Marx in Neue Rheinische Zeitung October 1848

Reply of the King of Prussia to the Delegation of the National Assembly

Source: MECW Volume 7, p. 474;
Written: by Marx on October 18, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 120, October 19, 1848.

Cologne, October 18. The King is consistent at any rate. His Majesty never contradicts himself. On the occasion of the festival celebrating the building of Cologne’s cathedral, he told the delegation of the Frankfurt National Assembly:

“Gentlemen, I fully understand the significance of your Assembly. I realise very well how important your Assembly is!” The voice of His Majesty then assumed a very solemn and biting tone: “But please do not forget that there are still sovereigns in Germany” — at this point His Majesty placed his hand upon his heart and spoke with uncommon emphasis — “and do not forget that I am one of them!”

A similar reply was also given to the delegation of the Berlin Assembly when it visited His Majesty at Bellevue Castle on October 15 [birthday of Frederick William IV] in order to congratulate him. The King said:

“We are in the process of constructing an edifice which is to last for centuries. But, gentlemen, I would like to call your attention to one matter. We still possess an hereditary authority by the grace of God” — these words were spoken by the King with great emphasis — “which is surely envied in many places and which is still endowed with full powers. It is the only foundation upon which that edifice can be constructed if it is to last for as long as I have indicated.”

The King is consistent. He would always have been consistent had it not been for the unfortunate fact that the March days interposed that fateful scrap of paper between His Majesty and his people.[311]

At this moment, His Majesty, just as he did before the March days, seems again to believe in Slavdom’s “legs of iron[Cf. Daniel 2:33]. Perhaps the people in Vienna will turn out to be the magician who will transform the iron into clay.