Marx-Engels Correspondence 1859

Marx To Ferdinand Lassalle
In Berlin

Source: MECW Volume 40, p. 378;
First published: F. Lassalle. Nachgelassene Briefe und Schriften, Stuttgart-Berlin, 1922.

London, 2 February 1859
9 Grafton Terrace, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill

Dear Lassalle,

The manuscript [Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy] went off from here on 26 January; by 31 January notification had already got back here from Berlin that the manuscript had arrived. The parcels company received this notification from their correspondent. On the other hand there is your letter dated 31 January in which you say the manuscript hasn’t arrived. So whatever the circumstances the Prussian government — friend Stieber perhaps — has spent 3 days rummaging through [a pun on Stieber’s name] the manuscript. Legally, so far as I am aware, all they were empowered to do was ascertain whether the parcel contained Brussels lace, other parcels being no concern of theirs. Who is going to assure me that some junior official hasn’t amused himself by using a page or 2 for spills?

I presume that, in its own interest, the Prussian government hasn’t taken any false steps with my manuscript. Otherwise I should see to it that all hell was let loose in the London press (Times, etc.).

I shall write you a proper letter tomorrow or the day after. This is simply a business notification, and it’s nearly time for the post.

Your piece, by the by, pleased me enormously.

My wife sends her kindest regards; now that her cher frère has been dismissed, she believes that manuscripts, at any rate, may safely be sent to Berlin.


K. Marx

I may bring out an English version of the first instalments straight away. Duncker must put on the title-page: *’the author reserves to himself the right of translation’.*