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Karl Ludwig Sand - Celebrated Crimes by Alexandre Dumas père
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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;