| Paris, Mars 17/1866

33, Rue des trois Couronnes, du Temple

Dears, all of you

It was surely the most brilliant idea,  Karl Marx.
father Mohr
ever had, when he got good  Jenny Marx (Tochter).
to make me have those long expected and often thought of, portraits. I now, without the slightest hesitation—boldly I say: you are the most pathetical wordkeepers, this wretched world has ever borne. Indeed, I was so thoroughly pleased, when I saw your dear little heads dive out of  Der Brief konnte nicht ermittelt werden.
your letter,
that—what do you think? that I could not help heartily kissing them, without exception, and—niether of you even plushed. Should however, any one of you feel vexed, at so much of a stranger’s daring, there will be no other way, of taking revenge, at this my criminal action, but to do the same to mine, if it should happen to be found still in that rich collection, among the number of your friends; do it with as angry looks as possibly you may—and never tell me of it (!)

 Seit Ende Januar litt Marx an Furunkulose.
I was very deeply affected to hear, that you had sickness and sorrow again reigning in your house,
and even more so as you did have before. I know, that poor Mohr has not the time now to be ill and keep his sheets. How much this very critical position, he of needs must have found himself to be surprised by this new “fléau” in, must have contributed to give you number of anxieties, I fully can appreciate. Mohr is, I often had occasion to convince me of, by nature of an exellent disposition and of a most brillant humour, as long as he is passably well, and able to smoke his pipe in peace, but like the rest of us, being ill, he is likely to have his days, when he gets awful out of time. If one, like him, has all his lifetime struggled and made sail for one thing, has, with all his work and toil, at last reached close his end—the land in sight, he drops his anchor—and finds his tackle short and going back to sea again, he can not well help knitting his brows, and growing damned wild.  Gemeint ist hier Karl Marx: Das Kapital; siehe Erl. zu Marx an J. Ph. Becker, zw. 9. u. 15.1.1866.
His work,
so eagerly expected by all his friends, that will have cost him so many nights rests, and which, to my believe, in a great measure is the cause of his continued ake and lingering health, by depriving him of all necessary rest and distraction, I hope, as earnestly as one can hope, that is fully aware of its importance, and bears his friendship streight at heart—will find its completion, with natur’s resurrection—the all invigorating spring! I am convinced that this weight, once off his mind, he will become another man, he will be merry as he was before, and joy and happiness will enter streight at all your doors again. If then, you careful keep the windows shut, you will find your rooms too small, to hold it all, and Mohr will be obliged to take the sails and come over to me, to Paris, and spend a happy month with me. If my rustic habitation, will then be good enough, he shall be heartily welcome.

We had a most wretched winter here. The weather was as changeable and unhealthy as ever I had seen in London. Raining, hot and cold were dayly changing twice and more than twice. The number of ills is greater as ever has been seen before, the hospitals are crowded and burrial undertaking is the best business out. Combined with that, things have been generally very dull here, and living has attained a higher price, as I knew it to have been at London, at the time I left.

I for my own part, have still kept very well, and the numberless complaints, I was subjected to, in foggy London, are all gone by. I think if I had stood another year or two on Englands smoky shores, I should have kicked the bucket like a man. I think one ought not to do so any sooner than he can help.

| Our business goes on now, as well as can be expected under such unfavorable circumstances, as than we had had to begin in. We have plenty of work, even so much, that we are almost smothered with it. The only great misfortune in the matter is, that we have not sufficiently tin to make it go and role, and make it worth our’s while. As things are now, we have about 35 or 40,000 Fr. in the concern. If we wanted to go on, any way favourably, we ought now at least to have another 800 or 1000 £(?) to put in to it. As it were, we are dependent of a multitude of unfavourable circumstances, of different individuals etc. we might all free ourselfs without delay. There has been offerd to us, for example, the execution of censoring(?) the whole materials of a large manufactury—a work amounting to more than 100,000 Fr. There might be 25,000 Fr. got out of it in considerably less than a year, and the work we have, carried on at the same time. But as we are almost pennyless—the whole of what little we have, all laid out, and not by far enough—there is not to be thought of such an undertaking, the job will pass our noses clean, although the preference would have been given to us, had we been able to execute it without the help of any one. It will fall to the lot of one that has got tin enough. However I do not complain, as I know it would be of no use.  Es handelt sich um eine bekannte Anekdote. Gemeint sind hier vermutlich, auch wegen des im Brief genannten österreichischen Militärs Ludwig Freiherr von Gablenz, die Wiener Rothschilds, somit entweder Anselm Salomon Freiherr von Rothschild oder noch sein Vater, Salomon Meyer Freiherr von Rothschild.
Rothchild, they say, was once on board of one of the Rhin-steamers, when a pickpocket tried to rob the poor Baron. His friend, who stood by, seeing it, laid hand on the fellow, and wanted, to have him locked up. “Never mind” said Rothchild “let the chap loose, we too have begun in so small a way.”
—So so. We are but little thiefs now, and will have a damned hard pull to get on, but if we but have a little chance—we may. There is no possibility of getting out of it now! We either must swimm or drown. The only thing, that grieves me much, is, that before we get out of the deepest mud—if out we get at all—those few good years, I have still before me, will have gone by, and things which might have been done perhaps even now, although it is already late, will be to late for ever.

To another picture! I dare not neglect, my dear Marx, to tell you of a thing which might perhaps at a very early period, enter so extensivly into the composure of our present society, that this our society would cease to resemble itself. The period of steam will be at its end. A Frenchman, of the name of Rebour, and whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making, has lately modified an invention, he has already tried before a numerous public of scientific men in 1853, in Russia, Amerika and lastly in England, which will be able of propounding any railway train or doing any kind of work, steam engines are doing now, without any power, but its own weight as a moteur. Do not think I am out of mind. In 53 already, the future consequences of such an invention have been so thoroughly understood in London, at a Banquet given to M. Rebour at Sablonnière-Hôtel, Leicester Square, that high placed men thought wise to poison the man, which they affected by presenting him a slize of cake, where a laurel & a rose were laid on. However he survived. To day, he is associated with  Anselm Salomon Freiherr von Rothschild.
Baron Rothchild
, General von Gablenz and the devil knows who all. The enormous capital has been voted, and in a few months his waggon will go from Paris to Marseille and back at a rate of 40 miles an hour, without steam or any other motive power but the waggons own weight. His invention applicated on the fly-wheel of an ordinary steam engine, gives 80% economy in power. A steam engine of 4 horse for example, he can make by an application of his invention to make 20 horse without a pennyworth more coals. However this is nothing, as the steamengines will be done away with all together. Up to now: augmentation of weight, was augmentation of friction. He upsets all and prooves, in spite of all the proud Chorophees of Knowledge that, if things are in the right condition: augmentation of weight is impossible without diminution of friction. This is the great basis on which his invention reposes. The good man has great difficulties to fight with. He finds bad will every where. A thing which must cause such an enormous “deplacement de richesse” is not likely to find many friend. I could write much more about it. If you will believe me, that I am not out of mind, and you feel interested in it, I shall write more about the progress of it. I consider the man a great genius, and those that will lend hands to bring it to life, as very useful members of society. He finds the greatest opposition in the “haute bourgeoisie”.  Diese Stelle erwähnt Marx im Brief an Engels vom 2. April 1866 .
The same M. Rebour, assures me—but the matter shall not yet be talked of, as he has since the London affairs some reason to be careful—that he is able to separate hydrogene from oxigene in a way that costs 2 sous par jour for a fire to melt iron with. I think the man to be of also sound mind, honest and very intelligent as much as I know now of him.
I think in such a baffling case as this, this testimonial is not superfluous. I may be wrong, as so many mortals have been wrong before, but I doubt it strongly. I am not entousiaste. I pray you—dont believe a word of all that, I dont like people that believe before they see and understand. Let me hear soon something of you.

My earnest love to all of you.
Ch. Kaub

Zeugenbeschreibung und Überlieferung

Dieser Brief wird hier erstmals veröffentlicht.




Der Brief besteht aus einem Bogen dünnem, weißem Papier im Format 412 × 266 mm. Kaub hat die erste und dritte Seite vollständig beschrieben, die zweite und vierte Seite sind leer. Schreibmaterial: schwarze Tinte.

Von unbekannter Hand: Nummerierung des Briefes: „2“ mit Bleistift auf der ersten Seite oben in der Mitte; Vermerk mit schwarzer Tinte „Mars 17/66“, auf der vierten Seite unten rechts quer geschrieben.

Die Schreibweise wurde zurückhaltend korrigiert, die Eingriffe sind ausgewiesen.

Anmerkungen zum Brief

Kaub beantwortet, wie aus dem Brief zu ersehen ist, einen nicht überlieferten Brief, vermutlich von Jenny Marx, geschrieben vor dem 17. März 1866 (J. Marx an K. Kaub, vor 17.3.1866).



Karl Kaub an Familie Marx in London. Paris, Samstag, 17. März 1866. In: Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe digital. Hg. von der Internationalen Marx-Engels-Stiftung. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin. URL: http://megadigital.bbaw.de/briefe/detail.xql?id=M0000069. Abgerufen am 18.04.2024.