Marx-Engels Correspondence 1862

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 432;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

[London,] 24 December 1862

Dear Engels,

Since leaving you, I have had a most eventful time of it.

On Monday, there were the Manichaeans who, however, did not all come by appointment. I shared out 15 among them. I gave the worst one a bill for 12 at 6 weeks’ sight (actually 7, since l dated it from the end of this year), trusting to a chapter of accidents.

On Wednesday my wife left for Paris. She returned last night. Everything would have been all right if, just before she got there, Abarbanel had not been paralysed by a stroke, which left him helpless and confined to bed, although mentally unaffected. All in all, the series of mishaps that befell her was tragicomical. First, a great storm at sea. Her boat got through, another in her immediate vicinity (she travelled via Boulogne) went down. Abarbanel lives outside Paris. My wife went to see him by rail. Something happened to the engine which meant 2 hours delay in the journey. Later, an omnibus in which she was travelling overturned. And yesterday the wheels of the cab she had taken in London became entangled with those of another. She got out and arrived here per pedes, accompanied by 2 boys carrying her luggage. One thing, by the by, was achieved in Paris, where she saw Massol, etc. As soon as my work [Capital] comes out, it will be published in French.

But now for the worst piece of ill-luck. Marianne (Lenchen’s sister), whom Allen treated for a heart complaint a year ago, began to feel unwell on the day my wife left. By Tuesday evening, 2 hours before my wife’s return, she was dead. During those seven days I, together with Lenchen, was responsible for the nursing.

Allen had misgivings from the first day. The funeral is at 2 o'clock on Saturday, when I shall have to pay the undertaker 10/- in cash. So, this must be got hold of. A fine Christmas show for the poor children.


K. M.