Marx-Engels Correspondence 1860

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 9;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

[London,] 28 January [1860]

Dear Engels,

I have ordered Vogt’s pamphlet and shall also have one sent to you. It is the record (or first complete version) of his ineffectual lawsuit in Augsburg, together with an Introduction. The latter is directed especially against myself and would seem to be a second and amended edition of Müller-Tellering. As soon as the stuff arrives, we must see what we can do. Faucher told me with an intense pleasure that Vogt treats me pretty well en canaille and with exquisite contempt. The scoundrel tries to make the German philistine believe I am living here like a Dr Kuhlmann at the workers’ expense, etc. (Needless to say, I have kept the whole squalid business from my wife.)

A new military weekly has come out in Berlin. It seems to me that, on pretext of asking him about this paper’s whereabouts, you should immediately write to Lassalle. It is essential for us to have some sort of connection in Berlin just now. L.’s reply to you will show whether we can carry on with him or not. In the latter case — which, all things considered, would not be pleasant — I should have to have recourse to Dr Fischel (Prussian assessor), about whom more anon. There is no reason why, in your letter to L., you should not let fall the remark that I consider the obstacles (or at least his warnings in that regard) he placed in the way of my publishing a statement on Vogt in the Volks-Zeitung (the same, that is, as appeared in the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung), to be a kind of conspiracy with Vogt on his and Duncker’s part. Then, of course, you might drop a word or two to the effect that, in view of the ambiguous attitude of sundry old party friends (a few incidental hits upon Freiligrath), the difficulty of my position and the infamies I have to contend with, my temper is, at times, a trifle frayed; further, that I have mentioned to you a letter I wrote to L. which the latter has apparently taken amiss. You, for your part, will naturally suggest that L. knows me too well not to overlook an occasional brusque remark, etc. Then he will at least cease to beat about the bush. I am altogether of the opinion that a certain amount of diplomacy is now called for — if only to find out just where we stand. After all, compared with the others, L. is still a horse-power.

The fact is the various gangs — first the imperial rascals, secondly the German National Association and, lastly, the liberals, are presently doing everything in their power to destroy us morally in the eyes of the German philistines. There can hardly be any doubt that, despite all the clamour for peace, there will be a new war, probably within the year, very probably before the advent of summer. In any case, the international situation is so complex that it is of the utmost importance to vulgar democracy and liberalism to stop us obtaining a hearing from, or access to, German philistia (i.e. the public). There comes a point when one can no longer turn a blind eye — i.e. show indifference — in personal and party matters. Vogt’s case does not lend itself to exactly the same treatment as that of a Tellering, a Heinzen or tutti quanti [all the rest]. In Germany this same ventriloquist is looked on as a scientific celebrity; he was imperial regent and is financed by Bonaparte. You might also — just, as it were, en passant — ask the noble Lassalle what action he thinks appropriate in the matter of V. In his letters to me, L. has committed himself too deeply to perform a complete volte face. At all events, an attempt must be made to force the fellow to adopt a definite position — aut, aut.

Fischel is a Prussian Urquhartite. In the Berlin Portfolio, of which he is the publisher, he has alluded to my anti-Pam pamphlets and printed some extracts from them. (On Urquhart’s express instructions.) He had been invited by the Urquhartites to come to England where he was paraded before the Foreign Affairs Committees as evidence of the triumphant ‘belief’ (in Urquhart) on the Continent. I met him while he was over here. He offered me his good services, should I require them in the North German press.

Hip-hip-hurray and away to Italy (by that louse Bamberger in Paris) is said to contain attacks on your articles in the Volk.

What did Mr Orges say in his statement? I missed it.

If possible, write something for Tuesday (it doesn’t have to be long) on the military importance of Savoy (and Nice) to France. Cf. Times of today, Normanby in the House of Lords.

Apropos! ‘In recognition of my services to the development of communistic principles’, I have received an invitation to the anniversary celebrations on 6 February of the ‘Workers’ Educational Society’ down here. (For these chaps still regard themselves as heirs to the old Windmill Association.) Similar invitations, if for different reasons, have gone out to Schapper, Pfänder and Eccarius. Circumstances being what they are, I have, of course, accepted the invitation, thus wiping out all traces of the old quarrel with the working men’s bunch. Mr F. Freiligrath has not been invited. Indeed, I must now take care not to run into Potbelly. For in my present state of fury over the filthy Vogt affair — and F. F.’s magna pars therein — fearful eruptions might well ensue. Regards to Lupus.


K. M.