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The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas père
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The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Chapter 1

A Grateful People

On the 20th of August, 1672, the city of the Hague, always
so lively, so neat, and so trim that one might believe every
day to be Sunday, with its shady park, with its tall trees,
spreading over its Gothic houses, with its canals like large
mirrors, in which its steeples and its almost Eastern
cupolas are reflected, -- the city of the Hague, the capital
of the Seven United Provinces, was swelling in all its
arteries with a black and red stream of hurried, panting,
and restless citizens, who, with their knives in their
girdles, muskets on their shoulders, or sticks in their
hands, were pushing on to the Buytenhof, a terrible prison,
the grated windows of which are still shown, where, on the
charge of attempted murder preferred against him by the
surgeon Tyckelaer, Cornelius de Witt, the brother of the
Grand Pensionary of Holland was confined.

If the history of that time, and especially that of the year
in the middle of which our narrative commences, were not
indissolubly connected with the two names just mentioned,
the few explanatory pages which we are about to add might