Letters of Marx and Engels 1848

Marx To Engels
In Lausanne

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 178;
Written: first half of November 1848;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, 1929

Cologne, first half of November 1848

Dear Engels,

I am truly amazed that you should still not have received any money from me. I (not the dispatch department) sent you 61 talers ages ago, 11 in notes, 50 as a bill, to Geneva, enclosed in a letter to the address you gave. So make inquiries and write immediately. I have a postal receipt and can reclaim the money.

I had further sent 20 talers to Gigot and, later, 50 to Dronke for all of you, each time out of my cashbox. A total of some 130 talers.

Tomorrow I shall send you some more. But inquire about the money. The bill included a note recommending you to one of Lausanne’s financial philistines.

I am short of money. I returned from my journey with 1,850 talers; I received 1,950 from the Poles. I spent 100 while still on my journey. I advanced 1,000 to the newspaper (and also to yourself and other refugees). This week there are still 500 to be paid for the machine. Balance 350. And withal I haven’t received a cent from the paper.[235]

As regards your editorship, I 1) announced in the very first issue [Marx, Editorial Statement Concerning the Reappearance of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung] that the committee was to remain unchanged, 2) explained to the idiotic reactionary shareholders that they are at liberty to regard any of you as no longer belonging to the editorial staff, but that I am at liberty to pay as high fees as I wish and hence that they will be no better off financially.

It would have been, perhaps, more sensible not to advance so large a sum for the newspaper, as I have 3-4 court actions hanging over me, [236] can be locked up any day and then pant for money as doth the hart for cooling streams. But whatever the circumstances, this fort had to be held and the political position not surrendered.

The best thing — once you have settled the financial business in Lausanne — is to go to Berne and carry out your proposed plan. Besides, you can write for anything you want. Your letters always arrive in reasonably good time.

To suppose that I could leave you in the lurch for even a moment is sheer fantasy. You will always remain my friend and confidant as I hope to remain yours.

K. Marx

Your old man’s a swine and we shall write him a damned rude letter.