| Paris le 30 Juillet/66

33, Rue des trois Couronnes, du Temple

My dear Marx,

I hope you have received my last letter, which, as much as I remember, will not have failed to charm you, for the amount of nonsense developed in it. Sense is so rare in our age, and one does always well, to do like the majority does.

Unfortunately I have much lazy time now, and I earnestly regret, that none of my London friends come to pay me a visit. I could have been on the spree with him all day and night. Since this nice war broke out, things broke down altogether in France and especially in Paris. We for our part, we have absolutely nothing to do, and intend to shut shop completely this week. As for being paid, for work that has been done, before this crisis, it is utterly impossible. We were often, theese last days, in a most awkward position, as we work only for one customer almost, and the fellow not giving us a farthing, although he oughs us some 16 000 Francs now. We had bills to meet of a large amount, and no probability of doing so. One time we were even much afraid, we should never get paid, as the man had some heavy losses to encounter. We got over it, but I assure you, not without great pains. On the whole, I found Frenchmen to be as big thiefes as the rest of mankind. They bear it very openly too, and the English proverbe: “rather be a thief than a fool” can not be of other than of french origin. You have no idea with which naivete a French Bourgeois is capable to say: he knows he is a rogue, but that you can't hurt him. Had I known what I know now, I should never have taken my bones to fair France. If I was sure, I could do without brains, I would have tried to blow the little I have even out. As poeple told me lately, that it was very unhealthy to do so, I decided to leave them in, for the present.

There are some poeple, doing very well here in Paris. These are the “Prussians“. Since the break out of this war, the german brewers, that done very badly all the beginning of the summer, on account of the Cholera, can not now brew enough, and the rooms are daily crowded.—

“Kannegießen” the exclusively german speciality, the only thing in which they really excell, is there blooming in its smartest colours. They are so happy at it, that it would be pity, to see them disturbed. | I firstly was thoroughly disgusted with it, but when I one eavening saw, how one broad shoulderd Knödelfresser, turned out three proud children of Berlin, two of which were exmembers of the celebrated National-Verein—happy remembrance!—I got reconciled at this outbreak of German energy, and went often then, to amuse myself with similar scenes. Poor National-Verein … they can no more talk now of “Bürgerwehr und Volksbewaffnung”—The gallant king of Prrrrrr … has armed them—and they do well. The Bavarian had said: that never kings ridiculised themselves more, throughout all German history, than they had done of late. The crowned king of Prr—he said—who is the most monstrous representative of feudalisme in Europe and who has set out a general day of penitence and prayer throughout his happy lands—makes evolution now, and deals in freeing countries from the foreign yoke! His apostolic majesty prostituting himself at the feet of the hero of December, by laying his future in his hands. The two Berliner Kinder, who by the by, found it safer to stay here in Paris, then to fight “pour le roi de Prusse”—spoke much of prussian courage, of the great Frederic, of 13, 14, 15, of their giving no pardon, but beeing always ready to take it and of their beeing the first nation on the face of earth. They came from words to blows and out went the manly prussians … I loose all hope—but the right of the strongest will still be the final solution of all questiones, from Berlin on the sand, up to Paris on the Seine!

The only consolation in this whole affaire I can get is, that Germany has, besides of a sentimental viewing at the question, very little or nothing to loose in this ridiculous struggle and any future struggle or quarrel that may ensue: Politically—in its earliest childhood, not even capable of keeping its linen dry—socially—not at all existing, morally a spiteful sentimental set of dreamers, physically such as can be: an almost exclusively potato eating population—abstraction made of a few, that feed on salt herrings, on the borders of the Spree..—geographically: a mere denomination—nationally: mere Franzosenfressers, which they unfortunately digest to russian excrements etc. etc. such as they were, I say, they can not loose. Not, like in the memorable anti slavery war, where there was a sharpely defined social development suffocated, in its early youth, together with the reptile that tried to suck its very life out, not like in America, where a social existence has existed and in consequence, there could be a danger of loosing by waring—there can nothing of the sort be lost in our rotten Fatherland.

The American war has done harm to the whole world, has weeled back history of 50 years, has cheated mankind out of its best hopes and hard work. Germany by waring will cheat nobody—but himself, by revolutionising with their sovereigns at their heads.

| I heard of good sources, that there was a new invention made in France—a new canon, that shall lick all that has been got up to now. Some 80 of them were tried, found good, and packed up in large strong packing cases, with the governements seal put on them, ready to be remooved, in time of need, from this place of confinement, on to the layers of the former guns. Should they be meant to accompany the psalm of 13, 14, 15?

Some days ago I read in the Times, that she felt “unutterably” released at the news of the probability of a peace being concluded If this shuffle had lasted another few weeks, it is not unlikely, that English working classes might have been able to get part of what they worked so long and tenously for. As it were—I fear they will meet with little sucsess. However English perseverance is mightier than French outbursts of anger—and what remains unfinished now, may be completed in a six month, when they will begin to fight on the Continent again. I do not belive in peace. Prussian politic has created a deep hatered among the individuals even.

The French press is doing a great deal now in political economy. Almost every paper brings dayly arguments to proove the working classes, that they can all do very well if they only live economically: that means to say: work much and consume little. The Moniteur as well has those last weeks brought a serie of articles called: the ABC of travailleurs. The amount of ridiculous platitudes that are exhibited are most amusing. In another serie they gave the life of Jaquart, the inventor of weaving machines called the “métier Jaquart.” Same arguments—same voidness of sense. In England such thrash would become impossible. Every school boy would be able to contradict them. Even the illustrated papers bring outlines of this kind and I have cut a few lines out yesterday, which I inclose. The middle class must be aware of the bad cause they work for, because they excuse themselves so often, while no devil accuses them. If they had some sense, they would say nothing at all.

Bürger Weber has been here, and had, as much as I have been told, kicked up such an awful row, at “Kannegießing” in a brassserie dans la rûe Blondel, that poeple stopped in the street. He offerd to hid a young man of 20 years of age for his opinion, and to kick him out at the doors. He has done nothing of the sort in reality you may imagine. It was only an outburst of long retained Bierhaus-Politik and the poor young chap had to stand to it. I have no doubt but what his health must have improoved after such a spree. I have not seen him. I think or rather was told, that he made an invention, which he expected to be able to sell over here.

| How are you getting on with your Economy? I wish most earnestly to see it completed. There is no sience more wrapt up in darkness than this, and no darkness more wanted to be swept away than that on political economy. It is very interesting to know whether there is an atmosphere round the moon and whether the white spots on heaven are stars or not; but it is uncalculably more needful to know whether our present system is a necessary and an eternal one or not. With all the knowledge of the moon, poeple will still live miserable and die before their time—with the knowledge of the other they will become able to alter all. Let me know something about it. Do—there is a good boy! How is your health going on. A few weeks of Paris would have done you a deel of good. I hope you had not the same unfortunate summer to pass as last year. Theese damned sicknesses have undoubtedly mostly prevented you from going a head. I many times thought of you and feared of an other treat of the kind.

Be so kind to remember me to your dear family, and tell them that they still enter for my dearest, of my remembrances.

You will excuse me that I write in English, but it serves me at the same time, as I chatt with my friends of old, as a lesson of repetition, and awakes a recollection of many things, that pleased me much and which I will never see no more. Sans caprices – pas d'existence! When you see Lessner tell him that I have not forgotten him, and that I will write to him ere long.

Salut to Mr. Fox.

I remain yours most affectionately
Ch. Kaub.


Karl Kaub an Karl Marx in London. Paris, Montag, 30. Juli 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=M0000147. Abgerufen am 04.02.2023.