Letter to Caroline Shöler, July 14, 1849

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Author(s) Jenny von Westphalen
Written 14 July 1849


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Written: July 14, 1849, Hotel rue de Lille, No.45
Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 38, pg 539.
Publisher: International Publishers (1975)
Translated: Peter and Betty Ross

To Caroline Shöler in Cologne

My dear Lina,

You will have received my two letters from Trier and will have seen from them that on this occasion I did not feel at ease there. Everything has changed too much there and one does not, of course, always remain the same oneself. I felt an intense nostalgia for Paris and so, together with all my baggage, I returned posthaste via Air and Brussels; we got back here last Saturday, fit and well. I found very pretty, convenient lodgings in a salubrious district where we have already set up house, including kitchen, quite cosily.

At this moment Paris is splendid and luxurious in the extreme. The aristocracy and bourgeoisie suppose themselves safe since the ill-starred 13th of June and the fresh victories their party has won. On the 14th all the grandees, together with their carriages and their liveried retainers, were already creeping out of the holes in which they had been hiding and thus the marvellous streets are awash with magnificence and splendour of every description. Paris is a gorgeous city. How often during the past few days have I not wished you were here beside me as, filled with admiration and amazement, I walked along streets that were alive with people. Once we have settled in properly you must pay us a visit here and see for yourself how lovely it is.

Until 15 August we shall remain in these lodgings which, however, are too dear for us to stay in for any length of time. In Passy, a very pretty place an hour's distance from Paris, we have been offered a whole cottage with garden, 6-10 rooms, elegantly furnished throughout, and having four beds, at the unbelievable rent of eleven thalers a month. If it were not too remote we should remove there at once.

We have still not made up our minds whether we should have our things sent or not. So I shall have to make yet further calls upon your kindness and good nature.

Could you not find out from Johann and my packing-case maker, Hansen [Kunibert], approximately how many cwt. the whole amounts to, i.e. including only one of the boxes of books, No. 4, and how much it costs to transport a cwt. from Cologne to Paris? That would enable us to make an estimate of sorts. Before winter sets in you would in any case have to unpack out of the trunks and dispatch to me here some of the linen, clothing, etc. I shall be sending you further details later on. Johann would be of very great service to you in this.

At the end of August our things will have to be removed from the place where they are now. Perhaps you could have a word with Johann or Faulenbach about cheap storage for them later on. These are all very tiresome affairs, but unavoidable in view of our vagabond existence. I am only sorry that I should have to place this additional burden on you, the more so since you yourself will surely have had a great deal to arrange and see to of late. For I feel sure that your next dear letter will bring me the joyous tidings of Bertha's marriage. Whether that day is already past or whether it is yet to come, do please convey to her my most cordial wishes for her future prosperity and happiness. I wish it were within my power to make you all really happy and more than anything else I should like to see you, my dear Lina, as cheerful and contented as you deserve and have every right to be, considering the many

cares troubles and disappointed expectations that have already clouded and embittered your young life. Rest assured that in me you will always find a loyal and loving friend.

I shall not write anything about politics today. There is no telling what may happen to a letter.

My dear husband sends you his warm regards and wonders whether you could, perhaps, find out from Stein, the banker in the neumarkt, or from his mother, etc, etc., the address of Jung, the assessor, and then forward the enclosed letter to him, the matter is one of some urgency. I am not franking these letters because the franking office is much too far away—I beg you not to frank your letters either and, in fact, to get yourself a cash book for your outlays on my behalf. If you fail to keep strict accounts, I shall have to have recourse to coercive measures.

The children, who can hardly open their eyes wide enough to take in all these marvels, often babble about their dear Aunt Lina and send you their love, so does Lenchen, qui est toujours la meme.

My love to your sisters, to Roland et femme and to the Eschweilers should you happen to see them, etc., etc.

Yours ever

Jenny