Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 467;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, 1934.
Since my last letter neither Marx nor I have heard anything from you, and I can scarce believe that you are so deeply ensconced in some anteflexio uteri as to be entirely incommunicado. I have, moreover, a letter to send to Liebknecht, and Marx advises me to forward it to you, as we do not have the exact address and do not know whether he is in Berlin or Leipzig; I am therefore enclosing it.
The German press is still observing complete silence in respect of Capital, and it really is of the greatest importance that something should be said. I have discovered that one of the articles [Engels’ Review of Volume One of Capital] I sent you is in the Zukunft; I am sorry I did not know that it might eventually be destined for that paper; one could probably have taken greater liberties there. However, it does not matter. The main thing is that the book should be discussed over and over again, in any way whatsoever. And as Marx is not a free agent in the matter, and is furthermore as bashful as a young girl, it is up to the rest of us to see to it. Please be so kind therefore and let me know what success you have so far had in the matter, and which papers you think you may still be able to use. In the words of our old friend Jesus Christ, we must be innocent as doves and wise as serpents. The good old vulgar economists at least have enough intelligence to treat the book with respect and to take good care not to talk of it if they are not obliged to. And that is what we must compel them to do. If the book is being discussed in 15-20 newspapers at once — never mind whether favourably or not, whether in articles, regular features or unsolicited pieces in the correspondence section — even if merely as a phenomenon of some significance that merits attention, then the whole crowd of them will start yapping away, too, of their own accord, and the Fauchers, Michaelis, Roschers, and Max Wirths will then have to do the same. We have a moral obligation to damned well get these articles into the papers, and as near simultaneously as possible, especially the European ones, and that includes the reactionary ones. In the latter, we might point out that the vulgarian gentlemen make a deal of noise in parliaments and economic gatherings, but now, when they are confronted with the consequences of their own science, they prefer to keep their mouths shut. And so forth. If you think my assistance would be desirable, let me know which paper you wish to have something for — in the service of the party I am always on call. The letter to Liebknecht concerns the same business, and you will therefore oblige me exceedingly by ensuring it reaches its destination.
The Roman affair has again been an absolute boon to us. The noble Bonaparte appears to me to be gargling his last gasp, and when this episode comes to an end in France, with the position in England becoming more revolutionary every day, and with revolution in Italy inescapable, then this must surely also spell the end of the reign of the ‘Europeans’, in Germany. Rapid progress is being made here in England with the formation of a really revolutionary party, and revolutionary conditions are developing hand in hand with it. With his Reform Bill, Disraeli has thrown the Tories into confusion and routed the Whigs, although all he has done is to render it impossible to continue dilly-dallying as before. This Reform Bill will either prove to be nothing at all (and this is now impossible, there is too much momentum behind it), or it will infallibly and immediately bring in its train Bills of an altogether different character, which will go much farther. The next steps, which will have to be taken forthwith, are the allotting of representatives in proportion to population and the secret ballot, and that will be the end of the old scheme of things here. The capital thing about Disraeli is that his hatred for the country gentlemen in his own party and his hatred of the Whigs have set things going on a course which can no longer be halted. You will be astonished, and the German philistines who think England is finished will be even more astonished, at what will happen here once the Reform Bill is in force.
The Irish are also doing their bit to keep things properly on the boil, and every day the London proletarians are more openly declaring their support for the Fenians, in other words, and this is without precedent here and really splendid, for a movement that firstly advocates the use of force and secondly is anti-English.
Have you heeded my medical advice and taken to horseback? Since my return I have again found the beneficial effects of riding amply demonstrated, and you will see how quickly all your complaints and reservations about drink disappear thanks to an hour’s riding daily. As a gynaecologist, you owe it to science, for after all gynaecology is intimately connected with riding or being ridden, and a gynaecologist must therefore be in every sense the master of his mount.
Schorlemmer kept an eye open for you at the congress of naturalists in Frankfurt but maintains you were not there.
So, dear friend, let us hear from you soon. The photograph of Lupus has been ordered and will be ready as soon as the fine weather comes, unfortunately we do not have much daylight here in winter. Please convey my best compliments to your wife, despite our being unacquainted, and best regards from
Address: Ermen & Engels, Manchester For F. E.
20 November. Since I wrote the above, Marx has communicated to me your letter to him, and I am sorry to see from it that we can hardly count on further press-notices in your locality. Might it not be possible, perhaps through third persons, to get attacks on the book, either from a bourgeois or a reactionary point of view, into some of the papers? This seems to me to be one means of publicity, and there would be no difficulty in producing the articles. And then: what about scientific journals, or purely literary or semi-literary ones?
Respecting the Rheinische Zeitung, I am writing to Cologne in case there has still been no progress.
Büchner ought to be able to get things into the papers as well; you can refer him to me for the articles if necessary. Give him no peace.
I have still not received the photographs, but they are sure to come one of these days.
Once more, in all friendship