Marx-Engels Correspondence 1865

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 149;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

[London,] 1 May 1865

Dear Fred,

You must excuse me for not writing until today and thus breaking my last promise. It happened not because it is ‘sheer delight to break one’s word’, but because I really am overworked, as completing my book [Capital], on the one hand, and the International Association on the other, are making very heavy demands on my time.

Today is little Jenny’s birthday, and this evening I shall be having Ernest Jones to my house along with Odger, Cremer, Fox and Jung, so it will be a political birthday party. Laura had ‘the question popped’ by one Charles Manning, born in South America, English father, Spanish mother. He’s rich and generally a nice fellow, but Laura ‘does not care a pin for him’. ‘She has already known how to damp’ the passionate southern temperament. However, as my girl is a friend of his sisters, and he is frightfully in love, it is a disagreeable case.

I enclose a ‘curiosity’. The Nordstern’s correction makes it a worthy organ of the German louts.

I am also enclosing for you the latter end of a letter from Schily, whose report on the Moses woman will amuse you.

The great achievement of the ‘International Association’ is this:

The Reform League is our work. On the inner committee of 12 (6 middleclassmen and 6 workingmen), the workingmen are all members of our Council (including Eccarius). We have baffled all attempts by the middle class to mislead the working class. This time the movement in the provinces is completely dependent on that in London. Ernest Jones, e.g., had despaired till we set the ball a-going. If we succeed in re-electrifying the political movement of the English working class, our Association will already have done more for the European working class, without making any fuss, than was possible in any other way. And there is every prospect of success.

You know that the Italian society has not withdrawn from the Association, but its delegates have from the Council. We now have Spaniards on it instead. One Roman nation for the other. If those fellows don’t appoint new delegates soon, as we have asked them to, Bakunin will have to arrange for some life Italians.

Weber junior has been thrown out of the workers’ society here for making false reports to the Social-Demokrat and for stirring up trouble in the branch society ‘Teutonia’, which is run by two fanatical Prussians by the name of Klinker.

Our joint statement really was successful beyond all expectation. Not merely have we blown apart the ‘General Association of German Workers’ as an organ of the Prussian government and in six words generally cleared the heads of the German workers of their intoxication with royalty. The present split in the Party of Progress was also the direct result of our stand.

The chivalry of the South has ended worthily. In addition, Lincoln’s assassination was the most stupid act they could have committed. Johnson is stern, inflexible, revengeful and as a former poor White has a deadly hatred of the oligarchy. He will make less fuss about these fellows, and, because of the treachery, he will find the temper of the North commensurate with his intentions.

Did you see how Blind heads the letter of condolence from the ‘influential’ Germans? Blind is a genius in his way. In the very nick of time he does not merely go running to Freiligrath, etc., but has enough presence of mind to realise that, of the other signatories, alphabetically ‘Berndes’ would open the list. So, he runs first to Freiligrath, etc., and gets him first of all to form a group and, after that worthy (who is now at one with Ruge as well), certain other influentials, I almost said infinitesimals, such as Heintzmann and Kinkel, and puts himself ‘alphabetically’ at the top. Then he goes running to Berndes and gets him to start a second column next to himself, so that another lot of names, Trübner, etc., follows on. That is how the matter appears in The Times. In the same day’s Morning Star the second column is added to the bottom of the first, with Blind at the top of the whole, and his footman Freiligrath after him, etc. And not content with that, at his instigation, the Star of the same number also carries a notice on the front page that ‘Karl Blind heads, etc.’.

Isn’t that genius for you?


K. M.