Letters of Frederick Engels
Source: MECW Volume 2, p. 534
Written: 9 September 1841
First published: in Marx/Engels, Gesamtausgabe, Abt. 1, Bd. 2, 1930
Mother says I didn’t write you a letter last time, only a mere scrawl which was not worth answering, and since you have not replied to it, I am almost forced to believe, to my very great sorrow, that you agree with her. Still, I must tell you that I am very hurt, not to say insulted, by such treatment and I am writing to you tonight only because I am in a good mood and have no wish to start quarrelling with you, for you certainly don’t deserve a letter. Apart from which I am doing Mother a favour, so now you know whom you have to thank for these lines. I have now been here about six weeks, have smoked a great deal of tobacco and have studied hard although there are some in the higher regions who maintain that I have been doing nothing. However, I shall be leaving for Berlin in a week or a fortnight to do my duty as a citizen, i. e., to do what I can to evade conscription  if possible and then come back to Barmen. We shall have to wait and see how this turns out.
We had arranged a trip to Altenberg for Saturday and Sunday but nothing will come of it because Blank and Roth cannot manage it. I must see whether we can organise something else. It has just occurred to me that I might go to the Beienburg again, as I have not been there for a long time.
Mother went to August’s [Engels’ uncle] for coffee yesterday and noticed that Fräulein Julie Engels was very quiet but Fräulein Mathilde Wemhöner was very talkative. You can draw your own conclusions from this.
Apart from this I have found Anna very jolly, Emil making progress as a humorist, Hedwig becoming very cheeky and Rudolf going the same awkward way as Hermann’ did at his age, and, for the rest, that Elise gives herself airs.
The letter you wrote to Father in English, which I have read today, is good on the whole, with only a few serious mistakes.
Barmen, Sept. 9, 41