the youth of Germany, the strong should support the
wavering, that all may rise together. Our brave brothers in the
north are already assembling from all parts under their banners; the
State of Wurtemburg is, proclaiming a general levy, and volunteers
are coming in from every quarter, asking to die for their country.
I consider it my duty, too, to fight for my country and for all the
dear ones whom I love. If I were not profoundly convinced of this
truth, I should not communicate my resolution to you; but my family
is one that has a really German heart, and that would consider me as
a coward and an unworthy son if I did not follow this impulse. I
certainly feel the greatness of the sacrifice; it costs me something,
believe me, to leave my beautiful studies and go to put myself under
the orders of vulgar, uneducated people, but this only increases my
courage in going to secure the liberty of my brothers; moreover, when
once that liberty is secured, if God deigns to allow, I will return
to carry them His word.

"I take leave, therefore, for a time of you, my most worthy parents,
of my brothers, my sisters, and all who are dear to me. As, after
mature deliberation, it seems the most suitable thing for me to serve
with the Bavarians. I shall get myself enrolled, for as long as the
war may last, with a company of that nation. Farewell, then; live
happily; far away from you as I shall be, I shall follow your pious
exhortations. In this new track I shall still I hope, remain pure
before God, and I shall always try to walk in the path that rises
above the things of earth and leads to those of heaven, and perhaps
in this career the bliss of saving some souls from their fall may be
reserved for me.

"Your dear image will always be about me; I will always have the Lord
before my eyes and in my heart, so that I may endure joyfully the
pains and fatigues of this holy war. Include me in your Prayers; God
will send you the hope of better times to help you in bearing the
unhappy time in which we now are. We cannot see one another again
soon, unless we conquer; and if we should be conquered (which God
forbid!), then my last wish, which I pray you, I conjure you, to
fulfil, my last and supreme wish would be that you, my dear and
deserving German relatives, should leave an enslaved country for some
other not yet under the yoke.

"But why should we thus sadden one another's hearts? Is not our
cause just and holy, and is not God just and holy? How then should
we not be victors? You see that sometimes I doubt, so, in your
letters, which I am impatiently expecting, have pity on me and do not
alarm my soul, far in any case we shall meet again in another
country, and that one will always be free and happy.

"I am, until death, your dutiful and grateful son,


These two lines of Korner's were written as a postscript:--

"Perchance above our foeman lying dead
We may behold the star of liberty."

With this farewell to his parents, and with Korner's poems on his
lips, Sand gave up his books, and on the 10th of May we find him in
arms among the volunteer chasseurs enrolled under the command of
Major Falkenhausen, who was at that time at Mannheim; here he found
his second brother, who had preceded him, and they underwent all
their drill together.

Though Sand was not accustomed to great bodily fatigues, he endured
those of the campaign with surprising strength, refusing all the
alleviations that his superiors tried to offer him; for he would
allow no one to outdo him in the trouble that he took for the good of
the country. On the march he invariably shared: anything that he
possessed fraternally with his comrades, helping those who were
weaker than himself to carry their burdens, and, at once priest and
soldier, sustaining them by his words when he was powerless to do
anything more.

On the 18th of June, at eight o'clock in the evening, he arrived upon
the field of battle at Waterloo, On the 14th of July he entered

On the 18th of December, 1815, Karl Sand and his brother were back at
Wonsiedel, to the great joy of their family. He spent the Christmas
holidays and the end of the year with them, but his ardour for his
new vacation did not allow him to remain longer, and an the 7th of
January he reached Erlangen. Then, to make up for lost time, he
resolved to subject his day to fixed and uniform rules, and to write
down every evening what he had done since the morning. It is by the
help of this journal that we are able to follow the young enthusiast,
not only in all the actions of his life, but also in all the thoughts
of his mind and all the hesitations of his conscience. In it we find
his whole self, simple to naivete, enthusiastic to madness, gentle
even to weakness towards others, severe even to asceticism towards
himself. One of his great griefs was the expense that his education
occasioned to his parents, and every useless and costly pleasure left
a remorse in his heart. Thus, on the 9th of February 1816, he

"I meant to go and visit my parents. Accordingly I went to the
'Commers-haus', and there I was much amused. N. and T. began upon me
with the everlasting jokes about Wonsiedel; that went on until eleven
o'clock. But afterwards N. and T. began to torment me to go to the
wine-shop; I refused as long as I could. But as, at last, they
seemed to think that it was from contempt of them that I would not go
and drink a glass of Rhine wine with them, I did not dare resist
longer. Unfortunately, they did not stop at Braunberger; and while
my glass was still half full, N. ordered a bottle of champagne. When
the first had disappeared, T. ordered a second; then, even before
this second battle was drunk, both of them ordered a third in my name
and in spite of me. I returned home quite giddy, and threw myself on
the sofa, where I slept for about an hour, and only went to bed

"Thus passed this shameful day, in which I have not thought enough of
my kind and worthy parents, who are leading a poor and hard life, and
in which I suffered myself to be led away by the example of people
who have money into spending four florins--an expenditure which was
useless, and which would have kept the whole family for two days.
Pardon me, my God, pardon me, I beseech Thee, and receive the vow
that I make never to fall into the same fault again. In future I
will live even more abstemiously than I usually do, so as to repair
the fatal traces in my poor cash-box of my extravagance, and not to
be obliged to ask money of my mother before the day when she thinks
of sending me some herself."

Then, at the very time when the poor young man reproaches himself as
if with a crime with having spent four florins, one of his cousins, a
widow, dies and leaves three orphan children. He runs immediately to
carry the first consolations to the unhappy little creatures,
entreats his mother to take charge of the youngest, and overjoyed at
her answer, thanks her thus:--

"Far the very keen joy that you have given me by your letter, and for
the very dear tone in which your soul speaks to me, bless you, O my
mother! As I might have hoped and been sure, you have taken little
Julius, and that fills me afresh with the deepest gratitude towards
you, the rather that, in my constant trust in your goodness, I had
already in her lifetime given our good little cousin the promise that
you are fulfilling for me after her death."

About March, Sand, though he did not fall ill, had an indisposition
that obliged him to go and take the waters; his mother happened at
the time to be at the ironworks of Redwitz, same twelve or fifteen
miles from Wonsiedel, where the mineral springs are found. Sand
established himself there with his mother, and notwithstanding his
desire to avoid interrupting his work, the time taken up by baths, by
invitations to dinners, and even by the walks which his health
required, disturbed the regularity of his usual existence and
awakened his remorse. Thus we find these lines written in his
journal for April 13th:

"Life, without some high aim towards which all thoughts and actions
tend, is an empty desert: my day yesterday is a proof of this; I
spent it with my own people, and that, of course, was a great
pleasure to me; but how did I spend it? In continual eating, so that
when I wanted to work I could do nothing worth doing. Full of
indolence and slackness, I dragged myself into the company of two or
three sets of people, and came from them in the same state of mind as
I went to them."

Far these expeditions Sand made use of a little chestnut horse which
belonged to his brother, and of which he was very fond. This little
horse had been bought with great difficulty; for, as we have said,
the whole family was poor. The following note, in relation to the
animal, will give an idea of Sand's simplicity of heart:--

"19th April
"To-day I have been very happy at the ironworks, and very industrious
beside my kind mother. In the evening I came home on the little
chestnut. Since the day before yesterday, when he got a strain and
hurt his foot, he has been very restive and very touchy, and when he
got home he refused his food. I thought at first that he did not
fancy his fodder, and gave him some pieces of sugar and sticks of
cinnamon, which he likes very much; he tasted them, but would not eat
them. The poor little beast seems to have same other internal
indisposition besides his injured foot. If by ill luck he were to
become foundered or ill, everybody, even my parents, would throw the
blame on me, and yet I have been very careful and considerate of him.
My God, my Lord, Thou who canst do things both great and small,
remove from me this misfortune, and let him recover as quickly as
possible. If, however, Thou host willed otherwise, and if this fresh
trouble is to fall upon us, I will try to bear it with courage, and
as the expiation of same sin. Meanwhile, O my Gad, I leave this
matter in Thy hands, as I leave my life and my soul."

On the 20th of April he wrote:--
"The little horse is well; God has helped me."

German manners and customs are so different from ours, and contrasts
occur so frequently in the same man, on the other side of the Rhine,
that anything less than all the quotations which we have given would
have been insufficient to place before our readers a true idea of
that character made up of artlessness and reason, childishness and
strength, depression and enthusiasm, material details and poetic
ideas, which renders Sand a man incomprehensible to us. We will now
continue the portrait, which still wants a few finishing touches.

When he returned to Erlangen, after the completion of his "cure,"
Sand read Faust far the first time. At first he was amazed at that
work, which seemed to him an orgy of genius; then, when he had
entirely finished it, he reconsidered his first impression, and

"4th May

"Oh, horrible struggle of man and devil! What Mephistopheles is in
me I feel far the first time in this hour, and I feel it, O God, with

"About eleven at night I finished reading the tragedy, and I felt and
saw the fiend in myself, so that by midnight, amid my tears and
despair, I was at last frightened at myself."

Sand was falling by degrees into a deep melancholy, from which
nothing could rouse him except his desire to purify and preach
morality to the students around him. To anyone who knows university
life such a task will seem superhuman. Sand, however, was not
discouraged, and if he could not gain an influence over everyone, he
at least succeeded in forming around him a considerable circle of the
most intelligent and the best; nevertheless, in the midst of these
apostolic labours strange longings for death would overcome him; he
seemed to recall heaven and want to return to it; he called these
temptations "homesickness for the soul's country."

His favourite authors were Lessing, Schiller, Herder, and Goethe;
after re-reading the two last for the twentieth time, this is what he

"Good and evil touch each other; the woes of the young Werther and
Weisslingen's seduction, are almost the same story; no matter, we
must not judge between what is good and what is evil in others; for
that is what God will do. I have just been spending much time over
this thought, and have become convinced that in no circumstances
ought we to allow ourselves to seek for the devil in others, and that
we have no right to judge; the only creature over wham we have
received the power to judge and condemn is ourself, and that gives us
enough constant care, business, and trouble.

"I have again to-day felt a profound desire to quit this world and
enter a higher world; but this desire is rather dejection than
strength, a lassitude than an upsoaring."

The year 1816 was spent by Sand in these pious attempts upon his
young comrades, in this ceaseless self-examination, and in the
perpetual battle which he waged with the desire for death that
pursued him; every day he had deeper doubts of himself; and on the
1st of January, 1817, he wrote this prayer in his diary :--

"Grant to me, O Lord, to me whom Thou halt endowed, in sending me on
earth, with free will, the grace that in this year which we are now
beginning I may never relax this constant attention, and not
shamefully give up the examination of my conscience which I have
hitherto made. Give me strength to increase the attention which I
turn upon my own life, and to diminish that which I turn upon the
life of others; strengthen my will that it may become powerful to
command the desires of the body and the waverings of the soul; give
me a pious conscience entirely devoted to Thy celestial kingdom, that
I may always belong to Thee, or after failing, may be able to return
to Thee."

Sand was right in praying to God for the year 1817, and his fears
were a presentiment: the skies of Germany, lightened by Leipzig and
Waterloo, were once more darkened; to the colossal and universal
despotism of Napoleon succeeded the individual oppression of those
little princes who made up the Germanic Diet, and all that the
nations had gained by overthrowing the giant was to be governed by
dwarfs. This was the time when secret societies were organised
throughout Germany; let us say a few words about them, for the
history that we are writing is not only that of individuals, but also
that of nations, and every time that occasion presents itself we will
give our little picture a wide horizon.

The secret societies of Germany, of which, without knowing them, we
have all heard, seem, when we follow them up, like rivers, to
originate in some sort of affiliation to those famous clubs of the
'illumines' and the freemasons which made so much stir in France at
the close of the eighteenth century. At the time of the revolution
of '89 these different philosophical, political, and religious sects
enthusiastically accepted the republican doctrines, and the successes
of our first generals have often been attributed to the secret
efforts of the members. When Bonaparte, who was acquainted with
these groups, and was even said to have belonged to them, exchanged
his general's uniform for an emperor's cloak, all of them,
considering him as a renegade and traitor, not only rose against him
at home, but tried to raise enemies against him abroad; as they
addressed themselves to noble and generous passions, they found a
response, and princes to whom their results might be profitable
seemed for a moment to encourage them. Among others, Prince Louis of
Prussia was grandmaster of one of these societies.

The attempted murder by Stops, to which we have already referred, was
one of the thunderclaps of the storm; but its morrow brought the
peace of Vienna, and the degradation of Austria was the death-blow of
the old Germanic organisation. These societies, which had received a
mortal wound in 1806 and were now controlled by the French police,
instead of continuing to meet in public, were forced to seek new
members in the dark. In 1811 several agents of these societies were
arrested in Berlin, but the Prussian authorities, following secret
orders of Queen Louisa, actually protected them, so that they were
easily able to deceive the French police about their intentions.
About February 1815 the disasters of the French army revived the
courage of these societies, for it was seen that God was helping
their cause: the students in particular joined enthusiastically in
the new attempts that were now begun; many colleges enrolled
themselves almost entire, anal chose their principals and professors
as captains; the poet, Korner, killed on the 18th of October at
Liegzig, was the hero of this campaign.

The triumph of this national movement, which twice carried the
Prussian army--largely composed of volunteers--to Paris, was
followed, when the treaties of 1815 and the new Germanic constitution
were made known, by a terrible reaction in Germany. All these young
men who, exiled by their princes, had risen in the name of liberty,
soon perceived that they had been used as tools to establish European
despotism; they wished to claim the promises that had been made, but
the policy of Talleyrand and Metternich weighed on them, and
repressing them at the first words they uttered, compelled them to
shelter their discontent and their hopes in the universities, which,
enjoying a kind of constitution of their own, more easily escaped the
investigations made by the spies of the Holy Alliance; but, repressed
as they were, these societies continued nevertheless to exist, and
kept up communications by means of travelling students, who, bearing
verbal messages, traversed Germany under the pretence of botanising,
and, passing from mountain to mountain, sowed broadcast those
luminous and hopeful words of which peoples are always greedy and
kings always fear.

We have seen that Sand, carried away by the general movement, had
gone through the campaign of 1815 as a volunteer, although he was
then only nineteen years old. On his return, he, like others, had
found his golden hopes deceived, and it is from this period that we
find his journal assuming the tone of mysticism and sadness which our
readers must have remarked in it. He soon entered one of these
associations, the Teutonia; and from that moment, regarding the great
cause which he had taken up as a religious one, he attempted to make
the conspirators worthy of their enterprise, and thus arose his
attempts to inculcate moral doctrines, in which he succeeded with
some, but failed with the majority. Sand had succeeded, however, in
forming around him a certain circle of Puritans, composed of about
sixty to eighty students, all belonging to the group of the
'Burschenschaft' which continued its political and religious course
despite all the jeers of the opposing group--the 'Landmannschaft'.
One of his friends called Dittmar and he were pretty much the chiefs,
and although no election had given them their authority, they
exercised so much influence upon what was decided that in any
particular case their fellow-adepts were sure spontaneously to obey
any impulse that they might choose to impart. The meetings of the
Burschen took place upon a little hill crowned by a ruined castle,
which was situated at some distance from Erlangen, and which Sand and
Dittmar had called the Ruttli, in memory of the spot where Walter
Furst, Melchthal, and Stauffacher had made their vow to deliver their
country; there, under the pretence of students' games, while they
built up a new house with the ruined fragments, they passed
alternately from symbol to action and from action to symbol.

Meanwhile the association was making such advances throughout Germany
that not only the princes and kings of the German confederation, but
also the great European powers, began to be uneasy. France sent
agents to bring home reports, Russia paid agents on the spot, and the
persecutions that touched a professor and exasperated a whole
university often arose from a note sent by the Cabinet of the
Tuileries or of St. Petersburg.

It was amid the events that began thus that Sand, after commending
himself to the protection of God, began the year 1817, in the sad
mood in which we have just seen him, and in which he was kept rather
by a disgust for things as they were than by a disgust for life. On
the 8th of May, preyed upon by this melancholy, which he cannot
conquer, and which comes from the disappointment of all his political
hopes, he writes in his diary:

"I shall find it impassible to set seriously to work, and this idle
temper, this humour of hypochondria which casts its black veil over
everything in life,--continues and grows in spite of the moral
activity which I imposed on myself yesterday."

In the holidays, fearing to burden his parents with any additional
expense, he will not go home, and prefers to make a walking tour with
his friends. No doubt this tour, in addition to its recreative side,
had a political aim. Be that as it may, Sand's diary, during the
period of his journey, shows nothing but the names of the towns
through which he passed. That we may have a notion of Sand's
dutifulness to his parents, it should be said that he did not set out
until he had obtained his mother's permission. On their return,
Sand, Dittmar, and their friends the Burschen, found their Ruttli
sacked by their enemies of the Landmannschaft; the house that they
had built was demolished and its fragments dispersed. Sand took this
event for an omen, and was greatly depressed by it.

"It seems to me, O my God!" he says in his journal, "that everything
swims and turns around me. My soul grows darker and darker; my moral
strength grows less instead of greater; I work and cannot achieve;
walk towards my aim and do not reach it; exhaust myself, and do
nothing great. The days of life flee one after another; cares and
uneasiness increase; I see no haven anywhere for our sacred German
cause. The end will be that we shall fall, for I myself waver. O
Lord and Father! protect me, save me, and lead me to that land from
which we are for ever driven back by the indifference of wavering

About this time a terrible event struck Sand to the heart; his friend
Dittmar was drowned. This is what he wrote in his diary on the very
morning of the occurrence:

"Oh, almighty God! What is going to become of me? For the last
fortnight I have been drawn into disorder, and have not been able to
compel myself to look fixedly either backward or forward in my life,
so that from the 4th of June up to the present hour my journal has
remained empty. Yet every day I might have had occasion to praise
Thee, O my God, but my soul is in anguish. Lord, do not turn from
me; the more are the obstacles the more need is there of strength."

In the evening he added these few words to the lines that he had
written in the morning:--

"Desolation, despair, and death over my friend, over my very deeply
loved Dittmar."

This letter which he wrote to his family contains the account of the
tragic event:--

"You know that when my best friends, A., C., and Z., were gone, I
became particularly intimate with my well-beloved Dittmar of Anspach;
Dittmar, that is to say a true and worthy German, an evangelical
Christian, something more, in short, than a man! An angelic soul,
always turned toward the good, serene, pious, and ready for action;
he had come to live in a room next to mine in Professor Grunler's
house; we loved each other, upheld each other in our efforts, and,
well or ill, bare our good or evil fortune in common. On this last
spring evening, after having worked in his room and having
strengthened ourselves anew to resist all the torments of life and to
advance towards the aim that we desired to attain; we went, about
seven in the evening, to the baths of Redwitz. A very black storm
was rising in the sky, but only as yet appeared on the horizon. E.,
who was with us, proposed to go home, but Dittmar persisted, saying
that the canal was but a few steps away. God permitted that it
should not be I who replied with these fatal words. So he went on.
The sunset was splendid: I see it still; its violet clouds all
fringed with gold, for I remember the smallest details of that

"Dittmar went down first; he was the only one of us who knew how to
swim; so he walked before us to show us the depth. The water was
about up to our chests, and he, who preceded us, was up to his
shoulders, when he warned us not to go farther, because he was
ceasing to feel the bottom. He immediately gave up his footing and
began to swim, but scarcely had he made ten strokes when, having
reached the place where the river separates into two branches, he
uttered a cry, and as he was trying to get a foothold, disappeared.
We ran at once to the bank, hoping to be able to help him more
easily; but we had neither poles nor ropes within reach, and, as I
have told you, neither of us could swim. Then we called for help
with all our might. At that moment Dittmar reappeared, and by an
unheard-of effort seized the end of a willow branch that was hanging
over the water; but the branch was not strong enough to resist, and
our friend sank again, as though he had been struck by apoplexy. Can
you imagine the state in which we were, we his friends, bending over
the river, our fixed and haggard eyes trying to pierce its depth? My
God, my God! how was it we did not go mad?

"A great crowd, however, had run at our cries. For two hours they
sought far him with boats and drag-hooks; and at last they succeeded
in drawing his body from the gulf. Yesterday we bore it solemnly to
the field of rest.

"Thus with the end of this spring has begun the serious summer of my
life. I greeted it in a grave and melancholy mood, and you behold me
now, if not consoled, at least strengthened by religion, which,
thanks to the merits of Christ, gives me the assurance of meeting my
friend in heaven, from the heights of which he will inspire me with
strength to support the trials of this life; and now I do not desire
anything more except to know you free from all anxiety in regard to

Instead of serving to unite the two groups of students in a common
grief, this accident, on the contrary, did but intensify their hatred
of each other. Among the first persons who ran up at the cries of
Sand and his companion was a member of the Landmannschaft who could
swim, but instead of going to Dittmar's assistance he exclaimed, "It
seems that we shall get rid of one of these dogs of Burschen; thank
God!" Notwithstanding this manifestation of hatred, which, indeed,
might be that of an individual and not of the whole body, the
Burschen invited their enemies to be present at Dittmar's funeral.
A brutal refusal, and a threat to disturb the ceremony by insults to
the corpse, formed their sole reply. The Burschen then warned the
authorities, who took suitable measures, and all Dittmar's friends
followed his coffin sword in hand. Beholding this calm but resolute
demonstration, the Landmannschaft did not dare to carry out their
threat, and contented themselves with insulting the procession by
laughs and songs.

Sand wrote in his journal:

"Dittmar is a great loss to all of us, and particularly to me; he
gave me the overflow of his strength and life; he stopped, as it
were, with an embankment, the part of my character that is irresolute
and undecided. From him it is that I have learned not to dread the
approaching storm, and to know how to fight and die."

Some days after the funeral Sand had a quarrel about Dittmar with one
of his former friends, who had passed over from the Burschen to the
Landmannschaft, and who had made himself conspicuous at the time of
the funeral by his indecent hilarity. It was decided that they
should fight the next day, and on the same day Sand wrote in his

"To-morrow I am to fight with P. G.; yet Thou knowest, O my God, what
great friends we formerly were, except for a certain mistrust with
which his coldness always inspired me; but on this occasion his
odious conduct has caused me to descend from the tenderest pity to
the profoundest hatred.

"My God, do not withdraw Thy hand either from him or from me, since
we are both fighting like men! Judge only by our two causes, and
give the victory to that which is the more just. If Thou shouldst
call me before Thy supreme tribunal, I know very well that I should
appear burdened with an eternal malediction; and indeed it is not
upon myself that I reckon but upon the merits of our Saviour Jesus

"Come what may, be praised and blessed, O my God!

"My dear parents, brothers, and friends, I commend you to the
protection of God."

Sand waited in vain for two hours next day: his adversary did not
come to the meeting place.

The loss of Dittmar, however, by no means produced the result upon
Sand that might have been expected, and that he himself seems to
indicate in the regrets he expressed for him. Deprived of that
strong soul upon which he rested, Sand understood that it was his
task by redoubled energy to make the death of Dittmar less fatal to
his party. And indeed he continued singly the work of drawing in
recruits which they had been carrying on together, and the patriotic
conspiracy was not for a moment impeded.

The holidays came, and Sand left Erlangen to return no more. From
Wonsiedel he was to proceed to Jena, in order to complete his
theological studies there. After some days spent with his family,
and indicated in his journal as happy, Sand went to his new place of
abode, where he arrived some time before the festival of the
Wartburg. This festival, established to celebrate the anniversary of
the battle of Leipzig, was regarded as a solemnity throughout
Germany, and although the princes well knew that it was a centre for
the annual renewal of affiliation to the various societies, they
dared not forbid it. Indeed, the manifesto of the Teutonic
Association was exhibited at this festival and signed by more than
two thousand deputies from different universities in Germany. This
was a day of joy for Sand; for he found in the midst of new friends a
great number of old ones.

The Government, however, which had not 'dared to attack the
Association by force, resolved to undermine it by opinion. M. de
Stauren published a terrible document, attacking the societies, and
founded, it was said, upon information furnished by Kotzebue. This
publication made a great stir, not only at Jena, but throughout all
Germany. Here is the trace of this event that we find in Sand's

24th November
"Today, after working with much ease and assiduity, I went out about
four with E. As we crossed the market-place we heard Kotzebue's new
and venomous insult read. By what a fury that man is possessed
against the Burschen and against all who love Germany!"

Thus far the first time and in these terms Sand's journal presents
the name of the man who, eighteen months later, he was to slay.

The Government, however, which had not 'dared to attack the
Association by force, resolved to undermine it by opinion. M. de
Stauren published a terrible document, attacking the societies, and
founded, it was said, upon information furnished by Kotzebue. This
publication made a great stir, not only at Jena, but throughout all
Germany. Here is the trace of this event that we find in Sand's

24th November

"To-day, after working with much ease and assiduity, I went out about
four with E. As we crossed the market-place we heard Kotzebue's new
and venomous insult read. By what a fury that man is possessed
against the Burschen and against all who love Germany!"

Thus for the first time and in these terms Sand's journal presents
the name of the man who, eighteen months later, he was to slay.

On the 29th, in the evening, Sand writes again:

"To-morrow I shall set out courageously and joyfully from this place
for a pilgrimage to Wonsiedel; there I shall find my large-hearted
mother and my tender sister Julia; there I shall cool my head and
warm my heart. Probably I shall be present at my good Fritz's
marriage with Louisa, and at the baptism of my very dear Durchmith's
first-born. God, O my Father, as Thou hast been with me during my
sad course, be with me still on my happy road."

This journey did in fact greatly cheer Sand. Since Dittmar's death
his attacks of hypochondria had disappeared. While Dittmar lived he
might die; Dittmar being dead, it was his part to live.

On the 11th of December he left Wonsiedel, to return to Jena, and on
the 31st of the same month he wrote this prayer in his journal.

"O merciful Saviour! I began this year with prayer, and in these
last days I have been subject to distraction and ill-disposed. When
I look backward, I find, alas! that I have not become better; but I
have entered more profoundly into life, and, should occasion present,
I now feel strength to act.

"It is because Thou hast always been with me, Lord, even when I was
not with Thee."

If our readers have followed with some attention the different
extracts from the journal that we have placed before them, they must
have seen Sand's resolution gradually growing stronger and his brain
becoming excited. From the beginning of the year 1818, one feels his
view, which long was timid and wandering, taking in a wider horizon
and fixing itself on a nobler aim. He is no longer ambitious of the
pastor's simple life or of the narrow influence which he might gain
in a little community, and which, in his juvenile modesty, had seemed
the height of good fortune and happiness; it is now his native land,
his German people, nay, all humanity, which he embraces in his
gigantic plans of political regeneration. Thus, on the flyleaf of
his journal for the year 1818, he writes:

"Lord, let me strengthen myself in the idea that I have conceived of
the deliverance of humanity by the holy sacrifice of Thy Son. Grant
that I may be a Christ of Germany, and that, like and through Jesus,
I may be strong and patient in suffering."

But the anti-republican pamphlets of Kotzebue increased in number and
gained a fatal influence upon the minds of rulers. Nearly all the
persons who were attacked in these pamphlets were known and esteemed
at Jena; and it may easily be comprehended what effects were produced
by such insults upon these young heads and noble hearts, which
carried conviction to the paint of blindness and enthusiasm to that
of fanaticism.

Thus, here is what Sand wrote in his diary on the 5th of May.

"Lord, what causes this melancholy anguish which has again taken
possession of me? But a firm and constant will surmounts everything,
and the idea of the country gives joy and courage to the saddest and
the weakest. When I think of that, I am always amazed that there is
none among us found courageous enough to drive a knife into the
breast of Kotzebue or of any other traitor."

Still dominated by the same thought, he continues thus on the 18th of

"A man is nothing in comparison with a nation; he is a unity compared
with millions, a minute compared with a century. A man, whom nothing
precedes and nothing follows, is born, lives, and dies in a longer or
shorter time, which, relatively to eternity, hardly equals the
duration of a lightning flash. A nation, on the contrary, is

From time to time, however, amid these thoughts that bear the impress
of that political fatality which was driving him towards the deed of
bloodshed, the kindly and joyous youth reappears. On the 24th of
June he writes to his mother:--

"I have received your long and beautiful letter, accompanied by the
very complete and well-chosen outfit which you send me. The sight of
this fine linen gave me back one of the joys of my childhood. These
are fresh benefits. My prayers never remain unfulfilled, and I have
continual cause to thank you and God. I receive, all at once,
shirts, two pairs of fine sheets, a present of your work, and of
Julia's and Caroline's work, dainties and sweetmeats, so that I am
still jumping with joy and I turned three times on my heels when I
opened the little parcel. Receive the thanks of my heart, and share,
as giver, in the joy of him who has received.

"Today, however, is a very serious day, the last day of spring and
the anniversary of that on which I lost my noble and good Dittmar. I
am a prey to a thousand different and confused feelings; but I have
only two passions left in me which remain upright and like two
pillars of brass support this whole chaos--the thought of God and the
love of my country."

During all this time Sand's life remains apparently calm and equal;
the inward storm is calmed; he rejoices in his application to work
and his cheerful temper. However, from time to time, he makes great
complaints to himself of his propensity to love dainty food, which he
does not always find it possible to conquer. Then, in his
self-contempt, he calls himself "fig-stomach" or "cake-stomach." But
amid all this the religious and political exaltation and visits all
the battlefields near to the road that he follows. On the 18th of
October he is back at Jena, where he resumes his studies with more
application than ever. It is among such university studies that the
year 1818 closes far him, and we should hardly suspect the terrible
resolution which he has taken, were it not that we find in his
journal this last note, dated the 3lst of December:

"I finish the last day of this year 1818, then, in a serious and
solemn mood, and I have decided that the Christmas feast which has
just gone by will be the last Christmas feast that I shall celebrate.
If anything is to come of our efforts, if the cause of humanity is to
assume the upper hand in our country, if in this faithless epoch any
noble feelings can spring up afresh and make way, it can only happen
if the wretch, the traitor, the seducer of youth, the infamous
Kotzebue, falls! I am fully convinced of this, and until I have
accomplished the work upon which I have resolved, I shall have no
rest. Lord, Thou who knowest that I have devoted my life to this
great action, I only need, now that it is fixed in my mind, to beg of
Thee true firmness and courage of soul."

Here Sand's diary ends; he had begun it to strengthen himself; he had
reached his aim; he needed nothing more. From this moment he was
occupied by nothing but this single idea, and he continued slowly to
mature the plan in his head in order to familiarise himself with its
execution; but all the impressions arising from this thought remained
in his own mind, and none was manifested on the surface. To everyone
else he was the same; but for some little time past, a complete and
unaltered serenity, accompanied by a visible and cheerful return of
inclination towards life, had been noticed in him. He had made no
charge in the hours or the duration of his studies; but he had begun
to attend the anatomical classes very assiduously. One day he was
seen to give even more than his customary attention to a lesson in
which the professor was demonstrating the various functions of the
heart; he examined with the greatest care the place occupied by it in
the chest, asking to have some of the demonstrations repeated two or
three times, and when he went out, questioning some of the young men
who were following the medical courses, about the susceptibility of
the organ, which cannot receive ever so slight a blow without death
ensuing from that blow: all this with so perfect an indifference and
calmness that no one about him conceived any suspicion.

Another day, A. S., one of his friends, came into his room. Sand,
who had heard him coming up, was standing by the table, with a
paper-knife in his hand, waiting for him; directly the visitor came
in, Sand flung himself upon him, struck him lightly on the forehead;
and then, as he put up his hands to ward off the blow, struck him
rather more violently in the chest; then, satisfied with this
experiment, said:--

"You see, when you want to kill a man, that is the way to do it; you
threaten the face, he puts up his hands, and while he does so you
thrust a dagger into his heart."

The two young men laughed heartily over this murderous demonstration,
and A. S. related it that evening at the wine-shop as one of the
peculiarities of character that were common in his friend. After the
event, the pantomime explained itself.

The month of March arrived. Sand became day by day calmer, more
affectionate, and kinder; it might be thought that in the moment of
leaving his friends for ever he wished to leave them an ineffaceable
remembrance of him. At last he announced that on account of several
family affairs he was about to undertake a little journey, and set
about all his preparations with his usual care, but with a serenity
never previously seen in him. Up to that time he had continued to
work as usual, not relaxing for an instant; for there was a
possibility that Kotzebue might die or be killed by somebody else
before the term that Sand had fixed to himself, and in that case he
did not wish to have lost time. On the 7th of March he invited all
his friends to spend the evening with him, and announced his
departure for the next day but one, the 9th. All of them then
proposed to him to escort him for some leagues, but Sand refused; he
feared lest this demonstration, innocent though it were, might
compromise them later on. He set forth alone, therefore, after
having hired his lodgings for another half-year, in order to obviate
any suspicion, and went by way of Erfurt and Eisenach, in order to
visit the Wartburg. From that place he went to Frankfort, where he
slept on the 17th, and on the morrow he continued his journey by way
of Darmstadt. At last, on the 23rd, at nine in the morning, he
arrived at the top of the little hill where we found him at the
beginning of this narrative. Throughout the journey he had been the
amiable and happy young man whom no one could see without liking.

Having reached Mannheim, he took a room at the Weinberg, and wrote
his name as "Henry" in the visitors' list. He immediately inquired
where Kotzebue lived. The councillor dwelt near the church of the
Jesuits; his house was at the corner of a street, and though Sand's
informants could not tell him exactly the letter, they assured him it
was not possible to mistake the house. [At Mannheim houses are marked
by letters, not by numbers.]

Sand went at once to Kotzebue's house: it was about ten o'clock; he
was told that the councillor went to walk for an hour or two every
morning in the park of Mannheim. Sand inquired about the path in
which he generally walked, and about the clothes he wore, for never
having seen him he could only recognise him by the description.
Kotzebue chanced to take another path. Sand walked about the park
for an hour, but seeing no one who corresponded to the description
given him, went back to the house.

Kotzebue had come in, but was at breakfast and could not see him.

Sand went back to the Weinberg, and sat down to the midday table
d'hote, where he dined with an appearance of such calmness, and even
of such happiness, that his conversation, which was now lively, now
simple, and now dignified, was remarked by everybody. At five in the
afternoon he returned a third time to the house of Kotzebue, who was
giving a great dinner that day; but orders had been given to admit
Sand. He was shown into a little room opening out of the anteroom,
and a moment after, Kotzebue came in.

Sand then performed the drama which he had rehearsed upon his friend
A. S. Kotzebue, finding his face threatened, put his hands up to it,
and left his breast exposed; Sand at once stabbed him to the heart;
Kotzebue gave one cry, staggered, arid fell back into an arm-chair:
he was dead.

At the cry a little girl of six years old ran in, one of those
charming German children, with the faces of cherubs, blue-eyed, with
long flowing hair. She flung herself upon the body of Kotzebue,
calling her father with piercing cries. Sand, standing at the door,
could not endure this sight, and without going farther, he thrust the
dagger, still covered with Kotzebue's blood, up to the hilt into his
own breast. Then, seeing to his surprise that notwithstanding the
terrible wound--he had just given himself he did not feel the
approach of death, and not wishing to fall alive into the hands of
the servants who were running in, he rushed to the staircase. The
persons who were invited were just coming in; they, seeing a young
man, pale and bleeding with a knife in his breast, uttered loud
cries, and stood aside, instead of stopping him. Sand therefore
passed down the staircase and reached the street below; ten paces
off, a patrol was passing, on the way to relieve the sentinels at the
castle; Sand thought these men had been summoned by the cries that
followed him; he threw himself on his knees in the middle of the
street, and said, "Father, receive my soul!"

Then, drawing the knife from the wound, he gave himself a second blow
below the former, and fell insensible.

Sand was carried to the hospital and guarded with the utmost
strictness; the wounds were serious, but, thanks to the skill of the
physicians who were called in, were not mortal; one of them even
healed eventually; but as to the second, the blade having gone
between the costal pleura and the pulmonary pleura, an effusion of
blood occurred between the two layers, so that, instead of closing
the wound, it was kept carefully open, in order that the blood
extravasated during the night might be drawn off every morning by
means of a pump, as is done in the operation for empyaemia.

Notwithstanding these cares, Sand was for three months between life
and death.

When, on the 26th of March, the news of Kotzebue's assassination came
from Mannheim to Jena, the academic senate caused Sand's room to be
opened, and found two letters--one addressed to his friends of the
Burschenschaft, in which he declared that he no longer belonged to
their society, since he did not wish that their brotherhood should
include a man about to die an the scaffold. The other letter, which
bore this superscription, "To my nearest and dearest," was an exact
account of what he meant to do, and the motives which had made him
determine upon this act. Though the letter is a little long, it is
so solemn and so antique in spirit, that we do not hesitate to
present it in its entirety to our readers:--

"To all my own
"Loyal and eternally cherished souls

"Why add still further to your sadness? I asked myself, and I
hesitated to write to you; but my silence would have wounded the
religion of the heart; and the deeper a grief the more it needs,
before it can be blotted out, to drain to the dregs its cup of
bitterness. Forth from my agonised breast, then; forth, long and
cruel torment of a last conversation, which alone, however, when
sincere, can alleviate the pain of parting.

"This letter brings you the last farewell of your son and your

"The greatest misfortune of life far any generous heart is to see the
cause of God stopped short in its developments by our fault; and the
most dishonouring infamy would be to suffer that the fine things
acquired bravely by thousands of men, and far which thousands of men
have joyfully sacrificed themselves, should be no more than a
transient dream, without real and positive consequences. The
resurrection of our German life was begun in these last twenty years,
and particularly in the sacred year 1813, with a courage inspired by
God. But now the house of our fathers is shaken from the summit to
the base. Forward! let us raise it, new and fair, and such as the
true temple of the true God should be.

"Small is the number of those who resist, and who wish to oppose
themselves as a dyke against the torrent of the progress of higher
humanity among the German people. Why should vast whole masses bow
beneath the yoke of a perverse minority? And why, scarcely healed,
should we fall back into a worse disease than that which we are
leaving behind?

"Many of these seducers, and those are the most infamous, are playing
the game of corruption with us; among them is Kotzebue, the most
cunning and the worst of all, a real talking machine emitting all
sorts of detestable speech and pernicious advice. His voice is
skillful in removing from us all anger and bitterness against the
most unjust measures, and is just such as kings require to put us to
sleep again in that old hazy slumber which is the death of nations.
Every day he odiously betrays his country, and nevertheless, despite
his treason, remains an idol for half Germany, which, dazzled by him,
accepts unresisting the poison poured out by him in his periodic
pamphlets, wrapped up and protected as he is by the seductive mantle
of a great poetic reputation. Incited by him, the princes of
Germany, who have forgotten their promises, will allow nothing free
or good to be accomplished; or if anything of the kind is
accomplished in spite of them, they will league themselves with the
French to annihilate it. That the history of our time may not be
covered with eternal ignominy, it is necessary that he should fall.

"I have always said that if we wish to find a great and supreme
remedy for the state of abasement in which we are, none must shrink
from combat nor from suffering; and the real liberty of the German
people will only be assured when the good citizen sets himself or
some other stake upon the game, and when every true son of the
country, prepared for the struggle for justice, despises the good
things of this world, and only desires those celestial good things
which death holds in charge.

"Who then will strike this miserable hireling, this venal traitor?

"I have long been waiting in fear, in prayer, and in tears--I who am
not born for murder--for some other to be beforehand with me, to set
me free, and suffer me to continue my way along the sweet and
peaceful path that I had chosen for myself. Well, despite my prayers
and my tears, he who should strike does not present himself; indeed,
every man, like myself, has a right to count upon some other, and
everyone thus counting, every hour's delay, but makes our state
worse; far at any moment--and how deep a shame would that be for us!
Kotzebue may leave Germany, unpunished, and go to devour in Russia
the treasures for which he has exchanged his honour, his conscience,
and his German name. Who can preserve us from this shame, if every
man, if I myself, do not feel strength to make myself the chosen
instrument of God's justice? Therefore, forward! It shall be I who
will courageously rush upon him (do not be alarmed), on him, the
loathsome seducer; it shall be I who will kill the traitor, so that
his misguiding voice, being extinguished, shall cease to lead us
astray from the lessons of history and from the Spirit of God. An
irresistible and solemn duty impels me to this deed, ever since I
have recognised to what high destinies the German; nation may attain
during this century, and ever since I have come to know the dastard
and hypocrite who alone prevents it from reaching them; for me, as
for every German who seeks the public good, this desire has became a
strict and binding necessity. May I, by this national vengeance,
indicate to all upright and loyal consciences where the true danger
lies, and save our vilified and calumniated societies from the
imminent danger that threatens them! May I, in short, spread terror
among the cowardly and wicked, and courage arid faith among the good!
Speeches and writings lead to nothing; only actions work.

"I will act, therefore; and though driven violently away from my fair
dreams of the future, I am none the less full of trust in God; I even
experience a celestial joy, now that, like the Hebrews when they
sought the promised land, I see traced before me, through darkness
and death, that road at the end of which I shall have paid my debt to
my country.

"Farewell, then, faithful hearts: true, this early separation is
hard; true, your hopes, like my wishes, are disappointed; but let us
be consoled by the primary thought that we have done what the voice
of our country called upon us to do; that, you knew, is the principle
according to which I have always lived. You will doubtless say among
yourselves, 'Yes, thanks to our sacrifices, he had learned to know
life and to taste the joys of earth, and he seemed: deeply to love
his native country and the humble estate to which he was called'.
Alas, yes, that is true! Under your protection, and amid your
numberless sacrifices, my native land and life had become profoundly
dear to me. Yes, thanks to you, I have penetrated into the Eden of
knowledge, and have lived the free life of thought; thanks to you, I
have looked into history, and have then returned to my own conscience
to attach myself to the solid pillars of faith in the Eternal.

"Yes, I was to pass gently through this life as a preacher of the
gospel; yes, in my constancy to my calling I was to be sheltered from
the storms of this existence. But would that suffice to avert the
danger that threatens Germany? And you yourselves, in your infinite
lave, should you not rather push me on to risk my life for the good
of all? So many modern Greeks have fallen already to free their
country from the yoke of the Turks, and have died almost without any
result and without any hope; and yet thousands of fresh martyrs keep
up their courage and are ready to fall in their turn; and should I,
then, hesitate to die?

"That I do not recognise your love, or that your love is but a
trifling consideration with me, you will not believe. What else
should impel me to die if not my devotion to you and to Germany, and
the need of proving this devotion to my family and my country?

"You, mother, will say, 'Why have I brought up a son whom I loved and
who loved me, for whom I have undergone a thousand cares and toils,
who, thanks to my prayers and my example, was impressionable to good
influences, and from whom, after my long and weary course, I hoped to
receive attentions like those which I have given him? Why does he
now abandon me?'

"Oh, my kind and tender mother! Yes, you will perhaps say that; but
could not the mother of anyone else say the same, and everything go
off thus in words when there is need to act for the country? And if
no one would act, what would become of that mother of us all who is
called Germany?

"But no; such complaints are far from you, you noble woman! I
understood your appeal once before, and at this present hour, if no
one came forward in the German cause, you yourself would urge me to
the fight. I have two brothers and two sisters before me, all noble
and loyal. They will remain to you, mother; and besides you will
have for sons all the children of Germany who love their country.

"Every man has a destiny which he has to accomplish: mine is devoted
to the action that I am about to undertake; if I were to live another
fifty years, I could not live more happily than I have done lately.
Farewell, mother: I commend you to the protection of God; may He
raise you to that joy which misfortunes can no longer trouble! Take
your grandchildren, to whom I should so much have liked to be a
loving friend, to the top of our beautiful mountains soon. There, on
that altar raised by the Lord Himself in the midst of Germany, let
them devote themselves, swearing to take up the sword as soon as they
have strength to lift it, and to lay it down only when our brethren
are all united in liberty, when all Germans, having a liberal
constitution; are great before the Lord, powerful against their
neighbours, and united among themselves.

"May my country ever raise her happy gaze to Thee, Almighty Father!
May Thy blessing fall abundantly upon her harvests ready to be cut
and her armies ready for battle, and recognising the blessings that
Thou host showered upon us, may the German nation ever be first among
nations to rise and uphold the cause of humanity, which is Thy image
upon earth!

"Your eternally attached son, brother and friend,
" JENA, the beginning of March, 1819."

Sand, who, as we have said, had at first been taken to the hospital,
was removed at the end of three months to the prison at Mannheim,
where the governor, Mr. G----, had caused a room to be prepared for
him. There he remained two months longer in a state of extreme
weakness: his left arm was completely paralysed; his voice was very
weak; every movement gave him horrible pain, and thus it was not
until the 11th of August--that is to say, five months after the event
that we have narrated--that he was able to write to his family the
following letter:--

"MY VERY DEAR PARENTS:--The grand-duke's commission of inquiry
informed me yesterday that it might be possible I should have the
intense joy of a visit from you, and that I might perhaps see you
here and embrace you--you, mother, and some of my brothers and

"Without being surprised at this fresh proof of your motherly love, I
have felt an ardent remembrance reawaken of the happy life that we
spent gently together. Joy and grief, desire and sacrifice, agitate
my heart violently, and I have had to weigh these various impulses
one against the other, and with the force of reason, in order to
resume mastery of myself and to take a decision in regard to my

"The balance has inclined in the direction of sacrifice.

"You know, mother, how much joy and courage a look from your eyes,
daily intercourse with you, and your pious and high-minded
conversation, might bring me during my very short time. But you also
know my position, and you are too well acquainted with the natural
course of all these painful inquiries, not to feel as I do, that such
annoyance, continually recurring, would greatly trouble the pleasure
of our companionship, if it did not indeed succeed in entirely
destroying it. Then, mother, after the long and fatiguing journey
that you would be obliged to make in order to see me, think of the
terrible sorrow of the farewell when the moment came to part in this
world. Let us therefore abide by the sacrifice, according to God's
will, and let us yield ourselves only to that sweet community of
thought which distance cannot interrupt, in which I find my only
joys, and which, in spite of men, will always be granted us by the
Lord, our Father.

"As for my physical state, I knew nothing about it. You see,
however, since at last I am writing to you myself, that I have come
past my first uncertainties. As for the rest, I know too little of
the structure of my own body to give any opinion as to what my wounds
may determine for it. Except that a little strength has returned to
me, its state is still the same, and I endure it calmly and
patiently; for God comes to my help, and gives me courage and
firmness. He will help me, believe me, to find all the joys of the
soul and to be strong in mind. Amen.

"May you live happy!--Your deeply respectful son,


A month after this letter came tender answers from all the family.
We will quote only that of Sand's mother, because it completes the
idea which the reader may have formed already of this great-hearted
woman, as her son always calls her.

"DEAR, INEXPRESSIBLY DEAR KARL,--How Sweet it was to me to see the
writing of your beloved hand after so long a time! No journey would
have been so painful and no road so long as to prevent me from coming
to you, and I would go, in deep and infinite love, to any end of the
earth in the mere hope of catching sight of you.

"But, as I well know both your tender affection and your profound
anxiety for me, and as you give me, so firmly and upon such manly
reflection, reasons against which I can say nothing, and which I can
but honour, it shall be, my well-beloved Karl, as you have wished and
decided. We will continue, without speech, to communicate our
thoughts; but be satisfied, nothing can separate us; I enfold you in
my soul, and my material thoughts watch over you.

"May this infinite love which upholds us, strengthens us, and leads
us all to a better life, preserve, dear Karl, your courage and

"Farewell, and be invariably assured that I shall never cease to love
you strongly and deeply.

"Your faithful mother, who loves you to eternity."

Sand replied:--

January 1820, from my isle of Patmos.


"In the middle of the month of September last year I received, through
the grand-duke's special commission of inquiry, whose humanity you
have already appreciated, your dear letters of the end of August and
the beginning of September, which had such magical influence that
they inundated me with joy by transporting me into the inmost circle
of your hearts.

"You, my tender father, you write to me on the sixty-seventh
anniversary of your birth, and you bless me by the outpouring of your
most tender love.

"You, my well-beloved mother, you deign to promise the continuance of
your maternal affection, in which I have at all times constantly
believed; and thus I have received the blessings of both of you,
which, in my present position, will exercise a more beneficent
influence upon me than any of the things that all the kings of the
earth, united together, could grant me. Yes, you strengthen me
abundantly by your blessed love, and I render thanks to you, my
beloved parents, with that respectful submission that my heart will
always inculcate as the first duty of a son.

"But the greater your love and the more affectionate your letters,
the more do I suffer, I must acknowledge, from the voluntary
sacrifice that we have imposed upon ourselves in not seeing one
another; and the only reason, my dear parents, why I have delayed to
reply to you, was to give myself time to recover the strength which I
have lost.

"You too, dear brother-in-law and dear sister, assure me of your
sincere and uninterrupted attachment. And yet, after the fright that
I have spread among you all, you seem not to know exactly what to
think of me; but my heart, full of gratitude for your past kindness,
comforts itself; for your actions speak and tell me that, even if
you wished no longer to love me as I love you, you would not be able
to do otherwise. These actions mean more to me at this hour than any
possible protestations, nay, than even the tenderest words.

"And you also, my kind brother, you would have consented to hurry
with our beloved mother to the shores of the Rhine, to this place
where the real links of the soul were welded between us, where we
were doubly brothers; but tell me, are you not really here, in
thought and in spirit, when I consider the rich fountain of
consolation brought me by your cordial and tender letter?

"And, you, kind sister-in-law, as you showed yourself from the first,
in your delicate tenderness, a true sister, so I find you again at
present. There are still the same tender relations, still the same
sisterly affection; your consolations, which emanate from a deep and
submissive piety, have fallen refreshingly into the depths of my
heart. But, dear sister-in-law, I must tell you, as well as the
others, that you are too liberal towards me in dispensing your esteem
and praises, and your exaggeration has cast me back face to face with
my inmost judge, who has shown me in the mirror of my conscience the
image of my every weakness.

"You, kind Julia, you desire nothing else but to save me from the
fate that awaits me; and you assure me in your own name and in that
of you all, that you, like the others, would rejoice to endure it in
my place; in that I recognise you fully, and I recognise, too, those
sweet and tender relations in which we have been brought up from
childhood. Oh, be comforted, dear Julia; thanks to the protection of
God, I promise you: that it will be easy for me, much easier than I
should have thought, to bear what falls to my lot. Receive, then,
all of you, my warm and sincere thanks for having thus rejoiced my

"Now that I know from these strengthening letters that, like the
prodigal son, the love and goodness of my family are greater on my

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