Letters of Frederick Engels

To Friedrich Graeber
In Bonn

Source: MECW Volume 2, p. 463.
First published: in the book: F. Engels, Schriften der Frühzeit, Berlin, 1920

Bremen, after July 27, 1839

Dear Fritz,

Recepi litteras tuas hodie, et jamque tibi respomurus sum. [I received your letter today, and I am already about to answer you.] I cannot write very much to you — you are still in my debt, and I am expecting a long letter from you. Is your brother Wilhelm on holiday too? Is Wurm now studying with you in Bonn? God bless fat Peter [Jonghaus] in his studia militaria. A little poem written on July 27 [the anniversary of the July 1830 revolution in France] may give you practice in liberalism and in reading ancient metre. Otherwise there is nothing in it.

German July Days 1839

How the waves mount up in the roaring gale, how the storm comes relentlessly onwardst
Tall as a man are the foaming waves, and the skiff goes rising and falling;
From the Rhine there blows a whirling wind that musters the clouds in the heavens,
That splits up oaks and whips up dust and lashes the waves in its fury.
Of you I think in my tossing skiff, you German kings and you princes.
How the patient people bore on their heads the gilded throne you ascended,
In triumph carried you through the land and sent the bold conqueror fleeing. [allusion to Napoleon I]
Brazenly arrogant then you became, you betrayed all the promises given.
Now a storm blows up out of France, and the people rise up in their masses,
And your throne is rocked like the skiff in the storm and your hand loses hold of the sceptre.
You above all, Ernst August, I challenge with angry defiance.
Despotic and reckless, you flouted the law-now hark to the storm as it rises!
The people look up with piercing eyes and the sword barely rests in the scabbard.
Speak! Are you safe on your golden throne, as I in my boat on the waters?

The business about the high waves on the Weser is quite true, also that I was sailing on it on the great day of the July revolution.

Give my regards to Wurm and tell him that he must write me a lot.


Friedr. Engels