Letter to Karl Marx, March 7, 1870

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 7 March 1870

First published abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Bd. 4, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Abt. III, Bd. 4, Berlin, 1931

Extract published in Marx and Engels on Ireland, Progress Publishers, 1971;

Published in Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 43

To Marx in London

Manchester, March 7, 1870[edit source]

Dear Moor,

Your letter arrived here yesterday in a very suspicious state and, what is even more suspicious, a full hour after time. Since, on Sunday, there is only one POST DELIVERY here, this looks very odd. Is the very honourable Mr Bruce taking an interest in our correspondence?

When I read that story about the Marseillaise in the “Irishman in Paris” on Saturday afternoon, I knew immediately in what part of the world this Mr. Williams could be found, but, silly as it may be of me, I couldn’t account for the first name. It is a very good story, and the naive letter with Rochefort’s naive demand that O'Donovan Rossa be asked for a contribution to the Marseillaise gives Jenny an excellent opportunity to raise the question of the treatment of prisoners and to open the eyes of the bons hommes over there.

Why don’t you have the letter of the General Council to the Genevans published? The central sections in Geneva, Brussels, etc., read these things, but so long as they are not published they do not penetrate into the masses. They should also appear in German in the relevant organs. You are publishing far too little.

Please send me the relevant issues of the Marseillaise and Internationale for a few days. Jennychen’s success has been met with a universal hurrah here and the health of Mr. J. Williams has been drunk with all due honours. I am very eager to hear how that story develops. The stupid correspondent of the “Irishman in Paris” should try some time if he can get such things into the newspapers of his friend Ollivier.

A couple of days ago, my bookseller suddenly sent me the Senchus Mor, the old Irish laws, and what’s more, not the new edition but the first. So, with a lot of pushing I have succeeded in that. And such difficulties with a book having Longmans as its London firm on the title page and published by the government! I haven’t been able to look at the stuff yet, as I have in the meantime taken up various modern things (about the 19th century) and must finish with them first.

I have concluded with Meissner on the basis of sharing the profits.

I have just received a semi-incomprehensible telegram from Barmen, undated, from which it can only be seen that my mother is seriously ill. I don’t know whether a letter is on its way, or whether an earlier telegram got lost. I didn’t get Liebknecht’s sheet[1] today, either. It is very possible that I shall have to go to Germany in a few days, IF SO I shall see you on my way there. But I hope everything will still go well.


F. E.