Letters of Marx and Engels, 1849

Marx To Engels [259]
In Kaiserslautern

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 198;
Written: 7 June 1849;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, 1929.

Paris, 7 June 1849 45, rue de Lille

Dear Engels,

I am not writing to you at any great length in this letter. First I want you to tell me in your reply whether it arrives intact. I believe that letters are again being opened con amore. [enthusiastically]

Here a royalist reaction is in full swing, more barefaced than under Guizot, and comparable only to that after 1815. Paris is morne. [dreary] On top of that the cholera is raging mightily. For all that, never has a colossal eruption of the revolutionary volcano been more imminent than it is in Paris today. Details to follow. I consort with the whole of the revolutionary party and in a few days’ time I shall have all the revolutionary journals at my disposal.

As for the Palatinate-Baden envoys here, Blind, alarmed by a real or pretended attack of cholera, has moved into the country some hours away from Paris.

As for Schütz, the following should be noted:

1. The Provisional Government has placed him in a false position by failing to keep him informed. The French demand des faits and where can he get them from if not a soul writes to him? Dispatches must reach him as often as possible. It is clear that at this moment he can achieve nothing. All that can be done is to throw dust in the eyes of the Prussian Government by enabling him to have frequent meetings with the leaders of the Montagnards.[260]

2. A second, unpardonable mistake on the part of the Gouvernement provisoire du Palatinat is their entrusting a crowd of rotten Germans with this or that mission behind the back of the official envoy. This will have to cease once and for all if Schütz is to maintain at least the prestige of his position vis-à-vis the Montagnards and just now-vis-à-vis Prussia — that is the whole point of his mission.

Apart from that, it goes without saying that he doesn’t learn very much, since he consorts only with a few official Montagnards. I shall, incidentally, keep him always informed.

For my part I must ask you to write to me at least twice a week regularly and immediately every time anything important happens.

The Kölnische Zeitung feuilleton on the Palatinate movement, dated Dürkheim an der Haardt, states among other things:

‘Some anger has been aroused by Mr Marx, editor of the [Neue] Rheinische Zeitung. He is said to have told the Provisional Government that since his time had not yet come, he intended temporarily to retire.'

How does that fit in? The miserable Germans here, with whom, by the way, I avoid any meeting, will seek to proclaim this throughout the whole of Paris. I therefore think it advisable for you to see that an item appears in the Karlsruher Zeitung or the Mannheimer AbendZeitung stating expressly that I am in Paris as the representative of the democratic Central Committee. Another reason why I think this would be useful is that for the time being, as no immediate results are to be obtained here, the Prussians must be made to believe that the most frightful intrigues are going on here. We must frighten the aristocrats.

Ruge is a complete nonentity here.

What is Dronke doing?

You must, by the way, see that you raise money for me somewhere. You know that I spent the latest sums received to honour the obligations of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung and, in the present circumstances, I cannot live a completely retired life, still less get into financial difficulties.

If at all possible let me have an article in French in which you sum up the whole Hungarian affair.[261]

Show this letter to d'Ester, to whom my best regards. If I am to write to a different address, let me have it.


Write to me at the following address: M. Ramboz, 45 rue de Lille

[On the back of the letter]

Herrn Fr. Engels, inquire at Dr d'Ester’s.