Letters of Marx and Engels, 1849

Engels To Jakob Lukas-Schabelitz
In Basle

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 214;
Written: 24 August 1849;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, 1934.

Lausanne, 24 August 1849
8, Place de la Palud

Dear Schabelitz,

I am most obliged to you for promptly forwarding a letter to me. Since I cannot have my letters sent direct and knew of no other address, I was compelled to put you to this trouble. You may be receiving one or two more for me and would, perhaps, be kind enough to send these on to me also.

I am at present stuck in Lausanne where I am writing my reminiscences of the farcical Palatinate-Baden revolution [Engels, The Campaign for the German Imperial Constitution] you know me too well to credit me with political participation in this affair which was lost before it began. In Karlsruhe and Kaiserslautern I poked quiet fun at the provisional government’s blunders and lack of resolution, I refused all posts, and it was not until the Prussians arrived that I joined Willich at Offenbach and took part in the campaign as his adjutant. Now at headquarters, now in the face of the enemy, the whole time in correspondence with the High Command, in constant touch with d'Ester, who, as ‘red camarilla’, was spurring on the government, in various engagements and, finally, at the battle of Rastatt,[265] I had the opportunity of seeing a great deal and learning a great deal. As you know, I am sufficiently critical not to share the illusions of the run-of-the-mill, vociferous republicans and to detect the despondency lurking beneath the bravado of the leaders.

As befits the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, the thing will take a view of the affair different from that of other prospective accounts. It will disclose many a shabby trick and, in particular, will contain much that is new concerning the goings-on in the Palatinate, about which hitherto virtually nothing has been known. It won’t be big — about 4-6 sheets.

Up till now I have not had leisure enough to look round for a publisher. I would not care to send the manuscript to Germany, there is a danger of its being intercepted in the post. Since I am largely unfamiliar with the book trade in Switzerland, I thought I would write — and ask you whether your old man might be the kind of publisher who would accept such work and — NB — pay for it, for I need money, one has to live. That the thing will be pleasant to read goes without saying, and my name is guarantee enough that it will be bought in Germany (it won’t he liable to confiscation, the subject doesn’t lend itself thereto). If, then, your worthy papa is prepared to do business, I shall rely on you, if not, it can’t be helped. In that case you will not, at any rate, refuse to advise me about other possible German publishers, since I am very much in the dark in regard to the German book trade as well.

Write and tell me about this if possible by return.

Best regards

from your
F. Engels