Letters of Marx and Engels 1847

Marx To Engels
In Paris

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 117;
Written: 15 May 1847;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, 1929.

Brussels, 15 May 1847

Dear Engels,

As you know, Vogler has been under arrest in Aachen since the beginning of May. [The original is inaccurate: Vogler was arrested at the beginning of April 1847 and returned to Brussels on 17 June] This has for the time being precluded the possibility of getting the pamphlet [Engels, The Constitutional Question in Germany] you sent here into print. The first 1/3 of it I liked very much. The other 2/3 will in any case need some alteration. Something more specific on this point in my next.

I enclose the print of your cartoon. I sent it to the Brüsseler-Zeitung.[153]

As for the truly nauseous article by Grün or his associates in the Trier’sche Zeitung [Reference to a report from Paris of 13 April published in the section ‘Frankreich’ of the Trier’sche Zeitung, No. 107, 17 April 1847] it is of course now too late; it would have been good if at the outset you had published a two-line counterstatement in the same rag.

I cannot go to London, not having sufficient funds. But we hope to send Wolff over. And then it will be enough that the two of you are there.[154]

Voce [as regards] money:

You will remember that Hess owes me and my brother-in-law Edgar [von Westphalen] money from the Gesellschaftsspiegel. So I am drawing a bill on him from here, payable 30 days at sight. Bernays likewise has owed me 150 fr. since May of last year. So he too will also be presented with a bill.

I would therefore ask you to do the following:

1. First send me the addresses of both;

2. Inform both of them of the facts and tell the jackasses

3. that if they believe they will be unable to pay the respective sums by 15 June, they are nevertheless to accept the bills. I shall then arrange for cover in Paris. Naturally you will only inform the jackasses of the latter if absolutely unavoidable.

At the moment I'm in such financial straits that I have had to have recourse to drawing bills, and after all I don’t intend to make the two jackasses a present of anything. Should the asses only feign acceptance of the bills, I must, of course, know at once.

Since the matter is very pressing, I expect you not to let a day go by before setting everything in order and informing me.

Here in Brussels I have managed to hunt out an escompteur. [bill discounter]

I cannot write to you at any greater length. About 12 days ago Breyer let a vein, but in my right arm instead of the left. Since I went on working as though nothing had happened, the wound festered instead of closing. The thing could have been dangerous and cost me my arm. Now it’s as good as healed. But the arm’s still weak. Mustn’t be overtaxed.


[From Gigot]

My dear Fritzchen,

I am just in the middle of reading your pamphlet — so far it has amused me greatly — and feel really happy that I ain’t no German. May God or Reason or Race preserve us from the petty bourgeoisie!

Avec laquelle j'ai l'honneur d'être. [with which I have the honour to be]

Yours most truly

P.S. Do drop me un demi mot [a few words] sometime.