Articles by Frederick Engels in The Northern Star

Victoria’s Visit.- The “Royals” At Loggerheads.- Row Betwixt Vic and the German Bourgeoisie.- The Condemnation of the Paris Carpenters


Source: MECW Volume 4, p.649;
Written between September 14 and 18, 1845;
Published: in The Northern Star No. 410, September 20, 1845 with an editorial note: “From our own correspondent”.


Your little Queen has made a pretty mess of her visit to the Prussians. She treated the king [Frederick William IV] with such contempt, that he was glad to get rid of her, and showed that very plainly after her departure. The middle classes too are highly incensed at the contemptuous way she treated the daughters of the “haute bourgeoisie” of Cologne. The, daughter of the Mayor of Cologne had to present “her Majesty” with a cup of tea, and Vic took not the cup, because touched by. the hand of one not “noble”. (1) She only took the spoon, and with it sipped the tea; at the same time turning her head aside, and treating the girl with the most marked contempt. The poor girl stood trembling awfully, not knowing whether to stand or to go away. Served her right; these purse-proud bourgeois, with all their cunning, are with their worship of kings and queens but spoons after all, and as such deserve to be treated. Your Queen carried her contempt so far as to rouse what little spirit they possess to show some resistance. She had subscribed 3,500 dollars (500), to the building fund of the Cologne Cathedral, and the insulted Bourgeois of Cologne got up a meeting to discuss the propriety of returning her the money! The meeting was dispersed by the police and military. I hear, however, that they still contemplate subscribing the money amongst themselves, and sending it to England or Ireland, to relieve your starving poor. 1 hope they will do so. John Bull has been made to bleed pretty freely for bloodsucking German princes, and it is only fair that the German bourgeoisie should return a little of what poor John has been shamefully drained. The marked contempt with which your Queen treated our precious King and his court, arose, I hear, from the fact of the limping Queen [Elisabeth] of Prussia refusing the arm of Prince Albert, and preferring that of Archduke Frederick at Austria, as being of higher birth. It is very comical to see these princes at loggerheads amongst themselves, and the bourgeoisie at loggerheads with the princes; all the time not seeing the movement arising in the lowest depths around them-not seeing their danger until too late.

You never gave in the Star the judgment of the Paris Tribunal against the carpenters on strike, accused of combination-Vincent, the chief, was sentenced to three years, two others to a year, some more to six months, I believe (imprisonment). However, they are keeping out at least those whose masters won’t give way. Two-thirds of the masters have acceded to the workmen’s demands, and in consequence of the above sentence, the sawyers (scieurs--long) and other trades connected with building, have turned out too. This affair does a tremendous deal of good.