Marx-Engels Correspondence 1865
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 117;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.
My brother-in-law is leaving today to return to the Cape. I've got to accompany him onto the ship. So, I'm very short of time — hence just the following in the utmost brevity:
1. Ad vocem Bruhn. A worker in Paris received a letter from a worker in Hamburg saying that Bruhn is slandering us in every way he can. Firstly, he says I owe him 60 talers which I never repaid. Secondly, you and I are said to have sold the Prussian government, or rather ‘Police-Chief Stieber’, a manuscript about the refugees. The Parisian sent the letter to Lessner, who passed it on to me. I replied to Lessner by return of post, for communication to the Parisian, that I had never had any financial dealings with Bruhn (which I believed at that time to be the case), and in general considered that for Bruhn to ever have 60 talers to his name was like something out of Munchausen. Furthermore, I explained the affair of Bangya and the manuscript, in which connection our declaration of April 1853 in the New-Yorker Criminal-Zeitung [Hirsch’s Confessions] and references to it in Herr Vogt page such and such were to be consulted. Well! Then Bruhn’s letter arrived. So, I racked my brains and think I remember the following: in the spring of 1849 I came to Hamburg to collect money for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. I had just enough in my pocket to get to Hamburg. However, stayed 14 days in a first rate hotel. I explained to Baron Frisch, who later intended to send us donations, that I needed money to pay the hotel bill and my return fare. I now have a dim recollection that since I didn’t want to take the money as a ‘present’ from him and he for his part didn’t want it back, it was agreed that Bruhn who was just as much a scoundrel then as now, should receive it. I had forgotten the whole bloody business; however, I now wrote to Bruhn that I couldn’t remember any financial transaction with him. Since the Neue Rheinische Zeitung was banned when I got back to Cologne from Hamburg and I myself was kicked out of Prussia, it was possible that in the whirl of events at the time I had forgotten. It is still striking that he waited from 1849 to 1865 to remind me. But it was a simple matter. He should let me know by letter how much he thought he had on me and send me Grubel’s address. I would then write to Grubel myself. If the latter confirmed what he said, his demand would be satisfied. This procedure is absolutely essential, as I am still uncertain about the matter even at this moment, and the way I have been fleeced by claims of this kind is really scandalous.
2. From the enclosed from Schily you will see what transpired in Paris whither we sent Le Lubez to settle the disputes that had broken out there. (We had given Schily ditto full power to negotiate, as we were aware of Le Lubez’s bias towards Lefort. Here I should just mention in passing that Beluze, President of the People’s Bank, who controls the few Paris Associations and their organ L'Association, is with Lefort.) What else happens — which will only be concluded this evening, as far as our intervention is concerned — in the next letter.
3. The things from Siebel returned. It strikes me as most unfortunate that he gives London as the origin of the notice put in the Düsseldorfer Zeitung, thus exposing me as the presumed author.
4. Letter from Liebknecht enclosed.
5. One copy of the circular from the Geneva Branch Association enclosed.
6. The letter from Meissner enclosed.
7. Lange: not to be directly rebuffed. Write and tell him that he would do best to post the thing to you, 2 copies, and you would send one to me each time. As he rightly realises himself, after our recent experience we would have to hold back for the present from making contributions to any German paper. He would, of course, have the same right as any other Editor of a journal to reprint whatever extracts he liked from your pamphlet.
The first numbers (2 sheets) of Blind’s Eidgenosse have come, with the only contributions by Blind, Struve and Rasch. Trivia. Emblem consisting of hand with dagger, to kill the ‘tyrants’.