Letter to Karl Marx, February 7, 1865

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 7 February 1865


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 42, p. 81;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

To Marx in London

Manchester, 7 February 1865[edit source]

Dear Moor,

Statement enclosed. They will take exception to the fact that we refer to Moses by name, which, when published, could be regarded as a breach of editorial secrecy. Do not forget to give Liebknecht instructions about this, so that a justifiable technical objection of this kind does not delay the matter again.

Liebknecht is becoming more and more stupid. He calls it a compromise that we should not merely sanction in silence every stupid thing that appears in the paper but also tolerate the paper casting aspersions on our own affairs and actions, in defiance of every convention. But we always have a fine lot of agents to act for us and will certainly not be such jackasses as Lassalle and ‘bequeath’ anything to them, s'il y avait de quoi [if there were anything to bequeath]. If things go wrong in Berlin, Liebknecht would do best to come over, leaving his family behind, we will then see what can be done, he will be able to make acquaintances soon enough at the Schiller Institute here, and whatever else can be done, will be; I think he might very well manage to settle down here like that, and if not, nothing is lost, and if it works out all right, he can bring his family over later. If he brings his family along straightaway, he will certainly go to the dogs here, because the cost will then be so much greater that the attempt cannot possibly last long. It will not be easy to obtain work teaching children, as Lupus did; but he can, of course, explore the possibilities.

Bender has sent me a bill for 5s. per quarter for my subscription to the Social-Demokrätchen, which seems exorbitant to me.

The devil knows how one’s work here is subject to all kinds of interruptions. Another committee meeting of the Schiller Institute yesterday, so this evening is the first time since Friday that I have managed to get down to the military question.

The attempt by Hatzfeldt and Klings to throw out Bernhard Becker has been a complete fiasco, and Klings has been thrown out. Whatever happens we must avoid soiling our hands in that dirty business; it is just as the worker said in the Gürzenich [a hall in Cologne used for public meetings during the 1848-49 revolution] in 1848: they may fall as they will, a rogue will always come out on top.

What mad German Schweitzer writes ‘as who’! This second leader on Bismarck’s ministry is once again as pretentiously abstruse as it could possibly be, even though there is no longer any direct flirtation with Bismarck, and it is good that he openly calls Prussia’s policy anti-German. But how naive of Liebknecht that he demands that we ought to make clear to them what their attitude to the government should be, whereas what he should do is to ask above all for a categorical statement from Mr Schweitzer as to what attitude he intends to adopt towards the government.

It looks to me as if a compromise is at hand in Prussia now, with the Prussian Chamber rescuing its prerogative regarding the budget, but giving way on everything else. Bismarck will certainly not think of seriously disputing the budget-prerogative in the long run, since, if he did so, he would get neither money nor credit and he is badly in need of both. Meanwhile, the affair can still founder on any number of trivial details.

In America, the start of the Richmond campaign in March or April will probably be decisive for the whole year. If Grant succeeds in driving Lee out, the Confederacy is played out, their armies will break up, and only bandit-warfare, like that already rife in West Tennessee now and in general nearly everywhere, will remain to be overcome. In reality, the only army the Southerners now have is Lee’s; everything depends on its destruction. Now we can already assume that the area from which Lee procures his supplies is confined to South Virginia, the Carolinas and at most part of Georgia.

Salut.

Your
F. E.