Marx-Engels Correspondence 1853

Marx To Adolf Cluss
In Washington

Source: MECW Volume 39, p. 312;
First published in: Marx and Engels, Works, 1962.
Text according to: letter from Cluss to Weydemeyer of 3 May 1853.

[London, 17 April 1853]

... Today I have received the first 5 numbers from New York, whether from Weydemeyer or from Kellner I do not know. With most of them I was already familiar through you. This is at least a decent paper — a rare thing in America — and a working man’s paper. However, I cannot say I very much care for the chief editor’s affected effusions concerning ‘questions personnelles’ which are at one and the same time party questions, or for his pseudo-naive gentility and biblical portentousness. But you have to take this newspaper as it comes. What I liked best of all was Weydemeyer’s introduction to his ökonomische Skizzen. Good stuff that. I have approached our people here; Dronke and Pieper have, I think, already sent something. I shall speak to Jones. On the whole it is difficult to get contributions. I myself have too much to do. The others unfortunately are still somewhat put off by their earlier experiences. Lupus is in a wretched state. Eccarius has to work away at his tailoring from 5 in the morning until 8 at night and is in a dangerously hectic condition. Engels, when not stuck in the office, is completely taken up with his studies, and probably he too has not yet got over the wrongs he thinks he has suffered at the hands of the American Press. Our party is, alas, very pauvre. I shall also approach ex-lieutenant Steffen, ex-witness for the defence at the Cologne trial, presently a schoolmaster in the vicinity of London. He has more spare time than anyone else and is very capable.

Pieper has still not finished the articles you want, which explains why you haven’t yet had them.

As for the Hirsch affair, a statement immediately went off to Engels via Engels, which, etc., etc. I've known for 6 months or more that there was something fishy about Bangya. I didn’t break with the fellow until, like the jackass he is, he had let me find out all about his connections, handed over all documents that put me in the right and him in the wrong, and generally placed himself at my mercy. I threw him out months ago at Szemere’s.

My suspicions of Willich have only been confirmed by his latest step. D'abord, I know that he and Kinkel paid and continue to pay Hirsch out of revolutionary funds! Then, at the Cologne trial, soon after it began, he boasted to Fleury (who in turn passed it on to Imandt) that he had in his possession a letter of mine to Bangya dated Manchester. I challenged Bangya about this at the time. He said he was willing to be confronted with Fleury. On being informed of this by Imandt at my behest, Fleury retracted. Thus at that time Willich was illicitly consorting with Hirsch. He knew that Hirsch was illicitly consorting with Greif and that his friend Fleury was a spy. It was through these fellows that he got hold of my letter. The ‘gallant worthy’ — for whom, en passant free meat and drink is le dernier but [the ultimate aim] — wanted to set a trap for me, and to that end became embroiled in intrigues with mouchards [police spies].

True, he sent Hirsch to Cologne. True, I heard later that Hirsch was in Cologne. But why did he send Hirsch to Cologne, and when did he send him there? Firstly, when it was already too late. 2. When the police in Cologne had themselves denounced his friend Fleury. 3. When he himself, having become suspect, wished to rehabilitate himself as a ‘magnanimous worthy’ by means of this theatrical coup. This was Hirsch’s own account of the affair on his return...

Reichenbach and family, ‘clever’ Lieutenant Schimmelpfennig complete with wife and Brüningk legacy of £1,000, and lastly, the artist Schmolze, set sail today for America. Bon voyage! But Reichenbach’s flight has deprived poor Lupus of the last of his lessons. It’s most unfortunate for him. He’s no Kinkel. Nor does he know how to lick the boots of the bourgeois like the future ‘President of the German Republic’ and his ‘consort’, both of them consummate sycophants, humbugs and parasites. The amiable Gottfried has so far succeeded in ingratiating himself that he has been accorded the use of one of London University’s lecture rooms to repeat before a London audience his old series of lectures on Christian art in the Middle Ages. He is giving them free and gratis in the hope that he will be able to worm his way into the post of Professor of Aesthetics at London University. He delivers them in abominable English, reading from a manuscript. Though welcomed with applause at the beginning of the series, he subsequently proved such a complete failure that not even the organised claque of Jewish aesthetics-mongers could save him. Edgar Bauer, who was present — Kinkel gave his first lecture last Tuesday — told me all about it. It seems to have been a truly nauseating and wretched performance.