Letters of Marx and Engels, 1849

Marx To Ernst Dronke
In Paris

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 190;
Written: 3 February 1849;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, 1934.

Cologne, 3 February 1849

Dear Dronke,

Your letter, passed on to me by Engels, I shall answer briefly as follows:

1. As regards your coming here: When I wrote ‘Don’t come to Germany until I write to you’, Kratz had told me that your case was not yet quite settled.[252]

2. Later I wrote to Kapp instead of to you because Kapp was bombarding me with threatening letters. The draft I gave Kapp wasn’t honoured by Korff. In the meantime I had declared at the shareholders’ meeting that either Korff or I must resign from the paper [Neue Rheinische Zeitung]. Moreover, during this period Plasman had again sequestered the postage money, and the paper, as Engels discovered on his arrival, was expecting to announce its insolvency any day.

3. As regards the Meyerbeer business, I know nothing whatever about it. You will appreciate that in a situation in which the compositors were daily rebelling over a few talers, I would hardly have spurned 150 talers.

4. As regards my letter about Kapp, I was justified in writing it. During the most ghastly period of all, Kapp was threatening to attack us publicly. If you put yourself in our situation at that time, you will understand my vexation. As regards Weerth’s comment (which, by the by, referred not to you, but to Imandt, who was writing to us incessantly), this is the first I have heard of it.

5. As regards the 25 talers remitted on 14 January, these were dispatched to you in the presence of witnesses via Ewerbeck’s address. The Post Office here will provide information about this tomorrow. Nota bene: Kapp received 15 talers from me at the same time.

6. As regards my not answering, Lupus will testify that I wrote to you frequently.

7. If the tone of one of my letters was waspish, this was, a) because I was going through an atrociously bad patch with the paper and was under attack from all the paper’s correspondents and creditors, b) because, in a letter to Freiligrath, Imandt depicted you, Kapp, etc., as complaining bitterly about me, while the precious Beust, I think it is Beust (I am not quite sure), was sending similar letters here.

Within a few days the paper must either go under or else consolidate itself, in which case we shall immediately send you more money of which, at the moment, there is a complete lack. However the business of the 25 talers must be cleared up.

That I have constantly regarded you as co-editor of the paper is apparent not only from the new announcement in the various papers [Bestellungen auf die Neue Rheinische Zeitung für das nächste Quartal, Januar bis März 1849] but also from the fact that I placed your article about the expulsion of the Frankfurt refugee [F. Wiedecker] under ‘Cologne’. [E. Dronke, ‘Allianz der europäischen Polizei’, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 11 January 1849]


[From Wilhelm Wolff]
In entire agreement with the above