Letters of Marx and Engels 1848

Engels To Marx
In Paris

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 158;
Written: 9 March 1848;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, 1929.

Brussels, 8-9 March 1848
3, rue Neuve Chaussée de Louvain

Dear Marx,

I hope I shall hear from you tomorrow.

All is quiet here. On Sunday evening Jottrand told the Association Démocratique about what had happened to you and your wife.[198] I arrived too late to hear him, and only heard some furious remarks from Pellering in Flemish. Gigot spoke as well, and reverted to the matter. Lubliner published an article about it in the — Émancipation. [L'Émancipation, 7 March 1848] The lawyers here are furious. Maynz wants to take the matter up in court and says that you should institute a civil action on the grounds of violation of domicile, etc. Gigot is also to lodge a complaint. It would be capital if this were done, although the government has made it known that the fellow [Darbeck] would be dismissed. Yesterday Maynz provided Castiau with the documents he needs to interpellate on this score; I think this will happen tomorrow or the day after.[199] The affair has caused a considerable sensation and has greatly helped to mollify anti-German sentiment.

Lupus was taken to the railway station last Sunday morning at 11 o'clock and packed off to Valenciennes, whence he has written and where he must still be: He did not appear before any tribunal. Nor was he even escorted home to pick up his things![200]

They've left me unmolested. From various remarks the fellows have let fall, it would seem that they are afraid of expelling me because they previously issued me with a passport, and this might be used against them.

It’s a bad business in Cologne. Our three best men are in jug. [201] I have been speaking to someone who took an active part in the business. [Peter Nothjung] They wanted to go into the attack, but instead of supplying themselves with weapons, which were easily obtainable, they went to the town hall unarmed and let themselves be surrounded. It is said that most of the troops were on their side. The thing was initiated without rhyme or reason; if the chap’s reports are to be believed, they could very well have gone into the attack and in 2 hours all would have been over. But everything was organised with appalling stupidity.

Our old friends in Cologne appear to have kept well in the background, although they, too, had decided to go into action. Little d'Ester, Daniels, Bürgers put in a brief appearance but went off again at once, although the little Dr was needed on the city council just then. [202]

Otherwise the news from Germany is splendid. In Nassau a revolution completed, in Munich students, painters and workers in full revolt, in Kassel revolution on the doorstep, in Berlin unbounded fear and indecision, in the whole of western Germany freedom of the press and National Guard proclaimed; enough to be going along with.

If only Frederick William IV digs his heels in! Then all will be won and in a few months’ time we'll have the German Revolution. If he only sticks to his feudal forms! But the devil only knows what this capricious and crazy individual will do.

In Cologne the whole of the petty bourgeoisie is for union with the French Republic; at the moment memories of 1797 are uppermost in their minds.[203]

Tedesco’s still in jug. I don’t know when he'll be appearing in court.

A fulminating article about your affair has gone off to The Northern Star.

On Sunday evening remarkable calm at the sitting of the Democratic Association. Resolved to petition the Chambers, demanding their immediate dissolution and new elections in accordance with the new census. The government does not wish to dissolve but will have to. Tomorrow evening the petition will be adopted and signed during the session.

Jottrand’s petition to the Burgomaster and city council met with a very courteous rejection.

You have no idea of the calm that reigns here. Last night, carnival just as usual; the French Republic is scarcely ever mentioned. In the cafés you can get French newspapers with hardly any difficulty or delay. If you didn’t know that they must, for better or for worse, you'd think it was all finished here.

On Sunday Jottrand — furious about your persecution — made a really good speech; Rogier’s brutalities have brought him to recognise the class antithesis. He fulminated against the big bourgeoisie and entered into details — perhaps rather trite and illusory but economic nonetheless — to demonstrate to the petty bourgeoisie that a well-paid working class with a high rate of consumption in a republic would provide better custom for them than a Court and a not very numerous aristocracy. Altogether à la O'Connor.

It being now too late to catch the post with this letter, I shall finish it tomorrow.


Nothing new — I saw your article in the Réforme — so there’s a rumpus going on in England as well, so much the better.

If you haven’t written by the time this arrives, do write at once. Ironically enough, my baggage has just arrived from Paris costing me 50 fr.! with customs, etc., etc.



It would seem that the Deputy Inspector of Police who came to your house has already been dismissed. The affair has aroused great indignation among the petty bourgeois here.

[On the back of the letter]

Monsieur Charles Marx aux soins de Madame Gsell, 75, Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris.