Letter to Friedrich Engels, September 12, 1868

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To Engels in Manchester

London, 12 September 1868[edit source]

Dear Fred,

Luckily the congress ends today and up to Thursday — that is as far as the news goes — it had only compromised itself tolerably. But one must always fear some public disgrace, since the Belgians form the enormous majority. Mr Tolain and other Parisians want to have the General Council moved to Brussels. They are very jealous of London. It is a great step forward that the Proudhonist ‘braves Belges’ and French, who dogmatically declaimed against trades unions, etc., in Geneva (1866) and Lausanne (1867), are now most fanatically in favour. In spite of all their boasting, the ‘braves Belges’ had made no preparations. For example, the correspondent of The Daily News hunted in vain for 3 days for the possible meeting place until he accidentally ran into Jung and Stepney. In fact, the premises had not been booked in advance, and the ‘braves Belges’ wanted to charge the expenses (among others, those for their 250 participants) to the London General Council, to which they and the French owe about 3,000 frs. The sum is now being raised by private collections among the delegates.

I am in a bad scrape. Laura has fallen sick since you were here, and my wife was forced to borrow £10 from her simply to meet the extra expenses, as we are absolutely broke.

I have heard nothing at all from Holland and must therefore regard the silence as intentional. I really do not know what to do.

Apropos. It was a good thing that we changed the word convicts into victims.

On the return of Shaw — who was sent at Moore’s expense — the latter will receive his receipt.


K. M.