Letters of Marx and Engels 1847

Marx To Georg Herwegh
In Paris

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 140;
Written: 26 October 1847;
First published in: 1848. Briefe von und an Georg Herwegh, Munich, 1898

Brussels, 26 October 1847
rue d'Orléans, 42, Faubourg Namur

Dear Herwegh,

I wanted to give Engels a letter to bring you, but there was so much pressing business on the day of his departure that this was lost sight of and forgotten.

I had further been asked by Countess Hatzfeld to write you a few lines of introduction for her. I imagine that by now you will already have made her acquaintance. For a German woman, she has developed great vigour sparring with her husband.[179]

Here in Brussels we have founded two public democratic societies.

1. A German Workers’ Society[158] which already has about 100 members. Besides debates of quite a parliamentary nature, there is also social entertainment with singing, recitation, theatricals and the like.

2. A smaller cosmopolitan-democratic society to which Belgians, French, Poles, Swiss and Germans belong. [159]

If you come up here again you'll find that even in little Belgium more can be done by way of direct propaganda than in big France. Moreover, I believe that, however minor it may be, public activity is infinitely refreshing for everyone.

It is possible, there being now a liberal ministry [formed in August 1847] at the helm, that we shall run into some trouble with the police, for liberals always remain liberals.

But we shall be able to deal with them. Here it is not as in Paris, where foreigners confront the government in isolation.

Since it is impossible in present circumstances to make any use of the book trade in Germany, I have agreed with Germans from Germany to produce a review-monthly — supported by subscriptions to shares.[167] In the Rhine Province and Baden a number of shares have already been bought up. We intend to make a start as soon as there’s enough money to last 3 months.

If subscriptions in any way permitted, we would establish our own type-setting room here, Which could also be used for printing separate works.

Now I should like you to tell me:

1. Whether you, for your part, would also be prepared to drum up a few subscriptions for shares (25 talers per share).

2. Whether you are prepared to collaborate and to figure as a collaborator on the title page.

But I would ask you, since you have in any case long owed me a letter, to overcome for once your aversion to writing and to reply soon. I also wanted to request you to ask Bakunin by what route, to what address and by what means a letter can be conveyed to Tolstoy.

My wife sends her warm regards to you and your wife.

The strange business of the Prussian Embassy in Paris[180] is certainly indicative of our sovereign’s [Frederick William IV of Prussia] mounting and impotent rage.



[The address written by Jenny Marx on the fourth page of the letter]

Dr Gottschalk, General Practitioner in Cologne.

[Beneath it Karl Marx has written]

Dear Herwegh,

Due to an oversight, the above wrong address nearly appeared on this letter.