Marx-Engels Correspondence 1870

Marx To Engels

Source: Marx and Engels on Ireland, Progress Publishers, 1971;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

March 5, 1870

All sorts of things have happened in Fenian affairs in the meantime. A letter I wrote to the Internationale in Brussels, and in which I censured the French Republicans for their narrow national aims, has been printed, and the editors have announced that they will publish their remarks this week. You must know that in the letter of the Central Council to the Genevans — which was conveyed also to the Brussels people and the main centres of the International in France — I developed in detail the importance of the Irish question for the working-class movement in general (owing to its repercussion in England).

Soon after, Jennychen was driven to anger by that disgusting article in the Daily News, the officious paper of the Gladstone Ministry, in which this bitchy publication turns to the “liberal” brothers in France and cautions them not to confuse the cases of Rochefort and O'Donovan Rossa. The Marseillaise has really fallen into the trap, it believes the Daily News and in addition has published a wretched article by that gossip-monger Talandier, in which this ex-procureur de la République, now a teacher of French at the military school in Woolwich (also ex-private tutor with Herzen, on whom he wrote a passionate obituary), attacks the Irish for their Catholic faith and accuses them of having brought about Odger’s failure — because of his participation in the Garibaldi committee. Besides, he adds, they support Mitchel despite his taking side with the slaveholders, as though Odger himself did not stick to Gladstone despite his even greater support for the slaveholders.

So Jennychen — ira facit poetam — besides a private letter, wrote an article to the Marseillaise which was printed. In addition, she received a letter from the redacteur de la redaction, a copy of which I am enclosing. Today she sends another letter to the Marseillaise, which, in connection with Gladstone’s reply (this week) to the interpellation about the treatment of the prisoners, contains excerpts from O'Donovan Rossa’s letter (see Irishman, Feb. 5, 70). In it Gladstone is presented to the French not only as a monster by Rossa’s letter, (inasmuch as Gladstone is in fact responsible for the entire treatment of the prisoners under the Tories too), but at the same time as a ridiculous hypocrite, being the author of the Prayers, The Propagation of the Gospel, The Functions of Laymen in the Church and Ecce Homo.

With these two papers — the Internationale and the Marseillaise — we shall now unmask the English to the Continent. If you should happen, one day or the other, to find something suitable for one of these papers, you too should participate in our good work.