Marx-Engels Correspondence 1862

Engels To Marx
In London

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 422;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913, and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

Manchester, 5 November 1862

Dear Moor,

The £60 will go off to Freiligrath tomorrow. I can’t say what is to be done about renewing the bill until I know whether the bill will be discountable for certain as soon as Lassalle accepts it, and who will attend to the discounting. On the one hand, it would serve no purpose to worry Lassalle unduly with bills that would not bring you in money immediately, and, on the other, it could hardly be much use to me if Borkheim (to whom the same considerations apply) sent me the money merely in small driblets. Then there are the expenses.

Quant à l'Amérique, I, too, of course, believe that the Confederates in Maryland have suffered an unexpected and very significant blow to their morale. I am also convinced that the definitive possession of the border states will decide the outcome of the war. However, I am by no means certain that the affair will develop in as classical a form as you seem to imagine. In spite of all the hullabaloo raised by the Yankees, there is still no sign whatsoever that the people regard the business as being truly a question of their national existence. On the contrary, the successes of the Democrats at the polls prove that the party that is weary of War is growing. If only there were some evidence, some indication, that the masses in the North were beginning to act as in France in 1792 and 1793, everything would be splendid. But the only revolution to be anticipated seems more likely to be a democratic counter-revolution and a hollow peace, which will also divide up the border states. That this would not settle the affair by a long chalk — granted. But it might do so temporarily. I must confess I feel no enthusiasm for a people who, faced with an issue as colossal as this, allow themselves to be beaten again and again by a force numbering 1/4 of their own population and who, after 18 months of war, have gained nothing save the discovery that all their generals are jackasses and their functionaries, crooks and traitors. Things must assuredly take a different course, even in a bourgeois republic, if it is not to be landed completely in the soup. What you say about the iniquitous way the English view the affair corresponds entirely to my own opinion.

The distress up here is gradually becoming acute. Gumpert tells me that the more serious cases of illness in his hospital are all characteristic of typhoid and that cases of tuberculosis, whose origin can be traced back to the last 8 or 9 months, are rapidly increasing. I imagine that by next month the working people themselves will have had enough of sitting about with a look of passive misery on their faces.

Kind regards.

F. E.

A German businessman from Copenhagen, an ex-democrat of ’48, called on Freiligrath and, in consequence of a discussion about Schleswig-Holstein, was referred by the latter to Blind. I told the man that Blind was an old chatterbox.