Letter to Ludwig Kugelmann, January 30, 1868

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Dear Kugelmann

Cut, lanced, etc, in short treated in every respect secundum legem artis.[1] In spite of that the thing is continually breaking out again so that, with the exception of two or three days, I have been lying quite fallow for eight weeks. Last Saturday I went out again for the first time – Monday another relapse. I hope that it will finish this week, but who will guarantee me against new eruptions? It is extremely disagreeable. Moreover it attacks my head. My friend, Dr Gumpert[2] in Manchester, urges me to use arsenic. What do you think of it?

Your Koppel is not yet here.

Kertbeny[3] is a German-Hungarian whose real name, between ourselves, is Benkert. The German-Hungarians love to Magyarise their names. I do not know him personally. Since he had a quarrel with Vogt[4] about 1860, I asked him for some notes but received nothing of any use. (My Hungarian material was obtained partly from Szemere,[5] partly from my own experience in London.) Later he applied to me in a quarrel he had with Kossuth.[6] As far as I have been able to learn, there is nothing politically suspicious against him. He seems to be a literary busybody. His heresies with regard to Bonaparte are held by many otherwise honest eastern barbarians – in any case watch him. I also consider it more diplomatic not to show any mistrust of him (and for that reason I am enclosing the biographical notice[7] which he requested). Nevertheless, as soon as the writing position no longer troubles me, I shall ‘order’ information about him from other sources.

You guessed rightly about Plagiarismus.[8] I was intentionally uncivil and hair-raising in order to make Hofstetten[9] suspect Liebknecht and to conceal my authorship. This between ourselves. You probably know that Engels and Siebel[10] have got articles about my book published in the Barmen-Zeitung, Elberfelder Zeitung, Frankfurt Börsen-Zeitung and – to the great grief of Heinrich Bürgers – in the Düsseldorf-Zeitung.[11] Siebel was the man in Barmen whose acquaintance I wanted you to make. He is now in Madeira for his health.

Last week the Saturday Review – the ‘blood and culture’ paper – had a notice about my book in a review of recent German books. I have come off pretty well, as you will see from the following passage:

The author’s views may be as pernicious as we conceive them to be, but there can be no question as to the plausibility of his logic, the vigour of his rhetoric, and the charm with which he invests the driest problems of political economy.


My best greetings to your dear wife and Fränzchen. You will get other photographs from here, for we have now discovered that the water colours which looked good the first day dissolved in patches immediately after.

Write to me as often as your time permits. During my illness and the many occasions for vexation, letters from friends are very welcome.




  1. According to all the rules of the art – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  2. Edward Gumpert (?-1895) – German doctor in Manchester and friend of Marx and Engels – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  3. Charles (Károly) Kertbeny (1824-1882) – Hungarian writer, active in the Revolution of 1848-49. While in emigration he wrote for the German press – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  4. Karl Vogt (1817-1895) – German natural scientist, vulgar materialist and petty-bourgeois democrat. After the Revolution of 1848-49 he lived in Switzerland, an active member of the ‘League of Peace and Liberty’. In his book, Herr Vogt, Marx proved that during the Italian war Vogt acted as agent of Napoleon III (in 1870 it was proved by documentary evidence that he was in the pay of Napoleon) – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  5. Bartholomew (Bertalan) Szemere (1812-1869) – One of the leaders of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49. In the 1850s while in emigration he headed the Left opposition against Kossuth. In this period Marx supported him – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  6. Louis (Lajos) Kossuth (1802-1894) – Leader of the Hungarian Revolutionary Government of 1848-49 and of the Hungarian national struggle against Austria – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  7. The autobiographical note read as follows:
    Karl Marx, doctor of philosophy, born at Trier, 5 May 1818.
    1842-43: At first collaborator, then chief editor of the Rheinische Zeitung (Cologne). During the period that he edited the paper, it was subject to double censorship, a second censor being appointed by the government in addition to the local censor. Finally suppressed by order of the government. Marx left Germany and went to Paris. In 1844, in Paris, he published with A Rüge the Deutsch-Französischen Jahrbücher (Franco-German Annuals). In addition, Die heilige Familie. Kritik der kritischen Kritik, gegen Bruno Bauer und Konsorten (The Holy Family: Critique of the Critical Criticism, contra Bruno Bauer and Company.
    December 1845: Expelled from France by Guizot, at the instigation of the Prussian government, Marx went to Brussels, founded there, in 1846, the Association of German Workers, gave lectures on political economy, wrote for the Réforme (Paris), etc...
    1847: Misère de la philosophie. Réponse à la Philosophie de la misère de M Proudhon (The Poverty of Philosophy: Reply to M Proudhon’s Philosophy of Poverty); ditto: Discours sur le libre échange (Speech on Free Trade) and various other pamphlets.
    1848: In collaboration with F Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party. Arrested and expelled from Belgium, invited to France by a letter from the provisional government. Left France in April 1848, founded at Cologne the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (June 1848 – May 1849). Marx was then expelled from Prussia, after the government had conducted an unsuccessful prosecution against him. Appeared twice in court (the first time to answer a charge against the paper, the second for inciting to rebellion; acquitted both times). Marx’s speeches in his own defence were printed in Two Political Processes (Cologne).
    1849: The last number – printed in red – of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. Marx went to Paris. Expelled in September 1849 with the choice of being interned in Brittany (Morbihan). Refused and went to London where he is now living.
    1850: Published the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, politisch-okonomische Revue (Hamburg).
    1852: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (New York). Revelations Concerning the Communist Trial at Cologne. This edition was confiscated at the German frontier, and a new edition was published in Boston in 1853.
    1853-54: Flysheets against Lord Palmerston.
    1859: Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (Berlin).
    1860: Herr Vogt.
    1851-60: Regular contributor to the New York Daily Tribune and the New American Cyclopaedia.
    1861: Went to Berlin after the Amnesty; the Prussian government refused him renaturalisation.
    1864: Published for the Central Council of the International Working-Men’s Association the Address to the Working Classes of Europe.
    1867: Capital, Volume 1 (Hamburg) (Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute)
  8. The title of an anonymous article by Marx in the Berlin journal Zukunft (Future) of 12 December 1867, in which he proved that two Social-Democratic Reichstag deputies, Geib and Hofstetten, in their speeches used arguments from Volume 1 of Capital without mentioning the author – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  9. Johann Baptist von Hofstetten (?-1857) – Formerly a Prussian officer, then co-editor of the Lassallean organ Neuer Sozialdemokrat – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  10. Karl Siebel (1836-1868) – Radical poet and distant relation of Engels. During his stay in England during 1856-60 he became a friend of Marx and contributed to the popularisation of Capital in Germany – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
  11. See Engels’ reviews of Capital.