| 25, Rue des Saints Pères.
Novber 2nd 68.

My dear Challey,

As I know that you are never too deep in your books to keep a small portion of your Ear open for a little gossip, I have no scruple at all in knocking at your door for a few minutes’ chat. Moreover, as you “sleep never”, I shall not, in any case, trouble your slumbers.—Paul has just gone out with Sazanoff, who lunched with us this morning, to hunt up Longuet in some café or other. The last named gentleman, you must know, has just made his exit from prison, in which he had been spending the last fortnight or so. As he had inopportunely cried “Vive Garibaldi!” | About a year & a half ago, the Emperor’s servants owed him a little grudge & locked him up for change of air. On Friday evening he was released & is now, I suppose, in full glory, smoking & playing at dominos at his customary haunts.

Schily & Borkheim called upon us the other day; the latter was very amiable,—in his own way, of course, which is that of a parvenu. He found our rooms awfully difficult to get at & declared that he could never stand it were he obliged to ascend the stairs often. Our apartments are, for Paris, however, at no great height.

Schily appears to be very desirous to introduce us to his wife. Besides many hints, he has twice or three times informed Paul “that he was married or as good as married”.

Now as it is quite immaterial to | me whether a woman—provided she pleases me—is married or not, I have of course not the slightest objection to seeing her. Mama I think spoke of her as being a very nice person. We shall, therefore, meet one of these days.

You are of course watching the course of the Baudin Subscription business. The government—it was the Emperor who ordered the prosecutions against the advice of all his ministers—first put his foot into that affair & then stood shilly-shallying for a long time, hesitating whether to draw it out again or to deliberately put in the other foot as yet free. It seems to be still undecided; afraid, if it did so, lest it should not have a leg left to stand upon. The impudent chip of that old block, the scoundrel Granier, is in a white heat of passion & complains that “on saisit et on ne saisit pas, on poursuit et on ne poursuit pas”. Many papers having been | seized, others left unmolested. Many, in defiance of the prosecutions, are continuing to publish the list, others are backing out; among the rest, the Siècle, giving for pretext the death of its editor, Havin.

The discussions at the various réunions continue & are becoming more & more popular. Paul went to one the other day with Moilin; the subject under discussion was “marriage”. What was said upon it I have not been able to ascertain; the papers don’t say, Paul didn’t know, nobody knows. However there was a great deal of discoussion & a good deal of fun. I suppose these réunions will lead to something or other by & by, for the present they are amusing the public highly. The French have been so long unused to liberty that they make a mess of it when it is given them.

Poor great Iconoclast! And | so the dragon “Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo,” has been to much for him. But then it was a bad thing too for an Iconoclast to allow himself to be made a Saint of. Poor St. George! for a brief hour he saw all things in a rosy light: the show of hands in his favour, an enthusiastic meeting at which the tea was “tastefully” prepared & his wife “graceful”. Still it is a pity that he has been unsuccessful, although I firmly believe that, had he worked his way into the House, he would have appeared there like Malvolio, fantastically smiling, cross-gartered & in yellow stockings. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness”, but it is a bad thing for most people to have too much “greatness thrust upon them”.

The fact that most surprises me | is the defeat of Mill. I had fancied him in high favour in various quarters.

The last weeks we have been over-busy with looking for fresh apartments & furnishing them, but so soon as we shall be installed in our new lodgings, Paul will see about the Frank affair.

I hope, my dear Master, you are as well as possible: I took off my cap when I heard of the great thing you had done—namely voted for Sandwith(?).

With many compliments—not of the season for that is cold—I remain, my dear Master,

Your affectionate Ex-Secretary
Kakadou |


Laura Lafargue an Karl Marx in London. Paris, Montag, 2. November 1868. 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=M0004930. Abgerufen am 28.01.2023.