Letter to Karl Marx, not before September 27, 1856

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 27 September 1856


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 40, p. 72;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in: Marx and Engels, Works, Moscow, 1929.

To Marx in London

[Manchester, pas avant le 27 September 1856][edit source]

[...] As regards Weerth I shall write to [...] in Berlin, who might perhaps get something into a paper, n'importe which, so long as it appears. For 10 days and more after my return from London Lupus did not breathe a word of the news and not until quite late, just before 11 o'clock on the eve of my old man’s arrival, did he come out with it. You can imagine how staggered and annoyed I was at this idiotic conduct. For the next 8-14 days I hardly had a moment to myself and couldn’t even go and see Steinthal to find out more, let alone turn my thoughts to an obituary or the like. He has probably left some written work and I shall make sure I get a sight of it.

You might send me the Pan-Slavism when you have an opportunity. As soon as I have the time I shall revise the thing and knock it into reasonable shape — for Putnam’s (?) or anything else that might turn up in the meantime. Now, while the mischief is still in progress, I would offer the ‘Principalities’ to an English paper or monthly. How are things going on with Urquhart [ ...] very doubtful about it [...] I can see no possibility so far. In any case, we shall not be affected by the amnesty.

The stories about Moses and the Moses woman made us laugh a great deal. So, just like Ewerbeck, il s'est acheté une place au Père-Lachaise de la littérature française. [he has bought himself a place in the Père-Lachaise of French literature]

Have not seen Golovin’s Russia. You might send one or 2 issues so that I can see what it’s like; it’s quite unknown up here.

Bazancourt still on the stocks. I think I shall finish it in about 10 days or a fortnight. It’s not going so quickly after all, you see, I had no time to do any preparatory work. If only I had my Tribune articles on the war! Now all the material has to be got together again. After this, we can offer them ships against walls and then we should manage to keep the ball rolling all right.

That gold has depreciated against silver is no longer in any doubt. However it is also a fact that silver has vanished, but where to, I cannot quite make out. Such is the state of confusion that a great deal must have been buried or tucked away in China. Again, the balance of trade has recently been extremely favourable to India and China vis-à-vis England, the Continent and America taken together. At all events it must be highly gratifying for John Bull to find that he is already worth 6d in the pound less.

The clouds gathering over the money market are sombre indeed, and the Constitutionnel’s old ‘horizon politique’ may well come into its own again. Last Tuesday’s affair at the Bank, when 1 million in gold was withdrawn, is significant. It almost looks as though the storm is about to break, but this might, of course, be no more than a prelude. In theory, the crash cannot come until Russia is right up to the neck in speculation, but this is hardly to be expected and perhaps it is better so. Another thing which considerably restrains speculators over here is the high price of all raw materials, particularly silk, cotton and wool, where it is far from safe to do anything at all. When the crash comes, however, there'll be a rude awakening for the English. I should like to know how many of the Continent’s speculative shares have found their way to England — vast numbers, I imagine. This time there'll be a dies irae [day of wrath] such as has never been seen before; the whole of Europe’s industry in ruins, all markets over-stocked (already nothing more is being shipped to India), all the propertied classes in the soup, complete bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie, war and profligacy to the nth degree. I, too, believe that it will all come to pass in 1857, and when I heard that you were again buying furniture, I promptly declared the thing to be a dead certainty and offered to take bets on it.

Adieu for today; cordial regards to your wife and children.

Your
F. E.