Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung January 1849

Müller. — The Freiburg Government. — Ochsenbein

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 252;
Written: by Engels on January 13, 1849;
First published: in Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 197, January 17, 1849.

Berne, January 13. The great Herr Tobias Müller has at last arrived in the canton of Uri and is demanding from the Government that the depot of Neapolitan recruits, which was previously in Genoa, now be moved to Altorf, from whence he will send them by one route or another to Naples. It is not known whether the Government will agree to his demands; even if it does, it is still questionable whether the other governments bound by the enlistment agreement will be satisfied with the proposed move. — A troop of Lucerne recruits are, it is said, to be forwarded via Trieste to Naples, to the scandal of the whole civilised world.

The Freiburg Government, which in general is guilty of strangely arbitrary actions, has again, despite the new Federal Constitution, had a Schwyz canton citizen deported. Already earlier it had just as unceremoniously thrown out Herr Sieber of Zurich, editor of the Wächter of Murten, and present co-editor of the Berner-Zeitung. Both cases will come before the Federal Assembly, and it is hoped it will see that the Constitution is respected.

A wonder has come to pass: the press organ of the neutral Herr Ochsenbein, the Verfassungs-Freund, recognises repentantly that the Tessiners were not so much in the wrong in their quarrels with Radetzky and the East-Swiss troops. He stammers his pater, peccavi [Father, I have sinned] and tries to cover the matter up with an Iliacos intra peccatur muros et extra. [sins are committed inside and outside the walls of Ilion] And yet the Tessin government councillors are the most confirmed anti-neutralists among the supporters of what Ochsenbein, in a malicious appeal to Swiss narrow-mindedness, calls “foreign policy”. But the Tessiners have become very popular in Berne as a result of the reports of the Berne soldiers, and Herr Ochsenbein has got to remain popular in Berne; and finally, this is the bottom of the business, the Federal Council, without any cause, has just made the canton of Tessin again responsible for all further complications with Radetzky. But whenever Herr Ochsenbein perpetrates in the Federal Council a practical dirty trick, the Verfassungs-Freund must, in theory, clothe it in magnanimous and noble language. That’s how they rule the stupid peasants in this country. Oh, democracy!