Letter to Karl Marx, November 29, 1867

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 29 November 1867

Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 42, p. 483;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

To Marx in London

Manchester, 29 November 1867 7 Southgate[edit source]

Dear Moor,

Schily returned enclosed. Oh, Lord, have mercy upon us, here comes olle Moses pissing up to us again! And he is congratulating himself that you certified he was right when he asserted that capital is accumulated labour!

I would be just the tiniest bit reticent in respect of that worthy. He will then take the bait all the more surely, and you know how little we can trust him if we have not made quite sure of him. In my view, for the present you could permit him to publish a few extracts from it [Capital] in the Courrier francais, so that we may see how he proposes to handle the thing. He will naturally put his signature to these, and we shall thereby again have him to some degree qualified as a repentant sinner. Then you could talk about the translation of the whole book which he is envisaging; your right of revision always reserved; and discuss conditions as soon as a publisher has been found. What Schily says of Reclus seems important to me, as the man knows German.

You are perfectly right about the Fenians[1]. The vile deeds of the English must not allow us to forget that most of the leaders of this sect are jackasses and some of them exploiters, and that we can, under no circumstances, make ourselves responsible for the idiocies that are perpetrated in any conspiracy. That there will be some, is certain.

I need hardly tell you that black and green [i.e., Irish emancipation] are the prevailing colours in my house, too. The English press has again conducted itself abominably. Larkin is said to have fainted, and the others to have looked pale and confused. The Catholic priests who were there declare that is a lie. Larkin, they say, stumbled over an irregularity in the ground and all three showed great courage.

The Catholic Bishop of Salford complained bitterly that Allen refused to repent of his deed, saying he had nothing to repent, and if he were free, he would do the same thing again. The Catholic priests, incidentally, were very impudent, it was stated from the pulpit in every church on Sunday that these three men were murdered.

You will have received my letter of yesterday with the £30. As regards the life assurance, I am willing to guarantee the sum concerned, provided that Borkheim retains the original in his own keeping and merely gives the secretary a copy, in the hope that this will facilitate matters.

I agree that the furuncles appear to mark the crisis of the previous illness.

Best regards to your wife, the girls and Lafargue.

Now that Liebknecht has got a little paper, for which we shall be held responsible, it is very important that he does nothing stupid in respect of his German policy. I am most impatient for a letter from him.

Apropos. From 1 January the Internationale Revue will appear as joint successor to a journal produced by Prutz which is to merge with it. Could put paid to our plans. How do you think we should broach the matter with Hilberg? We shall have to be cunning about it.

F. E.

  1. Five Fenians were sentenced to death as a result of an attempt to liberate three Fenians leaders from the police, during which a policeman was killed. The Fenians were represented in court by Ernest Jones, and three were subsequently hanged on 23 November 1867.