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Letters of Marx and Engels 1848

Engels To Marx
In Paris

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 163;
Written: 18 March 1848;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.

Brussels, Saturday 18 March 1848

Dear Marx,

I shall send off your things.

Write a few lines to M. Victor Faider, lawyer, either direct or enclosed [in a letter] to Bloss, thanking him for the steps he has taken on behalf of you and your wife, and authorising him to take further steps. Faider, who has suddenly turned out to be a zealous republican, has constituted himself your defence counsel and as such will reply to the Moniteur belge [reference to a tendentious item on Marx’s expulsion from Belgium in Le Moniteur belge, 12 March 1848] and follow the matter up. He hopes you won’t disavow him and, to enable him to take a determined stand, you would do well to send him a note. It is better that a Belgian, rather than Maynz, should pursue the case and, since he has offered his services, he will probably do his job properly.

You really must send the way-bill. The thing is badly needed; Maynz asks after it daily.

Tedesco’s been released and left for Liège immediately, without seeing a soul. Esselens was here for a few days, but he didn’t see him.

The Bourse, finance, industry and trade here are in the throes of an unprecedented crisis. In the Café Suisse, Commerce is moping about with nothing to do, Messrs Kauwerz, Lauffs and Co. go creeping round with their tails between their legs, the workers have held meetings and handed in petitions, a general and serious food shortage. Cash is nowhere to be had, and withal a compulsory loan of 60 millions! It'll be the Bourse that will impose the Republic on them here.

Lüning returned here to be confronted with the news that there’s a hue and cry after him in Prussia; he is going to send for his wife and come to Paris.

Before he fled, Dronke was accepted into the [Communist] League by Willich and Co. I subjected him to a fresh examination here, expounded our views to him and, since he declared himself to be in agreement with them, confirmed his admission. One could hardly have done otherwise, even if there had been an element of doubt. However, the fellow’s very modest, very young and seems to all appearances very responsive, so I think that, with a little supervision and some study, he will turn out well. In my presence he retracted all his earlier writings. [reference to E. Dronke’s ‘Berlin’, ‘Polizei-Geschichten’ and ‘Aus dem Volk’ published in 1846 and showing influence of ‘true socialism'] Unfortunately he lives with Moses who will thus be working on him in between whiles, but, as we know, that is of no consequence. With Lüning, to whom he had become frightfully attached, only a couple of words were needed to unsaddle him.

Moses, by the way, is friendlier than ever — just try to understand the fellow!

I can’t do anything with Cassel, since Maynz has the ordre not me. Breyer pleads the financial crisis, the impossibility, just now, of arranging a deferred settlement of his old bills, the refusal of all his patients to pay. He even says that he intends to sell his one and only horse. However I will see what is to be had, for I can hardly manage with the money from Maynz, and Hess’ payment, which was the first, has already gone the way of all flesh. Gigot is also in a fix. I shall go and see Breyer again today.

Tomorrow’s Débat social will contain a detailed refutation, blow by blow of the Moniteur [the article ‘Encore et toujours l'expulsion de M. Marx’ in Le Débat Social of 19 March 1848 appears to have been written by V. Faider].

You must further tell Faider that, if he has to have a special power of attorney, you will send him one.

Also write a few lines to M. Bricourt, membre de la Chambre des Représentants, who spoke up admirably on your behalf in the Chamber [199] and, at Maynz’s request, put some searching questions to the Minister, and who has instituted an enquête into the affair. He is the deputy for Charleroi and, after Castiau, the best of the lot. Castiau has just been to Paris.

Look through the enclosed scrawls and send it to the Réforme.

The fellows here need to be constantly provoked.

If possible I shall leave on Monday[207]. But money matters are perpetually thwarting my designs.

I am getting no news at all from England, whether through letters or the Star.

In Germany things are going very well indeed, riots everywhere and the Prussians aren’t giving way. So much the better. I hope we shan’t have to remain very long in Paris.

How excellent that you are throwing out Bornstedt. The fellow has proved so unreliable that his expulsion from the League is essential. He and Weerth are now allied and Weerth is running round here as a fanatical republican<"art">.

Lamartine is becoming daily more depraved. In all his speeches the man addresses himself exclusively to the bourgeoisie and seeks to pacify them. Even the Provisional Government’s Electoral Proclamation’ is directed wholly at the bourgeoisie in order to reassure them. Small wonder that the creatures are becoming uppish.

Adios, au revoir.
F. E.

All letters to be sent here to the address I have given; in my absence Bloss will give them to Gigot.

[on the back of the letter]

M. Marx

Rue neuve Ménilmontant