Letters of Marx and Engels 1847
Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 146;
Written: 24 November 1847;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.
Not until this evening was it decided that I should be coming. Saturday evening, then, in Ostend, Hôtel de la Couronne, just opposite the railway station beside the harbour, and Sunday morning across the water. If you take the train that leaves between 4 and 5, you'll arrive at about the same time as I do.
If, contrary to expectations, there is no packet-boat to Dover on Sundays, write and tell me by return. I. e., since you will receive this letter on Thursday morning, you must make inquiries at once and, should a letter be necessary, it must be posted the same evening – before five o'clock, I think – at the main post office. So if you want to make any changes as regards the meeting place there is still time. If I haven’t heard by Friday morning I shall count on meeting you and Tedesco on Saturday evening at the Couronne. We shall then have time enough to talk things over; this congress must be a decisive one, as this time we shall have it our own way.
For a long time now I have been completely at a loss to understand why you have not put a stop to Moses’ gossip. It’s been giving rise to the most devilish confusion for me here and the most tedious contradictory speeches to the workers. Entire district sittings have been wasted over it, nor is there any possibility of effectively combating this ‘vapid’ nonsense in the communities; particularly before the elections there could be no question of it.
I expect to see L. Blanc again tomorrow. If not, I shall in any case see him the day after tomorrow. If I have nothing to add at the end of this letter, you will hear the sequel on Saturday.
By the way, Reinhardt talked nonsense to me about the number of copies sold [The Poverty of Philosophy] – not 37, but 96 had been sold a week ago today. That same day I myself took your book to L. Blanc. All the copies had been despatched save to Lamartine (not here), L. Blanc and Vidal, whose address cannot be found. I have had it taken to the Presse.
By the way, Frank’s dispatch arrangements have been truly appalling.
At least see that Moses doesn’t get up to any nonsense during our absence! Au revoir, then!
Give a little thought to the Confession of Faith. I think we would do best to abandon the catechetical form and call the thing Communist Manifesto. Since a certain amount of history has to be narrated in it, the form hitherto adopted is quite unsuitable. I shall be bringing with me the one from here, which I did [Principles of Communism]; it is in simple narrative form, but wretchedly worded, in a tearing hurry. I start off by asking: What is communism? and then straight on to the proletariat – the history of its origins, how it differs from earlier workers, development of the antithesis between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, crises, conclusions. In between, all kinds of secondary matter and, finally, the communists’ party policy, in so far as it should be made public. The one here has not yet been submitted in its entirety for endorsement but, save for a few quite minor points, I think I can get it through in such a form that at least there is nothing in it which conflicts with our views.
Have just received your letter  to which the above is an answer. I went to see L. Blanc. I'm remarkably unlucky with him – il est en voyage, he’s travelling and will perhaps be back today. I shall go there again tomorrow and, if necessary, the day after.
I can’t be in Ostend by Friday evening because the money won’t have been got together until Friday.
This morning your cousin Philips came to see me.
Born should make quite a good speech if you drum something into him. It’s good that the Germans are represented by a working man. But Lupus must be purged of all trace of his excessive modesty. The good fellow is one of those rare people who have to be thrust into the foreground. Not Weerth, for heaven’s sake, as representative! A man who was always too lazy, until pitchforked by his succès d’un jour at the Congress. And who, to boot, wishes to be an independent member He must he kept to his own sphere.