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Marx-Engels Correspondence 1857

Marx To Engels
In Manchester


Source: MECW Volume 40, p. 145;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in Marx and Engels, Works, Moscow, 1929.


[London,] 14 July 1857

Dear Engels,

You may be certain that despite all mishaps I and my wife (who, by the by, is well on the way to recovery) found our own affairs less disquieting than your latest report on the state of your health. While delighted beyond measure that you should be improving, I am thoroughly alarmed to learn that you intend to return to the office — and to do so this very week. If nothing else, the whole course of your illness should have shown you that what you needed physically was to rest, recuperate and temporarily shake off the dust of the office. You must go to the seaside as soon as possible. If, at this crucial moment, you should be so childish (pardon the expression) as to shut yourself up in the office again, you will suffer further relapses, and your resistance to the disease will at the same time be progressively impaired. Such relapses might ultimately lead to an infection of the lungs, in which case all attempts at a cure would be fruitless. Surely it is not your ambition to go down to posterity as one who sacrificed himself on the altar of Ermen & Engels’ office? One would feel sorry for a person with your complaint if he were compelled by circumstances to chain himself anew to his business rather than restore his health. In your case, however, all that is needed is a vigorous decision to do what is medically necessary. Only consider how long the trouble has been dragging on already, and how many relapses you've had, and you will see how necessary it is for some time to let Mr Ermen shift for himself and to restore your health by breathing the sea air and enjoying relative leisure. I hope you will take the thing seriously and abandon your former mistaken system of alternating between medicine bottle and office. It would be unpardonable for you to persist in it.

I can only relate verbally the circumstances that attended my wife’s confinement and unnerved me for some days. I cannot write about such things.

I have received your articles [for The New American Cyclopedia]. My best thanks for them.

The Indian revolt has placed me in something of a quandary. As far as the Tribune is concerned, I am expected to have some superior view of military affairs. If you can supply me with a few general axioms, I can easily combine them with the stuff I've already got together to make a readable article. The situation of the insurgents in Delhi and the moves of the British army are the only points on which a few military generalities are needed. All the rest is matter of fact.

Mr Bamberger has kept me dangling for the past fortnight by making bogus rendezvous at which he never appears. I shall now give the laddie up, of course.

Jones’ wife died last April; he seems to be keeping relatively well.

A letter received from Imandt today. He has the expectation of a post which he puts at 300 a year. Regarding Dronke he tells me that he is said to be living en famine with a woman who is pregnant by him. It isn’t Miss Smith, however.

Salut.

Your
K. M.