Marx-Engels Correspondence 1864

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 536;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

[London,] 7 June 1864

Dear Frederick,

Have received your photogram, also those of Lupus. I need at least 4 more copies of the latter. Your photogram is excellent. The children say that it makes you look a ‘pleasant subject’. As the new photograms we intended to have taken have not yet materialised, little Jenny yesterday sent you the glass thing. The Dagbladet received with thanks.

The enclosed letter from Liebknecht which I got yesterday will interest you in several respects. You should place it in the archives, like the other letters of this kind I send you. I immediately replied to L., generally commending him for his attitude and only reprimanding him for the silly stipulation — our collaboration — he made in regard to the proposed publication of Lassalle’s paper — now happily abandoned. I explained that, while we consider it politic to give Lassalle a completely free rein for the time being, we cannot identify ourselves with him in any way.... In the course of this week I shall send him (Liebknecht) some money. The poor devil seems to be doing damned badly. He has given a very good account of himself and his continued sojourn in Berlin is most important to us.

Borkheim showed me a letter from the great Orges, presently in Vienna. 0. intimates that ‘softening of the brain’ has ‘got the better’ of the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung, that ‘particularism’ rather than ‘Teutonism’ holds sway over the paper, that one of the four proprietors of the Augsburg A. Z. had ‘insulted’ him (the ‘great Orges’) ‘almost personally’, that his hands had long been tied and he had finally resigned, etc. serves O. right. The fellow treated us vilely over the Vogt affair.

Borkheim has given me very exact particulars in writing, authenticated on the spot, concerning progress on the Suez Canal. I shall see that Daud Pasha is advised of the same.

As for the Danish affair, the Russians are in a very difficult position. They drove Prussia into the war by promising her the earth and, as a quid pro quo for Prussia’s help, past and present, over the Polish business, held out great prospects in regard to Schleswig-Holstein. Needless to say, handsome William, now that he looks upon himself as William The Conqueror, cannot be fobbed off in the same way as his brilliant predecessor. As for Palmerston, his hands are tied by the Queen. Bonaparte, whom the Russians and their Pam wanted to use as a scapegoat to propitiate the Germans, has reasons of his own for playing the deaf-mute. Come to that, aside from a possible secret treaty with Prussia, the Russians are now chiefly concerned with ‘German sympathies’. It is therefore possible that, under such circumstances, they will ‘sacrifice’ Schleswig-Holstein, just as, in the 3rd partition of Poland, Catherine II declared the cession of the present kingdom of Poland to the Prussians to be a great sacrifice on her part — with the mental reservation, of course, that, when the time came, the sacrifice would be retrieved. The outrageous step the Russians have now taken in the Caucasus, watched by the rest of Europe with idiotic indifference, virtually compels them — and indeed makes it easier for them to turn a blind eye to what is happening elsewhere. These 2 affairs, the suppression of the Polish insurrection and the annexation of the Caucasus, I regard as the two most important events to have taken place in Europe since 1815. Pam and Bonaparte can now say that they have not ruled in vain, and, if the Schleswig-Holstein war has served no other purpose than to hoodwink Germany and France about those two great events, it will have done its job for the Russians, whatever the outcome of the London Conference. You will see from Liebknecht’s letter that the Prussian liberal press is too cowardly even so much as to remark on the continued surrender of Polish refugees by the Prussians. Bismarck has killed it stone dead with the Schleswig-Holstein business.

The American news looks very good to me; I was particularly delighted by today’s leader in The Times, in which it is proved that Grant has been continually beaten and may perhaps be punished for his defeats — with the capture of Richmond!