Marx-Engels Correspondence 1859

Engels To Marx
In London

Source: MECW Volume 40, p. 544;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in: Marx and Engels, Works, Moscow, 1929.

Manchester, 28 November 1859
7 Southgate

Dear Moor,

If I didn’t write last week it was because I had given Lupus all the papers; nor did I recover them for several days having, in the interval, repeatedly failed to get hold of him. Lupus is of the same opinion as myself, namely that Freiligrath’s behaviour hardly admits of further party relations with him, but that on purely party grounds, and aside from your personal position, you are absolutely justified in avoiding any breach for the present s'il y a moyen — it would be a triumph for Kinkel and Co. which they would trumpet abroad and exploit for all they were worth. But it’s something we shan’t forgive the weak-minded ass. If his relationship with Fazy really compelled him to make a statement at all, Freiligrath ought to have consulted you which would at any rate have resulted in something other than the inane affair which he caused to be published in the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung. He would seem to be dead keen on an amnesty, to judge by his strenuous denials of all participation in the Volk But his getting on to personal terms with Mr Bettziech, receiving him in his own house, is something which Lupus, who went with Freiligrath to see Bettziech at the time of the How do you do? affair, will never forgive him. And it really is a dirty trick. As things are now, however, it seems questionable whether we can go on much longer without an open breach with Freiligrath; he is increasingly subject to the literary man’s itch, nor will madame fail to point out morning, noon and night that Mr Beta, Kinkel and company do at least praise him publicly, whereas all he gets from us even privately is a modicum of recognition, and we can never be relied on to make him ‘known by reason of his fame’. However, Freiligrath is all too well aware that, while Kinkel and Co. may be of use to him in peacetime, he would be nothing without us at the moment of battle, and that he could never ally himself with our enemies without running all manner of unpleasant risks. He will, I think, take care not to go too far and will finally pin his hopes on our forbearance.

Your ‘Declaration’ in the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung will put Blind into a very nasty position. How, without discrediting himself, he will lie his way out of the pass his lies have brought him to, I fail to see.

These shabby goings-on must indeed be a sore trial to your wife. However, this rubbish, too, will pass and, I hope, soon. Within a few weeks it will no doubt be possible to drop Mr Freiligrath and leave him to stew in his own juice. But now I must say goodbye for today; I am about to go home and shall send an article on the rifle movement by the night mail. There will be several of them, at any rate.

Warm regards to your wife and the young ladies.

F. E.