Letter to Friedrich Engels, August 13, 1858

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Author(s) Karl Marx
Written 13 August 1858

Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 40, p. 328;
First published: slightly abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913, and in full in: Marx and Engels, Works, Moscow, 1929.

To Engels in Manchester

[London,] 13 August 1858[edit source]

Dear Engels,

I am delighted to hear that my fears about your health were unfounded.

Of the two letters I meant to send you, one was from Weydemeyer (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and the other from one A. Komp (New York), both of which arrived under the same cover. I had put them down on the table (my writing-table) to enclose them in my letter to you, forgot, and then couldn’t find them; they are probably tucked away in one of the many notebooks that are strewn around, and will reappear when I leaf through them.

I know nothing about the Cyclopaedia save that I've seen an advertisement for the second volume in the Tribune. So it’s still coming out and, if you have the leisure, you might occasionally do something for C. — subject, however, to two reservations: 1. I cannot go to the Museum just now; 2. it would be of more immediate advantage to me to increase my balance at the Tribune. This has already decreased slightly since my wife went away and I cannot in any case write twice for them myself, as it’s impossible for me to deal with subjects such as India, Montenegro, China, Bonaparte’s military railway system and his installations at Cherbourg. Hence, as soon as time permits (and, of course, without physical harm to yourself), I would greatly prefer it if, in the immediate future, you were to write more often for the Tribune, on any subject whatever.

The sea is doing my wife a lot of good; at the beginning of this week she sent for all the children and Lenchen. So far so good; the only snag is that, under the circumstances, I shall hardly be able to let her stay there beyond next week. Mentally she is very much refreshed, but physically (save that her nerves are stronger) she is not yet all that she might be. In Ramsgate she has made the acquaintance of refined and, horribile dictu, clever Englishwomen. After years during which she has enjoyed only inferior company, if any at all, intercourse with people of her own kind seems to agree with her.

Have you read the review in The Times of Gladstone’s book on Homer? There is much that is amusing in it (the review). A work such as this is, by the by, typical of your Englishman’s incompetence in matters of ‘philology’.

I presume that trade in Manchester is again looking up? Indeed, over the past few weeks the world has grown damned optimistic again.

Mr Pyat, still oppressed by the fact that his name was not given due prominence during the recent political prosecutions, has published a fresh ‘lettre’ about his ‘lettre’ to the Parliament, containing a vindication of ‘regicide’. In order to compel the government to prosecute, he has flouted police regulations by letting the scrawl come out without the printer’s name. But the government is inexorable. Pyat is not to be made a martyr, even to the tune of a 2/6d fine with costs in a magistrate’s court. Le pauvre sire!

Warm regards to Lupus.

K. M.