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Marx-Engels Correspondence 1857

Marx To Conrad Schramm
In St Hélier in Jersey

Source: MECW Volume 40, p. 217;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, Moscow, 1934.

London, 8 December 1857
9 Grafton Terrace, Maitland Park, Hampstead

Dear Schramm,

Write soon and tell us how Jersey suits you. I did not see Engels when he passed through London on his return journey because he gave me the wrong time for our meeting at the railway station. Did that ass Reventlow reply? Not that I suppose there’s anything at all to the whole affair, since in any case these Americans are incapable of paying just now; I only ask because of the behaviour of this mighty hero. And how about Mr Faucher? Has he paid up yet? That crazy Berlinois grows from day to day stupider. Witness the foreign news of The Morning Star, a name that bears a certain analogy with lucus a non lucendo. In fact the entire English press gets worse every day, even without German assistance. Quite apart from the seismic effects of the general crisis which must delight every connoisseur, it is truly a relief when one is no longer forced to listen every day to the English self-laudations as to the ‘bravery’ of ‘their English in India’. It was really getting on one’s nerves, * this overtrading in other people’s courage on the part of the English paterfamilias and penny-a-liner who lives quietly at home and is uncommonly averse to anything threatening him with the remotest chance of obtaining military glory *.

Apart from the family circle, I am now pretty well cut off here. I seldom see my few acquaintances nor, on the whole, is this any great loss. The life you lead in Jersey can hardly be much quieter. I fear that as time goes on you will weary of your stay, or have you struck up acquaintanceships of any kind? True, Harney is so far quite a companionable fellow, but toujours perdrix is, of course, apt to pall. I hope to see you again in the spring, provided you don’t move further south. In any case drop one or two lines.


K. M.