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List Of Contents | Contents of Karl Ludwig Sand, by Dumas, Pere
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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
good.

"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

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