Articles by Frederick Engels in The Rheinische Zeitung

Berlin Miscellany

Written: on August 19, 1842;
First published: in the Rheinische Zeitung No. 241, August 29, 1842;
Marked with the sign ‘x’;
Transcribed: in 2000 for by Andy Blunden.

Berlin, August 19. I am writing to you today to report that there is really nothing to report from here. Heaven knows, it is now the silly season or gherkin time, as they say here. Nothing is happening, absolutely nothing! The Union of the Historical Christ gives no more signs of life than the Union of the Free [167]; although officially it exists, no student really knows where it exists or who belongs to it. It is probably the same as with the famous torchlight procession six months ago for the philosopher in the Leipziger Strasse, [168] in which, too, no student would afterwards admit having taken part, and of which it was already said the day before that they were unfortunately mostly “philistines”. The Commissions of the Estates have not yet materialised either, in spite of the Leipziger Zeitung which, with its passion for unhatched Prussian eggs, conducts interminable debates on whatever is to be placed before the Commissions. [169] But we console ourselves with the wisdom of our King, b and leave the unhatched eggs in peace. He is said to have brought with him a trade treaty and a new cartel convention, and that will certainly not be unhatched eggs! Far from bothering about that, we — I mean we Berliners — envy the Rhinelanders the great enjoyment that will be theirs in a few weeks, when not only our King, but many other persons of high rank, including the worthy King Ludwig of Bavaria, the poet on the throne, author of Walhallagenossen and founder of Valhalla, [170] will attend the laying of the foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, which is to be completed as an ornament for the German people. The Walhallagenossen caused a lively sensation in local educated circles, and the general, competent judgment pronounces without qualification that King Ludwig has added a new laurel branch to his crown. Terse as Tacitus’, strong and elementally forceful, the King’s style can be confident of imitation and yet will only rarely be equalled.