Letter to Friedrich Engels, March 24, 1870

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To Engels in Manchester

[London,] 24 March 1870[edit source]


Enclosed, 2 copies of Marseillaise (1 J. Williams[1] in it), and Het Volk, more about which in the course of this letter.

The fellows here should look out with their letter-opening. The times of the worthy Graham are past. As soon as I have any completely striking, certain proof, I shall write directly to the POSTMASTER GENERAL. / / ne faut pas se gêner.[2]

I thought I was properly back on my feet, was working away gaily again for the past 2 weeks, but then there appeared, d’abord,[3] a lousy cough from the March east wind — I ‘m still suffering from it—and then, since the day before yesterday, once again unpleasant manifestations on my right thigh, which for two days now have made walking and the seated position difficult. À tous les diables![4]

I enclose a letter from the Russian colony in Geneva. We have admitted them and I have accepted their commission to be their representative in the General Council and have also sent them a short reply (official, with a private letter as well) and given them permission to publish it in their paper. A funny position for me to be functioning as the representative of young Russia! A man never knows what he may come to or what strange fellowship he may have to submit to. In the official reply I praise Flerovsky and emphasise the fact that the chief task of the Russian section is to work for Poland (i.e., to free Europe from Russia as a neighbour). I thought it safer to say nothing about Bakunin, either in the public or in the confidential letter. But what I will never forgive these fellows is that they turn me into a vénérable. They obviously think I am between eighty and a hundred years old.

The letter from the publisher of Volk[5] enclosed herewith—was addressed to me without a particular address on the envelope, but instead: ‘Her Karl Marx, Algemeen Correspondent voor Nederland der Internationale Arbeiders Vereeniging, London.’[6] This post of an ‘Algemeen Correspondent voor Nederland’ was completely unknown to me hitherto. But before I get mixed up in any way with ‘Herr Philipp von Roesgen von Floss’, I thought it safer to write d’abord to our Flemish branche in Antwerp to request information about this long name.

Best greetings to MRS LIZZY.



Apropos. OLD Becker[7] has finally written to J u n g (also a few lines to me,585 which I shall answer tomorrow). He presents all the stupidities he committed as deep and intentional machiavellianism. Le bon homme![8] Thereby, the interesting datum that Bakunin, who hitherto, as Becker states, shouted blue murder about Herzen, began to sing hymns of praise as soon as he was dead. Thereby he achieved his aim, that the propaganda money, ABOUT 25,000 frs annually, which the rich Herzen had paid to himself from Russia (his party there), is now transferred to Bakunin. Bakunin appears to love this type of ‘inheritance’, despite his antipathy contre l’héritage.[9]

The Napoleon RACE has fallen pretty low when they, à tort et à travers,[10] attempt to prove that they are being treated to boxed ears.

  1. Jenny Marx's fourth article on the Irish question
  2. One should not constrain oneself.
  3. first
  4. The devil take it!
  5. Het Volk
  6. Mr Karl Marx, general correspondent of the International Working Men's Association for the Netherlands, London.
  7. Johann Philipp Becker
  8. The good fellow!
  9. against inheritance
  10. so imprudently