Marx-Engels Correspondence 1857

Marx To Engels
In Waterloo near Liverpool

Source: MECW Volume 40, pp. 152-4.

[London,] 15 August 1857

Dear Frederick,

I am delighted to hear that the sea is doing you good, as was to be expected. As soon as you are fit enough to bathe, It will take effect even more quickly.

The sea itself is, of course, the principal remedy. However, some medicaments ought to be taken internally, partly preventive, partly curative, so as to introduce into the blood those substances it lacks. As opposed to your assumptions in your letter to my wife and basing myself on the most recent French, English and German literature, which 1 have been reading on the subject of your illness, I put forward the following, which you may submit to the scrutiny of any college of physicians or pharmacists:

1. Whereas cod-liver oil requires 3 months to take effect, iron does so in 3 weeks.

2. Cod-liver oil and iron are not mutually exclusive but complement each other during treatment.

3. A temporary iron shortage in the blood is the primary characteristic of your disease. Besides bathing in the sea, you must take iron, even should there no longer be any outward sign of the disease.

4. In your case the therapeutic element in cod – liver oil is iodine, since the oil’s fattening properties are of no moment to you. Hence iodide of iron combines both the elements you need, one of which you would obtain from cod-liver oil. At the same time, it would spare your stomach the extra ballast inevitable in the case of cod-liver oil.

Voilą mes theses, and I hope you will give them your serious consideration so that, once cured, you do not suffer subsequent relapses which are said to be exceedingly disagreeable.

As to the Delhi affair, it seems to me that the English ought to begin their retreat as soon as the rainy season has set in in real earnest. Being obliged for the present to hold the fort for you as the Tribune’s military correspondent I have taken it upon myself to put this forward. NB, on the supposition that the reports to date have been true. It’s possible that I shall make an ass of myself. But in that case one can always get out of it with a little dialectic. I have, of course, so worded my proposition as to be right either way. The persistent rumours about the fall of Delhi are being circulated throughout India by the government in Calcutta, no less, and are intended, as I see from the Indian papers, as the chief means of preventing unrest in the Madras and Bombay presidencies. For your diversion I enclose herewith a plan of Delhi which, however, you must let me have back.

From most of the reports of the Banque de France’ it is already apparent that, in place of d'Argout, there is a Bonapartist at the helm who makes little difficulty about discounting operations and note issues. The financial debacle in France must inevitably assume vast proportions, since a frenzied activity is contributing to it on every hand.

Imandt’s presence has seriously disrupted my work. The pot is in effect the only medium through which one can establish any rapport with these spirit-rappers.

With best wishes for your health from myself and wife.

K. M.