Letter to Karl Marx, August 8, 1862

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 8 August 1862


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 41, p. 403;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.
Keywords : Letter, Law, Finance, Coup

To Marx in London

Manchester, 8 August 1862[edit source]

Dear Moor,

In giving you an account of my expenditure, I never remotely intended to deter you from further ‘squeezing’, as you call it. On the contrary, we shall, I think, go on giving each other as much mutual aid as we can, it being quite immaterial so far as the cause is concerned which of us happens to be the ‘squeezer’ at the moment and which the ‘squeezed’, roles that are, after all, interchangeable. My only object in drawing up this statement was to demonstrate the impossibility of laying my hands on more than £10 just at the moment.

I assume that you promptly requisitioned the £15 in cash from Lassalle, or what exactly does ‘by January’ a mean? That he doesn’t want to fork out till then? Now as regards bills, I for my part can perfectly well draw from £40 to £45 or some 260 to 300 talers on Lassalle, at 3, preferably 4 months’ date, provided Borkheim will cash them. I shall also be able to send you another £10 in cash if I keep Borkheim waiting till September for the money I owe him for wine. That would make 10 from me, 45 for the bill, 15 Lassalle, total £70. But it would mean that I was completely cleaned out for some little while, not that that would really matter, provided it got you out of the mire and enabled little Jenny to go to the seaside. Since Borkheim is constantly having to disburse money on the Continent — and he knows that, come what may, I have got to honour the bill if I don’t want my position here to be ruined, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t go and ask him whether he’s willing to negotiate the thing for us. You can tell him that just now, when times are bad for cotton, I am honour-bound to draw as little money as possible from the firm and hence would sooner adopt this method. You have far less cause to feel ill at ease with him about the affair than I have, so go and see him at once and arrange matters so that I can draw on Monsieur le Baron forthwith.

Lupus arrived on Monday, in the grip of influenza and rheumatism, which confined him to bed for a day, the only one he spent in London. As soon as he felt a little better, he came straight up here. That was why he didn’t come and see you. He is now better, but, being in monetibus likewise on his beam ends, came straight to me about the £10.

You've absolutely got to pull off another financial coup, otherwise I cannot see how on earth we're going to make up for the loss of the Tribune. Nor are the other New York papers in any kind of a position to take the place of the Tribune so far as you are concerned; but, should a suitable occasion arise, it would do no harm to try, as something might come of it. With 30 sheets, the book will raise at most some £70, but how do things stand with Brockhaus? Did you discuss the matter at all with Lassalle? And how much longer will it take?

I have again made contact with the Allgemeine Militär-Zeitung and shall see how it goes, though 1 article every 6 weeks is the maximum here. Mightn’t you be able, through your mussurus or otherwise, to arrange for me to contribute military articles to an English paper in London? But all this is marginal stuff and, unless we can discover the art of shitting gold, there would hardly seem to be any alternative to your extracting something from your relations by one means or another. Réfléchis-la-dessus.

Shall write to you shortly about Lassalle’s war plans and your theory of rent,; though I must say I'm by no means clear about the existence of ‘absolute’ rent — for, after all, you have to prove it first. I've got frightful piles and can’t go on sitting down any longer.

Regards to the family.

Your
F. E.