Marx-Engels Correspondence 1869
Source: MECW, Volume 43, p. 315;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1931.
Arrived in Paris last Tuesday evening, left again Monday (12 July). I managed to remain completely incognito; on landing at Dieppe I passed first the douaniers and police without them intervening, though, curiously enough, several innocent people (Including a Yankee with very black hair, who was taken for an Italian) were asked for their passports and, in accordance with the latest regulations, the Frenchmen had to give their names. I lodged as A. Williams in Paris, Rue St Placide, maison meublee (next street to Lafargue).
Laurachen has been suffering from a really serious illness. She is now convalescing, and is going tomorrow with Paul, etc., to Dieppe, where they will spend a month at the seaside, and will perhaps come over to England later. My business in Paris was to have a look at the status rerum, following a letter from Lafargue senior, and then write to the senior (from Paris), after consultations with the junior. Because of Laura’s state of health, Lafargue has naturally been completely absorbed by domestic worries, but has promised most solemnly to take the necessary steps as soon as Laura is completely restored. The senior also put his foot in it in his letters to Paris. I shall see what he writes to me in his reply.
Le petit [Blanqui] has left Paris (where he was present incognito at all the crowd-gatherings, etc.) for Brussels and, under the circumstances, his absence was by no means unpleasant for me. Because of this, the paper has been ‘postponed’.
I saw neither Schily nor anybody else, but confined myself entirely to the family, with whom I sauntered through more or less the whole of Paris. The bank where they live (Faubourg St Germain, etc.), has not changed much and is not Haussmannised. Then, as now, narrow stinking streets. However, things look much changed on the other bank of the Seine, where the change already starts with the front of the Louvre.
The females appear to have become much uglier.
The heat was unbearable, particularly in the train.
The biggest sensation, to the great annoyance of the democratic opposition (including the irréconciliables), was caused by Raspail’s short speech, in which he demanded the release of his election committee. He spoke of the injustice de la justice. Thereupon interruptions. He continued Do you deny the injustices committed against me by the Restoration? By this ridiculous Louis Philippe? etc. He wanted no peines, was ready à bruler [to burn] le code civil and le code pénal; in the meantime, the punishments of officials should be converted into fines (I.e., deductions from salary) and should begin with M. le préfet de la police, namely because of the ‘orgies infernales de casse-têtes’. [hellish orgies of bludgeoning] The language of the old man was in violent contrast to the roundabout prattle of the faux jeunes hommes. [hypocritical young men] And the next day, the government released his Comité.
The sessions of the Corps législatif were relatively very stormy. For this reason, Bonaparte has adjourned.
Tussychen [Eleanor Marx] must also write to me about her plans for staying in Manchester. Schnaps, a charming little lad, sends heartiest greetings.
Addio, Old Boy.
My compliments to Mrs. Burns.