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Letter to Friedrich Engels, December 17, 1866
|Written||17 December 1866|
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.
To Engels in Manchester
[London,] 17 December 1866[edit source]
Thanks for the £10.
As far as Rode is concerned, he is obsessed with political connections and his own self-importance. As you are finding this obsession a nuisance — and justly so — you should write to him at the first opportunity saying that you have not the honour of his acquaintance and requesting him to desist from such liberties.
The Revue des deux Mondes and the Revue Contemporaine had two detailed articles on the ‘International’, which treat it and its congress as one of the most significant events of the century. The like also in The Fortnightly Review, in consequence. Meanwhile, we are in practice paralysed by want of funds and even of men, with all the English being totally absorbed by the Reform Movement. The French government is (heureusement) beginning to treat us as enemies. One of our more dubious acquisitions was the joining (at New York) of Head Centre Stephens.
Was not the Pope’s address to the French officers capital? Only an Italian priest could thus, before the whole of Europe, deliver Bonaparte a kick in the form of a blessing.
It is highly characteristic of the status rerum that neither Bonaparte nor William the Conqueror are quite right in the top department. The latter believes that God Almighty has entrusted him with a special mission, and the former has been turned so topsy-turvy by Mexico and Bismarck that he sometimes appears positively demented.
And do you not think that there will be peace for another year yet at least (apart from accidents, of course, such as the death of Bonaparte, etc.)? The fellows all need time for the conversion and production of arms, do they not?
Not a word from Mr Meissner yet. I presume that now, at the year’s end, he finds the pressure of business very great. The contract does give me surety in the event of any evasive manoeuvres. In the second, emended and definitive version, the contract contains no stipulation whatever as to the term for which the manuscript [of the first volume of Capital] is to be ready. But if there is no answer by tomorrow, I shall write again.
As you enjoy credit with quelconque bookseller and I can not spend a farthing on books at the moment, you would be doing me a great favour if you could get as quickly as possible for me: ‘J. E. Th. Rogers: A History of Agriculture’. I must have a look at the book and have left a gap in one chapter for the purpose. Although it has already been out for a long time, it is not yet in the library. Nor at Mudie’s, so I am assured by Eccarius, for whom The Commonwealth took out a subscription there.