Marx to Engels [56]
in Manchester [577]

[London,] 10 May 1870

Dear Fred,

Yesterday I received the enclosed screed from Wilhelm. [a] An incorrigible South German bumpkin.

You will see from it, d’abord, that the blockhead never wrote to Meissner [b] and attended to all my commissions in the same way. And, for precisely this reason, I should now write to him ‘regularly’, and you should go to ‘Stuttgart’, in the same way as he wished to propose you as a MEMBER of the North German Reichstag [648] !

I had written to him [649] that if, when he wrote about Hegel, he knew nothing better than to repeat the old Rotteck‑Welcker muck, then he would do better to keep his mouth shut. [c] He says that this would be ‘making rather informally short work, etc.’ of Hegel, and when he writes stupidities beneath Engels’ articles, then ‘Engels can of course (!) say something at greater length (!!)’. The fellow really is too stupid.

The circular, [d] which reached him in such a ‘romantic’ manner, states that the General Council reserves the right to speak about Schweitzer, etc., ‘publicly’ as soon as it considers suitable. This Wilhelm converts into us wanting to make a ‘public declaration’—for Wilhelm!

With regard to the next congress, what do you think of Bebel’s suggestion about Mainz or Mannheim [650] ? Better Mainz. The business would be a good thing, insofar as Mr Bakunin et Co. would be totally powerless in Germany.

Shameless Wilhelm, who thought my Bonaparte [e] scarcely worth a note in his sheet, [f] demands my permission to publish my articles on the French Revolution [g] !

From the Marseillaise of last Sunday [h] you will see that Opinion nationale, the Plon‑Plon [i] sheet, has discovered that the French

a Wilhelm Liebknecht. 

b See this volume, p. 428.

c Ibid., p. 509.

d K. Marx, Confidential Communication.

e K. Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.

f Der Volkstaat.

g K. Marx, The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850.

h Marx refers to Une Dénonciation, written by A. de Fonvielle and published in La Marseillaise, No. 139, 8 May 1870.

i Jerome Charles Paul Bonaparte.

original of our declaration, [a] written by me, was certainly written in Paris! Incidentally, I am pleased that this sheet is finally abandoning the patronage it has hitherto granted us, which we found very distasteful.

The ancient Irish business with women quite pales compared to what the Celts in WALES allowed themselves in that field. This was (up until the 11th‑12th century) quite Fourier’s fantasy mise en pratique. [b]

For my birthday, Kugelmann sent me two pieces of wallpaper from Leibniz’s study, which amused me very much. It appears Leibniz’s home was pulled down last winter, and the stupid Hanoverians—who could have made good business in London with the relics—threw everything away. Each of these two pieces depicts something mythological, one Neptune in his waves, etc., the other Venus, Amor, etc., all in poor Louis XIV style. On the other hand the quality (solidity) of the hand manufactory of those days compares well with today’s. I have hung the two pieces up in my study. YOU KNOW MY ADMIRATION FOR Leibniz.

I am still suffering so much from the nose stoppage resulting from my last visit to Borkheim that my daughters have forbidden me to go to the GENERAL COUNCIL this evening, and threaten, if I disobey, to send to FRED Engels A SAVAGE DENUNCIATION OF MY CONDUCT. My presence there is really very necessary just now. Enfin, nous verrons! [c]

Apropos. I recently purchased a 14‑volume edition of Swift (of 1760) for all of 4 ½ shillings. So, as soon as you need to look at Swift’s things about Irish subjects, the necessary will be sent to you.

Has not the time nearly come for us to look around for a house for you here, and for you to give instructions IN THAT LINE?



K. M.

a K. Marx, Concerning the Persecution of the Members of the French Sections. Declaration of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association.

b put into practice.

c  Well, we shall see!

SOURCE: Marx, Karl. Letter: Marx to Engels in Manchester; London, 10 May 1870; in Marx Engels Collected Works, Volume 43: Marx & Engels 1868-70: Letters: April 1868 - July 1870 (New York: International Publishers, 1975), pp. 511-512.

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