Deutsche-Französische Jahrbücher

To Julius Fröbel in Zurich

First published in German and Russian
Printed according to the original
in the journal Voprosy istorii KPSS No. 4
Translated into English by Jack Cohen for the Collected Works.

Paris, November 21, 1843
rue Vanneau, No. 31, Faub. St. Germain

Dear Friend,

Your letter has just arrived, but with some very strange symptoms.

1) Everything which you say you enclosed is missing with the exception of Engels' article. This, however, is all in pieces and is therefore useless. It begins with No. 5.

2) The letters for Mäurer and myself were wrapped up in the enclosed envelope which is postmarked St. Louis. The few pages of Engels' article were in the same wrapper.

3) Mäurer's letter, which, like mine, I found open in the enclosed envelope, is also superscribed in a strange hand. I enclose the page with the writing.

Hence there are only two possibilities.

Either the French Government opened and seized your letters and your packet. In which case return the enclosed addresses. We will then not only initiate proceedings against the French Post-Office but, at the same time, publicise this fact in all the opposition papers. In any event it would be better if you addressed all packets to a French bookshop. However, we do not believe that the French Government has perpetrated the kind of infamy which so far only the Austrian Government has permitted itself.

There thus remains the second possibility, that your Bluntschli and associates have played this police-spy trick. If this is so, then (1) You must bring proceedings against the Swiss and (2) Mäurer as a French citizen will protest to the Ministry.

As far as the business itself is concerned, it is now necessary:

a) To ask Schuller not to issue the aforesaid document for the time being, as this must be the principal ornament of our first number.

b) Send the whole of the contents to Louis Blanc's address. No. 2 or 3, rue Taitbout.

c) Ruge is not yet here. I cannot very well begin printing until he has arrived. I have had to reject the articles so far sent to me by the local people (Hess, Weill, etc.) after many protracted discussions. But Ruge is probably coming at the end of this month, and if at that time we also have the document you promised, we can begin with the printing. I have written to Feuerbach, Kapp and Hagen. Feuerbach has already replied.

d) Holland seems to me to be the most suitable place providing that your police spies have not already been in direct touch with the government.

If your Swiss people have perpetrated the infamy I will not only attack them in the Réforme, the National, the Démocratie pacifique, the Siecle, Courrier, La Presse, Charivari, Commerce and the Revue indépendante, but in the Times as well, and, if you wish, in a pamphlet written in French.

These pseudo-Republicans will have to learn that they are not dealing with young cowhands, or tailors' apprentices.

As to the office, I will try to acquire one along with the new lodging into which I intend moving. This will be convenient from the business and financial viewpoint.

Please excuse this scraggy letter. I can't write for indignation.

Yours, Marx

In any case, whether the Paris doctrinaires or the Swiss peasant lads were responsible for the trick, we will get Arago and Lamartine to make an intervention in the Chamber. If these gentlemen want to make a scandal, ut scandalum fiat. Reply quickly for the matter is pressing. Since Mäurer is a French citizen, the plot on the part of the Zurichers would be a violation of international law, with which the cowhands shall not get away.