Marx-Engels Correspondence 1862

Engels To Marx
In London

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 427;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913, and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

Manchester, 15 November 1862

Dear Moor,

You're right, I am very broke and, like the Prussian government, intensely preoccupied with ‘saving’. In the hope that, by leading a domesticated life in Hyde Road, I shall be able to make good the deficiency, I enclose herewith a five-pound note, O/L 28076, Manchester, 28 Jan. ‘62. At the same time, I am sending you a hamper of wine per Chaplin and Horne, containing about one dozen claret and 2 bottles of old 1846 hock for little Jenny, the rest being made up of 1857 hock. 24 bottles in all.

I am impatiently awaiting the steamer that will bring us news of the New York elections. If the Democrats win in New York State, I shan’t know what to make of the Yankees any more. That a people placed in a great historical dilemma, and one, in which its very existence is at stake to boot, should turn reactionary en masse and vote for abject surrender after 18 months’ fighting, is really beyond my comprehension. Desirable though it may be, on the one hand, that the bourgeois republic should be utterly discredited in America too, so that in future it may never again be preached on it’s own merits, but only as a means towards, and a form of transition to, social revolution, it is, nevertheless, annoying that a rotten oligarchy, with a population only half as large, should evince such strength as the great fat, helpless democracy. Should the Democrats win, by the way, it will give the worthy McClellan and the Westpointers a fine advantage and the show will soon be over. The fellows are capable of concluding peace, should the South agree to rejoin the Union on condition that the President shall always be a Southerner, and Congress always consist of an equal number of Southerners and Northerners. They are even capable of immediately proclaiming Jefferson Davis President of the United States and actually surrendering all the border states, if peace is not to be had otherwise. Then it’s goodbye to America.

Besides, the only apparent effect of Lincoln’s emancipation so far is that the North-West has voted Democrat for fear of being overrun by Negroes.

To descend from the sublime to the ridiculous, what do you think of worthy William? At last the fellow is himself again; he has expiated his liberal sins and said ‘mater peccavi’ to the crippled Elizabeth. In return for this, the Lord has endowed him with strength wherewith to smite the scrofulous mob of liberals and for that, says William, ‘for that I need the military’. So rabid is the fellow that even Bismarck is no longer reactionary enough for him. That you're a fool, Schapper, we know and you yourself know, but that you are such a fool, etc., etc. Things are going swimmingly, and what could be better than that, 14 years after 1848, the liberal bourgeoisie should have been landed in the most extreme revolutionary dilemma, and all because of a miserable 6 million talers, or about 850,000 sterling? If only the old jackass doesn’t let up again. True, he’s fairly going it now, but these Prussians can’t be relied on, not even for their stupidity. If things go on as they are, a set-to is absolutely inevitable and, when it really comes to the point, William will be amazed to see just how the ‘military’ join in, — the common soldiers, that is, who won’t thank him for having to fight for a 3 rather than a 2 year spell of service.

My warm regards to your wife and the girls.


F. E.

Apropos. Will you send me the 4 last Free Presses? I can never get them here unless I fetch them on the proper day which I invariably forget to do.