Letter to Friedrich Engels, July 31, 1857

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Author(s) Jenny von Westphalen
Written 31 July 1857

Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 40, p. 563;
Published: for the first time in MECW.

To Frederick Engels in Waterloo near Manchester

[London, 31 July 1857][edit source]

Dear Mr Engels,

The wine has just arrived. The children’s exultation knew no end. The girls examined the bottles very closely and found the sherry settled in green and the port in pale lilac. The Bordeaux cheers us with its red smile. Tussy [Eleanor] set to work at once on the hamper and now she is sitting in it as in a little hut packed in straw and hay. Let me convey to you, dear Mr Engels, our warmest thanks for your great kindness. I am so weak and wasted. The wine will do me a world of good.

We are all so very worried about your indisposition and this fresh cold you have caught. But a cold is unavoidable at the beginning of a stay by the seaside. The evenings are already quite cool. So see that you dress especially warmly in the evenings. Karl is very much affected by your indisposition. He would very much like to go and see you but it is absolutely out of the question just now and that annoys him so much. just leave the ‘drudgery’ for the time being.

Karl is busy shaping the Indian news into an article. Dear little Jenny and Laura are now replacing me in my capacity as secretary. They have ousted me altogether with the chi-i-ief of the household.

On Tuesday morning: a cab stopped in front of our door, and who do you think stepped out? Conrad Schramm, whom we thought dead long ago. That fool Seiler had already written an obituary notice about him in the evening papers. The poor fellow is very very unwell. A real picture of misery. Yesterday Karl got him admitted to the German hospital, where he is being very well looked after for £1 a week. In his mind, by the way, Schramm is the same as of old, just as he was in his early, good period, when we all liked him for his buoyancy and frankness. He is continually cracking very good jokes about God and the world. But of the latter, so he thinks, he must soon take his leave. Fortunately he has kept free of the ‘American clarity’ by which old Mirbach and my brother Edgar distinguished themselves so very much.

Karl will be writing tomorrow. Warmest greetings from all of us.

Jenny Marx