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The Brussels Memoire

Karl Marx

London, March 7. Today The Morning Post, Palmerston's private Moniteur, prints the well-known Brussels Mémoire[a] in an English translation with a brief foreword according to which Prince Napoleon is supposed to be the pamphlet's author. Simultaneously the same paper prints a leading article full of vicious attacks on Napoleon Bonaparte, making the fulsomely often repeated point that "only a Russian spy" could be the author of the Mémoire.

Under the pretext of standing up for Louis Bonaparte against his cousin and of preserving the memory of the unsullied Achille Leroy, alias Florimond, alias de S[ain]t-Arnaud, the Post obviously only means to accumulate material for Anglo-French collisions. Saint-Arnaud was one of those saints who turn up in the calendar of French chevaliers d'industrie at any given period, e. g. Saint-Germain, Saint-Georges, etc. Credit is due to The Morning Post for having canonised them and transformed them into saints befitting their station. The assertion that the Mémoire made "military" revelations to the Russians is completely absurd. Neither in England nor in America or Germany have critics waited for the Mémoire to present the Crimean expedition as a failure. The Mémoire has added not one syllable to criticism made so far, although it does have the merit of supplying informal portraits of the mediocrities who were laying down the law at Sevastopol. It is only in the interest of the Russians to keep alive illusions about the Crimean expedition, and the grandiloquence with which the Post holds forth about Russian agents and Russian spies reminds one of Aeschines, who similarly boasted that he was the first to see through the king of Macedonia's plans, while reproaching Demosthenes with having been bribed by Philip. However, we are, of course, far from presenting Prince Napoleon Bonaparte as a Demosthenes.

Written on March 7, 1855
First published in the Neue Oder-Zeitung, No. 118, March 11, 1855
Marked with the sign x
Printed according to the news-paper
Published in English for the first time in MECW


[a] The reference is to the anonymous pamphlet De la conduite de la guerre d'Orient... (see this volume, p. 70) which was published in English under the title "Memoir Addressed to the Government of H. M. the Emperor Napoleon III" in The Morning Post, No. 25328, March 7, 1855. The leading article mentioned below was printed in the same issue.—Ed.

Source: Marx and Engels Collected Works, Volume 14 (pp.76-77), Progress Publishers, Moscow 1980
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