Letters of Jenny Marx 1861

Jenny Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW, Volume 41, p. 576;
First published: in Marx/Engels, Werke, Berlin, 1964.

[London, before 16 March 1861]

My dear Mr Engels,

How can I thank you for all the love and devotion with which you have stood by us for years now in our sorrows and afflictions? I was so happy. when I saw there was five times as much as I had expected, that it would be hypocritical not to admit it, and yet my joy was as nothing compared with Lenchen’s! How joyously her almost lifeless eyes lighted up when I ran upstairs and told her: ‘Engels has sent 5 for your comforts’.

It seems to me that the inflammation has gone down a bit — yesterday the doctor also thought her somewhat better, though she is still dangerously ill. The only question is whether she may not get too weak and whether some kind of haemorrhage or gangrene won’t set in. The worst thing is that we are not yet allowed to give her any tonic, for all stimulants likely to aggravate the inflammation must be avoided. We have all had some really anxious days and nights, and I myself have been doubly anxious since I don’t really know how Karl is getting on, whether he is in Berlin, or where he is. There was no letter again today.

Poor Lupus, how sorry I am for him, lying there helpless and in great pain, deprived of solicitous nursing and wholly la merci of a rapacious landlady, though in fact his afflictions are largely his own fault. What’s the point of such awful pedantry, such conscientiousness? You ought to take the old gentleman more in hand and, above all, wean him from gin and brandy, those arch-enemies of gout. Excuse this hasty note; there is so much to do and think about and today I have still to fit in a trip to town where a pawn ticket is due — but never mind, so long as we pull Lenchen through, and my beloved Karl soon sends good tidings.

Warm regards from the girls and from your

Jenny Marx