Pictures of the Socialistic Future
To Mr. Franz Schmidt, New York.
"MY DEAR FRANZ,—Be a man, and prepare your-self to bear with fortitude the sad news this letter conveys. Our dear father is no longer amongst the living. Like many other innocent victims, he has fallen a sacrifice to the great rising which has raged for the last few days in Berlin.
"Father had left home with the intention of calling upon me, and warning me to on no account mix myself up with the commotion in the streets. Close to our school there had shortly before been a fight between the police and the rioters, and some of the police had taken refuge in our school. All this was of course quite unknown to father. A party of the rioters lay in concealment, and in all probability one of these, on seeing him, took him for a government messenger; anyhow, a shot fired from an upper window struck him, and he expired in the course of a few minutes. You may fancy my horror when they brought him into our house, and I found it was my own father.
"He fell a victim to the solicitude he felt for the welfare of his family. In the hope of seeing a better future for those dear to him, he had allied himself with the Socialists, but recent events had entirely cured him of his errors.
"Respecting the sad state of our dear mother, father wrote you lately himself, and also mentioned about poor old grandfather. In all my wretchedness and loneliness, my thoughts are continually turning to you, Franz, across the ocean, as my only human refuge. By the time I post this letter I shall, I hope, have already crossed the German frontier. Towards Holland they say the frontier is pretty open. When once there, I shall be able to make use of the money you sent me.
"Things here are in a frightful condition. Sanguinary defeats on the fields of battle towards the frontiers, and in the country nothing but anarchy and threatened dissolution. How all these things have come about, and got into such a muddle, you will best gather from the diary which father kept down to the very day before his death, and which I will bring with me.
"With best love to you both,
"Your lonely brother,
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