Marx-Engels Correspondence 1851

Marx to Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 285;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.

[London,] 11 February 1851

Dear Engels,

Iterum Crispinus! [i.e., “the same again"]

I have just learned that there was a meeting earlier this evening in the Tottenham Court Road in honour of the late Bem. On the platform were: Chairman Schapper, etc., Louis Blanc and the remaining members of the new League of Peoples Committee. In one of the front rows of the auditorium sat Harney and wife. The bulk of those present were from Great Windmill Street [i.e., the London German Workers’ Educational Society]. Applause greeted Schapper’s inevitable speech, ‘war to the knife’, delivered in English. Louis Blanc spoke no better. Vive la guerre! Tausenau, also present, spoke about Bem. Harney delivered a long and, they say, good harangue in which he finally hailed Blanqui, Barbès and, last of all, Louis Blanc, as the socialist Messiah.

Qu'en dis-tu?

Suppose you attended a meeting presided over by Th. Clark Esq., and it was your presence and your speeches alone that lent any real weight to the meeting, would friend Harney regard that as loyal?

Not content, then, with boosting Ruge in his Friend of the People, he must needs indirectly boost Schapper-Willich as well.

Last Sunday he sent for me. The purpose being to persuade Jones to accept the title, ‘Friend of the People’. I didn’t go. If that’s what he wants, let him turn to L. Blanc, Landolphe, Schapper or Willich. I am fatigué of this public incense so tirelessly used by Harney to fill the nostrils of les petits grands hommes.

Apart from this accident, namely, that you, too, Brutus (Harney), if you don’t take sides against us at least play the neutral, while Engels does his best for you in Manchester, Eccarius writes for your paper [The Friend of the People] and I occasionally work on Jones for you — apart from that, I am greatly pleased by the public, authentic isolation in which we two, you and I, now find ourselves. It is wholly in accord with our attitude and our principles. The system of mutual concessions, half-measures tolerated for decency’s sake, and the obligation to bear one’s share of public ridicule in the party along with all these jackasses, all this is now over.

Now, I'd appreciate an early answer to this note, too. I hardly see anyone here save Pieper and live in complete retirement. So you'll realise that I miss you all the more and feel the need to talk things over with you.

You'll see from tomorrow’s newspapers that the grant was rejected by a majority of 102 votes.

K. M.