Marx-Engels Correspondence 1858

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 40, p. 317;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

London, 31 May 1858
9 Grafton Terrace, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill

Dear Frederick,

It took me a week to acclimatise myself again; moreover, the abrupt discontinuation of riding did me no good to begin with. Not until this very day have I at last begun to feel as fit as I did on the day I left Manchester. I am now in working order and shall at once start getting the stuff ready for publication. All I wrote last week was 2 articles for the Tribune. The rest of the time I kept constantly on the move, since the feeling of heaviness in my head and trouble with my bowels made me fear a relapse.

Ad vocem Cluss. Before leaving, this young man visited Schapper again. When he got back from my house the worthy fellow discovered to his dismay that he had brought something back with him from Paris, viz. a chancre with all sorts of nasty secondary symptoms. He took to his bed and this, he told Schapper, was the reason for his withdrawal from the civilised world.

Ad vocem Pélissier. What we jokingly suggested in Manchester, namely that Pélissier would promptly enter into relations with the Orléans, has now happened in real good earnest, and become the talk of the town here.

What do you think of Bonaparte’s thirst for confiscation?

During my absence a book by Maclaren covering the entire history of currency came out in London; to judge by the excerpts in The Economist it is first-rate. The book isn’t in the library yet — nothing ever turns up there until months after publication. I, of course, am bound to read it before writing my treatise. So I sent my wife to the publisher in the City. To our dismay, however, we discovered that it costs 9/6d — more than the whole of our fighting funds. Hence I should be most grateful if you could send me a Post Office order for that amount. There probably won’t be anything that’s new to me in the book, but after all the fuss The Economist has made about it and the excerpts I myself have read, my theoretical scruples won’t permit me to proceed without having looked at it.

Don’t you think you might have sufficient material to do something general on the state of the British forces in India and also something conjectural for Friday? It would be a great boon for me since reading over my own manuscripts will take me the better part of a week. The damnable part of it is that my manuscript (which in print would amount to a hefty volume) is a real hotchpotch, much of it intended for much later sections. So I shall have to make an index briefly indicating in which notebook and on which page to find the stuff I want to work on first.

I have at long last written to Lassalle you must grant me absolution for the plaudits I was obliged to accord Heraclitus, the Dark Philosopher. In a few unobtrusive asides — for praise is taken seriously only when offset by censure — I have to some extent, if very piano-piano, hinted at the real shortcomings of the entreprise.

Tomorrow or the day after I shall be getting some more Bangya numbers, 2 of which I shall send to Manchester, 1 for you and 1 for Lupus. Apropos, in an issue of the Tribune I see that Pulszky is endeavouring to forestall the nauseous revelations by representing Bangya as Metternick’s spy and as one who betrayed General Stein. So statesman Blind, while giving a testimonium paupertatis to Kossuth, ‘The illustrious Governor of Hungary’, in the Advertiser, nevertheless found himself obliged to invite him in so many words to make a ‘counter-statement’. Kossuth, of course, held his tongue.

How is Gumpert progressing in the noble art of equitation? As for me, the pity of it is that I always have to break off just when I'm again making enough progress to take an interest in the thing.


K. M.