Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels 1850

To the Editors of the Weser Zeitung

Source: MECW, Volume 10, p. 390;
Published: in the Tages-Chronik, July 10, 1850.

In your issue of June 22 this year there is a dispatch from London in which the following passage occurs:

“Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and August Willich ... have written to The Spectator that spies from the Prussian embassy are following every step they take, etc. The Spectator comments briefly upon their long letter of complaint, as follows: ‘This class of people (namely political refugees) errs very frequently in such matters, and in fact their error springs from two sources: vanity, which deludes them into thinking that they are much more important than is really the case, and secondly the consciousness of their own guilt. The suspicions expressed by the refugees against the liberal-minded and hospitable English Government are nothing more and nothing less than an impertinence.'”

One does not have to be intimately acquainted with the general attitude and the firmly established conventional forms of the English daily press to discover immediately that no English paper, and least of all the accomplished and witty Spectator, could make a comment so clumsily Prussian in both content and form. The whole of the above “comment” from The Spectator is a shameless forgery by the correspondent. Not only does not a word of it appear in The Spectator, but on the contrary, the editors of this newspaper make the following remark in the same issue that contains our statement.

“A letter in another page makes an extraordinary charge against our own Government. We know nothing more than is to he obtained from a perusal of the letter itself; but a charge publicly made, in so circumstantial a manner with so much verisimilitude of particulars, ought not to be unregarded. The charge is that of favouring the operations of Prussian bloodmen in London, in order to [obtain] an application of the Alien Act against German patriots.” (The Spectator, June 15, p. 554.)

The praises accorded to Herr Bunsen in the same article give sufficient indication of the interests in which your correspondent perpetrated this forgery. Incidentally, Prussian cunning deserves the highest marks for this manoeuvre.

We expect that by publishing this statement in your next issue you will leave to your correspondent alone the honour of the authorship of this ingenious stratagem.

London, July 2, 1850

Karl Marx, Frederick Engels