Marx-Engels Correspondence 1851
Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 325;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.
I return herewith the cover of the letter I received from you today. Might it have been opened by Pitt Ermen? You must éclaircir this matter.
Your post office order arrived most opportunely. And this time celerity has increased the capital tenfold, like Signore Proudhon’s railway revenues. [alluding to Proudhon’s assertion in La Philosophie de la misère, that ‘since in society time is value in itself, the railway would, prices being equal, present an advantage of 400 per cent over road transport’]
As you can imagine, I'm not being idle. And with the avances you are making, I hope to collect what is wanting from various parts of the world.
I'm not writing to you about the mystère since, coûte que coûte [cost what it may], I shall be coming in any case to see you at the end of April. I must get away from here for a week.
The worst of it is that I now suddenly find myself hampered in my work at the library. I am so far advanced that I will have finished with the whole economic stuff in 5 weeks’ time. Et cela fait [and having done that] I shall complete the political economy at home and apply myself to another branch of learning at the Museum. Ça commence de m'ennuyer [it’s beginning to bore me]. Au fond [basically], this science has made no progress since A. Smith and D. Ricardo, however much has been done in the way of individual research, often extremely discerning.
Send me an answer to the question I put to you in my last letter.
As you are now devoting yourself to military science, couldn’t you embark on a fresh study of the Hungarian campaigns with the help of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Palmerston’s Blue Book, etc.? Ça serait très utile [it would be most useful]. Sooner or later I shall be bringing out 2 volumes of 60 sheets, and that would fit in splendidly. If you wish to find out any details about intrigues, battles, personalities, all you have to do is send me the inquiries in unsealed letters addressed to Baroness von Beck. I have established contact with her. She was a spy for Kossuth. And she’s a veritable chronicler of the Hungarian muck. Il faut l'exploiter [she must be exploited]. She’s too stupid to be able to conceal the truth. I have done some experiments to find out.
My wife, alas, has been delivered of a girl [Franziska], and not a garçon. And, what is worse, she’s very poorly.
Enclosed a letter from Daniels, to whom I wrote at length about his Physiologie. What little sense there is in his letter is a reflection of my own to him. At any rate let me have the scrawl back and tell me what you think of it.
You would, by the way, oblige me if, dans les circonstances actuelles you wrote to me as often as possible. As you know, my acquaintanceship here is confined plus ou moins to stupid youngsters.