Articles by Frederick Engels in The Rheinische Zeitung

F. W. Andreš and the High Nobility of Germany


Written: about August 19, 1842;
First published; in the Rheinische Zeitung No. 241, August 29, 1842;
Marked with the sign *x*;
Transcribed: in 2000 for marxists.org by Andy Blunden.


I will not fail to draw the attention of the Catholic nobly-born members of the knighthood to a poem which, though written by a commoner, is perhaps for this very reason the more worthy of being preserved as a precious pearl, as a due tribute of bourgeois humility.

In the year of grace eighteen hundred and forty-two a booklet appeared in Erfurt published by F. W. Otto: Das WissemwŁrdigste der Heraldik oder Wappenhunde by F. W. Andrea, with a dedication which reads as follows: “Respectfully dedicated to the entire high nobility of Germany, by the publisher.”

“The Aristocracy by Right are loftiest in the Land,
The Virtues of Their Forebears always ranked full high.
Hereditary Worth has waxed and multiplied,
In no way doth the Present yield before the Past.
Thus Reverence greets Them humbly everywhere They go,
On every State the richest blessings They bestow.

“A Coat of Arms conceals a Wealth of hidden Meaning,
How the sublimest Deeds were done in ancient Times;
How Sovereigns gave the Nobles all Their just Deserts
In War as well as in the palmy Days of Peace.
Thus, Coats of Arms as high as Royal Crowns are rated:
Only exalted Deeds are therewith consecrated.

“With all Humility and Deference deeply felt
For Glory thus resplendent down the Aeons of Time,
I dedicate this Monument of Reverence
To the most lofty Scions of Virtue-breeding stock.
Pray, of a great Intention take this feeble token;
It might yet tell you what lay in my heart unspoken.”

Does the man not deserve to be knighted?