Marx-Engels Correspondence 1865
Source: MECW Volume 42, p 167;.
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.
Liebknecht has been expelled from Prussia; has he written to you since and given you his address? The poor devil will probably need money, and a few pounds will be more valuable to him at this moment than otherwise. But where should they be sent to?
Mr Johnson’s policy is less and less to my liking, too. Nigger-hatred is coming out more and more violently, and he is relinquishing all his power vis-à-vis the old lords in the South. If this should continue, all the old secessionist scoundrels will be in Congress in Washington in 6 months time. Without coloured suffrage nothing can be done, and Johnson is leaving it up to the defeated, the ex-slaveowners, to decide on that. It is absurd. Nevertheless, one must still reckon on things turning out differently from what these barons imagined. After all, the majority of them have been completely ruined and will be glad to sell land to immigrants and speculators from the North. The latter will arrive soon enough and make a good number of changes. I think the mean whites will gradually die out. Nothing more will become of this race; those who are left after 2 generations will merge with the immigrants to make a completely different race.
The niggers will probably turn into small squatters as in Jamaica. Thus ultimately the oligarchy will go to pot after all, but the process could be accomplished immediately at one fell swoop, whereas it is now being drawn out.
I don’t think that you would win many laurels by a disputation with Mr Weston, and it would certainly not make a good début in English economic literature. Otherwise, I cannot see it would do much harm to anticipate a few odd points from your book [Capital] — N. B. if the latter is really almost finished now — how does it stand? The ultimate and final date for completion was 1 September, and the price, you remember, is 12 bottles of wine.
In the elections here Jones has been working body and soul for Heywood, but as a teetotaller and permissive Bills man he won’t pull much with the workers. Moore has been working hard, too.
The Manchester snobs will be gladdened by James, the fellow wants to become a judge and nothing more. The election is costing him a pretty penny, just for the champagne his committee and cronies have swigged. Talk about Bribery, corruption and treating, fellows like that fat Knowles came in droves to the Queen’s Hotel, where the headquarters was, gorged their fill and swigged rivers of champagne, and everything was settled with a slip of paper on which a committee-member wrote: valid for 2 luncheons and 3 bottles champagne. In Lancaster, the 3 candidates together disbursed £20,000, and there was free booze for a whole week in every pub. I was here in the Queen’s Hotel at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, the elegant smoking room looked like the old den in Windmill Street, and customers were served by cellar boys in white shirt-sleeves and aprons, instead of barmaids in satin dresses. The whole company was drunk, and at half past six the landlord had to have the hotel cleared by a police patrol. My task consisted in getting James’ committee people to tipple until they were incapable of doing their job, and in several cases I was successful beyond expectation.
I've had a very hard time at the office, Charles was away, Franz Ermen ditto, and a colossal amount of work to boot. Things are better now. I am now on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, German heroic epic, ancient Frisian law, etc. As soon as I have got through that somewhat, I'll have a serious go at Old Norse. The poetry in it is a tough nut because of its deliberate obscurity and all the many names in the mythology, and I can see it’s no use doing this just as a side line; I need to spend 4 weeks all at once on it and nothing else, when I have little to do.
Many regards to the Ladies.
Moore has been asking me about the shares for The Bee-Hive; how do things stand? And how did you get on with Potter?
1.: “Nigger” did not have quite the pejorative meaning in 19th Century England that use of the word later acquired. Note that all the words in bold were in English in the original.