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

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
evening.

"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
me."

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
journal.

"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
Christ.

"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

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