Marx-Engels Correspondence 1861

Letter from Marx to Engels
In Manchester


Written: London, 27 February, 1861;
Published: Gesamtausgabe, International Publishers, 1942;
Transcribed: Sally Ryan;
HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

The Cologne people have made a nice mess of my library. The whole Fourier is stolen, ditto Goethe, ditto Herder, ditto Voltaire and, what is the most awful to me, the Économistes du I8me Siécle (quite new, cost me about 500 francs) as well as many volumes of the Greek classics, many single volumes of other works. If I come to Cologne I shall have a word to say about this with Mr. National Union Bürgers. Hegel's Phenomenology and Logic ditto....

As a relaxation in the evenings I have been reading Appian on the Roman Civil Wars, in the original Greek text. A very valuable book. The chap is an Egyptian by birth. Schlosser says he has "no soul," probably because he goes to the roots of the material basis for these civil wars. Spartacus is revealed as the most splendid fellow in the whole of ancient history. Great general (no Garibaldi), noble character, real representative of the ancient proletariat.

Pompeius, reiner Scheisskerl [an utter rotter]; got his undeserved fame by snatching the credit, first for the successes of Lucullus (against Mithridates), then for the successes of Sertorius (Spain), etc., and as Sulla's "young man," etc. As a general he was the Roman Odilon Barrot. As soon as he had to show what he was made of--against Caesar--a lousy good-for-nothing. Caesar made the greatest possible military mistakes --deliberately mad--in order to bewilder the philistine who was opposing him. An ordinary Roman general--say Crassus --would have wiped him out six times over during the struggle in Epirus. But with Pompeius everything was possible. Shakespeare, in his Love's Labour Lost, seems to have had an inkling of what Pompey really was.